[Chapter Six: Ham, Shem, and the First Dynasty of Babylon]

 

Chapter Seven: Jewish Kingdoms―Israel and the House of David

For a period of 150 years the inscriptions afford us only one ray of light;
they record that a disaster overtook the Assyrian arms,
the king of Aram (Syria) defeated the Assyrians
in the reign of Assur-rabu-amar; Pethor and Mutkinu fell,
and with them they lost the whole region of the Euphrates and Nairi.
—George Smith, Assyria from the Earliest of Times to the Fall of Nineveh

The following table of the kings of Judah, Israel, and Tyre is fairly straightforward and is based on six criteria:

• The biblical timeline has been followed using a conventional 1:1 scale beginning with the year of accession of Rehoboam to the throne of Judah based on the dates for Solomon already obtained.

• Judean and Israelite dates thereafter are derived from Old Testament statements about the equivalent year of rule of the kings of the parallel kingdom, which are not as subject to complications due to co-regencies as statements about reign lengths [indicated within square brackets]. These have been treated as if the authors were using an inclusive rather than an exclusive numbering system, which, from internal evidence, they appear to have been. E.g., the first year of rule of the second king in the series is the same year as the last year of rule of the first king, and so on. There are, however, a small number of anomalous synchronisms that appear to have resulted from confusion between the invasion of Judah at 701 BC and the one at 687, a discrepancy of fourteen years. These are clearly marked and, with two exceptions, occur at points where there are two separate synchronous dates given for the same event. One exception to this rule is the year when Hezekiah took the throne, which was not the third year of Hoshea but does agree with the 16-year reign of his predecessor, Ahaz. The other, the ascendancy of Ahaz in the 17th year of Pekah, actually occurred in the 4th year of Pekah.

• The Phoenician dates are based on the statements of Josephus derived from the Acts of Menander the Ephesian and these have been retrocalculated back from 814 BC, the year of the foundation of Carthage according to Timaeus of Tauromenium. Josephus' statement that the temple was "built at Jerusalem in the twelfth year of Hiram" has been disregarded, since the historian's mastery of arithmetic is suspect, though the current chronology places the completion of the Temple in the tenth year of Hiram, not a terribly serious deviation.

• The alignment between Assyrian and Israelite chronologies is partially confirmed by the identification of the first year of a three-year period of peace between Aram and Israel mentioned in Second Kings with the year of the battle between Hadad-ezer, allied with Ahab, and Shalmaneser III of Assyria in 853 BC commemorated on the Kurkh Monolith.

• Since there are 12 years between the Battle of Karkar and the payment of tribute to the Assyrians by Jehu, the latter must have (literally) "taken" the throne no later than 841 BC. Jehu kills both Ahaziah of Judah and Jehoram of Israel in 841 BC, making their deaths synchronous and tending to confirm all previous alignments. There is some evidence that these events were orchestrated by the Assyrians and that Jehu and his mentor, Elisha, were Assyrian pawns.

• Dates between 853 and 701 incorporate known synchronisms between the Jewish kingdoms and the Assyrian Empire. The first campaign of Sennacherib in Judah has been placed at 701 BC in agreement with standard chronologies and all dates after that are canonical. The destruction of the army of Sennacherib has been aligned with his second campaign in Judah in 687 BC à la Velikovsky and others, as described in Herodotus and Isaiah, and agrees precisely with the cycle of cataclysms elaborated in the next two chapters, and generally with the commonly accepted dates for the reign of Tirhakah in Egypt. The request for aid by Hoshea from King So of Egypt generally agrees with the commonly accepted dates for Osorkon IV of Bubastis.

Chronology of the Late Period Kings of Judah, Israel, and Tyre

Synchronous
 Year
Event [years ruled] Year BC
     
  Typhon approaches earth 1036
  Asshur-nerari IV becomes king of Assyria1 1019
  Asshur-rabi II becomes king of Assyria 1013
  Amenophthis becomes king of Egypt 1004
 

Saul ben Kish (Saül of Kish) becomes king of Israel

986
  Osokhor becomes king of Egypt 985
 

Asshur-resha-ishi II becomes king of Assyria

972
  Tiglath-Pileser II becomes king of Assyria 967
 

David (Adad) becomes king of Israel at Hebron

966

 

Hiram becomes king of Tyre

950

 

Solomon (Shulmanu) becomes king of Israel at Shechem

946

 

Begin Egyptian 22nd Dynasty. Shoshenq I becomes king. Solomon begins Temple

945

 

Solomon completes Temple

941
  Asshur-dan II becomes king of Assyria 935
 

 Typhon approaches earth. Supposed Shoshenq destruction layer in Palestine

934

 

Solomon dies. Rehoboam [17] becomes king of Judah at age 41. Jeroboam [22] becomes king of Israel at Shechem

926

 

Shoshenq I of Egypt attacks Israel ("Palestine Campaign," 21st year of Shoshenq)

925

  Osorkon I (Sargon) becomes king of Egypt 924
 

Calpetus becomes king of the Latins at Alba Longa

ca 921

 

Hiram dies at age 53. Baleazarus becomes king of Tyre

916

 

Adad-nerari II becomes king of Assyria

912

18 Jeroboam

Abijah [3] becomes king of Judah. Abdastartus becomes king of Tyre

909

  Tiberius Silvius becomes king of the Latins 908

20 Jeroboam

Asa [41] becomes king of Judah

907

2 Asa

Nadab [2] becomes king of Israel

906

3 Asa

Baasa [24] becomes king of Israel at Tirzah

905

 

Abdastartus murdered. The eldest son of his nurse becomes king. Tiberius launches campaign against Etruscans, dies in the river Alba. Agrippa becomes king

900

About 15 Asa

Zerah (Osorkon I) of Nubia ("Ethiopia") attacks Judah. Asa defeats Zerah

ca 893
 

Tukulti-Ninurta II becomes king of Assyria

891
  Takelot I becomes king of Egypt 889

 

Astartus becomes king of Tyre

888

 

Asshurnasirpal II becomes king of Assyria

884

26 Asa

Elah [2] becomes king of Israel

882

27 Asa

Zimri [0] kills Elah, becomes king of Israel. 7 days later, Tibni becomes king of Israel. Omri [12] becomes king of Tirzah and environs

881

31 Asa

Omri becomes king of all Israel at Samaria

877

 

Aserymus becomes king of Tyre

876

  Osorkon II becomes king of Egypt 874

38 Asa

Ahab [22] becomes king of Israel at Samaria

870

4 Ahab

Jehoshaphat [25] becomes king of Judah. Aserymus murdered. Pheles becomes king of Tyre. Later, Ithobalus (Ethbaal) becomes king of Tyre. Ahab marries Jezebel, daughter of Ithobalus

867

  Shalmaneser III becomes king of Assyria. Aramulius Silvius becomes king of the Latins 859

 

Three years of peace between Aram and Israel begin [First Kings]. Battle of Karkar (Qarqar): Shalmaneser III of Assyria "defeats" allied forces under the Aramean king, Hadad-ezer (Ben-hadad/Bar Haddad II) of Damascus, including Ahab of Israel and Osorkon II of Egypt and Nubia at Karkar southwest of Aleppo [Kurkh Monolith]. However, Shalmaneser withdraws

853

17 Jehoshaphat

Ahab & Jehoshaphat attack Aram at Ramoth-gilead. Ahab dies. Ahaziah [2] ben Ahab becomes king of Israel

851

18 Jehoshaphat

Jehoram [12] (Joram) ben Ahab, brother of Ahaziah, becomes king of Israel. Elijah disappears. Takelot II becomes king of Egypt

850

 

"J Manuscript" purportedly completed in Kingdom of Judah [Stecchini]. End Greek Dark Age

ca 850
 

Jehoram ben Ahab & Jehoshaphat attack Moab, build ships

 

5 Jehoram (Isr)

Jehoram [8] (Joram) ben Jehoshaphat, nephew of Jehoram ben Ahab, becomes king of Judah

846

 

Shalmaneser attacks Hazael, king of Damascus

842

12 Jehoram (Isr)

Ahaziah [1] ben Jehoram, son of Athaliah, becomes king of Judah. Hazael attacks city of Dan, destroys "Solomonic" palaces at Megiddo. Jehu [28] murders (or Hazael kills [Tel Dan Stele]) Ahaziah & Jehoram, ending the grand alliance among Judah, Israel, and Phoenicia and sealing their fate; seizes throne of Israel; sends tribute to Shalmaneser. Athaliah [7] becomes queen of Judah

841

 

Aventius becomes king of the Latins

840

7 Jehu

Joash [40] (Jehoash) ben Ahaziah becomes king of Judah. Badezorus becomes king of Tyre

835

 

Matgenus becomes king of Tyre

829

  Shoshenq III becomes king of Egypt 825
  Shamshi-Adad V, husband of Sammu-ramat, becomes king of Assyria 824
 

Pygmalion becomes king of Tyre

821
 

Dido (Ellisar), daughter of Matgenus (Matten), flees Tyre, founds Carthage [Timaeus of Tauromenium]

814

23 Joash (Jud)

Jehoahaz [17] becomes king of Israel

813

  Adad-nerari III becomes king of Assyria. Sammu-ramat becomes queen mother 811
  Typhon approaches earth 810
 

Proca Silvius becomes king of the Latins

803

37 Joash (Jud)

Joash [16] (Jehoash) ben Jehoahaz becomes king of Israel

799

2 Joash (Isr)

Amaziah [29] (Amulius [44]) becomes king of Judah

798

14 Amaziah3

Joash ben Jehoahaz plunders Jerusalem. Shoshenq IV becomes king of Egypt

785

-15 Azariah
15 Amaziah

Jehoash dies. Jeroboam II [41] becomes king of Israel. Azariah [52] becomes co-regent with Amaziah

784

 

Amulius seizes the throne at Alba Longa from Numitor, who is away at the time

780
 

Beginning of first Olympiad

776
 

Arctinus of Miletus, a pupil of Homer, writes The Ethiopis beginning with the death of Hector

ca 776
 

Pygmalion dies. Birth of Romulus to a "Syrian" and Rhea Sylvia, the daughter of Numitor

773

27/143 Jeroboam II

Amaziah (Amulius) is overthrown by his son Azariah (Uzziah), who becomes king of Judah. Amulius remains king at Alba Longa

758/7703

  Shoshenq V becomes king of Egypt 767
  Romulus murders Amulius, restores Numitor 754

 

 Romulus murders (the perhaps mythical) Remus, founds Rome [Diodorus], establishes Temple of the Asylæan God, a refuge for fugitives. Year 1 of the ab urbe condita system. Birth of Numa Pompilius

753

  Numitor dies. Capital moved to Rome 752
 

"E Manuscript" completed in Kingdom of Israel [Stecchini]

ca 750
  Jotham [16] rules Judah as co-regent of Azariah, who has leprosy 746

38 Azariah (Uzziah)2

Zechariah [0.5] becomes king of Israel

744

39 Azariah2

Shallum becomes king of Israel. Menahem [10] kills Shallum, becomes king of Israel

744

 

Menahem pays tribute to Pul (Tiglath-Pilesar III of Assyria)

738

50 Azariah

Pekahiah [2] (Jupiter Picus/Picus Martius) becomes king of Israel

735

52 Azariah2

Pekah [20] ben Remaliah (Picus of Rome/Romulus), in conjunction with a band of Gileadites, murders Pekahiah, becomes king of Israel

734

2 Pekah

Azariah dies. Jotham becomes king of Judah. Isaiah composes history of Azariah

733
  Pekah, allied with Rezin of Damascus, attacks Jerusalem in hopes of bringing them into alliance against Assyria ca 732–731
  Birth of Emmanuel (Hezekiah) ca 731
17 Pekah2

Ahaz [16] becomes king of Judah

731
 

 Tiglath-Pilesar III conquers most of Israel. Elements of the Ten Tribes flee to Rome, where Pekah ben Remaliah (Romulus) continues to rule until 715

731
12 Ahaz2
20 Jotham

Hoshea [93] becomes either king of remaining part of Israel or governor under the Assyrians. Osorkon IV becomes king of Egypt at Bubastis

730
7 Hoshea3

Hoshea requests aid from King So (Osorkon IV) of Egypt

724
6 Hezekiah2
9 Hoshea

Remaining part of Israel falls to Shalmaneser V of Assyria. Hoshea imprisoned

722
 

Sargon II represses final revolt of Israel

720
3 Hoshea2

Romulus (Pekah) disappears at age 58. Numa Pompilius becomes king at Rome. Hezekiah [29] (Emmanuel) becomes king of Judah. End 22nd Dynasty in Egypt. End 23rd Dynasty. End 24th Dynasty. Shabaka of the Nubian 25th Dynasty invades Egypt

715

14 Hezekiah

First campaign of Sennacherib in Judah

701

 

Tirhakah, priest of Vulcan3, becomes king of Egypt and Nubia

690

 

Typhon approaches earth. Second campaign of Sennacherib in Judah. Hezekiah, allied with Sethos (Tarkos/Tirhakah) of Egypt & Nubia, defeats Sennacherib, whose army is destroyed by a thunderbolt and/or rats [Velikovsky & Herodotus]. Hezekiah dies. Manasseh [55] becomes king of Judah

687

  Tullus Hostilius becomes king at Rome 673
 

Manasseh installs Asherah in the Temple. Ark of the Covenant removed, taken to Elephantine in Egypt [Graham Hancock]

ca 650
  Ancus Marcius becomes king at Rome 641

 

Amon [2] becomes king of Judah

638

 

Josiah [31] becomes king of Judah

637

18 Josiah3

"Holy books of Moses" "lighted upon" by Eliakim in the Temple3, as a result of which "J" and "E" Manuscripts combined to form J-E [Stecchini]. Josiah outlaws animal sacrifice anywhere other than the Temple5

620
  The Etruscan Lucius Tarquinius Priscus becomes fifth king at Rome until 579 616
 

Neco (Nekhao) II becomes king of Egypt

610

 

Neco II of Egypt defeats Josiah at Megiddo. Josiah dies. Jehoahaz becomes king of Judah. 3 months later Jehoiakim [113] (Eliakim) becomes king of Judah

607

4 Jehoiakim3

Nebuchadnezzar becomes king of Babylon

604
8 Jehoiakim3

Jehoiakim pays tribute to Nebuchadnezzar for 3 years

600

 

Jehoiachin becomes king of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar captures Jerusalem along with Jehoiachin. Zedekiah [113] (Mattaniah) is appointed king of Judah

597

 

Ezekiel encounters the "wheel" in 5th year of captivity of Jehoiachin

593

9 Zedekiah3

Nebuchadnezzar attacks Jerusalem

589
 

Birth of Zoroaster (Zarades) [Bundahišn]

588

11 Zedekiah3

Nebuchadnezzar, in his 18th year, destroys Temple, blinds Zedekiah and carries him into exile, ending the Jewish State

587

 

Gedaliah becomes governor of Judah at Mispah3

ca 587
 

Nebuchadnezzar attacks Egypt3

582
  Servius Tullius becomes king at Rome 579
 

Birth of Pythagoras at Samos

565

 

Typhon approaches earth. Birth of Siddhartha

563

 

Nebuchadnezzar dies

562
 

Pythagoras studies under Pherekydes, Thales, and Anaximander

 
 

Anaximander dies. Pythagoras visits the cities of the Phoenicians at age 18

547

 

Cyrus II (the Great) enters Babylon

539

 

Cyrus returns treasures from Temple. Judah returns from exile. Ancestors of Mithras remain at Babylon, later migrate to Parthia. Polycrates becomes dictator of Samos. Pythagoras moves to Egypt at age 27

538
  Tarquinius Superbus becomes king at Rome 534
 

Cyrus crucified by the Scythians [Diodorus]

530
 

Cambyses II conquers Egypt. Pythagoras taken to Babylon [Iamblichos]

525
 

Pythagoras studies under Zoroaster, visits India

 
 

Second Temple completed

517
 

Polycrates crucified by Oroetes

515
 

Pythagoras returns to Samos [Iamblichos]. Pherekydes dies

513
  Tarquinius Superbus dies 510
 

Foundation of Roman Republic. Pythagoras moves to Kroton (Croton) in southern Italy at age 56, founds school, invents Tower of Zeus (the precursor of the Tarot deck) and other astrogeometrical devices

509
 

Pythagoras moves to Metapontum

489
  Birth of Herodotus at Halicarnassus ca 484
 

Pythagoras dies at age 95

470
  Ezra supposedly brings Priestly Code from Babylon 458
  Herodotus visits Egypt after 448
 

Temple at Elephantine destroyed. Ark moved to Tana Kirkos in Lake Tana in Ethiopia [Graham Hancock]4

ca 410
 

J-E and Priestly Code combined into early form of Pentateuch

ca 400
 

Alexander becomes king of Macedon

336
 

Alexander passes through Jerusalem under mysterious circumstances

331
  Alexander dies 323
     

1Dark Red: Kingdom of Judah.  Blue: Kingdom of Israel.  Green: Kingdom of Tyre.  Bright Red: Kingdom of Egypt.  Bold: Kingdom of Assyria.  Violet: Kingdom of Latium.
2Anomalous.  3Based on Josephus.  4Taken to Axum ca AD 330.
5This proscription is in contrast to the presence of an altar used for animal sacrifices at Elephantine in the late 5th Century BC.

 

The Throne of David

The power and influence of Solomon as described in the bible, whether real or imagined, would not have been possible without the exploits and empire building of his immediate predecessor, David. There is little direct historical evidence of the second official Jewish king (the later "judges" were kings in everything but name) beyond a couple of fragmentary inscriptions that refer to kings identified as members of the "House of David." The first of these is the Aramaic Tel Dan Stele on which King Hazael celebrates his defeat of a king of Israel, Jehoram ben Ahab, and a king of Judah, Ahaziah ben Jehoram of the "House of David" who only ruled for one year, in 841 BC according to the current reconstruction. The second and earlier is the Moabite Stone on which King Mesha of Moab celebrates his victory over the son of Omri, presumably Ahab, of the "House of David" sometime between 870 and 851 BC. The earlier of these two dates is only 76 years after the reconstructed year of David's death in 946 BC and the latter is still less than a century. These folks were not claiming descent from some legendary king but from someone whose memory may still have survived among the living.

David's empire purportedly extended from the Nile to the Euphrates, and modern Arab commentators have taken this opportunity to suggest that the goal of the reestablished Jewish State is to return to these ancient boundaries which they visualize as a great quadrilateral running on its southern side from Upper Egypt to southern Mesopotamia, even imagining that the star and the two parallel stripes of the Israeli flag represent this Greater Israel between the two rivers rather than the flag's historically obvious derivation from the traditional Jewish prayer shawl. Beyond this absurdity, the actual kingdom of David, if the bible is to be taken seriously, would have covered a fairly narrow strip of mainly coastal land running across the northern Sinai Peninsula, northward along the eastern Mediterranean coast and extending inland not much farther than the Jordan River, and finally ending in Syria, extending eastward there only as far as the Euphrates. Most of these areas were at one time or another controlled by the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their Phoenician and other allies or were part of the lands controlled by the Kingdom of Ugarit and its proto-Jewish rulers. To this extent there is nothing particularly extraordinary about the size of David's purported kingdom, simply consisting as it did of the sometimes only marginally fertile lands between Egypt and Assyria. In modern terms, this kingdom would have included the Egyptian Sinai, Israel, Palestine, possibly Lebanon, and a small part of either Jordan or Syria.

By the current chronology (see Chapter Four for details), David ascended the throne at Hebron in 966 BC and began to rule the United Jewish Kingdom in 963 where he ruled until 946, an astronomically significant period of 20 years. Sometime near the year 925, Shoshenq I invaded Palestine. As we have already noted, he left a record of that campaign and, peculiarly enough, there is no mention of Jerusalem, though there have been various attempts to explain this discrepancy. However, archaeologically, there was no city of Jerusalem to speak of during the 10th Century BC. As Israel Finkelstein writes in "A Low Chronology Update" on the Tel Aviv University website,

Regardless of the chronology debate, archaeology has produced a totally different picture. In the 10th century Jerusalem was a small, poor, unfortified village ...; meticulous surveys show that the highlands of Judah―the backbone of the supposed great United Monarchywas sparsely inhabited in the 10th century by a dozen of small villages, with a population of no more than a few thousand people .... There is no sign of monumental building activity in 10th century Judah .... And most important of all, over a century of excavations in every sector of Jerusalem and in every significant site in Judah failed to reveal any evidence for a meaningful scribal activity and literacy in the 10th century ....

So we are left with two possibilities. Either David never existed as the great ruler described in the bible, though he almost certainly existed in some capacity, or he ruled from somewhere other than the place known to the modern world as Jerusalem.

Fortunately, we are not totally without clues here, though they are few and far between. The most obvious of these are the locations of the battles commemorated in the Tel Dan Stele and the Moabite Stone. Tel Dan is located almost 30 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. The Moabite Stone was found at modern Dhiban in Jordan east of the Dead Sea in ancient Moab, over 120 miles south of Dan as the crow flies. The implication is that the Jewish kingdoms of the mid 9th Century ruled all the way from Dan to the Amon River and that Judah, the House of David, had a military presence as far north as the southern slope of Mount Herman. It has been suggested by some that the Israelite kingdom was exclusively "Omride," established by Omri and expanded by his son Ahab, but transferred to the earlier period of David and Solomon by the later redactors of the bible for political and theological reasons. This is possible, but it seems a bit disingenuous in that a century is not an inordinately long period of time in which to establish an empire.

By the time of the Battle of Karkar in 853 Ahab had an army that consisted of at least 10,000 soldiers and 2000 chariots. In that year a combined force of Levantine states with limited support from Egypt met Shalmaneser III of Assyria at Karkar southwest of Aleppo in the first of "three years without war between Aram and Israel" just barely noted in the bible within a continuous stream of Levitical invective against Ahab and his Phoenician wife Jezebel. The Kurkh Monolith gives the following list of troops, cavalry, and chariotry "defeated" by Shalmaneser before he managed to withdraw with his skin intact across the Euphrates River. These forces were not created out of thin air and would have required an economy large enough to support them.

King (kingdom)

Chariots

Cavalry

Troops

       

Hadad-ezer (Damascus)

1200

1200

20,000

 

     

Ahab (Israelite)

2000

10,000

Iruleni (Hamathite)

700

700

10,000

(Byblos)

500

(Egypt)

500

(Irqanatu)

10 10,000

Matinu-ba'al (Arvad)

200

(Usanatu)

200

Adon-ba'al (Shianu)

30 1000s

Gindibu (Arabia)

1000 (camels)

Ba-asa (Ammonite)

100s

Despite the presence of Hadad and ten allies, the monolith refers to a group of "twelve kings" under Hadad, the Assyrian expression referring to any large alliance. The term "twelve tribes" of Judah and Israel comes to mind. The forces of Judah do not show up, at least independently, on the Kurkh Monolith. Brad Kelle, in "What's in a Name" in the Journal of Biblical Literature of 2002, specifically suggests that Ahab's forces included those of Judah, Moab, Tyre, and Sidon and that "one may also suggest that the designation 'Israel' here refers to a kingdom with its capital at Samaria that included the subordinate territories of Moab, Edom, and Judah, and perhaps contingents from Phoenicia." The fact that the earlier Tel Dan Stele already has a king of the House of David, i.e. Judah, operating in the far north of the Kingdom of Israel, indicating at least a military alliance between the two states, may hearken back to the earlier Solomonic period. So we are left with our earlier suspicion that it was his capital city of Jerusalem that was interpolated into the later accounts of King David and not his entire historical existence.

 

Solomon and Shulmanu

Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon
with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals,
and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
—Abishag, in the Song of Solomon

After the death of his father David, Solomon, whom we dealt with briefly in Chapter One, became king. The biblical name of this third king of Israel and Judah follows a certain pattern that has become increasingly apparent as we have examined the relations among the Hebrews and their neighbors. The following list will bring to mind what this pattern looks like:

Biblical Name

Historical Name

 

 

Ham

Hammu-rabi

Shem

Samsu-iluna

Eber

Ibiranu

Abram

Ibiranu

Jacob

Yaqaru

Amram

Meren-Ptah

Aaron

Irsu

Miriam

Sit-re Mery-amun

Moses

Rameses Khamenteru

Job

Ayyabu

There is a remarkable tendency here to sometimes abbreviate and always obscure names that are obviously foreign so as to literally and intentionally remove them from any easily retrievable historical context. To this list we can now add:

Solomon

Shulmanu

Shulmanu was the Western Semitic fertility god and god of war and also of the underworld. His name occurs in those of some of the Assyrian kings named Shulmanu-asharidu, more commonly known as Shalmaneser I–V. The association with Shulmanu goes a long way toward explaining the presence in the bible, despite the heroic efforts of many a theologian and bible commentator to explain it away, of what appears for all the world like an ancient theatrical presentation based on what is commonly seen as a love affair between King Solomon and an unidentified lover, a play that reminds us of those performed in Greece in later days. As Robert Graves tells us in The White Goddess, "The Canticles [from the Latin for song], though apparently no more than a collection of village love-songs .... The fact is that originally they celebrated the mysteries of an annual sacred marriage between Salmaah the King of the year and the Flower Queen, and their Hellenistic influence is patent." Graves continues, "The 'lillies' are the red anemones that sprang up from the drops of blood that fell from Adonis's side when the wild boar killed him. The apple is the Sidonian (i.e. Cretan) apple, or quince, sacred to Aphrodite the Love-goddess .... The true apple was not known in Palestine in Biblical times .... But the apple grew wild in ancient times on the Southern shores of the Black Sea ... and around Trebizond still occasionally forms small woods." Later he elaborates, "... Solomon of the Proverbs was a sour philosopher, not a romantic poet like the Galilean 'Solomon' of the Canticles who is really Salmaah, the Kenite Dionysus, making love in Hellenistic style to his twin-sister, the May bride of Shulem."

We have already noted that there was little of archaeological interest at Jerusalem in the 10th Century BC. There are, however, indications of a more northerly location in the description of events found in the Song of Solomon. Leroy Waterman writes in "The Role of Solomon in the Song of Songs" in the Journal of Biblical Literature of 1925 that,

It is clear ... that the original seat of the Tammuz cult as associated with the Song has been changed at least once and perhaps twice, with the consequent likelihood of modifications due to the process of migrations and changed environment. It is evident from the poem itself that at one time it centered in the Lebanon and that region of the extreme north of Israel. Was it earlier located at Babylonia? Its center was, at any rate, later transferred from Lebanon to Jerusalem and this still remains its focal point ....

Waterman echoes Graves in identifying the loved one of the Song as Tammuz and distinguishes him from Solomon, who also appears, while he identifies the Shulamite with Ishtar. The Song contains definite allusions to the story of Ishtar's descent into the underworld in search of her lover Tammuz. We have noted that Shulmanu was the West Semitic god of the underworld, whom Waterman identifies with the Babylonian Nergal, so, as he duly notes, Solomon is here playing that role in this little play. As Waterman says, "... Her longed for and lost lover logically goes back to an earlier form of Tammuz, fittingly expressed throughout the poem in the form Dod(a)i." The writer is being coy here, for he also gives the Hebrew spelling of the name, דוד, along with the vowel points that make it "beloved," without which it is readily apparent who this longed for person is. I have walked through enough Jewish cemeteries in search of genealogical data to know the name David when I see it. Yes, dear reader, the second male lead in this performance is the elusive founder of the House of David himself, the father of Solomon.

If the events portrayed in the Song of Songs are at all indicative of actual events on the ground, then it may be possible to determine when these events were supposed to have occurred, since they involved three different elements; the death of the "lover," i.e. David; the need of the Shulamite to resurrect him; and Solomon's attempt to woo her away from the deceased David. By the current reconstruction David died in 946 BC at the age of 35 and Solomon became king that same year after engaging in a reign of terror reminiscent of Constantine, so we may confidently place the performance of this ritual in the year before the political marriage of Solomon and the daughter of Shoshenq I and we are justified in seeking the actual name of the Shulamite in the biblical account of the last days of King David.

The theory had already been propounded in the early years of the 20th Century that Shulamite was a corruption or variant of Shunammite and that this Shunammite was Abishag who appears toward the end of David's life in the early chapters of First Kings. David had been struck by some disease that left him with constant chills and a search was supposedly instituted to find him someone to keep him warm. "And the damsel was very fair; and she became a companion unto the king, and ministered to him; but the king knew her not." Like Selame, Shunem―modern Sulam―was in the land of Issachar in Galilee. The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 identifies Shunem with Graves' Shulem from whence the May bride came, as did Eusebius.

As the 70-year-old of the bible, David hardly fits the role of Tammuz, but as the 35-year-old of our reconstruction, referred to in his youth as "ruddy, and withal of beautiful eyes, and goodly to look upon," in short, the Adonis-like visage of Michelangelo's David, cut down by disease and not by old age, the story makes perfect sense as a reenactment of the myth of Tammuz and Ishtar, even to the point of his earlier life as a shepherd. Again, as before, the elimination of the artificial extension of the biblical timeline brings previously unknown clarity to the events described.

The following is based on the King James Version of The Song of Solomon, mainly for reasons of poetic superiority, but incorporating the divisions to be found in the New King James Version―based on the grammatical (gender and number) structure of the piece. Waterman has recognized the presence of two independent male speakers, but he has made a muddle of the attributions. These are strictly chronological, David being followed by Solomon, who appears about halfway through the narrative, at about the time that David has finally died and gone to the underworld, where Abishag attempts to follow him. The term "beloved" has been replaced with the proper noun "David" in line with our identification of Waterman's "Dod(a)i" with King David, except where the alternate meaning is clear, making it easier to distinguish between David and Solomon in the Song. I have added a short dramatis personae at the beginning.

 

The Song of Songs, Which Is Solomon's

 

Dramatis Personae:

Abishag (Aphrodite/Ishtar), the Shulamite, bride of David.
David (Adonis/Tammuz),
the beloved, the old king.
Solomon (Dionysus/Nergal), lord of the underworld, the new king.
Daughters of Jerusalem [Shulem], women's chorus.
Brothers of Abishag, vintners from the countryside.

 

Abishag (Ch. 1): Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savor of thy good ointments, thy name is as ointment poured forth; therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me.1

Chorus: We will run after thee.2

Abishag: The king hath brought me into his chambers.

Chorus: We will be glad and rejoice in thee; we will remember thy love more than wine.

Abishag: The upright love thee. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of [Shulem], as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me. My mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but mine own vineyard have I not kept. Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon; for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

David: If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents. I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.3

Chorus: We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.

Abishag: While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof. A bundle of myrrh is my wellbeloved unto me; he shall lie all night between my breasts. My David is unto me as a cluster of henna in the vineyards of Engedi.

David: Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.

Abishag: Behold, thou art fair, my David, yea, pleasant. Also our bed is green. The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir. (Ch. 2) I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

David: As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

Abishag: As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my David among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. I charge you, O ye daughters of [Shulem], by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

The voice of my David! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

My David is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice. My David spake, and said unto me:

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

Brothers of Abishag: Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

Abishag: My David is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my David, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

(Ch. 3) By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. I charge you, O ye daughters of [Shulem], by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

(Ch. 3: ver. 6) Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant? Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel. They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night. King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon. He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of [Shulem]. Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

Solomon (Ch. 4): Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.4

Abishag: Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Solomon (Ch. 5): I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

Abishag: I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my David that knocketh, saying,

Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

Abishag: I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My David put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my David; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my David; but my David had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. [Descent into the underworld:] The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.  I charge you, O daughters of [Shulem], if ye find my David, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

Chorus: What is thy David more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy David more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

Abishag: My David is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my David, and this is my friend, O daughters of [Shulem].

Chorus (Ch. 6): Whither is thy David gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy David turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

Abishag: My David is gone down into his garden [into the underworld], to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my David's, and my David is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

Solomon: Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as [Shulem], terrible as an army with banners. Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead. Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them. As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks. There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

Abishag: I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded. Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.

Friends of Solomon (Ch. 7): Return, return, O Shulamite [from the underworld]; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

Solomon: How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins. Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus. Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries. How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine.

Abishag: For my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. I am my Beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

(Ch. 8) O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised. I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me. I charge you, O daughters of [Shulem], that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

Relative: Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

Abishag: Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Brothers of Abishag: We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

Abishag: I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour. Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.

Solomon: Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.

Abishag: Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

1Red indicates the voice of Abishag. 2Black indicates the voices of the chorus and the minor characters.
3Blue indicates the voice of King David. 4Green
indicates the voice of King Solomon.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Once we recognize the point at which David disappears, at the beginning of chapter 3, the appearance of Solomon at 3:6 jumps out at us as nothing less than the arrival of Solomon, whoever he may ultimately turn out to be, in the Lebanon. We immediately see from the above theatrical-like presentation that this particular Solomon does not quite fit the other biblical account that sees him simply as the semi-legitimate successor of David, and we can begin to understand the peculiar plot twists required to place him on the throne, the murders of retribution that follow his ascension, and even the hatred expressed toward him and his progeny by their subjects. In this light, he looks more like a foreign invader than the legitimate king of Israel.

 

Who Was the Queen of Sheba?

Upon the installation of Solomon, David's son Adonijah asks for the hand of Abishag in marriage. Solomon immediately has him murdered, apparently because marriage to Abishag would somehow (perhaps in a survival of matriarchal succession) reinforce Adonijah's earlier claim to the throne. If our interpretation of the Song of Solomon is correct, Solomon then courts and wins the hand of Abishag and thereby seals his own claim to the throne. Our suspicion is that the paternal ancestry of Solomon—Shulmanu—represented a breakaway faction of the Assyrian Empire. The newly established Egyptian 22nd Dynasty would then have adopted a pro-Assyrian stance, and even Assyrian names for their kings, as a reaction to the threatening presence of Assyrian forces on their border. But who exactly was Solomon? And who was his mother—despite the "explanations" of the Hebrew linguists—simply referred to as "Daughter of Sheba," as another important person in his life was simply referred to as the "Queen of Sheba"? The following preliminary genealogy may serve to shed some light on the matter:

Genealogy of the Early House of David

The reader may have noticed that I have inferred that the "queen" of Sheba was identical with the mother of Solomon, referred to in the bible as "Bath-Sheba" (meaning "daughter of Sheba"). It is commonly assumed that the former was already a queen when she left the land of Saba in southern Arabia. I would like to present an alternative view.

The key to this quandary is the quantity and nature of the goods she brought with her from Arabia. As it says in First Kings,

And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bore spices and gold very much, and precious stones....

Later,

And she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents [1 talent=approx. 30 Kg] of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones; there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

That is approximately 3600 Kg of gold, or 115,000 troy ounces. In modern terms, at the current price of gold (as of August of 2011), that would be approximately 185 million American dollars worth of gold. Clearly, this may be an exaggeration, as much about David and Solomon may be exaggerations, but even so, this was no ordinary "present," no matter how profligate. There can be no other explanation than that it was a dowry paid by one king to another, in preparation for the marriage of the daughter of the former to the latter. This would make her the princess of Sheba, only to become queen upon her marriage to King David. And it was as a princess of the royal house of Saba that she would later insist that her son Solomon should succeed to the throne of Israel. This occurred long before Solomon built his fleet at Ezion-geber, despite the location of the story in the bible, so that the need for camels would indicate that the joint fleet of Solomon and Hiram, which was capable of bringing vast treasures from as far away as Ophir in India, was not yet available. This marriage, along with all of the other marital alliances engaged in by the early House of David, would finally lead, in 907 BC, to the presence of a descendant of earlier rulers of Kish, Arabia, and Egypt on the throne of Judah.

 

The City of Solomon

Solomon built temples for his wives, all of the important ones.

Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, besides the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites .... And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines .... For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the detestation of the Ammonites.... Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the detestation of Moab, in the mount that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestation of the children of Ammon. And so did he for all his foreign wives, who offered and sacrificed unto their gods.

The Levites spun this fact and made those temples dedicated to gods other than Yahweh the product of his old age and his drifting away from the worship of their "true God," but the fact is that the Temple of Yahweh was only one of many and had no special significance to anyone but one of his wives, her fellow worshippers, and the later Levites and their followers. This was because Solomon was not simply king of the Jews. He was king, or leader, of a federation that covered the entire region from the Euphrates River to the borders of Egypt and may have had political relationships as far away as Sheba in southern Arabia and Ophir on the Indus, supposedly reached by a fleet of ships sailing from Eilat and manned by Israelites and Phoenicians. This was no petty mountain kingdom as some have claimed, but neither was it the great empire of the early Jewish kings ruled from the biblical Jerusalem. So again, the bible is right in its broad brush strokes but the details have been fudged to fit the political and theological agenda of a later priesthood.

As we have seen time and time again in the current study, the bible rarely strays very far from the actual truth and there is often a cryptic and easily overlooked clue at hand. So we are justified in asking whether the true location of Solomon's Temple is not hinted at somewhere in the description of events surrounding the breakup of the United Monarchy.

And Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all of Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it―for he was yet in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt, and they sent and called him―that Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spoke unto Rehoboam ...."

Now Shechem was a seminal location in the lives of the forerunners of Solomon. Abraham built an altar there. It was, according to some, the place where he stopped upon entering Canaan and it was the place where Yahweh himself gave Abraham the future land of Israel. Joseph is supposed to be buried there, though we have already seen that his mummy remains in Egypt. Jacob's sons are purported to have massacred the population at one point. It is mentioned in the Amarna letters found at Akhnaton's short-lived capital of Akhetaton, its ruler Labayu having hired mercenaries from among the Habiru, associated by some with the early Hebrews. Joshua assembled the tribes there for the purpose of making a covenant with them after his conquest of Canaan, and it later became the religious capital of the Samaritans. According to the article on the Samaritans in the Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1890, the Samaritans

claim to possess the orthodox religion of Moses .... But they regard the Jewish temple and priesthood as schismatical, and declare that the true sanctuary of God's choice is not Zion but Mt. Gerizim, overhanging Shechem ....

The city had a Bronze Age temple of Baal-berith, "Baal of the covenant," or El-berith, (El of the covenant?) and was conquered and rebuilt by the Israelites in the 10th Century after having been destroyed in the 11th, possibly by Abimelech. This was the first tripartite temple in Palestine and in this regard resembled Solomon's missing Temple. Shechem was the first capital of the Northern Kingdom, so that it appears that Rehoboam did not just lose the fealty of the ten tribes of Israel, he was summarily ejected from his own capital, so angry were they at his presumptuousness―or as a direct result of his association with the harsh conditions that followed the catastrophe of circa 934 (see Chapter 8), hinted at but never described in First Kings, where the people of Israel say to him:

Thy father made our yoke grievous; now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

How did Jerusalem come to be identified with Solomon? Ahmed Osman, in Jesus in the House of the Pharaohs, points out that many scholars derive the name Jerusalem, Urusalim in the Akkadian of the Tell el Amarna letters, from the words yarah meaning "to found" and Shalim or Shulmanu, the latter of whom we have already had the pleasure of meeting in the very person of "Solomon" as presented in the Song of Songs. So Jerusalem was "founded by [the god] Shulmanu," not a terribly long etymological distance from the concept of its foundation by King Solomon. The problem with the biblical account is that the city was built in the name of Shulmanu long before the rise of the Jewish kingdom in the area and even before the first Shalmaneser ruled Assyria. Osman disputes the translation, but it is clear that the area of Jerusalem must have been a major cultic center of Shulmanu long before the decay had set in that left the city itself virtually nonexistent by the 10th Century BC.

 

The Arrival of Kingship in Israel

Kenneth Humphries, on his website dedicated to the proposition that the entire bible is fictional―an understandable proposition considering the, especially chronological, distortions it contains―nevertheless manages to retrieve a clue originally discovered by a Swiss collector and former diplomat that speaks to the problem of the true nature of Solomon's Temple. Humphries quotes an Assyrian stele due to Shamshi-Adad V (824-811 BC):

I ascended the Lebanon mountains and cut down the mighty beams of cedar. At that time I carried those cedars from Lebanon and at the gate of the temple of Shulmânu, my lord, I laid them down.... The old temple which Shalmaneser [859-824 BC], my father, had built, had become decrepit, and I, in my skill, rebuilt that temple from its foundations to its pinnacles.... The beams of cedar from Lebanon I laid on it.... When this temple becomes old and decrepit, may a future prince renew its decrepit parts and return the inscription to its place.

Humphries thinks that the Solomon of the bible is the god Shulmanu worshipped in Assyria, which he very well may have been on some level or another of legendary development, but the real implication here is simply that the building of temples dedicated to the God of Solomon out of cedar from Lebanon was not limited to the kingdom of Israel and that there were kings named after Shulmanu elsewhere than at Ashur, just as there were Hammurabis at places other than Babylon and there were Sargons among the descendants of Shem and even Osorkons among the Egyptians.

So here we have three consecutive Jewish rulers whose names look like truncations of theophoric names based on the gods of the Western Semites concurrently worshipped by the Assyrians and other nearby peoples. This phenomenon was not restricted to Israel. According to George Rawlinson, again in his book on Assyria in The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient World, with the beginning of the 22nd Dynasty and extending through the 23rd, the names of the Egyptian kings became Assyrian.

It is very remarkable that exactly in this interval of darkness, when Assyria would seem, from the failure both of buildings and records, to have been especially and exceptionally weak, occurs the first appearance of her having extended her influence beyond Syria into the great and ancient monarchy of Egypt. In the twenty-second Egyptian dynasty ... Assyrian names appear for the first time in the Egyptian dynastic lists. It has been supposed from this circumstance that the entire twenty-second dynasty, together with that which succeeded it, was Assyrian ....

Rawlinson tries to explain this away in terms of intermarriages of the Egyptian kings with foreign rulers, and later historians have claimed that these names are actually Libyan in origin, but the fact is that the beginning of the 22nd Dynasty and the advent of its Assyrian-named kings is precisely concurrent with the rise of Solomon―Shulmanu (or even Shulmanu-asharidu)―so that the picture painted here, after the timeline has been shorn of its inflated valuations, is quite consistent with the background painted by the Old Testament. For it is David who is supposed to have built an empire from the Euphrates to the Nile, and then we are told that Solomon, his immediate successor, formed an alliance of blood with the Egyptians just to the west of David's empire. What is normally lost is that this action, the sending of a daughter of the pharaoh to marry Solomon, is not that of a great power toward a client state. It is the action of a client state toward a regional power, as the Japanese shogun kept the relatives of the local kings, or daimyo, captive at Edo. And we have to suspect that the appearance of Assyrian names in Egypt resulted from the same forces that led to the establishment of Assyrian-named kings in Israel, and that those early kings of Israel were more closely aligned with the Assyrians than has ever been suspected. At this point we need to look at the installation of Saul as king of Israel and whether there is evidence of an Assyrian hand in these events.

According to First Samuel, the people of Israel began to demand a king to rule over them and protect them against the surrounding nations, all of which had kings. This would have been in 986 BC according to the current reconstruction. They went to Samuel, who was serving as judge and keeper of the Ark of the Covenant at the time. Samuel settled on Saul because...well...er...he was available. It seems his father had sent him on a search after some missing asses and he just happened to visit Samuel at the instigation of his servant to learn "concerning our journey whereon we go." Nothing is said about why the animals were missing nor what exactly his unnamed servant expected to learn about their lost animal hunt. After asking directions from the requisite young maidens drawing water at the town well, Saul manages to find Samuel, who tells him his lost asses have been found and that he is to be king of Israel, because...well...er...Yahweh told him so. Many of the elements here remind us of the machinations people go through to get someone to a surprise birthday party. This is the point where alarm bells should go off in the head of anyone who understands how the editors of the bible liked to hide things from the view of their congregants. It turns out that Saul was the son of Kish―or rather he was named something on the order of "Saul of Kish"―and a longer genealogy is presented going back to Aphiah of the tribe of Benjamin, whoever he was, whose father was a "mighty man of valour," by which is apparently meant a person of some note, at least within the confines of the not exactly globally known patriarchy of Benjamin. This all has the smell of those quaint little stories about the origins of the names of people and places one finds in the bible that have nothing to do with reality beyond perhaps a local folk tale or two. My point here is that Saul basically appears from nowhere out of the mists of time, and his ascension to the hitherto nonexistent throne of Israel is already suspicious, for Kish was a major city of the Sumerians and Akkadians east of Babylon and Saül later appeared as an element in the name of a member of the Assyrian royal family serving as viceroy of Babylonia (Saül-mugina), so that the implication that emerges from the fog along with Saul is that he had some relation to the rulers of Assyria and Babylonia beyond that of his supposed ancestor Benjamin, the son of Yaqaru, king of Ugarit and purported descendant of Hammurabi.

Saul ruled for 20 years according to Josephus, and we can imagine that the authors of the bible would have called it 40 if they had managed to remember to include this important bit of information. Samuel immediately decided that Saul was not the proper king of Israel because...well...er...he didn't follow his instructions to the letter, and immediately ran off to anoint David as king, an anointment that led to David's immediate acquisition of visionary powers (or drug induced psychosis) though it took the better part of two decades for this anointment to take effect, despite Saul's possession by evil spirits who could only be exorcised by David's magical harp. (Who writes this stuff?) The only rational conclusion that can be drawn from this inconsistent patchwork of legends and tall tales is that none of it is true and that Saul was placed on the newly created throne of Israel by forces beyond its borders, with or without the help of the Israelite priesthood and judgeship. The actual transfer of kingship from Saul to David appears to have resulted from the marriage of the latter to Michal, the daughter of the former, indicating the survival of matriarchal transmission of the royal bloodline even at that late date. Again, the ruler of a client state gave his daughter in marriage to the representative of a regional power, in this case, one with Assyrian connections.

Beyond these general outlines, it is difficult to determine precisely what happened during the early years of the Jewish kingdom. It is, however, important to point out the apparently invented nature of the ancestries of Saul and David, especially of the latter, at least before Boaz. As we have already noticed in Chapter 4, there were twelve generations from Joseph to Joshua, a fact that is evident from First Chronicles but edited out of the account in Exodus. In like manner, there are only twelve generations from Jacob to David, a period of four and a half centuries that would lead to an unrealistically long average generation of 37.5 years. As we will see in Chapter 12, it is only as early as David that the gospel authors intersect in presenting their contradictory genealogies of Jesus. So, it would not be hyperbolic to suggest at this point that the key series of events―in the development of the later history and religion of the Jews and ultimately also of the followers, originally, of Yeshu the Nazir―was the arrival of kingship in Israel, a kingship that appeared at a point when the fortunes of Assyria and Babylonia, from the few fragments of written records that remain, were at their lowest ebb.

The lack of historical detail in our knowledge of the period during which Saul, David, and Solomon ruled the land of the Israelites and beyond is no accident. In southern Europe, this period fell within the so-called Greek Dark Ages, and that age of obscurity extended across much of the civilized world of the time. The peculiar thing about the followers of Immanuel Velikovsky is that they have used this dark age and parallel sparsely documented eras in the histories of other civilizations to facilitate their rearrangement of the historical timeline in the furtherance of their literal reading of the bible, artificially expanded chronology and all, whereas the very cosmic catastrophes uncovered originally―if imperfectly―by Dr. Velikovsky may be used to explain in the most profound of terms those very gaps in the historical record. There is something bordering on the schizoid here, for the good doctor and his followers would have us believe that those catastrophes were so intense that they led to a kind of global amnesia analogous to certain varieties of hysteria in the individual, while denying the existence of actual cultural breaks in the development of civilization due to those very catastrophes.

The Greek Dark Ages are normally placed between approximately 1150 and 800 BC. As we shall see in the next chapter, this period covers a number of global events of a decidedly negative if not downright catastrophic nature, within a much longer series, after which civilization seems to have regained its balance long enough to begin keeping serious records again. The actual precipitating event seems to have been whatever caused the tree ring minimum of 1159 BC, synchronous with the Battle of Gibeon in Israelite history and the widespread introduction of iron working in the Near East. 1036, the year of the next event, was the first year of Philistine domination of Israel and was marked by the birth of Samson the Nazir. By 933, Solomon had risen to the height of his power and, as we have already suggested, this further event may have been the cause of the precipitous decline of Israelite power toward the end of the 10th Century BC. Only after the event of 810 does the world seem to have fully regained its equilibrium, perhaps because of the limited effects of that event. So there is no reason to be surprised that no one in Egypt or Mesopotamia took much notice of what was happening on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. These great civilizations barely took note of each other during this period!

As George Smith recognized in his Assyria from the Earliest of Times to the Fall of Nineveh, the time of Saul, David, and Solomon was marked by the decline of Assyrian power in the region. Yet, as we have just seen, the first three kings of united Israel had names that can be seen as Assyrian in origin. And then the Egyptians began to use anomalous Assyrian style names at the time of the appearance of Solomon on the throne of Israel. There was even a series of Osorkons (or Sargons) during the 22nd Dynasty. How do we square these two disparate tendencies without resorting to a Velikovsky style re-sorting of the historical record? The clue is the appellation given to Saul, "ben Kish." Despite the attempt by the biblical editors to turn this into a familial reference, it is a clear indication of the nature of the Assyrian influence that appears, seemingly out of nowhere, at the time of the ascendancy of Saul. For Kish was, as we have already mentioned, one of the ancient capitals of Sumer as far back as 2950 BC, perhaps the principle city of the Sumerians. It was later conquered by the Akkadians who formed the joint kingdom of Sumer and Akkad and by the time of Saul Akkad had been under Assyrian rule for 600 years, so that its inhabitants must have been thoroughly Assyrianized. They would have, no doubt, spoken the Assyrian language, worshipped their gods, named their children after those gods, and obeyed their laws. But as the Assyrian power waned, it is reasonable to assume that the former nationalistic fervor of the city would have begun to reassert itself, perhaps resulting in a military campaign that would have battled its way northward along the upper reaches of the Euphrates River recently vacated by the Assyrians and finally marched southwards along the western arc of the Fertile Crescent until it reached the city of Shechem. This is the point where Samuel would have found himself in the position of either accepting the kingship of Saul or having his judgeship crushed by the invading army from Kish. Later, Solomon would build a port at the extreme northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, suggesting an attempt to reestablish the southern sea lanes of the Akkadian Empire that we will look at more closely in Chapter Eleven. The association of the "Queen" of Sheba at Saba in southern Arabia with Solomon fits well with this attempt to reestablish hegemony over the former southern possessions of the Akkadians, even as far as India. The Sabaeans themselves had outposts in what is now Ethiopia where the Ark is purported to rest.

A decade or so before the death of Solomon the mid 930s saw the rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and the return of Assyrian power to the region. Ashur-dan II began his reign in 935 or thereabouts. He was the first Assyrian king to conquer adjoining lands in well over a century, thus applying pressure from the east on Solomon's confederation. To what extent this reawakening of Assyrian influence was tied to geophysical events is currently unknown, though it is a reasonable hypothesis within the context of the current reconstruction.

 

Is There Balm in Gilead?—Romulus and the Lost Tribes of Israel

In 773 BC, Romulus was born, purportedly somewhere near the Tiber River. Twenty years later, in 753, he murdered his twin brother Remus and founded Rome. The year before, he had murdered his great-uncle Amulius, king of the Latins at Alba Longa, thus restoring his maternal grandfather Numitor to the throne. Later, in Israel, Pekah ("ben Remaliah") murdered Pekahiah in 734 to become the last independent king of Israel. By the end of 731, Tiglath-Pilesar of Assyria had conquered most of the Northern Kingdom and Hoshea had supposedly murdered Pekah and become king himself of the remaining fragment of the kingdom, or was the governor of Israel under the Assyrian king. Yet Pekah is supposed to have reigned for 20 years, which would bring his kingship down to 715, ruling somewhere other than Israel over the remnants of what have come to be known as the Lost Tribes of Israel. 715 was the very year that Romulus died at Rome and was replaced by the Sabine, Numa Pompilius. Though far from provable at this point, the limited evidence available to us suggests that Romulus and ben Remaliah were the same person, that he was king of the ten tribes in Israel and later at Rome, that he murdered his way to the top before finally losing decisively to the Assyrian Empire, and that he led his followers, Moses-like, out of Israel to their new home in what is now Italy. Like Moses, the infant Romulus is supposed to have been retrieved from a crude boat that was floated down the river, in this case, by Amulius. The river was the Tiber.

In this regard, Thomas Blackwell enumerates the similarities between Romulus and Moses in his Letters Concerning Mythology, published at London in 1748:

...  I. Romulus at his birth was exposed in the river for fear of a great king: So was Moses.  II. Romulus was spared by the water, and most fortunately preserved: So was Moses. III. Romulus was educated as a shepherd, and kept his supposed father's flocks: So did Moses.  IV. Romulus defeated and killed the king who had caused him to be exposed: So did Moses.  V. Romulus led forth tribes to new seats, was a lawgiver and founder of a state: So was Moses.  VI. Romulus introduced a senate or court of elders into his new polity: So did Moses.  VII. Romulus was both king and priest, and had a brother more priestly than himself: So was Moses and had a brother the same.  VIII. Romulus conquered kings, and with hands lifted up to heaven, averted a defeat, and obtained a victory: So did Moses.  IX. In fine, Romulus disappeared from among men, prone to worship him as a god, the manner of his death and place of his burial being equally unknown: So did Moses in every point.

Some of these parallels are strong, i.e., the two accounts strongly resemble each other, and some are weak. The parallel to the Exodus is weak, in that there are none of the miraculous elements in the Romulan tale that we find in the Mosaic. Neither do we find any sense of the flight from adversity and repression among the followers of Romulus that we find in the bible. So the question arises, is there supporting evidence for the identification of Romulus with the leader of a later exodus of elements of the ten tribes from the Northern Kingdom?

As Peter G. Bietenholz writes in Historia and Fabula,

Romulus ... was historical, Gronovius maintained. He had immigrated to Latium from Syria, since Syria was the only place where his name could be found. In fact Gronovius could point to a Jewish namesake. He was Remaliah (or Romelias), the father of King Pekah of Israel (2 Kings 15.27). No less bizarre is the evidence Gronovius marshalled in support of his thesis; he discussed religious and constitutional practices enacted by Romulus that betray an oriental origin.

One wonders why Bietenholz thought the evidence "bizarre." Along the same lines, John Mason Good, Olinthus Gregory, and Newton Bosworth wrote in 1813 in Pantologia:

Gronovius is of opinion, that Romulus was neither a Gaul nor Affrican, but a Syrian; since Josephus and Nicephorus translated the name by υιος Ρωμελιου [removing the peculiar ligatures from the original], the son of Romelia, of whom mention is made in scripture.

This last was lifted without attribution from other works, beginning at least as early as A Complete Dictionary of the Greek and Roman Antiquities of 1700, by Pierre Danet. The work cited is the Dissertatio de Origine Romuli ... of 1684, by Jakob Gronovius (1645-1716). The text of Gronovius makes a distinction between the spelling of Josephus and that of Nicephorus:

At is ipse & ab Ægyptiis interpretibus & ab Josepho plane scribitur υιος Ρομελιου, ab Nicephoro autem Ρωμελιου [my emphasis].

The only mention of Romelias (Remaliah) in Josephus is translated by William Whiston (1667-1752) as follows:

... Pekahiah ... ruled but two years only, after which he was slain with his friends at a feast, by the treachery of one Pekah, the general of his horse, and the son of Remaliah, who had laid snares for him.

Nowhere, as far as I can tell, does Gronovius tell us where exactly he found the untranslated name Romulus in Josephus, except that it is supposed that Josephus used a Greek edition of the Hebrew bible in constructing his own history. Even if this is true, it would not be irrational to suggest that he would have known who Pekah was from the original Hebrew version. I can only assume that the same is true of Nicephorus.

However, beyond the assertions of Gronovius, it is true that the name of Pekah, the Hebrew equivalent of Picus, the legendary first king of the Latins (though, I should emphasize in the interest of accuracy, not the first king at Rome) was almost invariably associated with that of his supposed father. As Jeremy Hughes writes in his Secrets of the Times: Myth and History in Biblical Chronology,

... Pekah is almost always referred to as 'Pekah ben Remaliah' in Biblical texts (and simply as ben Remaliah in Isaiah 7.9) ....

The biblical account has Pekah murdered by Hoshea, long before he had ruled for 20 years. The Assyrians, on the other hand, claim that it was they who killed Pekah. In reality, Pekah seems not only to have managed to escape but to have taken many of his followers with him, a development for which neither the Assyrians nor their lackeys were willing to accept responsibility.

Together, Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Naphtali attacked Jerusalem in a vain attempt to draw Judah into a Syrian led alliance against the Assyrians, though the editors of the bible cannot agree on whether the attack came under the rule of Jotham or Ahaz. In either case, the contention by Gronovius that Romulus was Syrian finds even greater support from the close political ties between ben Remaliah and the ruler of Damascus.

Are we in a position to suggest what really happened? According to the legends, Romulus and his (possibly mythical) brother Remus were the sons of Rhea Sylvia, the daughter of Numitor (the brother of Amulius), and the god Mars. Pekah, on the other hand, at least according to the bible, was the son of Remaliah. Could it be that the peculiar genealogy of Romulus actually masks the merging of the royal families of Alba and Gilead? Adding fuel to the fire, Romulus is not the only king of the Latins who has a doppelganger among the rulers of Judea and Samaria. Amulius, the mortal enemy of Romulus, also appears, in the form of Amaziah, king of Judah at Jerusalem.

Amaziah became king of Judah in 798 BC and ruled for 29 years, counting inclusively, as they do in the bible, until 770, the 14th year of Jeroboam II according to Josephus, when he was supposedly murdered by his successor, Azariah. Amulius, on the other hand, seized the throne of Alba in 780 BC and ruled until he was murdered by Romulus in 754. Yet Amulius is supposed to have ruled for 44 years, which would place his ascension to the throne in the year 798, counting exclusively, as the Romans did, the very year that Amaziah became king at Jerusalem. Not proof but more evidence of parallel rulers in Latium and the Levant.

In 785, Joash ben Jehoahaz, king of Israel, plundered Jerusalem. The next year, in 784, Azariah, the son of Amaziah, became co-regent of Judah, allowing his father, perhaps allied with the Assyrians, to begin what looks like a long-term effort to exact vengeance on Israel from a base on the Italian Peninsula. In 780, Amaziah (known as Amulius to the Latins) seized the throne at Alba Longa from Numitor, the legitimate successor to Proca Sylvius, who had just died. Amulius ruled at Alba Longa while his son ruled at Jerusalem. The legends, apparently in error, have Amulius as the younger son of Proca. The error may result from the fairly common confusion of king-lists with genealogies.

Beyond our two doppelgangers, surprisingly enough, there is a third ghostly presence in Israel who mirrors, this time, the supposed foster father of Romulus. He is the predecessor of Pekah, King Pekahiah. As Algernon Herbert (under the pseudonym "Nimrod") wrote in 1828, in the third volume of his Nimrod: A Discourse on Certain Passages of History and Fable,

Meleager was begotten (as Romulus was) by Mars, that is to say, by Picus or Enyalian Jove. Enyalius, according to the story which John Malalas has preserved for us, was the son of Neptune and married the daughter of Jupiter Picus: He conquered Africa and was the first who instituted Equestrian Games, those are the Pyrrhic dance .... Jupiter Picus father of Enyalius is the Picus Martius who reared Romulus, and is confounded with the odious dæmon Mars for this reason, that Mars in itself did not imply the bad power ....

Pekahiah is a compound of Pekah and Yahu, the equivalent of the Roman Jupiter Picus, Pekah being the Hebrew form of Picus and Yahu being the equivalent of the great Roman father god Jupiter.

The word Picus itself explains much of the story of the early days of Romulus. Angelo de Gubernatis, in 1872, in the second volume of his Zoological Mythology, refers the reader to the work of Professor Adalbert Kuhn, in which Kuhn compares,

... the Vedic Hawk and the Vedic fire-bhuranyus with the Hellenic Phoroneus, the Latin picus Feronius, the incendiaria avis, the picus that carries thunder, and that which carries food to the twins Romulus and Remus, and which enjoys wine with King Picus, progenitor of a race, and with the corresponding German traditions. I shall only observe here the mythological relationship between picus and the corvus pica ... in order to return to the equivocal Vedic word vrikas, which means wolf and crow, whence also arose and fostered itself the confusion between the she-wolf that nurses the twin Latin heroes, and the woodpecker which, in the same legend, offers itself as their nourisher.

Continuing our reconstruction, Romulus was apparently born to Pekahiah and Rhea Sylvia, the daughter of Numitor, seven years after Amaziah, the king of Judah, had seized the throne at Alba Longa. Clearly, a plot was afoot. In 770, Azariah ascended the Judahite throne, leaving his father to rule the Latins at Alba Longa. Sixteen years later, in 754, Romulus, of mixed Latin and Gileadite ancestry, killed Amulius and returned his grandfather to the throne. Back in Israel, Jeroboam II was king. In 753, Romulus began the building of Rome. By 752, Numitor was dead, Alba Longa was no longer the home of kings, and ben Remaliah was in a position to plot the conquest of Israel.

Interlocking Rule in Latium and the Levant during the 8th Century BC
 
YEAR BC SHECHEM ROME ALBA LONGA JERUSALEM
         
803     Proca Silvius  
802        
801
800        
799 Joash b. Jehoahaz      
798       Amaziah [29]
797        
796        
795        
794        
793        
792        
791        
790        
789        
788        
787        
786        
785       (Sacked by Joash)
784 Jeroboam II     +Azariah [52]
783        
782        
781        
780     Amulius [44]  
779        
778        
777        
776        
775        
774        
773     (Birth of Romulus)  
772        
771        
770        
Azariah
769        
768        
767        
766        
765        
764        
763        
762        
761        
760        
759        
758        
757        
756        
755        
754     Numitor  
753   (Ab urbe
condita
1)*
   
752   Romulus    
751        
750 (E Manuscript)      
749        
748        
747        
746       +Jotham [16]
745        
744 Menahem      
743        
742        
741        
740        
739        
738        
737        
736        
735 Pekahiah [2]      
734 Pekah b. Remaliah
(Romulus [20])
     
733        
Jotham
732       (Invaded by Pekah)
731   ("Lost Tribes" to Rome)  
Tiglath-Pilesar III Ahaz [16]
730        
729        
728        
727        
726        

725

       
724        
723        
722 Shalmaneser V      
721        
720 Sargon II      
719        
718
717        
716        
715   Numa Pompilius   Hezekiah
         

 *433 years from the fall of Troy by the current reconstruction.  []Number of years ruled.
 +Co-regent.  Orange=Realms of Amaziah/Amulius.  Blue=Realms of Romulus/ben Remaliah.

The most important gap in our knowledge, even after we have made a preliminary synthesis of the Latin account with the one in the bible, is that of the nature of the relationships among the various political entities involved. There are, however, various clues available to us. Isaiah, for example, in emphasizing the supposed ancestry of Pekah, refers to him rather condescendingly as ben Remaliah, as if his father, at least in the eyes of the commentators, was a nobody. More likely, the Hebrew equivalent of the genitive case here is a mistranslation and refers not to the man's father but to his place of origin, the newly founded city of Rome, as Saul's "father" Kish was actually his city of origin. Hence, we have Romulus of Rome, allied with the king of Damascus, Rezin, sitting on the throne of Israel after he had already founded Rome. The implication is that Romulus was not king of Israel only, but the ruler of a larger realm, perhaps we might call it the Romulan Empire, and that the armed attack from Gilead represented, not a local affair, but a foreign conquest with much broader implications.

On a parallel but opposite track, we have Amaziah engaged in extending the power of Judah—really the city-state of Jerusalem—to the city of Alba Longa in Latium in the north of the Italian peninsula, perhaps, again, in response to pressure from the Assyrians, even as the Greeks were colonizing Magna Graecia in the south.

In support of the presence of large numbers of Israelites at Rome at this time, I would refer the reader to what Martin Bernal wrote in 2006:

Latin's massive borrowings from Greek are well known and understood. I maintain that between 800 and 400 BCE Latin borrowed almost equally heavily from Semitic, either directly from the Punic or indirectly through Etruscan and Greek. . . . Borrowing on such a scale would indicate prolonged and intense contact between Canaanite and Latin and Etruscan speakers.

What Bernal fails to point out, though it is rather obvious, is that "Canaanite" at this point in time is primarily a euphemism for the inhabitants of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Bernal, after all, is trying to demonstrate that the failure of the scholarly world in the recent past to identify the true origins of Greek civilization was based, at least in part, on anti-Semitism, yet even he cannot bring himself to call these "Canaanites" by their real name. Bernal continues a few paragraphs later:

For a city set on seven hills, the name Rōma and the Etruscan clan name Ruma are more plausibly derived from the common Canaanite place-name Råmåh "citadel, high place" than from some version of the Indo-European root *sreu "flow."

 

[Chapter Eight: Adam and Atlas―Eden and the Fall of Atlantis]

 

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