By Finkelstein, Israel and Silberman, Neil Asher

Biblical archaeology, southern Levant, Biblical heritage

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Extra info for David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western tradition (epub)

Example text

Another generally accepted synchronism is the invasion of the country by the Egyptian pharaoh Shishak in the fifth year of Solomon’s son Rehoboam—c. ) When we proceed backward from Rehoboam, the chronology gets considerably fuzzier. First, as previously noted, David and Solomon are not mentioned in any contemporary extrabiblical text, and hence do not have any reliably direct anchor to ancient Near Eastern chronology. ” David’s reign, begun in Hebron and then continued in Jerusalem, is likewise recorded as forty years.

Whether believed literally as history or appreciated for its mythic power, the biblical narrative of the founding kings of a united Israel has remained an important part of western culture. However little most people may know the contents of the Bible, few need to ask what a “David and Goliath” battle is about or what “the judgment of Solomon” means. Put simply, without David and Solomon our world would be different. The biblical stories of David and Solomon offer a template for western leadership and an archetype of kingly power that influences each of us, consciously or not.

Rising from the reclining figure of David’s father, Jesse, the spidery tendrils of these ever-ascending vines of stone, paint, or stained glass extended upward in a great organic chain of divine authority, from David with his lyre, Solomon and his crown, to the later kings of Judah, to Jesus, the saints, and then to the crowned kings of the medieval world. Likewise, the great Ottoman conqueror and lawgiver Suleiman, nicknamed “the Magnificent,” consciously cultivated his public image as a second Solomon, to sanctify the historical and religious authority of his empire.

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