Biblical Claims About Solomon’s Kingdom in Light of Egyptian “Three-Zone” Ideology of Territory
Christopher B. Hays
Ideology of the Thutmosids’ Territory
During at least the New Kingdom, Egypt appears to have conceived of its empire in terms of various zones. Typically, scholars have perceived two zones: an internal zone over which Egypt exercised ﬁrm and consistent military control, and a more ﬂexible outer zone that was largely dedicated to ensuring the nation’s economic interests. The internal zone was marked by h^tm fortresses that limited movement in and out of the Nile Valley. (Interestingly, the Egyptian term h^tm has the common meaning “lock, seal,” and has a cognate in the Hebrew word h˙tm; such fortresses might have been thought to seal off the Egyptian homeland from external threats. 8)
The northern and southern boundaries of the internal zone were the fortress cities of Tjaru and Elephantine, respectively. Ellen F. Morris notes that men stationed at each of those fortresses carried out analogous duties, 9 and she adduces textual evidence that “the two fortresses could be invoked together to call to mind the entirety of Egypt” (Morris 2005: 196)
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