Southern Adventist University Findings on David and Goliath Displayed at Museum of the Bible

The findings of archaeology students and professors of Southern Adventist University are currently on display at the brand-new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The special temporary exhibit, titled “In the Valley of David and Goliath,” focuses on the groundbreaking contributions of the Khirbet Qeiyafa Archaeological Project. Co-sponsored by the Institute of Archaeology at Southern Adventist University and the Institute of Archaeology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the project took place from 2007-2013 at the ancient fortified garrison city on the border between Judah and Philistia, southwest of Jerusalem.

Khirbet Qeiyafa overlooks the Elah Valley, the setting of the biblical account of David and Goliath.

“Based on the extensive data from the excavation project, we believe that Khirbet Qeiyafa may be ancient Shaaraim mentioned in 1 Samuel 17:52 within the context of that story,” said Michael G. Hasel, director of Southern’s Institute of Archaeology and a director of the project. “The site dates back to the time of Saul and David and the two gates at the site match the biblical name of Shaaraim, which means ‘two gates’ in Hebrew.”

In 2008, the oldest Hebrew inscription was found at Khirbet Qeiyafa; in 2013, another inscription was found at the site, dating to the 10th century B.C. and mentioning the name “Ishbaal,” the same name as one of Saul’s sons. Both discoveries made international headlines and are featured in the Museum of the Bible, among other pieces that the team uncovered during the course of the project.

“The significance of these inscriptions cannot be underestimated,” Hasel said. “They show that literacy was well established by the early 10th century, the time of Judah’s first kings. David could indeed have written the Psalms that are attributed to him.”

The Museum of the Bible is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., near Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Mall.

According to Hasel, “It will be a landmark institution in the capital of the United States where millions of visitors can benefit from its holdings.”

This article was written by Southern University Public Relations Staff and originally appeared on the Adventist News Network.

Photo courtesy of Southern Adventist University.

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This is unfortunate. The Museum of the Bible is an embarrassment. Now we’re associating with Hobby Lobby, a company so high on their moral platform that they went all the way to the supreme court in order to avoid supplying health insurance to their female employees that covers a UID. Rather terrible, IMO.

For several rather sad reviews of this place, see


This is definitely not a hallmark moment for Southern to be associated with such a disreputable institution. Hobby Lobby and the Green family who are the hucksters behind The Museum of the Bible were recently heavily fined for the theft of ancient materials they tried to import to the US with which to stock their museum.


What was Southern thinking?! The Museum of the Bible acquired antiquities so quickly, in such volume, and without regard to provenance, that the only reasonable conclusion is that they were acquired via the black market. I think posting links violates Spectrum’s TOS, so just Google Hobby Lobby, black market, and NY Times. Thousands of the items were confiscated by the Feds and HL was slapped with a 3 million dollar fine.


I will not darken the doorway of Hobby Lobby. I wonder when Adventists will finally realize that the Religious Right and all of their ilk who try to “LEGISLATE MORALITY” Are of the devil. God never said make your secular governmental institutions force religion on anyone. And not one single person will ever go to heaven because some governmental institution forced them to follow some rule, no matter what that rule is. Wake up you sheep, your being deceived by the devil himself.


Why not? If we are to be salt and light to the world out there, shall we avoid association with alleged smugglers and forgerers for fear of being contaminated by them? WWJD?

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this is such an exciting development…kudos to southern for landing such an impressive opportunity…the historical accuracy of the bible is all but discounted by so many now, it’s refreshing to see a serious apologetic get such coveted exposure, alongside the smithsonian and national mall, no less…certainly for some, the bible will take on new meaning when it’s discovered that the science of archaeology backs up very much of what christians have taken by faith…it’s good when people can have the opportunity to judge for themselves, as a result of seeing actual evidence with their own eyes…

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