The Historical Reality of the Elijah and Elisha Narratives

Over the next few months, we will be learning about the ways in which God used the prophets Elijah and Elisha to call the northern kingdom of Israel to repentance. Together, their ministries spanned approximately seventy-five years, covering the reigns of five Israelite kings (Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehoram, Jehu, and Jehoahaz).[1]Here I will call to light several different points in which archaeological discoveries come to bear on the biblical storyline surrounding these two prophets. While it is possible to extend the discussion to all sorts of topics, such as cities and locations, customs, and broad political realities, our scope, for the sake of time and space, will be much narrower; we will focus primarily on events and personalities whose reality is confirmed outside the Bible.

Three Important Nations Outside Israel

There are three nations outside of Israel who are relevant to this discussion. The first of these is Assyria—in particular, the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Beginning with the reign of Adad-nirari II in 911 BC, Neo-Assyria became an aggressively expansionist empire that dominated large areas of the ancient Near East until its demise in the early sixth century BC.[2]The most important Assyrian king during the events of the Elijah and Elisha narratives is the empire’s fourth ruler, Shalmaneser III, who reigned from 859 to 783 BCand pushed his armies further into the areas just north of Israel than any of his Neo-Assyrian predecessors. This nation does not enter prominently into the Bible’s storyline until much later (2 Kgs 15:29; Isa 7:17), but it is relevant for us because of Ahab’s involvement in a coalition of kings that attempted to fend off Shalmaneser’s attempted invasion in 853, as well as references to several characters in these biblical narratives in his monumental inscriptions. One hundred thirty years later, three successive Assyrian kings would bring about the demise of the northern kingdom of Israel.[3]

The second nation we will consider is Aramea. The Arameans were a loose confederation of city-states that controlled the region just north of Israel. In this part of Kings, Aramea refers mainly to the city of Damascus, ruled by Ben-hadad II (ca. 880–844/3 BC) and the usurper Hazael (ca. 844/3–803 BC). Most modern Bible translations call Aram “Syria,” and its people “Syrians.”

The third nation is Moab, located in the Transjordan, east of the Dead Sea, just north of Edom. Like the Assyrians and Arameans, he Moabites were ethnically distinct from Israel, and notoriously opposed Israel as the latter approached the Promised Land from the south under the leadership of Moses (Numbers 22–25; Deut 2:8b–15).

Ahab of the House of Omri

We begin with king Omri, the father of King Ahab and the head of the Omride dynasty (i.e., the kings descended from him). While mentioned only briefly in 1 Kings 16:21–28, Omri’s significance as an influential ruler in the northern kingdom is evident from the fact that the kingdom of Israel is referred to as “the house of Omri” or “the land of Omri” in Assyrian inscriptions as late as 720 BC, even though his reign ended in 874, and his dynasty ended in 841 with the death of Jehoram.[4]In fact, even Jehu, the bloodthirsty military commander who overthrew the Omride dynasty, is referred to as “Jehu of Bīt-Ḫumri (“the house of Omri”)” in the famous Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III.[5]Omri is the king who moved the capital of the northern kingdom from Tirzah to Samaria.

Omri’s son Ahab reigned from 874–853 BC. Archaeological excavations of Samaria have uncovered the royal palace built by Omri, complete with tombs, as well as over 300 luxury items carved from ivory, 300 from the palace itself.[6]Note that 1 Kings 22:39 calls Ahab’s palace a “house of ivory” and that the northern prophet Amos twice cites ivory as an example of the opulence for which Samaria was condemned (Amos 3:15; 6:4).

More significant, however, is the mention of king Ahab in an Assyrian monument known as the Kurkh Monolith, named after the town in which it was found in 1861.[7]Here, Shalmaneser III boasts about his military expedition in Syria, as he stabbed westward further and with more vigor than the kings who had come before him. Understanding the threat that this would prove to their region, twelve kings formed a coalition to halt Shalmaneser’s advance, and engaged him in battle on the Orontes River, by the city of Qarqar. The following is the relevant portion of Shalmaneser’s account of the events:

I departed from the city of Arganâ. I approached the city of Qarqar. I razed, destroyed and burned the city of Qarqar, his royal city. 1,200 chariots, 1,200 cavalry, (and) 20,000 troops of Hadad-ezer (Adad-idri) of Damascus; 700 chariots, 700 cavalry, (and) 10,000 troops of Irḫulēni, the Hamathite; 2,000 chariots, (and) 10,000 troops of Ahab, the Israelite (Sirʾalāia); 500 troops of Byblos; 1,000 troops of Egypt . . .[1]

The Monolith records a combined force of 40,000 infantry 2,000 cavalry, and 4,000 chariots assembled to repel Shalmaneser. Of particular interest is the presence of king “Ahab the Israelite,” who fields the largest number of chariots out of all the kings mentioned.

Note also that Ahab fights here alongside an Aramean named Hadad-ezer of Damascus, who is almost certainly Ben-hadad II of the Bible.[2]The two names are very similar, Ben-hadad meaning “son of Hadad,” and Hadad-ezer meaning “Hadad is help” (Hadad is the storm deity also known as Baal).[3]K. Lawson Younger, Jr. is probably correct in arguing that Ben-hadad was a dynastic title assumed by rulers of Damascus, similar to “Caesar” in Rome or “Pharaoh” in Egypt.[4]

In this inscription, Shalmaneser claims to have delivered a devastating blow against the alliance of defending kings, bragging,

Like Adad, I rained down upon them a devastating flood. I spread out their corpses (and) I filled the plain. . . . I made their blood flow in the wadis(?) [    ]. The field was too small for laying flat their bodies (lit. “their lives); the broad countryside had been consumed in burying them. I blocked the Orontes River with their corpses as with a causeway.[5]

Despite his boasts, it is generally believed that the confrontation was at least a draw, given that the Assyrian monarch withdrew from the region as a result and did not gain a foothold, only to fight against similar coalitions again in 849, 848, and 845, until they were brought in submission 841.[6]Indeed, it would be surprising if he had acknowledged defeat in his own propaganda!

Not only is Ahab mentioned in this inscription, but it is noteworthy that he appears as an ally of Hadad-ezer/Ben-hadad. The narrative of 1 Kings portrays the two kings as constantly opposed to one another, with three distinct battles between their two nations recorded for us in the biblical text. In the first of these, which would have occurred in 855 BC, Ahab is able to defeat the Arameans, who then recoup and prepare for a second attack (1 Kgs 20:1–21). In the next battle (20:26–34, 854 BC), Ahab again is victorious, and this is attributed to the Arameans’ hubris, expressed by the “man of God” in verse 28: “Because the Syrians have said, “the LORDis a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys.” At the end of this account, Ben-hadad surrenders to Ahab, and a covenant is established between them (20:30b–34)—a covenant of which the Lord disapproves (vv. 35–43). The Scriptures are silent about the Battle of Qarqar, because the biblical narrative is necessarily selective in its presentation of events. That being the case, it is no chance coincidence that these two kings, who were at constant loggerheads with one another, become allies in 1 Kings 20 exactly one year beforethey are mentioned together as allies in the Kurkh Monolith. Moreover, Israelite kings are not present in Shalmaneser’s subsequent accounts of his battles against this coalition, weakening any notion that Ahab was allied with Ben-hadad in 853 out of necessity.

Shortly after the Battle of Qarqar, king Ahab is killed in battle at Ramoth-gilead, after the covenant between him and his Aramaen counterpart broke down (1 Kings 22).

The Moabite Rebellion

The book of 2 Kings begins by telling us, “After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel.” This narrative is picked up again in chapter 3, which goes on to explain that Mesha, Moab’s king, had been subjected to the northern kingdom and was required to deliver a heavy tribute of livestock (lambs and rams). This rebellion began under the reign of Ahab’s first son, Ahaziah, who died after a reign of less than two years, presumably from injuries sustained in an accident in his palace (2 Kgs 1:2, 17). Ahaziah’s brother Jehoram (sometimes written Joram) ascended to the throne in his place, and decides to deal with the Moabite situation. Allying with king Jehoshaphat of Judah[7]and an unnamed king of Edom, Israel delivers such a crushing blow against Moab’s forces that king Mesha sacrifices his own son, presumably to his god Chemosh. In the end, however, the Lord does not allow total victory. A “great fury” (v. 27) rises up within the Moabite ranks and they are able to repel the invading Israelite forces (2 Kings 3).

In 1868, a missionary named Frederick Augustus Klein discovered a basalt monument with a lengthy text over one meter high in Dhiban, Jordan. Although badly damaged by locals, the stone was reconstructed at the Louvre in Paris, and a fuller reconstruction of the text was made possible by comparison with squeezes of it made by Clermont Ganneau prior to its fragmentation.[8]The monument is known as the Mesha Stele or the Moabite Stone. Its language is ancient Moabite, and it preserves king Mesha’s account of his rebellion against Israel before he was subdued by Jehoram and Jehoshaphat. Unfortunately, the end of the text has been lost, but the lengthy narrative provides striking parallels with the biblical account in 2 Kings 3:

I am Mesha, son of Chemosh[yat], king of Moab, the Dibonite.
My father ruled over Moab thirty years, and I reigned after my father,
and I made this high place for Chemosh at Qarḥoh,
[. . .]
for he delivered me from all the kings and he caused me to prevail over all whom I hate.

Omri, king of Israel, oppressed Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with his land(i.e., Moab).
And his son succeeded him, and he also said, ‘I will oppress Moab.’ In my days he said [    ].
And I prevailed over him and over his house. And Israel is surely destroyed forever.

And Omri took possession of a[ll the la]nd of Medeba, and he lived in it his days and half the days of his son, forty years. But Chemosh restored it in my days, and I built Baʿal Maʿon, and I made in it the reservoir, and I built Kiriathaim.

And the men of god dwelt in the land of ʿAtarot forever, and the king of Israel built for himself ʿAtarot. And I fought against the city, and I captured it, and I killed all the people. The city belonged to Chemosh, and to Moab I brought from there the altar hearth of his dwd, and I dragged it before Chemosh in Qiryat. And I settled in it the men of Sharon and the men of Maharoth.

And Chemosh said to me, ‘Go, seize Nebo from Israel.’ And I went during the night, and I fought against it from the break of dawn until noon. And I captured it, and I slaughtered all of it, seven thousand mighty men, and aliens, and mighty women and alien women, and female slaves. For Ashtar Chemosh I devoted them to destruction, and I took from there the vessels of Yahweh; I dragged them before Chemosh.

Now the king of Israel had built Jahaz, and he stayed in it when he fought against me, and Chemosh drove him from my presence. I took from Moab two hundred men, all of its contingent, and I brought it up against Jahaz, and I captured it, to add it to Dibon.

Mesha then goes on to describe how he made slaves of captured Israelites and used them to build up the citadel of Qarḥoh.

The inscription ends as follows:

And as for Horonaim, the house of [D]avid lived in it. [. . .] Chemosh said to me, ‘Go down, fight against Horonaim.’ And I went down. [. . . and] Chemosh [restored] it during my days, and from there [. . .] year and I [. . .].[9]

Several important points can be gleaned from this important piece of extrabiblical literature.

First, it fleshes in many of the details omitted in the biblical account, and makes clear that Mesha’s rebellion was exceedingly bloody, and involved the wholesale slaughter of thousands of Israelites and an untold number of Judeans (those of “the house of David”), the history of Omri’s subjugation of Moab notwithstanding. In other words, Jehoram and Jehoshaphat are not responding to a mere refusal to pay tribute. This serves as a reminder of the violent world in which Israel and Judah had to live, and should give us pause before we quickly condemn the Israelites for marching against Moab with military force.

Second, Mesha claims that Omri oppressed Moab “his days and half the days of his son, forty years.” Although there are several theories regarding the chronological statements of the Mesha Stele, a fairly straightforward reading seems to be best. It is quite clear that the mention of Omri’s “son” does not refer to king Ahab, nor does it need to. All of the kings of the Omride dynasty would have been considered Omri’s “sons” (e.g., note how Jesus is called the “Son of David”). The biblical timeline of the Omride kings is as follows:

Omri: 12 years
Ahab: 22 years
Ahaziah: 2 years
Jehoram: 12 years
Total: 48 years

Now consider the strange way in which 2 Kings presents Mesha’s rebellion. We are first told of it in chapter 1, verse 1, but immediately after this the narrative drops the story and focuses instead on Ahaziah’s demise. Then, in chapter 2, we are told of the transition from Elijah to Elisha, and only in chapter 3 verse 4 do we get back on track with the account of the rebellion and Israel’s response to it. This suggests that Mesha’s rebellion began immediately after the death of Ahab, but did not gain momentum until several years later, sometime during the reign of Jehoram. Thus, if “half the days of his son” refers to the reign of Jehoram, then the rebellion occurred 42 years after Omri ascended the throne. Assuming that Omri did not immediately subjugate Moab as soon as he became king, Mesha’s chronology of “forty years” of oppression under the House of Omri fits quite nicely.[10]

Third, the Mesha inscription is the first unambiguous extrabiblical reference to the proper name of the God of the Bible: Yahweh. Here, Mesha claims to have removed objects of worship from Nebo, when he devoted its inhabitants to destruction—“vessels of Yahweh.” At first blush, this may seem odd, because Ahab and Jezebel had attempted to replace Yahweh worship in the northern kingdom with Baal worship. However, 2 Kings 3:2 tells us that Jehoram had taken some measures to reverse the religious policies of his father: “He put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made.” This would explain why the ill-fated inhabitants of Nebo are found here once again worshiping Yahweh, albeit in the deviant fashion endorsed by the northern kings (v. 3: “he clung to the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat”).

Finally, the Mesha inscription ends with a fragmentary account of Moab’s opposition to “the house of David” in Horonaim. In other words, the northern kingdom of Israel was not the only one to feel Mesha’s wrath. This helps explain Jehoshaphat’s willingness to join Jehoram in his invasion of Moab.

Hazael of Damascus

After his famous “contest” with the prophets of Baal, Elijah fled to Mount Horeb (Sinai), where he was told to return and anoint successors to three important figures in the story: Jehu to succeed the House of Omri, Elisha to succeed Elijah himself, and Hazael to succeed Ben-hadad. Of these, Elijah himself would anoint only his own successor, Elisha. Elisha, in turn, anointed the other two. And it is the latter of these, Hazael, that deserves comment here.[11]

According to the account in 2 Kings 8:7–15, Hazael is entrusted with a gift to take to Elisha on behalf of his master, Ben-hadad II of Damascus, who had fallen ill, in hopes of currying the prophet’s favor. After informing Hazael that Ben-hadad will die, Elisha breaks down in tears, and tells Hazael it is “because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel. You will set on fire their fortresses, and you will kill their young men with the sword and dash in pieces their little ones and rip open their pregnant women. . . . The LORDhas shown me that you are to be king over Syria” (vv. 12–13). Hazael returns to his master, and the next day suffocates him to death.

The Bible presents Hazael as aggressively opposed to Israel and Judah during his reign, fighting against Jehoram (2 Kgs 9:14–15), Jehu (10:32–33), and Jehoahaz (13:3, 22–23), and even attacking Jerusalem during the time of king Joash, who resorted to bribing the Aramean king to withdraw from his land by plundering the temple and his own palace (12:17–18; on this campaign of Hazael’s in the south, see below).

There is a wealth of evidence surrounding the reign of Hazael that has come down to us from antiquity.

Probably the most famous of these is an Aramaic inscription found at Tell Dan in 1993 and 1994. Judging by the form of its letters (paleography), the inscription dates to the late eighth century BC. The author does not name himself, but there is a general consensus among scholars that it should be attributed to Hazael. Though fragmentary, the preserved and reconstructive text has proven to be very helpful in understanding the history of the ancient Near East during this time period:

[   s]aid [  ]
and cut [    ]
[   ]ʾl my father.
He went up [against him when] he fought at Ab[  ]
Then my father laid down
and went to his [father]s.
And the king of I[s]rael formerly invaded the land of my father,
[but] Hadad [ma]de me king.
And Hadad went before me.
[and] I went from seven [    ] of my king(s) (or “kingdoms”)
And I killed [sevent]y ki[ng]s who harnessed thou[sands of ch]ariots and thousands of horsemen.
And [I killed Jo]ram, son of [Ahab], king of Israel.

And [I] killed [Ahaz]yahu, son of [Joram],
[and I overthr]ew the house of David.
I imposed [tribute   ]
their land to [   ]
another and to [was/became kin]g over Is[rael  ]
siege against [   ]
[12]

The Bible is quite clear that Hazael usurped the throne from his predecessor, Ben-hadad II. Why, then, does Hazael refer to “my father” several times in his inscription, apparently referring to the king who went before him? It should be noted that the inscription is quite fragmentary at this point, and it is exceedingly unclear what is meant by these references (i.e., whether or not “my father” refers to the previous king). Even more significant, however, is the way Shalmaneser III references Hazael in what is known as the Aššur Basalt Statue:

Hadad-ezer (Adad-idri) passed away (and) Hazaʾel, the son of a nobody, took the throne. He mustered his numerous troops (and) moved against me to wage war and battle. I fought with him (and) defeated him. I took away from him his walled camp. He fled to save his life (and) I pursued (him) as far as Damascus, his royal city. I cut down his orchards.[13]

The expression, “son of a nobody” (Akk. mār lā mammāna), clearly denotes an upstart ruler who has no genealogical claim to his throne.[14]This establishes the veracity of the biblical text regarding Hazael’s usurpation of the crown of Damascus. Even if the references to “my father” in the Tell Dan Inscription do refer to Ben-hadad II (which is far from clear), this would be an attempt to claim legitimacy, even though Hazael did not belong to the direct line of succession.[15]

Hazael also takes credit here for killing both the Israelite king Jehoram[16]and the Judean king Ahaziah. The biblical account is different, explaining that Jehoram was wounded in battle against Hazael (once again at Ramoth-gilead, where Ahab was killed) and was brought to Jezreel to heal from his wounds (2 Kgs 8:28–29; 9:14–15), where Jehu killed both him and Ahaziah who was visiting him (9:14–28). It is not difficult to see why an ambitious Hazael would claim these as notches in his own sword.

The Tell Dan Inscription is also important because of its reference to “the house of David” (bytdwd), which, at the time of its discovery, took a lot of wind out of the sails of more skeptical scholars who held that David was a historically fictitious character, no more “real” than King Arthur.[17]Alan Millard comments, “Attempts to avoid any possible reference to an historical David stem rather from a form of skepticism at odds with all known ancient practices.”[18]Note that a reference to the “house of David” also occurs in the Mesha Stele.

In addition to the inscription from Tell Dan, four short texts called “booty inscriptions” have been found bearing Hazael’s name. Two were found in Greek temples, which had apparently been left there after they had been looted from Hazael’s homeland. The first two are made of bronze and were worn by horses, and the latter two were made of ivory and were probably part of furniture.[19]

Hazael is also mentioned by three other texts attributed to Shalmaneser III, a marble tablet from a wall of Aššur,[20]the Kurbaʾil Statue,[21]and the Black Obelisk.[22]

Finally, 2 Kings 12:17 reads, “At that time Hazael king of Syria went up and fought against Gath and took it.” This was part of the campaign in the south where Joash ransacked the temple of the Lord in order to turn away Hazael. Recent excavations at the Philistine city of Gath (Tel eṣ-Ṣāfī),[23]have uncovered evidence of a siege dating to the time of Hazael. In particular, a siege moat was discovered. Siege moats were part of a military tactic known as sapping, in which trenches were dug in order to protect attackers from a city’s defenders. This provides further confirmation that Hazael was the invader (aside from the date, which coincides with the Bible’s testimony), since the Zakkur Inscription from Hamath in Syria tells of similar tactics used by Hazael’s son, Ben-hadad III: “They raised a wall higher than the wall of Hazrach, they dug a ditch deeper than [its] ditch.”[24]More details on the excavations at Gath and Hazael’s siege there can be found at the excavation’s website, gath.wordpress.com.

 

[1]“Kurkh Monolith,” translated by K. Lawson Younger, Jr. COS2.113A.

[2]Shalmaneser’s inscriptions consistently refer to Ben-hadad as Hadad-ezer (Akk. Adad-idri). See William W. Hallo, “From Qarqar to Carchemish: Assyria and Israel in the Light of New Discoveries,” Biblical Archaeologist 23 (1960): 39–40; Donald J. Wiseman, “Hadadezer” in Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie (ed. Erich Ebeling and Bruno Meissner; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1972–75), 38.

[3]“Hadad” and “Baal” are used interchangeably. For example, one Ugaritic text, KTU 1.101, reads, “Baʿlu sits, like a throne [is] the mountain, Hadad [    ] like a flood.”

[4]K. Lawson Younger, Jr., A Political History of the Arameans: From Their Origins to the End of Their Polities (Archaeology and Biblical Studies 13; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2016),584.

[5]Younger, “Kurkh Monolith.”

[6]Marc van der Mieroop, A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000–323 BC(Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 227.

[7]Jehoshaphat fought alongside Ahab at Ramoth-gilead.

[8]A squeeze is a form of mâché made by applying pressure to a moistened filter paper that has been placed across the face of an inscription. When the paper dries, it preserves the shape of the characters and images of the inscription.

[9]My translation. The original text can be found in H. Donner and W. Röllig, Kanaanäïsche und aramäïsche Inscriften. Band 1. 5. Erweiterte und überarbeitete Auflage (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2002) § 181.

[10]The lengths given to the reign of the Omride kings in the Bible requires some comment. At this point, the narrative seems to have employed an “accession-year” dating system. To understand this, imagine that a king comes to the throne in the sixth month of the year. When counting the length of his reign, should we count the final six months of the year as his first “year,” or should we wait until the new year and count that as his first year? Both dating systems are present in the Bible, but the dating of the Omride kings follows the former, the so-called accession-year system. Thus, the “actual” lengths of the Omride kings are: Omri, 11 years; Ahab, 21 years; Ahaziah, 1 year; Jehoram, 11 years. Bearing this in mind, Mesha’s “forty years” was probably more like 38 ½ years (11 + 21 + 1 + 5.5).

[11]I have already noted that Jehu son of Nimshi appears on Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk. Interestingly, this is the only graphical depiction of an Israelite king dating from the time of the actual monarchy. The register reads, “I received the tribute of Jehu (Ia-ú-a) (the man) of Bīt-Ḫumrî: silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden goblet, golden cups, golden buckets, tin, a staff of the king’s hand, (and) javelins(?)” (Younger, “Black Obelisk”).

[12]“The Tell Dan Stele,” translated by Alan Millard COS 2.39.

[13]A. Kirk Grayson, Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium BC: II (858–745 BC) (The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia Assyrian Periods, vol. 3; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), A.0.102.40.

[14]S. Yamada, “The Construction of the Assyrian Empire: A Historical Study of the Inscriptions of Shalmaneser III (859–824 BC) Relating to His Campaigns to the West (Studies in the History and Culture of the Ancient Near East 3; Leiden: Brill, 2000), 189.

[15]Andre Lemaire, “The Tel Dan Stela as a Piece of Royal Historiography,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 81 (1998): 6; but see the additional observations in K. Lawson Younger, Jr., “‘Hazael, Son of a Nobody’: Some Reflections in Light of Recent Study, in Writing and Ancient Near Eastern Society: Papers in Honour of Alan R. Millard (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 426; ed. Piotr Bienkowski, Christopher Mee, and Elizabeth Slater; New York: T & T Clark, 2005), 248–50;

[16]Regarding the reconstruction, “Joram, son of Ahab,” Joram (i.e., Jehoram) is the only Israelite king whose name ends in -rm. This is an accepted reconstruction of this line among scholars. A. Biran and J. Naveh, “The Tel Dan Inscription: A New Fragment,” Israel Exploration Journal 45 (1995): 9; P. -E. Dion, “The Tel Dan Stele and Its Historical Significance,” in Michael: Historical, Epigraphical and Biblical Studies in Honor of Prof. Michael Heltzer(ed. Y. Avishur and R. Deutsch; Tel Aviv/Jaffa: Archaeological Center Publications, 1999), 148–49; Anson F. Rainey, “The Suffix Conjugation Pattern in Ancient Hebrew Tense and Modal Functions,” Ancient Near Eastern Studies 40 (2003): 3–42; W. M. Schniedewind, “Tel Dan Stela: New Light on Aramaic and Jehu’s Revolt,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 302 (1996): 77.

[17]F. H. Cryer, “A ‘Betdawd’ Miscellany. Dwd, Dwdʾ or Dwdh?” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 9 (1995): 52–58; Thomas L. Thompson, “‘House of David’: An Eponymic Referent to Yahweh as Godfather,” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 9 (1995): 59–74.

[18]Millard, “The Tell Dan Stele,” n. 11; G. Couturier, “Quelques observations sur le bytdwdde la stele araméenne de Tel Dan,” in The World of the Aramaeans, vol. 2 (JSOTSup 325; ed. P. M. M. Daviau, J. W. Wevers, and M. Weigl; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 72–98.

[19]“The Hazael Booty Inscriptions,” translated by Alan Millard COS2.40.

[20]“Annals: Marble Slab,” translated by K. Lawson Younger, Jr. in COS2.113D.

[21]“Kurbaʾil Statue,” translated by K. Lawson Younger, Jr. COS2.113E.

[22]Younger, “Black Obelisk,” COS § 2.113F.

[23]C. S. Ehrlich, “Die Suche nach Gat und die neuen Ausgrabungen auf Tell eṣ-Ṣāfī, in Kein Land für sich allein: Studien zum Kulturkontakt in Kanaan, Israel/Palästina und Ebirnâri für Manfred Weippert zum 65. Geburtstag (OBO 186; ed. U. Hübner and E. A. Knauf; Freiburg: Universitätsverlag, 2002), 56–69.

[24]“The Inscription of Zakkur, King of Hamath,” translated by Alan Millard COS 2.35.