Thinking of Making a YouTube Video Against Jebel al-Lawz/Maqla

This video will be without audio, but will be an important addition to the fight against the idea of a Midianite Sinai, and will mark my entry into YouTube. I’m also thinking of using my channel as an outlet for Israel Finkelstein’s views, as well as a channel against Wyattist, YEC or Islamic historical ideas.

Tell el-‘Ajjul and Its Area

This post is based on this research paper. Tell el’Ajjul (based on this website) looks like this:

As anyone can see, Tell el-‘Ajjul was obviously a port city, and at least one branch of the Besor has evidently silted up since the Middle Bronze. Tell es-Sakan, active in the Early Bronze, was also likely to have been located on a branch of the Besor. The city was not extremely large, but its walls were thick enough to be imposing. It is identified with the Sharuhen of Ahmose, which was besieged by the Egyptians for three years, largely due to the lack of another, more suitable candidate, and the obvious wealth of ‘Ajjul, palaces, influenced by the 15th Dynasty, gold jewelry (found under the house floors), horse burials, and numerous houses being discovered throughout the city, along with a destruction layer at the end of the Middle Bronze. For the history of ‘Ajjul, see the “Chronology” page.

The Song of Deborah: Late Canaanite or Neo-Canaanite?

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.

Explanation of the Markan Ending

The ending of the Gospel of Mark (at 16:8) is one of the most bizarre pieces of writing in the New Testament. It makes best sense to see it as an indictment of the Apostles; an explanation for the squabbling which took place in the early church, a declaration of ultimate failure and only a small, hidden glimmer of future hope when the Christ would return. The ending is likely intentional in its pessimism, implying within it a regret that the last message of Jesus was never delivered. I have come to this conclusion after reading some exerpts of John Dominic Crossan.

The Tin Sources of Antiquity

The tin sources of antiquity were, for the Mediterranean, western Iberia, western France, and Devon and Cornwall in England. For Iran and Mesopotamia, tin came from Afghanistan, primarily from the area just N, of Kahandar and from the area just W. of Moqor, and might have been a major reason for the prosperity of Shahr-i-Sokhte. Since tin-bronze was first introduced in Palestine during the Intermediate Bronze Age, and the mostly nomadic population of the area had no reason to build port-cities on the Mediterranean, it seems likely that the Intermediate Bronze Age in Palestine was spurred by means of Afghanistan tin, primarily by means of Syrian imports (the Orontes survived the 4.2 ky event).

Subdividing Iron IIB

It is a very strong opinion of mine that the Iron IIB (c. 820 BC-c. 680 BC, in varying regions) needs to be subdivided. How, is a different question. The Iron IIB witnessed a diverging of paths between the fates of Israel, Judah, and, in its early stage, Galilee (see Chronology page). At present, no scheme to sub-divide the Iron IIB has been universally accepted among scholars. The problem with this lack of sub-division is the fact we cannot distinguish between:

The period before the complete disappearance of Red Slip Hand Burnish In Judah, but after that phase in Israel.

the Arad X-IX phase, dating to before the Assyrian Conquest

the Arad VIII phase, dating to between the Assyrian conquests

The ‘Ira VII phase, dating to after the Assyrian conquests.

Perhaps, we should go with “JIrIIB1” (Judahite Iron IIB 1 or Early) and “IsIrIIB1) (Israelite Iron IIB 1 or Early) or suchlike phrasing? At least that’s better than no subdivision at all, since historical dates usually have an error margin of one or two years.

Places to Visit on A Trip to Israel

I have never visited Israel. However, when I do, I plan to definitely visit:

Dan

Abel beth-Maacah

Tell en-Na’am in the Huleh Valley

Kedesh in Galilee

Hazor

Capernaum

Tiberias

Sepphoris

Nazareth

Cana (both northern and southern)

Mount Tabor

Khirbet Kerak/Beth-Yerah

The ‘Ubeidiya formation and Tell el-‘Ubeidiya

Shunem

Jezreel

Megiddo

Dor

Caesarea Palestina

Yama (Yehem)

Tell Qasile

Joppa

Azor

Lod

Gezer

Timnah/Batash

Ekron

Yavneh

Mesad Hashavyahu

Tell es-Safi/Gath

Azekah

Jarmuth

Ashkelon

Tels Erani, Zayit, Bornat, ‘Ater, and Goded.

Eleutheropolis

Mareshah

Lachish

Tels Hesi and Shoqf, and Kh. Summeily

Tell Jemmeh

Tels Beersheeba, Masos, Aroer, Esdar, Ira, and Arad

Horvats Uza, Radum, and Tov

Masada

Mampsis

Avdat/Oboda

Haluza/Elusa

Sobota/Shivta

Nitsana

Moa

Har Karkom

Timna

 

 
In other news, the Talpiyot fish of Simcha and Tabor fame is most likely an unguentarium.