The Righter Report

In Search of King David

For centuries, numerous skeptics of the Bible denied the historicity of Jesus Christ. Today, with the compilation of so many evidences for The Historical Jesus, no serious historian doubts such an individual once walked the earth. The debate has since moved on to questions concerning his miracles, resurrection, and claims to divinity.

Undaunted, the skeptics have conveniently moved their yardsticks further back into antiquity. Their target this time: King David, who lived approximately three thousand years ago. One of these determined skeptics is Israel Finkelstein, Chairman of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology, who argued that the monarchy of King David was essentially a myth. His book to this effect, “The Bible Unearthed,” was once popular with fellow skeptics and novices but was later largely debunked by fellow archaeologists.

Archaeology Confirms King David

Until very recently, there was no evidence outside the Bible for the existence of King David. There are no references to him in Egyptian, Syrian or Assyrian documents of the time, and the many archaeological digs in the City of David failed to turn up so much as a mention of his name. Then, on July 21, 1993, a team of archaeologists led by Prof. Avraham Biran, excavating Tel Dan in northern Galilee, found a triangular piece of basalt rock, measuring 23 x 36 cm. inscribed in Aramaic. It was subsequently identified as part of a victory pillar erected by the king of Syria and later smashed by an Israelite ruler. The inscription, which dates to the ninth century BCE, that is to say, about a century after David was thought to have ruled Israel, includes the words Beit David (“House” or “Dynasty” of David”). It is the first near-contemporaneous reference to David ever found.”

King David’s Palace

“Very few personalities in history stir our imagination as that of David, son of Jesse,” says historian, M. H. Leon. For decades,” says Leon, “and despite much effort by scholars and archaeologists, the location of King David ‘s palace has remained a mystery.”

But recent discoveries and research by Hebrew University archaeologist, Dr. Eilat Mazar, the granddaughter of the renowned archaeologist, the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar, has unveiled convincing evidence that pinpoints the exact location of this most important biblical structure.

“One of the main clues in finding King David’s palace,” says Mazar, “was surprisingly from the Bible itself.” 2 Samuel 5:17 states: “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went DOWN [from his palace] to the [citadel].”

And there it was, just “up” from the citadel.

Today, there is growing evidence for the validity of King David and related Biblical accounts. No doubt the skeptics will need to rethink or modify their positions.

August 5, 2007 - Posted by | Theology

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