Khirbet Qeiyafa included in Israeli government’s “Greatest Finds” list

Two prominent archaeologists have released a list of the greatest archaeological finds in Israel over the last 25 years. This list was created on behalf of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Looking it over, it is actually a list of sites rather than artifacts.

This list includes Khirbet Qeiyafa, where I have volunteered the past three summers. Other sites on the list include Hazor, Tel Dan, Tel es-Safi (Gath), and Herodium (location of Herod the Great’s tomb).

Why is Khirbet Qeiyafa on the list? Some scholars insist ancient Israel had no national king or centralized government until the Divided Kingdom period, roughly 3/4 of a century after David’s biblical reignUnder this theory David would have been just a regional chieftain, incapable of commanding the resources to construct a powerful border fortress miles away under the aggressive eye of the Philistines. Khirbet Qeiyafa challenges these assumptions. It dates to the period of David’s reign. It was a planned, powerfully fortified city, well beyond the resources of the local inhabitants to construct. Only a centralized power (i.e. – a government) would have had the money, men, and materials to construct this kind of distant fortress while defending the work area from Philistine attacks. From a biblical perspective, Khirbet Qeiyafa affirms the existence of a central government in Judah in David’s time. (Compare with 2 Samuel 2:1 – 7.)

HT: Ferrell Jenkins

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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