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Jewry: Fake and truth in the Old Testament (OT) according to documents and excavations

New identity by new Jewish history by help of chronology and archaeological research

14. The fake of the coordination of 12 tribes - and also the wars between the 12 tribes are a fake

by Michael Palomino (2006 / 2010)



from: Israel Finkelstein / Neil A. Silberman: The Bible unearthed. Archeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts; The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2001; German edition has got the title "No trombones before Jericho" (orig. German: "Keine Posaunen vor Jericho"): edition C.H.Beck oHG, Munich 2002;

From German version "Keine Posaunen vor Jericho" of DTV, Munich 2004, second edition of 2005. All page indications refer to the German version. I hope the page numbers are not very different.

The contradictions concerning the life of the tribes in the OT

-- the tribe Benjamin is said having been attacked by a coalition of other Israelite tribes, and the coalition is said having sworn that no marriage will be permitted any more with the tribe of Benjamin (book of Judges, 19-21) (p.112)

[Again we have here an ethnic racism with prohibition of marriages]

-- according to the song of Deborah many tribes cannot be loyal to God's law, get disloyal and are not doing it's best for the "case of whole Israel" (p.112-113).

OT claims a danger of the 12 tribes from the beginning

OT claims:

The Israelite tribes are said having been encircled from the beginning by enemies and by hostile enclaves in the tribal territories having been in a dangerous position from the beginning, in a military and in a religious way, and the "people of Israel" is said having stood one performance test after the other, with all possible "heroic deeds", but these "heroic deeds" are only death and murder:

-- according to the book of Judges 3,7-11, Othniel, a Calebite, is said having repulsed the mysterious enemy Kusan-Risathaim, the "king of Mesopotamia" in an action alone

-- according to the book of Judges 3,12-30, Ehud from tribe of Benjamin is said having killed the great and fat king of Moab in his private room (p.114)

-- according to the book of Judges 3,31, Sambar is said having killed 600 Philistines with one prick for bullocks (p.114)

-- Deborah and Barak are said having startled the Israelite tribes against the staying Canaanite kings in the North

-- according to the book of Judges 4,1-5,31 the wife of the Kenite Heber, Jael, is said having killed the Canaanite General Sisera with a stake during he was sleeping (p.114)

-- according to the book of Judges 6,1-8,28, Gideon from the Manasseh tribe is said having executed a cultural cleansing of the land against idolatry and is said having defended his folk from the Midianite thieves who operated from the desert (p.114)

-- according to the book of Judges 13,1-16,31, Simson is said having seduced by Philistine Dalila and is said having been robbed of his curls (p.114), and then he is said having been blinded and humiliated in Gaza (p.114-115) and [after the hair was growing again] he is said having destructed the columns of the big Philistine Dagon temple in Dan (p.115)

[perhaps a suicide attack].

The facts of archeology: There was a reconstruction on or besides the ruins - and there was a legend formed

The real life of the Israelites is hardly mentioned in OT, neither in the book of Joshua (p.115) nor in the book of Judges (p.115-116). According to Finkelstein / Silberman the Israelites - after having migrated during 40 years in the desert and after 10 years of wars of conquest - were badly prepared for a peasant's life in a completely destroyed country (p.116)

[respectively there had been famine and mass death, or the neighboring "enemies" had converted into "friends" sharing the food, or other enemies from abroad had defeated the weak Israelis and had accepted well the "preparatory work"].

since 1100 B.C. appr.
Reconstruction of Canaan - independences of later territories of Shechem and Jerusalem are not affected

Map with Shechem, Samaria,
                        Jezreel, and Jerusalem. For Jerusalem there are
                        no findings for this period.
Map with Shechem, Samaria, Jezreel, and Jerusalem. For Jerusalem there are no findings for this period.

The Philistines in the Canaanite plain are working for their power and gaining the power in the towns back. The independences of the city states in the highlands (territories of future kingdoms of Shechem and of Jerusalem) is not affected (p.178).

The Phoenician descendants of Canaanites are occupying the harbor towns in the North (p.178-179).

Megiddo and other towns are amplified. Megiddo is reconstructed as a representative town. Archaeologically there can be shown the whole development in Megiddo in the layers (Stratum VIA). The refoundation contains practically all characteristics of the former Canaanite culture

-- with a similar ceramic stile as in 12th century B.C.
-- with a similar layout as in 12th century B.C.
-- with Canaanite temple complexes etc. (p.179).

Such a development also have Tel Dor and Tel Rehov. But this new growth is not for a long time (p.179).

Rubble mountains provoking legend forming - example Bethel

It can be admitted that the huge rubble mountains of the towns had a tremendous effect in the memory of the population.

According to Bible researchers Alt and North there are legends formed with the topic of the rubble mountains with all possible heroism,
-- because the painful experience of a destruction of a town is not passing without effect
-- but the memory is always more blurred and is becoming the rough material for all possible legends and claims (p.107) [with the climax of the legends in OT since 7th century B.C.[.

In the case of the town of Bethel for example the huge rubble mountain ("tell") in the East with the ruins from Late Bronze Age is 10 times bigger than the reconstructed city (p.106).

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