Textual and historical notes on the eliashib archive from arad

Nadav Na'aman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The first part of the article discusses in detail some letters addressed to eliashib, possibly the commander of the fortress of Arad. New readings and interpretations are suggested for Ostraca Nos. 3, 5, 10, 12 and 18 and their structure and contents are clarified. The second part of the article offers new solutions for some problems in the history of the Negev in the late years of the Kingdom of Judah. it suggests that the elite troops of Kittiyim were hired by one of the last kings of Judah and sent to the Negev in an effort to curtail the edomite danger. However, the efforts to defend the Negev failed and its centres were destroyed some time before the Babylonian 588-587 BCe campaign against the Kingdom of Judah. The heavy destruction brought about by the edomites was deeply engraved in the collective memory and provides the background for the distinctive negative attitude to edom in biblical prophecy of the exilic and post-exilic periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalTel Aviv
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Arad
  • Beersheba
  • Edomites
  • Eliashib
  • Kittiyim


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