Eilat Mazar’s Discovery of David’s Palace

The Large Stone Structure is identified as King David’s Palace by its excavator, Eilat Mazar, as well as by author Nadav Na’aman. Photo: Eilat Mazar

In one of the most exciting archaeological events of recent times, Eilat Mazar announced the discovery of David’s palace in 2005. In her final conversation with her grandfather, renowned archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, before his death in 1995, they discussed the location of David’s palace. He encouraged her to pursue her instinct in the matter based on her reading of the Bible and previous excavations. (She had assisted Yigal Shiloh in City of David excavations in the 1980s.) After raising the large funds necessary for the excavation, work began and evidences of the palace came to light one after the other. These include the following: (1) The situation is right according to the Bible’s description. (2) The building was constructed above the stepped-stone wall that is probably the “millo” mentioned in Scripture in connection with David’s palace (II Samuel 5:9; II Kings 12:20). (3) The building is a large, complex structure of engineering excellence “that would have required immense resources.” One wall was more than 100 feet long. (4) Remnants of the palace were found down the hill. (5) Bullae (clay document seals) were found in the area bearing the names of people mentioned in the Bible who lived or worked in or near the palace just before it was burned by Nebuchadnezzar. These include Jehucal the son of Shelemiah (Jeremiah 37:3), Gedaliah the son of Pashur (Jeremiah 38:1), Gemariah the son of Shaphan (Jeremiah 36:10, 11, 12, 25), Azariah the son of Hilkiah (I Chronicles 9:11), and Nathanmelech (II Kings 23:11). On the Ophel between the Temple Mount and the City of David, Eilat discovered a seal inscribed with “Belonging to Hezekiah (son of) Ahaz king of Judah” and a seal probably bearing the name of the prophet Isaiah. These were groundbreaking discoveries right out of the pages of the Bible. For a description of Eilat Mazar’s discoveries, including a pictorial study, see Bible Times & Ancient Kingdoms, “David and His Palace,” www.wayoflife.org.

(Friday Church News Notes, December 3, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)