Reference Essays
The Gospel According to Egypt
Epitome of Ahmed Osman's books:
Stranger in the Valley of the Kings
Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt
House of the Messiah

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by Charles N. Pope
Copyright ©1999-2004 by Charles Pope
United States Library of Congress
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The Egyptian House of David

If King Solomon is to be properly identified as an adaptation of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, then the source of his predecessor, King David, should also be found in Egypt. Consistent with this premise, Osman has compared the account in the Bible of David and his wars with the exploits of Amenhotep III's great grandfather, the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Thutmose III.(1) Not only are their achievements equivalent, but so are their very names.

Thutmose is a compound name comprised of Thut (from Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom) and mose (an Egyptian title or suffix indicating son or rightful heir). In the ancient Egyptian language, words were written without vowels. Thut was, therefore, written as Twt. The ancient Hebrew language, although very different from Egyptian, originally derived its written structure from the Egyptian language.(2) As with Egyptian, the consonants were written and the vowels were vocalized only. Transliterating the Egyptian word twt into Hebrew, because of their similar alphabets, leads to dvd. Reinserting the vowels for pronunciation in Hebrew leads directly to David!(3) Moreover, it was the Egyptian King David (Thutmose III) who had defeated an earlier coalition of Syrian and Canaanite kings, and as described in the Bible, had established garrisons(4) in these regions in order to permanently secure Egyptian control there (2 Samuel 8:5,6).(5) At the beginning of the Egyptian 17th Dynasty, much of Egypt was still being dominated by foreign rulers known as the Hyksos. Through the initiative of the early Pharaohs of the 17th Dynasty, the Hyksos were attacked and eventually driven out of Egypt during the reign of Ahmose I. Ahmose and his son Amenhotep I extended their campaigns into Asia, "principally to deter any fresh incursions by roving bands into the Eastern Delta [of Egypt]".(6)

When Amenhotep I died without a male heir, he was succeeded by the commander of the army who became Pharaoh Thutmose I. Inspired by previous successes,(7) Thutmose I, now as Pharaoh, led his army into Canaan and Syria and crossed the Euphrates River at the fords of Carchemish. After routing Mitanni forces, he set up a monument (stele) to his achievement on the north side of the Euphrates.(8)

The heiress daughter of Thutmose I, Hatshepsut was married to her step-brother Thutmose II who became Pharaoh. Thutmose II and Hatshepsut had no surviving sons. After the death of Thutmose II, his young son Thutmose III (by a minor wife Isis who was possibly of foreign birth)(9) was denied the throne by Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut continued to rule even after Thutmose III had clearly come of age.

When the male blood line of the founding dynasty ended at the death of Amenhotep I, an even greater emphasis was thereafter placed on preservation of the female blood line(10) which by this time had already distinguished itself and wielded considerable power. Ahhotep I had become an interim ruler upon the death of her husband Ahmose I and was immortalized for rallying Egypt's forces against the Hyksos. Her daughter Ahmose-Nefertari was given the title, High Priestess of Amun, and was the first to be designated as the "God's Wife."(11) (The royal offspring of 18th Dynasty Pharaohs were considered to have been conceived through Devine visitation of the state god Amun with the "God's Wife."(12) This concept is clearly demonstrated by large murals in the mortuary temples of both Hatshepsut and Amenhotep III.) Ahmose-Nefertari was, according to the famous turn of the century archeologist Flinders Petrie, "the most venerated figure of Egyptian History."(13)

Upon Hatshepsut's death, the succession of Thutmose III was complicated not only by his own paucity of royal blood, but by the fact that Hatshepsut's daughter Neferure (and holder of the titles "Gods Wife" and virgin High Priestess of Amun) was also no longer living. The nubile princess who could claim the strongest relation to Ahhotep I and Nefertari was found to be Merit-re, the daughter of Huy, the Superior of the Royal Harem. Thutmose III was married to Merit-ra, and in an official ceremony confirmed (cf., Psalm 2:7) as Pharaoh and "adopted" as the son of Amun.(14)

It is recorded that the God/Amun and Father of Thutmose III's spoke of him, "I grant thee by decree the earth in its length and breadth. The tribes of the East and those of the West ... that thy conquests may embrace all lands ... I ordain that all aggressors arising against thee shall fail..."(15)

Of David, it was written in Psalm 2, "I will proclaim the decree ... 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father ... I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them...'"

Queen Hatshepsut had built impressively in Egypt but had shown no interest in securing an empire in Asia(16) where Egyptian influence largely eroded. The long frustrated Thutmose III was eager to prove himself, and upon becoming Pharaoh his first act was to march out with the military. In anticipation, a formidable confederation of Canaanite and Syrian kings had already consolidated their own armies and were waiting in their camps when Thutmose III arrived in Canaan with his own. Using a risky strategic maneuver, Thutmose III divided the opposing confederation and conquered them at the original epic battle of the Valley of Armageddon (Har-Megiddon).(17)

While the nearby fortress of Megiddo was under a seven month long siege, Thutmose III led a contingent of men to Kadesh (the present day site of Jerusalem), and as the Bible describes, he "took the stronghold of Zion."(18) Kadesh was the first of over one hundred cities listed as having been conquered by Thutmose III in this campaign as recorded in the temple of Amun at Karnak,(19) and immediately precedes the city of Megiddo on the list. The more famous city of Kadesh in Syria, and the center of the Syrian-Canaanite opposition of that time, is known to have fallen to Thutmose III in a later military campaign.

The name Jerusalem does not show up on any of the lists of cities conquered during any Egyptian 18thDynasty military campaign in Asia, however, it was unquestionably part of the Egyptian empire of that time. A diplomatic letter sent to a later Egyptian Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty (of whom we will learn more about shortly), was addressed from "mat Urusalim," i.e., "the land of Jerusalem." Another letter from the governor of Jerusalem during the 18th Dynasty refers to Jerusalem as a city "in which the king [i.e., the Pharaoh] has set his name" (cf. 1 Kings 11:36).(20) According to Manetho's 3rd Century B.C. History of Egypt as quoted by Josephus, Jerusalem was being ruled at this time by the Hyksos who had been expelled from Egypt by Ahmose I. It is not surprising that they readily resubmitted themselves to Thutmose III.

The name of Jerusalem (literally meaning "to establish peace or submission")(21) certainly symbolized the role that it played in establishing and maintaining Egyptian control over Palestine during the 18th Dynasty. Both names are found in Chapter 11 of Nehemiah where the Hebrew reads as "Yurushalayim ha Qudesh," meaning, "Jerusalem the Holy City."(22) The capture of Jerusalem/Kadesh by Thutmose III also resolves the formerly unknown source of the name Zion. Zion consists of the components On (Hebrew for the holy city of On/Heliopolis in Egypt) and the Hebrew word zi (meaning arid place). Literally translated, Zion appropriately becomes "Holy City of the Desert."(23)

The sacredness attributed to Jerusalem by the Egyptians initially derived from the transport of the Barque of Amun(24) (a holy shrine carried on poles in much the same manner as the Israelite Ark of the Covenant) to the city by Thutmose III. The shrine was normally kept within the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, however Thutmose III had carried it with him into battle.(25) It remained with him when he took up residence in Jerusalem during the prolonged siege of Megiddo.(26)

After the fall of the Syrian city of Kadesh (in the Biblical region of Zobah and Hamath) during the sixth military campaign (he conducted a total of 17 in all),(27) Thutmose III was able to cross the Euphrates and erect a second stele beside that of Thutmose I.(28) In essence, Thutmose III (David) "recovered his border at the river Euphrates," (2 Samuel 8:3) that border being the one originally established by his grandfather.(29) It was at this time that Thutmose III (David) "established garrisons in Syria" as the Bible describes (2 Samuel 8:13).

Osman suggests that the tribal David, as with King Solomon, may have had been known by another name initially. Osman quotes the Encyclopedia Judaica which states, "Elhanan was David's original name, which was later changed to David."(30)