Merrill - Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests - Eugene Merrill
The title of this work-Kingdom of Priests-suggests at once the peculiar nature of a history of Israel: It cannot be done along the lines of normal historical scholarship because it relies primarily upon documents (the Old Testament) that are fundamentally nonhistoriographic in character.
The Old Testament is first and foremost theological and not historical literature; this means that theological and not historical approaches must be brought to bear if its underlying purpose and message are to be discerned.

Eugene Merrill - Kingdom of Priests - A HISTORY OF OLD TESTAMENT ISRAEL

Published by Baker Books a division of Baker Book House Company
Fourth printing, August 2001
ISBN 0-8010-2103-0 
1. Bible. o. T.-History of Biblical events. 
2. Jews-History-To 70 A.D. I. Title. 

Eugene Merrill - Kingdom of Priests - Preface

  • Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction. The History of Israel and Historiography
  • Preliminary Considerations
  • Problems Faced in the Production of a Modem-Day History of Ancient Israel
  • The Present Approach to the History of Israel
1. Origins
  • Israel at Moab
  • The Purpose of Torah
  • The Story of the Patriarchs
2. The Exodus: Birth of a Nation
  • The Meaning of the Exodus
  • The Historical Setting of the Exodus
  • The Date of the Exodus
  • The Dates and Length of the Egyptian Sojourn
  • Pa triarchal Chronology
  • The Wilderness Wandering
3. The Conquest and Occupation of Canaan
  • The Land as Promise Fulfilment
  • The Ancient Near Eastern World
  • The 'apiru and the Conquest
  • The Strategy of Joshua
  • The Date of Joshua's Conquest
  • The Campaign Against the Anakim
  • Alternative Models of the Conquest and Occupation
  • The Tribal Allotments
  • The Second Covenant Renewal at Shechem
4. The Era of the Judges:
  • Covenant Violation, Anarchy, and Human Authority
  • The Literary-critical Problem in Judges
  • The Chronology of Judges
  • The Ancient Near Eastern World
  • The Judges of Israel
  • The Bethlehem Trilogy
5. Saul: Covenant Misunderstanding
  • The Demand for Kingship
  • The Chronology of the Eleventh Century
  • The Selection of Saul
  • The First Challenge to Saul
  • The Decline of Saul I
  • Theological Considerations
  • The Rise of David
6. David: Covenant Kingship
  • The Lack of Nationhood Before David
  • David at Hebron
  • Chronicles and Theological History
  • Jerusalem the Capital
  • The Establishment of David's Power
  • An Introduction to a Davidic Chronology
7. David: The Years of Struggle
  • Egypt and Israelite Independence
  • The Ammonite Wars
  • The Beginning of David's Domestic Troubles
  • Jerusalem as Cult Center
  • The Rebellion of Absalom
  • David's Efforts at Reconciliation
  • Additional Troubles
  • David's Plan for a Temple
  • The Solomonic Succession
  • The Davidic Bureaucracy
8. Solomon: From Pinnacle to Peril
  • Problems of Transition
  • The Failure of the Opposition to Solomon
  • The Conclave at Gibeon
  • International Relations
  • The Building Projects of Solomon
  • Cracks in the Solomonic Empire
  • Solomonic Statecraft
  • Spiritual and Moral Apostasy
  • Solomon and the Nature of Wisdom
9. The Divided Monarchy
  • The Roots of National Division
  • The Immediate Occasion of National Division
  • The Reign of Rehoboam
  • The Reign of Jeroboam
  • The Pressure of Surrounding Nations
  • Abijah of Judah
  • Asa of Judah
  • The Reemergence of Assyria
  • Nadab of Israel
  • The Dynasty of Baasha of Israel
  • Omrl of Israel
  • Jehoshaphat of Judah
  • Ahab of Israel
  • The Threat of Assyria
  • Ahab's Successors
  • The Anointing of Hazael of Damascus
  • Jehoram of Judah
  • The Anointing of Jehu
10. The Dynasty of Jehu and Contemporary Judah
  • The Reign of Jehu of Israel
  • AthaHah of Judah
  • The Role of Other Nations
  • Joash of Judah
  • Jehoahaz of Israel
  • The International Scene
  • Jehoash of Israel
  • Amaziah of Judah
  • Jeroboam II of Israel
  • Uzziah of Judah
  • The Ministry of the Prophets
11. The Rod of Yahweh: Assyria and Divine Wrath
  • Factors Leading to Israel's Fall
  • The End of the Dynasty of Jehu
  • Assyria and l1glath-pileser III
  • Menahem of Israel
  • The Last Days of Israel
  • The Impact of Sa maria 's Fall
  • Judah and the Fall of Sam aria
  • Hezekiah of Judah
  • The Viewpoint of the Prophets
12. Fading Hope: The Disintegration of Judah
  • The Legacy of Hezeldah
  • Manasseh of Judah
  • Amon of Judah
  • The International Scene: Assyria and Egypt
  • Josiah of Judah
  • The Fall of Jerusalem
  • The Prophetic Witness
13. The Exile and the First Return
  • An Introductory Overview
  • The World Situation During the Exile
  • The Jewish People During the Exile
  • The World Situation During the Period of Restoration
  • The First Return
  • Problems Following the Return
  • Encouragement from the Prophets
14. Restoration and New Hope
  • The Persian Influence
  • Subsequent Returns: Ezra and Nehemiah
  • Malachi the Prophet
Scripture Index
Subject Index

Eugene Merrill - Kingdom of Priests - Preface

Contrary to much contemporary scholarship, however, we must assert that just because the Old Testament is by definition "sacred history," it does not thereby surrender its claim to authentic historicity as that term is commonly used. It is indeed the record of Yahweh's covenantal relationship with his special people Israel, a record that constantly calls attention to the divine interpretation and even prediction of events, but always it presupposes that those very events actually occurred in time and space. The theological message, in other words, is grounded in genuine history. 
The purpose of this study is not so much to interpret the meaning of the underlying events-a task more properly in the province of biblical theology-as it is to discover the historical data themselves and by every resource at our disposal (including the biblical text, extrabiblical documents, and archaeology) to reconstruct the history of Israel along the lines of ordinary historiographical method, that is, to the extent that such a goal is possible, given the unique nature of the material. Any success in this endeavor will be of importance to the search for a true understanding of Israel's Old Testament past-a worthy objective in itself-and to the establishment of the historical factualness of the Old Testament record, the truthfulness of which is absolutely critical if the religious and theological message is to have any effect. Whether or not we have succeeded must be determined by 
the reader.


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