According to the Bible, King Solomon obtained 666 talents of gold (22,679 kilograms or 25 U.S tons) in one year! The Bible account says that the famously wise king, “…made the silver and in Jerusalem as plentiful as the stones.” (2 Chronicles 1:15) King Solomon was famous for his wealth in a way that his successors were not. Where did the immense wealth and treasure of King Solomon go? Continue reading
Where was Shulam, home of the beautiful Shulammite (Shulamite) maiden of the Song of Solomon? Some have suggested that since the word Shulammite is similar to the Hebrew name Solomon, that the designation is simply an indication that she was married to Solomon. In this theory, the title Shulammite was in fact the maiden’s married name. But this would contradict the account which indicates that she never married Solomon but was returned to her true love the handsome shepherd boy.
Most scholars agree that the term “Shulammite” indicates that she was a person from Shulam, which they believe to be synonymous with Shunem, a small town in northern Israel. Supporting this view is the fact that the ancient Greek Septuagint (Vatican Manuscript No. 1209) translation of the Hebrew scriptures calls the girl the “Sunamite.” Also, the fourth century church historian and writer Eusebius referred to Shunem as Shulem. Continue reading
Something exciting is happening in the ancient hills of Judah. An archeological dig in progress since 2007 is illuminating a period in history once only known from the Biblical account of King David.
The place is called Khirbet Qeiyafa, an Arabic name that may mean “the place with a wide view”. Israeli archeologists working on the site have given it a Hebrew name meaning the “Elah Fortress”. The site is a hilltop, 30 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem overlooking the famous valley of Elah. That valley is instantly recognizable to Bible readers as the site of one of the most famous battles in history, the battle between the shepherd boy David and the giant Philistine soldier Goliath. Continue reading
At the base of the Mount of Olives, in the valley of Kidron, just outside the city walls of Jerusalem is a striking rock-cut tomb that for centuries has been commonly called, the “Tomb of Absalom”. Passerby would traditionally throw stones at it and fathers of disobedient children would bring them there to show what would happen to rebellious sons.
The attribution of the monument as belonging to Absalom comes from the passage at 2 Samuel 18:18, ” Now Absalom, while he was alive, had taken and set up for himself a pillar in the Valley of the King, for he said: “I have no son to preserve the memory of my name.” So he named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.” Continue reading
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 Continue reading
Where was the land of Sheba? The wealthy kingdom from which the famous queen journeyed was almost certainly located in southern Arabia, primarily in Yemen with colonies along the western coast of Arabia and across the Red Sea in Ethiopia and modern Eritrea. The Kingdom of Continue reading
Photos by author except for bottom right. Photo Credit: Mboesch (CC BY-SA 4.0) Wikimedia Commons
Post 13 – The building projects of King Solomon, this week in #weeklybiblereadingarcheology. In addition to building the Temple, 2 Chronicles 1:14 speaks of Solomons “chariot cities”. 1 Kings 9:15-17 states that Solomon Continue reading