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extreme weakness of Judah in the 7th ( 115114 :1993)
: ,century
The Kingdom was relatively small with a limited reservoir of man
power. The territory of Judah had been sparsely inhabited in the Iron
Age I and it took some two hundred years from the 10th to the 8th
century B.C.E. to settle and populate it. Following the massive
Assyrian deportation in 701 B.C.E., the kingdom lacked the human
resources needed to resettle the destroyed and deserted areas. The
Period of pax Assyriaca in the 7th century enabled Judah to recover
gradually, to restore some of its settlements and strengthen its
economy. However, the time span of less than a century that
separated the Assyrian campaign of 701 from the death of Josiah
(609) was too short for more than a partial recovery.

,( ,248 :1994)
Large districts were destroyed and tens of thousands of people :
deported to distant places. Manpower in the kingdom was restricted and Judah
was unable to replace the deportees and settle the deserted areas. There was a
drastic reduction in settlement in the kingdom in the 7th century B.C.E. Even
in the late 7th century, following a hundred years of recovery, the
Palestine Exploration Quarterly 1
' . ,(2008 )
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90

kingdom's settlement, population and economy was considerably less


than in the eighth century B.C.E..
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earthenwork was constructed around the city so that the Assyrian troops could
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, )' the most likely interpretation of Sennacherib's :(135
annals is that the Assyrian did, in fact, construct fortresses in the immediate
surroundings of Jerusalem. The objective was to blockade the city and in the
4
longer run, to bring the inhabitants to starvation

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,167 .(33 )it is clear that Jerusalem was not (181 :2003
) besieged in 701 ;145 :2003 .(352 :2006
) (244 :2006 there is no reason to deduce from the text :
that a circumvallation wall or a moat had as yet been constructed and certainly
.no siege ramp makes it clear that a blockade had been
set up around the city

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