A History of Ancient Israel and Judah by John H. HayesA readable and comprehensive history of both the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and the United Monarchy under Saul, David and Solomon, based on Biblical, epigraphic and archaeological sources. The authors, both professors at Emory U., are careful not to go beyond the proven, and where there are conflicts, anachronisms or problems with the source material, they point them out. The latest theories and trends in Biblical Archaeology are brought into play, even though Miller and Hayes occasionally disagree with the conclusions, the reader is made aware of the possibilities. Israel and Judah (given that there is very little actual evidence for the Kingdom of Saul, or the huge Davidic empire as described in the Bible) were the Jews first experiment in independent national life and, given that the ancient Fertile Crescent was a very rough neighborhood, we didnt do so badly, all things considered. If you have an interest in the history of the Land of Israel in the Iron Age, this book is a fine place to begin, or even to continue.
Ancient Israel: Israel and Judah: The Period of Two Kingdoms
The experiment with the opulence and power of the great eastern kingdoms had ended in disaster for Israel. King Solomon created the wealthiest and most powerful central government the Hebrews would ever see, but he did so at an impossibly high cost. Land was given away to pay for his extravagances and people were sent into forced labor into Tyre in the north.
John H. Hayes
When Will Israel and Judah Be Reunited?
When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam c. Rehoboam then traveled north to Shechem to lay his claim to the throne of Israel as well. According to 1 Kings , Solomon imposed corvee , or conscript labor, only on the foreign, non-Israelite population, while the Israelites involved in his work projects served as overseers and officers 1 Kings Solomon placed him in charge of the corvee labor of the House of Joseph—that is, the conscript labor battalions of the territories of the half-tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh 1 Kings E , seems to have made common cause with Israel and Judah against the Philistines. According to the account in I Kings 12, he exercised a leadership role in the parley at Shechem. As already noted, Rehoboam might have been able to win over the northern tribal leaders if he had dealt with them respectfully and assured them less oppressive treatment.
Israel as a cultural entity is first mentioned in the stele of the Egyptian pharaoh Merenptah r. The reference seems to be to a people, not a kingdom, but no scholarly consensus has been reached on a final meaning nor even why Israel should be mentioned on a stele which celebrates an Egyptian victory over the Libyans unless the Israelites were part of the coalition known as the Sea Peoples , which is improbable. As scholars J. Maxwell Miller and John H. Hayes note:. Roughly two thousand years of recorded history and impressive cultural achievements preceded the beginnings of Israelite and Judean history. This earlier span of time witnessed major literary, technological, and scientific developments, particularly in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
On the succession of Solomon's son, Rehoboam , around BCE, the biblical account reports that the country split into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel including the cities of Shechem and Samaria in the north and the Kingdom of Judah containing Jerusalem in the south. In contemporary scholarship the united monarchy is generally held to be a literary construction and not a historical reality, pointing to the lack of archaeological evidence.
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(c.920 BCE - 597 BCE)
He spoke severely to the people. A large part of the Israelite kingdom then rose up against Rehoboam. Ten of the Israelite tribes separated from Rehoboam, chose for themselves Jeroboam, from the tribe of Ephraim, as King and made up a special kingdom which began to be called Israel. Two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, remained with Rehoboam and formed the Judean kingdom. The Israelites from this kingdom began to be called Jews. In this way the Kingdom of Israel was divided into two: Judah and Israel.
After the death of King Solomon of Israel, the 12 tribes of Israel divided into two kingdoms, and this has had a major effect on biblical history. And the split between Israel and Judah is a major theme in Bible prophecy as well. The 12 tribes of Israel descended from the patriarch Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God. One of the prominent tribes throughout the years was Judah. All 12 tribes of Israel were united under the leadership of Moses and Joshua, but the history during the time of the judges was more complicated.
After the Exodus and before the division of the Hebrew people into two kingdoms was a period known as the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. After the Exodus , which is described in the Biblical book of the same name, the Hebrew people settled in Canaan. They were divided by tribe, with the bulk of the tribes residing in the northern regions. Since the Hebrew tribes were frequently at war with neighboring tribes, the tribes of Israel formed themselves into a loose confederation, which required a military commander to lead it. Judges, who partially served in this capacity as well as serving in legislative and judicial capacities , accrued power and wealth over time. Eventually, for military and other reasons, the followers of Yahweh decided they needed more than a military commander -- a king. Samuel, a judge, was chosen to appoint a king for Israel.