Shishak as Sheshonq I burnt the cities circa 950-947 BCE and not 925 BCE


Koot van Wyk, Chongni, South Korea


Shirley Ben-Dor Evian (Jan 2011) wrote on “Shishak’s Karnak Relief – More Than Just Name-Rings” in Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism, Ideology and Literature. Proceedings of a Conference at the University of Haifa, 3-7 May 2009. Series: Culture and History of the Ancient Near East, Volume: 52: 9-22 especially page 9.

What I like immediately about her writing is the sentence that said in her Abstract: “The interpretation of these novelties as ideological markers points to an earlier dating [my italics] of the military campaign, sometime during the first decade [my italics] of Shishak’s reign” The Abstract was downloaded from

Biblical and Egyptian sources are needed to discuss this pharaoh. 1 Kings 14:25-27; 2 Chronicles 12:1-12 and then there is the Bubastis Relief of Sheshonq I at the Karnak Temple showing the lists of cities conquered.

Many scholars have discussed various aspects of Shishak of the Bible or Sheshonq I with opinions rolling back or forth like Shishak is not Sheshonq I or Shishak is Sheshonq I or Sheshonq I merely copied or plagiarized his data from Ramses II (W. Albright and ) or not (M. Noth) or the events in Kings should be dated later to the ninth century BCE (I. Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University) or philologically the Shishak of the Bible should rather be linked to events of Ramesses II or III rather than Sheshonq I but a rebuttal of this was a reinvestigation by Tory Leiland Sagrillo on the basis of rare hypocoristica for Ramesess: ssysw, ssw, and ss. He concluded that to identify biblical Shishak with any king named Ramesses are “unwarranted and implausible” (T. L. Sagrillo, 2015. Shoshenq I and Biblical Šîšaq: a philological defense of their traditional equation*

In James & Van der Veen (Eds) Solomon and Shishak (2015). BICANE Colloquim at Cambridge 2011, pp. 61-81 especially page 61). Traditionally as far as chronology is concerned, many scholars have concluded that 925 BCE is the date of the campaign of Sheshonq I and that is the date for the Bubastis Relief. As Sagrillo indicated, it is based on a communis opinio.

This communis opinio is what I seriously challenge on the basis of the Bible.

The Pharaoh of Egypt, says the Bible, came to Palestine, burnt the cities and gave Gezer among others, to Solomon as a gift and his daughter in wedding. The listing of Gezer on Bubastis campaign could not have taken place in 925 BCE when Solomon was already a skeleton. The fifth year of Rehoboam was in 925 BCE. Solomon was history.

So the date of this event should have been when the contract of Solomon with Hiram expired after the building works of 20 years since 970 BCE (start of reign of Solomon) thus 950-947 BCE because he built three years on his Egyptian’s wife’s palace, and when Pharaoh came and burnt the cities he could only give the gift and daughter as wife at that time and not later. Hiram was angry with the gift but had to give cities and pay talents of gold tax from that time on. Maybe the daughter was embossed about the actions of her dad and intervened for him to mediate the contract situation between Hiram and Solomon. Nevertheless Solomon could rebuild Gezer fortifications and those fortifications were the subject of William Dever/Randy Younker Excavations and findings at Gezer in 1990 archaeological dig in which yours truly also participated.