By Professor of Jewish History Abraham Malamat

The heritage of Israel of the Bible continues to be the most hotly contested matters in scholarship of the Hebrew Bible at the present time. one of many clearest voices within the debate is that of Abraham Malamat. within the pages Malamat distills years of writing at the background of Israel from its beginnings as much as the destruction of the 1st Temple of Jerusalem (586 B.C.E.). Malamat divides his examine into the subsequent sections: (1) The sunrise of Israel (2) Forming a state (3) the increase of the Davidic Dynasty (4) Twilight of Judah and the Destruction of the 1st Temple and (5) old Episodes within the Former Prophets and the Prophetical Books. All these attracted to the emergence of Israel as a humans and the increase of the tale of Israel will locate this a necessary quantity.

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On the comparative approach, including similarities as well as contrasts, see my brief remarks in "Mari and Early Israel," Biblical Archaeology Today. Proceedings of the International Congress on Biblical Archaeology (Jerusalem, 1985), pp. 235-43; (here chap. 2). J. Gelb, "Comparative Method in the Study of the Society and Economy of the Ancient Near East," Rocznik Orientalistyczny 41 (1980), pp. 24-36. PRE-MONARCHIGAL SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS IN ISRAEL 29 that is, the lexical items which are parallel in the corpora of both Mari and the Bible.

Perhaps it may even be taken in a territorial sense. " The difficulty in determining the exact meaning of gayum and similar sociological terms at Mari is due to the fluctuations of tribal structure and the loosening of kinship ties in the process of transition towards a sedentary way of life. The definition of gayum is further complicated by the fact that the tribes, as a result of continuous raids by the kings of Mari, were exposed to the practices of the royal administration. Hence, this expression is already used in the context of territorial and administrative organization.

The name Canaan seems to appear in a recently published letter, in the form LU Ki-na-ah-num*lE^, that is, "Canaanites," and it occurs in connection with the term habbdtum, "marauders," a synonym of Habiru/'Apim. This, then, is the earliest attestation of Canaan, pushing the documentation some three centuries 26 PART ONE: THE DAWN OF ISRAEL further back than the hitherto known earliest reference to this name. Besides this, Razor in northern Canaan is mentioned in some ten published Mari texts (including ARMT, vol.

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