It was an odd discovery — the first reference to King David from outside the Bible
[by Dean Smith] An archaeological discovery in 1993 was the first historical reference to King David found outside the Bible. And it was an odd reference. The discovery was made by archaeologist Avraham Biran at Tel Dan located in Northern Israel. The inscription was found on a stela dated to the 9th century BC. A stela is a stone slab that would have been installed publicly as a monument usually to commemorate a major event. What was odd is that the stela was not written by the Israelis themselves, but by their enemy. The stone, which was only partially intact, was commemorating the victory of an unnamed Aramean king over “The king of Israel” and the “king of the House of David” — a reference to the nation of Judah. Neither of the three kings involved are named, though their names may have been referenced on parts of the slab that were broken off.