Tomb of King David
Places of Interest
Tomb of King David True Location
1. The place tourists go today to see the Tomb of King David is on the Western Hill at the same location as the Upper Room. This is so because the Crusaders (1095–1291 AD) believed Pentecost took place at the Upper Room and interpreted a verse in Peter's sermon as meaning King David's tomb was at the Upper Room and not in the Jerusalem area: "Brothers, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day" (Acts 2:29).
Later, a Jewish Rabbi had a vision that King David's tomb was in the same area so a synagogue was built over the same building as the Upper Room and a casket was placed in it to honor King David. The casket is empty and does not have the bones of David in it.
In 1913, Ramond Weill discovered the Tomb of David in the lower part of the City of David and for around 50 years tourists went to that site to see David's Tomb.
However, after 1960, the tourists returned again to the location of the Upper Room where they believed the Tomb of David was located. Why did this change occur? We will see why in a moment.
2. The Bible provides quite accurate information regarding the location of the Tomb of David.
1 Kings 2:10: Then David lay down with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David.
This verse makes it clear that the Tomb of David was located inside the City of David. The current place where tourists go to see the Tomb of David is not in the City of David but at the upper part of the Western Hill just west of the City of David about .5 miles or 1 km. away.
Nehemiah 3:15-16: Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, the official of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He built it, made a roof for it, and installed its doors with its bolts and its bars, and the wall of the Pool of Shelah [Siloam] at the king’s garden as far as the steps that descend from the city of David. 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, official of half the district of Beth-zur, made repairs as far as a point opposite the tombs of David, and as far as the artificial pool and the house of the mighty men.
These verses add additional clarity that the rebuilding of the walls of the City of David under the leadership of Nehemiah began at the southern tip of the City of David and moved north (uphill) along the eastern side of the city wall.
The "steps that descend from the city of David" have not been found but the Pool of Siloam has been. Based upon this location and the section of the wall described in Nehemiah, a Jewish archaeologist named Raymond Weill began digging in this area in 1913. Using around 200 local workers and 30 donkeys, Weill's team cleared the entire area all the way down to bedrock. Weill then found the remains of nine tombs in front of an ancient pool just as the Bible had indicated. The tombs were greatly damaged due to the stones that were quarried out of the site (to rebuild Jerusalem into Aelia Capitolina) later on and the intentional destruction by Roman Emperor Hadrian (135 AD) who tried wiping out the remains of a Jewish presence in the area.
However, two of the most important and monumental tombs were clearly visible. The most monumental tomb was identified by Weill as that of King David.
It should be noted that only kings were allowed to be buried within the city walls of a city as they were considered royalty and were exempt from obeying Moses' command to bury the dead outside the city walls because they were deemed as unclean. This gives additional weight that supports the most monumental tomb as that of King David.
1. As we have seen, Raymond Weill discovered the lost Tomb of David in 1913, and from that time on, this site was the place tourists would come to see David's Tomb.
2. However, this all changed in 1960 when Kathleen Kenyon excavated this site when it was in the authority of Jordan and the Jordan Antiquities Authority. Kathleen's goal was to overturn any Jewish connections to the biblical sites and replace them with different views. She did this in Jericho and other places. She was clearly politically driven and not archaeologically driven.
Kathleen's interpretation was that the tombs were cisterns. This is remarkably irresponsible as all the evidence at these sites clearly supports them as being tombs and not cisterns.
3. As a result of Kathleen's interpretation, tourists began going to the site of the first floor of the Upper Room and no longer visit the true site in the City of David. In fact, most tourists don't even know the story behind what has happened and are ignorant as to the location of the true site.
Places of Interest
1. Pool of Siloam
2. Tomb 1: King David's Tomb
3. Tomb 2
4. Horizontal Tomb Shaft of Tomb 1
5. Burial niche at the very back of Tomb 1
6. Carved out trough at the back of the Tomb 1 horizontal shaft. This is the likely place where the bones of King David were placed.
7. Quarried Area
8. Ancient 3,000-year-old walls of the City of David
9. Walls Nehemiah repaired that can be seen today
10. Upper Room
Faith Lesson from the Tomb of David
1. The importance of the discovery of King David's palace and tomb can be found in Psalm 16.:9-11.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. 10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
2. Was David writing about himself or someone else? He couldn't have been writing about himself as he died, his body decayed, and his bones turned to dust.
3. However, God made a promise to David that He would establish a house for him and establish and that there would come someone from his house that would reign forever. This would be the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ who would come from David's house (linage).
2 Samuel 7:11-13: The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. 12 When your days are finished and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
4. For around a thousand years after David's death, the Israelites continued to remember this promise given to David and looked for their coming Messiah, the Son of David, who would fulfill this prophecy.
Psalm 89:3-4: I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to My servant David, 4 I will establish your descendants forever and build up your throne to all generations.
Psalm 89:35-37: Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 His descendants shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me. 7 It shall be established forever like the moon, and a witness in the sky is faithful.
5. Christ fulfilled this prophecy. His tomb was empty and Christ never saw decay. He will reign forever and His kingdom will have no end.
6. Have you received Christ as your Lord and Savior and will you be a part of Christ's eternal kingdom?
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