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The Untold Story of the Kingdom of Judah

(A5) "Israel" in the Hebrew Bible and the "History of Israel"

Prof. Oded Lipschits

There are large gaps between the “Israel” described in the Hebrew Bible, the “Israel” that can be reconstructed by following the archaeological evidence, and the “Israel” that appears in written sources other than Biblical historiography. Comparing the “Israel” described in the Hebrew Bible (the figure of Jacob/Israel, his sons who are “The Children of Israel,” from which the “Tribes of Israel” were formed, which were the basis of the “Kingdom of Israel” which was divided into two separate kingdoms – Israel and Judah), to ‘historical Israel’ is a good starting point for demonstrating the limitations of the biblical description as a historical source, for understanding the goals of the biblical description and the ways in which it was shaped, for finding the main problems with this description, and for learning about the research methods of this description – about what is in it and what is not.

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