Living in Truth:
Archaeology and the Patriarchs

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by Charles N. Pope
Copyright 1999-2004, 2016 by Charles Pope
United States Library of Congress
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Chapter 18
"Wars and Rumors of Wars"
(Conflict in the Reign of Amenhotep III)


Name Associations (new associations in bold)

Torah Names Kings/Chronicles Names Greek Names Egyptian Names
Jacob-Israel Composite Solomon Dakos Amenhotep II
Sheshonq A
Leah
(wife of Jacob)
Ahijah, Ginath   Tia
Mehtenwesket
Rachel
(wife of Jacob)
Atarah   Merit-Amon
 
By Rachel, two sons
 
1) Joseph
(Amram)
Abishalom
("Father of Solomon")
Laius, Menoikeus Yuya, Imram
Asenath ("Egyptian" wife of Joseph)   Tuya
Manasseh
(Aaron)
Jeroboam (the Elder)
Amon, "Ruler of the City"
Amariah
(Kith-)Airon Aanen son of Yuya
Amon-appa/
Amarnappa
Ephraim
(Eleasar)
Asa/Shaul, Shishak Asocheus, Creon Aye, Sheshonq I
  Jehoshaphat son of Asa   Iuput A
Jochebed
(Zipporah)
Naamah, Maacah, Abihail Joacaste, Merope
Eurydice
Tiye,
daughter of Yuya
  Composite Solomon Polybos/Polybus Amenhotep III
Moses Rehoboam
(son of Naamah & Abishalom)
Oedipus, Hermaeus
Phaethon
Amenhotep IV
Akhenaten
Eliezer Abijah, Abijam Eteocles (A) Smenkhkare
Gershom/Joshua Attai Eteocles (B) Tutankhamun
2) Benjamin     Aakheprure
 
By Leah, six sons and one daughter (Dinah)
 
1) Reuben Uzziel, Mushi   Webensenu, Neby
2) Simeon     Siamun
  Zerah (son of Simeon)
"the Cushite"
  Ikheny of Ta-Zety
(of Nubia)
3) Levi     Khaemwast
4) Judah Nemuel/Jemuel   Thutmose IV
Nimlot A/Nimrat
5) Issachar
(Hamor)
Izhar, Shilki/Shilhi
Amminadab II 
Osokhor Osorkon A
Shilkanni (Assyria)
Tola Baasha son of Issachar   Ba'sa, Milkilu
  Elah son of Baasha   Unattested
6) Zebulun Tibni   Nedjem

Manetho's Catch 22

Reconciling Egyptology with the Biblical record following Solomon begins with recognizing the logic used by the 3rd Century BC Egyptian priest Manetho when he organized the many kings of New Kingdom Egypt into dynasties.  Beginning with the 18th Dynasty, Manetho first listed what he considered the most direct line of kings.  This continued with the 19th, 20th and 21st Dynasties.  It will be shown here that Manetho then returned to the time of the 18th Dynasty and began listing secondary or collateral kingly lines.a  Manetho's grouping method was simple, effective and even necessary.  However, it was eventually misunderstood. 

The Egyptian New Kingdom has been reconstructed today as a protracted and orderly procession of authoritarian pharaohs who were rarely challenged by family rivals. Quite to the contrary, the New Kingdom was actually a period of highly volatile court life.  The late 18th Dynasty became a free-for-all as the numerous princes in the reign of Amenhotep II along with their sons and grandsons maneuvered to expand their personal dominions within the greater empire, and ultimately to establish their own lines as pre-eminent.  Moreover, the fall of the 18th Dynasty did not bring an end to intrigue in Egypt.  After the collapse of the Amarna Period, a fragile balance of power was maintained between the scions of two interrelated royal houses.  In Egyptian history, these two lines began with Manetho's 19th and 22nd Dynasties.   In the Bible they are called the "Kings of Israel" and the "Kings of Judah."

One encounters the same difficulty in explaining the Biblical narrative as confronted the Biblical architect when deciding how to construct that narrative in the first place. This is the problem of describing leaders who were highly dynamic in terms of political ambition and geographic influence, and in their interaction with rivals of widely varying seniority. History involves the description of people and events that are concurrent, but the medium of the historian is inherently sequential.  A written narrative can effectively deal with only one person or event at a time. The task of recording the late 18th Dynasty was made even more complex, because the Biblical authors wanted to emphasize certain aspects of the history and downplay others. Although one may not appreciate the particular bias of these authors, the subtlety of the presentation must be admired.  Beginning with the death of Solomon, the narrative moves side to side between dueling royal houses, and back and forth in a recursive progression through time.

Following the 40-year reign of Solomon (Amenhotep III), the Books of Kings and Chronicles tell us that the United Kingdom degenerated into the interrelated lines of Judah and Israel.  Rehoboam is named as the first king of Judah.  Like Akhenaten successor of Amenhotep III, Rehoboam is ascribed a reign of exactly 17 years.  And like Akhenaten, the trouble began for Rehoboam in his Year 5.  From archaeology, the successor of Akhenaten was Smenkhkare, whose overlapping three-year reign extended beyond that of Akhenaten by only about three months.  The successor of Biblical Rehoboam, named as Abijah, is the eldest of two sons by Queen Maacah,1 his second but more prominent wife. Likewise, Smenkhkare was the "eldest son" of Akhenaten, born to him by his "second" but more powerful wife Tiye.b  (Akhenaten had only daughters by Queen Nefertiti.)  The three-year reign of Abijah also overlaps with that of Rehoboam.  1 Kings 15:6 (RSV) reads: "Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his [Abijah's] life." 

After Abijah (Smenkhkare) the next king of Judah is named as Asa.  We are already well familiar with Asa, who is variously called Ephraim, Ithra (Jethro) and Eleasar in the Torah.  In the previous two chapters it was establish through a synthesis of the Kings/Chronicles narrative and the Torah with archaeology that Asa was the natural son of Judah, but became the legal/adopted son of Joseph (Yuya). This “son” of Joseph is called Ephraim in the Torah, but is known as Solomon and Asa in the Kings/Chronicles narrative.  As Solomon, Amenemhet III was placed in the Noah role (ala Amenemhet III of the Middle Kingdom), and expected to fail in establishing a lasting dynasty.  On the other hand, under the guise of “Libyan” Sheshonq (Ephraim/Asa) he was expected to be “doubly fruitful” in terms of royal fatherhood and dynastic potential.  In retrospect, Yuya’s son Aanen would have made a far better choice as “Solomon” and Aye a better "Rehoboam/Moses."  Hindsight is 20-20 they say!

In the Kings/Chronicles narrative Asa is in turn succeeded by Jehoshaphat.  Jehoshaphat is the Biblical nickname of Iuput son of Sheshonq I.  Asa and Jehoshaphat represent the interleaving of 22nd Dynasty kings with those of the 18th Dynasty main line.  Asa was not the literal son of Abijah.  In fact, both Asa and his son Jehoshaphat were considerably older than Abijah. However, the death of Abijah provided a convenient point at which to insert the descriptions of Asa and Jehoshaphat. Manetho called Sheshonq by the Greek name of Asocheus, which is perhaps an adaptation of the popular Hebrew name Asa.  Manetho also considered Sheshonq to be the founder of the so-called "Libyan" 22nd Dynasty.  Even though his father Thutmose IV and grandfather Amenhotep II also bore assumed Libyan king names, Nimlot and Sheshonq,c respectively, Aye-Sheshonq I became the first pharaoh of Libya.  For Aye and selected other kings of the 22nd Dynasty who followed him, the Libyan throne was a stepping stone to the greater crown of Egypt, as shown in Chart 18.

A Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brotherd

As the natural son of Nimlot A-Thutmose IV, Sheshonq (Asa) was prominent in Thebes at an early age, and became a lifelong alter ego of Amenhotep III (Solomon), who was himself the legal heir of Thutmose IV.  However, Sheshonq and his son Iuput (Jehoshaphat) were not given sovereignty over Thebes (Jerusalem) until Year 32 of Amenhotep III.  This corresponds to the fateful Year 5 of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten (Rehoboam) in which he was required to leave Thebes (Jerusalem) and build a city of refuge for himself in the Middle (Midian) of Egypt.  Akhenaten (Rehoboam) was not permanently disgraced, however he was compelled to act out a mock exile in order to follow the precedent set during the Egyptian Middle Kingdom by Wah-ibre Hor (Eber/Moses I). Akhenaten was placed on an indefinite "probation."  During the exile of Akhenaten, Iuput (Jehoshaphat) was made High Priest of Amun and Ruler of Thebes (Jerusalem).  Iuput also undoubtedly became a mentor to the young prince Smenkhkare (Abijah) who remained in Thebes with his mother Queen Tiye (Maacah).

In the Biblical narrative, the placement of Asa (Sheshonq) after Rehoboam (Akhenaten) and Abijah (Smenkhkare) was not an arbitrary choice.  Out of respect for the greatness of Amenhotep III, and because of the great intricacy of the royal family and its history, the author of the Kings narrative postponed the introduction of Asa (Sheshonq) and Jehoshaphat (Iuput) until after the accounts of Solomon, Rehoboam (Akhenaten) and Abijah (Smenkhkare).  This choice also allowed the author to hide the fact that Solomon (Amenhotep III) was not the only king of Israel, Judah or even Jerusalem during his lifetime.  In the carefully choreographed Biblical sequence of events, it was only necessary to divulge that Solomon had troubling adversaries who threatened the outer reaches of his vast empire, and only at the end of his long reign.  However it completely conceals the far more humbling fact that he exercised power only through a fragile network of family alliances and shared sovereignty in Jerusalem (Thebes) itself, first with Rehoboam (Amenhotep IV) and then with Asa (Sheshonq) and Jehoshaphat (Iuput).

Although the throne of Asa was considered subordinate to that of Solomon, it can be reconstructed that the 41-year reign of Asa actually began about four years before the 40-year reign of Solomon.e  Early in their parallel reigns, the greater king Solomon (Amenhotep III, "King of Kings") helped Asa (Sheshonq) secure his appointed throne by wresting away Libyan tribes who were following an interloper named "Zerah the Cushite."  2 Chronicles 16:8 (KJV) states: "Were not the Ethiopians [Cushites] and Lubims [Libyans] a huge host . yet, because thou [Asa] didst rely on the Lord [Solomon], he delivered them into your hand."  2 Chronicles 14:13 (KJV) states: "They were destroyed before the Lord, and before his host," i.e., the army of Solomon (Amenhotep III).

Two conflicts in Nubia/Cush are documented in the reign of Amenhotep III.  One was led by Merymose Viceroy of Nubia and occurred after Year 30.  The larger of the two campaigns took place in Year 5 of Amenhotep III, or about ten "peaceful" years after Sheshonq (Asa) became king.  The greater sovereign Amenhotep III claimed to have personally put down a major rebellion in Nubia at that time.  The opposition leader was called "boastful" prince Ikheny, the "overthrown one of Kush and Ta-Zety." f  As many as thirty thousand prisoners were taken.  One of the four subdued regions was named in the inscription as Weresh. This place name corresponds to the Hebrew Mereshah, that being the location in which Biblical Asa prevails over a combined army of Libyans and Cushites with direct help from "the Lord."  Ikheny the Kushite of Amenhotep III's inscription logically corresponds to Zerah the Cushite, who was not strictly speaking a Nubian, but son of the disgraced prince Si-amun (Simeon) son of Amenhotep II (Jacob).  The sixth son of Simeon is named as Zerah,g and is undoubtedly Zerah "the Cushite" with whom Asa was forced to do battle in yet another of the incessant dynastic duels.

The rule of Solomon was not as peaceful as we have been led to believe.  The resolve of Solomon was tested by adversaries in Mesopotamia and Syria (See Chapter 20).  He also had the unenviable task of maintaining the loyalty of a great many princes from within his own royal family.  In an effort to do so, the general policy was to not take sides in petty disputes between subordinate kings.  However, instead of achieving parity, it ultimately led to a breakdown of order as individual vassals began to take matters into their own hands rather than waiting for Solomon to act.  Speaking of the reign of Asa, 2 Chronicles 15:5 (NIV) states: "In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil.  One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress." 2    However, Asa was exhorted:  "The Lord [Amenhotep III] is with you when you are with him . be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." h

The Hebrew word translated as "rewarded" is sakar.  This same root is also used to form the name Issachar.  The perennial enemy of Asa is said to be Baasha of the house of Issachar.i  The Asa narrative implies that the Lord, that is Solomon (Amenhotep III) made a promise to Asa (i.e., to himself!) that if he remained loyal, then he would be granted the favor and the forces necessary to triumph over Baasha.  More importantly, he would be allowed to assume the identity and holdings traditionally belonging to Issachar in the north, including kingship in Israel.  (The memory of Aye as a king of Israel will be discussed beginning with Chapter 20.  The memory of Aye in Israel was quite different than that of his younger years in Judah.  There is no attempt to combine them in the tapestry that is the Kings/Chronicles narrative.)  Encouraged by the prospect of greater political favor with Solomon, Asa launched a campaign of religious imperialism.  With moral if not military support from his overlord, he also began doing more than his fair share of the "crushing" of those days.

Shishak, Oppressor par Excellence

In his 36th year as king, we are told that Asa (Sheshonq) finally prevailed over his lifelong nemesis Baasha (Ba'sa/Milkilu) king of Israel.  However, it was not accomplished solely by consent and aid from the Lord Solomon, but through a controversial alliance with the Ben-Hadad king of Damascus.  Nevertheless, in that same year of final victory Asa was summoned to Jerusalem, not to be punished but to be rewarded with rule of the city.  Year 36 of Asa (Sheshonq) coincided with Year 32 of Solomon (Amenhotep III) and the fateful Year 5 of Rehoboam (Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten). In the fifth year of Rehoboam it was proclaimed in Jerusalem (Thebes), "Thus saith the Lord [Amenhotep III] says, 'Ye [Amenhotep IV] have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak...' " j  On at least one occasion during their nearly parallel 40-year reigns, Solomon had come to the aid of Asa.  In Year 5 of Rehoboam (Akhenaten), Asa (Sheshonq/Aye) was obliged to return the favor.  With the help of Asa, Rehoboam was banished from Jerusalem (Thebes). 

Postponing the insertion of Asa until after the reign of Rehoboam was convenient for many reasons, but it also caused an obvious disconnect.  Asa could not be named as the king who "came up" in Year 5 of Rehoboam and brought countless Libyan and Cushite troops with him.k  Asa had not yet been introduced in the narrative.  However, the Kings/Chronicles author effortlessly turns a problem into an opportunity to preserve another of Aye's many epithets. Shishak is an obvious word play on Aye's Libyan throne name Sheshonq.  Placing the attack of Shishak (Sheshonq/Asa) in Year 5 of Rehoboam (rather than Year 32 of Solomon) also allowed the author to shift the disgrace from the reign of Solomon onto that of Rehoboam.  Akhenaten shared a stormy 12-year co-regency with Amenhotep III. Year 5 of Rehoboam (Akhenaten) would have occurred 7 years before the "death" of Solomon (Amenhotep III), and not 5 years after.  However, the co-regency of Solomon with Rehoboam is deliberately obscured by the Biblical narrative.

Attributing the assault of Jerusalem to the reign of Rehoboam and by "Shishak, king of Egypt" not only allowed the author of the narrative to protect the reputation Solomon, but that of "good" king Asa as well.  1 Kings 15:14-15 (RSV) states: "The heart of Asa was wholly true to the Lord [Amun in general, and Amenhotep III specifically] all his days.  And he brought into the house of the Lord the votive gifts of his father and his own votive gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels."  The NIV and KJV translations of this verse indicate that these items had been previously dedicated, and by implication, had already been broughtl into the temple.  If it was necessary for Asa to bring dedicated items back into the temple, then they must have been removed earlier by Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) and used for his own purposes.m  The bias of the Kings/Chronicles author toward the temple of Amun is clear.  The removal of articles for use in other temples, such as the Aten temples built by Akhenaten in Thebes, was considered an act of "unfaithfulness" and deserving of God's wrath.

Asa rid the land of idols and declared: "whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death." n  He even deposed his own (paternal) grandmother Maacah (Queen Tia/Leah) for making an Asherah pole.o  Obviously, there would have been those who did not appreciate the extreme measures taken by king Asa, much less consider them good.  The Kings/Chronicles narrative admits that toward the end of his reign, Asa put Hanani the Seer (Amenhotep, son of Hapu?) in prison and "brutally oppressed 3 some of the people." p   Hanani is said to have rebuked Asa for his treaty with Aram, even though Asa claims that it was merely an extension of a preexisting or former treaty between his "father" and Ben-Hadad's "father." q   (Asa and Ben-Hadad served the same political father, Solomon, and may have also had the same biological father, Judah.  See Chapter 20.) Asa formed an ostensibly treasonous alliance with Aram.  However, rather than being censured by Solomon, his actions were rewarded by the crown.

Shishak was a king of Egypt, a place renowned for its idolatry, yet he taught the high and mighty citizens of Jerusalem a lesson regarding religious purity.  It should now be clear that Sheshonq strictly speaking was not a foreigner.  He was an eminently pedigreed member of the royal house.  His treatment of Theban nobility seemed harsh.  However, for a Biblical author writing in retrospect, it was but a mild harbinger of atrocities that were to be meted out by descendants of the royal family who brought the armies of Assyria, Babylon, and even Persia against the Jerusalem of Egypt. 

Judging one Libyan from Another

After Akhenaten was banished from Thebes, Sheshonq (Shishak/Asa) appointed his own son Iuput (Jehoshaphat) as High Priest of Amun and governor of Upper Egypt.  In addition to naming a new High Priest (1st Prophet), the offices of 3rd and 4th Prophet were also filled or replaced.  At least one of these selections was also a son of Sheshonq.  This may have been a more serious offence to Hanani the Seer, i.e., a high-ranking priest of Amun and/or Re.  The Biblical/Hebrew name Hanani is a form of the name Amen.  In the latter part of the reign of Amenhotep III, two 2nd Prophets of Amun are known from archaeology.  The first is Aanen son of Yuya, whose name is a variant of Amun/Amen.  The second is Si-Mut, whose antecedents are unknown.  The tenures of Aanen and Simut are thought to overlap,r and it must be suspected that Si-Mut ("Son of Mut") was an epithet of Aanen.  It is known that Si-Mut held the office of 2nd Prophet in Year 34 of Amenhotep III.  Another leading prophet of that time named Hanan was Amenhotep son of Hapu, who achieved legendary renown and was even deified in later times.

Upon the appointment of Iuput, Smenkhkare the son of Queen Tiye and Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) was only five years of age.  It would have become the charge of Iuput to mold the young prince into a "prophet of the Lord" and prepare him to become a pharaoh.  Iuput evidently excelled in this task, and also continued the religious reforms instituted by his father Sheshonq.  Iuput was revered in the Kings narrative as one of the most "righteous" kings of Judah.  It states that Jehoshaphat "appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah." s  This initiative earned Iuput the Hebrew nickname of Jehoshaphat, meaning "God (is) Judge."  The name Iuput itself may be derived from Amun/Jehovah in that "Iu" probably was the "Libyan" form of the Hebrew/Akkadian "Jeho/Iah/Iau." In the Bible, Put or Phut is associated with Libya, and the 22nd Dynasty of Sheshonq and Iuput is known today as the "Libyan Dynasty." 

As the name Libya or Libu implies, these people were fair-skinned, although probably not conforming closely to any modern Caucasian type.  However, Iuput and other members of the royal family were not Libyan, but inter-racial, as explained in Chapter 4 of this book.  They could reasonably claim to be "all things to all people."  Among Nubians, they were African, among Hebrews they were Semitic, and among Libyans they were Caucasoid.  In Iuput's time, tribes of "white people" were widely distributed.  One such group was the Tehenu of the Western Delta.  Another was the Mitanni or Hurrianst of Aram Naharaim (NW Mesopotamia).  The Mitanni was a subdued tribe and had been resettled in Mesopotamia from some other unknown locale during the 1st Dynasty of Babylon.u   Primarily based on their language, the Mitanni people have been broadly classified as a "white" or "Indo-European" race. 

After the collapse of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon, the rule of Mitanni (also called Hanigalbat) was fiercely contested by princes in Assyria and Hatti.  Shalmaneser I, nominally of Assyria, was the first victor in that struggle.  According to Amir Harrak, "Both nations sought the hegemony over Hanigalbat, for this land was not only a breadbasket but also a buffer zone for the two antagonistic parties.  Thus, the land of Hanigalbat was a central political issue which Assyria managed to defend at all costs." v  However, the line of Shalmaneser would not hold it for long.  The goal of the 18th Dynasty pharaohs was to supplant their family rivals in Mesopotamia even as their Middle Kingdom ancestors had done before them.  In pursuit of this objective, it was considered necessary to emulate the pattern and plan of attack used in the Middle Kingdom.w  In capturing Mitanni, Thutmose I (and Thutmose III after him) not only gained a strategic foothold north of the Euphrates, but also deprived Assyria of a critical resource.  "The fertile Khabur area [in Hanigalbat] must have satisfied most of Assyria's need for grain." x 

Equivalence of Judah and Libya

In Greek tradition, a daughter of Apophis (Terah) was named Libya.  Therefore, this was an epithet of Queen Isis (Sarah) or one of her sisters.  Apophis himself appears to have been called Shattuara (or Shuttatarra) among the Mitanni.  Note the phonic semblance of tuara/tarra and the Hebraized name Terah.  Shattuara and his successor Wasashatta (Abram?) suffered a defeat by Adad-nirari I of Assyria, after which the king of Assyria boasted that Shattuara "paid tribute year by year as long as he lived until he died." y  Although often down, Shattuara (as with Biblical Terah) was never knocked out. Adad-nirari corresponds to Nahor the "brother" of Abram.  Nahor became chief in Aram Naharaim, the Biblical name of Mitanni.    Although the Book of Genesis makes Nahor a "son" of Terah, he evidently was the true son of one of Terah's rivals. Adad-nirari claimed that Arik-den-ili (Arioch), the enemy of Terah and Abram in Genesis 14, was his father.

In addition to the territory of the Mitanni in Aram Naharaim, Nahor also established a strong presence in Upper Egypt, where he likely corresponds to the late 17th Dynasty pharaoh Sekhemre.z   He was father of the Egyptian pharaohs Ahmose (Biblical Thahash/Nahash) and Thutmose II (Biblical Ephron/Perez son of Zohar).  Ahmose, Thutmose II or another son or grandson of Sekhemre became his successor in Assyria and Mitanni under the Assyrian name of Shalmaneser I. Zohar, one of several Biblical pseudonyms for Nahor, means "whiteness."  A prominent grandson of Nahor was called Laban.  Rebecca the sister of Laban was given in marriage to Sarah's son Isaac. Laban later became a chief of the Mitanni and the father-in-law of Isaac's son Jacob (pharaoh Amenhotep II).  Libna and Laban are close variants, and both names denote "whiteness." Esau the brother of Jacob was made king in Mitanni and took the name of Saussatar son of Parsatatar (Thutmose III).aa  He, in turn, called his son Libni.  During the reign of Amenhotep III, the Libyans under Egyptian control collectively became such an important population group that the prince appointed to rule over them was entitled to pharaonic status.

It has been assumed that the Biblical Libna was a city or region in South-Central Palestine, near the towns of the Philistines.  As was demonstrated in Chapter 11, the original "Land of the Philistines was in Upper (Southern) Egypt and Nubia, not in Palestine.  Likewise, the original site of Libna was also in Upper Egypt.  It later became associated with Palestine through "toponym transfer."  The place names of Palestine, as well as even more remote lands such as Greece, became almost mirror images of Egypt.  This led to more ancient places in Egypt being confused with more recent ones by the same or similar names elsewhere.  It is somewhat analogous to the process by which Plymouth Massachusetts of the Pilgrims in America was named after the Plymouth of their former homeland in England from which they departed.ab  Libya ultimately came to be associated with the entire African continent.  In the 26th Dynasty, Pharaoh Necho II commissioned a sailing expedition to determine the limits of Libya.  The voyage departed from the Red Sea and sailed down the east coast of Africa.  It took three years for the ship to finally return to Egypt through the Mediterranean!ac 

The appearance of "Libyans" (Libu) in Lower Egypt is first attested in the Egyptian New Kingdom.  The dominant Libyan tribe was variously known as the Me/Ma or Meshwesh.  This name is possibly related to that of Wash-shukkanni, the royal residence of the Mitanni king in Mesopotamia.  At least one portion of the Meshwesh tribe was resettled around a new "Libyan" capital city of the Delta called Tanis, where they readily assimilated with the native Tehenu who were of a similar racial type.ad  The uniting of tribal groups would normally have been discouraged by the ruling family, but in this case an exception was evidently made. 

It seems likely that this new Libyan group of the Delta had been brought from either the Libya of Mesopotamia (Mitanni) or from the Libna of Upper Egypt.  The great ancestor of the Libyan tribe of Ma/Meshwesh is named as Mishma in the Bible, and is the most prominent descendant of the Middle Kingdom Simeon (Naram-Sin/Inyotef I).ae   By the late 18th Dynasty, Libyans had become a significant population group living in their own cities, and ruled by royal family members under assumed Libyan names.  Interestingly, the mountains that form the dramatic backdrop to the temple of Hatshepsut in Western Thebes (Deir-el-Bahari) are called the "Libyan Mountains." af  Prior to flooding caused by the Aswan Dam, Grafton Elliot Smith removed thousands of skeletons from burial grounds in Nubia.  Among the dead were found skulls with aquiline noses and other traits more consistent with what was at that time considered to be an Armenian or Caucasian race.ag


  1. See Chart 5 for a graphical representation of Manetho's ordering.
  2. See Chapter 16 of this book for the marriage of Akhenaten and Tiye.
  3. This Sheshonq and Nimlot are designated as Sheshonq A and Nimlot A to distinguish them from later Libyan pharaohs by the same names.
  4. Proverbs 18:24
  5. See the timeline in Chapter 19.
  6. David O'Conner, "Amenhotep III and Nubia," in Amenhotep III, p 261-270. 
  7. See Chapter 17, Endnote 4.
  8. 2 Chron 15:2,7 (NIV-New International Version)
  9. 1 Kings 15:27
  10. 2 Chron. 12:5 (KJV)
  11. 2 Chronicles 12:3
  12. The Hebrew word used for "brought" (Strong's no. 935) is often associated with conquest, e.g., bringing prisoners, spoil, etc. back from war.
  13. 1 Kings 14:25-28 mentions the temple treasures taken away from Rehoboam (Akhenaten) by Shishak/Asa (Sheshonq).
  14. 2 Chronicles 15:13 (KJV)
  15. 2 Chronicles 15:16
  16. 2 Chronicles 16:10-11 (NIV)
  17. 1 Kings 15:18-19
  18. Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign, eds. O'Connor and Cline, p 209-210.
  19. 2 Chron. 19:5
  20. In Hebrew, Hur (Chur) means "white."
  21. See Chapter 10, Note 2
  22. Amir Harrak, Assyria and Hanigalbat, p 284.
  23. See Chapters 7 & 8 of this book.
  24. Amir Harrak, Assyria and Hanigalbat, p 272.
  25. Amir Harrak, Assyria and Hanigalbat, p 116-117.
  26. See analysis of Chapter 17.  In Upper Egypt, Nahor was called Judah, "praised, favored."  He is the third of four Biblical princes referred to by this name/title.  The others are Rimush (Judah I), first successor of Sargon, Amenemhet II (Judah II) of the Middle Kingdom, and Thutmose IV (Judah IV) of the 18th Dynasty.
  27. See Chapter 15.
  28. www.zephryus.demon.co/education/geog/swengland/pilg.html
  29. Pierre Montet, Eternal Egypt, p 227.
  30. Pierre Montet, Eternal Egypt, p 127.  For the characterization of Egyptian Libyans, see also the books of Alessandra Nibbi.
  31. 1 Chronicles 4:24-43.  The New Kingdom Simeon will be discussed in the following chapters.
  32. Pierre Montet, Eternal Egypt, Plate 1.
  33. Grafton Elliot Smith, The Royal Mummies, Cairo, 1912.

Note 1:

Rehoboam's second wife "Maacah" is given more importance.  Maacah is the mother of the heir Abijah (Smenkhkare).  The Hebrew queenly name/title Maacah is a Hebraized form of the Egyptian name Maat-ka-re, with the name of the god "Re" naturally omitted.  Ma'at was an alternate name of Isis.  Ma'atkare had been the chosen praenomen of Hatshepsut.  This became an increasingly popular name or title for influential royal women who followed Hatshepsut, especially in the late 18th Dynasty and throughout the 22nd Dynasty.  Often queens bearing the designation of "Ma'atkare" also held the title of "God's Wife."  Possibly, the two titles were, or became, synonymous.  Ma'atkare and the Hebrew Maacah would have been equivalent to the Greek queenly title of Athena.  It corresponds to the Libyan queenly name of Karamat and seems to also have taken the form of Summu-ramat (Semiramis) in Assyria.  "Maacah" is named as both the grandmother of Asa (Sheshonq) and mother of Abijah (Smenkhkare).  In the case of Asa, Maacah would likely refer to his paternal grandmother, Leah (Queen Tia).

Abijah's mother Maacah is said to have been the daughter of Abishalom in 1 Kings 15:2 and the daughter of Uriel in 2 Chron. 13:2.  The names Abishalom or Absalom ("father of Solomon") refer to Joseph (Yuya) who was the "father" of Solomon (Amenhotep III).  Therefore, this queen ("Maacah") is Tiye, daughter of Yuya.  In 2 Chronicles 13:2 Maacah mother of Abijah is alternatively called the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah, which must be yet another alias of Yuya.  Uriel and Abishalom are two names relating to a single person, namely Yuya.  On the other hand, Maacah is one name applied to multiple women.  Sheshonq and Smenkhkare did not have the same mother.  However, both mothers were considered queens.  Maacah is more of a title than a name.  From at least the time of the Amarna Period, it seems to have applied to the ruling queen in general, i.e., to the Chief Royal Wife of a pharaoh.

It is only through the judicious superimposing of archaeology that ambiguities and distortions in the Biblical and Greek histories may be confidently resolved. Rehoboam and Maacah have two sons and two daughters.  The second son is named Attai ("timely, fit," a.ka., Tutankhamun).  The two daughters are named Ziza ("prominence") and Shelomith ("peaceableness").  Euripides confirms that Oedipus and his mother first had two sons and then two daughters.  However, only one daughter, Beketaten, is known from archaeology.  The second daughter must have been born very late in Akhenaten's reign, or perhaps did not survive infancy.

Rehoboam's first wife Mahalath ("sick, afflicted," i.e., Miriam/Nefertiti) bore him three sons, viz., Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham.  2 Chronicles 11:18-21  As we know, Nefertiti and Akhenaten did not have three sons, but three daughters, Meritaten, Mekataten and Ankhesenpa-aten(amun).  The name given for the mother of Mahalath is Abihail (Tiye) daughter of Eliab (Yuya).  Abi(c)hail ("father of strength/wealth") and Jochebed ("nobility of Ya") are very similar names.  Chail is derived from a word connoting "pierced," as are the queenly names of Maacah (Ma'atkare) and Athaliah.  Jerimoth (Aye) was a natural son of David (Thutmose IV).

Jeush 1st dau of Rehoboam
by Mahalath
  Meritaten, dau of
Nefertiti & Akhenaten
Shemariah 2nd dau of Rehoboam
by Mahalath
  Mekataten, dau of
Nefertiti & Akhenaten
Zaham 3rd dau of Rehoboam
by Mahalath
Antigone Ankhesenamun
Nefertiti & Akhenaten
Ziza 4th dau of Rehobaom
by Maacah
  Beketaten, dau of
Tiye & Akhenaten
Shelomith 5th dau of Rehoboam
by Maacah
  Unattested

Note 2:

2 Chron 15:5 (quoted above) was adapted for use in the New Testament.  Math 24:6-8; Mark 13:7; Luke 21:9 (KJV)

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows." 

This passage reflects the circumstances late in the reign of Solomon (Amenhotep III).  The war between Asa and Baasha was only the beginning of the end for the Egyptian 18th Dynasty.  The traumas of the Amarna Period still lay ahead.

Note 3:

The Hebrew word translated as "brutally oppressed" by the NIV is ratsats (7533), "to break or crush."  Compare ratsach (7523), "put to death" and retsach (7524), "murder, slaughter."  In his role as "the crusher," Asa is given the pseudonym Shishak.  This nickname Shishak connects to Sheshonq/Asa on many levels.  The Hebrew word asawk/ashowk means "oppressor, tyrant" and may be related to the Greek form of Sheshonq's name, Asoch-eus.  The Hebrew Asawk-iah(ias) would be translated as "oppressor of God."  David Rohl notes, "Shishak may be derived from the Hebrew name Shashak, meaning 'assaulter' or 'the one who crushes [under foot or under wheel].' " Moreover, the name Shisha is synonymous with Libna (Libya).  It will be shown that the penname of Sheshonq in the Amarna Tablets is Labayu. Both Libna and Shisha have the meaning of "white." Adding the "k" phonic to the end of Shisha lends the suitable connotation of "Libyan oppressor."  Adding the "sh" phonic to the Hebrew asah  produces the Hebrew word sh'asah, meaning "destroyer."

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