Life in Biblical Israel (Library of Ancient Israel Series)

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664221485
  • Publisher: Presbyterian Pub Corp
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: Library of Ancient Israel Series
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 500,888
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author


Philip J. King is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He is a former president of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Catholic Biblical Association of America.

Lawrence E. Stager is Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations xi
Foreword xvii
Preface xix
Abbreviations xxi
Chronology of the Levant xxiii
1. Introduction: The Importance of the Everyday Life 1
The Problem with Texts 2
The Structure of Israelite Society 4
The Work of Archaeologists 6
The Rhythms of Life 8
Micah and the Levite 9
A Day in Micah's Household 12
2. The Israelite House and Household 21
Domestic Architecture 21
Building Materials 21
Pillared House 28
Family and Kinship 36
Kinsman-Redeemer 38
Father's House 39
Children 40
Women 49
Marriage 54
Old Age 58
Crimes and Punishments in the Family Context 59
Meals for Family and Guests 61
Hospitality 61
Furniture 63
Food Preparation 64
Daily Meals 67
Illness and Healing 68
Hygiene 69
Threats to Health 71
Health Consultants 76
Medical Procedures 79
Religion and Healing 82
3. The Means of Existence 85
Farming and Animal Husbandry 86
Physical Geography and Climate 86
The Agricultural Year 87
Agricultural Tools 92
Cultivation and Processing of Edibles 93
Other Flora 107
Animal Husbandry 112
Water Sources 122
Springs 123
Wells 123
Cisterns 126
Underground Reservoirs 127
Arts and Crafts 129
Pottery 133
Textiles 146
Tanning 162
Metallurgy 164
Travel, Transport, and Trade 176
Overland Routes 176
Seafaring 178
Travel 186
Transport 186
Trade 189
4. Patrimonial Kingdom 201
The Royal City 201
The Acropolis 201
The Imperial Impact of Assyria on Israelite Architecture 208
The King's Table 210
Urban Water Systems 210
Underground Water Systems 210
Jerusalem 213
Warfare, Armies, and Weapons 223
Weapons of War 224
Fortifications 231
Armies 239
Neo-Assyrian Warfare 246
Neo-Babylonian Warfare 251
5. Culture and the Expressive Life 259
Dress and Adornments 259
Clothing 265
Jewelry and Ornaments 276
Perfumes 280
Cosmetics 281
Grooming 282
Aromatics 284
Music, Song, and Dance 285
Music and Its Functions 285
Musical Instruments 290
Dance 298
Literacy and Schools 300
Evidence of Writing 300
Writing Materials 304
Literacy 310
Schools 315
6. Religious Institutions 319
Sacred Sites 320
"High Places" 320
Temples and Shrines 330
Ritual Objects 339
Altars 339
Cult Stands 340
Cult Figurines 348
Votives 352
Religious Practices 353
Feasts 353
Marzeah 355
Sacrifices and Offerings 357
"Clean" and "Unclean" 362
Death, Burial, and Afterlife 363
Tomb Types and Burial Customs 363
Mourning 372
Belief in the Afterlife 373
Cult of the Dead 376
Necromancy 380
Epilogue 383
Maps 391
Bibliography 395
Index of Biblical Passages and Ancient Sources 413
Index of Modern Authors 421
Index of Subjects 426
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2002

    Review of Life in Biblical Israel

    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.

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