Undoubtedly, one of the hottest topics in the field of OT biblical studies in recent years is the dating of the Exodus. Essentially, there are two prevailing positions: the early Exodus view, which contends that the Israelite Exodus transpired during the middle of the 15th century BC, and the late Exodus view, which purports that the Israelites actually left Egypt nearly 200 years later, during the 13th century BC.On the side of the latter view, biblical archaeologists such as James Hoffmeier contend that a 13th century BC Exodus better fits the material evidence, in large part due to alleged connections between sites mentioned in the biblical text—such as the store-city of Raamses (Exod ), which he asserts “is likely to be equated with the Delta capital built by and named for Ramesses II, that is, Pi-Ramesses”—and excavated or identifiable sites in Egypt.This includes both the monumental cultic edifices and the administrative palatial buildings, all of which served as the foci of religious and civil power and wealth at the height of Canaanite Hazor in the 13th century BC.Seemingly, the smaller-scale domestic and cultic buildings in the lower city were not similarly burned or violently destroyed, though the campaign did include the decapitation of basaltic statues of gods and kings, and probably also the smashing of ritual vessels found in the temples.
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For the biblical writer of Joshua, the smiting of a king is inextricably bound to the acquisition and possession of his land.The importance of Hazor’s contribution to the debate on the timing of the Exodus cannot be underestimated, as “Hazor provides the only possible evidence for an Israelite conquest of Canaan in the late 13th century” BC.[ Hazor—strategically located on the Great Trunk Road, which is the main commercial highway that cut through Canaan and was part of the principal military route throughout the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 BC)—thus is at the center of the debate over the timing of the Exodus, since it was both destroyed by Joshua and destroyed in the 13th century BC.The biblical text requires that the former is true, while archaeology requires that the latter is true.The destruction of Hazor under Joshua transpired in With this date secured, the account of Hazor’s demise in Judges 4 must be dated, even if only approximately, because unquestionably the dating of the period of the judges is one of the most intriguing challenges related to biblical chronology.