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Archaeology/Regarding Solomon

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Question
Hi,

I saw a video in which archaeologists claim that there is no evidence that prove that Solomon built huge palaces in Jerusalem. If Solomon had so much great power, why he didn't capture Egypt, Mesopotamia and other countries. Is there any evidence that indicates Solomon captured Egypt and other countries. If there is no evidence, how could the biblical story be trusted.

Regards.

Answer
Hi Amtry,

The kingdom of Israel at that time was a very small player and arose during a relative calm in the region.  The big players, The Egyptian Empire the Phillistines and others were always a threat to the kingdom but they had internal issues at the time.  Israel would not have been strong enough to take them on. Even Israel had its own internal issues.  Where the Dome of the Rock is located, was the site of the Holy of Holies for the Jews. The site of the Temple where the Arc of the Covenent was secured.  This is also where Solomon built his palace, according to the Bible.  As for evidence, was Solomon a king of Israel?  There is no direct evidence from Israel because no documents survived from this era.  Papyrus, parchments and similar materials have not survived.  However, documents from Egypt, Mesopotamia and elsewhere have survived and these do speak of Israel and its Kings.  The Bible, which was first written down around this time, was a strictly adhered oral tradition and was copied word for word by scribes.  It was the word of God so, it could Not be altered.  

In much the same way the Quoran was preserved as an oral tradition until it too was transcribed into written form preserving it, as the word of God.  It is why Moses is a Profit in both books and is important to both Islam and Judaism, along with Adam, Abraham, Noah and the other Profits.  Solomon is acknowledged as a great king because of his compassion, fairness and passion.  His songs and love for his people are seen in the Bible.  It would be hard to see this as having come from a fictional person.    

Can the Biblical stories be trusted?  As I indicated above, there is a very long tradition among the people of the region to having an oral tradition for story telling.  This includes the importance of keeping the story "true" without deviation because it is the word of God.  This is still the case today among the Bedoin and other people of the desert.  The laws of God have not changed in over Three thousand years.  They are however interpreted differently by different cultures.  So, this is where we must look.  Not at the Bible or the Quoran, but at our interpretation.  The words of God, are the words of God and cannot be challenged without calling into question His law.  Different cultures will interpret the words of God differently depending on their own biases and environments.  Thus the control of women by men, the foods we eat, who is educated, and so on.  It is their cultural differences that have lead to conflict, our interpretation the has divided us into Sunni, Shiate, Alowite, Orthodox Jew, Convervative Jew and so on.  What binds us however has not changed in nearly six thousand years, we are the children of Abraham.  We follow the singular teachings and law of One God.  God gave us the Bible and the Quoran, our Profits.  

Modern interpretations taken out of context are a danger as well.  Just because there is no archaeological "proof" does not mean that the stories are not true.  All it proves is that no written records from the time have survived.  What the archaeological record does show is that structures from the site were built during this time frame, that they were well built.  So it was a time of relative peace and prosperity, in the region.  This fits with the Biblical view for the time.  

I'm not sure that I have responded sufficiently to your question.  If not please ask follow up questions.

Archaeology

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Ralph Salier

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Archaeologist for the last 30 years. Norh American generalist and Hopwell culture/Red Ocher culture specifically. Lithics Expert and Ground Stone tools.

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Numerous museums in US and Canada. Several University Anthropology Departments.

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