Kingdom of Israel (Samaria)
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The Kingdom of Israel (), or the Kingdom of Samaria, was an
Israelite The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel ...
kingdom in the Southern Levant during the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age (Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly appl ...
. The kingdom controlled the areas of
Samaria Samaria (; he, שֹׁמְרוֹן, translit=Šōmrōn, ar, السامرة, translit=as-Sāmirah) is the historic and Hebrew Bible, biblical name used for the central region of Palestine (region), Palestine, bordered by Judea to the south and ...
,
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, hagGālīl; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galile ...
and parts of Transjordan. Its capital, for the most part, was
Samaria Samaria (; he, שֹׁמְרוֹן, translit=Šōmrōn, ar, السامرة, translit=as-Sāmirah) is the historic and Hebrew Bible, biblical name used for the central region of Palestine (region), Palestine, bordered by Judea to the south and ...
(modern Sebastia). The
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
depicts the Kingdom of Israel as one of two successor states to the former United Kingdom of Israel ruled by King
David David (; , "beloved one") (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". w ...
and his son
Solomon Solomon (; , ),, ; ar, سُلَيْمَان, ', , ; el, Σολομών, ; la, Salomon also called Jedidiah (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , Modern Hebrew, Modern: , Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: ''Yăḏīḏăyāh'', "beloved of Yahweh, Yah"), ...
, the other being the
Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, , ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'údâ'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁𐤉𐤕𐤃𐤅𐤃 ''Bēyt David, Dāwīḏ'', "Davidic line, House of David") was an Israelites, Israelite kingdom of the South ...
; most historians and archaeologists, however, do not believe in the existence of a United Kingdom as depicted in the Bible.The debate is described in Amihai Mazar, "Archaeology and the Biblical Narrative: The Case of the United Monarchy" (see bibliography), p.29 fn.2: "For conservative approaches defining the United Monarchy as a state “from Dan to Beer Sheba” including “conquered kingdoms” (Ammon, Moab, Edom) and “spheres of influence” in Geshur and Hamath cf. e.g. Ahlström (1993), 455–542; Meyers (1998); Lemaire (1999); Masters (2001); Stager (2003); Rainey (2006), 159–168; Kitchen (1997); Millard (1997; 2008). For a total denial of the historicity of the United Monarchy cf. e.g. Davies (1992), 67–68; others suggested a ‘chiefdom’ comprising a small region around Jerusalem, cf. Knauf (1997), 81–85; Niemann (1997), 252–299 and Finkelstein (1999). For a ‘middle of the road’ approach suggesting a United Monarchy of larger territorial scope though smaller than the biblical description cf.e.g. Miller (1997); Halpern (2001), 229–262; Liverani (2005), 92–101. The latter recently suggested a state comprising the territories of Judah and Ephraim during the time of David, that was subsequently enlarged to include areas of northern Samaria and influence areas in the Galilee and Transjordan. Na’aman (1992; 1996) once accepted the basic biography of David as authentic and later rejected the United Monarchy as a state, cf. id. (2007), 401–402". It can be said with certainty that the regions of Samaria and Galilee underwent a period of urbanization during the 10th century BCE, and that its towns were united as a kingdom ruled by the
Omri Omri ( ; he, , ''‘Omrī''; akk, 𒄷𒌝𒊑𒄿 ''Ḫûmrî'' 'ḫu-um-ri-i'' fl. 9th century BC) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the sixth Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), king of Israel. He was a successful military campaigner who ex ...
de dynasty in the 9th century BCE, whose political center was the city of
Samaria Samaria (; he, שֹׁמְרוֹן, translit=Šōmrōn, ar, السامرة, translit=as-Sāmirah) is the historic and Hebrew Bible, biblical name used for the central region of Palestine (region), Palestine, bordered by Judea to the south and ...
, where a lavish palace existed. A separate
Israelite The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel ...
kingdom, named Kingdom of Judah, with its capital in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
, existed to its south. The Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the
Neo-Assyrian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire was the fourth and penultimate stage of ancient Assyrian history and the final and greatest phase of Assyria as an independent state. Beginning with the accession of Adad-nirari II in 911 BC, the Neo-Assyrian Empire grew t ...
around 720
BCE Common Era (CE) and Before the Common Era (BCE) are year notations for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most parts of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a modificatio ...
. The records of
Sargon II Sargon II (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "the faithful king" or "the legitimate king") was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 722 BC to his death in battle in 705. Probably the son of Tiglath-Pileser III (745–727), Sargon is general ...
of
Assyria Assyria (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , romanized: ''māt Aššur''; syc, ܐܬܘܪ, ʾāthor) was a major ancient Mesopotamia, Mesopotamian civilization which existed as a city-state from the 21st century BC to the 14th century BC, then to a terr ...
indicate that he deported 27,290 Israelites – around one fifth of the population of the Kingdom of Israel – to Mesopotamia; this deportation became the basis for the modern
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or ...
idea of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Some Israelites migrated to the southern kingdom of Judah, while those Israelites that remained in Samaria, concentrated mainly around
Mount Gerizim Mount Gerizim (; Samaritan Hebrew: ''ʾĀ̊rgā̊rīzēm''; Hebrew: ''Har Gərīzīm''; ar, جَبَل جَرِزِيم ''Jabal Jarizīm'' or جَبَلُ ٱلطُّورِ ''Jabal at-Ṭūr'') is one of two mountains in the immediate vicinit ...
, came to be known as
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Šōmrōnīm, lit=; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group who originate from the ancient Israelites. They are native to the Levant and adhere to Samarit ...
. Foreign groups were also settled by the Assyrians in the territories of the conquered kingdom.


History

The existence of an Israelite state in the north is documented in 9th century inscriptions. The earliest mention is from the Kurkh stela of c.853 BCE, when
Shalmaneser III Shalmaneser III (''Šulmānu-ašarēdu'', "the god Shulmanu is pre-eminent") was king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from the death of his father Ashurnasirpal II in 859 BC to his own death in 824 BC. His long reign was a constant series of campaign ...
mentions "Ahab the Israelite", plus the denominative for "land", and his ten thousand troops. This kingdom will have included parts of the lowlands (the Shephelah), the Jezreel plain, lower Galilee and parts of the Transjordan. Ahab's forces were part of an anti-Assyrian coalition, implying that the kingdom was ruled by an urban elite, possessed a royal and state cult with large urban temples, and had scribes, mercenaries, and an administrative apparatus. In all this, it was similar to other recently-founded kingdoms of the time, such as
Ammon Ammon (Ammonite language, Ammonite: 𐤏𐤌𐤍 ''ʻAmān''; he, עַמּוֹן ''ʻAmmōn''; ar, عمّون, ʻAmmūn) was an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torren ...
and
Moab Moab ''Mōáb''; Akkadian language, Assyrian: 𒈬𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Mu'abâ'', 𒈠𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Ma'bâ'', 𒈠𒀪𒀊 ''Ma'ab''; Egyptian language, Egyptian: 𓈗𓇋𓃀𓅱𓈉 ''Mū'ībū'', name=, group= () is the name of an a ...
. In later Assyrian inscriptions, the kingdom is referred to as the "House of
Omri Omri ( ; he, , ''‘Omrī''; akk, 𒄷𒌝𒊑𒄿 ''Ḫûmrî'' 'ḫu-um-ri-i'' fl. 9th century BC) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the sixth Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), king of Israel. He was a successful military campaigner who ex ...
". Shalmanesser III's "Black Obelisk" mentions
Jehu ) as depicted on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III , succession = King of Northern Israel , reign = c. 841–814 BCE , coronation = Ramoth-Gilead, Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِ ...
, son of Omri; and King
Adad-Nirari III Adad-nirari III (also Adad-narari) was a King of Assyria from 811 to 783 BC. Note that this assumes that the longer version of the Assyrian Eponym List, which has an additional eponym for Adad-nirari III, is the correct one. For the shorter eponym ...
of Assyria, who leaded an expedition into the Levant in 803, mentions "the Hatti-land and Amurru-land, the cities of Tyre and Sidon, Philistia, Edom, Aram, and the ''mat'' (land) of Hu-um-ri", or Omri. Another inscription from the same king introduces a third way of talking about the kingdom, as Samaria, in the phrase " Joash of Samaria". The use of Omri's name to refer to the kingdom still survived, and was used by
Sargon II Sargon II (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "the faithful king" or "the legitimate king") was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 722 BC to his death in battle in 705. Probably the son of Tiglath-Pileser III (745–727), Sargon is general ...
in the phrase "the whole house of Omri" in describing his conquest of the city of Samaria in 722 BCE. It is significant that the Assyrians never mention the
Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, , ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'údâ'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁𐤉𐤕𐤃𐤅𐤃 ''Bēyt David, Dāwīḏ'', "Davidic line, House of David") was an Israelites, Israelite kingdom of the South ...
until the end of the 8th century, when it was an Assyrian vassal: possibly they never had contact with it, or possibly they regarded it as a vassal of Israel/Samaria or Aram, or possibly the southern kingdom did not exist during this period. Samaria is one of the most universally accepted archaeological sites from the biblical period. At around 850 BCE, the Mesha Stele records the victory of the Kingdom of
Moab Moab ''Mōáb''; Akkadian language, Assyrian: 𒈬𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Mu'abâ'', 𒈠𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Ma'bâ'', 𒈠𒀪𒀊 ''Ma'ab''; Egyptian language, Egyptian: 𓈗𓇋𓃀𓅱𓈉 ''Mū'ībū'', name=, group= () is the name of an a ...
(in today's
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levan ...
), under, King
Mesha King Mesha (Moabite language, Moabite: 𐤌𐤔𐤏 *''Māšaʿ''; Hebrew: מֵישַׁע ''Mēšaʿ'') was a king of Moab in the 9th century BC, known most famously for having the Mesha Stele inscribed and erected at Dhiban, Dibon. In this ins ...
, against the Kingdom of Israel, under king
Omri Omri ( ; he, , ''‘Omrī''; akk, 𒄷𒌝𒊑𒄿 ''Ḫûmrî'' 'ḫu-um-ri-i'' fl. 9th century BC) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the sixth Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), king of Israel. He was a successful military campaigner who ex ...
and his son
Ahab Ahab (; akk, 𒀀𒄩𒀊𒁍 ''Aḫâbbu'' 'a-ḫa-ab-bu'' grc-koi, Ἀχαάβ ''Achaáb''; la, Achab) was the seventh king of Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, ...
. Archaeological finds, ancient Near Eastern texts, and the biblical record testify that in the time of the Omride dynasty, the Kingdom of Israel ruled in the mountainous Galilee, at Hazor in the upper
Jordan Valley The Jordan Valley ( ar, غور الأردن, ''Ghor al-Urdun''; he, עֵמֶק הַיַרְדֵּן, ''Emek HaYarden'') forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. Unlike most other river valleys, the term "Jordan Valley" often applies just to ...
, in large parts of Transjordan between the Arnon and the Yarmouk Rivers, and in the coastal plain of the Sharon.


In the Bible

One tradition source for the history of the Kingdom of Israel has been the Jewish Bible, written by authors in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
, the capital of the
Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, , ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'údâ'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁𐤉𐤕𐤃𐤅𐤃 ''Bēyt David, Dāwīḏ'', "Davidic line, House of David") was an Israelites, Israelite kingdom of the South ...
; being written by a rival kingdom, it is inspired by ideological and theological viewpoints that influence the narrative. Anachronisms, legends and literary forms also affect the story. Some of the events are believed to have been recorded long after the destruction of the kingdom of Israel.
Biblical archaeology Biblical archaeology is an academic school and a subset of Biblical studies and Levantine archaeology. Biblical archaeology studies archaeological sites from the Ancient Near East and especially the Holy Land (also known as Palestine (region), ...
has both confirmed and challenged parts of the biblical account. According to the Jewish Bible, there existed a United Kingdom of Israel, ruled from
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
by
David David (; , "beloved one") (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". w ...
and his son
Solomon Solomon (; , ),, ; ar, سُلَيْمَان, ', , ; el, Σολομών, ; la, Salomon also called Jedidiah (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , Modern Hebrew, Modern: , Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: ''Yăḏīḏăyāh'', "beloved of Yahweh, Yah"), ...
, after whose death the Israel and Judah separated into two kingdoms. The first mention of the name "Israel" is from an Egyptian inscription, the Merneptah Stele, dating from the Late Bronze Age (c. 1208 BCE); this gives little solid information, but indicates that the name of the later kingdom was borrowed rather than originating with the kingdom itself.


Relations between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah

Still according to the Jewish Bible, for the first sixty years after the split, the kings of Judah tried to re-establish their authority over the northern kingdom, and there was perpetual war between them. For the following eighty years, there was no open war between them, and, for the most part, they were in friendly alliance, co-operating against their common enemies, especially against
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
.The conflict between Israel and Judah was temporarily settled when
Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat (; alternatively spelled Jehosaphat, Josaphat, or Yehoshafat; ; el, Ἰωσαφάτ, Iosafát; la, Josaphat), according to 1 Kings 22:41, was the son of Asa of Judah, Asa, and the fourth king of the Kingdom of Judah, in succession ...
, King of Judah, allied himself with the reigning house of Israel,
Ahab Ahab (; akk, 𒀀𒄩𒀊𒁍 ''Aḫâbbu'' 'a-ḫa-ab-bu'' grc-koi, Ἀχαάβ ''Achaáb''; la, Achab) was the seventh king of Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, ...
, through marriage. Later, Jehosophat's son and successor,
Jehoram of Judah Jehoram of Judah (, ) or Joram (; el, Ἰωράμ, Ioram; la, Joram or Ioram), was the fifth king of Kingdom of Judah, Judah, and the son of king Jehoshaphat. Jehoram rose to the throne at the age of 32 and reigned for 8 years (, ), although he ...
, married Ahab's daughter
Athaliah Athaliah ( el, Γοθολία ''Gotholía''; la, Athalia) was the daughter of either king Omri, or of King Ahab and Jezebel, Queen Jezebel of Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel, the queen consort of kingdom of Judah, Judah as the wife of Jeho ...
, cementing the alliance. However, the sons of Ahab were slaughtered by
Jehu ) as depicted on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III , succession = King of Northern Israel , reign = c. 841–814 BCE , coronation = Ramoth-Gilead, Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِ ...
following his coup d'état around 840 BCE.


Destruction of the Kingdom, 732–720 BC

In c. 732 BCE, king Pekah of Israel, while allied with Rezin, king of Aram, threatened
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
.
Ahaz Ahaz (; gr, Ἄχαζ, Ἀχάζ ''Akhaz''; la, Achaz) an abbreviation of Jehoahaz II (of Judah), "Yahweh Yahweh *''Yahwe'', was the national god of ancient Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. The origins ...
,
king of Judah The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah. According to the biblical account, this kingdom was founded after the death of Saul, when the tribe of Judah elevated David to rule over it. After seven years, David ...
, appealed to
Tiglath-Pileser III Tiglath-Pileser III (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "my trust belongs to the son of Ešarra"), was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 745 BC to his death in 727. One of the most prominent and historically significant Assyrian kings, Tig ...
, the king of
Assyria Assyria (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , romanized: ''māt Aššur''; syc, ܐܬܘܪ, ʾāthor) was a major ancient Mesopotamia, Mesopotamian civilization which existed as a city-state from the 21st century BC to the 14th century BC, then to a terr ...
, for help. After Ahaz paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser, Tiglath-Pileser sacked Damascus and Israel, annexing Aram and territory of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh in Gilead including the desert outposts of Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. People from these tribes, including the Reubenite leader, were taken captive and resettled in the region of the Khabur River system, in Halah, Habor, Hara and Gozan (). Tiglath-Pilesar also captured the territory of
Naphtali According to the Book of Genesis, Naphtali (; ) was the last of the two sons of Jacob and Bilhah (Jacob's sixth son). He was the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Naphtali. Some biblical commentators have suggested that the name ''Naphtali'' ma ...
and the city of Janoah in
Ephraim Ephraim (; he, ''ʾEp̄rayīm'', in Pausa, pausa: ''ʾEp̄rāyīm'') was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph (Genesis), Joseph ben Jacob and Asenath. Asenath was an Ancient Egypt, Ancient Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh g ...
, and an Assyrian governor was placed over the region of Naphtali. According to and , the population of Aram and the annexed part of Israel was deported to Assyria. The remainder of the northern kingdom of Israel continued to exist within the reduced territory as an independent kingdom until around 720 BCE, when it was again invaded by
Assyria Assyria (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , romanized: ''māt Aššur''; syc, ܐܬܘܪ, ʾāthor) was a major ancient Mesopotamia, Mesopotamian civilization which existed as a city-state from the 21st century BC to the 14th century BC, then to a terr ...
and the rest of the population deported. During the three-year siege of
Samaria Samaria (; he, שֹׁמְרוֹן, translit=Šōmrōn, ar, السامرة, translit=as-Sāmirah) is the historic and Hebrew Bible, biblical name used for the central region of Palestine (region), Palestine, bordered by Judea to the south and ...
in the territory of Ephraim by the Assyrians,
Shalmaneser V Shalmaneser V (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "Salmānu is foremost"; Biblical Hebrew: ) was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from the death of his father Tiglath-Pileser III in 727 BC to his deposition and death in 722 BC. Though Shalmane ...
died and was succeeded by
Sargon II Sargon II (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "the faithful king" or "the legitimate king") was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 722 BC to his death in battle in 705. Probably the son of Tiglath-Pileser III (745–727), Sargon is general ...
, who himself records the capture of that city thus: "Samaria I looked at, I captured; 27,280 men who dwelt in it I carried away" into Assyria. Thus, around 720 BCE, after two centuries, the kingdom of the ten tribes came to an end. Some of the Israelite captives were resettled in the Khabur region, and the rest in the land of the
Medes The Medes (Old Persian: ; Akkadian language, Akkadian: , ; Ancient Greek: ; Latin: ) were an Iranian peoples, ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media (region), Media between western ...
, thus establishing Hebrew communities in
Ecbatana Ecbatana ( peo, 𐏃𐎥𐎶𐎫𐎠𐎴 ''Hagmatāna'' or ''Haŋmatāna'', literally "the place of gathering" according to Darius the Great, Darius I's inscription at Bisotun; Persian language, Persian: هگمتانه; Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭧 ...
and Rages. The
Book of Tobit The Book of Tobit () ''Tōbith'' or ''Tōbit'' ( and spellings are also attested) itself from he, טובי ''Tovi'' "my good"; Book of Tobias in the Vulgate from the Greek ''Tōbias'', itself from the Hebrew ''Tovyah'' "Jah, Yah is good", al ...
additionally records that Sargon had taken other captives from the northern kingdom to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, in particular Tobit from the town of Thisbe in Naphtali. The Jewish Bible relates that the population of the Kingdom of Israel was exiled, becoming known as the
Ten Lost Tribes The ten lost tribes were the ten of the Twelve Tribes of Israel The Twelve Tribes of Israel ( he, שִׁבְטֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Šīḇṭēy Yīsrāʾēl, lit=Tribes of Israel) are, according to Hebrew Bible, Hebrew scrip ...
. To the south, the
Tribe of Judah According to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridg ...
, the
Tribe of Simeon According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Simeon (; he, ''Šīm‘ōn'', "hearkening/listening/understanding/empathizing") was one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, twelve tribes of Israel. The Book of Judges locates its territory inside the b ...
(that was "absorbed" into Judah), the
Tribe of Benjamin According to the Torah, the Tribe of Benjamin () was one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The tribe was descended from Benjamin, the youngest son of the Patriarchs (Bible), patriarch Jacob (later given the name Israel) and his wife Rachel. In the ...
and the people of the Tribe of Levi, who lived among them of the original
Israelite The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel ...
nation, remained in the southern Kingdom of Judah. The Kingdom of Judah continued to exist as an independent state until 586 BCE, when it was conquered by the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire or Second Babylonian Empire, historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last polity ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with the coronation of Nabopolassar as the List of kings of Babylon, King of B ...
.


Samaritan version

Samaritan tradition states that much of the population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel remained in place after the Exile, including the Tribes of Naphtali, Menasseh, Benjamin and Levi – being the progenitors of the modern
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Šōmrōnīm, lit=; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group who originate from the ancient Israelites. They are native to the Levant and adhere to Samarit ...
. In their book '' The Bible Unearthed'', Israeli authors
Israel Finkelstein Israel Finkelstein ( he, ישראל פינקלשטיין, born March 29, 1949) is an Israeli archaeologist, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University and the head of the School of Archaeology and Maritime Cultures at the University of Haifa. ...
and Neil Asher Silberman estimate that only a fifth (about 40,000) of the population of the northern Kingdom of Israel were actually resettled out of the area during the two deportation periods under
Tiglath-Pileser III Tiglath-Pileser III (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "my trust belongs to the son of Ešarra"), was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 745 BC to his death in 727. One of the most prominent and historically significant Assyrian kings, Tig ...
and
Sargon II Sargon II (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "the faithful king" or "the legitimate king") was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 722 BC to his death in battle in 705. Probably the son of Tiglath-Pileser III (745–727), Sargon is general ...
.Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2002) ''The Bible Unearthed : Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts'', Simon & Schuster, Many of the Northern Tribes also fled south to the
Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, , ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'údâ'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁𐤉𐤕𐤃𐤅𐤃 ''Bēyt David, Dāwīḏ'', "Davidic line, House of David") was an Israelites, Israelite kingdom of the South ...
; Jerusalem seems to have expanded in size five-fold during this period, requiring a new wall to be built, and a new source of water
Siloam Silwan or Siloam ( ar, سلوان, translit=Silwan; gr, Σιλωὰμ, translit=Siloam; he, כְּפַר הַשִּׁילוֹחַ, translit=''Kfar ha-Shiloaḥ'') is a predominantly Palestinians, Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, ...
to be provided by King
Hezekiah Hezekiah (; hbo, , Ḥīzqīyyahū), or Ezekias); grc, Ἐζεκίας 'Ezekías; la, Ezechias; also transliterated as or ; meaning "Yahweh, Yah shall strengthen" (born , sole ruler ), was the son of Ahaz and the 13th king of Kingdom of Jud ...
.


Medieval Rabbinic fable

In medieval Rabbinic fable, the concept of the ten tribes becomes confounded with accounts of the Assyrian deportations, leading to the myth of the "
Ten Lost Tribes The ten lost tribes were the ten of the Twelve Tribes of Israel The Twelve Tribes of Israel ( he, שִׁבְטֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Šīḇṭēy Yīsrāʾēl, lit=Tribes of Israel) are, according to Hebrew Bible, Hebrew scrip ...
".


Recorded history

In their book '' The Bible Unearthed'', Israeli authors
Israel Finkelstein Israel Finkelstein ( he, ישראל פינקלשטיין, born March 29, 1949) is an Israeli archaeologist, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University and the head of the School of Archaeology and Maritime Cultures at the University of Haifa. ...
and Neil Asher Silberman estimate that only a fifth (about 40,000) of the population of the northern Kingdom of Israel were actually resettled out of the area during the two deportation periods under
Tiglath-Pileser III Tiglath-Pileser III (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "my trust belongs to the son of Ešarra"), was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 745 BC to his death in 727. One of the most prominent and historically significant Assyrian kings, Tig ...
and
Sargon II Sargon II (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , meaning "the faithful king" or "the legitimate king") was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 722 BC to his death in battle in 705. Probably the son of Tiglath-Pileser III (745–727), Sargon is general ...
. No known non-Biblical record exists of the Assyrians having exiled people from four of the tribes of Israel: Dan,
Asher Asher ( he, אָשֵׁר ''’Āšēr''), in the Book of Genesis, was the last of the two sons of Jacob and Zilpah (Jacob's eighth son) and the founder of the Israelites, Israelite Tribe of Asher. Name The text of the Torah states that the name ...
,
Issachar Issachar () was, according to the Book of Genesis, the fifth of the six sons of Jacob and Leah (Jacob's ninth son), and the founder of the Israelite The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-spea ...
,
Zebulun Zebulun (; also ''Zebulon'', ''Zabulon'', or ''Zaboules'') was, according to the Books of Book of Genesis, Genesis and Book of Numbers, Numbers,Genesis 46:14 the last of the six sons of Jacob and Leah (Jacob's tenth son), and the founder of the ...
. Descriptions of the deportation of people from Reuben, Gad, Manasseh, Ephraim and Naphtali indicate that only a portion of these tribes were deported, and the places to which they were deported are known locations given in the accounts. The deported communities are mentioned as still existing at the time of the composition of the
Books of Kings The Book of Kings (, ''Sefer (Hebrew), Sēfer Malik, Məlāḵīm'') is a book in the Hebrew Bible, found as two books (1–2 Kings) in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It concludes the Deuteronomistic history, a history of Israel also ...
and Chronicles and did not disappear by assimilation. 2 Chronicles 30:1-18 explicitly mentions northern Israelites who had been spared by the Assyrians, in particular people of Ephraim, Manasseh, Asher, Issachar and Zebulun, and how members of the latter three returned to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem during the reign of
Hezekiah Hezekiah (; hbo, , Ḥīzqīyyahū), or Ezekias); grc, Ἐζεκίας 'Ezekías; la, Ezechias; also transliterated as or ; meaning "Yahweh, Yah shall strengthen" (born , sole ruler ), was the son of Ahaz and the 13th king of Kingdom of Jud ...
.


Religion

The religious climate of the Kingdom of Israel appears to have followed two major trends. The first, that of worship of
Yahweh Yahweh *''Yahwe'', was the national god of ancient Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. The origins of his worship reach at least to the early Iron Age, and likely to the Late Bronze Age if not somewhat earlier, ...
. The Jewish Bible, however, states that part of the northern Israelites also adored
Baal Baal (), or Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). ( ''baʿal'') was a title and honorific meaning "owner", " lord" in the Northwest Semitic languages spoken in the Levant during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applie ...
– as detailed in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
() and in the
Baal cycle The Baal Cycle is an Ugaritic cycle of stories about the Canaanite god Baʿal ( "Owner", "Lord"), a storm god associated with fertility god, fertility. It is one of the Ugarit texts, dated to c. 1500-1300 BCE. The text identifies Baal as th ...
discovered at
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʾUgarītu''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident in 1928 together with the Ugariti ...
. The religion of ancient Israel is sometimes referred to by modern scholars as
Yahwism Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of History of ancient Israel and Judah, ancient Israel. Yahwism was essentially Polytheism, polytheistic, with a plethora of Deity, gods and Goddess, goddesses. Heading the pantheon ...
. According to the Hebrew Bible (),
Jeroboam Jeroboam I (; Hebrew: ''Yārŏḇə‘ām''; el, Ἱεροβοάμ, Hieroboám) was the first king of the northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Kingdom of Israel. The Hebrew Bible describes the reign of Jeroboam to have commenced following a ...
built two places of worship, one at Bethel and one at far northern Dan, as alternatives to the
Temple in Jerusalem The Temple in Jerusalem, or alternatively the Holy Temple (; , ), refers to the two now-destroyed religious structures that served as the central places of worship for Israelites and Jews on the modern-day Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusa ...
. He did not want the people of his kingdom to have religious ties to
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
, the capital city of the rival
Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, , ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'údâ'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁𐤉𐤕𐤃𐤅𐤃 ''Bēyt David, Dāwīḏ'', "Davidic line, House of David") was an Israelites, Israelite kingdom of the South ...
. He erected golden bulls at the entrance to the temples to represent the national god."Israelite Temple"
Tel Dan Excavations
The Hebrew Bible, written from the perspective of scribes in Jerusalem, referred to these acts as the way of Jeroboam or the errors of Jeroboam (). The Jewish Bible also states that
Ahab Ahab (; akk, 𒀀𒄩𒀊𒁍 ''Aḫâbbu'' 'a-ḫa-ab-bu'' grc-koi, Ἀχαάβ ''Achaáb''; la, Achab) was the seventh king of Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, ...
allowed the cult worship of
Baal Baal (), or Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). ( ''baʿal'') was a title and honorific meaning "owner", " lord" in the Northwest Semitic languages spoken in the Levant during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applie ...
to become acceptable of the kingdom. His wife
Jezebel Jezebel (;"Jezebel"
(US) and
) was the daughte ...
was the daughter of the Phoenician king of Tyre and a devotee to Baal worship ().


Royal houses

According to the Bible, the Northern Kingdom had 19 kings across 9 different dynasties throughout its 208 years of existence.


List of proposed Assyrian references to Kingdom of Israel (Samaria)

The table below lists all the historical references to the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) in Assyrian records. King
Omri Omri ( ; he, , ''‘Omrī''; akk, 𒄷𒌝𒊑𒄿 ''Ḫûmrî'' 'ḫu-um-ri-i'' fl. 9th century BC) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the sixth Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), king of Israel. He was a successful military campaigner who ex ...
's name takes the Assyrian shape of "Humri", his kingdom or dynasty that of Bit Humri or alike - the "House of Humri/Omri".


References


Notes


Citations


Sources

* * * *


External links


About Israel - The Information Center About Israel

Biblical History
The Jewish History Resource Center - Project of the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

A synchronized chart of the kings of Israel and Judah {{Ancient states and regions of the Levant , state=collapsed 10th-century BC establishments 8th-century BC disestablishments Books of Kings Israel, Kingdom of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
Political entities in the Land of Israel States and territories established in the 10th century BC States and territories disestablished in the 8th century BC