Where is King David buried?

According to Jewish law, kings of Israel are buried within the city walls of the ancient City of David.

June 17, 2015 21:43
2 minute read.
King David’s tomb

Protester's gather at King David’s tomb on Mount Zion last month to protest against Catholic use of the site on Pentacost. Recent years have seen tension over the area.. (photo credit: SETH J. FRANTZMAN)


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The controversy over where King David is buried and where the “last supper” took place raises important questions. The subject is discussed by Max Blackston in his June 9 op-ed “Who’s buried in King David’s tomb?” and in letters by Shulie Mishkin and Frank Berger (The Jerusalem Post, June 11).

Scholars agree that these sites on what is called “Mount Zion” were designated during the Crusader period, and there is no evidence from earlier periods.

The 6th century Madaba map would certainly have indicated such important places, but it does not. The walls of what was a large Byzantine church, the Nea Church, depicted at the southwesterly end of the Cardo, are within or adjacent to the Old City’s walls, excluding “Mount Zion.”

The tomb which some attribute to King David appears to be from the Crusader period; there is no way of knowing who was buried there. Because of its large size, people associate it with royalty, and hence the confusing identification. The room itself, however, does bear one Jewish characteristic: the niche in which the tomb lies faces the Temple Mount, the direction of Jewish prayer.

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According to Jewish law, kings of Israel are buried within the city walls of the ancient City of David. It is unlikely that King David would be buried anywhere else, especially not alone in an isolated spot.

The current dispute over these historical sites should not distract from Israel’s claims of sovereignty over these and other areas. The Vatican seeks to turn an historical site into a religious one. This theo-political aggression must be firmly resisted.

The refusal of the Vatican to reveal documents related to Jewish children who were placed in monasteries and convents during WWII is an ongoing humanitarian insult and should be raised at every opportunity.

The City of David is one of the most important archeological sites in the world; for Jews, the most important one. It must be fully and thoroughly excavated.

The entire area should be declared a world-class archeological park. All private residences should be removed and residents properly compensated under the law of eminent domain. Only in this way will the site be protected and the real tomb of King David and those of subsequent kings be discovered.

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