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King Hazael of Aram-Damascus Subjugates Israel, 9th Century B.C.E.

The Bible presents Hazael as a cruel and powerful enemy, who devastated Israelite and Philistine cities, forcing Jerusalem’s King Joash to empty the Temple coffers to save his city. Archaeology helps us to reconstruct his military campaigns and their impact on the Levant.


Assaf Kleiman



Israel’s History as a Family Narrative

Behind the story of Jacob’s struggle with his older twin Esau, stands a political allegory, reflecting how Israel (=Jacob) first dominated Edom (=Esau) in the 10th-9th centuries B.C.E. and then lost control over it in the late 8th century.


Marvin A. Sweeney



Arami Oved Avi: The Demonization of Laban

The rabbis translate the phrase ארמי אובד אבי in Deuteronomy 26:5 “an Aramean tried to destroy my father” and understand it as a reference to Laban, who they claim was worse than Pharaoh. But whereas the biblical Laban can be read either sympathetically or unsympathetically, he is hardly a Pharaoh-like villain, so why demonize him?

Naomi Graetz



Did an Aramean Try to Destroy our Father?

A medieval non-traditional interpretation of arami oved avi and the push-back against it. 

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin



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