Francesca Stavrakopoulou, «Exploring the Garden of Uzza: Death, Burial and Ideologies of Kingship», Vol. 87 (2006) 1-21
The Garden of Uzza (2 Kgs 21,18.26) is commonly regarded as a pleasure garden in or near Jerusalem which came to be used as a royal burial ground once the tombs in the City of David had become full. However, in this article it is argued that the religious and cultic significance of royal garden burials has been widely overlooked. In drawing upon comparative evidence from the ancient Near East, it is proposed that mortuary gardens played an ideological role within perceptions of Judahite kingship. Biblical texts such as Isa 65,3-4; 66,17 and perhaps 1,29-30 refer not to goddess worship, but to practices and sacred sites devoted to the royal dead.