with Yair Davidiy
[Joshua 4:1] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN ALL THE PEOPLE WERE CLEAN PASSED OVER JORDAN, THAT THE LORD SPAKE UNTO JOSHUA, SAYING,
[Joshua 4:2] TAKE YOU TWELVE MEN OUT OF THE PEOPLE, OUT OF EVERY TRIBE A MAN,
[Joshua 4:3] AND COMMAND YE THEM, SAYING, TAKE YOU HENCE OUT OF THE
MIDST OF JORDAN, OUT OF THE PLACE WHERE THE PRIESTS' FEET STOOD FIRM, TWELVE
STONES, AND YE SHALL CARRY THEM OVER WITH YOU, AND LEAVE THEM IN THE LODGING
PLACE, WHERE YE SHALL LODGE THIS NIGHT.
[Joshua 4:4] THEN JOSHUA CALLED THE TWELVE MEN, WHOM HE HAD PREPARED OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, OUT OF EVERY TRIBE A MAN:
Twelve tribes of Israel: Each tribe has its own special qualities
unique to itself. We need a unity of all the tribes to realize the full
potential of the Israelite people. Each one of us has a role in this world
that only we can exactly fulfill. We each must do as well as we can
in accordance to our own situation and capabilities.
[Joshua 4:5] AND JOSHUA SAID UNTO THEM, PASS OVER
BEFORE THE ARK OF THE LORD YOUR GOD INTO THE MIDST OF JORDAN,
AND TAKE YOU UP EVERY MAN OF YOU A STONE UPON HIS SHOULDER, ACCORDING UNTO
THE NUMBER OF THE TRIBES OF THE
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL:
>>THE NUMBER OF THE TRIBES>>: There were
actually 13 tribes but always only 12 were counted: Either Ephraim and Menasseh
were counted as the one tribe of Joseph or Levi was not counted since it
was the priestly tribe and had other tasks OR Simeon was subsumed under Judah.
[Joshua 4:6] THAT THIS MAY BE A SIGN AMONG YOU, THAT
WHEN YOUR CHILDREN ASK THEIR FATHERS IN TIME TO COME, SAYING, WHAT MEAN YE
BY THESE STONES?
<<WHAT MEAN YE BY THESE STONES?>>: Archaeology
is important. The trail of megalithic dolmen monuments proves the Israelite
origins of western people. See Ephraim.
This is a very important point and one which we hope to dedicate more to in the future.
[Joshua 4:7] THEN YE SHALL ANSWER THEM, THAT THE WATERS
OF JORDAN WERE CUT OFF BEFORE THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD;
WHEN IT PASSED OVER JORDAN, THE WATERS OF JORDAN WERE CUT OFF: AND
THESE STONES SHALL BE FOR A MEMORIAL UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FOR EVER.
[Joshua 4:8] AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL DID SO AS JOSHUA COMMANDED,
AND TOOK UP TWELVE STONES OUT OF THE MIDST OF JORDAN, AS THE LORD SPAKE UNTO
JOSHUA, ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OF THE TRIBES OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL,
AND CARRIED THEM OVER WITH THEM UNTO THE PLACE WHERE THEY LODGED, AND LAID
THEM DOWN THERE.
[Joshua 4:9] AND JOSHUA SET UP TWELVE STONES IN THE MIDST OF JORDAN,
IN THE PLACE WHERE THE FEET OF THE PRIESTS WHICH BARE THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
STOOD: AND THEY ARE THERE UNTO THIS DAY.
<<THERE UNTO THIS DAY>>: i.e. until the
day when the Book of Joshua was written. The expression until this day occurs
more than 80 times in Scripture and EVERYWHERE it means until the words quoted
were written. I mention this since an assumed authority once claimed otherwise
concerning the Lost Ten Tribes. Concerning the exile of the Ten northern
Tribes of Israel, Scripture says,
<<UNTIL THE LORD REMOVED ISRAEL OUT OF HIS SIGHT, AS HE HAD
SAID BY ALL HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS. SO WAS ISRAEL CARRIED AWAY OUT
OF THEIR OWN LAND TO ASSYRIA UNTO THIS DAY>> [2-Kings 17:23]
. The person in question wanted to claim that since it says, UNTO THIS DAY concerning
the Tribes being in Assyria then they must still be in that region until
now! This sounds silly but it is an example of the type of reasoning we have
often to deal with. UNTO THIS DAY means everywhere until the time
the passage was written, and not afterwards. We can all make mistakes. The
Bible is saying that the stones could be seen in the waters of the Jordan
River at the time The Book of Joshua was written. Even so, the said stones
may well still be somewhere in or near the Jordan waiting to be discovered.
[Joshua 4:10] FOR THE PRIESTS WHICH BARE THE ARK STOOD
IN THE MIDST OF JORDAN, UNTIL EVERYTHING WAS FINISHED THAT THE LORD
COMMANDED JOSHUA TO SPEAK UNTO THE PEOPLE, ACCORDING TO ALL THAT MOSES
COMMANDED JOSHUA: AND
THE PEOPLE HASTED AND PASSED OVER.
[Joshua 4:11] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN ALL THE PEOPLE WERE CLEAN PASSED
OVER, THAT THE ARK OF THE LORD PASSED OVER, AND THE PRIESTS, IN THE
PRESENCE OF THE PEOPLE.
[Joshua 4:12] AND THE CHILDREN OF REUBEN, AND THE CHILDREN OF GAD, AND
HALF THE TRIBE OF MANASSEH, PASSED OVER ARMED BEFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL,
AS MOSES SPAKE UNTO THEM:
[Joshua 4:13] ABOUT FORTY THOUSAND PREPARED FOR WAR PASSED OVER BEFORE THE LORD UNTO BATTLE,
TO THE PLAINS OF JERICHO.
Most of Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh remained on the east
side of the Jordan in regions of present day Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
These regions had already been conquered as described in the Book of Numbers.
40,000 select warriors from Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh passed over the
Jordan to assist the other tribes in conquering the Land of Canaan west of
the Jordan River.
[Joshua 4:14] ON THAT DAY THE LORD MAGNIFIED JOSHUA
IN THE SIGHT OF ALL ISRAEL; AND THEY FEARED HIM, AS THEY FEARED MOSES,
ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE.
[Joshua 4:15] AND THE LORD SPAKE UNTO JOSHUA, SAYING,
[Joshua 4:16] COMMAND THE PRIESTS THAT BEAR THE ARK OF THE TESTIMONY, THAT THEY COME UP OUT OF JORDAN.
[Joshua 4:17] JOSHUA THEREFORE COMMANDED THE PRIESTS, SAYING, COME YE UP OUT OF JORDAN.
[Joshua 4:18] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN THE PRIESTS THAT BARE THE ARK
OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD WERE COME UP OUT OF THE MIDST OF JORDAN,
AND THE SOLES OF THE PRIESTS' FEET WERE LIFTED UP UNTO THE DRY LAND,
WATERS OF JORDAN RETURNED UNTO THEIR PLACE, AND FLOWED OVER ALL HIS BANKS, AS THEY DID BEFORE.
[Joshua 4:19] AND THE PEOPLE CAME UP OUT OF JORDAN ON THE TENTH DAY
OF THE FIRST MONTH, AND ENCAMPED IN GILGAL, IN THE EAST BORDER OF JERICHO.
<<THE FIRST MONTH>>: i.e. the month of Nisan.
[Joshua 4:20] AND THOSE TWELVE STONES, WHICH THEY TOOK OUT OF JORDAN, DID JOSHUA PITCH IN GILGAL.
[Joshua 4:21] AND HE SPAKE UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, SAYING, WHEN
YOUR CHILDREN SHALL ASK THEIR FATHERS IN TIME TO COME, SAYING, WHAT
MEAN THESE STONES?
<<WHAT MEAN THESE STONES?>>: Notice again the potential
importance of archaeological finds when properly understood and correctly
interpreted according to Biblical tradition.
[Joshua 4:22] THEN YE SHALL LET YOUR CHILDREN KNOW, SAYING, ISRAEL CAME OVER THIS JORDAN ON DRY LAND.
From this you can see that archaeological and historical
facts can be used to affirm the Biblical account and strengthen belief and
fear of God.
[Joshua 4:23] FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD DRIED UP THE WATERS
OF JORDAN FROM BEFORE YOU, UNTIL YE WERE PASSED OVER, AS THE LORD YOUR GOD
DID TO THE RED SEA, WHICH HE DRIED UP FROM BEFORE US, UNTIL WE
WERE GONE OVER:
[Joshua 4:24] THAT ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH MIGHT KNOW THE HAND OF
THE LORD, THAT IT IS MIGHTY: THAT YE MIGHT FEAR THE LORD YOUR GOD FOR EVER.
<< YE MIGHT FEAR THE LORD YOUR GOD FOR EVER>>:
It is important to fear God. We sometimes get carried away and forget whom
we are responsible for and who we are responsible to and before WHOM we will
have to give an accounting. We should also remember those moments when God
has helped us and made HIS presence felt to us and to all of Israel.
The following article does not necessarily reflect our own opinion but
it does show how the archaeological record can be interpreted to support
the Bible or misinterpreted as being against it.
Jericho, by Immanuel Velikovsky
Jericho was the first city west of the Jordan to be conquered by the Israelites
under Joshua. It was surrounded by a huge wall that was wide enough to have
houses built on it. Joshua sent spies into the city, and Rahab, the harlot
let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town
wall. About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the Lord unto
battle, to the plains of Jericho. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because
of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. After a few days
of siege, the earth groaned loudly - the Israelites thought in answer to
their invocation and their blowing the horns, and the wall fell down flat.
The conquerors entered the defenseless city and utterly destroyed all that
was in the city(Joshua 2:3; 4:13; 6:1; 6:20-21).
Joshua proclaimed a curse upon anyone who would rebuild Jericho:
He shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest
son shall he set up the gates of it (6:26). Next the Israelites went against
Jerichos fortress wall was famous, for it was huge and
impenetrable, and only thanks to a violent earthshock did the besiegers obtain
entrance. This wall became even more famous after it fell, because the story
of it is one of the best-known episodes of Biblical ancient history.
For about five centuries no attempt was made to rebuild the city accursed
by Joshua. In the ninth century, in the days of Ahab, king of Samaria, a
certain Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof
in Abiram his first-born, and setup the gates thereof in his youngest son
Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Joshua the son
of Nun(I Kings 16:34).
This short recordcontained in a single versetells not a little.
In order to mollify the Deity and overcbme the curse, this private man sacrificed
two of his own sons. The ardor of Hiel, unsupported by the king of Israel,
did not result in a true resurrection of the doomed city. For some time in
the closing days of Ahab, a little band of prophets had its seat there, as
we learn from II Kings 2:15. Near Jericho or its mound, Zedekiah, the last
king on the throne of David, was seized by the pursuing Chaldeans, in -586.
Eight centuries after Hiel, in the last pre-Christian century, Herod the
Great built his winter palace and a Roman theater close to the site.
It was the Jericho that succumbed in the most dramatic circumstances, its
great wall tumbling down, that beckoned archaeologists from the very first.
A mound, visible from afar, covered the ancient city and its wall; an Arab
village grew up nearby because of the clean springs that stream past the
mound toward the Jordan and the Dead Sea, both in walking distance of a few
hours: a fortified city that fell in a very definite moment of history is
a desideratum and a prize that are matchlessand archaeological fervor sensed
that here great discoveries awaited the diggers. But it was not until 1907
that E. Sellin and C. Watzinger, German archaeologists, after having obtained
the necessary firman from the Turkish Government, lifted earth from a portion
of the mound. The great wall was found and no archaeologist could possibly
have missed it.
The excavation of this city brought to light three consecutive
levels of occupation called by the excavators the blue, the red, and the
green.(1) The bluewas ascribed to the Canaanite period, the redto the Israelite
period, and the greento the Judean period. But in the redlevel many scarabs
of the Middle Kingdom were found, as well as pot handles impressed with seals
of the same time. It was decided that all of them had been used as unintelligible
amulets many hundreds of years after they were made.
However, thirteen years after the publication of the report of the excavations,
one of the two excavators published a repudiation of their conclusions.(2)
He put the city of the blue-level in the third millennium, and the city of
the redlevel, on the basis of its scarabs, he ascribed to the Middle Kingdom,
a change of eight or nine hundred years. This redcity had a tremendous wall
and a palace that came to an end in a violent destruction. The greencity
was assigned to the ninth century, as the work of Hiel the Israelite.
As a result of this new assignment, in the time of Joshua Jericho
was but a heap of ruins on which, perchance, a few single hovels stood.(3)
This means that the Israelites under Joshua did not find a city on the
site of Jericho; the city walls could not have crumbled during the siege
by the Israelites if they were already in ruins at the end of the Middle
The Turkish rule in Palestine ceased before the end of World War I and
was followed by British occupation and mandate. John Garstang undertook new
excavations at Jericho. He saw traces of intense fire. Houses alongside the
wall are found burned to the ground, their roofs have fallen upon the domestic
pottery within.(4) Palace storerooms were burnt in a general
conflagration.White ash was overlaid by a thick layer of charcoal and burnt debris. (5)
The consecutive settlements from the lowest level up were called by the
letters of the alphabet. One city was destroyed at the end of the Middle
Kingdom or at the beginning of the time of the Hyksos. The invasion of the
Israelites was synchronized with the end of City D, sometime in the days
of Amenhotep III: a few scarabs of this king were found in the cemetery,
and the excavator reasoned that the city must have fallen during the kings
reign. This theory was inspired by another theory which identified the Habiru
of the el-Amarna letters with the Israelites.
Finally, after World War II, Jericho being now a part of the
Jordan kingdom, Miss Kathleen Kenyon undertook the decisive work of clarifying
Jerichos history from the Neolithic age on. In several painstaking campaigns
she lifted one veil after another from the city of legend and history. She
was not led by any theory about the time of the Exodus, neither by that of
Garstang who claimed Exodus in the days of Amenhotep II and Conquest in the
days of Amenhotep III of the eighteenth dynasty (Habiru theory), nor by that
of Albright that the Exodus took place in the days of Ramses II and the Conquest
in the days of Merneptah (Israel Stele), both of the nineteenth dynasty,
except that in agreement with all schemes of accepted chronology she expected
to find the Old Testament confirmed and the great walls of Jericho dating
from some time of the Late Bronze: The
New Kingdom in Egypt, to which both the eighteenth and the nineteenth dynasties
belonged. Whether the Exodus took place in the days of Amenhotep III and
of the el-Amarna letters, or in the days of Ramses II or Merneptah and the
Israel stele, the Conquest must have fallen into the Late Bronze or the New
Kingdom in Egypt. Miss Kenyon revised Garstangs estimates.
There was found a Jericho of the days of the Early Bronzethe
Old Kingdom in Egypt. Its defenses were destroyed, and immediately and in
great haste the people of Jericho built again, but their hastily-erected
wall was destroyed by fire before having been completed. As to the causes
of these destructions, Miss Kenyon expresses herself this way: Earthquakes
undoubtedly played their part. Owing to the cataclysmic terrestrial upheavals
which resulted in the formation of this great cleft, the Jordan Valley is
peculiarly liable to earthquakes.(6)
In the time of the Middle Kingdom, Jericho was at its apogee as a city
and fortress. ...the Middle Bronze Age is perhaps the most prosperous in
the whole history of Palestine.(7) The defenses ... belong to a fairly advanced
date in that period.(8) There was a massive stone revetment... part of a
complex systemof defenses.(9) The final buildings [of the Middle Bronze Age
city] were violently destroyed and left in ruins with all their contents.(10)
Fire was one of the agents of destruction. Over most of the area ... excavated
on the west side of the mound, the thick layer of burning above the Middle
Bronze Age buildings is the highest surviving layer.(11)
After the great fortress, its palace and its walls ruined and burned, there
was no Jericho again. The near-absence of Late Bronze remains is explained
by an extraordinary amount of weathering on the site. The houses of Late
Bronze Age Jericho have therefore almost entirely disappeared.(12) Only in
one small area were foundations of Late Bronze Age houses discovered. When
Garstang excavated the site, he found also traces of the several houses which
sprang up independently of the fortifications upon the ruins of the city
at its northern end.(13) The time of this settlement was near the end of
the eighteenth dynasty in Egypt, the days of Amenhotep III or Amenhotep IV
But of any fortifications that the Late Bronze Age settlement might have
had, no trace survives. Garstang thought to have found them in the excavations
that he conducted on the site between 1930 and 1936; but the double line
of wall, thought by Garstang to be of the Late Bronze age, or New Kingdom
in Egypt, was proved to date from the Early Bronze, contemporary with the
Old Kingdom in Egypt. Garstangs conclusion of a sizable fortress in the days
of Amenhotep III was shown to be wrong. Very few traces were found above
the destruction level of the Middle Bronze Age city, which, in accordance
with the statement cited above, is the highest surviving layer.
It is a sad fact, wrote Miss Kenyon, that of the town walls
of the Late Bronze Age, within which period the attack by the Israelites
must fall by any dating, not a trace remains. . . . As concerns the date
of the destruction of Jericho by the Israelites, all that can be said is
that the latest Bronze Age occupation should, in my view, be dated to the
third quarter of the fourteenth century B.C. This is a date which suits neither
the school of scholars which would date the entry of the Israelites into
Palestine to c. 1400 B.C. nor the school which prefers a date of c. 1260
We carefully followed this trend of thought and we see that, under the
great walls of Jericho, the theories of Conquest in the days of Habiru (El-Amarna)
and the Conquest in the days of Merneptah (Israel Stele) are equally well-buried.
In Conclusions to her Digging up Jericho, Kathleen Kenyon wrote with a sigh:
At just that stage when archaeology should have linked with the written
record, archaeology fails us. This is regrettable. There is no question of
the archaeology being needed to prove that the Bible is true but it is needed
as a help in interpretation to those older parts of the Old Testament which
from the nature of their sources . . . cannot be read as a straight-forward
And what a pity it is. When Joshua wished to lead the Children
of Israel into the Promised Land, he said to his spies go view the land and
Jericho, because Jericho was the entrance into central Palestine.(15)
A tragic note is heard in Kenyons report. She intended to discover the
truthfulness of the written record. Some other scholars did not share Kenyons
regret. Professor Martin Noth pointed to the Jericho discrepancy as the best
and most decisive proof of the unreliable character of the historical parts
of the Old Testament. It became a major issue for Old
Testament studies. When Professor Wright of Harvard expressed himself as
trusting the historical truth of Old Testament records, he was accosted by
Professor Finkelstein of Los Angeles University with reference to the walls
of Jericho that were in ruins long before the Israelites reached them.(16)
The conclusion reached by the excavator of the great-walled Jerichoa Middle
Bronze city, destroyed only a short time after the end of the Middle Kingdomis
in perfect agreement with the time table of Ages in Chaos: the Israelites
arrived at the walls of Jericho only a single generation after the end of
the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, still in the Middle Bronze (the beginning of
the Hyksos occupation). There is complete agreement between the archaeological
finds and the scriptural record.(17)
In the days of Ahab, Hiel, his subject, built on the ruins
of Jericho. No wonder that the few buildings that were erected at that time
and the few tombs that were used, date from the time of Amenhotep III and
IV (Akhnaton). Hiels building activity in Jericho falls in their time because
they were contemporaries of Ahab. Over sixty-five of Ahabs letters addressed
to these pharaohs are in the el-Amama collection, found in the short-lived
capital of Akhnaton.
The stumbling block is really a foundation stone; the great walls of Jericho
fell suddenly when the Israelites under Joshua, after crossing the Jordan,
were closing in on the city; and the temporary reoccupation almost six hundred
years later is, once more, a case of a complete agreement between archaeology
and the written record; it verifies the present reconstruction and is verified
E. Sellin and C. Watzinger, Jericho, Die Eigebnisse del Ausgrabungen
C. Watzinger, Zur Chronologie der Schichten von Jericho,Zeitschrift der
Deutschen Morgenl¤ischen Gesellschaft, LXXX (1926), 131-36.
John Garstang, The Foundations of Bible History (1931), p. 146.
J. Garstang and J.B.E. Garstang, The Story of Jericho (1940), p. 104.
Kathleen Kenyon, Digging Up Jericho (London, 1957), pp. 175-176.
John Garstang, The Foundations of Bible History, Joshua, Judges, (New York,
1931), p. 146.
K. Kenyon, op. cit., pp. 261-262.
G. Ernest Wright, Is Gluecks Aim to Prove that the Bible is True?, The Biblical Archaeologist Reader, (Anchor Books, 1961).
[The archeology agrees with the Biblical account even in minor details.
Miss Kenyon reports of the last Middle Bronze Age city (MB II) that very
little metal was found(Digging Up Jericho, p.232.). This is consistent with
Joshua 6:24: And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein:
only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and iron, they put
into the treasury of the house of the Lord. On the archeological anomalies
of Jericho see also John J. Bimson, The Conquest of Canaan and the Revised
Chronology,S.I.S. Review I, 3 (Summer 1976), pp. 2ff, and G. Gammon, The
Walls of Jericho,Ibid., pp. 4-5.]