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Certainly the Israelites' fight was not a personal vendetta against the king himself, as a man, but rather against the city of Hazor and its influence in northern Canaan.In truth, exterminating Hazor's king alone would be a hollow and meaningless victory for the agents of God's wrath (Deut 7:1-2).For the biblical writer of Joshua, the smiting of a king is inextricably bound to the acquisition and possession of his land.Should the writer of Judges be expected to depart from this standard?
A third oppression and period of rest, related to Shamgar (Judg ), is not documented as to its duration.
Yadin's findings in the lower city confirm that public structures such as the Orthostats Temple and the Stelae Temple were violently destroyed, while the renewed excavations in the upper city-under current excavator Amnon Ben-Tor-corroborate the existence of a fierce conflagration that also is mostly limited to public buildings.
This includes both the monumental cultic edifices and the administrative palatial buildings, all of which served as the foci of religious and civil power and wealth at the height of Canaanite Hazor in the 13th century BC. Seemingly, the smaller-scale domestic and cultic buildings in the lower city were not similarly burned or violently destroyed, though the campaign did include the decapitation of basaltic statues of gods and kings, and probably also the smashing of ritual vessels found in the temples. The intentional nature of the desecration of these statues and vessels is clear: "This was a systematic annihilation campaign, against the very physical symbols of the royal ideology and its loci of ritual legitimation." This desecratory destruction is normally attributed to the Israelites, as argued by both Yadin and Ben-Tor. Kitchen agrees, declaring "that neither the Egyptians, Canaanites nor Sea Peoples destroyed LB Hazor-the early Hebrews remain a feasible option." Moreover, Yadin went as far as to make a connection between this particular destruction and the text of Joshua 11: "This destruction is doubtless to be ascribed to the Israelite tribes, as related in the Book of Joshua." In Sharon Zuckerman's wonderful article that whets the appetite of all those awaiting the disclosure of Canaanite Hazor's cuneiform archive(s), she challenges the notion that the Israelites were the actual culprits behind the destruction of the final Canaanite city of the Late Bronze Age, arguing that an internal revolt instead led to the city's annihilation. This long-time senior staff member at the Hazor excavations suggests that Hazorite rulers and elites enforced a dominant ideology, which the populace contested, resisted, and ultimately revolted against due to the political and religious impositions.
Yet as the spade has shown, Hazor-after the destruction of the final Bronze Age city in a massive conflagration-remained completely abandoned until the initial Israelite settlement of the 12th century BC.
As for the destruction under Joshua, Josh clearly states that "he [Joshua] burned the city [of Hazor] with fire." Most archaeologists who accept the historicity of the biblical account thus link the massive conflagration of the final Late Bronze Age city of Hazor to the fiery destruction accomplished under Joshua.