Jerry's Blog

Was Solomon also a Pharaoh?

The New Chronology (NC), which became popular just 23 years ago, allows many new synchronies between biblical events and archaeological events. These include Joseph, Israel in Egypt, the Exodus, Jericho, Saul, David, Solomon, and Rehoboam. Because the NC is new and different from Conventional Chronology (CC), archaeologists are skeptical but believers are hopeful. Acceptance is growing. After all, why not assume the Bible to be true and expect everything else to agree with it? That certainly makes sense to me.

 

Solomon is one example of a synchrony, an alignment between different sources. The CC cannot find the great prosperity of Solomon in the Iron Age, but the NC finds it in the Late Bronze Age, through Megiddo, the Millo of Jerusalem, and the palace of Pharaoh’s daughter. I previously mentioned Megiddo, which was an important city for its time, of about 20 acres. The Bible says that Megiddo was one of the cities where Solomon carried on construction efforts that are significant enough to be mentioned. Archaeology, according to the NC, places Megiddo’s zenith at the time of Solomon. In this way, the Bible and archaeology agree, which helps confirm the New Chronology.

 

Secondly, we have the Millo (filling) mentioned in I Kings 9:15 and 11:27. In addition to building the temple, Solomon had 6000 square meters of fill rock brought in to expand the city of David. Although the temple is gone, the fill rock remains. David Graves lists the city of Jerusalem as 10 acres expanded to 12. In 1961 and the seven years that followed, Kathleen Kenyon discovered and excavated Solomon’s Millo. From dating the pottery found in the fill rocks, Kenyon estimates the Millo to about 350 years before Solomon, according to the CC, which places it in perfect agreement with the New Chronology.

 

Another synchrony concerns Solomon’s principle queen, the daughter of Pharaoh. According to 2 Chronicles 8:11, Solomon built her a palace above and away from the temple and royal quarters, because the Ark is holy and she worshipped other gods. As recently as 1980, Professor Gabriel Barkay has found an Egyptian building underneath the church of St. Etienne, north of the Damascus Gate. The NC places it at the time of Solomon. This is the only structure containing Egyptian architecture ever found in Jerusalem, and it dates to the reign of Solomon (NC).

 

It’s difficult to precisely identify the pharaoh of Solomon’s queen. David Rohl suggests that the queen’s father was Pharaoh Haremheb of the 18th dynasty, who attacked Gezer as a general under King Tut, but later made peace in Solomon’s time. Such alliances were common during that period.

 

Someone else suggests that the queen was Meritaten and her father was the famous Akhenaten of the Amarna period. This would allow Solomon to be the same as Pharaoh Smenkhkare, who was coregent with Akhenaten, for a short time at the end of his reign. Very little is known about the mysterious Smenkhkare, except that he is pictured with Meritaten, the oldest daughter of Akhenaten. Nothing is known of his actual reigning alone as a pharaoh over Egypt. Perhaps Solomon was only recognized in Egypt as an honorary pharaoh.

 

What I find interesting about this proposal is the similarity between the times of Akhenaten and Solomon. Akhenaten was famous for turning Egypt away from it’s gods to serve one true god. All religious symbols besides the sun, symbol of the creator god, were destroyed. The Amarna period was the only time that Egypt was monotheistic, and it didn’t last long. Akhenaten was considered to be a heretic by the pharaohs and priests who followed him and references to him and his god were erased.

 

Likewise, Solomon was considered to be a heretic, having introduced foreign gods into Israel through his wives. God tore ten tribes away from his son Rehoboam, who later lost the kingdom’s wealth to an attack from Egypt. The kingdom was never the same. Even though nothing confirms this particular pharaoh in writing, it matches the times. It is easy to understand a marriage to promote commerce and prosperity that compromised religious beliefs in both Egypt and Israel, causing serious consequences. It would also account for Solomon’s wealth, his early wisdom, and his subsequent fall. God always warned Israel about Egypt. Compromise has consequences.

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