Zev Radovan

Like a toppled Coke bottle, the tell of Hazor lies eight miles north of the Sea of Galilee. But who toppled Hazor is still a matter of controversy. The Bible claims that Joshua “burnt Hazor with fire” (Joshua 11:10–13). Current excavations have revealed a fierce conflagration, which dig director Amnon Ben-Tor attributes to the Israelites. William Dever is doubtful. He points out that the Books of Joshua and Judges paint two very different pictures of the Israelite entry into Canaan. Joshua claims a swift and decisive military conquest, while Judges describes a two-century-long cultural struggle between the early Israelites and the Canaanites. In Dever’s view, the archaeological record points to Judges as the more historically accurate version.