It is now possible to construct a tentative birth order chart patterned after the sons of Jacob by Leah and Rachel, with Leah corresponding to Shepenwepet II and Rachel as Nitocris.
Sons of Shepenwepet:
2) Smendes II (Assurbanipal)
3) Ramses IV
4) Montu-hir-khepeshef (Darius)
Sons of Nitocris/Amenirdis II:
1) Prince Nes-Ptah/Nes-ishu-Tefnut
2) Si-Amun (Nebuchadrezzar)
3) Pasher-en-Mut (Cyrus II)
4) Psusennes II (Cambyses I)
Overall Birth Order:
1) Reuben: Harkhebi
2) Simeon: Nes-Ptah/Nes-ishu-Tefnut
3) Levi: Ramses IV
4) Judah: Nebuchadrezzar
5) Issachar: Assurbanipal
6) Zebulun: Cyrus II
7) Benjamin: Darius
8) Cambyses I
Note: Amenemope was perhaps the fifth royal son of Shepenwepet II, that is, her personal “Issachar”. In the Bible, his name is changed from Zedekiah (a Joseph/Ptah name) to Matthaniah (an Issachar/Osiris name). He was made into a “sacrificial/substitute king” by both Necho and Nebuchadrezzar.
Note: As at the end of the Old Kingdom (6th Dynasty), the major queens at the end of the so-called native period of rule (26th Dynasty) were called Takhuit, Ankhenes-x, and Nitocris. Ankhennes-Pepi was the daughter of Pepi II in the 6th Dynasty. Ankhenes-neferibre was the daughter of Psamtik II in the 26th Dynasty.
By giving his daughter the name of Nitocris, Psamtik/Taharqa designated himself as a repetition of the 6th Dynasty pharaoh Neferkare Pepi II, who was father of an earlier famous queen by that same name. Psamtik also installed his man Ibi as the personal steward of Nitocris. Ibi was typecast after the 6th Dynasty Ibi, a governor in Upper Egypt appointed by Pepi II and his close relative. The 26th Dynasty Ibi went so far as to copy a mural from the tomb of his 6th Dynasty namesake for use in his own tomb (TT 36). The claim of a Judah typecasting (in addition to his many other roles) by Psamtik/Taharqa is surprising. In effect, he became a twin Judah to his brother Menkheperre/Sennacherib. Sennacherib, as Great King, was perhaps still the Judah of Mesopotamia, but Taharqa had become a new Judah of Egypt, and this was all evidently condoned by their father Piye/Sargon.
Implications for the Roman Era:
In the 1st Century AD, there were three sets of prominent “twins” that were evidently modeled after those of the early Persian Period.
Roman: Paul/Simon Magus/Tigranes
Roman: Jesus/Aristobulus III/Tigranes II
Roman: Simon Peter/Gemellus/Simon Gioras
Persian: Ramses IV
Roman: James the Just/Stephen/Sejanus
Persian: Psusennes II/Cambyses I
Roman: James (the son of Zebedee)/Nero son of Germanicus/Flavius Sabinus (older brother of Vespatian)
Persian: Pasher/Cyrus II
Roman: John (the son of Zebedee)/Drusus son of Germanicus/Vespatian
Persian: Osorkon V/Darius
In each case, it was the youngest set of the three that ultimately succeeded to the Great Throne.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.