The Tenth Century The New Litmus Test for the Bible’s Historical Relevance (Part 4 in Textbook)
The Texts: The Deuteronomistic History and 1 and 2 Chronicles: The Deuteronomistic History [DH]): - Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings: The Story of Israel from the Promised Land to Exile; Joshua, Judges, Samuel (1 and 2), and Kings (1 and 2).
Two versions of the Deuteronomistic History: 1. During the reign of Josiah (640-609 BC), that is, 621-609 BCE; 2. During the Babylonian Exile (587-538 BC).
R. E. Friedman, Who Wrote The Bible? and the identity of the Deuteronomist. Jeremiah? A school or circle of anonymous Judean scribes?
Sources that the Deuteronomistic historian(s) used: - Oral Traditions: - Stories about the individual tribes (tribal stories); - Stories about the Prophets Elijah and Elisha; - Written Documents: - Archaic poetry, e.g., Book of Jashar (Josh 10.13; 2 Sam 1.18).
Sources that the Deuteronomistic historian(s) used (contd.): - Written Documents (contd.): - Royal Archives, e.g., The Book of the Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11.41); The Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah (1 Kings 14.29); and the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel (1 Kings 14.19). None of these sources have survived!
The Deuteronomistic Author(s) proposed only one factor for Israel’s rise and fall - its loyalty or disloyalty to Yahweh (see Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 28); • Assyria and Babylonia were seen by the Deuteronomistic author(s) as the means that Yahweh used to punish a disobedient people; • These nations are instruments of Divine Wrath; • The Deuteronomistic History (DH) emphasizes the theological meaning rather than the mere facts of historical change;
DH covers seven crucial periods or events: (In the books of Joshua through 2 kings): • 1) the conquest of Canaan under Joshua’s leadership (the Book of Joshua);
DH covers seven crucial periods or events: (In the books of Joshua through 2 kings): 2) the Twelve-Tribe confederacy and its battles with assorted Canaanite city-states (the Book of Judges);
DH covers seven crucial periods or events (contd.): • (In the books of Joshua through 2 Kings) • the Philistine crisis …apex reached under David and Solomon (1 and 2 Samuel; 1 Kings); (Solomon’s temple); (the empire of David and Solomon). • The Philistine Pentapolis: Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron (Joshua 13.3).
DH covers seven crucial periods or events (contd.): • 4) the secession of the Northern Tribes … and the two Kingdoms, that is, Judah and Israel (1 Kings); • 5) the Divided Kingdom and the destruction of the capital of the Northern Kingdom in 721 B.C.E. (2 Kings); • 6) King Josiah’s religious reforms in Judah following 621 BCE. (2 Kings); • 7) Babylon's destruction of the Kingdom of Judah and its Temple in Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E; and the Babylonian Exile (2 Kings) (Textbook, p. 205).
Exile of inhabitants of the northern state of Israel into captivity in 721 BC and the southern state of Judah in 586 BC.
In addition, the DH is characterized by three motifs): 1. Yahwist prophets such as Elijah and Elisha are pictured as heroic crusaders against the cult of Baal and other Canaanite impurities (see 1 Kings 17.1-24; 18.1-46; 19.1-8 [all about Elijah]); and 19.19-21 (the call of Elisha); 2. The preeminence of Jerusalem …; 3. Every ruler in the Northern Kingdom is condemned; moreover, every King of Judah who was not a complete Yahwist is also condemned… only two of David's successors, namely, Hezekiah and Josiah, measure up to Mosaic standards.
DH ends with a glimmer of hope (2 Kings 25.27-30). Does the final editor of DH hope that Yahweh would restore the Davidic royal line? A National Crisis: Questioning the Deuteronomic Assumptions (Psalms 44.17-19 and 89.38-39); Second Isaiah proclaims that Yahweh would lead a new exodus back to the promised land).
Reinterpreting Israel’s History for the Postexilic World - 1 and 2 Chronicle: - post-exilic scribes undertook the necessary task of reinterpreting the nation’s past; - the first edition of the Deuteronomistic History (DH) had seen Israel’s story culminating in Josiah’s splendid reforms; - the second edition of the DH, revised during the Babylonian exile, had presented it as culmination in Yahweh’s destruction of the nation; - now, the Chronicler, writing more than a century after the exiles’ return, surveyed Israel’s past and this time discovered national fulfillment in the restoration of Yahweh’s worship at the rebuilt Jerusalem Temple (2 Chron 36.23);
Reinterpreting Israel’s History for the Postexilic World: - in the Chronicler’s view, Israel’s destiny was to promote Yahweh’s cult with ethical and ritual purity. - because of their consistent priestly orientation, the four books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah (actually two books in the Hebrew Scriptures) are commonly assigned to the same redactor or editor; - others, however, attribute Ezra and Nehemiah to an author other than the writer responsible for 1 and 2 Chronicles; - the same priestly scribe could have provided the final editing of the four volumes; - 1 and 2 Chronicles are largely rewrites of Samuel (1 and 2) and Kings (1 and 2).
Traditional Chronology: Iron I (1200-1000 BC): The Period of the Conquest and the Judges; Iron IIA (1000-925 BC): The Period of the United Monarchy, that is, the time of David and Solomon; Iron IIB (925-720 BC): The Divided Monarchy: The state of Israel in the north with its capital at Samaria; the state of Judah in the south with its capital at Jerusalem; Iron IIC (720-586 BC): The Northern Kingdom of Israel is no more; the Southern Kingdom of Judah continues until the Babylonians destroy it in 586 BC; Exile in Babylon (586-538 BC); Persia rules Judah (538-330 BC),.
The Biblical Texts (1 and 2 Samuel ; 1 Kings; and 1 and 2 Chronicles): (All these texts, with the exception of 1 and 2 Chronicles, are part of the Deuteronomistic History.) 1 Samuel: - 1 Samuel 10.1-2: The Lord, through Samuel, anoints Saul as “ruler over his people Israel”; • 1 Samuel 16-31: Saul and David (from David’s anointing to Saul’s death); • 1 Samuel 16. 1-13: Samuel anoints David as king (v. 13);
The Biblical Texts (1 and 2 Samuel ; 1 Kings; and 1 and 2 Chronicles): • 1 Sam 17.40-51: David and Goliath; David killed the Philistine (17.48-51) (according to 2 Sam 21.19, Goliath of Gath was slain at a later time by Elhanan, one of David’s warriors); see 1 Chron 20.5; • 1 Sam 31.1-7: the death of Saul.
Elah Valley – where the Bible says that David killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17.40-51)
2 Samuel: • 2 Sam 2.1-4: David consecrated king at Hebron, the most important city in Judah; • 2 Sam 2.8-11: Saul’s son Ishbaal king over Israel (over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin) – from Mahanaim in Transjordan; (Heb. “Ish-bosheth”; pious scribes substituted the word “bosheth”, meaning “shame”, for the name of the Canaanite god Baal, which can also mean “lord”.); - 2 Sam 2.11: David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah;
2 Samuel (contd.) • 2 Sam 2.13-3.1: War between Israel and Judah, that is, between the House of Saul and the House of David; • 2 Sam 5.1-5: David is anointed king of Israel; • 2 Sam 5.2-12: David captures Jerusalem; - 2 Sam 6.1- The Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem;
1 Kings: - 1 Kings 1.28-40: Solomon is consecrated king (this is David’s will); - 1 Kings 2.1-11: David’s testament and his death; - 1 Kings 3.1-7.51: Solomon marries Pharaoh’s daughter, the building of his palace, the Temple of Yahweh, and the wall surrounding Jerusalem; - 1 Kings 8: The Ark of the Covenant brought to the Temple;
1 Kings (contd.): - 1 Kings 9.15-24: Forced labour for Solomon’s building program: the Temple; his own palace; the Millo; the wall of Jerusalem; Hazor; Megiddo; and Gezer, etc. (see especially 1 Kings 9.15-19). - 1 Kings 10.1-13: the Queen of Sheba visits Solomon; • 1 Kings 10.26-29: Solomon’s chariots; • 1 Kings 11.14-25: Solomon’s foreign enemies; - 1 Kings 11.26-40: The revolt of Jeroboam against Solomon’s son Rehoboam; Jeroboam was from the major tribe of Ephraim in the north;
1 Kings (contd.): - 1 Kings 11.41-43: The end of the reign of Solomon; - 1 Kings 12: Political and Religious Schism: Jeroboam king of Israel and the setting up of the two golden calves, one at Bethel, just to the north of Jerusalem, and the other at Dan, in the far north; • Now two kingdoms: Judah in the south with its capital at Jerusalem; • Rehoboam, a son of Solomon, is King of Judah. • Israel in the north with its capital at Shechem – Israel separated from the House of David; (Under the Omrides, the capital will later be transferred to Samaria.) • Jeroboam, an Ephraimite and a former servant of Solomon, is King of Israel.
1 and 2 Chronicles: • “Chronicles” – a summary of divine history; • the Chronicler wrote during the Persian period (539-332 BC); • dependence upon the Books of Samuel is clear in the narration of Saul’s demise and David’s reign (1 Chr 10-29); • dependence upon the Books of Kings is unmistakable in the narration of Solomon and the Judahite kingdom (2 Chr 1-36); • the United Monarchy (1 Chronicles 10-2 Chronicles 9); • the Chronicler has access to other biblical sources as well as non-biblical ones; • the Chronicler’s problem was how to reconcile all these sources.
The Iron IIA Period (1000-925 BC) – Conventional Chronology (see Textbook, p. 122) • See Textbook, pp. 101-139. • The Age of David and Solomon; • The Traditionalists assume the historicity of all, or most, of the biblical accounts relative to David and his son Solomon; • Finkelstein and Mazar: much of the narrative regarding David and Solomon can be read as fiction and embellishment by later writers; • The Minimalists: David and Solomon purely legendary figures; • Finkelstein’s and Mazar’s positions: between the traditionalists and the minimalists.
The Traditionalists’ View of the extent of the kingdom of David and his son Solomon.
Finkelstein: - A “view from the center”; • Accepts the historicity of both David and Solomon; • rejects a 10th century United Monarchy, that is, a kingdom that embraces the southern and northern tribes of what will later become Israel; • however, he posits a 9th century United Monarchy, in the north; the state of Israel; • a monarchy ruled by the Omrides (Omri and his son Ahab [882-851 BC]) from Samaria (1 Kings16.23-24).
Finkelstein: • The kingdom of David and Solomon – a modest one; • Archaeology and Jerusalem – the capital of the supposed United Monarchy (see Textbook, p. 108); • Megiddo (1 Kings 9.15 and 9.19): a Solomonic city – chariots and horses (see Textbook, pp. 108-10); Dug by the Univ. of Chicago, Y. Yadin (soundings only), and now Finkelstein and Ussishkin; - Its location; • Hazor (1 Kings 9.15): Y. Yadin; and now Amnon Ben-Tor; • Its location; • Gezer: Macallister; Seger; Dever; and Ortiz; • Six-chambered gates at Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer;