60 Book Reviews / Biblical Interpretation 18 (2010) 52-86 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/156851509X430076 e Origins of Biblical Israel . By Philip R. Davies. London: T & T Clark, 2007. Pp. ix + 197. e author’s earlier work, In Search of ‘Ancient Israel,’ correctly distinguished three Israels: (1) the Israel of the biblical text (literary); (2) the Israel composed of the populace of the Palestinian highlands in the Iron Age (actual historical); and (3) the “ancient Israel” confusedly constructed by biblical historians out of an unprincipled combination of the ﬁrst two Israels (allegedly historical, actually heavily theologi- cal). In the present work, Davies aims to characterize and explain how the biblical tradi- tions arose by tackling an abiding conundrum in biblical studies: “Why did Judeans call themselves ‘Israel’?” (1). Considering (1) Israel and Judah were separate kingdoms often at adds, even in open conﬂict; and (2) the collapse of Israel as a political entity, why would the ongoing kingdom of Judah and its populace want to identify itself as Israel? e long-standing answer to that question has been that there existed, prior to the division into two kingdoms, a united monarchy, and before that, an
Biblical Interpretation – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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