Chapter One: Solomon and Shoshenq
Many literary critics seem to think that a hypothesis
about obscure and remote questions of history
can be refuted by a simple demand
for the production of more evidence than in fact exists....
The true test of a hypothesis,
if it cannot be shown to conflict with known truths,
is the number of facts that it correlates and explains.
Francis Cornford, The Origin of Attic Comedy
First Kings provides various clues to the nature of the relationship of Solomon to the Egyptian kings of his period and to the larger chronologies of Israel, Egypt, and Phoenicia:
And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon. And Solomon became allied to Pharaoh king of Egypt by marriage, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt.... For he had dominion over all the region on this side [of] the River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings on this side [of] the River; and he had peace on all sides round about him. And Judah and Israel dwelt in safety.
And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.
And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.... And Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.... And his house where he might dwell, in the other court, within the porch, was of the like work. He made also a house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom Solomon had taken to wife, like unto this porch.
And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the Lord and the king's house...that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.
And this is the account of the levy which king Solomon raised; to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer. Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a portion unto his daughter, Solomon's wife.... But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which [Solomon] had built for her; then did he rebuild Millo.
And the horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt.... And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty; and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Aram.
... Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites ... to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child ... And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
... But Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; and he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all; and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
There is no direct mention of the name of the pharaoh's daughter whom Solomon wed, presumably in quest of peaceful relations with Egypt. The Yikhus Letter of the Sans Hassidim* has her as Nicaule, AKA Tashere, daughter of Shoshenq I. Until now this identification has been held suspect for chronological reasons, in short, it does not agree with the biblical timeline. We will see this problem evaporate in a moment. Later on, Nicaule's daughter by Solomon, Basemath, wife of Ahimaaz, will bear Ana who will later marry King Abijah and who in turn will bear Asa, which finally places a descendant of Shoshenq on the throne of Judah and cements the two royal families till they cease to rule their selective kingdoms.
Clue Number One in this little puzzle, the one consistently missed by every scholarly mind investigating this problem for hundreds, nay, thousands of years, for reasons that we will discuss later, is the 120-year standard lifespan of Moses. No one in the real world ever lives this long. In the time of the New Kingdom they were lucky to live to be 60, which number has a certain sexagesimal ring to it. The implication is that they were using a six-month solar "year," or that someone translated equinox as year, or New Year as year. Adopting this notion of a six-month unit implied by the 120-year lifetime of Moses and further suggested by the existence of both a Jewish ecclesiastical New Year and a civil New Year, one of which falls in the Autumn and the other of which falls before Passover in the Spring—as noted by J. M. Robertson in his Pagan Christswe can now take a first stab at reconstructing the temporal alignment of Solomon with Shoshenq (Sheshonq, Shishak) using the first year of the construction of Solomon's Temple as year zero.
But first, let me point out most emphatically here that I am not saying, as some have suggested, that there was no 12- or 13-month lunar year in use among the Hebrews. What I am saying is that there was another, solar, period in use that did not represent the entire revolution of the earth about the sun, but was either based on the counting of equinoxes, two per year, or, in a more complex manner that amounts to the same thing, counted two separate solar cycles; one, the religious year, beginning in the spring, and the other, the civil year, beginning in the autumn. This is the innocent explanation. The not so innocent one that we will arrive at later on when we notice the same kind of chronological manipulation going on among the Assyrians is that the editors of the Scriptures were simply attempting to close a 1200-year gap in their list of rulers, between the last of the antediluvian kings and the rulers of Babylon.
For now, assuming Rehoboam replaced Solomon in the same (6-month-) year he died, and further assuming for the moment that the accepted period of Shoshenq I (945924) is correct, this would allow Solomon to marry Shoshenq's daughter in 945 and have her father invade Palestine for a second time during the reign of Rehoboam at 925, the accepted date for the invasion, while placing the Exodus from Egypt at 1185 BC, 480 "years" (240 actual years) before Solomon began the temple. One could introduce any number of modifying factors into this equation, but the alignment is already good enough to lead to the conclusion that Shoshenq is the biblical Shishak.
We can see immediately the short-term result of our shortening of the biblical timeline. Rather than delay the construction of a temple for Yahweh and a palace for his queen to the fourth year of his reign, Solomon begins almost immediately, in the second half of his second year, just after taking to wife a daughter of the king of Egypt. Sometime after the wedding, the Egyptian makes a quick incursion into Palestine, taking and destroying Gezer and leaving it for Solomon to rebuild as a gift for his daughter (and a possible symbol of his resoluteness as an ally). Rather than disjointed events, these are now seen as directly related to the machinations of the two royal houses and their related attempts to outdo each other in providing for the royal daughter and wife. As obvious as this solution to at least some of our problem is, it has been missed or ignored by virtually everyone who has ever read the so-called Old Testament.
The problem here is that we are very near the point where the biblical timeline ceases to be inflated by a factor of two and returns to the real world where people live to be 60 and very fortunate women, one might say "blessed," have children when they are 45. Further, Shishak's attack on the biblical Jerusalem in the fifth year of Rehoboam does not fit with his attack in 925. By our reconstruction, Jerusalem would have fallen to Shoshenq in 922. This is only a problem, however, if we allow another problem with the alignment of Shoshenq and Shishak to stand. For the fact is that the stele at Karnak that describes the so-called Palestine Campaign of Shoshenq in his 21st regnal year does not list Jerusalem. Let me say that again. Jerusalem, supposedly the very crown of Jewish civilization in the 10th Century BC, the one city actually mentioned in the scriptures as a target of Shishak, where he purportedly made off with the Temple furniture, is not listed by Shoshenq. This is peculiar. The obvious explanation, as determined by the archaeologists, is that Jerusalem didn't exist as anything larger than a small village in the 10th Century BC, so that the entire incident of Shishak's attack must have been cut and stitched from the actual account of the invasion of Israel by Shoshenq and the dating of this nonevent is therefore suspect. We will return to this question in Chapter Seven.
Chronological Alignment of Solomon and Shoshenq
Age of Solomon's Temple
Birth of Moses
Exodus from Egypt. 19th Dynasty ends
Moses dies at age 60. Israel enters Canaan under Joshua
|-214||Return of the Comet of Typhon||1159|
David becomes king at Hebron
Hiram (Souron) becomes king of Tyre
David dies. Solomon becomes king of Judah and Israel
Psusennes II dies. Shishak (Shoshenq I) becomes king of Egypt. Solomon marries Nicaule, daughter of Shishak, begins temple
Solomon finishes temple
Solomon finishes palace
|11||Return of the Comet of Typhon||934|
Jeroboam flees to Egypt under Shishak
Solomon dies. Rehoboam becomes king of Judah. Jeroboam becomes king of Israel
Shishak invades Israel ("Palestine Campaign," 21st year of Shoshenq) in support of Jeroboam
Shishak supposedly attacks Jerusalem (fifth year of Rehoboam), which doesn't exist at the time
Hiram dies. Baleazarus becomes king of Tyre
Rehoboam dies. Abijam becomes king of Judah
At this point it may be useful to take a more intense look at the enormous problem that results from the inability of scholars to understand the implications of the erroneously extended life spans of many of the characters in the Bible—what (Medical) Doctor Velikovsky would call a scotoma, or blind spot. What is surprising, nay amazing, is that none of the researchers, neither classical nor revisionist, who have attempted to maintain the full-scale timeline has until now even thought of the approximately 120-year life spans of Moses and his relations, despite the obvious problems with this timescale, as the systematic source of their quandary. These outlandish longevities have not even appeared to them to be particularly peculiar. The overriding authority of the purportedly holy document has not only blinded them, it seems to have completely switched off their critical faculties. For the problem that results from this doubling of the timeline of the Hebrew Middle East looms so large—as large as the monuments and other megalithic constructions of the pharaoh that presents it—that it approaches the level of sole source of the apparent impossibility of aligning the two chronologies. For it is Ramses II of the 19th Dynasty, the very personification of New Kingdom Egyptian power and conquest, who has no place in Israelite history, and no full-scale timeline of Israel has been able to do away with this total amnesia for Ramses the Great.
The closest the revisionists, in this case Immanuel Velikovsky himself, have come has been to move Ramses 600 years, a literal and entire neros period, nearer the present in the process of which he would have us believe that the entire body of synchronizations among Near Eastern cultures have been overthrown. Some have even suggested that Solomon was actually Ramses; such is the importance of the conflict. The more rational scholars, on the other hand, have simply thrown out the biblical timeline completely and have assigned the Exodus to the period of Ramses or his son Merneptah and unsystematically, virtually randomly, edited the events described in the bible to make them fit. And thus we have Ages in Chaos, as Velikovsky called one of his "historical" works. As I shall demonstrate in the following chapters, the inflation of the chronology found in the bible was far from random; it was, in fact, quite methodical and followed a pattern that can be extracted, if not necessarily easily then with only moderate difficulty, using clues to be found in the bible itself and in the surviving Egyptian legendary material.
The deaths of Solomon and Shoshenq I are at the end of the period during which the six-month year holds sway over the Hebrew bible. Beginning thereafter a more or less one-to-one relationship exists between the timelines of Israel and Judah and those of the surrounding nations. We will therefore set our sights in the opposite direction and ask what our shortening of the Hebrew timeline does to those events that led over hundreds, if not thousands, of years to the point at which the ruler of Israel was powerful enough to marry into the family of the reigning king of Egypt.
* According to Daniel E. Loeb, available in English translation "in 'The Eskeles Genealogy' by Zeev ESHKOLOT."
[Chapter Two: Joseph and Thutmosis IV]
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