Death Formulae and the Burial Place
of the Kings of the House of David
1. Death Formulae of the Late Kings of Judah
The closing formulae about the death of a king describe his
demise and burial place, followed by the name of his successor — but only when
the king died peacefully in his bed. When the king was murdered, or otherwise
died a violent death, or was deported and died in exile, the 'slept with his
ancestors' formula is left out. The basic death formula for the kings of Judah,
from David to Ahaz, is 'and so-and-so slept with his ancestors and was buried
with his ancestors in the city of David; and so-and-so his son reigned in his
stead'. The formulae for the three kings who were killed in uprisings (Ahaziah,
Joash and Amaziah) are identical, except for the element of peaceful death1.
The death formula changes in the histories of the kings from
Hezekiah onward. The words '(was buried) with his ancestors in the city of
David' disappear. A striking omission of the burial place appears in the case of
Hezekiah (2 Kgs 20,21): 'And Hezekiah slept with his ancestors, and Manasseh his
son reigned in his stead'2. Manasseh was buried 'in the garden of his house, in
the garden of Uzza' (2 Kgs 22,18); his son, Amon, was buried 'in his tomb in the
garden of Uzza' (2 Kgs 22,26). The burial place of Josiah is not mentioned, and
it is only stated that his servants 'buried him in his tomb' (2 Kgs 23,30).
Jehoahaz, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah who were deported, died and were buried in
exile, have no death formula, whereas Jehoiakim has the formula of a king who
died peacefully in his bed, but his burial place is missing (2 Kgs 24,6). The
LXXL version adds, 'he was buried in the garden of Uzza with his
ancestors'. Some scholars have suggested that the supplement is original and was
omitted due to homoioteleuton3, while others argue that the LXXL
version (and the LXX to 2 Chr 36,8) is secondary and was added to avoid clashing
with Jer 22,19 and 36,304. As noted, the formula '(was buried) with his
ancestors' disappears after the reign of Ahaz, so its proposed sudden
re-appearance in the closing formula of Jehoiakim is unlikely. Moreover,
Jehoiakim died during the siege of Jerusalem and could not have been buried in
the garden of Uzza, outside the city's wall (see below)5. Thus the LXXL
version is apparently a late addition to the text.
Provan and Halpern – Vanderhooft deduced from some changes in
the introductory and closing formulae of Hezekiah and his successors that the
first edition of the Book of Kings ended with the reign of Hezekiah6. However,
these changes may easily be explained as the result of the short time-span that
separates the events from the time when they were recorded. The author of the
Book of Kings (Dtr1) wrote his composition in the time of Josiah, and
his successor (Dtr2) edited and supplemented his composition in
Babylonia7. These authors worked soon after the events they described and were
not dependent on written sources. For this reason they were able to supply
details (i.e., birthplace and father's name) about the mothers of all the kings
from Amon to Zedekiah. For the earlier kings, the author (Dtr1)
depended on his written sources and his work related the information hewas able
to extract. Therefore details about the kings' mothers are given
unsystematically. This author also had only general knowledge about the burial
place of most of the kings of Judah, and related it with the fixed formula 'was buried
with his ancestors in the city of David'. With the transfer of the burial place
to a new site (the garden of Uzza), he omitted the death formula, which no
longer fitted anymore the new rulers, who were neither buried with their
ancestors nor in the City of David. Thus the omission of the death formula from
Hezekiah on reflects the fact of a burial in a new site, and should not be taken
as evidence of new authorship. We may conclude that the opening and closing
formulae of the kings of Judah should be explained on the basis of the written
sources available to the authors and their acquaintance with the realities of
the late monarchical period, and in no way indicate an early edition of the Book
This leaves us still with the problem of the omission of the
burial place of Hezekiah — a problem which, as suggested below, might be
resolved by taking into account the objectives of the author of the Book of
2. The Burial Place of the Kings of Judah
The site of the tombs of the kings of Judah is controversial.
Some scholars suggested that it was located in the southeastern side of the City
of David, where Weill discovered some installations hewn out of the rock, which
were severely destroyed by Roman quarrying operations9. Krauss suggested that
some Judahite kings were buried beneath the temple10; Yeivin searched the tombs
within the city walls, east of the spring of Gihon11; Kloner suggested that some
late Judahite kings were buried at St. Etienne, north of the City of David12;
other scholars were reluctant to suggest an exact location13. I agree with the
opinion that the unimpressive plan and lack of refinement in the execution of
the installations discovered by Weill, compared to the quality of the tombs
discovered at the Silwan necropolis of Jerusalem14 indicate that they should not
be identified as the royal tombs of the kings of Judah15.
To shed more light on the possible location of the royal
tombs we must turn our attention to neighbouring ancient Near Eastern kingdoms.
Recently Franklin drew attention to two neglected hewn tombs excavated by the
Harvard Expedition at Samaria16. They are located under adjoining palace rooms
of Building Period I, and were cut at different phases of the early palace. She
suggested that Tomb A was prepared for Omri and Tomb B for Ahab or one of his
Six underground vaulted chambers were discovered in the
excavations of the southeast side of the Old Palace at the city of Assur17.
Sarcophagi made of basalt or limestone were found in these chambers, identified
by inscriptions as those of Ashur-bel-kala (1074-1057 BCE),
Ashurnas[ irpal (883-859) and Shamshi-Adad V
(823-810). Sennacherib too was buried at Assur, as indicated by two inscriptions
on bricks discovered in the city18. Weidner demonstrated that when Ashurbanipal
was the crown prince, he built a mausoleum (b|4t
kimah~ h~ i) for his burial in the city of Assur19.
Esarhaddon's wife, was also buried in Assur, possibly in the same compound as
the kings of Assyria20. Finally, in the so-called 'the Sin of Sargon' text,
Sennacherib inquired the gods why his father, Sargon, 'was killed [in the enemy
country and] was not b[uried] in his house'21. It is thus evident that the kings
of Assyria were buried in their 'house', probably in the city of Assur, the
ancient capital of Assyria.
Four vaulted royal tombs have been discovered within the
confines of the Northwest Palace at Calah. The inscriptions indicate that they
were the tombs of the queens of Assyria, who were buried together with other
members of the royal court22. The kings of the Third Dynasty of Ur (late
third-early second millennium BCE) were probably buried in their residential
palace, and the 'Mausolea' excavated by Woolley was probably a cult place for
the dead kings23. A corbel-vaulted royal tomb was discovered under the palace of
Ras Shamra/Ugarit24. Adler suggested that the 14th Century
'Schatzhaus' unearthed at Kamid el-Loz (Kumidi) was originally a royal grave and
that other second millennium royal tombs located in or near the palace were
discovered at Alalakh, Tel Mardikh (Ebla), Byblos and Megiddo (Stratum VIIA)25.
Other suggested evidence for royal burials in palace remains uncertain26.
Descriptions of the death of kings are found sporadically in
cuneiform documents27, but the place of burial is never mentioned. An exception
is a Babylonian chronicle (called "the Dynastic Chronicle") that records the
burial place of six Babylonian kings of the late eleventh-early tenth century
BCE28. Five of them were buried in the palaces of Sargon29, or
sixth was buried in the swamp of Bit-Hashmar, near his homeland, possibly an
unworthy burial place for a king.
The above makes it clear that the practice of burying kings
in their 'houses', namely their palaces, conceived as places of dwelling and
rest in life and after-life, was widespread all over the ancient Near East30.
This supports the assumption that the kings of the House of David were also
buried in the royal palace. As noted above, the later kings of Judah were buried
in a new place (the garden of Uzza), whose location must be clarified.
According to Neh 3,15-16, the segment of the city wall that
included the Fountain Gate and 'the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the King's
Garden' was next to the segment that stood 'opposite the tombs of David'. The
Fountain Gate and the King's Pool also appear in the description of the tour
conducted by Nehemiah around the destroyed city wall of Jerusalem (Neh 2,14-15).
All scholars agree that the two segments of the rebuilt wall mentioned in Neh
3,15-16 were located near the southeastern end of the city31.
The King's Garden is mentioned in 2 Kgs 25,4 and Jer 52,7.
Weill suggested that it was located on the slopes of the Kidron Valley in the
southeast end of the City of David, and was irrigated by Canal II, and later by
Canal IV32. In his discussion of the Siloam Tunnel, Ussishkin suggested that
Hezekiah, in imitation to the kings of Assyria, planted a royal park near the
walls of the City of David, and that the water of the Siloam tunnel were used to
irrigate the garden situated outside the city, near the southeast of the City of
David33. The garden of Uzza, which in 2 Kgs 21,18 is called 'the garden of his
house', is clearly the King's Garden mentioned in 2 Kgs 25,4; Jer 52,7 and Neh
3,15. Hence the reference in Neh 3,16 to the tombs of David refers to the tombs
of the late kings of Judah who were buried in the garden of Uzza34. Like other
ancient Near Eastern kings, the kings of Judah built more than one palace, and I
assume that a royal residence was built near the newly planted royal park (see
Jer 22,13-14)35. Manasseh's 'garden of his house' probably refers to this
residence (compare 1 Kgs 21,1-2).
The location of the garden outside the walls of Jerusalem
explains the different formulae referring to the kings who preceded Hezekiah,
all of whom were buried 'in the city of David', and the kings of Judah from
Hezekiah on, in whose death formulae the City of David is not mentioned36.
Ezekiel's words (43,7-9) on the proximity of the burial
places of the kings of Judah to the temple play an important role in some
scholarly discussions37. Due to its importance, the text is cited in full (in
the New JPS translation):
It said to me, 'O mortal, this is the place of My throne
and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of
the people Israel forever. The House of Israel and their kings must not
again defile My holy name by their apostasy and by the corpses of their
kings at their death38. When they placed their threshold next to My
threshold and their doorposts next to My doorposts with only a wall between
Me and them, they would defile My holy name by the abominations that they
committed, and I consumed them in My anger. Therefore, let them put their
apostasy and the corpses of their kings far from Me, and I will dwell among
Ezekiel was born to a priestly family and his words indicate
that priests who served in the temple criticized the proximity of the palace,
the seat of the kings of Judah and their burial place, to the temple, with only
'a wall' separating them (see 1 Kgs 14,27-28; 2 Kgs 11,19). The motives for the
criticism were apparently the lifestyle of the inhabitants of the palace,
impurity involved with the burial of the royal dynasty in the palace, and the
rites conducted for the spirits of the deceased39. The purity laws formulated in
the Bible (e.g., Num 19,14-19) are late and irrelevant for the discussion, but
Ezekiel's words reflect a late First Temple priestly opposition to the practice
of burial within the palace.
It is worth noting that all the 130 tombs excavated so far in
Jerusalem and dated to the eighth to early sixth centuries BCE are located
outside the city, and their distribution matches exactly the outer confines of
its walls40. The location of the tombs outside the city is due to the search for
a suitable place for hewing or excavating tombs, but might also have been
motivated by a sense of the impurity attached to graves. Be that as it may, the
burial of the royal tombs within the city was exceptional.
Jeremias suggested that Ezekiel's words refer to the garden
of Uzza, where Manasseh and Amon were buried, and that the garden must be sought
in the royal acropolis, between the palace and the temple41. He suggested
locating the tombs of the earlier kings of Judah in the southeastern part of the
City of David, at the site where Weill found the hewn installations mentioned
above. In my opinion, the exact opposite is true. Until the time of Hezekiah the
kings of the House of David were buried in the palace, or near it, in accordance
with the practice common to many ancient Near Eastern kingdoms. Under Hezekiah
the burial place was transferred to a new site outside the walls of Jerusalem,
and he was the first to be buried there. Yet the tombs of the early kings of
Judah remained in the palace, and Ezekiel's words echo the criticism of the
priests of the impurity that 'the corpses of their kings' brought into YHWH'S
The omission of the burial place in the case of Hezekiah (2
Kgs 20,21) can now be satisfactorily explained. The death formula of the early
Judahite kings ('and so-and-so slept with his ancestors and was buried with his
ancestors in the city of David'), which combined the continuity of the dynasty
with the burial place, did not fit the burial in a new site. Hezekiah is
portrayed favourably in the Book of Kings, with such a superlative as 'there was
none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those before
him' (2 Kgs 18,5). Presenting him as a king who was not buried with his
ancestors might have spoiled this positive description. For this reason the
author cut short his burial formula and ascribed the transfer of the burial
place to a new site (the garden of Uzza) to Manasseh, the arch-sinner among all
the kings of Judah.
The location of the new burial place outside the walls of
Jerusalem also explains the absence of a burial formula in the description of
Jehoiakim. This ruler died during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem and could
not have been buried with his ancestors outside the walls of Jerusalem. He must
have been buried somewhere within the city42. The LXXL version of 2
Kgs 24,6 emerged at a later stage of the transmission in an effort to harmonize
the text of Kings with Jeremiah's prophecies (22,19; 36,30. The author of the
final chapters of the Book of Kings (Dtr2), who lived in the
Babylonian exile, was probably aware of the fact that Jehoiakim was not buried
with his ancestors in the garden of Uzza, and in view of the obscurity that
might have surrounded his burial decided to omit the burial place from the
king's death formula43.
In sum, I restate my conclusions that the kings of Judah in
the tenth-eighth centuries BCE were buried in the palace, and that Hezekiah
transferred the burial place of the kings of Judah to a new site outside the
walls of Jerusalem. I further suggest that burial within the city walls was
exceptional, and that the admonitions and possible pressure of the temple
priests, who felt that the burial in the palace defiled the adjacent temple,
might have influenced Hezekiah's decision. Provided that this conclusion,
admittedly uncertain, is acceptable, it sheds a new light on the religious
policy of Hezekiah. According to the Book of Kings, he initiated a cultic
reform, similar to the one conducted later by Josiah (2 Kgs 18,4.22). I have
already discussed the assumed far-reaching reform conducted by Hezekiah, and
concluded that the two references to Hezekiah's implementation of the reform are
deuteronomistic, that the attribution of a Josianic-like reform to Hezekiah is
doubtful, and that the note on the removal of the bronze serpent is the
authentic element in the text of 2 Kgs 18,444. Hezekiah's assumed removal of the
royal burial place out of the city matches the removal of the bronze serpent
from the temple, probably also at the instigation of the same priestly circles.
It also fits Hezekiah's portrayal as a king who put his trust in YHWH in face of
the Assyrian campaign and the grave threat to the survival of his kingdom and
capital city in 2 Kgs 18–1945. The assumed growth of the priestly influence
could also have brought about the gradual shaping of their teaching, although it
was carried out for a long time in oral form, and put in writing only in the
exilic period. But the investigation of this problem goes far beyond the narrow
limits of this article.
1 For the closing formulae in the Book of Kings, see A.
JEPSEN, Die Quellen des Königsbuches (Halle 21956) 30-40; S.R.
BIN-NUN, "Formulas from Royal Records of Israel and Judah", VT 18 (1968)
429-432; R.D. NELSON, The Double Redaction of the Deuteronomistic History
(JSOTSS 18; Sheffield 1981) 29-41; I.W. PROVAN, Hezekiah and the Books of
Kings. A Contribution to he Debate about the Composition of the
Deuteronomistic History (BZAW 172; Berlin – New York 1988) 134-138; B. HALPERN –
D.S. VANDERHOOFT, "The Editions of Kings in the 7th–6th
Centuries B.C.E.", HUCA 62 (1991) 183-199; K.A.D. SMELIK – H.J. VAN
SOEST, "Overlijdensteksten in het boek Koningen", ACEBT 13 (1994) 56-71;
E. EYNIKEL, The Reform of King Josiah and the Composition of the
Deuteronomistic History (OTS 33; Leiden 1996) 129-135.
2 2 Chr 32,33 relates that Hezekiah was buried 'in the
ascent of the tombs of the sons of David'. It is unlikely that the Chronicler
had a different version of the Book of Kings than the one we have. Rather he was
trying to fill in the gap that he found in his source. The description of
Hezekiah's burial in the upper part of the tombs of his predecessors and the
honour that all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem showed him at his death –
both signs of exceptional distinction – was composed by the Chronicler in
keeping with his very high valuation of Hezekiah. See E.L. CURTIS, A Critical
and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Chronicles (ICC; Edinburgh 1910)
493-494; W. RUDOLPH, Chronikbücher (HAT 1/21; Tübingen 1955) 313-314;
H.G.M. WILLIAMSON, 1 and 2 Chronicles (NCBC; Grand Rapids – London
1982) 388; S. JAPHET, I & II Chronicles. A Commentary (OTL; Louisville
3 O. THENIUS, Die Bücher der Könige (KEH 9; Leipzig
1873) 461-462; I. BENZINGER, Die Bücher der Könige erklärt (KHC IX;
Freiburg 1899) 197; A. SANDA, Die Bücher der
Könige übersetzt und erklärt (EHAT IX; Münster 1912) II, 367-368; NELSON,
Double Redaction, 86; E. WÜRTHWEIN, Die Bücher der Könige. 1 Kön
17 – 2 Kön 25 (ATD 11,2; Göttingen 1984) 469.
4 J.A. MONTGOMERY, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on
the Books of Kings (ICC; Edinburgh 1951) 553; C.R. SEITZ, Theology in
Conflict. Redactions to the Exile in the Book of Jeremiah (New York 1989)
106; see M. REHM, Das zweite Buch der Könige. Ein Kommentar (Würzburg
1982) 236; M. COGAN – H. TADMOR, II Kings. A New Translation with
Introduction and Commentary (AB 11; Garden City, NY 1988) 307.
5 MONTGOMERY, Books of Kings, 553; see WÜRTHWEIN,
Bücher der Könige, 469.
6 PROVAN, Hezekiah, 134-143; HALPERN – VANDERHOOFT,
"Editions of Kings",179-199.
7 I follow the so-called 'block model' first suggested by
F.M. Cross and supported by other scholars. For detailed discussion, see F.M.
CROSS, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic. Essays in the History of the
Religion of Israel (Cambridge 1973) 274-289; NELSON, Double Redaction;
R.E. FRIEDMAN, The Exile and Biblical Narrative. The Formation of the
Deuteronomistic and Priestly Works (Chico 1981); A.D.H. MAYES, The Story of
Israel between Settlement and Exile. A Redactional Study of the
Deuteronomistic History (London 1983); COGAN – TADMOR, II Kings; S.L.
MCKENZIE, The Trouble with Kings. The Composition of the Book of Kings in
the Deuteronomistic History (Leiden 1991); G.N. KNOPPERS, Two Nations Under
God. The Deuteronomistic History of Solomon and the Dual Monarchies I-II
(Atlanta 1993-1994); N. NA'AMAN, The Past that Shapes the Present. The
Creation of Biblical Historiography in the Late First Temple Period and After
the Downfall (Yeriot; Jerusalem 2002) 43-77 (Hebrew).
8 For the hypothesis of three successive editions of the
Book of Kings, see H. WEIPPERT, "Die 'deuteronomistischen' Beurteilungen der
Könige von Israel und Juda und das Problem der Redaktion der Königsbücher",
Biblica 53 (1972) 301-339; A LEMAIRE, "Vers l'histoire de la rédaction des
Livres des Rois", ZAW 98 (1986) 221-236; HALPERN – VANDERHOOFT, "Editions
of Kings", 179-244; EYNIKEL, Reform of King Josiah; ID., "The Portrait of
Manasseh and the Deuteronomistic History", Deuteronomy and Deuteronomistic
Literature. Festschrift C.H.W. Brekelmans (eds. M. VERVENNE – J. LUST) (BETL
133; Leuven 1997) 233-261. For an assumed early edition of the time of Hezekiah
and a second exilic edition, see H.N. RÖSEL, Von Josua bis Jojachin.
Untersuchungen zu den deuteronomistischen Geschichtsbüchern des Alten Testaments
(SVT 75; Leiden 1999).
9 R. WEILL, La cité de David. Compte rendu du fouilles
executées à Jérusalem, sur la site de la ville primitive, campagne de 1913-1914
(Paris 1920) 35-44, 157-173; L.-H. VINCENT, "Mélanges. II: La cité de David
d'après les fouilles de 1913-1914", RB 30 (1921) 411-423; L.-H. VINCENT –
A.-M. STEVE, Jérusalem de l'Ancien Testament. Recherches d'archéologie et
d'histoire (Paris 1954) I, 312-323; K. GALLING, "Die Nekropole von Jerusalem",
PJ 32 (1936) 95; ID., "Grab", Biblische Reallexikon (Tübingen
1937) 244-247; J.J. SIMONS, Jerusalem in the Old Testament (Leiden 1952)
198-221; J. JEREMIAS, Heiligengräber in Jesu Umwelt (Mt. 23,29; Lk. 11,47).
Eine Untersuchung zur Volksreligion der Zeit Jesu (Göttingen 1958) 56-60.
Some scholars suggested identifying the tomb of Hezekiah, which according to the
Book of Chronicles (32,33) was buried 'in the ascent of the tombs of the sons of
David', with a tomb discovered by Weill in the 1923/24 season and located south
of the other installations. See R. WEILL, "La 'Pointe sud' de la Cité de David
et les fouilles de 1923-1924", REJ 82 (1926) 110-113; VINCENT – STEVE,
Jérusalem, 322; JEREMIAS, Heiligengräber, 60-61.
10 S. KRAUSS, "Moriah-Ariel. 5. The Sepulchres of the Davidic
Dynasty", PEQ 79 (1947) 102-111;
11 S. YEIVIN, "The Sepulchres of the Kings of the House of
David", JNES 7 (1948) 30-45.
12 A. KLONER, "The 'Third Wall' in Jerusalem and the 'Cave of
the Kings' (Josephus War V 147)", Levant 18 (1986) 121-129.
13 K.M. KENYON, Digging up Jerusalem (London 1974)
31-32, 47, 156-157; G. BARKAY, "On the Location of the Tombs of the later Kings
of the House of David", Between Hermon and Sinai: Memorial to Amnon.
Studies in History, Archaeology and Geography of Eretz Israel (ed. M. BROSHI)
(Jerusalem 1977) 75-92 (Hebrew); ID., "The Necropolis of Jerusalem in the First
Temple Period", The History of Jerusalem. The Biblical Period (eds. S.
AHITUV – A. MAZAR) (Jerusalem 2000) 234-237 (Hebrew); V.A. HUROWITZ, "Burial in
the Bible", Beit Mikra 161 (2000) 134-137 (Hebrew).
14 For the tombs discovered at Silwan, see D. USSISHKIN,
The Village of Silwan. The Necropolis from the Period of the Judahite
Kingdom (Jerusalem 1993).
15 BARKAY, "Location of the Tombs", 75-77; idem, "Necropolis
of Jerusalem",234-237. Kenyon (Digging up Jerusalem, 31-32, 47, 156-157)
also dismissed Weill's identification of the installations as royal tombs. Since
remains of plaster were detected therein she suggested that originally they were
16 N. FRANKLIN, "The Tombs of the Kings of Israel. Two
Recently Identified 9th-Century Tombs from Omride Samaria", ZDPV
119 (2003) 1-11.
17 W. ANDRAE, Das wiedererstandene Assur (Leipzig
1938) 136-140; A. HALLER, Die Gräber und Grüfte von Assur (WVDOG 65;
Berlin 1954) 170-181; The complex of underground vaulted chambers was probably
called b|4t s] arra4ni ma )du4ti ('House
of many Kings') in a distribution text from Assur. See E. EBELING, Stiftungen
und Vorschriften für assyrische Tempel (Berlin 1954) 18-20.
18 D.D. LUCKENBILL, The Annals of Sennacherib (OIP II;
Chicago 1924) 151, Nos. XIII-XIV.
19 E.F. WEIDNER, "Assurbânipal in Assur", AfO 13
20 EBELING, Stiftungen, 18-20. For the rites at the
death of Assyrian kings, see J. MCGINNIS, "A Neo-Assyrian Text Describing a
Royal Funeral", State Archives of Assyria Bulletin 1 (1987) 1-11.
21 H. TADMOR – B. LANDSBERGER – S. PARPOLA, "The Sin of
Sargon and Sennacherib's Last Will", State Archives of Assyria Bulletin 3
(1989) 10-11, lines 19-20.
22 M.S.B. DAMERJI, "Gräber Assyrischer Königinnen aus
Nimrud", Jahrbuch des Römischen-Germanischen Zentralmuseums 45 (1998)
23 P.R.S. MOOREY, "Where did They Bury the Kings of the IIIrd
Dynasty of Ur?", Iraq 46 (1984) 1-18.
24 F.A. SCHAFFER, "Reprise des recherches archéologiques à
Ras Shamra-Ugarit. Sondages de 1948 et 1949 et campagne de 1950", Syria
28 (1951) 14-17; MOOREY, "IIIrd Dynasty of Ur", 16.
25 W. ADLER, Ka4mid el-Lo4z, 11. Das 'Shatzhaus' im Palastbereich. Die Befunde des Königsgrabes
(Saarbrücker Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 47; Bonn 1994) 126-148; seeR. HACHMANN
(ed.), Ka4mid el-Lo4z,
16. 'Shatzhaus'-Studien (Saarbrücker Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 59; Bonn
26 MOOREY, "IIIrd Dynasty of Ur", 15-16; see Y.M.
AL-KHALESI, "The b|4t kispim in
Mesopotamian Architecture: Studies of Form and Function", Mesopotamia 12
27 For a detailed treatment, see W.W. Hallo, "The Death of
Kings: Traditional Historiography in Contextual Perspective", Ah, Assyria ...
Studies in Assyrian History and Ancient Near Eastern Historiography Presented to
Hayim Tadmor (eds. M. COGAN – I. EPH'AL) (Jerusalem 1991) 157-159.
28 A.K. GRAYSON, Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles
(Locust Valley 1975) 41-42, 142-143.
29 Whether the custom of burying kings in the palace already
existed in Akkad under Sargon's dynasty, as might be inferred from this
reference, remains uncertain. See P. MICHALOWSKI, "The Death of Sulgi",
Orientalia 46 (1977) 220 n. 3; MOOREY, "IIIrd Dynasty of Ur", 15
30 M. NOVÁK, "Das 'Haus der Totenpflege'. Zur
Sepulkralsymbolik des Hauses im Alten Mesopotamien", Altorientalische
Forschungen 27 (2000) 132-154. Novák suggested that the concept of the house
as dwelling and resting place for its inhabitants explains the imitation of
palaces in burial places erected on cliffs and in the plain.
31 M. AVI-YONAH, "The Walls of Nehemiah – A Minimalist View",
IEJ 4 (1954) 239-248 (esp. 240); JEREMIAS, Heiligengräber, 56;
H.G.M. WILLIAMSON, "Nehemiah's Wall Revisited", PEQ 116 (1984) 81-88; H.
ESHEL, "Jerusalem under Persian Rule: The City's Layout and the Historical
Background", The History of Jerusalem: The Biblical Period (eds. S.
AHITUV – A. MAZAR) (Jerusalem 2000) 333-341 (esp. 334) (Hebrew).
32 WEILL, "La Pointe sud", 113-117; ID., La cité de David.
Campagne de 1923-1924 (Paris 1947) 57-73. WEILL ("La Pointe sud", 117)
concluded his early discussion as follows: "Au-dessous de la vieille courtine J
1, dans le Cédron qui s'élargit et se creuse, l'eau trouve elle de vastes pentes
où l'irrigation entretient un verger magnifique: les Jardins du roi
fleurissent toujours, du haut en bas de ce flanc de vallée". See also Y. SHILOH,
Excavations at the City of David (Qedem 19; Jerusalem 1984) 23.
33 D. USSISHKIN, "The Water Systems of Jerusalem during
Hezekiah's Reign", Meilenstein. Festgabe für Herbert Donner (eds. M. GÖRG
– M. WEIPPERT) (ÄAT 30; Wiesbaden 1995) 300-303. For criticism of Ussishkin's
suggestion that the Siloam tunnel was hewn mainly for the watering of the royal
park, see A. MAZAR, "Was Hezekiah's Tunnel Dug in Vain", Cathedra 78
(1995) 187-188 (Hebrew); ID., "Jerusalem's Water Supply in the First Temple
Period", The History of Jerusalem (AHITUV – MAZAR) 221-224 (Hebrew).
34 Weill (La cité de David, 35-44) argued that the
burials after the reign of Ahaz were outside the walls of Jerusalem. Provan (Hezekiah,
136 and n. 12) criticized his suggestion, arguing that Manasseh's palace, and
therefore the garden of Uzza (2 Kgs 21,18), were within the walls of Jerusalem.
He ignored the explicit reference to the king's garden and the tombs of David in
Neh 3,15-16, and did not consider the possibility that the kings of Judah could
have had more than one residence. Moreover, Provan (Hezekiah, 134-138)
apparently assumed that our sources supply detailed information of the building
operations of the kings of Judah, and dismissed all suggestions that are not
based on evidence explicitly mentioned in the Bible. It must be emphasized that
we know very little about the building projects carried out by the kings of
Judah, and it is entirely legitimate to make assumptions on the basis of the
archaeological research of Jerusalem and ancient Near Eastern documents.
35 An example of a garden located near the palace appears on
Ashurbanipal's garden party relief. See P. ALBENDA, "Grapevines in
Ashurbanipal's Garden", BASOR 215 (1974) 5-17; R.D. BARNETT,
"Assurbanipal's Feast", Eretz Israel 18 (1985) 1*-6*; K.-H. DELLER,
"Assurbanipal in der Gartenlaube", BaghM 18 (1987) 229-238; I. ZIFFER,
"What Happened under the Grapevine? New Insights into Ashurbanipal's Garden
Party Relief", Eretz Israel 27 (2003) 204-211, with earlier literature
36 This was correctly noted by Weill (La cité de David,
37 See for example: G. RICHTER, "Der salomonische
Königspalast: Eine exegetische Studie", ZDPV 40 (1917) 206, 224; WEILL,
La cité de David, 35-40; G.A. COOKE, A Critical and Exegetical
Commentary on the Book of Ezekiel (ICC; Edinburgh 1936) 464-465; KRAUSS,
"Sepulchres", 106-111; VINCENT – STEVE, Jérusalem, 315; JEREMIAS,
Heiligengräber, 53-56; J. GRAY, I & II Kings. A Commentary (OTL;
Philadelphia 21970) 710; HUROWITZ, "Burial in the Bible", 136; W.
ZIMMERLI, Ezekiel 2. A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel
Chapters 25–48 (Hermeneia; Philadelphia 1983) 417-418.
38 For a detailed discussion of v. 7b, see D. BARTHÉLEMY,
Critique textuelle de l'ancien Testament (OBO 50; Fribourg – Göttingen 1992)
III, 378-380. Barthélemy translated 'et par les cadavres de leurs rois,
c'est-à-dire leurs monuments funéraires'. However, the assumed interpretation of
ba4mo=t as 'funerary monuments' was
dismissed long ago by scholars and cannot be upheld any more. See P.V. VAUGHAN,
The Meaning of 'ba4ma=' in the Old Testament.
A Study of Etymological, Textual, and Archaeological Evidence (Cambridge
1974); W.B. BARRICK, "The Funerary Character of 'High Places' in Ancient
Palestine: A Reassessment", VT 25 (1975) 565-595; M.D. FOWLER, "The
Israelite ba4ma=: A Question of
Interpretation", ZAW 94 (1982) 203-213. Zimmerli's translation of pgr
as 'memorial' (Ezekiel 2, 409) is also not supported by evidence. See
VAUGHAN, Meaning of 'ba4ma=', 64-65, n.
39 For the cult of the ancestors in the ancient Near East,
see A. TSUKIMOTO, Untersuchungen zur Totenpflege (kispum) im alten
Mesopotamien (AOAT 216; Kevelaer – Neukirchen-Vluyn 1985); K. SPRONK,
Beatific Afterlife in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East (AOAT 219;
Kevelaer – Neukirchen-Vluyn 1986); Th.J. LEWIS, Cults of the Dead in Ancient
Israel and Ugarit (HSM 39; Atlanta 1989); W.W. HALLO, "Royal Ancestors
Worship in the Biblical World", "Sha (arei Talmon".
Studies in the Bible, Qumran, and the Ancient Near East Presented to
Shemaryahu Talmon (eds. M. FISHBANE – E. TOV) (Winona Lake 1992) 381-401, with
earlier literature; H. NIEHR, "Zum Totenkult der Könige von Sam'al im 9. und 8.
Jh. V. Chr.", Studi Epigrafici e Linguistici sul Vicino Oriente Antico 11
40 G. BARKAY, Northern and Western Jerusalem at the End of
the Iron Age (Ph.D. Dissertation; Tel Aviv University 1985) (Hebrew); ID.,
"Necropolis of Jerusalem", 233-270, with earlier literature. For a comprehensive
picture of the burial caves discovered so far in the Kingdom of Judah, see I.
YEZERSKI, "Burial-Cave Distribution and the Borders of the Kingdom of Judah
toward the End of the Iron Age", Tel Aviv 26 (1999) 253-270, with earlier
41 JEREMIAS, Heiligengräber, 53-56.
42 MONTGOMERY, Books of Kings, 553. Würthwein (Bücher
der Könige, 469) also noted that — whether the Lucianic version of 2 Kgs
24,6 is original, or was written in an effort to accommodate the text to
Jeremiah's prophecies — historically the LXXL version is erroneous
since Jehoiakim could not have been buried in the garden of Uzza, outside the
walls of Jerusalem.
43 It is not clear whether or not the author knew the details
concerning Jehoiakim's burial. For discussion, see GRAY, I & II Kings,
753-754; SEITZ, Theology in Conflict,116-119.
44 N. NA'AMAN, "The Debated Historicity of Hezekiah's Reform
in the Light of Historical and Archaeological Research", ZAW 107 (1995)
45 A parallel to the assumed growing influence of the priests
on certain Judahite kings may be found in Assyria in the time of Esarhaddon
(680-669) and Assurbanipal (668-631). See B. LANDSBERGER, Brief des Bischofs
von Esagila an König Asarhaddon (MNAW.L 28/6; Amsterdam 1965); S. PARPOLA,
Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal.
Part I: Texts (AOAT 5/1; Kevelaer – Neukirchen-Vluyn 1970); ID.,
Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal.
Part II: Commentary and Appendices (AOAT 5/2; Kevelaer – Neukirchen-Vluyn
1983); ID., Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars (State Archives
of Assyria X; Helsinki 1993); ID., Assyrian Prophecies (State Archives of
Assyria IX; Helsinki 1997); M. NISSINEN, References to Prophecy in
Neo-Assyrian Sources (State Archives of Assyria Studies VII; Helsinki 1998);
S.W. COLE – P. MACHINIST, Letters from Priests to the Kings Esarhaddon and
Assurbanipal (State Archives of Assyria XIII; Helsinki 1998).