Archaeological Study Affirms Biblical Narrative of Jerusalem

A new study affirmed the Biblical narrative of Jerusalem – that King Uzziah built a section of wall in the middle of the city.

The strip of the wall was previously thought to have been constructed by King Hezekiah between the seventh and eighth centuries BC.

King Uzziah was the great-grandfather of King Hezekiah.

The study has “managed to accurately date findings from the First Temple period that were discovered in the city of David, shedding light on events mentioned in the Bible,” according to Israel Antiquities Authority.

“The new research sheds light on one of the longstanding and controversial research questions regarding the nature and scope of Jerusalem during the reigns of David and Solomon and thereafter: the findings from the new research indicate that there was a widespread settlement in Jerusalem during this period,” the organization noted.

According to scientists, the finding confirms the size of Jerusalem, as some scholars previously thought that David and Solomon were “little more than local chieftains,” an Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported. Evidence affirms that Jerusalem was “already an important urban center in David and Solomon’s time and not an insignificant village,” the outlet said.

“[T]he city wall unearthed in the City of David was not built during the days of Hezekiah as part of the preparations for the Assyrian siege, but rather earlier, during the days of King Uzziah, subsequent to the earthquake that occurred in Jerusalem,” the organization added.

Professor Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University said the research “allows us to study the development of the city: until now, most researchers have linked Jerusalem’s growth to the west, to the period of King Hezekiah – just over 2700 years ago.”

“The conventional assumption to date has been that the city expanded due to the arrival of refugees from the Kingdom of Israel in the north, following the Assyrian exile,” Gadot explained. “However, the new findings strengthen the view that Jerusalem grew in size and spread towards Mount Zion already in the 9th century BCE, during the reign of King Jehoash, a hundred years before the Assyrian exile. In light of this, the new research teaches that the expansion of Jerusalem is a result of internal-Judean demographic growth and the establishment of political and economic systems.”

Scientists analyzed tree rings and radiocarbon dating to date the discovery.

The finding affirms 2 Chronicles 26:9, which says, “Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the angle of the wall, and he fortified them. He also built towers in the wilderness and dug many cisterns, because he had much livestock in the foothills and in the plain.”