Hello friends! The following is physical evidence of King David.
It also seems there's much more going on with this tablet as it appears to also be evidence of 7 other kings written about in The Bible; Hazael, Ben-Hadad II, Ahab, Joram, Ahaziah, Jehoram and Jehu.
I will first show the regular finding where The House of David is mentioned without filling the empty spaces and then following that, i will post a more in depth article that fills all the spaces into a historical match (Credit given at the bottom of each article :D)
House of David Inscription
Missing and damaged text is represented by empty square brackets "[ ]"
1'. [ ]...[ ] and cut [ ]
2'. [ ] my father went up [ ] he fought at [...]
3'. And my father lay down; he went to his [fathers]. Now the king of I[s]/rael had penetrated
4'. into my father's land before. [But then] Hadad made me king,
5'. And Hadad marched before me. So I went forth from [the] seven[...]/s
6'. of my rule, and I killed [seve]nty kin[gs] who had harnessed thou[sands of cha]/riots
7'. and thousands of cavalry. [And I killed ...]ram son of [...]
8'. the king of Israel, and I killed [...]yahu son of [... the ki]/ng of
9'. the House of David. And I made [their towns into ruins and turned]
10'. their land into [a desolation ...]
11'. others and [...Then...became ki]/ng
12'. over Is[rael...And I laid]
13'. siege against [...]
The Great Kings of Israel
Without question the two greatest kings of Israel were David and Solomon. The Bible is full of rich stories recounting these two remarkable lives.
David burst onto the scene as a small boy who could play a musical instrument beautifully enough to calm the nerves of his king. The larger than life prophet Samuel secretly anoints David as the new king to replace the unfaithful King Saul. As a young man David shows fierce courage. He steps up, while all the men of the nation cower, and cuts the head off the giant Goliath. David then goes on to eventually become the greatest King of Israel. He is a poet, a warrior, a musician, a leader, a lover and so much more. David had substantial flaws but through it all God deemed him a man after His own heart. His influence is still felt today with the modern nation of Israel using the “Star of David” as their national emblem.
Solomon, additionally, is cloaked in his own greatness. Rarely can a son follow in the footsteps of a famous father. Solomon reaches iconic status through God offering him a unique opportunity, one wish. What is Solomon’s wish? Solomon famously asks not for riches but for wisdom. God, surprised by Solomon’s wish, makes him the wisest man who has ever lived. As an added bonus God goes ahead and makes him rich as well. Solomon’s wealth, influence and wisdom are without rival. These men are famous and contribute a considerable portion of Scripture (traditionally Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon).
The Great Silence
We have two great kings; we also have a great silence. Outside of the Bible there has been absolutely no evidence David or Solomon ever existed. David and Solomon are portrayed in the Bible as international players. Solomon is married to an Egyptian princess, the Queen of Sheba comes to visit and learn from Solomon, David conquers kingdoms, yet nothing has been discovered from any country with any hint to their existence.
You can imagine the doubts this has developed in the scholarly world. Many scholars postulate the nation of Israel was nothing more than the equivalent of a backwoods hick town at the supposed time of David and Solomon. The Bible, it is thought, grossly exaggerates the influence of these kings (who may or may not have lived) in order to create some sort of false national pride to a much later generation. Are these fabricated stories? The archaeological record appears to support this view due to the shocking lack of any mention of their names.
For years millions of people trusted the biblical account of David and Solomon without any archaeological support, then came 1994.
In 1994 archaeologists were digging in northern Israel at the ancient city of Dan. The area surrounding Dan is one of the most beautiful parts of Israel. The excavation had come across some interesting elements but nothing which would rock the archaeological world until a member of the team made an unlikely discovery.
The city gate was being excavated. Most of the gate was constructed with typical building materials of the time, but three of the stones holding the gate together held a history much more interesting than their neighboring stones. These three stone fragments were found covered with ancient writing. The largest stone fragment measured 32x22cm. Of the original writing 13 lines of text are partially preserved. The writing was found to be ancient Aramaic, dating to the mid-800’s BC.
What did the writing say? Interestingly, the stone slab is a form of ancient propaganda. An Aramaean king, most likely Hazael of Damascus, conquered the Israelite city of Dan sometime in the 840s BC. After he defeated the city he evidently erected this inscription in a public place to let everyone know he was now in control of the city. We know from the Bible Jehoram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, were both defeated by Hazael (2 Kings 8:7-15, 28;9:24-29; 2 Chronicles 22:5).
In the inscription the Aramaean king claims to have killed the kings of both Israel (Joram) and Judah (Ahaziah) in the course of his southern conquests. Interestingly, this parallels an account of the murders of Joram and Ahaziah in 2 Kings 9, but in the Hebrew Bible’s account it is Jehu who kills the two kings in a bloody coup and seizes the throne of Israel for himself! So we have a strange historical challenge in which each names a different murderer.
This inscription is fascinating on many levels. The Aramaean king refers to the kingdom of Judah by its dynastic name, a name frequently used in the Hebrew Bible as well: the House of David. This not only indicates that the family of David still sat on the throne of Jerusalem, but this inscription represents the oldest textual reference to the historical King David ever discovered!
The House of David inscription is significant on many levels. First, contrary to all of the ink spilled touting the silence of David and Solomon from the extra-biblical record there is now proof of a historical king of Israel named David. Second, an Aramaean king would not brag about killing a king who was the relative of a guy who led a backwoods hick town. In order for Hazael to brag about killing a king descending from the House of David, David must have been a well-known and influential king even 150 years after his death. Third, after Hazael was eventually defeated it looks like the inhabitants of Dan tore down the inscription, broke it up into pieces and reused the stone fragments to construct their new outer gate showing their disdain for the inscription and love for their historically rich country.
The Tel Dan inscription is amazing. It is made more amazing by the decades of ridicule which surrounded the silence of David and Solomon from the historical record. That silence was broken in such a recent and surprising way through this small 13-line Aramaic inscription. What do you think?
Hazael, king of Aram (841-800 BC)
Tel Dan "House of David" Inscription
Victory Stele of Hazael: 841 BC
References 8 different kings of the Bible!
Hazael, Ben-Hadad II, Ahab, Joram, Ahaziah, Jehoram, Jehu, David
The relative importance of finding 8 Bible kings on a single tablet, dwarfs the fact that it mentions the "house of David", given the fact that the Mesha stele (848 BC) and the Shishak temple (925 BC) also say "house of David". The victory Stele of Hazael therefore, is one of the most important archeological finds ever because it lists 8 different kings listed in the Bible and evidences 3-5 different Bible stories that happened around 941 BC. In a kind of trilogy, the Bible PLUS the stele of Hazael PLUS the 18 year annals of Shalmaneser III embed this story in history and confirm the Bible is God's inspired word!
Archaeologists are digging up bible stories!!!
Archaeology is an important science that confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible. Since the Bible refers to hundreds of cities, kings, and places, we would expect to find evidence from on-site excavations. And this is exactly what we have found. The Bible is the most historically accurate book of history on earth. Read the Bible daily!
1. The "House of David" Inscription, found in secondary use in a wall outside the city gate of Tel Dan is one of the most important archeological finds of the century not because it mentions the House of David, but because it documents 8 different kings named in the Bible on one single tablet. (Hazael, Ben-Hadad II, Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehoram, Jehu, David)
a. Hazael king of Aram: 841-800 BC
b. Ben-Hadad II king of Aram: 860-841 BC, 1 Kings 20:26-30
c. Ahab king of Israel: 874-853 BC
d. Joram king of Israel, son of Ahab, brother of Ahaziah king of Israel: 852-841 BC
e. Ahaziah king of Judah: 841 BC
f. Jehoram king of Israel: 853-841 BC
g. David: King of united Kingdoms of Israel and Judah: 1010-970 BC
h. Jehu King of Israel: 841-814 BC, 2 Kings 9:24-28
click on chronology on right for details
2. The Stele of Hazael stood at the gate of Tel Dan for 41 years, from 841-800 BC.
a. 841 BC: Hazael created his victory stele in celebration of killing the two Hebrew kings Joram and Ahaziah at Ramoth Gilead in 841 BC as recorded in 2 Kings 8:28-29. Hazael chose Tel Dan to set up the stele because it was the most important pagan worship center in northern Israel for 617 years from 1340-723 BC.
b. 800 BC: After the death of Hazael, Jehoash expelled Hazael's son Ben-Hadad III from northern Israel recovered Tel Dan and destroyed the stele. (2 Kings 13:24-25)
c. Pictured is the location, marked with the red X, where the "house of David" inscription was found outside the gate at tel Dan.
d. It is important to note that Hazael wounded Joram but it was Jehu who actually killed Joram and Ahaziah. Hazael knew he had wounded Joram and because Joram and Ahaziah died the same day, it appeared both had been fatally wounded or killed in battle. “Then Ahaziah went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, and the Arameans wounded Joram. So King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. Then Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel because he was sick.” (2 Kings 8:28-29)
e. “When Hazael king of Aram died, Ben-hadad III his son became king in his place. Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from the hand of Ben-hadad III the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken in war from the hand of Jehoahaz his father. Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel.” (2 Kings 13:24-25)
3. "The Tel Dan Stela is extraordinary in that it names eight Biblical kings: Ben-Hadad II, Hazael, Joram, Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehoram, David and Jehu. It was most likely erected following Hazael’s defeat of Joram and Ahaziah at Ramoth Gilead in ca. 841 BC (2 Kgs 8:28–29). The occasion for the breaking of the stela was probably when Jehoash, king of Israel from 798 to 782, recaptured Israelite territory previously taken by Hazael (2 Kgs 13:24–25). It appears that the monument stood in Dan near the city gate for over four decades. It was a constant reminder to the Israelites that they were subject to the Arameans. When the tide of political power shifted, the Israelites gained the upper hand and the hated stela was broken into many pieces, some of which were reused as building material." (The Tel Dan Stela and the Kings of Aram and Israel, Bryant G. Wood, Bible and Spade 13:2, p 63, 2000 AD)
I. Overview of the Aram dynasty: Ben-Badad I and Ben-Hadad II:
1. The Aram dynasty is as follows:
a. Ben-Hadad I: 900-860 BC (son of Tab-Rimmon, son of Hezion)
b. Ben-Hadad II: 860-841 BC (son of Ben-Hadad I)
c. Hazael: 841-800 BC (usurped the throne, dynasty broken.)
d. Ben-Hadad III: 800-770 BC (son of Hazael)
2. Ben-Hadad 1st (900-860 BC) conquered Dan in 895 BC.
3. Elijah healed Naaman the leper, who was the army commander for Ben-Hadad II, had accomplished many victories (2 Ki 5:1).
4. Ahab was victorious in 857 BC by repelling Ben-Hadad II's (860-841 BC) invasion of Samaria.
5. Ben-Hadad II was again defeated the following year (856 BC, 1 Kings 20:26-30) at Aphek (east coast of sea of Galilee).
6. Three years later (853 BC) Ben-Hadad II is named "Adad-’idri" in the Kurkh Monolith of Shalmaneser III (Battle of Qarqar) as having 1200 manned chariots and 20,000 soldiers in an alliance with Ahab (who had 2000 chariots and 10,000 soldiers) to defeat Shalmaneser III in 853 BC.
7. Later in 853 BC, Ahab and Jehoshaphat joined in an alliance against Ben-Hadad II at Ramoth-Gilead (1 Ki 22:1-40) in which Ahab was killed. Ben-Hadad II is named as an adversary in the annals of Shalmaneser III in the western campaigns in the years 849, 848, and 845 BC.
8. Around 850 BC, Ben-Hadad II attacked Joram, king of Israel in Samaria (2 Kings 6:24) but God struck them with insanity (panic: 2 Kings 7:6) and they fled back to Aram.
9. In 848 BC Mesha, king of Moab, mentions the "house of David" in the "Mesha stele"
10. In the year 841 BC 5 different events happen:
a. In 841 BC Hazael's usurps the throne in 2 Kings 8:7-15 by smothering him with a wet towel.
b. 841 BC is also the 18th year of Shalmaneser III who actually records that Hazael was not royal blood but a commoner (son of nobody) who seized the throne in a coup from Ben-Hadad II.
c. In 841 BC, Jehu king of Israel (841-814 BC) fatally injured Joram king of Israel. A few weeks later Jehu murders both Joram and Ahaziah, king of Judah in 2 Kings 9:24-28.
II. Overview of Hazael: 841-800 BC
1. 841 BC was a busy year for Hazael that included his anointing by Elisha as king of Aram, fatally injuring Joram king of Israel and erecting the his Victory stele at Tel Dan.
a. In 841 BC, after Elijah kills the 850 false prophets on Mount Carmel, Jezebel put a death warrant out on him and he flees in terror to Mount Sinai. While there, God finally says to Elijah to anoint Hazael as king of Aram. “When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” The Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. “It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. “Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”” (1 Kings 19:13-18)
b. In 841 BC Elisha goes to anoint Hazael. Hazael has been sent by Ben-Hadad II to enquire if he will recover from a sickness. Elisha had previously healed Naaman, the army commander of Beh-Hadad II. “Then Elisha came to Damascus. Now Ben-hadad king of Aram was sick, and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” The king said to Hazael, “Take a gift in your hand and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord by him, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ ” So Hazael went to meet him and took a gift in his hand, even every kind of good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ loads; and he came and stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-hadad king of Aram has sent me to you, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ ” Then Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You will surely recover,’ but the Lord has shown me that he will certainly die.” He fixed his gaze steadily on him until he was ashamed, and the man of God wept. Hazael said, “Why does my lord weep?” Then he answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the sons of Israel: their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword, and their little ones you will dash in pieces, and their women with child you will rip up.” Then Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?” And Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will be king over Aram.” So he departed from Elisha and returned to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.” On the following day, he took the cover and dipped it in water and spread it on his face, so that he died. And Hazael became king in his place.” (2 Kings 8:7-15)
c. In 841 BC Hazael fatally wounds Joram, king of Israel. A short time later Jehu kills both Joram and Hazael.
i. “Then he went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, and the Arameans wounded Joram. So King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. Then Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel because he was sick.” (2 Kings 8:28-29)
ii. “Ahaziah also walked according to their counsel, and went with Jehoram (Joram) the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. But the Arameans wounded Joram. So he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick. Now the destruction of Ahaziah was from God, in that he went to Joram. For when he came, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.” (2 Chronicles 22:5-7)
d. In 841 BC Hazael puts the "Tel Dan Stele" with the "House of David" inscription outside the city gate of Dan where the pagan temple of Jonathan, grandson of Moses and Jeroboam had pagan altars.
2. In 814 BC (23rd year of Johoash king of Judah) Hazael conquers Gath and threatens to attach Jerusalem but Jehoash
a. “But it came about that in the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had not repaired the damages of the house. … Then Hazael king of Aram went up and fought against Gath and captured it, and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred things and all the gold that was found among the treasuries of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent them to Hazael king of Aram. Then he went away from Jerusalem.” (2 Kings 12:6,17-18)
b. “In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel at Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin; he did not turn from them. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Aram, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael.” (2 Kings 13:1–3)
c. According to the chronology of Kings Chart, it appears that the 23rd year of Joash is 812 BC, when in fact it is 814 BC. 814 BC is the 23rd year of Joash when you have the correct understanding of inclusive vs non-inclusive counting and the new years in Tishri (t) and Nisan (n). "Joash of Judah began in 836t; his reign was by non-accession reckoning, so his ‘23rd’ year was 836t – 22 (acc) = 814t. Jehoahaz son of Jehu began in that year, 814t, more specifically in 814t/813n. The trouble is when people look at the Bible numbers and think in terms of BC years without making the correct translation between the two calendar systems. Joash began in 835n/835t. This was 836t by Judean official reckoning, but it was, in our reckoning, in the 6-month period on or after Nisan 1 of 935 BC. (Rodger Young, email, 2014 AD)
3. 841-770 BC Aram controlled much of northern Israel's land because of their idolatry. It wasn't until Hazael died that Joash began to recapture some of this lost territory from the Arameans.
a. 841-800 BC “But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel sin. In those days the Lord began to cut off portions from Israel; and Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites and the Reubenites and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.” (2 Kings 10:31-33)
b. 800-770 BC: Hazael dies: “When Hazael king of Aram died, Ben-hadad his son became king in his place. Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken in war from the hand of Jehoahaz his father. Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel.” (2 Kings 13:24-25)
4. 755 BC: Judgement against Hazael: “Thus says the Lord, “For three transgressions of Damascus and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron. “So I will send fire upon the house of Hazael. And it will consume the citadels of Ben-hadad.” (Amos 1:3-4)
II. Discovery and details about the Tel Dan Stele of Hazael:
1. "The discussion of the high places at Dan cannot be concluded without calling attention to the Aramaic victory stele which mentions a king of Israel and a king of the House of David (Biran and Naveh 1993, 1995). The smashed fragments of the stele were found on the pavement outside the lower gate and below the post-Assyrian conquest shrine. It is a fair assumption that the original setting of the stele was near where the fragments were found, that is, at the entrance to the city. This would be the natural place for a victorious king to set his stele. The choice of Dan may well have been prompted, in addition to its being the largest city in the region, because of its high places at the gate." (The High Places of Biblical Dan, Avraham Biran, Studies in the archaeology of the Iron Age in Israel and Jordan, Vol. 331, p154, 2001 AD)
2. "The largest fragment of the Tel Dan Stela, Fragment A, was discovered at Tel Dan in northern Israel in July 1993 (Biran and Naveh 1993; Wood 1993). Then, in June 1994, two additional joining fragments, labeled Fragment B, were found (Biran and Naveh 1995). Together, Fragments A and B represent only a fraction of a much longer inscription. The language is Aramaic and it celebrates the victory of a king of Aram over Israel and Judah. It is the first royal inscription to be found in Israel. The most stunning aspect of the document is the reference to Judah as the “House of David.” For the first time, it was thought, the name David appeared in an extra-Biblical document. At about the same time, however, two French scholars, André Lemaire (1994) and Émile Puech (1994), independently recognized the same phrase in the Mesha Inscription [848 BC], which has been around for well over 100 years (Wood 1995). It now likely that the name David is in a third inscription. Egyptologist K.A. Kitchen believes that the phrase “highland of David” appears in the Shishak inscription in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, Egypt (1997: 39–41). All this at a time when a number of scholars were challenging the existence of the United Monarchy and a king name David!" (The Tel Dan Stela and the Kings of Aram and Israel, Bryant G. Wood, Bible and Spade 13:2, p 59, 2000 AD)
3. "Unfortunately, the beginning of the Tel Dan Stela is missing. This is where the name of the king who commissioned the memorial, and the event which occasioned it, would have been recorded. With the discovery of Fragment B, however, we can assign the stela’s place in history with near certainty. Parts of the names of two kings are preserved in Fragment B: Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel from 852 to 841 BC, and Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, king of Judah (the House of David) in 841 BC. With this new information it is possible to assign the stela to Hazael, king of Aram-Damascus,who undoubtedly set it up in Dan to commemorate his victory over Joram and Ahaziah at Ramoth-Gilead in ca. 841 BC (2 Kgs 8:28–29)." (The Tel Dan Stela and the Kings of Aram and Israel, Bryant G. Wood, Bible and Spade 13:2, p 60, 2000 AD)
II. Text of the "house of David" inscription:
Tel Dan Inscription was discovered in in two sections, two years apart: Fragment A in 1993 and fragment B in 1994 that names seven kings mentioned in the Bible
13 lines of text on the stele: 8 kings
1. [...] and cut [...]
2. [...] my [Hazael, king of Aram, 841-800 BC, 2 Ki 8:7-15] father [Ben-Hadad II, king of Aram, 860-841 BC, 1 Kings 20:26-30,] went up [against him when] he fought at [… at Aphek 1 Ki 20:26]
3. And my father lay down, he went to his [ancestors] and the king of I[s-]
4. rael entered previously in my father’s land. [Ahab king of Israel 874-853 BC and Jehoshaphat king of Judah, 872-848, cf. 1 Kings 20:20-21] [And] Hadad made me king.
5. And Hadad went in front of me, [and] I departed from [the] seven [...-]
6. s of my kingdom, and I slew [seve]nty kin[gs], who harnessed thou[sands of cha-]
7. riots and thousands of horsemen. [I killed Jo]ram [Joram king of Israel, 852-841 BC] son of [Ahab]
8. king of Israel, and [I] killed [Ahaz]iahu [Ahaziah, king of Judah 841 BC] son of [Jehoram kin-] [king of Judah, 853-841 BC)
9. g of the House of David. And I set [their towns into ruins and turned]
10. their land into [desolation ...]
11. other [... and Jehu ru-] [Jehu king of Israel, 841-814 BC, 2 Kings 9:24-28]
12. led over Is[rael ... and I laid]
13. siege upon [...]
III. Two of Hazael's life stories recorded in the Bible are confirmed by outside archeology.
1. First the Bible predicted that Hazael, a high official in the royal court, will usurp the throne as a "commoner". The basalt statue of Shalmaneser III (annals of year 18) record that "Hazael, son of Nobody" confirming the Bible exactly.
a. “The Lord said to Elijah [at Mt Sinai after fleeing from Jezebel], “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. “It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. “Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”” (1 Kings 19:15-18)
b. Sometime during the reign of Ben-Hadad II, Elisha heals Naaman, Ben-Hadad's army commander, of leprosy. 2 Ki 5:1-27
c. After the healing of Naaman, Ben-Hadad II's army general, Ben-hadad II himself becomes very ill. Ben-Hadad II sends a high official in the royal court named Hazael to ask Elisha if he will be healed, like Namaan was. Having been told by God that Hazael will succeed Ben-Hadad II in order to punish Israel for idolatry, Elisha begins to cry foreseeing the death of the Israelite king. The next day Hazael suffocates Ben-Hadad II with a wet blanket and assumes the throne.
d. “Then Elisha came to Damascus. Now Ben-hadad II king of Aram was sick, and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” The king said to Hazael, “Take a gift in your hand and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord by him, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ ” So Hazael went to meet him and took a gift in his hand, even every kind of good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ loads; and he came and stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-hadad king of Aram has sent me to you, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ ” Then Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You will surely recover,’ but the Lord has shown me that he will certainly die.” He fixed his gaze steadily on him until he was ashamed, and the man of God wept. Hazael said, “Why does my lord weep?” Then he answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the sons of Israel: their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword, and their little ones you will dash in pieces, and their women with child you will rip up.” Then Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?” And Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will be king over Aram.” So he departed from Elisha and returned to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.” On the following day, he took the cover and dipped it in water and spread it on his face, so that he died. And Hazael became king in his place.” (2 Kings 8:7-15)
e. "We learn from the annals of the 18th year of Shalmaneser III that Hazael had replaced Hadad-ezer on the throne of Damascus. The succession, that must have taken place somewhere between 845 and 841, is, in fact, reported on a broken statue of Shalmaneser III discovered at Ashur. Here, we may read that: ‘Hadad-ezer (Adad-idri) passed away (and) Haza’el, son of nobody, took the throne. He mustered his numerous troops (and) moved against me [Shalmaneser] to wage war and battle. I fought with him (and) defeated him’ (RIMA 3, II, A.O.102.40 (= Grayson 1996/2002: 118)). The designation ‘son of nobody’ suggests probably that we are dealing with a usurper." (Ahab Agonistes: the rise and fall of the Omri dynasty, L. L. Grabbe, p30, 2007 AD)
Text from fragment of basalt statue of Shalmaneser III
"I defeated Hadadezer of Damascus (Imēr[i]) together with twelve princes, his allies (lit.: helpers). I stretched upon the ground 20,900 of his strong warriors like šu-bi, the remnants of his troops I pushed into the Orontes (Arantu) river and they dispersed to save their lives;Hadadezer [Ben-Hadad II] (himself) perished. Hazael, a commoner (lit.: son of nobody), seized the throne, called up a numerous army and rose against me. I fought with him and defeated him, taking the chariots of his camp. He disappeared to save his life. I marched as far as Damascus (Di-ma-áš-qi), his royal residence [and cut down his] gardens." (ANET, Shalmaneser III, annals of year 18, On a basalt statue, p 280, 1969 AD)
2. Second, the Bible predicted that Hazael will do great damage to the Hebrew nation he kills the kings of Israel. The Tel Dan victory stele of Hazael confirms this exact detail.
a. Elijah foretold that Hazael would kill many in Israel. 2 Kings 8:7-15.
i. Hazael indeed fatally injures Joram, king of Israel, but not Ahaziah.
ii. “Then Ahaziah went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, and the Arameans wounded Joram. So King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. Then Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel because he was sick.” (2 Kings 8:28-29)
b. While Hazael takes credit for killing both Joram and "Ahaziah of the house of David" on the victory stele, it was Jehu who actually killed both.
i. “When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” And he answered, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” So Joram reined about and fled and said to Ahaziah, “There is treachery, O Ahaziah!” And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength and shot Joram between his arms; and the arrow went through his heart and he sank in his chariot. Then Jehu said to Bidkar his officer, “Take him up and cast him into the property of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for I remember when you and I were riding together after Ahab his father, that the Lord laid this oracle against him: ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will repay you in this property,’ says the Lord. Now then, take and cast him into the property, according to the word of the Lord.” When Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu pursued him and said, “Shoot him too, in the chariot.” So they shot him at the ascent of Gur, which is at Ibleam. But he fled to Megiddo and died there. Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his grave with his fathers in the city of David.” (2 Kings 9:22–28)
c. While Hazael merely wounded Joram, it was Jehu who actually killed both Joram and Ahaziah. Hazael knew he had wounded Joram and because Joram and Ahaziah died the same day, it appeared both had been fatally wounded or killed in battle. Hazael knew that after the battle at Ramoth-gilead, both kings were dead. Taking credit for this, even if it is exaggeration, is common in victory steles.
d. So the Tel Dan "House of David" inscription tablet records this Bible event.
1. The victory Stele of Hazael is one of the most important archeological finds ever because it lists 8 different kings listed in the Bible and evidences 3-5 different Bible stories that happened around 941 BC.
2. While the confirmation of the "House of David" on the Tel Dan stele is important the same expression "House of David" is also on the Mesha Stele (848 BC). Additionally, Kenneth Kitchen has published that Shishak (925 BC) wrote the phrase “highland of David” in the Temple of Amun at Karnak.
3. To find the names of eight Bible kings on a single inscription dwarfs the importance of the phrase "House of David" in comparison.
4. It is sad that everyone has heard that Tel Dan inscription has the phrase "House of David", few know that 7 other Bible kings are named and that it was written by the Aramean king Hazael's when he conquered the king of Israel.
5. In a kind of trilogy witness, the Bible PLUS the stele of Hazael PLUS the 18 year annals of Shalmaneser III embed this story of Hazael in history and confirm the Bible is God's inspired word!