The Last Legacy of Roland de Vaux

To English-speaking readers, the late French scholar Roland de Vaux, is known mainly as the author of Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions,1 that massive, erudite, skillfully synthesized, and panoramic treatment of the various forms through which the social, political and religious life of the people of Israel found expression in Biblical times. […]

The Separate Traditions of Abraham and Jacob

The historian’s difficulties increase the further back he goes into past. The most intractable problem is 024… that of the first ancestors whom Israel claimed as her own, the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose “history” is told in Genesis 12–35. The history of Joseph, which occupies the rest of Genesis with the exception […]

In Search of Solomon’s Lost Treasures

On the morning of April 19, 1911, a crowd of angry Moslems, outraged at what they considered to be a desecration of the holy Mosque of Omar or the Dome of the Rock, rampaged through the streets of Jerusalem, quickly mobbing the entrance to the government citadel. The Turkish governor of the city, […]

Excavations Near Temple Mount Reveal Splendors of Herodian Jerusalem

Of Jerusalem’s beauty during the Herodian period, the Talmuda tells us: “Whoever has not seen Jerusalem in its splendor has never seen a lovely city.1 Lest this seem a parochial judgment, we have the confirming view of the famous Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, who referred to Jerusalem as “by far the most […]