Living in Truth:
Archaeology and the Patriarchs

Chapter 23   Book Navigator    Chapter 25

by Charles N. Pope
Copyright 1999-2004, 2016 by Charles Pope
United States Library of Congress
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Chapter 24
"An Everlasting Priesthood"
(Panehesy as the New Kingdom Phinehas)


Name Associations (new associations in bold)

Torah Names Kings/Chronicles Names Greek Names Egyptian Names
Ephraim
(Ithra/Jethro) (Eleasar)
Asa/Shaul, Shishak, Ahab
Nebat II, Jerimoth
(natural son of Judah)
Asocheus, Creon Aye, Sheshonq I
Ayyab, Rib-addi
Lab'ayu, Addayu
Miriam Mahalath dau. of Jerimoth Euryganeia? Nefertiti
Phinehas II Jeroboam son of Nebat (II)
Jeroboam (the Younger)
Polyneices Panehesy, Nesy
Prince Osorkon
  Jehoshaphat
(son of Asa and Azubah)
  Iuput A, Ia
(son of Sheshonq I)
  Ahaziah son of Ahab   Takelot I, Tagi
  Joram/Yachas son of Ahab   Osorkon I
Mut-Baal, Pawura
Matinu-bal'u
  Joash son of Ahaziah   Harsiese A
  Amaziah   Pedubastet I

Seaman S'menkhkare

In Year 14 or 15 of Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, the "eldest son" of Akhenaten and Tiye, produced an heir of his own through his half-sister Meritatena and was designated as successor. (He was already the father of Tut.) In the Bible, pharaoh Smenkhkare is called Abijah, meaning, "Father of (the) God." This generic name is equivalent to Potiphar, "Father of (the) Pharaoh." It is the traditional title of the crown prince in his procreative role as the next "king maker." However, most Hebrew texts curiously call Smenkhkare by the name Abijam, meaning "Seaman."b The reign length given for Abijah/Abijam is 3 years, which matches that established by archaeology for Smenkhkare. The short reign of Smenkhkare came to an end only about three months after the abdication of Akhenaten in his Year 17. Consistent with this, most Hebrew manuscripts portray Rehoboam (Akhenaten) as still living during the reign of his successor Abijah (Smenkhkare), and even surviving him. 1 Kings 15:6 (RSV) reads: "There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam throughout Abijah's lifetime."

The more detailed account of Abijah in 2 Chronicles 13:4-18 (KJV) states, "Abijah stood up upon Mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said, '. Jeroboam, and all Israel . . . as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him . .. God himself is with us' . God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah . . . thus, the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the Lord God of their fathers." According to the Biblical account, Jeroboam is defeated not so much by Abijah (Smenkhkare) but by "God." In a practical sense, the role of God was being played by Akhenaten, the "father" and regent of Smenkhkare. However, other deified family members such as Queen Tiye and Aye would have also shown their favor for the newly elected crown prince. After the murder of Adoram his "taskmaster," Rehoboam was dissuaded by Shemaiahc from bringing an army against Jeroboam. However, he did engage Jeroboam in battle three years later upon the election of Smenkhkare. As a result of this conflict at Mount Zemaraim, the passage states that Abijah took three towns from Jeroboam.

Cycle of Fifths

In the fifth year of his co-regency with Amenhotep III, Akhenaten was driven out of Thebes and forced into a staged exile at Akhet-aten. In his Year 17, the fifth year of his sole rule, Akhenaten had to flee once again. After a full year at Mt. Sinai, Akhenaten was then compelled to lead a mock "Exodus" of plague stricken "Israelites" and other Egyptian subjects. Strangely, this main event and climax of the Torah is not even mentioned in the Kings/Chronicles narrative. The Kings/Chronicles narrative is not a composite history in the same sense of the Torah. It does not try to incorporate the historical period of Hammurabi, that of the archetypal Moses. From a Theban perspective, Akhenaten was not the wise Moses, but the foolish Rehoboam. The Exodus of Akhenaten was not a noteworthy event in Upper Egypt. Other than an indirect reference to Akhenaten under the pseudonym of Nimshi, meaning "to extricate or draw out," there is no mention of him after the close of his 17 years of kingship and while he yet lived during the reign of Tutankhamun.

After succeeding Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun maintained a residence at the city of Akhet-aten until Year 4 of his reign. It was about this time that the fate of the remaining Exodus victims was decided. In Chapter 16, it was shown that Akhenaten (Moses II) did not lead his death march into the Sinai but "full-circle" back to the Kadesh ("Holy City") of Akhet-aten. After the Exodus party had been in Kadesh/Akhetaten) for about a year, there was one final mercy killing. However, according to the narrative in Numbers 25, Phinehas suddenly appears and prevents the "plague" from claiming all of the people. The text implies that there would not have been any Exodus survivors if Phinehas had not intervened. Ironically, Phinehas stops the die-off by slaying two adulterers. Zimri is the male, and Cozbi is the female.d Rather than being cursed for hindering "the Lord" in his mission to destroy everyone, Phinehas is instead blessed with "an everlasting priesthood."

In the Kings/Chronicles narrative Panehesy is called Jeroboam, "the people contend." However, Panehesy is known in the Torah by the name of Phinehas, which is a direct transliteration of the Egyptian name Panehesy into Hebrew. In Egyptian, Pa-Nehesy means, "The Southerner" or "The Black Man." In Hebrew, Phinehas means "Mouth of the Snake," and would have been a flattering epithet during this time period. The archetypal Phinehas was the Panehesy of the Egyptian 14th Dynasty, and considered to be the founder of the 14th Dynasty. This earlier Panehesy was a hero of the first Exodus and was granted pharaonic status for the role that he played. In the early Egyptian New Kingdom, "the Lord" (Tao I) annulled the patrilineal inheritance of the High Priesthood held by Eli, a descendant of Phinehas. He appointed his half-brother Samuel in his stead. In 1 Samuel 3:14 it is declared that there could "never" be atonement for the alleged malfeasance of Eli.e Nevertheless, with the second Phinehas, there is an attempt to revive the institution of the divine priest.

In Exodus 6:25 it states, "Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel and she bore him Phinehas." The first Phinehas probably was the literal son of Eleazar and grandson of the archetypal Aaron (Amenemhet IV). However, in the New Kingdom, there isn't room for an extra generation between Aanen (Aaron II/Jeroboam the Elder) and Panehesy (Phinehas II/Jeroboam the Younger). In the New Kingdom, Eleazar is represented by Aye, who was considered a "Priest of Midian," that is, priest of the god Minh at the Middle Egyptian city of Akhmin, as well as a king. Aye was the half-brother of Aanen, and could have been loosely considered in some spheres to be a political subordinate or "son" of his. However, as in the earlier time period, New Kingdom Eleazar (Aye), not to be confused with Eliezer, was the true father of Phinehas (Panehesy). The genealogy of Phinehas given in Exodus 6:25 is a composite, as is the Torah itself. It attempts to describe the family relationships of both historical periods.

Jeroboam is called the son of Zeruah and a man of Ephraim. The Ephraim of the 18th Dynasty was Aye.f In 1 Chronicles 13:6, the father of Jeroboam is named directly as Nebat. This epithet also points specifically to Aye as the father.g The mother of Panehesy is named with extreme understatement as "the widow Zeruah." As the original candidate for succession to the greater throne of Egypt, Jeroboam (Panehesy) was logically the eldest son of Aye by Queen Tiye. Zeruah means "leprous." The description of Tiye as a leprous widow is consistent with the denigration that both she (as Jezebel) and Aye (as Ahab) receive in the Kings/Chronicles narrative. Tiye only became "widowed" upon the "death" of Amenhotep III. The epithet Zeruah is a word play on the name Sarah, and identifies Tiye as the "barren" Queen Isis of her generation, the "goddess" who sought out other partners in hope of gaining children. Zeruah also relates to the name given Tiye in the Torah, that of Zipporah.h

Aanen (Aaron II, Jeroboam the Elder) was Akhenaten's constant supporter. On the other hand, Panehesy (Phinehas II, Jeroboam the Younger) was a nemesis. The New Kingdom Panehesy was more of a spoiler than a true hero. The Biblical account does not place Phinehas at Mt. Sinai. While the elderly Aaron II was making a golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai, a much younger Phinehas II was setting up golden calves at Dan and Bethel. Interestingly enough, one such golden calf was among the treasures found in the tomb of Tutankhamun (Joshua II). For the sake of completing a sacred cycle, Panehesy may have been allowed by Tut to take a symbolic part in the death march of Akhenaten, or perhaps Panehesy was strong enough to have imposed it.

Taking the Kingdom by Force

In the Greek traditions Panehesy is called Polyneices, meaning "much strife." Polyneices is a clever adaptation of Panehesy,i which also preserves the meaning of Panehesy's Hebrew nickname, Jeroboam.j It is known that Panehesy (Polyneices) became the son-in-law of Ramses (Adrastus), and therefore it is likely that he played a role in helping Ramses force the abdication of Akhenaten in his Year 17. According to Greek tradition, part of the new deal (Biblical covenant) following the fall of Akhenaten was that Polyneices (Panehesy) and Eteocles (Smenkhkare) alternate rule. "Polyneices and his twin Eteocles had been elected co-kings of Thebes after the banishment of Oedipus, their father. They agreed to reign for alternate years, but Eteocles, to whom the first term fell, would not relinquish his throne at the end of the year, pleading the evil disposition shown by Polyneices, and banished him from the city."k As noted in Chapter 16, Eteocles is the name of Smenkhkare in the Oedipus plays.

Separate names for Smenkhkare and Tut were not retained in Greek memory. The two princes are melded into one.l After the banishment of Akhenaten, Smenkhkare was dead within three months. Another round of negotiations then took place. Ultimately, Tutankhamun would succeed Akhenaten. Akhenaten was also allowed to return to Egypt, but was required to remove the diseased from the Delta. Therefore, it must have been Tutankhamun who refused to yield to Panehesy after his first year of rule. However, we cannot say for sure that Tutankhamun was breaking his own treaty involving Panehesy or the agreement nullified by the death of Smenkhkare at Mt. Sinai. Tut and the family elders probably did not begrudge Panehesy of a priesthood or even pharaonic status. This would have been seen as appropriate and necessary in order to replicate the earlier Middle Kingdom pattern. However, Tut would not be obliged to share the greater throne of Egypt with Panehesy. There was no precedent for this.

In Chapter 27, it will be shown that Tutankhamun had a chronic illness and by Year 9 of his reign it was considered to be terminal. This can be nearly deduced from a mural in the tomb of Tutankhamun, which shows his successor Aye presiding as sem priest at Tut's opening of the mouth ceremony. It was the role of the pharaoh's "eldest son" and designated successor to perform this funeral rite. Aye likely commissioned this mural as a charm to help guarantee his succession and to discourage potential interlopers. This determination of Aye is reflected in Greek memory. In Oedipus at Colonus, Scene II, Ismene (Egyptian princess Mutnodjme) addresses Oedipus (Akhenaten):

"For it was their [the sons of Oedipus/Akhenaten] desire, as it was Creon's [Aye's],
That the throne should pass to him [Creon/Aye]; that thus the city
Should be defiled no longer: such was their reasoning
When they considered our people's ancient curse
And how it enthralled your pitiful family.
But then some fury put it in their hearts -
O pitiful again! -- to itch for power:
For seizure of prerogative and throne;
And it was the younger and the less mature
Who stripped his elder brother, Polyneices,
Of place and kingship, and then banished him."m

In response to the intent of Creon (Aye) to take the throne, Polyneices (Panehesy) raises an army and marches on Thebes. It is assumed that Polyneices intends not only to defeat Eteocles (Tutankhamun), but also to take the greater throne for himself. However, other evidence indicates that Panehesy was not contending for that prize, but only to secure the High Priesthood of Amun. The gravely ill Tut had named Aye as his successor as early as his Year 4. Panehesy could not expect to unseat his father Aye (Greek Creon), nor would Ramses (Adrastus of the Oedipus plays) likely have provided an army to Panehesy for that purpose.

In exchange for helping to usher in the "new world order" of Aye, Panehesy was promised the High Priesthood of Amen and restored candidacy for the Libyan throne. Standing in his way were two youthful Joshua figures. The first was Tutankhamun, who after nine years was not able to produce a qualified heir and was suffering from profoundly degenerative health conditions. The second was Harsiese (Joash) son of Takelot I (Ahaziah). In Year 4 of Tutankhamun, this seven-year old boy was installed as High Priest of Amun and king of Upper Egypt (Judah) by the priest Iuwelot (Jehoiada). This action was not opposed by the family elders, and may have actually been officially sanctioned by Osorkon II (Horemheb). Harsiese was further designated as a replacement for Tut in the role of Joshua.

As with Sheshonq II, his son Harsiese held the title of High Priest of Amun for only four years before exchanging kingly status for that of a pharaoh. Unlike his father, his appointment as Libyan pharaoh does not seem to have been authorized. It was contrary to the rules of succession established by Aye, Horemheb and Ramses. However, the young prince Harsiese was persuaded by his advisors to defy his elders and claim the promise that a son of Thutmose IV would always sit on a pharaonic throne in Upper Egypt. Iuwelot (Jehoiada), the very patron who had revolted against Queen Tiye and declared Harsiese a king, was suppressed. The three elder statesmen took immediate action. In exchange for removing both Tut and Harsiese, Panehesy would become High Priest of Amun and next in line after Seti (Sheshonq III) for succession to the Libyan throne of Ramses (Takelot II). Despite his own humbling setbacks, Panehesy would at last be in position to fulfill the precedent of his Middle Kingdom namesake.

It was Polyneices (Egyptian prince Panehesy) who was directly responsible for the death of Tut. However, Aye, Horemheb, Ramses and Seti were all indirectly responsible. When Harsiese the High Priest of Amun declared himself pharaoh in Thebes, it created a crisis for the elders. Harsiese would have to be forcibly removed. This event also provided the impetus to bring the reign of Tut to an end. In order to fulfill tradition, it fell to Panehesy to perform the coup de grace. Panehesy did not try to claim the throne for himself. His only real hope of succeeding Aye as pharaoh of Egypt depended on the longevity of Aye. If both Horemheb and Ramses were to die before Aye, then Panehesy would be the logical successor. However, the more reasonable expectation of Panehesy was to eventually succeed to the Libyan throne of Aye granted to Ramses (Takelot II). In an attempt to better establish this claim, Panehesy adopted a new Libyan name, that of "Prince Osorkon." The name/title Osorkon in and of itself served to designated him as in line for succession to the Libyan throne.

The Fog of Phinehas

In the Torah, Phinehas makes one final appearance just prior to the death of Moses. "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto they people . And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest."n The Middle Kingdom Moses (Hammurabi) may have authorized such a vendetta. However, this was probably not the case in the New Kingdom. In Oedipus at Colonus, it is not Oedipus who summons Polyneices in order to send him into battle. Instead, it is Polyneices who approaches Oedipus and asks for his blessing in making war on Eteocles. However, the perishing Oedipus (Akhenaten) has nothing but contempt for Polyneices (Panehesy). Oedipus refuses to give a blessing, and curses both Polyneices and his mission instead. It seems that Akhenaten had early on recognized that his dysfunctional family was trapped in a "Greek tragedy." This was not the first time that he had refused to cooperate with the script. The attempt to emulate Middle Kingdom ancestors was ultimately counter-productive. The New Kingdom line had not only failed to unify the "world," but had brought Egypt itself to utter ruin. Akhenaten wanted no part in the final act.

In Delta inscriptions, archetypal Panehesy had variously called himself "beloved of Seth", "lord of Avaris" and "eldest king's son."o Ra had commissioned Seth to kill Osiris, and Hammurabi (Moses I) had directed Nehesy (Phinehas I) to take revenge on Yasmah-Adad (Balaam).p Therefore, the New Kingdom Panehesy (Phinehas II) not only expected Akhenaten (Moses II) to understand the legitimacy of his assault on Tut (Balaam II), but also the need for it to be commissioned. With or without the "blessing" of Akhenaten, Panehesy (now calling himself Prince Osorkon), marched on Thebes in pursuit of his personal destiny. In the Book of Numbers, the battle is declared to be a great victory. Enormous amounts of gold, silver, slaves and livestock are carried away. The wicked Balaam (Tutankhamun) is also put to the sword.q However, the Numbers account neglects to mention that Phinehas (Panehesy) is also killed in the conflict. (The death of Phinehas is not recorded anywhere in the Bible.) In fact, neither archetypal Phinehas nor his New Kingdom wannabe was killed in their respective wars.

According to the Greek playwrights,r both Eteocles (Tutankhamun) and Polyneices (Panehesy) died in the battle for Thebes. Tutankhamun did indeed die at the hand of Panehesy and was buried with full honor, as preserved in the Greek tradition and confirmed by archaeology. However, the Greek memory is confused with respect to the death and defamation of Panehesy (Polyneices). Panehesy did not die at this time, but many years later. In the succeeding chapters of this book it will be shown that it was not the burial of Panehesy (Polyneices) but of Smenkhkare (Eteocles "A") that had been forbidden by Aye (Creon). Moreover, Ankhesenamun (Antigone) did not bury Panehesy in defiance of Aye, but her husband Smenkhkare (Eteocles A). The unauthorized burial of Smenkhkare was later attributed to his "twin" Panehesy.s The error was compounded by a similar conflation between Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun in Greek memory. Only one name, Eteocles, was preserved and eventually applied to both princes.

According to 2 Chronicles 13:20 (NIV), "Jeroboam did not regain power during the time of Abijah." This verse implies that Jeroboam/Phineas (Panehesy) did regain power at some time after the death of Abijah (Smenkhkare). It had been Abijah who was "struck down" after a reign of less than three years and denied the customary burial of a pharaoh.t In the Kings narrative, the reign of Jeroboam ends between 2 and 3 years after that of Rehoboam. The death of Jeroboam the Elder (Aanen) did occur about 2 to 3 years after the abdication of Akhenaten in his Year 17. It corresponds to the death of Aaron in the Exodus account. On the other hand, Panehesy, a.k.a. Jeroboam the Younger, lived on to become High Priest during the reign of Aye. Furthermore, his son Harsiese B would later succeed him as High Priest of Amun.

The assault on Thebes by Panehesy/Prince Osorkon was a bloody one. In his Karnak inscription, Prince Osorkon states that "rebellious" priests were literally sacrificed in the fire to Amun at Karnak.1 He also wrote that he was to be placed on the throne of his "father" Takelot (Ramses). For reasons that will be made more clear in Chapter 25, there was considerable animosity between Panehesy (Jeroboam) and Aye (Shishak). Panehesy was once again a contender for the Libyan throne. However, he was depending more on his father-in-law Ramses than on his true father Aye for the coveted appointment as Libyan pharaoh. Only after Ramses succeeded to the greater throne would there be a vacancy in the Libyan throne for him to fill. Assumption of the Libyan name Osorkon had been a further measure taken by Panehesy to publicly declare his position as next in the succession order.

With the death of Aye, the "Alliance of Generals" fell apart. Horemheb excused himself from any further obligation to Ramses. Moreover, the memory of Aye was discredited and his son Panehesy (Prince Osorkon) was removed as High Priest. There would only be room enough in Thebes for one Osorkon. Horemheb (Osorkon II) appointed his own man Nimlot/Iuwelot as High Priest of Amun in Panehesy's place. He named another son (?) Pedubastet as co-regent in his share of the Libyan throne.u However, he did not name Ramses or any other prince as co-regent in the greater Egyptian throne, which led to the renewal of civil war. There is at least some indication that Ramses eventually gained the upper hand and compelled Horemheb to name him as successor by the end of his reign. Regardless, Ramses managed to take the throne upon the death of Horemheb in accordance with the former treaty, and Panehesy was then reinstated as High Priest. Panehesy (Prince Osorkon) continued to record his offerings to Amun at Karnak until Year 5 of Seti Iv at which time he presumably died and was succeeded as High Priest by his son Harsiese B. This Harsiese was logically the son of Panehesy by the daughter of Ramses, which would have made him an acceptable choice.

Through intense adversity, the New Kingdom Phinehas won for himself the High Priesthood of Amun. It was later declared that through him was re-established the "everlasting priesthood" that had earlier been bestowed upon the Panehesy of the Middle Kingdom. The priesthood of that Phinehas had been annulled only two generations later. Likewise, it is doubtful whether a grandson of Panehesy succeeded as High Priest of Amun. The patrilineal priesthood of the New Kingdom Phinehas was likely no more lasting than that of the Middle Kingdom antecedent. Annulment of the former promise would have been a precedent to cancel the latter. Nevertheless, it also provided a basis for future revivals of the institution.

Jeroboam (Panehesy) is clearly villainized in the Kings narrative. However, in the middle of a passage that vehemently denounces him there is the mysterious interpolation: "Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name . . ."w In Chapter 31 of this book, it will be shown that the institution of priestly rule was revived for a third time in Upper Egypt during the reign of Josiah. The "prophesy" inserted into the Jeroboam narrative provides a critical link back to the previous occurrence in the time of Jeroboam. Although Jeroboam was considered "evil," the author (or editor) of the Kings narrative implicitly acknowledges that the office Jeroboam strove for was in fact "good."

The introduction of an "everlasting priesthood," is perhaps the first attempt at achieving a "separation of Church and State." However, inheritance of the High Priesthood from father to son was in practice a threat to kingship. It represented a system of "checks and balances" that was fundamentally incompatible with the dynamics of kingship. It was paramount for the king to keep a tight grip over the vast wealth and estates of the many temples. Traditionally, the king controlled both Church and State by appointing his sons or other trusted male relatives as priests of the various temples, including and especially as High Priest of Amun. It is known that Sheshonq I, the father of Panehesy (Prince Osorkon) had himself declared that a son should not succeed his father as High Priest of Amun. However, Sheshonq may have later reversed this decision when he took the greater throne of Egypt as pharaoh Aye.

Many generations later, descendents of these New Kingdom priests and pharaohs found themselves defeated and exiled. They were allowed by the kings of Persia to return to their ancestral home, not to Egypt proper but to a "new" Jerusalem in Central Palestine. However, they were bound by oath to serve and obey the rulers of Persia who authorized this resettlement. For these "Jews," direct kingship was strictly forbidden, however they were allowed to build a temple and govern the land as priests. In this capacity, they looked back to their great ancestor Phinehas/Panehesy for inspiration and legitimacy. In the Book of Ezra, the genealogy of the priest Ezra is provided. It extends back to the Phinehas of the New Kingdom. In 1 Chronicles 6, an alternate version of the genealogy is provided in which additional generations are inserted in an attempt to reach even farther back, all the way to the Middle Kingdom Phinehas. (See Table below.)

Ezra 7:1-5 1 Chron. 6:3-14 1 Chron. 9:10-12 High Priests
of Amun
Aaron Aaron   [Aanen] (1)
Eleazar Eleazar   [Aye] (2)
Phinehas Phinehas   Panehesy / Nesy /
Prince Osorkon
Abishua Abishua   Harsiese B
Bukki Bukki Melkijah Nebneteru /
Takelot F?
Uzzi Uzzi   Nebwennef
Zerahiah /
Azariah
Zerahiah /
Azariah
  Osorkon III (3) / Wennofer
      Takelot G
(future Takelot III?)
Meraioth Meraioth Meraioth /
Pashhur
Paser II (4)
      Bakenkhonsu
      Roma-Roy (5)
  (6)    
Azariah Azariah [Harim] (7) Haremakhet / Osorkon F /
Usermaetre-nakhte /
Ramesses-nakht?
    [Uriah] (8)  
Amariah Amariah Immer Amenhotep /
"Ourmai son of
Khevi" (9)
Ahitub Ahitub Ahitub Herihor-Siamon
Harkhebi
(Khevi)
Zadok Zadok Zadok Piankh-Sematawy
Shallum Shallum Meshullam Pinudjem I
    [Maaseiah] Masharta (10)
      Djedkhonsuefankh
Hilkiah Hilkiah Hilkiah Menkheperre
Azariah Azariah Azariah / Jehzerah "Osorkon the Elder"?
Seraiah Seraiah   Exile
Ezra     Return
  1. Aanen was 1st Prophet (Greatest of Seers) of Re, but only 2nd priest/prophet of Amun
  2. Aye was a High Priest of Minh at Akhmin
  3. Upon the death of Seti, Ramses II selected Nebwennef as High Priest of Amun. However, this appointment was made in secret and Nebwennef was inducted at Abydos rather than Karnak of Thebes. This indicates that another prince, namely Osorkon (Azariah) was already in control of the Karnak Temple and presiding as High Priest of Amun at Karnak. It is also not clear whether the High Priesthood of Amun was reconsolidated later in the reign of Ramses II, or if a separate "Libyan" High Priest retained control of the Karnak Temple.
  4. Paser I was a son and the second heir apparent of Ramses II. It is possible that he also served as High Priest and is one and the same as High Priest Paser (Paser II). A third Paser was Mayor of Thebes in the reign of Ramses IX.
  5. Bakenkhonsu is perhaps one and the same as the future pharaoh Bakenrenef (Bochoris). He was followed as High Priest by his "brother" Roma-Roy. However, it is not known whether these priests had authority at Karnak in Thebes.
  6. 1 Chron. 6:3-14 inserts six high priests between Meraioth and Amariah. These priests belong to the early New Kingdom:
Amariah     
Ahitub (priest of David)    Hapuseneb?
Zadok (priest of David)    Menkheperresonb?
Ahimaaz    Meri?, Amenemhet?
Azariah    Ptahmose?
Johanan    Meriptah?
  1. It seems likely that Haremakhet (Harim) and Osorkon F (Azariah) were one and the same High Priest. The exceptionally long tenure of Haremakhet is thought to span the reigns of Shabaka (Ahaz), Shebitku (Hezekiah) and Taharqa (Manasseh), but might not have been fully continuous.
  2. Uriah is named as a chief priest late in the reign of Ahaz.
  3. Amenhotep (Amariah) was forcibly "suppressed" as High Priest in Year 9 of Ramses XI. He was eventually replaced in Year 18 of Ramses XI by the elder statesman Herihor-Siamun, who may have been the father of Amenhotep.
  4. Pinudjem I seems to have shared the office of High Priest with Masaharta. However, Masaharta was removed upon the death of Pinudjem. He was replaced for a short time by Djedkhonsuefankh, who either died or yielded to Menkheperre (Hilkiah).

  1. Merit-aten was Nefertiti's eldest daughter through Akhenaten.
  2. The source of the nickname Abijam is unclear. Perhaps Smenkhkare was fond of sailing as a young prince in Thebes, which was like its sister city in Greece, a city of many ships. Alternatively, the variant Abijam might relate Smenkhkare to his archetype Samsu-iluna, who struggled to control the "Sealand" peoples of southern Mesopotamia.
  3. Shemaiah is probably an epithet of Aanen (Shem III).
  4. Perhaps the archetypal Phinehas won his crown by killing the great king Zimri-Lim of Mari. At the end of the reign of Hammurabi (Moses I), the city of Zimri-Lim was attacked and his opulent palace destroyed. In the reign of Akhenaten (Moses II), one of the Amarna Tablets mentions the murder of Zimredda prince of Lachish.
  5. See commentary in Chapter 11 of this book.
  6. See Chapters 15-22.
  7. Yuya shared many titles and epithets with his legal son Aye. In a Biblical sense, one of these epithets appears to be Nebat, which means, "regard, respect, favor." In this context, Nebat can perhaps be considered a variant/shortened form of the Hebrew word nabaioth/nebajoth, meaning "fruitfulness." Yuya (Joseph) was called the "fruitful vine." Aye was called Ephraim, "doubly fruitful." Yuya (Joseph) was first favored above his brothers. Aye (Ephraim) was later favored above Aanen (Manasseh). Yuya was bestowed with insignias of honor (Gen 41:42). This was the reward for accepting the station of second in command. Yuya was second to his brother Thutmose IV (Judah) only in the greater throne of Egypt. Likewise, the kingship of Aye became second only to that of Amenhotep III.
  8. By transposition of syllables, Zipporah is the same as the widow Zerephath/Sarepta ("refinement") of Sidon (1 Kings 17:7-24). Compare Zeruah and the name of an earlier royal woman Zeruiah, the mother of Joab (2 Sam. 8:16).
  9. The Greek roots Pan and Poly are roughly synonymous.
  10. The Hebrew root Jerob/Jerib means, "contend, strive."
  11. Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, p 377, 106.b
  12. The basis for this conflation in Greek memory will be explored in Chapters 25-27.
  13. Dudley Fits and Robert Fitzgerald, Sophocles: The Oedipus Cycle, p 104-5.
  14. Numbers 31:1-2, 6 (KJV)
  15. Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, p 190.
  16. For the identification of Yasmah-Adad as Balaam, see Chapter 27.
  17. For the role of Tutankhamun as the New Kingdom Balaam, see Chapter 16 of this book.
  18. Sophocles, Aeschlys and Euripides
  19. See Chapter 26 of this book for a discussion of this conflation.
  20. This will be the subject of the next chapter of this book.
  21. Pedubastet may have of the male line of Thutmose IV (Judah) through Aye.
  22. In Chapter 21 it was shown that Sheshonq III was the "Libyan" name of Seti I, and that Seti became pharaoh of all Egypt in Year 24 of his Libyan kingship.
  23. 1 Kings 13:2 (KJV)

Note 1:

The Bible credits Harsiese A (Joash) with a reign of 40 years, however it would have been closer to four. There is a conflation in the Kings narrative between Harsiese (Joash) and Sheshonq III (Jehoash). It was Sheshonq III who ruled as Libyan pharaoh for a literal 40 years. The final 16 years he was also pharaoh of all Egypt. The conflation between Harsiese A and Sheshonq II possibly also included Harsiese B. For example, it is not clear which of three kings named Joash (Sheshonq III, Harsiese A or Harsiese B) was the one who killed Zechariah son of Jehoiada (Iuwelot).

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