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Judges-United Monarchy

Archaeological and historical articles dealing with events from the period of the Judges, and the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon, circa 1375-931 B.C.

CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF ALL THE ARTICLES IN THIS CATEGORY

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the book of Judges, an oft forgotten book in the Old Testament. Part two focuses on a structure found at Jericho that could be the palace of Eglon, King of Moab.

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the book of Judges, an oft-forgotten book in the Old Testament.

What if we reported that an ancient king from the Old Testament, an ally of King David, had been discovered? That we were in possession of a group of his inscriptions? Indeed, that his capital city had been located and intensive excavations were ongoing there to uncover his lost kingdom? Few things are certain in archaeology, and these facts are far from proven, but evidence for a long-lost kingdom is coalescing around a ruined city in southeast Turkey, not far from the biblical city of Antioch (Acts 11). 

At very beginning of the 12th century B.C. - the beginning of the period archaeologists call Iron Age I - the Sea Peoples swept out of the Aegean to make their appearance in the archeological record and in ancient literary references. The Philistines ultimately settled on and dominated some of the choicest land in Canaan - the agriculturally rich coastal strip from Gaza in the south to Tell Qasile, near modern Tel Aviv, in the north - through which passed one of the world's most important international trade routes. Soon the Philistines began exerting pressure on the Israelite tribes farther inland. This conflict prompted the Israelites to form a monarchy in the mid - 11th century in order to meet the Philistine threat more effectively. After about 150 years of dominance in the area, the Philistines faded from the scene - overpowered by the Israelites under King David - and thereafter played only a minor role in events until, in about 600 B.C., they disappeared altogether.

Tyre's significance in the 14th century BC can be seen in the Amarna Letters. These cuneiform-inscribed clay tablets found in Tell el-Amarna, Egypt, represent correspondence between minor Canaanite kings ruling under Egyptian auspices during the reign of Egyptian Pharaohs Amenhotep III and his son Akhenaten. This is the century immediately following Joshua's initial assault on Canaan, according to Biblical chronology.

In a sense, this book is the culmination of Leen Ritmeyer's life and career. Of the April 1984 International Congress of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, when his collaborative work with Benjamin Mazar was presented, Ritmeyer wrote, 'At this defining moment in my life, I realized the unraveling of the mysteries of the Mount had become my personal quest (p. 12)'.

In the book of Judges, we read how the Israelites served 'Baal and Ashtaroth', pagan gods of the various nations (Judges 2:11-13), but Dagon, the god of the Philistines, is mentioned by name and often depicted as a 'fish-god'. How is Dagon different than the other idols?

The historicity of this heroic account has been long debated among scholars. Indeed, many scholars seem hesitant to comment on the historicity of the Samson narratives at all. From the scholarly debate over the destruction of the Gaza temple two diametrically opposed viewpoints have emerged...

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ABRT 24 | 4/13/2019