"To No One's Regret"
(Horemheb Celebrated, but Not in Thebes)
Ornament of the King
The Horemheb who commissioned the Leiden Stela is named therein as the son of Neby. This would have made him the great-grandson of Thutmose III through his father Neby and grandfather Amenemhet. However, at Medinet Habu, pharaoh Horemheb made the seemingly contradictory claim that Thutmose III was his great-great-grandfather, literally, "the father of the father of the father of his father." Either these two Horemheb's were not one and the same person (the currently accepted academic position), or there is an extra generation between Horemheb and Neby that was not made explicit in the Leiden Stela. The investigation of this issue is further complicated by the fact that the future pharaoh Horemheb was not attested by this name prior to the reign of Tut, at which time he suddenly emerged as the "Deputy" and even the "Prince Regent" of the young king. However, as has so often been true of other great kings, we should expect that Horemheb was not only known by many names at different times in his life, but that he was able to legitimately claim more than one man as his "father." (In the culture of the court, a prince could have four different types of fathers - natural, legal, adoptive, and political.)
In order to sort out the career of Horemheb and find a possible "missing link" in his personal genealogy, it will be necessary to further examine the family of Neby within the context of the late 18th Dynasty. During the reign of Amenhotep III there was a nobleman named Itj-tawy, who held the title, "Overseer of the Herds of Amun." Itj-tawy was a name that would have been highly appropriate for a prince within the House of Amenemhet (son of Thutmose III), as was his office.a Itj-tawy, meaning "Seizer of the Two Lands" had been an epithet of Pharaoh Amenemhet I in the Middle Kingdom, and the name of the new capital city he built for himself in Lower Egypt near Memphis.b Furthermore, the leading son of the New Kingdom Itj-tawy was called Amenemhet.c This Amenemhet, also known by the epithet of Surer, acquired the titles "superintendent of the cattle and fields of Amun, superintendent of the gates of Amun, and scribe of the god's treasury of Amun." d Later in his tenure under Amenhotep III he is described as "hereditary prince, count, unique friend with the right of approach to his lord, king's chief steward, king's scribe, … fan-bearer on the kings' right hand … grandee in the king's house." e
The mother of Amenemhet/Surer was called Mut-Tuy and distinguished as an Ornament of the King. "While the titles of 'royal favorite' and 'royal ornament,' especially when held by young maidens wearing the unique fillet, are suggestive of harem residency, there are instances of these titles being held by women who are the wives of high-ranking courtiers." f The title would naturally have been considered a great honor and show of favor in the court. Solomon is said to have had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines.g It is somewhat unexpected that the welfare of minor wives would be a kingly concern, however we are told that Solomon not only loved many "strange women," but also accommodated their preferences. So much so, that they are blamed for turning his heart away from "the Lord." Nevertheless, the greatest kindness shown to these wives would have been their release from the isolation of the harem and the chance to have a home with a husband of their own. It was also of political benefit to the king. Any children born to these women after leaving the harem of Solomon would have been considered the king's own sons in a symbolic or legal sense.
Before becoming pharaoh of all Egypt and Great King of the family empire, Horemheb was pharaoh of Libya under the throne name of Osorkon II. The mother of Osorkon II is identified by the Libyan name/nickname of Lady Kapes.h In Egyptian, the kap was a school for royal children, so perhaps the Lady Kapes doubled as Head Mistress. As a Libyan (Indo-European) name, Kapes connotes "the head" or a "covering for the head," as in the English word cape. The head ornament of the pharaoh was the uraeus, which incorporated the adorning and guarding vulture and cobra goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt. The living goddesses of Egypt during the reign of Amenhotep III were Queen Tiye (Maacah) and her mother Tuya (Asenath), the king's mother Mutemwia (Dinah?), and perhaps also the still living Tia (Leah).
It is certainly possible that Amenhotep III offered Neby a young maiden to be his wife or concubine. However, the fact that Horemheb did become pharaoh is a strong indication, and almost proof in itself, that his mother was no ordinary harem girl. Rather it would argue that the name Mut-Tuy was a variant of Tuya (Asenath),1 who in the days of her own maidenhood was first an "ornament of the king" in the harem of Thutmose IV, but was given in marriage to his half-brother Yuya. Yuya and Tuya became the parents of Aanen and Tiye, however another son Aye was born to Tuya by Thutmose IV. It was shown in the previous chapter that upon the death of Thutmose IV, Yuya then formed a similar marriage bond with his (legal) half-brother Neby. Tuya became a wife of Neby, after which Aanen functioned as an "eldest son" of Neby. In this capacity Aanen was better known as Vizier Amenhotep and Amenhotep-son-of-Hapu. Neby and Tuya went on to have two sons, Ramose and Itj-tawy. At question is whether Tuya gave Neby yet another son, Amenemhet/Surer, not by Neby directly but through her son Itj-tawy.
Queen Tiye, the daughter of Tuya, had at least three sons through her own sons. It was also shown that the earlier Queen Tia (Biblical Leah) had a son Milkilu (Baasha) through her son Osokhor (Hamar/Issachar), and that she attempted to have a child by another son, Thutmose IV (Judah). Although it perhaps cannot be proven, it must nevertheless be expected that Queen Tuya attempted to do the same, and that she was successful in bearing the hereditary prince Amenemhet through her son Itj-tawy. This would certainly explain the great favor bestowed on Amenemhet/Surer within the House of Joseph. It would also have allowed Horemheb to claim at least three "fathers." In addition to being the natural son of Itj-tawy, he would have been the legal son of Neby (and by extension also of Yuya/Hapu), as well as the adopted and political son of the great king Amenhotep III. Furthermore, the nature of his "holy birth" through the union of mother and son placed him in the very privileged company of Smenkhare, Tutankhamun, and Sheshonq II. These factors, although speculative, along with additional evidence to be presented below, make Amenemhet/Surer the best candidate for the future pharaoh Horemheb.
A Son Blessed for the Sin of his Father
The genealogy of Reuben lists four sons. Although only two sons by Tuya were true sons of Neby, tradition may have dictated that Reuben be credited with four prominent sons in fulfillment of Middle Kingdom precedent. Hanoch, the first, was identified as Amenhotep-son-of-Hapu/Vizier Amenhotep/Huy/Aanen/Si-Mut.i The third, Hezron, is an epithet of Middle Kingdom Issachar, which was evidently applied to Horemheb when he achieved prominence in Aram under the name of Hazael/Hezion. Late in the reign of Akhenaten, Hazael was appointed as king of Aram by Akhenaten, at which time he assumed the Amarna Letter penname of Aziru, a variant of Ezer (the epithet of Issachar). A short time after this Horemheb/Hazael rebelled against Akhenaten and accepted co-regency alongside Aye-Sheshonq in the Libyan throne. As Osorkon II, Horemheb assumed both the name and identity of Issachar previously held by Osorkon I.
It was shown previously (Chapter 22) that the fourth son of Reuben, Carmi/Zimri,j was the assassin of Elah son of Baasha king of Israel. Only a week later, Carmi/Zimri burned down the palace of Tirzah (the capital of tribal Issachar) and immolated himself within it rather than surrender to Omri.k These events occurred in Year 28 of Amenhotep III. A mural in the tomb of Vizier Ramose depicts the installment of Amenhotep IV (future Akhenaten) as co-regent (in Year 27) of Amenhotep III, and in what would become the characteristic Amarna style. Work on the tomb ended shortly thereafter. Ramose was then likely still alive in Year 28 of Amenhotep III (Year 1 or 2 of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten), but possibly this was his final year. If so, then he logically corresponds to Carmi/Zimri. By process of elimination, the second son of Reuben, Phallu ("distinguished"), corresponds to Itj-tawy.
If Ramose did not die in Year 28 of Amenhotep III,l then he is Phallu, and Itj-tawy corresponds to Carmi/Zimri. Ramose was probably older than Itj-tawy, and he certainly was certainly more distinguished than Itj-tawy during the reign of Amenhotep III. He should have been placed second after Vizier Amenhotep (Hanoch) among the sons of Neby (Reuben). If he was placed last, then perhaps it was due to his coup and suicide.m Alternatively, if Itj-tawy was the assassin Zimri, then he was put last in the list and placed after his own true son Horemheb. Regardless, the career of Hezron (Horemheb) was not damaged.n If anything, it cleared the way for Hezron to become even greater in Israel and Syria. Carmi/Zimri had in effect performed a valuable service and even taken a fall for the House of Joseph by putting an end to the rival dynasty of king Baasha (Milkilu) son of Issachar (Osokhor A).
In the early Middle Kingdom, a son of archetypal Reuben (Montuhotep I/Manishtushu), namely Levi (Montuhotep II), had assassinated Judah (Rimush). The New Kingdom Judah, namely Thutmose IV, died young and before the reign of Amenhotep III. However, it seems tradition still dictated that a son of Neby, the New Kingdom Reuben, should commit a high-profile murder. Itj-tawy or Ramose assumed the part, possibly because they also had another fatalistic role to play, that of their namesake Zimri-Lim of the late Middle Kingdom. Zimri-Lim was a one-time friend and ally of Hammurabi, however the two kings had a falling out. Late in his reign Hammurabi attacked and destroyed the city and opulent royal compound of Zimri-Lim at Mari on the Euphrates.o The actions of the New Kingdom Zimri suggest that the earlier Zimri-Lim had committed some offence, possibly even murder, and that he had set fire to his own palace and took his own life rather than face a vengeful Hammurabi.
Horemheb, Horus of Jubilees
The first and by association the foremost of 12 district governors under king Solomon (Amenhotep III) is named as Ben-Hur, "(King's) son Hur," who administered the tribal region of Ephraim on behalf of the crown.p The traditional territory of Ephraim corresponds to central Palestine and is adjacent to tribal Issachar. It would have been considered part of Lower Retenu (Aram) in the Egyptian administration. By comparison, another familiar figure, Jehoshaphat, is the 10th of those 12 district governors, and was placed over the tribal region of Issachar.q Jehoshaphat was the grandson of Issachar (Osokhor A/Crown Prince Amenhotep) son of Jacob. His father was Aye-Sheshonq, identified previously as the Biblical king Asa and husband of Azuba.r
Although both Jehoshaphat and Amenemhet/Surer (Ben-Hur) aspired to take the place of the slain Issachar, this role had already been given to another son of Sheshonq, namely Osorkon I. Nevertheless, the reputation of Amenemhet/Surer in Aram was sufficiently established by Year 30 of Amenhotep III that he was referred to even in Thebes by the name of Nefer-Sekheru, "connoting, "Issachar the Lesser" and "Beautiful/Perfect Issachar." (On the other hand, Issachar son of Jacob was compared to an ugly raw-boned donkey.) The parents of Nefer-Sekheru were named as Neby and Hepu. Neby we already know. Hepu is a variant of Apu-aa/Ipuia/Tutuya, the names given to the wife of Neby in the tomb of Ramose. (See previous chapter). Amenhotep III must have considered Amenemhet/Surer as the more appealing choice for the role of Issachar, and it was only a matter of time before he would lay claim to it.
It was in Year 30, only about two years after the death of Biblical Carmi/Zimri, that Amenhotep III celebrated his Year 30 Heb Sed Festival, also called a Jubilee. As noted above, Amenemhet/Surer was by this time recognized as the "king's chief steward, king's scribe, … fan-bearer on the kings' right hand … grandee in the king's house." s Under the name of Nefersekheru, he was designated as a scribe, as "steward of the palace (called) 'Nebmaatra is the Dazzling Sun-Disk' " at Malqata, and as a "controller of the two thrones" and 'director of the two thrones in the undertaking of the jubilee.' t The subject jubilee was that of Amenhotep III's Year 30, during which the majesty of the king became, as it were, even more stupendous through his uniting with the Aten. (As pharaoh of Egypt, Horemheb would later choose the Horus name of Ka-nakhte Seped-Sekheru, "Strong Bull, (one who is) effective of plans/counsels.")
The Exodus of Hammurabi, archetypal Moses, followed soon after the Year 30 Jubilee of Amenemhet III in the Middle Kingdom. Likewise, Akhenaten was evicted from Thebes after the Jubilee of Amenhotep III. Many leading officials were required to support Akhenaten in his new home, including Amenemhet/Nefersekheru. Although he likely supervised two more Heb-Sed festivals in Years 34 and 37 (as Nefersekheru), the name of Amenemhet/Surer is not known after Year 31 of Amenhotep III. Neither does this name reappear in the city of Akhet-aten, for the name of Amen was not tolerated there. The names Hor and Hur also were prohibited, as they were a form of the god Horus. Instead, Amenemhet chose or was given the name of Pa-Aten-em-Heb at Akhet-aten. This was a name that thoroughly reflected the glory of the "Great Hor," Amenhotep III, in his recently celebrated Heb-Sed, and the honor that Amenemhet/Nefer-sekheru had received (along with Amenhotep-son-of-Hapu) in conducting it.u The later form Hor-em-heb identified this hereditary prince as Horus in the House of Heby.
A Syrian Officer and Gentleman
In Chapters 25-27, a new context for the ministry of Elisha was established in the period immediately following the death of Solomon (Amenhotep III) and succession of Rehobaom (Akhenaten). Among the exploits of the young prophet is the healing of a certain Syrian military man Naaman:
"Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper." 2 Kings 5:1 (KJV)
Naaman is called "captain of the host," that is, Commander of the Army in Syria. During this period Syria was primarily being oppressed by Shalmaneser III of Assyria from the north. Naaman evidently became famous for his role in the battles dated to Years 6, 10, 11, 14 and 18 of Shalmaneser III (corresponding to Years 3, 7, 8, 11 and 15 of Akhenaten). Naaman is called great, honorable and a mighty man in valor, very high praise for any Biblical character, especially one who is also a Syrian. He was the instrument by which "the Lord," referring to Amenhotep III and/or Akhenaten, checked the advance of Assryia. In the Amarna Tablets, Naaman is also a leading figure, and is called by the West Semitic variant of Yanhmanu (which is also written as Yanhama/Yenhamu/ Enhamu/Ianhamu/Yankhamu). "Ianhama, the pharaoh's deputy in Syria, was sent to the king of Damascus with prerogatives similar to those which Aman-appa had when he was with the king of Samaria. Naaman's title in the Scriptures – sar – is also used in the letters. He was a plenipotentiary of the king of Egypt, in charge of the army and walled cities in Amuru land (Syria), later also the overseer of stores of grain … [and] in charge of the pharaoh's treasury in Syria, being over 'money and clothing.' " v
"That Yanhamu, whose normal bailiwick was Canaan, was involved on occasion in affairs farther north might suggest that he outranked the other commissioners who were posted there … Indeed, it is frustrating not only that so commanding a figure remains unidentifiable outside of the Amarna Letters but also that his status in Pharaoh's administration is so unclear: the only title Yanhamu is ever given, 'parasol-bearer of the king,' is an honorific indicator of courtly rank that leaves open the official basis of his power, and thus also his historic role in Egyptian service … If Aper-El was an Egyptian with a foreign name, the same might also be true of Yanhamu; the naming of both men, hitherto regarded as prima facie evidence of their foreign origins, might only reflect a fashionable taste for the exotic, which continued into the later New Kingdom." w
In the Amarna correspondence, Yanhmanu is called the parasol-bearer or fan-bearerx of Akhenaten. Although seemingly an unimportant office, it implies the highest level of access and trust with the king. Moreover, this is the same title claimed by Amenemhet/Surer and later by Horemheb in his Saqqara tomb.y Naaman emerges as far more than a Syrian commander, but also a hereditary prince of Egypt with intimate access to the ruling pharaoh himself, not only in the reign of Amenhotep III, but also in those of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun.
The Biblical Hebrew name Na'aman means "pleasantness," and is consistent with the equable nature of Horemheb.z Na-amun can also connote, "I pray (to) Amun." It makes for a clever pun on Akhenaten's prohibition of Amun and also the birth name of Horemheb, which was Amenemhet, "Amen is foremost." In this sense, Horemheb was Na-Amun, that is, "no (longer) Amen(-emhet)." The Amarna Letter name Ya-nhamu is translated as, "(God) has comforted." It is reminiscent of a later Biblical king Menahem, "Brother of Comfort," who like Hazael was a scourge of Israel rather than divine consoler. Written as En-Hamu, the Amarna Letter name connotes, "Lord Hamu/Horus/Hur."
In the Kings narrative, Elisha proscribes a cure for Naaman's leprosy - bathing in the Jordan. This probably entailed washing in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, which have documented healing properties for certain types of skin disorders. This episode of Elisha and Naaman would have occurred after the battle of Year 11 of Akhenaten, but before the battle of Year 15, at which time Naaman was no longer only general but king over all Aram under the name of Hazael. After his appointment as king of Aram, Hazael/Aziru redoubled his attacks on Rib-Haddi by direction of Akhenaten. In EA 83,aa Rib-Haddi begged Akhenaten to save him from the power of Yanhmanu. Yanhmanu then turned suddenly from being an enemy and persecutor of Rib-Haddi and became by all appearances his most valued friend. In EA 106, the caged bird Rib-Haddi had completely changed his tune. He actually urged Akhenaten to appoint Yanhmanu as the new commissioner of Sumer and reported that "he is a wise man and all people love him." In EA 118, Rib-Haddi goes so far as to say "there is no servant like Ianhama, a faithful servant to the king." ab
Disloyalty of Royalty
Hazael appears in the Biblical account as though no introduction is necessary. The relationship of Hazael to his predecessor Ben-Hadad king of Aram is not made explicit in the Kings narrative, nor is he given a title such as "captain of the host," the one given to Naaman. Likewise, nothing is known about the antecedents of Hazael from archaeology. He is simply assumed to have been an official of Ben-Hadad and a usurper. It is concluded here that (Ben-)Hur and Jehoram were popular names of Horemheb in Israel, whereas he was better known in Syria as Naaman/Yanhmanu and Hazael. Late in the reign of Akhenaten, Horemheb was appointed by Akhenaten to succeed Ben-Hadad as king of Aram, and therefore was not technically a usurper. As the legitimate king of Aram, Horemheb wrote to Akhenaten using the pen name of Aziru (Ezer), a form of Issachar/Osokhor.
Rib-Haddi writes to Akhenaten, "Aziru and Yapah-Hadda have made an agreement against me … Who are they, the sons of Abdi-Ashirta … May the king send archers (and) Yanha<mu> … from the land of Yarimuta." ac Strangely, Rib-Haddi claimed that Aziru was still hounding him mercilessly, but almost as an afterthought he asked Akhenaten to send Yanhamu in order to give him relief from Aziru. This letter would seem to preclude the association of Aziru with Yanhamu, and both with Horemheb. But does it? It was common for kings of this time to include riddles in their letters to one another.ad Akhenaten certainly knew the true identity or identities of Aziru and Yanhmanu, as did Aye. Is Aye angrily toying with and taunting Akhenaten in this letter? Is Aye effectively telling Akhenaten that the days "on the throne of your father's house" ae are numbered, because Aziru/Yanhamu had already changed his allegiance?af
Velikovsky concluded that the volte face of Yanhmanu was due to his healing by Elisha. However, it can now be understood that Rib-Haddi had proposed a new deal to Yanhmanu and that both had become fully committed to overthrowing Akhenaten. In his final letters, it is clear that Rib-Haddi was outraged at the policies of the crown. However, no other minister was so bold as Rib-Haddi in expressing his disapproval of Akhenaten. The pharaoh was receiving conflicting reports from many sources. It was necessary for him to compare all the information available to him, and even to read between the lines of messages in order to discern the true state of affairs and the growing conspiracy against him.
Rib-Haddi wrote that Yanhamu was a loyal servant like no other, but the actions of his alter ego Aziru obviously spoke otherwise.
In response, Akhenaten composed a threatening letter to Aziru. The Great King actually admits that he had carefully considered the words of Aziru's letters, and no doubt had also compared them closely with the words of Rib-Haddi and other informants. Akhenaten had solved their little riddle. Aziru, as Rib-Haddi had long been, was no longer altogether "friendly" towards him. Barely restrained he chides Aziru, "were you ignorant of the treacherousness of the men? If you really are the king's servant, why did you not denounce him [Rib-Haddi] … and if you did act loyally, still all the things you wrote were not true." ag Aziru could not be the loyal servant that he claimed to be, or as Rib-Haddi claimed that he (Yanhmanu) was. Akhenaten went on to accuse Aziru of veiled aggression toward the crown. He warned Aziru that he was in danger of destruction by fire and that his entire family would be killed by the king's axe. Nevertheless, he concluded by giving Aziru the opportunity to redeem himself. The duplicity of Rib-Haddi had reached new limits, and Akhenaten was now beside himself in loneliness, if not in fury. He no longer had anyone he could rely upon, so he only cajoled Aziru to fulfill his duty as commanded.
In the "Mesha Rebellion" Smenkhare joined forces with Horemheb in order to bring Aye to ruin. Shortly thereafter, and upon the death of Aye's son Iuput (Jehoshaphat), Smenkhare boldly entered Thebes and reopened the Karnak Temple of Amun. However, this was followed immediately by the defection of Horemheb to the side of Aye in the plot to overthrow Akhenaten. He was induced with an appointment as pharaoh of Libya, and assumed the name of Osorkon (II). As part of the new world order, Horemheb aided and abetted Aye in the sacking of Akhenaten, father and regent of Smenkhare. He also put the sons of Iuput and other princes to death. This change in allegiance naturally prompted a scathing rebuke from Smenkhare. According to 2 Chron 21:12-15, Elijah sent a letter to the new king Jehoram in order to denounce him and prophesy his downfall.
This is the only mention of Elijah in the Chronicles narrative, and the cursing of Jehoram by Elijah is not mentioned in the Kings narrative. In the Kings narrative, Elijah instead prophesies against Ahaziah (Takelot I). Both Ahaziah and Joram (Osorkon I) were killed a short time later. The Chronicles Narrative is grasping to explain how the administration of the venerated Jehoshaphat was eliminated so completely and brutally upon his death. It goes so far as to state that Jehoram was the "firstborn son" of Jehoshaphat, and that this was the reason he was given power in Jerusalem rather than a number of other notable officials named as the sons of Jehoshaphat. However, this was not the case. Jehoram took power by authority of Ahab (Aye-Sheshonq), and as part of the coup that brought down "the Lord" (Akhenaten) himself and his henchman Jehoshaphat. If a letter of reprimand was in fact sent by Elijah to Jehoram, it must have occurred about the time that Akhenaten was deposed, because Smenkhare-Elijah himself only survived for a few months longer.
Cushioning the Fall
It would have been the expected role of Amenhotep III (as a repetition of Middle Kingdom Amenemhet III) to play "pharaoh of the Exodus." However, he was no longer living in Year 17 of Akhenaten. The role of persecuting Moses and his followers, and chasing him from Egypt was assumed by Aye (Sheshonq), Horemheb (Osorkon II), and also by Ramses, who had recently been appointed as the Libyan pharaoh Takelot II. After the abdication of Akhenaten, Tutankhaten's name was changed to Tutankhamun. Similarly, Pa-Aten-em-heb became Horemheb ("God of Jubilees"). This name was transliterated into Greek as Choragos, "God of Celebration." In the Oedipus plays, the abdication of Oedipus (Akhenaten) is demanded by Creon (Aye). Choragos (Horemheb) is characterized as a mediator between Creon and Oedipus. In contrast to Creon, Choragos has an agreeable nature, and gently pleads with Oedipus to take the fall for the good of the country.
In Exodus, Aaron and Hur prop up the arms of Moses during a battle of the Israelites with the Amalekites. Hur of the first Exodus was likely a friend and ally of Auibre/Hammurabi. He possibly corresponds to a late Middle Kingdom prince known as Amenemhet Hor-nedj-heritef, i.e., Amenemhet "(Horus) Avenger of His Father." Very little is known about this prince. However, his role as archetypal Hur can be nearly deduced from the New Kingdom history. In the later period, the role of Hur was again assumed by a prince named Amenemhet, who bore the epithets of Surer and Ben-Hur. Horemheb also had compelling reason to look for justice. His grandfather (and legal father) Heby/Neby had been disgraced for dubious cause by Amenhotep II (Jacob) father of Yuya (Joseph/Omri). Moreover, Biblical Zimri, who was either his natural father or brother (Ramose or Itj-tawy) had been attacked by Omri and was compelled to take his own life at Tirzah.
Precedent for Power
Prior to becoming pharaoh, Horemheb is thought to have campaigned with or for Tutankhamun. His first certain appearance under the name of Horemheb was at this time.
Horemheb claimed, among a great many other things, to be Tut's "Deputy," "Seal Bearer," i.e., Chancellor, and even "Prince Regent." This latter designation is consistent with the model presented here that Horemheb was made heir to the greater throne, with the one stipulation that he outlive Aye. In the office of Chancellor Horemheb would have been considered a repetition of the earlier Chancellor Hur in the Middle Kingdom (and/or early Hyksos Period).2
Upon the death of Tut, Aye took the throne in fulfillment of his personal archetypes, Shar-kali-sharri (11th Dynasty) and Merneferre Ay (13th Dynasty). Also consistent with precedent, Aye was not expected to pass the greater throne on to a natural son, but by prior agreement instead named Horemheb as his co-regent.ah The rival king Shalmaneser III of Assyria denigrated Horemheb (Hazael) as a "son of a nobody." In fact, the father of Horemheb was not a great king, neither was his grandfather. Horemheb had to reach back four generations in order to establish his royal heritage from Thutmose III. This is a most exceptional circumstance, perhaps even unique in ancient royal history. It reveals much about the social dynamics of the royal family to explain how the collateral line of Horemheb remained close to power for so many generations and was poised ultimately to seize the throne itself.
As noted above, while still a king/pharaoh of secondary (Libyan) rank Horemheb had modeled himself after Sekhemkare (Issachar/Osokhor)3 and Chancellor Hur (Amenemhet Hor-nedj-heritef). However, there is no indication that either of these archetypes had succeeded to the greater throne. Therefore, his own ascension required additional typecasting, and led Horemheb to look back even further into his family's history for validation. Although not the son of a pharaoh or great king, Horemheb could reasonably claim to be a hereditary prince within the House of Neby (Reuben). In the 11th Dynasty, a son of Montuhotep I (archetypal Reuben) became the renowned pharaoh Montuhotep II (Levi/Ehud) and founder of a short-lived independent dynasty in Egypt. Descendants of Ehud are named in 1 Chron. 8:6-7, however they were deported to a region called Manahath, indicating that the line of Montuhotep II quickly fell from power. Montuhotep III may or may not have been a true son of Montuhotep II. Regardless, the "birthright" ultimately passed to a rival line.ai
It had been the House of Gudea, archetypal Benjamin son of Israel, who took the greater throne by deposing Naram-Sin (Inyotef I) and Sharkalishari, and also subduing Montuhotep II and his line. The line of Gudea (Inyotef II) proved to be lasting. It provided not only the final kings of the 11th Dynasty, but also the kings of the vaunted 12th Dynasty. Naturally both Horemheb and Ramses wanted to establish themselves as a repetition of this dynasty rather than that of Reuben, Simeon, or Levi. In the 18th Dynasty, the role of Benjamin son of Israel had first been assigned to Prince Aakheperrure the youngest son of Amenhotep II by Queen Merit-Amon (Rachel). This prince was clearly cherished,aj however he died young and left the role unfulfilled.
The role of Benjamin was later claimed by Neby, who was then able to shed the stigma of Reuben. The implications of this makeover were profound, for it designated Neby as the expected founder of a new dynasty. Yuya evidently allowed the new typecasting during his lifetime, and as part of his "connubial" ak alliance with Neby. More specifically, Yuya would have considered the identity change as an opportunity for his son Aanen to recover the greater throne of Egypt. This did not occur, however it did later open the door for the true sons of Neby to claim it. As the New Kingdom Benjamin, Neby/Heby is not referred to as Benjamin directly in the genealogies of Exodus 6 and 1 Chron. 6.4 Instead, he is called Uzziel, "Strength/Strong One of God", which was one of several epithets of archetypal Benjamin, Gudea/Inyotef II.al The renewed prominence of Neby in the role of Benjamin is reflected in the account of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. The great generals ("captains") under Jehoshaphat are said to represent the Houses of Judah and Benjamin rather than Judah and Reuben.am This indicates that the transformation had occurred by Year 5 of Akhenaten when Iuput (Jehoshaphat) was made High Priest of Amun and king in Upper Egypt (Judah).
The name Uzziel as applied to Neby can also be seen as an adaptation of the more formal Egyptian name Webensenu. We-ben connotes, "Strong Son," and is synonymous with the name Benjamin, "Son of the Right (Strong) Hand." In previous chapters it was shown that the blessings of Jacob encode the Egyptian identities of his royal sons, and it is no stronger than in the case of his "eldest" Reuben. We-ben-senu can be freely translated as "son of the beginning of (my) strength." an The blessing of Reuben by Jacob features the Hebrew word az/uz, translated as "power" and pachaz, translated as "turbulent." This blessing also includes the Hebrew words on ("strength") and se'eth ("honor"). The line of Reuben derived particular strength and honor from their dedication to the gods Re of On (Heliopolis) and Seth of Avaris (Pi-Ramesses), as well to Amun.5
Reuben was adjudged by Jacob-Kohath (Amenhotep II) as being weak in the sense of lacking self-control over his libido and emotions. However, the mushy Mushi was strong in the sense of physical prowess, high spirit, and compassion. He also lived long enough to help bury most if not all of his eleven younger legal brothers.ao In retrospect, these factors must have provided the descendants of Neby with all the justification they needed to claim that their right to rule was legitimate and was in fact even mandated by the inevitable course of history. As the grandson of Neby, Amenemhet/Horemheb could reasonably assume the place of Amenemhet I founder of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty and grandson of Gudea/Inyotef II (Benjamin/Uzziel).
Lonely at the Top of the Pyramid
For good measure, Horemheb also chose an Old Kingdom archetype for himself, and no less a figure than Netjerikhet Djoser ("Godlike in Form, Divine"). Djoser-kare Amenhotep I of the early 18th Dynasty had also supported his tenuous claim to the throne by picking Amenemhet I and Djoser as precedents. Upon becoming co-regent of Aye in the greater throne, Horemheb chose the throne name of Djoser-kheperura.ap As the New Kingdom Djoser, Horemheb could then present himself as the beginning of a new and even greater cycle. He strengthened the identification with Djoser by building a mortuary temple next to that of Djoser at Saqqara.6 "Several blocks from Old Kingdom mastabas were found re-used in the mortuary temple of Horemheb and it would not be surprising if Horemheb's architects simply dismantled the older, unused structures to make place for the new building. They even used blocks that came from the nearby Complex of Djoser, which shows that at the end of the 18th Dynasty, the once majestic monument of Djoser had already fallen into decay. Horemheb's architects were also able to re-use some of the already existing shafts for the tomb's substructure, which only needed to be extended here and there … It is not impossible that this chapel was once roofed with a small mud brick pyramid." aq
The name of Horemheb is sometimes written as Haremhab, which can be translated as, "to have prohibited." A salient feature of his reign was a renewed emphasis on the "restoration of order" begun under Tut, and which he likely implemented for Tut in a practical sense. This program included curtailing the exercise of prerogative by government officials, and an overhaul of the justice system. As pharaoh of Egypt, Horemheb is also believed to have prohibited the cult of the Aten, presumably done for the good of the country as well. The Theban temples of the Aten became fill for three massive new pylons (#2, #9 & #10) at the Karnak Temple of Amun. Ironically, this act of suppression made Horemheb the single greatest conservator of Amarna culture.
Horemheb attributed his election as pharaoh of Egypt more to Tut and the oracle of Amun than to Aye who was his immediate predecessor.ar He is also known for appropriating and expanded the mortuary temple of Aye in Western Thebes for his own posthumous benefit. However, omission of Aye, Tut, Smenkhare and Akhenaten from official king-lists at Abydos and Karnak, sometimes credited to Horemheb, is likely the product of continued Ramesside persecution of Amarna memory, as evidenced by the stela of Ramses I placed at Serabit in the Sinai.as
According to at least one ancient source, Horemheb ruled for 59 years. It has been proposed that Horemheb usurped the regnal years of his Amarna predecessors as part of the decision to suppress them. However, this cannot fully account for such a long reign. It is more reasonable that some of his known regnal dates are in reference to the time when he first achieved kingship. Although he was pharaoh of Egypt for only twelve or thirteen years (eight or nine years of sole reign and four years as co-regent of Aye), he became pharaoh Osorkon II of Libya approximately 12 years earlier. Prior to that, he was appointed as king of Aram under the Syrian name Hazael. Even before this time, he was "Ben-Hur" the king/governor of tribal Ephraim in Israel. Using Horemheb's own words, he was singled out for greatness (and kingship) as a youth by the god Horus of Hatnes (Amenhotep III?).at
There is a deliberate ambiguity in the Kings/Chronicles narrative when it presents the various activities of Jehoram king of Judah and Joram king of Israel.au In 2 Kings 3, the Hebrew text intermixes the names of Joram and Jehoram in the very same passage. Translators are forced to choose one or the other for a consistent reading.av This practice of the King/Chronicles author probably derives from the fact that the first Osorkon, although nominally a king of Libya, was more prominent in Lower Egypt and in traditional Israel/Palestine rather than in Thebes. Likewise, in the twelve years preceding his election as pharaoh of Egypt, Horemheb (Osorkon II) was a king of Libya (Judah), but more active in Israel/Palestine and Syria. As pharaoh of Egypt, Horemheb is best known in Thebes for dismantling the temples of the Aten and for usurping the monuments of his predecessors Tut and Aye. His highest priority was securing the empire in Syria and Mesopotamia. Therefore, he was not much appreciated from a Theban perspective as a king in Upper Egypt (Judah).
Jehoram king of Judah is noted specifically for having married the daughter of Ahab. Consistent with this, the most prominent wife of Horemheb was Mutnodjme, who is thought to have been a daughter of Aye. Horemheb is also pictured in his tomb with a (grand-?) daughter of Thutmose IV. (As a daughter of Aye, Mutnodjme would have been the granddaughter of Thutmose IV.) A second even more prominent wife of Horemheb is identified in his Saqqara mortuary complex as Amenia. She would correspond to the Libyan queen and God's Wife of Amun, Karamat B, and was very likely Horemheb's own daughter by Mutnodjme. As Libyan pharaoh, Horemheb (Osorkon II) is pictured beside Karamat at the Temple of the goddess Bastet in Bubastet of the Delta. Karamat is also thought to have been the mother of Osorkon II's leading sons, the princes Sheshonq D and Harnakhte.
The Contendings of Horemheb and Ramses
In Greek Mythology, Libya (Egyptian goddess Nut), a "triple (moon) goddess," was mother of the twins Agenor (Horus the Elder) and Belus (Seth/Baal) by Poseidon/Potidan (Ptah). Belus in turn became father of the twins Egyptus and Danaus. Belus is the Greek form of Seth/Baal, and Agenor, "Very Manly," aw corresponds to mighty Horus the Elder. Seth/Baal was made king in Upper Egypt, while Horus the Elder ruled over the Delta. This was effectively a double dynasty, but one which would also have been subordinate to that of Re and Geb. Rivalry between the "twins" eventually led to war and Horus was killed by Seth.
In the New Kingdom, the old drama was played out once again. Aye was made the "Libyan" tanist and given the Libyan name of Sheshonq. He established a double co-regency with his two sons Osorkon and Takelot. Takelot was subject to his elder brother Osorkon. Any developing rivalry between the two was ended when both were killed by order of the superior king Akhenaten. A bereft Aye then offered Horemheb and Ramses each one half of the Libyan throne in exchange for their support in deposing Akhenaten. Horemheb was more senior than Ramses and assumed the Libyan name of Osorkon (II). However, there was a dilemma associated with this choice.7 In the Middle Kingdom, Senusret I created a double co-regency for his own two sons. Sekhemkare (archetypal Issachar/Osokhor) was the more senior, but the younger son Amenemhet II (Judah) became the greater. Both of them were ultimately killed by an even younger brother Senusret II.
Aye was advanced in age and in very poor health when he succeeded Tut to the throne. He held out for as much as four years before finally succumbing to the ravages of venereal disease and yet another assassination plot. Likewise, Horemheb was an old man upon becoming pharaoh. As Aye had determined to outlive Horemheb, so Horemheb determined to outlive Ramses, but could not (or was prevented from doing so). As in the archetypal battle between Horus and Seth, Horemheb succumbed to the might if not the right of Ramses and his allies. His victory would come only at the expense of prolonged civil war and misery for Egypt:
The Chronicles narrative especially implies that Jehoram (Horemheb) was "afflicted by the Lord" for his former execution of priests, officials, and especially the "sons" of Jehoshaphat. In other words, he only got what he deserved … literally in the end. However, the excruciating nature of Jehoram's death and especially its moral attribution to retribution from "the Lord" only point to foul play, probably in the form of some kind of poisoning and associated with a vicious military attack. Shortly before Jehoram is stricken with the lingering and fatal illness, his holdings in Jerusalem are attacked by a coalition of Arabs and Philistines. Jehoram, the largely absentee ruler of Jerusalem, is presumably preoccupied elsewhere while his wives and sons are taken away, all except one, Jehoahaz, who survives (suspiciously) to succeed Jehoram as king:
"And they [Philistines and Arabs] came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's [Jehoram's] house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. And after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers." ax
The regional wives and sons of Jehoram were not killed but "carried away," likely to held as hostages for ransom. Ramses/Takelot II wanted something more from Horemheb. It wasn't booty, but the birthright. The sons and wives of Jehoram would have been exchanged only for a written election of Ramses as successor according to their former covenant with Aye. An inscription found on a broken section of an obelisk (now in Edinburgh) is thought to be evidence of a short co-regency between Horemheb and Ramses.ay Because the succession went to Ramses, Horemheb is generally thought to have died without heir. Similarly, the two known royal sons of Osorkon II are also thought to have predeceased their father. At the Temple of Amun in Tanis Osorkon II boldly orders the State God to cause his natural descendants to follow him as great kings, not only of Libya but also of Egypt and foreign lands.8 One son of Osorkon II by the name of Harnakht was High Priest of Amun at Tanis, but he is believed to have died young. The only other confirmed son, Sheshonq D, was active in Lower Egypt as High Priest of Ptah in Year 23 of Osorkon II.az He then could have been appointed as the Libyan pharaoh Sheshonq IV before the death of Osorkon and probably survived him. The Biblical narrative also indicates that Horemheb (Jehoram) was not without a number of qualified successors within his own house, but that they had been killed, at least those in Jerusalem.
At the city of Bubastis in the Delta, Osorkon II built a new court at the temple of the goddess Bastet for the purpose of observing his Jubilee.ba "Osorkon II's gateway at Bubastis constitutes one of our most complete representations of the sed-festival in a single cycle of reliefs from ancient Egypt." bb The work was apparently completed and the Heb Sed performed in his Year 22, about four years before the end of his life.bc Traditionally a Jubilee was associated with the 30th year of kingship. The early observance by Horemheb indicates that he knew that his health and hold over the empire was slipping away. However, it was perhaps unimaginable that Hor-em-heb, festival leader of three Jubilees in the reign of Amenhotep III, should not celebrate one of his own.bd He could not do so as pharaoh of Egypt or technically even as pharaoh of Libya, but he evidently did feel qualified as a king. The required 30 years of kingship were then likely referenced to the beginning of his rule either in Syria/Aram or Israel/Ephraim.be It was also necessary for him to observe his Heb Sed in Lower Egypt rather than in Thebes. This further suggests that his position in Upper Egypt was no longer secure, even if he had not yet officially ceded kingship there to Ramses. It is thought that Takelot II was in control of Thebes during the final two years of Osorkon II, if not earlier.bf
The general contempt for Jehoram in the Kings/Chronicles narrative belies the fact that Horemheb was far better known for his accomplishments and power in Syria than in Upper Egypt. In his Saqqara tomb he boasted that he was "renowned in the land of the Hittites," bg that is, the traditional Hatti-land of Aram. As Hazael, this was no idle boast. There was no greater king to the people of Damascus than Hazael, and they continued to celebrate him for many centuries after his death. Yet in Thebes (Jerusalem), Jehoram passed away "to no one's regret" bh and without even a token memorial service by the populace. In the Southlands, and among the priests of Amun in particular, Horemheb was denounced as a "Damn Yankhy."
- Neby/Heby was "scribe who counts the cattle of Amon." (See discussion in Chapter 28.)
- Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, p 127.
- T. Säve-Söderbergh, Four Eighteenth Dynasty Tombs (Private Tombs at Thebes I), Oxford 1957, p 35. A less renowned son of Itj-tawy was named Setau, who held the title of second prophet of Neith. Set was also a common name (and patron god) in the House of Amenemhet. Cf Sety/Setre father of Ramses I, and Seti I son of Ramses I.
- Amenhotep III, O'Conner and Cline, eds., pp 212-213.
- Susan Redford, The Harem Conspiracy, p53.
- 1 Kings 11:3. Two daughters of Solomon (Tapheth and Basemath) were also married to two of the twelve district governors. 1 Kings 4:8
- Aidon Dodson, "Monarchs of the Nile," p 160.
- The name Si-Mut, "son of (the goddess) Mut," is further indication that Mut-Tuy was also Queen Tuya.
- For the equivalence of Carmi/Zimri, also see Chapter 28, Note 6.
- 1 Kings 16:1-20
- There is some debate as to whether he was depicted among the unnamed officials participating in the Year 30 Heb Sed festival of Amenhotep III.
- Jezebel later calls or compares Jehu to his uncle "Zimri murderer of his master" 2 Kings 9:31.
- However, it may have motivated a name change in Thebes and an increased emphasis on his relationship with the great king Amenhotep III and his still living grandfather and legal father Neby, as indicated by the discussion to follow.
- Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq, pp 214-220.
(See also http://www.messiah.org/hammurabi.htm)
- 1 Kings 4:8
- 1 Kings 4:17
- Jehoshaphat governor over Issachar is called the son of Paruw-ach perhaps connoting "(legal) brother of pharaoh", an appropriate pseudonym for Aye-Sheshonq.
- Amenhotep III, O'Conner and Cline, eds., pp 212-213.
- Ibid, p 218.
- Another prominent official at the Year 30 Jubilee was called Min-em-heb, a scribe and "chief of works in the Sed Festival temple" (Amenhotep III, O'Conner & Cline, eds., p 116, 218).
- Immanuel Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos, pp 285-289. For previous discussion of Naaman, see Chapter 27. For previous discussion of Amon-appa, see Chapter 23.
- Amarna Diplomacy, Cohen and Westbrook, eds., pp 108-109
William Murnane notes (p. 251 of Amarna Diplomacy), "for the equivalence of his [Yanhmanu's] Akkadian title (in EA 106:38 = Moran, 179-80 with n.9) with Egyptian hbsw-bht, 'fan-carrier,' see Helck, Verwaltung, 281, n.5." See also, Amenhotep III, O'Connor & Cline, eds., p 180. Hbsw is perhaps a word play on Heb/Horemheb.
- Translated as parasol-bearer in: The Amarna Letters, W. Moran, ed., p 181-2, who notes that he is "following Helck, Beziebungen, p. 249, who sees here a reflection of Egyptian hbsw bb(.t). Albright, JNES 5 (194) p. 13, 'fan-bearer,' follows Ranke in Weber, VAB 2/2, p. 1173."
- Other than the attributions made by Rib-Haddi in the Amarna Tablets, the character of Horemheb is perhaps best captured in his role as winsome Choragos in the Oedipus plays.
- El-Amarna Letter #83
- Immanuel Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos, p 288.
- EA 116, The Amarna Tablets, W. Moran, ed., p 191-193. A footnote to the text states, "the sequence in lines 55-61 … is without close parallel and seems to be extraordinarily emotional language."
- T.G.H. James, An Introduction to Ancient Egypt, pp 112-3.
- Ibid. Another phrase provocatively used by Rib-Haddi in this same letter.
- It could perhaps be proposed (although it is not here) that Aziru was not one and the same as Hazael but instead another one of "the sons of Abdi-Ashirta (Ben-Hadad)," who was present along with Hazael at the time of Tutu's visit to Damascus.
- EA 162, The Amarna Letters, W. Moran, ed., pp 248-251.
- This however did not prevent Aye from later conspiring against Horemheb in order to pass the throne on to a natural son. This will be discussed in the next chapter.
- This may have been the thinking of Aye when Ramses was declared next in line for succession after Horemheb.
- Genesis 42:35-38; 44:18-22
- This was a term used by Rib-Haddi in the Amarna Letters. It possibly referred to more than a simply bride exchange, but to the combining of two houses through a shared wife.
- See Chapter 7 and Chart 11.
- 2 Chron. 17:13-19
- See Chapter 28, Note 3.
- The burial/tomb of Neby is unknown. Canopic (vital organ burial) equipment of Webensenu was found in the mummy cache of KV 35, the original tomb of Amenhotep II. However, it is of no help in determining when Webensenu died and where his original burial was located. Tuya was buried with Yuya in the Valley of the Kings.
- The use of Djoser/Djeser in his throne name may also be an allusion to the "holiness" of his birth, that is, through a mother-son union.
- Jacques Kinnaer, www.ancient-egypt.org/saqqara/horemheb/
- The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, ed. Ian Shaw, p 293-294.
- Ahmed Osman, Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt, p 169-170.
- Ahmed Osman, Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt, p 169-170.
- The same is done in regard to two other sets of Biblical kings, namely Ahaziah (Takelot I) and Jehoahaz (Takelot II), and with Joash (Harsiese) and Jehoash (Sheshonq III). These conflations will be discussed in the following chapter.
- Joram is generally chosen in 2 Kings 3. See the footnotes in the NIV Bible.
- Definition by Robert Graves, The Greek Myths.
- 2 Chron 21:17-19 (KJV)
- Aidon Dodson, Monarchs of the Nile, p 119.
- Aidon Dodson, Monarchs of the Nile, p 166-167.
- Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, p 325.
- Karol Mysliwiec, The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, p 46.
- His archetype Djoser had also celebrated a Jubilee.
- There is a Year 27 reference in the mortuary temple of Western Thebes he usurped from Aye.
- Aidon Dodson, Monarchs of the Nile, p 167.
- The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, ed. Ian Shaw, p 291.
- 2 Chron 21:20 (NIV)
The Leiden Stela names Tatjuia/Tatuya as Neby's mother. She corresponds to Leah mother of Reuben. This name Tatjuia is not considered to be Egyptian, but likely Nubian. (Ref: Robert Morkot, The Black Pharaohs, p 85) The Libyan name of Queen Tia (Leah) has been shown to be Mehtemwesket. Also on the Leiden Stela, the wife of Neby is identified as Ta-Useret, "The Mighty (Goddess Isis)." This is a generic Egyptian name that could be applied to any queen. The names of Tuya, and especially those of Atu/Itu and Apu-aa/Ipuia from the Tomb of Ramose, are perhaps more personalized.
For Chancellor Hor, see the following web sites:
By association, it is further expected that the former Chancellor Hur was also one and the same as Amenemhet Hor-nedj-heritef.
In the 13th Dynasty king-list there are several pharaohs who have names compounded with Sekhemkare. Sekhemkare-Khutawy and Sankhtawy-Sekhemkare are listed second and third in the Turin Royal Canon 13th Dynasty. Another pharaoh is named as Amenemhet-Sekhemkare. It is not possible to say which of these corresponds to the Middle Kindom Issachar, or whether more than one are to be associated with Issachar. The name Sekhem derives from the Old Kingdom pharaoh Hotep-Sekhemwy or Ka-Sekhem (Biblical Ham son of Noah). It is probably also related to the god Seker/Sokar-Ptah and the royal memorial site of Saqqara.
In the genealogy of Exodus 6, Reuben appears twice. As the true son of Prince Amenemhet/Meri-Re (Merari) he is listed as Mushi. As the "eldest son" of Amenhotep II (Jacob-Kohath) he is listed again as Uzziel. Only the four leading princes of Amenhotep II (Jacob-Kohath) are remembered in Exodus 6 rather than all twelve. Amram son of Kohath has previously been identified as Yuya (Joseph). Hebron was an epithet of Thutmose III (David) as the adopted son of Thutmose II (Perez), which was reapplied to his own namesake Thutmose IV (Judah). Izhar has previously been identified (See Chapter 17, Note 3) as an alternate form of Osokhor/Osorkon (Issachar), also known by the Egyptian name of Prince Amenhotep (son of pharaoh Amenhotep II). Finally, Uzziel corresponds to the "strong son" We-ben-senu, also called Neby (Reuben).
The worship of Seth in the Delta may go back as far as the time of Sargon (11th Dynasty) or even to Pepi (6th Dynasty). However, the figure of 400 years is probably distorted and based on reign lengths in king-lists rather than an accurate estimation of elapsed time. The extant copy of the 400 Year Stela was inscribed for Ramses. The original has not been found, and may have been prepared instead by Horemheb. There is also a "sanctuary found at the Eastern Delta site of Tell el-Dab'a, dedicated to 'Sutekh (Seth), great of might' and bearing the names of King Horemheb." (Ahmed Osman, Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt, p 97.)
Nehesy (archetypal Phinehas) and the first pharaoh of the 14th Dynasty made Seth the leading god of the fourteenth nome. (Ahmed Osman, Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt, p 220.)
"Nehesy … is known from several monuments as the first king with the title: Beloved of Seth, Lord of Avaris. This Seth later became the principal god of the Hyksos, but was clearly established in Avaris by the local dynasty before the rise of the Hyksos rule." (Manfred Bietak, "Avaris and Piramses Archaeological Exploration in the Eastern Delta," Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 65, p 225, 1979.)
Horemheb/Osorkon II had grand tombs built for himself in Western Thebes under the names of Amenemhet/Surer (TT48) and Nefer-sekheru (TT 107). The latter tomb is not to be confused with that of another Nefer-sekheru (TT296) in the reign of Ramses II. (This one perhaps belonged to Osorkon III?) It was the privilege and pride of royalty not only to construct one but multiple tombs at different times during their careers, in different locations, and under different aliases. The tomb of Nefer-sekheru is known for the fine quality of its murals. Another tomb (TT78) also belonged to a nobleman named Horemheb, who held the titles of Royal Scribe and Scribe of Recruits. However, this Horemheb claimed to have served not only under Amenhotep III but Thutmose IV, and therefore seems too early to be attributed to the future pharaoh Horemheb. Names of the form Deity-em-heb are not unknown earlier in the 18th Dynasty. For example, the great general Amen-em-heb of the reigns of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II is probably the Egyptian name of Biblical Joab, the infamous general of King David.
The given name of Horemheb had also been Amenemhet. Logically, Horemheb would have preferred to pattern himself after Amenemhet II by assuming the Libyan name of Takelot. However, Horemheb had already assumed the role of Issachar in Syria. Therefore, he accepted the name Osorkon, but modeled his prenomen after Takelot I. The prenomen of Takelot I was Usermaatre Setepenre. Horembeb (Osorkon II) chose the prenomen Usermaatre Setepenamun. Ramses then took the Libyan name of Takelot (II), however he modeled his prenomen after Sheshonq I. This strategy of cross naming may have been imposed by Aye in order to prevent rivalry between Horemheb and Ramses, and effectively neutralize the precedent of the Middle Kingdom that the younger should inevitably be elevated over the older. However, true to form, Seth (Ramses) ultimately prevailed over Horus (Horemheb).
"[You will fashion] my issue, the seed that comes forth from my limbs, [to be] great [rulers] of Egypt, princes, high priests of Amen-resonter, great chiefs of the Ma, [great chiefs of] foreigners, and prophets of Arsaphes … You will turn their hearts towards the Son of Re, Osorkon II, you will cause them [to walk] on my path. You will establish my children in the [posts which] I have given them, so that brother is not jealous of brother."
K. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, p 317.