Friday, April 25, 2014

Hatshepsut was not the Queen of Sheba

This is my most unique quality as a supporter of the basic Velikovsky model starting with Tuthmosis III as Shishak.  I seem to be the lone voice in the wilderness on this particular pairing of beliefs.

If the Queen of Sheba was an Egyptian queen The Bible wouldn't have obscured that, it dealt with Solomon's interactions with Egypt unambiguously both before and after this. Also since Tuthmosis I must be the Pharaoh who's daughter Solomon married (Nefrubity is my hunch on that), Hatshepsut was her full blooded Sister. If this Queen was Solomon's sister in law that is a strange thing to overlook.

Shishak is Tuthmosis III, his invasion of Retenu that corresponds to Shishak's taking Jerusalem was in the first year of his sole reign (21st year total).  Which means over 5 years earlier when Jeroboam fled to Egypt was while Hatshepsut was still alive.

The visit of the Queen of Sheba I believe is meant to be understood as taking place very near the events of the previous chapter, 1 Kings 9.  Which opens about 24 years into Solomon's 40 year reign.  Which means timing wise it's either before Tuthmosis II died or very early in Hatshepsut's reign.  The reigning Pharaoh of Egypt is mentioned in the prior chapter, it might seem the Kings narrative isn't consistent with this being no longer the same Pharaoh who's daughter Solomon married, but I don't think that's a big deal.  The Biblical authors I think weren't always concerned with distinguishing different Pharaohs.  But a Pharaoh of Egypt they always refereed to as Pharaoh.

Hatsheput like other Egyptian Queens ruled as if she were a man.  And the term Pharaoh that the Bible uses was actually to the Royal Palace.  So I really would not expect The Bible to refer to Hatsheput any differently then it would a male Pharaoh.

The Punt expedition was in Hatsheput's Eight year.  So it's too late.

Jesus calls her the "Queen of The South" in Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31.  Daniel 11 is cited where the "King of The South" is consistently Egypt.  So this correlation is the start of attempts to argue she was an Egyptian queen.

South in Biblical geography is south of Israel/Jerusalem, in the context of Alexander's successors only Ptolemy is south of Israel, and Egypt was the core of his Kingdom though not all of it. But without that context South by no means always means Egypt, and usually refers to further south then that.  In Jesus' time I'm inclined to think South of anything Rome ruled might have been the context.  And Rome ruled Egypt at that time.

The word translated South in Daniel 11 (Negev) isn't the only Hebrew word used to communicate the idea of the South, there at least three others.   Jesus I believe was actually speaking the above quote in Hebrew, but we have no idea if he used the same word.  And I argued in one Bible study that it's used of Egypt there only when the Ptolemies ruled the Negev desert.

Another Hebrew word for South is Teman, which is interesting since Temani is also a name used of Yemenite Jews, not unlike Germanic Jews being Ashkenazim after Ahskenaz ben Gomer.  In fact there is an argument to be made for the name Yemen itself coming from Teman/Teyman.  Espically given the tendency of Hebrew naming to treat the Y/I/J and T as interchangeable, examples Yeshua/Teshua, Yerekh/Terekh, and Judas/Thadeus.  And another word for South used in Yamen, derived from Yam.

Velikovsky unintentionally argued once that Mount Sinai was in Yemen.  What's interesting about that is Habbukah 3:3 is a verse that parallels the reference to Seir and Sinai in Deuteronomy 33, that possibly justifies using Teman as a name for where Sinai is.

Then Josephus (Antiquities of The Jews Book 8 Chapter 6 Section 5) is cited.  I'll address why I think Josephus was mistaken on this later.  But the point here is that Josephus is a good source for history near contemporary to himself.   But before the Hellenistic era he screws many things up (including the Persian King Esther married).  The farther back he goes the more he's basing his Extra-Biblical information on legends of questionable reliability.  In fact this very section of Josephus is totally absurd and he admits dependence on Herodotus.  He acts like Pharaoh was an actual name the Pharaoh's used like Caesar.

There are three Shebas in the Table of Nations, Two in Genesis 10 and another being Abrahamic (of Keturah). The two in Genesis 10 are one Hamitic/Cushite and the other Semitic/Joktanite. But in both I Kings 10 and II Chronicles 11 the Queen of Sheba narrative is linked to Ophir another Joktanite name.  I think Bill Cooper's biggest mistakes in After The Flood's appendices are in how he dealt with the repeat names.

Serious Archaeologists all know that Sheba was the name of a Kingdom in southern Arabia, modern Yemen. ( Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman, David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition p. 167).

Do not think that the Ancient Yemenite kingdom who's capital was Ma'rib is called Sheba only because of a desire to put that Biblical identification on it.  They are known by that name independent of Biblical or Judeo-Christian influences.

Res Gestae Divi Augusti paragraph 26.5, (a funeral inscription of Augustus).
"By my command and under my auspices two armies were led at about the same time into Ethiopia and into Arabia, which is called the Blessed [?]. Great forces of each enemy people were slain in battle and several towns captured. In Ethiopia the advance reached the town of Nabata, which is close to Meroe; in Arabia the army penetrated as far as the territory of the Sabaeans and the town of Ma'rib."
This reference could interestingly make Ma'rib as far South as Roman armies ever went.

They were a seafaring people and were known to have had significant trade with the Northeast African kingdom of Dʿmt, across the Red Sea in Somalia, Eritrea, the only other source of both frankincense and myrrh.  But the desire to use that African connection to make Axum or Nubia part of what's defined as Sheba is horribly flawed, those kingdoms were no where near those coastal lands.

The Yemen region was a place many Jews fled to following the fall of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms in the 8th-6th centuries BC.   The Lemba tribe used to live in Yemen according to their oral history.

Very early on in Church History the Gospel came to this region.  Among those who became Christians were the Ghassanids, who later migrated north and became a significant Arab-Christian Kingdom in roughly modern Jordan.

The famous Arabic proverb “They were scattered like the people of Saba” refers to them and other tribes of the Yemen region leaving after the destruction of the Ma'rib Dam.

The ancient Nubian city of Saba (which was later renamed Meroe during the time of Cambyses) I feel probably got that name not from a Sheba but from Cush's son Seba/Sebah.  In English that name looks very similar to Sheba, and they could also transliterate into African languages similarly, but in Hebrew they begin with a different letter.  Isaiah 43 refers to "Seba and Ethipoia" after mentioning Egypt, in a context where by Seba it could mean a city or region in Ethiopia.  And Ethipoia/Cush linked to Egypt in this way always means the Nubian civilization just to the south of Egypt.

Seba and Sheba are mentioned next to each other in the Messianic Kingdom Psalm 72 verse 10.  "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts."  The point here I think is nations that Israel's contact with was by Sea bringing gifts to The Messiah.  Tarshish and it's isles (British isles) to the west, and Seba and Sheba are both through the Red Sea port, in that context Yemen or India could work for Sheba while Seba is Nubia.

The Cushite Sheba of Genesis 10 I believe settled in Ancient India where he was deified as Shiva and his father Ramaah as Rama an avatar of Vishnu.  Rama and his wife Sita had two sons just like Ramaah.  One of those sons was named Kush.  So the Indian mythology has confused the genealogy over the ages, but I believe that's where Ramaah and his sons went.

The Sheba and Dedan of Keturah I think probably lived in northern Saudi Arabia like the other Keturite tribes.  They are probably the Sabeans who are mentioned in Job.

I do believe the Ark of the Covenant came to Ethiopia. But the Menelik legend is propaganda created by the Christian Auxomite kings to give them a Biblical lineage. I believe Graham Hancock and Bob Cornuke's theory for how it got there. First being at Elephantine island from sometime after King Manasseh's reign to the time of Cambyses, then was on Tana Kirkos until the Auxomite Kingdom took it.  The Menilik legend was invented by the Auxomite Kings as propaganda do give them a Biblical;y significant Royal lineage (making them Davidic kings).  The Jews of Ethiopia do not believe that story at all.

The Arabic traditions of Balqis/Bilqis/Bilquis did exist in Pre-Islamic times (Mohammed didn't really come up with much of anything new) and so have good reason to be viewed as more ancient and valid then the purely invented Ethiopian legend.  However the details of the Bilqis legend as presented in the Koran and other surviving Arabic sources do not seem credible.  I would not bet on that actually being her original real name.  But if I wrote any fiction based on this I'd probably use something like it.

 I do believe Hatshepsut probably visited Solomon also. The Bible says many rulers came to visit Solomon and witness his Wisdom. The Queen of Sheba is singled out NOT because she's the most important by secular standards, but because she became a Saved individual.  Which is why Jesus cited her as such alongside the "men of Nineveh" who believed the message of Jonah.

That's the biggest problem to me actually, Hatshepsut was a faithful worshiper of the Egyptian gods to the end, no evidence she responded to Solomon how the Queen of Sheba did.

Actually, back to Psalm 72.  It's also called a Psalm of Solomon, because Solomon foreshadowed the Messianic Kingdom.  So the Sheba and Sebah reference could show both Ethiopia and Sheba had rulers visit Solomon, but they were distinct from each other.

Strictly speaking, what we call the Nubian civilization was kind of born around 800 BC.  During the Old and Middle Kingdom as well as early 18th Dynasty, the civilization in that region was Kerma.  During the reign of Tuthmosis I Kerma was conquered by Egypt, and campaigns further south were carried out during the reign of Hatshepsut.  So yes, the logic for saying Hatshepsut could be called a Queen of Ethiopia is justifiable.

 I don't think the similarity between Make-Ra (A name of Hatshepsut) and Makeda (The name of the Queen of Sheba in the Ethiopian traditions) is a coincidence. I think various Egyptian Jews, first at Elephantine and then later in Alexandria and the Onias colony (and maybe much later Coptic Christians), drew the same conclusion Velikovsky thinks they did, and began giving The Queen of Sheba that name (adjusting it to remove the pagan god). And this may have influenced Josephus who was very familiar with Alexandrian Jewish traditions.

I can't make up my mind if I feel the Punt expedition was her visit to Solomon.  The arguments for it being synonymous with or part of Retenu (the Egyptian name for Canaan) are valid, but so are plenty of arguments for it being in the South. Maybe there was more then one land called Punt and "God's Land", after all the Egyptians believed in more then one god.  Maybe even her specific Punt expedition was to more then one place.

The fact that Parahu and Ati (of the Punt expedition) are often refereed to as King and Queen is based on creative assumptions.  Breasted translated Parahu's title as "Chief" and refereed to Ati only as his wife.

Velikovsky saw Parahu as being Paruah father of Jehosophat governor of Issachar from 1 Kings 4:17.  Numbers 26:23 dealing with the offspring of Issachar says "Of the sons of Issachar after their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites: of Pua, the family of the Punites:"  So maybe the Punite clan has something to do with where the name Punt came from.

But there are also Pre-Islamic Arabian legends that say the Sheba kingdom of Yemen once had a ruler named Phar’an or "Pharaoh" who annexed Ophir and Havilah.  But after that King Sheba was ruled only by Women.

Genesis 10:30 referring to the sons of Joktan including Sheba, Ophir and Havilah settling near a mountain called Sephar. That mountain is Mount Zafar in the hear of Yemen, where the Capital of the Himyarite kingdom was.  Also the Kingdom of Hadramaut came from Joktan's son Hazarmaveth.

The idea of Punt being the same as Sheba is suggested in Nicholas Clapp's book about Sheba.

Tuthmosis III had three mysteries foreign wives.  Menhet, Menqi and Merti.  All three seem to have been Semitic.  Two are said to be West Semitic, the idea that they could be daughters of Solomon or Rehoboam or Jeroboam I find interesting.  I have also read it suggested that one could have been from Sheba, and thus used to support the idea of Punt being Sheba.

Also, while this is mostly irrelevant to the actual study here.  I feel like saying that I also disapprove of the desire to interpret Solomon and Sheba as Romantically and/or Sexually involved with each other.  The Bible gives no hints of that, the fact that it nearly universally happens in Extra-Biblical expansions just speaks the problems society has with gender relations.

Update: A follow up I did about the Magi.

No comments:

Post a Comment