Friday, December 26, 2014

Bonus 33 - Shishak I Inscription

The Relief of Shoshenq I's campaign
list at the southern exterior walls of the
temple of Karnak, north of Luxor, Egypt.
Public Domain. Photo Olaf Tausch
In the precinct of Amun-Ra within the Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt, next to the Bubastite Portal 1. there is a large relief commemorating the conquests of Shishak I (22d Dynasty) that mentions his invasion of Judah and Israel, which is also recounted in 1 Kings 14:25-26 and 2 Chronicles 12. 2.

The OT mentions Shishak (pharaoh of Egypt) seven times (1 Kgs 11:40, 14:25; and 2 Chron 12:2, 5 (twice), 7, and 9) and recounts how Shishaq (Shoshenq I) invaded Judah (region of Benjamin), during the fifth year of the reign of king Rehoboam plundering the temple. This is further supported by the Shoshenq stela fragment recovered at Megiddo (Stratum VA/IVB).3.

Although Jerusalem or Judah is not mentioned on the Shoshenq list, some have explained that Jerusalem, while subdued, was protected from destruction by the payment of the ransom of the Temple treasures, which were given to the Pharaoh at Gibeon (2 Chron 12:9;1 Kgs 14:26). 4.

2 Chronicles records:
When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. 2 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem 3 with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. And the people were without number who came with him from Egypt—Libyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians. 4 And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 5 Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the LORD, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’” 6 Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The LORD is righteous.” 7 When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 8 Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”
9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made, 10 and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. 11 And as often as the king went into the house of the LORD, the guard came and carried them and brought them back to the guardroom. 12 And when he humbled himself the wrath of the LORD turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover, conditions were good[Hebrew good things were found] in Judah. (2 Chron 12:1-12 ESV).
In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26 He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house. He took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made. (1 Kgs 14:25-26 ESV)
Wiseman describes the archaeological implications best:
In the early divided kingdom the raid by Shishak (Sheshonq I) against Rehoboam c. 928 BC (1 Kgs 14:25–26) is shown in his triumphs depicted on the walls of the Karnak temple of Amun in Thebes, which lists 150 towns in Phoenicia, Judah as far as the Esdraelon valley, and into Edom and south Syria. Megiddo was invaded (so a broken stele there) and destruction levels at Beth-Shemesh and Tell Beit Mirsim (Debir or Kirjath-Sepher) attest the raid, after which the Egyptians renewed the defences of Sharuhen, Gezer, Tell el-Ajjul and Tell Jemneh to maintain a strong presence against which Rehoboam reacted by strengthening Lachish and Azekah. Meanwhile Jeroboam I reinforced the gate of Dan, built at Shechem, Gibeah, Bethel and Tell en-Nasbeh (Mizpah?) which became the northern boundary of Judah in subsequent clashes with Israel (cf. 1 Kgs 15:15–22). About this time Dan was destroyed (1 Kgs 15:20), but soon thereafter the city gate and fortifications were rebuilt. The massive (4 metre wide) walls and towers and finely preserved city gate at Tell en-Nasbeh appear to be the work of Asa (cf. 1 Kgs 15:22).5.
Footnotes
  • 1. The Epigraphic Survey. The Epigraphic Survey, Reliefs and Inscriptions at Karnak, Volume III. The Bubastite Portal. Oriental Institute Publications 74 (Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago Press, 1954), 21.
  • 2. Gary A. Byers, “The Bible According To Karnak,” Bible and Spade 17, no. 4 (2004): 98.
  • 3. Timothy P. Harrison, Megiddo 3: Final Report on the Stratum VI Excavations, Oriental Institute Publications 127 (Chicago, Ill.: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2004), 7-13. 
  • 4. e.g., S. Herrmann. Operationen Pharao Schoschenks I. im ostlichen Ephraim, Zeitschrift des Deutscher Palastina-Vereins 80 (1964). 55-79 ; Yohanan Aharoni, The Land of the Bible: A Historical Geography, trans. Anson F. Rainey, 2nd ed. (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster/Knox, 1981), 326; Kenneth A. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, 1100-650 BC, 2nd ed., Egyptology (Warminster, U.K.: Aris & Phillips, 1996), 447; Nadav Na'aman, “Israel, Edam and Egypt in the 10th Century B.C.E .”  Tel Aviv 19 (1992):71 - 93, 81. Contra Israel Finkelstein, “The Campaign of Shoshenq I to Palestine: A Guide to the 10th Century BCE Polity,” ZDPV Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins 118 (2002): 111.
  • 5. Donald J. Wiseman, 1 and 2 Kings: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries 9 (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 40.
For Further Study
  • Ahituv, Shmuel. Canaanite Toponyms in Ancient Egyptian Documents. Leiden: Brill, 1984.
    Cline, Eric H. “Review of The Campaign of Pharaoh Shoshenq I into Palestine, by Kevin A. Wilson.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 70, no. 1 (2011): 129–32.
  • Ahlstrom, G. W. “Pharaoh Shoshenq·s Campaign to Palestine.” in History and Traditions of Early Israel. Edited by Andre Lemaire and B. Otzen. (Leiden: Brill, 1993), 1-16.
  • Clancy, F. “Shishak/Shoshenq’s Travels.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 86 (1999): 3–23.
  • Finkelstein, Israel. “The Campaign of Shoshenq I to Palestine: A Guide to the 10th Century BCE Polity,” ZDPV Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins 118 [2002]: 109–35.
  • Hoffmeier, James K. “Review of The Campaign of Pharaoh Shoshenq I into Palestine by Kevin A. Wilson.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 349 (2008): 88–91.
  • Kitchen, Kenneth A. The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC). 3rd ed. Warminster: Aris & Phillips Limited, 1996.
  • Kitchen, Kenneth A. “The Shoshenqs of Egypt and Palestine,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 93 (2001), 3-12.
  • Marx, A. “De Shlshaq a Sheshak. A propos de I Rois XIV 25-26.” Vetus Testamentum 49 (1999), 186-190 [French].
  • Mazar, Benjamin, “The Campaign of Pharaoh Shishak to Palestine.” Vetus Testamentum Supplement 4 (1957): 57-66.
  • Na'aman, Nadav. “Shishak's Campaign to Palestine as Reflected by the Epigraphic, Biblical and Archaeological Evidence.” Zion 63 (1998). 247-276 [Hebrew].
  • Rainey, Anson F, and R. Steven Notley. The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World. Jerusalem: Carta, 2005.
  • The Epigraphic Survey. The Epigraphic Survey, Reliefs and Inscriptions at Karnak, Volume III. The Bubastite Portal. Oriental Institute Publications 74. Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago Press, 1954.
  • Wilson, Kevin A. The Campaign of Pharaoh Shoshenq I into Palestine. Forschungen Zum AltenTestament, 2. Reihe 9. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005. Web Abstract

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