Shishak Smiting His Captives


Shishak Smiting Prisoners

Did Shishak invade Israel as a punishment from God over their civil war?

Shishak was the first king of Egypt mentioned by name in the Bible. Egypt knew him as Pharaoh Shoshenq I,  founder of the 22nd Dynasty of Egypt and he reigned from 944-924 B.C. After Solomon died the Kingdom of Israel divided in half and 5 years later during the reign of Rehoboam, king of Judah, Pharaoh Shishak invaded Jerusalem. Shishak did not utterly destroy Jerusalem because he was paid an enormous ransom.

The Bible mentions that Shishak marched his troops into the land of Judah and plundered a host of cities including Jerusalem,  this has been confirmed by archaeologists. Shishak's own record of his campaign is inscribed on the south wall of the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak in Egypt. In his campaign he presents 156 cities of Judea to his god Amon. 

"Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made." 2 Chronicles 12:9 

Jeroboam fled to the court of Shishak before he was king, during the reign of Solomon. (1 Kings 11:40).

The Bible reveals details in 1 Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 12 about the campaign by Pharoah Shoshenq (referred to as Shishak in the Bible) against King Rehoboam of Judea. During his campaign, Shishak marched though Judea, then he went north through the Valley of Jezreel. He then moved north to Beth Shean and finally across the Jordan River eastward. A list of the cities he sacked during his campaign is preserved in the Karnak Temple in Thebes including the Israelite and Judean cities of Jerusalem, Gibeon, Megiddo, Beth Shean, Aijalon, and more. 

"In the fifth year of Kign Rehoboam, King Shishak of Egypt marched against Jerusalem–for they had trespassed against the Lord–with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen and innumerable troops who came with him from Egypt: Lybians, Sukkites, and Kushites. He too the fortified towns of Judah and advanced on Jerusalem."  - 2 Chronicles 12:2-4

Shishak smiting his prisoners discovery is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology.

The movie Raiders of the Lost Ark created the fictional idea that Shishak had stolen the Ark of the Covenant when he conquered Jerusalem and brought it back to Tanis, Egypt in 980 B.C.

1 Kings 11:40 - Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

2 Chronicles 12:9 - So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

2 Chronicles 12:7 - And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; [therefore] I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.

2 Chronicles 12:2 - And it came to pass, [that] in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD,

1 Kings 14:25 - And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, [that] Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:

2 Chronicles 12:5 - Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and [to] the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.

Note: The Great Dakhla Stela mentions Shishak as "Pharaoh Shoshenq".

 

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