Ancient Treasures and the Dead Sea Scrolls

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10th century BCE

David, son of Jesse of Bethlehem

You shall shepherd my people Israel; you shall be ruler of Israel.
2 Samuel 5:2

David, the young shepherd who succeeded Saul, the first King of Israel, was destined for greatness…

According to the Bible, David's reign was the golden age of Israel, as it expanded its territory widely and established a religion for the Hebrew people based on a covenant with a single God.

Yet no archaeological trace of this supposedly glorious period remains, and neither the kingdom of David nor that of his son Solomon is mentioned in any contemporary sources other than the Bible.

Did David really exist?

The stele discovered at Tel Dan and shown here provides substantial evidence for those who argue that there was a real King David.

Audio - Curator's Tour (Dr. Adolfo Roitman)

Tel Dan stele
Tel Dan stele.
Israel Antiquities Authority Collection, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem