The extrabiblical testimony surrounding Israel’s early history is difficult to assess and synthesize. But numerous sources emerging from the ninth century BC onward invite direct comparison with the biblical account. In Ahab’s House of Horrors: A Historiographic Study of the Military Campaigns of the House of Omri, Kyle R. Greenwood and David B. Schreiner examine the historical records of Israel and its neighbors. While Scripture generally gives a bleak depiction of the Omride dynasty, extrabiblical evidence appears to tell another story. Inscriptions and archeological evidence portray a period of Israelite geopolitical influence and cultural sophistication.
Rather than simply rejecting one source over another, Greenwood and Schreiner press beyond polarization. They propose a nuanced synthesis by embracing the complex dynamics of ancient history writing and the historical difficulties that surround the Omri dynasty.
Ahab’s House of Horrors is an important contribution to the ongoing discussion of biblical historiography and, specifically, to our understanding of 1–2 Kings and the Omri family.
In their examination, Greenwood and Schreiner carefully engage with ancient sources as well as contemporary scholarship. In doing so, the authors not only give an insightful explanation of the background and context for this materia, but also provide a fresh methodology for anyone interested in Israel’s history.
—David T. Lamb, MacRae Professor of Old Testament, Dean of the Faculty, Missio Seminary, author of God Behaving Badly and Prostitutes and Polygamists
The authors provide a thorough review of the primary source data for analyzing and interpreting these political events of the ninth century, that were critical to the kingdoms of Judah and Israel as well as to Damascus. Refusing to accept an analysis that rejects the value of either the biblical or extrabiblical textual sources, the result is a satisfying probe into the crux issues of this history as well as reasonable directions for possible solutions and for further research. Every student of this period and every serious teacher of the relevant biblical texts will want to consult this valuable asset.
—Richard S. Hess, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Denver Seminary
There is vibrant interest in historical matters related to the book of Kings, and anyone seeking an outline of key questions in the current debate will welcome this timely study, as the authors engage with a broad number of secondary sources and provide a clear and succinct contribution to the present debate.
—Keith Bodner, Professor of Religious Studies, Crandall University
Studies in Biblical Archaeology, Geography, and History is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key issues, locations, and events in biblical archaeology, geography, and history.
Kyle R. Greenwood is administrative director of the master of arts program for Development Associates International and affiliate associate professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science.
David B. Schreiner is associate dean and associate professor of Old Testament at Wesley Biblical Seminary and author of Pondering the Spade: Discussing Important Convergences between Archaeology and Old Testament Study and 1 and 2 Kings (Kerux Commentary).