I suppose you would apply the same logic (??) to the case of Chorazin which is condemned by Jesus in Mt 11.21-22. Josephus makes no mention of the town. While remains have been excavated, nothing points to a date prior to the 1st c. AD.
The new excavations in 1980 uncovered remains of the earliest phases of occupation, of the 1st and 2nd centuries ad. It was also established that some of the buildings which reused earlier architectural stones date to the 12th and 13th century ad, and not earlier, as was previously thought. This also applies to the two public buildings near the synagogue, which were in continuous use from the late 3rd-early 4th to the 13th century ad. Four trial pits were made in the area of the synagogue. The building was apparently repaired during the course of the 6th century ad. Near the main entrance to the prayer hall was found a hoard of about 1000 coins, most of them of the late 6th-early 7th century ad. Trial pits were also dug inside the synagogue. In its earliest phase it was paved with stone slabs laid on a layer of earth above virgin rock. The stone benches also belong to this early phase. In a later phase the stone pavement was replaced by a plastered floor. The benches were
repaired with small uncut stones. Underneath the stone pavement were two early 4th century ad coins, which assist in dating the construction of the synagogue to the late 3rd-early 4th century ad
Negev, A. (1996, c1990). The Archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land (3rd ed.). New York: Prentice Hall Press.
What is the reason for the invention of this town in Matthew? Even more puzzling, why would Jewish refugees from the 2nd revolt name a town Nazareth in keeping with Christian tradition?
----- Original Message ----
From: Rene <rjs@...
Sent: Monday, April 2, 2007 12:27:40 PM
Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Japhia and Nazareth
--- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. com, Yigal Levin <leviny1@... > wrote:
> Dear Salm. Not so fast. In Josh. 19:12, the clear west-to-east
listing is Sarid (Tell Shadud), Chisloth-tabor (Iksal or a very nearby
site), Daberath (Daburiyyeh) and THEN Japhia. The present-day village
of Yafa is about 5 km WEST of Iksal, and there is no reason to suspect
that the text is corrupt at this point. For this reason, Noth, Kallai,
Gal and Na'aman all rejected the identification of Japhia with Yafa.
In my paper in Cathedra 108 (2003) I concurred with Na'aman's
suggestion that Japhia be identified with the Iron II remains on the
summit of Mt. Tabor.
> Yigal Levin
The proposal that Nazareth existed in the Iron Age, and that Japhia
was on the top of Mt. Tabor is fraught with difficulties:
(1) If that were true, then why is Nazareth not mentioned in Jos
19:12? One cannot suppose that the settlement was simply too
insignificant, for two large Iron Age tombs have been found in the
basin: (a) One tomb (T 75) has side chambers, at least six benches,
and a special repository for bones in the NW corner. The tomb was at
the time of discovery damaged and yielded no artefacts, but its plan
conforms to Bloch-Smith' s Type 3 and Loffreda's Type RR (rectangular
chamber with subsidiary chambers). The type "appeared in the tenth
century BCE at sites occupied by Israelites" (Bl.-Sm. 44). Hachlili
and Killebrew note that this type of rock-cut tomb usually served a
large number of people. (b) Another Iron Age tomb 800m away was
discovered in 1973 and reported by Fanny Vitto (`Atiqot 2001:159ff).
It is B-S's type 6, Loffreda's type C (circular) "characteristic of
the twelfth-eleventh centuries BCE" (Vitto). Vitto dates the artefacts
in this tomb to XI BCE (Megiddo Stratum VI, Keisan Stratum 9). (c)
Over sixty artefacts from the Iron Period have been recovered from the
basin, only a little of which has in fact been excavated to date.
(2) The distance between Mt. Tabor and Roman Japhia is over 10 km (as
the crow flies)--an impressive migration by any calculation, much more
problematic than the movement of 2-3 km involved between the Nazareth
basin and Roman Japhia (depending from where in the basin one
calculates). Occam's razor here favors the much smaller movement.
(3) The boundary of Zebulun in Jos 19:12-13 passes from Japhia "east
toward the sunrise to Gath Hefer" (qedmah mizrachah gitah chefer).
However, Gath Hefer is due northwest of Mt. Tabor. It's impossible to
"go east" from Mt. Tabor and reach Gath Hefer. Yet it is very possible
to go northeast from the Nazareth basin to Gath Hefer. We just follow
the Tiberias road which goes today from Nazareth past Reina, Gath
Hefer (nr. Mashhad), and Kafr Kanna.
For the above reasons, it seems to me very improbable that Iron Age
Japhia was on top of Mt. Tabor, but very probable that it was located
in the Nazareth basin.
I too (Levin mentions Noth, Kallai, Gal and Na'aman) reject the
identification of Iron Age Japhia with its Roman location. Of course,
that's a corollary to my identification of Bronze-Iron Age Japhia with
a settlement 2-3 km east of there in the Nazareth basin.
Jos 19:12 does not require a perpetual east-west direction, nor that
all the places mentioned be in a straight line. Going "up" (`alah) to
Japhia from Dabburiya makes sense because one leaves the valley of
Jezreel and goes up into the hills of the Nazareth Range (and into the
raised plateau of Lower Galilee).
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