Did you know … ?

Tel Dan Stele

The small stone inscription (or stele) in this picture is archaeological proof that King David was a real historical figure who founded a dynasty of kings in Israel, just as the Biblical history describes. The inscription on the stele is in Aramaic and describes the victories of the Syrians over the town of Dan and parts of northern Israel (near the Golan heights today).  The stone dates to the mid ninth century BC, or about 150 years after the time of David himself.  It is most interesting for its description of the Syrians’ enemies as “byt dwd” meaning “the house of David”.  This is just the same as the phrase used in the Bible when David’s descendant King Ahaz was threatened by the Syrians: “When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind” (Isaiah 7:2).

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