Dating the Pentateuch- Canaan's Conquest Anomalies

Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at
Mon Jan 24 15:46:40 EST 2000

Subject: Re: Dating the Pentateuch- Canaan's Conquest Anomalies

Jonathan D. Safren:
> I don't know how you all got into the 15th century; all the
> archeological evidence for the Israelite Settlement dates from the late
> 13th century and later.
> Are you saying that Joshua's "Conquest" left no trace?

Dear Jonathan,

I have dated the Exodus with the Hyksos expulsion of the 16th century BCE
because it is "the only event in all of Egyptian history" where a large
number of Asiatics fled Egypt for Canaan, and who lived in the eastern
delta, "matching somewhat" the "historically garbled and fantascized" Exodus

I have also pointed out that the Hebrew Bible's chronology supports an
Exodus date sometime in the 16th century BCE (contra 1 Ki.6:1), the same
century as the Hyksos expulsion. It follows that the destroyed archaelogical
ruins found in Canaan in the 13th century cannot be "Joshua's conquest". In
order for scholars to maintain that it is, they have had to "butcher up" the
Bible's chronology, denying an Exodus circa 1440 BCE (cf. 1 Kings 6:1).
Certainly there are destroyed cities in Canaan in the 13th century, but to
ascribe them to Joshua in denial of the Bible's chronology ?  What is the
nature of the "proof " that "Joshua" destroyed these cities ? He could be a
"make-believe fantasy hero" like Sihon the Amorite king of  Heshbon (his
said city not existing in the 13th century for the Israelites to attack). Ai
if correctly identified as Et Tell was a deserted city at the time of this
"posited" 13th century BCE invasion. The archaeological evidence does not
support the biblical account in all its particulars (the fall of Heshbon,
Jericho and Ai which were all unoccupied in the 13th century BCE), you know

Now we might say that if the Pentateuch was written quite late, say the 6th
or 5th century BCE, the writer, having his historical facts "garbled," took
events of the 13th century and transposed them into the 15th or 16th
century- would that be acceptable ?  Do you see the "dimensions of the
dilemma"- a 16th century Hyksos Exodus corroborated by Scripture's
chronology, and a 13th century destruction in Canaan ?

All the best, Walter

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg

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