New Exhibition: In the Valley of David and Goliath

Have we found evidence of King David's footprints in the Elah Valley? 
The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem presents In the Valley of David and Goliath - bringing Bible, Archaeology and the Land of Israel together in one exhiibition.


The exhibition reveal newly unearthed artifacts of this mysterious two-gated city from 3,000 years ago, from a site known only by its modern name of Khirbet Qeiyafa, in Israel's Elah Valley.

These amazing finds have sent the academic world into a frenzy by raising many fascinating questions such as: Who were the residents of this two-gated city? 
Were they Canaanites, Philistines, or perhaps the subjects of King David himself ? 
Have we found the biblical city of Sha'arayim, mentioned in the battle of David and Goliath?

In the Valley of David and Goliath reveals the historic findings from the archaeological site, Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Elah Valley, for the very first time. 
Among the exciting artifacts on display are two intriguing inscriptions, perhaps the oldest Hebrew writing ever to be discovered. 
Other revelations on view are unusual cultic shrines that were discovered in ritual rooms.
Most significantly, a unique stone carved cultic shrine model decorated with architectural elements that may echo the biblical descriptions of King Solomon's Temple and his Palace in Jerusalem.


Situated between the ancient sites of Sokho and Azekah, on the border between the Philistines and the Judeans, where the biblical narratives places the battle between David and Goliath.

Carbon14 dating, has determined that this city existed between the late 11th century BCE and early 10th century BCE, the beginning of the Kingdom of Israel - the time of King David.
This powerfully fortified site was deliberately planned and constructed in a manner that pre-dates any other urban structure in this region. The massive city walls included two dominant gates; a very unusual feature for a relatively small city.

When the archaeologists discovered the gates, they were reminded of the ancient city of Sha'arayim (literally 'two gates' in Hebrew), from the biblical story of David and Goliath.

Historians and archaeologists suspect that the Kingdom of David had spread south, and that the city may have been established as a frontal outpost against the Philistines to control the main road leading the Judean hill country.

The questions and speculations that arise from the artifacts have sparked debate and intrigued historians and archaeologists since news of the findings was made public. 
The dramatic controversy over whether this is the physical evidence and proof of the existence of a Davidic stronghold in the Elah Valley is the subject of academic debate that will captivate audiences for generations to come. 

The excavations were conducted from 2007-2013, led by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, Yigal Yadin Chair of Archaeology at the Institute of Archeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, together with Sa'ar Ganor from the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Prof. Michael Hazel of the Southern Adventist University of Tennessee. 

Now, 3,000 years later, we are witness to the daily lives of the people and are able to appreciate their tremendous architectural achievements, their rituals, and also glean insight into the administration of the city, which was obviously controlled by a powerful and well organized political entity.

Who were the residents of this nameless city who abandoned it, never to return? Could they have been the subjects of King David in the earliest days of his kingdom? Can we truly link this city of two gates – one pointing towards Jerusalem and the other pointing to Philistia, with the biblical city of Sha'arayim? The exhibition will reveal the remains of the city, its gates, homes, and fascinating artifacts, which will serve as clues and provide insights into our understanding. 


Guided Tours
Free with Museum admission
Sunday - Friday English 10:30  , Hebrew 11:00 
Additional tour on Wednesdays  English 17:30  , Hebrew 18:00 
Saturday Hebrew 11:30 

Reserve tours in additional languages and groups in advance: groups@blmj.org 

Visit the exhibition with our new app:
Download your personal audio guide of the new exhibition, In the Valley of David and Goliath.

Now available for iphone and android - search for us at: BLMJ Museum 

An original composition for harp, cello and pecussion inspired by the exhibition "In the Valley of David and Goliath", composed by Rali Margalit.
Ideal for groups, when booking performances together with a visit to the exhibition.

Watch the clip below for a taste of MusicQeiyafa
Photography and Editing: Lior Ben-Shabat 

Tour the Exhibition with the Curators:
See the new exhibition through the eyes of curators: Yehuda Kaplan and Oree Meiri , to hear their personal perspectives in a special behind the scenes tour:

Wednesday | Octuber 26,2016 | 19:30 | Yehuda Kaplan | BLMJ Curator | English

 Friday | November 11,2016 | 11:00 | Oree Meiri | BLMJ Curator | Hebrew

 For Further information



Articles And Reviews:


                            IBA news at the exhibition(click on link)

   3,000 year old treasures dated to the time of King David unveiled
                                           Read more>>

    King David-era battle comes to life in new museum exhibition
                                            Read more>>




              Model shrine stone             
 Courtesy of the israel Antiquities Authority
              Credit: Museum PR        



                                                                      Charred olive pits                                                                   
                                           Credit: Museum PR