Portrayals of Economic Exchange in the Book of Kings

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With the growing proliferation of literature concerning the social world of the Hebrew Bible, scholars continue to face the challenge of a proper understanding of ancient Israel’s economies. Portrayals of Economic Exchange in the Book of Kings is the first monographic study to use an anthropological approach to examine the nature of the economic life behind the biblical text. Through Karl Polanyi’s paradigm of exchange as a methodological control, this book synthesizes Semitic philology with related fields of Levantine archaeology and modern ethnography. With this interdisciplinary frame, Nam articulates a social analysis of economic exchange, and stimulates new understandings of the biblical world.

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Roger S. Nam, Ph.D. (2008) in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles, is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at George Fox University.
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations

1. THE ECONOMY OF ANCIENT ISRAEL
1.1. Presuppositions and Method
1.2. The Text of Kings as a Source
1.3. The Text of Kings as History
1.4. The Economies of Ancient Israel: A Survey of Research
1.5. Conclusions

2. ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY
2.1. Theories of Political Economy
2.1.a. Classical Political Economy
2.1.b. Karl Marx
2.1.c. Max Weber
2.2. The Pioneering Economic Anthropologists
2.3. Karl Polanyi
2.3.a. The Great Transformation
2.3.b. Reciprocity
2.3.c. Redistribution
2.3.d. Market Exchange
2.3.e. The Problem of Terminology
2.4. Reactions to Polanyi
2.4.a. Economic Anthropology
2.4.b. Assyriology
2.4.c. The Informal Economy
2.4.d. Biblical Studies
2.5. Summary and Conclusions

3. SYMMETRICAL RECIPROCITY IN THE BOOK OF KINGS
3.1. Reciprocity in the Ancient Near East
3.2. Reciprocity among Polities
3.2.a. King Solomon and King Hiram of Tyre
3.2.b. King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
3.2.c. Hezekiah and Merodach-Baladan
3.3. Non-Elite Reciprocity
3.3.a. Refusing Reciprocity to Subvert
3.3.b. Offering Reciprocity to Empower
3.3.c. Non-elite Reciprocity as Informal Economy
3.3.d. Historical Considerations
3.4. Summary and Conclusions

4. ASYMMETRICAL REDISTRIBUTION IN THE BOOK OF KINGS
4.1. The Redistributive Economy in Pre-Exilic Israel
4.1.a. Iron Age IIA (980-840/830 BCE): State Formation
4.1.b. Iron Age IIB (840/830-732/701 BCE): Neo-Assyrian Threat
4.1.c. Iron Age IIC (732/701-605/587 BCE): Foreign Hegemony
4.2. State Redistribution
4.2.a. Solomonic Redistribution
4.2.b. Temple Redistribution
4.2.c. The Exception to Redistribution: Patrimonial Land
4.3. International Redistribution
4.3.a. The Items of Tribute
4.3.b. The Ideology of Tribute
4.4. Theoretical Reconsiderations: The Reciprocity of Redistribution
4.5. Summary and Conclusions

5. PRICE-SETTING MARKETS IN THE BOOK OF KINGS
5.1. Did Ancient Israel Know Price-Setting Markets? The State of the Question
5.2. Possible References to Market Exchange
5.2.a. 1 Kings 9:26-28; 10:11-12, 22, 28-29: Solomon’s Long Distance Trade
5.2.b. 1 Kings 20:34: Israelite Merchants in Damascus
5.2.c. 2 Kings 6:24-25; 7:1-18: Price Movements in Besieged Samaria
5.2.d. 2 Kings 4:1-7: The Widow’s Sale of Oil
5.3. References to Silver
5.4. Did Ancient Israel Know Price-Setting Markets?
5.5. Summary and Conclusions

6. A SOCIAL ANALYSIS OF EXCHANGE IN ANCIENT ISRAEL
6.1. Ancient Israel as a Mixed Economy
6.2. Ancient Israel as an Informal Economy
6.3. The Economic System of Israel and Judah
6.3.a. The Local Economy
6.3.b. The International Economy

7. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
7.1. Overall Summary and Conclusions
7.2. Directions for Future Research: Post-exilic Portrayals of Exchange

Select Bibliography
Index of Ancient Sources
Index of Modern Authors
Subject Index
Those interested in social scientific approaches to the Hebrew Bible, First and Second Kings and ancient economies, as well as biblical scholars, theologians, archaeologists, economic historians, students and seminarians.