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'Ruins' In Text And Archaeology. A Note On The Wording Of 'Destruction' In The Latter Prophets

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Chapter Summary

Studying the maps of Palestine as a student, the author was amazed to find ancient ruins often indicated by 'Kh./Khirbeh' instead of by 'tell'. The word Khirbeh is also known from the Hebrew Bible, especially from the books of the Latter Prophets, including Deutero- and Trito-Isaiah. There, the word occurs frequently, meaning 'ruin'. Since the 1920s and 30s the concept of 'destruction' has played a major role in the archaeology of Palestine, as at that time the search for the emergence of the people of ancient Israel had become a much debated topic. The narratives in the first half of the Book of Joshua, William Foxwell Albright developed the theory of the Hebrew Conquest of Palestine. The authors and redactors of these books (Old Testament) were active in the period of the Neo-Assyrian campaigns in Palestine, during the Babylonian Exile, and in early postexilic times.

Keywords: ancient Israel; ancient ruins; destruction; Latter Prophets; Neo-Assyrian period; Neo-Babylonian period; Palestine



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