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Tribes of Israel

(2,334 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
1. History and Results of Research From Numbers to 1 Kgs. 11:30, Israel is portrayed as a community of 12 tribes. Discrepancies in the lists (either with Levi and Joseph, the sons of Jacob, or without Levi and with Ephraim and Manasseh, the grandchildren of Jacob), as well as an older system of 10 tribes of Israel (Judges 5 [without Judah, Simeon, Gad, and Manasseh, but with Machir and Gilead]; 1 Kgs. 11:31) plus Judah (1 Kgs. 11:32), show the 12-tribe system to be a recent, theoretical construct (see 4). In their material culture and linguistically, the tribes of the 12…

Gerar(a)

(107 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne)
[German version] Probably Tall Abı̄ Huraira/Tall Haror between  Gaza and Beeršeba. Important settlement of the 18th-11th cents. and the 7th-4th cents. BC. The sources 1 Chr 4,39-40 and 2 Chr 14,8-14 refer to the events of the 4th or 3rd cent. BC, although it remains unclear, where the authors were looking for G. 2 Macc 13,24 no longer refers to G., only to ‘Gerrenians’. In the 4th-6th cents. AD, there is mention of a saltus Gerariticus, seat of the bishop of Orda in 518. Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne) Bibliography 1 O. Keel, M. Küchler, Orte und Landschaften der Bibel, vol. 2, 1982, 134-137 2 NE…

Gaba

(345 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne)
[German version] (Canaanite * gab, ‘hill’). Settlement 5 km northwest of  Megiddo in the Valley of Jezreel, modern Tall Abı̄ Šūša. The name first appears as qb (no. 114) on  Thutmosis' III (1479-1425 BC) list of conquered Palestine cities, and is probably identical with Γαιβαι (Γεβαι, Γαβαι) in Jdt 3,10. Under  Alexander [16] Iannaeus (103-76 BC), G. was part of the Hasmonaean kingdom (Sync. 558,17-559,3). According to Josephus (Jos. BI 1,166; Ant. Iud. 14,88), the settlement was ‘restored’ by Gabinius between 57 and 55 BC; however, accordi…

Gabara

(132 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne)
[German version] (Γαβαρα; Gabara, also Γαβαρωθ, Γαδαρα, Γαμαλα, Γαραβα, Γαβαρους; Gabarōth, Gadara, Gamala, Garaba, Gabarous [1]; from the Semitic ǧrb ‘to bear a grudge against someone’ or ‘to be angry’, which is the root of all variations of the name ─ apart from orthographic mistakes). Settlement in Lower Galilee, more likely the modern Arrāba/Arāv than Ḫirbat al-Qabra. At the beginning of the Jewish War (AD 66-70), G. sympathized with Josephus' opponent John of Gischala (Jos BI 2,629; Vita 82; 123f.; 203; 229…

Gezer

(165 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Aegean Koine City(state) of Palestine in the Bronze and Iron Age that controlled the exit of the road from Jerusalem to the coast out of the mountains. Conquered from the 15th to the 10th cents. BC. by Egypt, acquired and fortified by Solomon (1 Kg 9,16-18; 9,15 is anachronistic). It is impossible to decide whether G. was Israelitic, Judaic, Philistine or independent in the period that followed. From 734 it was under Assyrian rule, and in the 7th…

Geth

(307 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne)
Gat (Canaanitic gint, Hebrew gat, ‘winepress’). In Syria-Palestine frequent place name of the late Bronze and Iron Age. [German version] [1] The Philistine Gat The Philistine Gat, the south-eastern corner of the Pentapolis (1 Sam 7,14; 17,52), probably Tall aṣ-Ṣāfı̄. As the direct neighbour of Judah, G. was involved in the 10th cent. BC in the uprising of David who as a condottiere received Ziklag (Tall as-Saba/Tel Ber Ševa) as a fief from G. (1 Sam 27). Perhaps already conquered by Hasaël of Damascus as early as the 2nd half of the 9th cent. BC as par…

Yahweh

(936 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne)
Name of the God of the Israelites and Judaeans, and after the collapse of these states (722/720 and 586/582 BC), of the God of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). [German version] A. Name The Old Testament gives only the consonants of the god's name ( Yhwh; epigraphically attested from the 9th cent. BC), its pronunciation is a taboo in Rabbinic Judaism. Yhwh is usually read as 'Lord', adōnāy, hence the Κύριος ( kýrios) of LXX as well as the erroneous 'Jehovah', in which the consonants of the written Yhwh are provided with the vowels of the read adōnāy. The pronounciation * Yahwē is based on t…

Leuke Kome

(199 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne)
(Λευκὴ κώμη; Leukḕ kṓmē). [German version] [1] Phoenician village on the coast between Sidon and Berytus Phoenician village on the coast between Sidon and Berytus, where Mark Antony and Cleopatra met after the Parthian campaign (Plut. Antonius 51,2f.). Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne) [German version] [2] Harbour town on the Arabian shore of the Red Sea This item can be found on the following maps: India, trade with Harbour town on the Arabian shore of the Red Sea and a Nabataean border post. It was from here that Aelius Gallus set out by land for the Sabaean capital …

Galgala

(212 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Berne)
[German version] (Biblical Gilgāl, ‘circle of stones’, probably not a settlement). Pre-Israelite sanctuary (Judg. 3:19) on the eastern shore of the oasis of Jericho (Jos 4:19), probably the site of Saul's elevation as king (1 Sam 11:15) and a pilgrimage centre of the 8th/7th cents. BC (Amos 4:4; 5:5; Hos 4:15; 9:15; 12:12), historicized as a memorial for the crossing of the Jordan under Joshua (Jos 4:20-24, hence Δωδεκαλιθον ( Dōdekalithon), ‘place of twelve stones’ on the Madaba map). The Jewish-Christian topographical tradition is continued in Tosefta Sōfṭa 8,6 (2nd cent. AD ?) …

Nomads

(812 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
Peoples who make and remake their settlements in a variety of places, often depending upon climactic conditions. Nomads ¶ ( aʿrāb) are the non-urban population of the Arabian peninsula, attested ten times in the Qurʾān. Oasis-town and countryside By the time of the Prophet, the Near Eastern social trichotomy of peasants, townspeople and nomads had developed into the dichotomy of nomads and urbanites in northern and central Arabia (see city; pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān). This was the result of the “bedouinization of Arabia,” a social process which had set in with…

Tribes of Israel

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] Biblical Israel (II, 1) is theoretically divided into 12 tribes (cf. also Rev 7:4–8). The oldest enumerations mention fewer tribes (2 Sam 2:9 [four]; Judg 5 [ten]) but include “non-canonical” tribal names instead (Machir, Gilead). Biblical Israel (II, 1) is theoretically divided into 12 tribes (cf. also Rev 7:4–8). The oldest enumerations mention fewer tribes (2 Sam 2:9 [four]; Judg 5 [ten]) but include “non-canonical” tribal names instead (Machir, Gilead). I. Tribe and State Tribes are political amalgamations of clans, which in turn represent territori…

Mamre

(369 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] (מַמְרֵא, genuine place name meaning something like “fat pasture”) stood in the middle of the hill country of Judah, about 3 km north of Hebron (Arab. name [until 15th cent. ce], Rāmat or Bēt al-Ḫalîl, “High Place/House of the Friend [of God]”). According to ancient tradition in Gen 18* a divine triad (from Hebron?) appeared here to the tent-dwelling peasant Abraham. When in the 6th century bce Abraham was made the mythic origin of the population of Judah, Mamre stood on the frontier between Judah and Idumaea (from 597/586 bce; Gen 13:18*; 16*). In the late 6th or ear…

Israel and its Neighbours in Syria-Palestine

(658 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] Southern Syria-Palestine is predestined to ethnic pluralism and a small-state existence by its riven, restricted land form and the boundaries and intermixture of several climate zones. The neighbors of the states of Israel and Judah include, on the coasts, the Phoenicians (Phoenicia; with Akko and Dor), in the north and northwest, the Arameans (Beth-Rehob, Geshur, Aram-Damascus), in the east, the Ammonites, Moab and Edom, and in the south, the desert tribes (Amalekites, Ishmaelite…

Kinneret

(321 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] Kinneret, a city on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Galilee, Sea of; Heb. yam kinneret), today Tell el-'Orēme/Tel Kinrōt. A large settlement of the EBA I–II period (stratum IX) was followed by two cities of the 16th and 15th centuries bce (strata VIII and VII; MBA III/LBA Ia periods; mentioned in Egyptian sources under the name knrt) that covered an area of 7–9 hectares and were surrounded by a rampart-topped glacis. The city wall was rebuilt towards the end of the IA I period (late 11th to mid-10th cents. bce) and the settlement was repopulated. It seems v…

Siloam Inscription

(301 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] a Judahite inscription discovered in 1880 in the Siloam Tunnel (also called Hezekiah’s Tunnel); it describes the construction of the tunnel, which links the Gihon Spring (east of the spur of the so-called City of David; Jerusalem: VIII, 2; with maps) with the Pool of Siloam to the southwest. The inscrip-¶ tion is now in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. The usual association of the inscription with Hezekiah’s defensive measures in 701 bce (cf. 2 Kgs 20:20) has been challenged by issues of hydraulic engineering, city planning, and paleography. Archaeol…

Moab

(964 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] (מֹאָב /mōʾāb, cf. Arab. waʾ ba, “rock cleft containing water”), primarily a toponym denoting the region on both sides of the Arnon (Israel and its neighbors in Syria-Palestine, map). The plateau produces a surplus of grain (cf. Ruth 1), the slopes of the hills a surplus of wine (cf. Isa 16:7–11; Jer 48:29–33), and the edges of the steppe a surplus of animal products (cf. 2 Kgs 3:4), but this economic potential is impeded by a geographic location that makes commerce difficult. There is evidence of several complex chiefdoms in southern Moab in the 3rd millennium bce. In the (…

Mediterranean

(578 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] Syria and Palestine were part of a supraregional Mediterranean economic system (see also Trade and traffic in the Mediterranean world) from the second millennium bce to the 16th century ce. During this period, the economic and cultural center of what may be termed the “First World” of the time was initially concentrated in the eastern Mediterranean, only to encompass the entire Mediterranean from the first millennium bce onward. Even the non-seafaring adjoining states and cultures integrated themselves in the basic structure of agrarian, tribal …

Tirzah

(273 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] (Heb. תִּרְצָה; Tell el-Fāriʿa). This site in northeastern Samaria controlled the main route into central Transjordania (Peniel). Taken by Shoshenq (Shishak; Karnak list no. 59 [G. Hughes, Reliefs and Inscriptions at Karnak, vol. III, 1954]), it was the ¶ residence of the kings of Israel from Baasha (1 Kgs 15:21) to Omri (1 Kgs 16:23). It was destroyed by Menahem even before Tiglath Pileser III (2 Kgs 15:16). In Song 6:4, Tirzah might be a cover name for Samaria. Tirzah was a significant settlement in Early Bronze I/II (18 hectares) and was fortified in Midd…

YHWH

(601 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] (ketib הוהי, qere in codices A and L אמָשְׁ/ šĕmāʾ, in later manuscripts ינָֹדאֲ/ʾ ădonāy), the personal name of the God of the Israelites and Judahites. Historically YHWH is associated religiously and theologically with the prehistory of the one and only God as defined by the Hebrew Bible. Attested epigraphically since the 9th century bce (Mesha stele), saying the name became taboo in late biblical and rabbinic Judaism and it was replaced by Lord (hence the κύριος/ kýrios in the LXX, HErr in Luther’s trans., and Lord in most Eng. trans.). The reading of the tetrag…

Bozrah (Edom)

(166 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] According to Amos 1:12; Jer 49:13, 22; Isa 34:6; 63:1, Bozrah was the capital of Edom (Gen 36:33 refers to the Bozrah in Syria), and can be identified with the Buṣērā in southern Jordan (Palestine grid 2077.0170). According to the excavational discoveries of C.-M. Bennett Bosrah was founded at the end of the 8th century or start of the 7th century bce under the influence of Assyrian culture. The city came to its end in the Persian era after the neo-Babylonian king Nabonidus conquered i…
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