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The Song of Deborah describes a case of a confederation of Israelites defeating an army of the kings of Canaan at “Taanach by the waters of Megiddo”. The question is what time period does the Song represent? Only the Late Bronze IIB-III and Late Iron I could be intended, since the Caananite city-states were insufficiently strong in Early-Middle Iron I (the days of Israelite settlement) and Early Iron IIa.

Now, it is known Hazor was destroyed in the middle of the Late Bronze IIB, when there was no Israelite settlement, and was not settled as a city until Iron IIa, the Omride period, showing Judges 4 cannot be used as a resource for dating the Song. Since Israelite settlement was highly unlikely to have begun until the collapse of Late Bronze III, when the collapse of the Canaanite city-state system disabled both pastoralists and farmers from producing food in the lowlands in a stable manner and when the collapse of Egyptian rule made powerless the city-states and made the Hill Country suitable for settlement. The fact the Song describes a rather complete settlement of the Hill Country, both Cis and Transjordan, makes it highly unlikely the LB III/Late Canaanite period was intended. The mention of the Tribe of Dan, likely the Danuna Sea Peoples tribe residing at Joppa, makes it more likely the Song was written in the Iron I period, when there is some evidence of settlement there, the tribe of Dan not being mentioned in any Late Bronze text.

In short, due to the developed Israelite settlement patterns described in the Song, it is quite likely its events took place in the 11th-10th centuries BC, during the gradual collapse of the Neo-Canaanite Iron I culture in the Jezreel Valley.

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