Monday, September 16, 2013

Ahab the Lion Man and Jezebel the Mistress of Lions

Velikovsky had, with typical ingenuity, looked to identify the only female correspondent of El Amarna, Baalat Neše, as the biblical "Great Woman of Shunem", whose dead son the prophet Elisha had resurrected (cf. 2 Kings 4:8 & 4:34-35). Whilst the name Baalat Neše is usually translated as "Mistress of Lions", Velikovsky thought that it could also be rendered as "a woman to whom occurred a wonder" (thus referring to Elisha's miracle).
This female correspondent wrote two letters (EA 273, 274) to Akhnaton, telling him that the SA.GAZ pillagers had sent bands to Aijalon (a fortress guarding the NW approach to Jerusalem). She wrote about "two sons of Milkili" in connection with a raid. The menace was not averted because she had to write again for pharaoh's help. Because Milkili himself at about this time had taken a stand against the city of "Shunama" - which would appear to be the biblical "Shunem" - Velikovsky had concluded that Baalat Neše was asking Egypt for help for her own city of Shunem.
But this conclusion is quite unwarranted as the letters do not actually make the connection between Baalat Neše and Shunama.


In a revised context, Baalat Neše, the "Mistress of Lions", would most certainly be Jezebel, wife of Ahab. Jezebel was also wont to write official letters, even "in Ahab's name and [she] sealed them with his seal" (1 Kings 21:8). It would be most appropriate for the "Mistress of Lions" (Baalat Neše) to be married to the "Lion Man" (Lab'ayu). Her concern for Aijalon, near Jerusalem, would not be out of place since Lab'ayu himself had also expressed concern for that town. Baalat (Baalath, the goddess of Byblos) is just the feminine form of 'Baal'. Hence, Baalat Neše compares well with the name, Jezebel, with the theophoric inverted: thus, Neše-Baal(at)/ "Nesebaalat".


We have further identified Queen Jezebel with Nefertiti and King Ahab (Lab'ayu) with Akhnaton.

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