Without doubt, the emergence of the monarchy in Israel precipitated a dramatic shift in Yahwist religion. Under the Davidic kingship, the previously tribal-based religion was transformed into an increasingly systematized state cult that formed the basis of monarchial legitimization. Continue reading ““The sins of Jeroboam”: The Religious Responsibility of the Israelite Kings”
Lively scholarly discussion surrounds the impetus and emergence of the Maccabean Revolt, the nature and extent of Hellenization during the pre-Hasmonean period, with the unique rationales driving the characters of the Maccabean narrative—the Jewish Hellenizers, Antiochus IV, and the rebels led by Judah Maccabeus—to act. Continue reading ““Confederates and Friends”: The Religiopolitical Significance of the Maccabean Treaty with Rome”
At no point in human history have we devoured more and been less satiated. This may resound as little more than a pithy claim, or perhaps the brassy cry of an overzealous critic who, disenchanted by the present state of human affairs, possesses enough shameless hypocrisy to condemn the same culture in which she exists and partakes. Continue reading “Hypocrisy and the Cultural Critic”
There is a natural inclination amongst humankind to endeavour to understand that which is otherwise seemingly incomprehensible. Since man first gazed upon the winking expanse of heaven and roamed the lengths of the unspoilt earth, he attempted to unravel its fabric, chasing the golden threads of the untiring sun, as though by doing so he could cut through the fog of mystery that shrouded his existence.
Alexander the Great is dead. His glorious empire has fractured. Jerusalem is ruled by the Ptolemies. Spanning the fourth and third centuries BC (approximately 301 to 200 BC), the Ptolemaic dynasty in Judaea is fraught with conflict.