Final Conquest of Canaan & Tell Beit Mirsim

Finger Pointing UpYou promised the Israelites that they could have all that land so You killed everyone for them.  Accept the ones that tricked Joshua by lying where they came from.

1. Tomb of the Patriarchs Hebron
Tomb of the Patriarchs
Like Jerusalem, 23 miles to its north, the ancient city of Hebron stirs deep religious and political passions, and has been the scene of heightened tension between Jews and Arabs for much of the last century.

Hebron is revered as one of the four holiest places in Judaism (along with Jerusalem, Safed and Tiberias) and Jews had lived continously there for centuries until the small community was forced out after brutal massacres led by Arab residents in the early 20th century.

After Israel recaptured the West Bank during the Six Day War in 1967, a number of Jewish families reestablished the community near the ancient Tomb of the Patriachs.

As part of various peace agreements with the Palestinians, the Israeli government has withdrawn its presence from the majority of the city and now allows it to be administered by the Palestinian Authority.

Though the site of conflict during the Palestinian War from 2000 to 2005, the Jewish area of Hebron is now relatively safe and tourists are free to visit the community and the Jewish biblical sites under the guarding eye of the Israel Defense Forces.

If you choose to go there and visit know that you are on your own, i.e., if an Ambassador of the United States is not protected by our own government a regular citizen certainly isn’t.

We have such an awesome president.

I don’t understand why You didn’t kill them too, since they lied.  I guess it’s because Joshua promised that they wouldn’t, and You don’t like liars (Jn 8:44, Rev 21:8), so now they have slaves.

King Jabin of Hazor heard of all these massacres and sent a message to King Jobab of Madon, King Shimron, King Achshaph, and to the kings on the north of the mountains and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west, and to the Canaanite on the east and west. 

Also to the Amorit, the Hittite, the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hibite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.

“And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel. 

And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for tomorrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire” (Josh 11:5).

No city, but the Hivite, the people of Gibeon, made peace with Israel.  Joshua and his army killed everyone and burnt their kingdoms.

All these kings fought against Joshua because God had hardened their hearts, as he had done with Pharaoh. 

Below is a list of all the kings and kingdoms he destroyed so now he possessed their land, which is on the other side of Jordan:

Sihon King of the Amorites, Og King of Bashan, King of Jericho, King of Ai, King of Jerusalem, King of Hebron, King of Jarmuth, King of Lachish,  King of Eglon, King of Gezer, King of Debir, King of Geder, King of Hormah, King of Arad, King of Libnah, King of Adullam, King of Makkedah, King of Beth-el, King of Tappuah, King of Hepher, King of Aphek, King of Lasharon, King of Madon, King of Hazor, King of Shimron-meron, King of Achshaph, King of Taanach, King of Megiddo, King of Kedesh, King of Jokneam of Carme, King of Dor, King of the nations of Gilgal, King of Tirzah (Josh 12:8-24).

Tell Beit Mirsim

2. Ancient Tell Beit Mirsim
Ancient Tell Beit Mirsim
The Excavations at Tell Beit Mirsim

A three-hectare tell (mound) in the low hill country southwest of Hebron on the west bank of the Jordan.

This fortified settlement has been identified as the biblical town of Kirjath-sepher.

Successive occupation layers from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the Neo-Babylonian destruction in 588 B.C. (with a gap from the end of the Middle Bronze Age in the later 16th century B.C. until the second half of the 15th century B.C.) have helped establish a chronology for the Levant especially through the detailed analysis of pottery.

The town seems to have been prosperous.

Stone dye vats indicate that one industry practised here was the manufacture of textiles.

Tell Beit Mirsim, located 15 miles (9.3 km) southwest of Hebron, was excavated in the late 1920s and the early 1930s.W.F.

Albright, a principal ex­cavator of the site, believed it to be the Bib­lical Debir.

This identification is now widely rejected; Khirbet Rabud is now considered to be a better candidate for Debir, and no one knows the name by which Tell Beit Mirsim was known in Biblical times.

Even so, Albright’s careful excavation of Tell Beit Mirsim has helped to define the modern sci­ence of archaeology.

The story of Tell Beit Mirsim, a particularly informative site, helps us to understand the basics of archaeological methods.

In digging a site, it is important to be able to distinguish the strata for that site. Strata refer to the layers formed by successive occu­pations of a location.

Throughout the history of a city, newer occupation levels are built on top of older ones (i.e., earlier occupation lev­els are lower, with more recent levels closer to the surface).

For example, a city may have existed at a particular spot in the 12th cen­tury B.C. — until it was burned down by an enemy. Rebuilding could have occurred at some later time at the site, only for it to have been destroyed again.

4. ancient Hebron
Hebron, which rises 3,050 feet (926 meters) above sea level, has a long and rich Jewish history.

It was one of the first places where the Patriarch Abraham resided after his arrival in Canaan.

King David was anointed in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years.

One thousand years later, during the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, the city was the scene of extensive fighting. Jews lived in Hebron almost continuously throughout the Byzantine, Arab, Mameluke and Ottoman periods.

It was only in 1929 — as a result of a murderous Arab pogrom in which 67 Jews were murdered and the remainder were forced to flee — that the city became temporarily “free” of Jews.

Following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, and the invasion by Arab armies,

Hebron was captured and occupied by the Jordanian Arab Legion.

During the Jordanian occupation, which lasted until 1967,

Jews were not permitted to live in the city, nor – despite the Armistice Agreement – to visit or pray at the Jewish holy sites in the city.

Additionally, the Jordanian authorities and local residents undertook a systematic campaign to eliminate any evidence of the Jewish presence in the city.

They razed the Jewish Quarter, desecrated the Jewish cemetery and built an animal pen on the ruins of the Avraham Avinu synagogue.

Minister of Defense, Moshe Dayan, Commander of the Central Command, Uzi Narkis, and Gen. Rechavam Ze’evi visiting the gate of the Tomb of the Patriarchs (WZO).

After the 1967 Six-Day War, the Jewish community of Hebron was re-established.

On April 4, 1968, a group of Jews registered at the Park Hotel in the city.

The next day they announced that they had come to re- establish Hebron’s Jewish community.

The actions sparked a nationwide debate and drew support from across the political spectrum.

After an initial period of deliberation, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s Labor-led government decided to temporarily move the group into a near-by IDF compound, while a new community – to be called Kiryat Arba – was built adjacent to Hebron.

The first 105 housing units were ready in the autumn of 1972.

The Jewish community in Hebron itself was re-established permanently in April 1979, when a group of Jews from Kiryat Arba moved into Beit Hadassah.

Following a deadly terrorist attack in May 1980 in which six Jews returning from prayers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs were murdered, and 20 wounded, Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s Likud-led government agreed to refurbish Beit Hadassah, and to permit Jews to move into the adjacent Beit Chason and Beit Schneerson buildings in the old Jewish Quarter.

An additional floor was built on Beit Hadassah, and 11 families moved in during 1986. Over the last two decades, many other Jewish properties and buildings in Hebron have been refurbished and rebuilt.

For example, the pres­ence of clearly defined burn layers at Tell Beit Mirsim have helped archaeologists to distin­guish the various strata of that site.

 Pottery helps to date the strata at a site. The use of pottery to fix a date for a stratum is referred to as “ceramic dating.”

Pottery samples were collected from Tell Beit Mir­sim and compared to finds from other sites in Palestine.

Careful classification of exca­vated pottery at the Tell Beit Mirsim site helped to refine and establish the pottery – dating system.

3. Jar Beth Mirsim
Jar, Beth Mirsim, IDA I 4962. Juglet has been placed in the cup of the spout. Tell Beit Mirsim was excavated in the 1920’s and 30’s by William Foxwell Albright.

Tell Beit Mirsim was unusual in that it held remains from ten different occupation levels, spanning the Early Bronze, Middle Bronze, Late Bronze and Iron periods.

Also, the site yielded excellent examples of the material culture of a Judean town during the monarchic period (when Israel and Judah were ruled by kings).

This evi­dence is useful for making comparisons to physical remains from other sites, especially those related to the archaeology of early Israel.

Periodically the tools of archaeology need to be refined. As an example, Albright attributed the final destruction of Tell Beit Mirsim to the Babylonians in 589-587 B.C.

Recent investigation, however, has indicated that its ultimate demise likely came at the hands of the Assyrians, as part of the cam­paign of Sennacherib in 701 B.C.

Based upon the new evidence supporting this dating ad­justment, archaeologists have found it nec­essary to make minor adjustments in the ceramic chronology.


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