Schearing, Models, Monarchs and Misconceptions (PhD)

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Linda Sue Schearing

Models, Monarchs and Misconceptions: Athaliah and Joash of Judah

Ph.D., Emory University, 1992


Jehu’s coup signaled the end of the Omride era and the beginning of a hundred year period of dynestic stability in the North . Jehu’s coup also had repercus sions in Judah. As part of Jehu’s bloody ascent to the throne , he killed Ahaziah, King of Judah . At the death of her son, Athaliah, the queen mother, seized control and began her reign as the only woman in Israel or Judah to reign as sole monarch.

Little is known of the internal developments in Judah during the reigns of Athaliah and Joash. Historians , for the most part , have concerned themselves with the preceding Omride period and then focused their attention on the rise of Assyrian influence in the Syro-Palestinian area. Since extra-biblical verification of this period is extremely limited ( if not impossible) historians frequently rely on commonly held assumptions and models of ninth-century Judeanlife to guide their interpretat ions of the biblical text.

This dissertation discusses the role that models play in modern historical reconstructions of the Athaliah-Joash period. It questions many of these traditionally held assumptions and suggests that an alternate scenario for this period might be possible.

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