Did Thutmose III Really Lay Siege To Megiddo? Part Three C: Road to Victory.

beth horon

by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

 

Whilst I have accepted Dr. I. Velikovsky’s revised chronology for pharaoh Thutmose III, as a contemporary of King Solomon of Israel (C10th BC), and, hence, an older contemporary of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, I have rejected his view that the pharaoh’s ‘foe of Qadesh’ was Rehoboam himself, and that Qadesh (Kd-šw) referred to Jerusalem (the “Holy”).

And in Part Three B I arrived at a new identification for the ruler of Qadesh, as the biblical Hadad, the Edomite, with Qadesh now referring to Qadesh-Barnea in the south.

Also, with my rejection (along with others) of the pharaoh’s “Mkty” as Megiddo, in northern Israel, it remains to be determined if this “Mkty” can be related to Jerusalem (as according to Dr. E. Danelius), in support of Velikovsky’s Thutmose III = “Shishak”. 

 

Where Did Pharaoh Thutmose III

Campaign in his Year 22-23?

 

———————————————————————————————————-

If a ruler of Qadesh on the Orontes had really been causing such trouble for Egypt, over so long a period of time, as, according to Thutmose III, the “Chief of Qadesh” had been doing, then we would expect to read in the Bible, now for the C10th BC, something about that chief’s excursions south, which must have affected Judah. But we read nothing about it.  

———————————————————————————————————-

 

  • A More Southerly Location

 

 

According to the revised scenario that is taking shape in this series, “Did Thutmose III Really Lay Siege To Megiddo?”, the ‘Napoleonic’ pharaoh was, not a C15th BC  ruler – long before the rise of the Monarchy in Israel – no, he was in fact a contemporary of both King Solomon and his son, Rehoboam, in the C10th BC. By the time that the pharaoh had entered upon his Year 22, when he would begin his First Campaign, Solomon had recently died, and Rehoboam now sat upon the throne in Jerusalem. This was also the approximate phase of trouble for Israel at the hands of Hadad, the Edomite, whom I have identified as the primary foe of Thutmose III at this time, the “Chief of Qadesh” (= Qadesh-Barnea).

The United Kingdom of Saul, David and Solomon, had, with the accession of Rehoboam, become Divided, with Rehoboam in the south (Judah) and Jeroboam in the north. Now, given that Jeroboam was an ally of Shishak’s, then – if Shishak were Thutmose III (as according to Velikovsky) – we would not expect to find Shishak/Thutmose III, in his Year 22-23, campaigning in northern Israel. But, with Thutmose III’s Mkty identified with the city of Megiddo, northern Israel is exactly where we do ‘find’ him in the conventional scenario, and even in Velikovsky’s reconstruction. That is an extremely awkward situation for Velikovsky.

In this present series, however, Megiddo has been rejected on various grounds as Mkty.

And, with Kd-šw now moved to the deep south (as Qadesh-Barnea), and hence no longer equated with the Syrian Qadesh, or, perhaps with Qadesh Naphtali in northern Israel (e.g., Goedicke), then the likelihood increases that northern Israel escaped from any military action against it by Thutmose III – appropriate in the situation of Shishak and Jeroboam.

If a ruler of Qadesh on the Orontes had really been causing such trouble for Egypt, over so long a period of time, as, according to Thutmose III, the “Chief of Qadesh” had been doing, then we would expect to read in the Bible, now for the C10th BC, something about that chief’s excursions south, which must have affected Judah. But we read nothing about it.

What we do read about at this time is the persistent rebelliousness of Hadad, the Edomite.

Now, H. Goedicke’s reconstruction of Thutmose III’s First Campaign (Battle of Megiddo, Halgo, Inc., 2000), would suggest that northern Israel was, apart from Megiddo, largely unaffected at the time. And so, indeed, was Qadesh on the Orontes. On p. 117, for instance, Goedicke writes:

 

The account of the First Campaign of Thutmosis III is concluded with a global reference to the events following the Battle of Megiddo. Thutmosis III extended his sojourn by conducting an inspection tour through the area where he was now recognized as sovereign. The places touched upon during this tour are mentioned in his great geographical list ….According to it Thutmosis III travelled into the Beqaʿ Valley, but stopped before reaching the Orontes Valley with Qadesh in its center. In addition, he visited the upper Jordan Valley and the Syrian plain.

[End of quote]

 

Because of their strategic importance, the cities of the Upper Jordan Valley were the first to be conquered by invading armies who dared not leave “Ijon, Dan, [and] Abel-beth Maachah” to threaten their supply lines (see 1 Kings 15:20; 2 Kings 15:29; Genesis 49:17).

But, according to Goedicke (p. 123), commenting upon Breasted’s view that “chiefs” (wrw) of the country R-m-n-n were chiefs of Lebanon:

 

There is no indication whatsoever that Thutmosis III during his First Campaign ever got to the Lebanon proper. Further, there is no knowledge that Thutmosis then or later built a fortress/garrison there …. These points … all speak against an equation of R-m-n-n with the Lebanon. ….

[End of quote]

 

On pp. 96-97, Goedicke will tell of the fact that some of Thutmose III’s defeated enemies had been required to travel to Egypt by boat – but from which harbour[s]?:

 

… a group of people from among the chiefs that has been caught in Megiddo had to travel to Egypt. This journey was certainly not due to a desire to see Egypt or to participate in a triumphal display à la Aïda. The necessity to travel to Egypt is final evidence that Thutmosis III was not present at Megiddo at the time of the surrender but had already returned to Egypt …. The determinative [a boat] after ḫntyt, “to go south”, could be taken as an indication that the journey was under-taken by boat. While this might be the easiest way to get to Egypt, it opens the question where such a maritime link would have started. There are hardly any indications that Thutmosis III at this point in his reign controlled the Levantine Coast … and the big harbor towns located there, with the possible exception of Byblos. However, to transport through Byblos would have been a difficult task to accomplish.

 

Goedicke adds to this, on p. 118: “According to the geographical list the itinerary of the king did not touch upon any of the harbors on the Levantine littoral, so that Sethe’s rendering of mnit as “harbor” has no absolute support”.

However, boat travel requires a harbour, and I shall be considering this issue below in 2.

 

 

  • Identifying Mkty

 

 

—————————————————————————————————————-

Can the prized city of Mkty be associated at all with Jerusalem – as in Dr. E. Danelius’s reconstruction of Thutmose III’s First Campaign – thereby saving Velikovsky’s identification of this mighty pharaoh with the biblical “Shishak king of Egypt”?

—————————————————————————————————————-

 

“The “Battle of Megiddo”, wrote Goedicke (Intro, p. 1) “is the towering event in the reign of Thutmosis III …”. (P. 5) “[It] established Thutmosis III as sovereign over the Levant”.

But the standard textbook reconstruction of it is, I believe, terribly flawed. Here is a brief example of the conventional summary of Egypt’s military genius from Tour Egypt (http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/tuthmosis3.htm):

 

… Tuthmosis III became a great pharaoh in his own right, and has been referred to as the Napoleon of ancient Egypt (by the Egyptologist, James Henry Breasted). But perhaps his reputation is due to the fact that his battles were recorded in great detail by the archivist, royal scribe and army commander, Thanuny. The battles were recorded on the inside walls surrounding the granite sanctuary at Karnak, and inscriptions on Thanuny’s tomb on the west bank state that, “I recorded the victories he won in every land, putting them into writing according to the facts”. Referred to as the Annals, the inscriptions were done during Tuthmosis’ 42nd year as pharaoh, and describe both the battles and the booty that was taken. These events were recorded at Karnak because Tuthmosis’s army marched under the banner of the god, Amun, and Amun’s temples and estates would largely be the beneficiary of the spoils of Tuthmosis’ wars.

Having close ties with his military, Tuthmosis undoubtedly received sage advice from his commanders. It was probably decided that the Levant offered the greatest potential for glory and wealth if the trade routes dominated by Syrian, Cypriot, Palestinian and Aegean rulers could be taken.

Tuthmosis III fought with considerable nerve and cunning. On one campaign, he marched to Gaza in ten days and from Yehem, planned the battle to take Megiddo which was held by a rebellious prince named Kadesh [sic]. There were three possible approaches to Megiddo, two of which were fairly open, straightforward routes while the third was through a narrow pass that soldiers would only be able to march through in single file. Though he was advised against this dangerous pass by his commanders, Tuthmosis not only took this dangerous route, but actually led the troops through. Whether by luck, or gifted intuition this gamble paid off, for when he emerged from the tight canyon, he saw that his enemies had arranged their armies to defend the easier routes. In fact, he emerged between the north and south wings of the enemy’s armies, and the next day decisively beat them in battle. It apparently took a long siege (seven months) to take the city of Megiddo, but the rewards were great. The spoils were considerable, and included 894 chariots, including two covered with gold, 200 suites of armor including two of bronze, as well as over 2,000 horses and 25,000 other animals.

Tuthmosis III had marched from Thebes up the Syrian coast fighting decisive battles, capturing three cities, and then returned back to Thebes. Over the next 18 years, his armies would march against Syria every summer and by the end of that period, he established Egyptian dominance over Palestine. At Karnak he records the capture of 350 cities, and in the 42nd year of his rule, Kadesh itself was finally taken. ….

 

[End of quote]

 

We have discussed in previous parts of this series that a geography that would locate the Egyptian army in the environs of Megiddo is not to be relied upon at all, and that, problematically, too, Breasted had actually doctored up the Egyptian account, to enable it to accord with his geographical and chronological purposes. Let us return to the summary of the campaign by Dr. E. Danelius (“Did Thutmose III Despoil the Temple in Jerusalem?”, SIS Review, vol. ii, no. 3, 1977/78, pp. 64-79), upon which I shall be heavily reliant:

 

The story, as told by Breasted, starts in the 22nd year of Pharaoh’s reign, “fourth month of the second season”, when he crossed the boundary of Egypt (Records, § 415). There had been a rebellion against the Pharaoh in the city of Sharuhen … inside the territory of Judah (Josh. 19:6). Nine days later was … the beginning of a new year, year 23. He spent it at the city “which the ruler seized”, G3-d3-tw, understood to be Gaza (§ 417) …. He left Gaza the very next day 16 in power, in triumph, to overthrow that wretched foe, to extend 17″the boundaries of Egypt, according †to the command of his father the valiant†18 that he seize. Year 23, first month of the third season, on the sixteenth day, at the city of Yehem (Y-hm), he ordered [GAP – one word]19 consultation with his valiant troops … (§§ 418-420)

… The attentive reader will have observed that there is no gap in the middle of line 18. Nevertheless, Breasted inserted before the words “at the city of Y-hm” in brackets: “(he arrived)” (§ 419). In his History of Egypt he goes much more into detail: “Marching along the Shephela … he crossed the plain of Sharon, turning inland as he did so, and camped on the evening of May 10th at Yehem, a town of uncertain location, some eighty or ninety miles from Gaza, on the southern slopes of the Carmel range.” ….

Not a word of all this appears in the Egyptian text. All that the text says is that the Pharaoh spent one night at a city which has been identified with Gaza, and that nine days later he held a consultation with his officers at another place of which we know absolutely nothing. All else is guesswork. Its only justification … lies in the fact that it brings the army to the place where it should be if the location of the city to be conquered, My-k-ty [Mkty], was in the Valley of Esdraelon.

[End of quote]

 

Danelius is highly critical here also of the rate of progress attributed by Breasted to the Egyptian army, “80-90 miles in 10-11 days”, by comparison with that of the “Allied left wing [that] covered only 40 miles in 15 days along the plain”, despite the latter’s likely more favourable seasonal conditions (November as opposed to May). “It seems that neither Breasted nor any of his followers has given any thought to this vital question”, she wrote, “not to mention other problems of logistics”.

Etymologically speaking, only, Danelius’s choice for Y-ḥm (Yehem) of “Yamnia (Yabne in Hebrew) – a port about 40 km north of Gaza” – is hardly more promising than was Petrie’s choice for it of Yemma, south-west of the Carmel ridge, an identification that is “little more than guesswork” according to Nelson. But as we recall that some of the conquered enemies of Thutmose III had apparently travelled to Egypt by boat, with their tribute, that would be an argument in favour of Danelius’s approximate location for Y-ḥm, at least, if not necessarily of her actual choice for the site. We might recall what Goedicke had written on this subject: “While [boat] might be the easiest way to get to Egypt, it opens the question where such a maritime link would have started. There are hardly any indications that Thutmosis III at this point in his reign controlled the Levantine Coast”.

The two roads favoured by the pharaoh’s generals, ‘Zefti’, transcribed Ḏf-ty by Breasted (but unknown in the Megiddo context, according to Danelius), and ‘T3-‘3-n3-k3’, Danelius now identified with, respectively, Zephathah (II Chron. 14:10), and Tahunah (Tahhunah), “through which the railway runs today …. Its eastern end leads on to the valley of Rephaim …”; both roads leading to the Temple Mount.

As to Mkty, the capture of which was compared by Thutmose to “the capture of a thousand cities”, this, Danelius claimed, was Jerusalem itself, for: “Among the names enumerated as designating Jerusalem is Bait-al-Makdis … corresponding to Beith-ha-Miqdash in modern Hebrew pronunciation”.

{As M. Astour has shown, it was typical ancient practice to designate the country, the capital, and even the tribal or dynastic name, e.g. Gurgum, its capital Marqas, and its dynastic name, Bit-Pa’alla. Hellenosemitica}.

Here, Thutmose III, supposedly (in Danelius’s context), names the country, Kd-šw, and the capital, Mkty, whilst the El-Amarna letters supply us with the dynastic name of Bît Šulman (i.e., “House of Solomon”).

Generally speaking, Danelius was able to provide a logical account of the Egyptian tactics, identifying the city of which “only the last letter – n – has been preserved, together with the ideogram designating “a channel filled with water”,” as Gibeon (“The “many waters” of Gibeon are mentioned in the Scriptures”), and the related brook of Kina (K-y-n3, Breasted’s Ḳy-n’), unknown in the environs of Megiddo, as she claimed, as “the waters of lamentation” at Gibeon – an explanation for the name being found in II Samuel 2.

I would share Velikovsky’s view that T3-‘3-n3-k3 is the most problematical name for Danelius. He did not accept her reconstruction of his thesis here – though he applauded her for being “a very gifted researcher and innovator”, and he submitted, “in the spirit of constructive co-operation”, the following (“A Response to Eva Danelius”, SIS Review, vol. ii, no. 3, 1977/78, p. 80):

 

Now as to the approach to Megiddo being a narrow pass – by what it is now, it cannot be judged what it was almost three thousand years ago. There could have been artificial mound fortifications the length of the pass. Think, for instance, of Tyre …. Today its topography is completely changed. …. Taanach is also next to Megiddo in the Bible (I Kings 4:12). Your equation of Taanach with the Tahhunah ridge does not strengthen your thesis.

[End of quote]

 

This last was probably Velikovsky’s strongest point.

Velikovsky’s acceptance, though, of the conventional interpretation of T3-‘3-n3-k3 as Taanach near Megiddo meant his inheriting the same formidable topographical problem with which Nelson had had to grapple. Danelius’s general location (at least) of ‘Taanach’ is, I think, far preferable. But I shall have more to say on this in “Three Possible Roads …”. 

 

 

Scholars say Thutmose did not follow the northern route through Zephath, neither did he take the southern route from Gath to Taanach, instead he took a route in between, through ‘Aruna and the ‘Nahal Iron’, which is called in Arabic Wadi ‘Ara.

But a visitor to this Wadi ‘Ara will realize at once that there is nothing dangerous or overly steep about this route toward Megiddo. It is incomprehensible why the officers of the king would almost start a mutiny not wanting to take that supposedly dangerous road.

Comparing Breasted’s account of events in his History of Egypt and Records will reveal that he was wont to take liberties to ‘make’ Thutmose III arrive at the pre-supposed Megiddo, ignoring other possibilities completely. The Nahal Iron is certainly not ‘inaccessible’, ‘secret’, or ‘mysterious’ as the Annals describe the actual route taken by the Egyptian army. (See “Three Possible Roads …” below)

It seems that Egyptologists want the Egyptian army to pass through the easier, broader route, rather than to enter upon the narrow way. But, as Jesus Christ has warned (Matthew 7:13-14): ‘Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it’.

Thutmose III achieved his goal, most brilliantly, by risking the narrow way that was the most difficult of the three possibilities, despite the advice of his officers to pursue an easier course, and so ‘cause us not to go on a difficult… road’.

It is the difference between genius and ordinariness.

 

Can the prized city of Mkty (My-k-ty) be associated at all with Jerusalem – as according to Dr. E. Danelius in her reconstruction of Thutmose III’s First Campaign – thereby saving Velikovsky’s identification of this mighty pharaoh with the biblical “Shishak king of Egypt”?

 

Three Possible Roads Leading to Mkty

 

These roads, ‘Aruna; Zefti and Taanach (Breasted’s ʽʼ-rw-nʼ; Ḏf-ty; and Tʼ-ʽʼ-nʼkʼ), are found mentioned in the Annals by Thutmose’s officers at the War Council:

 

They spoke in the presence of his majesty, ‘How is it, that [we] should go upon this road … , which threatens to be narrow …? While they [come] and say that the enemy is there waiting, [hold]ing the way against a multitude. Will not horse come behind [horse and man behind] man likewise? Shall our [advance-guard] be fighting while our [rear-guard] is yet standing yonder in Aruna …. not having fought? There are yet two (other) roads: one road, behold, it [will] – us, for it comes forth at Taanach … the other, [behol]d, it will [bring us upon] the way north of Zefti …, so that we shall come out to the north of My-k-ty. Let our victorious lord proceed upon [the road] he desires; (but) cause us not to go on a difficult… road’.

 

Let us consider each in turn.

 

‘Aruna Road

 

The problematic route we must first deal with is the road to ‘Aruna, the one Harold H. Nelson had so much difficulty harmonizing with the Wadi ‘Ara leading to Megiddo in the north. It had been suggested that, instead, this road to ‘Aruna is the same as that described in the papyrus Anastasi I.

 

Behold, the … is in a ravine 2000 cubits deep (600 feet?), filled with boulders and pebbles … Thou findest no scout, that he might make thee a way crossing … thou knowest not the road. Shuddering seizes thee, (the hair of) thy head stands up, and thy soul (life) lies in thy hands. Thy path is filled with boulders and pebbles, without a toe hold for passing by … The ravine is on one side of thee, and the mount rises on the other. Thou goest jolting, with thy chariot on its side, afraid to press thy horse (too) hard. If it should be thrown toward the abyss, thy collar-piece would be left uncovered and thy girth would fall.

 

Nelson commented on this, “Deep gorges as these are scarcely found in Palestine at all and certainly not in the region of Megiddo”.

But such a defile cannot vanish from the map. It should be found not only in books on historical geography but also in the Bible. It so happens that the name ‘Aruna has been preserved in written Hebrew – letter for letter- though with a slightly different pronunciation. So claimed Danelius. It is the so-called thrashing floor of ‘Arauna the Jebusite’ (2 Samuel 24:16, 18-24), the location where later the Temple of Yahweh was built, as she says. In other words, the dreaded road was the camel road leading from Jaffa up the so-called ‘Beth-Horon’ ascent to Jerusalem, approaching the city from the north.

For our purposes, then, learning more about the geographical conditions of the a) Wadi ‘Ara Pass and b) ‘Aruna Pass (Beth Horon Ascent?) becomes important.

  1. Conder and H. Nelson provided their descriptions of the Wadi ‘Ara:

 

“From the Plain of Sharon to Jordan. This line … ascends by the broad and open valley Wady ‘Arah, crossing the watershed at Ain Ibrahim, which is about 1200 feet above the sea. Thence the road descends, falling some 700 feet in three miles to Lejjun, where it bifurcates … This line, which appears to be ancient, is of great importance, being one of the easiest across the country, owing to the open character of Wady ‘Arah’.” [C. Conder, The Survey of Western Palestine, Mem. II, Sheet VIII, 40; See also G. Smith, The Historical Geography of the Holy Land, p 251].

 

Nelson, who travelled the Wadi ‘Ara pass in 1909, and again in 1912, provided this detailed description:

 

… the road enters the Wadi ‘Ara which is there … flat and open … All the way to a quarter mile above ‘Ar’arah the valley is wide and level … the ascent is so gradual as to be scarcely perceptible … a watcher posted on the hill above Lejjun could discern an approaching army at least a mile above the mouth of the pass.

 

We have read previously that Nelson had strong reservations about equating the northern pass with the one described in the Annals, his problems being of a geographical, topographical and etymological nature, and also pertaining to an inexplicable military strategy.

Danelius will, unlike both the conventional view and Velikovsky’s – that have Mkty as Megiddo – identify Mkty with Jerusalem (or perhaps Makkedah), and Kd-šw with its land: “The surroundings of Jerusalem were called … ‘Kd-sw’ (Kadesh … , ‘Jebel el Kuds’ or ‘Har Kodsho’, the Holy Mount. In other words ‘Kd-sw’ was not the name of a city but of the nearby surrounding land”.

Similarly, Velikovsky had thought that Kd-šw must have been Jerusalem.

 

 

Whilst I have rejected both of Velikovsky’s identifications here, and also Danelius’s version of Kd-šw, I shall basically accept below (though with modifications) her notion that Mkty was associated with Jerusalem.

And I fully support Danelius in her equating the steep ‘Aruna pass with the Beth Horon approach to Jerusalem. The Beth Horon Ascent, she wrote, was always a focal point of battles and attempts to stop troops trying to reach Jerusalem. The most famous incident that took place here is the first one:

 

  1. a) Joshua 10:10-14 where Joshua prayed and the sun stood still;
  2. b) 1 Maccabees 3:23, 24 and 7:26-50; revolt against the Syrians;
  3. c) The Roman general, Gaius Cestius Gallus (66 AD), took this route and encamped his army at Gibeon, where the Jews attacked. Though Gallus checked them, a large part of the Roman rearguard was cut off by the Jews as they were mounting towards Beth-Horon. But the real disaster overtook the Romans during their retreat, after they had

become involved in the defiles and had begun the descent. Josephus wrote: “… but when they were penned up in their descent through narrow passages …”.

  1. d) In November 1917 the British tried in vain to force the road. It was the only occasion during general Allenby’s campaign that the ominous words, ‘successfully withdrew’, appeared in the daily dispatches.

 

Breasted was correct in having ‘Aruna lying in the midst of the mountains, but the mountains were not the Carmel heights but rather the mountains of Ephraim and those of Benjamin.

 

Zefti Road

 

The location translated as ‘Zefti’, Danelius wrote, is the biblical Zephathah, from 2 Chronicles 14:10: “Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Maresha”. This is the place where Asa won his battle against Zerah. Maresha was the Judean border fortress facing Philistia. Zephathah may have been on the other side of the fence. The road runs north for about 6 miles then turns northeast at the very location which is considered to be the one where David met Goliath. The defile then splits into several wadis, one of which reaches the ridge around Bethlehem in the south, while the other joins the more northerly defile which leads to a point north of My-k-ty, as suggested by the Egyptian officers of Thutmose. Even though the hieroglyphics are commonly translated as ‘My-k-ty’, others (Gauthier) read ‘Makta’. It is interesting to note, however, that in the latter 19th dynasty inscriptions, the last element ‘ti’ of the name is written ‘sh’, ‘s’, or ‘tsh’. Among the names referring to Jerusalem are:

 

  1. a) Bait-al-Makdis or Makdis
  2. b) Miqdash 10th century Arab writer Muqadassi the Jerusalemite in his description of Syria.

 

Therefore ‘My-k-ty’ could be read ‘My-k-sh’ or ‘My-k-tsh’, Makdis or Miqdash according to the 19th Dynasty information.

 

Taanach Road

 

This one is highly problematical.

Breasted gives two versions of it: Records II, 421, Tʼ-ʽʼ-nʼkʼ, and 425, Tʼ-ʽʼ[-nʼkʼ], in which the latter part of the name is missing. And that would perhaps leave open the possibility of a different name, Taa …. The geography of the Holy Land is extremely unclear in certain instances, and one of these, apparently, as we are now going to find, is Joshua 16:4-8:

 

So Manasseh and Ephraim, the descendants of Joseph, received their inheritance.

This was the territory of Ephraim, according to its clans:

The boundary of their inheritance went from Ataroth Addar in the east to Upper Beth Horon and continued to the Mediterranean Sea. From Mikmethath on the north it curved eastward to Taanath Shiloh, passing by it to Janoah on the east. Then it went down from Janoah to Ataroth and Naarah, touched Jericho and came out at the Jordan. From Tappuah the border went west to the Kanah Ravine and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the Ephraimites, according to its clans.

 

There is a collection of names here that could be relevant to our study: Beth Horon; Taanath (-Shiloh) and Kanah. That this Joshuan text may have become “corrupted”, thereby causing “a big jump geographically”, is apparent from the uncertainties expressed here by P. Pitkänen (Joshua: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Q7tvG_w6uQEC&pg=PA300&lpg=PA300):

 

  1. 300:

 

  1. The location of Ataroth-Addar is unclear (cf. comments on v. 2 above).

 

  1. At first sight, the border behaves somewhat strangely here, and the text may well have been corrupted (cf. Boling and Wright 1982: 402) The expression hăyamah hămĭkmetat mĭṣapon is unclear in this context. Albeit the location of Michmethath is not clear (see ABD 4:815), it is otherwise said to be close to Shechem in Joshua 17:7, and there thus seems to be a big jump geographically from Upper Beth Horon to Michmethath in the boundary description. Taanath Shiloh may be located at Khirbet Ta‘na et-Tahta or Khirbet Ta‘na el-Foqa.

…. Janoah may be located at Yanun or Khirbet Yanun nearby (see ABD 3:640).

 

  1. The location of Naarah is unclear (see ABD 4:969).

 

8-9. Kanah is usually identified with the Wadi Qanah, although this is not certain (see ABD 4:5).

 

“Not certain”, “unclear”, border behaves … strangely”, etc., etc. There is a worrying lack of precision regarding the identification of virtually every site referred to in this text. One of the few knowables here is “Upper Beth Horon”, with which we have associated the ‘Aruna pass taken at last by Thutmose III. So it is possible that the mis-placed (?) “Taanath” may relate to the so-called Taanach road, and that “Kanah” is the actual Ḳy-n’ of the Egyptian Annals.

 

Carrying the god

 

When Thutmose began his entrance into the dangerous road we find in his inscriptions the following account: “My majesty proceeded northward under (the protection of my) father, Amon-Re, lord of Thebes, [who went] before me, while Harakhte [strengthened my arms] —- (my) father, Amon-Re, lord of Thebes…”. Dr. Danelius wrote:

 

This is the only instance I know of in Egyptian records where we are told that statues or images of the gods were carried into battle, as the Hebrews carried the ark.

What kind of fear had thus gripped the pharaoh that he felt it necessary to take this precaution? … Why did he take it here, and only here, once in a lifetime? … The answer to the riddle should be of a kind which explains, too, why Thutmose judged his successful ascent through the Aruna road as one of the outstanding achievements of his military career. … The answer offered here belongs to a realm shunned by science in an age in which techniques have replaced metaphysics, and rationality rules supreme. At the time we are dealing with, religion, including a contact with a higher Being outside oneself, was a reality and part of life. That is why the answer should be sought there. …

 

[End of quote]

 

A fragment of a painted limestone relief showing priests carrying on poles the shrine of a god were found in 1996 at the chapel of Thutmose III at Abydos as well as bricks stamped with ‘Thutmose III beloved of Osiris’.

 

 Watercolour copy of a fragment of decorated relief from the Votive Zone chapel of Thutmose III, depicting priests carrying an image of the deity in a barque shrine through the North Abydos landscape.  Such processions allowed the populace to interact with the god.  The painting is by one of the archaeological illustrators for the project, Tamara Bower. http://individual.utoronto.ca/NACZproject/index_files/research.htm

 

On to Jerusalem

 

I believe that Thutmose III was most certainly the biblical “Shishak king of Egypt”.

Here I give the fuller account of the incident as we find it in 2 Chronicles 12:1-12:

 

After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord.  Because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt, he captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.

Then the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he said to them, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.’”

The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.”

When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.”

 When Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, he carried off the treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shields Solomon had made. So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. Whenever the king went to the Lord’s temple, the guards went with him, bearing the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom.

Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some good in Judah.

 

It is not surprising that the biblical account, and that of the pharaoh, would offer two different perspectives. The Bible is not much interested in giving world histories. If the ancients wanted to read more about the life and deeds of king Rehoboam, for instance, then they need only to follow this lead from (v. 15): “As for the events of Rehoboam’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer that deal with genealogies?” Moreover, “There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam”. But we cannot read about it in the Scriptures – nor, sadly, anywhere else today.

Whilst the biblical scribes were, however, extremely interested in the fate of Jerusalem and its king, what most occupied the attention of Thutmose III, on the other hand, were the extremely belligerent actions of the “Chief of Qadesh” – who was not Rehoboam according to my series. Rehoboam, at this time ‘young, timid, indecisive’, according to his son, Abijah (2 Chronicles 13:7), would have been no match for the cunning – and presumably aged – “Chief of Qadesh” (my Hadad, the Edomite).

Was the latter one of those “worthless men [who] gathered about [Rehoboam], scoundrels, who proved too strong for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, when he was young and timid and could not hold his own against them”?

It would make sense if Hadad, the Edomite, as ruler of Qadesh Barnea (according to my reconstruction), had sought refuge in the virtually impregnable city of Jerusalem as the massive army of Egypt (twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen, plus) had irrupted near the southern borders of the Holy Land.

 

 

But was Mkty really Jerusalem?

Though I have had various opinions on Mkty, I now think that it might refer to Maktesh (Makhtesh), as in Zephaniah 1:11: “Wail, you inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the people of Kana`an are undone! All those who were laden with silver are cut off”. Recall Danelius’s suggestion that “My-k-ty’ could be read ‘My-k-sh’ or ‘My-k-tsh’, Makdis or Miqdash …”. It appears to be associated with the Fish Gate (http://biblehub.com/topical/m/maktesh.htm): “Maktesh. A quarter of Jerusalem so named, it is supposed, on account of the configuration of the ground and associated (Zechariah 1:10, 11) with the “fish gate” and MISHNEH … or “second quarter”.”

Now, according to the brilliant research of Dr. Ernest Martin, this is the region where the Temple actually stood – summarised here at: http://www.hope-of-israel.org/realsite.html

 

 

The Requirements for the True Temple Site

 

Based on eyewitness accounts, the Temple had to have the following features:

 

  1. A Natural Spring

 

The Old Testament and other sources reveal that underneath the Temple was a source of spring water from a natural spring nearby, the Gihon Spring (mentioned by this name in 2 Chron. 32:30, probably named after one of the four rivers flowing out of the Garden of Eden; the Temple itself was God’s abode, like the Garden). The location of this Spring is seen on ancient maps of Jerusalem, and is shown below in relation to the Haram. It was over 1,000 ft south of the present Dome of the Rock. There is no other natural spring in a five mile radius of Jerusalem. King Hezekiah built a tunnel to bring the waters of the Spring to David’s City (2 Chron. 32.30), and the waters exited at Siloam Pool. The Temple was built above the Spring so that the water could be drawn up for purification purposes. The Gihon spring is mentioned by other ancient writers such as Aristeas, Philo and Tacitus. Nehemiah’s Water Gate (Neh. 12) was directly opposite to the Spring.

 

  1. At A Lower Level than the Haram

 

Eyewitnesses such as Josephus have stated that the Temple could not be seen from the north because it was obstructed by the Fort to the north which was at a higher elevation.

 

  1. It was Close to David’s City

 

Everyone admits David’s city was on the southeast corner of Jerusalem, many hundreds of feet south of the Haram walls. The Temple was to the north of David’s city on a mound called Ophel. David’s city itself was called the Citadel (Akra), a mound to the south, also called Mt. Zion.

 

 

The True Site

 

The true site of the Temple site is shown in the map above in a square. The southeastern ridge had two summits, one on the south, and the other on the north. The Temple was located on the northern summit, the Ophel, and David’s City was on the southern summit called Mt. Zion.. The lower land in between, called Millo, was raised up by Solomon who built his palace there. Hence Solomon’s palace was very close to the Temple.

[End of quote]

 

Thutmose III came up against the market-place area of Jerusalem and the Temple of Yahweh. Having ousted his foes, he then aid siege to the city which was now occupied by a coalition of “northern princes”, probably including Syrian allies. We do not know the extent of Jeroboam’s northern kingdom at the time. Towns belonging to King Amaziah of Judah, for instance, had stretched “from Samaria to Beth Horon”, according to 2 Chronicles 13.

So, it was not always a case of a clear division of north and south.

 

Aftermath

 

Goedicke (Battle of Megiddo): P. 101, Enemy chiefs reinstated.

  1. 103: “… they continued to be independent on the local level, but at the same time acknowledging the king as their sovereign”.

 

  1. 102. “Not only are there no more statements about military encounters after the surrender of Megiddo [sic], but the text itself does not report capture or plundering of other cities, as has generally been assumed”.

 

  1. 110. Heavy impost on chief of Qadesh.
  2. 103. “Although there is no specification as to his personal fate after the surrender of Megiddo [sic], his realm is territorially curtailed”.

 

Thutmose III, as “Shishak”, did not invade the northern kingdom of Jeroboam, who was dutifully paying tribute and probably had the full support of Egypt.

Despite objections, the pharaoh did not attack anything north of the kingdom of Judah in his all-important First Campaign.

In my opinion, there are no satisfactory replacements for the pair Hatshepsut/Sheba and ThutmoseIII/Shishak!

 

 

 

The Nativity of St John the Baptist

24th June 2015

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s