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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Proving King Solomon of Israel Existed

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                        

The world must be coming to an end because so many young intelligent people of today think that whatever is in the "Old Testament", which we Jews call the Tanach and is a slightly different order and sometimes translation, is just a bunch of myths.  They refuse to understand that it is a conglomeration of our history of all kinds; genealogy, geography, history of battles, families, politics and rulers, sociological as well as other kinds of information, poetry, literature,  and of course, beliefs.  It is not to be compared to the New Testament.  If in today's world, each would be in a separate category in the publishing business.  Even the first 5 books, called the Five books of Moses, hold various types of knowledge, all very sacred to us and has always been so revered.  The rules regulating the writing of this was so explicit that if one error occurred, the whole roll had to be thrown away.  One had to be an expert and successful scribe to get anything written to be kept for all time.

The first thing I have discovered is that the well known King Solomon is thought of in several circles as a myth.  This is a basic fact of history to us Jews which is very pertinent in our Judaism.  Is it in today's college classes that young people are taught to be so snide in their understandings of some point of history because it comes from a "Bible"?  Especially the "Old Bible?"  No wonder we're getting static from Obama, Kerry and others about the rights of Israel, which is based on our religious history and our origins?  What?  Do people think we just appeared and are making all our history up?

Thank goodness that Israel is spending time in archaeological digs proving our history to these uppity dissers. {To diss is  to show disrespect to, often by insult or criticism}:  That's what happened to me in the discussion about King Solomon being a factual person today.   

Most people have heard of his wisdom in the story of the 2 mothers who claimed a baby, and he said to cut the baby in half and give half to each woman.  The real mother of course could not allow this to happen so said to give the baby to the other woman instead, and he saw she was the true mother that way.  Don't we all wish that our rulers were as wise?  Well, he was, but then again he was also known for building too much and not paying the laborers enough which resulted in the split after he died of the southern part of Israel which left the union to form themselves into Judah.  Our writings differ from Egyptian writings in that we're known to write down the errors of our ways as well as our proud moments.  Egypt just scraped off the distasteful parts of their history and wrote over it, more of like billboard writing advertising how good and wonderful they were.  Our history tells about David and his loves and how he deceived Bathsheba's husband in order to marry her, and all that sort of soap opera history that makes it so wonderful to read.  We are human!!  King Solomon is revered and loved by Jews.  

Information was brought to light on January 27th of this year that helps to prove King Solomon's existence.  Found in July in Israel is the earliest alphabetical writing ever found in Jerusalem, and is called the  Ophel inscription.  Gershon Galil, a professor of ancient history and biblical studies at the University of Haifa said that it proves the real basis behind the parables and stories found in the Bible.                        

" We are dealing here with real kings, and the kingdom of David and Solomon was a real fact," Galil said to the newscasters on a phone call from Israel.  
Galil feels the existence of the text is as important as its meaning, and he offered the only reasonable translation.  Galil felt it was most important that this discovery tells us that someone knew how to write this.  

What did this say on a piece of pottery?  The first half of the text indicates it was written in the 20th or 30th year of King Solomon's reign.  This was evidently a label for a jug telling what was in it, and it had held wine.  Three letters of the inscription were incomplete, but Galil was able to translate it anyway and identified the letters and read it in Hebrew, being "Yah-yin chah-lak"  This means "Inferior wine."  I love it!!  Maybe it's their way of saying; cheap wine.  

Galil said that it was written in an early form of southern Hebrew, the only language of the time to use 2 yuds (aleph-bet-gimel-daled -hay-vuv, yud)   to spell the word, wine (Yahyin).  This wine of course must have been given to laborers who were busy building the city of Jerusalem.  Our history is that Solomon wasn't paying them, or at least not well, so we see they were given the cheap wine.  

This shows that Solomon's administration were collecting taxes, preparing storage jars and doing all these things as early as the 2nd half of the 10th century BCE.  My Jewish encyclopedia places Solomon's birth as 961 BCE which would be in the middle of the 10th century, and his death being 920 BCE.  My research uncovered writing happening in Canaan as early as the 18th century BCE.  

Information about King Solomon is abundant, and found in our Tanach under Kings I and  and Chronicles I and II.  There we read about Solomon building the first Temple that was then destroyed later. He also enlarged Jerusalem with a lot of building projects.  In fact, he had too many, and many rebelled and when he died, broke away from the body of Israel to form the southern state of Judah out of Israel.  We read and see that he was the one to build the temple and not his father, David, who was a warrior.  Solomon was a king of peace, thus was the one designated to build the temple where the Israelites worshiped.  Where it stood is where the Dome of the Rock is standing on top of it today.  

There are so many political reasons why there are groups teaching that the Jewish history is all a bunch of hogwash, that I can't count that far, and I've taught math to many people.  This act works to justify their stand in life.  There are those that say that they may recognize Solomon's existence but then can't bring themselves to see that Solomon and not his descendant, Hezekiah (720-692 BCE)  built the temple.  In fact, it was Assyria in 721 BCE that attacked Israel and carried away 10 of the 12 tribes, which we call the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.  Today, we are finding them again through the help of DNA testing, and find they were keeping enough of the culture and practice to think of themselves as one of the tribal members.  To them, they weren't lost.  They knew just where they were.  Many have returned to live in Israel. 

Writing was an old skill by now.  Galil said that somebody then had the ability to write a little later, the book of Samuel and Judges.  

Like Galil said, "The evidence that we have today -- and each year we have so much more,  that David and Solomon were real and important kings and not just tales of the Bible.  

To Jewish people today, Kings David and Solomon are as real as are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  We know that Moses wrote and was educated in writing as a prince of Egypt, and he lived c1391-1271 BCE.  Historical facts are gleaned from Egypt in hieroglyphics and they are accepted as parts of history.  Why is there a vendetta against Hebraic writings?  

 So if our history of that event is to be believed by historians, perhaps someday they will join us with all the evidence collected to understand that these historic figures of Kings David and Solomon did indeed exist.  You don't have to be a religious zealot to understand this.  

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

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