Kingdom of Israel (Samaria)
Some scholars (most notably Israel Finkelstein
) have challenged the biblical account that the northern kingdom of Israel broke off from a united monarchy with the southern kingdom of Judah, suggesting instead that the northern Kingdom of Israel developed independently of Judah, and that it first reached the political, economic, military and architectural sophistication of a kingdom under the Omride dynasty
around 884 BCE.:169–195
However, this opinion is rejected by other scholars (most notably William G. Dever
and Amihai Mazar
), who believe that the biblical account on the formation of the two kingdoms is to be considered as accurate, although with embellishments and exaggerations.
In the Hebrew Bible
, the Kingdom of Israel has been referred to as the "House of Joseph
It is also frequently referenced (particularly in poetry) as Ephraim
, the tribe whose territory housed the capital cities and the royal families. It has also been referred to as "Israel in Samaria".
According to the Hebrew Bible, the territory of the Kingdom of Israel comprised the territories of the tribes of Zebulun
, and cities under the supervision of the Levites
. Its capital was Samaria
according to the Book of Isaiah
The United Kingdom of Israel and Judah
is said to have existed from about 1030 to about 930 BCE. It was a union of all the twelve Israelite
tribes living in the area that presently approximates modern Israel
and the other Levantine territories, including much of western Jordan, and western Syria.
After the death of Solomon
in about 931 BCE, most of the Israelite tribes (ten Northern tribes) except for Judah
refused to accept Rehoboam
, the son and successor of Solomon, as their king.
The rebellion against Rehoboam arose after he refused to lighten the burden of taxation
and services that his father had imposed on his subjects.
Early kings and Omride dynasty
The tribute of Northern Kingdom King "Jehu
of the people of the land of Omri
: 𒅀𒌑𒀀 𒈥 𒄷𒌝𒊑𒄿) as depicted on the Black Obelisk
of Shalmaneser III
, 841-840 BCE.
This is "the only portrayal we have in ancient Near Eastern art of an Israelite or Judaean monarch".
Part of the gift-bearing Jewish delegation of King Jehu, Black Obelisk
, 841-840 BCE.
Today, among archaeologists, Samaria is one of the most universally accepted archaeological sites from the biblical period
At around 850 BCE, the Mesha Stele
, written in Old Hebrew alphabet
, records a victory of King Mesha
of Moab against king Omri
of Israel and his son Ahab
Relations between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah
According to the Bible, for the first sixty years, the kings of Judah tried to re-establish their authority over the northern kingdom, and there was perpetual war between them. For the following eighty years, there was no open war between them, and, for the most part, they were in friendly alliance, co-operating against their common enemies, especially against Damascus
The conflict between Israel and Judah was resolved when Jehoshaphat
, King of Judah, allied himself with the house of Ahab
through marriage. Later, Jehosophat's son and successor, Jehoram of Judah
, married Ahab's daughter Athaliah
, cementing the alliance. However, the sons of Ahab were slaughtered by Jehu
following his coup d'état
around 840 BCE.
Destruction of the kingdom
In c. 732 BCE, Pekah
of Israel, while allied with Rezin
, king of Aram
, threatened Jerusalem
, king of Judah
, appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III
, the king of Assyria
, for help. After Ahaz paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser
Tiglath-Pileser sacked Damascus and Israel, annexing Aram
and territory of the tribes of Reuben
in Gilead including the desert outposts of Jetur
. People from these tribes including the Reubenite leader, were taken captive and resettled in the region of the Khabur River
system. Tiglath-Pilesar also captured the territory of Naphtali
and the city of Janoah
and an Assyrian governor was placed over the region of Naphtali. According to 2 Kings 16:9
, the population of Aram and the annexed part of Israel was deported to Assyria.
The remainder of the northern kingdom of Israel continued to exist within the reduced territory as an independent kingdom until around 720 BCE, when it was again invaded by Assyria
and the rest of the population deported. During the three-year siege of Samaria
in the territory of Ephraim by the Assyrians, Shalmaneser V
died and was succeeded by Sargon II
, who himself records the capture of that city thus: "Samaria I looked at, I captured; 27,280 men who dwelt in it I carried away" into Assyria. Thus, around 720 BCE, after two centuries, the kingdom of the ten tribes came to an end. Some of the Israelite captives were resettled in the Khabur region, and the rest in the land of the Medes
, thus establishing Hebrew communities in Ecbatana
. The Book of Tobit
additionally records that Sargon had taken other captives from the northern kingdom to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, in particular Tobit from the town of Thisbe in Naphtali.
The Samaritan version to the events claims that actually much of the population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel remained in place upon the Exile, including the Tribes of Naphtali, Menasseh, Benjamin and Levi - being the progenitors of the Samaritans
. In their book The Bible Unearthed
, authors Israel Finkelstein
and Neil Asher Silberman
estimate that only a fifth of the population (about 40,000) were actually resettled out of the area during the two deportation periods under Tiglath-Pileser III
and Sargon II
Many of the Northern Tribes also fled south to Jerusalem, which appears to have expanded in size five-fold during this period, requiring a new wall to be built, and a new source of water Siloam
to be provided by King Hezekiah
Medieval Rabbinic fable
In medieval Rabbinic fable, the concept of the ten tribes who were taken away from the House of David (who continued the rule of the southern kingdom of Judah), becomes confounded with accounts of the Assyrian deportations leading to the myth of the "Ten Lost Tribes".
No known non-Biblical record exists of the Assyrians having exiled people from Dan
or western Manasseh. Descriptions of the deportation of people from Reuben
, Ephraim and Naphtali indicate that only a portion of these tribes were deported and the places to which they were deported are known locations given in the accounts. The deported communities are mentioned as still existing at the time of the composition of the Books of Kings
and did not disappear by assimilation. 2 Chronicles 30:1–18
explicitly mentions northern Israelites who had been spared by the Assyrians, in particular people of Ephraim, Manasseh, Asher, Issachar and Zebulun, and how members of the latter three returned to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah
The genealogy of the kings of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judea, the Kingdom of Israel and the kings of the Kingdom of Judah. Most historians follow either of the older chronologies established by William F. Albright
or Edwin R. Thiele
, or the newer chronologies of Gershon Galil
and Kenneth Kitchen
, all of which are shown below. All dates are BC
The Northern Kingdom had 19 kings across 9 different dynasties throughout its 208 years of existence.
The religious climate of the Kingdom of Israel appears to have followed two major trends. The first, that of worship of Yahweh
, and the second that of worship of Baal
as detailed in the Hebrew Bible
(1 Kings 16:31
) and in the Baal cycle
discovered at Ugarit
According to the Hebrew Bible Jeroboam
built two places of worship, one at Bethel and one at far northern Dan, as alternatives to the Temple in Jerusalem
(1 Kings 12:29
) He did not want the people of his kingdom to have religious ties to Jerusalem
, the capital city of the rival Kingdom of Judah
. He erected golden bulls at the entrance to the Temples to represent the national god
The Hebrew Bible, written from the perspective of scribes in Jerusalem, referred to these acts as the way of Jeroboam or the errors of Jeroboam.
(1 Kings 12:26–29
The Bible states that Ahab
allowed the cult worship of Baal
to become an acceptable religion of the kingdom. His wife Jezebel
was a devotee to Baal worship. (1 Kings 16:31
List of proposed Assyrian references to Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) This section is missing information
about Archaeological findings and/or evidence. Please expand the section to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page
The table below lists all the historical references to the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) in Assyrian records.
's name takes the Assyrian shape of "Humri", his kingdom or dynasty that of Bit Humri or alike - the "House of Humri/Omri".
- ^ a b Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2002) The Bible Unearthed : Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-86912-8
- ^ Kuhrt, Amiele (1995). The Ancient Near East. Routledge. p. 438. ISBN 978-0-41516-762-8.
- ^ Dever, William G. (10 May 2001). What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archeology Can Tell Us About the Reality of Ancient Israel. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8028-2126-3.
- ^ Garfinkel, Yosef; Ganor, Saar (7 June 2018). In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City. Thames and Hudson Limited. ISBN 978-0-500-77420-5.
- ^ Mazar, Amihai. "Archaeology and the Biblical Narrative: The Case of the United Monarchy". Archaeological and Biblical Perspectives.
- ^ *Zechariah 10:6
- ^ *II Samuel 2:10
- ^ 1 Kings 22:51 and many subsequent passages
- ^ 1 Kings 12:17–22
- ^ 1 Kings 12:4, 1 Kings 12:14
- ^ 1 Kings 12:2–3
- ^ 2Samuel 20:1
- ^ 1 Kings 12:1–18
- ^ 2 Chronicles 10
- ^ Kuan, Jeffrey Kah-Jin (2016). Neo-Assyrian Historical Inscriptions and Syria-Palestine: Israelite/Judean-Tyrian-Damascene Political and Commercial Relations in the Ninth-Eighth Centuries BCE. Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 64–66. ISBN 978-1-4982-8143-0.
- ^ Cohen, Ada; Kangas, Steven E. (2010). Assyrian Reliefs from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II: A Cultural Biography. UPNE. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-58465-817-7.
- ^ Delitzsch, Friedrich; McCormack, Joseph; Carruth, William Herbert; Robinson, Lydia Gillingham (1906). Babel and Bible;. Chicago, The Open court publishing company. p. 78.
- ^ 1 Kings 12:25
- ^ 1 Kings 14:17
- ^ See Yohanan Aharoni, et al. (1993) The Macmillan Bible Atlas, p. 94, Macmillan Publishing: New York; and Amihai Mazar (1992) The Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000 – 586 B.C.E, p. 404, New York: Doubleday, see pp. 406-410 for discussion of archaeological significance of Shomron (Samaria) under Omride Dynasty.
- ^ 2 Kings 3
- ^ 2 Kings 16:7–9
- ^ Lester L. Grabbe (2007). Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?. New York: T&T Clark. p. 134. ISBN 978-05-67-11012-1.
- ^ Considered to be a contemporary of the Assyrian King Shalmaneser III (858–824 BC) to whom he paid tribute. This is based on an inscription on The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III showing "Yaua" son of Omri paying tribute, dated to 841 BCE.
- ^ Paid tribute to the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V (727–722 BCE) but rebelled in 725 BCE. Shalmaneser besieged the capital, Samaria, but died shortly before the fall of the city. His brother Sargon II (722–705 BCE) completed the siege with success in 722. Some of the population of the Northern Kingdom was exiled to other parts of the Assyrian Empire and new population groups were resettled in the new Assyrian province of Samaria. A small group of people fled south to take refuge in Judah.
- ^ Jonathan S. Greer (2015) "The Sanctuaries at Dan and Bethel"
- ^ a b "Israelite Temple", Tel Dan Excavations
- ^ Kelle, Brad (2002), "What's in a Name? Neo-Assyrian Designations for the Northern Kingdom and Their Implications for Israelite History and Biblical Interpretation", Journal of Biblical Literature, 121 (4): 639–666, doi:10.2307/3268575, JSTOR 3268575
Last edited on 13 May 2021, at 12:55
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