“The Head of All These Kingdoms”
HAZOR, a Canaanite city in the days of Joshua, was no small or unimportant place. Describing Hazor briefly, the Bible says: “Joshua turned about at that time and captured Hazor, and its king he struck down with the sword, because Hazor was before that the head of all these kingdoms.” (Josh. 11:10) An archaeologist has commented on how apt a description the Bible gave. Reported the New York Times of May 12, 1959: “An Israeli archaeologist reported yesterday that excavations of the Biblical city of Hazor in Israel’s Galilee had disclosed ‘the best picture to date’ of the material culture of the ancient Canaanites and Israelites. At the same time, Dr. Yigael Yadin, an authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls, said that the discovery of Mycenaean pottery last November in the Hazor diggings established that the Biblical Joshua had conquered Hazor in the thirteenth century B.C., along with Jericho, as the Israelites crossed the Jordan into the Holy Land. The pottery discovered, he said, places Joshua’s campaign about 3,300 years ago, which coincides with the Biblical account. . . .
“For the last four years, Dr. Yadin has headed the James A. de Rothschild–Hebrew University archaeological expedition at the northern Galilee site. He has uncovered the remains of twenty-one cities. . . . His excavations, Dr. Yadin said, indicated that the greatest of the twenty-one cities, and probably the largest in Canaan, was the Hazor that Joshua conquered and burned. . . . The excavations of Hazor, Dr. Yadin said, indicated that the city fitted the brief Biblical description as ‘the head of all those kingdoms.’ ‘Joshua’s Hazor was a city of approximately 150 acres; it could have held 25,000 to 30,000 people,’ Dr. Yadin said. ‘We can gather some idea of its impressive size for those days when we realize that Megiddo, the famous fortress city guarding the Valley of Jezreel—Armageddon—covered only some fifteen acres, and the Jerusalem of King David’s time, centuries later, covered about ten acres.’”