Ralph Hawkins of Averett University, Danville, Virginia, makes an admirable attempt in this book to summarize the widely discussed topic of Israel’s ethnogenesis. Although the book is seemingly intended as an introductory text for undergraduates with a strong Christian background, Hawkins also covers a range of issues that make his book of interest to a broader readership, although some may not completely agree with his analysis.a
In an introductory discussion of the history of the Israelite settlement, Hawkins lays a theoretical framework for his study. This seems intended to fit the needs of conservative students, although this process is seemingly described in the Biblical text itself.
Next Hawkins presents an overview of previous scholarship on the Israelite settlement, from the well-known classic theories (e.g., conquest, settlement, revolution) to those of more recent years (e.g., symbiosis, agrarianism, etc.).
Hawkins then summarizes and interprets the Biblical data (and also later Jewish/Christian interpretations) that may date the Exodus-Conquest. The author opts for the often-accepted date of the late 13th century B.C.E. for the Exodus, and the conquest/settlement following this. Hawkins discusses both Biblical and non-Biblical evidence for dating these events, once again in agreement with the commonly accepted dating of the late 13th/early 12th centuries B.C.E.