Chapter 6 briefly summarizes the book’s main arguments. The foreign architecture of Solomon’s temple expresses his style of centralized power, which depended on the management of extragroup relationships. David’s purchase of Araunah’s land fits broader patterns of royal dedication of land to the gods in the ancient Near East. The biblical description of Jehu’s violent decommissioning of a temple of Baal was written in two distinct stages, each of which bears comparison to other ancient Near Eastern literary depictions of cult reform. The narrative of Absalom’s strategic use of city gates highlights the collective power of Levantine towns as segmentary units over which kings sought to exert influence and control. The biblical reports of Hezekiah’s modifications to Jerusalem’s water supply system should be reassessed in light of other ancient Near Eastern records describing royal building and maintenance of water systems.
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