My People as Your People

A Textual and Archaeological Analysis of the Reign of Jehoshaphat

by Chris McKinny (Author)
©2016 Monographs XVI, 188 Pages
Series: American University Studies , Volume 355


My People as Your People provides an in-depth analysis of the chronology, history, and archaeology associated with the reign of Jehoshaphat of Judah. The synthesis of these various elements illuminates a diverse geo-political picture of the southern Levant in the mid-ninth century BCE. In recent years, archaeologists and biblical scholars have dealt quite extensively with the tenth and eighth centuries BCE due to both the controversial aspects of recent interpretations associated with the so-called United Kingdom and the established archaeological data relating to Judah’s rise as a significant polity in the eighth century BCE. On the other hand, the ninth century BCE has received considerably less scholarly treatment, despite the fact that many new archaeological strata have been uncovered in recent years that have a direct bearing upon this period. My People as Your People is an attempt to fill this gap in our knowledge. In accomplishing this, it both provides a nuanced understanding of Judah in the mid-ninth century BCE and also demonstrates the significance of this period in the larger setting of the history of the Divided Kingdom.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Praise for My People as Your People
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • List of Tables
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter One: Introduction
  • Purpose of the Book
  • State of Research
  • Research Hypotheses
  • Research Questions
  • Methodology
  • Using Kings as a Historical Source
  • Using Chronicles as a Historical Source
  • Specific Methodological Approach
  • The Didactic Role of the Chronicler in His Presentation of Jehoshaphat
  • Chapter Two: Israel of the Omrides
  • Political Climate of Israel During the Era of the Omrides
  • Phoenician Alliance
  • Ahab’s Foreign Policy
  • Phoenicia
  • City-States of Phoenicia
  • Allies of Phoenicia
  • Summary of 9th Century BCE Foreign Policy of Phoenicia
  • Ammon
  • Capital—Rabbah
  • Allies and Enemies of Ammon
  • Summary of 9th Century BCE Foreign Policy of Ammon
  • Moab
  • Capitals—Kir-Hareshet and Dibon
  • Summary of 9th Century BCE Policy of Moab
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter Three: The Battle of Ramoth-gilead in 1 Kings 22:1–36, 2 Chronicles 18, and Historical Implications from the Tel Dan Stele
  • The Battle of Ramoth-gilead (1 Kings 22:1–36)
  • 1 Kings 22:1–2
  • 1 Kings 22:3–4
  • 1 Kings 22:5–28
  • 1 Kings 22:29–36
  • 2 Chronicles 18—The Battle of Ramoth-gilead
  • Historical Implications from the Tel Dan Stele
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter Four: Jehoshaphat’s Reign According to 1 Kings 22:41–50
  • 1 Kings 22:41–42—Jehoshaphat’s Lineage
  • 1 Kings 22:41—The Regnal Chronology of the Reign of Jehoshaphat
  • Summary of Other Chronologies of Jehoshaphat and Ahab
  • Thiele’s Dating Principles
  • Thiele’s Regnal Chronology of Jehoshaphat
  • Conclusion of Regnal Chronology
  • 1 Kings 22:43—Cult Assessment
  • 1 Kings 22:44—Peace With Israel
  • 1 Kings 22:45—The Books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah
  • 1 Kings 22:46—Cult Reforms
  • 1 Kings 23:47—Judahite Sovereignty Over Edom
  • 1 Kings 22:48–49—The Failed Israelite-Judahite Red Sea Enterprise
  • 1 Kings 22:50—Death and Burial
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter Five: An Archaeological Survey of Judah in the Late Iron IIA
  • Using Archaeology as a Source for Reconstructing History
  • A Survey of Iron Age IIA Judah and Its Immediate Vicinity
  • Benjamin
  • Mizpah (Tell en-Nasbeh)
  • Khirbet ed-Dawwara
  • Moza
  • Shephelah
  • Gezer
  • Tel Hamid (Gittaim/Gath-rimmon? Gibbethon?)
  • Tel Miqne/Ekron
  • Tel Batash (Timnah)
  • Beth-shemesh
  • Tell es-Safi/Gath and Its Impact on the 9th Century BCE
  • Tel Harasim
  • Azekah
  • Khirbet Qeiyafa
  • Jarmuth
  • Tel Erani
  • Tel Zayit
  • Tel Burna (Libnah?)
  • Mareshah
  • Khirbet el-Qom (Makkedah?)
  • Lachish
  • Tel ‘Eton (Eglon?)
  • Tell Beit Mirsim
  • Khirbet Rabud (Debir/Kefar Sephir)
  • Tell el-Hesi
  • Tel Nagila
  • Tel Halif
  • Negev
  • Tel Sera (Ziklag?)
  • Tel Sheva
  • Tel ‘Ira
  • Tel Malhata
  • Tell Esdar
  • Arad
  • Aravah
  • En-Hazeva (Tamar)
  • Khirbet en-Nahas
  • Yotvata Fortress and Iron II Copper Activity at Timna
  • Tell el-Kheilefeh—Elath and Etzion-geber?
  • Etzion-geber—Jezirat Fauran (“Coral Island”)
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter Six: Conclusion
  • Research Questions Answered
  • Bibliography

| XI →


Figure 4-1 Regnal Chronology and Conjectured Historical Timeline of the Reign of Jehoshaphat.
Figure 5-1 Map 1—Discussed Archaeological Sites in Benjamin, Hill Country, Shephelah and Negev. Map Created by Author with Satellite Bible Atlas Base Map © Bill Schlegel, Used With Permission.
Figure 5-2 Map 2—Discussed Archaeological Sites in Aravah. Map Created by Author With Satellite Bible Atlas Base Map © Bill Schlegel, Used With Permission.
Figure 5-3 The “Great Wall” of Tell en-Nasbeh (Mizpah) Stratum 3B © Todd Bolen/BiblePlaces.com, Used With Permission.
Figure 5-4 Sites Mentioned in Association With Michmash © Google Earth.
Figure 5-5 Sites Between Muhkmas and Ma’ale Michmas © Google Earth.
Figure 5-6 Casemate Fortification (NE Corner of Tell) at Tel Burna With 9th Century BCE Levels (Shai et al. 2012).
Figure 5-7 Ascent of Scorpions With Roman Steps © Todd Bolen/BiblePlaces.com, Used With Permission. ← XI | XII →
Figure 5-8 Arad Iron II Reconstructed Fortress © Todd Bolen/BiblePlaces.com, Used With Permission.
Figure 5-9 Khirbet en-Nahas in the Wadi Ghuweib With Excavation Areas Marked After Smith and Levy (2008:44) © Google Earth.
Figure 5-10 Site 34/Slaves’ Hill from Solomon’s Pillars © Todd Bolen/BiblePlaces.com, Used With Permission.
Figure 5-11 General Satellite View of the Timnah Valley With Site 34/Slaves’ Hill (Note the Black Slag Mounds) in the Center © Google Earth.
Figure 5-12 Jezirat Fauran/Coral Island Satellite View © Google Earth.

| XIII →


Table 1-1 Common Enemies of Jehoshaphat/Yehud.
Table 1-2 Common Elements of Teaching/Judging in Chronicles and Ezra/Nehemiah.
Table 1-3 The Sources for the Reign of Jehoshaphat—Comparing Kings to Chronicles.
Table 2-1 Events of Ahab’s Reign.
Table 2-2 Phoenician Foreign Policy Towards Israel/Judah: 980–841 BCE.
Table 4-1 Jehoshaphat’s Reign According to 1 Kings 22:41–50.
Table 4-2 A MT/LXX Comparison of Regnal Patterns of the Book of Kings.
Table 4-3 Accession vs. Non-accession in the Reign of Jehoshaphat.
Table 4-4 Omri’s Reign.
Table 4-5 Ahab’s Reign.
Table 4-6 Israel and Judah 854–840 BCE (Non-accession).
Table 4-7 Sums of Jehoshaphat’s Reign.
Table 4-8 Jehoshaphat’s Regnal Chronology.
Table 4-9 The Plunderers of Jerusalem from the Book of Kings.
Table 5-1 Iron IIA Excavated Archaeological Sites in Judah and Its Immediate Vicinity. ← XIII | XIV →
Table 5-2 Traditional Interpretation of the Stratigraphy of Arad XII–IX.
Table 5-3 Revised Stratigraphy of Iron Age Arad Following Herzog (2002).
Table 5-4 Tamar Biblical Sources.
Table 5-5 Etzion-geber/Elath Primary Sources.

| XV →


In this book, I examine the reign of Jehoshaphat of Judah using the available archaeological and textual data. Chapter One serves as the introduction to the book. In Chapter Two, I discuss the historical setting of Judah’s neighbors by focusing primarily on Omride Israel and its relationship to Phoenicia and Aram. This discussion addresses the set of historical circumstances that brought about the cessation of Israelite-Judahite hostility during the reigns of Omri and Asa. This chapter also tackles some textual and historical issues associated with Israel and Judah’s relationship to Moab (2 Kings 3; 2 Chron. 20:1–30).

Chapter Three includes a textual analysis and a historical reconstruction of the Battle of Ramoth-gilead (1 Kings 22:1–36). This chapter also serves as a starting point for a discussion of the larger historical setting in which Jehoshaphat reigned. Throughout this chapter, I address several issues related to a historical understanding of this text in relation to the Tel Dan Stele and Aramean-Israelite relations. I also deal with the Chronicler’s version of the battle (2 Chron. 18) and discuss the historical value of the few expansions from the Kings’ account. Since this text is often used as evidence for determining that Jehoshaphat was a vassal to Ahab, I also address the arguments associated with this line of thinking.

Chapter Four analyzes Jehoshaphat’s reign in 1 Kings 22:41–50. This analysis is the most important textual element of this book and lays the foundation for the archaeological discussion that follows. Throughout the chapter, I suggest a positive ← XV | XVI → reading of the chronistic text that accepts the general historicity of Judah and Israel’s alliance (1 Kings 22:44), Judah’s domination of Edom (2 Kings 22:47), and the reality of Jehoshaphat’s Aravah activity that stretched to the Red Sea and beyond. I endeavor to show that this view is at odds with several recent assessments that view the late 9th or early 8th centuries BCE as the moment of Judah’s rise to prominence in these regions.

Finally, Chapter Five deals with the archaeological remains of Judah in the late Iron IIA (i.e., the 9th century BCE). My examination largely avoids archaeological survey material and focuses on published and some unpublished archaeological sites in Judah that possessed Iron IIA material. My discussion is limited to the regions of Benjamin, the Shephelah, the Negev and the Aravah. Together with the preceding chapter, this section serves as the core data of my study where I pull together textual and archaeological source material. In addition to primary material, I interact with a large body of older and up-to-date secondary literature associated with Judah in the Iron IIA. Throughout this final chapter, I address many different historical geographical issues surrounding the identification and political affiliation with the sites in question. Altogether, an analysis of this data across these chapters has brought me to three main conclusions regarding the nature of Judah during the reign of Jehoshaphat in the mid-9th century BCE. These will be discussed in Chapter Six.

| XVII →



XVI, 188
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (January)
Biblical scholars archaeologist Judah southern Levant United Kingdom
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2016. XVI, 188 pp., num. ill.

Biographical notes

Chris McKinny (Author)

Chris McKinny has a PhD from Bar-Ilan University where he studied biblical studies and Bronze and Iron Age archaeology of the southern Levant. His dissertation dealt with the historical geography of the town lists of Judah and Benjamin in the book of Joshua. McKinny is a staff member at the Tel Burna Archaeological Project and the Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition to Gath. His publications include studies in historical geography, archaeology, biblical history, biblical chronology, and digital archaeology, relating both to the above-mentioned projects and several other ancient sites.


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