Tel Dan Stele Essay

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The Tel Dan Stele, or the “House of David” inscription, is a black basalt slab dated to the eighth or ninth century BCE. In 1993, at an excavation directed by Avraham Biran and in the ruin (“tel”) of the city Dan in northern Israel, fragment A of the stele was discovered. A year later, in 1994, fragments B1 and B2 were discovered by Biran and his colleague Joseph Naveh. The inscriptions were written in Aramaic. Although the beginning of the Tel Dan Stele was missing, which would have the name of the king who commissioned the stele, most scholars believe the king was Hazael of Damascus. The stele celebrates his victory over his two southern neighbors: the “king of Israel” and the “king of the House of David.” In the text, the Aramean king states that the god Hadad had made him king and…show more content…
The biblical account does admit that Jehu’s army was defeated by Hazael. Dan, the northermost city of Israel that bordered on the territory of Aram, was most likely taken over by King Hazael. So it is plausible that Hazael would erect a victory monument at the city. The Tel Dan stele is considered the first historical evidence of King David from the Bible. It proved that David was a genuine historical figure and not simply a fantasy created by Biblical authors. The stele, which was created by an enemy of Israel, still recognized David as the founder of the kingdom of Judah. There are skeptics who attempted to dismiss the “House of David” reading as implausible and sensationalistic. However, most Biblical scholars and archeologists readily accepted that the Tel Dan stele had supplied the first concrete proof of a historical King David from the Bible. Still, there is little consensus about the nature and extent of David’s rule even with the discovery of the Tel Dan Stele, as it does not detail at all on David’s reign. So the Tel Dan Stele’s importance lies in the fact that it is an independent, contemporary, witness to the events of

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