So this post is about the must-see biblical tels in Judea. Our first Tel we will check out is Tel Gezer. Now Tel Gezer is a very important archeological site and national park in Israel; located near the ancient Via Maris and the Jaffa-Jerusalem road. Furthermore, it is identified with the ancient Canaanite city of Gezer. The mound is one of the most important mounds in the Land of Israel, along with the mounds of Hatzor, Megiddo, and Beer Sheva.
Gezer is first mentioned in the Bible in the war of Joshua against the kings of the south:
“Then the king of Gezer went up to help Lachish, and Joshua struck him and left his people without remaining.”
Also, Gezer is mentioned below on the southern border of the tribe of Ephraim, and as a city that was not conquered by the Israelites but raised a tax for the tribe of Ephraim.
Must-See Biblical Tels in Judea: Gezer In The El Amarna Letters
In the letters to Al Amarna, there are nine correspondences between exiled kings (mainly Malkiel and Yifchi), and their Egyptian rulers. For example, a letter from Pharaoh Amenhotep III (1417 – 1379 BC) king of Egypt to Malkiel, king of Gezer:
“To Malkiel, a man of Gezer, so the king said: Here is this tablet I used to say to you: I sent to you Hania, the minister of the armies of war, to take the beautiful women and with him all good: silver, gold, garments, sandu stone; all kinds of precious stones And Oshi wooden chairs. And for all this all sorts of expensive things in the amount of 160 hay.
And are not together 40 women, 40 shekels of silver price each woman. Please send very beautiful women and you will not find evil in them so that your lord the king will say to you: These are beautiful gods! And he will send you alive. Indeed, you will know that here is peace for the king as for the sun: for his soldiers for his chariots and for his horses great peace! And behold; God gave trust the upper land; the lower land, the source of the sun and the entrance of the sun under the two feet of the king.”
Gezer Is Mentioned In Merneptah Stele
Gezer is mentioned in the Merneptah Stele, dating to around 1220 BCE; which describes Pharaoh’s military journey of Merneptah to Canaan, in which it is written:
“The Canaan has been plundered into every sort of woe: Ashkelon has been overcome; Gezer has been captured; Yano’am is made non-existent. Israel is laid waste and his seed is not”