Indy legitimises bizarre claim that Jerusalem was NOT the ancient Jewish capital

In the spirit of efforts by the Palestinians (and UNESCO) to erase and rewrite Jewish history, The Independent published an article legitimising an obscure author’s claim that King Solomon was actually an Egyptian Pharaoh, his gold mines were a myth and Jerusalem was never in fact the ancient Jewish capital.

Here are the relevant excerpts from the piece (King Solomon’s legendary fabulous wealth in hidden gold mines never existed, says historian, July 19th), written by Lucy Pasha-Robinson,:

King Solomon’s gold mines, which the Bible says helped him store wealth amounting to more than £2.3 trillion, are a complete myth, historians believe. The biblical ruler is said to have accumulated 500 tons of pure gold from the mines, but experts now say the pot of wealth is unlikely to have ever existed. Historians claim the Old Testament King’s story has been misinterpreted and King Solomon was in fact an Egyptian Pharaoh. 

Ralph Ellis, a British historian and author, said finding his lost mines is “about as likely as taking a dip in the Fountain of Youth”. The expert spent 20 years researching the leader in a bid to uncover his hidden wealth, which he now believes never existed.

“According to the Bible, King Solomon was staggeringly wealthy,” he said.

“Yet successive generations of theologians and archaeologists have scoured the Holy Land looking for his capital city, palace, temple and wealth without any success.

A wealthy and powerful Israelite dynasty did exist, just as the Bible claims, but they were not simply Israelite kings and their capital city was not at Jerusalem.”

However, as the article eventually indicates, there’s only one “expert” who makes these claims. His name is Ralph Ellis, a fringe revisionist religious historian. Ellis once wrote a book claiming Jesus Christ was actually King of Edessa, a theory mocked by a respected biblical scholar as “wacky” and “completely beyond the realms of scholarly debate”.

The Independent’s “expert”

Ellis’s claim in The Independent that “archaeologists have scoured the Holy Land” yet failed to find evidence of Solomon’s mines ignores widely reported archaeological discoveries in 2013 and 2017 demonstrating that the mines in question did indeed originate during the reign of King Solomon.

His even more bizarre assertion that Jerusalem was never the ancient Jewish capital contradicts all the known historical and archaeological evidence that it was the capital for roughly 400 years, beginning around 1000 BCE when King David conquered the city, and of course ignores the First and Second Temples. The Indy journalist also uncritically cites Ellis’s claim that “King Solomon was in fact an Egyptian Pharaoh”.

We’ve fisked a lot of false claims about Israel at the Indy, but the decision by editors to publish an article based entirely on the ahistorical, revisionist views of a one discredited, fringe “scholar” is truly baffling.

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