Friday, November 4, 2016

Adjusting the 18th Dynasty

I still think Shishak is most likely an 18th Dynasty Pharaoh, or rather 18th Dynasty at the latest.

There are some out there now who support Velikovsky's identity for Shishak but can't his view of the 19th Dynasty.  And will thus try to argue a place for the 19th Dynasty putting it right after Velikovsky has the 18th end.  One variation is arguing Seti I is the "Saviour" of Jahoash.

And with that one could argue, though I haven't seen it yet, for placing the Libyan (22nd and 23rd) dynasties between 19 and 20.  Since Rameses III alludes to a foreign occupation then.

The thing is, I'm actually more convinced of Velikovsky's arguments for the 19th, 20th and 21st Dynasties then anything else, and I will be posting more on that in the future.  So I'm the opposite of others in this regard.

My desire to adjust the 18th Dynasty began only with problems I saw in which specific campaign of Tuthmosis III Velikovsky identified with Shishak taking treasures form The Temple.  We keep criticizing the conventional Shoshenk view by pointing out how Shoshenk's campaigns were in the North, ruled by Shishak's effective puppet Jeroboam.  But Tuthmosis III's 21st year campaign (first year of his sole rule) was mainly a siege of Megiddo, also a northern city.  Velikovsky talks about Megiddo being one of Solomon's main fortresses, but that doesn't matter, everything Solomon had north of Bethel became Jeroboam's by this point.

Something else I noticed.  The Bible records Shishak and Rehoboam fighting no battle.  The more detailed Chronicles account includes a description of his army, but because Rehoboam listened to the Prophet (unlike the Kings in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel) the Temple treasures was turned over without a fight.

So if it is a campaign of Tuthmosis III, it could easily be one of the campaigns that focused only on collecting tribute.  Or maybe it could fit Tuthmosis I's Syrian campaign where he describes how no one resisted him, a fact which has confused historians.  But it could also fit Amenhotep II's campaigns from his 3rd, 7th or 9th years.

Solomon's marriage to the daughter of Pharaoh isn't mentioned in Chronicles, only in Kings, though Chronicles does mention Solomon bringing horses from Egypt.  And Gezer isn't mentioned when the marriage is first refereed to.  Pharaoh taking Gezer is thus based on only one verse, 1 Kings 9:16.  I shall quote it in the context of the verses before and after.
And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the Yahuah, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer. 
 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife.
 And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether.....
Velikovsky is willing to consider The Bible account imperfect or corrupted, as shown by his discussion of Ahab and Jehoram, which I responded to in my Amarna post.  And Rhol does the same when arguing for his view of Babel, I adjust his argument in a way that can be more consistent with viewing God's word as inspired and preserved.

When one allows that option, the possibly that Gezer somehow became an error for Megiddo is plausible.  I who do not consider it possible for the Masoretic text to be in error, am willing to consider that this whole account is a summery and by Pharaoh taking Gezer it might mean all three cities at the end of the previous verse.

That then opens up the option that Tuthmosis III's 21st-23rd years campaign is during Solomon's reign not Rehoboam.  When in Solomon's reign Gezer was taken isn't clear.  This verse seems to refer to it in past tense (the context of Solomon's reign at this point is about 20-25 years in).  But I think this did happen later then the marriage since Gezer isn't mentioned in the initial account of it.  And maybe in that case Gezer or Hazor is the city called Kadesh by Tuthmosis III.  Gezer did have a Canaanite High Place, so it too could have been a Holy City.  Hazor is actually quite close to Kadesh-Naphtali, not just both being in Naphtali, but very northern Naphtali, both significantly north of the Sea of Galilee.

So this could make the Shishak campaign either one of the very late campaigns of Tuthmosis III, or of Amenhotep II.  And could make the daughter of Pharaoh Solomon married either a daughter of Tuthmosis III or Neferure.

Karnak does list Gezer as a city Tuthmosis III conquered.   And Wikipedia's page for Gezer lists Tuthmosis as the only Pharaoh known to have conquered the city.

While I have many potential nitpicks of Velikovsky's Amarna view.  The strong evidence for the Amarna period being being contemporary with Shalmanezzer III I do find quite compelling.  But again for my view that would be Jehoram's reign over the north not Ahab's.

I tried to entertain David Rohl's Amarna view, his Mutbaal/Ishbaal connection is his strongest argument.  It's not only Rohl who argued Mutbaal means "Man of Baal" it's at the start of Mutbaal's wikipedia page.  However Labaya as Saul doesn't add up to me, I could see a Northern Kingdom ruler being defined mainly as Shechem, even the ones ruling from nearby Samaria.  But Saul's capitals were all in Benjamin.  Rohl also identifies Joab with a king of a very far northern city, which is just random.

The Amarna period must be some period of the Divided Kingdom.  Even how conventional chronology defines it has the area of modern Israel mostly being defined by the rivalry between Labaya in Shechem and the King of Jerusalem.

I read an argument once for Labaya as Basha.  I can't find it now.

But here is the thing, the beginning of the reign of Akhenaten is almost exactly 100 years after Tuthmosis III's battle of Megiddo, the Amarna period begins a decade before that, so 90 years later.  The Biblical timeline of the divided kingdom has 90 years after Shishak plundered Rehobaom as during the brief reign of Athaliah, and thus the Amarna period mostly after she died.  That's going off Ussher's dates.

So Velikovsky's synchronization for Shishak and Amarna can't both be right.

If the taking of Gezer can be synchronized to the Battle of Megiddo, then Amarna can be moved down a couple decades and perhaps fit much better.

And if the taking of Gezer was very early in Solomon reign, then 90 years after that takes us to right after Omri moved his capital from Tirzah to Samaria, in the region of Shechem. The Bible doesn't tell us how Omri died, but it was about 6 years after he moved the capital to Samaria.  The death of Labaya has sometimes been dated to while Amenhotep III still reigned.

If Ebed-Tov is a name all Kings of Judah used, then the letters might not even notice when Asa changed to Jehoshaphat.  Or maybe Jehoshaphat was writing the letters during the later part of his father's reign?

In my earlier Amarna post I had suggested the possibility that the grandfather of Jehu was a son of Omri other then Ahab who was placed in charge of the Transjordan.  Now that I'm considering Omri as Labaya, Mutbaal could have been an alternate name of Nimshi grandfather of Jehu.  Nimshi may be a name given to him post-mortem considering it's meaning.

But even without a Jehu connection, it would be logical for Omri to place a son as a governor in the Trans-Jordan.  And maybe it's because he ruled in the same region that he took the name of the much earlier Ishbaal.

End of part 1, Beginning of Part 2.

That timeline still has the issues so many find so unacceptable of the 19th Dynasty not immediately following the 18th.  I will make further arguments for the gap between the 18th and 19th Dynasties in the future.  But for the rest of this post I want to consider one more hypothetical timeline for the 18th Dynasty, one that would have it end pretty close to when Velikvosky has the 19th Dynasty begin.

The dates for Horemhab's reign are inconsistent, with most archeologists certain he didn't have more then 14 years, but with at least one ancient reference to 59 years.  Maybe power struggles with Nubia/25th dynasty are a part of that confusion.

If Horemhab can be placed about when Velikovsky argued him to be (which he did in the context of removing him from the 18th dynasty altogether) it can become possible to argue for the Amarna period being contemporary with Menahem and Pekah.  Menahem I think it is a bit easier to hypothetically identify with Labaya.

Let's talk about the sons of Labaya.  We know he had more then one, and we know the name of only one.  There is however no definitive proof Mutbaal was even among the sons referenced in other contexts.  I will not argue for identifying Mutbaal with Pekaiah.  I will for the next five paragraphs copy something I argued elsewhere not connected to revised chronology at all, for possibly making Hoshea a son of Menahem.  And at the same time giving his dynasty a link to the Transjordan (where Mutbaal reigned) via Gad.

King Menahem is called Ben Gadi or "Son of Gadi", Gadi is the same in the Hebrew as "Gadite", so perhaps Gadi wasn't the personal name of his father but rather this phrase identifies him as a Gadite?

The house of Menahem does NOT like Jeroboam, Baasha or Ahab have a declaration that it's male line was or will be entirely blotted out.  His son Pekahiah was killed in a coup by Pekah ben Remaliah.  Pekah is later killed in a coup by Hoshea ben Elah.  Could Hoshea have been of Menahem's house, that is often called the House of Gadi?   Hoshea and Menahem both paid tribute to the same Assyrian King, Tiglath-Pileser.

Maybe Elah was Pekahiah's brother?  Or Sister, ending with a Heh is usually grammatically feminine in Hebrew but our assumptions about some names forget that. Or maybe Elah was a wife of Menahem or Pekahiah?

We are repeatedly told there is more to the story in an alluded to Northern Kingdom counterpart to Chronicles, but it hasn't been preserved since it (being kept by a less faithful Kingdom) wasn't God's Word.

The idea of Kings coming from Gad is intriguing to me because I've noticed something about Moses Blessing on The Tribe of Gad in Deuteronomy 33:20-21 that most don't.  It's a blessing that seems to imply Royal status, similar terminology to that used of Judah in Genesis 49:9-10.  So Lost Tribes speculation aside that convinced me Samaria did have a Gadite dynasty.

 Maybe Hoshea could be Mutbaal, or maybe another brother.  If this dynasty was a Gadite one then it could have been important to them to place a potential heir as the governor of Gad, or of the whole Transjordan.

Maybe the Shalmanezzer alluded to is V rather then III?

This could place the start of the 18th Dynasty already after the time of Rehoboam.  And open the possibly that Shishak was a Hyksos.

I argued before that Shishak is in fact a Hebrew name the etymology of which can be 100% explained as Hebrew in origin, coming from a word for Linen.  And did so for the purpose of suggesting that we need not look for it in Egyptian records at all.  And I stand by that in terms of the first model I argued for in this post.

But the Hyksos used Semitic names.  Did they use one that could explain the origin of Shishak?  There is one very hotly debated figure of the second intermediate period who comes awfully close.  Sheshi.

Rohl attempted to argue Sheshi was the Sheshai who was an Anakim king.  In the Strongs that name is located close to some of the variants of Shishak, like Shashak and Sheshech.   One other attested Egyptian king some have sought to identify Sheshi with is Sharek.  So that is evidence for a version of the name with a K at the end.

Sheshi is also theorized to be the same as Shenshek.  Is Shoshenk proponents can add an n to the name, then adding one in s different spot is also acceptable.

The two theories about Sheshi provided by mainstream Egyptolgists I find most interesting here are, that he may have been a Hyksos who reigned between Khyan and Apepi.  Or that he was a Hyksos vessel who ruled in southern Canaan.

Shishak is NOT in either Kings or Chronicles called Pharaoh, the King who's daughter Solomon married was.  Shishak is only called the King (Melek) of Egypt.  But could it be this actually meant a King from or representing Egypt?  Perhaps ruling from Al-Arish or Sharuen?

And then, could the Pharaoh who's daughter Solomon married be Khyan?  Arguably the Hyksos ruler who's influence was the most extensive?  And the Hyksos may not have shared the hostility to marrying their daughter to foreign rulers that Amenhotep II and III did.

Josephus's version of Manetho seems to place Khyan after rather then before Apepi/Apophis.   Modern Egyptologists are pretty sure him reigning before is correct.  Either way aspects of what I just argued could be seen as weakening the Amalekites/Hyksos connection.  But as I said the Hyksos were always a collection of tribes.

Sheshi's successor has been theorized to be Nehesy Aaserhe.  With Nehesy being interpreted to mean "The Nubian".  Could Aaserhe somehow become Zerah?  Maybe it could come from an attempt in the Egyptian language to represent Ha-Zerah (Zerah with a definite article, because Hebrew did use those before personal names).  And "The Nubian" used to translate "The Cushite".

Thia second model is perhaps better compatible with a 6th Dynasty Exodus Model then a Middle Kingdom model.

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