Academic journal article Comparative Civilizations Review

Israel: Past & Present

Academic journal article Comparative Civilizations Review

Israel: Past & Present

Article excerpt

D. Bahat, Israel: Past & Present. Rome: Vision, 1998.

Israel: Past & Present is a little book that introduces readers to several historical sites and the major time periods in the land of Israel. The book provides a helpful map behind the front cover and each site listed in the book is highlighted with a red dot on the map. Next to the map is a breakdown of time periods corresponding to the history of the land of Israel.

The book is divided in the following way. The opening chapter provides a high level overview of the history of the land of Israel starting with the most ancient evidence of human habitation in the area and ending with Zionism and its Realization. The other major periods covered include the Canaanite Period and the Israelite Settlement, the Israelite Conquest, the Hellenistic Period, Roman Rule, Christianity, the Arab Conquest, the Crusades, the Mamluks, and the Ottomans.

Because of the high level nature of treatment of each period, some major issues are given only cursory mention, not mentioned at all, or presented in black and white terms that do not convey the rich, variegated and nuanced approach that scholars would expect. But such is to be expected of an overview book that devotes a meager 22 pages to the entire history of Israel from the dawn of civilization down to the present day. The book presents the history of Israel with reliance on a positive view of the Bible as a reliable source of historical evidence and commentary. …

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