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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

23. Documents about the northern Reich of Israel of Omrid dynasty

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;

Here in this analysis is used the 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 sources of the neighboring countries prescribing the northern kingdom of Israel of the Omrids

Now we can compare again the Bible text with the sources of the neighboring countries:

-- there are monumental inscriptions put into stone in steles, in monuments, in house walls or in temple walls

-- there are written sources of well developed Assyrian bureaucracy and texts of some less powerful states in the Middle East with descriptions of the events of the dynasty of the Omrids and with descriptions of the events in Aram Damascus and in Moab (p.195).

Monumental Israeli inscriptions from Israel or Judah could not be found (p.195). It seems that there is no traditional writtenness in the Jewish population up to the Omrids (p.195). But according to all sources the Omrid kingdom of Israel for example had a huge army as it's described in the Assyrian sources (p.197).

[It seems that the kings of the Omrids had a unilateral militarism without inscriptions, or archeology has not excavated the inscriptions yet and has searched at the wrong places].

North Reich of Israel of the Omrids could have be
              like this for a long time
North Reich of Israel of the Omrids could have be like this for a long time

The stele of king Mesha of Moab in Dibon: Israel is dominating Moab - followed by a reconquest step by step

According to this stele northern Reich of Israel has occupied territories of Moab, and then king Mesha of Moab performed a reconquest.

Map with Dibon, the capital of Moab,
              satellite photo
Map with Dibon, the capital of Moab, satellite photo

Here is the stele of Dibon found in 1868 in the ex capital of Moab, with a long text in Moabite language (familiar to biblical Hebrew). The text gives many details:

Victory stele of king Mesha,
                      copy of the original
Victory stele of king Mesha, copy of the original

Victory stele of king Mesha, the text
vergrössern  Victory stele of king Mesha, the text

-- all in all the kingdom of Israel is said having had it's borderlines up to far in the East and in the South

-- the stele describes the Omrids with the king Omri of Israel who had "suppressed Moab many days"

"And Omri had occupied the land of Madeba. And he lived in it. His days and the sum of the days of his sons are 40 years."

-- the successor of king Omri, king Ahab, "his son followed him, and also he said: 'I will humiliate Moab' "

-- king Mesha of Moab succeeded with a reconquest of the northern territory of Moab. Then he founded the capital of Dibon where the stele was found (p.196)

-- the stele describes the achievements of king Mesha: the reconquest is performed step by step with the destruction of the Israeli capitals on the East Bank

-- at the same time king Mesha can fortify and beautify the own capital (p.196).

According to the stele of Mesha king Mesha is mizprising the Omrid dynasty (p.196).

The stele of Dan: there was an Israeli attack on Assyria - and Hazael occupied parts of Israel

The peaces of the stele of Dan (with the only indication of a "house of David") are found in 1993 (p.193).

Peaces of the stele found in Dan in the hill
                      of ruins of Dan (tell Dan)
Peaces of the stele found in Dan in the hill of ruins of Dan (tell Dan)
The text
                          of the peaces of the stele of Dan found in
                          Tell Dan, completed by William Schniedewind
vergrössern The text of the peaces of the stele of Dan found in Tell Dan, completed by William Schniedewind

This stele could be from Aramean king Hazael from Damascus. The text makes sense when king Hazael of Aram Damascus is put in as the actor. So - according to Finkelstein / Silberman - there had been the following scenario (p.196):

-- the king of the northern Reich of Israel is said having attacked Assyria passing Moab up to the borderlines of Damascus:

"The king of I[s]rael before [before the military campaign of Damascus against Israel] stepped on my father's land." (p.197)

-- so, the northern Reich of Israel has been a colonial power with an invason up to the borders of Damascus (p.197)

-- the occupation of the town of Dan under king Hazael follows only in about 835 B.C. [after the Omrid dynasty] (p.196-197).

The death of king Jehoram in the war against king Hazael - the completed text of the stele

According to the interpretation of the inscription of Tel Dan by Finkelstein / Silberman the death of king Jehoram is not caused by a vineyard, but is provoked by an Aramean victory of Aram Damascus with king Hazael [also Hasa'el], and also the son of Jehoram, Ahaziah, was killed. The completed stele text in a translation is like this:

"[I killed Je]horam, the son of [Ahab], king of Israel, and [I] killed [Ahaz]ia, the son of [Jehoram, kin]g of the house of David. And I made [their towns to ruins and] gave their land [to be destructed]." (p.221)

But there will never be a safe information, if Jehu or the king of Aram Damascus, Hazael, was the murderer (p.221).

Assyrian sources: Monolith inscription from Assyrian Nimrud says the invasion under Shalmaneser III was a draw

-- in 853 B.C. the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (858-824 B.C.) is looking for a way to the coast and lets start a big army against the little states of Aram Damascus,Phoenicia and Israel

-- at Karkar at Orontes river in western Syria a battle with the anti Assyrian coalition is held with the strongest parts of the war chariots from king Ahab from Israel (p.197)

-- according to the monolith inscription of Shalmaneser III [inscription in one single big stone] king Ahab is one of the main enemies against the Assyrian dominance in the Mid East (p.226)

-- Shalmaneser III describes himself as a big winner against the big coalition

-- but the battle at Karkar reduces the army of Shalmaneser that much so he is not capable continuing his invasion but has to return to Damascus (p.197).

There is never mentioned any South Reich "Judah" (southern kingdom of Judah) or "Jerusalem" (p.198).

Finkelstein / Silberman mean that the dynasty of the Omrids had the biggest professional army of the region in this time, and that the policy of dominance of the Omrid dynasty was on a relatively bad base, with regional rivals and with a constant danger of Assyria (p.198).

Later Assyrian sources name the northern Reich of Israel even as "house of Omri", and this is an indication that the new capital of Samaria really was founded by the Omri family itself (p.198).

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Photo sources

-- map of Israel and Judah, unreal borderlines: http://mx.geocities.com/pastoralbiblica/ubicar.html; http://mx.geocities.com/pastoralbiblica/map05.jpg
-- map of Dibon, location where the stele of king Mesha was found: http://www.genesisfiles.com/Bible_Map_J.htm#B

-- stele of king Mesha, copy: http://www.accd.edu/sac/english/cbritt/travel/slide46.htm
-- stele of king Mesha, text: http://www.uni-essen.de/Ev-Theologie/courses/course-stuff/im-mesha-stele.htm

-- stele of Tel Dan, peaces: http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%9B%D7%AA%D7%95%D7%91%D7%AA_%D7%AA%D7%9C_%D7%93%D7%9F http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%AA%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%A0%D7%94:Tel_Dan_Stele.jpg
-- stele of Tel Dan, text: http://www.nelc.ucla.edu/Faculty/Schniedewind.htm; http://www.nelc.ucla.edu/Faculty/Schniedewind_files/Tel_Dan_drawing.jpg