19 SEPTEMBER 1931, Page 28

Professor John Garstang has written a most illuminating book on

The Foundations of Bible History : Joshua : Judges (Constable, 20s.). He compares the older portions of the Biblical narrative with the Egyptian annals and with the results of archaeological research in Palestine, in which he has taken an active part since the War. He is thus able to show that the Hebrew chronicles accord very closely with what is known from other sources, and the story of the Israelite penetration into Palestine becomes far clearer than before. Dating the Exodus in 1447 under Thutmose III, the author constructs a comparative chronology down to the death of Samson in 1065, and points out that the Israelites entered Palestine at a time when the Egyptian hold over Palestine was weakened, and that at a later stage they only enjoyed repose when Egypt was strong, as under Rameses II. Professor Garstang is able to say which hill-towns, most of them very small, existed in the later Bronze Age, and thus elucidates the long struggle between the Israelite immigrants and the Canaanites. He makes us realize that this conflict was for centuries localized ; the tribes had long been settled before they felt the need of union under Saul against the Philistines. Professor Garstang provides numerous good maps and plans and a series of excellent photographs of identified sites, and works out the familiar episodes, such as the crossing of the Jordan, the sieges of Jericho and Ai, the battle of Megiddo, and so on, in fascinating detail. No student of the Old Testament, and no one interested in ancient history, can afford to neglect his masterly work.

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