Saul, according to the Hebrew Bible, was the first king of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah. His reign, traditionally placed in the late 11th century BCE, marked a transition from a tribal society to statehood. Saul's life and reign are described in the Hebrew Bible, he reigned from Gibeah. He fell on his sword to avoid capture in the battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa, during which three of his sons were killed; the succession to his throne was contested by Ish-bosheth, his only surviving son, his son-in-law David, who prevailed. According to the Hebrew text of the Bible Saul was thirty years old when he came to the throne and reigned for two years, but scholars agree that the text is faulty and that a reign of twenty or twenty-two years is more probable; the biblical accounts of Saul's life are found in the Books of Samuel: According to the Tanakh, Saul was the son of Kish, of the family of the Matrites, a member of the tribe of Benjamin, one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. It appears.
Saul married daughter of Ahimaaz, with whom he sired four sons and two daughters. Saul had a concubine named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, who bore him two sons and Mephibosheth.. Saul died at the Battle of Mount Gilboa, was buried in Zelah, in the region of Benjamin. Three of Saul's sons – Jonathan and Malchishua – died with him at Mount Gilboa. Ish-bosheth became king of Israel, at the age of forty. At David's request Abner had Michal returned to David. Ish-bosheth reigned for two years, but after the death of Abner, was killed by two of his own captains. Armoni and Mephibosheth were given by David along with the five sons of Merab to the Gibeonites, who killed them. Michal was childless; the only male descendant of Saul to survive was Mephibosheth, Jonathan's lame son, five years old at the time of his father's and grandfather's deaths. In time, he came under the protection of David. Mephibosheth had a young son, who had four sons and descendants named until the ninth generation; the First Book of Samuel gives three accounts of Saul's rise to the throne in three successive chapters: Saul is sent with a servant to look for his father's strayed donkeys.
Leaving his home at Gibeah, they arrive at the district of Zuph, at which point Saul suggests abandoning their search. Saul's servant tells him that they happen to be near the town of Ramah, where a famous seer is located, suggests that they should consult him first; the seer offers hospitality to Saul and anoints him in private. A popular movement having arisen to establish a centralized monarchy like other nations, Samuel assembles the people at Mizpah in Benjamin to appoint a king, fulfilling his previous promise to do so. Samuel organises the people by clan. Using the Urim and Thummim, he selects the tribe of Benjamin, from within the tribe selecting the clan of Matri, from them selecting Saul. After having been chosen as monarch, Saul returns to his home in Gibeah, along with a number of followers. However, some of the people are unhappy with the selection of Saul; the Ammonites, led by Nahash, lay siege to Jabesh-Gilead. Under the terms of surrender, the occupants of the city are to be forced into slavery and have their right eyes removed.
Instead they send word of this to the other tribes of Israel, the tribes west of the Jordan assemble an army under Saul. Saul leads the army to victory over the Ammonites, the people congregate at Gilgal where they acclaim Saul as king and he is crowned. Saul's first act is to forbid retribution against those who had contested his kingship. André Lemaire finds the third account the most reliable tradition; the Pulpit Commentary distinguishes between a public selection process. Having been anointed by Samuel, Saul is told of signs indicating that he has been divinely appointed; the last of these is that Saul will be met by an ecstatic group of prophets leaving a high place and playing the lyre and flutes. Saul encounters the ecstatic joins them. Saul sends men to pursue David, but when they meet a group of ecstatic prophets playing music, they become possessed by a prophetic state and join in. Saul sends more men. Saul himself goes, joins the prophets.. After relieving the siege of Jabesh-Gilead, Saul conducts military campaigns against the Moabites, Edomites, Aram Rehob and the kings of Zobah, the Philistines, the Amalekites.
A biblical summary states that "wherever he turned, he was victorious". In his continuing battles with Philistines, Saul instructs his armies, by a rash oath, to fast. Methodist commentator Joseph Benson suggests that "Saul’s intention in putting this oath was undoubtedly to save time, lest the Philistines should gain ground of them in their flight, but the event showed. Jonathan's party were not aware of the oath and ate honey, resulting in Jonathan realising that he had broken
An ephod was an artifact and an object to be revered in ancient Israelite culture, was connected with oracular practices and priestly ritual. In the Books of Samuel and Books of Chronicles, David is described as wearing an ephod when dancing in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant and one is described as standing in the sanctuary at Nob, with a sword behind it. In the book of Exodus and in Leviticus one is described as being created for the Jewish High Priest to wear as part of his official vestments. In the Book of Judges and Micah each cast one from a metal. Gideon's was dishonored. In the Bible, in the contexts where it is worn, the ephod is described as being linen, but did not constitute complete clothing of any kind, as the Books of Samuel describe; the book of 1 Chronicles states that David was "clothed with a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who bore the ark... David wore an ephod of linen," "and David was wearing a linen ephod". There appears to have been a strong religious and ceremonial implication to wearing an ephod, since the 85 priests at Nob are identified as being the type of people who wore an ephod.
Therefore, some textual scholars regard its presence in the Masoretic text as a editorial gloss. A passage in the Book of Exodus describes the Ephod as an elaborate garment worn by the high priest, upon which the Hoshen, or breastplate containing Urim and Thummim, rested. According to this description, the Ephod was woven out of gold, blue and scarlet threads, was made of fine linen, was embroidered with skillful work in gold thread; the Talmud argues that each of the textures was combined in six threads with a seventh of gold leaf, making 28 threads to the texture in total. Some people attempt to assign meaning to the details of the Ephod, but such meanings are not given in either the biblical description or the Talmud; the Biblical description continues describing the size of the breastplate, affixed to the front of the ephod as a square measuring one span by one span. Stating that it was held together by a girdle, had two shoulder straps which were fastened to the front of the ephod by golden rings, to which the breastplate was attached by golden chains.
From this description it appears to have been something like an apron or skirt with braces, though Rashi argued that it was like a woman's riding girdle. The biblical description adds that there were two engraved gems over the shoulder straps, made from shoham (thought by scholars to mean malachite, by Jewish tradition to mean heliodor, in the King James Version translated as "onyx", with the names of the 12 tribes written upon them. Textual scholars attribute the description of the Ephod in Exodus to the priestly source and to a date than the other mentions of Ephod. Besides use as a garment, an Ephod was used for oracular purposes, in conjunction with Urim and Thummim. Since the oracular process is considered by scholars to have been one of cleromancy, with the Urim and Thummim being the objects which were drawn as lots, the Ephod is considered by scholars to have been some form of container for the Urim and Thummim. However, the biblical text states the Urim and Thummim were placed in the breastplate, not the ephod.
The integration of the stones in the breastplate, as well as the Hebrew usage of "Urim" as "lights," suggest that the Urim and Thummim may have been a type of ocular device through which the priest would look when receiving divine communication. The object at Nob, which must have been somewhat freestanding since another object is kept behind it, the objects made by Gideon and by Micah, from molten gold, logically cannot have just been garments; the object made by Gideon is plainly described as having been worshipped, therefore the idol of some deity, while the object made by Micah is associated with a Teraphim, the Ephod and Teraphim are described interchangeably with the Hebrew terms pesel and massekah, meaning graven image, molten image, respectively. The ephods used for oracular purposes were not just pieces of cloth, as they are not described as being worn, but carried; the concl
Tribe of Judah
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Judah was one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Judah, its conquests, the centrality of its capital in Jerusalem for the worship of the god Yahweh figure prominently in the Deuteronomistic history, encompassing the books of Deuteronomy through II Kings, which most scholars agree was reduced to written form, although subject to exilic and post-exilic alterations and emendations, during the reign of the Judahist reformer Josiah from 641–609 BCE. According to the account in the Book of Joshua, following a partial conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes. Judah's divinely ordained portion is described in Joshua 15 as encompassing most of the southern portion of the Land of Israel, including the Negev, the Wilderness of Zin and Jerusalem. However, the consensus of modern scholars is. Other scholars point to extra-biblical references to Israel and Canaan as evidence for the potential historicity of the conquest.
In the opening words of the Book of Judges, following the death of Joshua, the Israelites "asked the Lord" which tribe should be first to go to occupy its allotted territory, the tribe of Judah was identified as the first tribe. According to the narrative in the Book of Judges, the tribe of Judah invited the tribe of Simeon to fight with them in alliance to secure each of their allotted territories; as is the case with Joshua, most scholars do not believe that the book of Judges contains reliable history. The Book of Samuel describes God's repudiation of a monarchic line arising from the northern Tribe of Benjamin due to the sinfulness of King Saul, bestowed onto the Tribe of Judah for all time in the person of King David. In Samuel's account, after the death of Saul, all the tribes other than Judah remained loyal to the House of Saul, while Judah chose David as its king. However, after the death of Ish-bosheth, Saul's son and successor to the throne of Israel, all the other Israelite tribes made David, the king of Judah, king of a re-united Kingdom of Israel.
The Book of Kings follows the expansion and unparalleled glory of the United Monarchy under King Solomon. A majority of scholars believe that the accounts concerning David and Solomon's territory in the "united monarchy" are exaggerated, a minority believe that the "united monarchy" never existed at all. Disagreeing with the latter view, Old Testament scholar Walter Dietrich contends that the biblical stories of circa 10th-century BCE monarchs contain a significant historical kernel and are not late fictions. On the accession of Rehoboam, Solomon's son, in c. 930 BCE, the ten northern tribes under the leadership of Jeroboam from the Tribe of Ephraim split from the House of David to create the Northern Kingdom in Samaria. The Book of Kings is uncompromising in its low opinion of its larger and richer neighbor to the north, understands its conquest by Assyria in 722 BCE as divine retribution for the Kingdom's return to idolatry; the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to the House of David.
These tribes formed the Kingdom of Judah, which existed until Judah was conquered by Babylon in c. 586 BCE and the population deported. When the Jews returned from Babylonian exile, residual tribal affiliations were abandoned because of the impossibility of reestablishing previous tribal land holdings. However, the special religious roles decreed for the Levites and Kohanim were preserved, but Jerusalem became the sole place of worship and sacrifice among the returning exiles and southerners alike. According to the biblical account, at its height, the Tribe of Judah was the leading tribe of the Kingdom of Judah, occupied most of the territory of the kingdom, except for a small region in the north east occupied by Benjamin, an enclave towards the south west, occupied by Simeon. Bethlehem and Hebron were the main cities within the territory of the tribe; the size of the territory of the tribe of Judah meant that in practice it had four distinct regions: The Negev – the southern portion of the land, suitable for pasture The Shephelah – the coastal region, between the highlands and the Mediterranean sea, used for agriculture, in particular for grains The wilderness – the barren region next to the Dead Sea, below sea level.
In biblical times, this region was further subdivided into three sections – the wilderness of En Gedi, the wilderness of Judah, the wilderness of Maon. The hill country – the elevated plateau situated between the Shephelah and the wilderness, with rocky slopes but fertile soil; this region was used for the production of grain, olives and other fruit, hence produced oil and wine. According to the Torah, the tribe consisted of descendants of Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and of Leah; some Biblical scholars view this as an etiological myth created in hindsight to explain the tribe's name and connect it to the other tribes in the Israelite confederation. With Leah as a matriarch, Biblical scholars regard the tribe as having been believed by the text's authors to have been part of the original Israelite confederation. Like the other tribes of the kingdom of Judah, the tribe of Judah is absent from the ancient Song of Deborah, rather than present but described as unwilling to assist in the battle between Israelites and their enemy.
Traditionally, this has been explained as being due to the southern kingdom being too f
Book of Joshua
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible and the first book of the Deuteronomistic history, the story of Israel from the conquest of Canaan to the Babylonian exile. It tells of the campaigns of the Israelites in central and northern Canaan, the destruction of their enemies, the division of the land among the Twelve Tribes, framed by two set-piece speeches, the first by God commanding the conquest of the land, and, at the end, the last by Joshua warning of the need for faithful observance of the Law revealed to Moses. All scholars agree that the Book of Joshua holds little historical value for early Israel and most reflects a much period; the earliest parts of the book are chapters 2–11, the story of the conquest. Transfer of leadership to Joshua A. God's commission to Joshua B. Joshua's instructions to the people II. Entrance into and conquest of Canaan A. Entry into Canaan 1. Reconnaissance of Jericho 2. Crossing the River Jordan 3. Establishing a foothold at Gilgal 4. Circumcision and Passover B.
Victory over Canaan 1. Destruction of Jericho 2. Failure and success at Ai 3. Renewal of the covenant at Mount Ebal 4. Other campaigns in central Canaan; the Gibeonite Deception 5. Campaigns in southern Canaan 6. Campaigns in northern Canaan 7. Summary of lands conquered 8. Summary list of defeated kings III. Division of the land among the tribes A. God's instructions to Joshua B. Tribal allotments 1. Eastern tribes 2. Western tribes C. Cities of refuge and levitical cities D. Summary of conquest E. De-commissioning of the eastern tribes IV. Conclusion A. Joshua's farewell address B. Covenant at Shechem C. Deaths of Joshua and Eleazar. God warns him to keep faith with the Covenant. God's speech foreshadows the major themes of the book: the crossing of the Jordan River and conquest of the land, its distribution, the imperative need for obedience to the Law; the Israelites cross the Jordan River through the miraculous intervention of God and the Ark of the Covenant. They are circumcised at Gibeath-Haaraloth, renamed Gilgal in memory.
Gilgal sounds like Gallothi, "I have removed", but is more to translate as "circle of standing stones". The conquest begins in Canaan with Jericho, followed by Ai. After which Joshua renews the Covenant; the covenant ceremony has elements of a divine land-grant ceremony, similar to ceremonies known from Mesopotamia. The narrative switches to the south; the Gibeonites trick the Israelites into entering an alliance with them by saying that they are not Canaanites. This prevents the Israelites from exterminating them. An alliance of Amorite kingdoms headed by the Canaanite king of Jerusalem is defeated with Yahweh's miraculous help of stopping the Sun and the Moon, hurling down large hailstones; the enemy kings were hanged on trees. The Deuteronomist author may have used the then-recent 701 BCE campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib in the Kingdom of Judah as his model. With the south conquered the narrative moves to the northern campaign. A powerful multi-national coalition headed by the king of Hazor, the most important northern city, is defeated with Yahweh's help.
Hazor itself is captured and destroyed. Chapter 11:16–23 summarises the extent of the conquest: Joshua has taken the entire land entirely through military victories, with only the Gibeonites agreeing to peaceful terms with Israel; the land "had rest from war". Chapter 12 lists the vanquished kings on both sides of the Jordan River: the two kings who ruled east of the Jordan who were defeated under Moses' leadership, the 31 kings on the west of the Jordan who were defeated under Joshua's leadership; the list of the 31 kings is quasi-tabular: the king of one. Having described how the Israelites and Joshua have carried out the first of their God's commands, the narrative now turns to the second: to "put the people in possession of the land." Joshua is "old, advanced in years" by this time (Joshua
David is described in the Hebrew Bible as the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah after Saul and Ish-bosheth. In the biblical narrative, David is a young shepherd who gains fame first as a musician and by killing the enemy champion Goliath, he becomes a close friend of Saul's son Jonathan. Worried that David is trying to take his throne, Saul turns on David. After Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle, David is anointed as King. David conquers Jerusalem, taking the Ark of the Covenant into the city, establishing the kingdom founded by Saul; as king, David commits adultery with Bathsheba, leading him to arrange the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite. Because of this sin, God denies David the opportunity to build the temple, his son Absalom tries to overthrow him. David flees Jerusalem during Absalom's rebellion, but after Absalom's death he returns to the city to rule Israel. Before his peaceful death, he chooses his son Solomon as successor, he is honored in the prophetic literature as an ideal king and an ancestor of a future Messiah, many psalms are ascribed to him.
Historians of the Ancient Near East agree that David existed around 1000 BCE, but that there is little that can be said about him as a historical figure. There is no direct evidence outside of the Bible concerning David, but 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 Hebrew: ביתדוד, consisting of the Hebrew words "house" and "David", which most scholars translate as "House of David". Ancient Near East historians doubt that the united monarchy as described in the Bible existed. David is richly represented in post-biblical Jewish written and oral tradition, is discussed in the New Testament. Early Christians interpreted the life of Jesus in light of the references to the Messiah and to David. David is written tradition as well; the biblical character of David has inspired many interpretations in art and literature over centuries. The first book of Samuel portrays David as the youngest of the eight sons of Jesse of Bethlehem.
His mother is not named in any book of the Bible, but the Talmud identifies her as Nitzevet daughter of Adael. When the story was retold in 1 Chronicles he was made the youngest of seven sons and given two sisters and Abigail; the Book of Ruth traces his ancestry back to Ruth the Moabite. David is described as cementing his relations with various political and national groups through marriage. King Saul offered David his oldest daughter Merab. David did not refuse the offer, but humbled himself in front of Saul to be considered among the King's family. Saul reneged and instead gave Merab in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite. Having been told that his younger daughter Michal was in love with David, Saul gave her in marriage to David upon David's payment in Philistine foreskins. Saul tried to have him killed. David escaped. Saul sent Michal to Galim to marry Palti, son of Laish. David took wives in Hebron, according to 2 Samuel 3. David wanted Michal back and Saul's son Ish-boshet delivered her to David, causing her husband great grief.
The Book of Chronicles lists his sons with his various concubines. In Hebron, David had six sons: Amnon, by Ahinoam. By Bathsheba, his sons were Shammua, Shobab and Solomon. David's sons born in Jerusalem of his other wives included Ibhar, Eliphelet, Nepheg, Japhia and Eliada. Jerimoth, not mentioned in any of the genealogies, is mentioned as another of his sons in 2 Chronicles 11:18, his daughter Tamar, by Maachah, is raped by her half-brother Amnon. God is angered when Saul, Israel's king, unlawfully offers a sacrifice and disobeys a divine command both to kill all of the Amalekites and to destroy their confiscated property. God sends the prophet Samuel to anoint a shepherd, the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem, to be king instead. After God sends an evil spirit to torment Saul, his courtiers recommend that he send for David, a man skilled in playing the lyre, wise in speech, brave in battle. David thus enters Saul's service as one of the royal armour-bearers and plays the lyre to soothe the king.
War comes between Israel and the Philistines, the giant Goliath challenges the Israelites to send out a champion to face him in single combat. David, sent by his father to bring provisions to his brothers serving in Saul's army, declares that he can defeat Goliath. Refusing the king's offer of the royal armour, he kills Goliath with his sling. Saul inquires the name of the young hero's father. Saul sets David over his army. All Israel loves David. Saul plots his death, but Saul's son Jonathan, one of those who loves David, warns him of his father's schemes and David flees, he goes first to Nob, where he is fed by the priest Ahimelech and given Goliath's sword, to Gath, the Philistine city of Goliath, intending to seek refuge with King Achish there. Achish's servants or officials question his loyalty, David sees that he is in danger there, he goes next to the cave of Adullam. From there he goes to seek refuge with the king of
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, vines and hemiepiphytes in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone; the common fig is a temperate species native to southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region, cultivated from ancient times for its fruit referred to as figs. The fruit of most other species are edible though they are of only local economic importance or eaten as bushfood. However, they are important food resources for wildlife. Figs are of considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as objects of worship and for their many practical uses. Ficus is a pan-tropical genus of trees and vines occupying a wide variety of ecological niches. Fig species are characterized by their unique inflorescence and distinctive pollination syndrome, which utilizes wasp species belonging to the family Agaonidae for pollination; the specific identification of many of the species can be difficult, but figs as a group are easy to recognize.
Many have aerial roots and a distinctive shape or habit, their fruits distinguish them from other plants. The fig fruit is an enclosed inflorescence, sometimes referred to as a syconium, an urn-like structure lined on the inside with the fig's tiny flowers; the unique fig pollination system, involving tiny specific wasps, known as fig wasps that enter via ostiole these sub-closed inflorescences to both pollinate and lay their own eggs, has been a constant source of inspiration and wonder to biologists. There are three vegetative traits that together are unique to figs. All figs possess some in copious quantities. There are no unambiguous older fossils of Ficus. However, current molecular clock estimates indicate that Ficus is a ancient genus being at least 60 million years old, as old as 80 million years; the main radiation of extant species, may have taken place more between 20 and 40 million years ago. Some better-known species that represent the diversity of the genus include the common fig, a small temperate deciduous tree whose fingered fig leaf is well known in art and iconography.
Moreover, figs with different plant habits have undergone adaptive radiation in different biogeographic regions, leading to high levels of alpha diversity. In the tropics, it is quite common to find that Ficus is the most species-rich plant genus in a particular forest. In Asia as many as 70 or more species can co-exist. Ficus species richness declines with an increase in latitude in both hemispheres. Figs are keystone species in many tropical forest ecosystems, their fruit are a key resource for some frugivores including fruit bats, primates including: capuchin monkeys, langurs and mangabeys. They are more important for birds such as Asian barbets, hornbills, fig-parrots and bulbuls, which may entirely subsist on figs when these are in plenty. Many Lepidoptera caterpillars feed on fig leaves, for example several Euploea species, the plain tiger, the giant swallowtail, the brown awl, Chrysodeixis eriosoma and Copromorphidae moths; the citrus long-horned beetle, for example, has larvae that feed on wood, including that of fig trees.
The sweet potato whitefly is found as a pest on figs grown as potted plants and is spread through the export of these plants to other localities. For a list of other diseases common to fig trees, see List of foliage plant diseases; the wood of fig trees is soft and the latex precludes its use for many purposes. It was used to make mummy caskets in Ancient Egypt. Certain fig species are traditionally used in Mesoamerica to produce papel amate. Mutuba is used to produce barkcloth in Uganda. Pou leaves' shape inspired one of the standard kbach rachana, decorative elements in Cambodian architecture. Indian banyan and the Indian rubber plant, as well as other species, have use in herbalism. Figs have figured prominently in some human cultures. There is evidence that figs the common fig and sycamore fig, were among the first – if not the first – plant species that were deliberately bred for agriculture in the Middle East, starting more than 11,000 years ago. Nine subfossil F. carica figs dated to about 9400–9200 BCE were found in the early Neolithic village Gilgal I.
These were a parthenogenetic type and thus an early cultivar. This find predates the first known cultivation of grain in the Middle East by many hundreds of years; the 1889 book'The Useful Native Plants of Australia’ records that Ficus aspera had the common names "Rough-leaved Fi
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was an Iron Age kingdom of the Southern Levant. The Hebrew Bible depicts it as the successor to the United Monarchy, a term denoting the Kingdom of Israel under biblical kings Saul and Solomon and covering the territory of two historical kingdoms and Israel. For the parallel history of the southern Kingdom of Judah and its northern neighbour, the Kingdom of Israel, see History of ancient Israel and Judah. In the 10th and early 9th centuries BCE, the territory of Judah appears to have been sparsely populated, limited to small rural settlements, most of them unfortified. Jerusalem, the kingdom's capital did not emerge as a significant administrative center until the end of the 8th century. In the 7th century its population increased prospering under Assyrian vassalage, but in 605 the Assyrian Empire was defeated, the ensuing competition between the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt and the Neo-Babylonian Empire for control of the Eastern Mediterranean led to the destruction of the kingdom in a series of campaigns between 597 and 582, the deportation of the elite of the community, the incorporation of Judah into a province of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
The legendary history of David and Solomon in the 10th century BCE tells little about the origins of Judah. There is no archaeological evidence of an extensive, powerful Kingdom of Judah before the late 8th century BCE. Prior to this the kingdom was no more than a small tribal entity, limited to Jerusalem and its immediate surroundings; the status of Jerusalem in the 10th century BCE is a major subject of debate. The oldest part of Jerusalem and its original urban core is the City of David, which does not show evidence of significant Israelite residential activity until the 9th century. However, unique administrative structures such as the Stepped Stone Structure and the Large Stone Structure, which formed one structure, contain material culture dated to Iron I. On account of the apparent lack of settlement activity in the 10th century BCE, Israel Finkelstein argues that Jerusalem in that century was a small country village in the Judean hills, not a national capital, Ussishkin argues that the city was uninhabited.
Amihai Mazar contends that if the Iron I/Iron IIa dating of administrative structures in the City of David are correct, "Jerusalem was a rather small town with a mighty citadel, which could have been a center of a substantial regional polity."A collection of military orders found in the ruins of a military fortress in the Negev dating to the period of the Kingdom of Judah indicates widespread literacy, given that based on the inscriptions, the ability to read and write extended throughout the chain of command, from commanders to petty officers. According to Professor Eliezer Piasetsky, who participated in analyzing the texts, "Literacy existed at all levels of the administrative and priestly systems of Judah. Reading and writing were not limited to a tiny elite." This indicates the presence of a substantial educational infrastructure in Judah at the time. According to the Hebrew Bible, the kingdom of Judah resulted from the break-up of the United Kingdom of Israel after the northern tribes refused to accept Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, as their king.
At first, only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David, but soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined Judah. The two kingdoms, Judah in the south and Israel in the north, coexisted uneasily after the split until the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel by Assyria in c. 722/721. The major theme of the Hebrew Bible's narrative is the loyalty of Judah, its kings, to Yahweh, which it states is the God of Israel. Accordingly, all the kings of Israel and all the kings of Judah were "bad", which in terms of Biblical narrative means that they failed to enforce monotheism. Of the "good" kings, Hezekiah is noted for his efforts at stamping out idolatry, but his successors, Manasseh of Judah and Amon, revived idolatry, drawing down on the kingdom the anger of Yahweh. King Josiah returned to the worship of Yahweh alone, but his efforts were too late and Israel's unfaithfulness caused God to permit the kingdom's destruction by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in the Siege of Jerusalem; however it is now well established among academic scholars that the Biblical narrative is not an accurate reflection of religious views in either Judah or Israel during this period.
For the first sixty years, the kings of Judah tried to re-establish their authority over the northern kingdom, there was perpetual war between them. Israel and Judah were in a state of war throughout Rehoboam's seventeen-year reign. Rehoboam built elaborate strongholds, along with fortified cities. In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign, pharaoh of Egypt, brought a huge army and took many cities. In the sack of Jerusalem, Rehoboam gave them all of the treasures out of the temple as a tribute and Judah became a vassal state of Egypt. Rehoboam's son and successor, Abijah of Judah, continued his father's efforts to bring Israel under his control, he fought the Battle o