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April 13, 2006

Still More for Passover

Talk about this and maybe tonight's will be different from all other sedars. Two additional paragraphs from Dan Lazare writing in Harper's:

The Davidic Empire, which archaeologists once thought as incontrovertible as the Roman, is now seen as an invention of Jerusalem-based priests in the seventh and eighth centuries B.C. who were eager to burnish their national history. The religion we call Judaism does not reach well back into the second millennium B.C. but appears to be, at most, a product of the mid-first....
According to the Bible, Solomon was both a master builder and an insatiable accumulator. He drank out of golden goblets, outfitted his soldiers with golden shields, maintained a fleet of sailing ships to seek out exotic treasures, kept a harem of 1,000 wives and concubines, and spent thirteen years building a palace and a richly decorated temple to house the Ark of the Covenant. Yet not one goblet, not one brick, has ever been found to indicate that such a reign existed. If David and Solomon had been important regional power brokers, one might reasonably expect their names to crop up on monuments and in the diplomatic correspondence of the day. Yet once again the record is silent. True, an inscription referring to "Ahaziahu, son of Jehoram, king of the House of David" was found in 1993 on a fragment dating from the late ninth century B.C. But that was more than a hundred years after David's death, and at most all it indicates is that David (or someone with a similar name) was credited with establishing the Judahite royal line. It hardly proves that he ruled over a powerful empire.

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at April 13, 2006 12:33 PM


Should all this be cross-referenced with proving things we already know?

"True stories" (one of the most widely accepted oxymoronic expressions) passed down by oral tradition for millennia--the "word of God"--OK.

We know people can and will believe anything.
Nothing in any book is true. Words, even numbers, cannot capture truth. At best they poke around the edges.

Truth cannot be mediated.

Posted by: Jay Saul at April 13, 2006 2:54 PM

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