Solomon, King of Babylon
Posted By: Charles Pope
Date: Tuesday, 12 November 2002, at 2:09 p.m.
In Chapter 11, it was suggested that Haran, the youngest son of Terah, became the king of Kush (Nubia), but relinquished that throne in order to claim the greater prize of Kish (Babylon). I did not recognize it at the time, but it is now almost certain that Haran/Kish was successful in his bid to recover this family dominion. Contemporary with the early Egyptian New Kingdom, the king of Babylon is called Kara-indash. It is not hard to recognize that the Biblical/Hebrew epithets of Haran/Kish are derived from his formal Kassite name. (Haran ~ Karan, Kish ~ K'ash) Kara-indash is noted for reuniting Babylon and for his decorative relief on the outer wall of the Temple of Inanna (Isis) at Uruk. Joan Oates writes in "Babylon" (p 88-9), "it is clear that by the time of Kara-indash Kassite Babylon had gained sufficient prestige to merit an exchange of ambassadors withe the Egyptian court, and that thenceforth the dispatch of highly-prized commodities as 'presents' between the two courts became common. As early as 1431 Pharaoh Amenophis II recorded gifts from Babylon following one of his campaigns in Syria; later in his reign Amenophis twitted his vizier for dalliance with 'a lady from Babylonia ... By the time of [Kassite king] Kurigalzu I (c 1390) Babylon was receiving large quantities of gold from Egypt.' "
Of course, the period in which gold became to flow to Babylon is the time of Amenhotep III, king Solomon. What is not obvious in the existing chronological framework is that the line of Kara-indash (Haran) was deposed in Babylon. Sometime during the mid-18th Dynasty, the Elamite king Kudur-Nahhunte (descendent of the defeated Khedorlaomer?) conquered Babylon and became king there. However, he was then ousted by an Assyrian king named Tiglath-Pileser I. Shortly thereafter, a new Babylonian king by the name of Nebuchadrezzar I went on the offensive and conquered the Elamite capital of Susa. Who were Tiglath-Pileser and Nebuchadrezzar, really? Within the chronology proposed here, Tiglath is obvious. This is the Assyrian name of Pharaoh Takeloth (Takelot I). Nebuchadrezzar is not so easy, but given the new context is logically the assumed Babylonian name of Amenhotep III (Neb-maat-re). It also seems certain that Amenhotep III not only assumed a Babylonian name, but also a Kassite one. During the last 26 years of his 40 year reign, Amenhotep III would have been known in Babylon as Burnaburiash II. This would explain the condescending tone used by Burnaburiash in various Amarna letters written to his co-regent Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten back in Egypt.
The empire of Solomon was said to extend from the Nile to the Euphrates. However, it appears that Amenhotep III was in control of both sides of the Nile and of the Euphrates! Once again, the Biblical author employs understatement. It was not possible to either claim or admit that Solomon was the king of Egypt or had been king in Assyria and Babylon. But was he, in actuality? The answer appears to be yes.
The next question would then be, what happened to the Assryian and Babylonian thrones after the break-up of Solomon's empire? It appears that they remained under Egyptian control. There were three Assyrian kings named Tiglath-Pileser. There were also three Egyptian kings named Takelot. In the chronology proposed here, the three sets of kings are aligned. There were also three known Assryian kings named Assurdan. They correspond respectively to Osorkon I-III in Egypt. What happened in Babylon is not as clear. However, it is known that Tiglath-Pileser III conquered Babylon and became king of Babylon.
- Solomon, King of Babylon
Charles Pope -- Tuesday, 12 November 2002, at 2:09 p.m.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.