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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

HOUSE OF DAVID




"And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant.(Luke 1:69)

There are parts of the Bible that are fully consistent with the archaeological record - particularly during the period from the divided kingdom onwards.

There are other parts of the Bible where there is some archaeological evidence that may support the biblical account, but there are disputes about the dates. For example, there is some archaeological material that was thought to be consistent with the biblical accounts of a rich United Kingdom during the time attributed to Kings David and Solomon, but which some scholars now believe to belong to a later era, during the time of the divided kingdom.

One artefact has been found that refers to the defeat of the "House of David", which means that at the time of the defeat, there had been a former King David, or at least Judahite tradition held that there once had been a King David.

Further evidence exists of David and Solomon, known biblically as the "founders of the House of David" (referring to the dynasty of kings beginning with David). In northern Israel, at the ancient Tel Dan, archaeologist Avraham Biran discovered a victory inscription dated to the 9th century BCE. A neighboring king, in describing his victories over Israel, writes in unambiguous terms the phrases, "King of Israel" and "Beit David" (House of David).

Additionally, another inscription of a foreign victory over Israel is the Mesha or Moabite Stone, dated to the 9th century BCE, and now housed in the Louvre Museum in France. French scholar Andre Lemair studied the inscription and concluded that the phrase "House of David" appears there also.

Ardent revisionist Dr. Philip Davies strove valiantly to claim that the readings are ambiguous. However, in the words of Anson Rainey:


"As someone who studies ancient inscriptions in the original, I have a responsibility to warn the lay audience that the new fad (revisionism) represented by Philip Davies and his ilk is merely a circle of dilettantes. Their view that nothing in the biblical tradition is earlier than the Persian period, especially their denial of the existence of the united monarchy, is a figment of their vain imagination. The name 'House of David' in the Tel Dan and Mesha inscriptions sounds the death knell to their specious conceit. Biblical scholarship and instruction should completely ignore the (revisionist) school. They have nothing to teach us."

Davies' evasive maneuver was also too much for Dever. He said that this "is an example of the lengths to which scholars will go to avoid the obvious when it does not suit them." It should be noted that the Tel Dan inscription was found shortly after Davies had just published his major revisionist work on the nonexistence of King David and the united monarchy.

Revisionists have also argued against King David's conquest of Jerusalem and Solomon's major building in the city, due to the lack of archaeological remains from that time period.

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