BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Where Were the Old Testament Kings of Ancient Jerusalem Buried?

Archaeologist Jeff Zorn reinvestigates an old theory

Jeffrey Zorn presents some of Raymond Weill’s early-20th-century plans from his Jerusalem excavations in “Is T1 David’s Tomb?” in the November/December 2012 BAR. Take a closer look at Weill’s detailed drawings in the Bible History Daily exclusive “King David’s Tomb–A Closer Look.” Zoom in on pictures from the magazine, and get a fresh look at additional web-exclusive photographs, plans and drawings. 


 
Nearly a century ago, French archaeologist Raymond Weill excavated what he identified to be tombs in Jerusalem’s City of David—perhaps the royal necropolis of the earliest Old Testament kings. Some scholars have since disputed this claim, but a new examination of the evidence by archaeologist Jeff Zorn suggests that Weill might well have been right.

Although King David’s tomb has been erroneously identified with a location on Jerusalem’s Mt. Zion since the days of the Jewish historian Josephus (first century C.E.), earlier Biblical references make it clear that David and many other Old Testament kings were buried near the southern end of the City of David in ancient Jerusalem. But where exactly? Jeff Zorn believes we may already know.

Archaeologist Jeff Zorn believes these two quarried-out tunnels in the City of David may have once held the remains of the earliest Old Testament kings of ancient Jerusalem.

Nineteenth-century diplomat and explorer Charles Clermont-Ganneau believed the circuitous path of Hezekiah’s Tunnel offered a major clue. Clermont-Ganneau suggested the looping semicircular path followed by Hezekiah’s Tunnel towards its southern end was dug to avoid disturbing the burial grounds of the ancient Jerusalem kings that lay above. Within a couple of decades, Baron Edmond de Rothschild had purchased land in this area of the City of David to test the hypothesis through excavation.

Weill directed excavations on Baron Rothschild’s City of David property in 1913–1914 and again in 1923–1924. Though the area was greatly disturbed by later quarrying, Weill discovered ancient walls, ritual pools, cisterns, a circular tower (now believed to be a columbarium) and, most remarkably, nine rock-cut features that he identified as “tombs.” Weill interpreted the three most prominent tombs (labeled T1–T3) to be part of the royal necropolis of the Old Testament kings of ancient Jerusalem.

The parallel rock-cut tunnels Weill labeled T1 and T2 are still the most imposing of the “tombs.” T1 is about 54 feet long, 8 feet wide and 6 feet high. T2 is about 28 feet long, although evidence suggests it may originally have been much longer. While both tunnels are relatively simple and unadorned, T1 was divided into two levels, with the upper including a 6-foot-long rectangular depression at its far end that could have held the body or sarcophagus of the deceased.

So are these tunnels the remains of the royal Davidic necropolis of ancient Jerusalem?

Most scholar have remained unconvinced, pointing out that several features of the tunnels indicate they were more likely used as domestic cisterns or basements during the Second Temple period. But, as Jeff Zorn argues, even if these features were modified and reused during the Second Temple period (by which time any memory of where David and his descendants were buried had long since faded), this does not preclude the possibility of their original function as ancient Jerusalem royal tombs.

Those who reject Weill’s interpretation also point out that prominent Jerusalem families were able to commission much more elaborate First Temple period tombs, many of which have been found. Why then would Judah’s Old Testament kings have been buried in such simple, unadorned sepulchers?

Jeff Zorn argues that the plain tombs discovered by Weill are much more characteristic of the relatively simple royal tombs known from Late Bronze and early Iron Age sites throughout the Near East. As such, Weill’s tombs very well could be the tombs of Jerusalem’s earliest Old Testament kings, whose final resting places would have been made to look like the royal tombs of their contemporaries.
 


 
To continue learning about the ancient Jerusalem tombs discovered by Weill, read Jeffrey Zorn’s “Is T1 David’s Tomb?,” Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2012.

To view web-exclusive details of the site, visit “King David’s Tomb–A Closer Look.”
 


22 Responses

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  2. Jimbob says:

    Did someone mention David Rohl? Another revisitonist who thinks that the Bible is fairy tales written for grown children with just enough truth to allow Rohl to turn myth into whatever he wants to extract from the Biblical account and and make a buck at the same time.

  3. Peter L. Griffiths says:

    I would welcome some help as to whether the ancient monarchs of Israel used the royal we, and if so how far back does this go.

  4. Rose Stauros says:

    E>You did not answer my question on what would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem.

    R> (From Post 11) For a team to excavate the temple and buried city to rule it out. Until then it’s by far the best candidate for the actual Temple of Solomon.

    You didn’t answer my question; What proof do you have for the boarder between Egypt and Isreal in 1000 BCE?

    D> consider the hypothesis offerred by David Rohl

    R> There is some room to shift the dates of the kings and pharaoh’s however David Rohl’s own organization, “The Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences” or (ISIS) debunked his dating in their final issue VOLUME 10 – Pages 57 – 62 – Year 2006; DOES TABLET KTU 1.78 PROVIDE INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC CONFIRMATION OF THE NEW CHRONOLOGY’? by Bimson, John J. (read the Conclusion)

    http://www.newchronology.org/cgi-bin/somsid.cgi?session=< >&page=html/volumes/10

    E> I think Observertherealon debunked your view on the location of the Solomonic temple admirably.

    R> You want all kinds of sources form me, and you provide what….??? You can’t find another Temple that faces east with the same porch structure and dimensions as the Temple at 30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E. It can be identified as a temple by its foundation by both its size and easterly pointing direction. Let alone within 200 miles of modern Jerusalem. Herodotus associates the customs and laws in Leviticus with the folks in the Nile Delta. Josephus says the temple wasn’t built there until Herod. The gold and kings are in Tanis. Cedars from Lebanon were procured by the Pharaoh in Tanis to rebuild the temple (story of Wenamun).

    Besides Ezra explicitly stating the foundation for the temple had not been laid, the gospel of Luke points to ancient Jerusalem in Egypt. Matthew’s gospel has Joseph, Mary and Jesus flee directly into Egypt from Bethlehem to flee Herod who was in Jerusalem, then when Herod dies (about 4 BCE) they return to Galilee. Luke has Joseph, Mary and Jesus go from Bethlehem after the 40 days of purification directly into to Jerusalem, then back to Galilee. Either these are just made up stories (Bart Erhman Forged; Fabrications Within the Cannon; p. 265), or Luke was referring to ancient Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Egypt). Luke said the same thing as Matthew, they went from Bethlehem to the city called Jerusalem in Egypt where Simon and Anna declared Jesus the Messiah, then back to Galilee after Herod was gone.

    Then there’s the total and complete lack of evidence for modern Jerusalem as being the location of Solomons Temple. People have dug there since the crusades and found nothing.

    peace

  5. Enopoletus Harding says:

    @ Rose
    -I think Observertherealon debunked your view on the location of the Solomonic temple admirably. The eastern section of the Tanis rectangular structure you reference is some 50-51 meters in length, the total length of the rectangular structure is some 66-68 meters. You still have not referenced a source stating that the Tanis rectangular structure you reference is a temple. Besides, even if it was a temple (and there were many East-facing temples in the ANE), it still could not be Solomon’s temple, as that was in Jerusalem in Judah, not at Zoan in Egypt. It does not particularly matter that Josephus was wrong about a small matter. You did not answer my question on what would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem.

  6. Enopoletus Harding says:

    @David -WTF are you talking about? Firstly, Rohl does not view Shoshenq I as the same as Ramesses II. Secondly, he does not view the Philistines of Ramesses III as Persians-that’s a Velikovskyan view. Thirdly, Velikovsky’s chronology is manifestly contradicted by the stratigraphy of Palestine, and Rohl’s is manifestly contradicted by radiocarbon dating-see http://isfn.skytech.co.il/articles/Full model Antiquity.pdf

  7. David Paul Davenport says:

    Just to add a completely different perspective on the “arguing” above we must also consider the hypothesis offerred by David Rohl. He believes that scholars have stretched Egyptian chronology and misplaced the reigns of many Pharoahs including Rameses the Great — who is the SS (Shesonq I) who looted Jerusalem after Solomon and that the “Philistines” of Rameses III (a mistranslation of Peleset ie the Persians in his view) to subjegate Egypt. If one adopts Rohl’s corrected chronology Weill’s work is accurate.

  8. Dan says:

    O> Denying all this amounts to saying “The Palestinians are right – the Jews are liars”.

    >> First of all the Bible says the foundation was not there (Ezra 3:6). So you can’t cite any Biblical authority, you can only cite tradition. You’re saying the location of the original Solomon’s Temple is determined by political agenda, not empirical facts. Nobody has ever found any accepted evidence of David or Solomon anywhere. A possible name on a broken shard without any context could have originated anywhere. Nobody has ever found any evidence of a temple in modern Jerusalem prior to Herod the Great. Josephus says there were huge alter stones there, yet we know from true archeologists like Kathleen Kenyon that there was an ancient walled city there since the bronze age at least. The preponderance of evidence shifted away from modern Jerusalem as being the location of Solomon’s Temple a long time ago.

    Earlier “E” asked for references to back up the data, I complied.
    30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E

    The temple in Tanis at this location fits the dimensions perfectly; it faces east to allow the glory of the Lord to fill the temple every year at sunrise of the Spring Equinox. Its unexcavated foundation is huge and it’s in the middle of an unexcavated city. This city is about 200 miles southwest of modern Jerusalem in the land that was divided into 12 kingdoms, where circumcision originated, and the people thought swine an abomination.

    You tell me, where exactly was the border between Egypt and Israel in 1000 BCE, and what proof do you have?

    Who made breastplates of gold, with 12 rows of stones to represent the 12 kingdoms, and lattice and purple (chains and scarlet)? There are 3 types of stones in a pattern of 4 rows that repeat 3 times. Not that this is the breastplate of Aaron, but remember it was Moses who designed it 😉 .

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Tuthankhamun_Egyptian_Museum.jpg

    This below is a joke compared to the breastplates a few miles away.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/PLATE4DX.jpg

    Shalom

  9. Rose Stauros says:

    O> Denying all this amounts to saying “The Palestinians are right – the Jews are liars”.

    R> First of all the Bible says the foundation was not there (Ezra 3:6). So you can’t cite any Biblical authority, you can only cite tradition. You’re saying the location of the original Solomon’s Temple is determined by political agenda, not empirical facts. Nobody has ever found any accepted evidence of David or Solomon anywhere. A possible name on a broken shard without any context could have originated anywhere. Nobody has ever found any evidence of a temple in modern Jerusalem prior to Herod the Great. Josephus says there were huge alter stones there, yet we know from true archeologists like Kathleen Kenyon that there was an ancient walled city there since the bronze age at least. The preponderance of evidence shifted away from modern Jerusalem as being the location of Solomon’s Temple a long time ago.

    Earlier “E” asked for references to back up the data, I complied.
    30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E

    The temple in Tanis at this location fits the dimensions perfectly; it faces east to allow the glory of the Lord to fill the temple every year at sunrise of the Spring Equinox. Its unexcavated foundation is huge and it’s in the middle of an unexcavated city. This city is about 200 miles southwest of modern Jerusalem in the land that was divided into 12 kingdoms, where circumcision originated, and the people thought swine an abomination.

    You tell me, where exactly was the border between Egypt and Israel in 1000 BCE, and what proof do you have?

    Who made breastplates of gold, with 12 rows of stones to represent the 12 kingdoms, and lattice and purple (chains and scarlet)? There are 3 types of stones in a pattern of 4 rows that repeat 3 times. Not that this is the breastplate of Aaron, but remember it was Moses who designed it ;-).

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Tuthankhamun_Egyptian_Museum.jpg

    This below is a joke compared to the breastplates a few miles away.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/PLATE4DX.jpg

    Shalom

  10. Observertherealone says:

    What is all this nonsense?

    ‘…The Temple of Solomon was in Egypt….’
    ‘…The Temple of Solomon was never built because Solomon never existed….’

    For crying out loud!

    Look.

    When an invading army in Antiquity conquered a city and destroyed its temple… they DESTROYED things. They tear it up. They REMOVED anything of value. That’s what the Babylonians did when they conquered Jerusalem.

    The Temple was re-built (pretty well right from the gound up) commencing at the time of Ezra & Nehemiah and thereafter.

    Now is someone going to tell me that the Returning Jewish Exiles from Babylon just decided “Hey guys, let’s build a temple for our weird desert cult god, Yahweh, on THIS hill. I mean, screw it, we’ve NEVER had a temple or anything for the guy, really. … so let’s build him a temple here. Why not? I mean, it could be anywhere… but this hill looks nice.”

    Horse manure!!

    The Returning Jewish Exiles built the 2nd Temple on the SAME site as the first one that the a REALLY-WAS-A-HUMAN-BEING-OF-FLESH-AND-BLOOD King Solomon did. Solomon’s temple resemblence to any other temple of the period is purely circumstantial. How many art galleries and museums around the world resemble the British Museum? Heaps!

    So.

    The Bible account DOES say there was a Solomon temple in Jerusalem. Yep… right where the Dome of the Rock is now.

    The Solomon temple was totally destroyed.

    The Second Temple was a virtually NEW construction entirely, built on the same SITE (not the same foudations) as the Solomon temple.

    Herod the Great re-furbished and beautified the 2nd Temple.

    The Romans totally destroyed the 2nd/Herod Temple.

    The Bible is correct. The Jews are right.

    Denying all this amounts to saying “The Palestinians are right – the Jews are liars”.

  11. Rose Stauros says:

    M> Rose what are you smoking LOL.
    R> No strange incense!

    Exodus 30
    8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
    9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.

  12. Rose Stauros says:

    E> Merely saying something (such as that “historians such as Josephus say it wasn’t there” or “The Temple there is an exact match to the dimensions and orientation of the so-called Solomon’s Temple.”) doesn’t make it so.

    R> I agree. The unexcavated temple located in the middle of the buried city just south of the dig site at Tanis ( 30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E ) fits the dimensions of Solomon’s Temple given by several sources. One source that gives the dimensions of Solomon’s Temple is the fold out in the December 2008 issue of National Geographic. This gives a length of 52.5m from the front of the porch structure in the east, to the back wall. The Temple at Tanis can be measured using Google Earth and it’s within a few cm. of 52.5m from the front of its porch structure to the first back wall. Not only does this have the same porch structure it also faces because, “the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.”

    That’s in addition to the sepulchers and gold found just north of this unexcavated burred city and temple. It’s too big and the city too vast to be the temple Onias built mentioned by Josephus. Then there are the historical correlations like the cedars from Lebanon and marring Pharaoh’s daughter. There aren’t many differences other than our traditions Herodotus says there were 12 kingdoms in Egypt and the people of the Delta thought swine an abomination, he never mentioned Hebrews. He says the people of the Delta sacrificed a swine (not a lamb) to the full moon once a year and ate the whole thing. (Herodotus book 2.47).

    E> “historians such as Josephus say it wasn’t there” or “The Temple there is an exact match to the dimensions and orientation of the so-called Solomon’s Temple.”) doesn’t make it so.

    R> Josephus in Apion I, 22, says there was only an altar of huge stones there prior to Herod building the Temple. Ezra says the foundation for the temple was not there (Ezra 3:6). The cuneiform’s tell us that Nabonidus was the restorer of temples and he is the one who did all the events attributed to Nebuchadnezzar נבוכדנצר in the book of Daniel (except 1:1 where the name Nebuchadnezzar is spelled differently in the Hebrew Bible נבוכדנאצר). It was Nabonidus who went on the multi year hiatus and left Belshazzar in charge, it was Nabonidus who summoned all the astrologers to interpret his dreams. (see Paul-Alain Beaulieu, “ The Reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon 556-539 B.C”).

    “according to 1 Kings 6,1 and year 11 of Hiram given by Josephus as the year in which Solomon started the construction of the sanctuary. However the information provided by the Tyrian annals and referred to by Josephus as the Temple of Jerusalem in reality concerned the building activities at Tyre.
    (Lepinski, On the Skirts of Canaan in the Iron Age)

    E> What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem? What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was not in Tanis?

    R> For a team to excavate the temple and buried city to rule it out. Until then it’s by far the best candidate for the actual Temple of Solomon.

    Peace

  13. Enopoletus Harding says:

    What ‘political angst’? Are you referring to my analogies, made to demonstrate your claims in your first comment are ridiculous? We don’t have cuneiform accounts of the Sack of Jerusalem. Why would texts which no longer exist say the obvious (that there was a temple at the Judahite capital city) anyway?

    “Everything that happened at Tanis historically fits the framework of the Biblical Solomon.”-Except the construction of the temple of YHWH and the high places for the gods of Moab, Ammon, and Phoenicia. “Solomon was never an individual, but he represents the 21st Dynasty of Egypt. Biblically the 12 tribes split after the death of Solomon just like Egypt split after the 21st Dynasty.”
    -Sure, and James Polk was never an individual, but represents the antebellum period of America. Biblically the 12 tribes split after the death of Solomon just like America split during the Civil War.

    Ignorance is, indeed, painful (e.g, my ignorance of what in the world the rectangular structure you are pointing me to is). I take pains with misinterpretations, not facts. Merely saying something (such as that “historians such as Josephus say it wasn’t there” or “The Temple there is an exact match to the dimensions and orientation of the so-called Solomon’s Temple.”) doesn’t make it so. Testis unus testis nullus-I see all you state as a lie unless you give me a source. Besides, the Bible clearly presents the Temple of Solomon as being in a clearly-attested Iron Age Jerusalem in a clearly-attested Iron Age Judah.

    Also, there is no contradiction between Kitchen and the NATO conference statement-not all gold that is given to the gods each year is mined.

    What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem? What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was not in Tanis?

  14. Mark says:

    You’re right Greg the tomb of David must have escaped or been repaired during Nehemiah’s work. Rose what are you smoking LOL.

  15. Rose Stauros says:

    I see Enopoletus has no real answers to critical questions, just mindless political angst. This is a Biblical Archeology site not a personal political forum.

    There is no mention of a temple in modern Jerusalem prior to Alexander the Great.
    Paul-Alain Beaulieu, author of, “The Reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon 556-539 B.C” has many cuneiform’s that list temple restorations during that period. Historians such as Josephus say it wasn’t there, and Ezra himself says he laid the foundation. The Cyrus Cylinder mentions the temple in a different place.

    Tanis is where the Pharaoh Siamun sent ships to bring back cedars from Lebanon according to hieroglyphics. The Temple there is an exact match to the dimensions and orientation of the so-called Solomon’s Temple. It’s unexcavated and in the middle of a buried city. All the gold and tombs of the kings are less than 1 mile to the north.

    30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E

    It’s a fair question to ask for actual evidence (not tradition) in support of Solomon’s Temple being in Modern Jerusalem. I’ve given empirical data including a map coordinate with a temple that is an exact fit. Some take umbrage when presented with new facts, ignorance is painful. Until the temple at Tanis is excavated, it’s by far the best fit for Solomon’s temple both biblically and historically. Just because some are unaware doesn’t make it disappear, it’s there.

    Everything that happened at Tanis historically fits the framework of the Biblical Solomon. Solomon was never an individual, but he represents the 21st Dynasty of Egypt. Biblically the 12 tribes split after the death of Solomon just like Egypt split after the 21st Dynasty.

    >> Osorkon I gave 96 tons of gold per year to the gods of Egypt (Kitchen, OROT, p. 623).

    Rose> Robert Feather (a Metallurgist) was citing data from a 1993 NATO Conference on “Prehistoric Gold”. It says 60 tonnes (about 60.6 tons) was the worlds entire production in 1000 BCE and 150 tonnes (about 165 tons) by the year 1 CE.

    Kitchen says, “Only fragments of this long and detailed hieroglyphic text of Osorkon have been found. But these seem to record gifts totaling. .. . .” (BAR Where Did Solomon’s Gold Go?, May/Jun 1989)

    Obviously Kitchen translated it wrong, filled in the missing texts, or the 1993 NATO Conference on “Prehistoric Gold” was wrong by 1,000% or so.

    Shalom

    Judges 5
    1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,
    2 Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.
    3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

  16. Enopoletus Harding says:

    @ Greg -That is the chief hole I see in Zorn’s hypothesis.

  17. Enopoletus Harding says:

    Why do we assume modern Jerusalem (at the time of Jesus), was the same city as ancient Jerusalem (before Nebuchadnezzar)?

    We see Bible. We see Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian mentions of Judah. We see numerous Judahite inscriptions in Judah. We state the obvious.

    Ask the critical questions. Who defeated the Philistines or Sea People historically? It was Ramsses III according to the historical record and David according to the Bible

    Ask the critical questions. Who defeated the Republicans or GOPers historically? It was Bill Clinton according to the historical record and Barack Obama according to my memory.

    There never was an individual David, the name represents the 20th Dynasty of Egypt and all that happened in that time period.

    -There was never an individual Barack Obama, the name represents the Great Recession period of the United States and all that happened in that time period.

    What was the symbol for stability, God, and resurrection that still bears the name Ramsses? The Djed.

    What is the symbol for power, strikes from the air in foreign lands, and the chief god? The lightning bolt, whose name is reflected in “Barak” (in Hebrew).

    In any case, Jerusalem ain’t Tanis (that would be בְצֹ֖עַן). Citing Bobby Feather the crank isn’t going to do you much good here. Osorkon I gave 96 tons of gold per year to the gods of Egypt (Kitchen, OROT, p. 623).
    Note to BAR: get some moderators, or at least respond to these pieces of fecal matter that are dropped weekly on your website.

  18. Greg Platt says:

    3rd last paragraph ” (by which time any memory of where David and his descendants were buried had long since faded), “…. BUT I recall Jesus’ disciples refering to Davids tomb…so they knew where David’s tomb was during Jesus’ day…?

  19. Mark says:

    The temple foundation was probably taken away. Them were rocks of the finest quality, Rose.

  20. Mark says:

    IT says their remains were desecrated. Jer 8:1-2.

  21. Rose Stauros says:

    This article leaves the impression that Biblical Archeology is a pseudo-science. Why do we assume modern Jerusalem (at the time of Jesus), was the same city as ancient Jerusalem (before Nebuchadnezzar)? Ezra (3:6) says the foundation for the Temple hadn’t been laid there at the time of Cyrus the Great (550 BCE or so). Modern Jerusalem was an ancient walled city but Solomon’s temple was never there according to the Old Testament.

    Ask the critical questions. Who defeated the Philistines or Sea People historically? It was Ramsses III according to the historical record and David according to the Bible. What was the symbol for stability, God, and resurrection that still bears the name Ramsses? The Djed. There never was an individual David, the name represents the 20th Dynasty of Egypt and all that happened in that time period.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Louvre_122007_29.jpg

    Who followed Djed (or David)? The Pharaoh Siamun in the 21st Dynasty. He built Tanis and procured cedars from Lebanon to rebuild temples. He also built a porch for his wife Pharaoh’s daughter. Whomever married Pharaoh’s daughter was then a Pharaoh.

    Solomon’s temple is still there in the middle of a big unexcavated city, just paste this into Google Earth.

    30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E

    The ‘City of David’, is there also. Or at least that’s where all the gold and dead people were until they were moved to the Valley of the Kings

    30°58’40.98″ N 31°52’53.35″ E

    How much gold did Pharaoh have? How much gold did Solomon have? How much mined gold was in the world in 1000 BCE? A total of 60 tons according to Robert Feather in, “The Mystery of the Copper Scroll of Qumran” (pg. 22). 666 talents of gold (Solomon’s supply) was 1/3 of the world’s production of gold in 1000 BCE. That’s incredible considering all the gold in Egypt and India.

    Solomon could only be the 21st Dynasty of Egypt, and not a single individual.

    In 312 BCE there was a giant alter of white stones at the site in modern Jerusalem according to Hecateus. These huge white stones are almost identical in size to the huge white stones at the foundation of the Temple Mount.

    Hecateus wrote (about 312 BCE) “There are many strong places and villages (says he) in the country of Judea; but one strong city there is, about fifty furlongs in circumference, which is inhabited by a hundred and twenty thousand men, or thereabouts; they call it Jerusalem. There is about the middle of the city a wall of stone, whose length is five hundred feet, and the breadth a hundred cubits, with double cloisters; wherein there is a square altar, not made of hewn stone, but composed of white stones gathered together, having each side twenty cubits long, and its altitude ten cubits.”
    Josephus Apion I, 22

  22. Jim West says:

    thanks for what really is an interesting essay.

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