Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written and Archaeological Sources

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BRILL, 1992 - History - 489 pages
Through a review of historical scholarship of the past century, and an analysis of data drawn from archaeological excavations and surveys and from written and historical records from the late second and early first millennium, the author reconstructs the historical basis of Israel's origins within the contexts of geography, anthropology, and sociology. Thompson argues that none of the traditional models for the origin of biblical Israel in terms of conquest, peaceful settlement, or revolution are viable. The indigenous nature of the Israelite people has roots that lead back to the late Neolithic period. The Iron I period is not the period in which the origins of Israel are to be sought. Rather the geographical and regional expansion of settlements in this period reflects an economic response to drought conditions that affected the entire East Mediterranean basin. The ninth and eighth century states of Samaria and Jerusalem had separate and independent origins rooted in the development of a Mediterranean economy and an expansion of trade brought about by Assyrian interests. The development of the ethnic concept of biblical Israel with its roots in the United Monarchy finds its context in history first at the time of the Persian renaissance guided by the theological concepts of 'exile' and 'restoration.' Finally, Thompson argues that biblical Israel is historically the creation of the tradition itself in the Persian period and attempts to outline both a historical context and an interpretative matrix for the Bible.
 

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User Review  - jsburbidge - LibraryThing

A thoroughly interesting and accomplished study of ancient Palestine / Israel / Judea based firmly on the principle of taking only archaeological findings and contemporary texts and inscriptions prior ... Read full review

Contents

HistoricalCritical Research and Extrabiblical Sources
1
The Late BronzeIron Age Transition
17
Social Anthropology and the History of Palestine
27
Historicity and the Deconstruction of Biblical Historio
77
Ties
84
New Departures towards in Independent History of Israel
127
The Collapse of Late Bronze Civilization in the Wes
215
The Central Hills of Ephraim and Manasseh
221
Biblical Chronology
366
Historiography
372
Questions of Context and Reference
383
An Independent History of Israel
401
Israel as a National Entity
412
Indices
425
250
428
316
434

i
301
of Population Transportation
339
The Formation of Ethnicity
353

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About the author (1992)

Thomas L. Thompson, is Associate Professor of Old Testament, Marquette University in Milwaukee, and author of "The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives" (1974). More recent publications are "The Origin Tradition of Ancient Israel" (1987), and "Toponymie Palestinienne" (1988).