Search - Empires - The Kingdom of David - The Saga of the Israelites on DVD

Empires - The Kingdom of David - The Saga of the Israelites
Empires - The Kingdom of David - The Saga of the Israelites
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2003     3hr 40min

The Saga of the Israelites tells the epic story of the Jews and the creation of the world's first and most profoundly influential monotheistic religion. The stories of the patriarch Abraham, the liberator Moses, the poet-k...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: PBS Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/04/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 3hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A black sheep in the PBS Empires Series
Young Foosha | Eastpointe, MI | 01/21/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"PBS is known for their outstanding production, and their Empires series is no exception. However, the "Kingdom of David" installment is a big disappointment. Rather than sticking to historical fact, the bulk of this show simply gives a mouthpiece to a single author's novel idea of "Who wrote the Bible?" The ideas don't even make sense in light of the Bible's content. Rather than stating that the Bible was COMPILED during the Babylonian Exile, he presumes the Bible was WRITTEN at this time, essentially claiming that the myriad of minute historical details interlaced in the Pentateuch is mere fabrication. Completely outrageous! The historical reality, supported by modern archaeological finds, supports the traditional assertion that the Bible's early books were compiled from existing writings. Moses himself almost certainly compiled the Genesis account from existing writings. Archaeology has proven that writing was well-developed even at the time of Abraham, as evidenced by clay tablets from the period that document trade with Ur, the site of Abraham's birth.

The series ignores the fact that the following books all portend to have been written prior to the Bablyonian Exile: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, large portions of the Kings and the Chronicles, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and others.

The series also makes the absurd claim that the Jewish faith didn't become something they were willing to die for until after the return from Babylon. This assertion denies the Bible's historical claims to the contrary, as found in the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, and the Kings and the Chronicles.

Let's stop giving the benefit of doubt to unfounded modern criticism. Let them make their claims, but make sure they back up their claims with evidence before stating their opinions as fact. This program contained only assertions, and no evidence. Just as the theory of evolution is often asserted as fact without a critical examination of the assertions, so this video consists of assertions stated as fact without evidence or answering any objections. The "scholarship" is on par with that of the Jesus Seminar. The video did not interview or present the viewpoing of even a single conservative or even middle-of-the-road scholar.

PBS should be ashamed that they have ignored the preponderance of scholarship on this issue. To buy this DVD was a complete waste of money, and to watch it was a complete waste of time. The show didn't even cover the time of David's kingdom, but rather started after his rule, at the time of the Babylonian exile. As such, why this DVD was titled "The Kingdom of David" is completely baffling. It has nothing to do with the rule of this famous Israeli king of antiquity."
Fascinating but controversial period
D. Mitchell | 03/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I think its inevitable that THIS particular edition of Empires will get some harsh reviews. Almost anything you say about this period of time will offend one religious follower or another. The episode draws from historical, biblical and archeological sources, and includes interviews from a variety of Jewish and non-Jewish scholars.It is rare that we get to see any attempt to treat this time period from a real historical viewpoint, because it is such a loaded topic."
Good intro into Jewish History
David A. Schuck | 09/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While not perfect, it's one of the best introductions to Jewish History I have seen on DVD. If one is a conservative in terms of religious views, then I can see why one would not like it. However, for the rest of us, it is a well done production mainly because of the interviews from various scholars. I would suggest it to anyone wanting to add to their understanding of Old Testament History and Judaism, as well as to anyone else who has several of the other Empire Series."
A good start
Dean | Samut Prakarn, Thailand | 01/03/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Either side of the divide can find cause to criticize this program, but what it does is stimulate interest in the archeological evidence for many of the stories with which many Americans are familiar. It helps to promote the idea that the religious must be separated from the historical. If religion stimulates an interest in history, then that is enough reason to undertake a documentary of this nature.

Overall, some of the points in the program are dated by more recent field finds, many of which have only been published in Hebrew. Hopefully, interest in this subject will result in a greater dissemination in America of professional papers currently only available in Hebrew, Arabic or European languages.