Jerusalem, with its turbulent history, is without doubt one of the best-known cities of the world. A long line of foreign powers have ruled over it, from as far back as biblical times. But the city owes its importance not to them but to the fact that it is the birthplace of the monotheistic currents that shape Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Othmar Keel sketches in broad brush strokes the historical development of Israelite-Jewish monotheism in and around Jerusalem, arguing that monotheism is "a product of the city, not of the desert," and describes its integration of polytheistic symbols and perceptions into its worldview. Keel relies on biblical and extrabiblical texts as well as the rich iconographic evidence of archaeological discoveries. Abundant maps and sketches of archaeological artifacts enhance his argument.
Othmar Keel is professor emeritus of Old Testament and the biblical world on the Catholic theological faculty of the University of Fribourg and president of the Bibel + Orient Institute. He is author of the two-volume Geschichte Jerusalems und die Entstehung des Monotheismus (2007), on which this volume is based, as well as author of Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God (Fortress Press, 1998).
Brent A. Strawn is professor of Old Testament at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.
Part 1: Introductory Matters
1. Three Preliminary Remarks
2. Jerusalem’s Setting
3. The Names of Jerusalem
Part II: The History of Jerusalem
4. A Strong Canaanite City of the Middle Bronze Age IIB
5. A City under Egyptian Sovereignty
6. Jerusalem and the Israelite Tribes
7. Jerusalem Becomes the Residence of David . . . and YHWH
8. Solomon, Builder of the First Temple and Legendary Monarch
9. Competition and Cooperation with the Northern Kingdom
10. Assyrian Rule of Jerusalem and the Prophet Isaiah
11. The Fall of Assyria and the Reorganization of Jerusalem and Judah under Josiah
12. Cooperation or Confrontation with Babylon? The Problem after Josiah’s Death
13. The Exile: Lamentation, Reproach, Pleading, and Visions of Renewed Splendor
14. Jerusalem under Persian Rule: The Second Temple Period
15. Conflict with Hellenism: Jerusalem from Alexander the Great to Pompey
Part III: Closing Thoughts
17. Afterword: A Few Remarks on History Writing