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Biblical Archaeology Review 2:1, March 1976

Hazor and the Battle of Joshua—Is Joshua 11 Wrong?

By Yigael Yadin

In his article “Hazor and The Battle of Deborah—Is Judges 4 Wrong?” BAR 01:04, Yohanan Aharoni writes (concerning the apparent endorsement by the BAR editor of my view that Judges 4 is “a late inaccurate gloss”): “Don’t reject the historicity of the Biblical text so easily”.

This accusation might imply to the non-specialist reader that Aharoni is the champion defending the historicity of the Bible. As a matter of fact it is just the opposite. In order to defend the historicity of Judges 4, Aharoni must reject in toto the historicity of Joshua 11a, which as everybody knows, is also part of the Bible.

Indeed, the crux of the matter is that there is an apparent contradiction between Joshua 11 and Judges 4, and each scholar may choose, according to his views, which one represents the true historical course of events.

When I began the excavations at Hazor in 1955, I (having been trained as an archaeologist and not as a historian, as was the case with Aharoni) had no preconceived idea concerning this question. Indeed, one of the main aims of the dig was to shed archaeological light on this vexed problem and to see which of the various schools of thought was right (see my book on Hazor, pp. 250–251, for a detailed exposition of these views).

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