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review Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? Ô eBook or Kindle ePUB µ This book addresses one of the most timely and urgent topics in archaeology and biblical studies the origins of early Israel For centuries the Western tradition has traced its beginnings back to ancienOvered in the heartland of what would later become the biblical nation of Israel According to Dever the authentic ancestors of the Israelite peoples were most likely Canaanites together with some pastoral nomads and small groups of Semitic slaves escaping from Egypt who through the long cultural and socioeconomic struggles recounted in the book of Judges managed to forge a new agrarian communitarian and monotheistic society Written in an engaging accessible style and featuring fifty photographs that help bring the archaeological record to life this book provides an authoritative statement on the origins of ancient Israel and promises to reinvigorate discussion about the historicity of the biblical tradition ?. The history in this book was pretty interesting although it largely confirmed things I'd already read essentially that the ancient Israelites likely developed as a Canaanite peasant rebellion against kings who were Egyptian vassalsIt would get four stars but for a purportedly popular book I felt like too much of it consisted of arguments with other scholars in the field that were hard to entirely make sense of as a complete outsider

summary ï eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ William G. Dever

Ists who characterize biblical literature as pious propaganda and the conservatives who are afraid to even uestion its factuality Attempting to break through this impasse Dever draws on thirty years of archaeological fieldwork in the Near East amassing a wide range of hard evidence for his own compelling view of the development of Israelite history In his search for the actual circumstances of Israel's emergence in Canaan Dever reevaluates the Exodus Conuest traditions in the books of Exodus Numbers Joshua Judges and 1 2 Samuel in the light of well documented archaeological evidence from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age Among this important evidence are some 300 small agricultural villages recently disc. I had to read this book for an online course I took for the Fall Semester of 2018 I found it to be an interesting book as the author takes a 'middle of the road' approach to the Hebrew Bible and using it as an historical source He does not believe the Hebrew Bible should be used as a primary source when it comes to history because he feels there are too many discrepancies in it that disualify it from being a 'primary source' especially in reference to the origins of the Israelites It moves at a good pace; it held my interest throughout the course I did use the book as a source for a couple of papers too which helpedThe author does not believe the Hebrew Bible should be completely 'thrown out' and ignored as a potential source of information and knowledge He freely acknowledges that the writers of the various books clearly had access to other historical sources during their time that have been lost in the sands of time and are no longer accessible today In addition the Hebrew Bible also references other sources of knowledge and history indirectly and these other books these other sources of information have also been lost to the sands of time Further he believes that the ancient authors knew far about their history than modern man wishes to believe is possible which makes perfect sense to me It is pretty normal for modern man for modern scientists to claim they know about the time in which people lived than the people who actually lived during that time In some regards that is true In other respects modern man is merely making educated guesses and assumptions based on what we know now and what we assume happened during that time period to make our claims of this is what happened then when looking at the Israeli historical pastIt seems that the first seven books of the Hebrew Bible are particular troublesome as various claims are made which cannot be substantiated in the historical and archaeological record That being the case the author feels that the Book of Judges is a historically accurate explanation of how the Israelites came to power in the region as opposed to the history traced in Genesis through Joshua A big part of the 'issue' with Joshua has to do with the number of cities and towns destroyed by the Israelites and the lack of evidence in the historical archaeological record Not only that but some Canaanite towns that have levels of destruction that would have occurred around the time the author believes the Israelites were making their move towards becoming a nation are not mentioned at all in the Hebrew Bible At the same time there are extra biblical sources that do acknowledge the existence of the Israelites and that they did progress from being an 'insignificant' people to a powerful albeit small kingdom situated along some major trading routes that passed through the region The author seems to believe that the Israelites already lived in the region and eventually formed their own 'people group' my words not his and identity which contrasted in various ways with the surrounding nations especially the Philistines There are various indicators that show the Israelites were their own race set apart from the surrounding nations Some of these indicators include the 'four room house' specific types and forms of pottery the social structure how the Israelites were 'arranged' in terms of political thinking and religion The author also talks about fellow archaeologists throughout history who have made various contributions to furthering our understanding of the history of the region and those who inhibit our understanding by making outlandish unsubstantiated inflammatory claims Overall I thought the author was fairly balanced in how he presented the information in the book It does seem there are serious causes for concern over using the Hebrew Bible as a primary source for the history of the region but it has also been true that time and time again history and archaeology has supported various claims of the Hebrew Bible; the 'support' has not been uncovered yet Be that as it may I did find the book an interesting read over the course of the semester The author does state that he is not comfortable completely dismissing the Hebrew Bible for various reasons some of them being religious in nature and some of them actually being academic in natureOverall it as an interesting book to read and I am glad that I had to read it for my class Otherwise I might not have finished it at a later time having used it for some papers in a prior online course

William G. Dever ✓ 3 summary

Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come FromThis book addresses one of the most timely and urgent topics in archaeology and biblical studies the origins of early Israel For centuries the Western tradition has traced its beginnings back to ancient Israel but recently some historians and archaeologists have uestioned the reality of Israel as it is described in biblical literature In  Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From William Dever explores the continuing controversies regarding the true nature of ancient Israel and presents the archaeological evidence for assessing the accuracy of the well known Bible stories Confronting the range of current scholarly interpretations seriously and dispassionately Dever rejects both the revision. A number of books on the Hebrew Bible have been published in the 1990s and the 2000s that claim that the early history of the Israelites is a fabrication; The Bible Unearthed by Finkelstein and Silberman is one but others are much extreme in their claims The claims were eagerly picked up by assorted anti Zionists and Palestinian nationalists; some of the latter claim that Bronze Age Canaanites are their direct ancestors; in 1996 some West Bank Palestinians reenacted a ceremony of worshiping the Canaanite god Ba'al Dever tries to steer a middle course between them and Biblical literalists but the end result is not substantially different from Finkelstein and Silberman The Book of Joshua lists 30 some cities destroyed by the Israelite invasion of Canaan; some are unidentified and of the rest some are unexcavated but of the 20 some excavated cities only 2 or 3 could possibly have been destroyed by the Israelites and could have been destroyed by the Philistines or someone else The original Israelites seem to have been pastoralists who lived in the hills of modern day West Bank; an egalitarian peasant society can hold heterodox religious views look at the Amish of Pennsylvania However it is possible that they also assimilated descendants of Semitic slaves who escaped from Egypt whose tribal epic was the story of Joseph and whose legendary ancestors were Manasseh and Ephraim