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

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada