ISRAEL - Written Record of King David Discovered

Arno Froese

The Mesha Stele, also called the Moabite Stone, is a basalt stone slab that has provided historians and linguists with the largest source of the Moabite language to date. Researchers have only now been able to verify with a considerable degree of certainty that the stele contains explicit references to King David. 

The stele was discovered in fragments in 1868 roughly 15 miles east of the Dead Sea and currently resides in the Louvre Museum in Paris. While it was damaged in 1869, a paper-mache impression of the inscription was captured before the damage occurred.

The text contains allusions to the Israelite god as well as the “House of David” and the “Altar of David.” However, until today, scholars could not be entirely sure that these references to King David were being correctly deciphered.

The Moabite phrase “House of David” consists of five letters: bt dwd. “Bt” is similar to today’s Hebrew word for house—bayit—which is beit in its construct form. And “dwd” can be thought of like modern Hebrew’s daled vav (the letter, in this case, is actually waw) daled which spells the name “David.”

Until now, only the first and fourth letters of the series, bet and waw were completely clear. In a late-2022 article entitled “Mesha’s Stele and the House of David” in the winter issue of Biblical Archeology Review researchers André Lemaire and Jean-Philippe Delorme re-examined the evidence.

Encyclopedia Britannica characterized the relationship between Moabite and the Hebrew of its time as differing “only dialectically.” According to Dearman and Jackson’s 1989 book Studies in the Mesha Inscription and Moab: “It is probable that Moabite and Hebrew were, for the most part, mutually intelligible.”, 12 January 2023

Arno's Commentary

Quite often, the Bible is confirmed in discoveries by archaeologists, but it has never been disproven. We know from Scripture that King David was born in Bethlehem 1040 BC, and died in Jerusalem 970 BC. A relatively short life for this most famous king of Israel, yet within the parameters Moses prophesied in Psalm 90:10: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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