BILL SCHLEGEL / BIBLEPLACES.COM
ISRAEL’S ANCIENT CAPITAL. King Omri of Israel moved his capital to Samaria, where his son and successor, Ahab, reportedly “erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal that he built in Samaria” (1 Kings 16:32). Administrative texts written on potsherds (ostraca) recovered from the site’s acropolis, however, frequently attest Israelite personal names that honor or express devotion to Yahweh. Far fewer personal names honor other deities, including Baal. Although dating from after the demise of the Omride dynasty, these Yahwistic names likely reflect the Northern Kingdom’s traditional devotion to Yahweh.