Peoples' & Philistines
1200 - 1000 BC (20th dynasty). Where are the Israelites?
Stock villains of the
Old Testament, the Philistines actually established an Iron Age,
city-based civilization: Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron.
It was vastly superior to the nomadic culture of the 'hapiru' slave-traders
and subsistence farmers of the hill country.
Gaza, for example, originally
Egyptian, was a walled city of about 200 acres, considerably larger
settlement in the interior.
- too fond of those 'foreign' women
New Evidence of "Solomon" – from
of stele of a Royal Assyrian Shamshi-Adad V (824-811 BC).
confirms "cedars of Lebanon" cut for temple of the god Shulmânu.
Fringed robe, sceptre ...
the Lebanon mountains and cut down the mighty beams of cedar. At that
time I carried those cedars from Lebanon and
at the gate of the temple of Shulmânu, my lord, I laid them down.
temple which Shalmaneser, my father, had built, had become decrepit,
and I, in my skill, rebuilt that temple from its foundations to its
of cedar from Lebanon I laid on it.
temple becomes old and decrepit, may a future prince renew its decrepit
parts and return the inscription to its place."
III (859-824 BC) was named for the god Shulmânu-Asharêd ("shulmânu
Shalmânu is the Assyrian equivalent of Suleiman and thus Solomon.
harlot opts for half a dead baby – proves to all Israel 'wisdom'
"For he was wiser than all men ... and his fame was in all
nations round about."
(1 Kings 4.31)
If Solomon was so wise,
how could he land up worshipping the wrong gods?
1 Kings would have us
believe that Solomon used 'costly stone' and the best timber to build:
Lavish Temple(7 years in construction) Showplace Jerusalem(built by a 3 month levy on all Israelites
plus 150,000 Canaanite slaves) Magnificent Palace (& another for his Egyptian Queen!) "House of the Forest of Lebanon"military HQ "Hall of Pillars"Auditorium "Hall of Judgement"Law Court Fortress cities of Megiddo, Hazor & Gezer
Store Cities Port of Ezion-Geber
Strange how not a single
stone of this vast catalogue of construction is unequivocally identified
and agreed by archaeologists!
What a Hebrew Army! Israel's armed might
EIGHT times that of Imperial Rome!
"And Joab gave up
the sum of the number of the people unto the king; and there were
in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant
men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah five hundred thousand
men." – (2 Samuel 24.9)
(1 Chronicles 21:5 puts the number even higher!)
Rome, at the height of its power, defended the entire empire with 28
legions of 6,000 troops.
Real, Not Fable
Avdat (Oboda) – Nabataean
city in the Negev, destroyed by the Hasmonean king Alexander in
the 1st century BC.
Rebuilt to become a prosperous
Roman/Byzantine city for several centuries.
Supposedly, an Israelite
empire flourished in the 10th century BC, during a time of temporary
weakness of both Assyria and Egypt. Yet the fabled empire
of David and Solomon remains just that: a fable, unsupported
by any evidence – and empires normally leave a
great deal of evidence.Archaeology is unequivocal: there was never the wealth, population, political cohesiveness, or literacy in the tiny settlement around Jerusalem to have ever dominated its more developed northern neighbours.
'United Monarchy' is found only in the Bible. The 'empire' has
no inscriptions and no artifacts. Neither David nor Solomon is
as much as mentioned in the huge corpus of state records of either
Egypt or Assyria. Concedes a 'pro-imperial Israel' historian:
in the eyes of Israelite historians, marked the apex of Israelite
achievement. Curiously, no reference to him or his
father David, or their empire in a non-Israelite source is
known ... "
– Isserlin, The Israelites, p72.
But of course
there is nothing 'curious' about a non-existent 'empire' (stretching
'from the Euphrates to Egypt') leaving no
evidence of its non-existence. Modern Israel is peppered with 'Solomon's
monuments' – but not one of them has any genuine claim to
hilltop settlements in the 10th century BC would
not have been much larger than a soccer field, and
archaeology has found not a brick of imperial grandeur.
kings David and Solomon supposedly had an imperial
capital in Jerusalem. Yet extensive archaeology in
the city reveals Jerusalem was a village in the 10th
century BC. In contrast, Megiddo, 'part of the empire.'
far to the north, had a palace!
reality, separate and distinctive chiefdoms developed
in Samaria and Judah in the 9th century. They
were never a 'united monarchy.' The north was larger,
richer and more developed – and soon succumbed
to the Assyrians.
in reaction, produced its pious, biblical fraud,
castigating the apostate kings of the 8th - 9th century
northern kingdom of 'Israel' and elevated its own
importance in an earlier, fantasised empire – ruled
from an imperial capital of Jerusalem.
in Jerusalem nothing has as yet been brought
to light which can be ascribed to Solomon with
did they get their ideas from?
The Bible actually admits to borrowing from Assyria in 2 Kings 16:
"And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus." – 2 Kings 16.10,11.
... began to build the house of the LORD ...
And the whole house he overlaid with gold ...
And within the oracle he made two cherubims
of olive tree, each ten cubits high ... And
he overlaid the cherubims with gold ... And
he carved all the walls of the house round
about with carved figures of cherubims and
palm trees and open flowers."
cubit winged cherub' – from Assyria!
Palm & floral
motif– from Assyrian temple!
Was it this ... or this
... or this?
impressions" of that fabulous Temple
are commonplace, all based upon the biblical fantasy.
descriptions of the building and its furniture are
precise and vivid (1 Kings 6).
then they would be – they were a 'wish-list'
of 7th/6th century priests. Believe
it or not, the 2 pillars had names – Jachin and Boaz.
archaeological evidence in Jerusalem for the famous
building projects of Solomon is nonexistent.
and early 20th century excavations around the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem failed to identify even a trace
of Solomon's fabled Temple or palace complex."
of slave labour?
confirmation" of Solomon's Jerusalem Temple?
one problem – manufactured in Jerusalem
"But he has nothing
on!" a little child cried out at last."
– Hans Christian Andersen, The Emperor’s New Clothes
didn't need to conquer anything – the Empire was his inheritance
from his father David. Solomon
merely ruled in magnificence, effortlessly receiving and spending
an imperial fortune, collecting girlfriends and dispensing
Really odd that no one seemed to have noticed. Could
it all be a pious fraud, perhaps?
city" of Megiddo?
Stables"? – but
for the fact they're not Solomon's
and not stables!
storerooms were so identified until
a palace structure beneath them came
to light. Then "stables" re-attributed
to Ahab so that the palace could be
identified as "Solomon's." In
truth, the palaces date from 9th not
10th century BC and the city of the
stables is even later – the 8th
were they stables? Nothing relating
to horses, cavalry or chariots has
ever come to light. "Horse troughs" had
drainage holes and were possibly vats
for preparing opium, a narcotic for
the pain of childbirth and disease.
is said to have had "a thousand
and four hundred" chariots
(1 Kings 1.26) – a prodigious army
by ancient standards. Yet only five years
after the fabled king's death, the same
Bible says Pharaoh Shishak successfully
invaded Judah and captured its fortified
cities with little or no military resistance
(2 Chronicles 12).
Stables' – actually 8th century
storehouses of Assyrian vassal Jeroboam II.
thinking – 9th century BC, not 10th.
century BC Megiddo
century BC Megiddo"?? No kidding
built on top of Omri's!
– Devastated by
King Hazael of Aram-Damascus the city was "deserted
for almost half a century".
the 1950s, Yigael Yadin – Israeli Defence
Chief of Staff turned archaeologist – decided
that the ruins of Megiddo, Hazor and Gezer were
the legendary 'Fortress Cities' of Solomon.
great guide was the Bible" he said.
Thus he confirmed the Bible with the Bible.
was despite an absence of any find at the sites
naming Solomon – but a cartouche naming
Pharaoh Amenhotep III instead!
of the sites was attributed to 'Yahweh's instrument' – the
8th century Assyrians. But the Arameans beat
them to it, before themselves succumbing to
the Assyrians in 811 BC.
II (788 - 747 BC), an Assyrian client king
of Israel, rebuilt Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor
and presided over the last period of Israel's
prosperity. His reign helped to colour
the legend of 'Solomon', written in the 7th
rabbi-archaeologist Nelson Glueck so-named the copper
mining at Timna (30 km. north of Eilat) in the 1930s.
They were, in fact, Egyptian mines, as hieroglyphs
and the near-by temple of Hathor attest.
the Fundamentalists give up on this one. Geological
formation formed over thousands of years.
Port of Ezion-Geber? (1
No trace has
ever been found of the Red Sea port where Solomon supposedly
welcomed the Queen of Sheba. A craggy granite island
in the Gulf of Eliat/Aqabah is prime suspect.
1 Kings 10 records
the unnamed queen's adoration for Solomon; history records
nothing of this fairy tale.
of several centuries"
"Every part of the book bears the mark of foreign influences
... The close connection between the first part of the
Thirty Sayings with Egyptian Wisdom
... is only a special instance."
(Peake's Commentary, 444)
Wisdom: "Maxims of Amenhotep III" 1382
- 1344 BC
Solomon – "Smarter
structures once attributed to the building activities
of Solomon in the cities of Megiddo, Gezer and
Hazor have been shown over the years to date
from various archaeological periods spanning centuries."
– Rohl, A Test of Time, p34.
Unlike the fabled kingdom of Solomon, evidence
of the Edomites/ Nabataeans is not in doubt.
Browning (Petra, p14)
after their deliverance variously dated between
1550 - 1200 BC Yahwehs chosen people
are (apparently) given the ten rules to live by.
Yet despite their inside track with God (and witnessing
all manner of awful manifestations of his power)
their kings are certainly no observers of his rules.
In the sacred history, even less devout, mediocre
kings follow the fabled "Golden Age of Solomon," an
era and an empire for which there is not the slightest
trace of evidence.
Solomon and Unnamed Pharaoh No. 6 – his
Pharaoh, it seems, led an expedition into Palestine
and made a wedding gift of a ruined city full of
the king of Egypt himself had come up and then
captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and the
Canaanites dwelling in the city he had killed.
So he gave it as a parting gift to his daughter,
the wife of Solomon." – 1 Kings 9:16..
girl was obviously resigned to an open marriage – she
shared Solomon with 700 wives and 300 concubines.
(1 Kings 11.1) Still, he was a smart fellow. Apparently
his wisdom "excelled all the wisdom of Egypt." (1
Kings 4.30) No kidding.
the Edomite" and Unnamed Pharaoh No. 7 – who
shelters Solomon's enemy
here's a curiosity. Hadad receives from this friendly
pharaoh a house, bread, land, and marriage into
the royal household! Yet it is only the inconsequential
pharaonic wife 'Tahpenes' who is named (1 Kings
Edom – Occasional
refuge and long-term foe of Hebrews
of copper working, the Edomite kingdom between
the Dead Sea and the Red Sea was often at the receiving
end of Israelite aggression (well that's what the
Bible says). Apparently, the long-suffering Edomites
sheltered David from Saul – before being
massacred by him!
Notwithstanding that "every
male in Edom had been smitten" (1
Kings 11:15) the Edomites migrated into southern
Palestine. 'Edomea' became 'Idumea' and
was conquered and Judaised during time of the 'Maccabee'
The Nabataeans moved
into the region vacated by the Edomites from the
6th century BC onward. Their city of Petra controlled
the lucrative trade routes going north to Damascus
and west to Gaza (by-passing any Israelite enclaves).
Bands of Israelites probably raided the caravans
from time to time – hence the mutual hostility.
Sources: Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (Phoenix Grant,
Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The Crucified Jew (Harper Collins,1992)
Henry Hart Milman, The History of the Jews (Everyman, 1939)
Josephus, The Jewish War (Penguin, 1959)
Leslie Houlden (Ed.), Judaism & Christianity (Routledge, 1988)
John Romer, Testament (Viking, 1999)
Karen Armstrong, A History of Jerusalem (Harper Collins 1999)
Israel Finkelstein, Neil Silberman, The Bible Unearthed (Simon & Schuster,
Ahmed Osman, Moses Pharaoh of Egypt (Grafton, 1990)
B.S.J. Isserlin, The Israelites (Thames & Hudson,
organisation, authority and membership preceded
rather than followed the justifying doctrine. As
the organisation and its needs changed so has the ‘Testament
of God’ adapted accordingly. Dogma – The
Word in all its Savage Glory