Early History of the Israelite People From the Written & Archaeological Sources

By Thomas L. Thompson

It is a groundbreaking publication at the origins of Israel, taking into consideration the contexts of geography, anthropology, and sociology, and drawing on a cautious research of archaeological and written proof. Thompson argues that not one of the conventional types for the beginning of biblical Israel when it comes to conquest, peaceable payment, or revolution are potential. The 9th and 8th century BC nation of Israel is a fabricated from the Mediterranean economic climate. the improvement of the ethnic idea of biblical Israel reveals its context in historical past first on the time of the Persian renaissance. the amount offers a transparent ancient context and an interpretative matrix for the Bible.

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TIlE EXIRA-BIBLICAL assets 39 from the documents of the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Dynasty Egyptian army campaigns and from the Amama letters, over opposed to the later proven keep watch over of the hill kingdom via the tribes of Israel, unified lower than an intertribal bond similar to an amphictyony-an analogy that Alt drew from classical culture. via his comparability, Alt used to be capable of make serious assertions relating to what caused this kind of radical swap, specifically the method of cost. 21 ranging from his observations of biblical toponyms (drawn from Joshua and JUdges) that the areas most typically attributed to early Israel, in particular these within the Nablus hills of principal Palestine, lay solely open air of or at the fringes of town states, and that it used to be, additionally, those areas that during truth started to obtain new cost throughout the Iron Age interval, Alt urged that the preliminary front of the Israelite tribes couldn't kind of have threatened the Canaanite states. while Alt in comparison past due Bronze Canaan with early Israel territorially, it grew to become transparent that no matter what different adjustments had happened, the main quick and visible outcome was once the emergence of latest cost in what hitherto were moderately inhabited areas. No complicated dating and few contiguous connections had existed among the hot state of Israel and the Canaanite territories. The conquests of cities-that JUdges I denied anyway-was for that reason at most sensible peripheral to Israel's starting place, even if Joshua may be learn. From this vantage aspect, Alt's research offered biblical scholarship with the unshakable doubt that the preliminary Israelite front into Palestine were when it comes to a unified invasion and conquest as prompt in Joshua's historiography. For Alt an preliminary conquest used to be either pointless and unexplainable. This vital center of Alt's argument originated basically from his observations relating to Egyptian texts of latest state army campaigns and the biblical traditions of early Israelite payment within the ebook of Judges, and used to be now not considerably established upon both his sociological and 21 For this and the subsequent, see A A1t, opera eilala, 19'25a and 1939, but in addition a num~r of similar articles of value: idem, op. dt. , 1924; idem, "Judas Gaue unter J05U3," Kleine Schriftm II (Munich, 1953) PP. 276-288; itkm, "Das approach der St. iimmegrenzcn im Buche J05hua," Kleine Schriftm I (Munich, 1953) PP. I93-202; idon, "Die asiatischen Gefahrzonen in den Achtungstexten der Iiten Dynastic," Lis sixty three (1928), PP. 39-45; itkm, "Herren und Herrensitze Palastinas im Anfang des zweiten Jahrtausends v. Chr. " ZDPV sixty four (1941), pp. 21-39; itkm, "Die 1]1e5le SChilderung PaJaslinas im Uchle neuer Funde," PI 37 (1941), PP. I9-49; itkm, "Die Herkunft der Hyksos in neuer Sieht," KldM Schriftm III (Munich, 1953) Pp·72-gS· 40 SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY AND THE background OF PALESTINE anthropological analogies of nomads from the jap steppe or his realizing of an establishment of amphictyonic union that he utilized in an attempt to explain and clarify his version.

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