Oh yes, Canaan is historically attested by all the folks of the area. The book treads a little lightly on what "Israelite" means, but the sense I get is that the Israelites are just another Canaanite tribe. The authors go through all of the typical archaeological evidence. The early towns and villages look just like the earl Canaanite towns and villages. The later larger cities are architecturally identical to Canaanite cities. The decorative motifs on pottery are identical to the motifs on Canaanite pottery. The difference seems to be geographical. The Canaanite towns and cities tend to be on the coastal plain, but the "Israelite" sites are invariably in the highlands.
There's a really fascinating chapter on what seems to be the first archaeologically attested actual major kingdom that also shows up in the Bible. It turns out that it's the kingdom founded in the 9th century BCE in the north, in Israel rather than Judah, by Omri and Ahab--Ahab is the guy who marries Jezebel. The Bible treats these folks as evil, and the book suggests that the reason for that is (1) that it is an Israelite rather than a Judahite kingdom that they found, whereas Josiah wants to assert the primacy of Judah and the theoretical superiority of the Davidic kings; and (2) the Omrite kingdom is not self-consciously exclusive of peoples who identify themselves as "Israelite." Jezebel herself is a Philistine, for instance, and yet Ahab marries her. So the Omrite kingdom is not just northern, but also inclusive rather than exclusive. From the point of view of Josiah, the authors say, both of those things have to be nipped in the bud. Another way of putting it is that the exclusivity of "Israel" as a nation is really a political move on the part of Josiah to cement his claims to political authenticity.
Let me say it again--a really interesting book!
Edited by yoyo52 (10/02/1301:15 PM)
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
Well, of course, the Pentateuch is supposed to have been written by Moses. It always seemed plausible because he shows himself in a quite favorable light minus a few foibles. The story of Moses, his origins and background and subsequent deeds are about the only thing I found palatable in the Old Testament.
RIP Moses, it was fun while it lasted.
_________________________ We are what we repeatedly do - Aristotle
The story of Moses, like the story of the Ark and many other bible stories is based off of earlier myths.
The stone tablets with the Ten Commandments for example, are likely fashioned off the Code of the Hammurabi
By Krackey, You're Right! I knew they were related, and have read the Laws according to the Bible, but never having read The Code of Hammurabi (until a 1/2 hour ago) I never realized how closely the one mirrored the other.
My friend, John, likes discussing biblical topics. We can get into it sometimes. He will find this interesting, I have no doubt. I got it from Amazon for a bit under $11 in paperback withe no shipping because of Prime.
If we don't count our blessings We are just wasting our time
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