Saturday, December 13, 2014

Figure 60

Grain storage jars, Jericho. © 2014 Todd Bolen/
Grain storage jars are still visible here in one of Kenyon’s baulks in Jericho (© 2014 Todd Bolen/

The destruction occurred at harvest time, in the spring (month of Adar, i.e., February/March), as indicated by the large quantities of grain stored in the city (Josh 2:6; 3:15; 5:10). Both Garstang and Kenyon found several grain filled storage jars that were burned. Kenyon reported over six bushels of grain excavated in one season alone.  The siege of Jericho was short, as the grain stored in the city was not consumed (Josh 6:1, 15, 20). 1. Kathleen M. Kenyon, Digging up Jericho: The Results of the Jericho Excavations, 1952-1956 (London, U.K.: Praeger & Benn, 1957), 280.

Since it would normally take several months or even years to subdue a well-supplied city, as is illustrated from Masada, which took the Romans three years to capture, then the storage jars at Jericho filled with charred grain indicate they did not have time to consume the grain and reveals a short siege as described in the biblical narrative. Contrary to what was customary, the grain was not plundered to feed their armies, or taken by the citizens, but in accordance to God’s command Joshua was to burn the grain (Josh 6:1, 17–18). This discovery is unique in archaeology, given the high value of grain in ancient culture. It would be like taking a bank and burning the money.

This supports the reliability of the Bible.

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