Yigael Yadin - Israel Finkelstein - Finkelstein & Silberman – Ze’ev Herzog - Mysteries of the Bible TV - Francesca Stavrakopoulou: Bible’s Buried Secrets TV - Riddles of the Bible TV - Jonathan Kirsch - Baruch Halpern - The Bible Unearthed TV - Eric Cline - Kingdom of David TV - David & Bathsheba 1951 - I Samuel 16:13 - I Samuel 16:19-23 - I Samuel 17:49-51 - I Samuel 18:1 - I Samuel 18:3 - I Samuel 18:8-12 - I Samuel 18:25-29 - I Samuel 19:1&2 - I Samuel 19:8&9 - I Samuel 19:20&21&23&24 - I Samuel 20:3 - I Samuel 20:16 - I Samuel 22:1 - I Samuel 23:2 - I Samuel 23:5 - I Samuel 23:14 - I Samuel 23:18 - I Samuel 24:4 - I Samuel 24:22 - I Samuel 25:22 - I Samuel 25:38 - I Samuel 26:8 - I Samuel 26:12 - I Samuel 27:1 - I Samuel 27:8-12 - I Samuel 28:1&2 - I Samuel 28:25-29 - I Samuel 29:4&5 - I Samuel 30:3-5 - I Samuel 30:8 - I Samuel 30:17&18 - II Samuel 1:15 - II Samuel 1:26 - II Samuel 2:9 - II Samuel 3:1 - II Samuel 4:12 - II Samuel 5:4 - II Samuel 5:10 - II Samuel 5:19 - II Samuel 7:16 - II Samuel 8:1 - II Samuel 8:5 - II Samuel 8:14 - II Samuel 10:17&18 - II Samuel 11:1-5 - II Samuel 11:15 - II Samuel 11:27 - II Samuel 12:1-7 - II Samuel 12:9-11 - II Samuel 12:15 - II Samuel 12:24 - II Samuel 12:31 - II Samuel 16:8 - II Samuel 18:7 - II Samuel 21:1 - II Samuel 23:1 - II Samuel 23:10 - II Samuel 23:12 - II Samuel 24:1 - II Samuel 24:13 - I Kings 1:1-4 - I Kings 2:1&2 - I Kings 2:10-12 - I Kings 2:32&33 - I Kings 2:42-46 - I Kings 11:39 - I Kings 12:16 - I Chronicles 11:3 - I Chronicles 11:9 - I Chronicles 14:3 - I Chronicles 14:10 - I Chronicles 14:15-17 - I Chronicles 15:1&2 - I Chronicles 15:29 - I Chronicles 17:3&4 - I Chronicles 17:8&14 - I Chronicles 17:16 - I Chronicles 18:1 - I Chronicles 18:2 - I Chronicles 18:5&6 - I Chronicles 18:12&13 - I Chronicles 19:18 - I Chronicles 20:3 - I Chronicles 21:5 - I Chronicles 21:7-12 - I Chronicles 21:16&17 - I Chronicles 21:30 - I Chronicles 22:5&6 - I Chronicles 22:9&10 - I Chronicles 28:11&12 - Psalms 132:1&2 - Jeremiah 23:5&6 -
In all the three cities mentioned in the Bible as rebuilt by Solomon – I repeat, Gezer, Megiddo and Hazor – identical fortifications and gates were found. Yigael Yadin, 1972
So Yadin started from a point where he accepts the Biblical texts, the Biblical testimony, as fully historical. Professor Israel Finkelstein, Tel Aviv University
Yadin’s dating was wrong. Professor Israel Finkelstein
There was no mass Exodus from Egypt. There was no violent conquest of Canaan. Most of the people who formed early Israel were local people - the same people whom we see in the highlands throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. The early Israelites were – irony of ironies – themselves originally Canaanites!
The conquest of Canaan by Joshua could not have happened in the way described in the Bible. Most of the towns he is supposed to have conquered either weren’t inhabited, didn’t exist or were conquered at wildly different times.
Jerusalem, which was supposed to have become the capital of the great unified empire of King David (he of David and Goliath fame), appears to have been tiny and only sparsely inhabited in the relevant period. Many of the great monuments of ancient Israel attributed on the authority of the Old Testament to King Solomon were of a later date. Finkelstein and Silberman, The Bible Unearthed
The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land [of Canaan] in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. Professor Ze’ev Herzog
No historical mention of David is made outside of the Bible. Mysteries of the Bible: King David s2e1: Poet Warrior, National Geographic 1994
For the first time in history a reference to an actual historical David is found outside the pages of the Bible. ibid.
Is it possible that David actually had a hand in Saul’s murder? ibid.
Trouble looms for King David in the form of a beautiful woman. Trouble because she is married to another man. ibid.
It is King David’s family that suffers ... He rapes his father’s wives. Mysteries of the Bible s4e5: Love and Sex in the Hebrew Bible, National Geographic 1996
Closer examination could turn this legendary figure and his many achievements to dust. Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Bible’s Buried Secrets 1/3: Did King David’s Empire Exist? BBC 2011
The story goes that David brought together two tribal regions: Israel in the north, and Judah in the South. ibid.
[Yigael] Yadin’s neat conclusions – in fact his whole approach to Biblical archaeological – was challenged, and some would say overturned, in the modern era. ibid.
In 2007 something did turn up, and it threatened to overturn many of Finkelstein’s ideas ... A dramatic discovery was made at the little-known site Khirbet Qeiyafa. Here was a fortified walled town west of Jerusalem, in what was ancient Judah ... The first fortified city from that period. And the thing is, it’s in pristine condition. ibid.
What stands out is this discovery: large city gates. A good indicator, some would say, of empire. ibid.
Despite the best efforts of some archaeologists conclusive evidence for David’s glorious capital has simply failed to materialise. ibid.
There’s no evidence of a Davidic empire in the tenth century in the cities the Bible says Solomon rebuilt. ibid.
The Tel Dan inscription ... It mentions David ... The House of David ... It was a crucial discovery, but like so many finds, its authenticity was contested. Most people now accept the Tel Dan inscription is genuine ... The Tel Dan inscription was written about a century and a half after the period of David. Enough time perhaps for a story about a legendary founding figure to develop. Other scholars disagree. ibid.
Omri really did leave his mark in the archaeological record. ibid.
It’s not a convincing picture. The historical David may or may not have existed, the jury is still out on that, but the lack of evidence on his great united kingdom, in contrast to the wealth of information about Omri, makes the very existence of his empire questionable. ibid.
Omri is in the Bible – but blink and you’ll miss it. ibid.
I don’t think Judah and Israel were united under a Davidic king at all. ibid.
In the seventh century it was the southern kingdom – Judah – that was in the ascendancy ... It was a story filtered through the experiences of Judah. ibid.
At about 1,000 B.C. one larger-than-life figure emerges to unite the twelve tribes of Israel against a powerful new enemy: ‘David put his hand into the bag; he took out a stone and slung it. It struck the Philistine in the forehead; the stone sank into his forehead and he fell down on the ground’ [I Samuel 17:49]. Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Bible’s Buried Secrets 2/2
Of all the names in the Hebrew Bible none appears more than David. Scriptures say David creates a kingdom that stretches from Egypt to Mesopotamia. He makes Jerusalem his royal capital, and in a new covenant, God – known as Yahweh – promises that he and his descendants will rule for ever. ibid.
But then in 1993 an amazing discovery shed new light on what the Bible calls ancient Israel’s greatest king. Gila Cook was finishing up some survey work with an assistant at Tel Dan, a Biblical site in the far north of Israel today ... But something caught her eye: a stone with what appeared to be random scratches but was actually an ancient inscription ... Cook had found a fragment of a Victory Stele ... It celebrates the conquest of Israel. It boasts: ‘I slew mighty kings who harnessed thousands of chariots and thousands of horsemen. I killed the king of the House of David’. ibid.
Three monumental gates all based on the same plan would seem to be powerful evidence not only of prosperity but also of a central authority ... This stunning convergence between the Bible and Egyptian history gives a firm date for the death of Solomon ... 930 B.C. This is further evidence that David and Solomon lived in the 10th century ... Although a minority of archaeologists continue to disagree, this convergence of the Bible, Egyptian chronology and Solomon’s Gates is powerful evidence that a great kingdom existed at the time of David and Solomon spanning all of Israel, north and south, with its capital in Jerusalem. ibid.
The Silver Scrolls with the priestly benediction pre-date the earliest Dead Sea Scrolls by four-hundred years. It’s an amazing find, proving that at least some verses of the Bible were written in ancient times during the reign of King David’s descendants. By giving us texts from before the Babylonian exile, the silver scrolls confirm that the Hebrew Bible is created from poetry, oral traditions and prayers that go back to the time of Josiah’s D-writer, and probably beyond to writers E and J. ibid.
Once upon a time a small boy slew a giant and saved his people. The Bible says he went on to conquer Jerusalem and give the wandering Israelites a home. His son Solomon the Wise built them a Temple, put the Ark of the Covenant in it and filled their coffers with wealth. David and Solomon made Israel a nation. Were they historical figures or mere legends? After three thousand years can any trace of these Biblical giants survive? Riddles of the Bible: Lost Kings of Israel, National Geographic 2010
The search for David in his own city has revealed a tunnel that might tell us of his clever tactics. But little else about David himself. It turns out that the best evidence we have for David comes not from his city or his people but from his arch-enemies. ibid.
The greatest testament to David’s importance, and as yet the most tangible clue that David was a real human made of flesh and blood comes from an enemy king who records a victory over David’s descendants on a piece of stone called The Tel Dan Stele. ibid.
To have found Gath is a huge boost for archaeologists looking for evidence of Biblical stories from the time of David, the tenth century B.C. ibid.
A highly dysfunctional family. And a very flawed man. But a man who could not be ignored. Jonathan Kirsch, author King David