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Understanding the History of Ancient Israel$
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H. G. M. Williamson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264010

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.001.0001

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The Spade and the Text: The Interaction between Archaeology and Israelite History Relating to the Tenth-Ninth Centuries bce

The Spade and the Text: The Interaction between Archaeology and Israelite History Relating to the Tenth-Ninth Centuries bce

Chapter:
10 The Spade and the Text: The Interaction between Archaeology and Israelite History Relating to the Tenth-Ninth Centuries BCE
Source:
Understanding the History of Ancient Israel
Author(s):

AMIHAI MAZAR

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.003.0010

There exists today a wide spectrum of views concerning the process of the writing and redaction of the various parts of the Hebrew Bible, as well as the evaluation of the biblical text in reconstructing the history of Israel during the Iron Age. An archaeologist must make a choice between divergent views and epistemological approaches when trying to combine archaeological data with biblical sources. There are five major possibilities, one of which is to claim that the biblical sources retain important kernels of ancient history in spite of the comparatively late time of writing and editing. Archaeology can be utilized to examine biblical data in the light of archaeology and judge critically the validity of each biblical episode. This chapter examines why we should accept the historicity of the biblical account regarding ninth-century northern Israel and discredit the historicity of the United Monarchy or Judah. It also discusses Jerusalem as a city during the tenth to ninth centuries and its role in defining state formation in Judah.

Keywords:   Hebrew Bible, history, Israel, Iron Age, archaeology, ninth century, United Monarchy, Judah, Jerusalem

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