Joshua’s attack on Ai: Option 2

Option 1 is here.

Bethel=el-Bireh ( 31°54’22″N, 35°12’54″E)

Ai=et-Tell, 31°55’0″N, 35°15’41″E

Iron II B-C Ai (if Nehimiah 7:32 and/or Isaiah 10:28 refers to this Ai)=Deir Dibwan

Hellenistic Ai (?) (Nehemiah 11:31 could be referring to Hellenistic data)=Khirbet Haiyan, 31°54’18″N, 35°16’17″E

Beth Aven=Beitin, 31°55’36″N, 35°14’20″E (or Site 205???)

Mountain of Genesis 12:8=peak at (31°54’45″N, 35°14’39″E), Iron II Site 205 is a fifth of a mile to the east.

Valley to the North of Ai: Wadi el-Gayeh. At present, it would be hard to see anything in the valley, but et-Tell certainly had watchtowers.

Ambush site between Bethel and Ai not visible from Ai (Bethel does not matter, see vs. 17): undoubtedly the valley at 31°54’52″N, 35°15’17″E.

So, the scenario works, with two possible candidates for Beth-Aven, the clearer one being Beitin (can site 205 be considered a suitable candidate???) , and a clear candidate for Abraham’s mountain, however, Josh 10:2 is dismissed (et-Tell=27 acres, Gibeon=16). It works far better than Option 1.

The Border of Moab and the Location of Zered

Throughout my writings, I always thought I had already written a post on Zered and the border of Moab. When I looked in my blog archives, I found this just was not so! The closest I had come was writing about the northern and western border of Edom in January. I shall hereby rectify this error.

The border of Moab was, according to Num 33:44, at Iye Abarim (Heaps of the Crossing), between Oboth and Dibon, east of Moab (i.e., a little north of Wadi Hasa). It was unlikely to have been at Muhai, well within Moab’s borders,  ( 30°59’40″N, 35°51’28″E), and was probably at a certain Medeiyineh. Iye Abarim, was also south of Zered, making the Nahal Zered, which was south of the Arnon, north of the Wadi Hasa (Num 21:11-13). The Zered was, therefore, probably a tributary of the Arnon.  In Deuteronomy 2:9-13, the Zered was met before Ar (modern Rabba). Therefore, the Zered was most likely at Wadi Tarfawiye, probably a distortion of an original Graeco-Roman Nahal Tarvaia.

The Condition of Late Bronze Jerusalem

Jerusalem in the Late Bronze Age was a very small, insignificant settlement. Most LB II pottery was found in fills. However, Jerusalem does show great evidence of scribal literacy, both on local soil, and on finer soil from the Moza area (Amarna letters). Jerusalem in the Late Bronze seems to have been a royal estate and small village , given to Abdi-Heba as capital by the 18th dynasty kings (Amarna letters). It, after all, required very little force to control the mostly non-urban countryside (the nearest significant Late Bronze site to Jerusalem was Rabud).