The monarchy of David and Solomon represents the golden age in Israel’s history. But what if David and Solomon did not exist, as some have claimed? What if their kingdom was not as extensive as the Bible describes, as some also have claimed? Without David there would be no Jerusalem, the capital of the nation (2 Sam. 5:6-10).
Without David there would be no temple built by his son, Solomon (1 Kings 8:17-20). Finally, without David there would be no future Messiah, for it is through the line of David that a Messiah is promised (Jer. 23:5-6; Rev. 22:16). Israelite history would need to be completely rewritten. Yet that history, as it reads in Scripture, is precisely what gives Israel and the church its unique role and mission.
Read 1 Sam. 17:1-58. How does God provide a decisive victory for Israel? Who is used for this victory? Where does the victory take place?
Notice the precise geographical description of the battle lines in 1 Samuel 17:1-3. The site of Khirbet Qeiyafa is located on the hills exactly in the area of the Israelite camp described in this chapter. Recent excavations there revealed a massively fortified, garrison city from the time of Saul and David overlooking the valley. Two contemporaneous gates were excavated. Since most cities in ancient Israel had only one gate, this characteristic may help identify the site as Shaaraim (1 Sam. 17:52), which in Hebrew means “two gates”.
If this is the case, then we have identified for the first time this ancient biblical city. In 2008 and 2013, two inscriptions were found that many believe represent the oldest Hebrew writing ever discovered. The second inscription mentions the name Eshbaal, the same name as one of Saul’s sons (1 Chron. 9:39).
In 1993, excavations at the northern city of Tel Dan uncovered a monumental inscription written by King Hazael of Damascus, who records his victory over the “king of Israel” and the king of the “house of David”. This is the same way the dynasty of David is described in the Bible, adding more powerful archaeological evidence that David existed in history, just as the Bible says.
|Think through the implications of what it would mean for our faith if, as some people claim, King David did not really exist?|