Tel Dan Stele
|The “House of David” is inscribed on this victory stele excavated at Tel Dan, in the Galilee region of Israel. It is dated from the 9th Century BC. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The Tel Dan Stele is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology, it mentions the House of David in an Inscription. With this important discovery it is clear that King David is a real figure in ancient history, as Jesus confirmed.Material – Basalt Stone Stele
Israel Period of the Kings
Date: 858-824 BC
Height: 32 cm
Width: 22 cm
Tel Dan, Galilee
Excavated by: Avraham Biran 1994
Location: Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Excerpt
The Aramaic Stele
Fragments of the Aramaic stele
Fragments of a large inscribed basalt stele were found in the square located in front of the Israelite city gate complex. The largest of these fragments measures 32 x 22 cm. and, of the original inscription, thirteen lines have been partially preserved. The language is ancient Aramaic.
The 9th century BCE and the beginning of the 8th century BCE were marked by military conflicts between the kings of Israel and the expanding kingdom of Aram-Damascus. (1 Kings 15:20) Thus the stele was erected by one of the Aramean kings of Damascus who captured Dan – although which king cannot be ascertained as yet. It is probable that in lines 7-8 two kings of Israel and Judah, who ruled at the same time, are mentioned: Jehoram, king of Israel and Ahaziah, king of Judah, referred to as a king of the House of David. These two kings were allies and were defeated by Hazael, king of Aram-Damascus. (2 Kings 8:7-15, 28; 9:24-29; 2 Chronicles 22:5)
The stele describing Hazael’s victory over his enemies was, in all probability, erected by him when he conquered Dan in the mid-9th century BCE. It is reasonable to assume that Jehoash, king of Israel, who fought the Arameans three times and defeated them (2 Kings 13:25) recovering territories previously lost, including the city of Dan, symbolically smashed the stele erected there by Hazael, king of Aram-Damascus.
Although the broken stele raises serious historical problems, it is one of the most important written finds in Israel and the first non-biblical text which mentions the House of David by name. It is hoped that more fragments of this unique stele will be uncovered in future excavatio
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