Life, love and conflict in the hill country around 1200BC
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In a Milk and Honeyed Landon
Far from the Spaceportson

Richard Abbott

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There is an enormous amount of academic interest in the whole spectrum of issues surrounding the emergence of the Israelites as the dominant force in the hill country of Canaan, approaching the matter from many different angles, including studies in archaeology, biblical studies, comparative literature, sociology, climate and vegetation changes, and so on.

The range of opinions as to when this happened is very wide. There is general agreement that by about 900 BCE or so, the Israelites had established themselves securely. One view holds that their arrival was as long ago as before 1400 BCE, with a long period of settlement and acclimatisation. Towards the other extreme, some hold that there was no real ‘arrival’ as such, but rather some existing groups in the region crystallised slowly into a kingdom. Personally I prefer a middle ground, with a definite arrival around 1200 BCE, but including a complicated process of settlement with military action, political alliance and social interaction as factors.

My own chosen field of study here has been to explore how the earliest writings in the Hebrew bible were influenced by prose and poetry being written in Egypt and elsewhere. A preliminary article called Forked Parallelism in Egyptian, Ugaritic and Hebrew Poetry was published in 2011 in Tyndale Bulletin 62.1 (2011) pp41-64. The final PhD thesis that came out of this, entitled Triumphal accounts in Hebrew and Egyptian - a structural and literary comparison was accepted by the University of Bristol examinations board at the end of 2011, and has now been published by Matteh Publications. Currently it is available in kindle format only from Amazon stores.

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