Sunday, January 31, 2010

Laurie R. King's "O Jerusalem" Notes

Last month I noted a novel, I had previously been unknown to me, "O Jerusalem" by Laurie R. King.

I managed to obtain it through the good services of a dear friend and have finished it.

It is good.

I recommend it.

But, being a fairly thorough reader, a few observations:

1. On page 86, the author writes that Beer Sheba was the "southernmost town of the ancient Israelites".

Now, the phrase "from Dan to Beer Sheba" of Judges 20:1; 1 Samuel 3:20 is quite well known and even used by the British:

September-December, 1918. political interests began to be incorporated in the delineation of borders. Although they did not accede totally to Zionist requests, the British did deviate from the Sykes-Picot line and adopted the biblical "Dan to Beersheba" for Palestine, as based on a map of "Palestine under David and Solomon" (Hof 1985,11), in negotiations with the French over the temporary boundaries of "Occupied Enemy Territorial Administrations (OETA)...

...North Palestine must include the Litani River watersheds, and the Hermon on the east ... Less than this would produce mutilation of the promised home" (unpublished telegram, 16 February 1920, Zionist Archives). Lloyd George and Berthelot finally fell back on "from Dan to Beersheba," as described in an atlas written by Adam Smith, a Scottish theological professor, where ancient Samaria only brushes against the Litani, and has a boundary on the west coast more southern even than the Sykes-Picot line (Hof 1985, 11).

With all that, Eilat was the southernmost town:

The original settlement was probably Eilat at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Glueck found walls from the Kingdom of Israel...Eilat is mentioned in antiquity as a major trading partner with Elim, Thebes' Red Sea Port...Eilat is first mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Exodus in the stations. The first six stations of the Exodus are in Egypt. The 7th is the crossing of the Red Sea and The 9th-13th are in and around Eilat after they have left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. Station 12 refers to a dozen campsites in and around Timna in Modern Israel near Eilat.

When King David conquered Edom, which up to then had been a common border of Edom and Midian, he took over Eilat, the border city shared by them as well. The commercial port city and copper based industrial center were maintained by Egypt until reportedly rebuilt by Solomon at a location known as Ezion-Geber (I Kings 9:26).

In 2 Kings 14:21-22: "And all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept among his fathers." And again in 2 Kings 16:6: "At that time Rezin king of Aram recovered Elath to Aram, and drove the Jews from Elath; and the Edomites came to Elath, and dwelt there, unto this day".

2. On page 237 we learn that Holmes and Russell on in a...kivutz.

That should be kibbutz.

3. On page 242, our heroes are reading the Jerusalem Post.

That paper was only founded in 1932 and was named the Palestine Post until 1950.

On page 285, The Palestine News is mentioned. I'm trying to track that down if it is fictional or not.

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