Talk:Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy)

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Big mistake on the map[edit]

The map in the infobox shows a fake information. Around the time of David and Saül we don't have any informations about the three kingdom of Amon, Moab and Edom as vassal kingdoms. The first reference of this kingdoms is about 900 or 800 before JC while we are pretty sure that Saül and David lived around 1050- 1000 before JC. On the other hand, we could put the Philistia in red because they were defeated by Saül and David.

Sorry for my english, I use to contribute on the french Wiki not on the english one — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaëlix (talkcontribs) 16:04, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

(Old orphaned comment)[edit]

this is completely biased article and untrue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abohassanein (talkcontribs) 22:50, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi, - - Just submitted a basic outline for the United Monarchy.


I have just merged this with Kingdom of Israel - Nik42 05:35, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

This page was nominated for deletion and was kept as a result. For the archived discussion see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/United Monarchy -- Francs2000 | Talk 02:36, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

This article is problematic, given that most scholars don't seem to believe that the United Monarchy period actually happened (personally, I find this at least somewhat questionable, but it is nevertheless the view of an increasing number of scholars). john k 19:16, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

What are you talking about? Are you suggesting that there was never a united Israel, please clarify- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg 22:20, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
It's called Biblical minimalism, and remains a rather debated and contentious view. AnonMoos 02:26, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
In order to end the ongoing neutrality dispute I did add the opinion of these Biblical minimalists. I hope this is OK with you all? --

Given that the opinion of minimalists was added, I today removed the NPOV banner.-- 16:38, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't think the minimalist view needs to be looked upon in serious detail, but comparisons of the three (conservative, mainstream, and minimalist) should be shown. In general Biblical Archaeology(or Near Eastern archaeology) tends to be one of the more divided areas of archaeology. Falphin 22:16, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

This artical still has serious NPOV issues as well as verifiability problems. It is clearly written from a religious rather than scholastic POV. Accept for the extreme Biblical maximalists, few scholars accept proof of the united monarchy outside of the Tel Dan Stele, which in itself is controversial. And certainly, the Tel Dan stele doesn't give us specifics as the author here does. I've added the appropriate tags. EllenS 00:53, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the Tel Dan Stele says anything other than the fact there was an early group calling themselves "the house of David". As far as I know, most archaeologists accept that there is no evidence of a large settlement in Jerusalem during the period when it was supposedly ruling over the large settlements that are clearly evident in the north. This is the basis of arguments against the united monarchy. For the maximalists and the pro-monarchy mainstream, this is not enough to abandon the united monarchy. However, it is also consistent with the possibility that David was a local warlord - capable of destroying cities in Israel, but not of founding them. I think if the argument could be delineated along these lines it would help a lot with NPOV 01:05, 6 September 2007 (UTC)snaxalotl
I propose that the article be re-titled to "Biblical Pre-Rehoboam Era". This will hopefully resolve the issue between archaeological findings (or non-findings!) and biblical historiograpy. I agree that the term "united monarchy" is vague as it may mean that the monarchy used to be divided and that it had been united, when in fact the Bible does not say so before Rehoboam took charge of Israel. Furthermore, the term "Kingdom of Israel" appears solidly convinced with a historical proof on such an existence, when in fact there is a lack of archaeological findings on a David or a Solomon. Re-titling the article to "Biblical Pre-Rehoboam Era" may solve these issues. F456 (talk) 23:01, 11 March 2013 (UTC)


Since Saul is described (accurately) as of the Tribe of Benjamin, I'm adding Tribe of Judah to David's description. Rationale: keeps things parallel. Besides, for those who take this subject seriously the words about "the scepter shall not depart from Judah" indicate that the then-popular movement to have a king picked one from the wrong tribe. Reluctant Pilgrim 08:57, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Minority presented as majority[edit]

I don't know how many articles were damaged like this one in mis-interpretation but it's very unfortunate. All through the article weasel words are used and without any justification. I'm working from the hebrew wikipedia and what we have here is some extreme bias and utter sillyness. Finkelstein is almost entirely on his own and it's a very minority view. The majority of archeologists don't think along this line as well. The article is extremely biased. It takes a minority view and tries to represent it as fact. It's wrong, it in fact probably needs an entire re-write by someone not biased. Yes, the majority of archelogists used the bible as reference largely, but it's still the majority view. Amoruso 19:35, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

There is a spectrum here. The notion that there was never a united monarchy of any form is at one end of it. The notion that there was a united monarchy *exactly as described in the Bible* is at the other end of it. There is plenty of space in between. This article makes it look as if the only options are to believe the entire Bible account of David, solomon etc. word-for-word or else reject everything. Needs rewriting to explain some of these problems.

In particular it needs to explain exaclty *how much* of what we know about Israel pre. 900BC is known only from the Bible and *how much* can be confirmed from other sources. 04:24, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Historical accuracy is not defined by majorities, but by evidence. But there is no evidence for the biblical story whatsoever. Period. CUSH 00:05, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I think a very good source to consult is The Mythic Past by Thomas Thompson (University of Copenhagen, retired). His book has a thorough treatment of the United Monarchy and other parts of the Biblical story. He makes the important point that the scribes of the advanced civilization in Egypt would have certainly noticed and recorded the monumental undertakings of Solomon---but of course they did not. So as CUSH says, the Unified Monarchy is not history. On the other hand, the authors of the Bible did not present their narratives as history as we understand the term today. They presented stories of how men (humans) should relate to each other and to God: they were very relaxed about what we would call historical accuracy. So: on any rewrite, i recommend that the authors and editors consider The Mythic Past and other works by Thompson to get a better idea of what the archeological evidence is, as well as a sharper idea of the great limitations of using the Bible as a source for history as we moderns understand it. Son of eugene (talk) 05:13, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Just for the record, then, Finkelstein is within the majority view, or close? He is described in the Wikipedia bio as "not ultra-minimalist" and seems "sympathetic" to the biblical view, but just not taking it as literal history. Student7 (talk) 14:04, 13 February 2012 (UTC)


Ishbaal was never a legitimate moshiach, as he was never properly anointed. The three anointed kings over the United Israel were Saul, David, and Solomon. This needs to be fixed. For the record, if ya'll want to debate the legitimacy of Tanach feel free to create one specifically for such a thing, but we don't come here for your biased opinion. Too often "one guy challenging the status quo, whose opinions the majority of his contemporary reject" becomes "most experts believe . . ." We understand, you don't believe it, however what the literature says and what some dissenter believes are two completely different things, and have no place side by side.

Hebrew Translation[edit]

I think we need a Hebrew translation of "United Kingdom of Israel and Judah". --Horses In The Sky 12:38, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Why? And btw the term would not have existed at the time period in question. And nobody would need modern Hebrew as an explanation of anything. CUSH 00:08, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Any non-scriptural evidence[edit]

Any non-scriptural evidence for this "United Monarch" that conquered almost all of the Levant? Saimdusan Talk|Contribs 21:19, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

No. That's why I now tagged the article as Bible primary, although the wording of the template does not exactly reflect the deficiency of the article. This article is biblical POV and lacks references to secondary sources that check the veracity of the biblical claims. (Un)fortunately all of Israelite history from the Exodus to Solomon lacks extra-biblical confirmation and thus should be considered some kind of historizing fiction. Cush (talk) 12:16, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
From roughly 1100 BC all the way down to 900 BC, there is a very little amount of archeology for any civilization in the Middle East. On the Wall chart of World History, for instance,
  • 1100 BC-975 BC, Egyptian History a Blank
  • 1100 BC-880 BC, Break in Babylonian History
  • 1080 BC-930 BC, Few Assyrian Inscriptions Known
It should not be surprising, therefore, to not find evidence for the united monarchy of Israel, which ran from 1095 BC-977 BC.LutherVinci (talk) 21:48, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

That's interesting, LutherVinci. Where did you get that from? (no sarcasm, just pure curiosity as I am not a historian.) F456 (talk) 23:11, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Anti-Judea bias[edit]

There seems to be a lot of bias against Judea, calling it backwater etc several times. Maybe it was, but it's not a very professional term to use and it looks like somebody had a bit of a vendetta against Judea for some reason... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Czar Kirk (talkcontribs) 03:29, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

lol. I noticed that too ;) and hope I have fixed it. Tundrabuggy (talk) 01:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Several confusing sentences[edit]

The second sentence here is confusing. I left the first sentence in for context.

A number of scholars have concluded that despite the appearance of a biblical account of a united monarchy with a number of rebellions, the biblical account actually describes two distinct kingdoms - Israel and Judah - rather than a united entity. According to this view, the Bible portrays Judah led, or symbolized, by David entering into a politically motivated alliance with a band of outlaws led, or symbolized, by Jonathan, and sometimes with the Philistines, in order to rebel against Israel, led by Saul.

A reference is given to Finkelstein's book, but no page number.

In fact the article has numerous references to Finkelstein's book and almost no others. None of the references includes page numbers. The sentence previously had "anthropomorphised" for what is now "symbolized." Either way, I cannot make heads nor tails of the sentence. I have deleted it a second time, but if someone would like to return it to the article, I hope they can write it in such a way as to be clear to the average reader what is meant, and to add page numbers to the reference so we can check the meaning ourselves. In fact the whole article puts far too much emphasis on the interpretation given by one book. Tundrabuggy (talk) 01:47, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't find it extremely confusing, though a slight rewrite could perhaps clear up things. I reverted your elision because of your stated (and mistaken) assumption that "anthropomorphism has to do with animals". You may be correct that the article puts too much emphasis on one book however. I have not been able to find a page number or a cite for this in "Bible Unearthed" (no preview on Google Books), so perhaps we should let it go (but please leave the cite in rather than fact-tagging what's left). MeteorMaker (talk) 09:16, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Great! then perhaps you would explain it to me. Anthropomorphism is the act of providing inanimate objects or animals with human characteristics. Thus human "outlaws" (as in the above sentence) cannot be anthropomorphed to Philistines, without somehow suggesting that "outlaws" are "animals"...but that's a stretch. Tundrabuggy (talk) 16:42, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Recent move/merge of article[edit]

"United Monarchy" vs "united monarchy"

Kuratowski's Ghost has moved the United Monarchy article to "Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy)". My point about it would be that "United Monarchy" in the context of the history of the Levant is more or less a proper name for a certain period. Subsequently it should be written with capital letters. Just my two cents. Cush (talk) 14:56, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

I disagree, the kingdom in question is called the "Kingdom of Israel" (in Hebrew Mamlekhet Yisrael) in primary sources, "United Monarchy" is a strange neologism and not at all the term one would think of searching on when desiring information on the subject. Kuratowski's Ghost (talk) 15:57, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
However, historians and archeologists distinguish between the Kingdom of Israel in the United Monarchy period and the Kingdom of Israel in the Divided Monarchy period. Speaking of the "United Monarchy" in the context of Levantine history means precisely the Kingdom of Israel under Saul, David, and Solomon. There is no other entity that could or would be mistakenly referred to by this term. This is not a neologism but a scientific term, and whether there are any primary Hebrew sources is completely irrelevant. Oh, and was there any discussion/consensus/agreement to move the article ??? Or any need ? Cush (talk) 18:21, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Agree with Cush on this. Any Google search (which is not case-sensitive) will demonstrate that the majority of uses is with capital letters and used as a proper noun. It is also true that it is fairly often not capitalised, but since the "United Monarchy" is indeed another name for the "Kingdom of Israel," it should be caps when it is so used, as here. In fact I would ask if there was a consensus to move/merge the article at all or did I miss the discussion? Tundrabuggy (talk) 16:27, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

The article was moved, not sure what merge you are referring to. Googling United Monarchy produces lots of mirrors of wikipedia or articles derived from wikipedia and only a handful from archaeological articles. In the latter it is sometimes capitalized and sometimes not but always refers to a time period and is not claimed to be the name of the kingdom. What motivated me to move the article the fact that the article refers primarily to the kingdom not to the period and seemed to create a false impression that "United Monarchy" was the actual name used for the kingdom when it certainly wasn't. Moreover the average reader is more likely to search for terms like "Kingdom of Israel" (the actual name of the kingdom), "Biblical Kingdom of Israel" or similar and not the term "United Monarchy". So to me it makes sense that "United Monarchy" is a redirect not the primary name of the article. Kuratowski's Ghost (talk) 22:41, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

We really need a disambiguation page for "Kingdom of Israel" as the name refers to four distinct kingdoms:

  • The original Kingdom of Israel under Saul, David and Solomon.
  • The northern successor state after the split.
  • The kingdom of the Hasmoneans.
  • The kingdom of Herod the Great.

Currently Kingdom of Israel is the primary name of the article on the northern successor state. My feeling is that this should also be renamed to something like "Kingdom of Israel (Samaria)" and "Kingdom of Israel" should be a redirect to this article on the original kingdom, with all relevant articles pointing to the disambiguation page. Kuratowski's Ghost (talk)

Actually, the United Monarchy is the name of the time when the Kingdom of Israel was united with what was later called the Kingdom of Judah. If this article is to be about the Kingdom of Israel, then it makes sense to talk of its history on this article, before, during, and after the split. The United Monarchy period should have its own article. Definitely disagree with your contention that the United Monarchy isn't a name in its own right. There are many scholarly books and archeological journals that use it as a name. Just a few so you know I am not talking through my hat:
  • "1000 BC -- In about 1000 BCE David ascended the throne, and he soon managed to unify all twelve tribes into a single nation, called the United Monarchy ...
  • The United Monarchy Under David and Solomon : Bib Arch Seminary "This challenge to the historicity of the United Monarchy culminated in the 2000 publication of The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision -

No if this was the original United Monarchy article, it should remain so and not become the Kingdom of Israel(united monarchy). It is not correct as it stands. There is already a Kingdom of Israel article. We do not need one for merely this period. I urge you to move it back. Or perhaps we could put a query up at Wiki Project Jewish History and get their view. What do you say? Shall we seek outside input? Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:50, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

The Kingdom of Israel article is about the northern successor kingdom not the original Kingdom of Israel, so there was a disparity - the divided monarcy period has articles named after the kingdoms (Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Judah) but the united monarchy period had an article named after the period not the name of the actual kingdom which strikes me as odd. Kuratowski's Ghost (talk) 10:46, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
I certainly did notice that there are lots of articles. It is more than a little confusing. Perhaps what we need to do is to merge the information regarding the original Kingdom of Israel with the Kingdom of Israel article. Then have a United Monarchy article which provides informative relative to both kingdoms united (which can of course include the "minimalist" perspective). Does that make sense? Tundrabuggy (talk) 16:04, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't think this article, which is about the original kingdom, should be merged into the one on the northern successor kingdom, it creates the impression that the northern kingdom was the normal continuation of the original kingdom when the reality is that the southern Kingdom of Judah continued the dynasty of David and Solomon while the northern kingdom was a breakaway kingdom despite the fact that it ended up keeping the name Israel. Also be aware that the mainstream view of the history is not that the original kingdom was a unification of two previous independent political entities called Judah and Israel, the mainstream view is that there was originally no central government and then the establishment of a kingdom under Saul and that this kingdom divided in two during the reign of Rehoboam, the northern part retaining the name Israel and the southern being known as Judah. Claims that these two were originally separate entities that came together to form one united kingdom under Saul is revisionist history and an inversion of what all known sources say. Kuratowski's Ghost (talk) 16:53, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
However, according to the Bible the northern Kingdom is in fact the continuation of the realm, because the continuation is defined by the people, not by the ruling dynasty. Solomon was a bad king and the people wanted a change after his death.
According to historical and archaeological research on the other hand, there has never been a United Monarchy. The record is devoid of any evidence for such a period. This article should be deleted as it only represents religious POV and has no roots in actual history. CUSH 00:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Nice job making this look like a reasonable article. Tundrabuggy (talk) 15:57, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Rearrangement of headings and some material[edit]

I moved some material up to form a more informative lead. And I retitled some headings. But no changes to to the contents.PiCo (talk) 21:43, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

King Rehoboam[edit]

I think it should be added that Rehoboam, son of Solomon, was ruler of the united kingdom for 3 years, until the revolt of Jeroboam, according to 1 Chronicles 11:17.LutherVinci (talk) 21:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Links to Bahasa Indonesia pages[edit]

There are now 2 links to Bahasa Indonesia pages. Which one is the correct? Bazuz (talk) 16:31, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Disambiguation bias[edit]

"For the secessionist kingdom of northern Israelites, see Kingdom of Israel (Samaria)" reflects an anti-Samaritan bias. I have changed "secessionist" to the slightly more descriptive "later". NadaRama (talk) 21:18, 11 April 2011 (UTC)


I have just found a report on evidence that Israel Finkelstein was wrong about David and Solomon. Here is the URL: This does not prove it, but it is a major advance.

Anonymous71.164.209.8 (talk) 21:47, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

How exactly would these mines have anything to do with David, Solomon, or Israel Finkelstein? Per the article you linked: "Scholarly work and materials found in the area suggest the mines were operated by the Edomites, a semi-nomadic tribal confederation that according to the Bible warred constantly with Israel." The archaeologist who found them considers these mines to be from the same historic period as Solomon, but does not claim they were part of Israel's area. Dimadick (talk) 10:37, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

According to the Bible, the Edomites did not emerge as a major threat until the 7th century BC. Also, Finkelstein has said it was the Omrides and Solomon who built Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. His evidence is inconclusive at best. I know that the archeologist does not claim that the mines belonged to Solomon. The report says it is a possibility. Haven't you ever heard of a hypothesis?

Anonymous71.164.209.8 (talk) 01:43, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Finkelstein rejects Solomon as involved with the building of Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. That was clear and repeated throughout the book The Bible Unearthed. I've just finished reading it. Their basic premise is that the Omrides were the first full fledged kingdom of Israel, while Judah (which Solomon would have been from) was relatively underdeveloped and wouldn't match the Omride kingdom in political, military, economic, agricultural or architectural sophistication for another 200 years. Entropyandvodka (talk) 22:22, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Judahite kingdom[edit]

There is a problem regarding this sentence in the lead: "The United Monarchy is the name given to the Israelite, and Judahite kingdom of Saul, David and Solomon, known primarily from the Hebrew Bible." Of course, Judahites are a subset of people who belong to the broader group known as Israelites. We would not refer to the United States as "an American and Californian" country. While it is true that some archaeologists deny the existence of the United Monarchy, there is no doubt that Judahites are Israelites and that, therefore, the United Monarchy (whether it existed or not) should as an Israelite kingdom. --GHcool (talk) 19:24, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

This may be your opinion, but RS refer to the Kingdom of Israel and Judah. Please do not remove sourced claims in favour of your opinion. (talk) 05:48, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Palestine or West Bank[edit]

I don't want to get into the politics about whether or not a State of Palestine actually exists, but even surely the most neutral wording is that the Kingdom of Israel is located in part of the West Bank, not Palestine. I intend on changing the infobox to reflect this in the coming days unless anybody has any legitimate argument for not doing so. --GHcool (talk) 19:33, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Some users insist once again on adding Palestine to the info box, rather than the more neutrally termed West Bank. I intend on changing the infobox to reflect WP:NPOV in the coming days unless anybody has any legitimate argument for not doing so. --GHcool (talk) 17:13, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

You say you don't want to get into politics, but that is exactly what you are doing. West Bank isn't a country. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 17:24, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Whether the West Bank is a country or not is irrelevant to the discussion. The question is what is name that most conforms to WP:NPOV and the answer, I am convinced, is the West Bank. --GHcool (talk) 21:29, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
We refer to the Palestinian flag as the Palestinian flag because that is its wp:common name. That standard applies to the Israeli flag and the Jordanian flag as well. Thank you. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 22:51, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I have no problem with the inclusion of the Palestinian flag. I am simply saying that the Kingdom of Israel is "Today part of" the West Bank. I see no reason why "Palestine" is preferable. --GHcool (talk) 23:24, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

IMO "State of Palestine" would be best as it doesn't confused the region and the polity. Pretend I didn't write this I'm not supposed to be commenting on these articles....--Monochrome_Monitor 01:35, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

"West Bank" is an even better term for the region. The Kingdom of Israel wasn't in the Gaza Strip. And the "State of Palestine" does not conform to WP:NPOV as well as "West Bank." If nobody has a reasonable answer for why West Bank is less preferable according to Wikipedia rules, I'm going to change it back. --GHcool (talk) 03:55, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
You might try to work with consensus and common names. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 05:52, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand why this has to do with common name. The region of Palestine was never apart of the kingdom. West Bank is the region on which the kingdoms of a united Kingdom of Israel, Samaria Israel, and Judah were affiliated with, not Palestine. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 06:06, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
well, there is an agenda here to deny a people a nation. One partial solution is to remove the flags from the information box. But the Kingdom of Israel only covered a part of the nation of Palestine and modern Jordan, as the info box indicates. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 06:13, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Personally I don't consider the Gaza strip to be part of the state of palestine. I call it "hamastan"... and woah wikipedia has an article for that?!?! In all seriousness, would "palestinian authority" work for you? It doesn't include Gaza.--Monochrome_Monitor 06:56, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Isambard Kingdom I don't think the Arab–Israeli conflict should define the historicity of the article. This is not NPOV, but more like an advocation for a political statement per WP:NOTADVOCATE. I don't want to get in too deep in the issue, but I recommend changing "Palestine" to "West Bank" and leave the Palestine flag there in the infobox next to it. I believe that's the closest to NPOV as we can get. If there are some parts of Palestine that biblical academics have a general consensus on, a section on the article should be created concerning the geographical extent of the kingdom. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 07:04, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
How is it neutral to show a flag but not the name that flag represents? The info box says, literally, "part of". Isambard Kingdom (talk) 07:10, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes neutral, since the Arab–Israeli conflict is going to define the historicity of the infobox indicating Palistine or Gaza region as part of the united kingdom. The West Bank is also considered part of Palestine, but the only part of Palistine that was actually part of the kingdom. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 07:24, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
The info box says "today part of" and it show flags of several nations and the names they use. Part of Jordan, part of Egypt, part of Palestine, etc. this is not about the British mandate. Normally I agree with you. This is an odd exception. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 07:31, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

There is one difference, that palestine is primarily a region. "Israel" and "Palestine" used to be synonyms more or less so I can see the confusion. But I don't understand objections to PA.--Monochrome_Monitor 07:46, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Not what "used to be", but "today part of". That's what it says. PA is not the same as the State of Palestine, is it? Government of Israel is not the same as Israel. Thank you. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 07:54, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Palestinian authority was used to mean "state of palestine" before a state was declared. Fatah used to sign documents with it. Now they use "state of palestine" but that involves a claim to gaza. I'm trying to find a middle path.--Monochrome_Monitor 08:10, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

And there is no problem with a claim to Gaza, so long as the info box says "part of"! Isambard Kingdom (talk) 08:20, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
"Palestinian Authority" is acceptable wording to me. --GHcool (talk) 15:25, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Why was this edit made? I intend to restore "Palestinian Authority" within the next couple of days. --GHcool (talk) 23:41, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

GHcool, it appears that you are editwarring on an ARBPIA issue. Doug Weller talk 05:53, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not edit warring. It seemed to me that Palestinian Authority was agreed on. See this conversation for details. --GHcool (talk) 17:10, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Blacklisted Links Found on Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy)[edit]

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Flags in infoboxes[edit]

Generally discouraged. "where the status of the territory is subject to a political dispute, the consensus of editors at that article will determine whether flag use in the infobox is preferred or not."

RfC? Doug Weller (talk) 16:25, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

I don't think we need an RfC. We can probably reach consensus by discussing the issue. Personally, I don't care about flags one way or the other; if the MOS discourages them, I think we should follow the MOS. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 16:39, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with MShabazz. --GHcool (talk) 17:51, 10 June 2015 (UTC)


Which era should this article be using? At the moment it's all over the place. My personal view is that an article on a Jewish topic should not be using the more Christocentric "BC" format. "BC" implies "AD", and "AD" would definitely be inappropriate. I will edit the article to conform to the "BCE" format, but I am open to discussion in case I am missing some serious case that could be made for "BC". Hijiri 88 (やや) 03:55, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Started as BCE [2] so go for it. Doug Weller talk 07:33, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
While I'm happy you agree with me, I don't think we should take an ENGVAR-like attitude to this. There is a strong argument against using BC here, and even if it started out using BC I'd be arguing against it. Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:38, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Although a random sample shows one time when it was mainly BC, every sample I looked at had some BCE in it. So I'm arguing that it's been a pretty stable BCE article with the occasional undiscussed change, and we don't need to discuss keeping it as BCE and indeed shouldn't. That's how I read WP:ERA. Doug Weller talk 17:53, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

"Biblical narrative" section needs serious run-through[edit]

The lead firmly establishes the scholarly consensus that the archaeology doesn't support the existence of this united kingdom, but the following section, despite its title, takes the biblical narrative (or a scholar's recounting of it with dates and such) at face value without attribution. For example, It was David who, following the civil war with Saul, creates a strong and unified Israelite monarchy, reigning from c. 1000–961 BCE. Solomon, David's successor, maintained the unified monarchy, c. 961-922. should almost certainly begin According to the biblical records, ....

Also, there is a tense-shift in the above sentence ("It was David who ... creates ..."). A serious copy-edit is needed.

Hijiri 88 (やや) 04:01, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

JSB's stance on the archaeological record[edit]

I just removed some curious text that implied "Berlin and Brettler" disagreed with the statement that the archaeological record doesn't support the existence of the United Kingdom. The citation was an essay supposedly written by the two and included in the JPS's Jewish Study Bible 2004 edition. I have recently been reading the 2014 edition on Kindle, and what I have read (I added the citation to the lead) seems to contradict this text.

Worse still, there are no essays by "Berlin and Brettler" in the section "Backgrounds for Reading the Bible", which includes separate essays on "History" (Lipschits), "Geography" (Baruchi-Unna) and "Archeology" (Maeir). Brettler wrote the essays "The Canonization of the Bible" and "Gender in the Bible", while Berlin limited herself to "Reading Biblical Poetry" -- obviously none of these have any relevance to this article. The fact that "Historical and Geographic Background to the Bible" doesn't appear anywhere in my ebook indicates that this may have been altered in the 2014 edition, which means it's possible the essay that was originally cited is no longer included in the book -- the book now opens its "essays" section with one on "History" that outright states that the archaeological record indicates that the United Kingdom never existed.

Curious, I dug into it a bit and found that the text was added a little under two years ago by User:GHcool. Assuming good faith, I'd say either that this was an accidental misreading of the text in question, or that the 2004 edition really did say that, but the 2014 edition has done an about-face. I'd be interest in discussing further, though: could someone with access to the 2004 text (preferably in hard copy -- I still have no idea how to find the page numbers on my Kindle Paperwhite...) check to see if what I removed actually belonged in the article, and if so we can say that the 2014 edition includes an essay by Lipschits that appears to say the opposite?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 05:07, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Somehow I forgot this: another possibility is that a text that talked about increasingly centralized government in "Israel" (meaning the northern kingdom, which Lipschits recognizes as being the older and more powerful entity) was incorrectly interpreted as referring to unified Israelite kingdom. Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:32, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
I have the 2004 edition at home. I'll look it up some time this week. Can you tell us where/what in the 2014 edition leads you to believe the JSB thinks the United Monarchy was fiction? --GHcool (talk) 18:59, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
It's in my first edit to the article, as I indicated above. Hijiri 88 (やや) 21:36, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
I meant could you reproduce the quotation for those of us who only have the 2004 edition? --GHcool (talk) 21:52, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
I looked at the 2004 edition. Here are my answers to you questions:
  • The area to which the quotation is cited was a introductory section called "Historical and Geographic Background to the Bible" which, at the end of that section, contains a note that says in brackets "Adapted by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler." I don't know what is meant by "adapted." If you'd like to cite it in a way other than the way I had there, be my guest.
  • The quotation you removed is correct as written, but perhaps requires more context. The rest of the paragraph says that the bible exaggerates the greatness of the United Kingdom in terms of geographical area and other important aspects.
  • If the 2014 version does a complete about-face, I have no problem with updating the article with the 2014 information. --GHcool (talk) 22:38, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
The 2014 edition includes an enormous number of "essays" at the back (page numbers given inline indicate 2,000+, but on doing a bit of Googling I found that apparently Amazon doesn't want Kindle users to know definitively which "pages" they are reading). These essays are divided into groups: "Jewish Interpretation of the Bible", "Biblical Ideas and Institutions", "The Bible in Jewish Life", "Backgrounds for Reading the Bible" and "The Hebrew Bible in Other Scriptures". The fourth group begins with "The History of Israel in the Biblical Period" by Oded Lipschits (which at one point refers its readers to the essay immediately preceding it, "Jewish Translations of the Bible", which apparently ends on p2106). This essay is in turn divided into sections: "Methodological Considerations", "Periodization", "Beginnings", "The Early History of Israel", "The History of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah", etc. "The Early History of Israel" begins:

The history of early Israel - until the 9th c. - as described in the Hebrew Bible diverges sharply from the history that can be reconstructed from the archeological finds and the ancient extrabiblical sources. Contemporary scholars tend to give greater weight to the archeological and epigraphic (written inscriptions and documents) evidence, as this essay will do.
The picture that can be reconstructed from archeology indicates the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the 9th c. BCE and the existence of the Northern Kingdom until the early 6th c. BCE. In addition, in the few ancient inscriptions that have been preserved, only one kingdom - the Northern Kingdom - is given the name "Israel", and only its people are called "Israelites" (unlike the Bible, which uses "Israel" to encompass both kingdoms before the "divided monarchy"). Although the kingdom of Judah is mentioned in some ancient inscriptions, they never suggest that it was part of a unit comprised of Israel and Judah. There are no extrabiblical indications of a united monarchy called "Israel".

Some way down, near the end of this section and the beginning of "The History of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah", it says:

The biblical description of the early periods of the history of Israel, its origins from the extended family of Jacob, the exodus from Egypt, the conquest and settlement of Canaan, and the early (united) monarchy, are problematic from a historical perspective. There is little or no explicit extrabiblical evidence of the names or events mentioned in Gen. through Sam.

In that following section, it notes:

During the 9th c. BCE, at the same time when the Omrides established the kingdom of Israel, archeological remains suggest that a small entity arose in the south, with its center at Jerusalem; about a dozen of settlements surrounded the city.

And later is even more explicit:

The control over the agricultural territories of the Lowland and over the trade routes of the Beersheba-Arad Valley reflects the administrative and economic development of Jerusalem itself, which at this point [the 9th C. BCE] was undoubtedly the capital of the newly established kingdom: the Kingdom of Judah. Thus the archeological record suggests that the united kingdom did not exist, and that Judah developed significantly later than the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Thus, the 2014 text at least explicitly states that archeological evidence is against the very existence of a united kingdom. As to the nature of the book, I believe is not much more than a reprint of the 2004 text. It appears to be the one Christine Hayes used in her Hebrew Bible introduction class at Yale in 2012 (which she explicitly says includes a large number of essays and so is usable as the sole textbook for an introductory course), and its copyright date is "2004, 2014". I assumed that the "Second Edition" mentioned on the cover and title page referred to 2014, and 2004 was the "First Edition", and so they might be different in content, but can you verify this?(Forget about this. Somehow I totally missed the "Preface to the Second Edition" that explicitly answered my question. The 2004 edition's essays in "Backgrounds for Reading the Bible" were mere revisions of several essays from The New Oxford Annotated Bible; the 2014 included entirely new essays. So unless we go back and check the publication history of the NOAB, we don't know how old the earlier essays are; we can assume that in 2014 the editors agreed with the material they specifically commissioned in 2014. If not, can you check the above quotations I provided? The fact that the section you describe "Historical and Geographic Background to the Bible" is titled so as to imply an excessive amount of overlap with the first two essays in the "Backgrounds" section named above ("The History of Israel in the Biblical Period" by Oded Lipschits and "Geography of Biblical Land of Israel" by Amitai Baruchi-Unna) would seem to imply the former, though.
While the initial text I removed may not have been in direct conflict with the claim that the united kingdom never existed, the claim that scholars consider a 9th-century development of a powerful monarchy centered in Jerusalem to be feasible doesn't really belong in this article, as it would only cloud the issue; the Jewish Study Bible as edited and/or reprinted by the two scholars in question in 2014 specifically states that "the archeological record suggests that the united kingdom did not exist". Even if they didn't write the words themselves, they clearly considered Lipschits to be a more authoritative scholar in this particular area than themselves, given that they chose instead to write about canonization, gender and poetry. Moreover, they said in their brief "Introduction to the Essays" that

The topics addressed [in Backgrounds for Reading the Bible] reflect the editors' sensibilities of what an informed reader might want to know about how contemporary scholars study the Bible.

They likely would not have written this if they disagreed radically with Lipschits over whether the united kingdom was archeologically verifiable.
Sorry for such a long comment!
Hijiri 88 (やや) 06:49, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
OK. I'm convinced. Thanks for doing the legwork on this one. --GHcool (talk) 19:10, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

"casting doubt that David's kingdom could have been as powerful"[edit]

I don't have access to the Haaretz source at the moment, but is "casting doubt" really what it says? I would think more appropriate language would be that it casts further doubt; Maeir, the scholar they apparently interviewed, wrote in the JSB discussed above (essay "Archeology and the Hebrew Bible", latest possible publication date 2014) that there already was serious doubt as to whether the kingdom of David even existed, let alone how powerful it was. Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:21, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

I marked with fails verification and citation needed a claim that is WP:OR. The source only claims there is evidence for David's existence, it does not claim that there would be evidence for David's Kingdom. On the contrary, it says that most archaeologists today would say there was no Kingdom of David, but something very small scale. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:39, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

As far as I know there is not a single real (solid, certain) proof of David ever having ruled over a kingdom. Anyway, nobody seems to able to name any. I do not claim that absence of evidence would be evidence of absence, but that absence of evidence is evidence for... absence of evidence. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:36, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Irondome's revert, while it claimed to redress an WP:UNDUE violation, it has itself violated WP:VER and WP:OR. And as William Dever's WP:RS/AC claim makes it clear, my edits were no WP:UNDUE violation in the first place. On the contrary, they represent the mainstream view of this problem. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:48, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

I reverted to a previously stable text that no one recently appears to have taken any great exception to. I will have a "dig" around (archaeology pun, couldn't resist) and see if I can come up with anything more interesting. Excuse me, but I have a mentoree coming out of a self imposed topic ban in a few hours, and my priority is there for the next few days. You are to be commended for your zeal, and I am being very serious on that. We shall speak again. Regards, Simon Irondome (talk) 20:22, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
As the article on David says "The Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone erected by a king of Damascus in the late 9th/early 8th centuries BCE to commemorate his victory over two enemy kings, contains the phrase ביתדוד, bytdwd, which most scholars translate as "House of David".[39] Although challenged by some scholars, it is likely that is that this is a reference to a dynasty of the Kingdom of Judah which traced its ancestry to a founder named David.[39]" with references. This is indeed very thin evidence for a "Davidic kingdom" and it is disputed by some scholars that it actually says "House of David" at all, but the consensus is, as it it says "it is likely that is that this is a reference to a dynasty of the Kingdom of Judah which traced its ancestry to a founder named David."Smeat75 (talk) 20:37, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, it is a reference to a dynasty which has or claims to have David as an ancestor. So it is evidence that David really existed and that he was the (claimed) ancestor of this dynasty, it is not evidence that he actually had a kingdom.
Golden, Jonathan Michael (2004). Ancient Canaan and Israel: new perspectives. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc. p. 163. ISBN 1-57607-897-3. One of the most intriguing and controversial topics in all of the archaeology of the southern Levant concerns the occupation of Jerusalem during the Iron 2. The beginning of the Iron 2 is generally understood to be the time when the biblical kings David and Solomon ruled from Jerusalem. Yet the archaeological evidence dating to this period is slim: Stratum 14 in Areas D1 and E and the eastern slope have yielded some remains dating to the tenth century B.C.E., but there is little more. Some scholars have cited the general lack of archaeological remains from this period as evidence against the existence of a Jerusalem-based monarchy at that time, and the historicity of the biblical account has been called into question (Finkelstein 1999; Finkelstein and Silberman 2001). Others have countered that this “negative evidence” proves little, as Herod (first century B.C.E.) is supposed to have razed the entire area during his extensive building projects, wiping out the traces of earlier structures. It is worth noting that a similar situation exists with the city of Byblos, where no archaeological remains from Late Bronze or Iron Age times have been discovered, despite the fact that it is documented in texts from the period. 
Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:20, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
So the mainstream view is that David existed, but he was a hill country chieftain ruling over a cow town. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:29, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Now that's original research :) Irondome (talk) 21:32, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
It is verifiable to Finkelstein and Silberman, see also [3] and [4]. I guess that William Dever and Baruch Halpern also have stated something to that extent. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:41, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
They have a book just on the subject of David and Solomon, see [5]. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:44, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Coogan, Michael (2010). "4. Thou Shalt Not: Forbidden Sexual Relationships in the Bible". God and Sex. What the Bible Really Says (1st ed.). New York, Boston: Twelve. Hachette Book Group. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-446-54525-9. Retrieved 5 May 2011. Jerusalem was no exception, except that it was barely a city—by our standards, just a village. In David's time, its population was only a few thousand, who lived on about a dozen acres, roughly equal to two blocks in Midtown Manhattan.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:50, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

e/c ::::::It is "a" view Tg, which just happens to be flavour of the month, meanwhile, research and new works are being written as we speak. New knowledge rolls on like a river. You nicked cow town from a NG headline blurb! Naughty naughty! Anyway, be on tomorrow. Stuff to do at mo, like drink. Regards Irondome (talk) 21:57, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

As I stated, it is not the definitive answer about whether David had a kingdom, it is about what evidence about it archaeologists have uncovered till the present day. As you see from the sources, those who think that David had a kingdom either try to explain the lack of evidence, or they rely upon somewhat newer discoveries as suggesting (instead of definitely proving) that David had a kingdom. As a scholar argued, the minimalists did not invent themselves this lack of archaeological evidence. Finkelstein does not claim to be a minimalist, but a centrist (half-way between minimalism and maximalism). Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:25, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

GBRV: "there wasn't any archaeological evidence to confirm the existence of Bablyon, Nineveh, Asshur, or other cities mentioned in the Bible". That's right, until there was evidence, there wasn't any evidence. (And it is misleading to suggest that references to contemporary cities at or near the time of writing confirm the veracity of tales that supposedly happened in a much earlier period.) If at some point there is evidence for the Exodus, then the article will say there is evidence. It is not a violation of WP:NPOV to say there is no evidence for something for which there is no evidence. It isn't even an assertion that something didn't happen. It's just a statement indicating that there isn't a good reason for believing that it did, especially for claims that are extraordinary.--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:52, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

— [6]
Just ignore the "claims that are extraordinary" part. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:41, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Size conversion:*+221+meter+to+acre Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:42, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

Tgeorgescu makes some good points and the sources he/she cites should be cited in this or other relevant articles. Note however that some archaeological evidence may have been destroyed or transported elsewhere during several millennia of warfare and border changes. State what the sources state, and note in the text when there are contradictory claims by various sources and/or theories.

I am not certain whether the population of ancient Jerusalem compared to modern cities is particularly useful to note. In our era, the world population is about 7,4 billion people. The estimated world population c. 1000 BC was about 50 million people. So I would expect many of the cities of the era would look like villages to the modern eye. Dimadick (talk) 10:15, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

But there would still be a difference between a small city-state and a large empire. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:55, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

True, though some city-states did have large enough armies to dominate a larger area. Sparta at its population peak is estimated to have had at most 40,000 or 50,000 residents (of which about 35,000 were actually free people or citizens). But it fielded a sufficiently large army to be able to dominate much of the Peloponnese and to face the armies of the Achaemenid Empire and the Delian League, which had much larger populations.

While it is unlikely that a state based in ancient Jerusalem could ever act as an "empire", managing to dominate various villages or weaker cities would not be out of the question. Add a couple of centuries of exaggerations in oral histories, and a relatively minor chieftain could end up being remembered as a fabled conqueror. Dimadick (talk) 11:25, 12 August 2016 (UTC)