"By focusing on the forms of religious expression which the sixth-century prophets condemn, we can begin to apprehend the diversity which characterized exilic religion. Moreover, by recognizing the polemical nature of the prophetic critiques and by resolving to read these critiques without prophetic prejudice and instead with a non-judgmental eye, we can place ourselves in a position to re-evaluate the traditional descriptions of the sixth-century cult. Our task, then, is to read anew; our aim is to judge afresh. With this goal in mind, we turn our attention to the major prophetic texts which will comprise our study: Jeremiah 7 and 44, Ezekiel 8, Isaiah 57, and Isaiah 65." - From the Introduction
Using the focal points of temples and their roles in the diagnoses of illnesses and subsequent provision of health care, Hector Avalos breaks new ground in this unique and insightful study on medical care in the ancient world.
Mary Buck takes a new approach to the field of Amorite studies by considering whether the site of Ugarit shares close parallels with other sites and cultures known from the Bronze Age Levant. When viewed in conjunction, the archaeological and linguistic material uncovered in this study serves to enhance our understanding of the historical complexity and diversity of the Middle Bronze Age period of international relations at the site of Ugarit. With a deft hand, Dr. Buck pursues a nuanced view of populations in the Bronze Age Levant, with the objective of understanding the ancient polity of Ugarit as a kin-based culture that shares close ties with the Amorite populations of the Levant.
As the first comprehensive study of fortification systems and defensive strategies in the Levant during the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1900 to 1500 B.C.E.), Walled up to Heaven is an indispensable contribution to the study of this period and of early warfare in the ancient Near East. Although archaeologists and ancient historians alike have discussed a variety of theories regarding the origin and cultural significance of the construction of earthen ramparts during the Middle Bronze Age, only this work addresses these questions in detail. In a tour de force, Burke traces the diachronic evolution and geographic distribution of the architectural features and settlement strategies connected with the emergence of Middle Bronze Age defenses in the Levant. By synthesizing historical and archaeological data from Mesopotamia and Egypt as well as the Levant, he reveals the interconnectedness of the Near Eastern world during the first half of the second millennium to an extent not recently considered. The result is a detailed employment of cognitive, social, and dirt archaeology to reconstruct the political, social, military, and cultural implications of the construction of monumental defenses and the development of defensive networks during the period of Amorite hegemony in the Levant.
Aaron Burke is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California at Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2004.
Recognizing gendered metaphors as literary and ideological tools that biblical and Assyrian authors used in the representation of warfare and its aftermath, this study compares the gendered literary complexes that authors on both sides of the Israelite-Assyrian encounter developed in order to claim victory. The study begins by identifying and tracing historically the presentation of royal masculinity in Assyrian royal texts and reliefs dating from the 9th through 7th centuries bce. Central to this analysis is the Assyrian representation of warfare as a masculine contest in which the enemy male is discredited as a rival through feminization.
The second part of the study focuses on the biblical authors' responses to the Assyrian incursion and demonstrates that the dominant metaphorical complex for recording and remembering Israel and Judah's military encounters with Assyria was that of Jerusalem as a woman. This section, therefore, traces the evolving canonical biography of Jerusalem-the-Woman as her life story is told and remembered in relationship to Assyria.
In the final section of the book, the contest of royal masculinity described in royal Assyrian texts informs the reading of the redactional history of Judah's memory of Assyria, and the insights gained from the study of a feminized Jerusalem are applied to a rereading of the siege scenes of the Assyrian palace reliefs.
Innovative in its use of gendered language as the basis for historical comparison of biblical and Assyrian texts, this book is the first to offer a comprehensive methodology for defining and assessing the impact of gendered language within texts of historically linked cultures. This book also advances the discussion of what has been called "inner-biblical exegesis" by offering gendered metaphors as a lens through which to trace the evolution of Judean social memory within the biblical text.
Cynthia R. Chapman is a Professor of Religious Studies at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH.
The city of Emar, modern Tell Meskene in Syria, is one of the most important sites of the western ancient Near East during the Late Bronze Age that have yielded cuneiform tablets. The discovery of more than one thousand tablets and tablet fragments assures Emar's position, along with Bogazkoy-Hattusa and Ras-Shamra-Ugarit, as a major scribal center. Ephemeral documents such as wills or sale contracts, texts about rituals and cultic festivals, school texts and student exercises, and inscribed seals and their impressions enable reconstruction of the Emar scribal school institution and provide materials for investigation into the lives of more than fifty scribes whose works were found in the city. The aim of this book is to place Emar's scribal school institution within its social and historical context, to observe the participation of its teachers and students in the study of the school curriculum, to investigate the role of the scribes in the daily life of the city (in particular within the administration), and to evaluate the school's and its members' position within the network of similar institutions throughout the ancient Near East.
This monograph is a corpus-based description of the modal system of epistolary Old Babylonian, one of the best attested Akkadian dialects, using the European structural method. The study strives to match a concrete exponent (i.e., an array of formal features, morphological and syntactic) with a semantic value, in using syntactic criteria. The book treats:
1. the asseverative paradigm (used for insistence, concession and oath), explaining the syntactic mechanism behind these forms;
2. the various precative-based paradigms in various syntactic conditions: the directive group, the wish group and the interrogative group;
3. the same forms occurring in special syntactic patterns-the sequential precative and the concessive-conditional precative;
4. the paratactic conditional; and
5. the modal nominal syntagm ša para:sim.
Together with this description, some additional problems are addressed for which solutions are developed: the focus system of Old Babylonian; the general linguistic issue of "emphatic assertion" (using an English corpus); and a way to describe the syntactic nature of paratactic conditional structures.
The beginning of the Middle Bronze Age (MB IIA) in Canaan (ca. 1950-1740 B.C.E.) set the stage for many of the cultural, political, and economic institutions that shaped the ancient Near East. Particular theoretical models for the analysis of complex societies are used in this study to examine textual, pictorial, and archaeological evidence relating to the nature and organization of MB IIA Canaan. The written and pictorial evidence pertaining to Egyptian-Canaanite contact indicates a fluid relationship that changed over time in response to changing social, political, and economic developments in both cultures. As a result, Egyptian policy toward Canaan was multifaceted, including approaches ranging from the use of military force to magical rites. The analysis of MB IIA site-distribution indicates that Canaanite settlement first developed in areas on the coast most conducive to agricultural growth. It then progressed according to a dendritic pattern of organization along the east-west wadi systems into the interior in response to a growing demand for resources and raw materials, fueled in part by contact with Egypt and the international world of the eastern Mediterranean. Chronological correlations between the Canaanite settlement systems and Middle Kingdom Egypt also indicate that the beginning of the MB IIA in Canaan dates well into the Middle Kingdom, rather than being contemporary with its beginnings, as previously understood. Findings concerning the Canaanite-Egyptian relationship, Canaanite site-distribution, and chronological connections between these two regions all illustrate the development of Canaan from a society in the first stages of urbanization to a fully urbanized one, setting the stage for the rise of the Hyksos to power in Egypt.
This study offers a synchronic and diachronic account of the Biblical Hebrew verbal tense system during the Second Temple period, based on the books of Esther, Daniel, and Ezra and Nehemiah, along with the non-synoptic parts of Chronicles. In analyzing the development of this system, Cohen discerns the changes that mark the transition from the classical era to the Second Temple period.
The book is divided into two main parts: a survey of previous research along with the methodology of the present study; and a descriptive analysis of the verbal system in late biblical prose literature. In the first section, the author discusses the eclectic nature of the biblical corpus, including the ramifications of this heterogeneity on linguistic efforts to formulate a synchronic structural account of its texts. Moreover, he surveys the principal linguistic concepts of tense, aspect, and mood, and the verbal paradigm’s complex nature. The second part of the book offers a synchronic account of the Second Temple period verbal system. It features a categorical breakdown and analysis of all the verb forms in the corpus’s prose texts. The author examines the reasons behind these changes by dint of a diachronic comparison with other strata of the Hebrew language—namely, biblical texts of the First Temple period, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the language of the Sages.
This book will be widely welcomed by students and scholars of Biblical Hebrew, Comparative Semitics, and linguistics.
The first full-length treatment of the biblical "primal human" traditions in their ancient Israelite setting, this book provides historical-critical analyses of the relevant biblical traditions, sensitive both to the present literary context of the traditions and to their roots in the ancient Near East. The study focuses on Genesis 1-3, Ezekiel 28:1-10 and 11-19, Job 15:7-16, and Proverbs 8:22-31, to reveal the ways various tradents used these intermediary divine-human figures and to examine the underlying social significance shared by such traditions in the cultural milieu of ancient Israel.
This study focuses on the four passages in the Hebrew Bible (Numbers 22:22-35, Zechariah 3:1-7, Job 1-2, and 1 Chronicles 21:1-22:1) which use the noun "satan" to refer to a heavenly being. Dr. Day analyzes the etymology and meaning of the noun in detail and then proceeds to examine its specific usage in these passages.
This volume is the final report of excavations carried out in the Hebron hills and the Negev desert in 1967-1980 on behalf of Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and the University of Arizona. They were pioneering, multidisciplinary projects that helped to illuminate what was then a poorly known “Dark Age” in the cultural history of ancient Palestine, a nonurban interlude of pastoral nomadic movements over several centuries (ca. 2400–2000 B.C.E.) between the great urban civilizations of the early Bronze Ages. Eighteen appendixes by specialists in many disciplines analyze all aspects of material culture and human and animal remains. A history of previous scholarship and a synthesis of the EB IV period in both Israel and Jordan conclude the volume, which will be a landmark study for many years.
William G. Dever, who began EB IV studies with his Harvard doctoral dissertation in 1966, is Distinguished Professor of Archaeology at Lycoming College and Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology Emeritus at the University of Arizona. He is also an adjunct Professor of Archaeology at Pennsylvania State University.