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Bible History Daily

July 26, 2012

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Did Pharaoh Sheshonq Attack Jerusalem?

The Bubastite Portal does not mention the invasion described in 1 Kings


“In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, King Shishak of Egypt marched against Jerusalem.” (1 Kings 14:25)

Shishak, actually Pharaoh Sheshonq I, left his own account of this northern campaign carved into the walls of the Temple of Karnak in Egypt, but he does not mention Jerusalem among the places he conquered. Israeli scholar Yigal Levin’s article “Did Pharaoh Sheshonq Attack Jerusalem?” in the July/August 2012 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review examines the historical veracity of both the Egyptian Pharaoh‘s account and the Bible’s.


Levin points out that if the Egyptian Pharaoh’s records on the Bubastite Portal match those from 1 Kings, “this would be the earliest event in Biblical history for which we have a contemporaneous reference in an extrabiblical source.” Moreover, Egyptian records of Sheshonq’s rule between 945 and 925 B.C.E. could be used to date the reigns of Rehoboam’s father, Solomon, and his grandfather, David.

Read why Yigal Levin believes the Bubastite portal reflects a real campaign that “brought an end to the many architectural, military and political achievements of the United Monarchy of David and Solomon and ushered in a new age-that of the nation divided.” Read more about the research in Bible History Daily .

BAS Library Member exclusive content: Read “Did Pharaoh Sheshonq Attack Jerusalem?” as it appears in the July/August 2012 BAR.

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Scorched Wheat May Provide Answers on the Destruction of Canaanite Tel Hazor


The recent discovery of massive jars of scorched wheat at Canaanite Tel Hazor may shed new light on the destruction of one of Israel’s most prominent sites. The jugs of wheat are far from the only evidence of a large fire in the palace: excavations have produced burnt cedar beams, a collapsed ceiling, bricks cemented from heat exposure, and soot on the walls. The debate continues: does this 13th century distruction reflect the Israelite burning of Hazor in Joshua 11?

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