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Assyria

Israel’s Earthquake, 8th Century B.C.E.

Amos and Zechariah mention an earthquake in the time of King Uzziah. Its effects were uncovered in the excavations at Tel Agol in the Jezreel Valley: It turned the city, fortified for centuries to defend against the Assyrian threat, into a poor squatter town that could not recover.

Nurit Feig

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The Book of Amos: A Retrospect on the Fall of Israel

Written as a commentary on the social injustice in the kingdom of Israel at a high point of its wealth and power, the book of Amos explains to exiled Israelites why they were punished and warns Judahites not to fall into the same trap.

Prof.

Jason Radine

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Megiddo’s Stables: Trading Egyptian Horses to the Assyrian Empire

Megiddo was a major Israelite city that was transformed into a horse training center, with large stables and arenas where the palaces once stood. Scholars once attributed these stables to Solomon, but they are actually from the 8th century B.C.E., built by Jeroboam II to provide war horses to the Assyrian Empire.

Dr.

Norma Franklin

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Assyrian Deportation and Resettlement: The Story of Samaria

In 722 B.C.E., Assyria conquered the kingdom of Israel, and deported many of the residents of Samaria and its surroundings to other Assyrian provinces, and brought deportees from other conquered territories to Samaria to take their place. Excavations at Tel Hadid, near Lod in Israel, have unearthed material remains that contribute to our understanding of these transformative years.

Dr.

Ido Koch

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Tower of Babel: The Hidden Transcript

The Tower of Babel story is a marvelous tale about the ambition and hubris of primal humanity, with a biting political message and dark insights into the human condition.

Prof.

Ronald Hendel

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Shema Yisrael: In What Way Is "YHWH One"?

The Shema has many interpretations, philosophical, eschatological, national, etc. A historical-critical way to understand the Shema is to read it (and Deuteronomy more broadly) against the backdrop of Assyrian domination, when Assyria touted their god Ashur as the supreme master of the world.

Rabbi

Daniel M. Zucker

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Nehushtan, the Copper Serpent: Its Origins and Fate

The Torah describes Moses building a copper serpent to heal the Israelites. According to Kings, Hezekiah destroys it because it was being worshiped. Archaeology and history clarify the religious and political meaning of this image.

Dr.

Richard Lederman

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Ironing Out Israel’s Itinerary Through the Transjordan

The itinerary notes in Numbers 21 is a hodgepodge of styles and directions. Nevertheless, once we isolate each style, we find three separate itinerary lists, each from one of the standard Pentateuchal sources.

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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