Why Is There Little Evidence for David’s Kingdom?
Several dozen helpful articles are included in the recent work edited by James K. Hoffmeier and Dennis R. Magary, Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith?: A Critical Appraisal of Modern and Postmodern Approaches to Scripture. In one of the articles, Michael G. Hasel addresses the lack of evidence for the United Monarchy in Israel. I thought that the points were worth sharing.
1. The heartland of the kingdom of David and Solomon is largely inaccessible to archaeologists because of the political situation in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”).
3. Archaeological remains have faced massive destruction over the centuries.
4. The ancient peoples left limited texts to help us assess what they left behind.
5. Interpretations are tentative and can change within a season. Hasel cites the discovery of the Tel Dan Inscription against those who were then claiming that David and his kingdom were mythical.
For development of each point, see “New Excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa and the Early History of Judah,” pages 477-96 in the book. For a full list of articles, see this previous post. The paperback sells for $23, and the Kindle version is under $10.