Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thutmose II [King Solomon] and Hatshepsut



For full article, see:


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In previous revisions I have argued that Solomon was Senenmut who came to exercise so profound an influence in Hatshepsut's Egypt upon the death of her husband, Thutmose II. I have also followed Velikovsky's view that Hatshepsut was herself the biblical queen (Sheba) who visited Solomon in Jerusalem at the peak of his power and wisdom there. I have tried to place this visit into a context, by proposing that it was the occasion of Solomon's marriage to his Egyptian queen, whom I have identified with Neferure, daughter of Thutmose II and Hatshepsut[630]; the latter two being Solomon's parents-in-law. Neferure would have been only a child at the time, which I took to be a permissible situation within the structure of ancient royal planned marriages. I have since learned that Thutmose III himself married a child-bride, Meritre-Hatsheput [II], who became the mother of Amenhotep II.[632]



Where this new revision is leading is that Hatshepsut's husband and daughter, at least, linked with Solomon by law, were in fact his relatives as well, all descendants of David (as Thutmose I). They may have had little or no Egyptian blood in them. Thutmose II was thus David's son, possibly through Bathsheba. Hatshepsut, who claimed to be the daughter of Thutmose I, may have been David's daughter through another wife, say Ahinoam, making her her husband's half-sister. Neferure would therefore be David's grand-daughter. Whilst Thutmose III, son of Thutmose II, would be a grandson of David.



All very complex, but also typical of the strong tendency that we have seen for Israelites to marry, not only into their own tribe, but also into their own family (e.g. Tobit's Naphtalians; Judith's Simeonites; now David's Judaeans).



Presuming that Hatshepsut was not telling fibs in claiming to be the daughter of Thutmose I - and certainly the Egyptians would have known if she were - then where is the mention of her in the Scriptures, as a daughter of David? Actually the Scriptures do not tell us much about David's daughters, only his sons. An exception is the unfortunate incident of the beautiful Tamar, sister of Absalom, who was raped by David's oldest son, Amnon, who later paid for it at the hand of Absalom, Amnon's half-brother (2.Samuel 13:1-33).



We learn of no daughter of David's who was in her youth - as Hatshepsut must have been - in the latter part of David's reign. One interesting girl is mentioned at the time, Abishag, but she is nowhere said to have been David's daughter; though she could legitimately claim from the context to have been his adopted daughter.



See later discussion on Egyptian's wide use of the term, "father."



But let's get back to the star attraction of this article: Hatshepsut. What were her beginnings?



The Origins of Abishag - Princess Hatshepsut



Here I am going to propose something entirely new. I am going to argue that Hatshepsut was the beautiful Abishag, who warmed the bed of king David in his old age (1.Kings 1:1-4). It may be interesting, in the context of Hatshepsut's being ever desirous of emphasizing her 'divine birth', that the name 'Abishag' (its meaning though disputed) may mean "The Divine Father" [640].



Her 'divine birth' may have been Hatshepsut's way of indicating that she was, like David, a child of God, and that God had (through the agency of her father) chosen her to be ruler. The typical interpretation of Hatshepsut's 'divine conception' as recorded on her Deir el-Bahri temple, may perhaps be inadequate, if not seen as symbolic. The Egyptian use of concrete imagery, e.g. the graphic image of Amen-Re having sexual intercourse with Hatshepsut's mother, may actually have been the only way that the Egyptian scribes were able to express the more abstract Israelite notion of divine election. Having located the start of the story of her conception in heaven, Hatshepsut then proceeds to tell how Amen-Re came to Queen Ahmose (Ah-hotep) in the guise of Thutmose I. The child, shaped by Khnum on the potter's wheel, was herself divine (we might say, heavenly) in appearance. Thus Joyce Tyldesley [650]:



"I will shape for thee thy daughter … I will make her appearance above the gods, because of her dignity as King of Upper and Lower Egypt". Such a description of heavenly beauty was certainly apt in the case of Abishag. And it may therefore also be applicable to Hatshepsut, who boasted of her goddess-like looks [660]:



Her Majesty grew beyond everything; to look upon her was more beautiful than anything; her form was like a god, she did everything as a god; Her Majesty was a maiden, beautiful, blooming, But in her time. She made her divine form to flourish, by favour of him that fashioned her.



Here is the first part of Abishag's biography, as narrated in 1.Kings 1:1-4:



King David was old and advanced in years; and although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. So his servants said to him, 'Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king, and be his attendant; let her lie in your bosom, so that the lord my king may be warm'. So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful. She became the king's attendant and served him, but the king did not know her sexually.



Enyclopaedia Judaïca makes this important comment regarding David's young nurse:



"Some see in Abishag, who is described as "very fair" (1.Kings 1:4), the Shulammite of the Song of Songs (= Shunammite)". Now a Song of Songs connection here would be most significant, because we have already learned from Hyam Maccoby that the Songs' leading female was Hatshepsut/Sheba herself, also described as a Shunammite. Was Hatshepsut therefore the beautiful Abishag, who could at least be termed - as in the Song of Songs - Solomon's 'sister', due to her intimate connection with Solomon's father? Metzler writes [2060]: "… King Solomon refers to her in his Song of Songs (4:10 et passim) as Achoti Kallah"my sister, my spouse …". A fortiori Abishag would have been Solomon's 'sister' if she were in fact Hatshepsut (who we have determined to have been the daughter of David/Thutmose I). This leads to the question: Did the servants of the ageing David have to 'interview' every single appropriate girl in Israel for this duty of David's nurse, or did they confine their search only to princess daughters of David?



This last sounds the more reasonable.



Why was it necessary that the girl picked for this purpose be beautiful? According to Enyclopedia Judaïca[670], it was "in the hope that her fresh beauty would induce some warmth in the old man." E.J. also makes the important comment that [680]:"Some see in Abishag, who is described as "very fair" (1.Kings 1:4), the Shulammite of the Song of Songs (= Shunammite)." Did the servants of the ageing David have to 'interview' every single appropriate girl in Israel for this duty, or did they confine their search only to princesses? Abishag, hailing as she did from Shunem, may have been the daughter of 'Ahinoam the Jezreelite'; for Shunem and Jezreel face each other in northern Israel.



Whatever Abishag's origins, she appears to have made a huge impact on the palace at Jerusalem - especially if she were Solomon's beloved 'Shunammite'. And when Solomon's older brother Adonijah's overt play for the throne, not long before David's death, was foiled by David and Bathsheba, Adonijah tried a more subtle tack after David had died. He bade Bathsheba ask Solomon to give him Abishag for his wife, thus tying her up with the intrigue that surrounded the succession to the throne. In fact Abishag had been present when David had promised Bathsheba that her son Solomon would succeed him (1.Kings 1:15-31). Solomon was furious at this request from his older brother, assuming that such a marriage would in effect give Adonijah the throne, and so Solomon had him put to death (1.Kings 2:17, 22-25).



The youthful Abishag thus looms as a very powerful and important figure by now in the palace of Jerusalem; having been intimately connected with the great David, she was close to his successor, Solomon, and the powerful Bathsheba. Moreover, princes desired her. One wonders why Solomon did not marry her.



His claim, as Senenmut, to have been already close to Hatshepsut "from her youth" now makes perfect sense in this new context.



Abishag, hailing as she did from Shunem, may well have been the daughter of David's wife (taken from king Saul) 'Ahinoam the Jezreelite' (Shunem and Jezreel face each other in northern Israel), the daughter of pharaoh Ahmose. Abishag would thus have been a part-Egyptian, part-Israelite princess. Whatever Abishag's origins, she appears to have made a huge impact on the palace at Jerusalem - especially if she were Solomon's beloved 'Shunammite'. And after Solomon's older brother Adonijah had made his overt play for the throne - not long before David's death - but was foiled by David and Bathsheba, he then tried a more subtle tack after David had died. He bade Queen Bathsheba ask Solomon to give him Abishag for his wife, thus tying her up with the intrigue that surrounded the succession to the throne. In fact Abishag had been present when David had promised Bathsheba that her son Solomon would succeed him (1.Kings 1:15-31).



No doubt Solomon had fully expected that the girl would be his own wife.



Anyway, Solomon was livid at this request from his older brother, assuming that such a marriage would in effect give Adonijah the throne, and so Solomon had him put to death (1.Kings 2:17, 22-25).



The youthful Abishag therefore looms as a very powerful and important figure by now in the palace of Jerusalem; having been intimately connected with the great king David, she was close to his son/successor, Solomon, and the powerful queen, Bathsheba. Moreover, princes desired her. Correspondingly, Hatshepsut is considered to have passed from the harem of Thutmose I (our David) to that of Thutmose II (our Solomon). Thus Tyldesley [700]:



"On the death of her father the young Hatshepsut, possibly only twelve years old, emerged from the obscurity [sic] of the women's palace to marry her half-brother and become queen consort of Egypt."



Senenmut's (Solomon's) claim to have been already close to Hatshepsut "from her youth" now makes perfect sense in this new context. The couple, Solomon and Sheba, were both very young when joined in marriage before David's death. Despite their youth, they were both apparently made co-regent by David/Thutmose I. Hatshepsut greatly revered the founder of the Thutmosides [800]:



Throughout her reign, Hatshepsut sought to honour her earthly father, Tuthmosis I, in every possible way, while virtually ignoring the existence of her dead [sic] husband-brother, Tuthmosis II. …Tuthmosis I was Hatshepsut's reason to rule, not her motivation, as Egyptian tradition decreed that son should follow father on the throne. Given Hatshepsut's unusual circumstances, she needed to stress her links with her father more than most other kings. Therefore, in order to establish herself as her father's heir - and thereby justify her claim to the throne - Hatshepsut was forced to edit her own past [sic] so that her husband - brother, also a child of Tuthmosis I, disappeared from the scene and she became the sole Horus to her father's Osiris.



Perhaps the reason why Solomon did not take Abishag for his own was that David may have already selected her to be the wife of an older son of Bathsheba's, who would become pharaoh Thutmose II of Egypt. If so, this might go some way towards explaining the ceremony that Hatshepsut later claims to have undergone at the hands of Thutmose I. Hatshepsut claims even more; an apparent co-regency with Thutmose I himself!



We do not know much about the reign of Thutmose II, who may nonetheless have been more competent than he is given credit for. Hatshepsut does nothing to enlighten us, because - after his death - she focuses upon her revered father, Thutmose I. Also Senenmut comes into her life again at this point. As far as she was concerned, she had shared a co-regency with Thutmose I, though historians do not tend to believe her [900]:



…Hatshepsut herself chose to gloss over her periods as consort and regent [with Thutmose II], rewriting her own history so that she might invent a co-regency with Tuthmosis I, which, together with the emphasis which was now to be placed on the myth of the divine birth of kings, would 'prove', beyond doubt her absolute right to rule.



Her emphasis upon her 'divine birth' may have been Hatshepsut's way of indicating that she was, like David, a child of God, and that God had (through the agency of her father) chosen her to be ruler [910]: "Her filial relationship with Amen was always extremely important to Hatshepsut and throughout her reign she took every available opportunity to give due acknowledgement to her heavenly father …."



The typical interpretation of Hatshepsut's 'divine conception' as recorded on her Deir el-Bahri temple, may perhaps be inadequate, if not seen as symbolic. The Egyptian use of concrete imagery, e.g. the graphic image of Amen-Re having sexual intercourse with Hatshepsut's mother, may actually have been the only way that the Egyptian scribes were able to express the more abstract Israelite notion of divine election.



Having located the start of the story of her conception in heaven, Hatshepsut then proceeds to tell how Amen-Re came to Queen Ahmose in the guise of Thutmose I. Again, this may simply be the Egyptian way of telling that God had desired this conception (as for instance in the story of the conception of Samson, or Samuel).



It is interesting, in this context, that the name Abishag (its meaning somewhat disputed) is thought to mean "The Divine Father" [920].



The child, shaped by Khnum on the potter's wheel, was herself divine (we might say, heavenly) in appearance [930]: "I will shape for thee thy daughter … I will make her appearance above the gods, because of her dignity as King of Upper and Lower Egypt." Such a description of heavenly beauty was certainly apt in the case of Abishag. And it may therefore also be applicable to Hatshepsut, who boasted of her looks [940]:



Her Majesty grew beyond everything; to look upon her was more beautiful than anything; her form was like a god, she did everything as a god; Her Majesty was a maiden, beautiful, blooming, But in her time. She made her divine form to flourish, by favour of him that fashioned her.



Hatshepsut greatly revered the founder of the Thutmosides [950]:



Throughout her reign, Hatshepsut sought to honour her earthly father, Tuthmosis I, in every possible way, while virtually ignoring the existence of her dead husband-brother, Tuthmosis II.



…Tuthmosis I was Hatshepsut's reason to rule, not her motivation, as Egyptian tradition decreed that son should follow father on the throne. Given Hatshepsut's unusual circumstances, she needed to stress her links with her father more than most other kings.



Therefore, in order to establish herself as her father's heir - and thereby justify her claim to the throne - Hatshepsut was forced to edit her own past so that her husband - brother, also a child of Tuthmosis I, disappeared from the scene and she became the sole Horus to her father's Osiris. To this end she redesigned her father's tomb in the Valley of the Kings, emulated his habit of erecting obelisks, built him a new mortuary chapel associated with her own at Deir el-Bahri and allowed him prominence on many of her inscriptions.



Thutmose III shared this desire to honour the dead Thutmose I [960]:



Nor was Hatshepsut the only 18th Dynasty monarch to revere the memory of Tuthmosis I; Tuthmosis III also sought to link himself with the grandfather whom he almost certainly never met while virtually ignoring the existence of his own less impressive father. As a sign of respect Tuthmosis III, somewhat confusingly, occasionally refers to himself as the son rather than grandson of Tuthmosis I. Fortunately the autobiography of Ineni tells us that Tuthmosis II was succeeded by 'the son he had begotten', removing any doubt as to the actual paternity of Tuthmosis III. The terms 'father' and 'son' need not be taken literally in these circumstances; 'father' was often used by the ancient Egyptians as a respectful form of address for a variety of older men and could therefore be used in a reference to an adoptive father or stepfather, patron or even ancestor. That Tuthmosis I should be regarded as an heroic figure by his descendants is not too surprising. Not only had he proved himself a highly successful monarch, he was also the founder of the immediate royal family. His predecessor Amenhotep I, although officially classified as belonging to the same dynasty, was in fact no blood relation of either Hatshepsut or Tuthmosis III.



Second Conclusion



According to what has been determined here, the mighty Thutmoside dynasty was in reality a Davidic dynasty!



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