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New Scientific Study Affirms Bible: Jerusalem Was a Major City Under David and Solomon

Michael Foust | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Published: May 03, 2024
New Scientific Study Affirms Bible: Jerusalem Was a Major City Under David and Solomon

New Scientific Study Affirms Bible: Jerusalem Was a Major City Under David and Solomon

For decades, archaeologists and historians have debated whether the Bible’s description of Jerusalem as a large city during the time of kings David and Solomon was accurate or — as skeptics suggested — the biblical account was inaccurate, and Jerusalem instead was an insignificant town or village. Now, though, a new major scientific study in Israel has affirmed what Scripture describes as a large urban area. 

The study was conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science and uses science “in order to link events mentioned in the Bible to archaeological findings unearthed in the city of David.”

“The new research sheds light on one of the longstanding and controversial research questions regarding the nature and scope of Jerusalem during the reigns of David and Solomon and thereafter: the findings from the new research indicate that there was a widespread settlement in Jerusalem during this period,” the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said in a news release.

Israel Antiquities Authority (1)

As part of the research, scientists studied grape seeds, date pits, bat skeletons, and other natural materials found in structures at four different excavation areas in the City of David on the eastern and western slopes. 

“Measuring the amount of carbon in the organic material and calculating it together with other variables allowed the researchers to accurately date many findings in the City of David,” IAA said in a news release. 

Specifically, researchers used ancient tree rings from Europe to “create a precise timeline of single-year dates,” from which it is “possible to accurately learn about fluctuations in the percentage of carbon-14 in the atmosphere,” IAA said. 

“It helped to scientifically reconstruct for the first time the history of Jerusalem from 1200 BCE — before the days of David and Solomon according to the biblical description — to the Babylonian destruction in 586 BCE,” the organization said.

The scientific study, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “brings tantalizing clues that the city was already an important urban center in David and Solomon's time and not an insignificant village, as scholars more skeptical of biblical historicity have long maintained.”

The study was published in the journal PNAS.

Photo Credit: ©Israel Antiquities Authority


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist PressChristianity TodayThe Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.



New Scientific Study Affirms Bible: Jerusalem Was a Major City Under David and Solomon