Ancient Israelite History: United Monarchy


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Ancient Israelite History: The United Monarchy of Saul, David and Solomon

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Ancient Israelite History: United Monarchy

  1. 1. Ancient Israelite History: United Monarchy (c. 1030-930 BCE) By Jacob Gluck 12/7/2011
  2. 2. David Plays the Lyre for Saul, Rembrandt
  3. 3. Factors contributing to formtion of monarchy.Philistine threatAmmonite threatInternal social pressure (charismatic leader no longer sufficient).More space in Bible devoted to this period than to any other: parallel stories (1sam8 -1kings11 and 1chron3 - 2chron9)Things to keep in mind:Literary criticism: different strands in the historical accountarchaeologyMinimalist vs. maximalist views.
  4. 4. Philistines.Saul rises to throne in face of philistine military threat (sea peoples).Sea peoples finally stopped by Rameses III c. 1180 bce.Sea peoples setled in coastal plain of Canaan between Gaza and Jaffa: Gaza, Ashdod,Ashkelon, Gath, Ekron.Each city ruled by “seren” (Greek Tyrannos)Skilled warriors. Weapon of Bronze and Iron.Expanding into hill country from Aphek (Northern foothill).Ark of covenant captured in Aphek battle (“EbenEzer”).Philistines install garrisons in hill country. E.g. GebaSome Israelites hide in caves.
  5. 5. The Ark of the Covenant, Tissot
  6. 6. Anointing of Saul by Samuel: Three traditionsSaul is looking for his father’s lost she-assesSamuel casts lots at Mizpah.Saul rescues Jabesh-gilead from Ammonite attack. Coronation at Gilgal.Saul is “tall and strong” – well qualified as warriorSamuel: variously regarded as judge, prophet and priest.First battle – at Michmash– a success.Philistine threat involved guerilla warfare; no great armies (Saul has about 600 aboutme near Gibeah).David distinguishes himself in repelling philistine advance from south.Saul’s mistake: fighting in the open plain – near Mt. Gilboa. Diverging traditionsconcerning his death.Other enemies: Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, king of Zobah and Amalekites.Amalekites: special enemy – first to attack Israel from the rear, unprovoked.Samuel denounced Saul for sparing Agag and animals.Saul became king at 1 and rules for 2 years? (1Sam 13:1).
  7. 7. Economic and political conditions: non-specialized society -- no smith in Israel so as toprevent weapon manufacture. Philistines craft agricultural implements: plowsharemattock, ax. (1Sam 13:19-22).Saul’s kingship a family matter.Saul portrayed as bad king in bible. (written by David’s partisan, priest Abiathar?).He is jealous of him, after having given him his daughter Michal; tries to kill himseveral times.Origin of federation: Judahites joined Saul in battle against Philistines despite rift.Saul’s kingdom includes: M. Ephraim, Benjamin and GileadNo capital. HQ is near Gibeah under pomegranate tree (1Sam 14:2).Archaeology: Not really “kingdom” – mostly farms and villages. Shiloh destroyed byfire c. 1050 BCE, seemingly by Philistines following Ebenezer battle.Israelites population: about 50,000.By contrast, Philistine civilization was urban.
  8. 8. Reign of David.Israel emerges as national entity: king, army, extended territory, commerce withneighbors.Some scholars claim that no archaeology warrants belief that statehood was achievedbefore 9th cent in North, 8th cent. In South.Seems refuted by mention of “Bet Dawid” by Mesha of Moab and Hazael of Damascus.Golden age: 7 years – Hebron. 33 years – Jerusalem.Glorification of Judah seems Paradoxical in light of:1. David is from Bethlehem in south.2. Saul’s adversary.3. fought alongside the philistines.Two accounts for Michal marriage:David hired as “armor bearer”.David defeats Goliath.David appointed “commander of a thousand”; is very successful.
  9. 9. David escapes to Adullam: every man in distress, in debt or discontented joins him.Abiathar the priest descendant of Eli, and Gad Yahweh prophet join David.Achish king of Gath gives Ziklag to david.David remains loyal o Judah by battling the Amalakites.Afeter mt. Gilboa battle, David anointed king in Hebron.Philistines are okay – David is a vassal.Both Eshbaal and Abner ben Ner are killed due to personal vengeance.All elders of Israel then submit to David; solemnized by covenant.Philistines are now alarmed. They attack in Valley of Rephaim and Gibeon but lose bothbattles (2Sam 5:17-25)David then captures Jebus/Jerusalem (Canaanite until then).Ark of the Covenant brought to Jerusalem from Kiriath-jearim. Religion of Yahweh nowserves as unifying factor.David cemented alliances by marrying Abigail of Carmel, Ahinoam of Jezreel andMaacah of Geshur (Transjordan).David subjugates nations in east (Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites.Incidents with Ammon: David sends condolences to Hanun –Nahash’s successor and hismen’s beards and garments are cut. In the ensuing battle Hadad-ezer the Aramaean isdefeated. “David took the crown of Milkom from his head” (2Sam 12:30).
  10. 10. By subduing Aramaeans and gaining control of trade routes, Israel becomessuperpower.Traded with Hiram, Phoenician king of Tyre.Still, no central administration; “may be a strong chiefdom”.David’s royal cabinet:• Joab son of Zeruiah over the army• Jehoshaphat recorder• Zadok and Ahimelech son of Abiathar priests.• Seraiah secretary.• Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethite and Pelethites.David met resistance for temple and census plans. Gad opposed census butsupported construction of altar at site of Aranuah the Jebusite.Guiding principle of David: organization and centralization.
  11. 11. Succession Issues and rivalry.Meribbaal (Mephibosheth) eats at David table. David marries Michal. However, Davidallows Gibeonites to take revenge against Saul’s descendants.Amnon killed by his brother Absalom.Absalom killed by Joab after failed revolt.Benjaminite opposition to David joined with Absalom in revolt.Adonijah has support of Abiathar, Joab, and Gad,Solomon has support of Nathan and Zadok and Banaiah.
  12. 12. Analysis.Accounts tend to glorify David and Solomon. E.g. Davids promise o Bathsheba seemslike literary artifice; it was more like a coup détat in David’s old age.David is successful militarily but no lasting political control is achieved. “David defeatedPhilistines as far as Gezer” (Gezer not included until Solomon).Relationship with Hiram: commercial in nature, towards the end of his rule.Moab merely paid tribute. Client king installed in Ammon. Local governors in AramDamascus and Aram Zobah.Jebusite Jerusalem did not change much in David’s reign.“breakthrough” in Hebron archaeology is from 10th cent. BCEDavid’s resign represents a seizing of opportunity in the void generated by decline ofAssyria and Egypt.Accomplishments:Joined house of Israel and JudahMade Jerusalem capital of bothCreated for a brief period one of the most important powers in ANE.Laid foundation for (Hebrew God) Yahweh religious institutions.
  13. 13. Solomon.David was preoccupied with military and political pursuits, Solomon withconsolidation and administration.Disposition of Enemies.• Adonijah and Joab executed for scheming against king.• Abiathar exiled to Anathoth.• Shimei put to death.Pharaoh (Siamun?) destroys Gezer (1Kings 9:16) and makes alliance with Solomongiving him his daughter and Gezer as dowry; his reflects a weak Egypt.Solomon develops commercial relations with Hiram.Marries Naamah the Amonitess (1Kings 14:21).Solomon rules over all the kingdoms from the river (Euphrates) to Philistia as far asthe Egyptian border. They were bringing gifts and were subject to him all his life(1Kings 4:21).
  14. 14. Solomon’s Administration.Solomon’s cabinet.• Azariah, son of Zadok, priest.• Sons of Shisha were secretaries.• Jehoshaphat was recorder.• Benaiah was in command of the army.• Zadok and Abiathar were priests.• Azariah (son of Nathan) was over the officers. NEW.• Zabud (son of Nathan) was priest and king’s friend.• Ahishar was in charge of palace. NEW.• Adoniram was in charge of forced labor. NEW.Egyptian influence in bureaucratic structure.Dor Megiddo and Beth-shean now part of Israel.Divided into 12 administrative districts with prefects/governors for each. Governors oftenmarried Solomon’s daughters.Each district must provide for the royal palace one month per year (includes providinghorses and chariots).Receipt of tribute from administrative territories and vassal lands.
  15. 15. Solomon –continued-Trade with Phoenicia: timber and technical aid in exchange for agricultural produce.Trading expeditions sent to Ophir through the red sea (in cooperation with Tyre).Expeditions brought back:• Gold• Precious stones• Almug wood• Apes and baboonsArabian caravans returned with spices.Solomon modernizes army. Horses from Cilicia, chariots from Egypt.Special garrisons built in administrative districts for chariots and horses.Constructed wall around Jerusalem and built the “millo” (terrace?).Built three fortified cities: Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer.Built temple (7 years) and palace (13 years).Phoenicians assisted in architecture and decoration.20 cities in he Galilee given to Hiram in return.
  16. 16. Sources of popular dissatisfaction.Corvee and conscription.Two adversaries (“soten”): Hadad the Edomite (=Aram) and Rezon son of Eliyada who fledfrom his master Hadad-ezer king of Zobah… they went to Damascus and dwelt there.Should read Aramaean prince / Rezon Hadad son of Eliyada.Internal revolt spearheaded by Jeroboam an Ephraimite with support from Ahijah fromShiloh. Jeroboam flees to Egypt.People’s objections with Solomon’s many foreign wives:• (he went after…) Ashtoreth, goddess of Sidonians• Milkom the abomination of the Ammonites.• (Built a high place for) Chemosh the abomination of Moab.
  17. 17. Extra-bibilical evidence of Solomon’s reign.Analysis.1Kings 1-11 seems derived from the “acts of Solomon” 11:41. Solomon presented as“wise king” (because no war glory was possible?).12 tribes of Israel derived from 12 admin districts?Ophir and Queen of Sheba two disparate traditions that got mixed up.“Solomon went to Hamat-zobah and took it. He built Tadmor (Palmyra) in thewilderness…” (2Chron 8:3-4). Not reported in Kings; seems to be conformingalteration of narrative by Chronicles author. Like wise, “Lebanon” in 1King 9:19.Egypt.Solomon’s marriage with daughter of pharaoh is suggested by a strong Egyptianinfluence during his reign e.g. royal cabinet and 12 districts.Pharaoh Shishonk is historical – Jeroboam flees to him; marks a turning point inIsrael-Egypt relations.Two rebels: Rehoboam and Hadad from Damascus.
  18. 18. Phoenicia.In Josephus: Hirom… went up to Libanus and had timber cut down for the constructionof temples. (based on Tyrian annals).Other inscriptions conform central role of Phoenicians in maritime trade of the red sea.Assyrian texts mention kingdom of Sheba – already in place by 890 BCE.Epigraphic discovery: Gezer Calendar.Israelite historiography probably began at this time (Paralleling Phoenician). An earlyspecimen may be the history of David’s accession written by Abiathar.David-Solomon promoted recording of traditions in writing that united different tribalsanctuary traditions: Hebron, Beersheba, Shiloh, Shechem.Complex Solomonic admin required literate scribes.3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs (1Kings 4:32) is prob. Exaggeration.
  19. 19. Gezer CalendarTwo months [September–October]Two months [November–December]Two months late [January–February]One month cutting flax [March]One month reaping [April]One month reaping and measuring(grain)----[May]Two months [June–July]One month summer fruit" [August]Abijah
  20. 20. Table of Nations
  21. 21. The Division of the 12 Tribes;The Empire of David andSolomon
  22. 22. Ammonite sculpture of adeity was found at RabbatAmmon. 8th-7th centuriesB.C. M. Dayan Collection(Israel Museum)The AmmonitesThe Ammonites (sons of Ammon)according to the Bible originatedbecause of an incestuous relationshipbetween Lot (Abrahams nephew) andhis younger daughter (Gen 19:38).Archaeology reveals that theAmmonites dwelt east of the JordanRiver and settled there at thebeginning of the 13th century B.C.2 Chronicles 27:5 - He fought also withthe king of the Ammonites, andprevailed against them. And thechildren of Ammon gave him the sameyear an hundred talents of silver, andten thousand measures of wheat, andten thousand of barley. So much didthe children of Ammon pay unto him,both the second year, and the third.
  23. 23. Philistine warriors capturedby the Egyptians,from the wall relief atMedinet Habu
  24. 24. The Tel Dan Stele is a stele (inscribed stone)discovered in 1993/94 during excavations at Tel Dan innorthern Israel. Its author was a kingofDamascus, Hazael or one of his sons, and it containsan Aramaic inscription commemorating victories overlocal ancient peoples including "Israel" and the "Houseof David." ----- - 1. [.....................].......[...................................] and cut [.........................] 2. [.........] my father went up [against him when] he fought at[....] 3. And my father lay down, he went to his [fathers]. And the king of I[s-] 4. rael entered previously in my fathers land. [And] Hadad made me king. 5. And Hadad went in front of me, [and] I departed from [the] seven[.....] 6. of my kingdom, and I slew [seve]nty kin[gs], who harnessed thou[sands of cha-] 7. riots and thousands of horsemen (or: horses). [I killed Jeho]ram son of [Ahab] 8. king of Israel, and I killed [Ahaz]iahu son of [Jehoram kin]g 9. of the House of David. And I set [their towns into ruins and turned] 10. their land into [desolation........................] 11. other ...[......................................................................... and Jehu ru-] 12. led over Is[rael......................................................................and I laid] 13. siege upon [............................................................]