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David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition Paperback – April 3, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Finklestein & Silberman credit the broad outline of David's and Saul's careers, but not the detail. They demonstrate that the political, economic, and social conditions of David's times correspond perfectly with the conditions described in the story of David's outlaw youth, and that Northern Israel was devastated about the time Saul and Jonathan would have been killed on Mount Gilboa. If the background of the Saul and David stories therefore correspond quite closely to archaeological findings, why should the detail be rejected out of hand? Given allowance for the "good old days" effect and the political need to cast David in the best light possible while casting Saul in the worst light possible, why can't the stories be considered at least as accurate as Herodotus, the "Father of History"? The scholarship of the 1960's posited that the story of David in Samuel consisted of an "early source" which was quite accurate overwritten by a "late source" which was concerned with polemic and apologetic. Current scholarship posits a multi-layered text similar to that described by Finkelstein & Silberman.Read more ›
This book follows some of their speculations and continues their methods of treading between the more fundamentalist 'the Bible is history and the only history' camp and the minimalist 'the Bible has nothing to do with history' camp. There is historical content and influence on the text of the Bible, according to Finkelstein and Silberman, but the Bible is not nor was ever intended to be a historical textbook of the sort we have today. This is particularly important when dealing with the greatest of Biblical kings, David and Solomon.
'Our challenge will be to provide a new perspective on the David and Solomon story by presenting the flood of new archaeological information about the rise and development of the ancient society in which the biblical tale was formed. We will attempt to separate history from myth; old memories from later elaboration; facts from royal propaganda to trace the evolution of the David and Solomon narrative from its ancient origins to the final compilation of the biblical accounts.Read more ›
My principal disappointment was that although Finkelstein & Silberman mentioned the copper mines at Timna, 15 miles north of the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, they did not mention the religious significance of the mines. The mines were operated by Midianites under the supervision of Egyptian troops until the troops were withdrawn by Pharaoh Rameses VI in 1141 BCE. After the Egyptians left, the Midianites destroyed the temple where they had been forced to worship the Egyptian goddess, Hathor and replaced it with a red and yellow cloth tent where they began the first recorded worship of Yahweh. It was from Timna that Yahweh-worship migrated to Canaan and played a major role in Saul's establishment of the monarchy, the monarchy which was seized by David after a long string of most serendipitous murders .
That the biblical accounts of David and Solomon contain details that could only have been written long after David and Solomon were said to have reigned does not indicate that they were not eleventh- and tenth-century "kings" (more like heads of tribal federations than what we, today, would think of as kings). That details were added to the stories of David and Solomon hundreds of years later to make those stories serve the needs of the theocracies that replaced the monarchy does not change the centuries in which David and Solomon lived.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The maps in this book (kindle edition) are inadequate. I recommend investing in a better map to keep handy on your table or better yet on your wall. Read morePublished 21 days ago by JustinHoca
Great book as it stands but from before the acceptance of the lower chronology, to be best used as companion to finkelstein's 2013 "The forgotten Kingdom".Published 11 months ago by Robert C. Kahlert
The stories of David and Solomon as told in the old testament are not matched by any written document from neighbouring states. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Peter G. Barth
This is an excellent scholarly presentation of the most contemporary interpretations of the David and Solomon saga. Read morePublished 18 months ago by missy50s
Good book and very similar to "The Bible Unearthed" which was an even better book. I was raised in a traditional Protestant church ( Presbyterian) and always wondered... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Kindle Customer
The Kindle version of David and Solomon has a fatal flaw: the maps are unreadable. This is the case whether you're reading on a smart phone, a 7" tablet, or even full screen... Read morePublished on August 9, 2014 by John Isner