Ancient Israel

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.88
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 68%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $14.88   
  • New (6) from $29.42   
  • Used (8) from $14.88   


Considered by many to be a modern classic, Ancient Israel offers a fascinating, full-scale reconstruction of the social and religious life of Israel in Old Testament times.

Drawing principally on the text of the Old Testament itself, as well as from archaeological evidence and information gathered from the historical study of Israel's neighbors, de Vaux first provides an extensive introduction to the nomadic nature of life in ancient Israel and then traces in detail the developments of Israel's most important institutions-family, civil, military, and religious-and their influence on the nation's life and history.

"The timely reprint of the English translation of de Vaux's monumental work.makes this available again for all students of the OT at all levels.. This collection of data is still relevant, reliable and a good starting point for these sociological studies."
--Society for Old Testament Study Book List

"A monument both of progress in biblical exegesis within the Catholic tradition and of mainstream biblical scholarship in the middle decades of this century."
--Journal of Near Eastern Studies

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Society for Old Book List Testament Study
The timely reprint of the English translation of de Vaux's monumental work...makes this available again for all students of the OT at all levels.... This collection of data is still relevant, reliable and a good starting point for these sociological studies.
Biblical historian and archaeologist Vaux (1903-71) reconstructs the social and religious life of Israel during Old Testament times. Drawing principally from the Old Testament itself but also from archaeology and historical studies of surrounding regions, he describes the nomadic nature of life and traces the development of family, civil, military, and religious institutions. Originally published as by Les Editions du Cerf, Paris, in 1958 and first published in English in 1961 by Darton, Longman & Todd, London. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802842787
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/25/1997
  • Series: Biblical Resource Series
  • Pages: 620
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Introduction: Nomadism and its Survival
Pt. I Family Institutions
1 The Family 19
2 Marriage 24
3 The Position of Women, Widows 39
4 Children 41
5 Succession and Inheritance 53
6 Death and Funeral Rites 56
Pt. II Civil Institutions
1 Population 65
2 The Free Population: its Divisions 68
3 Slaves 80
4 The Israelite Concept of the State 91
5 The Person of the King 100
6 The Royal Household 115
7 The Principal Officials of the King 127
8 The Administration of the Kingdom 133
9 Finance and Public Works 139
10 Law and Justice 143
11 Economic Life 164
12 Divisions of Time 178
13 Weights and Measures 195
Pt. III Military Institutions
1 The Armies of Israel 213
2 Fortified Cities and Siege Warfare 229
3 Armaments 241
4 War 247
5 The Holy War 258
Pt. IV Religious Institutions
1 Semitic Sanctuaries 274
2 The First Israelite Sanctuaries 289
3 The Temple at Jerusalem 312
4 The Centralization of the Cult 331
5 The Priestly Office 345
6 The Levites 358
7 The Priesthood in Jerusalem under the Monarchy 372
8 The Priesthood after the Exile 387
9 Altars 406
10 The Ritual of Sacrifice 415
11 The History of Sacrifice in Israel 424
12 The Origin of Israelite Ritual 433
13 The Religious Significance of Sacrifice 447
14 Secondary Acts of the Cult 457
15 The Liturgical Calendar 468
16 The Sabbath Day 475
17 The Ancient Feasts of Israel 484
18 The Later Feasts 507
Bibliography 519
General Index 553
Index of Proper Names 559
Index of Semitic Forms 568
Index of Biblical References 571
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)