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David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and by Finkelstein, Israel and Silberman, Neil Asher

By Finkelstein, Israel and Silberman, Neil Asher

Biblical archaeology, southern Levant, Biblical heritage

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Additional info for David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western tradition (epub)

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It continues David’s story with his establishment of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem and the complex and morally ambiguous sequence of events, actions, and personal turmoil that took place during David’s reign. It ends with his choice of Solomon to be his successor and his death as a feeble, impotent old man. “The Acts of Solomon” is, in contrast, a straightforward record of King Solomon’s great achievements, wealth, and wisdom—ending with his moral decline and the rebellions and dissensions that brought the golden age of Israel to a close.

Geographical zones and main archaeological sites in the Land of the Bible: (A) Mediterranean Sea; (B) Sea of Galilee; (C) Dead Sea; (D) Galilee; (E) Jezreel Valley; (F) northern highlands (highlands of Samaria); (G) Coastal Plain; (H) Jordan Valley; (I) southern highlands (Judean hill country); (J) Shephelah; (K) Beer-sheba Valley; (L) Judean Desert; (M) highlands of Transjordan; (N) Negev highlands. (1) Jerusalem; (2) Samaria; (3) Megiddo; (4) Hazor. The Judahite hill country where David rose from shepherd to national leader is an isolated highland bloc, largely cut off from the rest of the country, with only a narrow north-south plateau linking its traditional main towns of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron.

But David and Solomon had been the recipients of a divine promise that ensured the people’s survival and eventual redemption. The lineage of David, son of Jesse, offered a promise for the future, no matter how grim the present might seem. As expressed in the book of Isaiah: There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

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