Chapter

The Spade and the Text: The Interaction between Archaeology and Israelite History Relating to the Tenth-Ninth Centuries <span class="smallCaps">bce</span>

AMIHAI MAZAR

in Understanding the History of Ancient Israel

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264010
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734946 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.003.0010

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Spade and the Text: The Interaction between Archaeology and Israelite History Relating to the Tenth-Ninth Centuries bce

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There exists today a wide spectrum of views concerning the process of the writing and redaction of the various parts of the Hebrew Bible, as well as the evaluation of the biblical text in reconstructing the history of Israel during the Iron Age. An archaeologist must make a choice between divergent views and epistemological approaches when trying to combine archaeological data with biblical sources. There are five major possibilities, one of which is to claim that the biblical sources retain important kernels of ancient history in spite of the comparatively late time of writing and editing. Archaeology can be utilized to examine biblical data in the light of archaeology and judge critically the validity of each biblical episode. This chapter examines why we should accept the historicity of the biblical account regarding ninth-century northern Israel and discredit the historicity of the United Monarchy or Judah. It also discusses Jerusalem as a city during the tenth to ninth centuries and its role in defining state formation in Judah.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible; history; Israel; Iron Age; archaeology; ninth century; United Monarchy; Judah; Jerusalem

Chapter.  13291 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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