Life in Biblical Israel (Library of Ancient Israel Series)

Life in Biblical Israel (Library of Ancient Israel Series)

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by Philip J. King, Lawrence E. Stager, Lawrence E. Stager

ISBN-10: 0664221483

ISBN-13: 9780664221485

Pub. Date: 01/28/2002

Publisher: Presbyterian Pub Corp

This special-edition volume of the Library of Ancient Israel, based on the latest research, presents a vivid description of the world of Ancient Israel, covering such topics as domestic life, the means of existence, cultural expression, and religious practices. With over 175 full-color pictures and illustrations, Life in Biblical Israel opens the door to

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This special-edition volume of the Library of Ancient Israel, based on the latest research, presents a vivid description of the world of Ancient Israel, covering such topics as domestic life, the means of existence, cultural expression, and religious practices. With over 175 full-color pictures and illustrations, Life in Biblical Israel opens the door to everyday life in biblical Israel for all readers. This volume is perfect for classrooms, coffee tables, and personal use.

Volumes in the Library of Ancient Israel draw on multiple disciplines—such as archaeology, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and literary criticism—to illuminate the everyday realities and social subtleties these ancient cultures experienced. This series employs sophisticated methods resulting in original contributions that depict the reality of the people behind the Hebrew Bible and interprets these insights for a wide variety of readers.

Product Details

Presbyterian Pub Corp
Publication date:
Library of Ancient Israel Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.28(w) x 10.28(h) x 1.12(d)

Table of Contents

Chronology of the Levantxxiii
1.Introduction: The Importance of the Everyday Life1
The Problem with Texts2
The Structure of Israelite Society4
The Work of Archaeologists6
The Rhythms of Life8
Micah and the Levite9
A Day in Micah's Household12
2.The Israelite House and Household21
Domestic Architecture21
Building Materials21
Pillared House28
Family and Kinship36
Father's House39
Old Age58
Crimes and Punishments in the Family Context59
Meals for Family and Guests61
Food Preparation64
Daily Meals67
Illness and Healing68
Threats to Health71
Health Consultants76
Medical Procedures79
Religion and Healing82
3.The Means of Existence85
Farming and Animal Husbandry86
Physical Geography and Climate86
The Agricultural Year87
Agricultural Tools92
Cultivation and Processing of Edibles93
Other Flora107
Animal Husbandry112
Water Sources122
Underground Reservoirs127
Arts and Crafts129
Travel, Transport, and Trade176
Overland Routes176
4.Patrimonial Kingdom201
The Royal City201
The Acropolis201
The Imperial Impact of Assyria on Israelite Architecture208
The King's Table210
Urban Water Systems210
Underground Water Systems210
Warfare, Armies, and Weapons223
Weapons of War224
Neo-Assyrian Warfare246
Neo-Babylonian Warfare251
5.Culture and the Expressive Life259
Dress and Adornments259
Jewelry and Ornaments276
Music, Song, and Dance285
Music and Its Functions285
Musical Instruments290
Literacy and Schools300
Evidence of Writing300
Writing Materials304
6.Religious Institutions319
Sacred Sites320
"High Places"320
Temples and Shrines330
Ritual Objects339
Cult Stands340
Cult Figurines348
Religious Practices353
Sacrifices and Offerings357
"Clean" and "Unclean"362
Death, Burial, and Afterlife363
Tomb Types and Burial Customs363
Belief in the Afterlife373
Cult of the Dead376
Index of Biblical Passages and Ancient Sources413
Index of Modern Authors421
Index of Subjects426

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Life in Biblical Israel (Library of Ancient Israel Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though written for the layperson, this book is still an excellent resource for the scholar in Bible, ancient Near Eastern studies, or any study of culture. Life in Biblical Israel describes the setting of the Hebrew Bible, but not in terms of wars, leaders, and elite society. Professors King and Stager recognize, like Fernand Braudel and Annales historians, that a large part of society is often neglected by its own histories. Thus, they seek to describe how that silent majority lived their everyday lives. The authors of Life in Biblical Israel attempt to describe all of the aspects of the lifeways of the Israelites - how they produced their food, built their houses, procured water, defended their cities, organized their society, kept themselves healthy, expressed themselves through clothing, art, and music, and how they interacted with the divine. For those skeptical of the Bible¿s credibility, the book may seem to be a simple attempt to draw archaeological correlations, that is artifactual evidence, for Biblical terminology. Certainly, the book does this, but not out of any theological or apologetic attempt to prove the Bible as accurate. Accepting that the archaeological record and the Bible provide two types of descriptions of the same society, King and Stager gather all of the information they can from both sources. The many photographs and drawings in the book show many examples from the archaeological source. A quick glance at the Scriptural Index at the back of the book shows how thoroughly the authors combed the Biblical text. At the same time, the authors use each source to supplement the defficiencies of the other. For example, artifacts can often be identified as to their uses, but they have no names in their native languages, and how they are used is often not known. King and Stager do an excellent job with the details of exactly how the ancient people accomplished what they did. There have been very few other attempts to so document ancient Israel as a cultural and social entity. Previous works using both the textual and archaeological evidence in concert mostly have focused on one aspect of the culture, usually something relevant to the upper classes or the political or military establishment. Others have subsumed their archaeological and biblical discussion beneath other arguments, in which case they have reduced the amount of evidence and increased the number of conclusions to be drawn. King and Stager, on the other hand, have written a book which deals primarily with the culture of all of Israel as expressed through its material and literary remains; they have no other axe to grind, and they present more data and fewer conclusions. Instead they are working first and foremost to describe as best they can how people lived in the Iron Age in Israel. This book will serve as an excellent textbook both in archaeology and Bible courses. It can also serve as a reference work both for the layperson and the scholar interested in either subject. Perhaps the best reason to use this book, however, is that it succeeds in its aim of portraying the details of ancient Israelite life. The many illustrations truly enable readers to visualize each aspect of the culture.