History of Ancient Israel
Jerusalem University College
Mr. Brian Schultz
September 10, 2003
"Israel in the Patriarchal Age and Before"

I.   Two elements of history
A.   Objective elements
B.   Subjectivity of the recording of the event
II.   Sources
A.   Primary sources are usually more reputable than secondary sources
B.   However, sometimes the secondary sources used resources earlier or unavailable to the primary sources
III.   Oral Tradition
A.   20th century doesn't trust oral tradition
B.   Although it should not be accepted blindly, it can contain truth
C.   Example: Damascus gate = the gate of the column
IV.   Biblical History
A.   Not a re-telling of the biblical events
B.   We want o know what else happened during the time of Israel's history
C.   We should not confuse the interpretation of the event with the event itself
V.   The historical accuracy of the Bible will only be proven when we assume the inaccuracy of it
VI.   General trends in Biblical History
A.   Minimalists - Biblical text is a Persian (538 BC - post exile) composition
1.   Famous Supporters
a.   Tommy Thompson
b.   Phillip Davies
2.   Summary
a.   The Israelite people returned from captivity and needed to create a national identity
b.   The people created events & figures of vague stories of people in the past
B.   Maximallists - the test composed in the 7th century BC
1.   Combines potential historical documents with oral tradition and makes a literary story fitting to the needs of the people at this time
2.   Two layers: the original historical account and biblical text's need for accounts
C.   Traditionalists - written near the time it describes
1.   Denies textual criticism
2.   History starts at Abraham and texts starts around Moses
VII.   Sources in Biblical texts
A.   Documentary Hypothesis - "J", "E", "P", "D"
1.   "J" - Yahwistic
a.   Comes from the south
i.   No hint of division
ii.   No northern themes in "J"
b.   Earliest (probably 10th cent)
2.   "E" - Elohistic
a.   Comes from the north
b.   Latter than Yahwistic
3.   "P" - Priestly
4.   "D" - Deuteronomy
a.   Moses speaks in 3rd person
b.   Gen 36 lists of kings after his death
c.   Gives his death account
d.   Doublets used (i.e. two 10 commandments)
5.   Good source: Anchor Bible Dictionary vol. 6 under Torah
6.   Relationship between documents
a.   "P" relies on "J" & "E"
b.   "D" relies on "J" & "E"
c.   "D" relies on "P"
d.   "P" can be divided into "P" & "H"
B.   Deuteronomic Theory
1.   4 books of the Bible up until Moses death is Pentateuch (Gen-Num)
2.   Deuteronomy, Joshua - 2Kings all written together to show Israel's forward progress after Moses
3.   Deut 34 was suppose to be in Number but editors moved it to Deut to continue the story by looking back
C.   Chronicler Theory
1.   Those who wanted to rewrite history after the exile from Chronicles
2.   End of 2Chronicles is word for word beginning of Ezra
3.   1Chronicles - Nehemiah are post-exilic
4.   There is no mention of any of David's "poor actions" in Chronicles
D.   The Prophetical books
1.   Not all written prophecy was kept as canonical
2.   Israel probably kept the prophecy that came true and removed the "false" prophets
VIII.   The background of the Patriarchs
A.   4th Millennium BC in history
1.   Continuation of cities & civilizations in Upper Mesopotamia (5th cent BC)
2.   Established drainage & irrigation channels
3.   Sumerians show up in Lower Mesopotamia
4.   Writing is being developed
5.   Egypt is other world power being developed
6.   Developing agriculture
7.   Hieroglyphics being created
8.   Carcolythic culture in Palestine
B.   3rd Millennium BC in history
1.   Mesopotamia
a.   Sumer had a system of city/states
b.   Worship a pantheon of gods, with the chief god Enlil - storm god
c.   Sumer people were overcome to the Akkad/Accad - Semitic
d.   They wrote in cuneiform (triangles)
e.   Sargon established this great kingdom - and 1000 years later people still wanted to be named after him
f.   Naram-sin
g.   Eblah
h.   Accad destroyed from Guti people
i.   Amorites coming from North
j.   Ur III dynasty in the south
i.   Founded by Ur-Naboh
ii.   Considered themselves followers of Sargon
k.   Arcadian language following out end Sumerian coming in
2.   Egypt
a.   Unification of Upper & Lower
b.   Pyramids
c.   "Old Kingdom"
d.   Polytheism - Pharaoh is god visible
3.   Palestine
a.   Early bronze age
b.   Cities developing for first time
C.   2nd Millennium BC
1.   Mesopotamia
a.   Fall of Ur III
b.   Most influential: Amorites
c.   Law codes
i.   Lipit-ishtar
ii.   Eshonunna
iii.   Parallels to Ex. 23
d.   Mari & their texts
e.   Mari sacked by Babylonians, which established their dynasty
f.   Proto-Hittites
2.   Egypt
a.   Reunification of the kingdom/middle kingdom
b.   Golden age of Egyptian civilization
c.   They want to conquer the world
d.   Beni-Hasan tomb paintings
e.   Foreign rulers rule Egypt
3.   Palestine - reorganization happening
IX.   People groups in the historical Middle East
A.   Sumer/Sumeratians
1.   Appear 4th cent. BC
2.   Lower Mesopotamian
3.   Language
a.   Semitic
b.   Non-Semitic
4.   Gilgamesh has root in Sumer
B.   Acadian
1.   Founded by Sargon the Elder
2.   Language is Semitic
3.   Language used 2500BC - 50 AD
C.   Amorites
1.   Later part of 3rd millennium BC
2.   Name means westerners - probably coined by those in Mesopotamia
3.   Show up in Ur III and show up all over the place
4.   Could be as far as Palestine
D.   Purians
1.   First mentioned in 3rd millennium BC
2.   Come from Armenia (E. Turkey)
3.   Control Upper Mesopotamia
E.   Hittites
1.   Western Turkey
2.   More than one language
a.   European language
b.   Cuneiform
c.   Hieroglyphic
3.   Advanced military - culturally like Barbarians
F.   Ugeret
1.   3rd millennium (end) to mid-first millennium
2.   Eventually subservient to the Hittites
3.   Was like ancient "Switzerland"
G.   Mari
1.   Beginnings of 2nd millennium
2.   Upper Mesopotamia
3.   One set of documents connected to the biblical world
H.   Canaanites
1.   1500 BC it appears
2.   North Syria - "land of Canaan"
3.   Appear in Amarna letters
4.   Spread from Phoenicia/Lebanon to Israel, Syria, Jordan & Lebanon
5.   Thought to probably live on the coast, and Amorites live in mountains
X.   Patriarchal Age
A.   Biblical text dealing w/Patriarchs is pre-History (even conservatives say Moses was first to write)
1.   Usually means it is passed down orally
2.   Source criticism (J, E, P, D)
B.   Reconstructive theories of Patriarchs
1.   Albright William
a.   Historian, linguist, archaeologist, biblically
b.   Did a good job of synthesis
c.   Came up with Intermediate Bronze Age
i.   Amorite expansion
ii.   Patriarchal semi-nomadic
iii.   Donkey nomads
2.   R de Vaux
a.   Rejected Patriarchs being donkey nomads
b.   Amorites Middle Bronze II
c.   Patriarchs part of Middle Bronze II
d.   Parallel part of Middle Bronze II
e.   Parallels to other Middle Bronze texts
f.   Bright, 77-87 - sides w/De Vaux
3.   Cyrus Gordon - Patriarchs in late Bronze (1400-1200)
4.   Tradition of History - Martin Moth
a.   Patriarchal isn't actually history, just traditions
b.   Historians job is to dissect info out to find historical base