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House of David Inscription
House of David Inscription
Was king David's name inscribed on this black stone slab?

An inscription containing the words "house of David" was found on a black basalt stone slab called the Tel Dan Stele, from Tel Dan, Israel, 9th Century B.C.

It was a victory stele erected by an Aramaean king north of Israel. The inscription contains an Aramaic writing commemorating his victory over Israel. The author is most likely Hazael or his son, Ben Hadad II or III, who were kings of Damascus, and enemies of the kingdom of Israel. The stele was discovered at Tel Dan, previously named Tell el-Qadi, a mound where a city once stood at the northern tip of Israel.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
House of David Inscription, Biblical Archaeology

1 Kings 2:11 - And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

Material - Basalt Stone Stele 
Israel Period of the Kings
Date: 858-824 BC 
Language: Aramaic 
Height: 32 cm 
Width: 22 cm 
Depth: 
Tel Dan, Galilee
Excavated by: Avraham Biran 1994
Location: Israel Museum, Jerusalem


Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Excerpt

The Aramaic Stele

Fragments of the Aramaic stele 

Fragments of a large inscribed basalt stele were found in the square located in front of the Israelite city gate complex. The largest of these fragments measures 32 x 22 cm. and, of the original inscription, thirteen lines have been partially preserved. The language is ancient Aramaic.

The 9th century BCE and the beginning of the 8th century BCE were marked by military conflicts between the kings of Israel and the expanding kingdom of Aram-Damascus. (1 Kings 15:20) Thus the stele was erected by one of the Aramean kings of Damascus who captured Dan - although which king cannot be ascertained as yet. It is probable that in lines 7-8 two kings of Israel and Judah, who ruled at the same time, are mentioned: Jehoram, king of Israel and Ahaziah, king of Judah, referred to as a king of the House of David. These two kings were allies and were defeated by Hazael, king of Aram-Damascus. (2 Kings 8:7-15, 28; 9:24-29; 2 Chronicles 22:5)

The stele describing Hazael's victory over his enemies was, in all probability, erected by him when he conquered Dan in the mid-9th century BCE. It is reasonable to assume that Jehoash, king of Israel, who fought the Arameans three times and defeated them (2 Kings 13:25) recovering territories previously lost, including the city of Dan, symbolically smashed the stele erected there by Hazael, king of Aram-Damascus.

Although the broken stele raises serious historical problems, it is one of the most important written finds in Israel and the first non-biblical text which mentions the House of David by name. It is hoped that more fragments of this unique stele will be uncovered in future excavations.


Excavated by A. Biran, on behalf of Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem


The Kings of Israel (all wicked)

Jeroboam I (933-911 BC) twenty-two years

Nadab (911-910) two years

Baasha (910-887) twenty-four years

Elah (887-886) two years

Zimri (886) seven days

Omri (886-875) twelve years

Ahab (875-854) twenty-two years

Ahaziah (855-854) two years

Jehoram (Joram) (854-843) twelve years

Jehu (843-816) twenty-eight years

Jehoahaz (820-804) seventeen years

Jehoash (Joash) (806-790) sixteen years

Jeroboam II (790-749) forty-one years

Zechariah' (748) six months

Shallum (748) one month

Menahem (748-738) ten years

Pekahiah (738-736) two years

Pekah (748-730) twenty years

Hoshea (730-721) nine years

 

The Kings of Judah (8 were good)

Rehoboam (933-916 BC) seventeen years

Abijam (915-913) three years

Asa (Good) (912-872) forty-one years

Jehoshaphat (Good) (874-850) twenty-five years

Jehoram (850-843) eight years

Ahaziah (843) one year

Athaliah (843-837) six years

Joash (Good) (843-803) forty years

Amaziah (Good) (803-775) 29 years

Azariah (Uzziah) (Good) (787-735) fifty-two years

Jotham (Good) (749-734) sixteen years

Ahaz (741-726) sixteen years

Hezekiah (Good) (726-697) 29 years

Manasseh (697-642) fifty-five years

Amon (641-640) two years

Josiah (Good) (639-608) thirty-one years

Jehoahaz (608) three months

Jehoiachim (608-597) eleven years

Jehoiachin (597) three months

Zedekiah (597-586) eleven years

 


Related Pages:

David in Easton's Bible Dictionary

David in Nave's Topical Bible

Map of the Kingdom of David and Solomon

David - The Rightful King

Tomb of David

Tel Dan Stele

Map of David's Kingdom

Solomon

Solomon in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Solomon's Temple in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Solomon's Temple History

Beersheba in the ISBE Bible Encyclopedia

Biblical Definition of Beersheba

Altar - Background Bible Study

Altar in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Altar in the ISBE Bible Encyclopedia

Israel - The Center of the Ancient World

Israel - Archaeology Links and Resources

The Destruction of Israel in the Old Testament

Archaeological Resources - Israel

Map of Old Testament Israel

Map of New Testament Israel

Bible History Online - Fallen Empires (Biblical Archaeology)

Bible History Links - Ancient Near East : Art & Images

Bible History Online - Ancient Art

The Destruction of Israel - Kings of Israel, Judah and Assyria

Timeline 800 - 700 BC

The Assyrians

The Captivity of Israel

Hebrew History

Ancient Jerusalem

First Century Jerusalem

The Impregnable Strength of Jerusalem

Map of Jerusalem

Jerusalem - Heart Message

Ancient Sketches

 

Biblical Archaeology

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