[b-hebrew] question re: Tel Dan stela

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed May 26 22:11:45 EDT 2004

George Athas wrote:-

>This to me says that BYTDWD is indeed the name of a place, rather than
>the name of a dynasty. I suggest that this place is actually Jerusalem.
>In other words, BYTDWD (Bayt-Dawid) is an Aramaic version of the Hebrew
>name (YR-DWD (City of David). This would see the Tel Dan Stele, which I
>date to c.795 BC (written by Bar-Hadad, son of Hazael), being a witness
>to some sort of state entity in Jerusalem. That is, it sees Jerusalem as
>a city state, albeit very small, ruled by a famous family -- a kind of
>Monaco of the ancient world, only far less glamorous.

It's this really just arriving approximately at the ``dominant theory'' by
a rather circuitous route? If, for a moment, we accept your guess
about it being a place name, and further accept your speculation on your
guess that it is Jerusalem, don't we still end up at a reference to
David, the Bible King?

Earlier in the same email George wrote:-

>To say "King of the House of David" is a bit like saying "President of
>the Bush Household"

This type of argument doesn't hold water. The Bush family is not a dynasty
(sorry for stating the obvious) whereas the Bible shows the Kings
descended from David ruled Judah for over 400 years in an unbroken line.
Assuming, for a moment, that is true, calling the King ``King of the House
of David'' would appear a perfectly reasonable thing to do, even to 21st
century people accustomed to electing their leaders.

Bill Rea, Information Technology Dept., Canterbury  University  \_
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