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PHILISTINES: ARCHAEOLOGY Part II

SOLOMON (961-922)

[1Kgs 11:7] Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem.

[1Kgs 11:8] And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

JEROBOAM (922-901)

[1Kgs 12:31] He also made houses on high places, and appointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites

AHAB (869-850)

[1Kgs 16:32] He erected an altar for Ba'al in the house of Ba'al, which he built in Sama'ria.

[1Kgs 16:33] And Ahab made an Ashe'rah.  Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

JEHU (842-814)

[2Kgs 10:27] And they demolished the pillar of Ba'al, and demolished the house of Ba'al, and made it a latrine to this day.

[2Kgs 10:28] Thus Jehu wiped out Ba'al from Israel.

Last week we quoted from Mazar: "The three temples at Tell Qasile are different in plan even though they belong to the same culture and were built within a relatively short time span of some 150 years. Such variations in temple architecture are unprecedented within the Canaanite sphere, in which temples retained their basic form for lengthy periods. It seems, therefore, that the Philistine population - as was the case with the Myceneans- did not have a crystallized tradition of religious architecture. (Mazar p. 322)"

Remember that this site is supposed to have been built by the Philistines at the time of the Judges even though it is further north than the generally recognized area of Philistia. Remember also that this was a virgin site chosen by a "Sea Peoples" in preference to natural port further south which remained unoccupied.

Contrast all that with the revised chronology which places the building of the site not at the time of the Judges but at the time of the Divided Kingdom.

Study carefully the quotes above from the Book of Kings and note how often there were changes of religion and worship in that time. Contrast that with the theory that it was constantly occupied by the Philistines who supposedly frequently changed their expression of religion. A supposition for which there is absolutely NO evidence.

The question that springs immediately to mind however is what happened in history to the missing hundreds of years. If we want to move the beginning of the Iron age from the time of the Judges to the time of the divided kingdom don't we eliminate vast amounts of history from all over the Ancient World.

Next week we will deal with that problem, but will give you a hint from the archaeology of Cyprus which because of the pottery types is intimately connected with the coastal area with we have been dealing .

From the Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East volume 2 page 94. Cyprus.

"The centuries from about 1100 to 800 BCE were long seen by modern scholars as a dark age -a period of poverty, isolation and general cultural decline. All knowledge of writing was said to have been lost for several hundred years, along with advanced technological skills in stone working, ivory carving and metal working (precious and base) and that all these skills had to be relearned in the eighth century BCE."

What a coincidence !

Any Questions?

Michael S. Sanders

Irvine, California

Tuesday, July 14, 1998

 



Bibliography
  1. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible 10,000-586 B.C.E. : Amihai Mazar   (ISBN: 038523970X)
  2. The Five Books of Moses: Vol. I The Schocken Bible: Everett Fox.   (ISBN: 0805240616)

 




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