Source: Wikimedia Commons

Empirical Historical Study of the Last Days of the Northern Kingdom of Israel

JSPS Kakenhi (Grant Numbers: 26370827)
Research Period: from 1.4.2014 to 31.3.2017
Representative Researcher: Shuichi Hasegawa, Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts, Rikkyo University

Purpose of Research

The overall concept of this research is to reconstruct and present a new well-balanced political history of the Northern Kingdom of Israel during its last years until its fall. The reconstructed history is based on synthesis of three independent critical researches, namely, of the biblical text, contemporary Semitic inscriptions, and material culture from related archaeological strata. This study aims at elucidating the following four concrete goals, which have not been adequately investigated: 1) the relations between the change of dynasties and the foreign policies during the last years of the Northern Kingdom of Israel; 2) the exact date of the fall of Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel; 3) historical / historiographical background for the difference of the conqueror of Samaria in different textual sources; 4) the actual condition of the fall of Samaria after allegedly three years of siege.

Plan and Method of Research

This research will follow the four steps to achieve its purpose.

  1. 1) Reconstructing the original or close-to-original biblical text and extracting therefrom part regarded as possessing of historical value.
  2. 2) Through analysis of contemporary Semitic inscriptions, revisiting the political situation in Assyria exercising critical influence on the Northern Kingdom of Israel and later conquering it.
  3. 3) Elucidating the uniqueness of the siege of Samaria by comparing the results of archaeological excavations at Samaria and the other related sites.

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