Dan’s bytdwd=City of David?

The Tel Dan Stele was probably erected by Hazael (if not him, who is the “ram son of…, King of Israel” in the stele, but Jehoram of Israel).

The “bytdwd” in the Tel Dan Stela (see Wikipedia) may have several interpretations; firstly, as a town or temple of a “beloved” (dwd) goddess, secondly, as “the House (dynasty) of David”-the most popular suggestion in both the popular and scholarly communities. George Athas thinks Dan stele’s “btdwd” refers not to the dynasty, but the city of David. However, since the City of David was not a royal capital, his suggestion is certainly wrong.

As far as I am concerned, there is, in the context of “I killed …iahu son of…….. bytdwd. and I set……..their land into………”, along with a highly likely mention of Jehoram in Line 7, who is, in 2 Kings 9, mentioned as being murdered along with Ahaziah, King of Judah, no reason no to disbelieve that “bytdwd” refers to anything but the House of David, and, as with the Assyrian usage of “House of Omri”, this implies David was known as the founder of the dynasty of Judah in at least the 830s BC.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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