The Hittites were the dark descendants of Heth, the second son of Canaan, youngest son of Ham. In the Book of Genesis, they are declared to be one of the 12 Canaanite nations dwelling inside or close to Canaan from the time of Abraham up to Ezra’s era. They lived in the Promised Land to the Israelites. That’s why God commanded the Israelites to eradicate them. But they were not destroyed and still dwell in southern Palestine and around Jerusalem with the Hebrews. The Hittite empire flourished and is shown on the Biblical Timeline chart starting from 2300 BC to about 1100 BC
The Great Hittite Empire
The Hittite Empire is mentioned over and over in the Bible as one of the most powerful empires in the ancient times. Scholars used to question the accuracy of the Bible saying that such a big Hittite Empire was only hearsay since it was nowhere to be found. They considered the Hittites a small group of people living at the hills of Canaan together with Abraham.
This was until the discovery showing the center of this great civilization, Hattusa – which was then followed by unearthing the treaty of Kadesh in Egypt establishing the Hittite capital, Hattusa and Heliopolis. And other important proofs such as remnants, tablets, documents, and successful excavations soon revealed the truth about the existence of this great empire.
The Capital City, Hattusa
Hattusa, capital city of the amazing Hittite Empire was excavated inside the circle of Kizil River situated close to the Boğazkale, Turkey. It was surrounded by forest that supplied enough wood for building and maintaining a large city.. The land around it was suitable for agriculture, and the hill lands could support pasture animals. The small rivers around the area supplied enough water for the people. But since these rivers are not appropriate for big ships, transportation in and out of the city was mainly by land.
On top of the city was a rock used to shield the metropolis. Archaeologists today tried to reconstruct a small area of the walls with the same materials and techniques used by the Hittites to have a glimpse of how Hattusa looked in its glory days. Excavations showed that the city was almost deserted when it was attacked and burned.
Parts of the Bible that mention Hittites:
- Genesis 23:5, 7, 10, 16, 18. Hittites as the sons of Heth.
- Genesis 15:20. Hittites as one of Abram’s descendants.
- Genesis 15:18-21. The Lord made a covenant with Abram giving the land from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates to Abram and his descendants that includes Hittites.
- Deuteronomy 20:17, 7:1, Joshua 3:10. The Lord commanded the Israelites to destroy the Hittites along with the other children of Canaan.
- Numbers 13:29, Joshua 11:1. The Hittites are living in the “hill country”.
- Genesis 23:8-19. Abraham bought the field of Ephron the Hittite located in Machpelah and buried his wife, Sara in the cave facing Mamre.
- Genesis 25:8-9. Abraham died and was buried in the cave of Machpelah which he bought from the son of Zohar the Hittite, Ephron.
- Judges 3:5. The Israelites lived among the locals that included the Hittites.
- Genesis 27:46. Rebekah objected to Jacob marrying a Hittite woman.
- 2 Chronicles 1:17. Imported chariots and horses were given to the kings of the Hittites.
- 2 Kings 7:6, 1 Kings 10:29. Hittites have their own kingdoms and were hired by the king of Israel, along with the Egyptian kingdoms to fight against the Syrians.
- Joshua 11:1-2. Hittites allied with King Jabin of Hazor to fight against Joshua.
- 2 Samuel 11:3. The Hittite warrior, Uriah was the husband of Eliam’s daughter, Bathsheba.
Scholarly Debate Concerning the Hittites
It is a matter of considerable scholarly debate whether the biblical “Hittites” signified any or all of: 1) the original Hattites of Hatti; 2) their Indo-European conquerors (Nesili), who retained the name “Hatti” for Central Anatolia, and are today referred to as the “Hittites” (the subject of this article); or 3) a Canaanite group who may or may not have been related to either or both of the Anatolian groups, and who also may or may not be identical with the later Neo-Hittite,Luwian polities.
Other biblical scholars have argued that rather than being connected with Heth, son of Canaan, instead the Anatolian land of Hatti was mentioned in Old Testament literature and apocrypha as “Kittim” (Chittim), a people said to be named for a son of Javan. (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hittites#Biblical_Hittites retrieved July 2011)