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Shishak Smiting His Captives
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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Archaeology Discoveries and the Ancient Biblical World
The Black Obelisk. In the 1840's a British man named Austen Henry Layard had a desire to travel to the Middle East and dig around some of the strange looking mounds near the City of Mosul. He had heard many tales about things being found in these mounds. He was looking for any trace of evidence that would lead him to the lost city of Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. Little did he know that one of his discoveries would turn Europe upside down with excitement. He discovered a black limestone monument which is known today as The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. This discovery brought a new authenticity and historicity to some of the stories in the Bible. It also gained him the support of the British Museum, and all the finances he needed to continue his excavations, and become known as "The Father of Assyriology."
The Pilate Inscription. It wasn't long ago when many scholars were questioning the actual existence of a Roman Governor with the name of Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered Jesus' crucifixion. In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the worn face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea."
The Megiddo Seal Bearing King Jeroboam's Name. It is very interesting that the Jasper Seal, found at Tel Megiddo bearing the name of King Jeroboam who ruled in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, would contain the symbol for their rival, the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But in examining all of the circumstances involved and seeing what the Bible says it is no wonder that the prosperous and victorious Northern Kingdom of Israel would boast with a symbol of their enemy.
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great. An inscription on the tomb of the great Persian monarch read: "O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body." - Cyrus". Is it true that Isaiah the Hebrew prophet mention Cyrus by name almost 200 years before he was born?
Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism. This amazing discovery excavated in Nineveh in the 1830 records the Assyrian king Sennacherib's 8th campaign, which includes his siege of Jerusalem during the reign of "Hezekiah the Judahite" in 701 BC. There are 500 lines of writing in the Akkadian language on this magnificent clay prism. Is the story true that it was purchased by an American from an antiquities dealer in Baghdad?
Coming Soon The Ishtar Gate of Babylon. During the last days of the southern kingdom of Judah the Jews were taken captive to a distant land called Babylon at the latter part of the 6th century BC. They passed through a beautiful entrance gate made of mud brick masonry and glazed skin which stood 47 feet tall, commonly referred to as the Ishtar Gate since its discovery at the turn of the 20th century near modern Baghdad, Iraq. The tall gate was dedicated to the gods by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylonia who reigned from 605—562 BC). Is it true that Hitler had it transported to Berlin? Where is the Ishtar Gate now?
[Next] The Remains of Solomon's Temple
The Bible mentions many things about people, places and events that happened in history. The Bible also gives an accurate chronology of those people, places and events. What is amazing is that modern archaeology has confirmed that the Bible has never made one error, or given any clear contradictions in all of its text in matters of historical fact. The paintings and illustrations below of archaeological discoveries and ruins illustrate this emphatically.
Paintings By Bjanikka Ben and Maliyah Weston
(More to come)
Bible History A
growing database of images and sketches of the ancient world.
Bible Maps A growing database of maps for study and teaching.
Reconstructions Sketches of ancient cities & monuments from archaeology.
The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible by Holden and Geisler. 352 Pages, 2012
The Story of the Bible
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