Document Type


Publication Date



This article examines the economic worlds that correspond to the timeline of the histori­cal books of the Hebrew Bible from the conquest to the return from exile. During this pe­riod, Israel and Judah transformed from small subsistence-based tribal economies to more centralized organization, at least partially due to external military threats. Both the north­ern kingdom and eventually the southern kingdom fell to the Assyrian and Babylonian empires respectively, and the forced migrations instigated socially dis-embedded economies in the exile and repatriation. Even though these ancient economic modalities are largely assumed and unstated, critical analysis of the historical books requires a thoughtful understanding of the economic world behind these texts.


Originally published in the Oxford Handbook on the Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible. Edited by Brad Kelle and Brent Strawn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Included in

Religion Commons