There is much confusion among persons searching for Israel in ancient documents and texts. The answer is so simple that people pass by it without noticing it.
Israel was a satellite of Phoenicia, the Sea People, the trading nation of Tyre, and when Tyre sank into the sea during an earthquake, the documentation of Israel went to the bottom of the sea with it.
Here are the points to consider.
David stockpiled iron for the temple, which is not available in Israel. It had to come from someplace else. The only way to get it was by trading. The only traders with the ships to transport it were the Phoenicians. It would take so many camels that “stockpiling” would be impossible.
David stockpiled copper. The only place it is found locally is much further south-west in the baking deserts, so inhospitable that the prisoners who were sentenced to work in the refining furnaces there had an average life span after arriving of just 2 weeks. There was a “buffalo hide” of copper excavated several years ago that was sent for analysis. It had come from the Black Hills of America, yet it was documented to be in strata from the time of Solomon. Copper was so scarce and valuable that when Jerusalem was sacked, the invaders took all the copper in it, cut it up into transportable pieces and took it home with them, including all the copper in the temple, the “great sea” water basin with the 12 bulls under it, and the columns of Boaz and Jachin. All of it probably ended up as military hardware for the massive armies of that time.
Hiram, king of Tyre, is documented to have sent cedars from Lebanon to David to build a house for him to live in. This was not their first contact. That is documented in extra-Biblical literature as being when David took his father, Jesse, and his mother, the daughter of the high priest of that time who had been placed with Jesse as an indentured servant, and who automatically became his secondary wife when David was conceived, whose conception became the basis for the animosity between David and his half brothers. This is the source of David’s learning the harp, which was only used in the temple, his authority to bring the ark to him in Jerusalem, and his authority to write the songs (Psalms) to be sung in the temple. No one but a high priest had the authority to move the ark.
When David killed Goliath, he took Goliath’s sword to his cousin-priests for safe-keeping, then went to retrieve it when he fled from King Saul. The priest in change at that time allowed him to eat the bread of presentation which was changed that day, which is only lawful for the priests to eat. This is the family of David’s mother’s origin, and the family that King Saul tried to wipe out when he found out that David had been helped by them, during which event only one priest escaped and stayed with David for the rest of his life to ensure his personal safety. That priest brought with him one of the 12 ephods in existence at that time, and wore it during his service to David, which is only lawful for a high priest to wear, and which only a high priest knew how to operate, as it was an interactive device, lighting up stones according to the answer to the question presented to it.
It was this friendship with Hiram, cultivated during the years David served under King Saul, that provided the plans for the temple that David bequeathed to Solomon. Those plans have been clearly identified as Phoenician, as was the architect who was hired to build it. The architect’s mother was from the tribe of Dan, but his father was Phoenician and learned all the skills of a builder from that source.
The wealth that David left to Solomon did not come from the agricultural economy of Israel. The very most profit an agricultural economy can generate is 20 percent. It came from his partnering with Hiram, king of Tyre, which Hiram chose to continue under Solomon, giving his daughter to Solomon as a wife, and using Israelite men as sailors on his ships when Solomon’s fleet was smashed by a storm on its maiden voyage out of the port toward the Indian Ocean. The amount of silver and other goods coming to Solomon from that partnership is listed in the chronicles of the kings to be of such quantity that only a major trading enterprise could have produced it, since neither silver nor gold is found in large quantities in Israel, although gold was abundant further west and in Africa, and we know that the Phoenicians traded on both coasts of Africa because of the apes they brought back.
The death of Solomon ended the alliance with the Phoenicians, and marked the fall of the nation of Israel, both with its splitting up into two warring kingdoms and the loss of the revenue from trade. The wars consumed large amounts of gold and silver just when the loss of trade stopped supplying it.
Then there is the prophecy that Tyre will be rebuilt as a world-wide trading center, and the income will accrue to Israel, not Phoenicia, “for food and for durable clothing.”
Anyone who wants to document the nation of Israel in its time of strength needs to go back to the records of the Phoenicians.