Last year, an artifact was found which corroborated biblical accounts that the Hebrew kingdom of King Solomon was real (see link). For believers in the Bible, this is unsurprising, but the “scholarly” community has had many minimalists who have long maintained that the Bible’s narratives are false. Indeed, some have asserted that King David’s and Solomon’s reigns never existed.
The ancient artifact had an ancient Hebrew inscription on it which confirmed that a Hebrew/Israelite kingdom existed at the time that the Bible said it did, and one Israeli expert is cited as stating that “We are dealing with real kings, and the kingdom of David and Solomon was a real fact.” You can read the scholarly discussion re: this artifact in the link, but I am not the least bit surprised that such a confirming artifact has been found. Some of the strongest affirmation re: the reality of the kingdom of Israel’s reality and power under Kings David and Solomon is found in secular historical narratives. As my books confirm, secular historians have noted that the Phoenician Empire was dominant in the Mediterranean region circa 1100-700 BC, and once it is realized that the “Phoenician” Empire was actually the Israelite Empire of Israel’s 12 tribes, allies to the smaller city-states of Tyre, Sidon, etc., during this time-frame, it is easy to grasp the real existence of the Israelite kingdom under Kings David and Solomon. You may have read about the Phoenician Empire in some of your history texts, but did you realize that term came from the Greek name for the “Phoenicians”–who never called themselves by that name? The Greek histories also make it clear that they applied that name to the Israelite territory as well as the city-states of Tyre and Sidon.
The Bible records that the “Phoenician” city-states of Tyre and Sidon were very closely intertwined with the Israelite tribes during the reigns of Kings David and Solomon as well as during the reigns of later Israelite kings. King Hiram of Tyre began the Israelite alliance with Tyre and Sidon during the reign of King David (II Samuel 5:11), and it was deepened further after King Solomon’s reign began. The navy of King Solomon and the navy of Tyre merged into a single entity (I Kings 9:26-27, II Chronicles 8:18), and their mutual fleet returned every third year to Israel bearing samples of animals from other continents (I Kings 10:22). The Israelites and the workers of Tyre and Sidon were merged into a single workforce and the citizens of each entity worked in the territory of the other in complete trust and allegiance to each other (I Kings 5:1-18).
So little is known about the reigns of Kings David and Solomon from ancient archaeological sources because so many wars have been fought in the ancient Promised Land, and the cities therein, most notably Jerusalem, have been razed, destroyed and rebuilt many times. It must be remembered that the time of Kings David and Solomon was regarded as “ancient history” at the time that Julius Caesar was born. The Romans twice destroyed what little was left of ancient Jerusalem and the ancient Israelite cities after the life of Julius Caesar. Before the Romans demolished the cities of Jerusalem and other ancient Israelite cities, the Assyrians and Babylonians did it before them. Other Empires did so as well. What is remarkable is that some artifacts are now coming to light that confirm David was a real person and that a real Israelite kingdom existed in Jerusalem during King Solomon’s time. The Bible’s narratives are being affirmed and it is the biblical “minimalists” who are being discredited.
If you wish to learn more about the degree to which the Israelites merged with the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon and the far-flung places around the earth to which they sailed together, you may find this information in my E-book, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found! at my website’s homepage or by ordering my books, The Origins and Empire of Ancient Israel and Israel’s Lost Empires, available via the book links at my homepage. Also check out the photo gallery and commentary at my homepage that mentions the Los Lunas Decalogue tablet, a rock slab in New Mexico which has on it an ancient Paleo-Hebrew inscription, the Hebrew script used during the time of the biblical Israelite kings.