Living in Truth:
Archaeology and the Patriarchs

Chapter 26   Book Navigator    Charts Part II

by Charles N. Pope
Copyright ©1999-2004, 2016 by Charles Pope
United States Library of Congress
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Chapter 27
"Go in Peace"
(The Restoration of Tutankhamun)

Name Associations

Torah Names Kings/Chronicles Names Greek Names Egyptian Names
Jacob-Israel Composite Solomon Dakos Amenhotep II
Sheshonq A
(wife of Jacob)
Ahijah, Ginath   Tia
(wife of Jacob)
Atarah   Merit-Amon
By Rachel, two sons
1) Joseph
Abishalom, Uriel, Omri
Nebat I
Laius, Menoikeus Yuya, Irhuleni
Asenath ("Egyptian" wife of Joseph)   Tuya
Jeroboam the Elder
Amon, "Ruler of the City"
(Kith-)Airon Aanen, Mery-Re I
Asa/Shaul, Shishak, Ahab
Jerimoth, Nebat II
Asocheus, Creon Aye, Sheshonq I
Lab'ayu, Ayyab
Addaya, Rib-Addi
Naamah, Maacah, Abihail
Zerephath, Zeruah, Jezebel Athaliah
Joacaste, Merope
Tiye, Lady of Gubla, Yzebel
  Solomon, Eth-Baal Polybos/Polybus Amenhotep III
Rehoboam, Nimshi, Shaphat
Oedipus, Hermaeus
Amenhotep IV
Eliezer Elijah, Abijah, Abijam, Mesha Eteocles (A), Elias Smenkhkare
Elisha, Attai, Jehonadab Eteocles (B) Tutankhamun
2) Benjamin     Aakheprure
By Leah, six sons and one daughter (Dinah)
1) Reuben Uzziel, Mushi   Webensenu, Neby
2) Simeon     Siamun
3) Levi     Khaemwast
4) Judah Nemuel/Jemuel   Thutmose IV
Nimlot A/Nimrat
5) Issachar
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

A Child Shall Lead Thema

As part of the making of a prince, a number exploits were staged and then widely vaunted. The faith and obedience of the populace was critical to future kingly success. Consistent with this model, Tutankhamun became the darling of the court and was patronized everywhere he went. And he seemed to be traveling a lot for a boy his age. He was ascribed wisdom and authority far beyond his years. His reputation as a prophet and wonder worker was also consciously cultivated. The vignettes that follow the "field trip" of Elisha to Moab reflect this ongoing development. He raises the dead, captures enemies, anoints lesser kings, multiplies food and makes it fit to eat, cures a leper, and restores lost property.

The development of Tut was taken very seriously, and is handled with great care in the Kings narrative. But there was still a place for childhood, even for a high-ranking prince. Upon his return from the Trans-Jordan, his next exercise involves an elaborate game of hide and seek.b The king of Aram is told, "Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber."c This "invasion of privacy" compels the king of Aram to have Elisha apprehended by his soldiers. They come to his hideout, but are strangely unable to recognize him. Incognito, Elisha offers to lead the army of Aram to the very man whom they seek, and so they grandly go on parade to Samaria. Once inside the city, the boy delivers his duped "enemies" over to the king of Israel (Ahab-Aye), who then shouts playfully and with childish repetition, "My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?"d Why of course not Elisha responds, as if to say, do you kill your own playmates?e

Elisha (Tut) would have been as young as five or six years old at the time of this event. When the caper is finished, Elisha insists on giving the "enemies" of Israel food and drink in abundance before they are sent home. A good time is had by all. Just as importantly, the apprentice Machiavellian has learned the value of gathering "intelligence data" from agents in a "foreign court," and the need for deception using a disguise and clever ruse. He also has gained experience in leading a large military force. The story of "Elisha and the Blind Aramaeans" is the memory of how Ahab (Aye) taught his protégé Elisha (Tut) the art of espionage, and tactics for snaring an opponent and imposing the terms of a favorable treaty upon him. We are told that Aram ceased raiding the territory of Israel after Elisha captured the officers of Aram. However, the three-year truce between Aram and Israel was actually due to the capture by Ahab of the king of Aram, Ben-Hadad, and the treaty made between them. In fact, Ahab (Aye) gained such a favorable treaty with Aram that he could reasonably expect Ben-Hadad to fully cooperate with the outlandish training exercise prepared for Elisha (Tutankhamun). The submission of Ben-Hadad ended with the seizure of Ramoth-Gilead by Ahab (Aye). In response, Ben-Hadad resumed his real attacks on Israel and Samaria.

O Aye of Little Faith

Even in the most desperate of circumstances, Elisha was encouraged to indulge in a little comic relief, especially at Ahab's expense. The next episode in the Kings narrative is a very lengthy description of a wickedly childish prank played by Elisha on Ahab, who was despised by "the Lord" (Akhenaten). During a siege of Samaria by Ben-Hadad,f two women come to "the king of Israel" with the most horrifying story imaginable. They are two mothers who had agreed to eat one another's children in order to survive the siege. Possibly it was true, but in this case probably not. However, conditions were so deplorable that it was at least conceivable. We are told that quality food could not be purchased at any price. Yet, Elisha was flippantly boasting on behalf of "the Lord" that flour and barley would be both cheap and plentiful within a day's time.g

The reputation of Aye (Ahab) to publicly grieve, perhaps insincerely, over the welfare of his subjects, made the joke all the more funny for Tut (Elisha) and his ministers, and truly painful for Aye. Tut had already been informed that the army of Aram was going to withdraw from Samaria and leave their provisions behind. The very presence of Tut in the city was the likely reason. Although Akhenaten wanted to bring Aye down in the worst way, he would not have risked the life of Tut in order to do so. Word was sent by Akhenaten directing Ben-Hadad to lift the siege. The ministers attending to Tut would also have been notified.h However, in order to add insult to injury Aye was kept in the dark about this decision. Does this anecdote reflect the genius or madness of the Biblical kings? Again, the joke is on us as well. Aye was not the only one made to play the fool.

Comfort for the Damned

In the next chapter, it is Ben-Hadad who is besieged with a serious affliction.i When Elisha goes to visit him in Damascus, the ailing Ben-Hadad immediately requests an oracle from the child. This further reinforces the image of Elisha as a healer. The sending of Tutankhamun as an envoy of Egypt to Aram indicates that Ben-Hadad was considered a vassal of Akhenaten, but not a fully favored one. Tut would have been accompanied by senior advisors ("elders")j who were the practical representatives of Akhenaten. However the presence of Tut did reflect the great importance of the mission. Although Tut may have been fond of Ben-Hadad, the purpose of his visit was to install a new king in Aram. Ben-Hadad had not fulfilled all of Akhenaten's will, either in dealing with Aye or in other matters. Moreover, his illness enabled Aye to begin reclaiming his lost territory. Akhenaten took preemptive action. Although it had been Elijah- Smenkhkare who was commanded to "anoint Hazael king over Aram," it is Elisha-Tut who actually performs the task. If Smenkhkare was with Tut the narrator chooses not to mention it.

Shortly after his meeting with Elisha, Hazael murders Ben-Hadad and becomes king in his place. Other ministers naturally protested this action. In the Amarna tablets, Hazael (writing under the pen name of Aziru) proclaims his unequivocal innocence with regard to any sin of commission or omission. This would have included the accusation by uninformed persons that he was culpable in the death of his predecessor Ben-Hadad (Abdi-Ashirta).k Hazael could make this claim because he had been authorized to do so by the Elisha delegation. Ben-Hadad was killed by order ("prophesy") of the Lord (Akhenaten) through Elisha, therefore Hazael could not be guilty of it! Hazael had only carried out the will of his superior. For the great king to "prophesy" or "foresee" an event was the same as ordering it. However, the use of "prophesy" absolved the king himself of any guilt associated with murder. Hazael/Aziru had faithfully ensured that the vision and word of the king would not be allowed to fail.  

The empowerment of Hazael, whom Shalmaneser referred to as the "son of a nobody," and his new title, that of Azaru, must have been especially difficult for Aye (Rib-Addi) to accept. His own son Azaru (Osorkon I) had been executed by order of Akhenaten. Moreover, the new Azaru was ordered by Akhenaten to continue the attacks on Aye and ultimately kill him as well. Most probably, (H)azaru and the variant Hazael were Syrian epithets of Horemheb son of Neby. The father of Horemheb was certainly among the nobility of Egypt, but not a pharaoh. This made him a "nobody" in the eyes of Shalmaneser. These were desperate times, and they would compel Aye to take desperate measures in order to survive. In exchange for helping him to overthrow Akhenaten, Aye gave Horemheb both the place and the pharaonic name of his fallen son Osorkon. In addition, Horemheb would retain the traditional role of Issachar (Ezer/Azar) as king of Aram that was granted to him by Akhenaten. In one of his inscriptions, Osorkon II claimed the title of "King of Upper and Lower Retenu," a geographical region that included both traditional Syria/Aram and Israel.l In the Kings narrative, Horemheb/Osorkon II is called Jehoram king of Israel. 

Out of the Mouth of Babesm

Prior to his defection and alliance with Rib-Addi (Aye), eight Amarna letters were written from Aziru to Akhenaten. Although Aziru had been ordered to Egypt, he claimed that he could not due to the constant menace of the King of Hatti (Shalmaneser III), and the need to defend the territory of Akhenaten in Aram. In his letters, Aziru appeals to Akhenaten for troops and chariots in the on-going war effort. Two of his "sons" were sent to Akhenaten as a show of good faith and as collateral during his absence.n Eventually Aziru does agree to accompany the commissioner Hatip to Egypt.o However, in another letter addressed to Tutu (Tut), he states that he will only come if Tutu and the ministers of the king (Akhenaten) all swear by his gods and by Aman (Amen) that he will not be detained upon entering Egypt and subjected to anything that is "not good."p

Letters from "Azaru/Aziru of Amurru" (Hazael) to Akhenaten also mention the visit of "Tutu" (Tutankhamun) to Damascus. In these letters, Aziru promises to return the favor by visiting Tutu and Akhenaten. By definition, the visit of Tutu to Damascus must have taken place before the abdication of Akhenaten and the death of Smenkhkare. Incredibly, here is confirmation of a state visit by a six-year old prince-prophet-emissary, Elisha. He would have been accompanied by senior advisors who attended not only to the young prince, but also to most if not all of the actual business. Yet, the role of Tut at this tender age, even as a figurehead, is nonetheless astounding. 

In the Torah, Tutankhamun is described as "the young aide" of Moses. In the Amarna Tablets he is revealed as Tutu, the "Chamberlain" of Akhenaten. Four Amarna letters are sent from Aziru (Hazael) to Tutu. In these letters, Aziru tries very hard to retain the affections of the young prince. He writes tenderly and using language that is appropriate for a child. For example, in EA 167, he patronizes the young Tutu as follows: "Do not be worried at all. I will be there, safe and sound, and I would see the gracious face of my lord . May you be happy since I will indeed be there, safe and sound."q

Let None Escape to Tell

In the next episode involving Elisha,r Jehu is anointed king of Israel by the "word of the Lord (Akhenaten) to Elijah (Smenkhkare)." Elisha does not speak with Jehu face to face as he had with Hazael. Instead he tells a servant to perform the anointing in private and then run away. Elisha fears Jehu, and for very good reason. However, Jehu is pleased with the commission and does not try to "shoot the messenger." He does fail to fully keep his anointing a secret as directed. As with the newly appointed Hazael, Jehu immediately proceeds to kill the incumbent in the office he has just received. The unsuspecting Joram king of Israel is shot dead with an arrow. After killing a woman he thinks is Jezebel, Jehu then demands that all seventy of the sons of Ahab be executed and their heads sent to him in Jezreel.

At this point in the narrative, a new character named Jehonadab son of Recab is introduced. The name Nadab ("liberality") had been an epithet of King David/Abimelech (Thutmose I).s In the process of founding the New Kingdom dynasty, it was this earlier Nadab who had killed the seventy sons of Jerubbaal/Gideon (Tao II) by command of "the Lord" (Tao I).t The young Tut was being typecast as the David of his generation. Jehu was not acting only to establish his own dynasty, but that of Tutankhamun as the new David. Irrespective of his age, it was considered only fitting for Elisha to show zeal for his own father and accompany Jehu in his mission of destroying all those who opposed the Lord (Akhenaten).u Use of the name Nadab somewhat disguises the involvement of the young prince in the brutal killings of Jehu and leaves the image of Elisha untarnished. Elijah was still an impressionable teenager when he was commanded by Akhenaten to anoint Hazael king of Aram and Jehu king of Israel. Elisha was not yet a teenager when he carried out that command and set in motion bloodbaths in Aram and Israel.

Jehonadab son of Recab must be pulled up into the chariot of Jehu.v This is an indication of his youth and physical handicap. Akhenaten, alias "Lame Foot," was also handicapped. The name Recabw reflects his own disability and fondness for passing in review in his chariot, a prominent theme in Amarna art. With Jehonadab as his official observer and confirmation of his authority, Jehu kills all the remaining persons in Samaria that are related to or associated with Ahab. He admits to conspiring against his "master" Ahab. Ahab (Aye) was by far the superior of Jehu (Ipy) within the royal family. Therefore, he repeatedly claims that his actions only serve to fulfill the words of the Lord spoken through Elijah.x (Ipy had the presence of Tutankhamun and a commission from no less an authority than the Lord Akhenaten and his co-regent Smenkhkare. Their individual and collective authority was greater than that of Aye.)

Lastly, Jehonadab (Tut) witnesses the bait and slaughter of the prophets of Baal who are convened from all over Israel.y The prophets of Baal were supposedly all put to death in an earlier ambush arranged by Elijah.z However, it is not necessary to conjecture that their replacements fell for the same trick only a short time later. What we have is a second version of the Elijah account in which hundreds of ministers of Baal and Asherah are gathered together and massacred. The first account features Elijah-Smenkhkare, and the second, Elisha-Tut. The two passages are complementary. Recombining them, it is clear that when Elijah came out of hiding for a final confrontation with Ahab (Aye), he did not face him alone, but was accompanied by Jehu (Ipy) and the elite soldiers of the Lord (Akhenaten), as well as his younger brother Elisha and his contingent.

I See Him, but not Now: Tut as Balaam

Tutankhamun was being touted as the New Kingdom Joshua and the latest incarnation of David. As both, Tut fell short. However, in the unpopular role of Balaam he excelled and was well remembered. The Middle Kingdom Balaam most likely was a nickname of Merneferre Ay (Yasmah-Adad), the fabled butt of donkey humor.aa The name Aye was itself very similar to the Hebrew (and Egyptian?) words for donkey.ab The New Kingdom Aye was far too old to be typecast as Balaam in the Exodus led by Akhenaten. Instead, youthful Tut assumed this role and his elderly uncle Aye played the part of the intractable donkey. Even well before the Exodus, Aye was saddled as a donkey in his royal profile. It is encoded in a rebuke Rib-Addi received from his father in the Amarna Tablets (EA 94 & 96), and by the special concern of Ahab in the Bible for his

Tut did not outgrow his childhood infirmities. Instead, they steadily worsened. His mummy reveals a severe curvature of the spine and that the vertebrae in his neck had fused together. These and related health problems would have made it increasingly difficult for the newly crowned pharaoh to look after the affairs of state. A legend from the Talmud reads:

'While he was in this agony, the report was brought to him that the children of Israel in Goshen were careless and idle in their forced labor. The news aggravated his suffering, and he said: 'Now that I am ill, they turn and scoff at me. Harness my chariot, and I will betake myself to Goshen, and see the derision wherewith the children of Israel deride me.' And they took and put him upon a horse, for he was not able to mount it himself. When he and his men had come to the border between Egypt and Goshen, the king's steed passed into a narrow place. The other horses, running rapidly through the pass, pressed upon each other until the king's horse fell while he sat upon it, and when it fell, the chariot turned over on his face, and also the horse lay upon him. The king's flesh was torn from him ... servants carried him upon their shoulders, brought him back to Egypt, and placed him on his bed. He knew that his end was come to die, and the queen Alfar'anit and his nobles gathered about his bed, and they wept a great weeping with him.'ad

This story contains elements common to both the Elisha and Balaam accounts in the Bible. The ailing pharaoh is particularly disturbed by the derision of (other) children. He wants to travel to the Delta in order to rebuke them in person, but is not able to mount a horse (or donkey) without assistance. In route he has an accident while trying to ride through a narrow pass. Upon returning to Egypt, the pharaoh resigns himself to the fact that he will not recover. He weeps and his attendants with him.

In the early years of his reign, Tut would still have been based in Akhet-aten. From there he was (in the role of Balaam) summoned repeatedly by Akhenaten (Balak) to provide relief in the removal of diseased persons from the Delta. On one such trip to the death camp Tut had his accident. It was immediately obvious that Tut would not long be able to keep the Two Lands of Egypt together, must less reunify the greater world that included Egypt and the Moab of Mesopotamia. A critically injured Tut could only "prophesy" that another Horus would come after him and complete his aborted The "survivors of the city" (of Kadesh/Akhet-aten) would be finished Moreover, Balaam (Tut) prophesies, "He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the son of Sheth [Baal]." This is the standard rhetoric of the Horus-king smiting scene.

Tutankhamun was pathetically incapable of the dual role of Joshua and David. However, in the role of young Balaam he foresees the coming of another Messiah. This future king is to smite Moab, Edom, and all the "sons of Sheth," that is the noisy boasters who follow Seth/Baal. The pattern was a familiar one. Horus was killed by Seth and thereafter was known as "Horus which is in Osiris." He was eventually replaced by Horus the Younger, at which time Seth was vanquished. Within the royal family, there was always a young prince who was eager to take on the role of the younger Horus. Every newly crowned prince was a Horus-styled messiah, one who took his seat upon the throne against all odds and in order to save the world from the darkness and chaos that preceded the advent of his righteous reign. 

In his earlier days as the child prophet Elisha, Tut had been eager to please his Lord and father Akhenaten. This would have included upholding the prohibition of all the traditional gods of the ancient world. However, with respect to the worship of Rimmon ("pomegranate"),ag a Syrian epithet of Osiris, Elisha makes an exception. After the cure for leprosy prescribed by Elisha for the Syrian ruler Naaman is effective, Naaman makes a peculiar request. " 'In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant this thing. And he [Elisha] said unto him, Go in Peace."ah

The last episode in the Kings narrative about Elisha begins, "Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died."ai On his sick bed he is visited by Jehoash, who weeps over him in his pitiful dying state. Elisha cannot leave the room he is in, so he instructs Jehoash to shoot one of his arrows out a window. Elisha then says to Jehoash, "thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them."aj Next, Jehoash is told to grasp the remaining arrows and strike them against the floor. Jehoash only hits the floor three times, therefore Elisha prophesies that Jehoash would only be victorious over Aram on three occasions (battles). Biblical scholars believe that the three campaigns of Jehoashak took place during a five-year Likewise, the three Syrian campaigns of Seti were conducted in the first five or six years of his reign. By this time Tut was long dead and Seti was himself too old to assume the part of a youthful Joshua. Instead he began to groom one of his sons, Ramses (Jeroboam II), nicknamed Sese/Sheshi, to at long last fulfill this role in the Egyptian New

Rachel Weeping for Her Children:
The Death of Tut and End of the House of Joseph

As a "beloved" David figure, the patron god of Tut was naturally Amun. Even before his name was changed from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun, he is shown worshipping Amun in Amarna Letter EA 164 further indicates that during the final years of Akhenaten's reign, the patron god of Tut was Amen, and not Aten. After becoming pharaoh, one of Tut's more ambitious works was the Mansion of Nebkheprure,ao beloved of Amun, in Thebes. Yet, as pharaoh he also adopted the Golden Falcon name of "He who . Propitiates the Gods." In complete contrast to the regime of his father, his reign would be marked as one of liberality. Tut would have been beloved by the people for reinstating a policy of religious tolerance and cultural healing. However, for the elite and diehard Atenist, Tut was undoing the work of Akhenaten. He was not only allowing but also encouraging the return of witchcraft and idolatry. According to the Talmud, "Pinhas killed him [Balaam]," because he "practiced witchcraft and led Israel astray."

Despite his acute physical limitations and the Atenist critics, the gods of Egypt were propitiated in his name from the Delta all the way to Kawa and Faras in Nubia. "Certainly a great deal of reconstruction and restoration of former temples was initiated during the reign of Tutankhamun, and the epithet that is applied to him on one of the seals of his tomb, 'who spent his life in making images of the gods', might well serve as his epitaph."ap "The king can refer to 'his fathers all the gods' and mixes up Amarna and pluralist jargon on the furniture that followed him to the grave: "son of Amun, offspring of Kamutef, whom Mut lady of heaven, reared and suckled with her (own) milk, whom the lord of Karnak created to rule what the sun-disc encircles, bequeathing to him the throne of Geb, the excellent office of Atum . image of Re, ELDEST SON OF THE SUN-DISC IN HEAVEN."aq

There was indeed an attempt within the royal family to lay aside their differences and seek a reconciliation during his reign. It was also hoped that Tut could somehow, even miraculously, become the Horus/Adad figure on the order of Joshua (Salitis) and David (Thutmose I/III) that was required. Tut was able to produce (non-royal) However, considering the nature of his birth as the "son of Kamutef," and his chronic/genetic health problems, it is not surprising that he could not have healthy royal children through his half-sister Ankhesenamun. After two premature stillborn births, the couple may have given up. The Middle Kingdom Joshua had also died with an heir, so this would not have been considered unacceptable. 

The real issue was the lack of vigor to pursue military conquest in the pattern set by the archetypal Joshua (Salitis). After Tut became an invalid, he could no longer be effective even as a symbol. The royal family could not afford to remain idle and lose the initiative to collateral lines elsewhere. Tradition demanded that the world be reunited by a prince from the royal house of Egypt. Tut could not live up to that expectation and instead fell prey to the Sethian figures of his day. Chief among these "Baal worshipers" were Aye (Ahab), Panehesy (Jeroboam the Younger), and Ramses father of Seti. These elders along with Horemheb (Jehoram) were all responsible for administering the coup de grace on Tut. However, in fulfillment of earlier Middle Kingdom history, it fell to Panehesy specifically to perform the killing of Balaam. 

In his first oracle Balaam states, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my end be like theirs!"as After all of the other terminally ill people with Akhenaten had been put to death, four to five more years passed before anyone had the heart to finish Tut off. Nevertheless, as he lingered on, the family "vultures" began to hover over him. Finally, Ramses and Horemheb equipped Panehesy with an army. Although Tut was being cared for in Memphis, Aye arranged for him to be in Thebes in time for the final act. Tut would have entered the city, as was his custom, on a donkey and to the cries of grateful and adoring

At the appointed time, Aye deceived Tut in order to place him in a vulnerable location. Tut was subsequently attacked and killed by Panehesy. The "foreign legions" with Panehesy also took possession of the city and Temple of Amun. Nine years of relative peace were ended. The author or editor of the Kings narrative chose not to attribute his death to the attack of Panehesy and betrayal of Aye, but instead to his terminal illness. We are told, very matter of fact, that "Elisha died and was buried, but not in the tombs of his fathers." During these nine years, Tut had not even started work on a tomb in the Valley of the Kings. This seems almost unthinkable. Ordinarily, this was the very first act of a new pharaoh. However, he may have intended to be buried in the tombs of his father Akhenaten at Akhet-aten. The city of Akhet-aten was abandoned in his Year 4, and other burial preparations have not (yet) been discovered in Memphis or elsewhere.  

An epilogue to the story of Elisha concerns the quickening of a man whose body was placed on top of the "bones of Elisha."uu His body was quickly interred due to the threat of "Moabite raiders."av The (corridor to the) burial chamber of Ramses VI lies directly above the small tomb complex of In the short reign of Ramses VI, fear of an approaching enemy caused work on the pharaoh's tomb to be suspended. This was documented in the records of the tomb builders in the village of Deir-el-Medina adjacent to the Valley of Kings:

"Year one, in the first month of winter' the work-journal reported that 'those who are enemies have reached Pernabi [presumably a town north of Thebes] and destroyed all that was there and burned its people', and that the High Priest of Amun, Ramessesnakht, had taken control of the defense of the royal valley ." Another entry for this month states: "No work for fear of the enemy."ax

Eventually Ramses VI was buried in his tomb, evidently in haste due to the turmoil of the time. He was placed in his burial chamber directly above the body of Tutankhamun. As with all other pharaohs, it was believed that the spirit of Ramses VI lifted up and out of his mummy in order to achieve resurrection in the afterlife! The mention of this event in the account of Elisha indicates that the exact location of Tut's burial was still known as late as the reign of Ramses VI. The tomb of Ramses VI and all others in the Valley of the Kings were plundered only a short time later, but the tomb of Tut alone was spared. This would appear then not to have been an oversight, but a singular show of respect.

Much has been made of the mural in Tut's tomb that depicts Aye presiding at the opening of the mouth ceremony. A further peculiarity of this unusual scene is the presence of two adzes. The adze was the special tool used to symbolically pry open the mouth of the deceased and allow their spirit to come out. Elisha had asked for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. This request was remembered in his tomb. The two adzes represent a double opening of the mouth, and symbolize the "resurrection" of Tut's "double spirit." In the Kings/Chronicles history, which is very much written from a Theban perspective, Elisha/Tut is not given a kingly identity. This is in contrast to Elijah/Smenkhkare, who is also remembered as King Abijah. Tut is a prophet and no more, which is remarkable considering the esteem in which he was held by the Amun establishment. Possibly it reflects his tolerance of other cults during his kingly tenure. Alternatively, it might be due to his great youth, his profound ailments, and the dominance of Aye and other ministers during his reign. Finally, it might be that the author simply did not care to associate him with the evils of kingship.

The Righteous Branch: Elisha "Returns" as Jesus of the Gospels

Tut was young, but he was not strong or beautiful.ay His early death as an Osiris was not tragic in that sense. The badly deformed physique of Tut would have conjured up imagery of the tortured and mutilated Osiris, whose beauty was turned into a horrifying corpse. The word tut in Egyptian can also mean "mummy."az Many young Horus princes were killed in dynastic struggles before and after Tut. Immediately preceding him in the New Kingdom, Thutmose IV was poisoned and Thutmose V was "struck down" by a jealous uncle. Smenkhkare, the elder brother of Tut, was also killed for obeying the command of his father Akhenaten to rebel against other family elders, including his mother Queen Tiye. 

Smenkhkare was not only young, but in contrast to Tut, was evidently also healthy and vigorous. His Greek name Elias is an epithet of the mighty Zeus. In his death he was more of a pure Osiris, in that his father as Re (Akhenaten) was held accountable for his death. His mother Tiye was the Baal-worshipping ("Sethian") figure who insisted on his execution. However, it was Tutankhamun, the last youthful king of the 18th Dynasty, who would become the leading Osiris of his time and for all time. As in the case of Osiris, there was something about Tut that elicited the love and empathy of others. His affliction and death may have been inevitable, yet he carried this undeserved cross with grit and grace. Tut possessed the faith of a child and the reckless abandon of a dying man. It proved to be an unforgettable combination. His laughter and tears brought an emotional release in a painful but stoical age.

After nine years, the young king Tut and his reconciliation were preempted in favor of a renewed pursuit of world domination. It was a return to business as usual for the royal family. In the generations to follow, infighting escalated until foreign armies were trained on Israel and Egypt and the last kings advocating native rule in these regions were killed or taken away to Babylon in exile. In the final years of trouble, disillusioned royal family members (prophets) began to anticipate the coming of a truly worthy god-king, and specifically one who would finish what Tut-Elisha had begun. Consistent with this view, Malachi went so far as to write that this future messiah would also be preceded by an Elijah

In exile, the Jews were forced to renounce their claim to sovereignty, which led many to reject the validity of this form of government once and for all. However, when the Greek ruler Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) insisted that the Jewish temple in Jerusalem be Hellenized as a temple to Zeus-Ammon, it led to an uprising and eventual independence. In the Roman period, Messianic hope reached a new level of expectation and even desperation. It was time for another savior king, one of the order of Elisha-Tut (Joshua II), who would cast out the spirit of Pax Romana and replace it with a conquest of the heart. His throne like that of Elisha-Tut would be established not by force but love and by right.

As Elijah precedes Elisha, so John the Baptist sets the stage for Jesus of the Gospels. 

Concerning John the Baptist, Jesus offers, "And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come."bb John the Baptist was not literally Elijah-Smenkhkare. Jesus was not literally Elisha-Tut. However, these New Testament persons (whether real, fictitious or a little of both) were most definitely patterned after Smenkhkare and Tut. Everything recorded in the Kings narrative about Elisha finds an equivalent expression in the life of Jesus. Like the Egyptian New Kingdom Joshua, the New Testament Joshua multiplies food and feeds the poor. He crosses the Jordan to be with Elijah. Once anointed, he can walk on water, and cause valuable metal to rise to the water's surface.bc He makes unclean food fit to eat. He restores health, property,bd and even souls. He accepts the paltry contribution of a widow, but refuses and even punishes profit taking. He has the power to open blind eyes and also close them. He predicts future events. He raises the dead and he himself is raised from the dead.

Tut did not live to reach adulthood. He was put to death about the time of his 18th birthday. He was a child deity. Christianity, the religion modeled after him, became a religion of the Jesus as Tut is depicted as a precocious child, and one who fully accepts the role given to him by his parents at an early As an adult, there is a continued emphasis on a child-like capacity for He not only tolerates but also encourages children to approach him. In the Kings narrative, the young Elisha naturally wants the company of other children and to be accepted by them. When mocked by a company of child prophets (other children of nobility), he is hurt and In the Gospels, there is the token cursing by Jesus of a sapling that does not produce early fruit (figuratively, evidence of maturity). However, with respect to people, he teaches to bless when derided and to help one's He demands from his followers a child-like faith and ability to Jesus like Elisha has a child's disregard for material wealth and security.bk Although not terminally ill, Jesus has the confidence of Elisha in the face of danger. He advises the people to not fear those with power over one's body, but God who can kill the

Who do You Say that He is?

The resurrection of Elisha occurs when he is still a very young child. In the account of how he stopped breathing and was revived his name is not However, it has been shown that Elisha was the boy that Elijah took to an upper room and resuscitated. The Gospels provide further confirmation that not only this passage but also similar ones in the Kings narrative were known or believed to be associated with Elisha.1 For example, the Gospels emphasize the healing by Jesus of a man with a withered In the Kings narrative an unnamed "man of God" performs this The same prophet, riding on a donkey, is later taken by deceit and killed by a lion (a rival prince of Judah). The lion and donkey are still standing next to him when the same old prophet who had deceived the man of God comes for the body. The old prophet mourns the death of "his brother" and buries him in his own tomb. This is of course an allegorical version of Elisha-Tut's "mercy killing" by (the lion) Panehesy and interment by ("the old prophet") Aye.bp

The name Elisha is never used in the Gospels or in the entire New Testament. Although Jesus was considered to be the second coming of Elisha/Joshua II specifically, he was also the embodiment of a greater Godhead. He represented everything that the prophets considered good about kingship, and none of the Like Elisha the kingship of Jesus is not made explicit, at least in an earthly sense. In Christ, kingship is reformed and idealized. Tut was considered to simultaneously be the Joshua, David, Osiris, Horus and Thoth of his generation. The New Testament Messiah was to be the same, not only in his own generation but also for all future generations to He fulfills everything about the life of Elisha (Joshua II), including youthfulness,bs being preceded by "Elijah,"bt his ministry of healing,bu and his traumatic sacrificial He is a righteous descendant of David,bw who does not impose the letter of the law but instead understands the spirit of the law.bx Like Thoth, the Holy Spirit is placed upon him to speak and act for the Jesus is also the Servant,bz the Light,ca the Messenger who comes suddenly,cb the Counselor and Prince of Peace,cc all of which were traits of Thoth.

As an infantcd Jesus is taken to Egypt and away from the murderous jealousy of Herod, just as Horus the Elder and Horus the Younger had been hidden from the enemies who sought to destroy them. Under the leading and instruction of the Holy Spirit (Thoth), Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature." As an adult, Jesus decides what is lawful to do on the Sabbath, because he is as Thoth author of the Sabbath. After carrying out a short ministry of healing and reconciliation, he is condemned to die even as Osiris. Before his "passion" and "ascension" to heaven, Jesus also predicts his triumphal return, no longer as a suffering servant but as an all-conquering king.ce He would come back to defeat Satan in a "rematch" of the ancient battle in the Valley of Armageddon between Seth and Horus the The entire mythical cycle was not only to be repeated but also completed in this one man.

The life of Elisha-Tut had been tragic from beginning to end. He was said to have healed others, but ultimately was unable to cure himself. In contrast, Jesus of the Gospels has the power to effect his own "resurrection" from wounds thought to be incurable. He is the master of every situation. The angels will not allow Jesus to stub his toe on a rock,cg much less fall on his head (as happened to Tut). His life cannot be taken from him, but is offered up only at the time and place of his choosing. Although wrongly persecuted, Jesus could not and would not be a victim.

Role-playing was an integral part of the ancient Jewish culture regarding history. Therefore, everything that was known about the earlier Jesus/Joshua II had to be carefully woven into the Gospel accounts. Most if not all of relevant Old Testament "prophesy" was likely choreographed as a reenactment, including his death defying crucifixion and mock resurrection. However, it would have required more than bravery to stage these last events. The real Jesus was a well-pedigreed claimant to the defunct throne of He was from an elite Jewish family with substantial influence. At least one member of the Sanhedrin was in on the movement. Such contacts were used to "hasten the death" of Jesus and remove him from the cross as quickly as possible. It not only served to fulfill earlier history but also dramatically improved his chances for a full recovery. 

In the New Testament re-dramatization, the High Priest Caiaphas represents the High-Priest Panehesy (Phinehas II) of the Old The Zadokite priesthood of Jesus' day claimed descent and divine authority from Panehesy. The killing of Tut (Joshua II) by the founder of the Zadokite order made for a convenient point of attack. The 1st Century AD Jesus set out to prove that if given the opportunity, Caiaphas would do just as Panehesy had done. There was no better way for the Messianic order to make their point other than to demonstrate that the Zadokites were willing and able to kill Tut (and by association Osiris) all over again. "Foreign" troops had assisted Panehesy in his execution of Tut. Likewise, Caiaphas did not personally try to crucify Jesus, but arranged for Roman soldiers to carry it out.

Two-Edged Sword

After the abdication of Akhenaten and succession of Tut, the worship of all the gods was once more allowed. However, it is not the liberal policy of his kingly tenure, but the impassioned character of Elisha's earlier three-year prophetical ministry that is best remembered in Christianity. During his own three-year ministry, Jesus chooses to "turn the other cheek" against the accuser. He also rebukes Peter for "taking up the sword" to defend him, but declares that the time would come when his followers would become militant. Tolerance was also initially encouraged in the persecuted Church, but was a quality lost when Christianity became an implement of the Roman state. The appeal of purity and freedom of the heart would be transformed into yet another cult that facilitated domination by a ruling elite. Those who refused to accept Jesus as Messiah or the authority of the Church were not only to be damned in the next life, but also expeditiously removed from this one. For the better part of two millennia, Christianity became guide, guardian and even guillotine. It was two short steps forward and at least one long step back. And now we must again answer the call, Quo Vadis?

If you're looking for a saint in all of this history, there ain't! Not everyone thought Tut was a darling angel. Although his funerary mask is one of the most beautiful works of art ever, Tut in actuality was a bit of a freak, at least physically. His measurements were a pear shaped 31-29-43. In addition to being Joshua, the young aid of Moses, he is also characterized in the Torah as a repetition of the "wicked Balaam," who practiced magic and tempted Israel to err. The New Testament does not hide the flip side of its hero. In emulation of Tut, it was necessary for the baby Jesus to be visited by Magi from the East, and to go down to Egypt, the land of stone gods and snake charmers. As an adult, Jesus does not glory in physical might or sexual prowess, but is depicted as somewhat frail and effeminate. He does not toil by day, but leads all-night mystical initiations. Through Jesus of the Gospels came a revival in god-king worship and belief in a spirit world. Although in a new and sanitized form, these practices had long since been denounced as idolatry and witchcraft in Judaism. Moreover, Christianity offered the kingly delusion of immortality to the masses as an incentive to trust and obey. With it was imposed the peculiar form of internecine strife that also was once reserved for royalty.cj

Evidently Jesus did survive his designer ordeal, however he may have sustained permanent damage, not only physically but also mentally. After token appearances to his followers, Jesus withdrew, presumably not only for his protection but to also seek further therapy. It was necessary that Jesus live, but not sufficient. Without popular and political support, he would be no more god or king than any of his ancestors. The learned leaders, his chief rivals, were not amused by his re-dramatization of Scripture. Those of the Torah school of thought were weary and leery of savior figures, if not outright rejecting the whole idea of Jewish kingship. They recognized the carefully crafted intrigue of Jesus for what it was. Those who favored the return of Jewish independence probably looked to the Maccabees as their example. However, it would take time and luck to strike a deal with a Roman ruler, as Judas Maccabee had earlier done with a Greek contender to the Seleucid throne.

The common people were too scattered, confused and afraid to rally behind Jesus. He had no other option than to go away, watch, and wait for the opportunity to return with power and glory. The final miracle did not occur. That generation passed away, but the end of the age and of that present race of men did His Church could only perpetuate the messianic hope. The old prophesies were rehashed concerning the inevitable and catastrophic end of the age when Joshua would once more appear. If holding true to form, he would again be born as the seed (new race) of a greater goddess. In his infancy, he is to miraculously escape being killed by the forces that resist his Upon maturity, he would arise with enmity against the leaders of the wicked old race and defeat

The ingenious and daring play of Jesus for Jewish self-determination did not create a spontaneous uprising on the part of his nation. His passion ultimately did change the Roman world, but not as the architects could have envisioned. Although courageous, when insurrections finally did occur in 70 and 132 AD they were brutally crushed, and any hope of autonomy lost. Yet, a branch of Davidic kingship may indeed have taken root in Western Europe by virtue of the concomitant Moreover, the tailored Gospel of Paul would be widely accepted by non-Jews of Mediterranean states. Outside of Israel, Roman subjects were already favorably predisposed to Christianity through "forerunner" Osiris cults, such as Serapis, which had already achieved widespread popularity by the time of Although the fulfillment of "prophesy" by Jesus had little or no cultural meaning for "Gentiles," the appeal of freely granted eternal life and release from earthly fears was irresistible.

  1. Isaiah 11:6
  2. 2 Kings 6:8-23
  3. 2 Kings 6:12 (KJV)
  4. 2 Kings 6:21 (KJV)
  5. 2 Kings 6:22 [A king such as Aye would have his soldiers capture real enemies.]
  6. 2 Kings 6:24-7:20
  7. 2 Kings 7:1
  8. 2 Kings 6:32
  9. 2 Kings 8
  10. Again see 2 Kings 6:32
  11. Abdi-Ashirta, the Amarna letter pen name of Ben-Hadad means, "servant of (the goddess) Astartu/Asherah." Possibly this reflects a special allegiance to Queen Tiye.
  12. The next notable king of Hamath after Irhulena (Yuya) was called Zakkur, a king of unknown origins who challenged Hazael for the role of Issachar. For a discussion of the Zakhur stela, see Wayne Pitard, Ancient Damascus.
  13. Psalms 8:2, Math. 21:16
  14. EA 156. Hatip is likely either Jehu-Ipy or Haya-Amenhotep son of Aper-el.
  15. EA 165.
  16. W. Moran, The Amarna Letters, EA 164.
  17. Translation in W. Moran, The Amarna Letters, EA 167.
  18. 2 Kings 9:1-10:14. The phrase, "let none escape to tell" found in 2 Kings 9:15 is an allusion to an earlier massacre of David.
  19. See Chapter 10, Endnote 9.
  20. Judges 9:5. For the association of David and Abimelech, see Chapters 9-12 of this book.
  21. Tut would also be credited with smiting Israel's perennial whipping boy, the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-16), very early in his reign as Thutmose I had done (1 Sam. 30; 2 Sam. 1:1), another feat that was staged for the young prince as a deliberate repetition.
  22. 2 Kings 10:15
  23. (7394) from rakab, "to ride (in a chariot)"
  24. 2 Kings 9:36; 10:10,17
  25. 2 Kings 10:18-29
  26. 1 Kings 18:19-40
  27. Joan Oates, Babylon, p 64. See also pp 57, 63, 70-1 for the characterization of Ay.
  28. ayir (5895) ah'-yeer, a young ass (as just broken to a load)
    athown (860) aw-thone', a female ass
    For the Egyptian etymology, see Jan Assmann, Moses the Egyptian, p 37.
  29. 1 Kings 18:5. Donkeys are there called pered/parad (6505/4) peh'-red/paw-rad', and behmah (929) be-hay-mah'.
  30. Ginzberg, 'The Legends of the Jews, Vol. II, p. 297. See also commentary in A. Collins & C. Ogilvie-Herald, Tutankhamun: The Exodus Conspiracy, p 285.
  31. Num. 24:17-19
  32. sariyd (8300) "a survivor"; iyr (5892) "city" Cf Ur/light
    It stands to reason that the unnamed city refers to Akhet-aten, the Kadesh ("Holy City") to which the Exodus survivors were brought by Akhenaten.
  33. Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, 27.10, p 110. See also the discussion in Chapter 3 of Archaeology and the Patriarchs.
  34. 2 Kings 5:18-19 (KJV). (Naaman is called Ya-nhamu in the Amarna letters and is one of the Biblical names of the future pharaoh Horemheb.)
  35. 2 Kings 13:14 (KJV)
  36. 2 Kings 13:17 (KJV)
  37. 2 Kings 13:20-25
  38. W. Pitard, Ancient Damascus, p 169.
  39. In the Gospels, Jesus is quoted as saying, "Wheresoever the [dying] body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." Math 24:28; Luke 17:37 Cf Job 39:27-30 The "eagles" represent rival princes who wish to take the throne for themselves. Jesus (as Elisha) is taken by Satan (as Seti/Jehoash) to a high mountain (rather than an upper room). Seti was given his due, but denied the chance to be Joshua. Satan was likewise refused by Jesus. Math. 4:8-10
  40. Donald Redford, Akhenaten: The Heretic King, p 209.
  41. Nebkheprure was the prenomen of Tut.
  42. Cyril Aldred, Akhenaten, p 295.
  43. Donald Redford, Akhenaten: The Heretic King, p 210.
  44. Jeremiah 35
  45. Num. 23:10 (NIV)
  46. In the Gospels, this was reenacted in the Palm Sunday entry of Jerusalem by Jesus.
  47. 2 Kings 13:21
  48. It will be shown in a later chapter that by the time of Ramses VI, troops from Mesopotamia were being brought across the Euphrates into Egypt and exploited in succession battles.
  49. See diagram in Nicholas Reeves, The Complete Tutankhamun, p 55.
  50. John Romer, Ancient Lives, p 145.
  51. The misshapen body of Tut was euphemized by his Horus name:
    Ka-nakht tut-mesut, "Strong bull, fitting-of-created-forms." (Definition by Nicholas Reeves, The Complete Tutankhamun, p 25.)
  52. In addition to being a variant of the name Thoth/Tutu, who perfected the process of mummification.
  53. Mal. 4:5
  54. Math. 11:14 (KJV)
  55. Cf 2 Kings 6:1-7 and Math 17:24-27
  56. Math 22:21; Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25
  57. Luke 1:17, Mal. 4:6
  58. Luke 2:41-52
  59. Cf John 11:35, John 15:11 and John 16:20
  60. Besides his odd physique, the young Tut had the shaven head and side-lock of Egyptian youth, a strange sight in Israel. We are told that the children who teased him were roughed up, (Heb. baqa (1234) tare/mauled, not necessarily killed) by a "bear."
  61. Math 5:44; Luke 6:28
  62. Math 18:22
  63. Math 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-34
  64. Math 10:28; Luke 12:4
  65. 1 Kings 17:17-24 (See discussion in Chapter 26 of Archaeology & the Patriarchs.)
  66. 1 Kings 13:6 Cf Luke 6:6-1; Math. 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6
  67. 1 Kings 13
  68. Aye "son" of Yuya (Joseph) is variously called Jerimoth (Ya-rimuta of Aram). In the New Testament, his role is played by "Joseph of Aramathea."
  69. Luke 24:27, 44; Math 26:56
  70. Prov. 8:22-31; Ps. 102:23-28; Ps 45:6-7; 2 Sam. 7:13-16; Is 9:6, 41:4, 44:6, 48:12
  71. Is. 7:14-15, 9:6, 53:2
  72. Is 40:3, Mal 3:1, 4:5
  73. Is 32:3-4, 35:5-6, 53:5
  74. Sam. 7:14, Is 53:3-12
  75. Ps. 132:11, Is. 9:7; 11-3-5, 32:1, 42:3-4; Jer. 23:5
  76. Is 11:6-9, 16:5, 40:2, 11, 42:2-3, Zech. 9:9
  77. Is 11:2, 42:1, 61:1
  78. Is 42:1, 49:3, 6, 52:13, 53:11
  79. Is 9:2, 43:6, 49:6, 60:3 (See also Math 4:16)
  80. Is 16:5, Mal. 3:1
  81. Is. 9:6
  82. The birthplace of Tut is assumed to be Akhet-aten, however Micah 5:2 suggests that Queen Tiye actually gave birth to him in the Bethlehem of Egypt, i.e., Akhmin.
  83. Math 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-36
  84. As detailed in the Book of Revelation
  85. Ps. 91:11-12
  86. Math 1:1-17; Luke 3:23:37
  87. Technically, Panehesy was only High Priest elect at the time of Tut's killing.
  88. Math 10:34-36
  89. According to the NIV, the Greek word genea (1074) from genos (1085) found in Math. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32 can be translated as "race."
  90. Revelation 12
  91. Revelation 16-18. (Armageddon is mentioned in Rev. 16:16.)
  92. Laurence Gardner, Bloodline of the Holy Grail.
  93. Ahmed Osman, Out of Egypt.

Note 1:

The conflation between Elisha and Elijah is understandable considering their frequent company, and the similarity in their births and Hebrew popular names. The miracles of multiplying food and raising the widow's son are attributed to both Elijah and Elisha. Rather than choose between competing traditions, the author/compiler preserved both. There is also an obvious confusion regarding the seven-year absence of the Shunammite woman. Likely she abandoned her property in the reign of Smenkhkare (Elijah) and had it restored to her in the reign of Tut (Elisha).

The source of conflation between the "twins" Mesha-Elijah and Mesh-Jeroboam is also now evident (see Chapter 26). As a final source of confusion, the names Abijah (another epithet of Smenkhkare-Elijah) and Nadab (another epithet of Tut-Elisha) are used, as expected, for the sons of Moses (Akhenaten). However, the sons of Aaron/Jeroboam the Elder (Aanen) and Phineas/Jeroboam the Younger (Pa-nehesy) are also given these names. This served to further compound the conflation between Elijah and Elisha. A statement made about Abijah, one of the sons of Jeroboam, is obviously dislocated and should instead have been applied to Elisha. It reads: "All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only one belonging to Jeroboam who will be buried, he is the only one . the God of Israel has found anything good."

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