It has been reasonably argued by the Associates for Biblical Research, for example, that Exodus must have taken place in 1446 B.C., and that the conquest of Canaan must have taken place around 1406 B.C.. Both are these times are in the Bronze Age. Assuming that this is true, why are there so many references to iron in writings from about this time?
Leviticus 26:19 KJV — And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
Numbers 35:16 KJV — And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
Deuteronomy 3:11 KJV — For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.
Deuteronomy 8:9 KJV — A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
Joshua 6:19 KJV — But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
Joshua 17:16 KJV — And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.
These are just several examples. The last one is especially telling, as it says that certain groups of Canaanites had used iron in their chariots. I understand that this is why it is often said that the Exodus and Conquest took place about 1200 B.C., but it seems like the evidence more strongly favors the earlier date. Why are there so many references to iron, then?