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The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the Eighth and Seventh Centuries B.C.E.

The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the Eighth and Seventh Centuries B.C.E.

Antoon Schoors
Translated by Michael Lesley
  • Book Info
    The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the Eighth and Seventh Centuries B.C.E.
    Book Description:

    The period of Assyrian domination over Israel and Judah (ca. 750–650 B.C.E.) can be reconstructed with reasonable accuracy. For example, both biblical and extrabiblical records indicate that the northern kingdom (Israel) came to an end in 722 with the fall of Samaria, while several decades later Jerusalem, capital of the southern kingdom (Judah), narrowly escaped being taken by Sennacherib. The first half of the seventh century was dominated by Manasseh in Judah, who not only served his overlords the Assyrians but also practiced a bloody form of despotism. With regard to biblical literature, the eighth century was the period of Israel’s first great literary prophets: Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah. Other important texts, such as the Book of the Covenant, the early stories about the kings, the early forms of the patriarchal narratives in Genesis, and collections of proverbs, were either created or underwent profound editorial shaping during this time. This volume surveys the history of this formative period and presents a critical study of the biblical literature that originated within this historical context, as well as theological conclusions that readers may draw from these texts.

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-671-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. ix-ix)
    Antoon Schoors

    The editor of this series, Prof. Dr. Walter Dietrich, was of great assistance in the realization of this work with his critical notes and suggestions. I owe special thanks to him, as well as to Dr. Stefan Wälchli and Licentiate Alois Greiler for their careful proofreading and linguistic revisions of my German text.

    This book is dedicated with love to my children, Miriam and Johan, who, along with their mother, suffered a bit “fromthe Assyrian crisis.”...

  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. Map: Palestine in the Iron Age
    (pp. xv-xv)
  5. Acknowledgments for Figures
    (pp. xvi-xvi)
  6. I. The Biblical Depiction of the Period
    (pp. 1-66)

    The history of the kings of (northern) Israel is recounted only in 2 Kings because the Chronicler, the redactor of the books of Chronicles, writes as little as possible about the kingdom of Israel. Although the reign of Jeroboam II had been both long and economically and politically successful, the biblical author of Kings still strongly condemned it. After Jeroboam’s reign, the dynasty of Jehu came to an end. Jeroboam’s son Zechariah reigned in Samaria for only six months before he was killed by a conspirator named Shallum, who became king in his place. The author of Kings accuses Zechariah...

  7. II. The History of the Era
    (pp. 67-120)

    In the previous chapter the biblical sources were presented and analyzed in detail. Although not direct historical sources in the strictest sense, the biblical sources do offer historiographically—literarily—reworked information that can be elicited from their present context, which offers an often multifaceted picture of the era that is to be examined critically. There are other historiographical sources, however, outside the Bible, both Israelite-Jewish and foreign.

    Among the former, first and foremost is Flavius Josephus’sAntiquitates Iudaicae(᾽Ιουδαϊκὴ ᾽Αρχαιολογία). This work is a history of the Jewish people from creation to 66 c.e., conceived as a counterpart to Dionysius...

  8. III. The Literature of the Era
    (pp. 121-216)

    The fact that the prophetic books often lack coherence was noted as early as Martin Luther. Wolf Wilhelm Baudissin’s view that short, discreet, oral prophetic speeches were the original form of prophecy was thus not entirely novel. According to Carl Steuernagel, two main forms of prophetic speech evolved: accusation directed at the people, and the announcement of divine judgment. When he combines accusation and a call to repentance, however, the evidence “that in the great majority of prophetic speech accusation and announcement of judgment constituteonestatement” is suppressed (cf. Westermann,Basic Forms, 16–21). According to Gustav Hölscher, the...

  9. IV. The Theological Significance of the Era
    (pp. 217-266)

    Prophets have, by their nature, a unique theological position. The prophet knows God speaks to him and that God calls him to serve God’s word. He stood in the Lord’s council and was sent out as a messenger of YHWH (1 Kgs 22:19–23; Isa 6:8). In biblical culture and in cultures across the ancient Near East, a word was more than simply a demonstrative sign. The word in the Bible was closer to the thing itself; the difference between word and object was not as clear as it is in our rational and technological world. The word had its...

  10. Index of Names
    (pp. 267-270)
  11. Index of Authors
    (pp. 271-276)
  12. Index of Subjects
    (pp. 277-279)
  13. Index of Biblical References
    (pp. 280-300)