Archaeological Evidence for King David: Steely Dan

What you see in this picture is such an important piece of history. Today we were privileged to see the Tel Dan Stele in a Jerusalem museum. This is a non biblical tablet with King David’s name on it. This piece of archaeological evidence was dreaded by liberal scholars who claim that King David was a myth. Instead this piece supports the fact that he was a real person and a real king as described in the Bible. If you need help remembering it’s name, it is a stele found in the northern Israeli town of Dan… so Steely Dan. 

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Dan Stele

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16 replies
  1. Robert says:

    Nothing exhibits the desperation of Christian aoologists better than this rock. It bears the letters k bytdwd. This was quickly read as melek byt.dwd and translated [Kin]g of the House of David. The difficulties with this are obvious with any good photograph of the text. To read k as mlk = king was just guesswork. Nothing in the inscription requires that the word or name bytdwd be linked in any way to Jerusalem and Judah. It refers to a place much closer to Tel Dan. But the most important thing to remember is that “david” was not a name then but the word for “beloved.” So we have some letters on a rock that say House of Beloved, hardly evidence for any king let alone David. Yet this is all it takes for believers to believe that these probably forged letters on a rock prove a young boy killed a ten-foot tall giant with a rock. This thing was created or found in 1993 and Christians are still clinging to it because it is the only artifact they have. 30 years and Christians have not been able to forge or find one other artifact..As I said it doesn’t get any more desperate than that.

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  2. Jon says:

    Ikhernofret Stela from Abydon which mentions Osiris is archaeological evidence dreaded by liberal scholars who claim that Osiris was a myth. And unlike Tel Dan Stele where the meaning of word bytdwd is contested, there is no dispute that Ikhernofret Stela talks about Osiris.

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  3. Robert says:

    Hey Frank, what evidence do you have that this thing is authentic? Even if it is what does it actually prove? Nothing at all except how desperate Christians have now become since this is the ONLY artifact they have or have ever had or ever will have.

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  4. Ted Wright says:

    Most Biblical scholars (even skeptical ones) and archaeologists in the Near East accept the “house of David” reading and the authenticity of this artifact from Tel-Dan. Not to acknowledge that reveals an ignorance of contemporary Near Eastern Archaeology. But the Dan stele is not the ONLY evidence we have concerning David’s reign… Recently Eliat Mazar discusses finding David’s palace in Jerusalem http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/jerusalem/did-i-find-king-davids-palace/ and most recently, archaeologist Eli Shukron has discovered the remains of the Davidic citadel in Jerusalem…

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    • Stephen B says:

      Ted, Frank: if we leave aside Robert’s claim that it’s a forgery, what’s your answer for what he says here: “To read k as mlk = king was just guesswork. Nothing in the inscription requires that the word or name bytdwd be linked in any way to Jerusalem and Judah. It refers to a place much closer to Tel Dan. But the most important thing to remember is that “david” was not a name then but the word for “beloved.” So we have some letters on a rock that say House of Beloved, hardly evidence for any king let alone David.”

      And to Robert: if it was a forgery, why wouldn’t the forger have made it more explicitly about King David, rather than leave the ambiguity that you point out yourself above?

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  5. Ted Wright says:

    It’s not guesswork – it’s based on precedents which have been set from other work on paleography & archaeology. As to your [& Robert’s] claim that David wasn’t a proper name – once again you reveal your complete ignorance of ancient Near Eastern languages – especially Hebrew. Nearly EVERY ancient Hebrew name “meant something.” The name “David” just means “beloved.” If you care to read the original scholarly arguments and interact with them, then read the following by A. Biran & J. Naveh: 1993, ‘An Aramaic Stele Fragment from Tel Dan.’ Israel Exploration Journal 43: 81–98. 1995; ‘The Tel Dan Inscription: A New Fragment.’ Israel Exploration Journal 45: 1–18.

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    • Stephen B says:

      “As to your [& Robert’s] claim that David wasn’t a proper name – once again you reveal your complete ignorance of ancient Near Eastern languages ”

      Ted, it wasn’t my claim at all – I was quoting Robert, and made that clear. I’ll give you benefit of the doubt that you’re not trying to be insulting with your ‘complete ignorance’ comment. I gave questions for both you and Robert; I’m impartial here and am trying to get to the truth from the competing claims of you and Robert.

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  6. Ted Wright says:

    At about the same time as the discovery of the Tel-Dan inscription, two French scholars, André Lemaire (1994) and Émile Puech (1994), independently recognized the same phrase in the Mesha Inscription, which has been around for well over 100 years. It now likely that the name David is in a third inscription. Egyptologist K.A. Kitchen believes that the phrase “highland of David” appears in the Shishak inscription in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, Egypt (1997, A Possible Mention of David in the Late Tenth Century BCE, and Deity *Dod as Dead as the Dodo? Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 76: 29–44) (see Bryant Wood, http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2011/05/04/The-Tel-Dan-Stela-and-the-Kings-of-Aram-and-Israel.aspx#Article)

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  7. Robert says:

    “Archaeological data have now definitely confirmed that the empire of David and Solomon never existed.” – Biblical Archaeological Revue 31, no. 1 (January/February 2005): 16-17. It’s entertaining to be called ignorant by someone who believes in fairies and magic and who has dedicated their lives to such silliness.

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    • Gil Gatch says:

      I’m not in possession of that particular publication so I cannot verify what context this quote was pulled from… but regardless Robert, there have been many discoveries made in the last 9 years that would obviously influence that opinion.

      You would be glad to know that we spent some time with Eli Shukron, one of the most renown Archaeologists in the world. He happens to be an expert on the city of David. His opinion should mean something to you considering how you are appealing to the Biblical Archaeological Review as a source. The evidence is piling up now more than ever that David and Solomon were real kings as described in the Bible.

      It is curious how much time you spend on trying to disprove our ideas, blogs, and facts. What is that about? Don’t you have other things to spend time on?

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    • Jim says:

      What’s silly is you ridiculous theories and obvious role as nothing but a trite little troll. Move on to more fertile ground on you tube blogs where your tripe will be digested en masse by your ilk 🙂

      Reply
  8. Emmanuel D. Macapagal, D.V.M. says:

    Whenever I read the word forgery as well as desperation by Christians. Isn’t it interesting that, by itself, is insulting and harsh. So |I propose that discussions should be from the perspective of honest skepticism and after all, we need the truth to surface. In Medicine there are criterias to derive Causality of disease : Anecdotal(untrustworthy), Correlation , Medical Causal Inference, as well as Scientific experimentation(a distillation of Koch’s postulate. I rest my case and would urge the gentlemen to be polite to each other by not using words like ignorance, naivete and the like.

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  9. Rhona says:

    The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference. I always felt that if someone really didn’t believe in something, they would have no reason to argue that it wasn’t real. They would just know they are right and not care. When hate is involved and the desire to disprove something, that means that person has a seed of doubt in their own convictions. They may not even know it. I’m not on either side of this argument, but the conversations happening about it are very fascinating. I also urge that we not use words like ignorance, naivete and the like. Well said, Emmanuel.

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