A patrimonial model of the united monarchy of Ancient Israel
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 17:45 authored by Zachary Thomas
The thesis presents a new reconstruction of the United Monarchy of ancient Israel as a patrimonial kingdom. In so doing, this thesis seeks to offer a unified understanding of the relevant archaeological and historical evidence of Israel in the 10th century BC according to David Schloen's Patrimonial Household Model. The kingdom and David and Solomon has now been a heavily contested subject within the study of ancient Israel for some time. Specifically, the historical veracity of the biblical picture of the kingdom provided in the books of 1-2 Samuel and 1 Kings has been variously challenged and defended. Differing chronological schemas for the early Iron Age (Iron I-IIA periods) have been proposed and arguments for their archaeological and historical implications made. Particular attention has fallen upon whether or not the 10th century BC falls within the Iron Age I or IIA, because it is generally accepted that only the latter contains classic indications of 'state formation'. Reflections of the underlying methodological bases of the different positions in this debate has largely been lacking, and assumptions about what archaeological correlates of such a kingdom must be found have not been justified. There has been an absence of consideration for how the native social structure and understanding of the legitimation of authority in ancient Near Eastern kingdoms should inform how the historical and archaeological evidence for 10th century BC Israel is evaluated. As the Patrimonial Household Model originates as a method to describe this social structure and legitimation of authority, it offers a way forward, to correct the absence of interpretative sociological and anthropological considerations in the understanding of the historical United Monarchy. Thus the aim of this thesis is to offer a new reconstruction that sets this subject within the wider social, political and economic context of the ancient Near East.