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The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History of Northern Israel: 5 (Ancient Near East Monographs) Paperback – 30 Sep 2013
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With that in mind, he provides the reader with clearer dates (mostly based on radio carbon methods and extra-biblical sources) on settlement layers of various northern locations. It becomes clear that the northern empire reached each peak as far north as Aram and into Aramean Damascus territory, as far south into Judah, and also as far southeast and into Moab during the Omride dynasty. This is when commerce and general trade took off making this dynasty the most influential of the time. Manufacturing wines, oils, to even training/exporting Egyptian (Nubian) horses.
Prior to the Omrides, we can see evidence of cult places established at Shiloh and Bethel until eventually centralized in Samaria. During the Omride dynasty, writing started to take off and eventually showed up generations later to the south (Judah). During this time of Israelite glory, Judah was not as populated. This didn’t occur until the Neo-Assyrians swept through and the Israelite refugees migrated south.
It was then that an identity for the children of Israel came to be. And while there is no reason to doubt a Davidic king since, archaeology has shown that the Judahite monarchs come from the House of David but a Unified Monarchy under the leadership of David & Solomon and ruled from Jerusalem would not have been likely. It was more likely that Omri and Ahab served as a model for this.
Finkelstein then focuses on the most likely stories from the Pentateuch that would have survived from Israel and into Judah to later be redacted and canonized into the books we have come to know today.
I did enjoy this book and for those that enjoy this kind of stuff, I highly recommend it.
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