“And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.”
— Jeremiah, 49:3
Previously, we have seen how God intended to cleanse the land of Canaan from all the wickedness that was taking place there. This was so the Israelites could inhabit the land without being subject to the pagan idolatry that was rampant there.
The Battle of Hazor was the last large battle in which Joshua was the leader. In this post, we will examine archaeological evidence that backs up the Biblical account.
If you go to the website “The Hazor Excavations Project“, and view the link “The History of Hazor”, you will find:
- “…The first settlement of Hazor, in the third millennium BCE (Early Bronze Age), was confined to the upper city….”
- “…it is first mentioned in the 19th century BCE in the Egyptian Execration texts…”
- “…Hazor is the only Canaanite site mentioned in the archive discovered in Mari (18th century BCE)…”
- “…The Mari documents clearly demonstrate the importance, wealth and far-reaching commercial ties of Hazor…”
“…the archive discovered at El-Amarna, Egypt, (14th century BCE) there are several references to Hazor…”
Concerning the destruction of Hazor according to the Bible (Joshua):
- “…Evidence of this violent destruction by burning was discovered in various areas of excavation of the site…”
- The finding of remains confirmed Hazor existed, “…the most noteworthy of which is a cultic high-place, represent sporadic occupation during the time of the Judges…”
If you go to their picture gallery, you will see numerous photo’s documenting the excavation of Hazor.
Concerning Tel Hazor (the ancient city that Joshua destroyed), we find from Wikipaedia:
- In 2005, the remains of Hazor were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as part of the Biblical Tels – Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba
Finally, if we go to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, we find the following facts about Hazor (termed here Hatzor):
- Hatzor is “..the largest and richest archaeological site in Israel. It is located in the upper Galilee,14 km. north of the Sea of Galilee…”
- “…Many large areas of both mounds were excavated during 1955 and 1958, again in 1968 1969…”
- “…Hatzor was the largest Canaanite city of the 2nd millennium BCE…”
- “…One of the Hatzor documents mentions Ibni Addu, whose name also appears in a Mari document. In the semitic languages, the name is reminiscent of that of the last Canaanite king of Hatzor, Yavin (Jabin in KJV), known from the Bible…”
- The site details archaeological finds, including cult worship of “…storm god…” and “…crescent and disk, presumed to represent divine attributes. Also found here of basalt were statuettes of a seated figure and of a lion…”
- In Joshua, chapter 11, we read:
And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.
11:10 And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.
11:11 And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.
- From the website, we find:
- “The palace was destroyed with the rest of Hatzor, apparently in a conflagration that fired the bricks into very hard material. The remains of the Hatzor palace were covered with ash and debris which contained fragments of Egyptian sculptures, ivory artifacts, jewelry, bronze figurines and statues and more. One stone statue, cracked by fire and broken into many pieces, was over one meter high, thus making it the largest statue from the Bronze Age so far found in Israel.”
- The uncovered fortifications, elaborate palace, temples and buildings, together with the written documents and other finds, indicate Hatzors importance among the Canaanite city-states of the 2nd millenium BCE. It illuminates the biblical passage which describes Hatzor as “the head of all those kingdoms.” (Joshua 11:10) This flourishing city was totally destroyed by fire at the end of the Late Bronze Age (around 1200 BCE). The conflagration is mentioned in the Bible, emphasizing the complete destruction of Hatzor during the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites: But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hatzor only; that did Joshua burn. (Joshua 11:13)
I hope this post, along with the Parts 1-3, can show you how God had a plan that was to be carried out with his divine power to cleanse the land of Canaan of evil, and that there is archaeological evidence to support the final big battle of Joshua’s lifetime. Remember that God knows the end from the beginning, and with Him there is no error.