Important New Book
- Dear List,
I have been wanting to make this post since November, but the busyness of the end of the semester and the holidays put me so far behind that I was unable to accomplish many things on my "to do list" until now.
While I was at JBL, I picked up a new book that was literally hot off of the press. In fact, it is(/was) so new (then) that the introduction is dated 11 Sept 2008. The book is entitled "Critical Issues in Early Israelite History", and it was edited by Hess, Klingbeil, and Paul Ray Jr. (Eisenbrauns, 2008).
I am reading and working on a review of the book at the moment. For all who have interest in ancient Isrealite history, ANE archaeology, and the topography of the southern Levant, this book is a must read. While there are a number of important articles, the most impressive that I have read yet is "The Search for Joshua's Ai", by Bryant Wood.
It is about this article that I want to comment in the present posting. This is probably the most important writing yet composed on the theme of the Ai of the book of Joshua. One of the most important accomplishments of the article is that it thoroughly debunks and exposes the lost-standing conclusion among most historians and archaeologists that the Ai of Joshua 7-8 is to be associated with et-Tell.
If this popular association were not taken so seriously and argued so vehemently throughout the course of the last 85 years or so, it would be utterly laughable. But because of its widespread acceptance, there is no place left for the deserved humor of it. Wood's article forever dispels this terrible lack of sound scholarship, which Albright popularized almost a century ago.
The article--which interacts with the issues on the level of biblical, archaeological, and topographical evidence--then goes on to argue for the following conclusions:
Ai ≠ et Tell
Bethel ≠ Beitin
Bethel = el-Bira/Bireh
Ai = Khirbet el-Maqatir
Beth Aven = Beitin
From here, I will let the article speak for itself. In the spirit of Niels Lemche, further interaction on this topic need not take place until the literature is read. As for the book itself, it is worth noting that the views and perspectives of the authors are quite wide-ranging and diverse.
With warm wishes,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Josh. 5:12 states quite clearly that the manna stopped falling after the Israelites crossed the Jordan. Don't know about the quails...
Amihai Mazar has published papers about the Iron Age beehives from Tel Rehov in Antiquity 317 (2008) and in Qadmoniot 136 (2008) in Hebrew.
While I have not seen the book under discussion, I have read Wood's proposal elsewhere, and found it unvonvincing from a geographical point of view. Moving Bethel from Beitin to el-Bireh needs more proof than that.
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter T. Daniels
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:28 PM
Subject: Re: SV: [ANE-2] Important New Book
? Did the quail and manna continue for years and years after the death of Moses and they crossed over into the Promised Land? Did Joshua get to hold out his staff and tell the rocks to give water? What about the Milk and Honey? (We had a talk at Columbia a few months ago from Mazar, who found an apiary for 3 million bees at a site whose name I don't remember ...)--
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
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- Happy New Year all! Certainly 2009 could not be worse than 2008!
The most important argument for the identification of Beitin with
Bethel -one used by Anson Rainey- is the possible transformation of
the name - changing the final "l" to "n". Jezreel is a case in
point. However, I suggest there is another possiblity for Beitin and
that is "Pirathon".
There are several reasons why Pirathon should be in this area. The
traditional site near Elmatten -west of Mt Gerizim - is not in the
Mount Ephraim region and Pirathon was located in the mountain region
of Ephraim (Judges 12:15). Nadav Na'aman suggests a region along the
western side of Ephraim near the Sharon Plain. However, that does
not make sense. 1 Macc. 9: 50 claims Bacchides "built strong cities
in Judea" including Bethel and Pharathon. All these locations seem
to be along the northern border of Judea from Jericho in the east to
Emmaus and Beth-horon in the west. The region suggested by Naaman was
not in Judea at the time.
The list of Davidic heroes (2 Sam 23: 24-39) names many places in
Judea. Among them is Benaiah of Pirathon. If Pirathon is well to
the north and/or west of Beitin, then this person is the only one
from Samaria or the Mountain region of Ephraim. However, if Pirathon
is near or on the northern border regionb of Judea, then he fits the
pattern and all the names are from Judea and the southern regions.
how difficult would it be to transform the name from Pirathon or
Pharathon to Beitin? pirathon must be somewhere in the Beitin-Ophrah
>biblical, archaeological, and topographical evidence--then goes on to
> The article--which interacts with the issues on the level of
argue for the following conclusions:
>of Niels Lemche, further interaction on this topic need not take
> Ai â et Tell
> Bethel â Beitin
> Bethel = el-Bira/Bireh
> Ai = Khirbet el-Maqatir
> Beth Aven = Beitin
> From here, I will let the article speak for itself. In the spirit
place until the literature is read. As for the book itself, it is
worth noting that the views and perspectives of the authors are quite
wide-ranging and diverse.
> With warm wishes,
> Doug Petrovich
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]