A Summary of “King Solomon’s Golden Age: History or Myth” Article
Finkelstein’s work is an attempt to critique the story of the northern kingdom. Biblically, there existed a vibrant United Monarchy reigned by David and Solomon in approximately 10th century BCE (Finkelstein and Mazar 112). However, the corrupt nature of the latter’s son, Rehoboam, involving levying unreasonable taxes resulted in the tribes from the northern hills revolting and seeking their independence, thus resulting in the formation of Israel and Judah kingdoms. In his scientific findings, the scholar disputes that such an event occurred and that the latter kingdom never existed. Finkelstein archaeological studies not only attempt to deconstruct the Biblical narrative on King David and Solomon, but also reconstruct it.
According to the scriptures, Israel is a less significant kingdom compared to Judah. The former is described as a territory inhabited by incorrigible people, while the latter is a great and just establishment (Finkelstein and Mazar 114). Allegedly, King Solomon built a temple in Judah’s capital, Jerusalem, when the monarch was still united. However, from his archaeological investigations, Finkelstein disputes the existence of the purported vibrant United Monarchy. Instead, he suggests that King David’s Jerusalem was just a mere wretched village at the time. Even though the Bible talks about the kingdom of Judah and Israel, new archaeological findings claim only the latter ever existed in history.