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Tribute Or Looting In Samaria And Jerusalem: Shoshenq In Jerusalem?

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Chapter Summary

According to the tradition of the Ancient Near East, the capitals of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Samaria and Jerusalem, were fortified cities, in principle able to resist a siege and used as a refuge by the people around in time of war. However this resistance was not always successful, and there was great danger for the population that the enemy might finally succeed in entering and plundering the city, and then slaughter its inhabitants. It might have been wiser to surrender just before the siege, agreeing voluntarily to pay tribute. It was the king's weighty responsibility to choose between these two strategies. An analysis of historiography of the books of Kings from this viewpoint may help better to understand the historical importance of several military campaigns, especially the expedition of Shoshenq I. The "tribute or looting" alternative seems very clear in 1 Kgs 20:1-9.

Keywords: ancient Israel; Jerusalem; Judah; Samaria; Shoshenq I



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