Essential Reading to Understand The Headlines

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Evidence for Israel 2 - The Walls of Jericho

In the first part of series, I mentioned that this is to show that the Jews are legitimate in occupying the present land of Israel and that its history shows it. I also say that the evidence we will cite will be set in stone and not just in the pen of history. This series aims to use archaeology to show that Jews should live in present day Israel and it was theirs to begin with as God decreed it thousands of years ago.

Israel's history can be seen in length and in detail if one reads the Bible. Archaeology has provided evidence to the biblical accounts and along it ties up with Israel's ancient existence. The first evidence we will look at are the walls of Jericho.

God first promised the land of Israel to Abraham. But it was not in the time of Joshua until the Israelites officially ruled this land and defeated the Canaanites (these are not the ancestors of the Palestinians) . You can read the details of this conquest by going to the Book of Joshua in the Bible.

After following God's instructions of encircling the Wall of Jericho and the blasting of trumpets, the structure fell down. Is there any evidence for the wall of Jericho and its falling down?

In the website of answersingenesis.com, it cites the findings of British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon in the 1950s.
Photo from: Bibleplaces.com (Jericho page)

Kenyon’s work was the most detailed. On the west side of the tell, at the base of the retaining, or revetment, wall, she found,

‘fallen red bricks piling nearly to the top of the revetment. These probably came from the wall on the summit of the bank [and/or] … the brickwork above the revetment

The scientific explanation of what caused the the collapse of the walls according to some is via an earthquake. But even that earthquake explanation is quite unusual according this time from Christiananswers.com.

What caused the strong walls of Jericho to collapse? The most likely explanation is an earthquake. But the nature of the earthquake was unusual. It struck in such a way as to allow a portion of the city wall on the north side of the site to remain standing, while everywhere else the wall fell.
Even one of the difficult details of this conquest has archaeological evidence. Before going to the land, Joshua sent spies to scout the land. The spies stayed in the house of the prostitute Rahab who was sympathetic to the Jews since she has heard of the prophecy that they will be the future occupiers of the land (Joshua 2). The Bible also states that Rahab's house was part of the city wall.

"So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall." (Joshua 2:15)

Rahab was promised as well that her house will be spared. But how can this be if the wall was destroyed?

Answerinsgenesis also cites the works of Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger on why this has archaeological evidence.

The German excavation of 1907–1909 found that on the north a short stretch of the lower city wall did not fall as everywhere else. A portion of that mudbrick wall was still standing to a height of over two meters (eight feet). What is more, there were houses built against the wall! It is quite possible that this is where Rahab’s house was.
With the archaeological findings of the Walls of Jericho we can now establish the conquest of this land of the Jews from the Canaanites. God punished the wickedness of the Canaanites with the arrival of the Jews and also at the same time fulfilled His promise to Abraham.

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Citations:

Joshua 1 (NIV Bible)

Anwersingenesis.com

Christiananswers.com

Kathleen M. Kenyon, Excavations at Jericho, 3:110, London, British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, 1981.

Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger, Jericho die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen, Osnabrück, Otto Zeller Verlag, p. 58, 1973 (reprint of the 1913 edition).

Photo from: Bibleplaces.com (Jericho page)