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Kingdom of Priests, 2nd Edition

A History of Old Testament Israel

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"Kingdom of Priests has served several generations of students and colleagues with distinction, so it is with delight that I welcome this second edition. I am pleased to recommend it."--David M. Howard, Bethel Seminary

From the origins and exodus to the restoration and new hope, Kingdom of Priests offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of Old Testament Israel. Merrill explores the history of ancient Israel not only from Old Testament texts but also from the literary and archeological sources of the ancient Near East. This updated and revised second edition addresses and interacts with current debates in the history of ancient Israel, offering an up-to-date articulation of a conservative evangelical position on historical matters. The text is accented with nearly twenty maps and charts.




"Eugene Merrill's Kingdom of Priests has served several generations of students and colleagues with distinction, so it is with delight that I welcome this second edition. Judiciously updated throughout, its most important improvement is the engagement of recent historiographical discussions, including a burgeoning literature among evangelicals. I am pleased to recommend it."--David M. Howard, professor of Old Testament, Bethel Seminary

"In Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, Eugene Merrill follows a sound methodology that uses explicitly stated and well-reasoned principles in analyzing Old Testament events. He demonstrates how the 'facts' of Old Testament history emerge only after sound hermeneutics that give attention to issues of style, genre, and rhetorical strategies are applied to the biblical text. Merrill provides historical background for each biblical book and period of Israel's history and gives up-to-date information from extrabiblical sources regarding nations and rulers with whom Israel often found itself in conflict. This work is a crowning achievement of a distinguished career devoted to the study of Old Testament history and is destined to become the standard evangelical treatment of biblical history for decades to come."--Mark F. Rooker, senior professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"The second edition of Eugene Merrill's now classic Kingdom of Priests is a model of the seamless relationship of Old Testament history and theology. While technically a history of Israel, updated and refurbished by the latest biblical research, this book illustrates by its structure, style, and content that Old Testament history was written for theological purposes. But history is not the unwitting servant of theology; rather, they stand alongside one another as co-servants of the message of redemption."--C. Hassell Bullock, professor emeritus of Hebrew Bible, Wheaton College

The Author

  1. Eugene H. Merrill

    Eugene H. Merrill

    Eugene H. Merrill (PhD, Bob Jones University; PhD, Columbia University) is distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also distinguished professor of Old Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist...

    Continue reading about Eugene H. Merrill


Praise for the second edition:
"The first edition has been widely appreciated, and this second edition is updated with more material on how historical work is to be done."--Ray Van Neste, Preaching

"Twenty years after its first appearance, Merrill's history of ancient Israel is reissued not merely as a second edition, but updated and revised. . . . He includes a careful examination of literary and archaeological sources from the ancient Near Eastern world and situates the history of Israel within that context. He then moves methodically through the books of the Bible. . . . There is no question about Merrill's expertise. He has carefully brought his earlier version of history up to date."--Dianne Bergant, CSA, Bible Today

"An in-depth introduction to the history of Israel in the biblical period. . . . Merrill consistently presents archaeological data (of both artifacts and documents) where appropriate and explains to the general reader why the data may or may not be relevant. . . . He also provides good summaries of competing theories. . . . At the same time, he routinely offers plausible suggestions for the resolution of difficulties in the biblical text without pretending to resolve everything definitively. . . . Eighteen excellent black and white maps are provided, which aid the reader in understanding the sometimes complex relationships of Israel within its geographical and political context. . . . Kingdom of Priests is written in a very comprehensible style that will keep readers interested from beginning to end. It paints with a medium width brush, creating a picture of Israelite history that is thorough without being overly technical or detailed. It promises to serve the next generation of students and readers as well as the first edition has done."--Theron R. Young, Trinity Journal

"Kingdom of Priests has been a staple for the teaching of the history of Israel in evangelical colleges and seminaries since its original publication. . . . Kingdom of Priests is representative of much of evangelical scholarship on the OT, and evangelicals will want to have a copy of this revised edition within arm's reach."--Ralph K. Hawkins, Criswell Theological Review

"Merrill has been an active participant in the field of Old Testament history and theology, various genres in the Hebrew Bible, and hermeneutics. He has brought this insight into the updated edition with a new chapter addressing the nature of Old Testament historiography and the field of historiography and biblical studies. . . . The strength of Kingdom of Priests is that Merrill weaves together Old Testament Theology, literature, and history to provide a contextual-historical discussion of the Hebrew Bible. Merrill writes specifically for a conservative audience, avoiding bogging down the discussion with apologetic statements addressing critical scholarship. Nevertheless, students of Old Testament history will be cognizant of discussions that address critical issues. Students, pastors, and laypersons who are unfamiliar with the debates will be introduced to the wealth of insights that previous generations have received. . . . Kingdom of Priests remains one of the books that will need to be read by any student of the Bible and a reference for any scholar's or pastor's library."--Steven M. Ortiz, Southwestern Journal of Theology

Praise for the first edition:
"By far the best conservative history of Israel now available. . . . If you buy only one Old Testament history, make it this one." --Duane A. Garrett, Mid-America Theological Journal

"Merrill has given us an enlightened, well-written, up-to-date, scholarly OT history from a conservative evangelical viewpoint. . . . The author is to be congratulated for this fine contribution to evangelical scholarship. Especially appreciated is the obvious depth of research. . . . Moreover the author has grappled with the extensive secondary literature. . . . Despite the scholarly notes, the text itself reads smoothly enough for an undergraduate to read. . . . [This work] is a must for theological libraries and students of the OT."--J. M. Sprinkle, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"This work is a very fine introduction to OT history from a strongly conservative perspective. Merrill's grasp of the scholarly issues is impressive. . . . This volume is to be recommended (1) as an introduction to the major scholarly issues (he does not seem to miss a single one) involved in OT historiography, and (2) as a clear example of very conservative thinking regarding these issues. . . . This is a marvelous example of erudition. The author exhibits a tremendous amount of interaction with the dominant scholarly trends. . . . The overall organization of the book is very strong. It is organized in small, tightly knit, easily digestible sections. . . . One gets the feeling that Merrill wrote as a teacher with students in mind. . . . This work is very useful for anyone interested in interacting with a clear and forceful exposition of conservative OT historiography. The author argues clearly and consistently throughout."--Peter Enns, Westminster Theological Journal

"[Merrill] combines the biblical material with helpful archaeological information which illuminates the biblical account. His extensive footnotes are most helpful for further study. . . . Merrill obviously has a masterful grasp of Old Testament history and of the scholarly books and articles on the subject."--F. B. Huey Jr., Southwestern Journal of Theology

"Merrill has succeeded admirably in his endeavor. The book, written in a clear, flowing style, carefully traces the nation of Israel from the time of the Patriarchs to the close of the Old Testament at the time of Malachi. Laymen will enjoy the style of writing, which provides insight into the biblical events by 'fleshing them out' with archaeological and literary data. Scholars will appreciate the careful attention to detail and informative footnotes that provide more technical argumentation. . . . Merrill's work is a welcome addition to the study of Israel's history. Pastors and laymen who are serious about interpreting the biblical record of Israel in its historical context should acquire this book and read it."--Charles H. Dyer, Bibliotheca Sacra