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Unformatted text preview: November 11, 2007 Biblical Tradition F INAL INAL P P APER APER---D---D RAFT RAFT #1---T #1---T HE HE S S PLIT PLIT OF OF I I SRAEL SRAEL AND AND J J UDAH UDAH For nearly four millennia, the land of Israel has been home to heated political disagreement. Because of its close affiliation with three of the worlds major religious groups (Judaism, Islam and Christianity), the region has been subjected to the rule of numerous empires, countless political regimes and various religious factions. The history of this region has been closely watched over this time period, providing todays society with an abundance of information and insight on the history of the land. One source of historical record for the region is the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. This text, which is among the most commonly read pieces of literature on the planet, contains the ancient history of a people who once inhabited the land of Israel; providing us not merely with the religious foundation of Judaism, but also with a historical text informing us of a time long ago. One time period that receives great attention in the Hebrew Bible is the 10 th century BCE. This century, which is marked by the presence of a Hebrew Monarchy, was a time full of political turmoil and controversy in which the northern tribes of Israel and the southern tribes of Judah represented a split in the Hebrew people. Through the texts contained within Hebrew Bible, we learn of King Davids work to unite the twelve tribes of Israel and the eventual split of the kingdom at the hands of men such as Solomon, Rehoboam and Jeroboam. These texts also provide todays society with the ability to investigate this ancient time, raising the question: what caused the split of the once united kingdom into Judah and Israel? Naturally, to begin this investigation we look first to the united monarchy under the rule of King Solomon. Once King David had united the tribes of Israel and grown to an old age he recognized that it was time to pass on his dynasty. The heir-apparent to the thrown was one of Davids four sons named, Adonijah. As David lay on his death-bed Adonijah assumed control of the thrown without his fathers consent. As a result, David saw it fit (under the guidance of the prophet Nathan and Solomons own mother Bathsheba) to name his youngest son, Solomon, to the thrown. Upon being named king, Solomon goes out and kills off any noticeable threat to his power including his brother Adonijah. (Collins) The period in which King Solomon ruled over the united empire he had inherited is described in the Hebrew Bible as a sort of golden age of Israel. During his rule, Solomon built up international relations with neighboring countries through methods such as marriage alliances and trade agreements. These newfound relations with neighboring civilizations stimulated the economy throughout the kingdom, providing an increased standard of living for much of its inhabitance. As a result of the new economic increased standard of living for much of its inhabitance....
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