The Legitimizing Role of the Temple in the Origin of the State

This paper originally appeared in Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers 21 (1982): 271–97.

If the ancient Mesopotamian historian is to give any meaningful account of his materials at all he must of a necessity relax the stringent claim of “what the evidence obliges us to believe,” for it is only by taking account of evidence which is suggestive, when the suggestion is in itself reasonable, rather than restricting himself to wholly compelling evidence, that he will be able to integrate his data in a consistent and meaningful presentation. In replacing “what the evidence obliges us to believe,” with “what the evidence makes it reasonable for us to believe” the historian—at the peril of his right to so call himself—leaves, of course, except for details of his work, the realm of knowledge to enter that of reasonable conjecture. This may not be altogether palatable to him, but since the nature of his materials allows him no other choice the best he can do is to accept it as gracefully as possible and with full awareness of its consequences in terms of limited finality of the results possible to him.1

I may be accused here of ideationalism, or something vile like that, but that is all right with me. My current research centers on religious systems expressed in art. In my estimation, there was strong ideological motivation in these early societies, particularly as embodied in religious systems, and this is something that materialist archaeologists tend to ignore. If some of these scholars found themselves transported to some of these societies they pretend to reconstruct, they would not recognize, I suspect, much around them.2

Part I

The thesis of this paper is that the state, as we presently understand that term as applying to archaic societies (I will presently give a number of attempts to define this term), did not come into being in ancient Israel—indeed, could not have been perceived to have come into being—before and until the temple of Solomon was built and dedicated. Solomon’s dedicatory prayer and the accompanying communal meal represent the final passage into Israel of the “divine charter” ideology that characterized state polities among Israel’s ancient Near Eastern neighbors. (I will discuss shortly the implications of the Deuteronomic dating of 1 Kings 8 for the above claim.)3

In the ancient Near East, temple building/rebuilding/restoring is an all-but-quintessential element in state formation and often represents the sealing of the covenant process that state formation in the ancient Near East presumes.4 We find significant vestiges of temple symbolism (as discussed in “The Typology” below) in earlier moments in Israelite history, at the mountain in the time of Moses, during the time of the Conquest, as recorded in Joshua 8 and 24, and, in fact, according to Menahen Haran: “In general, any cultic activity to which the biblical text applies the formula ‘before the Lord’ can be considered an indication of a temple at the site, since this expression stems from the basic conception of the temple as a divine dwelling place and actually belongs to the temple’s technical terminology.”5 However, only with the completion of the temple in Jerusalem is the process of imperial state formation completed, making Israel in the fullest sense “like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:20).6 The ideology of kingship in the archaic state is indelibly and incontrovertibly connected with temple building and with temple ideology.

Definitions of State

It is important to note at this stage that I am not attempting to introduce the temple as the central feature in a “prime-mover” hypothesis concerning state origin. The process of early state formation is a fluid one, a process that can go either forward or backward.7 I am introducing the temple more as an integrative, legitimizing factor that symbolizes, and, I believe, in the ancient mind would have symbolized, the full implementation of what we today call the state.

Relatively rare in scholarship is the attempt to define analogues to the term state from ancient sources. For Mesopotamia we have Thorkild Jacobsen’s description of “primitive democracy” for the Protoliterate period, for which he chooses “the relatively noncommittal term ‘Kengir League'” in place of “state” or “nation.”8 He recognizes the state primarily as the “monopoly of violence,” or, quoting Max Weber, a community becomes a state when it “successfully displays the monopoly of a legitimate physical compulsion.”9 For Jacobsen, in Mesopotamian myth Anu and Enlil “embody, on a cosmic level, the two powers which are the fundamental constituents of any state: authority and legitimate force.”10 Similarly R. M. Adams wrote from the evidence of remains from the preliterate Uruk period found in the central Euphrates floodplain: “Among its features were: deities whose cults attracted pilgrimages and voluntary offerings; intervals of emergent, centralized, militarily based domination of subordinate centers that had been reduced to the status of clients, alternating with other intervals of fragile multicenter coalition or local self-reliance.”11 “A better case can be made that the primary basis for organization was of a rather more traditional kind: religious allegiance to deities or cults identified with particular localities, political subordination resting ultimately on the possibility of military coercion, or a fluid mixture of both.”12

Dr. Mendenhall’s characterization of the transition from the Federation to the State in ancient Israel purports that “when a population emerges from a community to a political monopoly of force, it almost inevitably imitates models best known and most accessible to it.”13 He further writes: “The foundation of the community had nothing to do with a social agreement concerning divine legitimacy of social power structures—this entered from paganism with David and Solomon—but with common assent to a group of norms which stemmed from no social power.”14 His definition of the state which Israel took over from its neighbors during the period of the united monarchy is then “the maximization of human control. It is the divine power incarnate in the state or even the person of the king, which guarantees the success of the daily economic activities of the subjects, just as it is the king who guarantees the military protection with the same divinely delegated authority.”15

Perhaps the most suggestive formula for an ancient definition of the state comes from the Sumerian King List, which yields this formula: the state = a king (invested with kingship by the gods) + a (capital) city.16 This introduces us to the controversial problem of the role of urbanism in the origin of the state, an issue to which I will return later.17 Buccellati found that texts from Syria, including the Old Testament, come closer to the Sumerian than to the Akkadian formulas of expressing what I call above a definition of state polities in the ancient Near East. Although I will introduce highly sophisticated evidence below for the proposition that Israel did not achieve state formation until the monarchy, and thus that the period of Judges cannot be considered a time of state formation in Israel, it is probable that the Old Testament gives us this very picture in a manner highly reminiscent of the stylistic simplicity of the Sumerian King List. The very refrain of Judges, “in those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (17:6; see also 18:1; 19:1; 21:25), tells us that this period cannot be considered the time of Israelite state formation, either according to ancient views, or our own, while the theme of 1 Samuel 8, “we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations” (verses 19–20), alerts us to the fact that, in the view of the ancients as well as in the views of modern research, a state polity is being introduced.

Part II

Recently I have been engaged in an attempt to identify commonalities in the temple practices/ideologies of the various ancient Near Eastern traditions. My main purpose in such an endeavor has been to construct a model or typology that will assist scholars in understanding “the social foundations of ancient polytheism,”18 insofar as ancient temples can be seen to embody and to express central and crucial elements of such systems. The purpose of such a typology is to allow for “explanatory power in dealing with a set body of data.” It will “point beyond the surface to the underlying patterns and processes; it will explain as well as identify.”19 It is true that I conclude that the main elements, if not all, of the following typology were accepted by and taken into the religious system of ancient Israel, and this at a time far antedating the introduction of the monarchy. Folker Willesen wrote many years ago that “if the temple ideologies of the different nations are able to display certain traits, common throughout the whole ancient world, it may be a special branch of the Chaos-Cosmos ideology.”20

Perhaps a more succinct definition of what I mean by “ideology” is the following by Edward Shils:

The central value system is constituted by the values which are pursued and affirmed by the élites of the constituent sub-systems and of the organizations which are comprised in the sub-systems. By their very possession of authority, they attribute to themselves an essential affinity with the sacred elements of their society, of which they regard themselves as the custodians. By the same token, many members of their society attribute to them that same kind of affinity. . . . The élites of . . . the ecclesiastical system affirm and practice certain values which should govern intellectual and religious activities (including beliefs). On the whole, these values are the values embedded in current activity. The ideals which they affirm do not far transcend the reality which is ruled by those who espouse them. The values of the different élites are clustered into an approximately consensual pattern.21

This is the ideology that I attempt to identify and describe in what follows. I introduce the typology here because it will play an interpretive role later in this paper.22

The Typology

1. The temple is the architectural embodiment of the cosmic mountain.

2. The cosmic mountain represents the primordial hillock, the place that first emerged from the waters that covered the earth during the creative process. In Egypt, for example, all temples are seen as representing the primeval hillock.

3. The temple is often associated with the waters of life that flow forth from a spring within the building itself—or rather the temple is viewed as incorporating within itself or as having been built upon such a spring. The reason such springs existed in temples is that they were perceived as the primeval waters of creation (Nun in Egypt, Abzu in Mesopotamia, Tehôm in Israel). The temple is thus founded on and stands in contact with the waters of creation. These waters carry the dual symbolism of the chaotic waters that were organized during the creation and of the life-giving, saving nature of the waters of life.

4. The temple is associated with the tree of life.

The first four items, taken together, constitute what I call a “primordial landscape,” which we can expect to see reproduced architecturally and ritually in the ancient Near Eastern temple tradition.23

5. The temple is built on separate, sacral, set-apart space.

6. The temple is oriented toward the four world regions or cardinal directions, and to various celestial bodies such as the polar star. Astronomical observation may have played a role in ancient temples, the main purpose of which was to regulate the ritual calendar. Since earthly temples were viewed as the counterparts of heavenly temples,24 this view also would have contributed to the possible role of temples as observatories.

7. Temples, in their architectonic orientation, express the idea of a successive ascension toward heaven.25 The Mesopotamian ziggurat or staged temple tower is the best example of this architectural principle. It was constructed of various levels or stages. Monumental staircases led to the upper levels, where smaller temples stood. The basic ritual pattern represented in these structures is that the worshipers ascended the staircase to the top, the deity was seen to descend from heaven, and worshipers and deity were then thought to meet in the small temple that stood at the top of the structure.

8. The plan and measurements of the temple are revealed by God to the king or prophet, and the plan must be carefully carried out. The Babylonian king Nabopolassar stated that he took the measurements of Etemenanki, the temple tower in the main temple precinct at Babylon, under the guidance of the Babylonian gods Shamash, Adad, and Marduk, and that he kept the measurements in his memory as a treasure.

9. The temple is the central, organizing, unifying institution in ancient Near Eastern society.

10a. The temple is associated with abundance and prosperity; indeed, it is perceived as the giver of these. These ideas are clearly expressed in Neo-Sumerian temple hymns, particularly in the Cylinder inscriptions of Gudea of Lagash and in the Keš Temple Hymn.26 Many years ago Julius A. Bewer wrote an article in which he compared the religious and social role of the temple as it is depicted in the Cylinder inscriptions of Gudea with similar associations in the prophecies of Haggai. Gudea attributes wide-reaching social, legal, and economic reform as well as agricultural abundance to the building of the temple.27

10b. The destruction or loss of the temple is seen as calamitous and fatal to the community in which the temple stood. The destruction is viewed as the result of social and moral decadence and disobedience to God’s word.

11. Inside the temple and in temple workshops, images of deities as well as living kings, temple priests, and worshipers are washed, anointed, clothed, fed, enthroned, and symbolically initiated into the presence of deity, and thus into eternal life. Further, New Year rites are held, at which time texts are read and dramatically portrayed that recite a pre-earthly war in heaven; the victory in the war by the forces of good—led by a chief deity; the creation; and establishment of the cosmos, cities, temples, and the social order. The sacred marriage is also carried out at this time.

11. The temple is associated with the realm of the dead, the underworld, the afterlife, the grave. The unifying features here are the rites and worship of ancestors. Tombs can be and, in Egypt and elsewhere, are essentially temples (cf. the cosmic orientation, texts written on tomb walls that guide the deceased into the afterlife, etc.). The unifying principle between temple and tomb can also be resurrection. In Egyptian religion the sky goddess Nut is depicted on the coffin cover, symbolizing the cosmic orientation (cf. “Nut is the coffin”).

12. Sacral, communal meals are carried out in connection with temple ritual, often at the conclusion of or during a covenant ceremony.

13. The tablets of destiny (or tablets of the decrees) are consulted both in the cosmic sense by the gods and yearly in a special temple chamber, ubšukinna in the Eninnu temple, in the time of Gudea of Lagash. By these means the will of deity was communicated to the people through the king or prophet for a given year.

14. God’s word is revealed in the temple, usually in the holy of holies, to priests or prophets attached to the temple or to the religious system that it represents.

15. There is a close interrelationship between the temple and law in the ancient Near East. The building or restoration of a temple is perceived as the moving force behind a restating or “codifying” of basic legal principles and a “righting” and organizing of proper social order.

16. The temple is a place of sacrifice.

17. The temple and its rituals are enshrouded in secrecy. This secrecy relates to the sacredness of the temple precinct and the strict division in ancient times between sacred and profane space.

18. The temple and its cult are central to the economic structure of ancient Near Eastern society.

It is evident that at least one major function of ancient temples is missing from this list.28 The most obvious feature that is missing is the political function of the temple in the ancient Near East. In terms of the present paper, the temple plays a legitimizing political role and serves as “the ritual functioning system that establishes the connection between deity and king.”29 I will thus add to the typology an additional item:

19. The temple plays a legitimizing political role in the ancient Near East, or, as stated above, the ideology of kingship in the archaic state is indelibly and incontrovertibly connected with temple building and with temple ideology. It is this latest addition to my typology that I will now continue to develop in the present paper.

Part III

It is necessary now to discuss the issue of state formation as it relates to ancient Israel. Theories of state formation have been widely tested on ancient and ethnographic populations30 but have only recently begun to be applied to ancient Israel. I am not aware of any published archaeological field projects within Palestine that have gone into the field with an explicit research strategy in which hypotheses of state origins in the country were tested, in the way, for example, that Henry Wright has field tested and refined his ongoing hypotheses in Iraq and Iran,31 or in the way that Robert McCormick Adams has tested and refined theories of state origins over many years of surface survey in Iraq.32

Israelite Society as Chiefdom

A number of recent publications have succeeded in demonstrating that Israelite society during the period of the Judges should be classified as a chiefdom, taking the three-fold evolutionary schema developed by Elman Service (tribe, chiefdom, archaic civilization) as a model.33 Mendenhall, for example, characterizes Israel during this period as “an oathbound unity of the village populations of ancient Palestine that was oriented first toward the realization of the ethical rule of Yahweh as the only Suzerain, and secondly toward the avoidance of the reimposition of the imperialism of the foreign-dominated regimes of the Palestinian power structures—the city-states.”34

In one of the most interesting and challenging claims made in recent years for the ability of field archaeology to reconstruct the social structure of ancient societies, Colin Renfrew presented a list of twenty features characteristic of chiefdoms, “not one of . . . which cannot be identified in favorable circumstances from the archaeological record.”35 This list includes the following items:

1. A ranked society.

2. The redistribution of produce organized by the chief.

3. Greater population density.

4. An increase in the total number of societies.

5. An increase in the size of individual residence groups.

6. Greater productivity.

7. More clearly defined territorial boundaries.

8. A more integrated society with a greater number of sociocentric statuses.

9. Centers that coordinate social and religious as well as economic activity.

10. Frequent ceremonies and rituals serving broad social purposes.

11. The rise of priesthood.

12. Relation to a total environment (and hence redistribution), i.e., to some ecological diversity.

13. Specialization, not only regional or ecological but also through the pooling of individual skills in large cooperative endeavors.

14. The organization and deployment of public labor, sometimes for agricultural work (e.g., irrigation) and/or for building temples, temple mounds, or pyramids.

15. An improvement in craft specialization.

16. The potential for territorial expansion associated with the “rise and fall” of chiefdoms.

17. A reduction of internal strife.

18. A pervasive inequality of persons or groups in the society associated with permanent leadership, effective in fields other than the economic.

19. Distinctive dress or ornament for those of high status.

20. No true government to back up decisions by legalized force.

James W. Flanagan concluded his study by commenting, “Most of the elements of Renfrew’s list of twenty characteristics of chiefdoms cited above can be documented in Israel. These indicate both the presence of chiefs and the absence of a strong centralized monopoly of force equipped with laws during the time of Saul and the early years of David.”36

Theories of State

Numerous theories have been propounded to define the state and to account for its emergence. These theories can be roughly divided into two classes: (1) the “prime mover” theories, according to which a single variable, such as irrigation works, population growth, religious influence, trade, or environmental factors, is posited as the primary moving force in the development of complex social organization;37 (2) theories that are cybernetic or systemic in nature, “in which multiple possible sets of causes in the ecology, economy, society and intersocial environment may singly or in combination produce more permanent centralized hierarchies of political control.”38 Claessen and Skalnik offer the following working definition of the state: “The early state is the organization for the regulation of social relations in a society that is divided into two emergent social classes, the rulers and the ruled.” They then offer the following “main characteristics of the early state”:

1. There are a sufficient number of people to make possible social categorization, stratification, and specialization.

2. Citizenship is determined by residence or birth in the territory.

3. The government is centralized and has the necessary sovereign power for the maintenance of law and order, through the use of both authority and force, or at least the threat of force.

4. It is independent, at least de facto, and the government possesses sufficient power to prevent separatism (fission) and the capacity to defend its integrity against external threats.

5. The productivity (level of development of the productive forces) is developed to such a degree that there is a regular surplus which is used for the maintenance of the state organization.

6. The population shows a sufficient degree of social stratification that emergent social classes (i.e., rulers and ruled) can be distinguished.

7. A common ideology exists, on which the legitimacy of the ruling stratum (the rulers) is based.39

Gregory Johnson has defined the state as “a differentiated and internally specialized decision-making organization which is structured in minimally three hierarchical levels.”40 In an essay published in 1978, Henry Wright defined the state as “a society with specialized decision-making organizations that are receiving messages from many different sources, recoding these messages, supplementing them with previously stored data, making the actual decisions, storing both the message and the decision, and conveying decisions back to other organizations. Such organizations are thus internally as well as externally specialized.”41

This definition, by the way, underlines the extraordinary role of record keeping in early states and points us toward a recognition of the complexity of the bureaucratic structure that we can expect to find. It also raises the question of the place of writing in the origin of the state. Certainly in the ancient Near East we have writing in each example of state formation. As Adams has written, writing and other forms of craftsmanship guaranteed that “a highly significant segment of the population must have been given or won its freedom from more than a token or symbolic involvement in the primary processes of food production.”42 Mendenhall has emphasized the great dependence that the burgeoning monarchy of Israel would have had on an extensive scribal bureaucracy, the lack of which in traditional Israelite society would have necessitated David and Solomon turning to the well-established Jebusite bureaucracy to fill this need.43 On the role of writing in general as a concomitant of state origins, Lawrence Krader has written, “The relation between the formation of the state and the development of script, of writings, is not a chance correlation, but a coordination with interacting consequence in the service of the former.”44 Finally, Ronald Cohen’s recent definition of the state emphasizes it as

a centralized and hierarchically organized political system in which the central authority has control over the greatest amount of coercive force in the society. Sub-units are tied into the hierarchy through their relations to officials appointed by and responsible to a ruler or monarchical head of state. These officials maintain the administrative structure of the system and attempt to ensure its continuity by having among them a set of electors who choose and/or legitimate a new monarch.45

According to Service, “there seems to be no way to discriminate the state from the chiefdom stage.” He then quotes Sanders’s and Marino’s New World Prehistory: “Differences between chiefdoms and states are as much quantitative as they are qualitative.”46 Claessen and Skalnik distinguish the state from chiefdoms in the latter’s lack of a “formal, legal apparatus of forceful repression,” and also its incapacity to prevent fission.47 Cohen sees fission as the main feature that distinguishes chiefdoms in comparison with states: “The state is a system that overcomes such fissiparous tendencies. This capacity creates an entirely new kind of society. One that can expand and take in other ethnic groups, one that can become more populous and more powerful without necessarily having any upper limits to its size or strength.”48

If we compare Renfrew’s list of characteristics of chiefdoms, above, with the definitions of the state that have been cited, it would be possible to conclude that the only, or perhaps better, the major, features that distinguish the two would be the presence of stratified society in the state, in the place of ranked society in the chiefdom,49 and the inability of the chiefdom to enforce its will legally or by force; in other words, the chiefdom lacks the monopoly of force (Renfrew’s point 20, but see below). Otherwise it would probably be fair to say, à la Sanders and Marino, that the state constitutes “more of the same.” This comes out in a rather interesting way in Wright’s successive working models of his field work in southwestern Iran. His figure 5 emphasizes, for example, “increasing population” and “increasing competition for land,” while figure 6 develops a model of “increasing population,” “increasing demand for goods,” “increasing interregional exchange,” and “increasing competition.” His figure 7, his working model for 1970, emphasizes “more specialization in herding,” “more demands by nomads for goods and food,” “more raiding,” “more grain production in lowlands.”50 Thus it seems that even though the variables that he tested changed as his successive field work established certain variables as untenable or irrelevant, the field work also apparently demonstrated an evolutionary increase in these variables in the development from a chiefdom to a state.

Kaminaljuyu as a Model

One of the most interesting, archaeologically based studies of the transition from chiefdom to statehood in recent years, and one that I feel has great potential for application to field-work-based tests of hypotheses of state formation in ancient Israel’s homeland (evidently it will demand this type of field testing, following the example of Henry Wright, Adams, and others, before major progress will be made in bringing ancient Israel into the orbit of primary state formations), is that of William T. Sanders and Joseph Michels and others on the Kaminaljuyu Project, at the site of Kaminaljuyu, in the Valley of Guatemala. Sanders gave a tentative summary of some of the results of the field work, especially as they relate to the problem of state formation, at the conference on Reconstructing Complex Societies.51 I am going to summarize what appear to be the main points of Sanders’s article, especially as they relate to his views of chiefdoms and the state. I will also make reference to comments that Martin Diskin made on Sanders’s paper at the conference.52

The majority of Sanders’s conclusions that will be quoted here refer to the following archaeological phases at Kaminaljuyu: Terminal Formative (Verbena-Arenal Phases—100 B.C.–A.D. 300); Early Classic (Aurora Phase—A.D. 300–500); Middle Classic (Amatle I—A.D. 500–700); Late Classic (Amatle II—A.D. 700–1000).53 To begin with, Sanders introduces the problem of the relationship between civilization and the state. He defines civilization as

a large, internally complex society. By internally complex we mean that a civilization is a society composed of many sub-societies, each with its own value systems and life styles, and that these distinctions are based primarily on differences in occupation, wealth, and political power. By large, we mean societies at least with populations in the tens of thousands. There is also a growing tendency among cultural anthropologists interested in complex societies to consider a state level of political organization as one of their fundamental characteristics.54

Thus “civilization” implies “the state.” Thus also Anatolii M. Khazanov: “Civilization is a broader concept than the state. Aside from the latter it also embraces a written language . . . and the concept of towns. . . . The obvious fact is that the contemporary state, like any more or less developed state of the past, presupposes a civilization.”55 Sanders defines the state “as a political system involving adjucative [sic] power and explicit manifestation of force.”56

Sanders evidently sees the chiefdom stage of political development prevailing at Kaminaljuyu through the Terminal Formative period, at which time the transition to the state begins, with full state formation completed by Late Classic times. Several features stand out as characterizing a chiefdom form of political development at Kaminaljuyu: Chiefs can often mobilize much greater expenditure of public resources for the building of temples and tombs than on personal residences for themselves. It is toward the end of the Terminal Formative that larger expenditures of labor begin to be devoted to the building of “elite residential platforms.” In general though, it is the ability of the leader of a state to exercise “adjudicative rather than mediating functions,” to “command the control of strategic resources (particularly agricultural land),” and to demand a greater “scale and sophistication of civic buildings” that distinguishes the state from a chiefdom. Further, the chiefdom seems to place a much greater emphasis on the funerary cult, “with the implications that ancestral spirits or chiefs themselves were the main objects of worship rather than high gods.” This pattern would support the assumption that “the political system was still structured primarily along kinship lines.”57

Sanders argues that a series of ceremonial platforms of the Arenal Phase, although implying “the ability of a leader to amass labor for ceremonial construction” (and thus implying the state), nevertheless “strongly suggests that these were funerary temples dedicated to dead chiefs or lineage ancestors rather than to high gods” (thus implying a chiefdom).58 As matters develop during the Terminal Formative, population increases considerably, a situation that leads to political instability in a chiefdom, because of its tendency “to be stable only on the lowest levels of political integration.” At this point we reach the stage of a “paramount chiefdom,” involving a much greater population, when “unusually able and vigorous men with great charismatic power achieve a paramount position during their own lifetime, and sometimes this paramouncy survives through the reigns of a number of succeeding chiefs, but generally involves a period of less than 100 years in total length.”59

One of the most interesting phenomena, appearing during Early/Middle Classic times and heralding the advent of the state, is the introduction of large, centralized monumental building projects, with the architecture modelled after a major adjacent culture. Sanders writes that the style of the architecture is a “slavish imitation of the architecture of the great site of Teotihuacan in central Mexico implying a very close, special relationship between the two sites.”60 Along with a deemphasis on the funerary cult, there seems to be the introduction of high gods, “particularly the imported god Tlaloc, from Teotihuacan,” and a corresponding “reorganization of ceremonialism towards temple construction.”61 Sanders writes in general of a major ideological change during this time, apparently attributable to the influence of cultural and religious influences coming from Teotihuacan. In response to a question posed during the discussion period at the conference “whether the similarity in architecture between Teotihuacan and Kaminaljuyu was the result of foreign invasion of people living there or a result of imitation by the local people,” Sanders replied

that there was a drastic architectural reorganization. There was a sudden shift from the style of the buildings in the main civic center of a community, which had a long tradition of elite culture with its own sculptural and architectural style. The centers were abandoned; and the new center, a massive acropolis, was built in foreign style. Simultaneously with this was the introduction of the Tlaloc religious cult from Teotihuacan. But whereas at Teotihuacan there were several avatars of Tlaloc, there was only one of these versions found in foreign areas; and it is the same one whether at Tikal or Kaminaljuyu. There seems to have been a highly organized religious system which came in and replaced the native religion, and many of the religious artifacts disappeared.62

More generally, Sanders speaks of enormous increases in population from Middle Formative to Late Classic times, necessitating great structural changes “if the society were to hold together.” One such change was “the disappearance of the ranked lineage type pattern,”63 a situation expanded by Martin Diskin in his comments to Sanders’s paper: “But the shift from rank society . . . to stratified society is best seen in the economic sphere where specialization and exchange mechanisms signal class or caste distinction and mobility is increasingly curtailed.”64

During the Late Classic period, population in the Valley of Guatemala doubled, but at the same time “there is clear evidence of a retraction of population, in which many slope areas were abandoned and settlement was concentrated in a few prize agricultural portions of the valley, where soils were deep and fertile and where erosion was a minor problem.”65 Intensive agricultural practices are introduced at this time. It appears that the people of the Late Classic occupied perhaps 35 percent of the land that had been farmed during the Terminal Formative. This led to a social setting in the Late Classic of “intense competition over land resources; on the intrasocial level this would produce unequal access to land, patron-client relationships, and social stratification. On the intersocietal level competition would lead to intense warfare and increasing centralization of political authority.”66

Martin Diskin elaborated these developments by positing “political control and monopoly of power . . . over the producers”; the “peasant group . . . subject to the superior power of a political elite,” and “its alternatives are severely restricted”; “with the growth of new social forms, the costs are borne by ever increasing levies in the forms of taxes, services, and what Wolf generally calls ‘rent.’ This condition, that of rent payer, becomes irreversible. Usually this is so not only because of the power of the state . . . but because local production patterns become ‘adjusted’ to state needs and less and less toward self-sufficiency.”67 In his response to the comments on his paper, Sanders elaborated the theory behind such developments:

One of the interesting things that archaeologists have indicated in many chronological sequences, or cultural historical sequences, is a general reduction in the quality of the average technology of individuals as one proceeds through time; . . . as the political system gets more highly stratified, as the holdings of the peasants get smaller, and as they contribute more and more to the system, obviously their purchasing power declines, and one may get an overall decline in peasant technology.”68

Sanders then generalized this principle into a distinguishing feature defining one of the differences between a chiefdom and a state. We would note the movement “from a chiefdom level, where the individual still has a fair amount of independent action and the farmer, in particular, an ability to produce surpluses to a highly evolved political state where there is a class of people who are really living on the bare subsistence level, getting very close to Wolf’s caloric minima and replacement level.”69

The implications for ancient Israel of some of the patterns of cultural evolution at Kaminaljuyu, as suggested by Sanders, seem very obvious to me, although it is not my purpose in this paper to attempt to draw out these implications. Especially important seem the problems of marshaling strategic resources, particularly for public building, in the chiefdom and the state; the role of funerary cult in Palestine during chiefdom and state,70 with the attendant implications for the worship of ancestors in a kin-based religious setting; massive architectural undertakings under foreign aegis in connection with major ideological readjustment as the society is transformed from a chiefdom into a state; population trends and changes in social structure, especially at the top; the introduction of charismatic leaders during the “paramount chiefdom” stage, at a time when population has increased considerably (of course, the issue of charismatic leadership during the period of the Judges in Israel has been extensively studied);71 comparative agricultural usage in chiefdom and state, and patterns of land-use intensification; the comparative role of peasants in chiefdom and state, including the resource flow between rulers and ruled and other evidence of class division; and technology at the village peasant level in chiefdom and state.72

Finally, the study of the political evolution has suggested that “the structure, functioning and evolution of early states of all times and places show marked similarities. These findings give us reason to believe that it may be possible to develop a generally acceptable definition of the early state and to infer some of its basic characteristics.”73 While we must observe the cautions of Flanagan that “human societies are not so easily typed, and thus the factors interrelating processual phenomena militate against facile generalizing,”74 we can still welcome the extent to which ancient Israel’s cultural history has been brought into the general pattern and discussion of tribe—chiefdom—state, and applaud continued attempts to refine our knowledge of this process.

Part IV

In introducing the temple as an institution of ancient Near Eastern society75 and its role in state formation, I want to emphasize a fundamental principle laid down by Barbara Price: “By definition the processes of state formation—pristine or secondary—involve major institutional transformations resulting in turn from significant bioenergetic change.”76 Price relies primarily on two types of data, architecture and settlement patterns, to provide reliable measures of the extensive bioenergetic changes that state formation represents.

The greater the energy encapsulated in a piece of data, the more reliable will be its evidence, the greater the number of problems for which its application will be relevant and valid. . . . Stronger evidence of social, political, and economic [I would add, religious] processes can be derived from other kinds of material evidence, such as architecture, assuming that it is its scale or mass rather than its style that is emphasized. [And finally,] “A building,” if appropriately analyzed, is thus theoretically capable of providing information on a fairly wide range of problems.77

Similarly for Sanders and Marino, who rely heavily on the evidence of architecture, settlement patterns, and craft specialization to measure the evolution of civilization, “civic architecture clearly relates to the institutional characteristics of any culture, so that the changing patterns of civic architecture of archaeological sites in a given area should provide important clues.”78

The introduction of the concept of civic architecture as an important clue to some of the central distinguishing features of ancient civilization must at the same time introduce us to the “tell” as the main target configuration of a given ancient civilization that the archaeologist will be interested in investigating.79 Of course this does not mean that the archaeologist explores the tell to the exclusion of its hinterlands—its resource area. An effective approach to the understanding of complex society in its formative periods requires a balance between the investigation of the “central city or the urban complex,” and “the relations of the urban center to its surroundings and the effects of the urban system on the entire region.”80 An archaeological study of the temple in the ancient society will, however, in general, locate us on the mound itself, perhaps indeed on an acropolis within or on the mound itself, since acropolises have often, but not always, been located at the rough geographical center of the mound.81

What I am getting at here is that the temple stands at the “center” of ancient Near Eastern societies, not necessarily at the geographical center, for, as Edward Shils writes: “The central zone is not, as such, a spatially located phenomenon. It almost always has a more or less definite location within the bounded territory in which the society lives. Its centrality has, however, nothing to do with geometry and little with geography.” (The ideological or sociological center of ancient societies does not necessarily stand at the geographical center.) “The centre, or the central zone, is a phenomenon of the realm of values and beliefs, which govern the society. It is the centre because it is the ultimate and irreducible; and it is felt to be such by many who cannot give explicit articulation to its irreducibility. The central zone partakes of the nature of the sacred.”82 It is in this sense that I believe that temples often stood at the “center” of ancient Near Eastern society, including Israelite society in the time of the Temple of Solomon.83

Role of Temples in State Formation

It should be noted, however, that none of the studies of the origins of the state, referred to above, had any role for the temple in the process of state formation. Although I want to reemphasize that I am not introducing the temple as a prime-mover hypothesis for state origins, I do feel that its exclusion in state-formation hypotheses is a mistake. In response to the opening quotation of this paper, which originally appeared as a criticism by Michael Coe of William Sanders’s “materialist” ignoring of religious systems, Sanders replied that he ignored these factors “since this type of study does not lead to scientific generalization.”84 Combining the influence Sanders grants to civic architecture with the textual evidence that we have for the importance of the temple in ancient Near Eastern society, we can indeed formulate testable hypotheses with regard to the role of the temple and other religious/ideological values in ancient society. Perhaps this is what Robert Adams had in mind in faulting the reconstructions of Wright and Johnson for omitting “in the face of overwhelming evidence not only of its importance as a historic force elsewhere but of incontrovertible archaeological evidence that it was the predominant preoccupation precisely in the Uruk period, . . . any concession of a special role for religion and religious institutions.”85

The central position of temple building/rebuilding/restoring in the royal inscriptions of the kings of ancient Western Asia is well known.86 In general, the pattern for these kingdoms would seem to be similar, a pattern that would also fit the Israelite state under Solomon: the state is not necessarily fully formed immediately upon the accession to kingship of a given charismatic figure. As with Israel in the time of David, state formation began in that time, but it was not finalized until the reign of his successor. Further, the process of temple building/rebuilding/dedication does not necessarily take up the king’s main attention in the first year or two of his reign. If we may take the Babylonian year names as an example of this, in most cases the first few years were taken up with building and rebuilding walls, defeating remaining enemies, and in general solidifying control over the kingdom. Then, in the case of Sumuabum, the first king of the First Dynasty of Babylon, for example, it is the fourth year that bears a name connected with temple building; in the case of his successor, Sumulael, it is the seventh; in the case of his successor Sabium, the eighth; in the case of Hammurapi, it is the third.87

In most cases under discussion here, we will be dealing, strictly speaking, with secondary state formations and not with pristine states. And, as I suggested above, this is in all probability the correct designation also for Israel under David, Solomon, and their successors. But, as Price maintains, “all by definition are equally states.”88 The examples that I will refer to here for the role of the temple in state formation will come from polities that in my opinion can bear either the pristine or secondary state designation.

Khafaje as a Model

To begin with I would like to introduce two examples that represent a conflation of evidence for the importance of temples in the state from two different periods of the history of southern Iraq during the third millennium B.C. I am referring to the Temple Oval at the Early Dynastic I–II site of Khafaje in the Diyala Valley (an archaeological example) and the cylinder inscriptions of Gudea of Lagash (ca. 2143–2124 B.C.), which describe the process of building a temple to the god Ningirsu.

Although separated in time, these two bodies of evidence both bear the same witness to what Mallowan calls “the fantastically extravagant effort Early Dynastic man was prepared to go” to please his god.89 The site of Khafaje, of which Mound A was excavated by an Oriental Institute team during the 1930s, lies just to the east of Baghdad, on the Diyala River. The extraordinary development of this temple-dominated city plan fits into the late Early Dynastic I and Early Dynastic II, when so many changes took place that were to characterize the era of “primitive monarchy” of the earliest historical Sumerian states. The “implosive” process of urbanization,90 the building of the first city walls at Uruk, large-scale palace architecture, and monumental temple platforms further characterize the Early Dynastic I and II periods in southern Mesopotamia. This was a period of major state development.91 As far as Gudea is concerned, he was the second governor of the most important post-Akkad, pre-Ur III state in southern Mesopotamia. The building materials for the temple he built came from as far away as the Amanus Mountains, Ebla, and the Jebel Bishri.92

The Temple Oval at Khafaje dominated a city settlement that was surrounded by a six- to eight-meter-wide defense wall. A number of other important temples, chief among them the many levels of the Sin Temple, and sections of private houses were also excavated. The building process involved in the ancient construction of the Temple Oval was truly phenomenal. The Oval is surrounded by a double wall that enclosed an area of about eight thousand square meters. This area was prepared for the construction of the temple by being excavated to a depth of over eight meters. Then clean, sandy soil was brought into the excavation site from elsewhere and laid into the pit. The excavators estimated “a volume of not less than 64,000 cubic meters [of sandy soil], the equivalent of 6 1/2 million basket loads as soil is carried nowadays.” The foundation walls of the oval were then raised on the sand base, the sand being limited to the area encompassed by these walls.93 The original excavation for the foundations of the Temple Oval cut through earlier, apparently Early Dynastic levels of houses, but there was also evidence that parts of the foundations had been founded on a reclaimed swamp. This “staggering amount of labor” was “entirely preliminary to the brickmaking and the erection of the massive structure itself.”94

What was the meaning of such a procedure? Ellis writes that “I know of no ancient text that explains the reason for this.”95 I have attempted elsewhere to connect such a practice with temple ideology attested to in Egypt at a much later period.96 A. J. Spencer has written of the enormous expenditure of labor that went into fulfilling the “mythological requirements” of temples in the Late and Ptolemaic Periods:

The construction of the vast temple enclosure walls in undulating brickwork is an obvious example. Another effect, closely related to the substructure of the peripteral temples, is the development of a new style of foundation for large cult temples in the Late Period. . . . The entire area to be occupied by a Late-Period temple was dug out into an enormous rectangular pit, which was then lined with strong brick retaining walls and filled up to the top with sand. Over this sand bed were laid several courses of stone to create a platform on which to build the temple.97

Attested examples of this type of structure have been found in the Delta and in Upper Egypt. Fortunately, this building procedure is given a mythological foundation in an Edfu text which describes the building of the temple there: “He excavated its foundation down to the water, it being filled up with sand according to the rule, being constructed of sandstone as an excellent work of eternity.” Thus, “The temple had to rest on a bed of sand, as a representation of the primaeval mound, and it was desirable that this sand should extend down to the subsoil water, as the Mound had stood in the Nun.” Thus in this case we have a textual attestation for the enormous amount of work that Egyptians in this period were prepared to undertake in order to fit the temple building to mythological presuppositions. As Spencer writes, “The effects of religious belief on architecture were not, as some have claimed, a vague symbolism.”98

The same holds true, I believe, for a case such as the Temple Oval, particularly when we consider the extent to which mythological traditions of ancient Mesopotamia viewed temples as being founded in and arising out of the sweet waters of the abyss, the home of the god of wisdom Enki. I have given considerable evidence for this connection elsewhere.99 A fairly common Sumerian phrase states that the temple’s temen (foundation) “is sunk into the abzu.”100 One Neo-Sumerian hymn exhibits a kind of inner or chiastic parallelism of the first two words of two successive lines which, as I have tried to show elsewhere,101 very possibly approaches the primeval mound-temple ideology of Egypt. Line 4 of this hymn begins “Abzu, shrine,” (abzu èš), while line 5 begins “House, holy mound,” (é du6-kù), where èš and é are synonymous and abzu and du6-kù are synonymous.102 The reclaimed swamp on which the Temple Oval was built could thus take on a greater significance in light of the above.

Mesopotamian Temples as Models

The Gudea hymns “give a vivid picture of the ideology behind the temple building, and they are the best examples which can be found on Sumerian soil.”103 Many scholars have recognized the relevance of the Gudea inscriptions to the Old Testament.104 Kapelrud has pointed out the main parallels between traditions of temple building in which “the gods” are the main protagonists, as in the Enuma Elish, and the Baal Cycle from Ras Shamra, and those in which kings are the center of attention, as with Gudea, Moses, and Solomon.105 With the former the main elements are

1. A victorious god after battle; 2. He wants to have his own temple; 3. Permission asked from the leading god; 4. Master builder set to work; 5. Cedars from Lebanon, building-stones, gold, silver, etc., procured for the task; 6. The temple finished according to plan; 7. Offerings and dedication, fixing of norms; 8. A great banquet for the gods.106

In those instances where kings are depicted as temple builders, Kapelrud found the following elements:

1. Some indication that a temple had to be built; 2. The king visits a temple overnight [incubation]; 3. A god tells him what to do, indicates plans; 4. The king announces his intention to build a temple; 5. Master builder is engaged, cedars from Lebanon, building-stones, gold, silver, etc., procured for the task; 6. The temple finished according to plan; 7. Offerings and dedication, fixing of norms; 8. Assembly of the people; 9. The god comes to his new house; 10. The king is blessed and promised everlasting domination.107

(One would have to add to this list, also, a great banquet for all the people.)

For the purposes of this paper, the most important aspect of temple building—its legitimizing role in the establishment of a dynasty—is most clearly expressed in the Gudea Cylinder B. Once the temple had been completed, it was necessary that its god, Ningirsu, should be led inside and formally installed as “king.”108 Ningirsu had in the meantime been carried to the Temple of the Abyss of Enki in Eridu, the most ancient and honored temple in Sumer, to receive the legitimizing approval of Enki for the temple that Gudea was building in Lagash.109 Ningirsu then returned from Eridu and was majestically ushered into his temple during the New Year festival. During this festival, the sacred marriage rite was carried out between Ningirsu and Bau, the destinies were fixed, and a communal meal was shared by the inhabitants of the city.110 The gate through which Ningirsu would have been led into the temple was at the same time one of the city gates. This was the kà.ki.lugal,ku4, “the gate through which the king (Ningirsu) enters.” Next to this gate stood a pillar (gisti), “a heavenly nir that extends to heaven.”111

To return to Cylinder B, Gudea, depicted as a priest who leads the processions, prayers, and sacrifices, receives his kingship in perpetuity from Ningirsu. One of the key passages is B.VI.14–18, which reads, in Falkenstein’s translation, “dass (Ningirsus) Stadt, das Heiligtum Girsu, Gereinigt, der ‘Thron der Schicksalsentscheidung’ aufgestellt, dass Szepter langer Tage geführt werde, dass der Hirte Ningirsu für Gudea das Haupt (wie) eine schöne Krone zum Himmel erhebe.”112 Another passage, which is important for the thesis presented here, is B.VIII.13–19, where Ningirsu is presented as having returned from Eridu (again, the introduction of Eridu as the main, legitimizing temple center in the ideology that underlies the Gudea Cylinders), and “der Thron in der ‘wohlgebauten’ Stadt gefestigt werde, dass für das Leben des guten Hirten Gudea die Hand (zum Gebet) an den Mund geführt werde.”113 Here we have the ultimate “legitimizing” connection, bringing together all the main factors that I believe were involved in the establishment of the “divine charter” ideology in ancient Near Eastern state polities: the god in his temple, which temple was built by divine instruction by the king of the city after it was duly authorized and approved by Enki of the “Temple of the Abyss” in Eridu; then the king, the “good shepherd,” was handed a scepter of perpetual rule, guaranteeing the authority and legitimacy of his throne; all of this carried out, of course, in the temple itself (which of course, as mentioned above, underscores the priestly functions of the king, at least in this tradition).114

Thus we have an ancient theory of state origins, centered around the building of a temple to the main deity of the city, and the establishment of a dynastic system through this means. The Gudea inscriptions give us perhaps the clearest view of this process (the fact that they may give us a fanciful and idealized picture115 does not detract from their value as a theoretical statement of an ideology, a “constitution,” if you will, a statement of how things should be, as viewed through the eyes of temple poets, the intellectuals of that day). The site of Khafaje, as an example, begins to show us how this theory would have been carried out architecturally, and how the architecture of the temple would have related to the city plan as a whole. Note here, for example, that the best-preserved city gate at Khafaje was found situated just to the northwest of the Temple Oval, so that entry into the city gate at this point would have given one a direct view of the gate of the Temple Oval itself.116 Khafaje also shows us what the implications of this arrangement would be for the economic role of the temple in the city.117

Leaving the evidence introduced above, we should mention in passing that two of the most famous religious epics of ancient Near Eastern literature, the Enuma Elish and the Baal Cycle from Ras Shamra, give us a similar temple-centered view of state origins, a view in which the legitimizing decisions of the cosmic deities are transferred to earth and to the earthly monarch, the whole process symbolized by and centered in the building of a temple. Of great interest here is a point made by Jonathan Z. Smith in his critique of Mircea Eliade’s views of “Center” symbolism: “Eliade has not, to my knowledge, dwelt on the significance of the fact that the Babylonian creation epic, Enuma Elish, is not so much a cosmogony as it is a myth of the creation of a temple.”118 With regard to the Baal Cycle, we have the recent statement of Frank Moore Cross: “Bacl founded his temple on Mount Ṣāpōn in order to make manifest his establishment of order, especially kingship among the gods. The earthly temple of Bacl manifested not only Bacl’s creation of order, but at the same time established the rule of the earthly king. There is thus a tie between the temple as the abode of the king of the gods and the temple as a dynastic shrine of the earthly king, the adopted son of the god. The temple and kingship are thus part of the ‘orders of creation,’ properly the eternal kingship of the god of order, the eternal dynasty of his earthly counterpart.”119

If we thus use the above statement of Cross as a summary description of the temple-centered state polity, keeping in mind the evidence from Gudea and the evidence of the extraordinary, “fantastically extravagant” (Mallowan) building practices associated with temples, as at Khafaje, referring at the same time to my typology above, especially points 1–4 (the “primordial landscape”), then I think that we can begin to answer the question of how a building can play such an important role in legitimizing centralized, monarchical, dynastic authority in the ancient Near Eastern state.

Of course, the “fantastically extravagant” effort that went into the temple building meant corvée labor and extensive oppression of the masses by the ruling classes, which is what we expect in the early state, at least at certain levels of its evolution.120 But remember point seven in Claessen and Skalnik’s “main characteristics of the early state,” above: “A common ideology exists, on which the legitimacy of the ruling stratum (the rulers) is based.” Elsewhere they elaborated this point, adding that the “basic concept [of the common ideology] is the principle of reciprocity between the ruler in the center and his subjects living for the greater part in agrarian communities.”121 We would assume that the oppressive labor requirement imposed by the building of the Temple Oval would have transgressed this “principle of reciprocity,” and, of course, in the matter of the succession to the kingship of Israel, following Solomon’s death, we know that this principle was broken, and we have a record of the acrimonious negotiations that accompanied its breaking and the subsequent division of the kingdom (see 1 Kings 12). But we must also remember two important factors that relate to this point: (1) “By their very possession of authority, they [the elites] attribute to themselves an essential affinity with the sacred elements of their society, of which they regard themselves as the custodians. By the same token, many members of their society attribute to them that same kind of affinity“;122 and (2) “the common man, lastly, remains an unknown, the most important unknown element in Mesopotamian religion.”123 Therefore we must assume the probability that temples played unifying, integrating, positive, genuinely pious roles in the ancient community, and that, to some extent, perhaps impossible to define, even corvée would not have been viewed as an entirely onerous duty in connection with temple building.124

Two Other Temples as Models

Before leaving this section I would like to refer to two additional pieces of evidence that support the thesis of the paper. First is the stele of the Assyrian noble Bel-Harran-bel-usur, who, sometime during the reign of Shalmaneser IV, founded his own, presumably independent, city in the desert west of Niniveh. So great was the weakness of the central power at this time that Bel-Harran-bel-usur was able to claim total independance on his stele, calling in the first instance on the Babylonian gods Marduk and Nabu, ignoring Ashur and ignoring the Assyrian king. He himself claims to have established the freedom of the city, exempting it from certain taxes and establishing certain endowments. We can safely call this foundation a secondary state, I believe. In the stele itself, after he has named the gods who have authorized his new city, we read:

Bel-Harran-bel-usur . . . who fears the great gods, they have sent and,—the mighty lords, at their exalted word and by their sure grace, I founded a city in the desert, in a waste. From its foundation to its top I completed it. A temple I built and I placed a shrine for the great gods therein. Its foundation I made firm as the mountains are set down, I established its foundation (walls) for all eternity. Dur-Bel-Harran-bel-usur I called its name,—in the mouth of the people, and I opened up a road to it. I inscribed a stele, the images of the gods I fashioned on it, in the divine dwelling place I set it up.125

This seems, to me at least, to point out the centrality of the temple building in state formation, even in so ephemeral a polity as was Dur-Bel-Harran-bel-usur.

The second piece of evidence that I would like to introduce here is the thesis of the very important recent article of Richard D. Barnett.126 Barnett, starting off with Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Jerusalem temple (see 1 Kings 8), examines evidence from Hittite and neo-Hittite gateway reliefs that illustrates the process by which the gods of these cities were ritually and ceremoniously invited into the city and installed and whereby they took up their residence in the city’s temples. The reliefs generally show a procession of nobles and soldiers, male and female worshipers, approaching the seated deity of the city, where a feast is in process. In the case of Carchemish, the “worship at the gate” motif appears to have terminated at the chief temple itself, although the excavations were not able to demonstrate this conclusively. Especially interesting is the building inscription of Azitawadda which states at one point, “Having built this city and having given it the name of Azitawaddiya, I have established Ba’l-Krntryš in it. A sacrific[ial order] was established for all the molten images. . . . May Ba’l-Krntryš bless Azitawadda with life, peace, and mighty power over every king.”127 I have pointed out above the possibility that the temple gate at Lagash through which Ningirsu was introduced into the Temple was also one of the main city gates, and the fact that the Temple Oval was built directly adjacent to a main city gate. The process of memorializing the introduction of a city’s gods into their temples—in some cases temples that were built just inside the city gate (as at Alaca Huyuk for example)—by means of wall reliefs that depict a sacral procession with banquet128 further supports the thesis that temple building was central to the ancient state formation process.

Part V

Ancient Israel developed from a chiefdom to a (in all probability, secondary) state during a period of about two generations, covering the span of the Iron Age IC period (about 1000–918 B.C.). As I suggested above, the process of evolution from chiefdom to state is graphically recounted in the Old Testament, in terms that are familiar to the modern student of such processes in ancient societies. From the refrain that ends the book of Judges,129 to Samuel’s admonitions concerning the institution of kingship in 1 Samuel 8,130 to Nathan’s (first) oracle to David in 2 Samuel 7 informing him that he should not build a house for Yahweh,131 to the night vision/dream of Solomon during the incubation at the high place of Gibeon where he presumably received the instructions that he should build the temple,132 to the actual building and dedication of the temple, the Old Testament gives us an extraordinary and apparently unmatched ancient narrative of the tensions, debates, and political and theological arguments that accompanied the advent of the dynastic state. Again, the state was not “caused” by the introduction of the temple and the accompanying divine charter ideology; the temple is a symbol of a “major institutional transformation,” resulting “from significant bioenergetic change,”133 and thus signals to us, as I believe it did to the Israelites of that period and to their neighbors, that they had achieved a state, “like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:20).134 We might as well take the ancient record at its own word.

The Temple of Solomon in State Formation

But what of the Temple of Solomon? The “cosmic-universal rule”135 implied by the Israelite monarchy demanded a temple that incorporated the same cosmic symbolism as did temples in the surrounding region. I believe that Albright’s description and interpretation of the various cosmic features in the Temple of Solomon, such as the two pillars, Jachin and Boaz, the Sea, the twelve bulls, the altar of burnt offerings, and the platform, kîyôr, on which, according to the Chronicler, Solomon stood while uttering the prayer of dedication (see 2 Chronicles 6:12–13), have not been effectively either superseded or refuted.136 In spite of whether Jachin and Boaz served as structural columns within a bit Ḫilani porch, or whether they were free-standing pillars, which has been the opinion of most scholars,137 it is undeniable, in my opinion, that they had a major symbolic purpose in relationship to the sanctuary. Pillars built with such symbolic purpose would probably point us toward free-standing structures, and we can generally agree with S. Yeivin that “a custom of erecting twin columns in front of the facades of temples (without any architectural relation to the building) was current in the western part of the Fertile Crescent (the area of Israel, Phoenicia, Syria) at least since the XIIIth century B.C.E. and till the IInd century C.E.”138

The symbolic purposes played by such pillars could well have included those mentioned as possibilities by Albright, namely, “they may have been regarded as the reflection of the columns between which the sun rose each morning to pour its light through the portico of the Temple into its interior,” or that, “like the Egyptian, djed symbol they may also have denoted ‘endurance,’ ‘continuity,’ in which case their dynastic role would become self-evident.”139 It is this latter that I think is especially important in the light of the thesis of this paper. I assume that the pillars played a major role in legitimizing the temple and the dynasty of David in the minds of the people. In other words the pillars, Jachin on the south, carrying the message that Yahweh had established the dynasty and the temple, and Boaz on the north, carrying the message that the power that emanates from the sanctuary is that of Yahweh.140

A suggestion by R. B. Y. Scott made several years ago seems most interesting and relevant here. Scott drew upon an example from Cylinder A of Gudea of Lagash, as well as other Near Eastern evidence, to demonstrate the hypothesis that the words “Jachin” and “Boaz” were parts of two inscriptions, “of which the opening words came to designate the pillars on which they appeared.”141 The relevant passage in Gudea is A.XXII.24–XXIV.7, where Gudea has stones brought into the temple precinct and fashioned into six steles, each of which bears a sentence name. These were set up on the temple terrace, apparently surrounding it, at various gates leading into the temple, and inside the temple itself. One of these, which was stationed at the ká.sur.ra. gate, was called, in Thureau-Dangin’s translation, “der Herr des Sturmes Enlil, welcher nicht seinesgleichen hat, blickt mit günstigem Auge auf Gudea, den Gross-priester [en] Ningirsus.” The next stele mentioned, stationed toward the rising sun, bore the name “der König der (brausenden) Wirbelwinde Enlil, der Herr, der nicht seinesgleichen hat, hat in seinem reinen Herzen erwählt Gudea, den Grosspriester Ningirsus.”142 The following stele, erected at š, the main entrance to Eninnu, bore the name “der König, durch den die Welt ruht, hat befestigt den Thron Gudeas, des Grosspriester Ningirsus.”143 Thus each of these steles bore an inscription that identified the ruling dynast with the chief god of the city and, particularly in the case of the stele at the š gate, specifically legitimized the throne of Gudea.

R. B. Y. Scott’s suggested reconstruction for the inscription on Jachin was “He (Yahweh) will establish the throne of David, and his kingdom to his seed forever.” And for Boaz, “In the strength of Yahweh shall the king rejoice,” or some such, drawing on language well known from the Psalms.144 In Scott’s more recent discussion of the same problem, he wrote that “it seems probable that the names of the pillars in Solomon’s royal temple, where he officiated as high priest, were derived from the initial words of dynastic inscriptions like that of Gudea.”145 This view seems to me by far the most reasonable and the most likely explanation of the pillar’s significance, adding more evidence for the legitimizing political role of the temple and its appurtenances and allowing us to see more clearly just how a building could have played such a role in ancient societies.

One additional role played by pillars in the ancient Near East, that of witnesses of covenant ceremonies, can be proposed. Widengren has pointed out the central role of the king in Israelite covenant making during the period of the monarchy. He found three main elements present in such ceremonies: (1) the king plays the central role, calling the assembly and reading from the book of the law; (2) the king himself appears “before the Lord,” thus assuming the role of high priest; and (3) “the covenant is made in the temple.”146 I have argued elsewhere for the centrality of the role of the temple in ancient Near Eastern covenant rituals.147 Covenants are sealed in temples or near pillars standing near temples, and thus they derive their binding efficacy on the ancient society from the temple’s authoritative, legitimizing position within the society. We have a classic example of the role of a pillar, presumably either Jachin or Boaz, in the covenant renewal ceremony of Josiah, as recorded in 2 Kings 23:2–3: “The king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord.”148 “On the evidence of the association of the pillars with the covenant in the two passages in Kings, Jachin and Boaz might be survivals of the standing stones of witness to the covenant at the central sanctuary, cf. Josh. 24:26f.”149 The pillar must play here the same legitimizing role that I have described for the state itself.

The process of “state renewal” in Israel, which is after all what the covenant-making process is during the period of the monarchy, and what we have also on other occasions where the pillars play a similar role (see 2 Kings 11:12–14), derives its power from the temple. Of course, when the kingdom split and Solomon’s temple ended up in the new, southern kingdom, it was obvious that Jeroboam would have had to establish new temples in the northern kingdom that would legitimize his dynasty, also under the aegis of Yahweh, as he intended. His choice of shrine centers and of symbols represents an archaizing attempt to establish a temple cultus that would have all the appearance of legitimacy in the eyes of his subjects that the Jerusalem temple held.150

Solomon finished the temple in his eleventh year (ca. 959 B.C.), in the eighth month (Bul), and dedicated it the following year in the seventh month (Ethanim). The eleven-month delay between completion and dedication could well be attributed to Solomon’s wish to dedicate the temple at the New Year, during the Feast of Tabernacles. Johannes de Moor noted that “he was obeying a venerable Oriental tradition according to which sanctuaries had to be dedicated preferably on New Year.”151 We must distinguish here between spring and fall New Year’s festivals. In Israel there was an older spring New Year and a more recent fall New Year; the latter, “falling on the New Year common to Canaan and Egypt, in Israel became the great feast of the era of kingship.”152 Generally speaking, the New Year in the Mesopotamian tradition began in the spring, with the modification that there may have been a cultic year that began in the fall. The Babylonian Akitu Festival, for example, took place mostly in Nisan, earlier in Adar.153 Thus while it is technically correct that “sanctuaries are dedicated at the Near Year,” according to De Moor, we must distinguish temple dedications/festivals that took place at the spring New Year, such as the Gudea Eninnu Temple and the Enuma Elish/Akitu in Babylon, and those that took place during the fall New Year, such as the Baal Temple at Ras Shamra and the Temple of Solomon.154

With regard to Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Jerusalem Temple itself, most authorities agree that large parts of the prayer in 1 Kings 8 are the work of the later Deuteronomic editor. Gray sees verses 1–11 as preserving an authentic account of what actually happened on that occasion and verses 62–66 as reflecting “a genuine tradition of the significant assembly of the sacral community Israel at the dedication of the new central sanctuary, but this is the work of the Deuteronomistic compiler.”155 Montgomery sees “the original elements of the story” contained in verses 1, 3, 5, and 6.156 It is important here to note the importance of post-dedication, post-New Year public feasts in all the traditions that have been discussed above: Gudea, Babylonian (Enuma Elish), Ugaritic, etc.157 Most authorities assume that verses 62–66 have been worked over by the Deuteronomic editor and that the numbers are too large. Note that 2 Chronicles 29:31–36 depicts a similar event with more manageable numbers.158 Weinfeld sees verses 12–13 of 1 Kings 8 as a summary of the original prayer, which he compares with similar statements in the dedicatory prayers of Gudea and Esarhaddon.159

An important Deuteronomic element in the prayer of Solomon is the “name theology,” as seen in verses 17–20, 44, 48, where the temple is seen as having been built to the “name” of Yahweh, rather than as his actual dwelling place. Contrast this with Psalms 74:2 and 76:2, where the Temple on Mount Zion is seen as the dwelling place of Yahweh, “an earlier conception,” more in line with Near Eastern views of temples.160 Another Deuteronomic feature of the prayer that stands out strongly is the view that the temple is a house of prayer, rather than a cultic center, the actual dwelling of Yahweh. First Kings 8:41–43 is especially important here, where Yahweh will listen to the prayers of foreigners who come to the temple to honor his name.161 The important point that I want to make, in the light of the Deuteronomic argument, is that the pre-Deuteronomic sources of the Old Testament that make reference to the Temple of Solomon place that edifice in the pattern well known to us from other ancient Near Eastern temple traditions.162 To put it another way, the Deuteronomic argument is largely irrelevant as far as the main thesis of this paper is concerned: the Israelite state (a pre-Deuteronomic polity) was capped by a legitimizing temple/cult system that was intimately related to other such systems in the Near East.163

1. Thorkild Jacobsen, “Early Political Development in Mesopotamia,” in Toward the Image of Tammuz and Other Essays on Mesopotamian History and Culture, ed. William L. Moran (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970), 133–34.

2. Michael Coe, “Comments on Professor Sanders’ Paper,” in RCC, 117.

3. See George E. Mendenhall, “The Monarchy,” Interpretation 34 (1975): 166–68.

4. “The ideal of the covenant is then prevalent everywhere in the traditions of this occasion, and we may thus conclude that Solomon at the dedication festival actually renewed the covenant with Yahweh” (Geo Widengren, “King and Covenant,” Journal of Semitic Studies 2 [1957]: 8).

5. TTS, 26.

6. See Mendenhall, “Monarchy,” 157.

7. See the views of Richard N. Adams, “The Early State: Theories and Hypotheses,” in ES, 22; George E. Mendenhall, The Tenth Generation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973), 188–89. For summaries of the various prime-mover theories of state origins, see J. Stephen Athens, “Theory Building and the Study of the Evolutionary Process in Complex Societies,” in For Theory Building in Archaeology, ed. Lewis R. Binford (New York: Academic Press, 1977), 353–57, with a valuable chart on page 354.

8. Jacobsen, “Early Political Development,” 140.

9. Thorkild Jacobsen, “The Cosmos as a State,” in Before Philosophy, The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1972), 156; see also “Foreword,” in HCSE, xiv.

10. Jacobsen, “The Cosmos as State,” 156.

11. HCSE, 81.

12. Ibid., 78.

13. Mendenhall, “Monarchy,” 159.

14. Mendenhall, Tenth Generation, 195.

15. Ibid., 192.

16. This most important point can be deduced, I believe, from Giorgio Buccellati, “The Enthronement of the King and the Capital City in Texts from Ancient Mesopotamia and Syria,” in Studies Presented to A. Leo Oppenheim, ed. R. D. Biggs and J. A. Brinkman (Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1964), 54–61.

17. For the present, see HCSE, 52–129, and especially 75–81.

18. Mendenhall, Tenth Generation, 192.

19. Lee D. Snyder, “Modeling and Civilization: Can There Be a Science of Civilization?” Abstract for International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilization, Typescript, 1982, 1–2.

20. Folker Willesen, “The Cultic Situation of Psalm LXXIV,” Vetus Testamentum 2 (1952): 290.

21. Edward Shils, “Centre and Periphery,” in Selected Essays by Edward Shils (Chicago: Center for Organization Studies, Department of Sociology, 1970), 3.

22. This list is a revision of what appears in my chapters “What Is a Temple? A Preliminary Typology,” in this volume, Temples of the Ancient World, and “The Common Temple Ideology of the Ancient Near East,” in Truman G. Madsen, ed., The Temple in Antiquity (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1984). Both studies provide validations for the typology.

23. For the presence of such a “landscape” in the mythical texts from Ras Shamra, see Frank Moore Cross, “The Priestly Tabernacle in the Light of Recent Research,” in THPBT, 170–72.

24. See Bruno Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien (Heidelberg: Winter, 1925), 2:107–12, 409–10; for this imagery in the Old Testament and in the texts from Ras Shamra, see David Noel Freedman, “Temple without Hands,” in THPBT, 21, 28; and Cross, “The Priestly Tabernacle, 170.

25. “The Sumerians and their successors found a special significance in the height of the temples” (Eric Burrows, “Some Cosmological Patterns in Babylonian Religion,” in The Labyrinth, ed. S. H. Hooke [London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1935], 60).

26. For the latter see Gene B. Gragg, “The Keš Temple Hymn,” in The Collection of the Sumerian Temple Hymns, ed. Ake W. Sjöberg and E. Bergmann (Locust Valley: Augustin, 1969), 168, lines 22–30, and 173, lines 90–95. For Gudea, see F. Thureau-Dangin, Die Sumerischen und Akkadischen Königsinschriften (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1907), 86–141.

27. Julius A. Bewer’s article, “Ancient Babylonian Parallels to the Prophecies of Haggai,” American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures 35 (1919): 128–33, retains considerable value. Of course, some claims of prosperity in temple hymns and building dedications may be fictional, as has been proved, for example, by the prices claimed by Shamshi-Adad I in his dedicatory inscription for the “Enlil” temple in Ashur. In this case, we are dealing not with genuine piety, but with political propaganda (see Albert K. Grayson, Assyrian Royal Inscriptions, ed. Hans Goedicke [Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1972], 20–21).

28. Of course, there may be many such missing; but as Snyder, “Modeling and Civilization,” pages 1–2, writes: “A good model need not be perfect in every detail as long as it stimulates empirical testing and refinement, but until the model is relatively complete, effective testing is impossible.”

29. George E. Mendenhall, private communication.

30. See ES, 109–530; Henry T. Wright, “Toward an Explanation of the Origin of State,” in OSAPE, 49–68.

31. See Wright, “Toward an Explanation of the Origin of State,” 57–66.

32. See HCSE, 27–51. Evidently the researches of Professor Lawrence Stager on the distinctions between highland and lowland villages during Iron Age Palestine will go far to correct this deficit, once they are more fully published.

33. See Elman R. Service, Origins of the State and Civilization (New York: Norton, 1975), 303–8; James W. Flanagan, “Chiefs in Israel,” The Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 20 (1981): 47–73; Frank S. Frick, “Religion and Sociopolitical Structure in Early Israel: An Ethno-Archaeological Approach,” in Society of Biblical Literature 1979 Seminar Papers, ed. Paul J. Achtemeier, vol. 2 (Missoula: Society of Biblical Literature/Scholars Press, 1979): 233–53; George E. Mendenhall, “Social Organization in Early Israel,” in Magnalia Dei, Essays on the Bible and Archaeology in Memory of G. Ernest Wright, ed. Frank Moore Cross et al. (Garden City: Doubleday, 1976), 132–51.

34. Mendenhall, “Social Organization in Early Israel,” 136.

35. Colin Renfrew, “Beyond a Subsistence Economy: The Evolution of Social Organization in Pre-historic Europe,” in RCC, 73.

36. Flanagan, “Chiefs in Israel,” 69. We must keep in mind the very vigorous opposition that was raised against Renfrew’s claims for archaeology at the conference in Cambridge where he presented the above list of features. Ruth Tringham rejected outright the ability of archaeologists to recognize ten of the items on the list from the archaeological record, and granted the remaining items only with “very rigorous backup information on the environment, economy, and technology.” On a more general level, she accused Renfrew of “very simplistic use of ethnographic analogy which would make many an anthropologist shudder” (ibid., 88–89). As such, Tringham was mirroring the stinging criticisms made against what she considered the overoptimistic and naive use of ethnographic data by archaeologists like Edmund Leach, in his now famous “Black Box” summary lecture at the 1971 Sheffield seminar on the explanation of culture change (in The Explanation of Culture Change: Models in Pre-history, ed. Colin Renfrew [Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973], 761–71). Leach’s criticisms were answered by D. H. Mellor at the same conference (“Do Cultures Exist?” in ibid., 59–72). The point is that biblical scholars and Syro-Palestinian archaeologists should exercise care and discrimination in the extent to which they adopt models from other disciplines for application to biblical problems. There is always the danger expressed by Coe (“Comments on Professor Sanders’ Paper,” 116), who said that “archaeologists tend to be somewhat retrograde in the models which they adopt from other fields of study.”

37. See Athens, “Theory Building,” 353–57; Wright, “Toward an Explanation of the Origin of State,” 49–52.

38. Cohen, “State Origins: A Reappraisal,” 70; see also Wright, “Toward an Explanation of the Origin of State,” 49–68.

39. Adams, “The Early State,” 21, italics in original; see also 639–40.

40. Quoted in HCSE, 76.

41. Wright, “Toward an Explanation of the Origin of State,” 56.

42. HCSE, 80.

43. See Mendenhall, “Monarchy,” 159–62; see also Cohen, “State Origins: A Reappraisal,” 36–37.

44. Lawrence Krader, “The Origin of the State among the Nomads of Asia,” in ES, 104.

45. Cohen, “State Origins: A Reappraisal,” 36.

46. William T. Sanders and Joseph Marino, New World Prehistory, 9, cited in Service, Origins of the State and Civilization, 304.

47. Adams, “The Early State,” 22.

48. Cohen, “State Origins: A Reappraisal,” 35. Any more formal study of the development of the state in ancient Israel than the present one will have to deal with the issue of fission with regard to the breakup of the Israelite monarchy in the time of Jeroboam. What does this say for the nature of the Israelite state? Does it disqualify the monarchy of David and Solomon from the category of early state? Flanagan, by the way, sees David “on the boundary line between chiefdom and kingdom” (“Chiefs in Israel,” 67).

49. For this distinction, see Service, Origins of the State and Civilization, 44–46, quoting Fried.

50. Wright, “Toward an Explanation of the Origin of State,” 60, 62, 64; italics added. Of course, his working models are much more complicated and extensive than the excerpts given here.

51. William T. Sanders and Joseph Marino, “Chiefdom to State: Political Evolution at Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala,” in RCC, 97–113, 118–19.

52. See Martin Diskin, “The Costs of Evolution,” in RCC, 113–16.

53. Sanders and Marino, “Chiefdom to State,” 97.

54. Ibid.

55. Anatolii M. Khazanov, “Some Theoretical Problems of the Study of the Early State,” in ES, 89.

56. Sanders and Marino, “Chiefdom to State,” 98.

57. Ibid., 109–10.

58. Ibid., 103.

59. Ibid., 111.

60. Ibid., 106.

61. Ibid., 111.

62. Ibid., 121.

63. Ibid., 111.

64. Diskin, “The Costs of Evolution,” 115.

65. Sanders and Marino, “Chiefdom to State,” 107.

66. Ibid., 113.

67. Diskin, “The Costs of Evolution,” 114.

68. Sanders and Marino, “Chiefdom to State,” 118.

69. Ibid.

70. See W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 5th ed. (Garden City: Doubleday Anchor, 1968), 102–4, with notes; W. Boyd Barrick, “The Funerary Character of ‘High Places’ in Ancient Palestine; A Reassessment,” Vetus Testamentum 25 (1975): 565–95, and Abraham Malamat, “King Lists of the Old Babylonian Period and Biblical Genealogies,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 88 (1968): 173 n. 29.

71. See Abraham Malamat, “Charismatic Leadership in the Book of Judges,” in Magnalia Dei, 152–68. Malamat writes, interestingly, of the process of the “Routinization of charisma” (164) that results in the monarchy.

72. Many of these issues are treated at some length by Mendenhall, particularly in “Monarchy,” and in “Social Organization in Early Israel.” Also valuable is Flanagan’s “Chiefs in Israel,” and Frick, “Religion and Sociopolitical Structure in Early Israel,” whose study is the first, as far as I am aware, to apply a theory of Israelite chiefdom to the archaeological evidence. Especially interesting in Frick’s study is his discussion of Iron Age I agricultural practices, which appear to have been oriented toward subsistence, rather than toward the needs of a centralized bureaucracy, which fits the picture from Kaminaljuyu (see 244–46). Also of great interest is Norman K. Gottwald, “Early Israel and the ‘Asiatic Mode of Production’ in Canaan,” in Society of Biblical Literature 1976 Seminar Papers, ed. George MacRae (Missoula: Society of Biblical Literature/Scholars, 1976), 145–54. Gottwald’s discussion can benefit by seeing the Asiatic mode of production within the wider theory of state origins, as is done, for example, in ES, 643, 647–49, and by being more specific in placing “Early Israel” at some defined point along the chiefdom-state spectrum, as Flanagan, Frick, Mendenhall, and I have attempted to do. Also of interest here is the view of Barbara Price concerning the data from Kaminaljuyu, that Kaminaljuyu represents a secondary state, developing from a ranked society under pressure from the primary state, centered at Teotihuacan. Is it possible that the Israelite monarchy, is, technically, an example of a secondary state, developed from a ranked society under the pressure of the Philistine/Phoenician states that surrounded it? (see Barbara Price, “Secondary State Formation: An Explanatory Model,” in OSAPE, 170–79). Such a view could be read into Mendenhall, “Monarchy,” 157–60. Claessen and Skalnik add this: “State formation is not caused by war, but is greatly promoted by war, or by the threat of war and by social stress” (“Limits: Beginning and End of the Early State,” in ES, 626). See also Malamat, “Charismatic Leadership in the Book of Judges,” 164; G. W. Ahlstrom, “Where Did the Israelites Live?” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 41 (1982): 133–38.

73. Adams, “The Early State,” 5.

74. Flanagan, “Chiefs in Israel,” 49.

75. One of the “Great Organizations” described by A. Leo Oppenheim in Ancient Mesopotamia, Portrait of a Dead Civilization, comp. Erica Reiner, rev. ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1977), 95–101, 106–9.

76. Price, “Secondary State Formation,” in OSAPE, 166.

77. Ibid., 164–65.

78. Sanders and Marino, “Chiefdom to State,” 98.

79. See G. Ernest Wright, “The Tell: Basic Unit for Reconstructing Complex Societies of the Near East,” in RCC, 123–30.

80. Charles Redman, “Research Design for a Regional Approach to Complex Societies,” in RCC, 133, 136.

81. For sketch views of a variety of configurations that major mounds in Syria have assumed, especially noting the relationship of an acropolis to the remaining area encompassed within the fortification wall, see W. J. van Liere, “Capitals and Citadels of Bronze Age Syria in their Relationship to Land and Water,” Annales Archeologiques Arabes Syriennes (Damascus) 13 (1963): fig. 3A–C.

82. Shils, “Centre and Periphery,” 1.

83. See also Jonathan Z. Smith, Map Is Not Territory (Leiden: Brill, 1978): 98–101, 107–19, 186–89.

84. Sanders and Marino, “Chiefdom to State,” 119.

85. HCSE, 77.

86. See Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, 108–9.

87. See A. Ungnad, “Datenlisten,” Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie 2 (1938): 174–78; for the surviving year names of the Sargonic Dynasty, which, along with the First Dynasty of Babylon, can be considered a secondary state, see ibid., 133–34.

88. “Pristine states achieve this level of integration through systemic operation of essentially autochthonous processes; secondary states, as defined, reflect regular processes of interaction/competition of expanding states vis-à-vis non-state organized populations” (Price, “Secondary State Formation,” in OSAPE, 170).

89. Max E. L. Mallowan, “The Early Dynastic Period in Mesopotamia,” Cambridge Ancient History 1/2 (1971): 270.

90. See HCSE.

91. See Edith Porada, “The Relative Chronology of Mesopotamia, I,” in Chronologies in Old World Archaeology, ed. Robert W. Ehrich (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1965), 161–63; Robert McCormick Adams, “Patterns of Urbanization in Early Southern Mesopotamia,” in Man, Settlement and Urbanism, ed. Peter J. Ucko et al. (Cambridge: Schenkman, 1972): 735–50; William W. Hallo and William Kelly Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971), 42–46.

92. See Adam Falkenstein and Eva Strommenger, “Gudea,” Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archaologie 3 (1971): 676–78.

93. Henri Frankfort, Oriental Institute Discoveries in Iraq, 1933/34, Fourth Preliminary Report of the Iraq Expedition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1935), 32–33. (Unfortunately, I was unable to consult the final report for the Temple Oval, OIP, 53). See also Pinhas Delougaz, Harold D. Hill, and Seton Lloyd, Private Houses and Graves in the Diyala Region, OIP 88 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967): 24–25.

94. See Henri Frankfort, Progress of the Work of the Oriental Institute in Iraq, 1934/35, Fifth Preliminary Report of the Iraq Expedition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1936), 15–17.

95. Richard S. Ellis, Foundation Deposits in Ancient Mesopotamia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), 12, and 6–34, for descriptions of various building rites connected with temples.

96. See Lundquist, “What Is a Temple?” 83–117.

97. A. J. Spencer, “The Brick Foundations of Late-Period Peripteral Temples and Their Mythological Origin,” in Glimpses of Ancient Egypt, Studies in Honor of H. W. Fairman, ed. John Ruffle, G. A. Gaballa, and Kenneth A. Kitchen (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1979), 133.

98. Ibid., and see point 2 in my typology, pages 186–87.

99. See Lundquist, “Common Temple Ideology,” drawing on the temple foundation hymns of Gudea and on Neo-Sumerian temple hymns. The same picture is found in the Enuma Elish.

100. A. Falkenstein, “Sumerische Bauausdrücke,” Orientalia 35 (1966): 236.

101. See Lundquist, “Common Temple Ideology.”

102. Ake W. Sjöberg and E. Bergmann, The Collection of the Sumerian Temple Hymns, Texts from Cuneiform Sources 3 (Locust Valley: Augustin, 1969), 17, 50. For du6-kù, “shining (holy) mound,” see A. Deimel, Sumerisches Lexikon II/3 (Rome: Verlag des Päpstl, Bibelinstituts, 1934), 459.

103. Arvid S. Kapelrud, “Temple Building, A Task for Gods and Kings,” Orientalia 32 (1963): 58.

104. In addition to Kapelrud, “Temple Building,” and Bewer, “Ancient Babylonian Parallels,” cited above, see Richard D. Barnett, “Bringing the God into the Temple,” in THPBT, 11, and Moshe Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Clarendon, 1972), 35, 248–50.

105. “Moses is ‘to a great extent depicted in royal categories'” (Kapelrud, “Temple Building,” 61, quoting Ivan Engnell).

106. Ibid.

107. Ibid., 62.

108. See B.II.5, B.V.1.

109. See A.II.11, B.III.9; see also E. Douglas van Buren, “Foundation Rites for a New Temple,” Orientalia 21 (1952): 293, 296–97, and Ellis, Foundation Deposits, 7–8.

110. IGL, 120.

111. References to the Gudea Cylinders are taken from SAK; see also IGL, 121, 137, and Gudea Cylinder A.XXV.5–8. According to Deimel, gisti is a “biegsame Stange; Rippe; Pfeil (mit Bronze dazu verarbeitet),” (Sumerisches Lexikon, II/1, 150).

112. A. Falkenstein and W. van Soden, Sumerische und Akkadische Hymnen und Gebete (Zurich: Artemis, 1953), 170.

113. Ibid., 172.

114. Of course, Gudea is not strictly a lugal, “king,” but an ensi, “governor.” For a discussion of the evolution of these terms in ancient Sumerian texts, along with an emphasis upon the priestly functions of the en, see Jacobsen, “Early Political Development in Mesopotamia,” 375.

115. See Samuel N. Kramer, The Sumerians, Their History, Culture and Character (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 137–40.

116. See OIP 88, 24–25 and plate I.

117. This is a question that I am not discussing here, although it is well known that temples served, among other things, as treasuries, and that they were often looted, either by the local king in order to pursue warfare or other foreign policy ventures (see 2 Kings 16:8), or by conquerors (see 1 Kings 14:25–26). The Eninnu, built by Gudea, had a “treasury,” which apparently served both as his own royal treasury and as a temple treasury. It is described as being filled with various precious and semiprecious stones and metals (see IGL, 131). According to Edmond Sollberger, the possibility exists that there was a “marked evolution from simplicity to luxury” in the furnishings and treasures found in temples during the third millennium B.C. (see “The Temple in Babylonia,” in Le Temple et le Culte [Istanbul: Nederlands Historisch-Archeologisch Instituut, 1975], 34).

118. Smith, Map Is Not Territory, 99.

119. Cross, “The Priestly Tabernacle,” 174. I have devoted considerable space in Lundquist, “What Is a Temple?” 83–117, to validations derived from Enuma Elish and the Baal Cycle.

120. See Adams, “The Early State,” 20–21.

121. ES, 640.

122. Shils, “Centre and Periphery,” 3; italics added.

123. Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, 181.

124. For a view of the positive, pious aspects of Mesopotamian temple establishments, see J. N. Postgate, “The Role of the Temple in the Mesopotamian Secular Community,” in Man, Settlement and Urbanism, 813–18, 820–21. Postgate gives evidence for the general horror that would have been felt in the community at the sacking of the temple treasuries (see 815 and n. 18).

125. D. D. Luckenbill, ed., Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1926–27), 1:295–96; see A. T. Olmstead, History of Assyria (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), 167–69, 203–4, for Bel-Harran-bel-usur’s decline under Tiglathpileser III.

126. See Barnett, “Bringing the God into the Temple,” 10–20.

127. ANET, 654.

128. See point twelve of the typology above, page 189, and Lundquist, “What Is a Temple?” 104–5, for a description of the role of sacral meals in covenant ceremonies.

129. See Robert G. Boling, Judges, Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (Garden City: Doubleday, 1975) 256, 258, 273, 293; but see also Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 169–70, with notes. The debate over the editorial strand to which these passages should be assigned and the view of the monarchy that they represent are irrelevant to my argument, which is simply that the passages reveal self-knowledge on the part of the Israelite editors of various stages of political evolution and the implications of these stages for the Israelite community.

130. See Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 169–70; William McKane, I and II Samuel, Introduction and Commentary (London: SCM, 1963), 66–69; and P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., I Samuel, a New Translation (Garden City: Doubleday, 1980), 156–62. I have suggested above, note 72, the possibility that Israel represents a secondary state that was formed under the pressure of the Philistine/Phoenician states surrounding her. McCarter writes that “it might be argued that a king is requested out of military necessity. Israel’s pre-monarchical institutions have become inadequate to cope with new political realities, especially the Philistine threat” (I Samuel, 160). But he rejects this explanation.

131. See McKane, I and II Samuel, 217–19; Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 194, for the presumed Deuteronomic editing of verses 13a and 247–48. See also Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), 241–64.

132. See Kapelrud, “Temple Building,” 59–60; Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 250–54.

133. Price, “Secondary State Formation,” in OSAPE, 166.

134. See McCarter, I Samuel, 160–62; Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 243; and Mendenhall, “Monarchy,” 157.

135. See Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 265.

136. See Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 138–50, with notes.

137. See Jean Ouellette, “The Basic Structure of Solomon’s Temple and Archaeological Research,” in The Temple of Solomon, ed. Joseph Gutmann (Missoula: Scholars, 1976), 7–11, with notes.

138. S. Yeivin, “Jachin and Boaz,” The Palestine Exploration Quarterly 91 (1959): 20. But note also the bronzed pillar that stood near the gate through which Ningirsu would have been led into the Eninnu temple in Lagash (see note 111 above). The phenomenon is not limited to the Levant.

139. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 143, and notes. See also H. Van Dyke Paranuk, “Was Solomon’s Temple Oriented toward the Sun,” The Palestine Exploration Quarterly 110 (1978): 28–33.

140. See John Gray, I and II Kings, a Commentary, 2d ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1970), 187.

141. R. B. Y. Scott, “The Pillars Jachin and Boaz,” The Journal of Biblical Literature 58 (1939): 146.

142. SAK, 115.

143. IGL, 140–41. I would also like to recall the “bronzed” pillar that stood outside the gate “through which Ningirsu enters” the temple (see note 111 above).

144. Scott, “The Pillars Jachin and Boaz,” 148–49.

145. R. B. Y. Scott, in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 2:781.

146. Widengren, “King and Covenant,” 3.

147. See Lundquist, “What Is a Temple?”

148. See Widengren, “King and Covenant,” 5–7. See also George E. Mendenhall, “Covenant Forms in Israelite Tradition,” Biblical Archaeologist 17 (September 1954): 50–76: “Provision for deposit in the temple and periodic public reading”; with the accompanying explanation, “Since the treaty itself was under the protection of the deity, it was deposited as a sacred thing in the sanctuary of the vassal state.”

149. Gray, I and II Kings, 188; see also Widengren, “King and Covenant,” 12–17.

150. See Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 73–75.

151. New Year with Canaanites and Israelites, Part One: Description (Kampen: Kok, 1972), 18. See also Gray, I and II Kings, 206–8; and James A. Montgomery, The Book of Kings, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary, ed. Henry S. Gehman (New York: Scribner’s, 1951), 186–88. Montgomery would excise behag “as a back reference from v. 65” (ibid., 187).

152. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 123, with notes, and 238.

153. See Svend A. Pallis, The Babylonian Akîtu Festival (Copenhagen: Bianco Lunos Bogtrykkeri, 1926), 27–30; and H. Hunger, “Kalender,” Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archaologie 5 (1977): 297–303.

154. For Ras Shamra, see further Johannes C. de Moor, New Year with Canaanites and Israelites, Part Two: The Canaanite Sources (Kampen: Kok, 1972), 5. See also H. W. Fairman, “Worship and Festivals in an Egyptian Temple,” Bulletin, John Rylands Library 37 (1954–55), 187: “The traditional time for the dedication of a temple was either on the eve of New Year’s Day, or on New Year’s Day. . . . The ceremonies on the temple roof on New Year’s Day included the annual rededication of the temple and its gods: the union with the sun not only brought renewal of fertility and welfare to Egypt, it renewed for another year the life and powers of Edfu, Horus, and the gods who lived with him in the temple.”

155. Gray, I and II Kings, 203.

156. Montgomery, The Book of Kings, 186.

157. See Lundquist, “What Is a Temple?” and item twelve of my typology, page 189.

158. See Montgomery, The Book of Kings, 199–200, for additional examples.

159. See Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 35–37.

160. Ibid., 194–98; see also Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 254.

161. See Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 37, 195–99.

162. See ibid., 250–55; Kapelrud, “Temple Building.”

163. See Norman K. Gottwald, The Tribes of Yahweh, A Sociology of Liberated Israel (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1979), 371–74 in particular. Also of exceptional value is G. W. Ahlstrom, “Heaven on Earth—At Hazor and Arad,” in Religious Syncretism in Antiquity, Essays in Conversation with Geo Widengren, ed. Birger A. Pearson (Missoula: Scholars, 1975), 67–83, with many references.