Damien F. Mackey
In his Ages in Chaos, I, Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky boldly proclaimed – against the general view that “Qadesh” was the famous city of that name on the Orontes – that (p. 163):
“Kadesh, the first among the Palestinian cities, was Jerusalem.
The “wretched foe”, the king of Kadesh, was Rehoboam”.
However, there is good reason now to think that this could not have been the case.
“The Battle of Megiddo” has become a popular title. We have already encountered it in this series as the title of Harold Nelson’s doctoral thesis, and also in R. Faulkner’s article for JEA. Then, in 2000, Hans Goedicke wrote his version of The Battle of Megiddo (Halgo, Inc.), thereby bringing the subject right up to date. And in this document of his I have encountered some new material that may shed light on certain hitherto obscure matters. One evidence, to be discussed in the main section of this article, puts paid, I believe, to any possibility of associating king Rehoboam of Judah with the “Chief of Qadesh” (Goedicke’s translation), despite what I believe to be the contemporaneity of the latter with Rehoboam.
Prior to this I had tended to favour Velikovsky’s identification.
Goedicke, on p. 1 of his Introduction, introduces pharaoh Thutmose I, whose identification with king David himself – as espoused by Dr. Ed Metzler (“Conflict of Laws in the Israelite Dynasty of Egypt” http://moziani.tripod.com/dynasty/ammm_2_1.htm) – albeit controversial, I am somewhat drawn to. Goedicke tells of the political and religious impact of the arrival on the scene of Thutmose I (pp. 1-2):
… the centristic forces prevailed and after a rather brief interlude Thebes, the political center of “the South’, was increasingly relegated to a ceremonial and religious role. The first major step in this development was the moment Thutmosis [Thutmose] I became sovereign of the Levant …, an event that shifted the political orientation away from Thebes and to the North.
King David, of course, had resided in Jerusalem. And Thutmose I, according to Goedicke, may not even have lived in “Egypt proper” (p. 2):
There is reason to assume that Thutmosis I spent little, if any, time at Thebes during his later years. Having become sovereign of a vast empire that encompassed most of the realm controlled by the Hyksos …, he probably resided in the North, if at all within the confines of Egypt proper.
Goedicke adds a note here [n. 6]: “There is no information about the king’s place of residence. His building activity in Thebes does not reflect it and might very well have been religiously or politically motivated”. And he goes on to say: “For the aspirations of Theban supremacists it must have been bitter to be relegated to political insignificance, let alone the economic consequences resulting from such a development”.
Now, given Metzler’s argument that the Thutmosides were in fact Davidides, and that Thutmose II was king Solomon himself, Goedicke’s suggestion that Thutmose III may have had a non-Egyptian mother also drew my attention. This is what he wrote on the matter (p. 3):
Thutmosis II was succeeded by his identically named son, whose mother, however, was not Hatshepsut. Her name is preserved as Isis and she holds no designation which would suggest a particular status in the Egyptian society. This, however, does not necessarily justify the pseudo-romantic notion “that Thutmosis II in the darkness of the harîm came across a harîm-girl” [ref. to D. Redford, 1967] resulting in Thutmosis III. Because of our ignorance of the lady’s background, there is no cause to denigrate her posthumously. She might very well have been a foreigner who came to the Pharaonic court where she received an Egyptian name.
To this, Goedicke added the note [n. 15]: “It is feasible that she was one of the foreign ladies whose tomb was excavated by H.E. Winlock and whose diadem is persuasive testimony of her foreign origin; cf. H.E. Winlock, The Treasure of Three Egyptian Princesses (1948), pls. VI f”.
The ‘Wretched Foe of Qadesh’
Whilst Qadesh (Kadesh) on the Orontes is the usually accepted identification for the Kd-šw of the Egyptian Annals, it is not the one favoured by Goedicke (op. cit., p. 28):
Because of the extensively publicized battle of Ramesses II with the Hittite King Muwatallis at Qadesh on the Orontes … there seems to be a conflation between two events involving the derivation from qadesh, “sanctuary”. The area and its political authority of concern to Thutmosis III is what is known as Qadesh Naphtali, located only 9 kilometers southeast of Megiddo.
We have seen that Velikovsky had equated Thutmose III’s “Qadesh” with Jerusalem itself. For Velikovskian modifier, Dr. Eva Danelius, this Qadesh was a land rather than a city (“Did Thutmose III Despoil the Temple in Jerusalem?”, SIS Review, Vol. II, No. 3, 1977/78):
… the eastern opening of the [‘Aruna] road lies in a district called “Jebel el Kuds” in Turkish times, “Har Kodsho” by the Hebrews, both names meaning the same: “The Mount of the Holy One”, “’The Holy Mount”. In other words Kd-šw was not the name of a city, but of a land. ….
However, there is very good reason, arising from the testimony of the Annals themselves, to believe that Thutmose III’s un-named foe of Qadesh, “who is the only enemy identified in the entire campaign” (Goedicke, p. 14), could not have been king Solomon’s son. Rehoboam had been, at the beginning of his reign, according to his son, Abijah, “young and timid (or indecisive)” (2 Chronicles 13:5-7):
Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, an official of Solomon son of David, rebelled against his master. Some worthless scoundrels gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young and indecisive and not strong enough to resist them.
And now Rehoboam, still only in his 5th year (I Kings 14:25), presuming that Thutmose III were “Shishak”, would have been young.
On the other hand, Thutmose III records about the persistent foe of Qadesh – whose aggressive activities were the whole casus belli – that, in Goedicke’s words (p. 15) his “misdeeds stretched over an extended period of time, all, however, falling within the lifetime of Thutmosis III after his infancy …”.
Similarly, on p. 12 we read from the Annals: “Lo, (for) a great number of years in my lifetime, [the chief of Qadesh was] robbing every (Egyptian) man and [was being defiant to any message sent about it]”.
Obviously, this prince of Qadesh was a seasoned trouble maker who had been a thorn in the side of Egypt for that “great number of years”. And, obviously, such a description could not possibly have applied in the case of the still youthful king Rehoboam of Judah at the time of the Shishak incident. Hence, the notion needs to be dropped by revisionists that Rehoboam was the ruler of Qadesh, and that Qadesh pertained to Jerusalem.
Thutmose III may yet turn out to be the biblical “Shishak king of Egypt”, but the “Qadesh” of the Egyptian Annals needs to be kept entirely separate geographically from Judah/Jerusalem.