Who Killed Smenkhkare?
Posted By: Charles Pope
Date: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, at 5:14 p.m.
A reader, Benzad, asks whether Smenkhkare could have been killed by Tut. (Benzad, I deleted your post because it was not appropriate in the thread where you posted.)
The typecasting of Smenkhkare was as an Osiris. His "fate" was to be killed by direction of someone in the role of Re. That would have been his own father Akhenaten. It was also consistent for him to be betrayed by a woman in the role of Isis, that being his own mother Queen Tiye. Tut, on the other hand, was typecast as Horus the Younger, the symbolic successor of Osiris. There was no mythological basis for Tut to kill his older brother. His role model Horus the Younger was not even born until after the death of Osiris. In fact, he was chosen from birth to be the rightful heir of Osiris.
Although Set and Thoth were the primary assassins, all the gods seem to have had some role in the murder of Osiris, even if it was only to be happy about it. In the Biblical story of Jacob and the Shechemites, all of Jacob's sons participate in the slaughter in some way, including it seems both Judah (as Horus the Elder) and sickly Benjamin (as Horus the Younger). That could have set a precedent for Tut to later play at least a token part in the killing of Smenkhkare. The relevant Biblical account (Exodus 33) reveals that the nine-year old Tut would not leave the tent containing his dead brother's body. But this might have been more due to his eagerness to become king. In other words, rather than being overcome by grief he might have been more determined to gain the spoils of that promised double portion of his brothers spirit as he was "taken up" for good.
(In the Tutorials on this site, it is shown that the names Benjamin and Joshua, as well as David, are Biblical/Hebrew epithets of Horus the Younger, and were applied to various princes who assumed that particular role.)
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.