Notes on “Phoenicians”

The following are my notes on the following article:

Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg), Röllig, Wolfgang (Tübingen), Eder, Walter (Berlin), Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn) and Müller, Hans-Peter (Münster), “Phoenicians, Poeni”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider. Consulted online on 10 April 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e922990&gt;

If you aren’t interested in reading the notes, directly below here is two paragraphs responding this article and other things.

In terms of being part of a West-Semitic context, the P. fit very well. Thus, some would claim that ancient Israel should be understood within a P. context. This approach, however, seems to draw too much on the people who descended from the P., namely the Punic ethnicity. Based on what I read in this article, the lack of archaeological support, the HB, and the inimical way in which people reported on P. culture and history, it seems that P. was an equal contender with ancient Israelian-Judean ethnicity (ethnicities?). Just like Judah was able to survive the pressure of empires more than their Northern counterparts, so Sidon was able to survive the pressure of empires more than their counterpart, namely Tyre.

In other words, the historical developments within this shaky history of P. is nothing particularly grands, just as ancient Israelian-Judean historical developments is not particularly grand. Each ethnic group was situated in a politically and religious challenging context. They each dealt with the issue in distinct ways.

I. Names and concept, sources

  • Name and idea of Phoenicians formed in Greek world
  • Referring to political/ethnic identity from LBA.
  • For Greek traders, P. was a functional designation.
  • Latin name Poeni.
    • Roman creation based in Carthage.
  • Scanty literary sources; mainly transmitted by neighbouring people.
    • P. and Punic cultures were often portrayed as inimical, and thus they distorted thier stories.
  • Archaeology contributes little to the cultural profile of P.

II.  Geography and Topography

  • Mother country defined by concrete territory, though we don’t know exact locations.
    • Included Arward, Byblus, Sidon, Tyrus.
  • Historically and geographically situated near Ugarit in the N., Samaria and Jerusalem in the S.
  • P. sought to “acquire the raw materials pressingly needed for domestic industry and crafts and for their prosperous… trading in the eastern Mediterranean”.
  • Strategic in placing settlements.
  • Large finds of exported luxury good outside of P. cities and settlements.
    • earl Iron Age saw elite position and access to raw materials; copper in Cyprus, gold in Thasos, and many other mining regions.
  • P. was not an original “resident” of ancient Mediterranean, but they were present.

III. History

  • P. is defined by representative city states because there is no comon history.
    • Josephus ref. a Hellenistic historian who wrote a P. history.
    • Philo of Byblus wrote a P. History.
    • In HB, only P. cities are mentioned, but no state of larger tribal unit.
    • Though, shared cultural things.
  • Forced to expand into Cyprus and Crete by 10th century BCE, also Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Spain, and N. Africa.
  • Political ties with Anatolia and Syria.
    • Sidon joined anti-Assyrian coalition, only to be “deported and decapitated by Asarhaddon (681-669) in 676 BCE.
  • Collapse of N. Syria political world let Byblus come to political forefront c. 1200 BCE.
  • c. 969-936, treaty with Sidonian leader Hiram I and Solomon, 1 Kings 5:26.
  • Tyre became a key player in warlike disputes c. 810-727.
    • Hiram II (739-732) participated in a revolt at Damascus.
    • Sidon retained indepndence.
    • 663 – it was besieged by Assurbanipal and surrendered.
      • Province was likely incorporated into Assyrian system.
  • Post-Assyrian fall, P. cities try to regain independence.
    • cf. Zeph 1,4
    • Egypt, and Babylon, prevented this.
    • According to Josephus, Tyre “was besieged for 13 years (Jos. Ap. 1,143).
  • Under Persian rule, Sidon again sought to regain independence after being incorporated into the Persian Empire.
    • Rose against Artaxerxes III Ochus, but surrendered.
    • Sidon received Alexander the Great in 333; Tyre tried to resist for 7 months, but failed.
  • Post  64 BCE, under Romans, P. cities lost political power.

B. Punic

  • The article has much on it; however, this is outside of what my area of focus is. I’d like to read it eventually, but not now.

IV. Archaeology and Cultural History, the P.

  • early period only attests “smallish sanctuaries of the sacral architecture in cities”
    • Astarte/Tinnit, Sarepta (8th century BCE).
    • Punic temple of Kerkounana (4th/3rd century BCE).
    • Temple of Melqart built by Hiram I, in Tyre
      • Only from literary reports.
    • Other temples from the Persian and Hellenistic periods.
  • P. architecture in early time is decorative, with cascade of leaves.
  • Sculpture.
    • god worshiped with aniconic cult images
    • 8th-6th century large sculptures from P. cities based on Egyptian models.
  • Well-known for luxury crafts.
  • P. in Mediterranean was a uniqe phenomenon.
    • location, social groups, transportation, etc. all contributed to its formation.
    • Along with other city states on Levant coast. P. was in-line with ANE Bronze Age.

 

Briefly, facial masks likely have a religious significance. They are monuments since at least the 9th/8th centuries BCE in P. May have held cultic and apotropaic function because they are found at graves and sanctuaries.

Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) and Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster), “Masks”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider. Consulted online on 10 April 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e725730&gt;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again Even More Notes on “Civilizations of the Ancient Near East

Witchcraft, Magic, and Divination in Canaan and Ancient Israel by Jean-Michel de Tarragon

  • Ancient Semitic world had positive attitude to these things by conviction.
  • Divination
    • Little furnished documentation about divination compared to Hittite, Egypt, and Mesopotamia.
    • Many means of divination
      • Prophetic/priestly oracles, spirits, dream, lots, astrology, observation of entrails, birds, oil and water, smoke directions.
    • Best option for seeing HB and divination is through the recent books published by OUP.
    • Consulting God through urim and thummim (Ex. 28:15-30; Lev. 8:8)
    • Dreams: cf. Deut. 13:1.
      • Prophet are okay; divination practice in an oracle sense is okay.
    • Biblical reference to use of teraphim, cult object and sometime divinatory instruments.
      • Sam. 19:13, Gen. 31:9-35, esp. Ez. 21:21
  • Necromancy
    • “witch of Endor” – 1 Samuel 28:3-25
    • Deut. 18:10-11 has a ban on divination, soothsayer, and all else of the sort
      • This, though, reflects a late, evolved stage of ancient Israel.
      • Lev. 20:27 – sentence for necromancy is death.
      • See also 2 Kings 21:6
        • Manasseh is condemned for divination.
    • We can assume that “during the centuries of its maturation”, namely Israel’s monotheism, “divination continued to be practiced, hence the repeated condemnation registered in the Bible” (2075).
  • Magic
    • Reference to female magician in Ex. 22:18
    • Confusion between divinatory practices and magic (2078)
  • Charms
    • In particular, items of apotropaic significance
      • Such as the Ark, where Philistines were sick (1 Sam. 6)
      • Ketef Hinnom inscriptions from the 7th century
        • With proto-Aaronic benidiction (pg. 2079)
      • Texts and designs at Kuntillet Ajrud
        • “I bless you before YHWH of Samaria and his asherah” (2079).
        • “I  less you before YHWH of Temam and his asherah. May he bless (you) and keep (you)” (2079).
        • Dates the 9th century, maybe the mid 10th century.
      • Amulet for Uriyahu
        • “Blessed by Uriyahu before YHWH, and from his adversaries he saved him by his asherah” (2079).
  • Critique of this entry: it is less about the idea of magic and divination in a Canaanite context; it is very focused, if not more, on magic and divination in the HB. Karel von der Toorn did a great job at doing Canaan broadly, while noting what made each place unique. This article falls into what C. Euhlinger raises a red flag for.

 

 

And that should be all of my notes from these volumes.

Again, More Notes on “Civilizations of the Ancient Near East”

Myth and Mythmaking in Canaan and Ancient Israel by Mark Smith (2031-2041)

  • Three stereotypical explanations of myth from a monotheistic perspective
    • monotheistic theology equals faith, while myth is told stories.
    • holy texts of monotheism leave no room for myth, which is polytheistic
    • monotheism is based in history, but ancient religions, which had myths, are not.
  • Mythic continuity between ancient Israel, Canaan, and Ugartic texts.
  • Baal Cycle and Epic of Aqhat are major Ugaritic myths.
    • Baal Cycleenvisions of cosmic battle for political control. Expressed in terms of kingship.
      • By modern standard of course, this constitutes religious because it involved the gods.
  • Most material is inscriptions mentioning gods and names with theophoric elements.
  • Traditions of Tyrian god Melqart may reflect Ugaritic tradition
    • Namely, those of Baal and cult of divinaized royal ancestors, present at Ugarit.
    • Meqlart is the dead hero who “awakens from the dead”.
  • Best source for Canaanite myth is Phil of Byblos’s Pheonician History
    • Embedded in the work of Eusebius and Porphyry.
  • MYTHIC MATERIAL IN ISRAEL
    • Early evidence does not distingush greatly between Israel and neighboring regional religions.
    • Even with developing Israelite religion, other gods of Pheonicia, Edom, etc. existed within the Israelite-Judean religious context.
      • So, El, Ball, Yahweh, a dynastic god; divine council, Asherah, etc.
    • Held onto a sort of cult for the deceased and concept of divine council.
      • Council was at a low level.
    • Originally El was probably the name of the deity supporting the group.
    • Ex. 6:2-3
      • Identifies El Shaddy, El being the older god, with Yahweh.
      • Reflects that Yahweh was previously unknown; now, then it was El Shaddai.
    • Much language previously associated with Baal is used
      • Baal Shamem, though, is the Phoencian storm-god.
      • Israel also had old Levantine/Canaanite imagery of Baal in its memory.
    • Much shared imagery between HB and Baal Cycle
  • Mythic imagery was political
    • Mythic language was used as
      • way to tie divine and human kings
      • unite tribal groups
      • legitimize a ruler
  • People drew on the imagery found in things like the Baal Cycle because everybody knew it, the poor, uneducated, rich, and educated.
  • Canaanite literature was more anthropomorphic; our knowledge of Judean myth in that period reduced anthropomorphisms.

Theology, Priests, and Worship in Canaan and Ancient Israel by Karel van der Toorn (p. 2043-2058)

  • Dichotomy of Israelite religion vs. Canaanite religion should be rejected.
  • In the Iron Age (1200-500 BCE), “Israelite preachers labeled all non-Yahwhistic practices “canaanite.” A strict and uncompromising Yahwism, itself the outcome of a long process, was retrospectively presented as the original religion of the Israelites” (2043).
  • van der Toorn focuses on the fundamental “common theology” of the religious culture in ancient Syro-Palestine.
  • GODS
    • gods of ancient world inhabited the earth
      • Leviticus, god is in the tabernacle; Genesis, god chooses the enter the earth. Yahweh has a physicality in Israelite memory.
    • No such thing as “faith”.
    • Worldy phenomena was heavenly, the gods at work.
    • dwelt at fringes, such as mountains
      • Baal of Ugarit at Mount Zaphon.
      • Yahweh of Israel from “Mountainous area in the southeast of Palestine” (2044).
    • It is mistake to reduce gods to mere personifications of nature.
      • “reality of the Syro-Palestinian gods was not metaphorical but personal” (2044)
      • They had thoughts, emotions, will power, bodies, albeit incredibly large bodies.
    • Fundamental difference was in terms of power, longevity, authority, influence, and knowledge.
    • Deity is thought to be seated on a celestial throne
      • cf. Temple imagery of Ps. 133
      • Zion is the Temple/Palace of Yahweh.
    • Syro-Palestinian religions shared the idea of a “fundamentally unfathomable divine essence… in the notion of holiness” (2045).
  • PANHEONS
    • Oldest pantheon is from Ebla (c. 2450-2250)
      • Dagan is the leader of the pantheon, followed by Adda (Addu/Adad/Hadad)
      • Dif. Adads worshiped in near cities
    • Cthonic deities played a role in ancient Syro-Palestinian religious thought.
    • Baal and Hadad developed into distinct deities, one Canaanite and the other Aramean.
      • Different forms of Hadad based on location.
    • Phoenicia
      • Main goddess is Ashtarte, associated with Baal Shamem.
      • Baal Shamem is also associate with Baal Malage and Zaphon.
        • Seafaring gods.
    • Philistines worshiped Dagan.
    • Transjordan inhabited by Israelite, Ammonites, and Moabites, according to HB.
      • Milcom of the Ammonites, Chemosh of the Moabites
      • Both these deities are also situated at Ugarit.
      • Group of underworld deities called the Shaddayin
        • Occurs in Ps. 106.36 as the god of child sacrifice.
    • Edom
      • Regarded by Israel as kindred.
      • Religious, this was very real; Yahweh, national god of Judah and Israel, is often associated with Mount Paran and Mount Seir.
      • “it is the nearly unanimous verdict of historians of Israelite religion that Yahweh has southeast Semitic origins, whether his first worshiper were Kenites, MIdians, or Edomnites
        • Yahweh is not a traditional member of the West Semitic Pantheon
        • Although some characteristics of Baal was transferred to Yahweh, Yahweh’s origins were not in the West Semitic pantheon (p. 2047).
  • National Theologies.
    • Each communities in Syro-Palestinian region has one or two primary gods
      • For city, tribe, or nation.
      • I.e. Adad of Aleppo is not the same as Adad of Damascus.
    • Polytheism was counterbalanced by “a particularism in the dovotion”.
    • Notion of inheritance is employed outside of Israel
      • Ugaritic texts call Mt. Zaphon the “inheritance of Baal”; netherworld the inheritance of Mot, god of death” (2048)
    • Still on the notion of inheritance
      • Philo of Byblos wrote:
        • Kronos gave Byblos to Baaltis
        • Beirut to Poseidon
        • Egypt to Thoth
    • Covenant, perhaps, popularily in Israelite religion because Yahweh was not always the god of Israel
      • He had to compete with other West Semitic gods.
      • “It may be surmised that he championed this covenant theology precisely because of the actual polytheism of his day” (2048).
        • Use Deut. 6:4 as an example.
      • Yahweh was not automatically the god of Israel
        • So it had to be constructed theologically.
    • While this approach to Yahweh’s centrality, namely the aforementioned, is unique, there are other West Semitic parallels
      • Baal at Ugarit, Dagan among Philistines, Chemosh among Moabites
        • These were the main gods; other existed, but they were lesser.
    • “Devotion to the national god became a sign of political allegiance and patriotism” (2048).
      • True, but the terms van der Toorn uses have far too much baggage in the modern period.
  • Religion and politics
    • King played an important role in religion
      • 2 Kings 11:17
        • priest Jehoiada “made a covenant between Yahweh and the king and the people, that they should be Yahweh’s people; and also between the king and the people” (2049)
      • “So intricate were their links [palace and temple] that it is often difficult to say where religion stops and politics begin and vice versa.
    • wrong to say that religion was a “state ideology in disguise” (2049).
    • priests of royal sanctuaries were like civil servants.
    • Political authorities tried to maintain power through policies on religious life.
      • Saul tried to get rid of necromancers and wizards (1 Sam. 28:3).
      • David transfered ark from Kirath-jearim to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6)
        • A political AND religious move.
      • King Jeroboam embellished Bethel and Dan sactuaries/changes date of autumn festival (1 Kings 12:25-33).
    • Incriptions throughout Syro-Palestinian area show that kings were divine elected.
      • Lady of Byblos made Yehawilk king of Byblos
      • Baalshamein make Zakkur king of Hamath and Lu’ash
      • We see this is Psalms through things like Ps. 2:7 and 110:3, both of which say, “I have begotten you.
        • Divine paternity legitimized his position.
      • Some double rulers as king and priest.
        • king of Byblos was also the priest of the Lady of Byblos (2049)
      • Some northern Aramiac kingdom referred king as a steward of the storm-god Hadad.
      • We see this in Israel as well when kings are reported to offer sacrifices at altars.
        • Find these references.
    • Ancient Israelite religion had a procession of the ark into the temple to commemorate creation, which prolaimed Yahweh’s kingship’
      • Also happens in LBA Ugarit and Emar.
      • And in Babylon.
  • Temples
    • Many open-air shrines throughout 1st and 2nd millennium.
    • Some cult installations were expanded into temples, or palaces for the temple.
      • E(2).KAL is a palace in Akkadian or a temple for a diety.
    • Temples typically contained images, and thus housing, for various gods.
      • Ugarit had temples for El, Baal, Dagan, and others.
      • Emar had temples for Ninurta, Adad, Ninkur, and others.
      • Iron Age Judah: Temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem.
        • image of Baal and Asherah referred to as “vessels” (2 Kings 23:4)
        • Hostpilaity for worship of sun-god and Tammuz (Ezekial 8:14-160 (2051).
    • Juridical function of temples based on theology.
      • The judge was the deity.
    • “The situation at the Israelite temple at Bethel is probably characteristic of many Syro-Palestinian sanctuaries” (2051).
      • Amos encountered a priest at a temple in Bethel while prophecying against him.  (Amos 7:10-13)
    • In short, temple was central in Syro-Palestinian religion; it was the intersection of heaven and earth; the crossroads of religion, social, economic, juridical, and politics (2052).
  • Priest
    • Priests needed to be unblemished throughout Syro-Palestinian region.
      • Cf. Leviticus 21:16-24
    • In Emar, they had the sacrificer, carrier of divine statue, diviner, singer, spouse of god, etc. (2052).
  • Worship
    • Three types of offering in Israel
      • Burnt, flour, and wine.
    • These were also offerings at Ugarit and Iron Age Phoenicia (2053).
    • Also, sheep, lamb, cows, birds, cereal, fruit, libations of win/hony/ghee/milk.
    • Some meant sacrificing animals and then eating it.
      • Meat was a rarity.
      • Usually done for thankgiving for divine favor, vow payment, or spontaneous desire (Lev. 7:11-18).
    • Annual sacrifice in Autumn, sacrifice at time of plower and sowing (October and December; end of harvent (Spring) (2053).
    • Hymns considered part of temple worship.
      • Similarities between a text at Ugarit (1.101:1-4) and Ps. 29, showing a shared tradition.
      • See all other Psalms, of course.
    • Various gestures for worship, symbolic of social relations
      • bow down, bend over, etc. (2054).
    • Sometimes, fees had to be paid to priest for sacrifice (2 Kings 12:16)
      • This also happens in late examples of Punic tariffs which require payment to priest for sacrifice.
    • Go to temples to get oracles
      • Some prophets were actually paid, some were not.
  • When I am ready to write, read pg. 2056-57 on ISRAELITE MONOTHEISM. This is an incredibly important thing to focus on when I write.

Iconography of Deities and Demons in the ANE

I just came across a resource which may be valuable for people who don’t have access to libraries. It is an iconographic dictionary of deities and demons in the ancient Near East. Currently, 136 articles are available for free. These articles are excellent because they recognize commonalities between deities; however, they also recognize what makes the deities distinct.

http://www.religionswissenschaft.uzh.ch/idd/prepublication.php

On the Origins of Scripture

One way to categorize how Christians in antiquity, especially the 1st-3rd centuries CE, understood the idea of a Bible is through three categories: normative, authoritative, and Scriptural. Normative means the tradition is standard and accepted amongst many. Authoritative means the tradition is standard and carries the an authoritative status. Authoritative can either be in a written text, or not. Scriptural means the understanding of a body of literature compiled into one, coherent piece. Scriptural does include the idea of authoritative tradition; however, the movement from authoritative to Scriptural results in the importance of the written material.

One of Origen’s letters, Exhortation to Martyrdom, offers some insight into this question. I won’t cite the text for the sake of time. This is mainly because I want to work out this idea in my own head.

Throughout the letter, he consistently speaks about what Jesus spoke, what Paul spoke, and even what the book of Revelation spoke. Obviously, the “speaking” done by Paul, Jesus, and Revelation occurs through the medium of a text. On the other hand, the Hebrew Bible is a written text. When referencing the Hebrew Bible, Origen references it as a written, material thing. Although he sometimes talks about what Yahweh said to Moses, it is a reference to a story told through a written, material tradition.

In other words, references to what we call the New Testament tend to be understood stood as an authoritative tradition. Even though they have material texts, the texts are simply a medium for a spoken, authoritative tradition. Distinct from these, references to the Hebrew Bible tend to be understood as written text. These texts were written in the past and were now relevant for Origen. As far as I am aware, they are not reference as “spoken” in this letter (i.e. “Thus, Moses speaks”).

In short, based on my short reading of Origen, the New Testament traditions are part of an authoritative tradition, which found its way to Origen through text. The Hebrew Bible is part of Scriptural in the sense that it is a written, material thing. This written, material thing is the object from which Origen draws meaning from the written word for his day. In reference to New Testament literature, Origen draws from the spoken word for his day, which just happens to be spoken through a medium of literature.

How Should We Think of Religion in Ancient Israel?

 

merneptah_israel_stele_cairo

The Merneptah Stele (originally at Wikipedia)

In a 2015 article written by Christoph Uehlinger, he questions how scholars who study ancient Israel think about ancient Israelite religion within its larger southern Levantine and West Semitic context. His point is that how scholars approach ancient Israelite religion is often problematic.  They either argue that “Iron Age Israel was no different at all from “Canaanite” or “West Semitic” religion” (13). On the other hand, some scholars consider ancient Israel to be the distinct “other” in the West Semitic religious milieu.

On these grounds, he challenges scholars of religion, especially biblical scholars: how can we re-think our approaches to ancient Israelite religion in a way that accomplishes the two major tasks, namely situating ancient Israelite religion within a broader Near Eastern, West Semitic, and Levantine context and simultaneously conceputlizing the distinctiveness of ancient Israelite religion? Uehlinger says it best: “the bigger challenge lying before us is to reconceptualize distinctiveness in terms of diversity without neglecting the equally obvious, and plausible, commonalities” (14).

This tension between commonalities and differences is exactly what I am interested in exploring. Though, even if scholars develop a model that accurate portrays the tensions of ancient Israelite and Canaanite religion (or should I say Israelite, Edomite, Moabite religions?), the greater challenge will be finding a way to effectively communicate the understandings to the public. Even if complex, nuanced, and thorough models are developed for approaching and interpreting religion in a West Semitic and South Levantine context, those models will not be comprehensive for the public.

The question I raise, then, is this: in midst of developing new approach to “West Semitic religion,” how might we simultaneously work to make the analyses comprehensible for a public audience?

 

Uehlinger, Christoph. “Distinctive or diverse? Conceptualizing ancient Israelite religion in its southern Levantine setting.” In Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (1), vol. 4, 2015. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Continued: Notes on “Civilizations of the Ancient Near East”

This is a continuation of my current project. Click here for the first post which outlines the project.

Palaces and Temples in Canaan and Ancient Israel (Vol. 1-2, William G. Dever, 605-614).

  • Utilizes the terms “Syria” and “Palestine” to avoid ethnic and time-bound terms (605).
  • For my purposes, I am not too interested in palaces.
  • Temples
    • Easier to identify because they held to a stereotypical style (607).
    • Smaller sanctuaries and private shrines often remain enigmatic (607).
    • Main ways to think of this region’s temples:
      • Houses for the gods
      • consecrated for sacred usage
      • run by priests
      • worship consisted of offering gifts, like food and drink.
        • Often times, the gods were related to aspects of fertility.
    • Chalcolithic-Early Bronze Age (c. 4000-2000)
      • Temple at En-gedi on a hill top with pits for offerings and an open area.
      • Later temples were constructed atop this site.
    • Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000-1500)
      • Four basic types
        • Two long room types
          • In these, they may have served both a religious and administrative function.
        • A threeroom type, which became the standard Phoenician and Israelite
        • Smaller temples or shrines which do not fit with the preceeding categories (609-610).
    • Late Bronze Age (c. 1500-1200)
      • Three-room, tripartite temple became standard.
        • I should look up pictures of these Temples and show this aspect of religion visually. Material culture is good.
      • Area H temple at Hazor best fits with this tripartite structure (Stratum XV)
      • There were also “bench temples”
        • Small sanctuaries with one or two rooms, plus a side room.
        • Bench around wall; central altar on back wall for worshippers.
        • See for reference Amenhotep III Stratum VII and Sety I Stratum VI temples at Beth She’an, Tel Mevorakh Stratum VIII temple, and three temples at Lachish “Faosse Temples”
        • At Hazor, the “Stelae Temple” of Area C has ten basalt standing stones. See also “Summit Temple at Lachish and Dayr ‘Alla in the Jordan valley.
      • Iron Age (c. 1200-600)
        • This is the most relevant for my writing. The previous data offers the historical and archaeological heritage of ancient Israelite temples.
        • Best preserved Philistine temple is Strata XII-X, 12th-10th century, at Tell Qasile.
        • Similar to bench temples in the Late Bronze Age; however, these ones had Aegean features, like votive offerings in large storeroom behind the altar. Also, a large outer court.
        • Israelite temples
          • Dan on the border of Palestine
            • Open air sacrificial podium
            • adjacent two room temple with altars.
            • Among finds were male and female figurines, incense stands, miniature altars, incense offering shovels.
            • Dates to 10th to 8th century and reflects 1 Kings 12:31, the period in which Jereboam ruled.
          • Arad, near Beer-Sheba
            • Same period as the Dan temple
            • tripartite structure
            • large sacrificial altar in open forecourt
            • smaller altars in inner chambers
            • Incense stands
            • bronze lion
            • “two shallow plate sinscribed with an abbreviated Hebrew formula that probably means “sanctificed for the priests” (1-2.611).
          • Smaller Israelite cultic installations
            • These were not temples; rather, ‘private shrines for family use” (611).
            • Short list
              • Shrine 2081 at Megiddo, “cult building” at Taanach, Tell al-Far’a gateway shrine, “Cult Room 49” at Lachish.
              • The aforementioned are all dated to the 10th century BCE.
            • Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, in eastern Sinai wilderness
              • Dever says 8th century; however, I have an article which, based on Carbon Dating, suggests that Kuntillet Ajrud can be dated back to the 10th century BCE. Thus, it would match with the Short list provided.
              • Inscribed stone votive bowl
                • What does this mean and what was inscribed on it?
              • “painted cultic scenes familiar from Canaanite and Phoeneician art
              • Hebrew graffiti
                • Blessing formulas relate to El, Baal, Yahweh, and Aherah.
              • ‘Ajrud shrine for “caravans traversing the desert region.
                • Still, though, it is primarily Israelite-Judean.
            • Temple-sanctuary at Qitmit, east of Beer-sheba in eastern Negev Desrt
              • Dated the seventh century.
              • Edomite
                • Many terra-cottta deity representations.
            • Most famous is Solomon’s Temple, but we only see this directly in 1 Kings 6-7.
              • My thought: Based on the existence of many other temples through Palestine in the 10th century, Solomon’s Temple is not implausible to imagine. Although, it may not have been as grand as 1 Kings 6-7 describes it.
        • Palace-Temple combinations existed:
          • palace-temple combinations from the 9th-8th centuries
            • Zincirli and Tell Halaf in Syria
            • These complexes support the possibility of a palace-temple complex constructed by Solomon.
          • Canaanite palace-temple complexes remind us of the lack of distinction between state and religion.
            • King appointed priests, at least for the main place of worship
            • King also acted as a religious official.
            • Offerings to gods were often claimed by the kings.
            • “royal and priestly structures served a crucial social role in both centralizing and legitimizing national ideology” (612).
              • While I completely agree with this, I do think that it needs to be nuanced. What distinguishes palace-temple complexes, and the god-king-priest relationship therein, in a West Semitic context from an East Semitic context? While there is overlap, I think that Sanders’ book may help to clarify this issue. It will help me to localize Israelite-Judean religion.
          • Temples and Everyday Life
            • Temples indicated signs of wealth among Canaanite, Judean, and Israelite rulers.
              • Less than Egypt or Mesopotamia, of course.
            • Highly stratified society (speculative).
            • What can we learn from these temples, though?
              • For actual religious practice, it is tough.
              • By looking at what was offered, though, we can understand what sort of things were given as offering to the gods, or god.
              • Object recovered at Tel Mevorakh (Strata XI-X, c. 1400-1200) were divided into three categories
                • votives or costly gifts
                • vessels for food and drink offerings.
                  • Like stone cup, mortar, mini libation table.
                • impliments for liturgical function
                  • Like snake figure, dagger, arrowheads
              • Other stuffs, like seals, bead, pendant, game pieces, jar, pots, bowls, platters, chalices, cups, etc. all seem to be evidence of what was offered at a public shrine.
                • Likely to El, Asherah, Ball, or ‘Anat; by this period Yahweh is not a deity in the region.
                • Still, these offerings from a LBA help us to understand what constituted religious worship in the heritage of ancient Judean-Israel religion.

Brief notes on Legal and Social Institutions in Canaan and Ancient Israeli, by Hector Avalos

  • Priests often served as judges (622).
  • Priests usually inherited their position (623).
  • There were very structured temple hierarchies (623).
    • This is shared in Phoenician and Hebrew texts (623).
    • Each one expresses the hierarchies in a different way (623).

Brief notes on Ahab of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah by Joseph Blenkinsopp

  • Bethel and Dan were set up by Jereboam to rival Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:26-33), (p. 1315).
  • Imagery of a golden, young bull, familiar from Canaanite iconography, “either represented Yahweh or served as his pedestal” (1316).
  • Like mentioned to entries ago, there was a large place for sacrifice at Tel Dan, constructed by Jeroboam I – the Omrids expanded it (1317).
  • Sanctuary at the fortress of Arad had two incense altars and a sort of holy of holies.
    • Used in the 9th and 8th centuries – abandoned at the end of the 8th century (1317).
  • According to HB, Ahab build an Asherah. Likewise, the HB notes four hundred prophets of Asherah (1 Kings 16:33, 18:19). Even with a strong Yahwistic zeal, cult of Asherah still flourished until the destruction of Jerusalem and beyond. It was considered acceptable worship alongside Yahweh.
    • Cf. Kuntillet ‘Ajrud inscriptions and Khirbat al-Qom. These both attest to a strong relation between cult of Yahweh and Asherah.
      • Blenkinsopp translates it as, “I bless you by Yahweh of Samaria and by his Asherah” (1317).
      • May be dated as early as 10th century. Z. Meshel dates it to as early as the second half of the 9th century.
    • In neighboring regions, like Melqart of Tyre and Chemosh of Moab, they were worshiped with a female consort (1318). Thus, for ancient Israelite-Judean religion to do so is not unheard of or surprising.
  • Samaria ostraca include elements of Yahweh. They wrote YW, “corresponding to the Judean YHW” (1318), 8 for Baal, some with El, Gad, and Bes.
  • In the midst of all this, there were extremist cults dedicated to the cult of Yahweh alone.
    • Of course, this is questionable. Perhaps these cults were monolatry. Eventually, though, they began to turn into an early form of monotheism in order to retain their ethnic identity (Mark Smith and others).
  • With the rise of Omri, king of Israelite, sought closer ties with Phoenician cities through marriage and peace.
    • This was not received well because it broke customs and traditions (1318).