Israel Finkelstein

A Corpus of North Israelite Texts in the Days of Jeroboam II?

Jahrgang 6 () / Heft 3, S. 262-289 (28)

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In this article, I suggest that Jeroboam II assembled Northern origin, royal and heroic oral traditions and committed them to writing. I refer to the Jacob and Exodus tales; Saul, Jeroboam I and Jehu narratives (possibly embedded in a Northern History); savior stories in Judges; and perhaps Northern conquest traditions. Jeroboam II reigned at the peak of the Northern kingdom's prosperity territorially, demographically, economically and culturally. In his time, the scribal infrastructure necessary for composing literary texts already existed in Israel. The proposed Jeroboam II corpus dealt with the issue of identity and core territory of Israel and expressed early pan-Israelite (»United Monarchy«) views. It arrived in Judah after 720 B.C.E. and became the basis for biblical historiography, including the later Judahite use of »history« to promote ideology related to matters of identity and territory.

Israel Finkelstein Born 1949; Director of excavation at key biblical sites such as Megiddo, Shiloh and Kiriath-jearim; Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University.