A Castle Built By Solomon

The third king of Israel, the son of David, was the famous Solomon. Although during king David’s reign Israel was preoccupied in war with many of its neighbors, including the Arameans, Ammonites, Philistines, and other foes, the reign of Solomon was a time not of expansion, but of prosperity, wealth, and building. Allow me to share with you another small, yet important finding in the recent archaeology of the biblical lands regarding this man.

Image result for solomons palace

Indeed, according to the biblical account, Solomon’s enormous wealth allowed him to build impressive palaces, houses, and other types of buildings throughout many cities of Israel.

1 Kings 9:15: Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the LORD, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer.

If 1 Kings 9:15 is right, we should find many impressive features of ancient cities in Israel, including Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer that date to the time of Solomon, about the middle of the tenth century (970-930) BC. Recent attacks against the historicity of the Bible have claimed that Solomon was nowhere near as wealthy as the Bible said he was, and have attempted to point to a lack of evidence for such fortifications and features of ancient cities such Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer to prove their accusations against the biblical account of the life of Solomon.

As archaeology continues to unearth the ancient world and prove the Bible’s historicity to be entirely accurate, these criticisms continuously fall. Although the claims against David and Solomon have fallen one by one in recent years, this one we just mentioned in particular has been dealt heavy blows in the past, especially after 2016 proved another great year for the establishment of the veracity of the life of Solomon as described in the Bible. Indeed, in 2016, a large palatial building was found in the royal city of Gezer, proving that during Solomon’s reign, construction of large palaces and exquisite architecture was underway just as described in the Bible. Behold it with your own eyes!

Aerial view of the palatial building found in ancient Gezer, which archaeologists have tentatively dated to King Solomon's time.

Praise the Lord! It was true all along! It dates exactly to the time of Solomon (in the 10 century BC) and reveals evidence of Philistine occupation of the site until David’s reign (giving evidence that he conquered them, as described in the records of the Bible). Indeed, a full and fantastic explanation of this recent discovery can be found here.

Truly, the case is being made very quickly. How long can the foes of the Bible last, when history is establishing its truth virtually every other year?

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16 thoughts on “A Castle Built By Solomon

    • “Please give me a link to a source where Israel Finkelstein admits that the biblical Solomon existed.”

      From page 143 of Israel Finkelstein’s book ‘The Bible Unearthed’;
      “Archaeologically we can say no more about David and Solomon except that they existed–and that their legend endured.”

      Although that is not true anymore (we can say more now, and probably could say more back then as well), that should be enough to show that Finkelstein outright admits the existence of Solomon, based upon archaeology at that.

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      • You sent three comments in response, all of them failing to address any of the evidence. We’ve seen Finkelstein admits the historicity of Solomon, that Habermas’s paper is peer-reviewed, etc, etc, etc. But of course, reality can hit an atheist hard sometimes. Christian is better.

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  1. Please provide evidence of a King David or a King Solomon who lived at the time the Bible says they lived and who ruled a UNITED kingdom. I could care less how much copper the Kingdom of Judah was exporting. That proves nothing.

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    • “Please provide evidence of a King David or a King Solomon who lived at the time the Bible says they lived and who ruled a UNITED kingdom. I could care less how much copper the Kingdom of Judah was exporting. That proves nothing.”

      As I’ve noted earlier, there is already enough evidence to show that David existed, and that him and his successors were substantial kings (until the invasion of Shoshenq I, of course).

      However, you want exact evidence that David ruled over a ‘united’ kingdom. In other words, you want me to prove that David controlled both the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Well, I don’t know how to prove that as of yet. Excavations are still ongoing in the holy land, who knows what will pop up. Just to note, however, just 27 years ago (1990), scholars thought David was a mythical figure, and even if he did exist, he was not a king but more of a local chief who ruled over a sparsely inhabited society at best. Now, after less than three decades (a very small amount of time on the timescale of archaeology), it is not only being admitted that he exists, but that Solomon (and perhaps Saul) probably existed, and that these people were substantial kings.

      And again, most scholars do in fact accept the historicity of Solomon. Just a few years before the Tel Dan Inscription was found, Israel Finkelstein began claiming that none of these monarchs existed. Now, even though he’s still as minimalistic as possible, he admits that Saul, David and Solomon all existed.

      “I could care less how much copper the Kingdom of Judah was exporting. That proves nothing.”

      Au contraire, my friend, it proves a lot. Major copper production directly correlates to the expansive development of a kingdom.

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      • “Israel Finkelstein began claiming that none of these monarchs existed. Now, even though he’s still as minimalistic as possible, he admits that Saul, David and Solomon all existed.”

        Please give me a link to a source where Israel Finkelstein admits that the biblical Solomon existed.

        The Tel Dan stele indicates that there was once a king of Judah named David. This no more proves the existence of the biblical King David who killed lions with his bare hands than finding an engraving in England that says something about a “King Arthur” proves the existence of King Arthur of the Knights of the Round Table…whose companion Sir Lancelot was a slayer of dragons.

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  2. Before evangelical Christians start celebrating this “biblical” discovery, they should read the last few paragraphs of the article quoted in this post:

    —Dr. Sam Wolff, an archaeologist employed by the Israel Antiquities Authority and co-director of the excavation along with Ortiz, urges caution in connecting the finds from the excavation with biblical texts.

    Regarding attribution of the palace to the time of King Solomon, Wolff tells Haaretz, “Our 10th century date is tentative, pending further study of the ceramic assemblage and the results of carbon 14 analyses. Others may claim that the pottery we are calling 10th century is in fact 9th century.

    “In this regard, I would point out that we have found a significant stratum between what we are calling the 10th century and the 8th century strata, and we date this stratum to the 9th century,” Wolff says. “For the earliest stratum to be 9th century as well is certainly possible, but it would then squeeze two significant strata into one century. For the time being we prefer to date this earlier stratum, along with the six-chamber gate and the fortification wall connecting the two, to the 10th century; that is, to the time of Solomon.”

    Gary: Could it be from the time of the alleged king, Solomon? Yes. But the archeologists working on the project caution us not to jump to conclusions.

    But think about this, folks: If the Bible is correct, Solomon was the ruler of a massive, powerful empire. The Pharaoh of Egypt gifts him cities; the Queen of Ethiopia pays him homage…yet not one word of a King Solomon is mentioned in the surviving writings of any of the surrounding kingdoms of the Middle East! Not ONE! We have evidence of the existence of the biblical Omri, Ahab, and all the kings of Israel after them in the writings of other kingdoms, but nothing…NOT ONE SINGLE WORD…about the greatest Israelite king who (allegedly) ever existed—Solomon? Why?

    Answer: He is a myth!

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    • “Gary: Could it be from the time of the alleged king, Solomon? Yes. But the archeologists working on the project caution us not to jump to conclusions.”

      From the quote you mention, it’s still definitely not a certain dating (as implied by the word ‘tentatively’ in the quoted text), however no doubt does the evidence seem to, for the time being, favor an earlier date. This will be a rather extraordinary find if it in fact is 10th century.

      Secondly, as for your nonsensical attempt to call Solomon a myth, this is a rather easy one to take care of. The pharaoh of Egypt does not ‘gift him cities’, as far as I’m concerned he only gave him a small village near the Philistine border according to the biblical text. The queen of Ethiopia doesn’t pay him homage, either, although she did give many gifts when she arrived if I’m not mistaken (and he gave things to her as well).

      Why is Solomon not mentioned in any texts? That’s because, from the area of Israel and surrounding regions, there have been *less than 10 discovered manuscripts and inscriptions* as of yet. Less than 10. That’s extraordinarily small. No wonder why we don’t have any texts mentioning Solomon, we don’t have texts period. Most scholars accept the historicity of Solomon as well, and that is simply because of the fact that almost every single king mentioned in the Old Testament to date has been affirmed, aside from a few ephemeral ones. Thus, the biblical traditions are more then reliable enough to affirm the existence of Solomon, according to the majority of even critical scholars.

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      • HA!

        Every biblical king except for the biblical Saul, David, and Solomon…the very ones you fundies sooooo much want to prove historical.

        There may have been a Judean king named David, but there is ZERO evidence of great King David and great King Solomon who ruled a united Israel, much less a great Hebrew empire. None.

        You are desperately searching for evidence to support your ancient fairy tale instead of letting the evidence speak for itself.

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      • “Every biblical king except for the biblical Saul, David, and Solomon…the very ones you fundies sooooo much want to prove historical.”

        You go on to contradict yourself by pretty much admitting David existed, and that is because we know David very probably existed because he is attested in both the Tel Dan Inscription and Mesha Stele.

        As for Saul, although there are no extant mentions of him by name, the Qeiyafa Ostracon, according to Emile Puech, probably describes the uprising of Saul as the first king over the throne of Israel. For Solomon, we at least have some circumstantial evidence.

        Now, you say “Every biblical king” has been shown, aside from Saul and Solomon. This is blatant nonsense. I don’t know the exact number, but about 20-30% of them remain unattested. Not only that, but the earlier we go in Israel’s history, the less attestations we have. This is because the earlier we go back in time, the less and less manuscripts and inscriptions we have found. It almost seems to correlate too well — less writing from an era, less discovered mentions of biblical kings. The reason why most of the earliest kings (Solomon, Rehoboam) don’t have discovered inscriptions (as of yet) is not because they weren’t there, we simply have found very, very few pieces of writing from their time.

        That is of course, not to say that there *are no* inscriptions or mentions of them. That is still an open question, because the archaeologists are still digging, and most of the writing we found from this era were discovered in just the last 15 years. Even the two texts we found for David were only found out in the last 25 years.

        “There may have been a Judean king named David, but there is ZERO evidence of great King David and great King Solomon who ruled a united Israel, much less a great Hebrew empire. None.”

        Actually, there is. You do make a misstatement, though — the Bible says nothing of a “great Hebrew empire”, the biblical kingdom described is a mini-empire for all purposes and technicalities.

        The fact that David was a substantial king, as well as his predecessors, seems to be now substantiated increasingly substantiated. In 2006, I would technically have no argument for this, but a lot has happened in the last decade (2007-2017). The excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, for example (2007-2013) have established that Judea was not a sparsely inhabited society in its time as had been previously assumed, but rather very powerful. Excavations at the Timna Valley (2013-ongoing) have also revealed copper-production so expansive in southern ancient Israel dating to the time of Solomon (and a bit into David) to fuel an entire kingdom (back in the days of David, copper back then was the ‘oil’ of today). In all likelihood, David was a substantial king.

        Another finding just last year (2016) found foreign fabrics located in the Timna Valley dating to the time of Solomon, which revealed that Israel at the time had complex trading networks.

        So, it seems as if you’re bathing in the days of Israel Finkelstein and when he wrote his most popular book (The Bible Unearthed, 2001) — these notions you espouse are pretty much entirely outdated today.

        “You are desperately searching for evidence to support your ancient fairy tale instead of letting the evidence speak for itself.”

        Go right ahead, look at the excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, the Timna Valley, and other recent findings of that time such as the Stepped Stone Structure and Large Stone Structure, and even try to pretend as if the evidence is on your side.

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      • “Most scholars accept the historicity of Solomon as well”

        That is a truly outrageous statement. I attribute it to one of three possibilities:

        1. Ignorance of current scholarship.
        2. Your definition of “scholarship” only includes scholars who are members of your flavor of Christianity (evangelicalism). You discount the opinions of all other experts in the field as biased.
        3. A blatant lie.

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      • Don’t get too excited. I was simply paraphrasing this exaggeration:

        “the fact that almost every single king mentioned in the Old Testament to date has been affirmed, aside from a few ephemeral ones.”

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