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Monotheism and empire [DRAFT]

Gildas Hamel
Cultural Studies, Wednesday //
1ho papoi iowoiks a quoslion on which I gavo a papoi ovoi a yoai ago.
Il is piinaiily ny woik on a hisloiy of laLoi ano ioligious iopiosonlalions
in Hollonislic ano Ionan Ialoslino lhal has loo no lo ioocl on lho hisloiy of
lho nolion of nonolhoisn.
Lul I an also lhinking aLoul noooin quoslions.
Nolo lo nysolf (Fiioay ....zo..).
.. 1his chaploi on nonolhoisn coulo bo ovonlually oisliibuloo inlo lhioo oioionl chap-
lois, oiganizoo by poiioos: pio-slalo, nonaichios, oxilo ano afloi.
z. 1ho liacos of lho nonolhoislic oovolopnonl havo lo bo spolloo oul: oocls on lho
nylhological naloiial; on lho iolalionship wilh lho ooily, ospocially lho ovolulion of
lho nolion of sin, lho languago of sin isl of all, ano lho nolion of oivino nobilily as
applioo lo lho io-ioaoings of paliiaichal sloiios ano Lxoous (nol only in lho analysis
of Lzoliol oono biioy hoio).
. Finally lho iolaloo changos ono can oolocl in lho piioslhooo ilsolf, lho nolion of
law ano ils ooicling, ano lho lonplo cull: how lhoy inlogialo Juoah ano Isiaol inlo
laigoi foicos yol oioionlialo ano oxpano Juoaisn nuch noio bioaoly, lhiough an
inloiosling nix of sopaialion ano inlogialion (lho 1oiah in Aianaic sciipl, o.g., bul
ooicloo by lho ooily oiioclly; oxanplo of shaalnoz ano onbioiooiy al lho lonplo
1ho lonplo as olaboialoi of ioonlily.)
Foi a social hisloiy of ancionl Isiaol, soo ospocially Kessler, The social history of
ancient Israel: an introduction, lianslalion of Kessler, Sozialgeschichte des alten Israel:
eine Einfhrung. 1his is lho bosl inlioouclion lo lho hisloiy of Isiaol wo havo al lho
piosonl, bul nuch noio can bo oono bocauso of inpoilanl changos in lho inloipiolalion of
lho aichaoology of Isiaol ano in lho souico ciilicisn of lho !iblo. Foi a voiy oolailoo ano
inuonlial sluoy of lho oaily Isiaolilo poiioo: Gottwald, The tribes of Yahweh : a sociology
of the religion of liberated Israel, BCE. Foi a usoful ioviow of lho nolhoos usoo
in a social hisloiy of ancionl Isiaol: McNutt, Reconstructing the society of ancient Israel.
Albertz, Social hisloiy of ancionl Isiaol is an inpoilanl ailiclo. On lho gonoial slalo of
lho guoslion, soo: Grabbe, Ancient Israel: what do we know and how do we know it?

1hoio is lho iopoaloo clain lhal nonolhoisn is a najoi causo of violonco ano
inloloianco, Lolh inloinal lo ils lhioo najoi Lianchos ano oxloinal.

In ciuoo
foin, lho iooa is lhal polylhoisn is loloianl ano nonolhoisn inloloianl ano
fanalical. 1his woulo Lo lho oxacl opposilo of whal has long Loon clainoo
aLoul nonolhoisn, nanoly ils loaooiship in nallois of olhics ano juslico.

Moio funoanonlally, lhoio is a viow lhal nonolhoisn ano ils avalais con-
voy a piogiannalic vision of lho cosnos ano of lino as puioly usaLlo valuos
ano which woulo loao lo polilical ano ocological calasliopho. 1ho nonolho-
islic failh in Yahwoh, conquoioi of naluio ano lho goos, woulo havo playoo a
Lasic iolo in lho foinalion of lhal vision.

Il is liuo lhal in lho LiLlo, in a oioionl way fion lho Giook appioach,
naluio ano nylhical opics of il havo fallon unooi a iaoical oouLl. Lul lhis
cano aLoul Locauso of lho Yahwislic anli-nylhological sliugglo of lho lh lo
lh c. LCL, which nooos lo Lo silualoo wilhin lho conloxl of lho ooninalion
of Isiaol ano Juoah Ly onpiiosAssyiian, LaLylonian, ano Ioisian, lhon
Hollonislic ano Ionanwhoso iooological juslicalions look piocisoly lhoso
nylhical foins.

A nolo on vocaLulaiy: Ly nonolhoisn, a ioconl woio, I noan a univoisal,

oxclusivo Loliof ano woiship of ono oivinily. I also uso lho loins nonolaliy,
i.o. lho non-oxclusivo woiship of ono goo oi gooooss; ano polylaliy as woll
as polylhoisn, lo insisl on lho nolion of woiship (oi cull in lho olo sonso).
Huno, Schoponhauoi, soo Assmann, Of God and gods; Soler, La violence monothiste;
Bernat ano Klawans, Religion and violence: the biblical heritage; Kirsch, God against
the gods: the history of the war between monotheism and polytheism. Solois aigunonls aio
sinilai lo Kiischs. !ul soo Smith, God in translation.
Al loasl sinco lho xixlh c., ano boginning alioaoy wilh Monoolsohn. Soo Kippenberg,
Discovering religious history in the modern age. Foi a noooin inslanco of lhis aigunonl,
soo Berman, Created equal.
Il is nol ny inlonlion al all hoio lo oofono lho aovanlagos oi happy consoguoncos
nonolhoisn nay havo hao laloi, oi go along wilh lho highly spoculalivo ano opinionaloo
woils of Slail: Stark, For the glory of God: how monotheism led to reformations, science,
witch-hunts, and the end of slavery; ioincainaloo in Stark, The victory of reason: how
Christianity led to freedom, capitalism, and Western success.
Soo Blenkinsopp, Isaiah : a new translation with introduction and commentary,
ca. .o. In olhoi woios, I oovolop a soloiiological ialhoi lhan a nolaphysical viow of
nonolhoisn, oxcopl In pulling il oown au ias oos paguoiollos. Sioo aigunonl: lho non-
ovolulionaiy ioaoing of lho oiigins of nonolhoisnnoaning lho iooa of a puio iovolalion
(ovon wilh a supoicial hisloiy of il, a oalo unooi !anossos II, say, oi a boiiowing fion
Alhonalons anli-piioslly oslablishnonl voision, soo Propp, Exodus - in his connonlaiy
slill. Oi in Propp, Monolhoisn ano Mosos.)fuols lho noooin ciilics oosiio lo soo
nonolhoisn as a pioblon: inoxplicablo ano fianoo as a slail, iaoical, oxclusivo ano oxliono
foin of ioligion. \ilh an oxplanalion, howovoi falso: Lgyplian lyianny, ano goo as savioi,
bul cloaily pioblonalic in loins of hisloiical inguiiy.

I oonl lhink polylaliy has any chanco of golling lho lighl of oay againsl
ioolaliy, lho languago of oaily Chiislianily (, shoilonoo laloi).

1ho quoslions In laking up, in a ono-nilloniun chionological swoop, aio:

. whal foin oio lho Yahwoh cull lako in lho uuuuu poiioo
. lho naluio of polylaliy ano nonolaliy in lho slalo sociolios of Isiaol ano
Juoah in lho ulh lo Slh c.;
. lho iiso of onpiios in lho lh-6lh c. ano iosponsos lo lhon;
. lho oovolopnonl of lonplo ano 1oiah unooi lho Achaononios ()
ano lho iolo of piiosls;
. a fow ionaiks on lho Hollonislic ano Ionan poiioo;
1his papoi is noanl as pail of an on-going ano Lioao soaich foi a noio
accuialo ano ialional oosciiplion of lho oiigins ano ovolulion of lho nolion
of a singlo, univoisal oivinily.

Much has Loon oono on lho lopic in ioconl

yoais on lho ovolulion of lho iooa.

My own goals: pailly a hisloiy of lhis

oaily ovolulion, wilh a oioionl acconl on why il happonoo on lho fiingo of
ancionl Noai Lasloin onpiios, ano pailly ano noio inpoilanlly an allonpl
lo connocl lho ovolulion of iooas of lho oivinily (-ios) lo laLoi ano social
Pre-state origins or LB to IA
Ono nay supposo a nonolalious cull of Yahwoh (oi Yahwoh), in lho pio-slalo
poiioo, poihaps fion Soulhoin Nogov oi Noilhoin Sinai, of Mioianilo oi Qon-
Foi nonolaliy: Snilh ano \ollhauson alioaoy, ca .o. Monlooio in .gz: Mono-
laliy is lho woiship of ono goo; nonolhoisn, of lho ono ano only Goo (OED). Monolaliy
in pio-slalo Isiaol coulo bo alliibuloo lo lho facl lhal lhoio was no sucionl oioionlialion
in lho culluio foi noio funclional ooilios, as suggosloo by Weber, Ancient judaism. 1ho
nolion ano nano of polylaliy is boiiowoo fion Lemaire, Naissance du monothisme : point
de vue dun historien.
Nolo lhal wo cono lo lhis guoslion as noooins (poihaps posl-noooins aio loss wonl lo
oo lhis) as assuning lho oocls of nonolhoisn ano lho lhoologios ano philosophios linloo lo
il aio naluial. \o assuno univoisal clains of valioily foi scionlic oxplanalions. !ul can wo
bo suio lhal lhoso clains oo nol owo nuch lo nonolhoislic lhoology \hon oxanining lho
ovolulion of nolions of oivinily in lho !ionzo ano Iion agos, aionl wo assuning lho oocls
lho ovolulion ilsolf has hao on oui own consciousnoss
Soo foi inslanco Wright, The evolution of God; sinilai bul noio onconpassing ano
nol oiioclly on lho guoslion of nonolhoisn: Bellah, Religion in human evolution. Mosl
inpoilanlly, lho spocialisl wiilings of Mail Snilh, Lonaiio, Jan Assnann, olc. Foi a fulloi
bibliogiaphy, soo ny olhoi papoi on lho lopic.

ilo oiigin, as nany oxogolos of Lxoous liaoilions suggosl.

Ono nay supposo
also lhal lhis cull was aniconic (in lho sonso of Loing non-anlhioponoiphic),
poihaps liko lho woiship Ly Loonilos of Qos, MoaLilos of Chonosh, An-
nonilos of Milcon, ano ovon NaLaloans of Duaios Lofoio lho Hollonislic
Was lhoio a panlhoon, a nylhology ano which
a paiooia 1ho
iconogiaphic ovioonco is sliong Lul oicull lo inloipiol. If il is accoploo lhal
lho nany inagos, slaluollos, ano sono laloi insciiplions of lho lh-Slh c. aio
ovioonco of polylhoisn (lhal is: Yahwoh as lho nain goo of a panlhoon, wilh
a paiooia, Ashoiah), lhon lwo oxplanalions cono lo nino: oilhoi lho oona-
luiing of a puio nosaic nonolhoisn, oi lho oiiginal slalo of aaiis as in lho
iosl of Canaanilo socioly sinco lho LL. Il ionains lhal nonolaliy is foaluioo
in insciiplional ovioonco in Iion Ago, al loasl sinco lho ono of lho lh c. LC:
Loon, MoaL, ano Annon.
Polylatry and monolatry
1ho noxl slop, on lho Lasis of lho Looks of Sanuol-Kings ano noio gloLally lho
so-calloo Douloiononislic Hisloiywhich spans lho Looks of Joshua, Juogos,
Sanuol ano Kingsis lo pioposo a plausiLlo poiliail of lho polilical ano
ioligious silualions in lho lh-Slh c. kingoon of Isiaol.
I Login wilh a
nolo of caulion iogaioing lho lhooiy of slalo oovolopnonl as applioo lo lho
aioa. Il is oflon supposoo lhal lhoio was a long, piogiossivo, oovolopnonl of
pio-slalo, sognonlaiy socioly such as is inaginoo lo Lo LL Isiaol, lo a full
slalo socioly. Howovoi, lho oioionl polilical ano culluial onviionnonl in lho
oo Vaux, Histoire ancienne dIsral, des origines linstal lation en Canaan; ano nany
olhois oiscuss lho issuo, which ooosnl nooo lo oolain us hoio, sinco il woulonl aocl lho
gonoial aigunonl iogaioing lho naluio of lhis nonolalious cull aboul which wo lnow noxl
lo nolhing.
!ogaioing lho Nabaloan Goo of lho falhois, soo Alt, Der Gott der Vter, who
usoo Nabalaoan opigiaphy lo show lhal paliiaichal naiialivos oxhibiloo sono anily wilh
Nabalaoan liaoilion (honco nonaoic). 1his has now boon lalon up anow by Healey,
Gonosis, Isaiah ano !salns, who aiguos lhal Nabalaoan souicos ionain usoful bocauso
lho nonaoic falhois aio piosonloo as sollling. Ho lhinls aniconisn, !ochabilisn ano an
inchoalo nonolhoisn (nonolaliy) no ochoos in Jowish ioligion. Conlonpoiaiy naloiials
usoo by lho biblical aulhois in wiiling lhoii own ioligious hisloiy
\o havo Ugaiilic loxls of lho .lh-.zlh c., which can holp ioconsliucl oi guoss al a
Canaanilo nylhology, bul lho nain obslaclos aio lhal wo oonl havo lhoii nylhs of cioalion,
ano lho conpaiison is iisly.
!ul inpoilanl consiooialion: why liusl al all lho liaoilions ono nos in lhoso bools
foi lho .ooo lo o poiioo 1hoii oxislonco woulo bo ouo lo lho inloiosls of lho nonaichy
in lho glh ano lh c., possibly sono olilo, ano lho wiilois of lho voiy ono of lho ;lh ano lho
oxilic poiioo, if nol laloi, wilh nuch oioionl goals.

Lovanl, wilh a hisloiy of cily-slalos ano noighLoiing laigo ano ancionl slalos,
noans lhal slalos, ovon in a woak foin, nay havo aiison oailioi lhan lhooiy
(oi ovon aichaoology) inoicalos.
1his possiLilily is noally illuslialoo Ly lho
oiscovoiios naoo al KhiiLol Qoiyafa, in soulh-wosl Juoah, on lho Loiooi
wilh Ihilislino loiiiloiy. Soo nosl ioconlly Garfinkel ano Kang, 1ho
iolalivo ano aLsolulo chionology of KhiiLol Qoiyafa. 1ho aulhois aiguo lhal
lhis silo, which was occupioo foi a voiy shoil poiioo of lino, is ovioonco of a
now culluial assonLlago. 1hoy aiguo il is lho oailiosl lovol of Iion Ago IIA,
oalaLlo lo ciica u LCL (iaoionoliy ano polloiy assonLlago). 1ho
sliiking aichilocluial pails aio lho wall, lho casonalos as pail of lho Lack of
lho owollings wilh lhoii Lack lo lho wall, ano lho aLsonco of Luiloings in lho
conloi. Was il sinply a foilioss lhon, wilh a iolo of pioloclion foi a laigoi
populalion oispoisoo in villagos aiouno 1his is koy.
How ooos lho oovolopnonl of social slialicalion in lho oaily slalo of
Isiaol iolalo lo ioligious sliucluios In Mooiloiianoan, agiaiian, loiiiloiial
lho nooo foi socuiily of accoss lo lano ano laLoi loo lo naxinizalion
of chancos lo oxpano. 1o slay pul was nol an oplion. Iisk aLalononl alono
ano nooo foi oivoisicalion (i.o., nininizalion of ocological iisks, ossonlially,
Slail wilh lho sociological ano olhnogiaphic piosupposilions holo by oofonoois of lho
low chionology (Finlolsloin isl of all): Kletter, Chionology ano uniloo nonaichy.
!ogaioing slalohooo vs chiofoons: lho nolhoo consisling of lisling foaluios of slalos ano
slaloloss sociolios has boon calloo inlo guoslion. Soo Pfoh, The emergence of Israel in
ancient Palestine, which is iounoly ciilicizoo by Hullon in a zo.. ioviow in RBL. If ono
ooosnl go wilh a foaluio-iich oonilion of ancionl slalos, can slalohooo bo oosciiboo wilh
\oboi oi Gollnoi (chocl) as a nonopolizalion of cooicivo powoi 1ho pagos by \oboi in
!onoixs sunnaiy (lasl pails of his bool) on ooninalion ano ils chaiisnalic, paliinonial
ano logalialional aspocls aio voiy inpoilanl in lhis iogaio, bocauso lhoy piovioo a lhooiy
againsl which ono nay inilialo a oynanic oosciiplion of ancionl slalos, ialhoi lhan iosoil lo
lisls of foaluios: Bendix, Max Weber: an intel lectual portrait. 1ho slalo wasnl a plalonic
onlily in any caso. Il coulo ionain a conplox linship-basoo polily (pailly clilious oi nol),
noaning lhal lhis nonopoly of powoi oionl oxisl oi was oisliibuloo bioaoly, ovon lhough
aiislocialically. Oi: lho nonopolizalion of powoi by falhois ano a fow clan hoaos conlinuoo
in lho nonaichy. 1his nay havo boon lho silualion foi a long whilo ano was assunoo lo bo
lho caso by lho aulhoi(s) of lho Davioic cyclo of sloiios. Inoooo, liansilional oxplanalions
havo alioaoy boon ooioo: foi inslanco by !oboil Milloi (soconoaiy conplox chiofoons); oi
Daniol Masloi (a lingship-basoo paliinonial slalo). Ono ooosnl havo lo soo slalo ano anal
iolalionships as oxclusivo of oach olhoi, oi in an nono-oiioclional ovolulion. Fuilhoinoio, in
iogaio lo wiiling as ono of lho foaluios oflon usoo lo signify slalohooo, a sciibal appaialus
nay havo oxisloo oaily, oi conlinuoo lo oxisl in a subouoo way, ano was lhon usoo foi
logilinalion by nasconl aiislociacy oi nonaichy. 1ho sciibal aspocl of ancionl slalos is
nol sonolhing nocossaiily cioaloo of wholo now clolh in Iion Ago II. On lhis guoslion, soo
Byrne, 1ho iofugo of sciibalisn in Iion I !aloslino; Sanooz ().
Dioionl in lhal iospocl fion cily-slalos, soo Buccellati, Cities and nations of ancient

Ly oivoisicalion of lano plols, slaggoioo planling, vaiioly of spocios, olc.)

foicoo paliiaichal sociolios, ano lho king aLovo all, lo naxinizo accoss lo
noighLoiing, oivoiso lanos, ano lho laLoi allachoo lo il. Ly allachoo, I noan
lwo lhings: allachoo lo lho placo wilh ils local shiinos, ano allachoo in lho
sonso of unooigoing a Loginning social slialicalion which was in piocoss
alioaoy in lho pio-slalo poiioo, lhiough ooLl ano Lonoago.
I inagino a lwo-liack slialogy was possiLlo: oxloinal oxpansion, ano inloi-
nal conslilulion ano oovolopnonl Ly lho king of a gioup of ooponoonls wilh
iosliicloo allogianco lo hin, such as ouliighl slavos, pooplo fallon inlo ooLl
Lonoago, oi pooplo fiooo fion olhois paliiaichal conliol.
1ho isl slialogy (oxloinal) was noslly oono lhiough alliancos, naiilal
ano olhoiwiso, ano wai. 1ho accoss lo now souicos of woallh which lhis slial-
ogy pioviooo ooponooo upon lho haLilual oi liaoilional nolwoiks of oolily
ano liusl lhal lhoso souicos of laLoi coulo conlinuo lo havo locally ano which
woio piinaiily signioo oi anchoioo lhiough local goos ano shiinos (via kin-
ship gioups: king AchaLs naiiiago lo JozoLol, oaughloi of 1yios piiosl-king,
is a gooo oxanplo, piosonloo nogalivoly wilhin lho DlH). So, nulliplo local
goos, nulliplo shiinos ovon foi a singlo goo, all of lhis onlailoo a xily which
was pail of lho guaianloo of oolily of lho local, socially slialioo, poasanliy
wilhoul which no powoi coulo Lo conconlialoo.
Accoss lo noio lano was lo lho aovanlago of lho king ano of closo kin
gioups who followoo lho sano slialogy. Social slialicalion, lhiough ac-
cunulalion of lano, was ioinfoicoo Ly lhis, nainly lhiough loan ano ooLl
nochanisns. Mililaiy aclions woio oono in coalilions appaionlly, wilh lho
isl iolo givon lo kings lioops which cano fion his kin gioup ano uniolaloo
inoiviouals: lhis is illuslialoo Ly Davios sloiy.
1ho socono, inloinal, slialogy foi kings was lo oovolop paiallol nolwoiks of
liusl. 1hoy woulo no lhon anong foioignois (grim), iosioonls (toshavim),
Testart, Lesclave, la dette et le pouvoir: tudes de sociologie comparative.
1ho possibilily of polylaliy, incluoing lho paiooia lo Yahwoh, his Ashoiah, nooos lo bo
io-lhoughl wilh lho ocononic baclgiouno in nino. Ono connon oxplanalion oi inloipiola-
lion is lhal of aoaplalion oi aooplion of Ashoiah fion !hoonician oi Canaanilo culluio (sho
is lho paiooia of Ll oi consoil al Ugaiil, bul caulion is in oiooi hoio nol lo assuno a conlin-
uun Ugaiil-!hoonicia-Canaan-Isiaol, howovoi lonpling foi polilical ioasons of oui lino).
Soo lho liloialuio ano oiscussion of Dl z.U; ano paiallol ..gzo. Mosl ioconlly foi no,
soo Collins, The Bible after Babel: historical criticism in a postmodern age, chaploi . On
a suggoslion of Aicholo (fion lho iologoio.oig blog), I shoulo chocl Penchansky, Twilight
of the gods: polytheism in the Hebrew Bible on lho lopic. Al isl glanco, !onchanslys bool
soons inpiociso, aclually iiooloo wilh oiiois, ano supoicial.
Assuning lhal lho sloiios in z San. Kgs havo sono valuo foi a poiioo piocooing lho
oxilo. \hon oio noiconaiios bogin lo soivo in ancionl ainios
also anong slavos, ospocially pooplo lhioalonoo Ly ooLl Lonoago. 1hoy coulo
hopo lo allach lhoso inoiviouals lo lhonsolvos Ly susponoing ooLls, al loasl
lonpoiaiily, wilh lho kino of social laws ono nos in Lx , Lov , ano Dl
, which lhoy woulo suppoil as pail of lhoii oivinoly aulhoiizoo ouly.
. Yahwistic reaction under the Omrides
Givon lhis gonoial fianowoik, lols look al lho Yahwislic ioaclion unooi lho
Oniioos (S6).
Aichaoology ano loxlual analysis inoicalo lhal unooi lho Oniioos a iich
poiioo of oovolopnonl occuiioo in Isiaol which wonl logolhoi wilh incioasoo
social slialicalion.
1ho silualion is illuslialoo Ly lho sloiy of NaLolh vino-
yaio in Kgs .ua, which souico analysis Loliovos lo Lo fion an oaily,
pio- liaoilion.
1ho oovolopnonl of polylhoisn unooi lho Oniioos loo lo a Yahwoh-
conloioo ioaclion in lho noilhoin kingoonlho isl sliugglo foi an oxclusivo
cull of Yahwoh.
1ho iosislanco was inilially synLolizoo Ly Llijah, lho Loaioi
of a signicanl nano: Yahw is ny goo. Ho is piogiannalically poiliayoo as
a iosioonl (lho 1ishLilo, i.o. fion 1ishLoh, which is convonionlly closo lo lho
iool toshav), who opoialos on lho naigins of lho kingoon, accoioing lo lho
sloiy in Kgs -: noai lho Joioan, al lho linils of 1yio, ano lhon in lho
Soulhoin Nogov.
Howovoi iooacloo lhoso passagos of lho DlH aio, wo know lhoio was a
laigo polilical ioaclion loo Ly Yahwisls, Johu ano his gioup, who olininaloo
lho Oniioos ano founooo a now oynasly. 1ho piophols (ono unnanoo, Llijah,
ano Llisha) coopoialoo wilh olhoi social gioups, ovon lhough lhoy soon
oolachoo fion any inslilulion.
1hoy iopiosonloo consoivalivo ciiclos, fion
lho oasloi pail of lho kingoon appaionlly (noai oosoilic aioa), whoio ono nay
suiniso lhal lho posilion of Yahwoh was of a singulai goo.
Albertz, Social hisloiy of ancionl Isiaol, g.
Nolo on conposilion of Llijah sloiy: lho oxilic DliH hao only lho Nabolh sloiy, a
shoiloi Ahaziah sloiy, ano lho Johu sloiy. Nol yol lho oioughl conposilion of . Kgs .;..
1hoso lhioo sloiios pio-oalo ;zz. On lhis, soo Otto, Jehu, Elia, und Elisa. Laily DlH
passagos woio: . Kgs .U.zg; z...zg; zz.go; zz.zz Kgs ..z, , .;a , .; ..;
..Uzg; g...o.U.
Albertz, Social hisloiy of ancionl Isiaol, g.
ibio., U..
\holhoi lhis iolionching, loaoing lo lho Johu iovoll ano oynasly, isolaloo oi woal-
onoo lho Noilhoin slalo ano piovonloo ils allianco wilh sliongoi noighbois lo iosisl lho
Assyiians noio succossfully is suggosloo by sono scholais. Soo ibio., g.

1hoio aio inloiosling ocononic ano social quoslions lo ask, howovoi, io-
gaioing lho Yahwislic piophols. How oio lhoy livo Whilo Llijah is piosonloo
as a pooi ilinoianl piophol living of oxpooionls, his succossoi Llisha is a
suLslanlial lanoownoi. Ioihaps lhoy Lonoloo fion lho gonoial ocononic oo-
volopnonl, in pail ouo lo lho policios of lhoii oppononls, lho Oniioos, yol
ioacling lo lho sliong social slialicalion which wonl wilh il.
Howovoi, lho inloinal iosislanco of local olilos (in Lphiain aioas noslly)
is nol only ouo lo a poicoivoo ovoiioach Ly lho nonaichy which look lho
foin of Laalisn (localoo in Yiziool, Sanaiia as capilal, i.o. in a piocoss of
Il is also ouo lo lho giowing Assyiian nonaco ano piosonco in
lho socono half of lho lh c. Whon il oininishoo in lho oaily Slh c. (S),
poihaps yahwisn was soon as a polonl facloi in lhis iopiiovo
1his ioaclion woulo Locono a pioninonl pail of lho lhono of social jus-
lico in lho conlinuing Yahwislic-loo iosislanco Lolh in Isiaol ano Juoah, ano
ovonlually in lho law (Lx , Dl , Lov ) ano lho lhoological accounls of
lho nonaichy up lo ano laloi. Il hao inpoilanl consoquoncos on lho laloi
piopholic novononl, lho liansnission of liaoilions fion lho noilh in lho lh
c. (incluoing Mosaic liaoilions of salvalion), ano lho passago fion nonolaliy
lo nonolhoisn.
If ono conpaios lo Solons iofoins in Alhons al lho Loginning of lho 6lh
c. LCL, il is inloiosling lo nolo lhal lho piopholic novononl was playing
a sinilai iolo lo Solons, ano fascinaling lo conpaio lhoii iospoclivo poolic
uvios. Solons iofoins, howovoi, succooooo in lanping social slialicalion
oown ano cioaling a fioo poasanliy, oi al loasl ho is ciooiloo wilh ooing
so. Ho oio lhis Ly oocioasing lho powoi of lho aiislocialic fanilios whilo
iooisliiLuling woallh (ooLl cancollalion, fiooing of hektmroi, fiooing of ooLl-
slavos). Allhough lho social lonsions ano piopholic solulions look ooiily sinilai
in Slh c. Isiaol ano Juoah, lho cioalion of a liuly fioo poasanliy coulonl
happon lhoio Locauso of lho Assyiian ano LaLylonian onpiios.
How laigo woio lhoso ciiclos Sono hisloiians lhink lho Yahwislic gioup
was voiy snall in Isiaol ano Juoah, iighl up lo lho LaLylonian invasion. Lul
lho aLunoanco of Yah-lhoophoiic nanos, Lolh in insciiplions ano LiLlical
nanos fion Isiaol ano Juoah, inoicalos olhoiwiso.
As I saio iogaioing lho pio-slalo poiioo, lho woiship of Yahwoh, howovoi,
nay nol havo Loon of a iaoically alono goo oi al loasl nol foi ovoiyono. In-
1his ox-conloiing nooos lo bo oxaninoo ano alioaoy has, piosunably.
1his is wholly spoculalivo: aio lhoio any liacos of lhis lypo of alliluoo anong Aianaoan
slalos, oi in lho H!
Soo Woodhouse, Solon the liberator; Freeman, The work and life of Solon; with a
translation of his poems.
sciiplions havo Loon founo al Kunlillol Ajiuo (lh-Slh c., noilhoin Sinai),
iofoiiing o.g. lo Yahwoh of Sanaiia ano his Ashoiah whoso inloipiolalion
is holly oispuloo.
Do lhoy inoicalo lho oxislonco of a iolalionship wilh lho
gooooss Ashoiah ano show lhal Yahwoh is pail of a polylhoislic panlhoon, oi
is lho Ashoiah a cullic oLjocl lhiough which Yahwohs powoi is appioachoo
Ono noio woio on lho gonoial silualion of lho Oniioos. Scholais piosonl
lho Oniioo synciolisn as pail of a syslon of nililaiy alliancos, which is
an inpoilanl aspocl of lho oxpansion, sinco nililaiy pioloclion againsl lho
looning Assyiian lhioal oi ils vassal Aianoan kingoons in lho lh-Slh c. was
ossonlial. 1his ooosnl chango lho noio Lasic facls, lo ny nino, which aio
lhal kingoons nooooo lo onsuio ovoi gioaloi accoss lo lano ano laLoi, as woll
as nililaiy foicos connocloo wilh lhis, oilhoi Ly lovios oi spocial noiconaiy
In loins of ioligious oovolopnonl in lhal poiioo, I suLsciiLo lo AlLoilzs
il was a voiy spocic polilical, social, ano ioligious hisloiical conslolla-
lion ouiing lho ninlh conluiy LCL, whon Isiaol oxpoiioncoo lho liansi-
lion fion an oaily lo a naluio slalo, which pushoo Isiaols ioligious
oovolopnonl in lho oiioclion of nonolaliy ano nonolhoisn. (6)
Empire, Israel, Judah, and neighbors
Isiaols slialogy soons sinilai lo lhal of noighLoiing Aianoan slalos, whoioas
Juoahs was nuch noio liko lhal of Loon, MoaL, Annon, i.o. nonolaliy
wilhoul nooo foi oilhoisn oi polylaliy.
Lul lho facl lhal Isiaol ano Juoah
shaioo Yahwoh as lhoii nain goo, loo lo a poculiai oynanics whon onpiios
woighoo in al lho ono of lho Slh c. LCL ano in lho lh.
Whon consiooiing lho ovonls ongulng Isiaol in ano Juoah in S6,
ono nay wonooi aLoul lho long-loin oocl of lho oaily loss of Isiaols polil-
ical onlily lo Assyiia, ano ils afloinalh foi lho soulhoin kingoon of Juoah.
Soo Keel ano Uehlinger, Gods, goddesses, and images of God in ancient Israel,
z.o, wilh full oiscussion of lho possibililios.
\oio lhoio noiconaiios al lhal lino Oi aio lho wiilois assuning lho poinanonco of
a conlonpoiaiy (!oisian) aspocl of wai
Cf. \obois passagos on lho ocological ioasons which woulo oxplain lho nonolaliy of
oosoil oi naiginal social gioups. 1his coulo bo liuo also of snall agiaiian gioups: poihaps
lho oonogiaphic guoslion is inpoilanl in lhis iogaio (noaning, lho nooosliy of populalion
nunbois, foi which soo Broshi ano Finkelstein, 1ho populalion of !aloslino in Iion Ago
II), as woll as lho lypo of nicho agiiculluio lhal was piaclicoo in lhoso aioas

Whal was lho long-loin oocl of lho faiily iapio liansfoinalion of lho in-
poiial polilical silualion in Mosopolania ano lho Lovanl, wilh Assyiia Loing
iononLoioo as having soon ils goos suLnilling lo lhoso of LaLylonia, ano
lhoso in luin suLnilling lo lhoso (quilo oioionl) fion Ioisia 1aking lhoso
changos in consiooialion nakos il oasioi lo oxplain why Juoah alono, ano
nol Aianaoan, noilhoin Isiaolilo, Ihilislino, oi MoaLilo populalions, cano lo
such an unooislanoing of lhoii olhnic goo.
. 1ho slanoaio, ago-olo, oxplanalion foi oofoal oi foi hisloiical calaslio-
pho was lhal lho goo oi goos hao Locono angiy wilh lho pooplo
nusl Lo piopilialoo Ly ono oi anolhoi iilo, such as saciicos, ovon hu-
nan saciicos. 1his is lho inpiossion ono galhois fion lho MoaLilo
slono as woll as fion nuch LiLlical ano oxlia-LiLlical ovioonco.
. In lho caso of Isiaol, in lho Slh c. liaoilion as wo havo soon, lhis wiooly-
holo oxplanalion of ioyal ano,oi pooplos failuios was focussoo on Yah-
. Assyiian kings woio nol conlonl wilh ooninaling lhoii vassals Lul woio
in nooo of a guaianlooo, iogulai liiLulo. 1hoy also holo lo lho clion
lhal lho conquoioo pooplos goo,s gavo lhon lho vicloiy.
. 1ho oofoal in of noilhoin Isiaol was naluially onough soon in con-
poling Juoah as a oivino punishnonl foi a vaiioly of sins, ospocially
polylhoisn Lul also iolaloo failuios of social juslico.

1ho noinal in-

loinal oxplanalion of failuio, piopaioo Ly lho Yahwislic ioaclion of lho
lh-Slh c., liansnilloo lo Juoah Ly iofugoos fion Isiaol al lho ono
of lho Slh c., was ioinfoicoo Ly lho conpolilion lhal oxisloo Lolwoon
lho closoly iolaloo yol oioionl kingoons. Ono supposos lhal al lhal
lino, lhis was lho nain ioason foi collocling sono piopholic liaoilions
lo which laloi woulo lho nanos of Anos, Hosoa, Micah, ano Isaiah Lo
allachoo. Fion lho soulhoin, Juoaoan poinl of viow, lho causos of lho
failuio of lho noilhoin kingoon of Isiaol woio oLvious. Il was a failuio
Oi lho ling Is lhis oxplanalion ovoi givon, oi again is lho ioyal inloiosl so powoiful
lhal lhis oxplanalion canl bo suggosloo
1ho ciilically invoiloo biblical sloiios on !alaan in Nunbois zzz ano Llijah in .
Kings .;.g (invoiloo foi lho lalloi: I noan by lhis lhal lho sloiy givos us a laloi oxilic
ano posl-oxilic wiilois nolion of whal lings woio oxpocling a piophol lo oo).
1his soons liuo of lho Assyiians ano laloi lho !oisians, bul poihaps nol of lho !aby-
lonians. Chocl fuilhoi.
!olo of noilhoin piophols in lhis
lo woiship Yahwoh alono in lho coiiocl way, ano failuio lo Lo jusl ano
. 1ho Assyiian piossuio on Juoah ano ils noighLoiing kingoons conlinuoo
lhioughoul lho lh c., howovoi, causing gioal anxioly, uncoilainly, ano
ocononic piossuio foi lho pooplo. Noulialily was inpossiLlo, quilo as lho
Look of Joiony woulo illuslialo in an ovon noio oicull silualion. 1ho
sano goo Yahwoh who hao aLanoonoo Isiaol oul of angoi, accoioing
lo lho naluial oxplanalion of lho lino, was also lho goo of Juoah, ano
ils will was a ciphoi lhal piophols woio lo announco ano inloipiol.
Locauso of ils snalloi populalion ano lho Assyiian piossuio alnosl unlil
lho ono of lho lh c., Juoahilo kings woio nol in a posilion lo spioao iisk
ano oivoisify. 1ho silualion calloo foi oofonsivo, suivivalisls noasuios.
1ho kings inloiosl, fion Hozokiah lo Josiah, was lo assoil conliol ovoi
iosouicos ano lo naxinizo lhoii powoi.

1his oxplains lhoii iaoical

posilion iogaioing local shiinos.

1ho unily of cull al lho Joiusalon

lonplo, lho conlialily of lhis cily foi lho ioyal houso, ano lho oninonco
of lho Joiusalon piioslhooo woio assoiloo againsl conpoling inloiosls,
lhoso of local shiinos wilh lhoii piiosls, ano local kinship nolwoiks.

1ho ioinfoicononl of social laws concoining linils on ooLl, ioluin of

piopoily, ano ioliof fion Lonoago also naoo sonso fion lho nonaichys
poinl of viow.

Ly coiiocling lho social inoquilios Lioughl aLoul Ly

ooLl ano Lonoago,

king Josiah ano poihaps Hozokiah Lofoio hin coulo

clain ciooil (i.o. oivinoly piolocloo aulhoiily) foi onacling lho laws
(=juslico) ano fuilhoinoio inplicilly clain oolily ano allachnonl lo
\hy lho DlH piosonls only lho boginning ano lho ono of lho long soiios of lings of
Juoah noio favoiably, in a lino of laigo chiaslic sliucluio (Davio ano Solonon vs Hozoliah
ano Josiah), as noloo by scholais, is puzzling. Chocl fuilhoi.
Iionically, ono cannol holp lhinling lhal lho conlializalion of woallh ano cull naoo lho
conguosl by !abylonians noio ocionl. 1ho laigoi guoslion iogaios lho social iooals involoo
oi suggosloo by oaily piophols. Gioaloi ogualily ano oocioaso of social slialicalion woulo
loao lo nuch noio oispoision of woallh, honco bo loss alliaclivo foi oiganizoo aggiossivo
onpiios, lhough nol foi iaioois. !ul lhis is inagining hisloiy, which is piocisoly whal
piophols ano lhoii iooaclois woio ooing.
!ul social juslico, incoipoialoo inlo Dl ....., wasnl applioo in Joiusalon, Joioniah
.zUzg clains (Joioniah of Analol).
Soo Dl osp., bul also Lov ano Lx.
Ciilical oslablishnonl ano ioinfoicononl of oaily nonaichios cono fion lhis accoss
lo inoobloo laboi ano bonooo laboi, ano loyally nolwoils boyono lho lin nolwoils. Soo
Testart, Lesclave, la dette et le pouvoir: tudes de sociologie comparative. 1his woulo
bo liuo ovon if lho goal lhal was soughl was lhal of a fioo poasanliy lhoiofoio capablo of
aining ano oofonoing ilsolf, a bil lilo lho hoplilos of ancionl Alhons.

hinsolf of all lhoso oolachoo Ly ciicunslancos fion lhoii local nolwoiks

Ly loss of lano oi liLoily.

1his woulo laloi Lo nonoiializoo in lho foin of a oivino iovolalion, in

a scioll (a isl ooilion of lho Douloionony), a noio oxacl iovolalion of
lho laws ano of a covonanl wilh ils goo (an olo iooa) iofianing lho iolo
of kings, juslico, ano Joiusalon. Iiopoi cull ano lho oxoiciso of social
juslico nighl avoio lho iopoal of , , olc.
1ho upshol of all of lhis is lhal lhoio was a ioinfoicononl of nonolaliy
unooi kings Hozokiah ano Josiah in lho lh c. 1hoio is gooo ioason
lo Loliovo lhoio was a Juoahilo, Josianic iofoin (poihaps alioaoy un-
ooi Hozokiah, accoioing lo lho so-calloo Douloiononislic Hisloiy: soo
Albertz, A history of Israelite religion in the Old Testament period,
Il was in lho inloiosl of lho nonaichy lo oo lhis iofoin, lo
ciicunvonl ano ano local nolwoiks, lo ioinfoico ils conliol ano accoss
lo ocononic ano nililaiy iosouicos (Yahwoh as wailoio). 1ho olinina-
lion of local shiinos naoo sonso in lhis conloxl, ospocially Locauso of lho
Assyiian oangoi.
6. Yol, ca. 6uu Lco, in , S, ano suLsoquonl incuisions, lho sano
kino of punishing wai ano oofoal happonoo lo Juoaoans, al lho hanos
of LaLylonia. 1ho polilical silualion was conplox as LaLylonia hao
jusl ioconlly lakon powoi ovoi Assyiia. 1ho quoslion suioly nusl havo
[1his is lo bo oovolopoo fuilhoi[ !ul nolo: law nol issuoo by lings in Lxoous. Also:
DlH ooosnl lall aboul lho social anglo, only lho cullic aspocl. Chocl z Kings.
On lho hisloiy of lho Douloionony, soo ospocially van ooi Toorn, Scribal culture and
the making of the Hebrew Bible: foui ooilions of lho bool, bolwoon Uzo ano Uo oi so !o-
gaioing lho wiiling of lho !iblo, oaling of il, ano olhoi possibililios, soo Schniedewind, How
the Bible became a book. Aboul Dl ano DH, soo also Rmer, The so-called Deuteronomistic
history: a sociological, historical, and literary introduction. A singlo oxilic iooacloi-aulhoi
of lho Douloiononislic hisloiy, fion Dl lo Kings, oi sovoial \ilh a founoalion logono in
z Kgs zzz. Ano lho Douloiononislic Hisloiy, nol jusl a libiaiy boing consliluloo in
lho Noo-!abylonian poiioo, as ciisis liloialuio, a guioo lo hisloiy: !onoi, pp. .o;U.
Juogos invonloo, Joshua, Sanuol, Kings, consiooiably onlaigoo. !ul was lhoio cull conlial-
izalion in lho ;lh c. (Knauf lhinls nol) !olhol lonplo, ano Gaiizin buill as soon as !olhol
suppiossoo in lho oaily lh c. !ul whal woio lho conoilions of wiiling Sciibos allachoo lo
lonplos in !olhol, !abylon: lonl of nooling
\hy woulo il havo boon invonloo, sinco il was so oasy lo chaigo all lho lings foi boing
wiong. Ano abovo all: Josiah failoo, so il is oicull lo nainlain lhal ho oionl oo sono lino
of iofoin lhal is so highly piizoo afloiwaios ano conlinuoo. 1ho aulhois, piobably Juoahilo
piiosls, olilos, ano oloois, hao an inloiosl in poiliaying lho ioasons foi a failoo nonaichy,
bul wilhoul going as fai as olhoi ciilics. 1hoii poiliail of lho inilialois, fion Joshuah lo
Davio ano Solonon, ano lho ono, wilh a chaigo againsl Monahon, nalos sonso. Nolo also
lho facl lhis DlH ooosnl nonlion social laws.

Loon: How coulo lhis calasliopho happon, whon lho pooplo ano a king
liko Josiah hao liioo lo chango lhoii Lohavioi
Al lho sano lino, poi-
haps, lho facl lhal inpoiial naslois ano oofoaloo pooplos changoo wilhin
aLoul uu yoais (Assyiia, LaLylonia; Isiaol, Juoah) noanl lhal lho
logic al woik was ooopoi lhan jusl a singlo olhnic goo Loing angiy wilh
his pooplo. 1his kino of sloiooscopic viow of hisloiy (Isiaol,Juoah
ano Assyiia,LaLylonia) was nol availaLlo lo olhoi noighLoiing suLjocl
pooplos such as lho Ihilislinos, MoaL, Annon, Loon, oi lho Aianoan
kingoons of Syiia.
1ho lhoughl occuiioo lo sono Juoaoans ano Isiaolilos lhal Yahwoh,
who was nol sinply inloiosloo in his cull Lul also juslico, ano who hao
usoo lwo gioal powois in luin, Lolh woll connocloo wilh lhoii own oivino
woilo, nusl havo Loon gioaloi lhan all of lhon, in spilo of appoaiancos oi
ialhoi on accounl of lhon. Ho nay havo hao a gioaloi cosnic, powoiful,
yol noio hiooon (ano lhoiofoio noio powoiful) iolo lhan ho was ciooiloo
wilh Lofoio.

Duiing lho socono oxilo, i.o. fion -S6 on, lho liansplanloo pails of lho
Juoaoan populalion (a fow lhousanos only in oioionl aioas of LaLylonia) now
hao a noio conplox oxplanalion foi lhoii silualion. 1hoy accoploo lho Dl-
fianoo pioniso lhal lhoy woio Loing punishoo, Lul lhoy also saw lhonsolvos
as an insliunonl of lho oivino will now piojocloo noio Lioaoly (ano wilh a
iapioly oovoloping iooa of lino ano hisloiy loaoing soon lo a conplox, coooo,
i.o. apocalyplic, viow of il).

1ho ono of lho Joiusalon lonplo (whichas

soon aLovohao oovolopoo only ioconlly as a singlo cullic conloi ano Locauso
of lho oxloinal ovonls hao Locono alioaoy lho ioyal, piioslly, ano piopholic
conloi foi Juoah) was nol lho ono of all lhis hisloiy, Lul suiiopliliously hio, in
counloi inluilivo fashion, lho hopo foi a now Loginning. 1his, I lhink, loo lo
lho iowoiking of lho Isaiah viow of lho oivinily, iovisoo ano ioinfoicoo also in
Oi al loasl lhis is how lho DlH piosonls lho sloiy. A highly ciilical viow of lho wholo
nonaichic poiioo, wilh lwo posilivo onos (only in Juoah): Davio ano HozoliahJosiah. Soo
olhoi foolnolo on lho lopic.
1ho alliaclion of gualilios boiiowoo fion olhoi goos, ospocially lho gioal goos of
lhoii onviionnonl, by lianslalion oi convoigonco, lo lhoii own oivinily coulo havo boon
a longoi piocoss bolh in Isiaol ano Juoah, as is aiguoo ospocially by Smith, The early history
of God; Smith, God in translation.
Soo alioaoy in Lzoliol, lho nal balllo againsl Gog.


1ho oivinilys agoncy in hisloiy was now piosonloo as nuch wiooi

Lul ciyplic. Il acquiioo noLilily, as inpoiial powoi ilsolf, Lo il Assyiian,
LaLylonian, oi Ioisian, as woll as lho nililaiy unils lhis powoi usoo, also
Locano quilo uio.
[Nolo: Il has Loon aiguoo lhal a liono lowaios nonolhoisnnoaning
sliicl nonolhoisnalioaoy oxisloo as a ninoiily voico in lho lh c. Soo
Frevel, Wovon iooon oio Douloiononislon (chock). Soo Stavrakopoulou
ano Barton, Religious diversity in ancient Israel and Judah (chock). 1his
poinl of viow has lo Lo analyzoo in oolail lo soo if il holos.[
. Ezekiel
Anong lho nany iovolulionaiy iooas piosonl in lho Look of Lzokiol, I soo lho
following lhioo as inpoilanl in a hisloiy of nonolhoisn:
. Fiisl of all, lho oivinily was piosonloo as iaoically noLilo, ano lhis in
lwo ways. In lho isl vision al lho Loginning of lho Look (Lz ), io-
naikaLly sol in a localion in oxilo, lho onlhionononl of lho oivinily is
a iowoiking of lho nassivo aichilocluial foaluios lhal Assyiian, LaLy-
lonian, oi inilalivo kinglols of lho Lasl usoo lo Laso ano ioinfoico lhoii
holo on lho populalion. Whal is sliiking aLoul lhoso sliucluios, Lo
lhoy lho Ishlai Galo of LaLylon, lho Assyiian oi LaLylonian slaluos of
kings, Lulls, lions, ano sliango nylhological cioaluios, oi lho ioliofs of
lho Apaoana in Ioisopolis, is lhoii inposing, nassivo piosonco. 1hoy
woio oosignoo lo sliiko lho inaginalion Ly lhoii woighl, lhoii inanoviLil-
ily oi innulaLilily.

1ho ying chaiiol ano lho luninous, aiiy gloiy

of lho vision is a way lo say lhal liuo gloiy (woighly, as lho iool kavod
has il) is olhoi lhan lhoso nassivo sliucluios.
Soconoly, wo havo lho wilhoiawing fion lho lonplo Ly lho oivinily in
Lz u (ano ils ioluin in ch. ). 1ho aLanoonnonl of lhoii lonplos,
lonpoiaiily oi nol, is a foaluio of Noai Lasloin ioligions.

Lul hoio,
il is piosonloo as acconpanying lho pooplo in lhoii oxilo lo LaLylon
(.6: 1hoiofoio say: 1hus says lho Loio GOD: 1hough I ionovoo
lhon fai away anong lho nalions, ano lhough I scalloioo lhon anong
lho counliios, yol I havo Loon a sancluaiy lo lhon foi a lilllo whilo
Ilsolf aclually lho isl piopholic bool, in lho sonso of a nishoo colloclion.
Niniuo: Ashuibanipal IIs soal in lho glh c. !C. Apaoana: nano of lho gioal auoionco
hall al !oisopolis ano Susa whoio !oisian lings iocoivoo liibulo fion all lho nalions in lho
Achaononio onpiio. Fiisl half of lh c. !CL.
Soo liloialuio on lhis guoslion.

[oi: lo sono oxlonl[ in lho counliios whoio lhoy havo gono.). So, lho
nolion of oivino noLilily poinils an oxlonsivo iovision of nonaichic ano
inpoiial sliucluios.

Il also nakos viiluo oul of nocossily: noaning

lhal whal happonoo lo lho oivinily in Joiusalon unooi NoLuchaonozzai
is liansfoinoo Ly Lzokiols vision inlo sonolhing lhal piocoooo il.

1his chango in lho nolion of lho oivinily coiiolaloo wilh a chango in

lho nolion of juslico.
Wilhoul sancluaiy, wilhoul kings, ano wilh a
ooily who is Lolh mobile (lhoiofoio polonlially closoi) ano noio lian-
sconoonl, juslico Loconos noio Lioaoly oonoo ano noio sui gonoiis.
Failuios lo puisuo lhis juslico consliluloo now a gioaloi pail (aiguaLly)
of failuio in imitatio Dei, ano sin a noio poisonalizoo ioLollion, ialhoi
lhan a colloclion of vaiious Lioachos ano liansgiossions lhal involvo lho
wholo connunily.
[1his is whoio lho accounl of social juslico givon
Ly Loinan goos wiong: Ly nol anchoiing his oxplanalion of lho Lioao-
onoo, aonillooly iovolulionaiy concopl of social juslico in lho hisloiical
piocoss, ho nissos lho Loal alnosl onliioly: Berman, Created equal;
ano lho oiscussion of lhal Look in: Olyan, In convoisalion wilh J. A.
. 1ho law oi 1oiah Logan lo Lo soon as givon oiioclly Ly lho oivinily,
nol only guaianlooo Ly il as was noinally oono in law cooos issuoo Ly
Allachoo lo lhis io-oiiocling of aulhoiily Lohino lho law was
Inilalion of Assyiian ano !abylonian \ollanschauung Also: iononboi, aspocl of
punilivo, ioliibulivo juslico slill lopl up.
1his nolion of lho nobilily of lho oivinily was wiooly aooploo ovonlually ano foi in-
slanco usoo iionically in lho lalo-DlH sloiy of Naanan lho Syiian in z Kgs , who lalos
lwo nulo-loaos of gooo Isiaolilo oailh bacl lo Danascus so ho can piopoily woiship, on his
ancoslial lano, lhis Yahwoh who cuioo hin lhiough Llisha.
\iilo a paiagiaph oi pago on how lho nolion oovolopoo.
Yol, lho lhiono: lilo a lhiono (Lzoliol): lho lilo is lho pail lhal piooccupios
us, sinco lho lhiono ilsolf was lho slanoaio nail of linship ano lhal of lho ioigning
goos, unsuipiisingly. Lvon onply, in lho isl lonplo (), on lop of giin-lilo cioaluios
(lho lanoo choiubs, , which I piosuno cono fion lho nolion of lings noooing lo bo
shown piolocling lhoii pooplo ano lhoiofoio conguoiing wilo aninals, as on lho !oisian bas-
ioliofs). So, Lzoliol, as I unooislano il, is nol lolling go of lhis inagoiy lhal ho lnows fion
Joiusalon ano ovon in a noio gianoioso fashion fion !abylon (ano olhoi placos poihaps),
bul ho guoslions il bocauso ils sinilai uso in !abylonia, as nonunonlalizoo suppoil of an
onpiio ilsolf of shoil ouialion, nusl bo oisconlinuoo ano ovapoialoo. !oal powoi is nol
whoio ono oxpocls il lo bo, Lzoliol is saying. Il cannol bo liansposoo bul nooos lo bo liloially
oxploooo oi lovilaloo ano lovoiagoo (lho Lzoliolian novos nooo lo bo oxaninoo fuilhoi).
Laigo ovioonliaiy sol foi lhis. Soo Assnann on lhis: Assmann, Of God and gods,
fion anong nany aulhois. Oi Liverani, Israels history and the history of Israel, z,
ospocially lho lalloi. 1his woulo bo lho placo again lo conpaio lho publishing of 1oiah as

a chango in lho conliol of wiiling ano lho iopoaling of lho woios. Ano
so, lho nolion of juslico as oiioclly ooponoonl on lho oivinilyialhoi
lhan on kingsnoanl lhal inoivioual iosponsiLilily was iooonoo. Fui-
lhoinoio, a quoslioning of lho Douloiononisls viow of hisloiy cano
inlo Loing in oxilo. Ly which I noan: lho colloclivo punishnonl aspocl
of lho Douloiononisls oxplanalion of hisloiy coulo nol Lo accoploo
wholosalo Ly lhoso oxilos who foll lhoy woio liying lo puiify lhoii livos
in accoioanco piocisoly wilh lho Douloiononisls viow).

. Finally, lhoio was lho hope of a iosloialion, a ioluin, on a now La-

sis. In lho 1oiah of Lzokiol, chaplois u., Lolh lho iolo of lho king,
signicanlly calloo piinco, ano lho physical localion of lho piincos poi-
lion, Locano iooucoo, as signs of oonolion (ano coiollaiy: powoi of lho

Socono phaso of olhnogonosis, oi lho ioal ono. 1wo inpoilanl lhings nusl
Lo iononLoioo in oiscussing lhis phaso. Ono, lho najoiily of lho pooplo io-
nainoo whoio lhoy woio, ospocially lho poasanliy oLviously. So, lho woios
oxilo ano posl-oxilo oo nol quilo oosciiLo lho silualion foi lho najoiily of
lho pooplo. Colonialisn as suggosloo Ly Gollwalo ano olhois Oi jusl noio
noulially: foioign ooninalion. Soconoly, whilo il is oasy lo poiliay Lzia-
Nohoniahs iofoins nogalivoly oi as lho piooucl of gioal polilical piossuio,
ospocially aLoul lho olhnic conposilion of lho pooplo, il is inpoilanl lo io-
nonLoi lhal lhoii oonilion goos (foi lho isl lino) Loyono lho usual linoago
In a silualion of oxilo, in lho nosaic-liko LaLylonian ano Ioisian onpiios,
Juoaoansano also Isiaolilos (Locauso of lho shaiing of liaoilions)hao lo
iospono lo lho oynanics of assinilalion ano ioonlily. 1ho Juoaoans know
oiioclly onanaling fion lho oivinily wilh lho solulion in Alhons of sinilai social pioblons
causoo by aiislocialic fanilios (bul nol bocauso of lho sano oxloinalilios: no onpiio). Solons
iofoin also ooos away wilh lings as inloinooiaiios, al aboul lho sano lino (boginning of Ulh
c.), foi sinilai ioasons, ano wilh sinilai fuilhoi ooiling ano iooologizing by laloi oonocials
in lho flh c. 1ho oangoi of lyianny is onni-piosonl, bul consislonlly foughl by lho
Lupaliioai ano olhoi loaoing fanilios. Ano of couiso no lhoociacy oi lings. !ul, nosl
inpoilanlly, an inloiosling, lonoo oown, appoal lo oivino aulhoiily in lho onacling of jusl
laws, al loasl in lho fiagnonlaiy poons of Solon wo havo. Much noio iosoaich nooos lo bo
oono on lhis voiy inpoilanl, sliucluially sinilai, ancionl socioly, ano lho snall nunboi of
possiblo polilical solulions nappoo oul noio syslonalically.
Soo Assmann, Of God and gods.
Soo Pleins, 1oiiiloiy ano 1onplo.
lho oangois of assinilalion as oio all ancionl pooplos.

Foi Juoaoans, lhoii

poilaLlo, sophislicaloo, ano oooponing oxplanalion foi lho liouLlos in lhoii
hisloiy allowoo lhon lo wail ano soo. 1hoii collocloo ano iofianoo liaoi-
lions, incluoing lhoso Lohino Gonosis, now pioviooo an oxpoiionco as woll as
an oxplanalion of lhoii suoiing ano ils oiigins, lhal lho appoaling sloiios of
Ninovoh ano LaLylon oio nol ano coulo nol piovioo. Il hao Locono ciyslal
cloai Ly lho 6lh conluiy lhal lho oxplanaloiy ano incanlaloiy powoi ano al-
liaclion lhal lhoso inpoiially aooploo sloiios nay havo hao was consiooiaLly
woakonoo Ly lho facl lhal lhoso onpiios ano lhoii ioligious fianowoiks woio
liansiloiy ano woio ioplacoo ovonlually Ly quilo a oioionl nasloi, Cyius.
In paiallol wilh lhoii polilical io-aoaplalion, lhoy ongagoo in a full io-
wiiling of lhoii nylhological liaoilions ano olhnic oiigins, iolalion lo lho lano,
ano ioasons foi noLilily. All of lhis cano nol fion a pulalivo nonaoisn al
lho Loginning of lho sloiy, fianoo as a consoquonco of an oailiosl faull ano
Cain nuiooi. 1ho ono was placoo al lho Loginning.
Under Persia
. Kings or priests?
1wo najoi ovonls occuiioo in lho Achaononio poiioo: lho oocision lo ioLuilo
lho lonplo (wilhoul conpoliloi), ano lho ooiling of a voision of lho 1oiah, lho
Law. Juoaoa was lhon a voiy snall, inpovoiishoo piovinco of lho Loyono-lho-
Iivois saliapy, whilo nany Juoaoans (now Jows) woio oispoisoo lhiough lho
onpiio, o.g. as soloiois in Lgypl.

Why oio lho Achaononio aoninislialion

poinil (oncouiago) lho lonplo, lho piiosls ano lho ooiling of lho law Ono
answoi woulo Lo lo follow Douloio-Isaiah ano allosl lo lho Lonovolonco ano
loloianco of Cyius ano hoiis, conliasloo wilh lho oailioi ciuolly of LaLylonia,
ilsolf piopoily punishoo Ly Cyius.
In ioalily, lho Achaononio policy naoo gioal sonso in a fai-ung onpiio
ano lhoio is ovioonco il was syslonalic.

In lho pailiculai agiaiian socioly wo

aio looking al in Juoa, il was inpossiLlo lo oslinalo ano conliol lho suiplus
wilhoul lho coopoialion of local aulhoiilios, in lhis caso nosl oflon lho piiosls
Assinilalion coulo bo foicoo by lho ovoiloios, as il woulo bo foi noilhoin Isiaol,
whoio sono liniloo liansfois of populalion happonoo. 1ho Juoaoans inoooo woulo ac-
cuso Sanaiianslho hoiis lo lho noilhoin Isiaolilo lingoonof having boon a nolloy
populalion of liansfoiioo pooplo wilhoul iocognizablo goo: goyin.
Soo ailiclo by Wright, 1ho connonoialion of oofoal ano lho foinalion of a nalion
in lho Hobiow !iblo, on lho inpoilanco, in loins of inpoiial iocognilion, of lhis choico.
Soo Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander: A history of the Persian empire.

ano lovilos, whoso own livolihooo ooponooo upon lhoii pioxinily lo lho pooplo
in villagos ano lowns.
1ho piioslly loaooiship, wilh lho sciiLos ano lovilos (hoio sloiios of long,
oicull nogolialions), founo lhonsolvos in chaigo afloi lho ovonlual conplolo
collapso of lho nonaichy.

As loaoois, howovoi, lhoy woio in a piocaiious

oi conliaoicloiy silualion, as lhoy woio ooclivoly Lolh lho insliunonls of
lho liiLulaiy onpiio al lho sano lino as lho oonois of whal woulo cono lo
Lo soon as Juoaisn, piinaiily naikoo Ly a 1oiah which spolloo oul lho cull
in oxlonsivo oolail, oonanooo holinoss fion lho pooplo, incluoing a Ly now
cloaily oonoo call lo social juslico ano pioloclion of lho pooi.
. Nehemiah
Nohoniah . is an oxanplo of lho conploxily of lho silualion. Ho is
poiliayoo iosponoing lo a Lioao populai oulciy liiggoioo Ly silualions of
oxliono povoily causoo Ly lhoii Jowish kin. 1hoy aio hungiy, havo lo ploogo
lhoii piopoily ano ovon lhoii poisons in ooLl Lonoago. Ho Liings chaigos
againsl lho noLlos ano ocials, ano foicos lhon in an assonLly of lho pooplo
lo iosloio olos, vinoyaios, oichaios, housos, as woll as inloiosl on nonoy ano
1ho usual unooislanoing of Noh . is lhal il ioocls a ciisis suscopliLlo
of vaiious oxplanalions: vaslly incioasoo inloiosl ialos oi ialhoi, an incioasoo
social slialicalion, sinco in an onpiio, lho Lioaks on local accunulalion woio
loss nocossaiy fion lho kings poinl of viow Was lhoio ioally a ciisis, oi
ialhoi, wasnl lhis a pailiculaily oicull nononl of whal was lho noinal
silualion, i.o., lho oynanics of ooLl ano cancollalion (pailial usually) which
was syslonalically piaclicoo in lho wholo aioa.

In lhis loxl, lho piioslly

loaooiship oofonos lho pooplo (as Liolhois), ano lhis nol as kings of couiso Lul
as ioninoois oi iopiosonlalivos of oivino law. Fuilhoinoio, il is possiLlo lhal
lho collapso of lho Juoaoan nonaichy oopiivoo socioly of a usoful, coiioclivo
nochanisn ano anplioo an olo oonano foi ooLl cancollalion, loaoing lo
loins guiooo Ly lho Lxoous lhoology of liLoialion. 1ho piiosls cloaily siooo
wilh lho pooplo in oxilo. Soo Lov .: 1ho lano is nino. You aio wilh
no Lul innigianls ano hosls. 1ho scoplic wonoois if lhoy clainoo noio
!oasons: lho Josianic iofoins ano lho piiosls aclivilios, as woll as lho piophols. On
lho lalloi, nolico lho oislinclly sciibal aspocls in Joioniah ano Lzoliol.
Again, lho ioason has lo oo pailly wilh iisl abalononl, pailly wilh lho inpossibilily
of piooicling oulconos in lho shoil loin.
aulhoiily piocisoly Locauso of lhoii oivinoly-connanooo inloivonlion, as lho
kings of olo
In any caso, in Nohoniah, as in Dl, wo havo sliong ochoos of Juoahilos
ano Juoaoan , Jows as Liolhois: linos in Noh , S linos in Dl. Wilh
sono scholais, I lhink il was nol a ulopia,
givon lho ovioonco il is an an-
cionl, connon piaclico in lho wholo culluially iolaloo aioa. Yol I nolo, in
sonowhal haio-nosoo fashion, lhal il was aclually nocossaiy, ano polonlially
usoful foi lho Ioisian king. Ils nain ioason was as follows. 1ho inpossiLilily
of noasuiing haivosls in aovanco ano piopoily oslinaling lho coning piooucl,
ano lhoiofoio lilhos ano laxos, noanl lhal a high pioniun was pul on oo-
faull, wilh syslonalic aLalononls, foinulaloo in ioligious loins, which naoo
ancionl kings look gonoioussaviois ano falhois as lhoii coinago hao ilano
loo lo an oxpoclalion of oolily in ioluin.
Dononslialions of oolily woio
oxpocloo in naloiial foin ano failuios lo oo so haishly ooall wilh.

Hellenistic and Roman periods

A fow consiooialions on lho uu Lco lo u co poiioo. Il can Lo shown lhal
lho lonplo ano 1oiah oio piolocl pooplo (oi woio Loliovoo ano oxpocloo lo)
againsl lho oncioachnonls of liiLulaiy kingoons oi onpiios. Ono oxanplo
is lho oosiio foi puiily, allachoo lo lho nolion of holinoss, ilsolf achiovoo oi
nogolialoo in woiship al lho lonplo, ano lianslaling inlo lho oynanics of
puiily ano inpuiily which iogulaloo oaily aclivilios: lhal is, woik onviion-
nonl, fanily sliucluio, conlacls wilh foioignois, iolalionships in lho lowns
naikol, olc.

1ho lonplo-guaianlooo holinoss (soo Lovilical cooo of holinoss)

Nohoniah, iopoilooly, oionl lalo aovanlago of his posilion. Soo lho analysis by
Wright, Rebuilding identity, .o;, showing lhis passago in Noh has boon insoiloo
laloi, which ioinfoicos lho iooological inloipiolalion of il.
Bodi, Isral et Juda lombre des Babyloniens et des Perses, z.
!ogaioing lho fiooing fion oobls (innooialo accoioing lo lhis loxl): whal is lho oiigin
of lho xoo-loin iooa in lho sabbalical yoai ano lho Jubiloo Il oxisloo in Hammurabi code
..; (fioooon of slavos foi oobls in lho fouilh yoai). !ul lho andurrum Allaoian cuslon
was usually wilhoul xoo loin. 1ho woio noanl ioluin lo a slalo of oiigin ano was usually
piaclicoo upon lho lings accossion. ibio., z pioposos lhal a coilain pioclanalion of
andurrum in Maii (zo nill), of lho liaoilional lino appaionlly, is lis inloiossanlo poui
liooologio oo la guoiio ol oo la juslico. I oisagioo. Ils nuch noio inloiosling in whal il
iovoals ol lho slalo ano lingships inloiosls, as woll as lho ioal sliucluio of laboi ano oobl
Many oxanplos of lhis in Assyiian loxls. !ul lho Hollonislic ano !onan loxls, ovon
lho aichilocluio, coulo piovioo anplo pioof of lho phonononon also.
Conciolo oxanplos woulo nocossilalo an analysis of lho uso of inoivioual ossuaiios, slono
vossols, shaalnoz iulos, nigvaol. 1o lalo lho lasl nonlionoo ilon: aichaoology of lho oaily

coulo acl as a Lioak on nulliplo ocononic oncioachnonls Ly inpoiial foicos

(in lano ano ooLl conliacls, nonoy usago ano Lanking opoialions, culluial
ano ioligious aspocls allachoo lo lhon, olc.).
Lul lho lonplo, whon in lho hanos of lho Hoioos (oi lho Oniaos ano Has-
nonoans Lofoio in lho Hollonislic poiioo), was Loing onlaigoo ano Loaulioo
lo signify lho powoi of an unnanaLlo, invisiLlo, univoisal oivinily. Iiocisoly
in lho sano noasuio, il was Loing usoo ano aLusoo Ly kings ano lho high
piioslly fanilios who soivoo al lho kings ploasuio ano ullinaloly oLoyoo lho
oislanl oosigns of lho Ionan onpiio, i.o. lho oxliaclion of uu lo uuu lal-
onls of silvoi poi yoai. 1ho glaiing nisuso loo lo nany nossianic novononls,
incluoing Josus, ano lho iuin of lho lonplo Ly lho Ionans in u CL. Anolhoi
phaso of lho nonolhoislic iooa lhon Logan.
I suggosl lhoio is ) no sliaighl lino of oovolopnonl fion polylaliy lo nono-
laliy, ) oi (ovon loss so) fion Mosaic nonolhoisn lo polylhoisn (-laliy),
ano Lack lo nonolhoisn. 1ho ovioonco can only l a noio conplox sloiy
ano ooosnl conpol ono lo soo a piogiossivoly ionoo nonolhoisn as a nocos-
saiy oulcono. I hopo I havo shown, lhough, lhal nuch of lho nonolhoislic
oovolopnonl is shapoo Ly lho nooo lo iosisl laigoi foicos.
I woulo liko lo suggosl also lhal lhoio is a ioo lhioao iunning lhiough
lho hisloiy of nonolhoisn, which is lhal of oolily: isl lo onos linoago oi
kinship, lhon Loyono lo lhoso hiooon (wioow ano oiphan, Lonooo soivanls),
ooing lho woik, as social slialicalion incioasoo fion lho lh conluiy on,
ano nally lo a Lioaooi, ovon noio oislanl ano concoaloo, yol connocloo
souico of lifo (lho no nano of lho oxploiloo in lho fully slialioo sociolios of
inpoiial Ioisia, Hollonislic kingoons, ano Iono).

1his oolily was hiooon

Lul assunoo, counloo upon, ano nililaiily onfoicoo.
Is lho kino of iopiosonlalion of lho oivinily wo oncounloi in lho socono
lonplo poiioo, as a conplololy uniopiosonlaLlo ano unpionouncoaLlo nano,
connocloo wilh lhis aspocl

Dio lho inoaLilily of lhis nano, oi ils caulious

!onan poiioo, as woll as loxls, show lhal puiily balhs woio pail of ioguiiononls iolaloo
lo lho pioouclion of oil ano wino. 1ogolhoi wilh lho pailiculai iulos govoining conlainois,
ono nay inagino a conplox syslon ullinaloly basoo on lho lonplo lhal holpoo piovonl oi
oolay foioign, ano lhoiofoio inpoiial oncioachnonls.
Yos, bul failh (oolily), hopo, conpassion, ano lovo aio voiloo, fion hisloiians
On lho foins inoabilily lool in wiiling, soo lho oolailoo analysis by Lemaire, The
birth of monotheism.
uso, poinl lowaios lho inpossiLilily lo soo lho ioal souico of onos Loing Loyono
lho ovoinoio conplox social ailiculalions of lho lino Oi, on lho conliaiy, oio
il iopiosonl a nocossaiily hiooon, unquoslionaLlo cosnic ano polilical oiooi

1ho piosonl skolch of lho Loginning of nonolhoisn noanl lo suggosl lhal

in lho isl nilloniun LC, lho oovolopnonl of lho oconony, iolalionships Lo-
yono Liology, noio conplox lochnological ailiculalions, ano culluial oovol-
opnonls lhonsolvos, all conliiLuloo lo naking inoiviouals noio ionolo fion
lho souicos of lhoii lifo. 1hoii lifo ano iopioouclion of il was nol any noio
al lho kinship, villago, oi ovon nalional, lovol Lul lhoio was a hoiizon Lo-
yono which, lhoy clainoo lhiough lhoii sciipluio, ovoiylhing onco hiooon
oi sinply invisiLlo () Locano a sliucluioo woilo ano oloinily ().

Albertz, I. A history of Israelite religion in the Old Testament period.
Louisvillo, KY: Woslninsloi,John Knox Iioss, .
. Social hisloiy of ancionl Isiaol. Proceedings of the British Academy
(uu): 6.
Alt, A. Der Gott der Vter: ein Beitrag zur Vorgeschichte der israelitischen
Religion. Loiliago zui Wissonschafl von Allon uno Nouon 1oslanonl.
Folgo, Hofl . (Doi ganzon Sannlung, Hofl S). Slullgail: W. Kohlhan-
noi, .
Assmann, J. Of God and gods: Egypt, Israel, and the rise of monotheism.
Maoison: 1ho Univoisily of Wisconsin Iioss, uuS.
Bellah, I. N. Religion in human evolution: from the Paleolithic to the Axial
Age. CanLiiogo, Mass.: Lolknap Iioss of Haivaio Univoisily Iioss, u.
Bendix, I. Max Weber: an intel lectual portrait. no oo. Loikoloy: Univoisily
of Califoinia Iioss, .
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