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King Solomon-era Palace Found in Biblical Gezer

King Solomon's Pillars (Photo: Jack Hazut)

Archaeologists just discovered a palatial building in the city of Gezer, Israel, and believe the building dates to the time of King Solomon. While they don’t know yet if any Israelite kings lived in the palace, this new discovery gives evidence to a few biblical passages.

The monumental building dates to the 10th century BCE, the era associated with King Solomon, who is famed for bringing wealth and stability to the newly-united kingdom of Israel and Judah. The American archaeological team also found a layer featuring Philistine pottery, lending credence to the biblical account of them living in the city until being vanquished by King David…

The newly discovered palace is west of the so-called Solomonic Gate, a six chambered inner gate, although it is doubtful that a Jerusalemite king actually spent time at Gezer. The excavation team calls the building "Solomon’s Palace" because of the biblical tradition of Solomon building grand projects at Hatzor, Megiddo, and Gezer (1 Kings 9:15: "And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer").

The bible says that Egypt's powerful monarch gave Gezer as a dowry to Solomon’s wife (or one of them - legend says his harem consisted of 700 wives and 300 concubines) and that Solomon rebuilt the city: "Pharaoh king of Egypt had come up and captured Gezer and had burned it with fire, and he had also killed the Canaanites dwelling in the city. So he gave it as a parting gift to his daughter the wife of Solomon. Solomon built up Gezer" - (1 Kings 9: 16-17). The excavations have uncovered tantalizing evidence that this biblical passage was based on actual events.

Tags: Facts and Findings

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