History of Biblical Israel: Major Problems and Minor Issues

History of Biblical Israel: Major Problems and Minor Issues

History of Biblical Israel: Major Problems and Minor Issues

History of Biblical Israel: Major Problems and Minor Issues


The book holds 26 chapters encompassing the history of Israel from its very beginnings up to the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem (586 BC). The successive parts are (1) The Dawn of Israel, dealing with the Israelite proto-history, Mari and early Israel as well as the tribal societies and genealogies. (2) Forming a Nation, The Exodus and Conquest of Canaan, the period of the Judges and the charismatic nature of the Judges, the Danite migration. (3) The Rise of the Davidic Dynasty, a political view of the kingdom of David and Solomon, the diplomatic, international marriages of the latter, organs of statecraft in the Israelite monarchy. (4) King Amon and Josiah and their final fate, twilight of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem. (5) This part is dedicated to historical episodes in the Former Prophets and in the Prophetical Books. Several excursi follow. This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details."


This Book contains twenty six papers, long and short, spanning a period of half a century, from the early fifties until the present (two articles are published here for the first time). The papers on the history of Biblical Israel have been divided into five sections, from the emergence of Israel unto the time of Jeremiah and the destruction of the First Temple. There are also three Excursus on semi-historical topics, not on historical periods par excellence. The articles per se were updated only in a limited manner, but at the end of the Book Addenda are supplied to each chapter, written in the year 2000, with recent bibliographical apparatus.

In the first part, “The Dawn of Israel”, the author emphasizes his views on the authenticity of the Biblical record, leaning towards a “maximalist” approach rather than a “minimalist” one. Here also the importance of the Mari documents for the early history of Israel is stressed, ending with a comparative study between the Biblical and African genealogies. In “Forming a Nation” (part two) the major problem consists of the Exodus and Conquest of Canaan. It is followed by the Period of the Judges and the peculiar nature of their leadership. In part three “The Kingdom of David and Solomon” is analysed especially from a political point of view, followed by a treatment of the Organs of Statecraft in the Israelite Monarchy. Part four is dedicated to the “Twilight of Judah”, beginning with Kings Amon and Josiah until the destruction of Jerusalem. Part five is a collection of shorter papers on historical episodes contained in the Former and Latter Prophetical Books.

Thus the Book represents the major phases of the history of Biblical Israel. The arrangement of the chapters within the Book lends a smoother reading of the continuity of the historical record in the Bible. The volume is of an inter- as well as multi-disciplinary nature. Many of the papers are based upon archaeological evidence and even, to a greater extent, the papers are set against the background of ancient Near Eastern research. In addition they relate to modern sciences, such as present Military thought, Sociology and Politology.

Under the title of each chapter the source of the original publication has been indicated.

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