corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

'JEWS (Heb. Yehudi, man of Judah; Gr. IouSaiot; Lat. Judaei ), the general name for the Semitic people which inhabited Palestine from early times, and is known in various connexions as " the Hebrews," " the Jews," and " Israel " (see §5 below). Their history may be divided into three great periods: (1) That covered by the Old Testament to the foundation of Judaism in the Persian age, (2) that of the Greek and Roman domination to the destruction of Jerusalem, and (3) that of the Diaspora or Dispersion to the present day.

I. - OLD Testament History 1. The Land and the People. - For the first two periods the history of the Jews is mainly that of Palestine. It begins among those peoples which occupied the area lying between the Nile on the one side and the Tigris and the Euphrates on the other. Surrounded by ancient seats of culture in Egypt and Babylonia, by the mysterious deserts of Arabia, and by the highlands of Asia Minor, Palestine, with Syria on the north, was the high road of civilization, trade and warlike enterprise, and the meeting-place of religions. Its small principalities were entirely dominated by the great Powers, whose weakness or acquiescence alone enabled them to rise above dependence or vassalage. The land was traversed by old-established trade routes and possessed important harbours on the Gulf of `Akaba and on the Mediterranean coast, the latter exposing it to the influence of the Levantine culture. It was " the physical centre of those movements of history from which the world has grown." The portion of this district abutting upon the Mediterranean may be divided into two main parts: - Syria (from the Taurus to Hermon) and Palestine (southward to the desert bordering upon Egypt). The latter is about iso m. from north to south (the proverbial " Dan to Beersheba "), with a breadth varying from 25 to 80 m., i.e. about 6040 sq. m. This excludes the land east of the Jordan, on which see Palestine.

From time to time streams of migration swept into Palestine and Syria. Semitic tribes wandered northwards from their home in Arabia to seek sustenance in its more fertile fields, to plunder, or to escape the pressure of tribes in the rear. The course leads naturally into either Palestine or Babylonia, and, following the Euphrates, northern Syria is eventually reached. Tribes also moved down from the north: nomads, or offshoots from the powerful states which stretch into Asia Minor. Such frequently recurring movements introduced new blood. Tribes, chiefly of pastoral habits, settled down among others who were so nearly of their own type that a complete amalgamation could be effected, and this without any marked modification of the general characteristics of the earlier inhabitants. It is from such a fusion as this that the ancestors of the Jews were descended, and both the history and the genius of this people can be properly understood only by taking into account the physical features of their land and the characteristics of the Semitic races in general (see Palestine, Semitic Languages).

1 2. Society and Religion

2 23. Post-exilic Judaism

3 32. The Settlement of Augustus

4 34. The Procurators

5 35. Caligula and Agrippa I

6 36. Claudius and the Procurators

7 37. Felix and the Revolutionaries

8 51. Austria

9 52. Other European Countries

10 53. Oriental Countries

11 54. The United Kingdom

2. Society and Religion

The similarity uniting the peoples of the East in respect of racial and social characteristics is accompanied by a striking similarity of mental outlook which has survived to modern times. Palestine, in spite of the numerous vicissitudes to which it has been subjected, has not lost its fundamental characteristics. The political changes involved in the Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian or Persian conquests surely affected it as little as the subsequent waves of Greek, Roman and other European invasions. Even during the temporary Hellenization in the second great period the character of the people as a whole was untouched by the various external influences which produced so great an effect on the upper classes. When the foreign civilization perished, the old culture once more came to the surface. Hence it is possible, by a comprehensive comparative study of Eastern peoples, in both ancient and modern times, to supplement and illustrate within certain limits our direct knowledge of the early Jewish people, and thus to understand more clearly those characteristics which were [OLD Testament History peculiar to them, in relation to those which they shared with other Oriental peoples.

Even before authentic history begins, the elements of religion and society had already crystallized into a solid coherent structure which was to persist without essential modification. Religion was inseparable from ordinary life, and, like that of all peoples who are dependent on the fruits of the earth, was a nature-worship. The tie between deities and worshippers was regarded as physical and entailed mutual obligations. The study of the clan-group as an organization is as instructive here as in other fields. The members of each group lived on terms of equality, the families forming a society of worship the rites of which were conducted by the head. Such groups (each with its local deity) would combine for definite purposes under the impulse of external needs, but owing to inevitable internal jealousies and the incessant feuds among a people averse from discipline and authority, the unions were not necessarily lasting. The elders of these groups possessed some influence, and tended to form an aristocracy, which took the lead in social life, although their authority generally depended merely upon custom. Individual leaders in times of stress acquired a recognized supremacy, and, once a tribe outstripped the rest, the opportunities for continued advance gave further scope to their authority. " The interminable feuds of tribes, conducted on the theory of blood-revenge,. .. can seldom be durably healed without the intervention of a third party who is called in as arbiter, and in this way an impartial and wise power acquires of necessity a great and beneficent influence over all around it " (W. R. Smith). In time, notwithstanding a certain inherent individualism and impatience of control, veritable despotisms arose in the Semitic world, although such organizations were invariably liable to sudden collapse as the old forms of life broke down with changing conditions.' 3. Early History. 2 - Already in the 15th century B.C. Palestine was inhabited by a settled people whose language, thought and religion were not radically different several hundred years later. Small native princes ruled as vassals of Egypt which, after expelling the Hyksos from its borders, had entered upon a series of conquests as far as the Euphrates. Some centuries previously, however, Babylonia had laid claim to the western states, and the Babylonian (i.e. Assyrian) script and language were now used, not merely in the diplomatic correspondence between Egypt and Asia, but also for matters of private and everyday life among the Palestinian princes themselves. To what extent specific Babylonian influence showed itself in other directions is not completely known. Canaan (Palestine and the south Phoenician coast land) and Amor (Lebanon district and beyond) were under the constant supervision of Egypt, and Egyptian officials journeyed round to collect tribute, to attend to complaints, and to assure themselves of the allegiance of the vassals. The Amarna tablets and those more recently found at Taannek (bibl. Taanach), together with the contemporary archaeological evidence (from Lachish, Gezer, Megiddo, Jericho, &c.), represent advanced conditions of life and culture, the precise chronological limits of which cannot be determined with certainty. This age, with its regular maritime intercourse between the Aegean settlements, Phoenicia and the Delta, and with lines of caravans connecting Babylonia, North Syria, Arabia and Egypt, presents a remarkable picture of life and activity, in the centre of which lies Palestine, with here and there Egyptian colonies and some traces of Egyptian cults. The history of this, the " Amarna " age, reveals a state of anarchy in Palestine for which the weakness of Egypt and the downward pressure of north Syrian 1 On the homogeneity of the population, see further, W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites (2nd ed., chaps. i. - iii.); T. Noldeke, Sketches from Eastern History, pp. 1-20 (on " Some Characteristics of the Semitic Race "); and especially E. Meyer, Gesch. d. Altertums (2nd ed., i. §§ 330, sqq.). For the relation between the geographical characteristics and the political history, see G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land. 2 For fuller information on this section see Palestine: History, and the related portions of Babylonia And Assyria, Egypt, Hittites, Syria.

peoples were responsible. Subdivided into a number of little local principalities, Palestine was suffering both from internal intrigues and from the designs of this northern power. It is now that we find the restless IIabiru, a name which is commonly identified with that of the " Hebrews " ( ` ibrim). They offer themselves where necessary to either party, and some at least perhaps belonged to the settled population. The growing prominence of the new northern group of " Hittite " states continued to occupy the energies of Egypt, and when again we have more external light upon Palestinian history, the Hittites are found strongly entrenched in the land. But by the end of the first quarter of the 13th century B.C. Egypt had recovered its province (precise boundary uncertain), leaving its rivals in possession of Syria. Towards the close of the 13th century the Egyptian king Merneptah (Mineptah) records a successful campaign in Palestine, and alludes to the defeat of Canaan, Ascalon, Gezer, Yenuam (in Lebanon) and (the people or tribe) Israel.3 Bodies of aliens from the Levantine coast had previously threatened Egypt and Syria, and at the beginning of the 12th century they formed a coalition on land and sea which taxed all the resources of Rameses III. In the Purasati, apparently the most influential of these peoples, may be recognized the origin of the name " Philistine." The Hittite power became weaker, and the invaders, in spite of defeat, appear to have succeeded in maintaining themselves on the sea coast. External history, however, is very fragmentary just at the age when its evidence would be most welcome. For a time the fate of Syria and Palestine seems to have been no longer controlled by the great powers. When the curtain rises again we enter upon the historical traditions of the Old Testament.

4. Biblical History. - For the rest of the first period the Old Testament forms the main source. It contains in fact the history itself in two forms: (a) from the creation of man to the fall of Judah (Genesis-2 Kings), which is supplemented and continued further - (b) to the foundation of Judaism in the 5th century B.C. (Chronicles - Ezra-Nehemiah). In the light of contemporary monuments, archaeological evidence, the progress of scientific knowledge and the recognized methods of modern historical criticism, the representation of the origin of mankind and of the history of the Jews in the Old Testament can no longer be implicitly accepted. Written by an Oriental people and clothed in an Oriental dress, the Old Testament does not contain objective records, but subjective history written and incorporated for specific purposes. Like many Oriental works it is a compilation, as may be illustrated from a comparison of Chronicles with Samuel - Kings, and the representation of the past in the light of the present (as exemplified in Chronicles) is a frequently recurring phenomenon. The critical examination of the nature and growth of this compilation has removed much that had formerly caused insuperable difficulties and had quite unnecessarily been made an integral or a relevant part of practical religion. On the other hand, criticism has given a deeper meaning to the Old Testament history, and has brought into relief the central truths which really are vital; it may be said to have replaced a divine account of man by man's account of the divine. Scholars are now almost unanimously agreed that the internal features are best explained by the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis. This involves the view that the historical traditions are mainly due to two characteristic though very complicated recensions, one under the influence of the teaching of Deuteronomy (Joshua to Kings, see § 20), the other, of a more priestly character (akin to Leviticus), of somewhat later date (Genesis to Joshua, with traces in Judges to Kings, see § 23). There are, of course, numerous problems relating to the nature, limits and dates of the two recensions, of the incorporated sources, and of other sources (whether early or late) of independent origin; and here there is naturally room for much divergence of opinion. Older material (often of composite origin) has been used, not so much for the purpose of providing historical information, as with the object of showing the religious significance of past history; 3 Or land Israel, W. Spiegelberg, xi. (1908), cols. 403-405.

OLD ] and the series Joshua-Kings is actually included among the " prophets " in Jewish reckoning (see Midrash). In general, one may often observe that freedom which is characteristic of early and unscientific historians. Thus one may note the reshaping of older material to agree with later thought, the building up of past periods from the records of other periods, and a frequent loss of perspective. The historical traditions are to be supplemented by the great body of prophetic, legal and poetic literature which reveal contemporary conditions in various internal literary, theological or sociological features. The investigation of their true historical background and of the trustworthiness of their external setting (e.g. titles of psalms, dates and headings of prophecies) involves a criticism of the historical traditions themselves, and thus the two major classes of material must be constantly examined both separately and in their bearing on one another. In a word, the study of biblical history, which is dependent in the first instance upon the written sources, demands constant attention to the text (which has had an interesting history) and to the literary features; and it requires a sympathetic acquaintance with Oriental life and thought, both ancient and modern, an appreciation of the necessity of employing the methods of scientific research, and (from the theological side) a reasoned estimate of the dependence of individual religious convictions upon the letter of the Old Testament.' In view of the numerous articles in this work dealing with biblical subjects, 2 the present sketch is limited to the outlines of the traditional history; the religious aspect in its bearing upon biblical theology (which is closely bound up with the traditions) is handled separately under Hebrew Religion. The related literature is enormous (see the bibliographies to the special articles); it is indexed annually in Orientalische Bibliographie (Berlin), and is usefully summarized in the Theologische Jahresbericht (Berlin). On the development of the study of biblical history see C. A. Briggs, Study of Holy Scripture (1899), especially ch. xx. The first scientific historical work was by H. Ewald, Gesch. d. Volkes Israel (1843; 3rd ed., 1864-1868; Eng. trans., 1869-1883), popularized by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley in his Hist. of the Jewish Church (1863-1879). The works of J. Wellhausen (especially Prolegomena to the Hist. of Israel, Eng. trans., 1885, also the brilliant article " Israel " in the 9th ed. of the Ency. Brit., 1879) were epoch-making; his position was interpreted to English readers by W. Robertson Smith ( Old Test. in Jewish Church, 1881, 2nd ed., 1892; Prophets of Israel, 1882, 2nd ed. by T. K. Cheyne, 1902). The historical (and related) works of T. K. Cheyne, H. Graetz, H. Guthe, F. C. Kent, A. Kittel, W. H. Kosters, A. Kuenen, C. Piepenbring, and especially B. Stade, although varying greatly in standpoint, are among the most valuable by recent scholars; H. P. Smith's Old Test. Hist. (" International Theological Library," Edinburgh, 1903) is in many respects the most serviceable and complete study; a modern and more critical " Ewald " is a desideratum. For the works of numerous other scholars who have furthered Old Testament research in the past it must suffice to refer to the annotated list by J. M. P. Smith, Books for O.T. Study (Chicago, 1908).

For the external history, E. Schrader, Cuneiform Inscr. and the Old Testament (Eng. trans. by 0. C. Whitehouse, 1885-1888) is still helpful; among the less technical works are J. F. McCurdy, History, Prophecy and the Monuments; B. Paton, Syria and Palestine (1902); G. Maspero, Hist. ancienne (6th ed., 1904); A. Jeremias, Alte Test. im Lichte d. Alten Orients (2nd ed., 1906); and especially Altoriental. Texte u. Bilder zum Alten Test., ed. by H. Gressman, with A. Ungnad and H. Ranke (1909). The most complete is that of Ed. Meyer, Gesch. d. Alterthums (2nd ed., 1907 sqq.). That of Jeremias follows upon the lines of H. Winckler, whose works depart from the somewhat narrow limits of purely " Israelite " histories, emphasize the necessity of observing the characteristics of Oriental thought and policy, and are invaluable for discriminating students. Winckler's own views are condensed in the 3rd edition - a re-writing - of Schrader's work ( Keilinschr. u. d. Alte Testament, 1903), and, with an instructive account of the history of " ancient nearer Asia," in H. F. Helmolt's World's History, iii. 1-252 (1903). All modern 1 It is useful to compare the critical study of the Koran, where, however, the investigation of its various " revelations " is simpler than that of the biblical " prophecies " on account of the greater wealth of independent historical tradition. See also G. B. Gray, Contemporary Review (July 1907); A. A. Bevan, Cambridge Biblical Essays (ed. Swete, 1909), pp. 1-19.

See primarily Bible: Old Testament; the articles on the contents and literary structure of the several books; the various biographical, topographical and ethnical articles, and the separate treatment of the more important subjects (e.g. Levites, Prophet, Sac Rifice).

histories of any value are necessarily compromises between the biblical traditions and the results of recent investigation, and those studies which appear to depart most widely from the biblical or canonical representation often do greater t justice to the evidence as a whole than the slighter or more conservative and apologetic reconstructions. 3 Scientific biblical historical study, nevertheless, is still in a relatively backward condition; and although the labours of scholars since Ewald constitute a distinct epoch, the trend of research points to the recognition of the fact that the purely subjective literary material requires a more historical treatment in the light of our increasing knowledge of external and internal conditions in the old Oriental world. But an inductive and deductive treatment, both comprehensive and in due proportion, does not as yet (19to) exist, and awaits fuller external evidence.' 5. Traditions of Origin. - The Old Testament preserves the remains of an extensive literature, representing different standpoints, which passed through several hands before it reached its present form. Surrounded by ancient civilizations where writing had long been known, and enjoying, as excavation has proved, a considerable amount of material culture, Palestine could look back upon a lengthy and stirring history which, however, has rarely left its mark upon our records. Whatever ancient sources may have been accessible, whatever trustworthy traditions were in circulation, and whatever a knowledge of the ancient Oriental world might lead one to expect, one is naturally restricted in the first instance to those undated records which have survived in the form which the last editors gave to them. The critical investigation of these records is the indispensable prelude to all serious biblical study, and hasty or sweeping deductions from monumental or archaeological evidence, or versions compiled promiscuously from materials of distinct origin, are alike hazardous. A glimpse at Palestine in the latter half of the second millennium B.C. (§ 3) prepares us for busy scenes and active intercourse, but it is not a history of this kind which the biblical historians themselves transmit. At an age when - on literary-critical grounds - the Old Testament writings were assuming their present form, it was possible to divide the immediately preceding centuries into three distinct periods. (a) The first, that of the two rival kingdoms: Israel (Ephraim or Samaria) in the northern half of Palestine, and Judah in the south. Then ( b ) the former lost its independence towards the close of the 8th century B.C., when a number of its inhabitants were carried away; and the latter shared the fate of exile at the beginning of the 6th, but succeeded in making a fresh reconstruction some fifty or sixty years later. Finally (c), in the so-called " post-exilic " period, religion and life were reorganized under the influence of a new spirit; relations with Samaria were broken off, and Judaism took its definite character, perhaps about the middle or close of the 5th century. Throughout these vicissitudes there were important political and religious changes which render the study of the composite sources a work of unique difficulty. In addition to this it should be noticed that the term " Jew " (originally Yehudi ), in spite of its wider application, means properly " man of Judah," i.e. of that small district which, with Jerusalem as its capital, became the centre of Judaism. The favourite name " Israel " with all its religious and national associations is somewhat ambiguous in an historical sketch, since, although it is used as opposed to Judah (a), it ultimately came to designate the true nucleus of the worshippers of the national god Yahweh as opposed to the Samaritans, the later inhabitants of Israelite territory (c). A more general term is" Hebrew " (see Hebrew Language), which, whether originally identical with the Habiru or not (§ 3), is used in contrast to foreigners, and this non-committal ethnic On the bearing of external evidence upon the internal biblical records, see especially S. R. Driver's essay in Hogarth's Authority and Archaeology; cf. also A. A. Bevan, Critical Review (1897), p. 406 sqq., 1898, pp. 131 sqq.); G. B. Gray, Expositor, May 1898; W. G. Jordan, Bib. Crit. and Modern Thought (1909), pp. 42 sqq.

4 For the sections which follow the present writer may be permitted to refer to his introductory contributions in the Expositor (June, 1906; " The Criticism of the 0.T."); the Jewish Quarterly Review (July 1905-January 1907 = Critical Notes on 0.T. History, especially sections vii.-ix.); July and October 1907, April 1908; Amer. Journ. Theol. (July 1909, " Simeon and Levi: the Problem of the Old Testament "); and Swete's Cambridge Bib. Essays, pp. 548 9 (" The Present Stage of O.T. Research ").

[OLD Testament History deserves preference where precise distinction is unnecessary or impossible.

The traditions which prevailed among the Hebrews concerning their origin belong to a time when Judah and Israel were regarded as a unit. Twelve divisions or tribes, of which Judah was one, held together by a traditional sentiment, were traced back to the sons of Jacob (otherwise known as Israel), the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. Their names vary in origin and probably also in point of age, and where they represent fixed territorial limits, the districts so described were in some cases certainly peopled by groups of non-Israelite ancestry. But as tribal names they invited explanation, and of the many characteristic traditions which were doubtless current a number have been preserved, though not in any very early dress. Close relationship was recognized with the Aramaeans, with Edom, Moab and Ammon. This is characteristically expressed when Esau, the ancestor of Edom, is represented as the brother of Jacob, or when Moab and Ammon are the children of Lot, Abraham's nephew (see Genealogy: Biblical). Abraham, it was believed, came from Harran (Carrhae), primarily from Babylonia, and Jacob re-enters from Gilead in the north-east with his Aramaean wives and concubines and their families (Benjamin excepted). It is on this occasion that Jacob's name is changed to Israel. These traditions of migration and kinship are in themselves entirely credible, but the detailed accounts of the ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as given in Genesis, are inherently doubtful as regards both the internal conditions, which the (late) chronological scheme ascribes to the first half of the second millennium B.C., and the general circumstances of the life of these strangers in a foreign land. From a variety of independent reasons one is forced to conclude that, whatever historical elements they may contain, the stories of this remote past represent the form which tradition had taken in a very much later age.

Opinion is at variance regarding the patriarchal narratives as a whole. To deny their historical character is to reject them as trustworthy accounts of the age to which they are ascribed, and even those scholars who claim that they are essentially historical already go so far as to concede idealization and the possibility or probability of later revision. The failure to apprehend historical method has often led to the fallacious argument that the trustworthiness of individual features justifies our accepting the whole, or that the elimination of unhistorical elements will leave an historical residuum. Here and frequently elsewhere in biblical history it is necessary to allow that a genuine historical tradition may be clothed in an unhistorical dress, but since many diverse motives are often concentrated upon one narrative (e.g. Gen. xxxii. 22-32, xxxiv., xxxviii.), the work of internal historical criticism (in view of the scantiness of the evidence) can rarely claim finality. The patriarchal narratives themselves belong to the popular stock of tradition of which only a portion has been preserved. Many of the elements lie outside questions of time and place and are almost immemorial. Some appear written for the first time in the book of Jubilees, in " the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs " (both perhaps 2nd century B.C.) and in later sources; and although in Genesis the stories are now in a post-exilic setting (a stage earlier than Jubilees), the older portions may well belong to the 7th or 6th cent. This question, however, will rest upon those criteria alone which are of true chronological validity (see further Genesis).

The story of the settlement of the national and tribal ancestors in Palestine is interrupted by an account of the southward movement of Jacob (or Israel) and his sons into a district under the immediate influence of the kings of Egypt. After an interval of uncertain duration we find in Exodus a numerous people subjected to rigorous oppression. No longer individual sons of Jacob or Israel, united tribes were led out by Moses and Aaron; and, after a series of incidents extending over forty years, the " children of Israel " invaded the land in which their ancestors had lived. The traditions embodied in the books ExodusJoshua are considerably later than the apparent date of the events themselves, and amid the diverse and often conflicting data it is possible to recognize distinct groups due to some extent to distinct historical conditions. The story of the " exodus " is that of the religious birth of " Israel," joined by covenant with the national god Yahweh' whose aid in times of peril and need ' On the name see Jehovah, Tetragrammaton.

proved his supremacy. In Moses (q.v.) was seen the founder of Israel's religion and laws; in Aaron (q.v.) the prototype of the Israelite priesthood. Although it is difficult to determine the true historical kernel, two features are most prominent in the narratives which the post-exilic compiler has incorporated: the revelation of Yahweh, and the movement into Palestine. Yahweh had admittedly been the God of Israel's ancestors, but his name was only now made known (Exod. iii. 13 sqq., vi. 2 seq.), and this conception of a new era in Yahweh's relations with the people is associated with the family of Moses and with small groups. from the south of Palestine which reappear in religious movements in later history (see Kenites). Amid a great variety of motives the prominence of Kadesh in south Palestine is to be recognized, but it is uncertain what clans or tribes were at Kadesh, and it is possible that traditions, originally confined to those with whom the new conception of Yahweh is connected, were subsequently adopted by others who came to regard themselves as the worshippers of the only true Yahweh. At all events, two quite distinct views seem to underlie the opening books of the Old Testament. The one associates itself with the ancestors of the Hebrews and has an ethnic character. The other, part of the religious history of " Israel," is essentially bound up with the religious genius of the people, and is partly connected with clans from the south of Palestine whose influence appears in later times. Other factors in the literary growth of the present narratives are not excluded (see further § 8, and The Exodus).2 6. The Monarchy of Israel. - The book of Joshua continues the fortunes of the " children of Israel " and describes a successful occupation of Palestine by the united tribes. This stands in striking contrast to other records of the partial successes of individual groups (Judg. i.). The former, however, is based upon the account of victories by the Ephraimite Joshua over confederations of petty kings to the south and north of central Palestine, apparently the specific traditions of the people of Ephraim describing from their standpoint the entire conquest of Palestine. 3 The book of Judges represents a period of unrest after the settlement of the people. External oppression and internal rivalries rent the Israelites, and in the religious philosophy of a later (Deuteronomic) age the period is represented as one of alternate apostasy from and of penitent return to the Yahweh of the " exodus." Some vague recollection of known historical events (§ 3 end) might be claimed among the traditions ascribed to the closing centuries of the second millennium, but the view that the prelude to the monarchy was an era when individual leaders " judged " all Israel finds no support in the older narratives, where the heroes of the age (whose correct sequence is uncertain) enjoy only a local fame. The best historical narratives belong to Israel and Gilead; Judah scarcely appears, and in a relatively old poetical account of a great fight of the united tribes against a northern adversary lies outside the writer's horizon or interest (Judg. v., see Deborah). Stories of successful warfare and of temporary leaders (see Abimelech; Ehud; Gideon; Jephthah) form an introduction to the institution of the Israelite monarchy, an epoch of supreme importance in biblical history. The heroic figure who stands at the head is Saul (" asked "), and two accounts of his rise are recorded.

(I) The Philistines, a foreign people whose presence in Palestine 2 The story of Joseph has distinctive internal features of its own, and appears to be from an independent cycle, which has been used to form a connecting link between the Settlement and the Exodus; see also Ed. Meyer, Die Israeliten u. ihre Nachbarstiimme (1906), PP. 228, 433; B. Luther, ibid. pp. 108 seq., 142 sqq. Neither of the poems in Deut. xxxii. seq. alludes to an escape from Egypt; Israel is merely a desert tribe inspired to settle in Palestine. Apparently even the older accounts of the exodus are not of very great antiquity; according to Jeremiah ii. 2, 7 (cf. Hos. ii. 15) some traditions of the wilderness must have represented Israel in a very favourable light; for the " canonical " view, see Ezekiel xvi., xx., xxiii.

The capture of central Palestine itself is not recorded; according to its own traditions the district had been seized by Jacob (Gen. xlviii. 22; cf. the late form of the tradition in Jubilees xxxiv.). This conception of a conquering hero is entirely distinct from the narratives of the descent of Jacob into Egypt, &c. (see Meyer and Luther, op. cit. pp. I10, 227 seq., 4 1 5, 433).

'OLD ] has already been noticed, had oppressed Israel (cf. Samson) until a brilliant victory was gained by the prophet Samuel, some account of whose early history is recorded. He himself held supreme sway over all Israel as the last of the " judges " until compelled to accede to the popular demand for a king. The young Saul was chosen by lot and gained unanimous recognition by delivering Jabesh in Gilead from the Ammonites. (2) But other traditions represent the people scattered and in hiding; Israel is groaning under the Philistine yoke, and the unknown Saul is raised up by Yahweh to save his people. This he accomplishes with the help of his son Jonathan. The first account, although now essential to the canonical history, clearly gives a less authentic account of the change from the " judges " to the monarchy, while the second is fragmentary and can hardly be fitted into the present historical thread (see Saul). At all events the first of a series of annalistic notices of the kings of Israel ascribes to Saul conquests over the surrounding peoples to an extent which implies that the district of Judah formed part of his kingdom (I Sam. xiv. 47 seq). His might is attested also by the fine elegy (2 Sam. i. 19 sqq.) over the death of two great Israelite heroes, Saul and Jonathan, knit together by mutual love, inseparable in life and death, whose unhappy end after a career of success was a national misfortune. Disaster had come upon the north, and the plain of Jezreel saw the total defeat of the king and the rout of his army. The court was hastily removed across the Jordan to Mahanaim, where Saul's son Ishbaal (Ish-bosheth), thanks to his general Abner, recovered some of the lost prestige. In circumstances which are not detailed, the kingdom seems to have regained its strength, and Ishbaal is credited with a reign of two years over Israel and Gilead (2 Sam. ii. 8 - io; contrast v. II). But at this point the scanty annals are suspended and the history of the age is given in more popular sources. Both Israel and Judah had their own annals, brief excerpts from which appear in the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, and they are supplemented by fuller narratives of distinct and more popular origin. The writings are the result of a continued literary process, and the Israelite national history has come down to us through Judaean hands, with the result that much of it has been coloured by late Judaean feeling. It is precisely in Saul's time that the account of the Judaean monarchy, or perhaps of the monarchy from the Judaean standpoint, now begins.

7. The Monarchy of Judah. - Certain traditions of Judah and Jerusalem appear to have looked back upon a movement from the south, traces of which underlie the present account of the " exodus." The land was full of " sons of Anak," giants who had terrified the scouts sent from Kadesh. Caleb alone had distinguished himself by his fearlessness, and the clan Caleb drove them out from Hebron in south Judah (Josh. xv. 14 sqq.; cf. also xi. 21 seq.). David and his followers are found in the south of Hebron, and as they advanced northwards they encountered wondrous heroes between Gath and Jerusalem (2 Sam. xxi. 5 sqq.; xxiii. 8 sqq.). After strenuous fighting the district was cleared, and Jerusalem, taken by the sword, became the capital. History saw in David the head of a lengthy line of kings, the founder of the Judaean monarchy, the psalmist and the priest-king who inaugurated religious institutions now recognized to be of a distinctly later character. As a result of this backward projection of later conceptions, the recovery of the true historical nucleus is difficult. The prominence of Jerusalem, the centre of post-exilic Judaism, necessarily invited reflection. Israelite tradition had ascribed the conquest of Jerusalem, Hebron and other cities of Judah to the Ephraimite Joshua; Judaean tradition, on the other hand, relates the capture of the sacred city from a strange and hostile people (2 Sam. v.). The famous city, within easy reach of the southern desert and central Palestine (to Hebron and to Samaria the distances are about 18 and 35 miles respectively), had already entered into Palestinian history in the " Amarna " age (§ 3). Anathoth, a few miles to the north-east, points to the cult of the goddess Anath, the near-lying Nob has suggested the name of the Babylonian Nebo, and the neighbouring, though unidentified, Beth-Ninib of the Amarna tablets may indicate the worship of a Babylonian war and astral god (cf. the solar name Beth-Shemesh). Such was the religious environment of the ancient city which was destined to become the centre of Judaism. Judaean tradition dated the sanctity of Jerusalem from the installation of the ark, a sacred movable object which symbolized the presence of Yahweh. It is associated with the half-nomad clans in the south of Palestine, or with the wanderings of David and his own priest Abiathar; it is ultimately placed within the newly captured city. Quite another body of tradition associates it with the invasion of all the tribes of Israel from beyond the Jordan (see ARK). To combine the heterogeneous narratives and isolated statements into a consecutive account is impossible; to ignore those which conflict with the now predominating views would be unmethodical. When the narratives describe the life of the young David at the court of the first king of the northern kingdom, when the scenes cover the district which he took with the sword, and when the brave Saul is represented in an unfavourable light, one must allow for the popular tendency to idealize great figures, and for the Judaean origin of the compilation. To David is ascribed the sovereignty over a united people. But the stages in his progress are not clear. After being the popular favourite of Israel in the little district of Benjamin, he was driven away by the jealousy and animosity of Saul. Gradually strengthening his position by alliance with Judaean clans, he became king at Hebron at the time when Israel suffered defeat in the north. His subsequent advance to the kingship over Judah and Israel at Jerusalem is represented as due to the weak condition of Israel, facilitated by the compliance of Abner; partly, also, to the long-expressed wish of the Israelites that their old hero should reign over them. Yet again, Saul had been chosen by Yahweh to free his people from the Philistines; he had been rejected for his sins, and had suffered continuously from this enemy; Israel at his death was left in the unhappy state in which he had found it; it was the Judaean David, the faithful servant of Yahweh, who was now chosen to deliver Israel, and to the last the people gratefully remembered their debt. David accomplished the conquests of Saul but on a grander scale; " Saul hath slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands " is the popular couplet comparing the relative merits of the rival dynasts. A series of campaigns against Edom, Moab, Ammon and the Aramaean states, friendly relations with Hiram of Tyre, and the recognition of his sovereignty by the king of Hamath on the Orontes, combine to portray a monarchy which was the ideal.

But in passing from the books of Samuel, with their many rich and vivid narratives, to the books of Kings, we enter upon another phase of literature; it is a different atmosphere, due to the character of the material and the aims of other compilers (see § 9 beginning). David, the conqueror, was followed by his son Solomon, famous for his wealth, wisdom and piety, above all for the magnificent Temple which he built at Jerusalem. Phoenician artificers were enlisted for the purpose, and with Phoenician sailors successful trading-journeys were regularly undertaken. Commercial intercourse with Asia Minor, Arabia, Tarshish (probably in Spain) and Ophir filled his coffers, and his realm extended from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt. Tradition depicts him as a worthy successor to his father, and represents a state of luxury and riches impressive to all who were familiar with the great Oriental courts. The commercial activity of the king and the picture of intercourse and wealth are quite in accordance with what is known of the ancient monarchies, and could already be illustrated from the Amarna age. Judah and Israel dwelt at ease, or held the superior position of military officials, while the earlier inhabitants of the land were put to forced labour. But another side of the picture shows the domestic intrigues which darkened the last days of David. The accession of Solomon had not been without bloodshed, and Judah, together with David's old general Joab and his faithful priest Abiathar, were opposed to the son of a woman who had been the wife of a Hittite warrior. The era of the Temple of Jerusalem starts with a new regime, another captain of the army L EWS [OLD Testament History and another priest. Nevertheless, the enmity of Judah is passed over, and when the kingdom is divided for administrative purposes into twelve districts, which ignore the tribal divisions, the centre of David's early power is exempt from the duty of providing supplies (r Kings iv.). Yet again, the approach of the divided monarchy is foreshadowed. The employment of Judaeans and Israelites for Solomon's palatial buildings, and the heavy taxation for the upkeep of a court which was the wonder of the world, caused grave internal discontent. External relations, too, were unsatisfactory. The Edomites, who had been almost extirpated by David in the valley of Salt, south of the Dead Sea, were now strong enough to seek revenge; and the powerful kingdom of Damascus, whose foundation is ascribed to this period, began to threaten Israel on the north and north-east. These troubles, we learn, had affected all Solomon's reign, and even Hiram appears to have acquired a portion of Galilee. In the approaching disruption writers saw the punishment for the king's apostasy, and they condemn the sanctuaries in Jerusalem which he erected to the gods of his heathen wives. Nevertheless, these places of cult remained some 300 years until almost the close of the monarchy, when their destruction is attributed to Josiah (§ 16). When at length Solomon died the opportunity was at once seized to request from his son Rehoboam a more generous treatment. The reply is memorable: " My little finger is thicker than my father's loins; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." These words were calculated to inflame a people whom history proves to have been haughty and high-spirited, and the great Israel renounced its union with the small district of Judah. Jeroboam, once one of Solomon's officers, became king over the north, and thus the history of the divided monarchy begins (about 930 B.C.) with the Israelite power on both sides of the Jordan and with Judah extending southwards from a point a few miles north of Jerusalem.

8. Problems of the Earliest History. - Biblical history previous to the separation of Judah and Israel holds a prominent place in current ideas, since over two-fifths of the entire Old Testament deals with these early ages. The historical sources for the crucial period, from the separation to the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.), occupy only about one-twelfth, and even of this about one-third is spread over some fifteen years (see below, § II). From the flourishing days of the later monarchy and onwards, different writers handled the early history of their land from different standpoints. The feeling of national unity between north and south would require historical treatment, the existence of rival monarchies would demand an explanation. But the surviving material is extremely uneven; vital events in these centuries are treated with a slightness in striking contrast to the relatively detailed evidence for the preceding period - evidence, however, which is far from being contemporary. Where the material is fuller, serious discrepancies are found; and where external evidence is fortunately available, the independent character of the biblical history is vividly illustrated. The varied traditions up to this stage cannot be regarded as objective history. It is naturally impossible to treat them from any modern standpoint as fiction; they are honest even where they are most untrustworthy. But the recovery of successive historical nuclei does not furnish a continuous thread, and if one is to be guided by the historical context of events the true background to each nucleus must be sought. The northern kingdom cherished the institution of a monarchy, and in this, as in all great political events, the prophets took part. The precise part these figures play is often idealized and expresses the later views of their prominence. It was only after a bitter experience that the kingship was no longer regarded as a divine gift, and traditions have been revised in order to illustrate the opposition to secular authority. In this and in many other respects the records of the first monarchy have been elaborated and now reveal traces of differing conceptions of the events (see DAN; David; ELI; Samuel; Saul; Solomon). The oldest narratives are not in their original contexts, and they contain features which render it questionable whether a very trustworthy recollection of the period was retained. Although the rise of the Hebrew state, at an age when the great powers were quiescent and when such a people as the Philistines is known to have appeared upon the scene, is entirely intelligible, it is not improbable that legends of Saul and David, the heroic founders of the two kingdoms, have been put in a historical setting with the help of later historical tradition. It is at least necessary to distinguish provisionally between a possibly historical framework and narratives which may be of later growth - between the general outlines which only external evidence can test and details which cannot be tested and appear isolated without any cause or devoid of any effect.

Many attempts have been made to present a satisfactory sketch of the early history and to do justice to (a) the patriarchal narratives, (b ) the exodus from Egypt and the Israelite invasion, and (c ) the rise of the monarchy. As regards (b), external evidence has already suggested to scholars that there were Israelites in Palestine before the invasion; internal historical criticism is against the view that all the tribes entered under Joshua; and in (a) there are traces of an actual settlement in the land, entirely distinct from the cycle of narratives which prepare the way for (b). The various reconstructions and compromises by modern apologetic and critical writers alike involve without exception an extremely free treatment of the biblical sources and the rejection of many important and circumstantial data.' On the one hand, a sweeping invasion of all the tribes of Israel moved by a common zeal may, like the conquests of Islam, have produced permanent results. According to this view the enervating luxury of Palestinian culture almost destroyed the lofty ideal monotheism inculcated in the desert, and after the fall of the northern tribes (latter part of the 8th cent.) Judah is naturally regarded as the sole heir. But such a conquest, and all that it signifies, conflict both with external evidence (e.g. the results of excavation), and with any careful inspection of the narratives themselves. On the other hand, the reconstructions which allow a gradual settlement (perhaps of distinct groups), and an intermingling with the earlier inhabitants, certainly find support in biblical evidence, and they have been ingeniously built up with the help of tribal and other data (e.g. Gen. xxxiv., xxxviii.; Judg. i. ix.). But they imply political, sociological and religious developments which do not do j ustice either to the biblical evidence as a whole or to a comprehensive survey of contemporary conditions.' Thus, one of the important questions is the relation between those who had taken part in the exodus and the invasion and those who had not. This inquiry is further complicated by (c), where the history of Israel and Judah, as related in Judges and I Samuel, has caused endless perplexity. The traditions of the Ephraimite Joshua and of Saul the first king of (north) Israel virtually treat Judah as part of Israel and are related to the underlying representations in (a). But the specific independent Judaean standpoint treats the unification of the two divisions as the work of David who leaves the heritage to Solomon. The varied narratives, now due to Judaean editors, preserve distinct points of view, and it is extremely difficult to unravel the threads and to determine their relative position in the history. Finally, the consciousness that the people as a religious body owed everything to the desert clans (b ) (see § 5) subsequently leaves its mark upon (north) Israelite history (§ 14), but has not the profound significance which it has in the records of Judah and Jerusalem. Without sufficient external and independent evidence wherewith to interpret in the light of history the internal features of the intricate narratives, any reconstruction would naturally be hazardous, and all attempts must invariably be considered in the light of the biblical evidence itself, the date of the Israelite exodus, and the external conditions. Biblical criticism is concerned with a composite (Judaean) history based upon other histories (partly of non-Judaean origin), and the relation between native written sources and external contemporary evidence (monumental and. archaeological) distinctly forbids any haphazard selection from accessible sources. The true nature of this relation can be readily observed in other fields (ancient Britain, Greece, Egypt, &c.), where, however, the native documents and sources have not that complexity which characterizes the composite biblical history. (For the period under review, as it appears in the light of existing external evidence, see Palestine: History.) 9. The Rival Kingdoms. - The Palestine of the Hebrews was but part of a great area breathing the same atmosphere, and there was little to distinguish Judah from Israel except when they were distinct political entities. The history of the two kingdoms is contained in Kings and the later and relatively less trustworthy Chronicles, which deals with Judah alone. In the former a separate history of the northern kingdom has been combined with Judaean history by means of synchronisms in accordance with a definite scheme. The 480 years from the foundation of the temple of Jerusalem back to the date of the exodus (I Kings vi. 1) corresponds to the period forward to the return from the exile (§ co). This falls into three equal divisions, of which the first ends with Jehoash's temple-reforms and the second with Hezekiah's death. The kingdom of Israel lasts exactly half the time.

1 This is especially true of the various ingenious attempts to combine the invasion of the Israelites with the movements of the Habiru in the Amarna period (§ 3).

cf. Winckler, Keil. u. das Alte Test. p. 212 seq.; also his " Der alte Orient and die Geschichtsforschung " in Mitteilungen der Vorderasiat. Gesellschaft (Berlin, 1906) and Religionsgeschichtlicher u. gesch. Orient (Leipzig, 1906); A. Jeremias, Alte Test. (p. 464 seq.); B. Baentsch, Altorient. u. Israel. Monotheismus (pp. 53, 79, 105, &c.); also Theolog. Lit. Blatt (1907) No. 19. On the reconstructions of the tribal history, see especially T. K. Cheyne, Ency. Bib. art. " Tribes." The most suggestive study of the pre-monarchical narratives is that of E. Meyer and B. Luther (above; see the former's criticisms on the reconstructions, pp. 50, 251 sqq., 422, n. I and passim). OLD ] Of the 240 years from Jeroboam I., 80 elapse before the Syrian wars in Ahab's reign, these cover another 80; the famous king Jeroboam II. reigns 40 years, and 40 years of decline bring the kingdom to an end. These figures speak for themselves, and the present chronology can be accepted only where it is independently proved to be trustworthy (see further W. R. Smith, Prophets of Israel, pp. 144-149). Next, the Judaean compiler regularly finds in Israel's troubles the punishment for its schismatic idolatry; nor does he spare Judah, but judges its kings by a standard which agrees with the standpoint of Deuteronomy and is scarcely earlier than the end of the 7th century B.C. (§§ 16, 20). But the history of (north) Israel had naturally its own independent political backgrounds and the literary sources contain the same internal features as the annals and prophetic narratives which are already met with in 1 Samuel. Similarly the thread of the Judaean annals in Kings is also found in 2 Samuel, although the supplementary narratives in Kings are not so rich or varied as the more popular records in the preceding books. The striking differences between Samuel and Kings are due to differences in the writing of the history; independent Israelite records having been incorporated with those of Judah and supplemented (with revision) from the Judaean standpoint (see Chronicles; Kings; Samuel).

The Judaean compiler, with his history of the two kingdoms, looks back upon the time when each laid the foundation of its subsequent fortunes. His small kingdom of Judah enjoyed an unbroken dynasty which survived the most serious crises, a temple which grew in splendour and wealth under royal patronage, and a legitimate priesthood which owed its origin to Zadok, the successful rival of David's priest Abiathar. Israel, on the other hand, had signed its death-warrant by the institution of calf-cult, a cult which, however, was scarcely recognized as contrary to the worship of Yahweh before the denunciations of Hosea. The scantiness of political information and the distinctive arrangement of material preclude the attempt to trace the relative position of the two rivals. Judah had natural connexions with Edom and southern Palestine; Israel was more closely associated with Gilead and the Aramaeans of the north. That Israel was the stronger may be suggested by the acquiescence of Judah in the new situation. A diversion was caused by Shishak's invasion, but of this reappearance of Egypt after nearly three centuries of inactivity little is preserved in biblical history. Only the Temple records recall the spoliation of the sanctuary of Jerusalem, and traditions of Jeroboam I. show that Shishak's prominence was well known.' Although both kingdoms suffered, common misfortune did not throw them together. On the contrary, the statement that there was continual warfare is supplemented in Chronicles by the story of a victory over Israel by Abijah the son of Rehoboam. Jeroboam's son Nadab perished in a conspiracy whilst besieging the Philistine city of Gibbethon, and Baasha of (north) Israel seized the throne. His reign is noteworthy for the entrance of Damascus into Palestinian politics. Its natural fertility and its commanding position at the meeting-place of trade-routes from every quarter made it a dominant factor until its overthrow. In the absence of its native records its relations with Palestine are not always clear, but it may be supposed that amid varying political changes it was able to play a double game. According to the annals, incessant war prevailed between Baasha and Abijah's successor, Asa. It is understood that the former was in league with Damascus, which had once been hostile to Solomon (i Kings xi. 24 seq.) - it is not stated upon whom Asa could rely. However, Baasha at length seized Ramah about five miles north of Jerusalem, and the very existence of Judah was threatened. Asa utilized the treasure of the Temple and palace to induce the Syrians to break off their relations with Baasha. These sent troops to harry north Israel, and Baasha was compelled to retire. Asa, it is evident, was too weak to achieve the remarkable victory ascribed to him in 2 Chron. xiv. (see ASA). As for Baasha, his ' 2 Chron. xii. 8, which is independent of the chronicler's artificial treatment of his material, apparently points to some tradition of Egyptian suzerainty.

short-lived dynasty resembles that of his predecessors. His son Elah had reigned only two years (like Ishbaal and Nadab) when he was slain in the midst of a drunken carousal by his captain Zimri. Meanwhile the Israelite army was again besieging the Philistines at Gibbethon, and the recurrence of these conflicts points to a critical situation in a Danite locality in which Judah itself (although ignored by the writers), must have been vitally concerned. The army preferred their general Omri, and marching upon Zimri at Tirzah. burnt the palace over his head. A fresh rival immediately appeared, the otherwise unknown Tibni, son of Ginath. Israel was divided into two camps, until, on the death of Tibni and his brother Joram, Omri became sole king (c. 887 B.C.). The scanty details of these important events must naturally be contrasted with the comparatively full accounts of earlier Philistine wars and internal conflicts in narratives which date from this or even a later age.

10. the Dynasty of Omri. - Omri (q.v.), the founder of one of the greatest dynasties of Israel, was contemporary with the revival of Tyre under Ithobaal, and the relationship between the states is seen in the marriage of Omri's son Ahab to Jezebel, the priest-king's daughter. His most notable recorded achievement was the subjugation of Moab and the seizure of part of its territory. The discovery of the inscription of a later king of Moab (q.v.) has proved that the east-Jordanic tribes were no uncivilized or barbaric folk; material wealth, a considerable religious and political organization, and the cultivation of letters (as exemplified in the style of the inscription) portray conditions which allow us to form some conception of life in Israel itself. Moreover, Judah (now under Jehoshaphat) enjoyed intimate relations with Israel during Omri's dynasty, and the traditions of intermarriage, and of co-operation in commerce and war, imply what was practically a united Palestine. Alliance with Phoenicia gave the impulse to extended intercourse; trading expeditions were undertaken from the Gulf of Akaba, and Ahab built himself a palace decorated with ivory. The cult of the Baal of Tyre followed Jezebel to the royal city Samaria and even found its way into Jerusalem. This, the natural result of matrimonial and political alliance, already met with under Solomon, receives the usual denunciation. The conflict between Yahweh and Baal and the defeat of the latter are the characteristic notes of the religious history of the period, and they leave their impression upon the records, which are now more abundant. Although little is preserved of Omri's history, the fact that the northern kingdom long continued to be called by the Assyrians after his name is a significant indication of his great reputation. Assyria2 was now making itself felt in the west for the first time since the days of Tiglath-Pileser I. ( c. I loo B.C.), and external sources come to our aid. Assur-nazir-pal III. had exacted tribute from north Syria ( c. 870 B.C.), and his successor Shalmaneser II., in the course of a series of expeditions, succeeded in gaining the greater part of that land. A defensive coalition was formed in which the kings of Cilicia, Hamath, the Phoenician coast, Damascus and Ammon, the Arabs of the Syrian desert, and " Ahabbu Sinai " were concerned. In the last, we must recognize the Israelite Ahab. His own contribution of io,000 men and 12,000 chariots perhaps included levies from Judah and Moab (cf. for the number i Kings x. 26). In 854 the allies at least maintained themselves at the battle of Karkar (perhaps Apamea to the north of Hamath). In 849 and 846 other indecisive battles were fought, but the precise constitution of the coalition is not recorded. In 842 Shalmaneser records a campaign against Hazael of Damascus; no coalition is mentioned, although a battle was fought at Sanir (Hermon, Deut. iii. 9), and the cities of Hauran to the south of Damascus were spoiled. Tribute was received from Tyre and Sidon; and Jehu, who was now king of Israel, sent his gifts of gold, silver, &c., to the conqueror. The Assyrian inscription (the so-called " Black Obelisk " now in the British Museum), which records the submission of the petty kings, gives an interesting representation of the humble Israelite emissaries with their long fringed robes and strongly marked physiognomy (see Costume, fig. 9). Yet another expedition in 839 would seem to 2 See for chronology, Babylonia And Assyria, §§ v. and viii.

[OLD Testament History show that Damascus was neither crushed nor helpless, but thenceforth for a number of years Assyria was fully occupied elsewhere and the west was left to itself. The value of this external evidence for the history of Israel is enhanced by the fact that biblical tradition associates the changes in the thrones of Israel and Damascus with the work of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, but handles the period without a single reference to the Assyrian Empire. Ahab, it seems, had aroused popular resentment by encroaching upon the rights of the people to their landed possessions; had it not been for Jezebel (q.v.) the tragedy of Naboth would not have occurred. The worship of Baal of Tyre roused a small circle of zealots, and again the Phoenician marriage was the cause of the evil. We read the history from the point of view of prophets. Elijah of Gilead led the revolt. To one who favoured simplicity of cult the new worship was a desecration of Yahweh, and, braving the anger of the king and queen, he foreshadowed their fate. Hostility towards the dynasty culminated a few years later in a conspiracy which placed on the throne the general Jehu, the son of one Jehoshaphat (or, otherwise, of Nimshi). The work which Elijah began was completed by Elisha, who supported Jehu and the new dynasty. A massacre ensued in which the royal families of Israel and Judah perished. While the extirpation of the cult of Baal was furthered in Israel by Jonadab the Rechabite, it was the " people of the land " who undertook a similar reform in Judah. Jehu (q.v.) became king as the champion of the purer worship of Yahweh. The descendants of the detested Phoenician marriage were rooted out, and unless the close intercourse between Israel and Judah had been suddenly broken, it would be supposed that the new king at least laid claim to the south. The events form one of the fundamental problems of biblical history.

1 1. Damascus, Israel and Judah. - The appearance of Assyria in the Mediterranean coast-lands had produced the results which inevitably follow when a great empire comes into contact with minor states. It awakened fresh possibilities - successful combination against a common foe, the sinking of petty rivalries, the chance of gaining favour by a neutrality which was scarcely benevolent. The alliances, counter-alliances and far-reaching political combinations which spring up at every a

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Jews'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
Search for…
Enter query in the box:
Choose a letter to browse:
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M 
N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  Y  Z 

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology