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A Planned City in the period of Rehoboam and Its Implication: A View from Tel Lachish Excavation in 2017

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2017, 23(4), pp.384-409
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2017.23.4.384
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : October 10, 2017
  • Accepted : October 30, 2017

Hoo-Goo Kang 1

1서울장신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

It is worthy of being very careful for biblical archaeologists to try to connect archaeological results with a biblical person or his/her period. If we would properly relate archaeological results from excavations at Tel Lachish to King Rehoboam, by taking biblical, historical, and archaeological considerations into account, the fifth level could be a reasonable candidate for his days. This paper reports that the 4th excavations at Tel Lachish in the year of 2017 revealed a series of three-room houses at Level 5 which were abutting against the city wall built with a regular width, 10 royal cubits, and discusses their biblical-archaeological implications. Combination of a public construction, a city wall, with private buildings in a three-room house type, built with a width of 5.2 meter in Level 5, indicates a planned city during the period of King Rehoboam. This leads us to assume that Lachish must be in the second category (a central city) out of the four stages of the city (the capital, a central city, a local city, and a fortress) indicated by Yigal Shiloh. This refutes the assertion of minimalists that the establishment of Judean kingdom was not possible until the 8th century BCE based on archaeological results, inter alia, from the City of David and Tel Lachish. In a chronological point of view in longue durée, it is understood that a tradition of constructing a planned city in Judah began at Khirbet Qeiyafa during the time of King David, at Tel Gezer during the time of King Solomon, and at Tel Lachish during the time of King Rehoboam. Later, Tell Beit Mirsim, Tel Beersheba, and so forth can be perceived to follow this tradition, indicating the construction of a well planned city. Albeit controversy among scholars, a pillared four-room/threeroom house considered to be a typical private house type of the ancient Israelites, which was based on the regional and chronological analysis, was revealed for the first time from Area BC in the Tel Lachish excavations in 2017. The finding of a series of pillared three-room houses at Lachish, known as the second important and traditional city in Judah, supports the argument that a pillared four-room/threeroom house is ethnographically associated with the ancient Israelites. In addition, the fact that pillared three-room houses were constructed against a city wall of Level 5 might indicate the religious intention of King Rehoboam to keep a law of purification.

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