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Jews and SamaritansThe Origins and History of Their Early Relations$
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Gary N. Knoppers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195329544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195329544.001.0001

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The Fall of the Northern Kingdom and the Ten Lost Tribes

The Fall of the Northern Kingdom and the Ten Lost Tribes

A Reevaluation

(p.18) 2The Fall of the Northern Kingdom and the Ten Lost Tribes
Jews and Samaritans

Gary N. Knoppers

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 deals with the history of northern Israel during the time of the Assyrian invasions and conquests in the late eighth century, which resulted in the downfall of the Israelite kingdom and the exile of some, but by no means all, of its inhabitants. The focus is on the material and epigraphic remains. The chapter argues for both discontinuity (destruction layers, significant depopulation) and continuity (persistence of local pottery traditions, survival of Samaria) in the material record. Not all of the northern realm was equally affected by the Assyrians. Areas in the northern Transjordan and Galilee were hard hit by the campaigns of Tiglath-pileser III, but the region of Samaria (the reduced northern kingdom) was less affected by the later campaigns of Shalmaneser V and Sargon II. There are signs of an elite Assyrian presence at several sites, but not of a complete cultural transformation in the land. The chapter concludes that the majority of the post-Assyrian population was Israelite. Thus the “ten lost tribes” were never lost.

Keywords:   Israelite kingdom, Assyrian invasions, northern tribes, material remains, exile, ten lost tribes, Israelite identity

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