Front cover of my just arrived NG magazine. Surprised to have found it online for free at their own site. Oh well, like the magazine says, my subscription helps pay for finds like these:
This should be in the Judaism section. For Gentile Christians, it doesn’t really matter how big David and Solomon’s kingdom was. Besides, their importance would always be interpreted differently depending on perspective. My assessment of Texas and Skipshot’s assessment of California are anything but objective, for example.
In the time and place where it existed, there may not have been a a significant difference.
The Bible Unearthed, by Israel Finkelstein covers this. Excellent book.
Besides, their importance would always be interpreted differently depending on perspective. My assessment of Texas and Skipshot’s assessment of California are anything but objective, for example.
Exactly. Early historical writings are full of hyperbole of how great the author’s society was. Compared to today’s cities they are cow towns, but compared to tribes living in caves at the time they were a shining beacon of civilization. It’s rare to find anyone anytime admitting in writing for the historical record they suck.
Another example is of the last stone age Indian in California to stumble desperate and alone out of a remote Sierra Mountain canyon into the modern world of San Francisco, Ishi. Being the last of a tribe thought wiped out maybe 20 years before, no one could speak with him except the last Indian of a neighboring tribe whose language was related and who had been civilized to the white man’s ways. Well, being ancient neighbors they were also ancient enemies and each thought the other was the lowest form of life on the planet and Ishi flatly refused to speak with him, so his language died with him along with just about everything in his tribe’s history and society. Perhaps Ishi didn’t trust an enemy to be the last to leave a record of his people.
Anyway, ancient historical writings is a game of one-upmanship. Your tribal leader can’t be outdone by someone who calls himself king of all he surveys, so you inflate the importance of your own while deprecating your enemies to be dirt-eaters.