The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem

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Course Date: 01 August 2014 to 12 September 2014 (6 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

Learn about Judah under Babylonian rule

Estimated Workload: 3-4 hours/week

Course Instructors

Oded Lipschits

Oded Lipschits was born in 1963 and he is a professor for Jewish history in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. Oded also serves as the the Director of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University and the head of the program of Ancient Israel Studies, and as the director Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition.

His Ph.D. dissertation dealt with the Province of Judah in the sixth century BCE (The Babylonian Period), analyzing the archaeological data and the Biblical narratives in order to reconstruct the historical reality of that era. The second project lead by Prof. Lipschits is the administrative system of Judah during the eighth to second centuries BCE, centered along the excavations at Ramat Rahel (in the area of Jerusalem), where the cooperated Tel-Aviv and Heidelberg University project unearthed a monumental administrative center. Nowadays, Prof. Lipschits is leading several research projects dealing with the Judean Lowland, surrounding the ongoing project at Tel Azekah. These projects and more were published in numerous books and papers.

Oded lives with his wife Yael and their four (!) children in the beautiful Galilee in northern Israel. In many respects, he is the "father" of many M.A. and Ph.D. students, who worked at Ramat Rahel and who are now involved with the Azekah project.

Ido Koch

Ido was born in 1981. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near East Cultures at Tel Aviv University. Ido is writing his dissertation on the history of the Judean Lowland under the supervision of Prof. Nadav Na'aman and Prof. Oded Lipschits. Ido is also a senior member of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition and works as a research and teaching assistant with Prof. Lipschits.

He lives in Tel Aviv with his partner and their beautiful cat, Felix.

Course Description

The period of the demise of the Kingdom of Judah at the end of the sixth century B.C.E., the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, the exile of the elite to Babylon, and the reshaping of the territory of the new province of Judah, culminating at the end of the century with the first return of exiles – all have been subjects of intense scrutiny in modern scholarship. This course takes into account the biblical textual evidence, the results of archaeological research, and the reports of the Babylonian and Egyptian sources and provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of the evidence for the history of this 100-year-long era. The course includes a detailed discussion by Prof. Oded Lipschits of Tel Aviv University, with guest lectures by leading scholars dealing with the archaeological and biblical aspects of this debated topic.


  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by Professor Lipschits.

  • What resources will I need for this class?
For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, the Bible, and the time to read, write, discuss, and enjoy.

  • Is the reading list a must?
No. The reading list is our recommendation. Yet, you do not have to read it in order to participate in the course. If you do have the time, we have posted links to on-line versions of several of the papers.

  • I am currently a student at Tel Aviv University, will this course count towards the study of a degree at Tel Aviv University?
Yes, this course may qualify for 2 general credit point in your academic studies at Tel Aviv University under the following conditions:

  1. You must be a registered student at Tel Aviv University in the 2013-2014 academic year.
  2. You must register in advance through the internal Tel Aviv University registration system (i.e. the bidding system) and be accepted to the course (please note this pilot is limited to 150 student).
  3. You must take a final exam at the Tel Aviv University campus (the date and time of which will be available on the online registration system).       
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Week One
Introduction to geopolitics and geography of the Ancient Near East 

Week Two

The turmoil of the seventh century BCE  

Week Three
Judah under Babylonian rule

Week Four
The days of the destruction of Jerusalem

Week Five
Archaeology of the sixth century BCE

Week Six
The restoration of Jerusalem in the early Persian Period and Summary


This course will span over 6 weeks.
In each week students will be required to watch that week's online video lectures and preform the weekly quiz.

Suggested Reading

Course book: 
Lipschits, O. 2005. The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem. Winona Lake.


Course Workload

3-4 hours/week

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