Monday, August 14, 2017

The Golden Sword of Marian Apocalypse (continued 5)

Image result


Part Sixteen: Philosopher King Solomon

(iii): Song of Solomon




Damien F. Mackey






I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,

as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon’.


Song of Solomon 1:5





Levels of Meaning


The Song of Solomon is also known as the “Song of Songs”, or the “Canticle of Canticles”, which was a way, at that time, of expressing the superlative. In grammar, superlative can be defined as: “The degree of grammatical comparison that denotes an extreme or unsurpassed level or extent”:

Thus Hatshepsut will call her magnificent temple at Deir el-Bahri, Djeser-djeseru, meaning the “Sacred of Sacreds”, or “Holy of Holiest”.

And her great Steward, Senenmut (Senmut), will be referred to as “the greatest of the great, noblest of the nobles” (Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh, Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y., Cat. No. 67).


The Canticle has various layers of meaning, including the level of sublime mystical theology.

J. Paul Tanner explains it as allegory in “The History of Interpretation of the Song of Songs”:



“The Allegorical View


The notion that the Song of Songs should be understood in its plain normal sense has been firmly resisted throughout most of history. Advocates of the allegorical view have been adamant that there must be some "spiritual" message to the book that exceeds the supposed earthly theme of human sexuality. …. As a result, the allegorists have stressed a spiritual meaning that goes beneath the surface reading. The outcome of this method, however, has been a host of interpretations as numerous as those who follow this approach. Jewish interpreters understood the text as an allegory of the love between God and the nation of Israel, and Christian interpreters have suggested that the book depicts love between Christ and His bride, the church. The interpretation of the details, however, became quite varied and fanciful.


Jewish Allegorical View


Traces of the allegorical interpretation of the Song of Songs are found as early as the Jewish Mishnah (Ta'anith 4.8)…. This approach was also followed in the Targum, the Midrash Rabbah … and by the medieval Jewish commentators Saadia, Rashi, and Ibn Ezra. The Targum on the Song interpreted the book as expressing the gracious love of God toward His people manifested in periods of Hebrew history from the Exodus until the coming of the Messiah (these historical periods were supposedly discernible in the Song of Songs)….


Christian Allegorical View (Primary Model)


Christian commentators applied a similar allegorical method in their interpretation of the Song, viewing the bridegroom as Jesus Christ and the bride as His church. This has been the dominant Christian view for most of church history …. Exactly when this view was first embraced by Christians is not known. All one can say is that evidence of it exists as early as Hippolytus (ca. A.D. 200), though only fragments of his commentary have survived…. Interpretations of the details of the Song have been quite varied, but the following examples suffice to give the general sense of how the text was treated. The one who is brought into the king's chambers (1:4) is said to be those whom Christ had wedded and brought into His church. The breasts in 4:5 are taken to be the Old and New Covenants, and the "hill of frankincense" in 4:6 is said to speak of the eminence to which those who crucify fleshly desires are exalted.

Not surprisingly, Origen became the grand champion of the allegorical interpretation of Song of Songs. In addition to a series of homilies, he produced a ten-volume commentary on the book…. Origen was influenced by the Jewish interpretation and by his elder contemporary Hippolytus, but he was also a product of several … philosophical forces at work in his day, namely, asceticism and Gnostic tendencies that viewed the material world as evil. "Origen combined the Platonic and Gnostic attitudes toward sexuality to denature the Canticle and transform it into a spiritual drama free from all carnality. The reader was admonished to mortify the flesh and to take nothing predicated of the Song with reference to bodily functions, but rather to apply everything toward the apprehension of the divine senses of the inner man.". …”.


Mackey’s comment: Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI will take a much healthier approach to eros and the Song in his Encyclical letter, Deus Caritas Est, as explained here by Dr. Anna Silvas:


“Deus Caritas Est is a lovely teaching, calm and ordered and readily accessible with a little close attention. Pope Benedict clearly also has a number of other agendas in his encyclical. He reports with candour a series of criticisms and misunderstandings of the Christian position and deals with them by quiet reaffirmations of the genuine Christian and Catholic faith and practice. In the second part he is clearly concerned with some issues internal to the Church, and especially the corruption of her exercise of practical charity by ideological motives, and by the lack of prayer and connection to God, leading to mere social activism.


In the earlier, more ‘theoretical’ part, he is concerned about misunderstandings of the role of eros in Christian theology and anthropology. Years ago in a second-hand book shop in Carlton, I came across and purchased a book, Agape and Eros, by a Swedish Lutheran theologian who became Lutheran Bishop of Lund, Anders Nygren (1890-1978). The book had actually belonged to the former Anglican bishop of Melbourne, David Penman. Nygren’s book created quite a stir in its time. Nygren set up an all too neat and simple dichotomy: Agape is the name for that which is alone Christian love, and it is the opposite of Eros, which is the name for a worldly and pagan concept of love. Agape is descending, self-sacrificial love, only concerned for the good of the other, whereas eros is ascending, self-interested love, possessive of the object of its desire. Plato gets short shrift in Nygren, and so alas, does St Gregory of Nyssa. He builds his hypothesis on a linguistic theory that there are neat distinctions in the various Greek words for love. Let me tell you from long experience in reading Greek, the semantics of the various verbs for love in Greek, agapao, erao, phileo and storgeo, are far from so discrete as Nygren thinks. Without a doubt, Protestant ideas of soteriology affected his thinking, ideas about being saved by faith alone without works, imputed righteousness, and the rejection of the analogia entis (see CCC #50), which together with the analogia fidei is held to be valid and necessary in Catholic life, faith and theology.


Pope Benedict gently corrects the misunderstandings of this thesis. He points to the use of spousal and erotic love used in Scripture as a privileged metaphor for the relationship of God and man.


He even mentions a beautiful myth recorded by Plato, according to which man and woman were originally two halves of a unitary nature, but which was sundered because of pride, and hence each has a deep-seated need to rejoin the other half. This actually comes from Plato’s work, the Symposium, which is of capital importance in the history of the understanding of eros. If you have any pretensions to Catholic intellectual life, you should make sure that you make a reading of it part of your feeding of the mind. Here is the pre-eminent source in classical literature for the concept of a transcendent eros. Diotima of Mantineia, Socrates’ preceptress, probes the real nature of eros.{{1}} She argues that it is a mistake to simply … identify eros with sexual passion. Its essence rather is in yearning for the good and the beautiful. Once this yearning is emancipated from confusion, once one learns to govern it with virtue, it is capable of leading the healthfully erotic soul upward to the ultimately Good and the ultimately Beautiful, what she calls ‘the divine beauty’ … which is easily assimilated to the Christian concept of God.


Then Pope Benedict elucidates the scriptural use of eros, identified with spousal love, as a metaphor for the relationship of God and man. I never tire pointing out in my lectures that this powerful metaphor can be followed like a thread linking the entire Scripture, beginning with the creation of man and woman in the image of God, in Genesis, to the cry of spousal longing on the part of the Bride who is the Church, in the very last verses of the Apocalypse. Benedict insists that the Old Testament ‘in no way rejected eros as such’, but ‘declared war on a warped and destructive form of it’ (p. 10). Debased eros then, ‘needs to be disciplined and purified, if it is to provide not just fleeting pleasure, but a certain foretaste of the pinnacle of our existence, of that beatitude from which our whole being yearns.’ In short, he says, ‘Purification and growth in maturity are called for; and these also pass through the path of renunciation. Far from rejecting or “poisoning” eros, they heal and restore its true grandeur.’


Seeking to understand this path of ascent and purification, Pope Benedict turns to the Song of Songs, ‘an Old Testament book’ he says, ‘well known to the mystics’. This book, a series of passionate appeals between bride and groom, glowing with sensuousness and ardour, was nevertheless given a place in the canon. No doubt its inspired redactor and/or those who canonised it, read it as a metaphor of the relationship between God and Israel, a symbolic tradition initiated by the eighth century prophet Hosea. Perhaps the Song is best understood religiously as the presentation of a hoped- for consummation in the future when Israel will no longer be unfaithful to the Lord. Her faithfulness will be proved even when the Lord seems to have vanished and she cannot find him. Her dispositions will have become so purified and steadfast, that she will no more turn aside to another. The experience of absence does not ruin her aspiration, but leads to a redoubling of her fidelity. As Pope Benedict characterises it: ‘Love now becomes concern and care for the other. No longer is it a sinking in the intoxication of happiness; instead it seeks the good of the beloved: it becomes renunciation and it is ready, and even willing, for sacrifice’ (p. 13). Without doubt these mysterious passages about the Bridegroom’s absence that have so inspired the apophatic theologians, virgins and mystics over the centuries, are the key to the religious meaning of the Song of Songs, through which we pass from earthly marriage to metaphor to the mystical heights.


In presenting eros and agape as two dimensions of the single reality of love: ‘at different times, one or other dimension may emerge more clearly’ (p. 17), Pope Benedict shows himself in complete accord with those Church Fathers who knew how to use the best of Plato’s hints about a spiritual eros in service of the Christian life and faith rooted in the revealed word of God. Such are Origen, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Pseudo-Dionysius and Gregory of Nyssa (some, but not all of them acknowledged in the footnotes of the Pope’s encyclical). You know that wonderful Latin hymn for Holy Thursday, popularised by the Taize chant: Ubi Caritas et Amor, Deus ibi est. If we use the exact Greek equivalents it means: Where there is agape and eros, God is there. There is some scholarly dispute these days as to whether the original words were Ubi Caritas est vera. At any rate, Pope Benedict alludes to another, much earlier source for this saying (p. 18, p. 70 n. 7), namely, Pseudo-Dionysius, a late fifth century Syrian writer, whose books, especially On the Divine Names and Mystical Theology, had huge influence in the development of Christian sacramental  and mystical theology. …”.


J. Paul Tanner continues:


“Undoubtedly this diminished view of human sexuality, so prevalent in that day, fanned the flames of the allegorical interpretation of the Song. There were few dissenting voices over the years … and even the greatest Christian leaders succumbed to this approach. As Glickman points out, "No less a theologian than Augustine fell into this error, genuinely espousing the view that the only purpose for intercourse is the bearing of children and that before the fall of Adam it was not necessary even for that."….

Jerome (331-420), who produced the Latin Vulgate, praised Origen and embraced most of his views. As a result, he was instrumental in introducing the allegorical interpretation into the Western churches. Bernard of Clairvaux (1909-1153) preached eighty-six sermons on the Song of Songs, covering only the first two chapters. He was given to obsessive allegorical interpretation in an attempt to purge it of any suggestion of "carnal lust." Many others throughout church history approached the book allegorically, including John Wesley, Matthew Henry, E. W. Hengstenberg, C. F. Keil, and H. A. Ironside….


Alternative Christian Allegorical Views


Other types of allegorical interpretations over the years differ from the predominant view in which the main characters represent Christ and the church.

The bride as Mary, the mother of Jesus. Within the Mariology movement of Roman Catholicism, the bride of the Song of Songs has sometimes been allegorically interpreted as Mary, the mother of Jesus. For instance, "you are altogether beautiful, my darling, and there is no blemish in you" (4:7), is used to support the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary. While this is an ancient view, it has been given fresh impetus in recent years through the studies of Rivera, who seems to have linked the allegorical view of the church with Mary. He says that what is true of the church is true in a very special way of her who had such a privileged relationship to the church….


The bride as the state under Solomon's rule. While rejecting the normal allegorical interpretation, Martin Luther was still not able to embrace the literal erotic sense of the book. So he "propounded the theory that the bride of the Song is the happy and peaceful State under Solomon's rule and that the Song is a hymn in which Solomon thanks God for the divine gift of obedience."….


The prophetic narrative of church history. Johannes Cocceius (1603-1609), who originally expounded the "federal view" of the imputation of sin for Reformed theology, held a rather novel interpretation of the Song of Songs. He presented the Song as a prophetical narrative of the transactions and events that are to happen in the Church. The divisions of the book correspond to the periods of the history of the Church and to the seven trumpets and the seven seals of the Apocalypse of John…. The exposition becomes particularly full and detailed with the Reformation and culminates with the future triumph of Protestantism….


The mystical marriage view. In addition to the Mariology treatment, another view surfaced within Roman Catholic mystical theology. In this view the Song teaches the "mystical marriage" of the union of the soul with God when the loving awareness of God becomes most transcendent and permanent…. Supposedly, as the Christian soul passes through a series of mystical states in comprehending this "loving awareness of God," it eventually culminates in a "mystical marriage" in which one is dissolved into the love of God and purified of any self-love.


The eucharistic view. A variation of the preceding view is that the Song refers to the mystical union that takes place between the soul and Christ during Holy Communion.



It is not surprising that the Holy Spirit could inspire multiple levels of meaning, from the literal-historical level, the sublime love between the historical Solomon and the “Shunammite” - which will be the subject matter of this article - all the way through to the highest mystical levels, of which St. John of the Cross was a master: the spousal love of Jesus Christ for the soul, as well as for His bride, the Church.  



Songs of the Soul

by St. John of the Cross
1. On a dark night,
kindled in love with yearnings
-- oh, happy chance! --
I went forth without being observed,
my house being now at rest.
2. In darkness and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised
-- oh, happy chance! --
in darkness and in concealment,
my house being now at rest.
3. In the happy night,
in secret, when none saw me,
nor I beheld aught,
without light or guide,
save that which burned in my heart.
4. This light guided me
more surely than the light of noonday
to the place where he was awaiting me
-- well I knew who! --
a place where none appeared.
5. Oh, night that guided me,
oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
oh, night that joined
beloved with lover,
lover transformed in the Beloved!
6. Upon my flowery breast,
kept wholly for himself alone,
there he stayed sleeping,
and I caressed him,
and the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.
7. The breeze blew from the turret
as I parted his locks;
with his gentle hand
he wounded my neck
and caused all my senses to be suspended.
8. I remained, lost in oblivion;
my face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
leaving my cares

forgotten among the lilies.


Mystics tend also to be poets.

Thus Roger Housden writes (“Poems of the Mystics” Christian tradition from ancient to modern”):


“If you want to speak of the ineffable and the essential, there is no better medium than poetry. Poetry is the language of the spirit and the soul, not of the discursive mind. It compresses the lived truth of the poet’s experience into a beauty and wisdom that can slip under the skin of the reader and enter their bloodstream. When you don’t know what to say you cry out, and those cries are the beginning of poetry. They are the language informed not only by the mind but by the body and heart as well. Poetry is the language of choice for mystics in all traditions who have tried to communicate their insights and experiences for the benefit of those who will listen”.


The youthful King Solomon loved God and was loved by God (2 Samuel 12:25): “… because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah [meaning “Loved by the Lord”]”

The love poetry of Davidic (Solomonic) Israel began to permeate Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt:


Ancient Egyptian Love Poems Reveal a Lust for Life


Cameron Walker

for National Geographic News

April 20, 2004


Pyramids, mummies, tombs, and other icons of aristocracy and the afterlife dominate our images of ancient Egypt. But love poems composed thousands of years ago may provide a more intimate glimpse of the lives of everyday ancient Egyptians.

"Poetry is perhaps the greatest forgotten treasure of ancient Egypt," said Richard Parkinson, an expert on ancient Egyptian poetry at London's British Museum, home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo.

While historical accounts and biographies inscribed on the insides of tombs often give idealized accounts of ancient Egyptian life, poetry gives real insight into human nature and its imperfections, he said.

A group of love poems have been found in an excavated workers' village on the outskirts of the Valley of Kings, where many pharaohs are entombed. The verses allow poetry lovers and Egyptophiles alike to tap into the emotional side of Egyptian daily life. "People tend to assume all ancient Egyptian writing is religious, so the secular nature of these songs and of much other poetry continue to surprise readers," Parkinson said.

Written during Egypt's New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.) … these songs are surprisingly direct about love and romance in ancient Egypt, using metaphors, repetition, and other poetic techniques familiar to poetry readers today.


The Flower Song (Excerpt)

     To hear your voice is pomegranate wine to me:

I draw life from hearing it.

Could I see you with every glance,

It would be better for me

Than to eat or to drink.

     (Translated by M.V. Fox)”


Compare Song of Solomon (4:3, 7; 6:13):


Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;

your mouth is lovely.

Your temples behind your veil

are like the halves of a pomegranate.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling;

there is no flaw in you.

Come back, come back,

O Shunammite; come back, come back,

that we may gaze on you.


Will Groben, has noted the similarity between the Song of Solomon and Egyptian love poetry. “The Song of Songs and Ancient Near East Love Poetry”, though drawing the typical conclusion that the biblical Song “follows the genre of Egyptian love songs”:


“The Song of Songs does have similarities with Egyptian love songs which were popular at the time of Solomon. The Egyptian love songs have a similar look and feel to the Song of Songs, with similar imagery [e.g. love being better than alcohol], themes [love sickness], structure [interchange of dialogue between lovers], and metaphors [royal]. Egyptian love songs were secular and literal, not religious and allegorical. Since the Song of Songs apparently follows the genre of Egyptian love songs, we should interpret the Song of Songs to speak of love between a man and a woman. Its canonicity suggests the sanctification [setting out for God’s purposes] of marital erotic love.


Egyptian love songs were for entertainment and sometimes were gathered together into larger collections, which might have a common theme. As the Song of Songs apparently follows the genre of Egyptian love songs, it could be one long song with a narrative or a collection of songs which would have thematic unity but not an ongoing narrative. If the latter is the case, imposing a narrative on the Song of Songs would create false connections between the songs and lead to erroneous inferences. If the former is the case, denying the narrative would obscure some of what the Song is teaching. There is cohesiveness to the Song of Songs, along with homogeneity of style, consistent refrains, and a consistent setting of spring in the country, all of which suggests this is an integrated unit, not a mere collection of individual parts”.


The “Shunammite”


I have multi-identified her:


Abishag: “… a beautiful young woman … a Shunammite” (I Kings 1:3).

Tamar: “Now David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar” (2 Samuel 13:1).

Shunammite: “… fairest among women” (Song of Solomon 1:8).

Queen of Sheba: “King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for …” (I Kings 10:13).

Pharaoh’s Daughter: “Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter” (I Kings 3:1).

Hatshepsut: Whose name means “foremost of noble women”.


This can make for some really tricky geography and ethnicity, however.

How can she be, at once, a girl from Shunem in northern Israel; a Queen of exotic “Sheba”; and an Egyptian royal?

And now we read in Song of Solomon 1:5 that she may have been “black”.

But, whilst that appears to be the literal meaning of the Hebrew word here: shechorah  שְׁחוֹרָה

according to 1:6, she became dark from working under the sun


“The word translated looked upon occurs only twice besides (Job 20:9; Job 28:7). The “all-seeing sun” is a commonplace of poetry; but here with sense of scorching. The heroine goes on to explain the cause of her exposure to the sun. Her dark complexion is accidental, and cannot therefore be used as an argument that she was an Egyptian princess, whose nuptials with Solomon are celebrated in the poem”.


Little wonder that Solomon will ask: ‘Who is she …?’ (Song of Solomon 6:10).


Here is my tentative reconstruction of her amazing life:


Our “she” began as a beautiful foreign captive girl, daughter of Maacah (Maakah), possibly an Egyptian (Maat-ka-re), who had become the property, maid-servant, of King Talmai of Geshur, a southern kingdom fronting Egypt.

King David acquired Maacah perhaps during his raids on the “Geshurites” (I Samuel 27:8) - or he may have made a treaty with King Talmai - and subsequently Maacah, now David’s wife, would give birth to Absalom at Hebron (I Chronicles 3:2).

Now, Absalom had a “beautiful sister” called Tamar, according to 2 Samuel 13:1, though some Jewish traditions suggest that Tamar was not Absalom’s actual sister, but, perhaps, a captive girl. She may possibly have been “black”, or, at least, “dark” - an Egyptian, Nubian (or Ethiopian)?

Or just sun-burnt.

She is contrasted with the (presumably fairer skinned) “daughters of Jerusalem”, who may not, though, have had to work out in the sun.

Hebrew-named in 2 Samuel as “Tamar” (“date palm”), the name she is given in I Kings is “Abishag”, an awkward name, that may be a Hebraïsed version of Hatshepsut, which has been given many variations. Sir Alan Gardiner, for instance, in Egypt of the Pharaohs (1960), will name her: Ḥashepsowe.

She lived in the house of Absalom, which I have suggested was situated at Shunem, in the approximate vicinity of Baal-hamon where Solomon had a vineyard (Song of Solomon 8:11).

Joab had a field adjoining Absalom’s (2 Samuel 14:30).

It may actually have been her “mother’s house” (Song of Solomon 6:9).

Her close associations with the royal throne occurred when she was selected to be the nurse-consort of King David after a search had been made “throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman” (I Kings 1:3). This search would have been confined only to noble women.

And perhaps only to noble women who had inherited a special knowledge of nursing-healing (8:2): “I would lead you and bring you to my mother's house-- she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the nectar of my pomegranates”.

They “found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her”.

(Later in the time of the prophet Elisha, we read about a Great Woman of Shunem, 2 Kings 4:8-37; 8:1-6, who was - according to Rabbinic tradition - Abishag the Shunammite herself, a chronological impossibility, though the two may have been related).

We next meet her in 2 Samuel 13 as the beautiful virgin Tamar, for whom, dwelling “at the palace”, King David will send (v. 7) in response to his oldest son Amnon’s lovesick request.

Thereupon she is raped by Amnon, treated coldly by her ‘brother’, Absalom - who may actually have conspired with the shrewd adviser, Jonadab (= Achitophel), to bring about this tragic situation. She dwelt “a desolate woman” in the house of Absalom, now back in Shunem.

Her appalling treatment, which even King David may have condoned by his apparent silence, could have been exacerbated by the fact that she was originally a captive girl, or daughter of one (and perhaps even also because of her dark complexion).

When Absalom had murdered Amnon, and fled to the kingdom of Geshur, to his maternal ‘grand-father’, King Talmai, he may have dragged Tamar there with him.

She would later become the queen of Geshur, dwelling at the capital, Beersheba (or Sheba).

Whether she was in Beersheba during Absalom’s revolt, or still at Shunem, or had been re-instated with King David “at the palace”, we do not know.

But she was ministering to King David afterwards, when Adonijah made a play for the throne.


One speculative writer is adamant that Abishag was actually the wife-concubine of King David (“Bible Evidence That David Married 12 Year Old Abishag”):


“After the demise of King David, Solomon took over his father’s place and became the King. Adonijah attempted to seize power once more, this time, went around and asked Solomon’s mother to take Abishag as his wife. Adonijah asked her to tell Solomon if he would give him the green light to go ahead and marry Abishag.

Solomon got furious and seen the scheme of Adonijah. In ancient times, to marry one of your father’s wives was seen as you claiming the Throne i.e., become the King. Solomon seeing this, executed his brother, Adonijah:

“The Death of David

10 David died and was buried in David’s City. 11 He had been king of Israel for forty years, ruling seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 Solomon succeeded his father David as king, and his royal power was firmly established.

The Death of Adonijah

13 Then Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, went to Bathsheba, who was Solomon’s mother. “Is this a friendly visit?” she asked. “It is,” he answered,
14 and then he added, “I have something to ask of you.” “What is it?” she asked.

15 He answered, “You know that I should have become king and that everyone in Israel expected it. But it happened differently, and my brother became king because it was the Lord’s will.
16 And now I have one request to make; please do not refuse me.” “What is it?” Bathsheba asked.
17 He answered, “

18 “Very well,” she answered. “I will speak to the king for you.”
19 So Bathsheba went to the king to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. The king stood up to greet his mother and bowed to her. Then he sat on his throne and had another one brought in on which she sat at his right.

20 She said, “I have a small favor to ask of you; please do not refuse me.”

“What is it, mother?” he asked. “I will not refuse you.”

22 “WHY DO YOU ASK ME TO GIVE ABISHAG TO HIM?” the king asked. “YOU MIGHT AS WELL ASK ME TO GIVE HIM THE THRONE TOO. After all, he is my older brother, and Abiathar the priest and Joab are on his side!”[c] 23 Then Solomon made a solemn promise in the Lord’s name, “May God strike me dead if I don’t make Adonijah pay with his life for asking this! 24 THE LORD HAS FIRMLY ESTABLISHED ME ON THE THRONE OF MY FATHER DAVID; HE HAS KEPT HIS PROMISE AND GIVEN THE KINGDOM TO ME AND MY DESCENDANTS. I swear by the living Lord that Adonijah will die this very day!”

25 So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah, who went out and killed Adonijah.” 1 Kings 2:10-25 Good News Translation (GNT)

These verses clearly tell us that Abishag was married to King David and was his wife, otherwise, Solomon would not have put his brother to death for merely asking her hand in marriage.

For Adonijah to attempt to take his father’s wife for marriage, was a declaration of him to take the right to the throne of Solomon. As such, Solomon killed Adonijah (his brother) as the verses reveal.

Biblical scholars have also concluded reading 1 Kings 2:10-25 that Abishag was King David’s wife (or concubine)”.


We do not actually know the girl’s age at any stage.


King Talmai of Geshur, I have suggested, had become pharaoh of neighbouring Egypt due to a marital alliance with pharaoh Amenhotep I.

He then succeeded Amenhotep I as Thutmose I.

This occurred right at the end of King David’s rule.

The “Shunammite”, now as Hatshepsut - an apparent great favourite of Thutmose I, and supposedly his daughter - may have been summoned to Egypt, or may have arranged with Solomon, now king of Israel, to go there for political purposes. The ultimate intention was for marriage between King Solomon and the “Shunammite”, but only after Solomon had finished building the Temple of Yahweh (his Year 11). 

The new Pharaoh gave her Gezer, which I have tentatively connected with Beersheba, as a dowry for her marriage to King Solomon.

Israel and Egypt were now united as one, with vast cultural exchanges occurring between the two.

Some time after (chronology is debated) King Solomon had completed the Temple of Yahweh (Year 11), the wide-eyed Queen of Beersheba came to Jerusalem laden with the most exotic gifts, and she marvelled at everything that she saw.

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba were thereupon married, and she lived there until Solomon completed his own palace and a separate one for her (1 Kings 9:24; 2 Chron. 8:11).

The Temple of Yahweh (the site of which needs to be properly located – see below) was an awesome sight to behold:


“He [Solomon] made that Temple which was beyond this a wonderful one indeed, and such as exceeds all description in words; nay, if I may so say, is hardly believed upon sight; for when he had filled up great valleys with earth, which, on account of their immense depth, could not be looked on when you bent down to see them without pain, and had elevated the ground four hundred cubits [600 feet], he made it to be on a level with the top of the mountain on which the Temple was built…This wall was itself the most prodigious work that was ever heard of by man” (Antiquities of the Jews, VIII, 3, 9; XV, 11, 3 -- Temples, p. 441)…


Thus Roger Waite quotes from Jewish historian Josephus’s Antiquities in his fine compilation, “The Lost History of Jerusalem”, much of which is, in turn, based on the research of the biblical historian, Dr. Ernest L. Martin (RIP), from his book, The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot.

Waite goes on to write of the Great Eastern Wall of the Temple built by King Solomon, the SE corner of which in later times was the pinnacle of the Temple, to where Satan took the Messiah.


Image result for Temple over Gihon Spring


The Great Eastern Wall of Solomon‟s Temple


According to Waite (beginning p. 63):


"Solomon built a great wall on the eastern side from the very base of the Kidron Valley. It rose 300 cubits which is the equivalent of 40 to 45 story modern skyscraper. This can hardly be said about the eastern wall of the Haram [esh-Sharif, or “Temple Mount”] which at its highest point in the SE corner is only several stories high.

"Solomon built this great eastern wall straight up from the very base of the Kidron Valley which brought the Gihon spring within the city walls and then he had the area between the top of the SE spur known as the City of David and this eastern wall filled in.

"A huge amount of fill was dumped and compacted on the eastern slope between the top of the hill and the eastern wall that shot straight up from the base of the valley.

"All this fill went directly over the Gihon spring and then Solomon built the Temple in an east -- west direction from the top of the Ophel summit where Ornan‘s threshing floor was and over this artificial extension that was directly above the Gihon spring.

"Speaking in amazement of Solomon‘s original work that was added to by others Josephus writes:

"He [Solomon] also built a wall below, beginning at the bottom [of the Kidron ravine] which was encompassed by a deep valley. At the south side he laid stones together, and bound them one to another with lead, and included some of the inner parts till it proceeded to a great height, and till both the largeness of the square edifice and its altitude were immense. The vastness of the stones in the front were plainly visible on the outside yet so that the inward parts were fastened together with iron, and preserved the joints immovable for future times.

"When this work was done in this manner, and joined together as part of the hill itself to the very top of it, he wrought it all into one outward surface. He filled up the hollow places that were about the wall, and made it a level on the external upper surface, and a smooth level also.

"[Later in Herod‟s day], this hill was walled all round, and in compass four stades [a stade was 600 feet], each angle [of the square] containing in length a stade [it was a square of 600 feet on each side]. But within this wall and on the very top of all, there ran another wall of stone also having on the east quarter a double cloister [colonnade] of the same length with the wall; in the midst of which was the Temple itself" (Antiquities of the Jews XV, 11, 3 -- Temples p. 451).

About this description by Josephus Ernest Martin writes:


"Notice two points in Josephus' description that I emphasized. He said the stones that made up the wall on the east side of the Temple were "bound together with lead" and on the inside they had "iron clamps" that fused them together with such a bond that Josephus reckoned they would be permanently united together. These bonding features in the east wall that used iron and lead would have been a unique aspect associated with the binding of those stones. But note this: Much of the eastern wall of the Haram (that some attribute to Solomon because they think it is the Temple Mount) DO NOT have any of these features. The stones of the Haram are all placed one on another without any type of cement between them (either of lead, iron or whatever). This fact is, again, a clear indication the walls surrounding the Haram are NOT those that encompassed the Temple of Herod as described by Josephus, our eyewitness historian" (Temples, p. 466).


Notice carefully what Josephus said about the position of this eastern wall. He said that it was begun at the very bottom of the valley.

The eastern wall was built at the very bottom of the valley NOT half-way up! The eastern wall of the Haram does not start from the very bottom of the valley. It starts half-way up and is not anywhere near 300 cubits (450 feet) high!

This eastern wall gave the appearance of great height and impressiveness to the completed structure. Josephus, in the account of the Roman general Pompey‘s attack against the Temple in 63 B.C. before Herod‘s extensions to the Temple complex, says the following:


"At this treatment Pompey was very angry, and took Aristobulus into custody. And when he was come to the city [Jerusalem], he looked about where he might make his attack. He saw the walls were so firm, that it would be hard to overcome them. The valley before the walls was terrible [for depth]; and that the temple, which was within that valley, was itself encompassed with a very strong wall, insomuch that if the city were taken, that temple would be a second place of refuge for the enemy to retire to" (Wars of the Jews, I.7, 1 -- Temples p. 439).


Speaking of the incredible height of the eastern wall of the city which was also the eastern wall of the Temple Josephus also writes:


"He [Solomon] made that Temple which was beyond this a wonderful one indeed, and such as exceeds all description in words; nay, if I may so say, is hardly believed upon sight; for when he had filled up great valleys with earth, which, on account of their immense depth, could not be looked on when you bent down to see them without pain, and had elevated the ground four hundred cubits [600 feet], he made it to be on a level with the top of the mountain on which the Temple was built…This wall was itself the most prodigious work that was ever heard of by man" (Antiquities of the Jews, VIII, 3, 9; XV, 11, 3 -- Temples, p. 441)…

"The Romans also burnt the whole northern portico [colonnade] right up to that on the east, where the angle [northeastern angle of the Temple wall] connecting the two was built over the ravine called the Kidron, the depth at that point being consequently terrific" (War of the Jews, VI, 3, 2 -- Temples, p. 442).


Notice Josephus says Solomon artificially “elevated the ground 400 cubits (600 feet).” Then he made it level at the top of this artificial extension “on which the Temple was built.”

Josephus‘ figure of 600 feet, if true, would put this work, “the most prodigious work that was ever heard of by man”, 120 feet higher than the Great Pyramid of Egypt. The highest point was at the SE corner and was called the pinnacle of the Temple which was built at the top of this extended mountain.

The pinnacle of the Temple, which had a sheer drop between 300 and 600 feet, was the place that Satan took Jesus to and tempted him to jump off and see if angels would catch his fall as promised in the Bible.

Notice further what Josephus said about its great height:


"This cloister [that is, the southeast comer of the southern colonnade] deserves to be mentioned better than any other under the sun. For while the valley was very deep, and its bottom could not be seen, if you looked from above into the depth, this farther vastly high elevation of the colonnade stood upon that height, insomuch that if anyone looked down from the top of the battlements, or down both these altitudes, he would be giddy, while his sight could not reach to such a great depth" (Antiquities of the Jews XV, 11, 5 -- Temples p. 443).


This incredible height from which someone would be giddy looking down from could certainly not be true of the SE corner of the Haram. Ernest Martin has these things to say about Josephus’ descriptions of the Temple:


"While Josephus said in Wars of the Jews V.5, 1 that the top of the eastern wall of Herod's Temple was 300 cubits' above the Kidron Valley (or higher in places), he said in Antiquities of the Jews VIII.3, 9 the height was 400 cubits (that is 100 cubits higher). Reading the texts carefully means that the extra 100 cubits (of the 400 cubits' measurement) remained below ground because "the whole depth of the foundations was not evident; for they filled up a considerable part of the ravines" (Wars of the Jews V.5, 1). And in Antiquities of the Jews VIII.3, 9 Josephus said Solomon "filled up great valleys with earth." This means Solomon actually filled in with earth the original Kidron Valley (to the height of 100 cubits) and then on top of this foundational "fill-in," his east wall ascended another 300 cubits exposed to the air up to the top of the Temple wall…"


Matthew 4:5-7


Then the devil took [the Messiah] to the holy city [Jerusalem] and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God’, he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone”.’

Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the LORD your God to the test’.”


The story of their passionate love, probably from her early days at Shunem, are wonderfully captured in the Song of Solomon.

When Thutmose I passed away, the couple “divorced” (I Kings 10:13), for political reasons, and she returned to Egypt as Queen Hatshepsut, where she married Thutmose II, a marriage that lasted until that pharaoh’s death.

Queen Hatshepsut, now co-ruling with the young Thutmose III, will summon Solomon to Egypt. At this stage, he begins to fade out of the Bible, and emerge largely into Egyptian history, as the highly-powerful Senenmut (Senmut).

This is a true Golden Age for Egypt – but King Solomon has now begun to fall away from the true God.

In Year 9, Hatshepsut becomes a Pharaoh, still co-ruling with Thutmose III.

Solomon, as Senenmut, will continue as a powerful entity in Egypt until about their Year 16.

He dies about Year 17.

About five years later (Year 5 of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam), with Hatshepsut now also dead, Thutmose III will invade Jerusalem as the biblical “Shishak”. 


Identifying the Song’s characters has been extremely difficult to achieve, with some arguing for three primary characters, others for only two.

J. Paul Tanner (op. cit.) tells of:


“The Three-Character Shepherd Hypothesis


In the early nineteenth century Ewald, a German critical scholar, popularized the view that the key to understanding the Song was to recognize three main characters in the book: Solomon, a Shulammite [sic] maiden, and a common shepherd….. Ewald said the Shulammite maiden was in love with her shepherd companion, and tension in the book stems from Solomon's attempt to take her for himself. Ewald "suggested that the king had carried off the maiden by force to his harîm, but that when she resisted his advances he permitted her to return to the locale of her rustic lover."…. Jacobi suggested that the purpose of the Song was to celebrate the fidelity of true love and that the Shulammite maiden is the heroine of the book for remaining true to her humble shepherd husband. Pope explains the position of Jacobi: "King Solomon was smitten with her beauty and tried to persuade her to forsake her husband and enter the royal harem, tempting her with all the luxuries and splendors of his court. She, however, resisted every temptation and remained true to her humble husband."….

One of the most noteworthy commentaries on the Song of Songs from the nineteenth century was written by Christian D. Ginsburg. Strongly influenced by Jacobi, Ginsburg concluded, "Thus this Song records the real history of a humble but virtuous woman, who, after having been espoused to a man of like humble circumstances, had been tempted in a most alluring manner to abandon him, and to transfer her affections to one of the wisest, and richest of men, but who successfully resisted all temptations, remained faithful to her espousals, and was ultimately rewarded for her virtue."…. The adoption of this view in 1891 by S. R. Driver gave even further popularity to this interpretation…..

One of the difficulties of this view is in seeking to determine when the bride is addressing Solomon and when she is addressing her shepherd-lover. Some have suggested that the "warm sentiments" represent her addresses to her shepherd-lover, and the formal speeches are to the king. Furthermore the admirations for the bride in chapter 4 are said to be from the king in 4:1-7 and from the shepherd in 4:8-15.

The "shepherd hypothesis" helps explain why the lover was depicted in a pastoral role, as well as why the poem terminates in a northern setting. Nevertheless several additional criticisms of this view cast doubt on its validity. First, it presents a picture of attempted seduction by the king, who is thus portrayed as the villain of the story. Second, it is difficult to trace any convincing development of the plot. Third, there is nothing definite in the text to indicate the change of male characters. Fourth, it is unlikely that an Israelite shepherd would have the means to provide the luxuries mentioned in some of the passages assigned to the shepherd. Fifth, there is no problem with Solomon also being a shepherd, since he owned many flocks (Eccl 2:7)….”.


These last comments, the “Fourth”, make good sense to me.

King Solomon might not have bothered to write a love song about a beautiful woman who had enduringly resisted him.

And we have already considered Solomon’s depicting of himself as a Shepherd King. 


J. Paul Tanner now turns to a consideration of:


“The Two-Character Drama


Over a hundred years ago Delitzsch proposed that the Song of Songs was in the form of a drama depicting Solomon falling in love with a Shulammite girl (i.e., the Song is a dramatic "script" that was originally intended to be acted and/or sung). According to Delitzsch the drama consisted of six acts having two scenes each…. In this drama Solomon took her to his harem in Jerusalem, where he was purified in his affection from a sensual lust to pure love. Thus Delitzsch rejected the suggestion of those who adopted the "shepherd hypothesis," as well as those who thought the bride was Pharaoh's daughter. For Delitzsch, she was a rustic maiden from a remote part of Galilee who was a stranger among the daughters of Jerusalem. Though she was a humble maiden, she was the heroine of the story. ….

She is a pattern of simple devotedness, naive simplicity, unaffected modesty, moral purity, and frank prudence - a lily of the field, more beautifully adorned than he could claim to be in all his glory. We cannot understand the Song of Songs unless we perceive that it presents before us not only Shulamith's [sic] external attractions, but also all the virtues which make her the ideal of all that is gentlest and noblest in woman. Her words and her silence, her doing and suffering, her enjoyment and self-denial, her conduct as betrothed, as a bride, and as a wife, her behavior towards her mother, her younger sister, and her brothers - all this gives the impression of a beautiful soul in a body formed as it were from the dust of flowers….”.


The “Two-Character Drama” would be the version that I personally would favour.

It is the enduring love between King Solomon and the one he was destined to marry.

We have met her in her various guises.

These are the two primary characters who feature in the Song of Solomon.


Her brothers (“My mother’s sons”) also loom early (1:6), and these are, as we might expect from Absalom’s attitude towards her, quite unsympathetic and even “angry”: “My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards …”


They put her to work outside, in the fields, where the sun darkened her.

We recall that Absalom had a field (2 Samuel 14:30): “Then [Absalom] said to his servants, ‘Look, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire’.”

Part of the brothers’ anger towards may have been because she had not managed to keep her virginity: “… but my own vineyard I have not kept!” That is how the verse is sometimes interpreted. Obviously, this was an extremely harsh and unfair judgment.


Her Egyptian-ness may be evidenced by Solomon’s choice of metaphor (1:9): ‘I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh's chariots’.

Part Sixteen: Philosopher King Solomon
(iv, a): Solomon as Senenmut


Much has been attributed to the Greeks that did not belong to them - e.g. Breasted … made the point that Hatshep­sut's marvellous temple structure was a witness to the fact that the Egyptians had developed architectural styles for which the later Greeks would be credited as originators.


“Damien Mackey presents new evidence that Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba”.

This was the lead-in to my article, “Solomon and Sheba” for the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies, CHRONOLOGY AND CATASTROPHISM REVIEW, 1997:1,

followed by:

Editor's Notes

Probably few articles caused more disappointment in SIS circles than John Bimson's 1986 ‘Hatshepsut and the Queen of Sheba’, which presented strong evidence and argument against Velikovsky’s proposal that the mysterious and exotic queen who visited King Solomon was none other than the famous Egyptian female pharaoh. This removed one of the key identifications in Velikovsky’s Ages in Chaos historical reconstruction and was a key factor in the rejection of his proposed chronology by Bimson and others in favour of the more moderate ‘New Chronology’. It also took away what had seemed a romantic and satisfactory solution to the mystery of the identity and origins of Solomon’s visitor, leaving her once more as an historical enigma.

In this issue, Damien Mackey returns to the question, challenging Bimson’s conclusions, giving a new twist to Velikovsky’s scheme - and throwing up some controversial identifications of other famous Egyptian (and Greek) histori­cal figures. No doubt it will not be the last word on the matter but maybe it will stimulate fresh discussion about the identities and lives of these people whose names and stories have been handed down to us from ancient times ….


Damien Mackey (MA, BPhil, MA) has two Master of Arts Degrees, from the University of Sydney (Australia). His first thesis `The Sothic Star Theory of the Egyptian Calendar', was a ‘demolition job’ on conventional Egyptian dating. In his reconstruction (i) the Exodus occurred at the end of Egypt's Old Kingdom (EBA); (ii) the MBI people were the Israelites of the Exodus/Conquest and (iii) the early monarchy of Israel was contemporary with the early New Kingdom of Egypt. On these points his reconstruction is close to Donovan Courville's in his ‘The Exodus Problem and Its Ramifications'. Mackey’s second thesis, ‘A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah and its Background’, was his attempt to develop a more acceptable alternative to the conventional chronology.


Here I have re-presented my 1997 article for SIS, “Solomon and Sheba”, but now with some very important corrections and additions (author, August 2017).





New evidence is brought forward in support of Veliko­vsky's ingenious thesis that Hatshepsut, the female pharaoh of Egypt's 18th Dynasty, was in fact the biblical Queen of Sheba. That new evidence is the presence of Solomon himself in the Egyptian inscriptions in the person of Hatshepsut's great Steward, Senenmut.


“Solomon and Sheba”




A decade has elapsed since Dr. John Bimson wrote his probing critique [I] of Immanuel Velikovsky’s thesis that Queen Hatshepsut was the biblical Queen of Sheba [2]. In the interim, there has been a succession of other critiques - and new chronologies - by James, Rohl, Sieff, Sweeney, and others. Dr. Bimson, by submitting Velikovsky’s thesis to intense scru­tiny, has done a great service, forcing those who would wish to defend the idea that Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba to dig deeper and to come up with more cogent arguments.

In The Queen of Sheba - Hatshepsut [3], I endeavoured to answer objections raised by Bimson and bring forward some new evidence in support of Velikovsky's conclusion. There are reasons for believing that the biblical queen was not an Arabian queen from Yemen (as Bimson and others have proposed) but an Egyptian queen ruling over Egypt/Ethiopia, Hatshepsut.


Her Name


Contrary to Bimson's claim, there is no grammatical obstacle to Velikovsky's view that ‘Sheba’ was actually the queen's personal name. The construct state is used in various places in Hebrew for an ‘Apposition’ - a proper name or a description of a proper name [4]. According to Velikovsky, Sheba was probably a nickname for Hatshepsut in the close relationships that existed between the 18th Dynasty and the House of David and in Ethiopian legend Solomon's visitor was called Makeda, a name almost identical to Hatshepsut's throne name, Make-ra (Maat-ka-re).

I no longer, though, would accept that “Sheba” was her name, but her geographical starting point of [Beer-]sheba, when she visited King Solomon’s Jerusalem under construction.


Her Nationality


Bimson argued that the biblical description had an Arabian flavour, with camels, gold, spices and precious stones but all the monarchs who came to hear Solomon's wisdom brought `silver and gold ... myrrh, spices ...' (cf. I Kings 10:25 and II Chronicles 10:24). Ever since the time of Joseph, an Arabian camel train had operated between Egypt and northern Palestine, carrying similar types of gifts (Genesis 37:25). The New Testament evidence that Solomon's visitor was a ‘Queen of the south [who] came from the ends of the earth ...’ (cf. Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31) supports an Egypto-Ethiopian identity. In the Book of Daniel, the phrase ‘of the south’ was used with various rulers to designate rulership over Egypt and Ethiopia (cf. Daniel 11:5, 6, 9, 11, 25, 40). ‘Ends of the earth’ is an Egyptianism, in line with what Professor A. Yahuda has written about the influence of the Egyptian language on the Scriptures [5]. Both phrases point us in the direction of Egypt and Ethiopia.

I have argued in this series, though, that it all points to Beersheba in the Negev.

Bimson suggested that the biblical queen was from Yemen in Arabia, but van Beek [6] has described the geographical isolation of Yemen and the hazards of a journey from there to Palestine and none of the numerous inscriptions from this southern part of Arabia refers to the famous queen. Civilisation in southern Arabia may not really have begun to flourish until some two to three centuries after Solomon's era, as Bimson himself has noted [7] and no 10th century BC Arabian queen has ever been named or proposed as the Queen of Sheba.

If she hailed from Yemen, who was she?


Her Family


I accept Velikovsky’s basic alignment of Israel’s early kingdom with the 18th Dynasty, with pharaoh Thutmose I as Solomon's father-in-law. Thutmose I had only two daughters; Hatshepsut and another who died as a child.

The archaeological evidence for destruction at Gezer in Late Bronze I-II that Bimson [8] has equated with its sacking by Solomon's Egyptian father-in-law (cf. I Kings 9:16), well fits the era of Thutmose I [9].

Though, in this series, I have suggested that this particular “Gezer” may pertain to the biblical “Gezrites”, neighbours of the “Geshurites”.




Her Religion


During Hatshepsut's co-rulership with Thutmose III, there was a trend towards monotheism in Egypt, with Amon-Ra being identified in inscriptions as ‘King of All Gods’ [10]. The Egyptians were admittedly polytheistic, with a marked inclination towards idolatry but in the case of Amon-Ra, Mallon [11] has shown, this plurality was of titles rather than of gods. The devotion to Amon-Ra developed at the time Joseph [12], so the monotheism of Hatshepsut's time would have related specifically to the worship of the God of Joseph. Joseph’s influence over Egypt must have been enormous. Pharaoh gave him for a wife the daughter of the priest of Heliopolis (Genesis 41:45), and the highly religious Joseph would undoubtedly have exerted a considerable theological influence on the system of Heliopolis [13].

The influence of Hebrew wisdom on the Egyptians did not end with Joseph. Hatshepsut’s own inscriptions betray Israelite influence - especially from Genesis, the Psalms and, most interestingly, the writings generally attributed to Solomon (Proverbs, Wisdom, Song of Songs) [14]. From the perspective of Thebes there were several further interesting similarities between these two periods (apart from the prominence of Amon-Ra [or Ptah]) [15].


The Punt Expedition


Bimson's analysis of the Punt expedition (and the lack of reference in the Old Testament to Egypt in relation to the Queen of Sheba) constituted his most formidable argument against Velikovsky’s thesis. Bimson made a detailed com­parison in situ between the Egyptian bas-reliefs and the biblical description and concluded that the match was extremely poor. The gifts given by the Egyptians to the Puntites were insignificant compared with those given by the Queen of Sheba to Solomon. And Bimson also found no evidence in the inscriptions to support Velikovsky’s view that Hatshepsut had actually gone in person to Punt (whereas the Queen of Sheba had most certainly gone in person to Jerusalem).

However, on the basis of Dorman’s chronology of Hatshepsut's, era [16], the Punt expedition is actually irrelevant to the matter. Velikovsky had made a significant chronological miscalculation when arguing that Hatshepsut would have been influenced, in the design of her own temple, by what she saw in Jerusalem. Hatshepsut would already have commenced the building of her temple (and would a fortiori have been in possession of the plans for it) before she launched her Punt expedition as Pharaoh of Egypt. (See Appendix A for a revised explana­tion of the Punt venture.)

For, whilst Velikovsky was quite correct in his view that Hatshepsut had been influenced in her temple design by what she saw in Jerusalem, the fact is that she would need to have gone to Jerusalem before having launched her Punt expedition, i.e. while she was still only ‘queen’ in Egypt.

Both the Old and New Testaments specifically entitle Solomon's visitor ‘queen’, which is a significant chronological clue.


l. Bimson, J., ‘Hatshepsut and the Queen of Sheba’, C and C Review Vo1.VII1, 1986, pp. 12-26. Bimson previously wrote some very fine articles supporting the revision, e.g. ‘Can There be a Revised Chronology Without a Revised Stratigraphy?’, SIS Review VoI.VII-3, 1978, pp. 16-26 and ‘Dating the Wars of Seti I’, SIS Review Vol.Vl (1980/1981), pp. 13-27.

2. Velikovsky, I, Ages in Chaos, VoI. I, ch.3 (Abacus, 1973).

3. Mackey, D., ‘The Queen of Sheba – Hatshepsut’, in CompuServe's Living History Forum (Ancient/Archaeology library, 1996).

4. See Kautzsch, E. (ed.) Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, # 130. ‘Wider Use of the Construct State’ and # 131, ‘Apposition’, Oxford. Emmet Sweeney, though, has plausibly suggested that Sheba might refer to the city of Thebes in southern Egypt, or She.wa (var. washe or waset). In ‘Was Hatshepsut the Queen of Sheba, or merely the Queen of Theba?’

5. Yahuda, A., The Language of the Pentateuch in its Relation to Egyptian, Oxford UP, 1933. See also Mackey, Calneggia and Money, ‘A Critical Re-Appraisal of the Book of Genesis’, C and C Workshop, 19871:2. See also my ‘Moses as Compiler of Genesis’ in CompuServe's Living History Forum (Ancient/ Archaeology library, 1996).

6. Van Beek, G., Solomon and Sheba, ch. l, ‘The Land of Sheba’, p. 41.

7. Bimson op.cit. [1], p. 22.

8. Ibid. pp. 16-17.

9. See in relation to this, Bimson’s ‘Can There be a Revised Chronology Without a Revised Stratigraphy?’

10. See e.g. CAH II, Part I, 2nd ed., p. 323, Cambridge, 1973.

11. Mallon, A., ‘The Religion of Ancient Egypt’, Studs. in Comparative Religion (CTS, London, 1956), p. 3: ‘... this multiplic­ity [of gods] was but superficial it was a multiplicity of titles, not of gods. The supreme Creator god was called Atum at Heliopolis; at Memphis, Ptah; at Hermopolis ... Thoth; Amon at Thebes; Horus at Edfu; Khnum at Elephantine; but if we examine them minutely, we recognize at once that these divinities have everywhere a like nature, the same attributes and properties, an identical role. They differ only in external imagery and in a few accidental features’.

12. Tom Chetwynd's identification of Joseph as Imhotep, great Vizier to Pharaoh Zoser (Djoser) of Egypt's Third Dynasty during a seven year famine (in C and AH, January 1987. Vo1. IX, pt. 1, pp. 49-56), fits nicely into my revised scheme, with the Exodus at the end of the Old Kingdom (with which the Middle Kingdom was partly concurrent). This allows possible Middle Kingdom references to the Famine and Joseph, which there are during the late 11th Dynasty, which ruled at Thebes in the south (whereas Zoser and Imhotep were at Memphis in the north).

13. Heliopolis was the ancient religious capital of Egypt and a great centre for sciences. At Heliopolis, (cf. Mallon, ibid., p. 4) ‘Moses received his education’. Acts 7:22 states that ‘Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians ...’.

14. Some of these books, e.g. Wisdom, are supposed to have been written many centuries later than Solomon. If so, they may be compilations of what he originally wrote, just as Genesis is a collection (or series) of ancient histories that Moses compiled or edited into its present form.

15. A temple was built at Deir el-Bahri at the time, and a trip was made to the Land of Punt.

16. Dorman, P, The Monuments of Senenmut, Kegan Paul, London, 1988. Dorman seems to have worked out the proper sequence of events during Hatshepsut's co-rulership with Thutmose III. He has shown fairly conclusively that Hatshepsut became ‘king’, or Pharaoh, in the 7th year of Thutmose III.



QUEENSHIP (Regnal years 1-6)


Velikovsky had claimed to have found in writings about the Queen of Sheba a profile of Hatshepsut, sovereign of Egypt. Can we find any trace of King Solomon in Egyptian records?


I believe that we can, and that Senenmut was Solomon himself (Heb. Shelomoh). Practically all the inscriptional evidence is favourable to this except for a snag in relation to Senenmut's tomb complex. Senenmut was honoured with a lavish tomb - two tombs in fact [17]. He was not buried in either of them and it has been argued that he was never intended to be [l8]. Senenmut’s parents are supposed to have been buried together in one of these tombs - but Solomon’s father, King David, was buried in Jerusalem (I Kings 2:10).

Furthermore, with the Punt expedition no longer chronologically convinc­ing as the Egyptian record of the Queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon, there is no recorded venture to take its place.

I now realise, though, that this event would probably not have been recorded in Egypt, because the Queen was then based in Beersheba.

The real evidence for the queen’s visit to the Jerusalem of Solomon's time lies, not in any actual records of the expedition itself, but rather in the effects that Israelite religion and culture had on the Egypt of Hatshepsut's time.


Hatshepsut and Thutmose III


The architect Ineni described Thutmose as ‘the ruler upon the throne of him who begot him’ but says that ‘His sister, the Divine Consort, Hatshepsut, adjusted the affairs of [Egypt] by reason of her designs ...’ [19]. Hatshepsut brought to the throne of Egypt some ambitious plans and historians agree she could not have carried them out without the support of Senenmut and powerful officials. Neverthe­less, Budge says ‘... we are quite justified in saying that the interests of the country suffered in no way through being in her hands’ [20].


Senenmut's Call


Senenmut is a complete enigma to historians. His ancestry was not unequivocally Egyptian. According to one of his statues ‘I was in this land under [her] command since the occurrence of the death of [her] predecessor ...' [21]. His ‘ancestors were not found in writing’, or - variously translated ‘[whose name] is not to be found amongst the annals of the ancestors’ [22]. Both indicate that Senenmut did not hail from Egypt.

Further possible hints that Senenmut was a foreigner were his fascination with the Egyptian language, his ‘idiosyncra­cies in regard to the Egyptian language - the uncommon substitution of certain hieroglyphs' and his penchant for creating cryptograms, e.g. in relation to Hatshepsut's throne name, Make-ra [23]. His appearance, as depicted on statues does not provide any clues. The most outstanding feature is ‘his massive wig’ [24], an Egyptian feature. However, Solomon was thoroughly Egyptianised - two of his high officials in Jerusalem bore Egyptian names Shisha and Eli-horeph (I Kings 4:3). Peter James [25] refers to an ivory plaque found at Megiddo, ‘showing a monarch holding court’, depicted in Egyptian guise. Megiddo was one of Solomon’s great forts in northern Israel, where he had built a ‘monumental palace compound’ (I Kings 9:15). According to James, the ‘material culture of Palestine at the end of the Late Bronze Age [Solomon's era by the revision] is best seen’ at its site and the ivory plaque ‘... is of particular interest. [The monarch] is seated on a throne decorated with sphinxes. If it was intended to represent a specific rather than an idealized ruler, would it be too much to imagine that in this ivory we actually have a depiction of the Egyptianized King Solomon?’ Solomon may indeed have worn an Egyp­tian wig [26].

I believe that Senenmut's arrival in Egypt was a direct result of Queen Hatshepsut’s visit to Jerusalem as the Queen of Sheba. ‘King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked ...’ (I Kings 10: 13). She was so convinced by what he told her that ‘there was no more spirit in her’ (cf. I Kings 10:3, 5). Hatshepsut regarded Senenmut as her mentor and he claimed to have been an influence in Egypt ‘since [Hatshepsut's] youth’ [28]. One of his Cairo statues says he was one ‘whose opinion [Hatshep­sut] has desired for [herself], who pleases the mistress of [Egypt] with his utterance’ [27] and he was both ‘chief spokesman of her estate’ (i.e. the material wealth and properties of the royal household were under his supervision) and ‘judge in the entire land’ of Egypt. Similarly, Solomon was called ‘judge' of Israel (Wisdom 9:7). Wilson [29] recognised that Hatshepsut perceived Senenmut as ‘an adviser’, though ‘In what manner he forged the bonds which brought him into close relations with his royal mistress and by which he won not only her trust but possibly even her love is a closed page of history’. Dorman notes, in relation to Winlock [30], that Queen Hatshepsut gave Senenmut his first government posts, ‘linking him closely to the royal family by giving him charge of princess Neferura'.

What had impressed the young queen during her visit to Jerusalem? It was Solomon's civil and religious administration. His military organisation was also efficient, and - despite enemies later like Hadad in Edom and Rezon in Damascus (1 Kings 11:14-25) - he was never really seriously challenged during his entire 40-year reign. In fact, the era of Solomon and Hatshepsut (in revisionist terms) was one of singular peace.

Hatshepsut would also have noticed Solomon’s magnificent fleet (I Kings 10:11) and the parks and gardens in Jerusalem with their exotic myrrh trees (Song of Songs 5:1; 6:2). Presumably these were what later inspired Hatshepsut’s Punt expedition.

Hatshepsut asked Solomon for help in governing her land. She probably also sought military back-up in case other forces in Egypt took advantage of the initially fragile situation in Egypt, to engineer a coup against young Thutmose III [32]. Perhaps, too, there were some who did not dispute his accession but were ready to dispute any intervention by the queen as co-ruler. Winlock [33] suggests that Hatshepsut required Senenmut’s assistance for her own coup d'êtat. Hayes says [34]: ‘The person who probably contributed most to Hatshepsut's success was her Chief Steward, Senenmut, a canny politician and brilliant administrator who ... rose [sic] to be the queen’s most favoured official’.


‘Greatest of the Great’


Most historians would agree with Baikie [35] that Senenmut ‘was by far the most powerful and important figure of [Hatshepsut's] reign’. Few supposedly non-royal personages in pharaonic Egypt have caused as much ink to flow [36], and his statues and inscriptions are still abundant despite the campaign of destruction waged against them after his death.   He boasted ‘I was the greatest of the great in the land …’ [37]. According to Baikie [38]: ‘... we have sufficient evidence to make it manifest that a good deal of it was simple truth, and that [Senenmut] was by far the most powerful and important figure of the reign’.

He even seems to have eclipsed Thutmose III who - after his death - went on to become perhaps the most potent of all Egypt’s rulers.

Given Solomon’s generous disposition (cf. Wisdom 7:13-14); his opportunism in trading matters (cf. I Kings 10:28-29), his love for beautiful foreign women (1 Kings 11:1), he could have found it hard to refuse Hatshepsut's requests. There may have been much behind the statement ‘King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked ...’. On the Cairo statue of Senenmut, it says he ‘was one who entered in love and came forth in favour, making glad the heart of [Hatshepsut] every day ...’ [39]. Even during her lifetime, there were rumours that Senenmut owed his power to his relations with the Queen. Ironically, because there is no record in Egypt of his having had any offspring, Senenmut is thought by Egyptologists to have been a life-long bachelor.

My reconstruction of the Queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon would answer the question of how Senenmut came to power in Egypt and became the might behind the throne there, pursuing one of the most amazing careers in ancient Egypt’ [40]. Had historians realised who he was, they might not have puzzled over why Hatshepsut ‘during her lifetime ... faced less opposition than might have ….1].


Senenmut as Tutor of Neferure and Thutmose III


Senenmut was a renowned ‘judge’ in the land - and also Steward of Hatshepsut. Steward of Neferure and Steward of Amon - the latter considered to be ‘his most important position’ [42]. There are various statues of him cradling Neferure in his arms, or with her peeping out from the folds of his cloak. Senenmut was also tutor to the young Thutmose III. On a stela discovered in North Karnak, he applies to the child ruler for deed, of transfer of land for institutions within the estate of Amon-Ra [43]. The application was granted. There is nothing conclusive in inscriptions to support the traditional view that Thutmose III held a deep-seated grudge against Hatshepsut or Senenmut. However, the biblical scenario shows that, towards the end of Solomon's life, serious cracks began to relationship with the young Pharaoh (as the biblical ‘King Shishak of Egypt’).


Senenmut's ‘Floruit’


In this revision, Senenmut's floruit in Egypt would correspond to the mid-to-late phase of Solomon's reign = Years 1-16 of Thutmose III. (N.B. Hatshepsut's reign is dated by the regnal years of Thutmose III). Just prior to this period, Solomon completed his great building projects in Jerusalem, and, towards its end, he fell away from pure Yahwism into a decadent phase, building shrines to pagan gods for his foreign wives (I Kings 1:18). In perfect accord this. Grimal says Senenmut ‘was a ubiquitous figure throughout the first three-quarters of Hatshepsut's reign’ [44]. He oversaw some of the most famous temples and shrines built during the co-reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, and Neferure's name also figures in some of these.

Solomon's years of service to Yahweh and also his apostasy from Yahwism ought both perhaps to be reflected in Senenmut’s inscriptions [45].


Solomon's Administration


The Queen of Sheba visited Solomon at the peak of his power. Bright [46] has provided a realistic account of how he organised and administered the land of Israel. Much of it is favourable, but there is also a negative side to it. Increasingly, he laid a heavy hand on his subjects in the form of taxation (1 Kings 4:7-19), appointing governors throughout the land to collect it. The state eventually faced a chronic financial crisis. When one thinks of Solomon’s building projects, his army, his lavish support of the liturgy, of the worship of Yahweh, his burgeoning private establishment and the administration of the state and its undertakings, this is understandable.

Solomon, unlike his father David, embarked upon no significant military conquests - so, while expenses mounted, revenue from tribute did not. Trade was profitable, but not enough to balance the budget. Solomon took drastic measures and resorted to the hated corvée. State slavery and forced labour were common in the ancient world, especially in Egypt. However, when the Canaanite population proved inadequate, Solomon even inaugurated the corvée in Israel [47]. Labour gangs were levied and worked in relays in Lebanon felling timber for his building projects (I Kings 5:13f.).

This was a bitter dose for freeborn Israelites to swallow. The prophet Samuel had warned of the hardships if they opted for a king to rule over them (1 Samuel 8:11-18). Moses had predicted that a future king of Israel might cause the people wrongfully ‘to return to Egypt in order to multiply horses’ (Deuteronomy 17:16). Ultimately, it was the corvée that made Israel rebel against Solomon's son, Rehoboam, who had threatened ‘My father made your yoke heavy, but I shall add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I shall chastise you with scorpions’ ( I Kings 12:14).

When the administration of Israel spilled into Egypt, Hatshepsut apparently enforced the same harsh system there. Egypt ‘was made to labour with bowed head for her ...’ [48]. Not surprisingly, she put Senenmut in charge. ‘I was a foreman of foremen’, he tells us, ‘... overseer of all the works of the house of silver [treasury?] .... I was one to whom the affairs of [Egypt] were reported; that which South and North contributed was on my seal, the labour of all countries was under my charge’.

The taxation system that Hatshepsut introduced was based upon ‘a Middle Kingdom prototype’ [49]. It would not be surprising if this were the same stern model by which Joseph had reduced the Egyptians to servitude (cf. Genesis 41:34, 35). Interestingly Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who led the revolt against Rehoboam, was previously appointed by Solomon in ‘charge of all the forced labour of the House of Joseph’ (I Kings 10:28). Archaeologists have discovered evidence of Senenmut’s work gangs - e.g. an ostracon dated to Regnal Year 16 records the division between two foremen of a group of labourers apparently conscripted by Senenmut [50] and ‘two of Senenmut’s pay sheets with three or four of the men struck off the lists’ [51].


Senenmut's Religious Functions


Historians claim ‘Steward of Amon’ was the most illustri­ous of all Senenmut’s titles. This would be fitting if he were Solomon, and Amon-Ra were the Supreme God, the ‘King of Gods’, as the Egyptians called him. Senenmut was also ‘overseer of the garden of Amon’ (see Appendix A). Like Solomon, a king who also acted as a priest, Senenmut’s chief rôle was religious. He was in charge of things pertaining to Amon and was ‘chief of all the prophets’. Solomon, at the beginning of his co-regency with David, had prayed for wisdom and a discerning mind (I Kings 3:9). On the completion of the Temple, he stood ‘before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, [he] spread forth his hands towards heaven’ (I Kings 8:22). Likewise, Senenmut is depicted in Hatshepsut's temple with arms up-stretched to heaven, praying to Hathor, the personification of wisdom.


Acting Abroad


Solomon must have spent a fair amount of time in Egypt - from approximately his 22nd/23rd year of reign (corresponding to Regnal Year 1 of Thutmose III) to late in his 40-year reign, when Jeroboam turned against him and sought protection with Thutmose III (‘Shishak’). Is this a realistic scenario?

The Bible gives far less detail about the latter part of Solomon's reign. In I Kings, only 15-16 verses separate the account of the Queen of Sheba’s leaving Jerusalem (10:13) from chapter 11, which informs us that ‘Solomon loved many foreign women’ who turned his heart away after other gods (vv. 1,4), and that he began to build shrines for them (vv. 7-8), so that God snatched most of the kingdom away from the House of David (v. l1). Next we read about the election of Jeroboam and his flight to Egypt to escape Solomon, who sought to kill him (v. 40). The verses in between describe Solomon, not so much as a ruler of Jerusalem, but as the great businessman and world trader


sharing, with Hiram of Tyre, the trade of the ‘ships of Tarshish’ (10:22);

receiving gifts from the ‘kings of the earth’ (vv. 23-25), who no doubt wanted a share in his trade; and

importing horses and chariots from Egypt and Cilicia and exporting them to Hittite and Syrian kings (vv. 28-29).


This far-reaching commercially-based type of scenario seems to be backed up by Senenmut’s claim that ‘the labour of all countries was under my charge’. During this period, the Scriptures do not say specifically that King Solomon was in Jerusalem, so there is perhaps scope for his having spent a fair amount of his time abroad, e.g. in Egypt. Israel would have been in a position to run itself. His government was in control and unchallenged, his bureaucrats well paid and much of the population was in a kind of subjection. Israel's fortifications were formidable, as was its army, which would have been allied with the armies of Egypt. So Solomon may well have been free to travel and to influence other countries (see Appendix B).


17. Tombs No.71 and 353.

18. See e.g. Dorman, op. cit., p. 103, ref. W. Helck's Zum thebanisehen Grab Nr. 353, GM 24 (1977), pp. 35-40.

19. H. Breasted, A History of Egypt, Hodder and Stoughton, London. 1924. p. 271. Emphasis added.

20. Budge, E., Books on Egypt and Chaldea. Egypt Under the Amenemhats and Hvksos, Anthropological Publications, Nether­lands. 1968, p. 4.

21. Dorman. op. cit., p. 175. Emphasis added.

22. Baikie, J., A History of Egypt, A. and C. Black Ltd., London, 1929, Vol. 11, p. 80. Historians tend to interpret it as meaning he rose to power through the ranks.

23. Dorman. op. cit., p. 138, p. 165.

24. Ibid. p. 93.

25. James. P. Centuries of Darkness, Jonathan Cape, London, 1991, p. 200. Emphasis added to last part of quote.

26. There is another possible interpretation. Solomon, as a true brother of Absalom, may simply have had a luxuriant crop of hair. Absalom used to cut his hair ‘at the end of every year ... when it was heavy on him ... [and that it weighed] 200 shekels by the king's weight’ (Samuel II, 14:26). The Song of Songs says of Solomon ‘His locks are wavy, black as a raven’ (5:11). In another version, his hair is likened to ‘palm fronds’. If Senenmut were Solomon, it may not have been a wig.

27. See Dorman, op. cit., p. 124. Cairo, statue, JdE 47278. Emphasis added.

28. Ibid., p. 116.

29. Wilson, L., The Burden of Egypt, Chicago, 1951, p. 177.

30. See Dorman, op. cit. 5, ref. H. Winlock, ‘The Egyptian Expedition, 1927-1928’, BMMA 23 (December 1928), Section 1125, op. cit., 50.

31. Solomon was apparently co-regent for a time when he was appointed as sole ruler of Israel, it was referred to as a ‘second time’ (cf. I Chronicles 22:6-17 and 29:22).

32. Solomon's brother, Adonijah, tried to usurp the kingdom at the beginning of Solomon's reign (cf. 1 Kings 5-10 and 5:17).

33. Op. cit., 52. Winlock was actually referring not to Hatsheput’s intervention as co-ruler, but to her usurpation later in becoming chief Pharaoh.

34. Hayes, W., ‘Egypt Internal Affairs from Tuthmosis I to the Death of Amenophis III’, in CAH, ibid., p. 319.

35. Op. cit., 81.

36. Hari., R., ‘La vingt-cinquieme statue de Senmout’, JEA 70 (1984), p. 141.

37. Baikie, op. cit., pp. 80-81.

38. Ibid., P. 81.

39. See footnote [27]. Emphasis added.

40. Grimal, op. cit., p. 209.

41. Ibid.

42. Dorman, op. cit., p. 120.

43. Ibid., p. 29.

44. Op. cit., p. 211.

45. Solomon’s apostasy phase would be reflected in Senenmut’s shrine at Silsileh, in which he is shown being embraced and welcomed by the gods themselves. Baikie, op. cit., ibid., calls it ‘an honour frequently represented as being accorded to Pharaohs and their queens; but never, save in this one instance, to commoners [sic]’.

46. Bright, J., A History of Israel, SCM Press, 1972, pp. 21f.

47. Bimson has also discussed the corvée in a revised context in his ‘Revised Stratigraphy’, with reference to W. Dever in EA. 438.

48. Breasted, op. cit., ibid.

49. See CAH, ibid., p. 385.

50. Dorman, op. cit., p. 176.

51. Ibid., p. 69.







Hatshepsut’s Coronation


In about the 7th year of Thutmose III, according to Dorman [52], Hatshepsut had herself crowned king, assum­ing the name Maatkare, or Make-ra (‘True is the heart of Ra’). In the present scheme, this would be close to Solomon’s 30th regnal year. From then on, Hatshepsut is referred to as ‘king’, sometimes with the pronoun ‘she’ and sometimes ‘he’, and depicted in the raiment of a king. She is called the daughter of Amon-Ra - but in the picture of her birth a boy is moulded by Khnum, the shaper of human beings (i.e. Amon-Ra) [53].

According to Dorman, Senenmut was present at Hatshep­sut's coronation and played a major rôle there [54]. On one statue [55] he is given some unique titles, which Berlandini-Grenier [56] identifies with the official responsible for the ritual clothing of the Queen ‘the stolist of Horus in privacy’, ‘keeper of the diadem in adorning the king’ and ‘he who covers the double crown with red linen’. Winlock was startled that Senenmut had held so many unique offices in Egypt, including ‘more intimate ones like those of the great nobles of France who were honored in being allowed to assist in the most intimate details of the royal toilet at the king's levees’ [57]. The rarity of the stolist titles suggested to Dorman [58] ‘a one-time exercise of Senenmut's function of stolist and that prosopographical conclusions might be drawn’, i.e., he had participated in Hatshepsut’s coronation.

It would be fitting for Hatshepsut to have wanted Solomon, greatest king alive, to crown her as Pharaoh. The most recent statue of Senenmut to be found was of alabaster, unlike the rest which were granite. ‘Alabaster, used very much in the statuary of Thutmose III, is essentially, it seems, a stone reserved for royal monuments’ [59]. Perhaps Hatshepsut had even intended Senenmut to become legitimate ruler of Egypt with her. According to Redford [60], Hatshepsut planned to insert Neferure into the line of succession, as demonstrated by the Sinai stela dated to the 11th year of Neferure, behind whom is portrayed ‘Senenmut, who may well have been the ‘evil genius’ behind this and many other novel moves’. However, maybe it was simply Hatshepsut acknowledging that Senenmut was a legitimate king in his own right.


Chief Architect


Now that Hatshepsut was Pharaoh, nothing could stop her grandiose plans. As queen, she had seen fantastic thing in Israel - the King enthroned in splendour, the palace, the Temple with its magnificent liturgy and gardens, and the Red Sea fleet, which may have arrived at Solomon's port while she was visiting him (cf. 1 Kings 10:1 and 10:11). Solomon could provide the same for her in Egypt. Significantly he, as Senenmut, was also Hatshepsut's chief architect [61].

Egypt could be efficiently reorganised on the same stern system that Solomon had imposed upon his own country. The work gangs would be employed everywhere, with Senenmut both their ‘foreman [and] overseer’. We recall how cruel were the Egyptian ‘foremen’ in Moses' time, and that Moses had killed one of them for beating an Israelite (Exodus l:11 and 2:11-12). Yahweh had ultimately delivered his people from this ‘iron furnace’ of slavery in Egypt. How ironical, then, that a king of Israel, a believer in Yahweh, would now force the Egyptian people into servitude - but now with the Pharaoh's blessing!

In return, Solomon could play the rôle of trading middleman, e.g. between Egypt and Syria.


Hatshepsut's Temple


Hatshepsut naturally enlisted Senenmut to plan her temple, ‘The Most Splendid of Splendours’, at Deir el-Bahri. He no doubt, in turn, as Solomon, sought expert assistance from the Phoenicians, just as he had done more than two decades earlier in the case of the Temple of Yahweh, in Jerusalem. Accordingly, Velikovsky had referred to Mariette’s view that Hatshepsut’s fine building betrayed ‘a foreign influence’, possibly from ‘the land of [Punt]’ [62]. If the Puntites were the Phoenicians [63] - and (according to the Bible) Phoenician craftsmen had assisted Solomon in his building of Yahweh’s Temple - then it is most interesting that Mariette had observed that Hatshepsut’s temple ‘probably represents ... a Phoenician influence’ [64].

From this, Velikovsky had concluded that the design of the latter was based on the Jerusalem model.

Bimson, however, would then reject this view, saying that Hatshepsut’s temple was clearly based on the layout of smaller 11th Dynasty temple nearby. Baikie [66], for his part, admitted that the 11th Dynasty temple would have offered Senenmut ‘the suggestion of how it would best to treat such a site ...’, but he was adamant that Hatshepsut’s temple was no slavish imitation of the older building. Senenmut, he said:


... appreciated a good suggestion when he saw it - all the more credit to him for his commonsense; but to say that he must therefore be denied any credit for originality is to set up a canon of criticism which would deprive Shakespeare of the credit for the creation of Hamlet, and Donatello of that for the creation of the Gattamelata statue. Having got his suggestion, he proceeded to glorify it, until he had produced a building which is infinitely superior ... to that of the earlier architect.


Baikie regarded the 11th Dynasty effort as ‘stumpy and sawn-off looking compared with the grace of the successive terraces, the long ramps and the graceful colonnades of the XVIIIth Dynasty artist’.


Senenmut’s Tomb Complex


At about the same time, Hatshepsut also ordered a magnificent tomb complex [67] to be built in Senenmut’s honour, on the highest hill in the private necropolis, at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna (No.71), with a subterranean passage at Deir el-Bahri down through the friable tafl to the fine limestone (No.353).

Helck [68] has suggested a novel purpose for tomb 353 (that all agree was the intended place of burial), claiming that it was meant - like the subterranean gallery below the temple of Mentuhotep II (11th Dynasty) - for the burial of a jubilee  statue of the ruling monarch on the eve of the celebration of jubilee. The curious presence of Senenmut in the decorated chamber signified to Helck that it was also destined to hold a statue of Hatshepsut's Great Steward, as a ‘mock burial’. Strangely, the intended sarcophagus was found shattered in pieces on top of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna. Although its exterior surface was carefully polished, carved and given a coat of red varnish, the lid was never completed.

Was Senenmut/Solomon really meant to have been interred in it?


Senenmut’s Astronomical Ceiling


The versatility of Senenmut is revealed in the paintings of his funerary complex. As Grimal has noted [69]:


[Senenmut's] constructions show that he was an archi­tect, but other dimensions of his career are suggested by the presence of an astronomical ceiling in his tomb at Deir el-Bahri and about 150 ostraca in his tomb at Qurna, including several drawings (notably two plans of the tomb itself), as well as lists, calculations, various reports and some copies of religious, funerary and literary texts ....


Senenmut's tomb complex has some significant features:


  • the lowest chambers of tomb 353 were within the sacred precincts of Hatshepsut's temple.
  • in numerous niches there are reliefs depicting Senenmut praying on behalf of Hatshepsut. This usurpation of royal property and/or privilege has amazed historians [70],
  • at the same time, a new corpus of funerary texts - what Assmann [71] calls ‘liturgies’ - was introduced into Egypt. [Interestingly, in the light of my claim that Egypt was at this time influenced by the era of Joseph, these liturgies are based upon ‘sequences attested only on Middle Kingdom coffins’ [72].
  • among the literary texts was the famous Egyptian folktale, the Story of Sinuhe. I have argued [73] that this story is a conflation of biblical stories pertaining to Moses (especially), but perhaps also to David and to Joseph. Senenmut enjoyed the Story of Sinuhe [74].
  • of special interest is the astronomical information in tomb 353, particularly the ceiling of Chamber A [75]. Senenmut's ceiling is the earliest astronomical ceiling known. We are reminded again of Solomon's encyclopaedic knowledge of astronomy and calendars (Wisdom 7:17-19). The ceiling is divided into two parts by transverse bands of texts, the central section of which contains the names ‘Hatshepsut’ and ‘Senenmut’ [76]. The southern half contains a list of decans derived from coffins of the Middle Kingdom period that had served as ‘a prototype’ for a family of decanal lists that survived until the Ptolemaïc period; whilst ‘The northern half is decorated with the earliest preserved depiction of the northern constellations; four planets (Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn) are also portrayed with them, and the lunar calendar is represented by twelve large circles’. [77]


In tomb 71 at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna,


  • the sarcophagus itself is carved of quartzite in a unique oval form adapted from the royal cartouche shape. Dorman [78] says ‘... the sarcophagus seemed to be yet another proof ... of the pretensions Senenmut dares to exhibit, skirting dangerously close to prerogatives considered to be exclusively royal’. Winlock [79] would similarly note that it was ‘significantly designed as almost a replica of royal sarcophagi of the time’,
  • one of the painted scenes features a procession of Aegean (Greek) tribute bearers, the first known representation of these people [80] - the only coherent scene on the north wall of the axial corridor portrays three registers of men dragging sledges that provide shelter for statues of Senenmut, who faces the procession of statues.


Senenmut had presented to Hatshepsut ‘an extraordinary request’ for ‘many statues of every kind of precious hard stone’, to be placed in every temple and shrine of Amon-Ra [81]. His request was granted. Meyer [82] pointed to it as an indication of his power.


Senenmut’s ‘Parents’


In part 2 I had referred to the problem for this reconstruction of the burial of Senenmut’s parents in Egypt. Beneath the collapsed artificial terrace in front of tomb 71 excavators in the 1930’s had found the small rock-cut chamber with the mummies presumed to be Senen­mut’s family, including Ramose (father), Hatnofer (mother), near the funerary monument of their illustrious son. However Solomon's father was King David, who was buried in the city of Jerusalem (I Kings 2:10). Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, was probably much younger than David, and we know nothing about her death - the last that we hear of her is at the beginning of Solomon’s reign, when his brother was illicitly bidding for the throne (v. 19).

It is possible - in the context of the revision of the 18th Egyptian Dynasty - that Bathsheba was this same Hatnofer, whose mummified corpse shows that she was elderly when buried with great pomp in Egypt, in approximately Regnal Year 7 (c. Year 30 of Solomon's reign). Bathsheba may thus have remarried after David's death [83]. Moreover, all of the mummies in this chamber, except Hatnofer’s, had been disinterred and re-located there. That is always a problem with regard to one’s making proper identifications. Ramose (the husband) was about 50 or 60 years old (notably younger than David). Just possibly he was her original husband, Uriah the Hittite, for whom she had made lamentation (2 Samuel 11:3, 26), though his age would be a factor. Of the eight mummies, Hatnofer alone ‘had been carefully mummified in linen from Hatshepsut’s royal estate and equipped with a complete funeral outfit ...’ [84]. On two walls Senenmut is depicted with one of his parents - Hatnofer. Historians presume Ramose may have accompa­nied him on a wall that is damaged. But we cannot be sure of that.

‘The origin of [Senenmut's] family must ... remain uncertain ...’ [85], it is thought, so firm conclusions cannot be reached about them in a standard Egyptian context. However, this study has revealed evidence completely refuting the usual view that Senenmut was of common origin.


Commemorative Obelisks


Can we pinpoint when Solomon, as Senenmut, was actually present in Egypt?


He would definitely have been there during Hatshepsut’s coronation in Regnal Year 7, and, again, on the occasion some time after Regnal Year 9, when she sum­moned Senenmut and the her Nubian official, Nehesi, gave them places of honour, and proclaimed to the assembly the success of her Punt venture, and again on several occasions during Regnal Year 16. Senenmut may often, of course, have delegated tasks to his foremen (like Jeroboam) while he was elsewhere.

In Regnal Year 16 Senenmut opened the Silsileh quarries, ‘probably in preparation for a planned intensification of construction at Karnak under Hatshepsut’ [86]. For Hatshep­sut's jubilee, she entrusted to Senenmut the task of acquiring two commemorative obelisks. From the record engraved on the rocks at Aswan, in the far south of Egypt, it is likely that he went there in person. Baikie [87] says ‘The great man [Senenmut] set off at once, and carried out his commission with characteristic energy’. Getting the two huge shafts of granite out of the quarry at Aswan occupied seven months and was an extraordinary feat of engineering. Raising the obelisks in Thebes must have been a tremendous task. The survivor is almost 100 feet and weighs over 320 tons.


Thutmose III in the Ascendant


Thutmose, far from having engaged in damnatio memo­riae, actually placed a statue of Senenmut in his Karnak temple and was ‘willing to see honor done to him, at least posthumously’ [88]. Thutmose III’s apparent respect for his mentor might explain why such a military-minded Pharaoh left it 5 years after Solomon's death before invading Jerusalem and sacking the Temple [89] (as the biblical ‘Shishak’).

However cracks in their relationship surfaced near the end of Solomon's life when Jeroboam, chosen by God ‘to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon’, feared for his life and fled to ‘Shishak’ in Egypt, where he remained until Solomon's death (I Kings 11:26, 31, 40). Perhaps during the last few years of Hatshepsut’s reign, with Solomon in decline, Thutmose Ill began to assert his independence. He may have realised that it would fall to him to rectify Egypt's economic problems. He accomplished this after Hatshepsut's death, by embarking upon a series of mighty military conquests.


Senenmut’s Decline and Death


‘Senenmut’s continuing goodwill at court seems to have continued unabated during most, if not all, of Hatshepsut's floruit’ [90]. In this reconstruction, Senenmut died in about Regnal Year 17. Hatshepsut died in about Regnal Year 21-22.

Neferure may have lived well beyond both of their deaths [91].

There have been all sorts of intriguing guesses about Senenmut’s demise. Schulman [92], who estimated Senenmut’s age at over 50 in Regnal Year 16, thinks ‘it would not at all have been surprising for [Senenmut] to have died from natural causes at a relatively old age, without our having to suppose a fall from the royal favour which resulted in his death’.


52. Ibid., p 171. 53. For the equation between Amon and Khnum, see [11].

54. Op. cit., pp. 129f.

55. Ibid. The Sheikh Labib statue.

56. Berlandini-Grenier. J., ‘Senenmout, stoliste royal, sur une statue-cube avec Neferoure’. B1FAO 76 (1976), pp. 111-132

57. Winlock, op. cit., ibid.

58. Op. cit., pp. 129-130.

59. Ibid., p. 143. (My translation, emphasis added.)

60. Redford, D., History and Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt Seven Studies, Toronto, University of Toronto, 1967, p. 85.

61. See e.g. Dorman, op. cit., p. 126. According to S. Wachsmann, Aegeans in the Theban Tombs (Uitgeverij Peeters), p. 27: ‘[Senenmut] was responsible, if not actually the architect, for Hatshepsut's principal architectural accomplishments such as her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri and her two great obelisks’.

62. As referred to in G. Maspero's The Struggle of the Nations, p. 241, n.2.

63. See footnote [3].

64. Mariette, quoted in Naville, The Temple of Deir el Bahari, Introductory Memoir, p. 1.

65. ‘Hatshepsut’, p. 16.

66. Op. cit., pp. 67-68.

67. ‘Tomb complex’ may be a better description than ‘two tombs’ in the light of Dorman's remark (ibid., p. 99) that ‘tombs 71 and 353 [though separated by the entire width of the Asasif valley] are but two parts of a unified whole’. Architecturally they complement each other and only together do they function as a typical, private Theban tomb.

68. Op. cit., pp. 35-40.

69. Op. cit., p. 211.

70. See Dorman, op. cit., p. 6, p. 173 ‘without parallel Egypt in proper’.

71. Assmann, J., ‘Funerary Liturgies in the Coffin Texts’, referred to by Dorman, op. cit., p. 82.

72. See Dorman, op. cit., p. 83.

73. Cf. [5], ‘Moses as Compiler of Genesis’.

74. See e.g. Grimal, op, cit., p. 159.

75. Neugebauer. O. and Parker. R., Egyptian Astronomical Texts, London. 1969. Vol. l. pp. 22ff; VoI. III, pp. 10-12.

76. Dorman, op cit., pp. 83-84. Much has been made of Senenmut's ceiling, including claims that it shows evidence for a reversed sky, as in the catastrophic events proposed by Velikovsky in Worlds in Collision (Abacus, 1972) – e.g. P. Warlow. ‘Return to Tippe Top’, C and C Review Vol. IX (1987), pp. 2-13.

77. Ibid., p. 84.

78. Ibid., p. 7. Emphasis added.

79. Winlock, op. cit., p. 22. Emphasis added.

80. Dorman, op. cit., p. 100. Wachsmann, op. cit., identifies these Greeks as Mycenaeans and (Cretan) Minoans.

81. Ibid., p. 125.

82. Meyer, C., ‘Senenmut eine prosopographische Untersuchung’, HAS 2 (Verlag Borg, Hamburg, 1982), p. 170.

83. Since Bathsheba was originally married to Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:3) (the Hittites and Egyptians were both Hamitic), she may have had some affinity with Egypt from the start.

84. Dorman, op. cit., p. 168.

85. Ibid., p. 166.

86. Ibid., p. 176.

87. Op. cit., p. 83.

88. Lesko, B., ‘The Senmut Problem’, JARCE 6 (1967), pp. 113-117. Note the variations in the spelling of the name ‘Senenmut’ (Dorman), ‘Senmut’ (Lesko). Other variations give ‘Senmout’ and ‘Sennemut’.

89. Thutmose III was a man of such culture and refinement that one might well believe that he had been taught by Solomon.

90. Dorman, op. cit., p. 172.

91. Ibid., pp. 78, 79.

92. Schulman, A., ‘The Alleged ‘Fall’ of Senmut’, JARCE 8 (1969-70), p. 48.






At the time of Hatshepsut, Amon-Ra probably equated to the Supreme Lord, Yahweh. Any Yahwistic influence in Egypt would be due to Solomon. Neither the Old or New Testament accounts of the visit by the ‘Queen of Sheba/Queen of the south’ specifies that she was converted to the God of Israel. She still said ‘Blessed be the Lord YOUR God’ (1 Kings 1l0:9) - for her Yahweh was not yet ‘my God’. Whether she converted to Yahwism in the end is not clear but the scriptural accounts show she was profoundly impressed and influenced by all that she had seen in Jerusalem.


Successor of the King


There is an early parallel between Solomon and Hatshep­sut in the ways their fathers presented their children to the assemblies of their respective countries, to designate them as their successors.


(i) The Assembly is Summoned


‘David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of tribes, the officers of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of thousands ... of hundreds, the stewards of the property ... and all the seasoned warriors’ (I Chronicles 2:81). Likewise Hatshepsut's father, Thutmose I ‘... caused that there be brought to him the dignitaries of the king, the nobles, the companions, the officers of the court, and the chief of the people’ [93].


(ii) The Future Ruler Presented


Next, King David presented Solomon to the assembly, saying ‘... of all my sons ... the Lord ... has chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord, over Israel. He said to me, ‘It is Solomon your son .... I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father’’ (vv. 5-6). ­So did Pharaoh present his daughter to the assembly ‘This my daughter ... Hatshepsut .... I have appointed her; she is my successor, she it is assuredly who will sit on my wonderful seat [throne]. She shall command the people in every place of the palace; she it is who shall lead you …’ [93].


(iii) The Assembly Embraces the King’s Decision


In Israel, ‘... all the assembly blessed the Lord ... and bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and did obeisance to the king .... And they ate and drank before the Lord on that day with great gladness’ (29:20, 22). Similarly, the Egyptian officials [93] ‘kissed the earth at his feet, when the royal word fell among them .... They went forth, their mouths rejoiced, they published his proclamation to them’. Also, just as Solomon was presented as ‘son’ of God (cf. II Samuel 7:14), so in Egyptian inscriptions Hatshepsut was called ‘daughter of Amon-Ra’.




Some of the most notable features of the majestic 18th Dynasty temple were its sweeping terraces. Velikovsky [94] pointed this out in relation to the Psalmic ‘song of the ascent’ (Shir ha-maaloth), and then noted that a Jerusalem style of liturgy was instituted in Egypt, even with a high priest officiating. It ought not to surprise us that Hatshepsut, Queen of Sheba, would have wanted to copy the Temple of Yahweh. Does not the Bible tell us that she drank it all in with astonishment (e.g. II Chronicles 9:3, 4-5, 6, 12)?


Scriptural Influence

(i) An Image from Genesis


After Hatshepsut had completed her Punt expedition, she gathered her nobles and proclaimed the great things she had done. Senenmut and Nehesi had places of honour. Hatshepsut reminded them of Amon's oracle commanding her to ‘... establish for him a Punt in his house, to plant the trees of God's Land beside his temple in his garden, according as he commanded’ [95]. At the conclusion of her speech there is further scriptural image ‘I have made for [Amon-Ra] a Punt in his garden at Thebes ... it is big enough for him to walk about in’; Baikie [96] noted that this is ‘a phrase which seems to take one back to the Book of Genesis and its picture of God walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening’. This inscription speaks of Amon-Ra's love for Hatshepsut in terms almost identical to those used by the Queen of Sheba about the God of Israel's love for Solomon and his nation.

Compare the italicised parts of Hatshepsut’s


‘... according to the command of ... Amon ... in order to bring for him the marvels of every country, because he so much loves the King of ... Egypt, Maatkara [i.e. Hatshepsut], for his father Amen-Ra, Lord of Heaven, Lord of Earth, more than the other kings who have been in this land for ever ...’ [97].

with the italicised words in a song of praise spoken to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba ‘Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne as king for the Lord your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them for ever ...’ (II Chronicles 98) [98].


(ii) An Image from the Psalms


When Hatshepsut’s commemorative obelisks were com­pleted, she had the usual formal words inscribed on them. However, Baikie states that [99]:


The base inscriptions ... are of more importance, chiefly because they again strike that personal note which is so seldom heard from these ancient records, and give us an actual glimpse into the mind and the heart of a great woman. I do not think that it is fanciful to see in these utterances the expression of something very like a genuine piety struggling to find expression underneath all the customary verbiage of the Egyptian monumental formulae.


In language that ‘might have come straight out of the Book Psalms’, the queen continues,

‘I did it under [Amon-Ra's] command; it was he who led me. I conceived no works without his doing .... I slept not because of his temple; I erred not from that which he commanded. ... I entered into the affairs of his heart. I turned not my back on the City of the All-Lord; but turned to it the face. I know that Karnak is God's dwelling upon earth; ... the Place of his Heart; Which wears his beauty ...’.


Baikie continues, unaware that it really was the Psalms and the sapiential words of David and Solomon, that had influenced Hatshepsut's prayer:


‘The sleepless eagerness of the queen for the glory of the temple of her god, and her assurance of the unspeakable sanctity of Karnak as the divine dwelling-place, find expression in almost the very words which the Psalmist used to express his ... duty towards the habitation of the God of Israel, and his certainty of Zion's sanctity as the abiding-place of Jehovah.

‘Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids. Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

- For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it’.’


(iii) An Image from Proverbs


In another related verse of the Punt reliefs about Amon-Ra leading the expedition to ‘the Myrrh-terraces ... a glorious region of God's Land’, the god speaks of creating the fabled Land of Punt in playful terms reminiscent of Solomon’s words about Wisdom's playful rôle in the work of Creation (Proverbs 8:12, 30-31). In the Egyptian version there is also reference to Hathor, the personification of wisdom [100]: ‘... it is indeed a place of delight. I have made it for myself, in order to divert my heart, together with ... Hathor ... mistress of Punt …’.

Interestingly, the original rôles of Hathor and Isis in the Heliopolitan ‘theology’ were similar to those of Moses's sister and mother (the god Horus reminding of Moses). Grimal [101] says ‘Isis hid Horus in the marshes of the Delta ... with the help of the goddess Hathor, the wet-nurse in the form of a cow. The child grew up ...’. In The Queen of Sheba - Hatshepsut, I had compared this Egyptian account with the action of Moses’s mother and sister in Exodus 2:3-4, 7, 10.


(iv) Images from the Song of Songs


In the weighing scene of the goods acquired from Punt (i.e. Lebanon), Hatshepsut boasts [102]:


‘[Her] Majesty [herself] is acting with her two hands, the best of myrrh is upon all her limbs, her fragrance is divine dew, her odour is mingled with that of Punt, her skin is gilded with electrum, shining as do the stars in the midst of the festival-hall, before the whole land’.


Compare this with verses from King Solomon's love poem, Song of Songs (also called the Song of Solomon), e.g. ‘My hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh; Sweeter your love than wine, the scent of your perfume than any spice; Your lips drip honey, and the scent of your robes is like the scent of Lebanon’ (4:10-11; 55). (cf. 4:6, 14; 5:1, 5).


Maccoby [103] went so far as to suggest that the Song of Songs was written by Solomon for the Queen of Sheba/Hatshepsut. Clearly, the poem is written in the context of marriage (. 3:11). We read, partly following Maccoby [I have in this series suggested a few other interpretations of some of these] [103]:


l. ‘To a mare among Pharaoh's cavalry would 1 compare you, my darling’ (1:9). This reference to Egypt is strange for an Israelite girl, but natural if the beloved was an Egyptian.

2. ‘Black am I but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Qedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am swarthy, because the sun has blackened me’ (16). A darker complexion would not be surprising in an Egyptian woman.

3. Perhaps the sentence ‘Who is she that cometh out of the wilderness ... perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of the merchant?’ (3:6), refers to the visit by the Queen of Sheba, who brought a great store of perfumes. She gave Solomon ‘a very great store of spices ... there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon’ (I Kings 10:10).

4. ‘My mother’s sons were angry with me. They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but mine own vineyard I have not kept’ (1:6). It is a puzzle that the female here is represented as a humble vineyard-watcher but elsewhere she appears as a great lady. Maybe here she is speaking metaphorically about her country (and her native reli­gion?) as a ‘vineyard’? The anger of her ‘brothers’ would be understandable, perhaps, if she were a princess of Egypt. Her involvement with Solomon would have unwelcome politi­cal and religious implications.

5. ‘O that you were as my brother ... I would lead you and bring you to my mother's house’ (8:1-2). She perhaps regrets that Solomon is not an Egyptian, who could live permanently with her.


Concluding Remark


Unfortunately, most of Solomon’s greatest works in Jerusalem are now lost because of the successive destruc­tions and looting of that city.

But, if Veliko­vsky was on the right track, we may now be able to recognise some of the Temple and palace wealth of Solomon’s era in the bas-reliefs of Thutmose III and his officials. Thutmose III, as ‘Shishak’, would eventually divest Jerusalem of its greatest treasures and carry them back to his own land.

How ironic if perhaps the most complete records of Solomon’s achievements are today to be found in Egypt!


93. See Baikie, op. cit., p. 63.

94. Op. cit., pp. 121, 122.

95. Breasted, J., Records, Vol. II, Sec. 295.

96. Op. cit., p. 74.

97. Dorman, op. cit., p. 99.

98. This particular phraseology, spoken in honour of a royal person, must have been a convention of the time because it also resembles the way that Hiram of Tyre greeted King Solomon (e.g., 2 Chronicles 2:11-12).

99. Baikie, op. cit., p. 89.

100. Ibid., p. 70. Emphasis added.

101. Grimal, op. cit., pp. 42-43.

102. Breasted, Records. p. 274.

103. Maccoby, H., ‘The Queen of Sheba and the Song of Songs’, SISR IV, No. 4 (1980). pp. 98-100.








According to the Bible, the Queen of Sheba made her journey to Jerusalem by camel train. Contrary to Velikovsky, she did not come to Jerusalem via the Red Sea and Solomon’s port of Ezion-geber. The gifts she brought were of enormous value but Solomon allowed her to take them all back with her (II Chronicles 9:12).

I suggest that the Punt expedition was a venture entirely separate from the Queen of Sheba’s visit to Jerusalem, undertaken about 9 years later, when Hatshepsut had made herself Pharaoh. Its chief purpose was to obtain myrrh trees for the garden (or park) surrounding the temple of Amon-Ra at Deir el-Bahri, to provide a continuous supply of this rare plant in Thebes. Hatshepsut, recalling the magnificent parks and gardens she had seen in Jerusalem, wanted to create the same for her capital city.

Hence, unlike in Velikovsky’s scenario, Hatshepsu’s temple must already have been built, or was being built. The Egyptian inscriptions show Punt as a land of trees - e.g. the c-s tree that Nibbi equates with the pine [104]. This is consistent with the view that Punt was Phoenicia/ Lebanon, Lebanon being the most noteworthy place for trees in the ancient Near East. Solomon had a free hand building in Lebanon (I Kings (9:19, 20), where he used forced labour. The Song of Songs refers to a ‘mountain of myrrh’, apparently in Lebanon (cf. 4:6 and 4:8). Solomon’s palace was actually called ‘The House of the Forest of Lebanon’, because it was ‘built upon three rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars’ (1 Kings 7:2).

All this priceless timber could have been obtained from the Phoenicians.

Bimson - whilst favouring Velikovsky’s chronological view that Hatshepsut’s Punt expedition dated to about the time of Solomon - argued that the expedition had travelled southward on the Red Sea, to NE Africa (modern Eritrea). (Velikovsky argued that the fleet had sailed northward on the Red Sea, to Ezion-geber.) Bimson claimed that myrrh trees were to be found there, and he explained how the fauna and flora of the Punt reliefs reflect a NE African location [105]. Interestingly, in Solomon’s own naval expeditions to Ophir (which certainly were southward voyages on the Red Sea) his servants brought back mainly gold (1 Kings 10: 11), and there is no mention at all of myrrh trees. Hatshepsut informs us that in her Year 9 an oracle of Amon-Ra inspired her to dispatch a naval and land expedition to Punt [106]:


‘Maatkara [Hatshepsut] ... made supplication at the steps of the Lord of the Gods; a command was heard from the great throne, an oracle of the god himself, that the ways of Punt should be searched out, that the high-ways of the Myrrh-terraces should be penetrated ‘I will lead an army on water and on land, to bring marvels from God’s land for this god, the fashioner of her beauty’.’


Was Solomon/Senenmut the oracular voice that spoke on behalf of Amon-Ra?

One of Senenmut’s titles was ‘overseer of the garden of Amon’. He may have been the brains behind the entire Punt expedition. Hatshepsut credits Amon-Ra with leading the expedition. Five ships were equipped, provided with an armed guard of Egyptian troops commanded by one of the queen's officials, Nehesi.

In the wonderful series of reliefs illustrating the adventure, we see them setting sail.

Since my writing of The Queen of Sheba - Hatshepsut, I have revised my views about the logistics of the Punt expedition in the light of points raised by A. Nibbi [107], especially her insistence that the Egyptians did not travel on the open seas. This helps solve a problem with which both Velikovsky and Bimson had grappled: namely, that the Punt reliefs provide no evidence that the Egyptian fleet had at any stage been transported overland, from the Nile to the Red Sea. This led Bimson to assume that something must have been left out of the reliefs [108]. In the present scenario this would no longer be a problem, as the Red Sea was not involved at all. If Hatshepsut’s fleet never left the   Nile, there would have been no need for overland transportation of boats.

I suggest that Hatshepsut’s expedition was northward bound, for Lebanon, but it was an expedition ‘on water and on land’. The fleet simply sailed northwards to the Nile Delta. There, Nehesi and his small army disembarked and marched northward through friendly territory to Lebanon. Admittedly, the inscriptions at first give the impression that this fleet sailed all the way to Punt. ‘Sailing in the sea, beginning the goodly way towards God's Land, journeying in peace to the land of Punt ...’.

However this only really says that the naval leg was the ‘beginning’ of the trip to Punt.

Early Egyptian expeditions to Punt were generally connected with a place they called kpn; commonly thought to be Byblos on the Phoenician coast. Nibbi [109] has disputed this and has identified this kpn with a port in northern Egypt. She first mentions Canopus but prefers El Gibali in Sinai. In my opinion, however, Canopus would have been the ideal place for the Egyptian fleet to have dropped anchor, close to the Mediterranean (cf. Appendix B).

Hatshepsut stressed that the travelling was peaceful. Trips to Punt had ceased for many centuries, presumably because the ‘Hyksos’ had controlled the Nile Delta, making it impossible for ship from Thebes to land there (see e.g. Hatshepsut's ‘Speos Artemidos inscription’ [110]). However, prior to the Hyksos era, the Egyptians are known to have made several expeditions to Punt. Egypt’s revival of interest in Punt must have coincides with Solomon’s maritime ventures, which had only become possible in David’s generation (at least in Velikovskian terms, after the combined Egyptian-Israelite slaughter of the Hyksos/Amalekites).

Any maritime venture would have needed the co-operation of the Phoenicians, making King Hiram of Tyre a third important power. The Phoenician ports were international marts where all sorts of exotic merchandise could be acquired - all that Hatshepsut did in fact acquire from Punt.

Now, contrary to Velikovsky,


  • Hatshepsut did not go in person to Punt. Again the Punt venture does not match the visit to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba;
  • In stark contrast to the gifts given to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba, the presents that Egypt gave the Puntites were poor indeed. They comprised an axe, a poignard in its sheath, two leg bangles, eleven necklaces and five large rings. ‘The poverty and meanness of the Egyptian gifts’, wrote Mariette [111], ‘are in striking contrast to the value of those which they receive’.


I suggest that Hatshepsut’s fleet would have laid at anchor at the mouth of the Nile, awaiting the outcome of Nehesi’s negotiations with the Puntite/Phoenicians, who then transported the goods via barges or rafts to Egypt, to be loaded on to Hatshepsut’s ships. It is clear from Hiram’s own words to Solomon (I Kings 5:8-9) that the Phoenicians did transport cedar and cypress timber in this fashion to southern ports. It the Punt reliefs, we see barges depicted beside the ships of Hatshepsut’s fleet. Henri Gaubert gives an account of negotiations between the Egyptians and the Phoenicians in those days [112]:


‘In all these scenes the illustrator takes good care to depict these men from far off countries as tributaries or dependants of Egypt. Braving the dangers of the seas, they have come especially to Egypt to pay homage to the mighty Egyptian monarch. The artist has deliberately omitted the next stage, but we know from other sources what happened. The vessels which had arrived at one of the mouths of the Nile, laden with raw materials or manufactured goods, would soon leave again for their home port with cargoes of wheat or millet, lentils or beans. On the coast of Lebanon ... or in the isles of the Aegean sea ... there was a shortage of these foodstuffs, and it was precisely to barter for cereals or dried vegetables that these merchants had come to Egypt’.


In this context, it should not surprise us that Hatshepsut’s fleet had brought its produce to ‘one of the mouths of the Nile’. We know from the Punt reliefs that the Egyptians brought ‘bread, beer, wine, meat, fruit, everything found in Egypt’ [113]. Most of the interesting flora and fauna of the Punt reliefs - of which Bimson had made so much - could be accounted for by, I suspect, the combined exotic locations of


(i) Canopus at the mouth of the Nile, near the Mediterranean Sea, and

(ii) Phoenicia/Lebanon.


Hatshepsut’s fleet, loaded with produce from Punt, simply sailed back to Thebes ‘Sailing, arriving in peace, journeying to Thebes with joy of heart ...’. [114]. The story was inscribed on the walls of her new temple and Senenmut was present when Hatshepsut - some time after Regnal Year 9 – announced to the Egyptian court the expedition’s success.


104. Nibbi, A., Ancient Byblos Reconsidered, DE Publications, Oxford, 1985, p. 60.

105. ‘Hatshepsut’, pp. 16-21.

106. See Baikie, op. cit., p. 70.

107. Nibbi, A., Ancient Egypt and Some Eastern Neighbours, Noyes Press, N.J., 1981.

108. ‘Hatshepsut’, p. 18.

109. ‘Ancient Byblos’, pp. 59-72.

110. See Baikie, op. cit., p. 77.

111. Mariette, op. cit., ibid.

112. Henri Gaubert. Solomon the Magnificent, Longman, London, pp. 125-126.

113. Breasted, Records, p. 108. 114. Ibid., p. 110.

114. Ibid., p. 110.






There is a case in Greek ‘history’ of a wise lawgiver who nonetheless over-organised his country, to the point of his being unable to satisfy either rich or poor, and who then went off travelling for a decade (notably in Egypt). This was Solon, who has come down to us as the first great Athenian statesman. Plutarch [115] tells that, with people coming to visit Solon every day, either to praise him or to ask him probing questions about the meaning of his laws, he left Athens for a time, realising that ‘In great affairs you cannot please all parties’.

According to Plutarch:


‘[Solon] made his commercial interests as a ship-owner an excuse to travel and sailed away ... for ten years from the Athenians, in the hope that during this period they would become accustomed to his laws. He went first of all to Egypt and stayed for a while, as he mentions himself


where the Nile pours forth

its waters by the shore of Canopus’.’


We recall Solon’s intellectual encounters with the Egyp­tian priests at Heliopolis and Saïs (in the Nile Delta), as described in Plutarch’s ‘Life of Solon’ and Plato's ‘Timaeus’ [116]. The chronology and parentage of Solon were disputed even in ancient times [117]. Since he was a wise statesman, an intellectual (poet, writer) whose administrative reforms, though brilliant, eventually led to hardship for the poor and disenchantment for the wealthy; and since Solon’s name is virtually identical to that of ‘Solomon’; and since he went to Egypt (also to Cyprus, Sidon and Lydia) for about a decade at the time when he was involved in the shipping business, then I suggest that ‘Solon’ of the Greeks was their version of Solomon, in the mid-to-late period of his reign. The Greeks picked up the story and transferred it from Jerusalem to Athens, just as they (or, at least Herodotus) later confused Sennacherib’s attack on Jerusalem (c. 700 BC), by relocating it to Pelusium in Egypt [118].

Much has been attributed to the Greeks that did not belong to them - e.g. Breasted [119] made the point that Hatshep­sut’s marvellous temple structure was a witness to the fact that the Egyptians had developed architectural styles for which the later Greeks would be credited as originators. Given the Greeks' tendency to distort history, or to appropriate inven­tions, one would not expect to find in Solon a perfect, mirror-image of King Solomon.

Thanks to historical revisions [120], we now know that the ‘Dark Age’ between the Mycenaean (or Heroic) period of Greek history (concurrent with the time of Hatshepsut) and the Archaic period (that commences with Solon), is an artificial construct. This makes it even more plausible that Hatshepsut and Solomon were contemporaries of ‘Solon’. The tales of Solon’s travels to Egypt, Sidon and Lydia (land of the Hittites) may well reflect to some degree Solomon’s desire to appease his foreign women - Egyptian, Sidonian and Hittite - by building shrines for them (I Kings 11: 1, 7-8).

Both Solomon and Solon are portrayed as being the wisest amongst the wise. In the pragmatic Greek version Solon prayed for wealth rather than wisdom - but ‘justly acquired wealth’, since Zeus punishes evil [121]. In the Hebrew version, God gave ‘riches and honour’ to Solomon because he had not asked for them, but had prayed instead for ‘a wise and discerning mind’, to enable him properly to govern his people (I Kings 3:12-13).


115. Plutarch, The Rise and Fall of Athens (Life of Solon), Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1964, pp. 68-69, emphasis added.

116. According to these authors, Solon had to be instructed by the Egyptians, the Egyptian priesthood claiming to have historical knowledge going back far beyond that of the Greeks.

117. See Plutarch, ibid., p. 43 (parentage) and pp. 69-70 (chronol­ogy).

118. Herodotus, Histories, Penguin Books, London, 1972, Bk.II.

119. History, p. 274.

120. E.g. footnote [25].

121. Boardman, J, et al. (eds.), The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World, Oxford UP, 1991, p. 112.

Part Sixteen: Philosopher King Solomon
(iv, b): Solomon as Senenmut (continued)


We learned in “Solomon and Sheba”, however, that Senenmut liked to manipulate the Egyptian hieroglyphs, for example creating cryptograms in regard to Hatshepsut's throne name, Makera (meaning "True is the Heart of Ra"). Perhaps he, as the crafty and intellectual Solomon, had adapted Egyptian names to Hebrew ones.


Names “Solomon” and “Senenmut”

Might, perhaps, the Egyptian name “Senenmut” reflect the Hebrew “Solomon”?

Solomon’s Hebrew name, Shelomoh [שְׁלֹמֹה] - said to derive from shalom (שָׁלוֹם), “peace” - may indeed be said to mean “peaceful”.

Now, the name “Senenmut”

Senenmut / Senemut

has its variations:


“Senenmut (literally “mother’s brother” sometimes transliterated as Senemut or Senmut) was one of the most powerful and famous (or infamous) officials of ancient Egypt. At the height of his power he was the Chief Steward of Amun, Tutor to the Princess Neferure and confidant (and possibly lover) of the pharaoh Hatshepsut. However, both his early career and the circumstances surrounding his death and burial are obscure”.


The name, Senenmut (Egyptian sn-n-mwt), “mother’s brother”, or “brother of the mother”, obviously has no connection to Solomon or its variants as to name meaning.

If the names Solomon and Senenmut are to be connected, presumably it would be only through transliteration. “Brother of the mother” is not a particularly helpful concept here.

We learned in “Solomon and Sheba”, however, that Senenmut liked to manipulate the Egyptian hieroglyphs, for example creating cryptograms in regard to Hatshepsut's throne name, Makera (meaning "True is the Heart of Ra"). Perhaps he, as the crafty and intellectual Solomon, had adapted Egyptian names to Hebrew ones.


I want to propose that the Egyptian name, Senenmut, especially in its form of Senemut, is very much like the Hebrew name Shelomoth, or Shelomith. The basic difference between the names Senemut and Shelomo[t]h, as far as transliteration goes, is that the first name has an ‘n’ where the second name has an ‘l’ (there is also the ‘S’ and ‘Sh’ difference, which is less significant, see e.g. Judges 12:6, since it can be a dialectical thing). But the letter ‘l’ does not occur in the Egyptian alphabet, for ( “In Egyptian … Afroasiatic */l/ merged with Egyptian n …”. Charles W. Johnson has written on this, in his fascinating (


“Linguistic Correspondence: Nahuatl and Ancient Egyptian


One very obvious characteristic of the nahuatl language is the extensive use of the letter "l" in most of the words, either as ending to the words or juxtaposed to consonants and vowels within the words. One of the very apparent characteristics of the ancient Egyptian language is the almost total absence of the use of the letter "l" within most of its word-concepts. The letter "l" appears as an ending of words only a handful of times in E.A. Wallis Budge's work, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary. It would appear that this very dissimilar characteristic between these two languages would discourage anyone from considering a comparative analysis of possible linguistic correspondence between these two very apparently distinct idioms.

However, as we eliminate the letter "l" from the nahuatl words, the remaining phonemes (listed in brackets) resemble the phonemes and morphemes of ancient Egyptian in many cases. Let us offer only a few of such examples to consider a possible linguistic correspondence between these two fascinating systems of human speech.


ACAL [aca-]
boat (page 139b from Budge's work cited above)
reed (139b)
reed (8a)
a well
AMELLI [ame-i]
place with water in them, wells (121b)
CALLI [ca-i]
house (783a)
COATL [coat-]
snake (30b)
CUITLA [cuit-a]
excrement (786a)
ELOTL [e-ot-]
corn (97a)
bark, barking
HUAHUALIZTLI [huahua-izt-i]
dog (147b) [of a dog]
to come
HUAL [hua-]
to come forth [child from the womb] (156b)
HUAPALLI [huapa-i]
table of offerings (117a)
old woman
old woman (15a)
old woman (18a)
to wash
IXQUILIA [ixqui-ia]
to wash (142a)
to hang out, to suspend in the air (143b)
IXTEOLLI [ixteo-i]
to see (143b)
daisy wheel
to dress, girdle, bandlet,
band (282b)
thin piece of wood (283b)
to tie, to bind (285b)
bandlet (289a)
charms, amulets (289b)
MALINALLI [ma-ina-i]
divine seed (280a)
instrument used
to burn up (268a)
to produce fire
fire, flame (284b)
to burn up, fire (285b)
fire, flame, torch (276a)
fire altars, braziers on stands filled with fire (286a)
to hit
MAQUILA [maqui-a]
beating, pounding (285a)
to strike, to beat (280b)
to strike, to fight (285b)
MAZATL [mazat-]
antelope, gazelle (268a)

onyx, antelope, gazelle (270a)
MELAHUAL [me-ahua-]
truth (270b)
righteous (271a)
grinding stone
METLATL [met-at-]
to strike (336a)
[for maize mainly]
corn, grist (97a)

[In this particular word-concept, one may observe how the letter "l" may serve as a conjunction between aggregate words. One could place the ancient Egyptian word-concepts together and obtain: MET AT [to strike corn/grist]. In this case, we may observe how the letter "l" in the construction could be read almost like an interjection of hesitation or pause in a search for words: met (l) at (l).... Or, inversely, one could imagine the excessive number of "l" letters being dropped. In Nahuatl, the "tl" ending may mean "the thing" to grind (corn) with.]

…. And, the list goes on and on. As may be observed from the above list, once the letter "l" is eliminated from the nahuatl word, then the linguistic correspondence with ancient Egyptian becomes almost a synonym in some cases. To continue to attribute the thesis of coincidence to such similarities and sameness in these phonemes and morphemes, would seem to contradict the laws of probability. For two distinct peoples, on opposites sides of the planet to have chosen the almost exact word-concept to represent the same/similar thing defies logic. There is little difference between the degree of linguistic correspondence between these languages and the Indo-European languages. In fact, in some cases, there appears to be greater similarity in the cases studied here. Nevertheless, given the fact that no substantial historical evidence exists to warrant postulating the possibility that the peoples of Mesoamerica and ancient kemi actually had any kind of physical contact, the obvious feature of linguistic correspondence between their corresponding languages may continue to be ignored. Regarding the linguistic correspondence between the maya system of ancient Mesoamerica and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the phonemic similarities reflect shared meanings, and also a high degree of correspondence in the very design of the maya glyphs and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Linguistic correspondence between nahuatl and ancient Egyptian appears to represent a smoking gun; that is, a trace of evidence that these two peoples did enjoy some kind of contact between themselves ages ago. The fact that we have no real evidence of said contact, or that we have been unable to find any such evidence, should not serve as the basis for denying the possibility of that contact. To attribute all of these similarities in sound, symbol and meaning to mere happenstance seems to be a very unscientific way of resolving an annoying issue. To admit the possibility of physical contact between these cultures has implications for our own interpretation of history and the aspect of technological development of our societies. Such fears are unfounded, given the already obvious fact that our technical know-how could probably not reproduce and build something as majestic as the Great Pyramid.

Furthermore, the question of possible physical contact between these peoples may be resolved in yet another sense: the possibility of a third culture having had contact with both of these peoples. Physical contact between the peoples of Mesoamerica and ancient kemi, may be a mute point. Yet another culture, with still another language (much like the Indo-European language) may have been the source for these two idioms. The academicians may be correct; there was no contact between the peoples of Mesoamerica and ancient Egypt. Contact was between these peoples and some yet unknown culture”.


Massive Ramifications of this Revision


We are now beginning to appreciate some of the tremendous historico-cultural ramifications of having King Solomon as, not only a contemporary of Hatshepsut’s Egypt, but, as Senenmut, even being fully immersed in it.

Already we have found King Solomon to have been a contemporary of the badly mis-dated Iarim-lim (our biblical Hiram) of Iamkhad, Hammurabi of Babylon, and Zimri-Lim of Mari. 

That means also contemporaneity with the long-reigning Rim-Sin of Larsa.

Archaeological connections between Iarim-Lim and the Philistines (see below) will also have an important bearing on the historicity of this somewhat obscure biblical people.  

As Senenmut, his monuments will depict Minoan Cretans and Mycenaeans.


The Greco-Romans will assimilate Solomon as the great Athenian statesman, Solon. 

This, too, serves the revision of archaeology, for previously I wrote:


“Thanks to historical revisions … we now know that the ‘Dark Age’ between the Mycenaean (or Heroic) period of Greek history (concurrent with the time of Hatshepsut) and the Archaic period (that commences with Solon), is an artificial construct. This makes it even more plausible that Hatshepsut and Solomon were contemporaries of ‘Solon’. The tales of Solon’s travels to Egypt, Sidon and Lydia (land of the Hittites) may well reflect to some degree Solomon’s desire to appease his foreign women - Egyptian, Sidonian and Hittite - by building shrines for them (I Kings 11: 1, 7-8)”.


The apparent linguistic connection between Egyptian and Nahuatl flings the revision further, even to the Americas.

King Solomon had a lucrative trade partnership going on with King Hiram, which included an ocean-going fleet (I Kings 10:11-12):


“Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood and precious stones. The king used the almugwood to make supports for the Temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day”.


Many wild suggestions can be made about the location of the golden land of “Ophir”, including Peru: “… the name Peru is but a distortion of Ophir”:


“New Worlds and Forgotten Peoples: Incas and Jews


In this opus Gustavo Perednik draws a fascinating parallel between two seemingly unrelated histories of cultural flowering, destruction, struggle and rebirth: that of the great Inca Empire, annihilated by Francisco Pizarro and a small band of adventurers (and the colonial might of Spain) in 1534; and the scattered Jewish people during the long centuries of the Diaspora, generally victims of whatever reigning power had dominion over them. By deepening our understanding of history from a non-Eurocentric perspective, this article offers an impassioned plea for recognition of the contributions of those peoples who do not conform to the "Western" model, in this case, the Quechua speaking nations of Ecuador and Peru, and the Jews. The ninth Inca emperor has been described as "a politician and artist, the most enlightened person in America of old". His name was Pachaktec, transformer of the world, and in the fifteenth century, in campaigns comparable to those of Alexander the Great, he began the expansion of his people who in less than a century would reign over almost two million square kilometers, from Ecuador to Chile. In Machu Picchu, the old peak, one can sense the empire's ancient splendor. The intact fortress served as a refuge for the Inca rulers when their capital Cuzco fell to the Spanish invaders. From this time, and over many years, a final desperate attempt was made to conserve the culture of the Incas, but this was doomed to failure against the invincible firearms of the Crown of Castille. In 1572, four decades into the royal conquest, the Viceroy Francisco de Toledo sent five thousand armed men to loot the entire region. Confronted by their imminent defeat, the Incas decided to abandon this pre-Columbian center. And Machu Picchu remained solitary. It was only three and a half centuries afterwards that it was discovered by the scientific world, when the Hawaiian archaeologist Hiran Bingham, of Yale University, reached its peak in 1911. At Machu Picchu, the Incas final home, one is infused by mystery. The hand of man competes with divine Creation, building a scene of overwhelming serenity. This was the last fortress of a civilization in which social and economic organization permitted neither misery nor unemployment, as production, consumption and demographic distribution reached almost mathematical equilibrium. The evidence of the definitive abandonment poses an enigmatic question: Was Machu Picchu the Masada of the Incas? If we let our fantasy guide us through history we may find this reference to the Jewish past all but arbitrary. Three thousand years ago, from the coast of Etzion Gever (near today's Eilat), King Solomon's sailors set sail towards Ophir, a country famous for its gold. We do not know its precise position. It has been variously identified as India, a Red Sea island, the Oriental African coast... what if it were the Americas? The implications would be surprising: the Israelite sailors would have arrived there two thousand five hundred years before Columbus. Abundant evidence exists. In 1618, the Portuguese soldier Fernandes Brandao contended that the native Brazilians were descendants of Solomon's sailors. In 1968 the scholar Cyrus Gordon presented a Phoenician stone tablet found in America as possible proof that the fleet of Solomon's ally, the Phoenician king Hiram, had indeed reached America. Furthermore, South American writings have been found to bear similarities to those of the Semites. Solomon's Temple employed construction techniques identical to those used in the Cuzco Temple. The punishment for adultery was death by stoning in both the ancient Jews and Cuzcovians. The god-creator of the Incas, Wiracocha, could have no form or representation -it was absolutely abstract.



What caused the remarkable Inca empire to fall so rapidly at the hand of an illiterate conqueror -Francisco Pizarro- commander of only one hundred and eighty men and a few horses? In 1525, when the eleventh Inca emperor Huayna Capac died, a fratricidal struggle exploded between his sons Huascar and Atahualpa, contesting the succession to the throne. This civil war set a propitious stage for Pizarro's invasion. In January 1531 the Spaniard departed from Panama with the aim of discovering and conquering the South, thought to be immensely rich. Both warring sides attempted to win over the European invader. Sixteen centuries earlier, the same happened in Jerusalem. With the passing away of Queen Salome Alexander, her sons Hircanus II and Aristobulus fought each other for the throne. As the Roman army of Pompey approached, both brothers solicited the invader's assistance. Pompey capitalized on this fratricidal conflict, conquered Israel for Rome and put an end to a century of Jewish independence in the country initiated by the Maccabees. Let us return to America. Atahualpa beat his older brother Huascar and had him drowned. In the battle of Ambato, he decapitated the Inca general Atoco and drank the warm blood from his skull. Thus he acquired 'the souls of all Cuzcovians.' Triumphant he prepared thirty thousand men to face Pizarro's handfull. The Spanish conqueror, in a cunning strategy, managed to capture the new Inca leader and demanded an incredible ransom of gold in exchange for his freedom. Despite payment of the ransom, Atahualpa was executed. Thus died the head of a theocratic state and a totally unipersonal government. The Inca empire, anarchic and undone by its cruel internal struggles, reached its end. The impenetrable region of Vilcabamba was the final refuge of the Inca royalty. There, 2,380 meters above sea level, towers the impressive panorama of Machu Picchu, "the cradle and tombstone of the Incas." The chronicler Valboa explained in 1586 that an expedition of Hebrews had arrived in Peru and returned to Israel with a considerable cargo of gold. He claimed the name Peru is but a distortion of Ophir. And if ties between Solomon and the builders of Pachakutec's Machu Picchu seem hardly credible, then let us consider another conjecture, somewhat better known. In 1642 the Dutch marrano sailor Aron Levi de Montezinos discovered a group of Indians in Latin America who recited the Shema and knew other Jewish rituals. The then Chief Rabbi of Holland, Menashe ben Israel, believed that the American indians were descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. In 1650 Thomas Thorowgood published his volume Jews in America or The Probabilities that the Americans be of that Race. The similarities discovered included the observance of tithes and tearing clothes as a sign of mourning. Ezra Stiles, seventh president of Yale University, searched in the Indians of his country for the descendants of the Incas. Perhaps only a foolish chauvinism could motivate us to try to discover Jewish genius in the marvelous legacy of the Incas. But it is notable that the Jews and the Incas had common persecutors. When the Spanish Crown concluded half a millenium ago their expulsion of Hebrews, they began attacking invaded lands in America. As for the Church, it carried out persecutions and forced conversions both in Europe against the Jewish people, and in Peru against the Incas. Simultaneously, towards the end of 1532, while the pseudo-messianic Jewish leader Shlomo Molcho was being burned at the stake in Mantua for resisting conversion, in far-away lands Atahualpa refused to be converted by friar Valverde, and would also be executed. Many would reject the possibility of the American descent of the Ten Tribes -to name but one: Rabbi Akiba. He decrees in the Mishna: "The Ten Tribes will never return." Machu Picchu and its majesty have moved us to put forward theories that are no more than mere historical hypotheses. The road from this fortress of the Altiplano leads to Cuzco, the present archeological center of the Americas. Cuzco means in quechua language 'navel (of the world).' Thus the Talmud names Jerusalem”.


The Paraíba Stone, considered to be authentic by the astute professor Cyrus Gordon, claims to date to the reign of a King Hiram (


“The Paraíba Stone Inscription is a script of Phoenician text dated to approximately the sixth century BCE that was found in Paraita, the easternmost state of Brazil.

…. The Paraíba Inscription also mentions the “Sidonian Canaanites”, who are also known as the Phoenicians, who set sail around Africa and ended up on the shores of Brazil during the nineteenth year of the reign of King Hiram, some 500 years BC. The stone was said to be found in 1872 by slaves on the plantation of a man named Joaquim Alves da Costa.

Here is the complete Paraiba Stone translation:


"We are children of Canaan from Sidon of the Eastern Kingdom of Merchants and are cast, I pray, here beside a central land of mountains (with this) offered choice gift to the Most High Gods and Goddesses in year 19 of King Hiram, I pray (still) strong, from the valley of Ezion-geber of the Red Sea.

Thereby (we) journeyed with 10 ships and we were at sea together assuredly two years around the land of Ham. We were separated by the hand of Baal and no longer remained among our companions, I pray, we have come here, 12 men and 3 women at this new land. Devoted, I make, even whom men of wealth bow the knee, a pledge to the Most High Gods and Goddesses (with) sure hope."


The Phoenicians sailing to the Americas to places such as Brazil and colonizing the area is by no means a new idea and it has been written about by many experts over the last few hundred years. In the Rio de Janeiro National Museum there are said to be tombstones with Phoenician, Syriac and Sanskrit inscriptions that were found in the Brazilian countryside.

A famous Danish scholar, Dr. Peter W. Lund, had said that the Phoenicians contributed to formation of the precivilization in Brazil. Let me please add that Dr. Lund is considered the father of Brazilian paleontology as well as archeology. Austrian professor Mr. Ludwig Schwennhagen, an expert on Brazilian history and the Amazon had written the "Ancient history of Brazil. 1100 BC to 1500 AD." He had spent years studying the subterranean parts and hidden treasures of the land that exist near the village of Touro where the Phoenician navigators were said to have anchored after roaming about 10 km of a canal. Professor Schwennhagen concluded that he found Phoenician inscriptions in the Amazon in which there were references to many kings of Sidon and Tyre (887 to 856 BC).(Link)

Schwennhagen believes that the Phoenicians used Brazil as a base for at least 800 years contributing to the culture among the natives such as the Brazilian Indians, known as Carajás and Carajá-ís. In the etymology of the words they are clearly of Phoenician Hebrew origin, and can also be found in today's Arabic language which descended from the Hebrew. It has been discovered just like it has in North American Indian tribes and language that the Brazilian Indian tribes such as the Guaranis, the Tupis, the Guajajaras, the Chambicás, the Anajás, the Carijós, etc., have in their vocabulary thousands of Arabian words whose origin is Phoenician.

Even though there is extensive evidence that the Phoenicians had colonized Brazil and an army of experts willing to back these facts up, the Paraíba text has garnished a tremendous amount of controversy with many experts contending it is authentic, and others who seem to be hell bent on supporting the main stream historic narrative claim that it is a fake. This battle of experts always seems to occur when an ancient artifact is found that tears down the current historical foundation built upon the sands of lies.

After my own personal research into the matter, I believe that the Paraíba Inscription is in fact real and the facts in this article that are supported by some of the world's best Phoenician and Hebrew scholars, and also the many other articles I have done on the Phoenicians/Sidonians and American Indians will support the Truth in the light of the Lord.

For example, an expert on Semitic languages and Phoenician Hebrew, Dr. Cyrus Herzl Gordon (1908-2001) head of the Department of Mediterranean Studies, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts had concluded that "it is obvious that the text is genuine” (Gordon, p. 75).  He is well-known for his translations of the ancient Cretan “Linear A” script as Semitic, and published hundreds of "orthodox" papers, and at the time there was no one in the world who was more knowledgeable than him.

Here was Dr. Gordon’s translation of the text:


“We are Sidonian Canaanites from the city of the Mercantile King. We were cast up on this distant shore, a land of mountains. We sacrificed a youth to the celestial gods and goddesses in the nineteenth year of our mighty King Hiram and embarked from Ezion-geber into the Red Sea. We voyaged with ten ships and were at sea together for two years around Africa [Ham]. Then we were separated by the hand of Baal and were no longer with our companions. So we have come here, twelve men and three women, into New Shore. Am I, the Admiral, a man who would flee? Nay! May the celestial gods and goddesses favour us well!”


Dr. Gordon was also an expert on the infamous Bat Creek Stone in the United States of America from Tennessee. He had concluded that it was not an example of a nineteenth century Native American script (Thomas 1894), but rather written in Phoenician (Mertz 1964). Modifying the claim, he proposed the characters to be Hebrew letters from after the Second Jewish War, c. 135 CE, based on similarities with Maccabean coin inscriptions and letter-forms from Qumran”.


King Hiram and ‘Hiram Abiff’


This new series has also served greatly to enlarge the biblical King Hiram of Tyre.

He is the powerful Amorite king, Iarim-Lim (Yarim-Lim) of Iamkhad (Yamkhad).

Sam Boyd - though a victim of convention - tells us a little more about him (“A Legacy Buried, But Not Gone: The Importance of the Ancient Near East for Modern Religious and Political Life”):


“Once upon a time, in a far-away land, there existed a large kingdom. The king's name was Yarim-Lim, and he was king of the Yamkhad dynasty, the capital of which, Halab, rivaled the capital of the other empires surrounding him. Yarim-Lim was a religiously observant man, as many of that time and place were, and was keenly aware of the fate of his father who was killed when attempting to overthrow another king named Shamshi-Adad. The god Adad had appointed Shamshi-Adad as ruler, and Yarim-Lim's father paid for his transgression with his life. As a result, when Yarim-Lim succeeded his father, he became obsessive about religious protocol, insisting that political and religious observance (which sometimes overlapped- like they do in the modern world) be followed in all interactions with his peers.


This story may seem like a fairy tale, full of strange names, dramatic events, and unusual customs from a foreign world. It is also a story very much grounded in history. The capital Halab is now known as Aleppo in modern day Syria. Yarim-Lim ruled in the first part of the second millennium BCE [sic], contemporaneous with another king, Hammurabi, whose name may be much more familiar to people today. Yet during his lifetime, Yarim-Lim's power and authority perhaps exceeded Hammurabi's, and also likely surpassed the magnitudes of those more famous kingdoms, Israel and Judah, which would emerge centuries later [sic]. If Yarim-Lim was such a powerful ruler, why is his name now so obscure compared to other ancient kings?


Part of the answer lies in the peculiar nature of Aleppo's history. It is one of the oldest and most continuously occupied cities in the world. As such, its early remains are buried under millennia of human occupation. Part of the obscurity of Yarim-Lim also stems from modern lack of awareness of ancient Near Eastern history and culture. A quick browse at many local bookstores reveals that world history quickly jumps from categories like "myth" and "fairytale" to Greco-Roman history (with a few books on the Egyptian pyramids sprinkled in between). Yet it was the genius of Henry James Breasted, founder of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, to show that modern thought and categories are much more deeply indebted to Near Eastern culture than many presentations of world history suggest. This connection between the ancient East and modern West is memorialized above the main entrance of the Oriental Institute's museum, where an ancient Egyptian is shown handing the light of knowledge to a modern person. Even our familiarity with documents such as the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) in modern religious traditions often hides how ancient this document is. The lack of familiarity with ancient Near Eastern texts (including the Hebrew Bible) exists even as many people attempt to coopt these texts and the personas therein in the modern political landscape. This situation necessitates the critical study of this seemingly arcane period in human history in order to check the claims of those who would illegitimately appropriate some aspect of this period for their political advantage.

Adopting the legacy of ancient heroes and heroines is nothing new. The famous third century CE philosopher, Porphyry, dedicated his major work to Cleopatra, an oddity since Porphyry's connection to this famous last of the pharaohs is by no means obvious or logical. It seems as though queen Zenobia of Palmyra had established herself in the legacy of Cleopatra so closely that she even took on the pharaoh's name. More recently, when Saddam Hussein came to power in the Baathist regime, he immediately began to build a replica of Nebuchadnezzar II's palace. This Neo-Babylonian structure had multiple lives in antiquity, including being the site of Alexander the Great's death. Saddam Hussein's contribution to the afterlife of this structure had profound religious and symbolic power: by copying the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, and even adopting the name of the Neo-Babylonian king as a secondary name, Hussein sought to shape his role in the modern world. Just as Nebuchadnezzar II had destroyed ancient Judah and its capital Jerusalem, Saddam Hussein hoped to oversee a similarly destructive outlook towards Israel. He also aspired to create an enduring legacy like Nebuchadnezzar's and Alexander's.

Halab remains buried, as does its king Yarim Lim, a reminder that forgotten kingdoms, though they may not be a part of modern consciousness, played pivotal moments in our world's history. The fact that Yarim-Lim rivaled Hammurabi of Babylon attests to the former's historical influence at a time when Hammurabi was creating literary culture through his laws that would last a thousand years and possibly influence the Bible itself (in the law code in the Book of Exodus) [sic]. As such, the study of the ancient Near East remains vital for understanding world history, even when the people and places are initially unfamiliar to us. Moreover, this history is crucial for understanding how modern politicians craft their agenda as part of a lineage they claim simply to be preserving. The example of Nebuchadnezzar shows how the legacy of these ancient rulers can be resurrected and manipulated in the modern political and religious landscape. Indeed, the historical study of this region perhaps matters now more than ever as leaders such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad make claims that Israel had no historical existence in the land and therefore currently has no modern validity as a nation. It is through the study of the ancient Near East that such fallacious historical assertions are shown to be the extremist propaganda that they are”.


The power of Hiram, as Iarim-Lim, extended from Phoenicia (Lebanon) all the way through Babylonia, to Elam. In Chapter Two of my post-graduate thesis:


A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background


I wrote concerning this:


… what may perhaps help us to gain some real perspective on potential range of rule at this approximate time in ancient history are the geographical terms of a recorded message from Iarim-Lim – whom we met as a powerful (older) contemporary of Hammurabi – to the prince of Dêr in Babylonia, whom, incidentally, Iarim-Lim calls ‘brother’ [cf. 1 Kings 9:13].

Kupper tells of it:


“In this message, Iarimlim reminds his ‘brother’ that he had saved his life fifteen years before, at the time when he was coming to the help of Babylon, and that he had also given his support to the king of the town of Diniktum, on the Tigris, to whom he supplied five hundred boats. Outraged by the prince of Dêr’s ingratitude he threatens to come at the head of his troops and exterminate him.

…. Whatever the circumstances of the [Babylon] expedition were, it says a great deal for the military power of Iarimlim, who had led the soldiers of Aleppo as far as the borders of Elam [modern Iran]”.


According to a report of the day (Mari Letters), Iarim-Lim’s (Yarim-Lim’s) status was greater than that of Hammurabi …:


… there are ten or fifteen kings who follow Hammurabi of Babylon and ten or fifteen who follow Rim-sin of Larsa but twenty kings follow Yarim-Lim of Yamkhad. …”.


In the same Chapter Two, I had reproduced [Dr. Donovan] Courville’s argument that Iarim-Lim had conquered Alalakh from the Philistines, and he (his dynasty) had ruled there (Alalakh Level VII) for about half a century, before the Philistines resumed their former occupation there. …. The obvious conclusion was that the people of Iarim-Lim (Amorites) had conquered this city and probably also the surrounding territory, ruling it for a period estimated to have been about 50 years. At the end of this time, the original inhabitants were able to re-conquer the site and reoccupy it.

It is perhaps this half century or so of Amorite dominance, extending as far as Elam, as we saw, that pertains also - at least in part - to the time of the First Dynasty of Babylon. This is such an obscure dynasty prior to Hammurabi that we cannot say very much about its origins. But Herb Storck has helped to ease this situation somewhat in his fine article [“The Early Assyrian King List, The Genealogy of the Hammurapi Dynasty, and the ‘Greater Amorite’ Tradition”, Proc. 3rd Seminar Catastrophism and Ancient History, 1986, Toronto, pp. 43-50] in which Herb is able to show a link between the earliest Assyrian kings and the early Hammurabic dynasty, thus concluding [p. 45]: “Nine of the 17 tent-dwelling [Assyrian King List] kings can reasonably be identified with GHD [Genealogy of the Hammurabi Dynasty] ancestors of Hammurapi”.

One of these possibly is Zuabu (Assyrian King List) with Su-abu or Sumu-abum (GHD), the apparent founder of the First Babyonian Dynasty. There is also a Sumu’epuh, very similar to this name, Sumu-abum (Su-abu), preceding Iarim-Lim. …. And, most interestingly, the name Iarim-Lim here is followed by the name, Hammurabi. This may, of course, be a different Hammurabi. {In fact there was at the time of Hiram and Solomon a similarly named Huram-abi, a master-craftsman, 1 Kings 7:13, who has become the key figure in Freemasonry, as Hiram-abiff. See below}.

Whilst Courville’s estimation that the dynasty of Iarim-Lim was chronologically located to “the general era of the Exodus-Conquest” came far closer to reality (about 300 years closer), in my view, than does the conventional estimate, it was still only about halfway right according to this present (Hickman-based) re-setting of it to the time of David and Solomon. My contribution here has been to identify this great Iarim-Lim as the biblical King Hiram. This brings Iarim-Lim about half a millennium later than even Courville’s radical chronological estimation for the king and his archaeological level.

I have discussed the latter in detail in my thesis, how Dr. Courville’s wrong placement of Iarim-Lim, in relation to biblical history, has led him to a degree of misalignment with the Alalakh stratigraphy. Given that Iarim-Lim (Hiram) was an ally of David’s, then we might expect that Iarim-Lim had suppressed (at Alalakh VII) one of David’s major enemies. These were the Syrians (not relevant here) and the Philistines.

This may further support Courville’s conclusion that the majority of Alalakh levels pertain to the Philistine peoples”.


Hiram Abiff


The semi-legendary Hiram Abiff (Abif) is loosely based upon a skilful biblical artisan sent by King Hiram to King Solomon, to assist the latter with the building of the Temple of Yahweh. King Hiram tells Solomon about the man (2 Chronicles 2:13-14):

‘I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill, whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your skilled workers and with those of my lord, David your father’.

The Hebrew words for what is here rendered as Huram-Abi, are:


אבי חורם

חורם אבי


In I Kings 7:13-14, however, the man is simply called “Huram” (Hiram), not Huram-Abi:


King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him”.


Torrey, long ago, considered that the element, Abi (אבי), was not actually part of the man’s name, but was the Hebrew for a ‘chief counsellor’, hence Huram (Hiram), the king’s “right-hand” man (“Concerning Hiram (“Huram-abi”), the Phœnician Craftsman”, JBL, Vol. 31, No. 4 (1912), pp. 151-155). Torrey would conclude (p. 155):


“To be sure, the reading ואבי gives a good deal of trouble, and not a few have preferred to regard this as the original form of the ‘second element’ of the name, and to suppose this founder of the Masonic Order to have been called “Huram abiu” … (or perhaps “Hiram abiu”)”.


But the accepted translation of the passage is wrong. Here, again, the noun בא has the same meaning as before. He who had been styled (by the Chronicler) “the right-hand man” of the king of Tyre is now, with one of the Chronicler’s own literary touches, termed “the right-hand man of King Solomon”.”


It seems that the so-called Hiram Abiff may be regarded as more allegorical than real anyway According to for instance:


“Although the most important element of Masonic symbolism deals with the death, burial and resurrection of Hiram Abiff, there is nothing in Scripture to support it. Masonic Grand Lodges have stated that the account is not based upon fact, but rather is an allegory, used to teach”.


The ape of Christ?


Certainly, the Evangelical Truth site regards it as such (“Hiram Abiff – the false christ of Freemasonry”:


Freemasonry substitutes God’s perfect example and man’s only hope of salvation Jesus Christ for a spurious fantasy figure called Hiram Abiff. Instead of using Christ as its model of truth, fidelity and salvation it transfers its loyalty to this phantom figure Hiram. Freemasonry teaches: “If we possess the same painstaking fidelity as our Grand Master did in the hour of tribulation then will our final reward be that which belongs to the just and perfect man.”

Hiram here becomes Masonry’s Saviour and following in his footsteps is said to ensure a glorious “final reward.” Rather than viewing Christ as the way, the truth and the life Freemasonry looks to another – Masonry’s Hiram Abiff. The Lodge practices ultimate deception here eradicating man’s great representative and furnishing a foolish non-existence religious alternative.

Acts 4:12 says: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Jesus Christ is the sinner’s only hope! He is man’s only way.


The Lost Word


According to the teaching of the 3rd Masonic degree (the Master Mason degree) there was a mystical word which was only known to three people. These were King Solomon, Hiram, King of Tyre and a fictional Masonic character called Hiram Abiff. These three appointed fifteen craftsmen from among those working on rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem to preside over the rest of the workers. The English working of the lecture explains: “Fifteen Fellow-Crafts of that superior class appointed to preside over the rest, finding that the work was nearly completed, and that they were not in possession of the secrets of the Master’s degree … conspired together to obtain them by any means … At the moment of carrying their conspiracy into execution, twelve of the fifteen recanted” (English ritual p. 68).

The three remaining plotters (not to be confused with the three who know the mystical word) continued undeterred. The degree records how they confronted Hiram Abiff in the Temple and “demanded of our Grand Master the secrets of a Master Mason, declaring to him that his death would be the consequence of a refusal.” The degree continues, “Hiram Abiff, true to his obligation, replied that those secrets were known only to three, and could only be made known by consent of them all.” One of the scheming Craftsmen struck Hiram with “a violent blow full in the middle of the forehead” whereupon he sunk “lifeless at the foot of the murderer” (English ritual p. 69).

In this fable, the Temple in Jerusalem was a temporary resting place for Hiram’s remains after his death, Mount Moriah being his final interment. Hearing of the news, King Solomon is said to have sent out some of his most trusted craftsmen to find the body. In the English working of this Masonic degree there were 15 workmen sent out, in the American version 12 men were sent. ….


Hiram usurps the place of Christ


Romans 6:3-6 says, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

This is the only religious blueprint that God recognises and has ordained. Salvation involves our identification with Christ. Paul here uses metaphors to depict the nature and significance of salvation. Baptism relates to our spiritual burial with Christ in conversion – representing our dying to self; resurrection refers to our rising with Him into newness of life. This passage reveals Christ’s role as man’s sole Representative, and in particular outlines the victory He secured for us through His glorious resurrection over sin, death and the grave. In turn, it shows the Christian’s direct interest and spiritual involvement in this great transaction. It is showing how Christ became our Substitute in His atoning work.

Even though the Lord was sinless, He was condemned on our behalf so that we could be eternally free. He took our sin and guilt in full upon Himself. Finally, when He rose again He did it in our stead. He therefore averted our deserved destiny, which was eternal punishment. Sinners must hence appropriate their part in that central resurrection in order to overcome eternal punishment. The cross is the focal-point of the Christian faith; outside of it there is no salvation. Colossians 2:10-14 and 3:1-4 repeat the great truth we see represented in Romans chapter 6.

It is clear that while Hiram (King of Tyre) assisted King Solomon at the building of the first Temple, there is no mention whatsoever in Scripture of any “Hiram Abiff.” This character is in fact a Masonic invention. Accordingly, there is no teaching in Holy Writ relating to Hiram’s murder and discovery, as these secret societies intimate. The teaching embodied in this story is extra-biblical. Plainly the whole thing is one elaborate Masonic fabrication. This whole secret society fixation with Hiram is a problematic area for evangelicals, as they see Christ as man’s sole Redeemer and only perfect exemplar, whereas secret societies seem to be always promoting Hiram as an alternative Christ.

Jesus cautions us in John 10:1, “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” He then goes on to explain, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9). If someone wants to experience the favour of God and one day experience eternal bliss, they must come exclusively through Christ. He is the way – the only way. Christ alone is our access to God.

How true and solemn the words of Scripture are: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Dr. Albert Barnes explains this matter, where he comments that “The word rendered fable means properly ‘speech’ or ‘discourse’, and then fable or fiction, or a mystic discourse. Such things abounded among the Greeks as well as the Jews, but it is probable that the latter here are particularly intended. These were composed of frivolous and unfounded stories, which they regarded as of great importance, and which they seem to have desired to incorporate with the teachings of Christianity … One of the most successful arts of the adversary of souls has been to mingle fable with truth …”.”


We find Iarim-Lim (Hiram), perhaps, as a hard bargainer also in the Alalakh tablets:


“…. In the Alalakh tablets, Abban and Iarim-lim argue over whether the city of Alalakh is a fair exchange for the city of Irridi, east of the Euphrates, and at a critical point in the discussion one says to the other, "Can I give Irridi, a smashed place, to my brother?"; (āl) ir-ri-[di KI]-mi-i KI hi-pi-im a-na a-hi-ia a-na-ad-di-in (cited in D. Wiseman, "Abban and Alalah," JCS 12 [1950] 124-29)”.


We encounter a very similar scenario for Hiram and Solomon, as narrated in I Kings 9:10-14:


“At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built these two buildings—the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace— King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and juniper and gold he wanted. But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. ‘What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?’ he asked. And he called them the Land of Kabul, a name they have to this day.

Now Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold”.


The same elements: Giving a town; questioning value of town (“smashed”, Kabul”: כָּבוּל); ‘my brother’; Iarim-Lim-Hiram.


Velikovsky had thought that King Hiram’s men may even have figured in Hatshepsut’s Punt expedition inscriptions as “the chiefs of Irem [Hiram]”.

Part Seventeen (i):
Solomon’s Apostasy and Foes


“So the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime’.”

I Kings 11:11-12


“The New Bezalel”


In the words of Jesus Christ (Luke 12:48): ‘When someone has been given much, much will be required in return …’.

And to whom had more been given than to King Solomon: breathless wisdom; wealth untold; a magnificent kingdom; peace on all sides; skilled judgment and rulership; universal fame; encyclopaedic knowledge? (I Kings 4:29-34):


“God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom”.


Now, the Lord had also given much to Solomon’s father, King David, who had nonetheless sinned grievously on occasions, and had even fallen into decadence.

Yet, because of David’s repentance and acknowledgement of his sins, he was deemed by the Lord ‘faithful and upright’.

David had never abandoned the Lord and gone after other (pagan) gods.

Now the Lord, appearing to King Solomon for the second time (previously at Gibeon) would hold up King David as a model for Solomon (I Kings 9:4-5):


‘As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel’.’


And for perhaps about the first half of Solomon’s reign, he - under the strong impetus of his father, David - continued to “walk before [the Lord] faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness”. He built the magnificent Temple of Yahweh, begun (6:1): “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord”.

This work was undertaken with the assistance of the mighty king Hiram, or Iarim-Lim (who has been dated by historians a massive 800 years too early), and the skilled artisan Huram-abi (the great Amorite king, Hammurabi?).

King Solomon and Huram-abi were portrayed by the Chronicler as, according to Ray Dillard, the new Bezalel, builder of the Ark of the Covenant, and Bezalel’s technical assistant, Oholiab (“Solomon and Huram-abi as the new Bezalel and Oholiab, 2 Chronicles (World Books, 1987).


The Temple of Yahweh built by King Solomon was modelled on the Tent, or Tabernacle, of Moses, and these were in turn modelled on the Garden of Eden. These were physical replica of God’s heavenly abode. See Dr. Ernest L. Martin’s “The Temple Symbolism in Genesis”:

So it is not at all surprising to find that the account of the building of the Temple as recorded in 2 Chronicles would parallel, to some extent, the account of the designing of the Tent in the Book of Exodus.

Nor is it too surprising that Solomon and Huram-abi might be depicted as, respectively, a new Bezalel and a new Oholiab.

Hence, there is no need to do what Laura Knight-Jadczyk has done in her “Tribe of Dan” article (, and attempt to merge into one what are clearly two different scenarios, well separated in time.

She has written:


“An analysis of the genealogies in the Bible is very illuminating. According to the book of Chronicles there is no genealogy for the tribe of Dan. It has been observed by numerous scholars that many of the names occurring in the genealogies themselves are either blatantly geographical or connected with place-names; while others are definitely personal names. .… But the case of the Tribe of Dan is special, and holds a clue for us in this matter of the Temple and the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. In II Chronicles 2:11-14 the D historian writes:

Then Hiram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the Lord hath loved his people, he has made you king over them. Hiram said moreover, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, who should build a house for the Lord, and a palace for his kingdom.

And now I have sent a skilled man, endued with understanding, even Huram-abi, my trusted counselor, the son of a woman of the daughters of DAN; his father was a man of Tyre. He is a trained worker in gold, silver, brass, iron, stone, and wood, in purple, blue, and crimson colors, and in fine linen; also to engrave any manner of engraving, and to carry out any design which shall be given to him, with your skilled men, and with the skilled men of my lord David your father.


The above is supposed to be a letter from Hiram of Tyre to Solomon, discussing the attributes of a particular man, the trusted counselor of the great Hiram, who is being sent to help the son of David as a great favor. This man is presented as a great designer and architect. He is named, and his mother is designated as being of the tribe of Dan. He is going to be the architect of the Temple of Solomon. In other words, he is the model for the archetypal “great architect Hiram Abiff of Masonic lore.

So, what is the problem?

Look at this next excerpt from Exodus 31:1-7:


And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise skilful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of craftsmanship.

And behold, I have appointed with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of DAN; and to all who are wise hearted I have given wisdom and ability to make all that I have commanded you: The tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furniture of the tent…


The above description of the command to build the Tent of Meeting and the Ark sounds almost identical to the purported letter from Hiram to Solomon, even including strong similarities in the names of the principal worker: Huram-abi of the tribe of Dan has become Hur of the tribe of Judah:


And Bezalel the son Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the LORD commanded Moses. And with him was Aholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan an engraver, and a skillful craftsman, and an embroiderer in blue, and in purple, and in scarlet, and fine linen.

The next problem arises when we find in I Kings, chapter 7:13-21, the following most confusing information about Hiram:


And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and skill to work all works in brass.

And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work. For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about. And he made two chapiters of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits: And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter.

And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter. And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter. And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz.

We see without too much difficulty that these passages are taken from the same source, though one refers to the building of a Temple and the other refers to the construction of a tent and an ark. One of the problems is, of course, that according to the Bible, the two events are separated by a very long period of time. We also note the curious name similarities between Huram-abi of the passage in II Chronicles, and Hur, the father of Bezalel, connected to Aholiab of the tribe of Dan”.


Knight-Jadczyk does not help her thesis by trying to connect two different names, as follows:


“Also curious is the name of Bezalel, which is so similar to Jezebel, who we have tentatively identified as the Phoenician princess, daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre. More curious still is the claim of the Dan inscription that, in the destruction of the City of Dan, the House of David was destroyed. What was the connection of the Tribe of Dan to the House of the Beloved? Were they, as it seems from these clues, one and the same?”


Bezalel (בְּצַלְאֵל) means “under the protection of God”, whereas Jezebel (אִיזֶבֶל), of dubious meaning, may be “unexalted”, “un-husbanded” (hardly seems appropriate, though).

For another view of Jezebel, however, see my:


Is El Amarna’s “Baalat Neše” Biblically Identifiable?



Ray Dillard more sensibly, I think, has, whilst appreciating the parallels between the Exodus and Chronicles accounts, understood that the latter was modelling itself upon the earlier one (


“…. The third model is Solomon and Huram-abi as the new Bezalel and Oholiab.  Bezalel and Oholiab come from the story of the tabernacle, which I have noted before that the tabernacle story is a paradigm for the Chronicler’s Temple story in several ways.  Solomon is the new Bezalel as can be seen by the way both were singled out as chosen by God by name, both were of the tribe of Judah, and both get wisdom from God for this work (tabernacle/Temple construction).  Bezalel is only mentioned outside of Exodus in Chronicles – 1 Chron 2:20 and 2 Chron 1:5.  Indeed, Solomon goes seeking God at the altar built by Bezalel when he was given wisdom for building.  Of course, Kings told us about Solomon’s legendary wisdom in general, but Chronicles is very specific that it was wisdom for this task.  Thus Hiram does not praise God for giving David “a wise son over this great people” (1 Kings 5) but ”a wise son who will build” (2 Chron 2).

Huram-abi is also styled as the new Oholiab.  Chronicles does this by making three changes – as Dillard says, “arrival time, skill inventory, and ancestry.”  Kings only tells us about Huram-abi after the temple and palace were finished and Huram-abi only appears to cast bronze. Chronicles tells us that Huram-abi was involved from the beginning (like Oholiab) and that he did more than just cast bronze – in fact, he is given the skill inventory of Bezalel and Oholiab in Chronicles.  Moreover, Kings tells us that his mother was a widow from Naphtali but Chronicles says she was a widow from Dan (like Oholiab)”.


The building of the magnificent Temple of Yahweh, using a massive Canaanite labour force, took King Solomon “seven years” to complete (I Kings 6:38): “In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the Temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it”.


Its crowning glory was when the Ark of the Covenant was brought in there (8:6-10):


“The priests then brought the Ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the Temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the Ark and overshadowed the Ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. There was nothing in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt”.


Then the glory of the Lord filled the sacred place (vv. 10-11): “When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his Temple”.

Solomon was, somewhat like his father dancing before the Ark, ecstatic. He said (vv. 12-13): ‘The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; I have indeed built a magnificent Temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever’.


Solomonic Golden Age


This was now to become a true Golden Age – an age when the wisdom and teachings of the God-inspired King Solomon would fill the earth.

For who at all was as wise as he?

The Queen of Sheba had come with hard questions for King Solomon but nothing was too “recondite” for him to answer.

I Kings 3 provides the chronological note that “Pharaoh’s daughter” (my “Queen of Sheba”) may actually have dwelt in Jerusalem whilst the Temple and palace were yet being built (1-2): “Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the Temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem”.

Later (2 Chronicles 8:11): “Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said, ‘My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because the places the Ark of the Lord has entered are holy’.”

Now, David Rohl (A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History, ch. 8) thinks that he may have identified the Egyptian-ised “palace [Solomon] had built for her” with “an Egyptian-style building [that[ had once existed to the north of the Damascus Gate, just outside the walled city of Herod’s Jerusalem”. This compound, Rohl writes, was pieced together in the 1980’s by Professor Gabriel Barkay of Tel Aviv University. 


While the conventional archaeologists flounder around in the Iron Age looking to minimalise, or even to annihilate (Israel Finkelstein) kings David and Solomon, Dr. John Bimson gives the following plausible archaeological era for King Solomon in the cosmopolitan Late Bronze Age: “Can There be a Revised Chronology Without a Revised Stratigraphy?”:


  • The Late Bronze Age and the Reign of Solomon


…. Though chiefly concerned with dating the start of LB I A relative to the Hyksos period, I also suggested briefly that the transition to LB I B belonged in the reign of Solomon [13]. Research carried out since that article was written has led me to modify that view. Although an exhaustive study of the LBA contexts of all scarabs commemorating Hatshepsut and Thutmose III would be required to establish this point, a preliminary survey suggests that objects from the joint reign of these two rulers do not occur until the transition from LB I to LB II, and that scarabs of Thutmose III occur regularly from the start of LB II onwards, and perhaps no earlier [14]. Velikovsky’s chronology makes Hatshepsut (with Thutmose III as co-ruler) a contemporary of Solomon, and Thutmose III’s sole reign contemporary with that of Rehoboam in Judah [15]. Therefore, if the revised chronology is correct, these scarabs would suggest that Solomon’s reign saw the transition from LB I to LB II, rather than that from LB I A to LB I B.

Placing the beginning of LB II during the reign of Solomon produces a very good correlation between archaeological evidence and the biblical record of that period. It is with this correlation that we will begin. In taking the LB I – II transition as its starting-point, the present article not only takes up the challenge offered by Stiebing, but also continues the revision begun in my previous articles, and will bring it to a conclusion (in broad outline) with the end of the Iron Age.

Though KENYON has stated that the LB I – II transition saw a decline in the material culture of Palestine [16], ongoing excavations are now revealing a different picture. LB II A “was definitely superior to the preceding LB I”, in terms of stability and material prosperity; it saw “a rising population that reoccupied long abandoned towns” [17]. Foreign pottery imports are a chief characteristic of the period [18]. According to the biblical accounts in the books of Kings and Chronicles, Solomon’s reign brought a period of peace which saw an increase in foreign contacts, unprecedented prosperity, and an energetic building programme which extended throughout the kingdom [19].

I Kings 9:15 specifically relates that Solomon rebuilt Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. In the revised stratigraphy envisaged here, the cities built by Solomon at these sites would therefore be those of LB II A. More specifically, these three Solomonic cities would be represented by Stratum VIII in Area AA at Megiddo [20], by Stratum XVI at Gezer, and by Stratum XIV of the Upper City at Hazor (= Str. Ib of the Lower City) [21].

The wealth and international trade attested by these levels certainly reflect the age of Solomon far more accurately than the Iron Age cities normally attributed to him, from which we have “no evidence of any particular luxury” [21a].

The above-mentioned strata at Megiddo and Gezer have both yielded remains of very fine buildings and courtyards [22]. The Late Bronze strata on the tell at Hazor have unfortunately not produced a clear picture, because of levelling operations and extensive looting of these levels during the Iron Age; but the LB II A stratum of the Lower City has produced a temple very similar in concept to the Temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem, as described in the Old Testament [23].

Art treasures from these cities not only indicate the wealth of the period, but reflect contacts with Egypt and northern Mesopotamia [24]. These contacts are precisely those we would expect to find attested during Solomon’s reign, the Bible records Solomon’s trade with Egypt and his marriage to the Pharaoh’s daughter [25], and says (I Kings 4:24) that his kingdom extended as far to the north-east as Tiphsah, which is probably to be identified with Thapsacus, “an important crossing in the west bank of the Middle Euphrates … placed strategically on a great east-west trade route” [26].

The Bible adds extra detail concerning Gezer: namely, that Solomon rebuilt it after it had been captured and burnt by the Pharaoh, who had given the site to his daughter, Solomon’s wife, as a dowry (I Kings 9:16-17). In Velikovsky’s chronology, this pharaoh is identified as Thutmose I [27]. In the revised stratigraphy considered here, we would expect to find evidence for this destruction of Gezer at some point during LB I, and sure enough we do, including dramatic evidence of burning [28]. The “latest possible date” for this destruction is said to be the reign of Thutmose III, with some archaeologists preferring an earlier date [29]. We may readily identify this destruction as the work of Solomon’s father-in-law.

From the period between this destruction and the LB II A city comes a group of several dozen burials in a cave. DEVER remarks that most of these “show signs of advanced arthritis, probably from stoop labour, which may be an indication of the hardships of life during this period” [30]. Yet contemporary finds, including “Egyptian glass, alabaster and ivory vessels, and a unique terra-cotta sarcophagus of Mycenaean inspiration” [31], indicate considerable prosperity and international trade at this time. In a revised framework, it is tempting to speculate that the burials were of people who suffered under Solomon’s system of forced labour, by which Gezer was built according to I Kings 9:15. It emerges in I Kings 12 that this forced labour caused sufficient hardship to contribute to the bitterness which split the kingdom after Solomon’s death.

We must turn briefly to Jerusalem, where Solomon’s building activities were concentrated for the first twenty years of his reign, according to I Kings 9:10. Here we find that traces of occupation datable to Solomon’s time in the conventional scheme are rather poor [32] In the revised scheme, we may attribute to Solomon the impressive stone terrace system of LBA date excavated by Kenyon on the eastern ridge [33]. In fact, this is probably the “Millo” which Solomon is said to have built (I Kings 9:15, 24; II:27). Kenyon describes the nucleus of this terrace system as “a fill almost entirely of rubble, built in a series of compartments defined by facings of a single course of stones…” [34]. “Fill”, or “filling”, is the probable meaning of “Millo” [35]. Also to Solomon’s time would belong at least some of the LBA tombs discovered on the western slope of the Mount of Olives; many of these contain LB I – IIA material which includes “a surprisingly large number” of imported items from Cyprus, Aegean and Egypt [36]. The number would not be surprising in the context of Solomon’s reign. ….

Comparison of (A) LB II (Stratum Ib) temple at Hazor with (B) the basic ground plan of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, as deduced from biblical information. Both have a tripartite division on a single axis, side-rooms and a pair of free-standing pillars (though the latter are not identically situated in both cases) …”.


This must also have been a golden age of philosophy!

Philosophy, we are consistently told, was only properly developed by the Greeks.

Surely, though, I would say, all that is worthwhile in the philosophy of the Greeks, constituting what we call the ‘perennial philosophy’, was already there in the wisdom of Joseph of Egypt; in the teachings of Moses; and in the polymathy of King Solomon.

Fathers of the Church appreciated that the Greeks had obtained their philosophical knowledge from the Hebrews.  

It is all there in the Bible, though expressed in a Semitic fashion that is not immediately apparent to Western minds. It was King Solomon, not Aristotle, who first expounded the four cardinal virtues, defined as follows in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (# 1805):


“Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called "cardinal"; all the others are grouped around them. They are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. "If anyone loves righteousness, [Wisdom's] labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage." 64 These virtues are praised under other names in many passages of Scripture”.

The reference [64] is to King Solomon’s Wisdom 8:7.

But, while the Catechism then takes the ‘Western’ line (Aristotle) (# 1806): “Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; "the prudent man looks where he is going."65 "Keep sane and sober for your prayers."66 Prudence is "right reason in action," writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle”, the biblical Proverbs had long before stated that (22:3): “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences”.


But, a colleague has objected to me, “act and potency are not (explained) in the Bible”.

One might, however, like to consider the following post (“The Metaphysics of Scripture”), by Andrew Fulford (


“Thinkers have sometimes stated that scripture is not metaphysical, or does not do metaphysics. This is obviously correct in one sense: the writings of the Bible are not generally characterized by philosophical jargon, but rather for the most part appear in everyday language. However, this statement is not true in another sense: the Bible does make statements that rule out some metaphysical ideas, and imply others. I want to briefly show how this is the case with a few Aristotelian concepts.

One reason why this elementary exercise is important is that it shows just how basic certain philosophical ideas and concepts are. Modern critics of using “philosophy”– or at least specific kinds of philosophy– in exegesis or theology almost always load the term with specific connotations. It is assumed that “philosophy” must be complicated, founded on many different and complex assumptions, and overly systematic. Yet when it comes to the basic elements of something like Aristotelian philosophy, this is not the case at all. It would be more accurate to say that “philosophy” is the intentional activity of defining terms and reflecting upon how concepts work, something that can be done by anyone at any time. As will be demonstrated, this can be quite simple.


Material Cause

Aristotle is famous for his so-called “four causes,” i.e., material, formal, efficient, and final. These four causes are affirmed as real within the first book of scripture, and continuously throughout the rest of scripture. The material cause of an object is the stuff out of which it is made, which makes a concrete object concrete. In Genesis 1:2 we see the statement: “The earth was without form and void… .” By saying that “the earth was,” Moses [sic] conveys that there was a concretely existing thing, the earth. There was not simply an abstract idea of an earth, but an actual material earth.


Formal Cause

The formal cause of an object is the pattern that makes it the type of thing it is. By virtue of having this same pattern of features, multiple individuals are considered “the same kind of thing”. The idea of a form appears in Genesis 1:21: “So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.” There are multiple individual creatures of the same “kind,” or form.


Essential and Accidental Properties of Substances

Within this type of cause there’s another important distinction. In Genesis 4:15b, we read: “And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.” Genesis tells us Cain received a mark that he didn’t have previously. This implies that Cain could receive a “mark” of some kind without ceasing to be the same individual he was before. He could either have the mark or not have it, and still be Cain.

On the other hand, Genesis 6:17 says: “For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven.” Insofar as the flood is the agent of destruction in this story, the natural understanding of the text is that God kills (besides human beings) all animals by drowning them. This kind of death, however, does not immediately vapourize the body. What it does is cut off the capacity of the body to breathe, and thereby eventually stop the body from functioning as a living organism altogether. It is this cessation that Genesis describes as “destroying”, which is another way of saying “bringing an end of existence to something”. An animal can be wounded and continue to be the same animal; but an animal that ceases to be animated no longer exists.

What these two stories require us to say is that there are different kinds of features (a.k.a. “properties”) an individual thing (a.k.a. “substance”) can have, kinds that have been conventionally labeled “accidental” and “essential.” There are types of features a thing can have or not have and still be the same thing, and then there are types of features without which a thing would not exist at all. A person can have or not have “a mark”; but an animal cannot lose its life without as such being destroyed. For that organic functioning to come to an end, either by violence or otherwise, is to destroy it as the kind of thing it is.

It is important to note that the identity of a person or substance through a process of changes implies the existence of an essence, that is, of a substantial form. (For Aristotle, a substantial form that actually exists is a substance.) If there were no such distinction, and the identity of a thing required that it never changed properties or relations of any kind, then any change whatsoever would imply that one substance ceased to exist and another began to be in its place. It would not be possible to speak truly as human beings normally do, of people being born, growing up, doing various kinds of activities, acquiring and losing properties and features, or any such thing. But the Bible manifestly does speak in this common-sense manner.

One further point on this matter needs explicit emphasis. This is the distinction between substance and property. For Aristotle, a substance is a being that is capable of possessing properties, whereas a property is something that exists only in a substance. These categories basically correspond to the linguistic distinction between subject and predicate, and as such correspond to obvious truths of reality. Some things exist in themselves, others only exist as features of other things. For example, “whiteness,” a property possessed by many things (e.g., snow, robes), does not exist on its own, whereas an individual (e.g., a specific tree, a specific sword, King David) exists on its own rather than as a property of another thing.


Efficient Cause

The next cause is the “efficient cause,” which denotes what causes a change to occur. This appears in Genesis 1:1: God creates the heavens and the earth. It appears again in Genesis 5:14, where God commands Noah to make an ark. Later in Exodus 15:6, Moses speaks in his song “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.” In all three texts, the author asserts that a being produced (or should produce) an effect of some kind.


Final Cause

The last cause is, appropriately, the “final cause,” which is the purpose or aim of something. According to Aristotle, this “aimed” aspect of reality is evident everywhere in the world, not simply in conscious human beings. Rather, even unconscious beings reflect being aimed at a certain end, when they continually behave the same way. They show they have an intrinsic tendency to act a certain way by regularly doing so. This phenomenon appears, for example, in Genesis 1:12: “The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind.” Of course, the narrator is giving an etiology of plants and trees, assuming our knowledge that plants and trees continue to behave this way. But that repeated reproductive behavior of vegetation displays “directedness,” that is, it displays an intrinsic tendency these things have to behave in a certain manner.


In the gospels, Jesus actually argued according to precisely this logic:


Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matt. 7:16b-20)


Act and Potency

Two more concepts are known for their Aristotelian provenance: act and potency. Act, or actuality, denotes the existence of things. Genesis affirms this in the first verse, when it tells us that God created the world. At that point in history, then, the world existed, or was actual. Potency is Aristotle’s term for the idea of possibility. That is, potency refers to the idea that some things (whether substances or properties) could exist that presently do not exist. Such an idea is implied in Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Here God commands human beings to multiply. This denotes bringing further human beings into existence which did not exist at that point. It entails that such a state of affairs would be possible, though it wasn’t at that point actual. Which is (for Aristotle) just another way of saying, the first human couple had the potency of multiplying, though that potency had not yet been actualized.


The Principle of Causality

One last important philosophical principle deserves mention. Aristotle affirmed the basic idea that is now known as the principle of causality. This principle states that no potency can be made actual except by something already actual. This principle is assumed in various places in scripture, but two examples are present in the Gospel of John. In John 5:36 Jesus says, “But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.” Jesus is teaching here that his works “bear witness,” and the way that they do this is by being effects that demand a divine cause as their only sufficient explanation. As Nicodemus says earlier in the Gospel (3:2), “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

This kind of reasoning would not be natural unless we assumed that every effect must have a cause, that every possibility that is made real (like a miraculous effect) must be made real by something already actual. Otherwise, e.g., people could come back to life from the dead for no reason at all, and no inference from any effect to any cause could be reliable, for it would always be equally possible that an effect was uncaused. …”.


Astute biblical commentators, with an appreciation of Semitic thought - but also with a solid grasp of philosophy, and the Greeks - ought to be able to write vastly on this subject.


And who were the Greeks of King Solomon’s time?

So far in this series we have not had so much to say about the Greeks as compared with Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia. Thanks to Dr. I. Velikovsky, though, we can now begin to realise some perspective on the subject.

As an introduction (but it all ought be read) Dr. Velikovsky wrote in “The Dark Age of Greece”:


“The Greek Past


The theme pursued in this volume is the basic design of Greek history—the passage of the Mycenaean civilization and the intervening Dark Age of five centuries duration before the Hellenic or historical age starts ca. 700 years before the present era. This structure of the Greek past is subjected to a reexamination as to the historicity of the Dark Age.

Greek antiquity is conventionally divided into three periods—Helladic, Hellenic, and Hellenistic. The Helladic period in its later subdivision comprises the Mycenaean civilization. It ends not long after the conquest of Troy, regularly put about -1200. Its last generation is dubbed "the Heroic Age." At this point five centuries of dark ages are inserted into Greek history. The Hellenic period embraces the Ionian and classical ages, and stretches from ca. - 700 to the conquest of the East by Alexander of Macedon. With his march toward the Nile, the Euphrates, and the Indus (-331 to -327), the culture of Greece was spread through the Orient and was itself modified by oriental elements; this was the beginning of the Hellenistic Age. Mycenae can be regarded as the cultural center of the Late Helladic period; Athens of the Hellenic; and Alexandria of the Hellenistic. In this scheme, as just said, the five centuries of the Dark Age are inserted between the Helladic and the Hellenic or, in other nomenclature, following the Mycenaean and preceding the Ionian ages.

The Mycenaean Age in Greece and the contemporary and partly preceding Minoan Age on Crete have no chronologies of their own and depend on correlations with Egypt. Objects inscribed with the names of Amenhotep II, Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy of the Eighteenth Dynasty, found at Mycenae, were like a calendar leaf. Then excavations at el-Amarna in Egypt established the presence of Mycenaean ware in Akhnaton's short-lived city. Such quantities of Mycenaean ware came to light in the course of the excavations that a street in el-Amarna was dubbed "Greek Street." Since Akhnaton's capital existed for only about a decade and a half, a very precise dating for the Mycenaean ware could be evinced, thus providing a link between Mycenaean history and the established Egyptian chronology. It was therefore concluded that the Mycenaean civilization was at its apogee in the days of Amenhotep III and Akhnaton of the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty.

The first and most important consequence was a radical recasting of Greek history. Since Akhnaton's conventional date was the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries before the present era, Mycenaean ware was also ascribed to the same period. By the end of the twelfth century before the present era, the Mycenaean civilization would have run its course. The Greek or Hellenic time does not start until about -700. The years in between are without history on Greek soil. There existed tenacious memories of the time of the tyrants who ruled in the late eighth and seventh centuries, but beyond that, there was complete darkness.

Thus by the 1890s the Hellenists were coerced by the evidence presented by the Egyptologists to introduce five centuries of darkness between the end of the Mycenaean Age and the beginning of the Hellenic. As we shall read on a later page, there was some consternation on the part of classical scholars when first the fact dawned on them that between the Mycenaean age and the historical Greek time there was a span, more in the nature of a lacuna, of several centuries' duration. In the end they accepted the Egyptian plan as being valid for Greece—still without having investigated the evidence on which the claim of the Egyptologists was founded.5

In Ages in Chaos we have seen that, with the fall of the Middle Kingdom and the Exodus synchronized, events in the histories of the peoples of the ancient world coincide all along the centuries.

For a space of over one thousand years records of Egyptian history have been compared with the records of the Hebrews, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and finally with those of the Greeks, with a resulting correspondence which denotes synchronism.

“In Volume I of Ages in Chaos it was shown in great detail why Akhnaton of the Eighteenth Dynasty must be placed in the latter part of the ninth century. If Akhnaton flourished in -840 and not in -1380, the ceramics from Mycenae found in the palace of Akhnaton are younger by five or six hundred years than they are presumed to be, and the Late Mycenaean period would accordingly move forward by about half a thousand years on the scale of time.

Yet independently of the results attained in Ages in Chaos, the problem of blank centuries, usually termed "dark ages," increasingly claims the attention of archaeologists and historians. Although the enigma of "dark centuries" reappears in many countries of the ancient East, in no place did it create such discomfort as in Hellenic history.

There it is an inveterate problem that dominates the so-called Homeric question: The historical period in Greece, the Hellenic Age, is ushered in by the sudden and bright light of a literary creation—the Homeric epics, of perfect form, of exquisite rhythm, of a grandeur unsurpassed in world literature, a sudden sunrise with no predawn light in a previously profoundly dark world, with the sun starting its day at zenith—from almost five hundred years that divide the end of the Mycenaean Age from the Hellenic Age, not a single inscription or written word survived.

Against this set-up the Homeric Question grew to ever greater proportions. In the light of—or better to say—in the darkness of the Homeric problem, we will try to orient ourselves by scanning some early chapters of Greek archaeology, and having done this, we should return to the problem of the deciphered Linear B script. Two timetables are applied simultaneously to the past of Greece, one built on the evidence of Greece itself, the other on relations with Egypt; thus instead of any new discovery reducing the question to smaller confines, every subsequent

discovery enlarged the confines and decreased the chances of finding a solution”.


I would also greatly encourage readers to study the vast-ranging book, Centuries of Darkness. A Challenge to the Conventional Chronology of Old World Archaeology, by Peter James et al.


Now, added to all this, with Solomon identified as Senenmut, who actually depicts Aegean Greeks in his tomb (71), we can begin properly to co-ordinate what has been so messily treated.

Did not Dr. Bimson write (above) that “ … many of these contain LB I – IIA material which includes “a surprisingly large number” of imported items from Cyprus, Aegean and Egypt …. The number would not be surprising in the context of Solomon’s reign. …”.

Nor, may I add, “in the context of” Senenmut’s floruit in Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt.

In “Aegean Emissaries in the Tomb of Senenmut and their gift to the Egyptian King”, we read


“This paper examines the representations of the objects brought by the Aegean emissaries depicted in the foreigners' procession scene in the tomb of Senenmut (TT 71). Through comparison of the depicted objects with the ones found in the Aegean it is argued that not only is it possible to find close analogies for single objects but also for the whole assemblage. The assemblage depicted in the tomb of Senenmut is found in elite burials of the Late Bronze Age I Aegean, and it can be interpreted as a diplomatic gift. The very fact that the same assemblage is found both in the Aegean princely burials and depicted in Senenmut's tomb, as a gift to the Egyptian king, is of great importance for the discussion on historicity behind this scene. The paper also discusses the transformation of the Aegean gift assemblage after its arrival in Egypt. …”.


Not surprising, too, if the Hebrew Calendar may have influenced that of Hammurabic Babylon at this time (


“Hebrew and Babylonian Calendar Intercalation


12-Month Luni-Solar Calendar


Both the Hebrews and Babylonians used similar calendar adjustments to keep their calendars synchronized with the Sun, moon and seasons. They both employed a system of adding entire months to their calendars (intercalation) during 7 particular years (embolismic years – years in which a month is intercalated) out of every 19 years. This was a repeating cycle.

The Babylonian’s employed a spring calendar starting with the month of Nisanu:

In the period covered by this study the Babylonian calendar year was composed of lunar months, which began when the thin crescent of the new moon was first visible in the sky at sunset. Since the lunar year was about eleven days shorter than the solar year, it was necessary at intervals to intercalate a thirteenth month, either a second Ululu (the sixth month) or a second Addaru (the twelfth month) in order that New year’s Day, Nisanu 1, should not fall much before the spring of the year (late March and early April).

Richard A. Parker and Waldo H. Dubberstein, Babylonian Chronology, 626 B.C.-A.D. 75, 3rd ed. Providence: Brown University Press (1956) p. 1

Both the Babylonians and Hebrews employed solar-lunar calendrics of 12 months of alternating duration of 30 and 29 days:


Hebrew ( sacred / civil )
30-day months
29-day months
30-day months
29-day months
Nisanu 1
Aiaru 2
Nisan 1/7
Iyar 2/8
Simanu 3
Duzu 4
Sivan 3/9
Tammuz 4/10
Abu 5
Ululu 6
Av 5/11
Elul 6/12
Tashritu 7
Arahsamnu 8
Tishri 7/1
Heshvan 8/2
Kislimnu 9
Tebetu 10
Kislev 9/3
Tevet 10/4
Shabatu 11
Addaru 12
Shevat 11/5
Adar 12/6


Above, each month name is followed by its numerical sequence in the calendar year. The table reads left-to-right, then next row down.

Further, the Hebrews employed two calendars, a “civil” and a “sacred”, with the sacred calendar following the civil by 6 months. Each Hebrew month’s sequence in both the civil and sacred calendar is designated by the “s/c” following each month’s name, where “s” is that month’s number in the sacred calender and “c” is that month’s number in the civil calender. So the Hebrew side of the table (reading left to right, then next row) shows Nisan, Iyar, Sivan and Tammuz as the first 4 months of the sacred calendar and Tishri, Heshvan, Kislev and Tevet as the first 4 months of the civil calendar.

Summing 6 30-day months plus 6 29-day months yields a total of 354 days, the “common regular” length year, which is short of the actual 365.24 (approximate) day solar year. This is an error rate of 11 days per year, every year or about 1 month every three years. If the calendar is not adjusted, after only two decades the actual observed seasons would be reversed relative to what the calendar declared, e.g. the season would actually be winter when the calendar reported summer months.

To fix this, the Babylonians (and seemingly the Hebrews to some extent) surmised that a 19-year Lunar cycle existed (sometimes called the Metonic cycle) and that if additional months were periodically inserted to correct the calendar, the calendar would be re-synchronized with the actual observed solar year. During that 19-year cycle the Babylonians (and presumably Hebrews with some variation) would insert at 7 different times an additional 29-day month. This insertion of extra months to correct the calendar is called “intercalation”.

Ancient history is vague on precisely whom to credit with developing intercalation and when it was methodically adopted by the Hebrews. …. Hammurabi standardized the Babylonian lunar calendar circa 1750 B.C. [sic] …”.


I suggest that the astronomical genius, King Solomon (Senenmut), would have been a primary source of inspiration with regard to Babylonian (and perhaps even Greek) calendrics.


From Hero to Zero


King Solomon was given so much by God, was so intimately befriended by Him, that he may eventually have begun to think that he was above the Law.

He certainly began to act that way.

The Lord’s great promises to David and Solomon - like those to the Israelites under Moses - had been entirely conditional, prefaced by the conjunction, “if”, Hebrew -im (אִם־).

(I Kings 9:4-5):

‘… if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel’.’

(I Kings 9:6-9):

‘But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this Temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. This Temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this Temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them’.’


The same conditional “if” was delivered to our modern (1917) era, this year of 2017 being the centenary: ‘If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace’.  

‘If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world raising up wars and persecutions against the Church, the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated’.


Unfortunately King Solomon, having become too Adam-like, too Lucifer-like, imagining himself to be God-like - that is, fatally self-dependent, hence no match for the fallen Lucifer - would opt for the “But if …” side of the bargain – just as we largely have done since 1917.    

I Kings 11:1-8:

“King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, ‘You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods’. Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.

On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods”.


Consequently (vv. 9-13):


“The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen’.”


14 Then the Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom.

23 And God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon son of Eliada,

26 Also, Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king.


Ultimately, centuries later, the Babylonians under king Nebuchednezzar II would come up and destroy the magnificent Temple in whose glory King Solomon had so rejoiced.

And are we, in our present world crisis, facing that: “… various nations will be annihilated’?


King Solomon must have, like Adam, failed to persevere in prayer, which can save us. We have been given Marian prayer (e.g. the Rosary) as a sure protection – “if” we bother to use it.

Recourse to Mary as a ‘mediatrix’ with the Divine Mediator, Jesus Christ, is the most perfect way not to fall into self-love and self-dependence, making us, ‘in a sense, wiser than Solomon’ (Saint Louis de Montfort).