Geography of Galilee supports historicity of Solomon’s kingdom, researcher says

Over the past decades, the historicity of Solomon’s kingdom and its importance to the region as described by the Bible has been the subject of much debate among archaeologists and experts. However, one possible answer supporting the scriptures could come from the tool of historical geography, one scholar suggested. A description of part of the kingdom’s territory can be found in the Book of Kings: the cedar and cypress wood and the gold it needed – King Solomon in turn gave Hiram 20 cities in the region of Galileo. But when Hiram came from Tire to inspect the cities Solomon had given him, he was not satisfied. “My brother,” he said, “what kinds of cities have you given me? They were therefore named the country of Cabul, as is always the case. However, Hiram sent the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold ”, read verses 11-14 of the ninth chapter of I Kings.Dr. Kyle Keimer, Senior Lecturer in Archeology and History of Ancient Israel at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, compared the content of this passage and the characteristics of the lands it refers to as the context needed to understand the dynamics. of power between the monarch of Israel and the ruler of the Phoenician city-state. The scholar suggested that contrary to what others have said in the past, the events described in the Bible are consistent with the geopolitical situation at the time, offering new perspectives on the accuracy of the description. The Jerusalem Post, Keimer explained that the first inspiration for this study, the results of which were published in the journal Palestine Exploration Quarterly last month, came while he was working on Phoenician pottery found in northern Israel. The Cypro-Phoenician pottery called ‘Black on Red Ware’ and I started to study the interactions between the Phoenicians and the Israelites, ”he said. “At the same time, I was very interested in historical geography and understanding how the landscape played a role in the unfolding of certain events. When I read this passage from Kings, the two aspects came together. The scientist regularly comes to excavate in Israel and he is currently co-director of excavations at Khirbet Arai (el-Rai) in the central part of the country with Yosef Garfinkel (Hebrew University) and Saar Ganor (Israel Antiquities Authority). He stressed that the issues related to the four verses he analyzed must be seen in the larger context of the debate on the historicity of the biblical text. Called United Monarchy, the kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon, there is a great divide. There are those who say that on the whole the Biblical portrait of them is a later creation and that they were much more limited in size and scope, and others who say that the Bible is accurate in the description of the situation of the deceased. 11th and 10th century [BCE] and how powerful they were, ”he said, adding that he believes both sides underestimate the added value that geography can offer. “I think that geography is this window that always connects us to the past in a very physical way, because despite modern developments, this has not really changed and it gives us the opportunity to evaluate these texts”, a he pointed out. “So far, architecture, pottery, or carbon dating have not given us a smoking gun in one way or another regarding the Solomon Kingdom debate. We have to be creative. In the research, Keimer worked to find out if the relationship between Solomon and Hiram seems plausible. Archaeologists have rejected the view offered by some scholars suggesting that between the two rulers, Solomon must have been the one in a position. “When we look at the physical landscape and the situation of Tire in relation to the situation of the Kingdom of Israel, the first was an island with a very limited and unproductive hinterland, as we know from landscape studies and geological analysis. On the contrary, Israel had much more fertile land and international trade had to pass through its territory, ”he stressed. friendly, but who was in a weaker position with “mountainous” or “good-for-nothing” land, as Keimer suggested to understand the word “Cabul” based once again on the poor characteristics of the area identified as Cabul in the hills of Allonim and the western hills that rise into the Lower Galilee. “Access to good agricultural land is the real geographic component that people have not considered before in discussing this passage from the biblical text,” he said. “Everyone looks at Tire and thinks of it as the very powerful trading center that it would become in the latter part of the Iron Age and especially in the seventh century BCE, and from there they make deductions about the 10th century BCE, although we have fairly limited archaeological finds from this period. I don’t believe it works. The researcher also considered other elements, such as the direction taken by several sites in the Galilee, which allowed him to better understand the border between political entities. Keimer said that this type of geographic analysis provides support for the historicity of the Kingdom of Solomon as a whole, “because we see a clear change in the nature of the fortified sites of the early part of the Iron Age IIA. at the rear, where we find much larger sites fortified in a completely different way to the north facing Aram / Damascus.


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