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Who's Buried in David's Tomb?

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: David's Tomb

M.G. wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I have heard that there are those who claim that King David is not buried in the place in Jerusalem known as "Kever David Hamelech" (King David's Tomb). I would appreciate if you have more info on the subject.


Dear M.G.,

The Bible states that King David was buried in Ir David, or City of David. According to the book of Joshua, the ancient city was divided into two halves; the eastern part was then called "Metsudat Zion" and later "Ir David" and the higher part in the west which was controlled by the Jebusites was called Har Hamoriah. So it appears that Zion and Ir David are one and the same place, i.e., the low valley (which is nowadays called Silwan). If that is the case, the present tomb upon Mt. Zion (being that it is in the higher, western portion of the city) cannot be that of King David.

Sources:

  • Kings I 2,10
  • Joshua 14:8 and 18:15
  • See Atlas, Da'at Mikrah, Mossad Harav Kook pp.12,13,212,270


 
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