Tradition and Interpretation

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Yahweh at neighbouring Arad.148 In the open area within the gate an incense altar evokes comparison with the cult- installation at the gate of Jerusalem mentioned in Josiah's reformation ( 2 Kgs. 23:8) and those inside the gate of Tirzah, which persisted from the Late Bronze Age throughout the Israelite period149 and may be associated with some ritual admitting the stranger (gēr) to the security of the community, perhaps suggesting the particular significance of 'the stranger within thy gates'. There is nothing 'unorthodox' in this. Amulets, however, including the falcon of Egyptian Horus and Hathor figurines indicate aberrations which the prophets deplored.

The Israelite settlement evidently did not resume after destruction by the Assyrians in 701 B.C., and, like Eziongeber150 Beersheba was eventually settled by Edomites, attested in theophoric compounds of Kos in Aramaic ostraca, which now amount to forty, of economic content. This record is continued by the Edomite names and Aramaic inscriptions in the Phoenician-type tombs at Tell es-Sandahannah (Marissa). Thus the collapse of the state of Judah began the Edomite occupation of southern Palestine, Idumea of the Books of the Maccabees, Josephus, and the New Testament, whence Herod the Great came eventually to the throne in Jerusalem.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

AHARONI Y. The Land of the Bible, London, 1966.

ALBRIGHT W. F. The Archaeology of Palestine, Harmondsworth, 1949. Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 5th edn., Baltimore, 1969.

ALT A. Kleine Schriften zur Geschichte des Volkes Israel, i, ii, Munich, 1953, iii, 1959.

-- Essays on Old Testament History and Religion, ETr, Oxford, 1966.

AVI-YONAH M. (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy, Land, i, ii, Oxford, 1975, 1976.

BARDTKE H. Bibel, Spaten und Geschichte, Leipzig, 1967.

____________________
148
Aharoni, "The Negeb", AOTS, pp. 395-7.
149
De Vaux, "'Tirzah'", AOTS, p. 377.
150
Glueck, Rivers in the Desert, p. 168.

-94-

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