Positive Progress Through The Benevolent Use Of Knowledge

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pharaoh Shoshenq I Invaded The Holyland

Shishak or Sesac (Hebrew: שישק, Tiberian: [ʃiʃaq]) or Shishaq is the biblical Hebrew form of the first ancient Egyptian name of a pharaoh mentioned in the Bible.


Origins and family

Shoshenq I was the son of Nimlot A and Tentsepeh A. His paternal grandparents were the Chief of the MA Shoshenk (A) and his wife Mehytenweskhet A. Prior to his reign, Shoshenq I had been the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Army, and chief advisor to his predecessor Psusennes II, as well as the father-in-law of Psusennes' daughter Maatkare.

He also held his father's title of Great Chief of the Ma or Meshwesh, which is an Egyptian word for Berbers of Libya. His ancestors were Libyans who had settled in Egypt during the late New Kingdom, probably at Herakleopolis Magna, though Manetho claims Shoshenq himself came from Bubastis, a claim for which no supporting physical evidence has yet been discovered.

Significantly, his Libyan uncle Osorkon the Elder had already served on the throne for at least six years in the preceding 21st Dynasty; hence, Shoshenq I's rise to power was not wholly unexpected. As king, Shoshenq chose his eldest son, Osorkon I, as his successor and consolidated his authority over Egypt through marriage alliances and appointments.

He assigned his second son, Iuput A, the prominent position of High Priest of Amun at Thebes as well as the title of Governor of Upper Egypt and Commander of the Army to consolidate his authority over the The baid. Finally, Shoshenq I designated his third son, Nimlot B, as the "Leader of the Army" at Herakleopolis in Middle Egypt.

Shishak's Reign

This Karnak temple wall depicts a list of city states conquered by Shoshenq I in his Near Eastern military campaigns.

Shishak is best known for his campaign through Israel and Judah, as recorded in the Hebrew Bible (1 Kings 14:25;2 Chronicles 12:1-12).

Shishak had provided refuge to Jeroboam during the later years of Solomon's reign, and upon Solomon's death, Jeroboam became king of the tribes in the north, which became the Kingdom of Israel. In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign (commonly dated between 926 and 917 BC), Shishak swept through the kingdom of Judah with a powerful army, in support of his ally.


Pharaoh Shoshenq I -RECORDED IN THE BIBLE AROUND DAVID AND GOLIATH TIME-1020 B.C. Shishak - sacked the Temple of Solomon, and brought 'THE ARK OF THE COVENANT BACK TO EGYPT' IN 950 B.C.


Karnak relief depicting Shoshenq I and his second son, the High Priest Iuput A

The fragment of a stela bearing his cartouche from Megiddo has been interpreted as a monument Shoshenq erected there to commemorate his victory.
Some of these conquered cities include Ancient Israelite fortresses such as Megiddo, Taanach and Shechem.

Portal showing the cartouches of Sheshonq I.

According to 2 Chronicles 12:3, he was supported by the Lubim (Libyans), the Sukkiim, and the Kushites" ("Ethiopians" in the Septuagint).

According to the biblical story Shishak carried off many of the treasures of the temple and the royal palace in Jerusalem, including the "shields of gold" that Solomon had made.

The story is not specific about the means by which he acquired these treasures, though it is most likely that he received them as a tribute from Rehoboam to secure peace.

Shishak's name

Texts written in various ancient languages seem to indicate that the first vowel was both long and round, and the final vowel was short. For example, the name is written in the Hebrew Bible as שישק [ʃiːʃaq].

The variant readings in Hebrew, which are due to confusion between the letters < י > Yod and < ו > Vav that are particularly common in the Masoretic Text, indicate that the first vowel was long and received emphasis in pronunciation.

The Septuagintuses Σουσακιμ [susakim], derived from the marginal reading שושק [ʃuːʃaq] of Hebrew. This indicates during the 2nd century BC Hebrew-speakers or Alexandrian Greek-speakers pronounced the name with an initial long close back rounded vowel.

Shishak identified as Pharaoh Shoshenq I

In the very early years after the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs, on chronological, historical, and linguistic grounds, nearly all Egyptologists identified Shishak with Shoshenq I.

This position was maintained by most scholars ever since, and is still the majority position. The fact that Shoshenq I left behind "explicit records of a campaign into Canaan (scenes; a long list of Canaanite place-names from the Negev to Galilee; stelae), including a stela [found] at Megiddo" supports the traditional interpretation.

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