Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bible Bending Pharaonic Egypt. Part Three B: Joash to Hezekiah




Damien F. Mackey




My tentative solution as to where to locate the extremely troublesome (for revisionists) Twentieth Egyptian Dynasty has been the unique one of identifying it as a Judaean dynasty (e.g., Ramses III as king Amaziah of Judah), running alongside the powerful Nineteenth Dynasty, a possibly Jehu-ide one, as discussed in PART THREE A: “Jehu to Zechariah”. This paralleling of dynasties (meaning that this final PART THREE B will not be entirely, as were the other articles in this series, sequential) serves to ease, in part, the anticipated crush of dynasties that revisionists dread occurring at the lower end of the scale, consequent to the downward time shifting by several centuries.

Moreover, by now having the Twentieth Dynasty terminating within the era of king Hezekiah of Judah and the contemporaneous Twenty-Fifth (Ethiopian) Dynasty (c. 700 BC) - whereas, conventionally, this dynasty would terminate about three centuries earlier, at c. 1060 BC - we get a far better conformity, as we shall discover, with the archaeological evidence.


“So king of Egypt” will be the special candidate of this era for a pharaonic ‘Bible bending’. Of him we read in 2 Kings 17:4:“But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So king of Egypt, and he no longer paid tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore Shalmaneser seized him and put him in prison”.



(All dates are BC and approximate only. Conventional dates are mostly irrelevant).


Legend:          Blue indicates that about which I am extremely confident.

                        Orange is for possible to likely.

                        Green is for still highly tentative.




Clarifications Concerning PART THREE A: “Jehu to Zechariah”. 


Readers may well get confused about the fact that king Jehu of Israel is here dated some decades earlier than were his predecessors in Israel and Judah in the previous PART TWO B. That was because I had wanted to take into account the interregna as identified by P. Mauro, The Wonders of Bible Chronology, thereby pushing back somewhat the conventional dates – which I had retained, however, for the earlier periods. It is admittedly confusing.

Anyway, as noted at the head of each article in this series, “All dates are BC and approximate only”. In other words, precise dates are not my primary object of this series, ‘Bible-bending the pharaohs’ is. 


A relevant reference for PART THREE A that I had neglected to include is:


Ramses II Re-Dated by Byblite Evidence



Another pertinent point that could have been included is that Horemheb, conventionally of the Eighteenth Dynasty, appears to have been regarded by the Nineteenth Dynasty rulers as their founder. For instance, according to P. Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs (2006), p. 138: “Kings of the 19th Dynasty were to regard [Horemheb] as the founder of their line, and this probably explains why a number of tombs and officials, as well as that of Ramesses II’s sister, the princess Tia, were deliberately placed near his Saqqara tomb”.







The Egyptian (now including Libyan and Ethiopian) dynasties that need to be accounted for in this final article in this ‘Bible Bending’ series are the 20th-25th dynasties.

Whilst the conventional chronology affords a generous amount of chronological space in which to locate these dynasties (viz., c. 1200 BC - 660 BC), a half millennium or more, my revision to be presented here will necessitate that they be fitted into about two centuries.

The Third Intermediate Period (TIP) of Egyptian history, comprising the 21st-25th dynasties (c. 1070-660 BC, conventional dating), is undoubtedly the most complex problem in the history of ancient Egypt, horribly exacerbated by the over-extended conventional chronology.  For my detailed revision of this tortuous period, see the discussion of it in my postgraduate thesis:


A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background



specifically that of Volume One, Chapter 11, pp. 315ff:


The Third Intermediate Period [TIP]: How Does It All Fit In?”


Though I, even there, had not attempted to provide a completely comprehensive discussion of all of the major officials (including priests) of the era as D. Rohl had so bravely done. Hence I wrote (pp. 327-328): 


For Rohl to have attempted a king-by-king and priest-by-priest revision of the TIP (dynasties 21-25) was a very courageous undertaking.

Rohl, with some initial help from James [‘David Rohl replies {to a Rejoinder from Lester J. Mitcham}’, Chronology and Catastrophism Workshop, No. 1 (July), 1986, pp. 17-23], is the only revisionist so far I think to have attempted this. Other revisionists, e.g. Sieff … and Clapham … have provided a basic alignment of the TIP and the Ramessides, dynasty by dynasty, but without entering upon the sort of detailed, ruler by ruler, and priest by priest, analysis that Rohl has. For anyone today embarking upon a Velikovskian-based (broadly speaking) revision of TIP, and who must therefore reject the conventional models - most notably Kitchen’s, whose time span the revision cannot possibly accommodate - they can at least use Rohl’s charts as most useful points of reference.

I myself, though, have no intention of embarking here upon a king to king revision of the TIP - any more than James has decided to do (see Towards a new Egyptian chronology, on pp. 357-358). My intention for TIP is, as I have reiterated in this thesis, to lay down a basic pattern for a ‘more acceptable’ arrangement than the conventional one. And, here, I am endeavouring to grasp some archaeological perspective on this most complex period of Egyptian history. I have already begun to suggest how the 22nd dynasty must sit in its relationship to the most important of the 19th and 20th dynasty Ramessides. And I am now considering how it might sit in its relation to the 21st dynasty. ….

[End of quote]


And far less so, here, do I intend to become bogged down with the intricacies of TIP. In order to keep this article as simple as possible, I shall just be giving a basic outline of the revised TIP, showing how it stands in relation to the Twentieth Dynasty (and hence to the Nineteenth which parallels much of it). The Twentieth Dynasty will be found, according to this revision, to run like a spine right down from the era of Jehu, with whom I began my PART THREE A, until the time of king Hezekiah of Judah, with whom this five-piece series will terminate.

Simply tabulated, my 19th-25th dynasties will run (largely as according to my thesis) like this:


19th Dynasty
Jehu (Israel) =
20th Dynasty
Joash  (Judah) =
21st Dynasty
Mauasa =
Hazael  (Syria)
22nd Dynasty
Shoshenq I 
Osorkon III


The Twentieth Dynasty


I now want to recall how, as I envisaged it in my thesis, Egypt’s Twentieth Dynasty emerged, like the Nineteenth, from the chaos of the El Amarna [EA] age. In this explanation we shall also be encountering the origins of the Twenty-First and the Twenty-Second dynasties commencing TIP. Key to much of this is the biblical character, Hazael, the Aziru of the EA letters (à la Velikovsky), and his emergence in the vital Horpasen Genealogy [HG] and in the Great Papyrus Harris [GPH].

Beginning with [HG], I wrote in my thesis (p. 225):


Hazael’s Various ‘Egyptian’ Guises


In the early post-EA period of Egypt’s New Kingdom, the textbooks introduce us to ‘two’ powerful ‘Chancellors’ (variously called viziers), of similar name structure: namely, (i) Ay; and (ii) May(a), a contemporary of Horemheb. In this section I intend to propose that these ‘two’ were likely one and the same ‘Chancellor’, our composite Ay (Hazael/Aziru). There is also, at a presumably later period, a third ‘Chancellor’, (iii) Bay,

again of similar name structure, currently dated to the late 19th dynasty (c. 1190 BC). Gardiner has described Bay in terms most reminiscent of Ay, as “a Syrian by birth”, “the

great chancellor of the entire land”, and “king-maker” [Egypt of the Pharaohs, p. 277]. I shall be seriously considering, in the next chapter, a possible connection of the intriguing Chancellor Bay with Ay/Aziru.

And there I shall also argue for a connection between the latter, as May, and the Mauasa,

second name after Buyuwawa, of the Horpasen Genealogy.

[End of quote]


[HG] is vitally important to this study, because this genealogy incorporates the important Shoshenq I and Osorkon I, along with others, of the Twenty-Second (Libyan) dynasty. And, as I shall also be arguing, it juxtaposes alongside this the Twenty-First dynasty ancestry.

But Hazael’s influence extended even to Assyria, overflowing from there into Egypt (p. 226):


Syria (Assyria) Comes to Egypt ….


According to the relevant Egyptian documents, at least as I shall be interpreting them, the revolution against the Amarna régime came from outside Egypt (“from without”). It was led by Ay and Horemheb. ….

There are several historical documents that I think may recall this momentous event, wherein Ay (Hazael) is referred to by various of his many names:


(i) One is the ‘Great Papyrus Harris’ which tells of an ‘Aziru’ (var. Irsu, Arsa), thought to have been a Syrian, or perhaps a Hurrian. …. I have already followed Velikovsky in identifying Hazael with EA’s Aziru; though Velikovsky, owing to the quirks of his revision, could not himself make the somewhat obvious (to my mind) connection between EA’s Aziru and Aziru of the Great Papyrus Harris. …

(ii) Another is the reference by Adad-nirari of Assyria to his ancestor Ashuruballit’s [Assuruballit’s] having subdued Egypt. I have already argued, too, that Ashuruballit was the ‘Assyrian’ face of our composite king, Hazael/Aziru.


These two cases (i) & (ii) are, according to my revision, references to the same ‘Syrian’

(Assyrian) subduer of Egypt, Ay/Hazael, who held power there as Chancellor and king maker, and finally, for a brief period, as pharaoh.

[End of quote]


Then follows my explanation of how [GPH] serves as a link between the dissolution of EA and the Twentieth Dynasty (loc. cit.):


The Papyrus Harris is a most important document for the period now under consideration, the chaotic years immediately post-EA. But it is also important as an introduction to the Ramessides, largely to be discussed in the next chapter, it being a retrospective glance back by so-called 20th dynasty Ramessides on those turbulent times.

This very well-preserved papyrus, Rohl has called “the funeral scroll of Ramesses III” [The Lost Testament, p. 406], the pharaoh famous for his land and sea war against the ‘Sea Peoples’, including the Philistines. It recalls an unhappy era for Egypt, followed by the overlordship there of a certain ‘Syrian’. And it commemorates Seti-nakht (Setnakhte), the father of Ramses III, who had restored order to Egypt.

[End of quote]



The Twentieth Dynasty has been, it seems, completely cut off from its moorings, fore and aft, so that it now floats precariously in an uncharted watery chronology.As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.




From this, one could expect that the Twentieth Dynasty had emerged, with Seti-nakht, near to the end of the confusion that saw the demise of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Yet convention has separated these two eras by over a century, with the Nineteenth Dynasty of c. 1290-1190 BC intervening. Moreover, from the archaeological data, at least as argued by P. James, one could expect that the Twentieth Dynasty would sit close to the Twenty Fifth (Ethiopian) Dynasty. Yet convention has separated the two eras by three centuries (c. 1060-760 BC).

The Twentieth Dynasty has been, it seems, completely cut off from its moorings, fore and aft, so that it now floats precariously in an uncharted watery chronology.As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.


Here is James’s account of the archaeological situation concerning the Twentieth Dynasty and the Twenty Fifth (Ethiopian) Dynasty, as I presented it in my thesis (pp. 376-377):


I want to take just one more section of James’ discussion here, because he now goes on to consider the early Ethiopians in connection with the 20th dynasty. Here James, discussing the el-Kurru cemetery, concludes – right in line with my own thesis, in which the 20th and 25th dynasties partly overlap – that the 20th dynasty was much closer in time to the 25th than convention would have it:


The Kurru cemetery was excavated by George Reisner, the founder of Nubian archaeology, on behalf of Harvard University and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1918 and 1919 …. The latest burials were of those kings well-known from inscriptional evidence as the founders of Kushite power, Kashta and Piye (Piankhy), and as rulers over Egypt, Shabaqo, Shebitqo [Shebitku] and Tanwetamani [or Tantamani] …. The prime position in the site was dominated by a sequence of burials which Reisner attributed to five ancestral ‘generations’ ending with Alara. Allowing twenty years per generation and a base date for Alara of c. 760 BC, Reisner calculated the date of the commencement of the el-Kurru cemetery at about 860 BC. Reisner based his interpretation on the developmental nature of the graves in the cemetery, moving from simple tumuli to pyramids. This sequence is logical, and given the small number of tombs there seems to be no good reason to increase Reisner’s number of generations ….

However, some of the artefacts from the earliest of the ‘ancestral’ burials have recently been identified as 20th Dynasty (i.e. 12th-11th century BC) in date …. This material is, by its nature, unlikely to be ‘heirloom’ or acquired from rifled New Kingdom tombs. Some of the most significant is painted pottery which was clearly manufactured for the funeral ceremony and ritually broken at the time …. It seems that this first generation must indeed be attributed to the later 20th Dynasty ... However, the radiocarbon tests carried out on the material, admittedly insufficient and so far unpublished, would seem to fit Reisner’s calculated 9th-century BC date for the earliest graves …. The re-examination of the material from el-Kurru presents Nubian studies with a serious problem: either Reisner’s chronology (internal and exact) is correct, or the cemetery comprises two or more groups of graves, of different periods, having no relationship to each other.

It is impossible to have a compromise solution which spreads the ancestral burials over the 300 or so years from the late 20th Dynasty to the mid-8th century, because of the limited number of graves …. If Reisner’s interpretation is correct, then the 20th Dynasty finds were deposited in the 9th rather than the 11th century BC. Such a radical compression of the length of time from the end of the 20th Dynasty until the beginning of the 25th, whilst flying in the face of conventional Egyptology, removes the Nubian Dark Age at a single stroke. ….


[End of quote]


That, of course, is one of the great benefits of the revision, its removal of ‘Dark Ages’, hence the importance to history and archaeology of P. James’s classic, Centuries of Darkness (1991). Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky himself had given multiple examples of this phenomenon, including these Greek-related ones (




103. Minoan inscriptions of the Mycenaean Age may comprise alphabetic writings following in principle the cuneiform alphabet of Ras Shamra Hebrew.

104. The vaults of the necropolis of Ras Shamra and similar vaults in Cyprus are contemporaneous, and not separated by six centuries.

105. The tombs of Enkomi on Cyprus, excavated by A. S. Murray in 1896, were correctly assigned by him to the eighth-seventh century.

106. The time table of the Minoan and Mycenean culture is distorted by almost six hundred years, because it is dependent upon the wrong Egyptian chronology.

107. No “Dark Age” of six centuries duration intervened in Greece between the Mycenaean Age and the Ionian Age of the seventh century.

108. The large buildings and fortifications of Mycenae and Tiryns in the Argive Plain date from the time of the Argive Tyrants, who lived in the eighth century.

109. The Heraion of Olympia was built in the “Mycenaean” age, in the first millennium

110. The so-called Mycenaean ware was mainly of Cypriote (Phoenician) manufacture. It dates from the tenth to the sixth century.

111. The so-called Geometric ware is not a later product than the Mycenaean ware; they were products of the same age.

112. The entire archaeology of the eastern Mediterranean, based upon the assumption that the Mycenaean culture belongs to the fifteenth-thirteenth centuries, is built upon a misleading principle. ….


[End of quote]


Velikovsky had masterfully identified historical and art-historical trends, and, thanks to his necessary shortening of history, many anomalies relating to these now simply disappear. Unfortunately, however, some of Velikovsky’s later efforts to bridge the chronological divide - e.g., in the case of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Egyptian dynasties - can be shown to be quite untenable, archaeologically and genealogically.

Firstly, Velikovsky wrongly interposed between these - actually consecutive - Nineteenth and Twentieth dynasties, two foreign dynasties. Thus (loc. cit.): 


157. Between the Eighteenth and the Nineteenth Dynasties there was a period of about 150 years, during which Egypt was ruled by the Libyans and the Ethiopians (Twenty-second to Twenty-fifth Dynasties).

158. The period of the Libyans in Egypt lasted not over 200 years but about 100 years only, and its termination is correctly fixed at the end of the eighth century.


Though he was mostly right about his next point:


159. The only period of ancient Egypt which is correctly placed in time, is the short Ethiopian period. But this retention of its proper place at the end of the eighth and the beginning of the seventh century caused a still greater chaos in historiography; generations which actually followed became progenitors, ancestors became descendants. ….


A sad fact indeed, that nothing of Egyptian history is chronologically right until as late as the C8th BC!

Velikovsky’s solution towards a revision of the Nineteenth Dynasty was novel, but it also turned out to be quite disastrous:



172. The so-called Nineteenth and Twenty-sixth Dynasties are substantially one and the same.

173. Ramses I is identical with, Necho 1. He was one of the viceroys under Essarhadon. After the death of Essarhadon, when the viceroys took sides with Tirhaka the Ethiopian and were killed by Assurbanipal, Ramses I, pardoned by the Assyrian King, was installed by him as the king of Egypt.


And the same comment applies to his Twentieth Dynasty arrangement:



258. Ramses III is identical with Nectanebo I of the Greek authors. He lived not in the twelfth but in the fourth century.

259. In Herodotus there can be no reference to Ramses III, because the historian lived before the pharaoh. The history of Egypt by Herodotus, though defective in details, is more nearly accurate than that of the later and modern historians, because he placed the history of the Eighteenth, the Ethiopian, and the Nineteenth Dynasties in fairly accurate order.

260. “Invasion of Egypt by the archaic Greeks” in the twelfth century is a fallacy. The Greeks who participated in the wars of Ramses III and who are shown as changing sides, were at first soldiers of Chabrias, assisting Egypt, and then troops of Iphicrates, opposing Ramses III.


274. Other kings known by the name of Ramses, from Ramses IV to Ramses XII, are identical with the kings of the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Dynasties and their order of succession is confused.

[End of quotes]


It needs to be kept well in mind, though, that Velikovsky was a pioneer. He had been obliged to find ways to avoid the inevitable chronological crush consequent to his lowering of the Eighteenth Dynasty by half a millennium. And, although he was wrong in identifying pharaoh Ramses III’s Pereset foe as Persians, instead of Philistines: “262. The Pereset, with whom Ramses III was at war, were the Persians of Artaxerxes II under the satrap Pharnambazus, and not the Philistines”, and thereby re-shaping his chronology accordingly, it may be that the Philistines and later Persians were in fact a related people of similar garb and appearance.

What Velikovsky had perceived, and this undoubtedly became a major influence for James, was the crying need for a reduction in the historical ages (hence Velikovsky’s Ages in Chaos).


As a supplement to this present paper, I wrote:


King Amaziah of Judah as Pharaoh Ramses III



to which I refer the reader for fuller details. Essential to this article was the formerly extensive rule of King Amaziah, as according to 2 Chronicles 25:13:


Meanwhile, the hired troops that Amaziah had sent home raided several of the towns of Judah between Samaria and Beth-horon”.


That the king of Judah had actually held a large swathe of the northern kingdom as well!


Upon my re-visiting this part of my thesis, Amaziah as Ramses III, I am happy enough with it now to consider it - alongside my Jehu as Horemheb - as an anchor point. So that, even if the remainder of my Twentieth dynasty comparisons turn out to be not exact, I at least have this dynasty, just as in the case of the Nineteenth, anchored in its proper historical time slot – and hence no longer ‘floating in that uncharted watery chronology’.


Most significant for my identification here of Ramses III as also a king of Judah is what Velikovsky had further noted:


“270. Semitic languages and the Palestinian cult of Baal made headway in Egypt at the time of Ramses III”.



“At the same time, Amaziah's idolatry just as likely had its roots in inherent depravity. If Joash fell away to Baal (2 Chronicles 24:18), it is hardly surprising that Amaziah his son should have followed his example”.


And, whilst Velikovsky was not entirely accurate, chronologically speaking, about this next point, he was surely on the right track: “271. The Greek letters of classical form incised on the tiles of Ramses III during the process of manufacture (found at Tell-el-Yahudieh in the Delta) present no problem. They are Greek letters of the fourth century”.

From such interesting observations as the above, Dr. Velikovsky would produce the long-anticipated fifth book in his Ages in Chaos series: Peoples of the Sea (1977) – a highly entertaining and readable volume, but pitching the Twentieth Dynasty too late on the time scale. About half a millennium too late, according to my “King Amaziah of Judah” article. Thus:


Suggested Interrelationships between the 19th and 20th Dynasties


My connection of Seti-nakht with [king] Joash [of Judah] enables for some of the mystery to be lifted from whom Tyldesley describes as “the unknown Setnakht …the mysterious founder of Dynasty 20”….. Hence I cannot accept the first part of her further view that: …. “It seems likely that the new king [Seti-nakht] was connected with the preceding regime [19th dynasty]. [Seti-nakht] himself, however, makes no effort to justify his rule by linking himself to the successful Ramesside kings, a surprising omission … [he] simply tells us, on a stele … at Elephantine, that he came to the throne via a divine oracle, and that in so doing he brought maat to a land of chaos”.


Still trying to find the right interrelationship between these dynasties, I wrote [in my thesis] (p. 280):


Seti-nakht in turn, towards the very end of his reign, became weak from Syrian pressure, and this then saw the rise of Jehoash (Seti I), who several times turned back the Syrians. Seti I’s main period of rule over Egypt, and building enterprises there, and wars, would have spanned the period of his co-regency with Ramses I to the rise of king Amaziah of Judah (my Ramses III) culminating in the latter’s victory over Edom, about a decade later, when Amaziah’s army slew 10,000 Edomites in battle and another 10,000 in captivity (cf. 2 Kings 14:7 & 2 Chronicles 25:12). Some of his father Ramses I’s works were actually completed by Seti I. Thus Tyldesley tells, in connection with Seti’s mortuary temple, of his incorporating “a small chapel for Ramesses I who had died before he could complete his own provisions for eternity”. …. Moreover, at Abydos: …. “Seti built a small mahat for his father, Ramesses I, and an enormous one for himself”.


But Ramses III, as Amaziah, may in fact have had the prior ascendancy (as already alluded to):


There seems to be the suggestion, though, that Jehoash/Seti I, at a stage prior to his defeat of Amaziah, when he as Jehoash assaulted Jerusalem, was not actually the primary ruler of Israel’s cities (Samaria to Beth-horon). It was then Amaziah who ruled this region. So there is a certain amount of complexity. Amaziah of Judah (Ramses III) must have ruled the land, though in co-operation with Jehoash, from whom he hired a massive mercenary army. It appears also that Amaziah was trying to form a marital alliance with the House of Israel. It was most likely during this earlier phase of his reign that Amaziah, too, built in Egypt, from, say Year 8 (his victory over Edom and the ‘Sea Peoples’, see below) to Year 12. The temple at Medinet Habu was probably completed in his 12th year. …. “His funerary temple of Medinet Habu stands as the ultimate indication of his achievement, but he also built at Karnak and prepared a fine tomb in the Valley of the Kings”….

[End of quote]


The Sea Peoples


Most famous of all is Ramses III’s contest with the “Sea Peoples” in Year 8 of his reign. This incident I tried to place in revised context, tying it in with similar activities of Seti I and Ramses II, on p. 283:


This Year 8 of Ramses III, as Amaziah, corresponding with Year 9 of Seti I (Jehoash), will be found to be the same as Year 2 of Ramses II (according to co-regency calculations in D.). This gives rise to a most interesting correlation: …. “In the second year of his reign, Ramesses II … had to deal with a raid by the Sherden pirates, whom he defeated in a sea battle and subsequently incorporated into his own army”. This must then be the very same incident as the famous sea battle attributed to Ramses III, against the coalition that also “included the Sheklesh, Sherden … mercenaries …”. Some of these later “took up residence in Egypt, first as soldiers and then as landowners” …. settling largely in the Delta. For now, Israel and Judah had been forced to unite against this tidal wave of foreign peoples. No doubt many of them also became an integral part of Ramses II’s (and Ramses III’s massive combined?) labour force. “It is doubtful”, wrote David …. “whether Ramesses [II] would have completed his ambitious building programme without the ‘help’ of foreign workers”.


It was in the context of the “Sea Peoples” that I tentatively introduced pharaoh Shoshenq I (the conventional “Shishak”), the founder of the 22nd (Libyan) Dynasty. I shall give the relevant part from my thesis where I proposed that Shoshenq I might be Ramses II’s foe, Shaushka-muwa, though further on I shall be reconsidering this. I then wrote (pp. 318-319):


… an alleged brother of the Benteshina against whom we read that Ramses II had campaigned, was one Shaushka-muwa. He is my candidate for Shoshenq I. The name ‘Shoshenq’, I suggest, is simply that of the Luwian goddess, Shaushka (var. Shaushga). It would not be surprising that the Egyptian scribes, who had had such difficulty when rendering the name, Yuya, might have turned Shaushka into Shoshenk. ….

As to ‘Indo-European’, Shoshenq I could now be the great ‘Greek’ hero, Mopsus, or Mopshush (Muwa-Shaushka), or Mukshush, who – according to some – led the massive invasion of the ‘Sea Peoples’ in Year 8 of Ramses III.

…. Here my reconstruction accords perfectly with that of Rohl, chronologically speaking, insofar as Rohl has designated Shoshenq I as the ‘saviour’ of Israel at the time of Jehoahaz. …. My own view, though, was that this ‘saviour’ was Jehoahaz’s son, Jehoash (my Seti I).

Just as the ancients referred to a ‘House of Omri’ and a ‘House of Hazael’, so too apparently did they know of a ‘House of Mopsus’.

[End of quote]


What I was far more confident about, in the case of Shoshenq I, was that the epigraphical evidence demanded that he be located at least a century later than where convention has him as the biblical “Shishak” (c. 920 BC), at a point intermediate between the Mesha stele letters of about -850 and the Hezekiah letters chiselled into the rock wall of a water conduit of the Shiloah spring near Jerusalem, of about -700” (See my argument, pp. 293-294).


Now returning to p. 283 of my thesis, regarding Ramses III and his confrontation with the “Sea Peoples”, I continued:


If this reconstruction is basically correct (and obviously it is going to need refining), then we now know that a motivation for this particular movement of ‘Sea Peoples’, at least, was not so much famine or due to an earthquake (though these may have caused the initial mass movement – and some think that the Hekla-3 volcano in Iceland occurred close to the reign of Ramses III …). It was in fact due to their being disgruntled by the off-handed treatment of Amaziah; a factor that also occurs in the case of Ramses III. …. One may wonder whether Amaziah eventually challenged Jehoash in anger as a result of the mercenary revolt, or merely because the former was proud of his combined victory over Edom and the ‘Sea Peoples’ (in the latter of which Jehoash must have had some share) and now wanted to test his strength against his former business partner. Newby has called this “the first naval engagement in history … to be fully recorded. Judging by the evidence provided on the walls of Medinet Habu it took place in the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, some distance north of Per-Ramesse, where it entered the Mediterranean”. …. Whatever the reason, the disastrous outcome led to a downturn in Amaziah’s prestige. And this decline in Amaziah’s fortunes from approximately mid-way through his 29-year reign is certainly paralleled in the case of Ramses III.

[End of quote]


Though I also considered the possibility that Amaziah-Ramses III, may have had a window of opportunity for another half dozen years of building activity in Egypt during an apparent lull in the reign of Ramses II (p. 280):


Amaziah may just possibly also, later, have had a secondary phase of building activity in Egypt, now as a servant of (or in partnership with) Ramses II; from, say, Years 18-24,

corresponding to Years 10-18 of Ramses II, since, according to Thomas: …. “Between the years ten and eighteen there are few documents that tell us what the king was doing”. One might suggest a possible collaboration between the two, as earlier between Jehoash and Amaziah, for this period.

Was the formerly great Ramses III then actually serving as viceroy to Ramses II? I suggested: “Indeed, Ramses III (… hekaon … ka-nekht) might even have been someone like Hekanakht, viceroy of Ramses II in the latter’s own years 18-24, equating to Ramses III’s years 24-30 (revised). ….

[End of quote]


A fair bit of speculation admittedly involved here. Most interestingly, though, in my new context, pharaoh Ramses III exhibited Syro-Palestinian tendencies in his architecture, and perhaps he also married a wife from that region (p. 281): 


The Harris Papyrus, writes Tyldesley … tells of Ramses III’s “impressive building works at Pi-Ramesse and at Tell el-Yahudiya, a successful trading mission to the mysterious Land of Punt, and the resumption of expeditions to the copper and turquoise mines”. The Syro-Palestinian influence of this Judaean king (as I am proposing) may perhaps be discerned from the fact that the eastern entrance portal to Ramses III’s Medinet Habu Temple was “built in imitation of a migdol, or Syrian fortress”. …. Again, Ramses III married a woman named Isis, about whom Clayton has commented: …. “Basically Isis was of Asiatic extraction since her mother’s name was Habadjilat, a distinctly un-Egyptian name”. If Ramses III were indeed Amaziah, then the latter’s mother, Jehoaddin of Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:2), must be Ramses III’s mother, Tiy-merenese.

[End of quote]


Despite the common choice of the name “Ramses” amongst the 20th dynasty rulers, there appears to be no evidence whatsoever of a blood connection between the 19th and 20th dynasties (loc. cit.):


An eventual happy working relationship between Ramses III and Ramses II, who had once defeated the former, might explain the apparent reverence thought to have been shown to Ramses II in the inscriptions of Ramses III and his sons. Though, given that (according to this thesis) Ramses III was himself a mighty king, who chronologically preceded Ramses II, then it could be partly the other way round: Ramses III influencing

Ramses II. Amaziah was a great army organizer (cf. 2 Kings 14:9 & 2 Chronicles 25:5),

and it may be that the 19th dynasty rulers even took some lead from him in developing their own skilled units. None of this though, of course, would be the conventional view.

Thus Tyldesley: …. “Ramesses III was a determined monarch who set out to model his reign on the reign of Ramesses II, without ever claiming direct descent from his great role model …”. Indeed there appears to have been no blood connection. Thus Clayton: …. “Despite the grandeur of the name [i.e. Ramses], none of [the 20th Dynasty rulers] had any ancestral connection with their great predecessor, Ramesses II”.

Perhaps Ramses III ultimately managed to achieve that marital alliance for his House with Ramses II that he, as Amaziah, had previously sought with Jehoash/Seti I. But the exact interconnections between these two dynasties still need to be fully determined. ….


 [End of quote]

His Age and Manner of Death


These seem to accord rather well, I thought (pp. 283-284).


The 29-year reign of Amaziah also rather nicely, incidentally, matches the 31-33 years of Ramses III that includes a 3-year co-regency with his father.

In the end, king Amaziah of Judah was assassinated. We are given very little detail of it;

but both 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles use the word “conspiracy” in their identical accounts.

“They made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there” (2 Kings 14:19; 2 Chronicles 25:27). Now, Johnson is quite sure that assassination, as the result of a “conspiracy”, was also the fate of Ramses III: …. “The last really masterful king of independent Egypt, Ramesses III, was almost certainly murdered … the juridical investigation which followed revealed a ramifying conspiracy which went right through the court administration and army”.


Tyldesley also entertains this idea: ….


We do not know whether, after thirty-two years on the throne, Ramesses was indeed murdered. … The mummified body of Ramesses III show no obvious wound, but the hardened 20th Dynasty linen which still sticks to his limbs makes it difficult to be certain of this. Poison, often considered a woman’s weapon, need not of course leave any tell-tale signs. Ramesses’s head, freed from its linen mask by Maspero on 1 June 1886, revealed such a grim aspect that it has since served as the model of a number of mummy-based horror films.


Ikram and Dodson, writing in relation to the pharaoh’s mummy, consider assassination “likely”, but “impossible to check”. They have written: …. “[The mummy of Ramses III] was found well wrapped by restorers in antiquity, the linen carapace over the body still being in place. It has thus been impossible to check the body for any wounds that might derive from his likely murder”. No mention of it is found in the Great Papyrus Harris.

Suspicious for the conventional view is the following strange situation as told by Clayton: …. “Ramesses III himself commissioned [sic] the prosecution; however, since he is spoken of later in the papyrus as ‘the great god’, i.e. dead, he must have died during the course of the trial”. But I think rather that Ramses III could only have been ‘prosecuting the entire trial from the grave’, so to speak.


The age of Ramses III at death is estimated to have been between 55 and 65. The latter would be the correct age for him if he were Amaziah, who came to the throne aged 29 and reigned for 30-odd years. According to one source: …. “Ramesses III died after a reign of 33 years, probably aged around 65 years old”.

[End of quote]


Conventionally, the Twentieth Dynasty is presented as follows:



Twentieth Dynasty 1186 – 1069 BC


Setnakht ruled for only a few years but restored order after a period of chaos. His son Rameses III was the last great king. He gave Egypt a final moment of glory by defeating Sea Peoples who had utterly destroyed Hittite Empire and swept all before them on their march south.
After Rameses III, Egypt began to suffer economic problems and a break down in the fabric of society. She was unable to exploit the revolution of the Iron Age and there followed a succession of kings all called Rameses. Perhaps this was a vain attempt to recapture past glories.


  • Setnakht 1186-1184
  • Rameses III 1184-1153
  • Rameses IV 1153-1147
  • Rameses V 1147-1143
  • Rameses VI 1143-1136
  • Rameses VII 1136-1129
  • Rameses VIII 1129-1126
  • Rameses IX 1126-1108
  • Rameses X 1108-1099
  • Rameses XI 1099-1069
    According to my scheme, however, the Twentieth Dynasty runs like a chronological spine from the approximate time of Jehu of Israel, in the early C9th BC, right down until the era of King Hezekiah of Judah (c. 700 BC), making it contemporaneous also with the Twenty-Fifth (Ethiopian) Dynasty. And we have already discovered how this later placement of the Twentieth Dynasty sits well with regard to the archaeological data.
    This new arrangement is set out in pp. 346-351 of my thesis, wherein I tentatively proposed Ramses IX as the likeliest candidate for (the much-neglected by the revision) King Uzziah of Judah based upon my view that this dynasty was Judaean. (For Uzziah, see my pp. 347-350). Does not 2 Chronicles 26:8 inform us of King Uzziah: “And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad to the entrance of Egypt; for he became exceeding strong”?
    King Uzziah’s son, Jotham, could therefore have been the son of Ramses IX, Mentuherkhepshef (p. 351).
    Ramses X, I tentatively identified as Ahaz, son of Jotham (loc. cit.).
    Ramses XI, the last ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty, I would identify as King Hezekiah himself (loc. cit.).
    This last comment leads me into:
    The Judith Factor
    The era of King Hezekiah of Judah was the focal point of my entire thesis. Part of the reason for this was that much of Volume Two: SENNACHERIB’S INVASIONS OF HEZEKIAH’S KINGDOM, AND HIS DEFEAT, was built around the Book of Judith, which I firmly believed was based upon this very era of history: Hezekiah’s.
    With Hezekiah (c. 700 BC) now at least a contemporary of pharaoh Ramses XI (c. 1050 BC), if not the very same monarch, then I thought that the “Renaissance” that occurred during that pharaoh’s reign might well have been affected by Judith’s victory and the defeat of Sennacherib’s massive Assyrian army. Thus I wrote on p. 388:
    Indeed, it may actually have been the great victory by Hezekiah’s people over Sennacherib’s 185,000 troops in Israel, occurring at this approximate time (revised), that had led to the inauguration of Ramses XI’s, or Herihor’s (as some think), enigmatic era of ‘Renaissance’ or ‘Rebirth’ (weh_em mesw.t), thought to date to Ramses XI’s 19th year. There is some chronological uncertainty associated with establishing the date for Ramses XI’s institution of this weh_em mesw.t, presumably in his 19th year, given that Ramses XI is not even specifically mentioned in Papyrus Mayer A; the document that, according to Gardiner, has enabled for this correspondence with Ramses XI to have been estimated: …. “After much hesitation and discussion it has been realized that this year 19 could only belong to the reign of Ramesses XI who, however, was known from a stela found at Abydos to have survived until his twenty-seventh year”. According to Grimal, …. “… Ramesses XI … reigned for twenty-seven years, of which only the first nineteen were to any extent effective”.
    Now all of this has a strikingly Hebrew-like aspect to it (p. 389):
    There is no doubt at least that the ‘Renaissance’ in the time of Ramses XI et al. was quite a unique phase in Egyptian history. And its likeness to the ancient Hebrew system may suggest that it had some relationship to the defeat of Sennacherib’s huge army in Israel. (See VOLUME TWO, Chapter 3). For according to Berlev, it led to the creation of a theocratic “state of Amun” that was “totally comparable to the religious state of the ancient Hebrews”. .... Berlev has examined in detail here this extraordinary new era, in connection with Wenamun’s famous journey to Byblos at the time. The revolution led to the creation of a new type of state previously unknown in Egypt: a theocracy:

… in which a king who had not been formally overthrown and had retained all his divine-royal titles was officially acknowledged to be, not god, but a mere man, albeit the man with the highest rank in the state. In the famed Report of Wenamun, who traveled to Byblos, this is stated unambiguously. … In general, the Report was undoubtedly proferred as the manifesto of the new ideology. It is emphasized that Wenamun serves god and not man, that the king of Byblos, Zakar-baal (cf. Janssen 1976, no. 72071), is obliged to comply with Wenamun’s wishes because the latter is the envoy not of a man but of a god, Amun. ….


Grimal, though, does not seem to read anything so dramatic into this weh_em mesw.t, which “phrase”, he says blandly “sanctioned a kind of equilibrium between three powerful men: Ramesses XI, Smendes and Herihor”…..


Could such combinations as these of Twentieth Dynasty and TIP characters attest to a major chronological displacement, in the conventional scheme, of pharaoh Ramses XI (the last 20th dynasty ruler)? The following may indeed suggest this (loc. cit., emphasis added):      


Piye [25th dynasty], who was a contemporary of Tefnakht of the 24th dynasty, also appears to have been a contemporary of this Wenamun (according to a comparison of Piye’s Stele and Ashurbanipal’s records). Wenamun was, in turn, a contemporary of both Zakar-baal of Byblos and of Ramses XI (and the presumed triumvirate). If the famous Wenamun is in fact the one also referred to in Ashurbanipal’s records, then the conventional system must have set Ramses XI and the triumvirate about four centuries too early.

[End of quotes]


Having now firmly anchored Egypt’s New Kingdom (Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth) - though obviously not in all of its fine details - by relocating it as a whole piece out of chaos (like Abu Simbel, to escape a watery grave), from c. 1550-1070 BC to c. 1050-700 BC, we are now in a better position to re-assess further that nightmarish  


Third Intermediate Period [TIP]


We have already found that there are many disturbing anomalies associated with the conventional arrangement of TIP in its connection with the late New Kingdom - for instance, the unrealistic chronological distance between the Twentieth and Twenty-fifth dynasties. Then there is the epigraphical evidence suggesting the need for a significant lowering of the Twenty-Second Dynasty. For more on this, see my:


Ramses II Re-Dated by Byblite Evidence



Also on pp. 351-355 of my thesis I gave: More Genealogical and Art-Historical Anomalies, e.g. the chronologically anomalous situation of the ‘Family of Bokenkonsu’ and what Courville called the “gross anachronism” of Greek writings on the backs of Ramses III’s building tiles.

On pp. 332-334, in seeking a necessary compression of the Twenty-First and Twenty-Second dynasties, I argued for a return to Lieblein’s early assessment (p. 332):


21st and 22nd Dynasties Concurrent


To suggest at least a substantial contemporaneity between the 21st and 22nd dynasties is to return somewhat to the view of Lieblein (1914) … one of the earliest scholars to make an extensive examination of the complex genealogical material for the TIP. Lieblein considered there to be at least a large overlap between the 21st and 22nd dynasties. Kitchen, on the other hand, connects the 22nd dynasty with the 21st only at the very end, making Shoshenq I the son-in-law of the supposed very last 21st dynasty king, Psusennes (Psibkhenno) II.


James, I noted, had provided certain evidence that threw into confusion the conventional arrangement of these two TIP dynasties (as quoted on p. 330):


- Tanis Royal Tomb Complex


A further clear indication that something is seriously wrong with the usual reconstruction of this early TIP phase is provided by the tomb evidence at Tanis. Thus James again: ….


Striking evidence that something is amiss with the conventional placement of the 21st and 22nd Dynasties comes from the royal tomb complex at Tanis, discovered by Pierre Montet. In the south-western corner of the main temple enclosure he uncovered the underground burials of Psusennes I and Amenemope of the 21st Dynasty, Osorkon II and Shoshenq III of the 22nd Dynasty, as well as three unattributed tombs. Montet and his architect Lézine were clearly puzzled by the relationship between Tomb I, belonging to Osorkon II, and Tomb III, containing the burials of Psusennes I, Amenemope and others. After careful examination they reluctantly concluded that Tomb I had been constructed after Tomb III - this in spite of the usual understanding that Osorkon died more than a century later than the reign of Psusennes.


On this very matter, I had also referred to Rohl’s view (p. 327):


Anyway Rohl tells of the apparent alliance - a further embarrassment to the conventional system - between a Psusennes/Psibkhenno and Shoshenq I, presumed to have post-dated the 21st dynasty: ….


The possibility of an alliance between Shoshenk I and a Psusennes is indicated by a problematic (for the conventional chronology) statue inscription found at Thebes. It appears that Shoshenk had the cartouche of a Psusennes inscribed along with his own on an old statue of Thutmose III … a peculiar action if Psusennes was already deceased at the time!


Moreover, I continued:


A further embarrassment pertains to Siamun, as Rohl adds here:


… the mummy of Djedptahefankh who died in Year 10 of Shoshenk was found in the secret royal cache at Deir el-Bahari along with the great kings of the 18th to 20th Dynasties, re-interred there during the reign of Siamun. Not only is this an embarrassing problem for the orthodox chronology, which places Shoshenk I 80 years after Siamun but it is also significant that Djedptahefankh is called “King’s Son of Ramesses and King’s Son of the Lord of the two Lands” … which must surely point to a close relationship to one of the last Ramessides of the 20th Dynasty. This is only satisfactorily catered for in a chronology which assumes Shoshenk I to have followed on soon after the Ramesside period [sic] and therefore at a time when Psusennes was also on the throne in Tanis. The Horus and Golden Horus names of Shoshenk also closely reflect those of king Smendes giving us another reason to place the Libyan king at this time.


Velikovsky had shown just how dubious was the presumed link between Psusennes II,

the last ruler of the 21st dynasty, and Shoshenq I, the first ruler of the 22nd dynasty. ….


No one doubts, however, that the whole matter is terribly complex – a point that I tried sympathetically to make on p. 332:


The TIP in general is most complex and difficult in the extreme, and no one I am sure would argue with Grimal’s view, which he gives interestingly with reference to revisionist Peter James’ Centuries of Darkness, that the TIP is “one of the most confused periods in Egyptian history, a period which historians have still not been able to disentangle satisfactorily from the fragments of evidence (James 1991)”. ….


[End of quotes]


On p. 334, I composed the following chart of approximate time-spans for the Twenty-Second and Twenty-Third dynasty rulers, based on the archaeological, art-historical and epigraphical evidence - as provided by conventional and revisionist historians alike - that I had discussed up to that point:


Table 4: Revised Approximate Dates for 22nd and 23rd Dynasty Kings


Shoshenq I (945-924 BC)                  -           c. 800 BC (Byblos)

Osorkon I (924-889 BC)                     -           early 8th century BC (Byblos)

Osorkon II (874-850 BC)                    -           mid-8th (Samaria); c. 700 BC (Spain)

Takeloth II (850-825 BC)                    -           c. 700 BC (Spain)

Shoshenq III (825-773 BC)                -           c. 720 BC (Carthage); c. 700 BC (Spain)

Pedubast I (818-793 BC)                   -           c. 720 BC (Carthage); c. 700 BC (Spain)

Prince Takeloth (c. 800 or 765 BC)   -           early 7th century BC (Sidon/Assur)

Pimay (773-767 BC)                            -           c. 720 BC (Carthage)

Osorkon III (789-759 BC)                   -           c. 720 (Carthage); c. 700 BC (Spain)



Rezin the foe of Judah


Lately, I have begun to wonder whether Shoshenq I may actually need to be lowered somewhat later on the time scale than the early C8th BC, where I had tentatively identified him with Shaushka-muwa, a known contemporary of Ramses II.   


This approximate convergence, in Egypt, of Ramses II, III and Shoshenq I, really seems to be a bit much. And, though the Byblos evidence appears to militate against too late a date for Shoshenq I and Osorkon I (see: “The Byblite Succession”, thesis pp. 325-326), the thought has occurred to me that Shoshenq I may be a fair candidate for the biblical Syrian, Rezin, at the time of kings Jotham and Ahaz of Judah. In my thesis I had opted for Shoshenq III (Rohl’s choice for the biblical “So king of Egypt”) as Rezin, whilst admitting on p. 364: “But I accept that there might be found a more apt candidate than Shoshenq III, for Rezin”. That Rezin was no mean operator is apparent from Irvine, as quoted on p. 360 of my thesis: “Rezin was intent on two related goals: (1) re-establishing a “Greater Syria:” that would dominate Palestine; and (2) leading other western powers into a coalition that could eventually check Assyrian efforts to control the Eastern Mediterranean Seaboard”.

Shoshenq I, who can be neither “Shishak”, nor “So” of Egypt, could possibly be Rezin, whom I identified in my thesis as Isaiah 7:6’s “The Son of Tabeel” (pp. 362-365), that is, a son of Tab-rimmon, the father of Ben-hadad I (I Kings 15:18).   

Now this brings us squarely back to [HG] and Mauasa/Hazael, and the Buyuwawa who proceeds him, who I implied in my thesis was Ben-hadad I himself. Shoshenq I, belonging to an apparently secondary line of this family, must himself have been related to Tab-rimmon. Rohl, following Sir Flinders Petrie - whilst completely rejecting Kitchen’s interpretation - has provided the key to unlocking [HG] (my thesis, p. 316):


Pasenhor wished to record that his ancestors were connected with the royal blood line of the 22nd Dynasty through his great, great, great grandmother Tentsepeh.

Having taken the genealogy back through four generations of kings (to the founder of the dynasty - Shoshenk I) he then, at the break following generation 9, continued the genealogy of his great, great, great grandfather Nimlot (generation 5) whose ancestors formed the line of Great Chiefs as far back as Buyuwawa … the Libyan….


Thus we have:


Pasenhor --- Hemptah --- Pasenhor --- Hemptah --- Djedptahefankh --- Tentsepeh (wife of Nimlot) --- Osorkon II --- Takelot (I) --- Osorkon = (I) --- Shoshenk (I), where the Tentsepeh line ends.


Then, starting again from the couple Nimlot and Tenstepeh, we have Nimlot --- Shoshenk --- Paihuty --- Nebneshi --- Mawasan --- Buyuwawa, where the Nimlot line ends.


This construction of the genealogy (first proposed by Flinders Petrie) is absolutely in line with the text ….

[End of quote]


In common with Rezin, Shoshenq I, in his famous campaign, conquers Palestine whilst not actually managing to take Jerusalem. Moreover, the following statement of Shoshenq’s about reclaiming Palestine, which had puzzled me in the context of my thesis construction for him (p. 338):


Shoshenq I’s campaign was a most important chapter in this massive upheaval {“Sea Peoples”]. I have identified and dated it in a biblical context, though it is less apparent how, precisely, it might fit into the overall action of the ‘Sea Peoples’. Also, enigmatic in my context, is Shoshenq I’s boast to his god Amun in his great triumph scene at Karnak – reminiscent of a similar scene of Merenptah at Karnak – that: …. “When I made it as thy tribute of the land of Palestine [Khuru] which had turned away from thee”. Was he reclaiming the land for Egypt and Syria from the Ramessides?


may make the better sense if Shoshenq I were the highly threatening Rezin.

If that be the case, then Shoshenq III may possibly find his place as the long-reigning (see next section) Shabaka of the Twenty-Fifth dynasty.  


“King So of Egypt”


Convention has horribly misplaced him. Thus I wrote on p. 189:


…. historians - as a result of their dating Shoshenq I, as ‘Shishak’, to the time of Rehoboam of Judah (c. 925 BC) - find themselves having to look, for ‘So’, at the time, say, of pharaoh Tefnakht (c. 727-716 BC, conventional dates), a TIP ruler of the 24th dynasty. But since it is immediately apparent that the name ‘Tefnakht’ is entirely inappropriate for ‘So’, proponents of this view must then resort to such far-fetched explanations as this one mentioned by Grimal: …. “Some scholars have treated [So] as a mistaken Hebrew spelling for the city of Sais, in which case - by a process of metonymy - Hosea would have been appealing to King Tefnakht [who reigned from there]”.

2 Kings 17:4, however, clearly identifies ‘So’ as “King … of Egypt”; hence the name does not pertain to a city, such as Saïs.


Ibid., p. 190:Kitchen moreover has listed a number of reasons why he thinks that Tefnakht is unsuitable for ‘So’.” ….

And here is another one. Tefnakht, and various other of the TIP personages, are found to belong to as late as the reign of king Ashurbanipal of Assyria. Thus I wrote (pp. 369-370):


I have already (Chapter 8, p. 189) quoted Grimal in regard to the view (albeit forced) of some conventional scholars that Tefnakht himself was the biblical ‘King So’. And I went on to note (p. 190) Kitchen’s reasons why he thought Tefnakht was unsuitable for ‘So’.

Piye’s 21st (his stele) year can by no means be brought into correspondence with the So’

incident at the beginning of the reign of king Hezekiah, when Shalmaneser V was king of Assyria. It is clearly of a later era, having its resonance in the records of Ashurbanipal (mid-C7th BC). This is yet another example, it seems to me, of the chronological anomalies caused by the conventional structure of the TIP, including especially, in this case, the presumably well-known 25th dynasty ruler, Piye. Here is how Clapham has explained it: ….


The Piankhi Stele records the name and titles of the Egyptian kings and princes who had rallied behind Tefnakhte [Tefnakht] in rebellion against the Ethiopian pharaohs. These compare remarkably well with the names of Egyptian kings recorded by Assurbanipal [Ashurbanipal] in 667 BC … and still others are known from the reign of Psammetich I (given in Kitchen’s index to names):


(i)      Osorkon of Bubastis (later seat of the 22nd Dynasty …);

(ii)     Namilt, Prince of Hermopolis (recorded the same by Assurbanipal …);

(iii)    Iuput of Leontopolis (a seat of the 23rd Dynasty according to Kitchen, Iuput son and co-regent of Pedubastis);

(iv)    Pef-tjau-awy-Bast (Pedubastis?) of Heracleopolis (Pudubisti of Assurbanipal?);

(v)     Akunosh of Sebennytos (an Akunosh of Sebennytos was the contemporary of Psammetich I, early reign, according to Kitchen);

(vi)    Bakennefi and Pediese of Athribis (Bakennefi of Assurbanipal);

(vii)   Patjenfy of Pi-Sopd (a Patjenfy, husband of a grandaughter of Takeloti I is given by Kitchen, possibly the same);

(viii) Pamiu (Pimay of Assurbanipal and Pimay of Busiris from the early reign of Psammetich I);

(ix)    Tefnakhte (and Assurbanipal gives a Tefnakhte of Punubu);

(x)     Harseise [Harsiese] of Assurbanipal (a High Priest Harseise was extant in the reign of Osorkon II (Kitchen), and resurfaces in the reigns of Shoshenq III and Pedubastis (conventional scheme)),


which appears to indicate that the conventional 22nd/23rd chronology is in error.


This new situation … during the reign of Ashurbanipal … is described also by Dirkzwager, in regard to the Annals of Ashurbanipal, complementing Clapham’s account of the Piye Stele: ….


… I looked into the Annals of Assurbanipal [Ashurbanipal] … where Assurbanipal in the year after his accession to the throne (667) … had to deal with an insurrection of Egyptian princes: 20 “roitelets” are named in the annals.

We meet Necho (I), the father of Psammetichus I. 

But we find Putubišti reigning in Tsa’nu and Susinqu of Puširu too! Why cannot they be Petubastet of the 23rd and Sheshonq [Shoshenq] III …? The time fits well in our scheme. We learn that Manetho or the annalists made a mistake by putting Bubastis or Busiris where the other name would be right. It is curious to meet a king Pamai (Puaima) [Pimay] as well. He was reigning at Mendes. Perhaps Pamai of the 22nd [sic] dynasty was not the successor of Sheshonq III, but was given a little kingdom under the Assyrians (the 20 kings were vassals of the Assyrians) where he might have reigned contemporaneously with Sheshonq III.

I think the list of Assurbanipal deserves a closer look, for I find there a Puqrur, a Bocchoris, a Wen-Amun, and a Tefnacht [Tefnakht].


“Are there chronological consequences?”, Dirkzwager proceeds to ask here. The ‘chronological consequences’ of Dirkzwager’s suggestions would perhaps be nothing less than the coalescing, in virtually one point of time, early in the reign of Ashurbanipal, kings (say, Shoshenq V - perhaps preferable to Clapham’s Shoshenq III - to Necho I) who are conventionally separated the one from the other by about a century.


[End of quotes]


Thesis p. 373: “We recall that the name of Piye’s northern opponent, Tefnakht, was included in the Annals of Ashurbanipal; apparently indicating that Piye continued to rule into a period significantly later than according to convention”.

The Twenty-Fifth Dynasty, when, with pharaoh Tirhakah, conventional Egyptian history finally produces some proper correspondences, itself, however, turns out to be a hopeless mess. And so I wrote on p. 373:


“Here at last”, wrote Gardiner, with an apparent sigh of relief upon his introduction of the 25th dynasty …. “we are heartened by some resemblance to authentic history …”. Perhaps though, from a conventional perspective, he could not have been more wrong. The Tang-i Var inscription dated to Sargon II’s Year 15 (c. 707 BC), according to which Shebitku - not Shabaka as was long thought - was the 25th dynasty pharaoh who had dispatched the rebel Iatna-Iamani in chains to Sargon II, has brought new confusion. ….

And that is by no means the only problem with the current arrangement of the 25th dynasty. In fact there appears to be a significant problem in the case of virtually each one of its major kings. Regarding its first (according to convention) major ruler, Piye, for instance, Gardiner has written: ….


It is strange … that Manetho makes no mention of the great Sudanese or Cushite warrior Pi‘ankhy [Piye] who about 730 B.C. suddenly altered the entire complexion of Egyptian affairs. He was the son of a … Kashta … and apparently a brother of the Shabako [Shabaka] whom Manetho presents under the name Sabacon.


And whilst, according to Herodotus, Shabaka (his Sabacos) reigned for some 50 years …. he has been reduced by the Egyptologists to a mere 15-year reign. ….

Furthermore: …. “The absence of the names of Shabako and Sheitku from the Assyrian and Hebrew records is no less remarkable than the scarcity of their monuments in the lands over which they extended their sway”. These anomalies, coupled with the surprise data from the Iranian Tang-i Var inscription (which is in fact an Assyrian reference to Shebitku), suggest that there are deep problems right the way through the current arrangement of the 25th dynasty.


Now here is a Petrian bombshell: Piye is actually Tirhakah (p. 384): “Fortunately we do not need to guess who Piye was, because there is a scarab that tells us precisely that Snefer-Ra Piankhi was Tirhakah, much to the puzzlement of Petrie. …. It reads: “King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Tirhakah, Son of Ra, Piankhi”.”

My tentative choice for “King So of Egypt” was pharaoh Tirhakah, but multi-identified according to my revised context. I introduced this on pp. 367-368:


In attempting to ascertain, and explain, who I think ‘So’ actually was, I need to resort to a further biblical principle; one that has stood me in good stead so far. It is this: The Bible does not generally introduce a person of note (in connection with Israel) in one isolated case, but tends to identify, or round out, this person somewhere else. We have just been considering the case of the “son of Tabeel”, who seems to appear out of the blue, without any specific identification - but I have looked to link him with the biblical Rezin. ….  Can this principle offer us a clue also for the unqualified ‘King So’?

The clues at this time are scarce indeed. Apparently Egypt was of no vital interest at all to the biblical scribes. The only scriptural character of note south of Judah who I think can possibly complement ‘So’ at this time was Tirhakah, king Hezekiah of Judah’s ally; though admittedly 2 Kings 19:9 specifically labels him “King Tirhakah of Ethiopia” - ‘So’, on the other hand, being a king of Egypt. But this Tirhakah will turn out to be a figure of the greatest complexity, and significance, striding a very large stage indeed; he being for instance, as we shall find, both a ruler of Egypt and Ethiopia. Tirhakah will in fact be my primary key for unlocking the mysteries of this most complex period of history and especially for the 25th dynasty. He will of necessity be multi-identified, beginning with Tirhakah = Shabaka, to be properly explained as this chapter develops.

As I briefly mentioned above, I shall be favouring Boutflower’s view that Shabaka (my Tirhakah) was ‘So’. I shall also be favouring Boutflower’s rendering of ‘So’ as Seve: …. “Seve” … is to be identified with Shabaka [Shabako] the son of Kashta, who succeeded

his father in 715” [sic]. The name ‘So’, it seems, can be variously rendered: e.g. Seve; Sua; Soan (Josephus ….); Soa, Soba, Segor (LXX).

Most interestingly, in my new context, the Lucianic recension of the LXX has ‘So’ as an “Ethiopian, living in Egypt” (one Adrammelech). Presuming for the present, then, that Tirhakah is Shabaka (i.e. ‘Soba an Ethiopian in Egypt’), then this composite king of ours has some attributes that might well qualify him for ‘So’: e.g. (i) his name Soba-Shabaka (cf. So-Seve) …. (ii) his approximate chronological era; (iii) he was at least pro-Egyptian, certainly anti-Assyrian; (v) he was of renowned military and strategic ability, as we are going to find out. None of the pharaohs Shoshenq of this era, on the other hand, appears to have ‘So’-like attributes, with only Shoshenq I, of an earlier era, having at least, appropriately, campaigned in Palestine. I shall be developing this vital biblical character, ‘King So of Egypt’, further, especially in 7, in relation to Egypt’s TIP.


[End of quote]




I think this series proves just how much in need of ‘Bible Bending’ Egyptian history is.


Table 1:


Egypt’s 20th Dynasty to 25th Dynasties (c. 1200-660 BC)


20th Dynasty Egypt (Conventional)                                     20th Dynasty Egypt (Revised)


Seti-nakht – Ramses XI                                =                      Joash - Hezekiah

(c. 1200-1060 BC)                                                                  (c. 880-700 BC)


(Iron Age IIB for Jehu-Zechariah)

Iron Age IA-IIC                                                                                            Late Bronze Age IIB – Iron I


Setnakht (c. 1186-1184 BC)               =/or contemporary       Joash (c. 880 BC)

Ramses III (c. 1184-1153 BC)           =/or contemporary       Amaziah (c. 860 BC)

Ramses IV-VIII (c. 1153-1126 BC)                                      

Ramses IX (c. 1126-1108 BC)           =/or contemporary       Uzziah (c. 800 BC)/Jotham

Ramses X (c. 1108-1099 BC)             =/or contemporary       Ahaz (c. 740 BC)

Ramses XI (c. 1099-1069 BC)           =/or contemporary       Hezekiah (c. 730 BC)


Joash of Judah and His Dynasty




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