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David and Solomon : in search of the Bible's sacred kings and the roots of… (2006)
by Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman (Author)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743243625, Hardcover)The exciting field of biblical archaeology has revolutionized our understanding of the Bible - and no one has done more to popularise this vast store of knowledge than Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, who revealed what we now know about when and why the Bible was first written in "The Bible Unearthed". Now, with "David and Solomon", they do nothing less than help us to understand the sacred kings and founding fathers of western civilization. David and his son Solomon are famous in the Bible for their warrior prowess, legendary loves, wisdom, poetry, conquests, and ambitious building programmes. Yet thanks to archaeology's astonishing finds, we now know that most of these stories are myths. Finkelstein and Silberman show us that the historical David was a bandit leader in a tiny back-water called Jerusalem, and how - through wars, conquests and epic tragedies like the exile of the Jews in the centuries before Christ and the later Roman conquest - David and his successor were reshaped into mighty kings and even messiahs, symbols of hope to Jews and Christians alike in times of strife and despair and models for the great kings of Europe. A landmark work of research and lucid scholarship by two brilliant luminaries, "David and Solomon" recasts the very genesis of western history in a whole new light.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:44 -0400)
Discoveries of biblical archaeology have shed powerful light on the characters in the Bible. Here, archaeologists Finkelstein and Silberman focus on the first two great kings of the Bible as a lens through which we can see the evolution of the entire era. The Bible's verses on David and his son were written in stages, over many hundreds of years, by authors living in very different circumstances. The earliest folklore about David depicts a bandit leader, leading a small gang of traveling raiders. In later periods, authors added images of a poet, the founder of a great dynasty, a political in-fighter, and a sinner. A similar evolution of Solomon from the builder of the Temple, to expander of his empire, to wise sage, to rich trader similarly reflects successive stages of history. Ultimately, David and Solomon came to embody a tradition of divinely inspired kings.--From publisher description.
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