Top Ten Discoveries Related to Joshua and the Conquest

The books of Joshua and Judges describe the settlement of the Israelites in the Promised Land. Some have suggested the archaeological evidence does not support the biblical description of the conquest of Canaan in the 15th century BC1. This can be based on a faulty reading of the biblical text, expecting widespread destruction throughout the region and instantaneous new cultural remains signalling the arrival of the Israelites. Numerous scholars have noted that the Israelites did not immediately take over the entire land, destroy all the cities, re-build their own cities and establish their own distinct, material culture.2  Kenneth Kitchen, for example states, “The book of Joshua in reality simply records the Hebrew entry into Canaan, their base camp at Gilgal by the Jordan, their initial raids (without occupation!) against local rulers and subjects in south and north Canaan, followed by localized occupation (a) north from Gilgal as far as Shechem and Tirzah, and (b) south to Hebron/Debir, and very little more. This is not the sweeping, instant conquest-with-occupation that some hasty scholars would foist upon the text of Joshua, without any factual justification.”3

One needs to understand the Bible describes a limited, prolonged conquest of Canaan, with the Israelites living amidst the local population whom they failed to completely defeat. Simply put, the distinct archaeological record of their presence would be limited, and would begin to appear over a period of time. This isn’t to say that there is no evidence of the Israelite conquest of Canaan under Joshua. Here are the top ten discoveries that I believe demonstrate the historical reliability of the biblical description of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan.

10. Burn Layers at Jericho, Ai, and Hazor

God promised the Israelites that they would live in most of the Canaanite cities once they had taken them: “I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.” (Joshua 24:13). In fact, the book of Joshua records that only three cities were destroyed by fire: Jericho (Josh. 6:24), Ai (Josh 8:28), Hazor (Josh. 11:11). Interestingly, there are 15th century BC destruction layers at all three sites.

The ash layer from Hazor’s fiery destruction dates to the time of Joshua’s destruction of the city in Joshua 11. Photo Credit: Royce Chandler, Courtesy of
  • While the destruction of Jericho (City IV) is controversial, the fiery destruction has been dated by some scholars to the 15th century.4 Numerous jars of burned grain were found in the remains of the Canaanite homes, affirming the biblical description of the battle occurring in the spring of the year (Josh. 3:15), the short duration of the siege (Josh. 6:4) and that the plunder had been devoted to the Lord for destruction (Josh. 6:17-24).5  
  • A 15th-century destruction layer was discovered at the fortress of Ai. Excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir (the site of Joshua’s Ai) revealed ample pottery dating to the Late Bronze Age I, much of which had been refired in a site-wide conflagration.6
  • The Canaanite city of Hazor has two significant destruction layers: a 15th century BC destruction, which should be attributed to Joshua, and a 13th century BC destruction layer which corresponds to the destruction of the city by the Israelites under Barak and Deborah in the time of the Judges (Judges 4:23-24).7  Archaeologist, Douglas Petrovich notes: “The Hazor of Joshua’s day clearly was destroyed by a massive conflagration…Evidence of this conflagration is visible in Area M on the northern slope of the tel, thanks to the excavations of 2000 and 2001. Various sections of the burnline and residual burned areas, which measure half of a meter in some places…This burnline, visible throughout the excavated area, reveals the unmistakable signs of a great conflagration.”8

9. Walls of Jericho

The first city the Israelites conquered in Canaan was Jericho. The Bible describes the moment the city was taken: “So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.” (Josh. 6:2)

Excavations at Tell es-Sultan (Old Testament Jericho), have revealed two city walls: an inner wall and an outer wall. Each wall consisted of a stone revetment wall, with a mudbrick wall built on top of it.

Excavators Sellin and Watzinger (in 1907-1909 and 1911) discovered that the revetment wall was 12-15 feet high with a mudbrick wall that was 6 feet thick and 20-26 feet tall on top of that.9 The revetment wall was constructed in the Middle Bronze Age10 and was reused as the base for Late Bronze Age mudbrick walls that fell when Jericho was conquered by Joshua and the Israelites in 1406 BC.11  In fact, excavations have revealed that the mudbricks from the collapsed walls fell in such a way that they made a ramp against the retaining wall, making it possible for the Israelites to go up into the city, as described in Scripture.12

The southern portion MB II revetment wall at Old Testament Jericho. The mudbrick outer wall would have stood on top of this revetment wall. Photo Credit: Todd Bolen,

8. City Gate at Ai (KeM)

One of chambers of the gate of the fortress of Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Photo Credit: Mike Luddeni, Associates for Biblical Research (

The fortress of Ai which Joshua’s army destroyed (Joshua 7&8) was discovered at Khirbet el-Maqatir by the Associates for Biblical Research.13 This site is the only one that satisfies all of the biblical criteria for Joshua’s Ai, including a main gate on the north side of the fortress (Josh. 8:11). After an initial defeat, the Israelite army conquered Ai, burned the fortress, and killed the king, throwing his body in the gateway under a pile of stones (Josh. 8:29).

The fortress of Ai was strongly fortified, with walls that were 13 ft (4 m) wide.14 The four-chambered gate at was discovered in the northern fortification wall; two of its socket stones were found in the gate passageway and four others were discovered nearby. The bones of the king were not discovered, however, as the gate chambers had been cleared out in antiquity and used for other purposes, including as a wine press during the Late Hellenistic/Early Roman era.15 Still, this was likely the very gate of Ai that the Israelite army led by Joshua himself (Josh. 8:2) conquered.

One of the six socket stones from the city gate at Khirbet el-Maqatir. This one was discovered in the first season of excavations. Photo Credit: Associates for Biblical Research (

7. Jabin Tablet

A cuneiform tablet from Hazor, addressed to the Jabin the king. Photo Credit: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

When Jabin, King of Hazor heard of the victories of Joshua and the Israelites, he assembled a coalition of kings to fight against God’s people (Josh. 11:1-11). The coalition of Canaanite kings was defeated and Joshua burned Hazor. Almost 150 years later, in the period of the Judges, an Israelite army led by Deborah and Barak again defeated a king named Jabin who reigned in Hazor (Judges 4:1-24).

In 1992, a cuneiform tablet was discovered in excavations at Hazor that dates to the 17-18th centuries BC, and is addressed to Jabin, King of Hazor.16 One of the Mari Tablets (18th century BC) also named “Jabin-Adad” as king of Hazor.17 Combining the biblical references to Jabin with the archaeological discoveries, it is clear that the kings of Hazor were named Jabin over a period of almost 400 years. It is likely that this was a dynastic title, not a given name; “Jabin, King of Hazor” is similar to the use of “Pharaoh, king of Egypt” (Ex. 6:11). Yigal Yadin explains, “Scholars have suggested that the form of the name of the king of Hazor mentioned in the Bible—Yabin (Jabin being the Anglicized version)—is indeed short for the full theophoric formula. If this is true, then Yabin may have been a royal dynastic name of the kings of Hazor for quite a time.”18 The biblical description of Joshua’s army defeating Jabin, king of Hazor is consistent with what is known historically about the title Jabin given to the kings of Hazor.

6. Altar on Mt. Ebal

After the victories at Jericho and Ai, Joshua and the people of Israel traveled to the area of Shechem and renewed their covenant with God. In Josh 8:30, we read, “At that time Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal.” In 1980, archaeologist Adam Zertal, discovered a heap of stones on Mt. Ebal. Subsequent excavations revealed a large rectangular, nearly square altar built of large, unhewn field stones.19 It dated to the LB2b-IA1a period (13th century BC) and bore traces of ash and the bones of the Levitical sacrificial animals. Beneath this structure, however, an earlier, circular altar with ash and animal bones was discovered at the exact geometric center of the Iron-Age altar. Late Bronze Age pottery and a scarab from Thutmose III (ca. 1506-1452 BC) were discovered near the altar.20 Moreover, a pumice chalice was discovered in the Late Bronze Age stratum21 which is similar a pumice chalice discovered at the site of ancient Serabit el-Khadim, where Canaanite slaves mined turquoise for the Egyptians.22  The archaeological evidence indicates that the round, circular altar, underneath the later rectangular altar, may in fact be Joshau’s altar.

The altar/cultic structure on Mt. Ebal. An earlier, circular altar was discovered beneath at the at the exact geometric center. It may be Joshua’s altar. Photo: zstadler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

5. Massabah at Shechem

The massabah (standing stone) at Schechem. Photo Credit: Daniel Ventura / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

The city of Shechem figures prominently in the narratives of Joshua and Judges. After Joshua built an altar on Mt. Ebal, they later gathered at Shechem again to renew the covenant. In Joshua 24:25-26 we read, “On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD.” During the time of the Judges, Abimelech was made king by “the oak of the pillar at Schechem” (Jdg 9:6).

During excavations on the acropolis of Shechem, archaeologists unearthed a massive fortress temple, an alter and a large massabah, or “standing stone.” The structure was constructed in the 17th century BC and was in use until Abimelech destroyed the city in the 12th century BC.23   It has been identified as the Temple of Baal-berith mentioned in Judges 9:4, 46. The temple was 70 feet wide and 86 feet long, with stone wall foundations 17 feet thick, and two large towers flanking the entrance on the east projecting 16 feet in front of it.24 In front of the temple was a courtyard in which the altar and the standing stone were found. The giant limestone massabah, is estimated to have been 6.6 ft (2m) tall and, although it has been broken, it still stands today at a height of 4.8 ft (1.45m).25 Edward Campbell and James Ross conclude: “The stone and the sanctuary may well have been the large massabah and the temple of the Late Bronze age. Certainly these were standing in the early Israelite period and for some time to come.  And since the sanctuary is associated with Yahweh, it is probable that Israel used the Late Bronze temple for her own cultic purposes.”26 This may, in fact, be the “large stone” in the “sanctuary of the LORD” that Joshua erected at Shechem, and by which Abimelech was later crowned king.

An aerial view of the ancient fortress temple at Shechem (rectangular structure in the center) with the massabah in the courtyard. Photo: Bill Schlegel /

4.  New Israelite Material culture in Canaan

A typical Israelite four room house at Gezer. Photo: Carl Rasmussen /

Numerous surveys and excavations have indicated the presence of a new people group in Canaan in the Iron Age I period (13th century BC). This includes archaeological features that are characteristic of Israelites, such as four-roomed homes and collared-rim jars.27 Moreover, there is a significant increase in the number of villages, particularly in the central highlands, during this period.28 Thus, some scholars favor a 13th-century date for the conquest. However, this need not necessarily be the case.

First, the group of Israelites who entered Canaan was likely smaller than most people imagine, not the 2+ million as some have claimed. This stems from a misunderstanding of the Hebrew word ‘lp, which can mean “thousand,” “troop,” or “clan,” depending on the context. Sir Flinders Petrie was the first to suggest that ‘lp should be translated as “family” in the book of Numbers. Thus, the tribe of Reuben did not have 46,500 people (Num. 1:21), but rather 46 families containing 500 men; the total number of Israelites entering Canaan was closer to 5550.29  Similarly, Colin Humphries has provided a mathematical analysis of these numbers and shown that if there were 273 firstborn Israelites above the number of Levites (Num. 3:46), the number of Israelite men over the age of 20 in the census was about 5000, not 603,550 (besides women and children).30

Secondly, it would take time for a group this size to outgrow the Canaanite cities in which they originally lived and need to expand into new villages. This is especially true when one factors in the curses to the “fruit of your womb” for disobeying the covenant with God (Deut. 28:18), as well as factors not recorded in the biblical text, such as wars, famines, destructions, etc.31

Rather than evidence of a 13th century conquest, I would suggest the new villages and material culture in the Iron Age I is precisely what we would expect to find if a modest group of people entered Caanan in the 15th century, lived in some of the cities they conquered, before eventually outgrowing those and expanding into the hill country. 

3. New Worship at Shiloh

An aerial view of ancient Shiloh. Photo: Bill Schlegel /

After the initial conquest battles, the Israelites set up their tabernacle at Shiloh and finished dividing the land amongst the tribes (Josh. 18:1-10). Shiloh became the center for Israelite worship for the next 300 years. If this history has been accurately recorded and properly understood from the biblical text, one would expect to find a change in material culture from the Amorites, who controlled Shiloh at the time of the conquest to the new Israelite population, and evidence of their worship.

A clay pomegranate dating to time of the Tabernacle was found in situ at the site of the ancient city of Shiloh Photo Credit: Ancient Shiloh Visitors’ Center

Since 2017, the Associates for Biblical Research, under the direction of Scott Stripling, have been excavating at Shiloh. Stripling notes, “Our LB pottery at Shiloh is identical to the Bet-Shean LB assemblage, which Professor Bob Mullins correctly dates to LB IIA…In my view, the Israelites arrive at Shiloh at the beginning of LB IIA. So far, we have not identified LB I pottery. Therefore, on ceramic grounds we have a synchronism between Joshua 18:1 and the appearance of LB IIA pottery.”32 In addition, they have unearthed evidence cultic activity at the site at precisely the time the Bible says the Israelites were worshiping there. One area with exclusively LB IIA pottery has a pit deposit of kosher bones predominately from the animals’ right side, as stipulated in the seventh chapter of Leviticus. This deposit is due east of a later Iron Age I monumental building which appears to have the exact dimensions of the tabernacle.33 Other evidence of worship at Shiloh include a ceramic pomegranate,34 which was a symbol in Israelite worship (Ex. 28:33, 39:25-26; 1 Kings 7:42; 2 Kings 25:17; Jer. 52:23; 2Chr 3:12), and several altar horns.35 Moreover, storage rooms with numerous collared-rim jars (often a marker of Israelite sites) were found lining the inside of the northern perimeter wall and may have been used to store the offerings of grain and oil God’s people brought.36

Simply put, the archaeological evidence aligns at numerous points with the biblical description of the Israelites worshiping at Shiloh from the LBIIA period through the Iron Age I Period.

A close-up of the name Israel on the Merneptah Stele. Photo credit:

Numerous Egyptian inscriptions testify that Israel was as a nation in Canaan quite early. The most famous inscription is the Merneptah Stele, which was discovered by Sir Flinders Petrie in 1896. This 10-foot-tall monument was erected in 1209 BC in the temple at Thebes to commemorate Pharaoh Merneptah’s campaigns in Libya and Canaan. Of his Canaanite campaign he boasts, “Canaan is captive with all woe. Ashkelon is conquered. Gezer seized. Israel is wasted, bare of seed.”37 The importance of the inscription is that it firmly established Israel as a nation in Canaan by the 13th century, effectively ruling out the late date (1270 BC) for the exodus. There would not have been enough time from 1270 BC to 1209 B.C. to account for the exodus, the 40 years of wandering in the desert, the seven-year conquest of Canaan, the settlement of the tribes in their territories, and the establishment of a national presence in the land, all before Merneptah claims to have defeated them. 

This is not the only inscription, nor is it the earliest. The tribe of Asher is likely mentioned in the inscriptions of Pharaoh Seti I (ca. 1291-1272 BC) at his temple near the Wadi Abbad. In the relief, the god Horus leads a group of Asiatic captives, including those from Kadish (on the Orontes), Asher, and Megiddo, and extends a sword to Seti to slay them.38 The Anchor Bible Dictionary notes: “The association of the name Asher with the W portion of Galilee tends to be supported by Egyptian texts. The name appears with the determinative for foreign land as early as the reign of Pharaoh Seti I.”39 This is description is consistent with Asher’s territorial allotment (Josh. 19:24-29).

The Temple of Seti I at Wadi Abbad. Photo: Su Bayfield /
The Berlin Pedestal from the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. It has three name rings; the one on the far right has been reconstructed to read, “Ishrael.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain. Reconstructed Drawing: Peter van der Veen, Christoffer Theis, and Manfred Gorg, “Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687.” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, 2.4 (2010), 21

Still earlier than this is the Berlin Pedestal, which almost certainly refers to Israel as a nation in Canaan. The inscription has three name rings, two of which clearly read “Ashkelon” and “Canaan,” and a third that has been reconstructed to read, “Ishrael.”40 Scholars, Peter van der Veen, Christoffer Theis, and Manfred Gorg argue that names Ashkelon and Canaan were largely written consonantally and better reflect examples from the reigns of Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II (15th century BC), than those from the times of Rameses II and Merenptah (13th century BC).41 “Ishrael” then refers to Israel, as there is no other candidate near Canaan and Ashkelon, other than biblical Israel. This would indicate that the Israelites were in Canaan sometime in the middle of the second millennium, in keeping with an early date of 1406 BC for the conquest.

1. Amarna Tablets

The Amarna tablets are a collection of over 300 letters from the royal archives of the pharaohs Amenhotep III and Akhenaten which were discovered at el-Amarna, the site of the former Egyptian capital of Akhetaten. One group of these letters, called the “Vassal Correspondence,” are official dispatches from various Canaanite city-states that were under Egyptian administration.42 They shed light on the geo-political situation in Canaan in the mid-14th century BC, the period after the initial Conquest battles, as Israel was establishing a presence in the land.43 Within the archive are letters in which the heads of the Canaanite city states call for help from the king of Egypt against a group called the “Habiru” who are attempting to take over the land. For example, the Milkilu, the ruler of Gezer writes to Pharoah: “May the king, my lord, know that the war against me…is severe. So may the king, my lord, save his land from the power of the Habiru” (EA 271).44

Five of the Amarna tablets in the British Museum. Photo: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

There are a number of striking connections between the Amarna Letters and the biblical text:

  • The term “Habiru” is etymologically related to the biblical name “Hebrew.”45 In Ancient Near Eastern cuneiform writings, however, the term “Habiru” (called “Apiru” in Egyptian texts) is not used as an ethnic designation, but rather a sociological designation for “marauding nomads”46 or “bands of brigands.”47  The Canaanite leaders would view the Israelites as Habiru and, while not every mention of the Habiru in the Amarna letters are necessarily referring to the Hebrews, the ones that refer to Habiru in the central highlands, where the Israelites initially settled, likely do.48
  • S. Douglas Waterhouse notes, “As in Joshua’s Canaan, the Amarna texts speak of independent city-states who possess the freedom to form their own alliances and pursue their own local agendas (though they owed nominal allegiance to Egypt).”49
  • There is no record of the Israelites encountering Egyptian troops during the conquest; the Amarna letters depict a Canaan without Egyptian troops. The heads of the local city states beg the king of Egypt to troops to defend against the Habiru (EA 75, 79), but Pharaoh does not (or cannot?) send them. For example, Rib-addi of Byblos declares, “I wrote repeatedly for a garrison, but it was not granted, and the king, my lord, did not heed the words of his servant.” (EA 137).50
  • Surprisingly, there are no letters from the significant places in central Palestine which Joshua’s army had conquered, such as Bethel, Gibeon, Mizpeh and Debir.51 This makes sense if the Amarna letters date from a time shortly after these cities had already fallen to the Israelite invaders.
  • A link between the Habiru and the Hebrews may come from the role of the city of Shechem. In the book of Joshua, after decisive military victories at Jericho and Ai, the Israelites march unmolested to Shechem to renew their covenant (Josh 8:30-35), suggesting some sort of arrangement between the local leader and the Hebrews. The Amarna letters shed light on this situation, as Lab’ayu, the ruler of Shechem is accused by Abdi-Hebda, the leader in Jerusalem of having given “the land of Sakmu [Shechem] to the Hapiru” (EA 289).52 Bryant Wood suggests the fact that Jacob’s descendants retained rights to land at Shechem [Gn 33:19; 48:22; Josh. 24:32] may have resulted in longstanding ties between the Israelites and the people of Shechem.53 If there was a historical tie between the people of Shechem and the people of Israel, such that there was some sort of arrangement between them during the conquest period, this would make sense of the close connections in the Amarna texts between the Habiru and the people of Shechem.


The Bible describes a limited conquest of Canaan, not the sweeping destruction some people read into the text. This is reflected in the archaeology of Late Bronze Age Israel. While there are limited finds, they point to a new people group arriving in Canaan and, over time, establishing their own cultural remains. Based on these ten discoveries one can reasonably conclude that the biblical account of the conquest is historically accurate.

Cover Photo: The Fall of Jericho, by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (1794–1872) / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain


1 For a good summary of the arguments from the biblical text and archaeological evidence pointing to an early date for the Exodus (and by implication the conquest 40 years later) in the 15th century B.C., I recommend Bryant Woods’ article, “The Rise and Fall of the 13th Century Exodus-Conquest Theory,” available here:

2 Henry B. Smith, Jr, “Archaeology’s Lost Conquest,” Answers in Genesis. July 1, 2014. (Accessed May 21, 2019).

3  K. A. Kitchen, On The Reliability of the Old Testament. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006), 163.

4 Bryan Windle, “Three Ways To Date The Destruction at Jericho.” Bible Archaeology Report. May 17, 2019. (Accessed Nov. 1, 2021).

5 Bryant Wood, “Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho? A New Look at the Archaeological Evidence,” BAR 16:2 (1990): 44-58.  Online: (Accessed Nov. 1, 2021).

6 Scott Stripling, “2014 Excavations at Kh. el-Maqatir: A Proposed New Location for Ai and Ephraim.” Associates for Biblical Research. March 9, 2015. (Accessed Nov. 1, 2021).

7 Bryan Windle, “Three Discoveries at Hazor.” Bible Archaeology Report. May 3, 2019. (Accessed Nov. 1, 2021).

8  Douglas N. Petrovich, “The Dating of Hazor’s Destruction in Joshua 11 via Biblical, Archaeological, & Epigraphical Evidence.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 2008. Online: (Accessed Nov. 1, 2021)

9 As quoted in Bryant Wood, “The Walls of Jericho,” Associates for Biblical Research. June 9, 2008. (Accessed Nov. 9, 2021).

10 Lorenzo Nigro, “TELL ES-SULTAN 2015 A Pilot Project for Archaeology in Palestine,” Near Easter Archaeology 79:1 (2016), 14.  Online: (Accessed Nov. 9, 2021).

11 Bryan Windle, “Biblical Sites: Three Ways to Date the Destruction at Jericho,” Bible Archaeology Report, May 17, 2019. (Accessed Nov. 9, 2021).

12 Bryant G. Wood, “Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho? A New Look at the Archaeological Evidence.” Associates for Biblical Research. May 1, 2008. (Accessed Nov. 9, 2021).

13 Bryan Windle, “Biblical Sites: The Lost City of Ai…Found.” Bible Archaeology Report. April 12, 2019. (Accessed Nov. 10, 2021). NOTE: The two-volume, final excavation report from Khirbet el-Maqatir (Joshua’s Ai) will be published in early 2022.

14 Scott Stripling, “Khirbet el-Maqatir: A Biblical Site on the Benjamin-Ephraim Border.” Bible and Spade. Vol. 30.2 (2017), 29. Online: (Accessed Nov. 10, 2021).

15 Scott Stripling, “Khirbet el-Maqatir: A Proposed New Location for Ai and Ephriam,” Associates for Biblical Research, March 9, 2015. (Accessed Nov. 10, 2021)

16 “Excavation Report – Tel Hazor – 1992,” (Accessed April 16, 2019)

17 Kenneth A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 175.

18 Yigael Yadin, Hazor: The Rediscovery of a Great Citadel of the Bible (New York: Random House, 1975), 250.

19 Adam Zertal, “Has Joshua’s Altar Been Found on Mt. Ebal?.” Biblical Archaeology Review. 11.1 (January/February, 1985), 30.

20 Associates for Biblical Research. “Has Joshua’s Altar Been Found on Mt. Ebal?: Digging for Truth Episode 23.” YouTube video, 9:20. Aug. 19, 2018.

21 Ralph K. Hawkins, “The Iron Age I Structure on Mount Ebal: Excavation and Interpretation,” PhD diss., (Andrews University, 2007), 38.

22 Zvi Koenigsberg, “Joshua’s Altar on Mount Ebal: Israel’s Holy Site Before Shiloh.” (Accessed Nov. 12, 2021).

23 Bryant G. Wood, “Abimelech at Shechem,” Bible and Spade (Spring 2005). Online: (Accessed Nov. 4, 2021).

24 Lawrence E. Stager, “The Shechem Temple.” Biblical Archaeology Review. 29.4 (July/August 2003), 29.

25 Bryant G. Wood, “Abimelech at Shechem,” Bible and Spade (Spring 2005). Online: (Accessed Nov. 4, 2021).

26 Edward F. Campbell, Jr and James F. Ross, “The Excavation of Shechem and the Biblical Tradition,” The Biblical Archaeologist. Vol. 26, No. 1 (Feb., 1963), 11. (Accessed Nov. 4, 2021).

27 K. A. Kitchen, On The Reliability of the Old Testament. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006), 199.

28 Ibid, 225.

29 W.M. Flinders Petrie, Researches in Sinai (John Murray, 1906), 207ff.

30 Colin J. Humphreys, “The Number of People in the Exodus from Egypt: Decoding Mathematically the Very Large Numbers in Numbers I and XXVI.” Vetus Testamentum. Vol. 48, Fasc. 2 (April 1999), 196.

31 Scott Stripling explains the population increase in the Iron Age I period at 23:15 in the following podcast: “Five Views on the Exodus (pt 2) – Scott Stripling” – (Accessed Nov. 2, 2021).

32 Scott Stripling, personal communication, Oct. 13, 2021.

33 Scott Stripling, personal communication, Oct. 13, 2021.

34 Tim Lopez, Scott Stripling and David Ben-Shlomo, “A Ceramic Pomegranate from Shiloh.” Bible and Spade, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Winter 2020), 26.

35 Bryan Windle, “Discussions with the Diggers: Dr. Scott Stripling.” Bible Archaeology Report. May 8, 2020.

36 Associates for Biblical Research. “Three Years of Excavations at Shiloh (Part Two): Digging for Truth Episode 80.” YouTube video, 21:01. Jan. 26, 2020.

37 Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings. 3 volumes. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973–80) 2:77. Quoted by J.J.Routley in “Does Merneptah’s Stela Allow for a 12th Century Exodus?” Bible and Spade, Vol. 33.1 (2021), 4. Online: (Accessed Nov. 11, 2021).

38 James Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. 3. (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1906), 79.

39 Diana V. Edelman, “Asher.” In The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. D.N. Freedman. (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 763.

40 Bryant G. Wood, “New Evidence Supporting the Early (Biblical) Date of the Exodus and Conquest.” Associates for Biblical Research. Nov. 11, 2011. (Accessed Nov. 11, 2021).

41 Peter van der Veen, Christoffer Theis, and Manfred Gorg, “Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687.” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, 2.4 (2010), 16.

42 William L. Moran, The Amarna Letters. (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1992), XXVI.

43 Bryant G. Wood, “The Role of Shechem in the Conquest of Canaan.” Associates for Biblical Research. April 5, 2008. (Accessed Oct. 8, 2021).

44 William L. Moran, The Amarna Letters. (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1992), 317.

45 Nadav Naaman, “Habiru and Hebrews: The Transfer of a Social Term to the Literary Sphere.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Oct., 1986), 278.

46 Steven Collins and Joseph Holden, The Harvest Handbook of Bible Lands. (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2019), 126.

47 “Bands of Brigands” is a description for the Habiru that archaeologist Gary Byers prefers. Personal communication. Nov. 8, 2021.

48 S. Douglas Waterhouse, “Who are the Habiru of the Amarna Letters?” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 12/1 (2001): 31.

49 Ibid, 35.

50 William L. Moran, The Amarna Letters. (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1992), 218.

51 S. Douglas Waterhouse, “Who are the Habiru of the Amarna Letters?” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 12/1 (2001): 35.

52 William L. Moran, The Amarna Letters. (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1992), 332

53 Bryant G. Wood, “The Role of Shechem in the Conquest of Canaan.” Associates for Biblical Research. April 5, 2008. (Accessed Oct. 8, 2021).

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