Question Concerning Inspiration (was Joe)

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Fri Dec 8 01:10:34 EST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
Sent: 07 December 2000 21:40
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Question Concerning Inspiration (was Joe)


>... the fact that Judah does in fact spring into history a generation
>before Hezekiah.
>PK: OK if you mean "is first attested in the archaeological record". But
>please don't even think of taking this to mean "first came into existence".

Please don't tell me what to, or not to, think, Peter.

PK: OK, think what you like. And I'll think what I like of your thoughts.

>You have no evidence of when that took place except that it was not later
>than this, although there is some evidence that it was not a large and
>powerful state. But then this largely agrees with the record in 1-2 Kings,
>for the period from Rehoboam to Ahaz - there are very few recorded
>activities outside the immediate area of Jerusalem, so perhaps Judah was
>much more than a city state. Also, the records suggest that at least in the
>time of Ahaziah, grandson of Ahab, and his mother Athaliah Judah was in
>effect subject to Israel (2 Kings 8:25-29, ch.11).

How much before Hezekiah was this state of Yaudi in existence? It's  not
wise to cite texts as though they have some bearing when any bearing cannot
be shown.

PK: In the above paragraph I am discussing the picture presented in 1-2
Kings, in order to compare it with the picture suggested by archaeology.
That is why I am citing texts. Am I not even allowed to talk about the text?
This is the b-hebrew list, remember!

>Naturally the thesis stands, ie Judah didn't come to the fore until the end
>was upon Samaria. It might have been nice to produce something out of the
>hat like a ribbone of Rehoboam or something of that ilk to get us into an
>important Judean kingdom at the height of Israel.
>PK: Who said it was "to the fore" and important?

We can therefore happily discard the "divided monarchy" stuff?

PK: No! My tentative theory, which is compatible with the archaeological
evidence and with the books of Kings, is as follows: there was once a
"united monarchy" of Israel ruled from Jerusalem, then there was a
rebellion, coup, civil war or whatever you want to call it after which a
small area, Judah, remained under the control of Jerusalem and most became a
larger kingdom of Israel. So, a rather unequally divided monarchy. Judah
became important again only after Israel was defeated by the Assyrians. I
accept that there is little external evidence for the "united monarchy", but
I outline below good evidence for the divided one (taking "divided" to imply
only lack of present unity, not necessarily previous unity).


I don't see how you can. The earliest record of Judah (Yaudi) you have is a
seal of Hezekiah's father, precisely the time when Samaria was suffering at
the hands of Assyria. Lots of evidence for Samaria before that, none for
Yaudi. You've got nothing to hang your divided kingdom on.

PK: Yes, I have. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a 50%
probability that the correct name of any one king of Judah or Israel is
recorded in the book of Kings. Now a random selection (though admittedly
weighted to the later dates) of the names of the kings of Israel and Judah
are recorded in extra-biblical history (which we assume is trustworthy,
though I wonder how much more trustworthy than Kings these sources are). On
6 December Joe mentioned 4 recorded kings of Judah and 7 of Israel, and ALL
of these names appear in Kings. On our 50% supposition, what is the chance
of that? About 1 in 2000. Let's up the figure to 90% probability of any one
name being recorded in Kings. Now the probability of all 11 names appearing
is 0.9**11 = 0.3138, still less than 50%. So the statistics seem to suggest
that more than 90% of the names of the kings of Judah and Israel are
recorded in the book of Kings. Surely that is a clear indication of its
reliability. Of course you can hypothesise that the king lists for Judah are
real and reliable from Ahaz onwards (as has been demonstrated) but fictional
(indeed that there were no kings of Judah at all) before that, but it is
unlikely that such an abrupt change would occur within a single document
without any indication of change of genre etc. Nor would one expect to have
parallel lists of Judah and Israel in the same format if one list (Omri,
Ahab... Jehu... Jehoash... Menahem... Pekah, Hoshea) is historical and the
other is fictional. Conclusion: very probably the names of the kings of
Judah in the books of Kings are actual names of rulers of at least a small
state of Judah, "divided" from Israel. Isn't this argument a reasonable one?
I know it's not absolute proof, but there is absolute proof of almost
nothing in this game.


Peter Kirk

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