Biblical Archaeology Review 23:1, January/February 1997


Biblical Archaeology Review

Palmyra, Syria, 125 miles northeast of Damascus

Biblical Connection

Some 20 years into his reign, King Solomon (c. 965–928 B.C.) “built Tadmor in the wilderness” (2 Chronicles 8:4). Although some scholars think Biblical Tadmor (called “Tamar” in 1 Kings 9:18) lay in Judah, others believe it was the site of Palmyra, whose ancient (and modern) Semitic name is Tadmor. The reference to Solomon’s building Tadmor comes just after we are told that he built Hammath-zobah, another city in Syria. In any case, the region surrounding Tadmor/Palmyra has strong Biblical associations. In the records of the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pilesar I (1115–1100 B.C.), for instance, Tadmor is mentioned as a town in Aram—a region in northern Syria frequently mentioned in the Bible.

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