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Other Articles on 
and the Bible

Archaeology Verifies the Bible as God's Word

Ch. 1 - A Christian Skeptic Discovers God in Ancient Israel

Ch. 2 - Sir William Ramsay
Defends the New Testament

Ch. 3 - Was the Jesus of the Bible Fact or Fiction?

Ch. 4 - Bible Minimalists
Back Again!

Ch. 5 - King David
Was for Real!

Ch. 6 - Archaeological Evidence Verifies Biblical Cities

Archaeological Evidence
Verifies Biblical Cities

The Devil's War Against Biblical Archaeology



Archaeology Verifies the Bible as God's Word


King David Was for Real!

Chapter 5


Every possible effort has been made by the minimalists to fictionalize King David. Why? Once he is proven to have been a reality of history, then the history of the Jewish nation, Israel, ruled by David’s descendants automatically follows as an historic fact. The archaeological spade has transformed the claim of Palestinian roots from the realm of possible history to complete fantasy. King David was for real!

In 1993 archaeologists discovered the names of “David” and “Israel” in an inscription carved in stone only 100 years after David’s death. The Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1994, p. 26, reports:

It’s not often that an archaeological find makes the front page of the New York Times (to say nothing of Time magazine). But that is what happened last summer at Tel Dan, a beautiful mound in northern Galilee.

There Avraham Biran and his team of archaeologists found a remarkable inscription from the ninth century B.C.E. that referred both to the ‘house of David’ and to the ‘king of Israel.’ This is the first time that the name David had been found in any ancient inscription outside the Bible.

Later another scholar found the name “house of David” in the inscriptions of the famous Moabite Stone, dated about 100 years after David’s reign. It has been observed that it is hard to understand how David’s name could appear in ancient historical records if he were nothing but a legend.

In honor of Jerusalem Day 2007, archaeologists revealed a number of seals from the time of the Biblical Kings David and Solomon. The seals, along with other recently uncovered artifacts, were displayed for the first time marking forty years since the liberation and unification of Jerusalem by the modern State of Israel.

These artifacts reveal that the City of David, ancient Jerusalem, was a commercial and trading center during King David’s and King Solomon’s reigns—even having a postal system. Agnostic scholars have claimed that if there were a City of David in that time frame, it was a “Sleepy Hollow.” How wrong they are!

King David’s Palace

For decades, and despite much effort by scholars and archaeologists, the location of King David’s palace has remained a mystery. But recent discoveries by the eminent  archaeologist, Dr. Eilat Mazar, the granddaughter of the renowned archaeologist the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar, has unveiled convincing evidence that pinpoints its exact location.

In 2004 the writer had a meeting with Dr. Eilat Mazar concerning the extensive destruction of Jewish antiquities by the Palestinians on the Temple Mount. At that time she said she “knew the location of King David’s palace.”

Why was she so certain? Her most noted saying was, “I excavate with the Bible in one hand.” Then in 2005 she found King David’s palace exactly where she Biblically expected. Thrilling! Bible history was again vindicated!

King Hiram of the Phoenicians offered to build King David a palace fit for an emperor (2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Chronicles 14:1). Just as Biblically described, Mazar found the trademark of Phoenician builders—cedars of Lebanon and their distinct style of stone masonry. 

Mazar said, “One of the reasons researchers were at a loss in finding this important place was they assumed that King David built his home in the safest, best protected part of the city, inside the [former] Jebusite city walls.” However, this was not the case. 

“One of the main clues in finding King David’s palace,” says Mazar, “was surprisingly from the Bible itself.” [2 Samuel 5:17 states that] “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down [from his palace] to the citadel.”

The Philistines suffered defeat by King David’s forces. How? The Bible is careful to indicate that the palace was located above the citadel or walled city of ancient Jerusalem. Mazar observed,

The Bible would not have said ‘went down’ unless David indeed did go from his palace, down the slopes of the Ophel mountain, to the citadel. Consequently, his palace must have been located north of the city, not in the center of it.

The Philistine invasion took place after the completion of David’s new palace, but before the northern fortifications were sufficiently finished. Therefore, King David, who was already living in his new residence, which was not yet strong enough to withstand a major assault from the north, regrouped south of his palace in the old Jebusite fortress city, the ancient Jerusalem, that he had previously captured.

This biblical account of King David’s war with the Philistines proved to Dr. Mazar that David’s palace was north of the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. As Mazar viewed the grandiose complexity of this early Israelite building that marked it an unprecedented monumental edifice, Mazar exclaimed, “This can only be King David’s royal palace.”

She observed, “This area was not only available, but also desirable. It was protected on the south by the citadel and the old city, and on the east and west by the deep slopes of the Kidron and Tyropoeon Valleys.”

Later, 1 Samuel 5:9 tells of the construction of formidable fortifications which were completed to the north by David’s heir, King Solomon.