David’s Palace: A Long Sought Reality

Discussion in 'News and Articles' started by jerusalemgifts, May 11, 2014.

  1. By Tom Brennan
    Eilat Mazar’s masterpiece of discovery

    Jerusalem is no stranger to controversy, especially about the Bible. There are genteel disagreements among academics and archaeologists about excavations and their findings. One of the most prominent controversies today is about the findings of the “Minimalists”. Traditionally we have believed in the Kingdoms of David and Solomon and that these were powerful monarchs, ruling a large population in a rich and respected land. Yet, only one relic with the name of “David” has ever been found, a stele tablet with the words “House of David” .There is an active debate concerning the invasion of Canaan and if it even occurred. Minimalists contend that the Israelites had not entered Canaan as conquerors but only in small groups and these mixed gradually into the existing population. The newcomers were herders and occupied the highlands since the lowlands were occupied. Cities with walls and armies were there already.

    Dr. Eilat Mazar thinks differently. She is the daughter and granddaughter of renowned archaeologists The minimalist contingent consider David and Solomon to be mostly tribal chieftains, ruling small bands in the heights where they could plant crops and keep goats and sheep. In later years as the Bible was written down and assembled into a narrative, their roles grew into mighty kings. The Canaanites and later Philistines occupied the desirable lands near the coast, the land where the swiftest trade routes enticed travelers, traders and sea merchants. Jerusalem occupies a unique position on another travel route. Dr. Mazar has persisted in holding her Bible in one hand and spade in the other and is definitely on to something here in the City of David.

    Davids Palace

    The location of the City of David was never really in doubt. But evidence of the size, importance and influence of the kingdom was. Bible doubters always asked where are the coins with the king’s stamp, the statues, and the ancient archives, anything that says “David is King”. Mazar has persisted in a mission to demonstrate that a real kingdom was in existence in 1,000 BCE and that the founder of that royal family was David, son of Jesse.
    There is in the oldest part of Jerusalem an architectural area with extremely thick walls, solid and built to resist an army’s attack. It occupies a high area and overlooks where the Tabernacle was placed, Mt. Moriah. No tribal chieftain of a band of herders and farmers would have been able to command enough finance, gather the materials and recruit and draft the labor force of workers and architects who built fortresses and palaces. Only a king who had established and organized a governmental system could do this. This all points to a real kingdom with the resource and organization to tax, hire and build solid and reliable structures.
    Other clues as to the legitimacy of the Kingdoms of David and Solomon lie in several walled cities and a metal work smelter that show a rich and powerful kingdom dating from the times of the two kings. Cities with powerful walls, triple gated entries that show they followed a formula and authorized pattern all show that a strong central authority was in existence. The authority was well financed and had an extensive network of administrators and governors, not the domain of a couple of Robin Hoods.

    The thrill of seeing the Palace of King David is one that no visitor to Israel should miss. Today even persons who acknowledge the authority of the Bible hedge their bets by re-interpreting much into 21st century thoughts. We grew up on an imagery of the Bible in the colored tones of movies such as deMille’s Ten Commandments (the silent one and the one most of us remember and view every Easter). Special effects bear no comparison to reality. The crossing of the Red Sea is best experienced not in the comfort of your living room but by being near the ocean during a storm. The roar of the wind and ocean, the power of the waves and the realization that something is far beyond your fears and control. Only God can possibly make the wind blow and waves roar like this. In a similar way we can view the solid stone walls of David’s Palace. The walls are thick and walls like this were not cheap to build. Someone with power and a king’s authority ordered their creation. They were a warning to other kings that no attack would be allowed, someone who knew battle and had led “mighty men” against enemies dwelled within and that this kingdom was the equal of anyone. Israel would be taken seriously and would receive its due.

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