Israel in Transition 2 is the second in a two-volume work addressing some of the historical problems relating to the early history of Israel, from its first mention around 1200 BCE to the beginnings of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. During this four century transition period Israel moved from a group of small settlements in the Judean and Samarian hill country to the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, occupying much of the land on the west side of the Jordan. The present volume engages with the relevant texts. These include various inscriptions, such as the Tel Dan inscription and the Assyrian inscriptions, but also an examination of the biblical text. The articles discuss various individual problems relating to Israelite history, but ultimately the aim is to comment on historical methodology. The debate among Seminar members illustrates t only the problems but also suggests solutions and usable methods. The editor provides a perspective on the debate in a Conclusion that summarizes the contributions of the two volumes together.
Lester L. Grabbe is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Hull. He is founder and convenor of the European Seminar in Historical Methodology. A recent book is Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know it?