Do any Archaeological Discoveries Mention King David?
In 1994 an archaeologist discovered a black basalt stele containing an inscription with the words “house of David” written on it. It is known as 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 Inscription Translated in English:
1. [ ]…[…] and cut […]
2. […] my father went up [against him when h]e fought at […]
3. and my father lay down, he went to his [ancestors (viz. became sick and died)]. And the king of I[s-]
4. rael entered previously in my father’s land, [and] Hadad made me king,
5. And Hadad went in front of me, [and] I departed from the seven […-]
6. s of my kingdom, and I slew [seve]nty kin[gs], who harnessed th[ousands of cha-]
7. riots and thousands of horsemen (or: horses). [I killed Jeho]ram son [of Ahab]
8. king of Israel, and [I] killed [Ahaz]iahu son of [Jehoram kin-]
9. g of the House of David, and I set [their towns into ruins and turned ]
10. their land into [desolation ]
11. other [… and Jehuru-j
12. led over Is[rael and I laid]
13. siege upon [ ]
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.