Hezekiahs Alleged Cultic Centralization

Cult Centralization in the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Origins of Deuteronomy
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Herodotus wrote of the invasion and acknowledges many Assyrian deaths, which he claims were the result of a plague of mice. The Assyrians, on the other hand, claimed that Sennacherib raised his siege of Jerusalem after Hezekiah acknowledged Sennacherib as his overlord and paid him tribute. Curiously, the Bible does indeed record that eventually Hezekiah saw Sennacherib's determination, and offered to pay him three hundred talents of silver and thirty of gold in tribute, even despoiling the doors of the Temple to produce the promised amount.

Nevertheless, in a true revisionist-history manner, the Biblical account maintains that Hezekiah anticipated the Assyrian invasion and made at least one major preparation called Hezekiah's tunnel, which is more commonly known as the Siloam Tunnel. At the same time a wall was built around the Pool of Siloam, into which the waters from the spring flowed and which was where all the spring waters were channeled. The wall surrounded the entire city, which bored up to Mount Zion. An impressive vestige of this structure is the broad wall in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the death of Sennacherib came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat.. Esarhaddon his son became king in his place. The Bible does not say when this took place, but Assyrian records show that Sennacherib was assassinated by his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, in BC - i.

He was succeeded by Esarhaddon as the Assyrian king. The narrative of Hezekiah's sickness and miraculous recovery is found in several parts of the Bible. Supposedly, various ambassadors came to congratulate him on his recovery, among them Merodach-baladan, the king of Babylon. Hezekiah is also remembered for giving too much information to Baladan, king of Babylon, for which he was confronted by Isaiah the prophet. The Talmudic account states that Isaiah went to tell Hezekiah that he was going to die because he deliberately did not have children.

This was on account of the fact that Hezekiah had seen prophetically that his child would be an idolator and therefore he preferred not to have children. Isaiah told him he was required to fulfil the biblical commandment of "be fruitful and multiply" and not outguess God about what the future would bring. Isaiah then suggested perhaps if his own daughter married Hezekiah in the merit of righteous parents their children would also be righteous. Hezekiah agreed and Isaiah's daughter bore him Manasseh King Hezekiah is believed to have introduced substantial religious reforms. There is, however, evidence from archaeology that suggests he allowed, and indeed built temples at Lachish and Arad, and allowed a high place to continue in operation at Beersheba.

The statements of his righteous actions may be "simply Deuteronomistic propaganda". Manasseh was a king of the Kingdom of Judah, the only son and successor of Hezekiah [and Isaiah's daughter]. He was co-regent with Hezekiah and reigned solely until his death. He was married to Meshullemeth , daughter of Haruz of Jotbah, and they had a son Amon , who succeeded him as king of Judah upon his death. Manasseh was the first king of Judah who would not have had a direct experience of a Kingdom of Israel, which had been destroyed by the Assyrians in c.

He is mentioned in Assyrian records as a contemporary of Esarhaddon. His reign of 55 years 10 of which he was co-regent with his father , is the longest in the history of Judah. He built altars to pagan gods all over Israel, his reign described as reactionary in relation to his father's; he may even have executed supporters of his father's reforms.

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One tradition tells that Manasseh was taken captive to Babylon by the king of Assyria, Esarhaddon. Such captive kings were usually treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. The severity of Manasseh's imprisonment may have brought him to repentance. He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and enjoined the people to worship HaShem, although there was no reformation.

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The Divine in Creation. He was slain at Lachish, to which he had fled. They were brought before the conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. Thesis, Tel Aviv University, Acts

Amon [ shades of Egypt! He also continued his father's practice of idolatry, and set up the images as his father had done. His reign was marked by moral depravity. Amon was succeeded by his son Josiah , who was eight years old. Josiah "supported of the Lord" c. Josiah may have instituted major reforms, and is credited by some historians with having established or discovered [ aka created out of thin air for PR purposes ] important Jewish scriptures during the Deuteronomic reform that occurred during his rule.

In addition, BC is an era when enormous changes were occurring throughout the world Johanan Eliakim born c. Mattanyahu born c. Zedekiah was the last king of Judah before the kingdom was conquered by Babylon and the people exiled. In some venues this realization of the extreme negativity of even having priests around At the end of Amon 's reign, the international situation was in flux: to the east, the Assyrian Empire was beginning to disintegrate, the Babylonian Empire had not yet risen to replace it, and Egypt to the west was still recovering from Assyrian rule.

In this power vacuum, Jerusalem was able to govern itself without foreign intervention. And despite the possibilities of peace and prosperity raising its war-weary head Josiah had not yet become converted to the ways of the priests. It was only in the eighteenth year of his rule, that Josiah began to encourage the exclusive worship of Yahweh and outlawed all other forms of worship.

He destroyed the living quarters for male prostitutes, which were in the Temple , and also destroyed foreign pagan objects related to the worship of Baal, Ashterah or Asherah , "and all the hosts of the heavens". Interestingly, Asherah is considered to be the Shekinah , the consort and beloved of Yahweh.

Moses and Aaron reportedly carried her staffs of healing power, and Asherah was widely known in the ancient Middle East as a Goddess of Healing. But that was not the way it used to be. Prior to the Babylonian invasion, however, the goddess Ashtoreth was an important a figure as Jehovah in the culture of the Hebrews.

She represented Jehovah, but was opposed to him in matters of retribution. It emphasizes the intuitive grasp of the absolute truth of the ancient Masters -- the Great Archons who brought forth the world out of primeval chaos.

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A re-examination of the highly charged issue of cult centralization in the late This study does not deal with the separate issue of Hezekiah's alleged cultic. by Hezekiah. This study does not deal with the separate issue of Hezekiah's alleged cultic reform. Keywords: Ahaz, Arad, Asuhili, Beersheba, cultic centralization.

Meanwhile, back at the Hebrew Pro-Defamation League for the defaming of all goddesses, other gods, and the world in general, Josiah was having all living pagan priests executed. Josiah even went to the bother of having the bones of dead pagan priests exhumed from their graves and burned on their altars Josiah even destroyed altars and images of pagan deities in cities of the tribes of Manasseh, Ephraim, "and Simeon, as far as Naphtali", which were outside of Judah. Josiah ordered the High Priest Hilkiah to use the tax monies which had been collected over the years to repair the neglect and damage suffered by the Temple during the reigns of Amon and Manasseh.

Some modern critics speculate that the book was a forged by the priests in order to centralize power under Josiah. Other scholars disagree, arguing that a priestly forgery was unlikely, as the text itself placed restrictions on the privileges of the priestly class, who were actually a thorn in the side of King Josiah. Nevertheless, modern scholars who do not believe that these laws were a revelation of God to Moses, and that instead, assume that this Deuteronomy was forged by Josiah's priests, and that the core narrative from Genesis to 2 Kings up to Josiah's reign comprise a "Deuteronomistic History" that was written during Josiah's reign The phrase "the book of the Torah" in 2 Kings is identical to the phrase used in Joshua and to describe the sacred writings that Joshua had received from Moses.

Despite the precise meaning of the phrase to refer to the entire Torah or books of Moses it is "the" book of the Torah, not "a" book of the Torah , many scholars believe this was either a copy of the Book of Deuteronomy or a text that later became a part of Deuteronomy. Hilkiah brought this scroll to Josiah's attention, and the king had it read to a crowd in Jerusalem. He was praised for this piety by the prophetess Huldah, who made the prophecy that all involved would die without having to see God's judgment on Judah for the sins they had committed in prior generations.

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And all based on a fabricated Josiah also reinstituted the Passover celebrations and returned the Ark of the Covenant to the Temple. This was the last recorded mention of this central Jewish artifact. Could it be that Josiah was dealing with a faint copy And in fact it was this copied artifact that simply disappeared from the scene?

Note that the original had an incredible history of death, destruction, and uncontrollable power. Now it was just a box with handles? At some point between this year and his death, Josiah reasserted Judean control in the former territories of the Kingdom of Israel in part by systematically destroying the cultic objects in various cities and executing the priests of pagan gods.

Destroying the religious sites of others is one of the great traditions.

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At the head of a large army, consisting mainly of his mercenaries, Necho took the coast route Via Maris into Syria, supported by his Mediterranean fleet along the shore, and proceeding through the low tracts of Philistia and Sharon. He prepared to cross the ridge of hills which shuts in on the south the great Jezreel Valley, but here he found his passage blocked by the Judean army led by Josiah.

Josiah had sided with the Babylonians and attempted to block the advance at Megiddo. A fierce battle was fought and Josiah was killed. Necho then joined forces with Ashur-uballit Assyrians and together crossed the Euphrates and laid siege to Harran. Necho failed to capture the city, however, and retreated back to northern Syria. Nevertheless, the Assyrian Empire soon collapsed.

Leaving a sizable force behind, Necho returned to Egypt. On his return, he found the Judeans had selected Jehoahaz to succeed his father Josiah , whom Necho deposed and replaced with Jehoiakim. He brought Jehoahaz back to Egypt as his prisoner, where Jehoahaz ended his days. The Book of 2 Chronicles gives a lengthier account and states that King Josiah was fatally wounded by Egyptian archers and was brought back to Jerusalem to die. His death was a result of "not listen[ing] to what Necho had said at God's command It is not you I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war.

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God has told me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you. Jeremiah wrote a lament for Josiah's passing, which is stated in Lamentations 4. How to get this document?

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There is an Open Access version for this licensed article that can be read free of charge and without license restrictions. The content of the Open Access version may differ from that of the licensed version. Document information Title:. Imperialism , Roman rule , Civic life , Rom. Table of contents conference proceedings The table of contents of the conference proceedings is generated automatically, so it can be incomplete, although all articles are available in the TIB.

Wie sprach Rom mit seinen Untertanen? Grabmonumente als Zeichen des sozialen Aufstiegs der neuen Eliten in den germanischen Provinzen. Living like the Romans? Some remarks on domestic architecture in North Africa and Britain. Substitutes for emperors and members of the imperial families as local magistrates. Similar titles. Lammi, W. British Library Conference Proceedings Kaplan, R. As a daughter, Athaliah would have also been the daughter of Jezebel. According to Wikipedia, [ the semi-official orthodox version is that ] Jezebel was a Phoenician princess, the daughter of King Itho baal I of Sidon, who married King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom during the time the nation of Israel was divided into Northern Israel and Southern Judah kingdoms.

She turns Ahab away from the deity of the Israelites and toward the worship of the Phoenician god, Baal. The queen uses her control over Ahab to let temples of Baal operate in Israel, leads the Hebrews into idolatry, "sexual immorality" and subjects them to tyranny, [ i. After she has the prophets of Yahweh slaughtered [ and the problem is? When Ahaziah is killed in battle, she exercises control through her other son, Jehoram Israel.

Meanwhile, Yahweh is not resting on his laurels and speaks through Elijah's successor, the prophet Elisha, and has one of his servants anoint Jehu [son of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah] as King of Israel in Jehoram's place, adding "thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master.

Jehu then confronts Jezebel in Jezreel and urges her eunuchs to kill the queen mother by throwing her out a window. They comply, tossing her out the window, [having her trampled with horses] and leaving her in the street to be eaten by dogs. Only Jezebel's skull, feet, and hands remained. The name Jezebel has come down through the centuries to be used as a general name for wicked women.

Her Biblical account depicts her as a scheming, manipulative woman who did more than anyone to promote an evil religion. In particular, Jezebel has come to be associated with promiscuity. The phrase "painted Jezebel", with connotations of immorality and prostitution, is based on 2 Kings where Jezebel puts on her makeup just before being killed. She may have done this to encourage her captors to keep her alive as a consort rather than kill her. While the Bible generally depicts Jezebel as a faithful wife, she is remembered more for her introduction of Baal worship and its accompanying promiscuity to the Israelites.

Kings with wives were not promiscuous?

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Feminists see Jezebel as a strong and assertive woman, who was attacked and finally murdered by the fanatic male representatives of a male-dominated religion, and whose memory was continually vilified for thousands of years for the same reason — i. Isaac Asimov, an outspoken atheist, but who was raised as a Jew, included Jezebel in one of his novels. The main character saw Jezebel as an ideal wife and a woman who, in full compliance with the mores of the time, promoted her own religion in a conscientious fashion.

For the historian, the story of Ahab and Jezebel gives a detailed account of an intense religious-political struggle — the most detailed of any period in the history of the Kingdom of Israel -- but written from a highly partisan point of view, and with no surviving documents that represent the other side of the controversy. Moreover, the account is mainly interested in the religious side of the events, with the political, economic and social background — highly important to modern historians — given only incidentally.

Obviously, Ahab's marriage to Jezebel was - at least to begin with - a dynastic marriage intended to cement a Phoenician alliance going back to the times of Solomon. This alliance gave the inland Kingdom of Israel all-important access to international trade.

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The monarchy and possibly an urban elite connected with it enjoyed the wealth derived from this trade, which gave it a stronger position vis-a-vis the rural landowners, and made for a more centralized and powerful monarchical administration. Unfortunately, Jezebel, with her foreign religion and cosmopolitan culture , represented a hated Phoenician alliance from which the landowners had little to gain and much to lose. One view of Jezebel is that she simply did not accept Ahab's God, Yahweh. Rather, she led Ahab to tolerate Baal. This is why she was vilified by the Deuteronomist, whose goal was to stamp out polytheism.

She represented a view of womanhood that was opposite of those extolled in such characters as Ruth the Moabite, also a foreigner. Ruth surrenders her identity and submerges herself in Israelite ways; she adopts their religious and social norms and is universally praised for her conversion to God [ an approved gold digger ].


Jezebel steadfastly remains true to her beliefs [ an unapproved Queen ]. Figure 1. Descendants of David, Bathsheba, and Maacah. He is also called Jehoahaz. His son was Joash. Ahaziah joined his uncle Jehoram, King of Israel, in an unsuccessful expedition against Hazael, king of the Arameans. Jehoram was wounded in the battle, and when Ahaziah went to visit his uncle at Jezreel, he was caught up in the revolt of Jehu ; Ahaziah fled for his life, but was wounded at the pass of Gur, and had strength only to reach Megiddo, where he died.

He is said to have reigned only one year. It is not clear if Jehu killed two kings as the Bible says or Hazael. There are also two Jehoahaz's and two Jehoash's. Apparently, things were just a bit confused at the time. While yet an infant, he was saved from the general massacre commanded by Athaliah of the family by her aunt Jehosheba, and was apparently the only surviving male descendant of his grandfather Jehoram. As the extermination of the male descendants of David was a divine retribution for the extermination of the priests by David, Joash escaped death because in the latter case one priest, Abiathar, survived.

The hiding-place of Joash was either one of the chambers behind the Holy of Holies or one of the upper chambers of the Temple. Athaliah was taken by surprise when she heard the shout of the people, "Long live the king" [Really? This period of history in Israel and Judah illustrates the continual battle between the priests and the somewhat more secular heads of state It was similar to the same anointing of Solomon and Zedekiah, the succession of each being contested. Particular mention is made of the crown placed on Joash's head, and because it fitted exactly, showed that he was qualified for kingship.

Joash is one of the four kings omitted by Matthew in the genealogy of Jesus, along with Ahaziah, Amaziah, and Jehoiakim. His killing of Zechariah ben Jehoiada is referred to in Matthew When the Syrian king Hazael marched against Jerusalem, Joash bribed him with the gold of the royal and sacred treasuries to turn back; this proved fruitless for the Syrian army persisted to destroy all the princes of Judah and the soldiers "executed judgment against Joash," and they left him severely wounded. Joash was assassinated by his own servants at Beth-milo, after a reign of forty years, and his assassination is recorded as an act of revenge for the blood of Zechariah Joash was one of the four men who pretended to be gods.

He was persuaded thereto particularly by the princes, who said to him. He began his reign by punishing the murderers of his father. He was the first to employ a mercenary army of , Israelite soldiers, which he did in his attempt to bring the Edomites again under the yoke of Judah. He was commanded by an unnamed prophet to send back the mercenaries, a command to which he acquiesced, much to the annoyance of the mercenaries.

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Nevertheless, Amaziah began to worship some of the idols he took from the Edomites, which the author of Chronicles believes led to his ruin and his defeat by Jehoash, king of Israel whom he had challenged to battle. His defeat was followed by a conspiracy that took his life. He was slain at Lachish, to which he had fled. He was buried in the royal sepulchre in Jerusalem. Uzziah was the king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, and one of Amaziah 's sons, whom the people appointed to replace his father.

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He first became co-regent with Amaziah c. He was struck with leprosy c. Uzziah died c. He had taken the throne at the age of sixteen. His long reign of about fifty-two years was "the most prosperous excepting that of Jehoshaphat since the time of Solomon. In the earlier part of his reign, under the influence of a prophet named Zechariah, he was faithful to Yahweh, and "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord".

His fame spread far and wide, as he became powerful. But then, his pride led to his downfall. Azariah the High Priest saw the tendency of such a daring act on the part of the king, and with a band of eighty priests he withstood him, saying, "It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense. This bit is ours! Accordingly he was driven from the Temple and compelled to reside in "a separate house" until his death.

The government was turned over to his son Jotham, indicating a co-regency that lasted for the last 11 years of Uzziah's life. He was buried in a separate grave "in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings". Currently, the stratigraphic evidence at Gezer dates the earthquake at BC, plus or minus 25 years, while the earthquake level at Hazor dates it to BC based on stratigraphic analysis of the destruction debris.

Similarly, the "sudden destruction" level at Lachish dates it to approximately BC. These dates are inconsistent with the tradition, found in Josephus and the Talmud, but not in the Bible, that the earthquake occurred when Uzziah entered the Temple to offer incense. Some writers object to the use of co-regencies in determining the dates of the kings of Judah and Israel, saying that there should be explicit reference to co-regencies if they existed.

Since there is no word for "co-regency" in Biblical Hebrew, an explicit mention using this word will never be found. In the case of Uzziah, however, the statement that after he was stricken with leprosy, his son Jotham had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land is a fairly straightforward indication of what in modern terms is called a co-regency. Co-regencies are well attested in Egypt, and an interesting fact is that the pharaohs, in giving the year of their reign, never relate whether it is measured from a co-regency. Egyptologists must determine the existence of a co-regency from a comparison of chronological data.

After noting how David set a pattern by setting his son Solomon on the throne before his death, one might dare to conclude that dating the co-regencies accurately is indeed the key for solving the problems of biblical chronology in the eighth century B. Jotham "God is perfect or complete" was the king of Judah, and son of Uzziah with Jerusha , daughter of a High Priest, i.

Jotham took the throne at the age of twenty-five. Jotham died c. His father Uzziah was afflicted with tzaraas leprosy [ allegedly but almost certainly not ] when he entered the Temple to burn incense. Jotham became governor of the palace and the land at that time, i. Jotham fought wars against Rezin, king of the Arameans, and Pekah, king of Israel. There is an account of his victory over the Ammonites, which resulted in the Ammonites paying him tribute of talents of silver, and 10, kors each of wheat and barley.