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Discovery Magazine 7/1/2009

“Of the House of David”

King David was one of the most famous men in all of the Bible. With God’s mighty power behind him, he killed a bear and a lion to save his father’s sheep and toppled a wicked giant with a single stone. The Bible mentions David 1,048 times. He wrote 73 of the psalms, and he is the major character in about 62 chapters of the Old Testament. Anyone who has ever read the Bible knows about David—a man “after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

For many years, however, there was no archaeological evidence that David existed. Some people thought that the Israelites just made up stories about David. They thought that David never really lived. They believed David’s life was a fantasy based on myths and legends. After all, every nation needs a hero who slays giants. The Saxons had Beowulf, the Greeks had Hercules, and the Jews had David. David’s daring deeds and courageous conduct were said to be make believe.

But a stone found in Palestine in 1993 changed all that. Professor Avraham Biran was digging at a site in northern Israel known as Tel Dan. There he discovered a 3,000-year-old stone that had been carved by one of the enemies of Israel. The stone explained that Ben Hadad, King of Damascus, had defeated the Israelites and taken many of them captive. But the most amazing thing about the stone is that it plainly states that the Israelite king defeated by Ben Hadad was “of the house of David.” For the first time, David’s name was confirmed by archaeology.

Because of this wonderful discovery, we have archaeological evidence that the story of King David is not a myth or legend. David lived, just as the Bible states. And once again, the Bible proves to be perfectly accurate in every detail.



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