All posts for the month December, 2018

Echoes of Jezebel in Roman queens Tullia and Tanaquil

Published December 19, 2018 by amaic

Part One:

Queen Jezebel’s considerable influence



Damien F. Mackey


“Jezebel’s character isn’t particularly analyzed in the Bible, but her actions reflect a calloused and manipulative queen. She wielded her gender traits like a honed sabre, twisting the desires of weaker men to suit her own lusts”.

Old Testament Queen Jezebel’s vivid image as a scarlet woman has echoed down through the centuries, beginning with her New Testament ‘reincarnation’ in Revelation 2:20. See my series:


Two Jezebels are worse than one. Part One: Old and New Testament Jezebel


Two Jezebels are worse than one. Part Two: Who was Apocalypse’s “Jezebel”?

Two Jezebels Are Worse Than One. Part Three: “Jezebel” mirrors the scarlet “woman”



And she has influenced some famous literature, notably Shakespeare’s bloody Lady Macbeth. In an article, “A Comparison of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth and Biblical Jezebel”: for instance, we read:



Social constructs possess an oxymoronic quality in that they can be easily shattered by a daring few. The thrill of acting beyond society’s standards triggers the growth of revolutionaries without consideration to the time period or subject matter. This desire for rebellion was undoubtedly forged during mankind’s downfall in the Garden of Eden. Shakespeare utilizes such desires in “Macbeth”, which possess a striking similarity to Biblical characters of old. Lady Macbeth is unequivocally tied to Jezebel, and their respective stories illustrate a combined warning to those who abuse God-given power.

Both women possess primarily masculine character traits in time periods where feminine standards called for meekness and subservience. Jezebel’s character isn’t particularly analyzed in the Bible, but her actions reflect a calloused and manipulative queen. She wielded her gender traits like a honed sabre, twisting the desires of weaker men to suit her own lusts. Jezebel led faithful rulers such as Ahab down tunnels of idolatry and lust; these successful corruptions fed her ego as well as her thirst for power. Lady Macbeth reiterates these values from the moment she surfaces in the play. Her very first lines are devoted to plotting the murder of King Duncan.

She berates Macbeth for faltering in his moral resolve. Lady Macbeth even goes so far as to insult Macbeth’s own integrity as a man. These evidences display a common core of manipulation that both woman have acquired, despite the wildly different setting and time period.

Lady Macbeth and Jezebel subscribe to harmful belief systems, which are forced upon their spouses. ….

[End of quote]


Furthermore, it would be interesting to know just how many queens of supposed AD history, especially queens Isabelle (or a variant of that name), have been described as “a second Jezebel”, or something similar. I have managed to compile a fair list of them. For example:


Queen Brunhild the ‘second Jezebel’

Isabella of Bavaria ‘like haughty Jezebel’

Isabella of France, ‘iron virago’, ‘Jezebel’

Isabella of Angouleme ‘more Jezebel than Isabel’


such comparisons leading to my article, querying:


Isabelle (is a belle) inevitably a Jezebel?



Part Two:

Supposed Roman queens considered Jezebel-like



“You start off with this Roman history by Livy with these two strong female figures

who encourage, or bully, their husbands to seize the throne and do so with appeals

to manhood and masculinity”.

Julian Robinson




One has to wonder which – if any – of the various queens down through the centuries who has been designated a Queen Jezebel type of character (see Part One of this series: was actually a true historical personage.


I would suspect that, based on the unreliable character of textbook Roman history – see e.g. my:


Horrible Histories. Retracting Romans

queens Tullia and Tanaquil definitely were not – {“Tullia, a ‘semi-legendary’ figure in Roman history”, see below}.


Some British East Anglia researchers think that Tullia and Tanaquil may have inspired Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. This is fitting because we already found, in Part One, that Queen Jezebel was a likely inspiration for Lady Macbeth.

Here follows an account of the British researchers’ explanation:


…. Two ruthless Roman queens may have been the real inspiration for Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, according to academics.

Experts at East Anglia University in Norfolk believe the great bard may have drawn on historical references to the queens Tanaquil and Tullia for his tragedy, which was first performed in 1611.

One of Shakespeare’s best known plays, Macbeth tells the story of a Scottish general whose ambitious wife urges him to commit murder to accede to the throne.


It was recently adapted for the big screen in a film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

University lecturer Dr John-Mark Philo has suggested that the playwright may have borrowed ideas from Roman history as a character basis for the scheming Lady Macbeth, the Observer reports.


Shakespeare may have learned about Tanaquil and Tullia when examining texts by the writer William Painter.

Tanaquil was the wife of the fifth king of Rome and Tullia who, the Observer reports, was responsible for bringing a tyrant the … throne.




Tullia, a ‘semi-legendary’ figure in Roman history was the last queen of Rome from 535 BC to 509 BC and the younger daughter of Rome’s sixth king, Servius Tullius.

She married Lucius Tarquinius and, along with her husband, is said to have arranged the overthrow and murder of her father, securing the throne for her husband.

Legend has it that she encouraged her new husband to seize power – and he launched Servius Tullius into the street where he was murdered. After hailing her husband as king, she is said to have driven her carriage over her father’s mutilated remains.

Her actions made her an infamous figure in ancient Roman culture.


Tanaquil was the wife of Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome. She had four children. One of her daughters became the wife to Servius Tullius.

Tanaquil is said to have encouraged her husband to relocate to Rome and used her prophetic abilities to install him as king.

Tarquin ruled from 616 to 579 BCE and later Tanaquil helped to install Servius Tullius as the next king.

According to Philo Painter was ‘obsessed with women who step outside what’s expected of them, what is seen as the natural bounds for women during the period’.

‘He’s obsessed with extraordinary women,’ Philo added. ‘It’s not coincidence that this is the first decade of the reign of Elizabeth I. He hones in on these two Roman queens, and I think that’s where Shakespeare gets his Lady Macbeth.’


Philo believes Shakespeare may have taken ‘significant chunks’ from Painter’s translation of text from the Roman history writer Livy.

The lecturer said: ‘These women have one foot in reality and another foot in embellishment and fiction.

‘You start off with this Roman history by Livy with these two strong female figures who encourage, or bully, their husbands to seize the throne and do so with appeals to manhood and masculinity.’

Livy reportedly documents how Tanaquil once told her husband to take action ‘if he is a man’ while Tullia is said to have criticised her partner by saying he had his brothers’ ‘effeminate heart’.

In Shakespeare’s play, Lady Macbeth also taunts her husband when she says: ‘Art thou afeard, To be the same in thine own act and valour, As thou art in desire?’ ….


[End of quote]


From this we learn that Queen Tullia allegedly drove “her carriage over her father’s mutilated remains”. But isn’t this precisely what happened to Queen Jezebel?

2 Kings 9:33: “… they threw [Jezebel] out the window, and her blood spattered against the wall and on the horses. And Jehu trampled her body under his horses’ hooves”.


Helena Zlotnick, on the other hand, interestingly attempts to make comparison of Tullia with the very unlike Jezebel, Queen Esther (in Biblica 82, 2001, 477-495):


From Jezebel to Esther:
Fashioning Images of Queenship in the Hebrew Bible




The Two Faces of Queenship


Casting an Esther as a Jezebel carried, potentially, dangerous connotations. The hostility of biblical narrators to queens who, like Jezebel, usurp the role of kings in a manner that highlights the limitations of kingly power and the breakdown of male authority within the home is undisguised. It finds an amplified echo in the annals of the early Roman monarchy (6th century BCE) which chart the career of two queens, Tanaquil and Tullia, who bear curious similarities to the biblical female monarchs. Because Roman authors are considerably more expansive than biblical narrators they provide valuable insights into the process that molded queenly images in antiquity.

In the hindsight of several centuries, the history of early Rome emerges in the pages of the historian Livy (57-14 BCE) as a family narrative dominated by the ambitions of its female members and punctuated by their sense of honor and shame9. Of these, Tullia, like Jezebel, is a daughter of a king (Servius Tullius). Her husband, Tarquinius (Superbus), is likewise a son of a monarch (Tarquinius Priscus) who, however, had designated another man, a non-relative, as his successor. To win the stakes in the complicated game of succession


the couple embarks on a career of crimes, including the murder of their first respective spouses and the killing of Tullia’s father, the reigning ruler. Although apparently a match made in heaven, Livy shows no hesitation in casting Tullia as the moving spirit behind the rocky ride to the throne of Rome.

Echoing what Jezebel might have said to Ahab, had the text been recorded and transmitted in full, Tullia addresses her husband as follows:

If you are the man I thought I was marrying, then show yourself to be a man and a king. If not … you have compounded a crime with cowardice. What is the matter with you? You are not from Corinth or from Tarquinii, like your father, nor is it necessary for you to make yourself a king in a foreign land. The gods of your family, your ancestors, the image of your father, the royal palace, its throne and the very name Tarquinius make and proclaim you king. Why else, if your spirit is too mean to (undertake) this, do you deceive the city? Why do you allow yourself to be looked upon as a prince? Depart to Taquinii or Corinth where you can sink once more into oblivion…10.

Focusing on the interaction between the family and the state as two social entities Livy shows how the privileging of the family interest at the expense of public duty generates chaos11. Tullia and Tarquinius base their claim to the kingship on kinship alone, thus reversing and subverting the principle of merit and of inclusion on which the Roman royal succession had been established from the start. Jezebel ‘vindicates’ the king who is also her husband, thereby undermining the foundations of the royal system of dispensing justice.

In Livy’s landscape of early Rome the palace is the focus and the symbol of the couple’s unbridled ambitions. From the seclusion of their domestic space Tullia and Tarquinius launch their criminal activities. When Tarquinius appears in the curia (= senate house) with an armed bodyguard, Tullia burst on the scene and hails him as king. Her action and gesture constitute a double transgression. Not only does she violate the physical boundaries of males’ space by intruding into male business in the forum, but she also crosses the frontiers of male authority by being the first to confer royalty on a man in public.

Responding to censure, not the least from her own husband, Tullia


defends herself by appealing to another queenly model. She regards herself as a faithful imitator, if not an improved version of Tanaquil, her mother-in-law who had been instrumental in helping her own husband (Tarquinius Priscus) to become a king at Rome, and who had ensured the smooth transfer of power to a successor she herself had chosen (Servius Tullius, Tullia’s father).

Livy’s presentation of Tanaquil is ambiguous. In his words, she is ‘a woman of the most exalted birth and not of a character lightly to endure a humbler rank in her new [Roman] environment than the one she had enjoyed by birth’12. To save the monarchy Tanaquil alters the deliberative process reserved for the senate and the people of Rome. When her husband falls victim to an assassination plot, she encourages Servius to take the reigns into his hands:

To you, Servius, if you are a man, belongs this kingdom, not to those who by the hands of others have committed a dastardly crime. Arouse yourself and follow the guidance of the gods … Now is the time … Rise up to the occasion. We, too, although foreigners, ruled over Rome. Consider who you are and not where you were born. If your judgement is numb in so sudden a crisis then follow my council 13.

The fact that Livy leaves the ultimate tribute to Tanaquil in Tullia’s hands reflects a deep-seated uneasiness with the assumption of male power by women, laudable as their intentions and ultimate results might have been. Although Tanaquil’s resourcefulness saves the dynasty that she had created she also violates male norms by claiming a higher authority than the traditional mos maiorum (custom) would have allowed any woman, queens included. By setting herself and her late husband as models for Tullius to be imitated, Tanaquil also paves the way to Tullia.

As the biblical narrative recreates Jewish queenship in the scroll of Esther, the leading female character undergoes the same kind of transformation that underlies the Tanaquil-to-Tullia process, but in reverse. To begin with, Esther is not only Jewish but a woman with impeccable royal (Jewish) blood in her veins. Jezebel is constantly branded a foreigner in a manner that reflects not only her ethnicity but also her proclivities14. In the redactional history of the Hebrew Bible


the Deuteronomist antipathy to foreigners, and particularly to foreign queens, has been associated with a deep-seated fear of idolatry through contamination15. The elevation of foreigners to Rome’s throne, by contrast, reflects Rome’s greatness and her openness to strangers, while Tullia’s urging of her husband to seize the throne on the ground of his ‘nativeness’ is clearly misplaced.

The scroll depicts the decree of Ahasuerus-Haman ordering the elimination of the Jews as a writ of national emergency. The clash between Ahab and Naboth appears, at first, as carrying little import beyond the king’s petty desire to expand to plant vegetables. Yet behind the issue of the vineyard versus royal garden lurks the larger question of the legitimate scope of monarchical actions vis-à-vis the king’s subjects16. In the Esther scroll the queen reacts to a patriarchal call to action and only exercises her potential royal power to save her people, as Tanaquil does to save Rome from revolution. Jezebel, like Tullia, acts on her own initiative, subverting male standards of royal behavior.

Just how perilously close to each other are, nevertheless, constructs of royal women like Tanaquil and Tullia on the one hand, and Jezebel and Esther on the other, can be further gauged from the attitude of all the texts to the public appearance of queens. Roman and Jewish authors are unanimous in banning women from the public eye. Jezebel and Esther never appear in public. Tanaquil makes a single public appearance when there is no one else who can save the dynasty. Even then she remains standing at a window in the palace, shielded by its walls. Tullia’s venturing into the forum invokes censure by her husband, and by the historian Livy. But Tanaquil’s position near a top window, although emphasizing Tullia’s boldness in venturing outdoors, also signifies the female usurpation of male authority at home. Ultimately, both women embark on a course of action that contradicts male expectations of female royalty. Nevertheless Tanaquil garners praise while Tullia is condemned.

Jezebel’s sole ‘public’ appearance is made as a spectator standing at the window of the palace that another king is about to possess. Observing the approach of Jehu, she stands at the window as a visual


reminder of the legitimacy of her royal position and of his usurpation. Her words reinforce the image that her presence conveys: ‘Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of his master?’ (2 Kgs 9,30). Her words, like Tanaquil’s to Tullius, are filtered through space and the conventions of official language as she faces the successor of her dynasty and her ultimate executioner17.

Esther is never seen or heard addressing directly any man besides her husband and cousin/father. In fact, no biblical narrator or redactor ventured to place either queen, Jezebel or Esther, outside the confines of the palace itself. Both women use messengers to gather information and agents to convey their commands and their threats. Yet, like Tanaquil and Tullia, the two biblical queens were destined for vastly disparate ‘after-life’. In collective memory Jezebel became a stereotype of shrewish and detestable queens18. Esther’s adventures are still celebrated. ….


“The Egyptian” of Acts 21:38 – an unlikely candidate for Jesus

Published December 16, 2018 by amaic

Image result for ancient egyptian warrior


Damien F. Mackey

Good luck to anyone who is able to convert the Jewish Jesus Christ of the New Testament, whose death occurred early during the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate, into a rebel insurgent leading a force of 4000 murderous sicarii (assassins) at Mount Olivet, or into the wilderness, at a point late in the procuratorship of Felix – and an “Egyptian” rebel at that!


Lena Einhorn has attempted to do just that in her, albeit most intriguing, book, A Shift in Time, and in her article, “Jesus and the Egyptian Prophet”:


I, having read through a substantial amount of the material that Lena referenced for me on the subject, wrote her this my summary of it all:


Dear Lena,

Many thanks for your interesting contributions which I have enjoyed reading ….


What I got out of it, though, is not what you would have wanted me to get out of it.
Your showing how well Procurator Felix fits the biblical Pontius Pilate was a revelation to me.

St. Paul says to Felix that the latter had been a judge of the nation “for many years” (Acts 24:27), which could not be true of just Felix at that time (about a handful of years only).
But it would be perfectly true were Felix to be merged with Pontius Pilate, making for some two decades of overall governorship.

And, regarding the startling likenesses between some aspects of Jesus and “the Egyptian” – though one would be very hard put indeed to make of Jesus, “love thy enemy”, “he who lives by the sword will die by the sword”, “my kingdom is not of this world”, “render to Caesar”, a murderous revolutionary.

What happens is that the influential life of Jesus Christ gets picked up and absorbed into pseudo-historical characters, such as the Buddha (his birth was miraculous, he walks on water, he has 12 inner apostles and 72 outer ones, etc.), Krishna, Prophet Mohammed, and, most notably, Apollonius of Tyana, whom many regard as being the actual model for the biblical Jesus. Unfortunately for Apollonius, his association with Nineveh (destroyed in 612 BC and whose location was totally unknown until the C19th AD), renders him an historical absurdity – same with Mohammed and his various associations with Nineveh.

Also Heraclius of Byzantium for the very same reason.

Josephus has obviously merged into the one scenario, two very disparate characters: Jesus Christ and the Egyptian.

Hence some incredibly striking parallels mixed with some impossible differences.

My best wishes,



Pontius Pilate was a judge over Israel for many years

Published December 16, 2018 by amaic

Image result for pontius pilate


Damien F. Mackey


“Procurator Felix (52-ca. 59 C.E.), as he is depicted in Josephus’ texts,

in several ways appears to bear stronger similarities to the Pilate

described in the Gospels, than Pilate himself”.

Lena Einhorn


As professor Julius Sumner Miller would have asked: “Why is it so?”


Why is it that Josephus’s procurator Felix, conventionally dated to c. 50 AD, may better fit the biblical description of Pontius Pilate than does Pilate himself, conventionally at c. 30 AD?


The answer to this question comes fairly easy to a hardened revisionist such as myself.


Similarly, the question is asked – and I have answered it – why does king Nabonidus of Babylon (conventionally dated to c. 540 BC) better fit the Book of Daniel’s description of the Chaldean “King Nebuchednezzar” than does the historical Nebuchednezzar (II) (c. 600 BC, conventional dating) himself?


Simple answer: The Babylonian history has been over-extended and heavily duplicated.

King Nabonidus is very much like Daniel’s “Nebuchednezzar” because he was, in fact, Daniel’s “Nebuchednezzar” – {and Nabonidus was also the historical Nebuchednezzar II}.

And Nebuchednezzar II’s son, Belshazzar (also known as Evil-Merodach), the son-successor of “Nebuchednezzar” in the Book of Daniel’s famous chapter 5 (the ‘Writing on the Wall’), was simply the same person as Nabonidus’s well-known son, Belshazzar.


I have written by now various articles on this subject of neo-Babylonian revision, including:

“Nebuchednezzar” of the Book of Daniel

Ashurbanipal and Nabonidus


Instinctively now, therefore, I would incline to the view that Procurator Felix was so like the biblical Pilate because he was Pontius Pilate. No need, then, for any 20-year “time shift”.


A suggested procuratorial merger


The Bible never calls him Marcus Antonius Felix,

just “Felix”, which could well be simply a nickname.


My suggestion would be – as already strongly hinted in the first part of this article – that the Pontius Pilate of the Gospels was the same as the “Felix” of the Book of Acts.


Whether accurately or not, this Felix has come down to us variously as Marcus Antonius (Roman writers) and as Claudius (Josephus).


He, Pontius Pilate in the Gospels, is Felix in the Book of Acts.

This use of different names for the same person in different books of the Bible – or, in the same book, but recounted by different authors (or different sources), is not uncommon.

Thus we have found that the story of the abduction by “Pharaoh” of Abram’s wife, Sarai, in Ishmael’s toledôt, becomes almost like a different story at the hands (or toledôt) of Isaac, in which “Pharaoh” is newly named, “Abimelech”:


Toledôt Explains Abram’s Pharaoh



Now Lena Einhorn has well shown, in “Jesus and the Egyptian Prophet”, that the Procurator Felix of Acts fits the biblical Pontius Pilate, though without her identifying Felix as Pilate:




Changing the names of authority figures in the gospel texts, in order to detect (or disguise) parallels in the historical sources, would at the same time be a simple and a radical intervention. It would with one stroke of the pen move the narrative to a different era, but it would also likely bestow upon these authority figures characteristics and circumstances which are not in reality theirs. When comparing the gospel descriptions of various dignitaries with those from Josephus, not only does such a pattern indeed seem to emerge; in addition, there is some consistency with regard to which dignitaries would change names, and when they are active. Procurator Felix (52-ca. 59 C.E.), as he is depicted in Josephus’ texts, in several ways appears to bear stronger similarities to the Pilate described in the Gospels, than Pilate himself.

As noted above, in Josephus’ accounts of Pilate’s reign we find no descriptions of robbers, nor of crucifixions of Jews, or co-reigning high priests, or open conflict between Galileans and Samaritans. Under Felix, and under Cumanus, we do.

There are other examples. Luke 13:1 reads: “At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.” This statement fits poorly with Pilate. To begin with, Pilate was not the ruler of Galilee, Herod Antipas was. Secondly, the only registered violent encounter between Pilate and the Jews occurred in Jerusalem – thus in Judea – when non-violent protests against the aqueduct prompted Pilate to instruct his soldiers “with their staves to beat those that made the clamour” (B.J. 2.175-177).

This stands in stark contrast to what occurred under Felix, in particular. Felix, unlike Pilate, was the ruler not only of Judea, but also of “Samaria, Galilee, and Peraea” (B.J. 2.247; the western part of Galilee after 54 C.E.). At this point, “the country was again filled with robbers and impostors”, a disproportionate amount of whom were Galileans,30 and Felix was exceptionally cruel in dealing with these insurgents. As Josephus writes: “But as to the number of the robbers whom he caused to be crucified, and of those who were caught among them, and whom he brought to punishment, they were a multitude not to be enumerated” (B.J. 2.253).

Tacitus, in turn, puts much of the blame for the emerging rebellion on Felix and Cumanus (Ann. 12.54).

There are other, more personal, examples: the Gospels attribute great influence to Pilate’s wife (Matt. 27:19: “While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man …’”). The Gospels also mention a feud between Pilate and the Jewish king (Luke 23:12: “That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.”)

In contrast, Josephus does not mention Pilate’s wife, and, more significantly, fails to mention any animosity between Pilate and Herod Antipas (Philo does mention one possible occasion of disagreement – when “the four sons of the king” [Herod] are asked by the people to implore Pilate to remove the guilt shields, or ensigns, from Jerusalem).31

Josephus does, however, describe a significant – and very personal – disagreement between Felix and Herod Agrippa II. The conflict concerns the procurator’s wife. Felix had fallen in love with Agrippa’s sister, princess Drusilla (A.J. 20.141-144). But Drusilla was not only married; Agrippa had forced her first husband, king Azizus, to convert to Judaism. Now Felix “endeavored to persuade her to forsake her present husband, and marry him”, which Drusilla did, thus “transgressing the laws of her forefathers” (A.J. 20.137-144; cf. Acts 24:24).

Hence, a prominent wife, and a personal disagreement with a Jewish ruler, are aspects of Felix’ life; not, as far as is known, of Pilate’s.

Yet another example: the text in Luke 23:6-7 does, if it pertains to Pilate and Herod Antipas, contain a curious tautology: “When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod …” Since Pilate ruled Judea, and Herod Antipas ruled Galilee, the words “under Herod’s jurisdiction” seem superfluous. A more logical sentence would have read: “When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was, he sent him off to Herod …”

With Felix and Herod Agrippa II, however, the sentence makes perfect sense. From 54 C.E., jurisdiction over Galilee was divided between them – with Felix ruling over western Galilee, and Herod Agrippa II ruling over the eastern parts. Thus, the information that Jesus is a Galilean would not automatically put him under Herod’s jurisdiction.

In conclusion, there are in the Gospels a number of characteristics and events ascribed to Pilate or his times which, judging by Josephus, fit better with later procurators, principally Felix, procurator in the 50s (Table 1).

[End of quote]


The “Egyptian” of Acts 21:38


‘Are you not the Egyptian, then, who recently stirred up a revolt and led

the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?’

Acts 21:38



My conclusion has been in this series that the reason why Procurator Felix so resembles the biblical Procurator Pontius Pilate is because he was the same person as Pilate.


The governor called “Pontius Pilate” in the Gospels is referred to instead, in Acts, simply as “Felix”.


This, I would suspect, was the Procurator’s nickname.


Admittedly, Peter and John do mention him by the name of Pontius Pilate in Acts 4:27, but this is I would take to be a direct quote from the Apostles: ‘Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed’.


My identifying Pontius Pilate with Felix (conventionally separated by some two decades) would, so I believe, account for why Lena Einhorn has arrived at her ‘time shift’ of two decades theory:




The length of governorship of Pontius Pilate would now, according to my own view, be much expanded due to the inclusion of Felix (and vice versa). That is why Paul is able to say to Felix (Acts 24:10): ‘I cheerfully make my defence, knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation’.


The Greek phrase for the words in italics (for many years) is:


Ἐκ πολλῶν ἐτῶν


Lena also claims to have found significant likenesses between the Egyptian and Jesus:

Perhaps the most significant aspect of Felix’s procuratorship, however, is that if the 30s are devoid of strong Jewish messianic leaders, the 50s are not.35 And the most important of them is one that Josephus describes at length, in both his major works (A.J. 20.169-172; B.J. 2.261-263; cf. Acts 21:38):


There came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and at the distance of five furlongs. He said further, that he would show them from hence how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down; and he promised them that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were fallen down. Now when Felix was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any more (A.J. 20.169-172).


The description in B.J. 2.261-263 is similar, but more negative. And it adds the information that this messianic leader “got together thirty thousand men” that he “led round about from the wilderness to the mount which was called the Mount of Olives”. The ensuing battle is described in a similar way.


There are significant differences, but had the Egyptian been active in the 30s, instead of in the 50s, historians would undoubtedly have made comparisons with Jesus from Nazareth.

[End of quote]


Much of Josephus’s description of “the Egyptian”, for example the Mount of Olives aspect, does not appear at all in the brief biblical account, the location there being “the wilderness”.

Quite a difference!

Moreover, the chronology – the “recently” or “before these days” (πρὸ τούτων τῶν ἡμερῶν) – would be closer to the latter part of Paul’s life rather than to the time of the ministry of Jesus.


Josephus, writing after these events, had apparently confused the incident of the arrest of Jesus, well known as a Jew (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:9; Luke 23:38; John 19:3), with the later revolt of the obscure “Egyptian” insurrectionist.


Two Jezebels are worse than one. Part One: Old and New Testament Jezebel  

Published December 2, 2018 by amaic
Image result for amaic two jezebels are worse than one


Damien F. Mackey



‘Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead’.

Revelation 2:20-23



No doubt “Jezebel” here is meant to be taken metaphorically, having in mind the original Jezebel, that notorious queen of the Old Testament who was the wife of king Ahab of Israel, for, according to the following testimony of commander Jehu to Jezebel’s son, king Jehoram – {Jehu would oversee the death of this first Jezebel} – she was, just like her ‘re-incarnation’ in the Apocalypse, an idolatrous and immoral witch (2 Kings 9:21-22):


And Jehoram said, ‘Make ready’. And his chariot was made ready. And Jehoram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.


And it came to pass, when Jehoram saw Jehu, that he said, ‘Is it peace, Jehu?’ And he answered, ‘What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?’



This first Jezebel I have been able to identify with – thanks to the benefits of a revised history and chronology – the only female correspondent of the El Amarna [EA] letters, Baalat-neše:


Queen Jezebel makes guest appearances in El Amarna


The following article gives an outline of the two biblical Jezebels:


Bible Question:


Who was Jezebel?

Bible Answer:


There are two Jezebels in the Bible. The first one is found in the Old Testament, and the second one is found in the New Testament.


Jezebel – Old Testament


The first time the name Jezebel occurs in the Bible is when she is getting married to King Ahab in 1 Kings 16:31,

And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all who were before him. And it came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went to serve Baal and worshiped him. 1 Kings 16:30-31 (NASB)

She was an evil woman who killed many prophets of God while feeding and caring for the prophets of two gods called Baal and Asherah (1 Kings 18:1-19). In 1 Kings 18:20-46 Ahab, Elijah and 450 prophets of Baal gather to see, “Who is God?” Elijah puts it simply,

How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him. 1 Kings 18:21 (NASB)

What followed was a one-sided contest. The followers of Baal prepared a sacrifice but Baal never sent fire to consume the sacrifice even though the 450 prophets called to Baal all day pleading, “O Baal, answer us.” Then they even cut themselves with swords and lances and still Baal did not answer. Baal never responded. Finally, Elijah poured water on his sacrifice three times. After Elijah prayed, God sent fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice. Elijah killed the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:40). Therefore, Jezebel sought to kill Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-2).

In 1 Kings 21:5-25 Jezebel had Naboth the Jezreelite killed so that her husband could own Naboth’s vineyard. What a wicked woman! Eventually, Jezebel was trampled to death by horses (2 Kings 9:30-37). Then dogs ate her flesh, leaving only her skull and the palms of her hands. What a horrible way to die. Jezebel was a wicked, evil, adulterous woman who was fighting against God.


Jezebel – New Testament


The name Jezebel is used for a woman once again in Revelation 2:18-29. Here, Jezebel is described as a prophetess, a false teacher, an immoral woman and idol worshipper. She attended a church at Thyatira. She encouraged those who attended the church to engage in sexual sin and worship other gods.

But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Rev. 2:20-21 (NASB)

She was like the Jezebel in the Old Testament. They share many of the same characteristics. God warned this Jezebel that He would punish her if she did not stop teaching this evil and repent. God not only warned Jezebel the teacher, He also warned her followers to stop and repent (Rev. 2:22-23).

And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. Rev. 2:23 (NASB)



Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a sharp contrast to Jezebel. She was a woman who committed herself to God and followed Him. Notice Mary’s attitude of willing submission to God when she agreed to become the mother of Jesus,

And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 (NAS95S)


And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave.” Luke 1:46-48 (NASB)

What a wonderful woman! What a contrast. This is the kind of woman God desires, one who is humble, God honoring and God glorifying.