There was probably only one past, but there are many different
histories. As mental representations of narrow segments of the
past, 'histories' reflect different cultural contexts and different
historians, although 'history' is a scientific enterprise whenever
it processes representative data using rational and controllable
methods to work out hypotheses that can be falsified by empirical
evidence. A History of Biblical Israel combines experience gained
through decades of teaching biblical exegesis and courses on the
history of ancient Israel, and of on-going involvement in biblical
archaeology. 'Biblical Israel' is understood as a narrative
produced primarily in the province of Yehud to forge the collective
memory of the elite that operated the temple of Jerusalem under the
auspices of the Achaemenid imperial apparatus. The notion of
'Biblical Israel' provides the necessary hindsight to narrate the
fate of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah as the pre-history of
'Biblical Israel', since the archives of these kingdoms were only
mined in the Persian era to produce the grand biblical
narrative.The volume covers the history of 'Biblical Israel'
through its fragmentation in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
until 136 CE, when four Roman legions crushed the revolt of Simeon
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