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Chapter 5. Conclusions: Kingdom, Past, and Realpolitik at Monarchic Dan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter suggests that cultic feasts were carried out at the site of Tel Dan in the Iron II period and that the nature of these events may be illuminated by a close look at related biblical texts. It discusses the possible significance of these feasts in the context of the Northern Kingdom. The sacred feasts at Tel Dan provides one of the best examples of the Yahwistic royal cult in action and invites further exploration of these remains, as well as a close look at relevant comparanda from other sites and related textual traditions. Jeroboam intentionally distanced his major cult centers from his capital, in contrast to the kingdom-cult merger in Jerusalem. The cultic experiment of internal syncretism credited to Jeroboam, and likely the feasts that empowered it, apparently led to the eventual success of Northern religion, witnessed in the enduring nature of the Bethel and Dan shrines.

Keywords: Iron II period; Jeroboam; Jerusalem; Northern Kingdom; sacred feasts; Tel Dan; Yahwistic royal cult



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