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Tuesday, August 11, 2009 

The Shiniest Story Not Being Reported: King David’s Palace Found

Did you hear about the coolest archeology find in years? Did you hear about Dr. Eilat Mazar finding what is most likely King David’s palace in Jerusalem story? How did she find a palace that was buried in Jerusalem for a couple of thousand years? Heh, she read her Bible.

For a good long while the accounts recorded in Scripture have been treated as legends or fairy tales by many academics. From the story reporting Dr. Mazar’s find:

For a growing number of academics and intellectuals, King David and his united kingdom of Judah and Israel, which has served for 3,000 years as an integral symbol of the Jewish nation, is simply a piece of fiction. The biblical account of history has been dismissed as unreliable by a cadre of scholars, some of whom have an overtly political agenda, arguing that the traditional account was resurrected by the Zionists to justify dispossessing Palestinian Arabs. The most outspoken of these is Keith Whitelam of the Copenhagen School which promotes an agenda of "biblical minimalism," whose best-known work is The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestinian History.

Even in Israel, this new school has found its voice. Israel Finkelstein, chairman of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology, began championing a theory several years ago that the biblical accounts of Jerusalem as the seat of a powerful, unified monarchy under the rule of David and Solomon are essentially false. The scientific methods for his assumptions, called a "lower dating" which essentially pushes archaeological evidence into a later century and thus erases all evidence of a Davidic monarchy, were laughed off by traditional archaeologists. But his book, The Bible Unearthed, wound up on the New York Times' best-seller list and he became the darling of a sympathetic media. He concluded that David and Solomon, if they existed at all, were merely "hill-country chieftains" and Jerusalem a poor, small tribal village. He claims that the myth of King David was the creation of a cult of priests trying to create for themselves a glorious history.

For years folks have been trying to locate David’s palace but have given up when it could not be located within what is the nine square acres of the original city. So how did Dr. Mazar know where to look when no one could seem to find it? More from the story:

Some biblical scholars gave up looking for the palace because, according to Mazar, they were looking in the wrong place. Scholars searched for remains of the palace within the walls of the ancient Jebusite city that David conquered and called Ir David (City of David). This city, while heavily fortified with both natural and man-made boundaries, was also very small, just nine acres in size. When no evidence of such a majestic palace as the Bible describes was found there, the next step was to claim that David's monarchy never really existed.

But Mazar always suspected that the palace was outside the original city, and cites the Bible to prove it. When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed, they went on the attack to apprehend him. This occurred after he conquered the Fortress of Zion, which was the actual nucleus of the city, and built his palace. The Bible says that David heard about it and "descended to the fortress," (2-Samuel 5:17), implying that he went down from his palace, which was higher up on the mountain than the citadel/city.

Mazar told Aish.com: "I always asked myself: Down from where? It must have been from his palace on top of the hill, outside the original Jebusite city."

Mazar says she was confident in her assessment of where the palace would be. What she discovered was a section of massive wall running about 100 feet from west to east along the length of the excavation (underneath what until this summer was the Ir David Visitors Center), and ending with a right-angle corner that turns south and implies a very large building.

One of the things I love about archeology is the fact that this science in particular is one of the Christian’s greatest friends in refuting the idea that a group of people, whether they lived two or even three thousand years ago, created a religion out of thin air that had no ties to real live history. The fact of the matter is that ancient Judaism and Christianity are the only religions that can stand up to the archaeologist shovel and still come out on top.

It just bothers me a bit that nobody seemed to want to cover this story. This find confirms a major religion’s place in history when the majority view of scientific community seems to be otherwise! It just seems like we’re living in Bizzaro world when the main stream media will report a grilled cheese sandwich that looks like Mary, the mother of God, up for auction on Ebay and overlooks important archaeological finds that validates the Biblical narrative from a scientific prospective and methodology. The next thing you know they’ll skip the finding a stegosaurus carved into Buddhist temples story! ;-)

One thing I told my Sunday school class recently is that Christians should never fear science. Yes, there are claims out there that seem to contradict Scripture but when the rubber hits the road or the shovel hits the Jerusalem hillside, my bet’s on God’s Holy Word coming out on top when it comes to truth. Yep, my money is on Scripture.

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This is news to me!

Thanks for sharing!

Yes, at the end of the day, God will always come out on top, in spite of how the world will attempt to distort reality.

So, we proclaim Christ, in the face of all of it, and let the chips fall where they may.

Steve, this story is news to many people as nobody covered it!

I held off on posting it as I was hoping Issues would have an archeologist like Dr. Paul Maier on to talk about it.

I've been following this report from its inception and ongoing as it has unfolded, and the truth of the matter is that the Aish.com article was misleading and certainly not wholly objective (nor 'new')... which is what we as Christians should be... ours is after all, no blind faith!

This might clarify the discovery from an Biblical archaeological perspective: http://biblicalpaths.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/the-palace-of-king-david-dr-eilat-mazar/ (Do follow link on post to my original post on the 'news').

I hope all of this is of some help.

Blessings,

In Him,

Stephen

Thank you Stephen for the link, I suspect I’m gonna spend a good bit of time visiting you in the future.
My post was more about the fact that I’ve heard NOTHING about this discovery whatsoever until last month and how neat it is to find such a story at all as opposed to the hows of the report. Having to endure somebody finding a new tomb of Jesus or His ossuary (seemingly every, what is it, every Christmas and Easter?) and have the media report for weeks what can be debunked in the matter of minutes by real live professional archeologists and not a bunch of hacks selling a one hour special on the Discovery Channel, it’s just refreshing to get access to the story at all.

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  • From The Haut South
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