from: Israel Finkelstein /
Neil A. Silberman: The Bible unearthed.
Archeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the
Origin of Its Sacred Texts; The Free Press, a division
of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2001; German edition
has got the title "No trombones before Jericho" (orig.
German: "Keine Posaunen vor Jericho"): edition
C.H.Beck oHG, Munich 2002;
Here in this analysis is used the
German version "Keine Posaunen vor Jericho" of DTV,
Munich 2004, second edition of 2005. All page
indications refer to the German version. I hope the
page numbers are not very different.
Archaeological findings for
the structures of a Reich of David are missing
Some of the Philistine towns are excavated in big parts
-- where can be stated a fire around 1000 B.C. destroying
a town of the Philistines (p.151-152) - and this can be
detected with layers of ashed in combination with
overturned stones (p.152) - the scholars of before state
that the fire was from an expansion under David, e.g. in
the case of Tel Qasile where archaeologist and historian
Benjamin Mazar states this (p.151-152)
with Jerusalem, Megiddo, Geser, and Hazor,
satellite photo. Jerusalem does not exist at
The case of Jerusalem: where was the
-- archaeologists never can find any little peace of the
alleged temple of alleged king Solomon (p.152)
-- the scholars simply are searching in other places than
in Jerusalem finding alleged traces of the Reichs of David
and Solomon, e.g. in Megiddo with findings from Iron Age
(excavations in the 1920s and 1930) (p.152).
case of Megiddo
-- Megiddo is a cross point between the roads to Egypt, to
Mesopotamia, to Anatolia (p.152), and to the Jezreel plain
-- the buildings are - according to the constructional
engineering described in the Bible (in 1st book of Kings,
7,12) - interpreted as the "cattle sheds of Solomon" (this
says the leader of the expedition P.L.O. Guy) (p.154)
-- from Iron Age also a city gate is excavated, a six
chamber gate, and scholars are stating that it would be
from king Solomon (p.154).
case of Hazor
-- in the 1950s there are excavations under the leadership
of archaeologist Yigael Yadin (p.154)
-- there can be found a big city gate from Iron Age, a six
chamber gate as it was found in Megiddo
-- and again the scholars state that the gate would be
from Solomon (p.155).
case of Geser
-- the first book of Kings states in chapter 9 phrase 15
that Solomon had made reconstruct the town again
-- and by an excavation under the leadership of R.A.S.
Macalister at the beginning of 20th century Yigael Yadin
[in the 1970s?] can find another six chamber gate (p.155).
claim of Yigael Yadin about an architect of Jerusalem
Now, archaeologist Yigael Yadin
claims that a royal architect from Jerusalem had made
reconstruct the towns again because there would be the
evidence of the three six chamber gates which are similar
one to each other (p.155).
Archaeologist Yigael Yadin states that
1st book of Kings chapter 9 phrase 15 describing the
construction of towns under Solomon would be true (p.156).
Megiddo: search for a palace and a claim
for a palace
But archeology states
clearly: kingdom of David and kingdom of Solomon never
-- in Megiddo was found a city gate, and now the
archaeologists mean that there also could be found a
-- the excavations under the alleged "cattle sheds of
Solomon" show several palaces, but this are palaces in a
north Syrian stile "bit hilani" of Iron Age
-- and now the archaeologists state that these rests of
palaces would stand in connection with the six chamber
Pupil of Yadin, David Ussishkin, states
-- the palaces of Megiddo had been constructed under king
Solomon because the biblical description of the alleged
palace of Solomon in Jerusalem would also fit to the
palaces of Megiddo
-- the "cattle sheds of Solomon" are said having built
under king Ahab in 9th century B.C. (p.157).
of David and Reich of Solomon never existed.
For these kingdoms any findings for structures
of such Reichs are missing.
According to Finkelstein / Silberman
archeology can find on the territory of alleged South
Reich Judah for the time of David and Solomon only 8
little villages with appr. 1,500 resident inhabitants.
According to the archaeological research it can be
admitted that there were more shepherd nomads than
resident inhabitants (p.259).
There is no trace of any kingdom of David. When king David
had occupied Jerusalem, so this has not changed anything
with policy of isolation and of illiteracy with shepherds.
When there was a Reich of David and a Reich of Solomon, so
these Reichs practically had no power (p.260). Ruins or
findings of a temple of Solomon cannot be found (p.152).
According to archaeological research social structures
correspond with these of isolated regions: Possible are
discriminated "Apiru", or people like Bedouins "Shasu", or
independent clans acting for their own (p.259).
[Just a main temple with it's dimensions and massive, high
walls should provoke ruins which stay for ever, just when
it should be a temple for a Reich from Egypt to the
Euphrates. So, it can be that this temple only was a
simple room, or it that this temple only was a tent, or
Jerusalem was at another place for this time and the
temple would be not detected until today.
The rise of the highlands to a kingdom after all the
destructions by the sea folks would be logic. But for the
whole time findings are missing. So there can only be
nomad Reichs, without army, without administration,
without written documents, without poesy. David psalms and
Solomon sayings would be from another person, so.
Speculations may go on...]
Finkelstein / Silberman mean that David and Solomon were
nothing more than tribal leaders (p.209). OT describes the
relationships between North Reich and South Reich before
the ruin of the North Reich Israel, but in only one
passage in a realistic way, in 2d book of Kings 14,9:
Judah is described as a "thistle
on Lebanon", and Israel is described as a "cedar on Lebanon".
According to Finkelstein / Silberman these were the real
A verification of the
excavations gives new sociological facts
There is stated by a new verification of the excavations
which were performed until now that the excavations cannot
fit into the allocated ages:
The monuments which were allocated to Solomon times have
to be allocated to other kings, and the expansion of Reich
of David is absolutely controversial:
-- the type of palace in north Syrian style "bit hilani"
is coming up in Syria in early 9th century B.C. for the
first time (p.157-158), and so the palaces are not from
-- and in Jerusalem doesn't exist any palace like this
-- the end of Philistine ceramics in appr. 1000 B.C.
accidentally comes at the same moment as the alleged
destruction and occupation under David (p.158)
-- new archaeological findings in the late 1990s can proof
(p.147) that there was a kingdom of David, but it had been
only little, and not at all as big as described in the
Verification of Jerusalem:
there are no findings for David or Solomon - and no
literature can be found
-- the excavations in Jerusalem don't show any new proof
for buildings of the alleged times of kings of David or
Solomon, because for there cannot be found any temple for
David or Solomon, and add to this there cannot be found no finding at all for
this time (p.141)
-- according to excavations in the 1970s and 1980s in
Jerusalem there cannot be stated any significant
population in this region for the time of 10th century
B.C., the time of the alleged kings of David and Solomon,
no monumental architecture either, and no potsherd from
this time either (p.150)
-- but from other periods there are many findings, e.g.
from Mid Bronze Age and late Iron Age (p.150)
[so, the claim that all ruins had been destroyed by later
construction work and by this there would not be any
finding of David and Solomon, cannot be right - but this
state the Bible believers. Well, it can be that the temple
only was a room, or only was a tent, or Jerusalem was at
another place than today].
-- in 19th and 20th century there were excavations around
the Temple Mount, but there is not found any trace of Salomon's great
At most David and Solomon were ruling a very little Reich
Judah with no political significance in the offside of the
great political events. There did not exist any big
richness or central administration as it is indicated in
the Old Testament with a temple town of Jerusalem. Kingdom
of Judah has a steady development for centuries. Jerusalem
at most was a religious place among others without any
findings, and Jerusalem was not at all a center (p.258).
The growth of literature, of religious thinking and of
historiography as it is indicated for the time of the
alleged kings of David and Solomon and their sons in OT,
cannot be found in any place. To the contrary: The
population is mainly illiterate and for sure have never
read any literature or noted down history. Historical
texts - as they are put into stone as in Egypt or
Mesopotamia - are missing for North Reich Israel and South
Reich Jerusalem for the time of David and Solomon (p.255).
Monumental inscriptions and seals of the kings - the main
characteristics for a developed state - are totally
missing for the territories of North Reich Israel and
South Reich Jerusalem up to the late 8th century B.C.
The documents: the neighbor states
never mention any Reich of David or Reich of Solomon -
the Syrian type of palace - Jerusalem without palace
-- investigating the documents of the neighbor states
there cannot be found anything about a Reich of David, and
no commercial relation is mentioned etc. (p.157)
-- in texts of Egypt or of Mesopotamia "King David" and
"King Solomon" are never mentioned (p.145)
-- in 1993 there was found a peace of a stele in Tell Dan
with an inscription mentioning the house of David,
probably with the description of the attack of Damascus
under Hasaël against the North Reich Israel in 835 B.C.
More precise archaeological
data: the city gates are from 9th century B.C. - Jews
were in illiteracy and there was at most a village of
Jerusalem without any trace
-- latest analysis in
Megiddo, Geser and Hazor about the architecture styles and
ceramic forms, and new precise radio carbon methods can
state that the excavated city gates are from early 9th
century B.C., when the invented Solomon is said having
died since decades already (p.158)
-- by this the palaces in Canaan have
the same age like the Syrian palaces, that is 9th century
-- so, in the epoch from 1100 to 1000
B.C. no palaces were constructed in the alleged South
Reich Judah, but this territory was absolutely natural yet
and without any construction of any town (p.159)
-- David and Solomon are left as figures
without Reich (p.159). Finkelstein / Silberman say:
"There is hardly any reason doubting the
existence of a David and a Solomon. But there are many
reasons to call into question the dimension and the
richness of these Reichs." (p.159)
-- David and Solomon as great kings -
this is nothing more than a myth (p.160)
-- written documents or inscriptions of
the alleged South Reich Judah don't exist (p.160)
[but great kingdoms normally always are
immortalizing themselves with monuments and memorial texts
in stoned walls]
-- it seems that in South Reich Judah
the population consisted mainly in illiterate farmers yet.
But monarchy with illiterates is impossible. Finkelstein /
"The land [the highlands of the alleged
South Reich Judah] was mainly populated with farmers -
without any trace of written documents or inscriptions,
and not at all with characteristics of a wide spread
capacity for reading and writing which would be necessary
for a well functioning monarchy." (p.160)
Jerusalem in these times is at most
nothing more than a village of illiterate people.
Finkelstein / Silberman:
"Jerusalem itself could have been at
most nothing more than a typical village in the
[According to archaeological truth
Jerusalem did not exist as a settlement during the alleged
times of David and Solomon, respectively is was an empty
hill of ruins].