Where are the “burial places of the kings” (2 Chronicles 21:20)? On a hill to the west of the City of David is a building that claims to house King David’s tomb. Inside the building (which serves as a Synagogue, Mosque and Church) visitors will see observant Jews praying next to a stone tomb that they are convinced belongs to the ancient king (Top). However, most Jews recognize that this couldn’t possibly be David’s tomb. The building is not nearly sufficiently ancient dating back only to the Crusader era (1355 C.E.) and the tomb being honoured likely contains the remains of a Crusader knight.
Actually the Bible is very clear about where David and the kings of Judah were buried. The Bible states that David and 12 of the 20 kings that followed him were buried in the City of David in “the burial places of the kings.” The City of David only occupied 10 acres but even then, the Bible states precisely where the burial places were. In Nehemiah chapter 3, Nehemiah describes the repair of the city walls, proceeding in a counter-clockwise direction around Jerusalem. Verses 15 through 26 show that the “burial places of David” were somewhere between the “Fountain Gate” and the “Water Gate”. So the “burial places of the kings” were on or near the south-east ridge of the city. Archeologists have found in that very area the probable remains of 8 tombs carved into the bedrock. The area was heavily quarried by the Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E, almost obliterating the tombs, but 2 possible royal tombs largely survive. These are only half there original length and they also have been heavily damaged, do it’s currently impossible to say exactly who was buried there. But it is a reasonable conclusion that the tombs belonged to royalty as with only one exception, only Davidic kings were allowed to be buried inside the City of David. (The exception was the High Priest Jehoiada – 2 Chronicles 24:16). All other people were buried outside the city, often across the Kidron valley. I think this is one of the most interesting and underappreciated spots in all of Jerusalem.