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(6,607 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Kippenberg, Hans G. | Thiel, Winfried | Wehr, Lothar | Münch, Richard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word society ( societas, société) has changed from a term denoting particular forms and modes of human coexistence to a term (in both sg. and pl.) denoting the totality of human coexistence; it has thus become the basic term of the theoretical sciences that deal with human coexistence. The German equivalent, Gesellschaft (from OHG sal, “room,” and selida, “dwelling place”), suggests ties that arise from sharing the same room (cf. Geselle, “apprentice,” etymologically “someone ¶ sharing accommodations” with a master) or belonging to the sa…


(296 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] Rehoboam, king of Judah (926–910 bce; Kingship [in Israel]), son and successor of Solomon. When he acceded to the throne, the central and northern tribes (Tribes of Israel) exercised their right to speak and demanded that their burden of tribute and forced labor be reduced. When he refused, they announced their separation from the Davidic dynasty and made Jeroboam I king (1 Kgs 12:1–17). This “division of the kingdom” marked the beginning of Israel and Judah as separate states. The invasion of Palestine by the pharaoh Shishak during the reign of Rehoboam aff…

Jeroboam I

(493 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] Jeroboam I, was the first king Kingship in Israel) of the northern kingdom of Israel (926–907). Appointed bySolomon (I) as overseer of the central Palestinian forced laborers, Jeroboam use his position to plan an assault on Solomon; however, nothing is known concerning its nature and execution (1 Kgs 11:26–28, 40). Jeroboam had to flee to Egypt (Israel and Egypt). After the central and northern tribes (Tribes of Israel) had seceded from Davidic sovereignty, they installed Jeroboam…


(315 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] was a Phoenician princess, the daughter of Ittobaal of Tyre (or of Sidon, according to Timm), who was married to Ahab of Israel. After Ahab's death, Jezebel gained great political influence as queen mother and used this to promote the Baal/Baalat religion. Jezebel's historical appearance is not easy to determine, since she became the object of a biased historical tradition. It is unlikely that this development of the tradition has deuteronomistic or even later origins. The traditi…


(845 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] An Israelite prophet from the second half of the 9th century bce, Elisha came from a farming family in Abel-Mehola (Tell Abū Ṣūṣ in the bay of Beth-Shean). He was active in the Northern Kingdom under the Omride king (Omri) Jehoram (851–845) and under Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Joaz as the leader of prophetic circles (“disciples of prophets”). Contrary to th…

Elijah the Prophet

(2,156 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried | Necker, Gerold | Böcher, Otto | Hennings, Ralph
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Christianity I. Old Testament Elijah, an Israelite prophet in the 9th century bce, was from transjordanian Tishbe in Gilead (not yet located with certainty); consequently, he bore the nickname “the Tishbite,” but only rarely the title “prophet.” He appeared in the Northern Kingdom and was active under kings Ahab (871–852) and Ahaziah (852–851). He is said not to have died but to have been taken up by God to heaven. The traditions concerning Elijah occur in 1 Kgs 17–19; 21; …

Jeroboam II

(320 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] Jeroboam II, king (Kingship in Israel) of Israel (787–747), was a contemporary of Azariah/Uzziah of Judah. According to 2 Kgs 14:23–29 and the information in Amos, his reign was a last climax of power and prosperity for (northern) Israel (II, 1) made possible by the weakness of Aram-Damascus (Israel and its neighbours in Syria-Palestine) and the pressure on Assyria from Urartu. Jeroboam was able to restore Israel's traditional landed property in the Transjordan and to extend its c…

Leusden, Johann

(163 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] (Apr 26, 1624, Utrecht, the Netherlands – Sep 30, 1699, Utrecht, the Netherlands), Dutch theologian and expert in Near Eastern studies. ¶ Leusden became associate professor of oriental languages in Utrecht in 1650 and professor of Hebrew in 1653. Instructed by rabbis in Amsterdam, he made himself familiar with the Talmud and with rabbinic literature. Especially important was the text edition of the Biblia Hebraica (1660, 21667), which he organized together with the bookseller Joseph Athias. A model of accuracy and beauty in printing, it became t…


(503 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] Jehu, king of Israel (845–818 bce). Jehu founded a dynasty (Kingship in Israel) that ruled over the northern kingdom (Israel: I, II) for barely a century (845–747). According to 2 Kings 9f., Jehu exploited the wounding of King Joram in the battle with the Arameans to sieze power. Spurred on by a prophetic designation (2 Kgs 9:1–6; cf. 1 Kgs 19:16) and the acclamation of the officers of the army, he hurried to Jezreel, killed Joram and King Ahaziah of Judah who happened to be present, a…

Michaelis, Johann David

(303 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] (Feb 27, 1717, Halle – Aug 22, 1791, Göttingen), theologian and specialist in Near Eastern studies. Brought up in a Pietist family, Michaelis discovered deism during a journey to England in 1741/1742 and sought to chart his own path between rationalism and orthodoxy (II, 2.a), with primary emphasis on maintaining orthodox positions and placing them on a new foundation. In 1746 he was appointed associate professor and in 1750 full professor of oriental languages at Göttingen. Broadly edu-¶ cated and with wide interests, but also emotionally needy and content…