David and hazael: War, peace, stones and memory

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This paper reexamines the rise and fall of two regional empires: the Israelite kingdom of David and Solomon, and the Aramaic kingdom of Hazael and his son Bar-Hadad III. The author presents a comparison between these two regional empires, discussing the following main points: the rise to power of the founders: David and Hazael and their charismatic character; their wars and peace treaties; the boundaries and the administrative organization of these two empires, and the decline and fall of the kingdoms in the days of the founder’s sons: Solomon and Bar-Hadad III. The author is of the opinion that the existence of a regional empire in the days of Hazael and his son is of great significance for the reality of the empire of David and Solomon, since the former clearly proves that in certain geopolitical circumstances the making of a regional empire that controlled most of the area between the Euphrates and Philistia was entirely possible. The phenomenon of the Aramaean regional empire of Hazael and his son does not prove the existence of an Israelite regional empire, but it indicates that the biblical account of the rise and fall of an Israelite empire in the days of David and Solomon was possible, and even reasonable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalPalestine Exploration Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Religious studies
  • Archaeology


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