In Spain, an Archaeologist Discovers Traces of King Solomon’s Commercial Success

April 29 2021

While there is ample archaeological and documentary evidence corroborating the Davidic monarchy described in the Hebrew Bible, none of it confirms the reign of David himself, or of his son Solomon—who would have lived in the 10th century BCE. But the marine archaeologist Sean Kingsley, by focusing on the biblical account of Israelite prosperity and flourishing international trade under Solomon’s rule, may have changed that. Dalya Alberge writes:

Over ten years, Kingsley has carried out a maritime audit of “the Solomon question.” By extending the search beyond the Holy Land, across the Mediterranean to Spain and Sardinia, he found that archaeological evidence supports biblical descriptions of a partnership between Solomon, who “excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom,” and the Phoenician king Hiram, who “supplied Solomon with cedar timber and gold, as much as he desired.”

[Kingsley] explored Andalusian port towns from Mezquitilla to Málaga and found that the archaeological evidence reveals “a Phoenician coast.” He visited the site of the great mine of the ancient world, Rio Tinto—43 miles inland from Huelva—which produced gold, silver, lead, copper, and zinc. . . . Kingsley said that lead isotope analysis has shown that silver hoards excavated in Israel originally came from Iberia. Recent digs in nearby Huelva have found evidence of the Israelites and Phoenicians, including elephant tusks, merchants’ shekel weights, and pottery. The Near Eastern link can be dated as far back as 930 BCE, the end of Solomon’s reign.

Kingsley has concluded that Huelva is “the best fit for the capital of the biblical Tarshish,” the ancient source of imported metals, which archaeologists have “signposted wildly” everywhere from southern Israel to the Red Sea, Ethiopia to Tunisia. . . . “Neither Israel nor Lebanon could tap into local gold and silver resources,” [said Kingsley]. “The biblical entrepreneurs were forced to look to the horizon. The land of Tarshish was a vital source for Solomon’s silver. As the book of Ezekiel recorded: ‘Tarshish did business with you because of your great wealth of goods.’”

Read more at Guardian

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Hebrew Bible, King Solomon


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy