Mark 11 – The Triumphal Entry & Jericho

Tomorrow we’re going to look at another one of the lost cities of Africa…

Mark 11
The Triumphal Entry

1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,

Storejars of Grain
Both Garstang and Kenyon found dozens of storejars full of grain from the last Canaanite city of Jericho.

The obvious conclusion: these were from the time of the harvest when the city was burned (not looted) by Joshua. As such, the archaeological record fits the biblical record at this point precisely.

The storejars pictured here still remain in one of Kenyon’s balks at Jericho.

“Bethphage” – the name means “house of figs.”  It’s not mentioned in the Old Testament and in the New Testament only in connection to the Triumphal Entry. 

“Bethany” – the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  Ancient Bethany occupied an important place in the life of Jesus.

“Mount of Olives” – directly east of Jerusalem, it rises to a height of about 2,700 feet, some 200 feet higher than Mount Zion.  Its summit commands a magnificent view of the city and especially of the temple.

Olive trees still grow on this mount and the Garden of Gethsemane, with its ancient olive trees, as at the base of its western slope.

2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.

3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

4 And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.

5 And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?

Bethany is located on the south-eastern slope of The Mount Of Olives (its western slope, as viewed from Jerusalem, is shown in the photo below – Jesus would have walked through this scene many times on His way to Bethany).

Jesus Christ often visited the village, so much so that some even refer to it as His Judean home.

6 And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.

8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.

9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:

“Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” – a quotation of Ps 118:26, one of the Hallel (“Praise”) Psalms sung at passover and especially fitting for this occasion.

10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

“Went out unto Bethany” – apparently Jesus spent each night through Thursday of Passion Week in Bethany at the home of His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

View of tombs on the Mount of Olives looking across the Kidron Valley.
Notice the monument with the pyramid shaped roof in the valley, called Absalom’s tomb…

this tomb from the first temple period was not really that of Absalom.

When people hear the name Jesus they either:

– Scoff at it – this is those are the idiots, the same ones that praise morons like Obama, or

– They shake in absolute fear because they know they are going to spend eternity in hell – this would be Satan and his cronies or people that blasphemed the Holy Ghost, like the Catholics) or

– They praise Him and bow down in honor and respect to the King out of complete “uncomfortable” fear – this is those who will be going to heaven and they know exactly who Jesus is, but don’t really know him or

– They bow down in honor and respect to the King with complete “appreciative” fear – this is those who will be going to heaven but also enjoy Jesus company here on earth.  Jesus is not just the King of Kings; He’s also a person and a friend.  It is great to talk to Jesus now, but it will be really cool to hang out with Him in person.

When God tells us to fear Him, He doesn’t mean His person, but what He is capable of doing (Lk 12:5).  God doesn’t want us to be afraid of Him, would you want your child to be afraid of you or be afraid of your authority?

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

“On the morrow” – Monday of Passion Week.

Another view from Mount of Olives looking toward temple mount and Jerusalem. Notice the Jewish tombs the cover the Mount of Olives

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it.

“No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever” – perhaps the incident was a parable of judgment, with the fig tree representing Israel (see Hos 9:10: Nah 3:12).

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

“The temple” – this refers to the court of the Gentiles, the only part of the temple in which Gentiles could worship God and gather for prayer.

16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

“Of all nations the house of prayer” – Is 56:7 assured godly non-Jews that they would be allowed to worship God in the temple.

View from the mount of Olives, with snow covering the ground. One of the rare times it snows in Jerusalem.

“Den of thieves” – not only because they took financial advantage of the people but bb they robbed the temple of its sanctity.

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.

20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

“Dried up from the roots” – this detail indicates that the destruction was total (Job 18:16) and that no one in the future would eat fruit from the tree.  It served as a vivid warning of the judgment to come in 70 A.D.

21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

“Is withered away” – perhaps prophetic of the fate of the Jewish authorities who were now about to reject Jesus.

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Eastern Gate on the Mount of Olives Side.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

The space inside the Eastern Gate is now used as an Islamic school.

31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.


There were three different Jerichos, on three different sites, the Jericho of Joshua, the Jericho of Herod, and the Jericho of the Crusades.

View from Cypros
The “City of Palms” spreads out on the west side of the Jordan River at 825 feet below sea level.

The Old Testament site of Tell es-Sultan is in the distance and is the city Joshua destroyed. In Jesus’ day a new center had been constructed on the wadi banks in the foreground by the Hasmonean rulers and Herod the Great.

Er-Riha, the modern Jericho, dates from the time of the Crusades. Dr. Bliss has found in a hollow scooped out for some purpose or other near the foot of the biggest mound above the Sultan’s Spring specimens of Amorite or pre-Israelitish pottery precisely identical with what he had discovered on the site of ancient Lachish.

He also traced in this place for a short distance a mud brick wall in situ, which he supposes to be the very wall that fell before the trumpets of Joshua.

The wall is not far from the foot of the great precipice of Quarantania and its numerous caverns, and the spies of Joshua could easily have fled from the city and been speedily hidden in these fastnesses.

Jericho was a fenced city in the midst of a vast grove of palm trees, in the plain of Jordan, over against the place where that river was crossed by the Israelites. Its site was near the ‘in es-Sultan, Elisha’s Fountain, about 5 miles west of Jordan.

It was the most important city in the Jordan valley, and the strongest fortress in all the land of Canaan. It was the key to Western Canaan.

Tell es-Sultan
After Jerusalem, Jericho is the most excavated site in Israel. Charles Warren in 1868 sank several shafts but concluded that nothing was to be found (he missed the Neolithic tower by a meter!).

Germans Sellin and Watzinger excavated 1907-13, Garstang 1930-36 and Kenyon 1952-58. An Italian-Palestinian team excavated for several years beginning in 1997.

According to Associates for Biblical Research, the inhabitants of Jericho at Joshua’s time were generic Canaanites. Beyond that we really cannot say anything definite.

In one of the Amarna tablets Adoni-zedec (q.v.) writes to the king of Egypt informing him that the ‘Abiri (Hebrews) had prevailed, and had taken the fortress of Jericho, and were plundering “all the king’s lands.”

It would seem that the Egyptian troops had before this been withdrawn from Canaan.

In New Testament times Jericho stood some distance to the southeast of the ancient one, and near the opening of the valley of Achor. It was a rich and flourishing town, having a considerable trade, and celebrated for the palm trees which adorned the plain around.

It was visited by our Lord on his last journey to Jerusalem. Here he gave sight to two blind men (Matt. 20:29-34; Mk 10:46-52), and brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus the publican (Lk 19:2-10).

Neolithic Tower
Discovered and excavated by Kathleen Kenyon in her Trench I, the Neolithic tower was built and destroyed in Pre-Pottery Neolithic A, which Kenyon dated to 8000-7000 BC. The 8m diameter tower stands 8m tall and was connected on the inside of a 4m thick wall.

On the basis of this discovery, archaeologists have claimed that Jericho is the “oldest city in the world.” Clearly such monumental construction reflects social organization and central authority, but there are good reasons to question both its dating to the 8th millennium BC. and its function as a defensive fortification.

Excavations at the ancient mound of Jericho in the southern Jordan valley of Palestine have yielded extraordinary finds that verify the veracity of Biblical accounts. The only surviving written history of Jericho is that recorded in the Bible.

Archaeology has demonstrated that the Biblical record is a precise eyewitness account of events that transpired there many thousands of years ago.

The most famous story about Jericho, of course, is that of the walls falling, as detailed in Joshua 6. Another less known, but nonetheless important, account is that of Eglon, king of Moab, building a palace there and extracting tribute from the Israelites for 18 years (Jud 3:12-30).

Proof of its existence:

– At the time of the Israelite Conquest, Jericho was heavily fortified, as the Bible implies (Josh 2:5, 15).

– Piles of mud bricks from the collapsed city wall were found at the base of the tell, verifying that “the wall fell beneath itself” (Hebrew, watippol hahomah tahteyha, Josh 6:20).

– An earthen embankment around the city required the fighters to go “up into the city” (Josh 6:20).

– Houses were built against a portion of the city wall that did not collapse, verifying that Rahab’s house was built against the city wall (Hebrew, betah be qir hahomah, Josh 2:15), and that her house was spared (Josh 2:14-21; 6:22-23).

– A layer of ash 3-foot thick with burned timbers and debris demonstrates that the Israelites “burned the whole city and everything in it” (Josh 6:24).

– The destruction occurred at the end of the 15thcentury B.C., precisely the time of the Conquest of Canaan according to the internal chronology of the Bible (I Kgs 6:1; Jud 11:26; I Chr 6:33-37).

Many large jars full of charred grain were found in the destroyed buildings. This is a very rare find since, because of its value; grain was normally plundered from a vanquished city. The large amount of grain at Jericho indicates:

MB Revetment Wall
From the excavations of Sellin and Watzinger, archaeologists have recognized the existence of a large revetment wall that supported the slope of the tell in the Middle Bronze Age.

This revetment wall was composed of large Cyclopean stones and supported a mudbrick wall above it. This southern portion of the wall was exposed in 1997.

  1. The harvest had just been taken in (Josh 2:6; 3:15).

  2. The siege was short (seven days, Josh 6:15).

  3. The Israelites did not plunder the city (Josh 6:18).

There was evidence of earthquake activity, possibly the agency God used to dam up the Jordan (Josh 3:16) and bring the walls down.

Following the destruction of Jericho the site lay abandoned for a number of decades. Then, an isolated palace-like structure was constructed. It was excavated by British archaeologist John Garstang in the 1930s.

He called it the “Middle Building,” since it was sandwiched between Iron Age structures above and the destroyed 15th century B.C. city below. The archaeological finds in this stratum match the Biblical description exactly.

– The Middle Building dates to the second half of the 14thcentury B.C., the time of Eglon’s oppression according to Biblical chronology (ca. 1400 B.C. less the remainder of the life of Joshua, Jud 2:6-9; the eight-year oppression by Cushan-Rishathaim, Jud 3:8; and 40 years of peace under Othniel, Jud 3:11).

– The plan of the building is similar to other palaces of the period and fits the description given in the Bible.

Collapsed MB Wall
Sellin and Watzinger and later Kenyon found remains of a collapsed mudbrick wall at the base of the stone revetment wall.

Bryant Wood points to the base of that mudbrick wall. All agree that the wall fell down, but they differ on the date. Wood’s conclusions are the most informed and they date the destruction of the wall to the time of Joshua (1400 BC)

– The Middle Building was an isolated structure, as the Bible implies. There was no evidence for a town at Jericho at this time.

– The resident was well-to-do, as seen by a large quantity of imported Cypriot and other decorated pottery.

– The resident was involved in administrative activities, as evidenced by a cuneiform tablet, a rare find in Palestine.

– The building was occupied for only a short period of time and then abandoned.


The Conquest of Ai & Jericho and the Date of the Conquest

That’s a pretty stiff sentence for stealing from the enemy, but I guess that lets people know that You mean business.

I know if we ask You for help You’ll help us, but You do things Your way, which don’t always make since, but they always work out best.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;’ but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal 6:7-8).

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be 1 tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

But every man is 2 tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. 

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death. 

Do not err, my beloved brethren” (Jas 1:13-16).

Et-Tell, the Remains of Ai
Ai was the second city Joshua’s army attacked during the Conquest.

The ruins of this city are a mound known to archaeology as et-Tell.

A few individuals have questioned this identification, motivated by the fact that the archaeology at et-Tell at the traditional date for the Conquest does not fit the biblical account of the Conquest at all.

However, the geography and topography of et-Tell closely match the biblical description of Ai.

“And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:

And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.

So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them away by night. 

And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be ye already:

And I, and all the people that are with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them. 

(For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them.

Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 

And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, that ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall ye do. See, I have commanded you” (Josh 8:1-8).

The Destruction Layer
Josh 8:28 records: ” And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day”.

The Bible clearly indicates that the city was burned when it was destroyed by Joshua.

Judith Marquet-Krause conducted extensive excavations at et-Tell in the 1930’s.

She reported:

“The city dated back to the dawn of the Early Bronze and had been destroyed at the end of this same period, or at the very beginning of the Middle Bronze by a violent fire.”

The Heap of Stones

The Bible goes on to record: “And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day” (Josh 8:29).

Judith Marquet-Krause recorded the following paragraphs in her report on her excavation at Ai:

The discovery of the sanctuary was the unexpected result of a long and difficult labor.

Situated to the South-West of the palace, on a less elevated piece of ground, the site completely disappeared beneath a 6 meter [over 19 feet] high heap of stones, covering a more or less circular area of about 20 ares [.5 acre].

This heap made me think of a tower dominating the view to the South-West.

Until most of the other remains were found, almost at the surface of the soil, it was difficult to foresee if the transport of that heap of stones would reward our effort.

But, during the previous work, one characteristic attracted our attention: all heaps of stones cover over some intact, ancient, remains.

With an average of 80 to 100 men, lasting one long month, we were relentless to transport the stones.

Cleared of the rubbish, a 5000-year-old sanctuary, associated with a Citadel, offered itself to our eyes with its set of religious furniture scattered on the ground.

“And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there were liers in ambush against him behind the city.  And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. 

And there was not a man left in Ai or Beth-el, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.

And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. 

And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.

And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. 

And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.

And the other issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape. 

And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua” (Josh 8:14-23).

“And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai. 

For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 

Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua” (Josh 8:25-27).

“And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcass down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.

Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal,

As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 

And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel” (Josh 8:29-32).

“And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 

There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them” (Josh 8:34-35).

1 The devil tempted Jesus, but he failed.  Matt 4:1-11.

2 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Cor 10:13). 

Don’t let this scripture confuse you, it doesn’t mean that God won’t let bad things happen, it means that if you walk away from him so far that You can’t hear Him and bad things will happen, but if you return to Him then He will make the bad good. 

This may be confusing and hard to understand, but I have experience in this.  Remember that God loves you and any good father will allow unpleasant things happen for you to learn.

Digging Up Joshua’s Ai: Infant burial jar and offering vessels.
Remains of an infant around the age of birth were placed in the jar and buried beneath the floor of a building just inside the gate of the LB I fortress.

The location of the building and a fine ware pedestal vase included with the burial suggest the structure was the commandants’ headquarters.

The find confirms that there were women in the fortress as stated in Josh 8:25.

 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If you endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons. 

Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Heb 12:6-15).

Jericho and
the Date of the Conquest

Who destroyed Jericho City IV? The “early date” for the conquest places it at around 1400 b.c., while the “late date” sets it at about 1220 B.C. There are at least three dif­ferent ways interpreters have tried to corre­late the fall of City IV with the” early date:”

A Late Bronze I conquest theory asserts that Jericho was conquered by Joshua in the latter part of Late Bronze I at about 1400 B.C..

This theory is based on the presence of Late Bronze I pottery at the site. Also, scarabs of Egyptian pharaohs Hatshepsut.

“Gibeath-haaraloth”, (Gilgal)
Holman Bible Dictionary

Place name meaning, “hill of foreskins.” KJV translates the place name in Josh 5:3 , while modern translations transliterate it.

Joshua used traditional flint stone knives rather than more modern metal ones to circumcise the Israelite generation about to conquer Canaan.

A whole generation had neglected God’s commandment and lived as strangers or sojourners in the wilderness.

The new generation forsook the sojourner status with God and became His people through circumcision at the cultic site near Gilgal.

This site marked Joshua’s and the nation’s obedience to divine command showing readiness to receive the divine gift of the land.

The exact location is not known.

Thutmose III and Amenhotep III have been found there. These scarabs indicate a habitation of the site during the Egyptian Eighteenth Dynasty, or during Late Bronze I.

All of this suggests that the catastrophic destruction of Jericho City IV took place at the close of Late Bronze I, about 1400 B.C.

Against this view, others have made the following arguments:

Late Bronze I does not work well with an Israelite conquest. There were very few great, walled cities in Canaan during this period, in contrast to the Bible’s assertions that the Israelites were in awe of the high walled cities that confronted them (Deut 1:28).

A number of scholars believe that a small scale occupation of Jericho during the Late Bronze Age had no walls and could not have been the city Joshua encountered.

The Late Bronze I pottery found there may relate to this small occupation, not to City IV, and the Late Bronze I pottery at Jericho may have no relationship to Joshua’s conquest.

The scarab of Amenhotep III poses an obstacle for arguing this view. If the Late Bronze I Jericho was indeed destroyed by Joshua, then the scarab of Amenhotep III obviously had to have arrived there before the city fell.

The dates of Amenhotep’s reign are usually set at 1390—1352 (or 1386—1349),too late for Joshua’s victory, which is generally set at around 1400 b.c.

The re-dated Middle Bronze conquest theory agrees with the conventional wis­dom that Jericho City IV fell at the end of the Middle Bronze Age.

However, it re-dates the Middle Bronze Age and asserts that the chronology of Egypt and the Middle Bronze Age needs to be revised downward by about 150 years.

Under this premise Jericho City IV actually did fall at the end of the Middle Bronze period—around 1400, not 1550 b.c. Two facts are in favor of this approach, but there is a problem as well:

Most interpreters believe that City IV fell at the end of the Middle Bronze Age, so this theory does not have the burden of having to overturn that conclusion.

A conquest of Canaan works well with what is known about the end of the Middle Bronze Age.

The cities of the land were forti­fied with high walls at this time, but in the next period, Late Bronze I, they were for the most part meager sites with little or no forti­fication.

It is conceivable that the Israelite conquest was instrumental in bringing Mid­dle Bronze culture to an end.

Most interpreters, however, regard the re-dating of the end of the Middle Bronze Age by 150 years to be radical and unwarranted.

There is currently a movement in some quar­ters to lower dramatically the conventional chronology for Egypt and thus also the date for the Middle Bronze/Late Bronze bound­ary, but mainstream Egyptology has yet to embrace this proposal.

The conventional Middle Bronze con­quest theory holds to both a Middle Bronze date for Jericho City IV and the conventional chronology. It argues that the exodus took place during the Middle Bronze Age and that Joshua came to Jericho about 1550. This approach, however, has very few supporters:

It flies in the face of the Bible’s own chronology, which strongly indicates a con­quest in about 1400.

It unconvincingly entangles the exodus story with the history of the Hyksos.

It is extremely difficult archaeologically to account for Israel in the land as early as the year 1550.

Thus, the archaeology of Jeri­cho as we currently understand it is impossible to reconcile with a” late date” for the conquest (c. 1220 B.C.).