This was not always so. Many prominent scholars (in the past) have concurred with the conclusion suggested here, that the tombs discussed below belong to the kings of Judah. These scholars include Raymond Weill, who excavated these tombs and first proposed this identification. Even quite recently Benjamin Mazar has written flatly that “the tombs of David (1 Kings 2:10), Solomon (1 Kings 11:43) and several of their descendants were cut into bedrock in the City of David,” although he later qualifies this by saying that “there is nothing conclusive that can be said one way or the other about the tombs, which Weill identified as belonging to the royal cemetery. The question, at least for the present, must remain open” (The Mountain of the Lord [New York: Doubleday, 1975], pp. 183, 185). See also Benjamin Mazar, Qadmoniot 1 (1968), pp. 11–12 (in Hebrew).
The more prevalent attitude today, however, is reflected in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, vol. 2 (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society and Carta, 1993), p. 712, s.v. “Jerusalem”: “Weill ascribed these tombs to the kings of Judah, and at the time his opinion was shared by other scholars. Today, however, it is no longer accepted, especially since no other evidence has been found to confirm that they belong to the Israelite period.” On the latter point, see below.
The Anchor Bible Dictionary (ABD), vol. 2 (New York: Doubleday, 1992), p. 64, s.v. “David, City of,” takes a similar position: “Although many authors accepted Weill’s identification, scholarly consensus has rejected it on the grounds that no chronological evidence has been found linking these rock cuttings to the Iron Age. … Moreover, typologically, no such tomb plan is known from the Iron Age.” Both of these points are addressed below.
The ABD’s article on “Burials” discusses the tombs east of the City of David in Silwan and north in the École Biblique, and also notes that the Bible tells us that the early kings of Judah, including David and Solomon, were buried in the City of David, but does not even mention the existence of the tombs uncovered by Weill.