Sunday, 17 February 2013

Can Pharaoh Shishak be identified with Seti I? What is the Evidence?

1. At Thebes in Egypt, on the wall of the Temple of Amun at Karnak we find: "The Shasu-bedouin [i.e. Semitic foot wanderers] are plotting rebellion. Their chiefs have gathered together in the hills of Kharu (= Syria-Palestine). They have fallen into chaos and are fighting and each one is slaying the other. They do not obey the laws of the Palace!" - This would seem to refer to the in-fighting between Judah and Israel under kings Rehoboam and Jeroboam.

2. "Presentation of tribute by His Majesty to his father Amen...consisting of silver, gold, lapis-lazuli, turquoise, red jasper and every sort of precious stone. The chiefs of the hill countries are in his grasp to fill the workshops of his father Amen." - This would seem to refer to the vast gold, silver and precious stones given to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:10), which Shishak plundered from what he calls ‘God’s land’ and its capital ‘Pekanon’ - possibly Jerusalem or Samaria. The great riches plundered would soon be melted down and used to establish Ramses II as one of the greatest builders of temples/monuments in Egyptian history!

3. Seti wrote about himself on his Beth Shan Stela: "He causes to retreat the princes of Syria (Kharu), all the boastfulness of whose mouth was (so) great. Every foreign country of the ends of the earth, their princes say: "Where shall we go?" They spend the night giving testimony in his name, saying: "Behold it, behold it? in their hearts." - This could be a reference to the wisdom of Solomon 'whose mouth was so great'. He had the admiration of 'every foreign country of the ends of the earth'. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ noted that the Queen of Sheba came from 'the ends of the earth' to visit Solomon because of his fame.

4. The Merneptah Stele says: "Israel is devastated, it has no more seed". Under David Austin's new chronology, this seems to refer to the reign of Queen Athaliah in Judah - the point at which the tribe of Judah lost all but one of its kings to the Queen's rage. The Memeptah Stele even records the name 'Israel' with an Egyptian prefix meaning 'tribe of Israel' - not the whole nation. The reign of Seti I under the chronology of Velikovsky is approx. 729-714 BC. Add to this 168 years and you obtain what is probably the 5th year of Rehoboam (897 BC) in the New Chronology of David Austin. If you also add 168 years onto the reign of Merneptah as suggested in Velikovsky (i.e. 647-637 BC) it is right bang in the middle of Athaliah's reign (i.e. 808 BC). This means that Merneptah is very probably referring to the murder of the heirs of Judah under Athaliah's wicked reign . This frame-shift of 168 years gave me the identification of Pharaoh Shishak as Seti I, since Merneptah probably wrote his stele 89 years after Seti I's campaign into Israel and Judah. This was the point in my studies when I checked the bas-reliefs on the north wall of the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak in Thebes, Egypt, and identified the other evidence for his invasion under king Rehoboam.

5. A Scarab with the cartouche of Seti I was found in an Egyptian-style tome in Jerusalem - probably the house which Solomon built for his Egyptian wife (D. Rohl, The Lost Testament). This proves Seti (or his soldiers) were in Jerusalem - just as Scripture says.

6. Seti I would have invaded Judea from the 'Ways of Horus' (defeating the fortified cities of the Shasu (ancient Jews) on the way). He would have done this in the first year of his reign (897-882 BC) under David Austin's New Chronology.

7. In this first campaign, precious stones were plundered (given to Solomon in 1 Kings 10:10), a series of forts - each with a well - were taken captive on the way to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 12:4) and the workshops of Amun were filled with booty. We must also remember that Karnak records this Seti also invaded Lebanon - and Solomon's 'House of the Forest of Lebanon' where Shishak plundered the 300 golden shields may have been located in Lebanon rather than being misidentified as the Temple of Jerusalem. I'm convinced the 'House of the Forest of Lebanon' is shown as the town of 'Yenoam' in Canaan at Karnak, which is surrounded by trees (as in a forest setting). When I first saw this relief, I didn't notice a detail which is astonishing confirmation. If you look closely, the top of the relief shows those overwhelmed guards holding rectangular shields. These are some of the very same golden shields the Scriptures mention in the plunder taken by Seti I! Also, comparing this image with the one of the 'town of Canaan' (i.e. Jerusalem) on the bas-relief, you notice that one of the same trees (a cedar of Lebanon I believe) is found next to the House of the Lord or Temple of Solomon in what looks like the City of David - high on an acropolis.

8. The victory stelae at Bethshan also notes a messenger who tell's Seti: "The despicable foe who hails from the town of Hamath has gathered a large force, capturing the town of Bethshan, and in league with the people of Pahil he has prevented the chief of Rehob from getting out. So his majesty dispatched the first division..." - This probably has reference to Hadoram, who was the chief tax collector for king Rehoboam. In 2 Chronicles 10:18 he is stoned by the people (prevented the chief of Rehob from getting out) and Rehoboam escapes to Jerusalem by chariot where he quickly raised an army of 180,000 chosen warriors. This is the event that made Seti I invade the land of Israel and Lebanon.

9. In 2008, in the largest tomb of the Valley of the Kings - that of Seti I, archaeologists also found clay vessels, fragments of the tomb's painted wall reliefs, and a quartzite ushabti figure. These appear to date from between 1090 and 945 BC, confirming that Seti probably reigned far later than the orthodox chronology suggests.