Yigal Levin’s first volume of a commentary on Chronicles is out!

Kudos to Yigal Levin, my BIU colleague, and and old-time member of the Safi team, who has just published the first volume of his commentary on the Book of Chronicles.

Here are the details:

Levin, Y. 2017. The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah: 2 Chronicles 10 – 36: A New Translation and Commentary. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark

Publisher’s blurb:
The book of Chronicles, the last book of the Hebrew Bible and a central historical book of the Christian Old Testament, has in recent decades gone from being “the Cinderella of biblical studies” to being one of the most researched books of the Bible. The anonymous author, often simply called “the Chronicler” by modern scholars, looks back at the old Israelite monarchy, before the Babylonian exile, from his vantage point in the post-exilic early Second Temple Period, and attempts to “update” the older historiographies of Samuel and Kings in order to elucidate their meaning to the people of his own time.
In The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, Yigal Levin does the same for the modern reader. He offers a brand-new translation and commentary on 2 Chronicles chapters 10-36, tracing the “sacred history” of the monarchy from the division of Solomon’s kingdom to the final exile and return. Each chapter is translated from the original Hebrew into an English that is both faithful to the original and easy for the modern reader to follow. Extensive footnotes provide full explanations of the translator’s choices and of linguistic and literary issues, taking note of alternative versions offered by a wide array of ancient and modern versions and translations. The comprehensive commentary on each section provides historical background and explains the text both on a literary and a historical level, making full use of the most up-to-date research on the text, literature, history, geography and on the archaeological background of the biblical world.
The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah is to be followed by The Chronicles of David and Solomon on 1 Chronicles 10 – 2 Chronicles 9, and then by The Chronicles of All Israel on the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1-9 and including comprehensive essays on the book of Chronicles, its time, purposes, methods and meanings.

HT: Jack Sasson

New article by Cohen-Weinberger, Szanton and Uziel on LPDW from Jerusalem

Kudos to Anat Cohen-Weinberger, Nahshon Szanton and Joe Uziel for the very interesting article that they just published. This study is very relevant for the study of the interactions between Philistia, Judah and other regions in the Iron II (as well as periods before and after) and fits in very well with much of the research we are conducting at Safi.

And needless to say, a special call-out to Joe and Nahshon, who are old-time Safiites!

Cohen-Weinberger, A., Szanton, N., and Uziel, J. 2017. Ethnofabrics: Petrographic Analysis as a Tool for Illuminating Cultural Interactions and Trade Relatoins Between Judah and Philistia During the Iron II. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 377: 1–20.

Here is the abstract:

Recent excavations along the lower eastern slopes of Jerusalem yielded a number of sherds attributed to Late Philistine Decorated Ware. As this family of vessels is generally thought to derive from Philistia, petrographic analysis was conducted on the sherds, as well as on other vessels assumed to be locally made, which served as a control group. Late Philistine Decorated Ware sherds were found to belong to three distinct petrographic groups, two of which seem to originate in Philistia (i.e., the southern coastal plain and Judaean Shephelah), while a third group was found to be local to Jerusalem. The results also indicate that some vessels considered local to the area of Jerusalem were actually produced farther west. This article discusses the results of the petrographic analysis and the implications they have on understanding Judaeo-Philistine relations.

Quick visit to Safi and Area D – and a Chukar

Today, I popped over for a quick visit to Tell es-Safi/Gath, to take a sediment sample from Area D, for an ongoing (and very interesting) research project we are now conducting (and when I can, I’ll provide more details about the results).

As I got the site, I noticed a couple of Chukars (Alectoris chukar; חוגלת סלעים) hanging around, a caught a not-that-great picture of one of them:


And by the way, from what I saw, the site was, so far, in relatively good condition – no significant signs of bad weathering!


Detailed schedule for Finkelstein/Na’aman Honorary Meeting – “From Nomadism to Monarchy?” – March 15-16, 2017

The detailed schedule of the very interesting meeting that will be held at TAU on March 15-16, 2017, had been posted. The meeting, which is in honor of Israel Finkelstein and Nadav Na’aman, in retrospect of the volumes “The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement” and “From Nomadism to Monarchy”.

All told there are fantastic bunch of lectures, covering a broad range of related topics in the two day meeting (including a lecture by yours truly on group identity in Philistia and surrounding regions during the early Iron Age).

Check out the schedule – and do try to make it. It should be VERY interesting!!!



New Miqne-Ekron report

Today I received a copy of the new report on the excavations at Tel Miqne-Ekron (Dothan, T., Garfinkel, Y., and Gitin, S. 2016. Tel Miqne-Ekron Field IV Lower: The Elite Zone, The Iron Age I and IIC, The Early and Late Philistine Cities. Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Semitic Museum). Much thanks for Sy Gitin to sending me this very important publication!

While I will have to read through this carefully, it is clear that this is an extremely important archaeological publication, which will provide excellent basic data, and very interesting discussions, on the main area of Iron I and early Iron IIA excavations at this important site!

Definitely a very important development in the study of Philistia and the Philistines!


Trip to Sicily

At the end of this coming week, I will be traveling to Sicily, as a representative of Bar-Ilan University, for a visit organized by the Sicilian Jewish Community.

During the visit, I will be presenting a few lectures. This will include a lecture on the archaeology of Jerusalem (in Noto, on Monday, Feb. 13th, 2017; see notice below), and a lecture at the University of Catania on the excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath (on Tuesday, Feb. 14th, 2017).

So, if you happen to be in the neighborhood – it would be great to see you!