Daniel E. Fleming
The Bible's Little Israel: Terminological Clasts in a Compositional Matrix
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Together with Lauren Monroe's treatment of »Greater Israel,« I explore the contribution of biblical historiography and historical geography to the problem of conceiving the southern Levantine highlands in the early Iron Age. Biblical renditions of Israel under Saul and David are built around a space much smaller than the expanse attributed to Israel of the Joshua 13–19 territorial allotments and the distance »from Dan to Beersheba,« in Monroe's Greater Israel. In Judges, Ephraim and Benjamin represent a region distinct from the more northern primary geographical interest of the collected stories, confirming the separate associations of the Israel name with kingdoms centered relatively south (Gibeah, Jerusalem) and north (Shechem, Tirzah, Samaria). These both reflect more limited expressions of a »little Israel« that offered just one of many important names identified with the region in the 13th through the 10th centuries B.C.E.