Goliath Gate At Gath Proves The Bible False? Israel’s David And Solomon Weaker Than Philistines
The Goliath gate discovered at the Philistine city Gath would seem to confirm the Bible story about David and Goliath. The Goliath gate is among the largest ever found in Israel and would seem to indicate a race of giant men lived within. But some say the discovery of the city proves the Bible false, at least in one regard.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, because the oldest snake fossil discovered has legs and feet some creationists are saying this discovery proves the Bible true in its description provided in Genesis.
The Goliath gate is a historical object which was first described briefly in the Bible.
“That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, ‘Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands?’ David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.” – 1 Solomon 21:10-12
The city of Gath was destroyed by Hazael, King of Aram Damascus, who besieged and destroyed the site at around 830 BC. The archaeological dig has been excavated since 1899, but it was not until recently that the researchers realized just how big the city of Gath truly was in comparison to the Kingdom of Judah, which was unified under King David and King Solomon.
Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University in Israel says the discovery of the Goliath gate proves just how impressive the ancient Philistine city of Gath was in comparison to the rest of the world at the time.
“We knew that Philistine Gath in the 10th to ninth century [B.C.] was a large city, perhaps the largest in the land at that time,” Maeir told Live Science. “These monumental fortifications stress how large and mighty this city was.”
Although the Israelites and the Philistines were enemies, Maeir says the techniques used in making pottery also reflected influences from both the ancient Jews and the Philistines.
“This mirrors the intense and multifaceted connections that existed between the Philistines and their neighbors,” Maeir said.
But how does this make the Bible false? Ha’aretz says the dig around the Goliath gate “suggests [the] Israelite kingdom wasn’t so mighty.” As evidence for this claim, they described the controversy surrounding the city of Gath.
“Supporters of the maximalist school assert that the biblical description of the united Israelite kingdom under David and Solomon matches archaeological findings, and that it was a small power that controlled the country’s mountains, plains and north. The minimalists counter that it was a small principality that controlled a limited area in the mountains, whose capital Jerusalem was nothing more than an overgrown village.”
As a comparison, ancient Jerusalem was a little under 30 acres, while the city of Gath is estimated to have been around 124 acres when the Goliath gate was still standing strong.
“The Judean kingdom is supposed to be big, important and strong,” says Maeir. “But it turns out there is a very big city on its western border. For years, I claimed Gath was a big city, but they countered that it has no lower city, and if it has one it is not fortified. After finding a huge fortification, it’s clearly the most important city of the 10th and ninth centuries.”
The site of the Goliath gate has proven the Bible true in other matters, though. The book of Amos describes an earthquake in the region and it’s possible the archaeological evidence proves this claim true.
[Image via Prof. Aren Maeir, Director, Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition to Gath]