Glimpses of Israel - Hazor

by Joseph Hunting

One of the most interesting archaeological sites in Israel is Hazor in northern Galilee. Long before the Israelite invasion of Canaan under Joshua about 1,350 B.C. Hazor was a flourishing city. However, by the time Joshua laid siege to Hazor it was the largest city in the area of northern Galilee. "Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword; for Hazor had been the head of all those kingdoms ... and he burnt Hazor with fire" (Joshua 11:10-11). When excavations were carried out by the Hebrew University a layer of ash confirmed the Biblical account.

Although Joshua utterly destroyed Hazor it was rebuilt by king Solomon as one of his chariot cities. The final reference in the Scripture to Hazor is when Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria invaded northern Israel and took the inhabitants captive into Assyria.

Today, the archaeological section of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem houses the artifacts that were once part of the daily life of the people who lived in Galilee when Abraham began his epic journey from Ur to the Land of Promise.

Like Megiddo, Hazor has a deep shaft to a permanent underground water supply, and excavations undertaken in 1956 revealed a large Canaanite altar. Both cities were rebuilt by Solomon to fortify his kingdom and today both are mounds which have yielded insight to a way of life that flourished in Israel more than three thousand years ago.