The Arsenal of the Hebrew Kings and their Neighbors: A Description of Biblical Weapons in the Iron Age
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This dissertation is a detailed study of biblical weapons of the monarchy period. It gathers in one place relevant data from the biblical text, the ancient artistic illustrations, and the archaeological artifacts. By studying them together, the reader gains a better understanding of the weapons mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Chapter 1 introduces the study by explaining the need for the project, the limitations of the project, the limitations of the evidence itself, and the major works that have been published on the topic over the last century. The biblical texts are limited to those related to the monarchy period. The artistic illustrations and artifacts are limited to the Iron Age. In those cases where Iron Age illustrations or artifacts are not available, earlier examples are included. Chapter 2 studies the general Hebrew terms for weapons, including a study of terms that possibly refer to an arsenal. Chapter 3 is a study of short range weapons, and is broken into three sections: (1) swords and daggers, (2) axes, and (3) clubs and maces. In each section, the Hebrew terms are studied, followed by the ancient illustrations, and finally the artifacts. Numerous figures of the artistic evidence from the ancient Near East are included. Chapter 4 follows the same pattern for mid-range weapons (spears and javelins), and chapter 5 for long range weapons (bows, arrows, slings, and slingstones). Chapter 6 concludes the work by discussing possible ways that the study could be expanded in the future. Four appendices gather together information on hundreds of published weapon artifacts from excavations within southern Palestine, and provide a basis for the conclusions reached within the body of the paper. Tables listing the date, size, composition, and other details are included. Numerous plates reproduce the published photographs and drawings of the artifacts and group the artifacts into logical divisions.