Death Formulae and the Burial Place
of the Kings of the House of David

Nadav Na'Aman

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 of Kings8.
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 Kings.

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 heirs.
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. Eshar-h~ amat, 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 Ka4r-Marduk; the 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 them forever.'

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 temple.
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 1993) 997-998.
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 cisterns.
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 (1939-1941) 213-216.
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) 19-84.
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 1996) 208-264.
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 (1977)59-81.
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 (Hebrew).
36 This was correctly noted by Weill (La cité de David, 35-44).
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. 73.
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 (1994) 57-73.
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 literature.
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) 179-195.
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).