Originally published in Christian Today.
An Israeli archaeologist claims that an excavated fortress in Jerusalem was conquered by King David thousands of years ago. Eli Shukron, who has been digging in the area for nearly twenty years, says that the massive site is where David overtook Jerusalem. “This is the citadel of King David, this is the Citadel of Zion, and this is what King David took from the Jebusites,” Shukron told the Associated Press. “The whole site we can compare to the Bible perfectly.” Shukron cited 2 Samuel 5:7-8, which describes King David’s arrival in Jerusalem, as an example. “They thought, ‘David cannot get in here,'” the New International Version reads. “Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion— which is the City of David.
“On that day David had said, ‘Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.” The fortress that Shukron uncovered contains a water shaft that would have flowed into a pool. He stated that no other erection in Jerusalem fits the “fortress of Zion” description given in the Bible. Two pottery shards were found in the citadel that date close to the reign of King David—around 10th century B.C. Many more shards were found dating from about 100 years after his reign ended.
However, Shukron’s former collaborator Ronny Reich disagrees with Shukron’s conclusions.
“The connection between archaeology and the Bible has become very, very problematic in recent years,” Reich told the Associated Press. He believes that if the citadel was conquered by King David, more pottery shards would have been found. There is no doubt in Shukron’s mind, however. “I know every little thing in the City of David. I didn’t see in any other place such a huge fortification as this,” he said.
The $10 million excavation, known as the “Spring Citadel,” is a popular tourist attraction in Jerusalem. Over 500,000 visitors toured the City of David last year.