In 'Israel's History and the History of Israel' one of the world's foremost experts on antiquity addresses the birth of Israel and its historic reality. Many stories have been told of the founding of ancient Israel, all rely on the biblical story in its narrative scheme, despite its historic unreliability. Drawing on the literary and archaeological record, this book completely rewrites the history of Israel. The study traces the textual material to the times of its creation, reconstructs the evolution of political and religious ideologies, and firmly inserts the history of Israel into its ancient-oriental context.
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgements 1. Palestine in the Late Bronze Age (14th - 13th Centuries) Part One: A Normal History 2. The Transition (12th Century) 3. The New Society (c. 1150-1050) 4. The Formative Process (c. 1050-930) 5. The Kingdom of Israel (c. 930 -740) 6. The Kingdom of Judah (c. 930-720) 7. The Impact of the Assyrian Empire (c. 740-640) 8. Pause between Two Empires (c. 640-610) 9. The Impact of the Babylonian Empire (c.610-585) Intermezzo 10. The Axial Age 11. The Diaspora 12. The Abandoned Landscape Part Two: An Invented History 13. Returnees and 'Remainees': The Invention of the Patriarchs 14. Returnees and Aliens: The Invention of the Conquest 15. A Nation without a King: The Invention of the Judges 16. The Royal Option: The Invention of the United Monarchy 17. The Priestly Option: The Invention of the Solomonic Temple 18. Self-Identification: The Invention of the Law Epilogue 19. Local History and Universal Values Bibliography
Mario Liverani is Professor of History of the Ancient Near East at the University of Rome "La Sapienza".
"Liverani charts a sinuous and expert path through the minefield that has come to mark the discussion over how to reconstruct ancient Israelite history. No one will come away from reading him without being challenged, indeed exhilarated by the depth of his insights and the breadth of his vision." – Peter Machinist, Harvard University
"Liverani's intentions in offering an account of the biblical transformation of Israel's past 'from trivial event to significant re-elaboration' are to be commended. His book is an appropriate and exciting alternative to the biblical narrative." – Times Literary Supplement
"The work is stimulating, original in all its parts, and contains many original insights that will no doubt fertilize all future discussions about the Bible as a source for the history of ancient Israel." –Review of Biblical Literature