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WHAT IF ZEDEKIAH HAD REMAINED LOYAL TO HIS MASTER?

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image of Biblical Interpretation

This article works with two different examples of virtual history. The first describes the outcome of the events of 587 bce. What if Zedekiah had not revolted? Then there would have been no Babylonian Exile, no Judaism founded on the idea of an exile, no Christianity founded on Judaism, and no Islam. So perhaps Zedekiah's decision to revolt was the single most important decision made by any persion in the history of Western civilization. Whereas this first scenario is a mock scenario, the second is not. It concerns the virtual history constructed by the biblical historians who, among other things, created the myth of the Babylonian Exile as the foundation myth of their constructed nation, the new Israel. Seen in light of the extent of virtual history found in the Bible, the first scenario could easily—from an historian's point of view—be considered closer to the actual events in the southern Levant of the early sixth century bce.

Affiliations: 1: University of Copenhagen

10.1163/156851500750119105
/content/journals/10.1163/156851500750119105
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2000-01-01
2016-12-09

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