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Featured The walls of Jericho.

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Xavier Graham, Aug 17, 2022.

  1. Xavier Graham

    Xavier Graham Your local anarchist. God is Love is Love is Love

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    Did they fall outwards? I'm skimming through a Christian apologetics book and it says that the walls of Jericho fell outwards according archeology. Some googling seems to have two camps: one that concurs and one that says there was no walls at the time of the supposed Israelite conquest. But either way there is still the wall that has fallen outward, right? The reason this is important is because walls would fall inwards as a result of a siege, not outwards.
     
  2. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I would think that if the walks fell due to God supernaturally causing them to fall, as the text implies, then the walls just collapsed and fell straight down into a pile of rubble.
     
  3. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the Bible says which way the walls fell. Archaeology found mud bricks at the bottom of the mound on which the walls were built and so that suggests outwards.
    One section of the wall did not fall according to archaeology and that would be where Rahab lived in the wall.
    The site that says there were no walls (and probably no Jericho) at the time of the supposed Israelite conquest would be the archaeologists that give a late date for the conquest (about 1200BC) and not the Biblical date of (about 1400BC), and so end up saying that there was no conquest of Canaan by Israel. They end up making up other scenarios for how the Israelites came to be in Canaan, and say the conquest did not happen.
     
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  4. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    There are no Israelite conquest or invasion of Canaan in either dates of c 1400 BCE or c 1200 BCE, because of Egyptian presence in Canaan and Syria.

    According to 1 Kings 6:1, the “exodus” took place at Rameses (Exodus 12:37) about 480 years before Solomon’s 4th year, which would mean 1447 BCE be the date of exodus, and Moses’ death and Joshua’s leadership in 1407 BCE.

    If this was true, then the Israelites would have cross the Jordan either 1407 or 1406 BC, meaning the battle of Jericho.

    The problem here, Canaan was it would have occurred in the reign of Amenhotep II (1427 - 1401 BCE).

    Like his father, Thutmose III (1479 - 1425 BCE), they both battled with the Mitanni empire, a kingdom in northeast Syria for southwest Syria and Canaan.

    Amenhotep’s son, Thutmose III (1401 - 1391 BCE) found more diplomatic relations with Mitanni, by marrying Mitanni princess, hence retaining control over Canaan.

    So the biblical date for Jericho couldn’t have happened in the late 15th century BCE.

    As to around the late 13th century BCE, Canaan was under Egypt’s control during the reigns of Ramesses II (1279 - 1213 BCE) , Merneptah (1213 - 1203 BCE) and Seti II (1203 - 1197 BCE).

    We know that the Israelites didn’t conquered Canaan, because in Merneptah’s reign, because the famous Merneptah Stele recorded the string of victories against Libya, and much shorter description of his victories against Syria and Canaan, and one line that stated Israel was laid waste.

    Plus, the abandonment of Jericho occurred about 1570 BCE, including the destruction of walls. That’s about 160 years before the biblical narrative of Jericho (c 1406 BCE).

    Note that the biblical city of Rameses, is actually named Pi-Ramesses in Egyptian (meaning house of Ramesses), which only started construction in the reign of Seti, in honour of his father Ramesses I, but Ramesses wasn’t completed till the reign of Ramesses II.

    So Jericho destruction (c 1570 BCE) occurred almost 300 before Pi-Ramesses was completed in 1250 BCE, whereas Exodus and Joshua have the timeline the other way around, Rameses first, then Jericho later.

    I don’t think Moses and Joshua exist in any case, so the question of Jericho and Rameses are wrong, historically and archaeologically.
     
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  5. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    For you TLDR people: The walls of Jericho collapsed and the town was abandoned long before it could have in the Biblical narrative.

    Once again Bible stories look to be the results of altered myths.
     
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  6. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    The timeline of OT simply don't match with archaeological evidence and with any records in Egypt or with the Mitanni (15th century) and the Hittites (13th century).

    Egypt have been at war with both, as well at peace, so there have been exchanges of diplomatic correspondents and treaties, over matters of Syria and Canaan. None of these record anything about Israel.

    Only the Merneptah Stele reported of Israel's existence, and it doesn't look like Israel occupied most of Canaan as the Joshua narrative claimed; from what little the stele say about Israel, it doesn't look Israel was a nation.
     
  7. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    If the Bible is taken seriously as a historical document then about 1450BC is the time of the exodus and 1410 the time of the start of the conquest.
    There are definitely conflicting opinions about the dating of the wall collapse and burning of Jericho and imo the dating to around 1400 is the accurate one.
    There is definite evidence of Israelites in Goshen below Avaris the naming of the store city of Ramesses could easily be seen as a later redaction to identify the appropriate city in the appropriate area, which is right next to where Israel remains have been found.
    Actually if Israel left off building Ramesses and if Egypt went into a decline because of the destruction caused by the plagues etc then the same city may not have been completed until the reign of Ramesses, thus making the name Ramesses not anachronistic at all.
    If we are looking for a time in the history of Egypt when the plagues happened and caused chaos and decline in Egypt then we could look for the time of the Hyksos takeover and see the chronology of Egypt as inaccurate.
     
  8. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    It doesn’t change the fact that Seti I (1294 - 1279 BCE) had the construction of Pi-Ramesses in honor of his father Ramesses I (1295 - 1294 BCE), a military general who had served Horemheb, the last king of the 18th dynasty. But Ramesses was already old, so his reign was too short to have anything built under his name. Pi-Ramesses was completed by his grandson and namesake.

    So no, there was no Pi-Ramesses under construction in the 16th or 15th century BCE.

    The author of Exodus is anachronistic, and so apparently, are you. You are fabricating history that haven’t happened at that time.
     
  9. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    You don't seem to have understood what I was saying.
    Israel was building a storage city that either would eventually become Pi-Ramesses or was in the same area. Pi-Ramesses actually was a capital city and not a storage city and the storage city that the Hebrews were building was not finished and so was not named.
    A later redactor could have given the name Rameses to help identification.
    I am making logical extrapolations for one part of the story while assuming the rest is accurate.
    You seem to want the part of the story that tells us the time of the Exodus (480 yrs before start of Solomon's Temple) to be wrong and so latch on to the name Rameses as proof of the timing when the name Rameses can be explained.
    Interestingly you mention Merneptah Stele in your previous post as mentioning Israel but it would be impossible for Israel to be recognised at all in the 1208 BC Stele if they did not come to Canaan until about 1200BC. That leaves of course the interpretation that the late exodus date is also wrong and so the whole conquest story is not true.
    But it does not make sense to write the Bible off as history when all it takes is a re analysis of the dating of Jericho to align up the conquest story with the Canaanite conquest. (a new Egyptian Chronology--which many Egyptologists say is needed anyway it seems--would be just icing on the cake and would align Egyptian history also with the Exodus story.
     
  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Or, rather, origin myth.
     
  11. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Only? This strikes me as minimalism run amok. Have you simply dismissed such things as the Tel Dan stele?
     
  12. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. If you attack the wall at the top or centre, it is more likely to fall inwards but if you strike it from the bottom or undermine it, it is more likely to fall outwards. I'm not sure what siege methods and equipment would typically be in use in that time and place though (but I'm pretty sure it won't have involved walking around playing trumpets). :cool:
     
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  13. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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  14. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    I have not forgotten, since the thread is about “the walls of Jericho”, so I focusing on the Late Bronze Age (c 1550 - c 1050 BCE) in Canaan, supposedly the time and setting of book of Joshua (narrative), and external sources that are contemporary Egypt.

    I don’t discount some of historicity that are found in parts of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, because we do have non-biblical sources from Egypt and Assyria that verified places of the rulers of Judah and of Israel in history.

    Here, I have no problems with parts of 1 & 2 Kings; things we can verify outside of the biblical accounts.

    And the Tel Dan Stele is an example of Iron Age inscriptions of the 9th century BCE, which have no connection to the thread’s subject.

    Exodus and Joshua, on the other hand, not so much.

    Merneptah Stele only mention the word “Israel” in one line.


    The stele is commemorative texts of the 19th dynasty Egyptian king, Merneptah (1213 - 1203 BCE).

    That all the stele say about Israel, it, however, saying nothing about anyone person, eg leaders, who were contemporary to Merneptah.
     
  15. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    Supply city didn’t exist in the 15th century BCE.

    There are no evidence to support that building started at the site Pi-Ramesses around 1527 BCE, which was supposedly the time of Moses’ birth (Exodus 1:11), or that any part of Pi-Ramesses was completed 80 years later (1447), the supposed time of Israelites leaving Egypt from Rameses (Exodus 12:37).

    You know what would be credible for Genesis and Exodus if the authors could name Egyptian rulers that were contemporaries to the biblical characters of those periods, eg contemporaries to Abraham, Jacob, and Moses and Joshua.

    Not a single king could be named in these 2 books, because apparently the authors who were writing at the times where they (authors) don’t know Egypt’s history during the 2nd millennium BCE.

    History is about what can be verified.

    You cannot verify Exodus and Joshua, because they were invented stories.
     
  16. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    The Merneptah stele lines up with the book of Judges in which the Israelites were living amongst the Canaanites that they had not got rid of from Canaan yet and in which Israel had no King such as the Canaanite nations had, so there were no big time leaders contemporaneous with Merneptah. There were Judges that God raised up on occasion to lead parts of Israel to fight certain groups who were causing problems.
     
  17. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Very well. Let me still suggest that this is not quite what you said.

    BTW - and with all due respect to the somewhat dated Wikipedia entry, ÄM 21687 remains interesting. So, for example, you might be interested in "The Earliest Reference to Israel and Its Possible Archaeological and Historical Background" by Zwickel and van der Veen (2017) if available to you.
     
  18. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to the Bible it is not true until proven to be true. This is different to other histories I am told.
    In the last few minutes Rameses is mentioned also but the rest of this video is interesting also.

    The thing about Rameses is that Israel was building something in the same area but whatever they were building was not finished because they left before it was built. Then the work was not continued because Egypt was left in a state of ruin.
    When the Hyksos came in to take over the ruined Egypt (assuming that is correct) they took away whatever was there and built their city, Avaris, in it's place.
    You are right when you say that it would be good if the kings of Egypt were named in Genesis, and that is true, but the lack of those names does not mean that the stories are not true, it just means they are not verified by those names. What happened in Egypt is not what would be recorded in Egyptian records anyway. With minimalists this lack would probably make the Bible less historically accurate.
    Interestingly in the story we see where Abraham got some camels and that camels were being domesticated (albeit by the wealthy) in those days. This bit about the camels is interesting because minimalists insist that camels were not domesticated till centuries later and so the mention of camels in anachronistic and the authors did not know what they were talking about. They say this in spite of other evidence for camel domestication at that time.
    But the Exodus and conquest can be verified in the archaeology and can also be possibly seen in writings that exist and which match up with what the Bible says happened.
     
  19. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    Well, Brian had brought up 1400 BCE and 1200 BCE:


    So I had focused my attentions around these dates, regarding to the invasion of Canaan and to Jericho (book of Joshua).

    My points to Brian, there are flaws in both dates, because Egypt, and the Mitanni (15th century) and the Hittites (13th century) were vying over Canaan and Syria at these times.

    The Israelite presence in 15th century BCE history, is zero, while the later century (13th), we only have the Merneptah Stele.

    In both of these separate centuries, Egypt was in control at Canaan and part of Syria.

    Mostly we only have records from Egypt and Hittite empire, and lesser so with the Mitanni with the history of Canaan in the second half of the 2nd millennium BCE.

    While there are abundance of clay tablets (written in Canaanite cuneiform, none were written in proto-Canaanite alphabets) found in Megiddo’s archive, they of little uses pertaining to the history of Canaan.

    There are not much in ways of literature in Bronze Age Canaan that can verify what the Iron Age Hebrew scriptures say in this earlier period.
     
  20. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    Brian2:

    Abraham lived on a short time in Egypt, Genesis 12, but if Abraham had spent time with the king, then shouldn’t the king’s name be known in Genesis?

    He lived only a short time in Canaan, before he got involved in the war with kings (Genesis 14), in which 8 of the 9 kings were given names.

    Names that we cannot verify.

    What really puzzles me is why would the kings of Shinar (Babylonia, today’s Iraq) and Elam (western Iran) be involved in a war at the Dead Sea.

    Elam may have military and diplomacy with Babylonia during the 2nd millennium BCE, they have never had control of Syria or of Canaan.

    Now, while Ian no expert in Elamite history, I highly doubt there was any king named Chedorlaomer.

    On the other hand, I do know there are list of kings of Babylonia (the biblical Shinar), there are no king named Amraphel in Babylonia. The 1st dynasty of Babylon were Amorite rulers, the most famous being Hammurabi.

    Anyway, how can Genesis 14 have named 8 of the 9 kings, but could not name the king of Egypt, who ruled at the time of Abraham or the one who ruled Egypt at the time of Joseph, when Joseph was the second most powerful man in Egypt?
     
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