Biblical Archaeology Review 32:4, July/August 2006

Assessing David & Solomon

From the Hypothetical to the Improbable to the Absurd

By Michael D. Coogan

David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition

Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman (New York: Free Press, 2006), 343 pp. $26.00

David son of Jesse—warrior, king, poet, sinner—has fascinated writers, artists and scholars for more than three millennia. More space is devoted to him and compositions attributed to him than to any other human being in the Hebrew Bible except Moses. In the last five years, eminent scholars such as Baruch Halpern and Steven McKenzie have turned their attention to David, as has the poet laureate Robert Pinsky. Now archaeologist Israel Finkelstein and writer Neil Silberman have written an engaging, yet flawed book focusing on David and his son Solomon.

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