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.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 297-323) and index.
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