He was no King David. But biblical King Joash has suddenly been thrust into the international limelight.
Joash, who ruled the Kingdom of Judah for about 40 years (835-793 BCE), is linked to a fascinating debate over the authenticity of a 2,800-year-old stone tablet that bears his name.
The black sandstone tablet would be the most spectacular (and virtually only) archaeological find linked to the First Temple: coming at a time when some Arab Muslim leaders claim the two Jerusalem Temples never existed on the Temple Mount.
On the eve of Yom Kippur, a dispute between two groups of Jews leads to a divider being placed at Judaism’s holiest accessible site, the western retaining wall of Herod’s Second Temple.
But Muslim sheiks, who “own” the Wall, demand the divider be removed, calling it an unacceptable alteration to their site. They suspect that the Jews are trying to find a way to give the Wall the status of a synagogue “as a first step in taking it over.”