The veracity of the Book of Joshua is disputed. The archaeological record is moot: some of the places Joshua is supposed to have conquered were not settled in the relevant period (1250–1050 BCE), others, such as Hazor and Lachish were, and indeed met with violent destruction around the time of Joshua’s recorded conquests. According to the Old Testament, the tribes of Israel came to Canaan as colonists, crossing the Jordan from the east. After attacking and destroying Jericho and Ai, they were faced by a confederation of Canaanite towns led by the king of Jerusalem, which they defeated at the Pool of Gibeon. Joshua proceeded to destroy the confederate towns, including Libnah and Hebron. Hearing of the devastation, a new Canaanite confederation formed to the north, led by Hazor. Joshua defeated them at the Waters of Merom. God, rather uncharitably, then gave the aged Joshua a to-do list of further conquests, including Gesher and the Philistines.
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