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Clay seals may prove existence of King David

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Six clay seals unearthed in Israel could prove that Kings David and Solomon actually existed.

For years scholars have dismissed these two biblical figures and their kingdoms as mythological, but now the discovery of six clay bullae, which were unearthed during a dig at Khirbet Summeily in Israel, has offered the first direct evidence that there was a ruler in the region during the 9th and 10th centuries BC.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...e-of-king-david

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pallidin

Huh. I guess I never knew that those Kings were/are considered by scholars as "mythological"

Hopefully more findings will answer that question, one way or the other.

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Leonardo

This is wildly speculative - about par for the course for the Daily Mail, I must say.

The 'bullae' are, as the article makes clear, official seals used to authenticate documents. While this is suggestive of a centralised authority (government) in the region, there is absolutely no evidence this government was an independent 'kingdom of Israel', but it may have been a vassal govt set up by any number of regional powers in that area who assumed control over the Levant at various times (i.e. Assyria, Egypt, etc).

I'm very disappointed that any historical find in that region is lauded as 'confirming the historicity of the bible', even when no such confirmation is evident from what is actually found.

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This is wildly speculative - about par for the course for the Daily Mail, I must say.

The 'bullae' are, as the article makes clear, official seals used to authenticate documents. While this is suggestive of a centralised authority (government) in the region, there is absolutely no evidence this government was an independent 'kingdom of Israel', but it may have been a vassal govt set up by any number of regional powers in that area who assumed control over the Levant at various times (i.e. Assyria, Egypt, etc).

I'm very disappointed that any historical find in that region is lauded as 'confirming the historicity of the bible', even when no such confirmation is evident from what is actually found.

In fact, given that "Canaan" was an Egyptian tributary province and that the Egyptians also used clay seals those things can mean all kind of things.

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Sundew

The Tel Dan Stele also mentions the "kings of Israel" and may refer to "the House of David" although the translation of the phrase is disputed by some. Still many Biblical people groups, kings, battles, place names and so forth in Scripture that were once thought to be myth have later been discovered to be fact through some archeological finding, so the mention of David and Solomon would not be a huge surprise. The Dead Sea Scrolls authenticated an early timeline of certain books of the Bible thought to have been written much later, as I recall. After thousands of years, numerous wars and plundering, it takes a lot of sleuthing and a bit of good luck to find these bits of history.

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qxcontinuum

I can't believe some people are still questioning the historic importance of the Bible. Bible isn't just a religious book first of all. Was historic and because of it's religious context its writers have been accurately documenting real events and personas.

Edited by qxcontinuum

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The Tel Dan Stele also mentions the "kings of Israel" and may refer to "the House of David" although the translation of the phrase is disputed by some. Still many Biblical people groups, kings, battles, place names and so forth in Scripture that were once thought to be myth have later been discovered to be fact through some archeological finding, so the mention of David and Solomon would not be a huge surprise. The Dead Sea Scrolls authenticated an early timeline of certain books of the Bible thought to have been written much later, as I recall. After thousands of years, numerous wars and plundering, it takes a lot of sleuthing and a bit of good luck to find these bits of history.

In any Mickey Spillane novel you can find names and pl;aces that actually exist, does that make Mike Hammer real?

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The Tel Dan Stele also mentions the "kings of Israel" and may refer to "the House of David" although the translation of the phrase is disputed by some. Still many Biblical people groups, kings, battles, place names and so forth in Scripture that were once thought to be myth have later been discovered to be fact through some archeological finding, so the mention of David and Solomon would not be a huge surprise. The Dead Sea Scrolls authenticated an early timeline of certain books of the Bible thought to have been written much later, as I recall. After thousands of years, numerous wars and plundering, it takes a lot of sleuthing and a bit of good luck to find these bits of history.

The Tel dan stele say a variety of things depending on how you arrange the fragments, there is just one variation in which it could be the House of David (for which we have no archeological evidence), if you arrange them in a different fashion you have a different version that actually names some people of which we do have archeological evidence. I guess now you have to decide whether you want to go with the archeological evidence or with your faith. If you need to make up your mind I suggest this book (available online) that explains the whole thingy

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JinxDeMynx

if pigs are real, I'm pretty sure this guy is.

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Peter B

I can't believe some people are still questioning the historic importance of the Bible. Bible isn't just a religious book first of all. Was historic and because of it's religious context its writers have been accurately documenting real events and personas.

Do these "real events and personas" include Moses? Abraham? Noah and the Great Flood? Methuselah and people living 900+ years? Adam and Eve? Unless you accept the absolute correctness of the entire Bible (as many Christians do) then there comes a point in time before which you have to say, "We have no independent evidence that these people were real."

So yes, there are events mentioned in the Bible which have been independently corroborated, though often in a very different way from the way the Bible tells them (for example, the Assyrian attack on Judah at the time of King Hezekiah). But there are also events for which absolutely no evidence outside the Bible can be found (for example, the Exodus).

In the case of Kings David and Solomon, the archaeological evidence is glaringly absent - Jerusalem at that time had a population way too small to be the capital of an influential kingdom. This is not to say they weren't real people, but it strongly suggests their kingdom was nothing like the local power that the Bible describes.

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Davros of Skaro

Here're two good docs for those interested.

The Bible UnEarthed

The Bible's Buried Secrets

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Rafterman

This is wildly speculative - about par for the course for the Daily Mail, I must say.

The 'bullae' are, as the article makes clear, official seals used to authenticate documents. While this is suggestive of a centralised authority (government) in the region, there is absolutely no evidence this government was an independent 'kingdom of Israel', but it may have been a vassal govt set up by any number of regional powers in that area who assumed control over the Levant at various times (i.e. Assyria, Egypt, etc).

I'm very disappointed that any historical find in that region is lauded as 'confirming the historicity of the bible', even when no such confirmation is evident from what is actually found.

That was my take on it as well when I read it last week.

All of my christian Facebook friends in Mississippi were posting it, which completely explained why they drew the biblical connection in the press release - if you want something to get legs in Mississippi and among christians, simply tie it to the bible.

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kmt_sesh

I would agree it's a stretch to proclaim this based on clay seals, but the article is brief and doesn't elaborate on why the proclamation is so confident. What exactly is written on the bullae, and is it a certainty that it's written in the archaic form of Hebrew and not in one of the other Northern Semitic dialects that were so similar to Hebrew?

Bullae of this type, seen so often in sites from Mesopotamia and Iran, do indeed seem to indicate some form of socio-political development, but to what extent? It's only my opinion but I think it's premature to claim they derived from anything greater than perhaps a minor city-state of the type so common in ancient Canaan. In other words, the authority behind the seals may not have been so much a king as a chieftain.

Others have mentioned the Tel Dan stele, which people still debate and the biblical minimalists do not like. I tend to be a minimalist in some ways but the stela does mention byt-dwd, "House of David," so personally I find this evidence compelling. This stele dates to the late ninth century BCE. There is also the Mesha Stela, which dates to the mid-ninth century BCE, and which a growing number of scholars agrees also contains mention of the House of David, even though that portion of the tablet is somewhat fragmented.

So I personally don't have a problem, based on extant evidence, in seeing the existence of a ruling Davidic line in the Early Iron Age. How it existed in reality as opposed to biblical lore is another matter. It's altogether possible the historical David was just another warlord in Canaan. This still leaves absent from the archaeological and extrabiblical record any evidence for the existence of Solomon. Administrative clay bullae cannot stand unto themselves as such evidence.

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kmt_sesh

...

All of my christian Facebook friends in Mississippi were posting it, which completely explained why they drew the biblical connection in the press release - if you want something to get legs in Mississippi and among christians, simply tie it to the bible.

We often get that sort of visitor in the Field Museum of Natural History here in Chicago. This museum is strictly about science, so the occasional ultra-Christian visitor is quite put off to discover we do not have an exhibit on creationism.

I mean, really?

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