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Koran: Mecca has likely been substituted for Beersheba

Published July 31, 2019 by amaic
Image result for camels mecca

A funny thing happened

on the way to Mecca

 

Part Two:

Mecca has likely been substituted for Beersheba

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“Apparently drawing from early Jewish scriptural interpretations known as Targumim, Muslim interpreters linked the building of the sanctuary in Mecca with the account in

Gen 21 of digging a well in Beersheba—the place where, according to the Targumim, Abraham also built a shrine”.

 Brannon Wheeler

 

 

The Qur’an (Koran) can, at times, present its reader with some appallingly bad geography; with unashamedly anachronistic history; and with endless biblical and Jewish appropriations.

For example, in my article:

Durie’s Verdict: No Mohammed

https://www.academia.edu/38270742/Duries_Verdict_No_Mohammed

I quoted the Rev. Mark Durie to this effect: “Another issue is the observation in Q37:137–38 that the Qur’an’s audience can pass by the remains of Lūṭ’s [Lot’s] people in the morning and by night. The Biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is associated with the region around the Dead Sea…”.

Geographical swing and a miss!

A vast geographical distance separates Lot’s place of abode from that of the early Moslems.

 

 

Moreover, whilst Abram (Abraham), considered to be the very father of the Islamic religion, lived in a most ancient time that has been properly (so I believe) located archaeologically to the Late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze phase (c. 3500 BC, conventional dating), the site of Mecca, to where Abraham is supposed to have gone, is, in archaeological terms, extremely young.

As I wrote in Part One:

https://www.academia.edu/38677117/A_funny_thing_happened_on_the_way_to_Mecca

 

…. I, whilst indeed accepting at least the religious and the evangelical aspects of things in relation to Islam, find, nevertheless, that there are immense problems with the conventional view of Islam as an historical phenomenon. There are many articles currently surfacing that support a view that the historical claims of Islam are quite false and inaccurate, with no underlying archaeology to support them.

‘A funny thing has happened on the way to Mecca’ – for it is most curious that, according to this recent scholarship:

 

  • “Archaeology of Mecca – the History of Mecca”. There is no archaeological evidence that suggests that Mecca is an ancient town that existed before the Christian era, or even that it existed before about the 4th century A.D. ….

(http://www.historyofmecca.com/archaeology_mecca.htm)

 

  • “Did Abraham Build the Kaaba?” The body of this paper will deal primarily with places and destinations, not theology or personality. I will examine the Biblical accounts of Abraham in the natural and sequential order in which they are preserved in the Bible, while I examine and compare a small sampling of the similarities and differences in the Quran and other Islamic sources. In doing so, I’ll point out the several fatal contradictions in the Islamic perspective and leave the reader to determine whether the Islamic version is truth to be believed or fable created to connect a pagan Arabian shrine to the Biblical patriarch of the Israelites. I will cover the ancient evidence and promptly dismember Islamic dogma as inauthentic and based on inadequate grounds. ….

[End of quotes]

 

Brannon Wheeler thinks that (and I would have to agree with him here) Moslem interpreters appropriated the biblical (the Jewish) story of Abraham at Beersheba and shifted it to Mecca: https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/people/related-articles/abraham-and-islam

 

Abraham and Islam by Brannon Wheeler

 

Muslims understand Islam to be the religion of Abraham. The biblical figure of Abraham is mentioned by name in the Qur’an 69 times—more than any other person except for Moses (137 times). Muslim interpreters of the Qur’an provide additional details linking the passages in the Qur’an to the stories of Abraham known from the Bible and from Jewish and Christian interpretation.

 

The Qur’an is familiar with some of the biblical stories about Abraham, including his journey to the promised land (Qur’an 21:71-73), the annunciation of Isaac (Qur’an 11:69-74, Qur’an 15:51-56, Qur’an 51:24-30), God’s command for Abraham to sacrifice his son (Qur’an 37:99-113), the sacrifice of the birds (Qur’an 2:260), and Abraham’s interaction with Lot and the angels (Qur’an 11:74-83, Qur’an 29:28-35, Qur’an 51:31-37).

 

In the Qur’an, God calls upon people to “follow the religion of Abraham” (Qur’an 3:95). Abraham is the “model” of obedience to God (Qur’an 16:120) and the “friend of God,” and no one can be “better in religion” (Qur’an 4:125) than those who follow him.

 

The Bible begins the narrative of Abraham’s life with his call by God in Gen 12, but the Qur’an begins earlier, with the story of Abraham smashing the idols of his father. A number of close parallels exist between Jewish versions of this story (found in rabbinic literature) and the details provided by Muslim interpreters, including Abraham’s discovery of monotheism (Qur’an 6:74-87, Qur’an 41:37), his scheme to disprove idolatry (Qur’an 19:41-50, Qur’an 21:51-70), and his escape from the fiery furnace into which he was cast as punishment by the Babylonian king Nimrod (Qur’an 37:83-99, Qur’an 29:16-27).

 

Abraham is credited with establishing both the sanctuary in Mecca known as the Kaaba and the practice of Islamic pilgrimage (Haj) to that site (Qur’an 22:26-27, Qur’an 3:96-97, Qur’an 2:125-129).

Apparently drawing from early Jewish scriptural interpretations known as Targumim, Muslim interpreters linked the building of the sanctuary in Mecca with the account in Gen 21 of digging a well in Beersheba—the place where, according to the Targumim, Abraham also built a shrine.

 

The Qur’an does not identify the name of the son whom Abraham is commanded to sacrifice (see Gen 22), and the earliest Muslim interpreters were divided over whether it was Isaac or Ishmael. In the context of the larger narrative linking Abraham with Mecca, later Muslim traditions clearly identify the son to be sacrificed as Ishmael, the ancestor of the prophet Muhammad. Muslim interpreters also differ from the biblical account in making explicit that Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son, trying a number of times to slit his son’s throat. ….

 

 

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Darius the Mede and Cyrus

Published July 25, 2019 by amaic

Book of Daniel may identify

Darius the Mede by chiasmus

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“Through chiasmus, once again, it may tell us exactly who [Darius the Mede]

was by mirroring him with his alter ego monarch of a different name”.

 

 

This article has a parallel in my:

Toledôt Explains Abram’s Pharaoh

https://www.academia.edu/26239534/Toled%C3%B4t_Explains_Abrams_Pharaoh

{Toledôt and chiasmus, the keys to the structure of the Book of Genesis,

may lead us to a real name for this “Pharaoh”.}

 

In that article I was been able, with the benefit of the toledôt and chiastic structures of the Abrahamic histories, written (or owned) by Ishmael and Isaac,

 

“These are the generations of Ishmael …” (Genesis 25:12).

“These are the generations of Isaac …” (Genesis 25:19).

 

(a)    to show that the two accounts of the abduction of Sarai/Sarah actually referred to just the one single incident, not two; and that

(b)   he who is called “pharaoh” in the first account (Ishmael’s) was the same as the “Abimelech” referred to in the second account (Isaac’s).

 

Thus the Bible does apparently name Abram’s Pharaoh!

Now Ishmael, whose mother was Egyptian, writes his account from an Egyptian perspective; whereas Isaac, who dwelt in Palestine, writes from a more northerly perspective. This difference in perspective, yielding two rather different accounts of just the one incident, if not appreciated by commentators, can lead them to conclude, but wrongly, that these were two quite separate abductions (thereby increasing the pain for Sarah).

But, when the Abrahamic narratives are subjected to chiasmus, then it is found that “pharaoh” is perfectly mirrored by “Abimelech”.

The Bible, therefore, appears to be providing us with a key identification.

Although it does need to be noted that two names that intersect in a chiastic structure do not necessarily always identify each one named as being the same person.

 

Now to Darius the Mede.

Perhaps more important for commentators is the fact that the Book of Daniel provides the very same service in the case of the very enigmatic, but key, Darius the Mede. Through chiasmus, once again, it may tell us who he was by mirroring him with his alter ego monarch of a different name. See James B. Jordan’s brilliant chiastic structuring of Daniel 6 on p. 314 of

 

The Handwriting on the Wall

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=l25D1d4ub_0C&pg=PA314&lpg=PA314&dq=chiastic+structure+of+the+book+of+daniel+darius+and+cyrus

 

Hence, as many have suspected (e.g. George R. Law, Identification of Darius The Mede:

http://readyscribepress.com/home_files/DtM-Daniel_5_30-31.pdf.), Darius the Mede is the same as Cyrus the Persian.

The Bible seems to point it out for us.

 

Now, the Apocrypha provides a further confirmation of this identification with another account of Daniel in the lions’ den. Here Darius the Mede is presented as Cyrus. This again, like with the abduction of Sarai/Sarah, is a case of the same story being told by two different authors, quite differently. But it is nevertheless about the one same incident. All of the main protagonists are there in both accounts. Biblical scholars ought easily to be able to reconcile the two with sufficient care and attention to detail.

 

Just as God would assure that his beloved Sarah was never going to be abducted twice, so would he assure that his beloved Daniel had only once to endure the den of lions.

 

Queen Esther reverses Jezebel

Published July 25, 2019 by amaic
Queen Esther

 

“[Esther] is fully visible, unlike Jezebel, but her intentions are concealed from the beholder. Esther is also beautiful, a familiar attribute of matriarchs in the [Hebrew Bible]. ….

Jezebel lacks a face and a figure, as though she is made of an evil spirit alone”.

 Helena Zlotnick

  

  

At: http://prophetess.lstc.edu/~rklein/Documents/Zlotnick.htm we read this intriguing contrast and comparison, by Helena Zlotnick (2001), of two famous biblical queens, Jezebel and Esther:

Helena ZLOTNICK Biblica 82 (2001) 477-495

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

 

 

…. At the heart of this study stands the hypothesis that the story of Esther and Ahasuerus must be read as a rehabilitative narrative of the tale of Jezebel and Ahab. To be exact, the narrative of Esther, if read sensibly and sensitively, bears unmistakable allusions to that of Jezebel. Both share an ideological kinship that aspires to define the desired characteristics and behavior of Israelite/Jewish queens.

An investigation into the use of Jezebel as a shadowy foil to Esther highlights biblical (redactional) ideas regarding queenly images, queenly spheres of influence and the molding of ‘Israelite’/Jewish queens ….

 

The Royal Wife: Queens as Protagonists

 

Jezebel is remembered, above all, for her role in the famed episode of the vineyard of Naboth (1 Kgs 21) …. The story begins with direct negotiations between two men, a king and his subject, Ahab and Naboth, over the legal acquisition of a plot of land adjacent to a royal residence. The exchange is terminated with Naboth’s insistence on the inalienable character of his property. His refusal to comply with the king’s desire leaves Ahab with two options: he can abandon his rosy visions of a palatial garden (21,2) or he can exert his authority to prevail, by hook and by crook, over the scruples and the objections of Naboth. The king chooses neither. Returning home from his unprofitable dialogue with Naboth he retires to his bedchamber in a foul mood and plunges into a fast ….

As the scene shifts from the outside with its vineyards and hypothetical gardens to the royal bedroom the queen enters the picture. Her ‘credentials’ had already been established. Readers had been familiarized with this Sidonian princess as the moving spirit behind her husband’s devotion to the Baal (16,31), and as the mortal enemy of YHWH’s prophets (18,4.13)…. The fact that Ahab’s marriage with her also signaled the acceptance of the Omrides by their neighbors was deemed irrelevant by the biblical redactor. Yet, with the exception of Solomon, only Ahab achieved the kind of ‘international’ status that made him a desirable match in the eyes of neighboring kings.

Jezebel’s intrusion into Ahab’s self-imposed solitude re-enacts the tale of the vineyard verbally and in the intimacy of the royal bedroom. Within this familial context Jezebel emerges as the king’s solicitous spouse rather than as a bearer of idolatry. Her question, ‘What is the matter with you and why are you not eating’ (1 Kgs 21,5), supports this image. Ahab replies with a distorted version of the words exchanged with Naboth. According to his presentation Naboth was guilty of obstinacy if not of disobedience through an unreasonable refusal of complying with the king’s seemingly reasonable request.

On the surface, this brief and rare glimpse into a royal marriage reveals a model of spousal relations and an inordinate degree of marital harmony and trust …. Ahab admits his weakness to a sympathetic wife expecting, presumably, support and understanding. She expresses perhaps indignation perhaps surprise and promises the fulfillment of his desires. He refrains from probing her promise. Even before this bedroom snapshot the text refers to the couple’s closeness and her status, in spite of Ahab’s other wives. He shares with her not only her gods but also information about the management of the kingdom, including the difficulties attendant on the maintenance of correct relations with YHWH’s prophet, Elijah (1 Kgs 19,1). She issues a death threat to Elijah that effectively undermines Ahab’s conciliatory politics and demonstrates her standing at the court.

How extraordinary was the association of an ‘Israelite’ queen, even of foreign descent, with unlimited accessibility to the king can be fully appreciated through the fashioning of royal intimacy in the scroll of Esther …. Only three royal couples in the … [Hebrew Bible], Jezebel and Ahab, Esther and Ahasuerus, David and Bathsheba, are seen, or rather heard in direct verbal communication. But the nature of Bathsheba’s intercession is dictated by motherly and not by wifely concerns. Her appearance in the king’s bedroom, where another woman had been occupying the king’s bed, is carefully orchestrated by a prophet. She is neither Jezebel nor Esther.

Like Jezebel, Esther is one of many royal consorts. Unlike Jezebel, when Esther approaches her royal husband she is not only afraid of the consequences of appearing without summons but she also behaves as a humble petitioner rather than a royal consort (Esth 4,11). Even in the privacy of her own rooms Esther has to tread carefully. After obtaining permission to stage a private banquet for the king and a favorite minister (Haman) she dares not bring up her grievance before plying Ahasuerus with drinks (Esth 7,1.2.7). And even then she waits till Ahasuerus seeks enlightenment regarding the identity of the author of the anti-Jewish measures in his kingdom.

When Esther exposes Haman Ahasuerus, like Ahab, retires in anger not to his bedroom but rather to an adjacent garden. That the scroll conjures up for the king’s inflamed spirit the exact same soothing landscape that Ahab had desired to create out of Naboth’s vineyard seems hardly a coincidence. Ahasuerus’ brief stroll in the queen’s garden is staged as a prelude to the climax of the plot and marks the end of Haman’s career. Ahab’s urge to enlarge the palace’s garden sets in motion a series of crimes and signals the demise of his dynasty.

Both the Dtr historian (= the redactor of 1 Kgs 21) and the author of the scroll cloth with mockery the marriages they delineate. The former casts the king’s bedroom as a launching pad for queenly crimes; the latter places the queen in bed with her enemy rather than with her lawful consort. In both narratives communications between king and queen, although direct, are marked by evasions and half-truths. Ahab and Jezebel communicate through deceptions. He provides an edited version of his dealings with Naboth while she avoids further delving into both his statements and her own strategies. Esther hides her true identity from Ahasuerus when she joins the harem. She also conceals her true intention from him when she solicits permission to hold a private banquet for Haman. If Ahasuerus believed his beautiful wife, a rather doubtful proposition, he elected to humor her by pretending ignorance.

An interplay between the words and the actions of the protagonists further reveals parallels between the tales of Jezebel and Esther. Jezebel reminds Ahab of his royal status only to undermine her own assertion by assuming kingly power. Mordechai, ostensibly a caring relative, reminds Esther of her position at the court solely to prompt her to use it in spite of danger to her life in obeying his order. Neither Ahab nor Esther, of course, requires the admonition. But the reminders also imply an admission of Mordechai’s own helplessness and of Ahab’s inability to deal with the situation. As the action shifts into the hands of the two queens the scroll is still careful to entrust the initial urging into the hands of a male relative, thereby ‘correcting’ the Dtr history that had cast Jezebel as the prompter and the actor.

A choice of seminal gestures and phrases in the scroll’s description of critical preliminaries appears to recall, somewhat perversely but accurately, the earlier narrative. When Esther hears that Mordechai has been seen donning mourning clothes at the gate of the palace she orders an inquiry into this seemingly inexplicable and apparently inexcusable public display (Esth 4,1-5). Jezebel addresses her grief-stricken and fasting spouse in a similar mode, likewise implying that his behavior is uncalled for. At the heart of the familial encounters on the eve of a crisis are two difficult phrases that emphasize the addressee’s status. ‘Who knows? Perhaps you have attained royalty for just such a time as this?’ (Esth 4,14) …. Jezebel addresses Ahab with a similarly pregnant question: ‘Do you now govern Israel?’ (1 Kgs 21,7). In both instances a rhetoric of timeliness is intended to spur the protagonists to action. Mordechai succeeds in coercing Esther to act; Jezebel becomes an actor rather than a prompter.

Structurally, the later narrative also encodes the making of Esther as a queen in a sequence that echoes Jezebel’s queenly progress. In the wake of the fateful exchange between Esther and Mordechai Esther, like Jezebel after her interchange with Ahab, appropriates control over the course of events. She issues an order to summon the Jews of Susa for a three-day fast (Esth 4,16). In the reconstructed order of events in 1 Kgs 21 Jezebel acts along precisely the same lines: she summons the council of the elders in Naboth’s town and calls for a fast (21,9). In both cases the queen effectively transfers the gestures (fasting; mourning) that launch fatal encounters between kin (Ahab/Jezebel; Mordechai/Esther) to a wider circle of the public, thereby opening the door to an outbreak or a resolution of a crisis.

Lest, however, these close analogies inspire unwary readers with either sympathy towards Jezebel or hostility to Esther, the latter narrator carefully parts the ways of the two queens. Jezebel disappears, physically, from subsequent proceedings. Her invisible presence, however, is constantly referred to in the text. By contrast, Esther appears in all her regal splendor in the inner palace court as she implements the first part of her plan to save the Jews from extinction. She is fully visible, unlike Jezebel, but her intentions are concealed from the beholder.

Esther is also beautiful, a familiar attribute of matriarchs in the … [Hebrew Bible]. Jezebel lacks a face and a figure, as though she is made of an evil spirit alone. Moreover, readers are aware of Jezebel’s aim from the start as she sets out to fulfil her husband’s wish. Her method of achieving it soon becomes apparent. In the scroll neither husband nor its readers are familiarized with Esther’s schemes to deliver her promise.

….

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 proclivities…. 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 contamination. ….

….

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 subjects. ….

….

Underlying Jezebel’s assumption of royal authority in the case of Naboth is the pitting of her patron-god, the Baal, with the national Israelite divinity, YHWH. Within this context the queen’s uncompromising loyalty to her husband, in itself a commendable wifely trait, is completely obscured. Esther is not even expected to display spousal loyalty to her royal husband but rather a commitment to her own community of origin. Her dilemma as a wife and a queen is staged as a predicament of the Jewish people as a whole. Ahab’s reflects the king’s own pettiness.

In the name of Ahab Jezebel communicates the king’s alleged commands to the local authorities in Naboth’s hometown. The redacted story does not explain whether she had been empowered to do so. It implies that she abused, rather than used the king’s implicit trust in her. …. In the scroll of Esther not a single person, wife or otherwise, is allowed to issue royal commands without the king’s explicit seal of approval. Jezebel acts on her own initiative and without the prompting of a male relative. In her eyes she is embarking on a just vindication of the injured royal dignity.

The theme of writing on behalf of the king, with or without explicit permission, and of using the royal seal to convey the legality of the message dominates both the Jezebel and the Esther accounts. …. 1 Kgs 21,8 depicts Jezebel as writing a royal letter to Naboth’s peers by herself but in Ahab’s name, and using his seal. She is thus engaged in a pursuit that is not only unacceptable when undertaken by men without duly conferred authority but is the height of impropriety when practiced by a woman. Yet, according to 1 Kgs 21,9 the letter merely contained a call for a local fast although the redacted sequence of the events strongly suggests that it also contained instructions regarding the staging of the whole affair.

Esther’s sojourn at the court is marked from the very start by directions incorporated in written commands. She is joined to the harem upon the publication and dissemination of a royal order to gather beauties from all over the kingdom (Esth 2,8). Ahasuerus endorses Haman’s request to eliminate the Jews with his own seal (= ring) (Esth 3,10) and the royal scribes articulate the command in a series of letters that they distribute (Esth 3,12-13). The fact that such orders had been issued in the name of the king and not of his minister is tacitly ignored by Esther when she pleads in front of Ahasuerus (Esth 7,4-6). The king’s implicit or explicit permission is precisely the aspect that the redactor of the Naboth affair never lets the readers forget when he insists on the concealed authorship of Jezebel. Finally, to illustrate the changing fortunes of Haman, Ahasuerus allows Esther and Mordechai to issue in his name and with his seal commands relating to the fate of their enemies (Esth 8,8). According to the scroll’s redactor, such royal orders, albeit not a royal initiative, nevertheless possess full legal validity and are irreversible (Esth 8,8).

….

Casting Jezebel as a usurper of the king’s authority through stealth reflects both the real limits of queenly power and the redactor’s own biases. To rehabilitate this queenly image the scroll carefully invests Esther with direct royal authority to issue empire-wide commands in the king’s name.

Without, evidently, Ahab’s knowledge or permission Jezebel bids the leading men in Naboth’s town to announce a public fast and to appoint Naboth to head this solemn occasion. No reason is given to account for the fast, nor is objection offered. …. Perhaps the drought that had marked Ahab’s reign provided the pretext. Unlike Naboth, his peers obey the royal desire without demure or protest. …. The fast, as in other biblical narratives, serves as a preliminary to a critical public occasion. In Neh 9,1 a fast precedes the ceremony of the renewal of the ancient covenant between YHWH and the exilic community in Yehud. In 1 Kgs 21 the fast is concluded with a judicial murder that signals the demise of the Omride dynasty. Throughout Persia the news of the decree ordering the execution of the Jews prompts a general fast (Esth 4,4). Like Jezebel, Esther calls for a fast as she prepares herself for what can become a fatal encounter with the king (Esth 4,16). ….

 

Hittite elements in art and warfare of Ashurnasirpal 

Published July 11, 2019 by amaic

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 Ashurnasirpal introduced to Assyria a new style of art and warfare,

which appears to have been greatly influenced by the Syro-Hittites.

 

 

The above relief fragment from the palace of Ashurnasirpal (so-called II) at Nimrud (Calah), is apparently of a type not previously known in Assyria: https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/king-ashurnasirpal-ii-883-859-bc-attended-his-shield-bearer

“This relief from the palace of Nimrud in Assyria is an orthostat, a stone slab which covered the lower part of a wall of unbaked brick. Though the use of such slabs is known from 2nd-millennium BC Northern Syria and neo-Hittite Turkey (early 1st millennium BC), it was in the reign of Ashurnasirpal II in the 9th century BC that this type of architectural decoration was adopted in Assyria”. ….

 

Ground Warfare: An International Encyclopedia, Volume 1 (edited by Stanley Sandler, p. 67) informs us similarly: “Ashurnasirpal’s palace at Kalhu [Calah] exhibits finished relief sculptures that are influenced by Neo-Hittite and Phoenician artistic forms”.

More detailed about the Hittite influence upon Assyria at this time is Dr Andrew Jamieson: https://museumsvictoria.com.au/audio/the-wonders-of-ancient-mesopotamia-lecture-series/edge-of-empire-archaeology-on-the-assyrian-frontier/

 

Edge of Empire: Archaeology on the Assyrian Frontier

Lecture transcript

…. What the BM [British Museum] excavations uncovered were the substantial remains including the town defenses, the temples, palaces, and numerous basalt statues and reliefs with Hittite inscriptions. The chariot slabs found by Woolley and Lawrence at Carchemish provide a good comparison with the Assyrian representations for they have very many elements in common.

 

However, there are also some important differences. In the Hittite reliefs, there is no integration of the slabs to build a narrative like that that develops in the Neo Assyrian palace reliefs. This is a key point, that those reliefs in the exhibition next door figure prominently a narrative. Have you seen the animations? You can follow the story even if you can’t read the cuneiform inscription. But, in these Hittite examples, that storytelling is not developed to such an extent.

 

The fact that Carchemish might have provided the stimulus for Neo Assyrian artistic activity is not surprising. As I’ve said, the wealth, the location, the power of this Neo Hittite state. Now whilst the mechanisms of transmission in the Carchemish iconography and compositions are complex to reconstruct, the origins of the physical form are more readily identifiable. Of course at Carchemish we find, like at Tell Ahmar lions and lion reliefs.

 

Initially, the Neo Hittite city of Carchemish, was a dependency of the Hittite kingdom and its culture derived from the Anatolian central Hittite capital Hattusa. The examples from Carchemish reflect influences from the traditional Hittite capital there in central Anatolia. In fact, the lion sculptures represent the clearest link between the Hittite and the Cyro‑Anatolian examples.

 

The lion sculptures of Carchemish with their rounded massive ears, gaping jaws, hanging tongues, and wrinkled noses are faithful copies of the lion gates at Hattusa. They show the same iconographic and stylistic details as the carvings from the Assyrian capital. The tradition of monumental stone sculpture and relief associated with the Neo Assyrian palaces therefore appears to have originated from a tradition associated with the Hittite empire on the Anatolian plateau.

 

The lion gate at Hattusa is certainly the ultimate model for the monumental guardian figures at the entrances to the Assyrian royal buildings and the relief slabs decorating their walls. Those Assyrian lamassu that we associate so strongly, so immediately with Assyria where an idea that originated from outside. The intermediary between them seems to have been the reliefs and the figures associated with those states such as Carchemish and Tell Ahmar.

 

It’s clear that the Neo Assyrian kings were very consciously incorporating into their own building projects elements which evoked architectural forms from the west, from the frontier, from Syria and southeast Anatolia. To conclude, it’s often assumed that a political and administrative center will also be the center of artistic influence and production, and thus the source of all stimuli where the similarities occur in the art of its neighbors. The upper Euphrates of north Syria and southeast Anatolia contributes much to the artistic life of Assyria in a complex process of mutual interaction.

 

It is never a question of imposition, in either direction, Assyria retains its own identity and the development of historical narrative in relief, as I’ve mentioned for example, was very much an Assyrian innovation. But, based on the archaeological evidence it emerges that the Assyrians drew heavily, heavily from the west, from the frontier. In the course of this process the Assyrians selected elements or forms from their western neighbors, states which at the time had already forged their own language of public display.

[End of quote]

 

“Those Assyrian lamassu that we associate so strongly, so immediately with Assyria where an idea that originated from outside”. I have previously suggested that their (lamassu) origins would have been with the Hebrew cherubs. And similarly we read in the following article, “… these various popular depictions probably came from dim recollections of the cherubim God had placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24 Genesis 3:24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
American King James Version×)—angelic creatures …”.

https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/angels-gods-messengers-and-spirit-army/do-we-have-reminders-of-cherubim-from-the-ancient-world

 

Some contend that the Hebrew krub or a related Near Eastern term is the origin of the similar sounding Greek gryps, whence derives the term gryphon or griffin —an eagle-headed lion. It’s been pointed out that “the human-bodied Hittite griffin … unlike other griffins, appear[s] almost always not as a fierce bird of prey, but seated in calm dignity, like an irresistible guardian of holy things” (Wikipedia, “Cherub”).

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible notes parallels between the biblical cherubim and “the gigantic composite creatures well known in Assyrian and Babylonian iconographic and glyptic art.

These hybrid creatures protected the entrance into temples or palaces. The colossal Assyrian composite creatures unearthed during archaeological excavations provide a fitting example. They have been excavated at the site of ancient Nimrud, where they guarded the doorways to the palace of Ashurbanipal II (883-859 BC).

One of these is a winged bull with a human head; another has the body of a lion” (note on Ezekiel 1:5 Ezekiel 1:5Also out of the middle thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
American King James Version×).

The same study Bible noted on the cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus 25: “These sculpted creatures are most likely winged sphinxes known from a number of other sites throughout the ancient Near East … Such composite creatures have been found in temples and shrines and are often arranged as if guarding the entrance. Their purpose seems to have been protective—to prevent, perhaps only symbolically, unauthorized individuals from entering space where they were not allowed.

 

“In the Exodus tabernacle, the creatures seem to function as protectors of Yahweh’s presence. They are the last barrier between any possible human entrant and the divine presence. It is not out in front of them but ‘between’ them, says Yahweh, that ‘I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites’ (Exodus 25:22 Exodus 25:22And there I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.
American King James Version×). It is therefore also significant that winged composite creatures are found flanking the thrones of kings in the ancient world” (note on Exodus 25:18 Exodus 25:18And you shall make two cherubim of gold, of beaten work shall you make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
American King James Version×).

As to actual appearance, it’s further pointed out that “Ezekiel consistently repeats the expression ‘looked like’ (e.g., vv. 4,5,10,22,26,27), indicating his unwillingness to commit himself to the substantial identity of the seen with the compared. It looked ‘like’ fire, living creatures, a human being, but these buffer terms indicate that this is only a ‘vision.’

This is the sort of language regularly used in reports of dreams and visions” (note on Ezekiel 1:5 Ezekiel 1:5Also out of the middle thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
American King James Version×).

How do we account for such remarkable similarities between these mythological creatures from throughout the ancient Near East and the biblical cherubim? A simple answer is that these various popular depictions probably came from dim recollections of the cherubim God had placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24 Genesis 3:24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
American King James Version×)—angelic creatures that may have been visible to human beings until the Garden of Eden was later destroyed in the Flood of Noah’s day.

 

[End of quotes]

 

Regarding Hittite cavalry tactics influencing Assyrian warfare, I wrote in my recent article:

 

Pharaoh Amenhotep III a Solomon like ruler of Egypt. Part Two: His scarabs found in Ashurnasirpal’s city of Calah

https://www.academia.edu/39785064/Pharaoh_Amenhotep_III_a_Solomon_like_ruler_of_Egypt._Part_Two_His_scarabs_found_in_Ashurnasirpal_s_city_of_Calah?email_work_card=tit

Some Related Technological and Art Anomalies

 

Though a neo-Assyrian king as to dating (C9th BC), there are strong indications that Ashurnasirpal II was also in fact closely contemporaneous with the early 19th dynasty (c. 1300 BC, conventional dating) and the latter’s Hittite opponents – and by no means, therefore, was he separated from these by the approximately four centuries that are usually estimated. Similarities between C9th BC Assyrian art and that of the early Ramessides (and contemporaneous Hittites) is of course just what one should expect in terms of this revision. They are reflected in both warfare – particularly in cavalry tactics

and horsemanship – and in art. (For more on this, see Chapter 10, p. 250).

….

Here is what Sweeney has noted in regard to the similarities between Ashurnasirpal’s cavalry tactics and that of the Hittite opponents of pharaoh Seti I (c. 1294-1279 BC, conventional dates):[1]

“Hittite cavalry are shown in action against Seti I, and their deployment etc. displays striking parallels with that of the cavalry belonging to Ashurnasirpal II”. Thus for example the Assyrian horsemen, he says, “ride bareback, obtaining a firm grip by means of pressing the raised knees against the horse’s flanks – exactly the method of riding employed by the Hittites portrayed on the monuments of Seti I and Ramses II”. Again, both the early neo-Assyrian cavalry and those of the Hittites against whom Seti I battled, employed the bow as their only weapon. “Even more importantly, they are used in an identical way tactically: they are invariably used in conjunction with the chariotry”.

 

[End of quote]

 

Even the Assyrian Annals may have been something of an imitation of Hittite ones:

https://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:911519/FULLTEXT01.pdf (P. 8, n. 11): “… the emergence of Assyrian annals can be linked to the (earlier) development of Egyptian annalistic texts, although a Hittite influence is more often presumed here (e.g. Goetze 1957). Shared features are narration in first person of military deeds, chronologically arranged.” 

One king Suppiluliumas enough

Published July 10, 2019 by amaic

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

Ideally, when having to shorten history, one would be looking to reduce the number of kings, e.g. using alter egos (as Velikovsky was wont to do), rather than multiplying their number.

 

 

In Chapter 7 of his book, Ramses II and His Time (1978), Dr. Velikovsky has a section (4.) entitled “Two Suppiluliumas”.

 

As if one king of this preposterous name – which ‘only a mother could love’ – were not enough!

 

More seriously, ideally, when having to shorten history, one would be looking to reduce the number of kings, e.g. using alter egos (as Velikovsky was wont to do), rather than multiplying their number.

 

Velikovsky’s need to create two kings Suppiluliumas came about only because he had artificially jammed dynasties from the so-called Third Intermediate Period of Egyptian history in between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth dynasties. Thus no longer could the Suppiluliumas of the El-Amarna era of the Eighteenth Dynasty be connected to his own self early in the Nineteenth Dynasty. That now became biologically most unlikely.

Velikovsky wrote:

https://archive.org/stream/RamsesIIAndHisTimeAgesOfChaosII_201805MinSalah/Ramses%20II%20and%20His%20Time%2C%20Ages%20of%20Chaos%20II_djvu.txt

 

  1. Two Suppiluliumas It has already been argued that Suppiluliumas, the author of two letters of the el-Amarna collection, could hardly be the king by the same name who was the father of Mursilis. In the conventional chronology, between the death of Amenhotep III (-1375) and the twenty-first year of Ramses II (-1279), when the treaty with Hattusilis was signed, one hundred and five years passed, which appears to be too long for the ruling years of three successive generations, especially when one takes into account that only part of the reigns of Suppiluliumas and Hattusilis are included in this span.— According to my reconstruction of history, between the period of the el-Amarna letters and the time of Suppiluliumas, the grandfather of Hattusilis, over one hundred and sixty years must have elapsed (from the time of Jehoshaphat to the time of Manasseh), and it is impossible that an author of an el-Amarna letter could have been a grandfather of Hattusilis.  The el-Amarna letters, as I have endeavored to demonstrate (Ages in Chaos, »The El-Amarna Letters«), were written in the middle of the ninth century in the days of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (-859 to -824). Actually, Shalmaneser refers to his warlike relations with Suppiluliumas (“Sapalulme”) of Hath (“Hattina”).—  On the proper page of this volume some of the political and military activities of Suppiluliumas 11 have been briefly discussed, leaving the subject for more detailed treatment in the volume on The Assyrian Conquest. In the biography of Suppiluliumas written by his son Mursilis,— one item deserves mention here. An Egyptian queen named Dakhamun, upon the death of her royal husband, having no male child, sent messengers to Suppiluliumas with a letter requesting that the addressee should send her one of his sons for her to marry and to put on the throne of Egypt, since she was loath to marry any of her subjects.  It is usually assumed, and is so stated in many textbooks, that the queen who wrote this letter to the “Hittite” king Suppiluliumas was the widow of Tutankhamen, Ankhesenpaaten, daughter of Akhnaton. — But this surmise is built on very poor reasoning, aside from the fact that Ankhesenpaaten (ca. -830) and Suppiluliumas 11 (seventh century) were not contemporaries but were separated by over a hundred and sixty years.  The historical scene at the Egyptian Thebes lends no credence to the idea of Ankhesenpaaten assuming the role of a widowed queen requesting from a foreign king a son to remarry. Upon the death of Tutankhamen at the age of eighteen, or possibly seventeen, Ankhesenpaaten was most probably sixteen years of age, if not younger. The realm was under the heavy hand of Ay, who proclaimed himself king (pharaoh) and without delay, even before donning the crown and mounting the throne, married Ankhesenpaaten, now renamed Ankhesenpaamen, only by marrying a princess of royal blood could he inherit the regalia.— The child queen was probably not even asked whether she would tolerate her maternal granduncle (Ay was a brother of Queen Tiy, mother of Akhnaton) as husband; and after the nuptials nothing further was heard of her – she was a plaything in the political game of the crafty Ay. The scene at Thebes and the roles of the various members of the royal house and of the palace entourage are illuminated in detail in my Oedipus and Akhnaton.  Suppiluliumas 11 was contemporary with Tirhaka, the Ethiopian king who also ruled Egypt. Tirhaka died in -663, leaving no heir. It must have been his widow who wrote the much-quoted letter to Suppiluliumas. …. Now the check on this conclusion is at hand. The story as reported by Mursilis, son of Suppiluliumas, gives the name of the pharaoh as “Bib-khururia” (or “Nib-khururia”—). The royal name of Tirhaka ends with “khu-ra.”— The name of his queen was Duk-hat-amun.— The name is unique among all the queens of Egypt. ….

 

“Nib-khururia” was not Tirhakah (who was too late), but, likely, Tutankhamun:

 

https://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/suppiluliuma-letter/

“Nibhururia is generally thought to be the Hittite version of Nubkheperure, the Prenomen of Tutankhamen, but it is also possible that Nibhururia was Akhenaten who was usually known as Napkhururia in semitic sources. The general consensus remains that Nibhururia was Tutankhamen”.

 

Conventional history also doubles him up   

 

 

 

Dates for the Hittite emperor, Suppiluliumas, currently range from c. 1386-1345 BC … to

  1. 1344-1322 BC …. A long span indeed! So long, in fact, that the conventional chronology presents us with two kings Suppiluliumas of Hatti, the supposed second of whom being dated to c. 1207–1178 BC. And so does Dr. I. Velikovsky, using a completely different time in his radical book, Ramses II and His Time (1978), Epilogue section: “Two Suppiluliumas”.

 

 

 

Previously I have written on this subject:

 

Shalmaneser III and Suppiluliumas

 

Perhaps revisionists have not made enough of king Shalmaneser III’s Year 1 reference to “Sapalulme of Khattina”, who can only be, I would suggest, Suppiluliumas of Hatti. The Assyrian [king] records:

http://jewishchristianlit.com/Texts/ANEhist/annalsShalmaneser3.html

 

I left Mount Amanus and crossed the Orontes River coming to Alimush, the stronghold of Sapalulme the Hattinite. Sapalulme, to save his life, called on Ahûni, Sagara, and Haianu, as well as Kate the Kuean, Pihirisi the Hilukite, Buranate the Iasbukite, and Ada… Assur, (Col. II)… I shattered their forces. ….

 

This could be a most vital synchronism for a revised EA [El Amarna]. And it may well become one in the hands of some astute revisionist.

 

A major problem, though, is that the chronology of Suppiluliumas himself is so watery, at present, as to disallow for his serving as a really solid chronological anchor.

Dates for the Hittite emperor, Suppiluliumas, currently range from c. 1386-1345 BC (https://books.google.com.au/books?id=1A0OgvXfHlQC&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=dates+fo) to c. 1344-1322 BC (http://www.ancient.eu/Suppiluliuma_I/). A long span indeed! So long, in fact, that the conventional chronology presents us with two kings Suppiluliumas of Hatti, the supposed second of whom being dated to c. 1207–1178 BC. And so does Dr. I. Velikovsky, using a completely different time in his radical book, Ramses II and His Time (1978), Epilogue section: “Two Suppiluliumas”.

….

 

Possible bookends for Suppiluliumas

 

According to what will follow, a Hittite Suppiluliumas may already have been active late in the reign of pharaoh Amenhotep III, hence the early dating of Suppiluliumas to c. 1386-1345 BC. And a Suppiluliumas (given as II) was a known contemporary of pharaoh Ramses I (c. 1290 BC, conventional dating).

 

Let us consider these two cases separately.

 

In Ugarit in Retrospect: Fifty Years of Ugarit and Ugaritic (edited by Gordon Douglas Young):

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=1A0OgvXfHlQC&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=dates, we are told of some further possible synchronisms between Suppiluliumas and EA kings. I shall find it necessary to include some of my own comments here:

 

Ammištamru and the “First Hittite Foray

 

Ammištamru’s letter to the Pharaoh (EA 45) is significant for another reason besides being a piece of evidence on Ugarit’s dependence on Egypt.

….

Long ago Knudtzon completed LUGAL KUR [URU Ḫa-at-te] in line 22, and restored [LUGAL KUR URU Ḫa-at-te] in line 30. His guess must be accepted as correct, despite Liverani’s attempt to see here a reference to hostile actions by Abdi-Aširta of Amurru which are mentioned in the treaty between Niqmaddu and Aziru. …. AbdiAširta was never calledking,” ….

… and the least appropriate place of calling him so would have been a letter a letter to his Egyptian sovereign. ….

 

Comment needed here: The fact is, however, that none of EA’s letters from Ugarit, including this EA # 45, ever mentions the intended recipient as a “pharaoh” or “of Egypt”. That becomes apparent from the following excerpt from A. Altman’s article,

 

“Ugarit’s political standing in the Beginning of the 14th Century BCE reconsidered”

https://www.academia.edu/3890797/Ugarits_political_standing_in_the_Beginning_of_the_14th_Century_BCE_reconsidered

 

2.1 Features indicating dependence

 

The characteristic stylistic features of the opening of these letters, as well as certain expressions, from which Ugarit’s subordination to Egypt might have been inferred, are as follows:

 

The letters do not mention the Egyptian king by name, nor do they address him as “the king of Egypt”. Rather, they are addressed “to the king, the Sun, my lord”; an address which has been fully preserved in EA 49, 1. An omission of the name of the addressee may occur in the correspondence between sovereign kings or rulers of equal standing of this period, but their writers never fail to identify the addressee by his country. ….

 

[End of quote]

So perhaps the recipient is not an EA pharaoh at all.

 

The same article makes the surprising admission that: “… Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV … [the EA pharaohs] are not known as having conducted military campaigns to northern Syria …”.

Returning, now, to EA 45 and Ammištamru, we now arrive at mention of Suppilulimas:

Conversely, the Hittite interpretation permits us to link Ammištamru’s letter to the Hittite foray into the dominion of Tušratta, king of Mitanni, who defeated it, and sent news of his victory to his ally, Amenhotep III, together with some gifts from the Hittite booty. …. As K. Kitchen has demonstrated, Tušratta’s letter in question, EA 17, could not have been written after year 34 of Amenhotep III, and might date back to year 30.

In absolute figures, following the system of chronology accepted in this paper, this would assign the “first Syrian foray” to one of the years between 1388 and 1385. Now who was the Hittite king who sent out, or led, the unsuccessful foray? Was it already Šuppiluliumaš?

[End of quote]

Now to a Suppiluliumas contemporaneous with pharaoh Ramses I.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I was able to table the following set of synchronisms between 19th dynasty Egyptian pharaohs and their Hittite ruling contemporaries in my thesis:

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background

AMAIC_Final_Thesis_2009.pdf

 

(Volume One, p. 260, Table 2):

 

Thankfully, the conventional sequence of the early Ramessides, at least, is secure due to a known correlation with a sequence of contemporary Hittite kings. A peace treaty between Egypt and the Hittites was signed by Usermare Setepenre (royal name of Ramses II), son of Menmare (Seti I), grandson of Menpeḥtire (Ramses I); and by Khetasar (Hattusilis), son of Merosar (Mursilis), grandson of Seplel (Suppiluliumas). ….

Table 2: Egyptian-Hittite Syncretisms

 

….

 

This early Ramesside order in relation to the Hittite succession for this era is a vital chronological link considering the dearth of such links that so often confronts the historian. This is a rock-solid synchronism that can serve as a constant point of reference; it being especially important in the context of the revision, given the confusion that arises with the names ‘Seti’ and ‘Sethos’ in connection with the 19th dynasty ….

We can be extremely grateful for this much certainty at least (Table 2 above).

 

[End of quote]

 

Whether this conventionally very long span of time encompassing the two supposed kings Suppiluliumas will eventually be so reduced in time, in a revised scheme, so as to make it possible for just the one king Suppiluliumas of Hatti, of, say, some 40 years of reign (as favoured by the proponents of the c. 1386-1345 BC scenario), remains to be seen. ….

[End of article]

 

I now believe – and hope eventually to show – that such is the case, that “this conventionally very long span of time encompassing the two supposed kings Suppiluliumas will eventually be so reduced in time, in a revised scheme, so as to make it possible for just the one king Suppiluliumas of Hatti, of, say, some 40 years of reign …”.

 

Hattusilis and Nebuchednezzar

Published July 7, 2019 by amaic

Might Dr. Velikovsky have been right after all about Hattusilis?

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

  

Dr. Velikovsky had the rare ability of arriving at a right conclusion,

of hitting the bullseye whilst others, perhaps more methodical, more analytical,

but less synthetically able, and certainly far more boring, were managing

to strike only the outer targets.

  

 

Even as one ticks off a new alter ego for King Nebuchednezzar ‘the Great’ it seems that yet another candidate must needs spring to our attention.

 

The new field of productivity – one that Dr. Velikovsky, though, had already cultivated about forty years ago, with Ramses II and His Time (1978) – is the kingdom of the mighty Hittites. Not only did I find “Nebuchednezzar Syndrome” symptoms in emperor Mursilis (so-called II), Velikovsky’s Nabopolassar:

 

“Nebuchednezzar Syndrome”: dreams, illness-madness, Egyptophobia. Part Five: Emperors Mursilis and Nabopolassar

 

https://www.academia.edu/39704595/_Nebuchednezzar_Syndrome_dreams_illness-madness_Egyptophobia._Part_Five_Emperors_Mursilis_and_Nabopolassar

 

having written there, e.g.:

 

“Most interestingly now, I find, from re-reading Velikovsky (and others) on this subject,

that Mursilis, too – {and Nabopolassar} – had suffered a shocking Nebuchednezzar-like illness”.

 

but, more recently, it appeared that the supposed son of this Mursilis, Hattusilis (so-called III), had the same sorts of symptoms:

 

“Nebuchednezzar Syndrome”: dreams illness-madness Egyptophobia. Part Six: Illness of Emperor Hattusilis

https://www.academia.edu/39712076/_Nebuchednezzar_Syndrome_dreams_illness-madness_Egyptophobia._Part_Six_Illness_of_Emperor_Hattusilis

“Here, in this description of the emperor’s [Hattusilis’s] dire illness, we can discern various likenesses to the case of King  Nebuchednezzar’s sickness as recounted in the Book of Daniel chapter 4:

extremely poor health at an early stage; a dream interpreted; promise of return to health; divine terms to be fulfilled” .

 

That, on its own, has set me in the direction of thinking that Velikovsky may have been right on the mark in his identifying of Hattusilis, a known contemporary of Ramses II ‘the Great’, with Nebuchednezzar ‘the Great’.

This will be taken up again as this article progresses.

Dr. Velikovsky had the rare ability of arriving at – in the midst of a confusing mix of history – a right conclusion, of hitting the bullseye whilst others, perhaps more methodical, more analytical, but less synthetically able, and certainly far more boring, were managing to strike only the outer targets.

The Autobiography of Hattusilis, from which Velikovsky derived much of his material in Ramses II and His Time, seems to settle an obscure part of the neo-Babylonian succession that I had previously mis-read.

 

Let us look briefly at (i) the conventional neo-Babylonian succession; (ii) my former version; and (iii) the better interpretation (as I now think):

 

Dynasty XI (or Neo-Babylonian)

I had collapsed a lot of this to:

 

Nabopolassar = Nebuchednezzar = Nabonidus

         Amel Marduk = Neriglissar = Labash Marduk = “Belshazzar”

 

just two kings.

 

But

 

it becomes apparent from Velikovsky’s book that Neriglissar (Nergil) was the brother of Hattusilis (our Nebuchednezzar) and that Labash (Marduk) was Nirgil’s son.

 

“King Nabonidus wrote: “When the days were fulfilled, and he [Nergilissar] met his fate, Labash-Marduk, his young son, who did not understand how to

rule, sat on the throne, against the will of the gods”.”

Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky

 

This scenario, we shall find (I believe), is well re-visited in the case of the Great King, Ashurbanipal (my Nebuchednezzar), who rules Assyria whilst his older brother is ruling Babylonia.

 

Situation of Hattusilis like that of Ashurbanipal

 

“An Assyrian noble who apparently was aware of the situation existing between

the two princes, made it clear to his overlord, their father, that the settlement

of the succession in this manner is no kindness to Assyria”.

Sami S. Ahmed

 

 

The arrangement between Nergil and his younger brother, Hattusilis, reminds me greatly of that between Shamash-shum-ukin and his younger brother, Ashurbanipal.

 

According to the conventional opinion of how the situation came about (with all due allowance for the conventional wrong dates, wrong succession, and somewhat wrong scenario):

https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/zatw.1967.79.issue-1/zatw.1967.79.1.1/zatw.1967.79.1.1.pdf

 

The succession to the Assyrian throne, as settled by Esarhaddon, (680—669 B. C.), no doubt displeased Shamash-shum-ukin. Despite the; fact that he was the eldest, his younger brother, Ashurbanipal acquired the lion’s share and was appointed as heir for the Assyrian monarchy. Although Shamash-shum-ukin was assigned for the kingship of Babylonia, his realm was to be under the jurisdiction of his, brother. Evidence is quite meager of the relationship between the two brothers during the lifetime of their father. However, enough data are preserved to show that it was not so good. An Assyrian noble who apparently was aware of the situation existing between the two princes, made it clear to his overlord, their father, that the settlement of the succession in this manner is no kindness to Assyria1.

 

Esarhaddon died while on his way to Egypt [sic] in 669 B. C. and Ashurbanipal assumed the responsibilities immediately. However, it was not until the New Year festival 668—667 B. C. that he “appointed” Shamash-shum-ukin to the Babylonian throne and the latter held the hands of Marduk at Ashur. Thus began the first ruling year »of Ashurbanipal and Shamash-shum-ukin as joint brothers. ….

[End of quote]

{That section was taken from “Causes of Shamash-shum-ukin’s uprising, 652—651 B. C”.

By Sami S. Ahmed}

 

The real situation was, I think – and the Autobiography of Hattusilis will make this clearer – somewhat different from Sami Ahmed’s explanation.

The reason why the older brother, Shamash-shum-ukin, was not given by his father (who was not Esarhaddon, incidentally) what Ahmed calls “the lion’s share … the Assyrian monarchy”, was because he himself had an older brother, Siniddinaapla, who had been the Crown Prince.

The latter, who died an untimely death, must have been the same as the Ashur-nadin-shumi, my “Holofernes” of the Book of Judith (and the “Nadin” of the Book of Tobit), who had indeed died an untimely death. See e.g. my article:

“Nadin” (Nadab) of Tobit is the “Holofernes” of Judith

 https://www.academia.edu/36576110/_Nadin_Nadab_of_Tobit_is_the_Holofernes_of_Judith

 

This meant that, whilst Shamash-shum-ukin continued to remain ensconced in his rulership over Babylonia, the young brother Ashurbanipal, who had never expected to reign, now seamlessly succeeded Siniddinaapla as ruler of Assyria.

By no means did Ashurbanipal ever actually appoint Shamash-shum-ukin, despite whatever the former’s propaganda may later have claimed.

 

This situation finds its partner in Hattusilis’s being appointed to rule the kingdom of Assyria and the Hittite lands, whilst his older brother ruled over Babylonia.

It also explains how Nebuchednezzar, my alter ego of Ashurbanipal (and Esarhaddon), could have ruled Assyria, as Ashurbanipal assuredly did, when Assyria is supposed to have been destroyed as a power some years before the reign of Nebuchednezzar had even begun.

In both the Nebuchednezzar scenario, and the (same?) Hattusilis scenario, Assyria is still a great world power.

 

It is quite clear in the Hittite account of the dual kingship arrangement that the older brother, “Nirgal”, held the reins (taken from Velikovsky’s Ramses II and His Time):

 

Autobiography sec. 5 When my brother Nirgal obtained his insight of the matter, he gave me not the slightest punishment, and he took me again into his favor, and gave into my hands the army and the chariotry of the Hath Land.

 

Other passages of relevance for this article arising from this ancient document (as recalled by Velikovsky) are these:

 

 

“Chapter 5

 

The Autobiography of Nebuchadnezzar

 

Climbing the Throne

 

….

 

Autobiography sec. 4 My brother Nir-gal [Nergil] sat on the throne of his father, and I became before his face the commander of the army. … My brother … let me preside over the Upper Land, and I put the Upper Land under my rule.

 

The Upper Land was apparently either Assyria or some part of Anatolia; the Lower Land was Babylonia.

 

While still a lad, he led his troops against the enemies who invaded the country.

 

….

 

Various districts rebelled against the Chaldean yoke and the lad on the Assyrian throne.

 

Autobiography sec.6 All the lands of Gasgas, Pishukus, Ishupittas did rebel and took the strongholds. And the foe went over the river Massandas and pressed into the country.

 

In this chapter of the autobiography of Hattusilis again may be found some three or four allusions to events and circumstances described in the texts concerning Nebuchadnezzar. Berosus wrote in his lost History of Chaldea, in a passage preserved verbatim by Josephus Flavius, that the king of Babylonia, on hearing of the defection of the provinces, “committed part of his army” to Nebuchadnezzar

 

… still in the prime of life, and sent him against the rebel Nebuchadnezzar

engaged and defeated the latter in a pitched battle, and placed the district under Babylonian rule.-

 

In the first series of wars Nebuchadnezzar headed the army, although he was not king; in this, we see, Berosus was correct.

For a chief of the army he was very young: this detail also is true. He subdued the rebellious provinces, and here again Berosus was correct. But in one detail Berosus and other later

sources were wrong, and it is possible to check and correct it now, after

more than two thousand years.

It concerns the question of who sent Nebuchadnezzar against the rebels, his father or his brother.

 

The matter of succession received special attention in a previous section. The event itself – the revolt of the provinces and its suppression – is truly depicted by Berosus, and is repeated at length in the autobiography:

 

The Gasgas Lands rebelled. … My brother Nirgal sent me, giving me but a small number of troops and charioteers. … I met the foe … and gave him battle. And Ishtar, my Lady, helped me, and I smote him … And this was the first act in the prime of manhood.

 

Both Hattusilis’ autobiography and Berosus’ writing about Nebuchadnezzar stress the extreme youth of the commander of the army. As soon as the youth was made governor of the Upper Land, even before he had earned his laurels in his first encounter with rebels, he met opposition in the person of the former ruler of that province.

 

Autobiography sec. 4 Before me it was governed by Sin-Uas, the son of Zidas. … And Sin-Uas, the son of Zidas … wished me evil. … And accusations became loud against me. And my brother Nirgal set action against me. Ishtar, my Lady, appeared in a dream: “I shall trust thy care to a god. Be not

afraid.” And thanks to the Divinity I justified myself.

 

The proceeding in which Hattusilis was apparently charged with plotting to seize the throne marked a painful period in the life of the youth. But sufficient evidence was not produced, and the king ignored the admonitions of his father’s adviser.

 

Autobiography sec. 5 When my brother Nirgal obtained his insight of the matter, he gave me not the slightest punishment, and he took me again into his favor, and gave into my hands the army and the chariotry of the Hath Land.

 

From the building inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar (Inscription XVII) we know that he used this term for the land under his rule west of the Euphrates: “the princes of the Hath land beyond the Euphrates to the west, over whom I exercised lordship.”

 

Then came the time of his great and victorious battles. He was raised from governor of the Upper Land (either Assyria or a part of Anatolia) to king. The king of the Upper Land was subordinate to the Great King of Hath, but it was the second most important position in the empire. …”.

 

If Nebuchednezzar really was Hattusilis, then Dr. Velikovsky could not err in identifying the (or at least a) contemporary pharaoh as Ramses II, who was indeed a known contemporary of emperor Hattusilis.

But whether Velikovsky was also right in identifying Ramses II of Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty as a Twenty-Sixth Dynasty pharaoh is a matter that requires further investigation.

 

Pharaoh Amenhotep III a Solomon like ruler of Egypt

Published July 4, 2019 by amaic
Image

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“Eminent historian Trevor Bryce estimates Amenhotep III’s harem at 1,000 women. Interestingly enough, the Bible uses that exact same number for Solomon’s wives:

“He had 700 royal wives and 300 concubines….” First Kings 11: 3”

Jim Stinehart

 

Given my identification of the historical King Solomon of Israel with the quasi-royal official Senenmut (or Senmut) of Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt – not to mention Senenmut’s being the model for ‘Solon’ of the Greeks – in e.g. my article:

 

Solomon and Sheba

https://www.academia.edu/3660164/Solomon_and_Sheba

 

then the definitely Solomon-like pharaoh of that same dynasty, Amenhotep III, could be only, at best, an imitator of the illustrious Solomon, and not be identical with Solomon as some think.

 

For, chronologically, Amenhotep III (c. 1385 BC, conventional dating) came to the throne some 7-8 decades after the death of Senenmut (c. 1460 BC, conventional dating).

 

Jim Stinehart, writing on the Graham Hancock site, has a somewhat different angle.

There was no actual King Solomon, he claims. This “fictional” character was based on the historical Amenhotep III, father of the controversial Akhnaton (or Amenhotep IV):

http://grahamhancock.com/phorum/read.php?1,176237

 

Author: Jim Stinehart ….

Date: February 10, 2005 07:24PM

SOLOMON IS AKHENATON’S FATHER

Hebrew King Solomon is fictional. But Solomon is very closely modeled on a very real, historical person — Akhenaton’s father, Amenhotep III, the “King of Kings”.

  1. Each reigned for 40 years in peace.
  2. Neither great king ever did anything militarily. Rather, both were renown [sic] for adroit diplomacy. (In the real world, that “adroit” diplomacy of Amenhotep III consisted primarily of him throwing unbelievable amounts of gold foreign kings’ way, as bride’s-prices for their semi-royal half-sisters, which was possible only because Egypt was temporarily awash in gold being mined just south of Egypt proper in Nubia.)
  3. Both ruled in ridiculously extravagant, totally decadent, grandeur. (In humble Canaan? Not!)4. Their Queen was an Egyptian princess. (In Canaan? Outside of Egypt? Not!!! Perish the thought.)
  4. Each had an unbelievably large number of harem wives. Eminent historian Trevor Bryce estimates Amenhotep III’s harem at 1,000 women. Interestingly enough, the Bible uses that exact same number for Solomon’s wives: “He had 700 royal wives and 300 concubines….” First Kings 11: 3

Meanwhile, neither king ever sent even one daughter/princess abroad to marry a foreign leader.

And neither king (including Solomon) is known to have had a Hebrew wife.

  1. Both were very famous for building a magnificent tripartite temple (Luxor Temple/ Solomon’s Temple) to the deity referred to as A-M-N. (Amen is a 14th century BCE Egyptian god. In Hebrew, Amen later meant “so be it, it is God’s will”.)
  2. Yet despite #6, each is equally famous for BREAKING with that deity A-M-N. A-D-N (Adon or Aton or Aten) will be the new deity in Amenhotep III’s later years, and the sole deity for his son Akhenaton. Solomon’s apostasy is of course well-known.

So though Hebrew King Solomon is fictional, there’s nevertheless quite a bit of accurate ancient history in the King Solomon saga in the Bible.

SOMEBODY was THERE in mid-14th century BCE Egypt and witnessed first-hand what was going on, and it all made it into the Bible. First Kings tells us about Akhenaton’s father.

 

Jim Stinehart really gets carried away after that, seeming to find the eccentric pharaoh Akhnaton (“Akhenaton”) embedded in:

 

The last 40 chapters of Genesis tell us about Akhenaton (complete with Lot impregnating his 14- and 12-year-old daughters “that we may maintain life through our [son-less] father” at Genesis 19: 34, and the whole 9 yards of the Amarna saga). And though the Book of Exodus has few accurate historical facts, it does beautifully recall all those darn mudbricks, made of clay and straw, that Akhenaton ordered up on the double to build his entirely new city of Amarna.

SOMEBODY was THERE, brothers and sisters, and that somebody must have been the world’s first Hebrew. All the professors in academia assure us not to worry, that all that jazzy stuff was made up out of whole cloth by wily Hebrew scribes 700 years after the fact, in 7th century BCE Jerusalem. But how on earth could wily Hebrew scribes in Jerusalem, 700 years after the fact, conjure up all that ACCURATE historical information about Akhenaton’s father and Akhenaton? Not!

[End of article]

 

That last piece of uninformed and frenzied collapsing of biblical history by Jim Stinehart reminds me of Islamic scholar Ahmed Osman’s own perfervid efforts that I have so roundly criticised in my articles:

 

Osman’s ‘Osmosis’ of Moses. Part One: The Chosen People

https://www.academia.edu/27115376/Osmans_Osmosis_of_Moses._Part_One_The_Chosen_People

and:

https://www.academia.edu/27139956/Osmans_Osmosis_of_Moses._Part_II_Christ_the_King

As Senenmut (King Solomon) was to Hatshepsut (the female ruler of Egypt), so, too, did Amenhotep III have his own Senenmut type in the mysterious Amenhotep son of Hapu, leading me to wonder who the latter was.

For more on this intriguing character, see e.g. my article:

Amenhotep son of Hapu had rôle like Senenmut

 

https://www.academia.edu/38756107/Amenhotep_son_of_Hapu_had_r%C3%B4le_like_Senenmut

If Amenhotep III had modelled himself on King Solomon of Israel, might not his high official and namesake, Amenhotep son of Hapu, have done so even the more?

In an article, “Amenhotep the Magnificent”, we read further about the enigmatic son of Hapu, here likened instead to Imhotep (biblical Joseph of Egypt): https://erenow.net/ancient/temples-tombs-and-hieroglyphs-a-popular-history-of-ancient-egypt/20.php

….

Like other kings of the Eighteenth and Nineteeth Dynasties, Amenhotep built himself a mortuary temple along the cultivation on the West Bank. Amenhotep’s mortuary temple was the largest of the lot. So badly destroyed was it that in modern times nothing remained except a vast plain covered with weeds and prickly camel grass—and two of the most imposing monuments on the West Bank, the so-called Colossi of Memnon. These giant, badly battered statues marked the entrance to the temple. Recent excavations by a German team have uncovered buried remains of the structure itself, including some fine statues.

 

The man responsible for the erection of these gigantic statues is an interesting character in his own right. His name was Amenhotep, son of Hapu, and like that of another great official, Imhotep, it survived in men’s memories for millennia, so that he became a demigod. His only titles were those of a scribe and he is shown in the traditional scribal position, seated, with his writing implements on his lap. But the king Amenhotep must have cherished him, for there are several such statues, carved by the king’s order, and the scribe even had his own mortuary temple, a signal token of royal favor. He was eighty years old when he died, and how we wish we knew more about him! ….

 

[End of quote]

 

Indeed: “… how we wish we knew more about [Amenhotep, son of Hapu]!”

My sentiments, exactly.

 

The proper chronological relationship between King Solomon and pharaoh Amenhotep III is explained in an article, “Was there such a King as Solomon?” – {which I think was one of my titles at the old www.specialtyinterests.net site, here greatly modified by sysop, Johnny Zwick}:

http://grahamhancock.com/phorum/read.php?1,102330,102497

 

Because of widespread misconceptions on the historicity of the early Israelite kings we endeavor here to make a comparison study to show how things fit together. Especially the very existence of King Solomon has come under criticism because of the apparent lack of corroborating evidence from excavations in Israel itself. How can we explain that? Shouldn’t there be at least some evidence attributable to King Solomon or David by way of inscriptions? To be sure small items have been found, i.e. a Solomonic seal for instance, but we are looking more for larger items. Egypt’s kings left inscriptions on buildings, statues, stela – why is there such a lack of the same in Israel from any king?

This is a fair question to ask and we must address this issue. On the outset we would like to say that the lack of inscriptions, carvings, ornate stone reliefs in Israel and Judah must have a definite reason and that it does we shall try to explain. Of course they were very much aware of the richness of Egyptian inscriptions and stone carvings, after all they used to live there.

 

The evidence for that however is very early in their experience, right after they had left Egypt. Arriving at Mt. Sinai they clamored for the same things they were used to have around them in Egypt. The Israelites wanted images to dance around and worship – something they could see. But the faith they were taught about of the very God who had led them out of slavery was directed at worshipping Him in faith and deeds rather than by representations.

 

Self glorification of rulers also was not in accord with their beliefs. Only God deserved veneration and being written about. If Solomon would have left inscriptions in his cities the Jewish people themselves would have defaced and done away with them not to leave any trace. This may be not good for us today who are trying to understand those times from the remains, but it is why we should not even expect such artifacts. Those who want to make comparisons to Egypt and argue because of the lack of artifacts in Israel that these kings did not really live and reign as we are told just don’t seem to take into account the times they lived in and the Jewish mind. We cannot impose Egyptian conventions on the Jewish people.

 

However, other scholars note that there are other blank spots in Jerusalem’s archaeological record during periods when the city is known to have been occupied, and they caution against reading too much into a lack of evidence. Ronny Reich, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, notes, for example, that excavations near the Gihon spring outside the present Old City have turned up “no pottery, nothing” from the Byzantine era–roughly A.D. 330-1450. “Does that mean there were no people in Jerusalem?” Reich asks. “Of course not. How do you explain it? You can’t.”[J.L. Sheler, `News from the Holy Land’]

 

In fact the lack of such personal records carved on stone is evidence in itself that we are at the right place of Jewish habitation. But a few reminders of the early Israelite monarchy are being found often in the form of the stone masons skill to produce smooth stones, with no chisel marks for constructions. All other cultures in the ancient Near East were much closer to Egyptian conventions with respect to artifacts, the Jewish lands are quite singular on the lack of such. But we must not forget that the kinds of artifacts like idols, ushabtis, scarabs and the like found in Palestine are probably those used and on occasion hidden or kept by Israelites who employed them in trade or, in the case of idols perhaps, had become unfaithful to their God.

 

Laws pertaining to royalty – “When you enter the land…and you say: `Let us set a king over us like the nations around us’ be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your own brethren. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. The king…must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, `You are not to go back that way again.’ He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.”

 

Deuteronomy 17:14-17

Critics also often doubt the existence of the early Israelite accounts of constructions and achievements because during excavations they are unable to locate any of these supposed palaces, city gates, walls or dwellings. The cities of Hazor, Gezer and Megiddo have been excavated to a great extend [sic]. A stratum containing remains of palaces, temples and fortifications was found in each of these cities but strangely enough the name of Solomon was not found but that of Pharaoh Amenhotep III was. How can that be? In conventional thinking Pharaoh Amenhotep III reigned from about 1405-1367 BC, long before Solomon. No wonder critics are baffled and discount the scriptural account of history.

But let us see what happens when we apply revised chronology.

In revised view Pharaoh Amenhotep III reigned from about 878-870 as coruler with Amenhotep II, and sole from 870-843 BC, right in the middle of the El Amarna Age. That is just 60 years after the death of King Solomon. He, like Solomon, inherited a vast, glorious and rich empire with connections from the Nile to the Euphrates river. He left a wealth of evidence of his existence in his many constructions of palaces, temples, monuments, documents, art unparalleled and numerous except perhaps that of Ramses II. It was during the reign of Amenhotep III that cities like Gezer were refortified and Egyptian garrisons were set up in strategic locations. Why? Because of the many incursions into Palestine by restless rulers from Damascus, Syria, the great deserts and Assyria. For the Egyptians Palestine was a buffer zone. Stop any would-be-enemies before they reach the border of Egypt. We just need to read about the troubles involving Palestine in the days of Jehoshaphat, Ahab and their sons to understand how desperate the situation sometimes could become. So when we mentioned the palaces of Gezer, Hazor and Megiddo – we must be blind not to realize that they are the ones we had been looking for as belonging to the time of the early Israelite kings. What has been hiding their presence from us is not sand and dirt, but a false, conventional, Egyptian chronology, for Amenhotep III did not live 400 years before Solomon but 60 years after him.

 

It appears that Amenhotep III patterned his life after that of Solomon. But he was not hampered by religious oriented restrictions like Solomon, he could freely create idols, images of himself and vain glorious monuments to his greatness. But as the reader may recall we claim that Solomon most likely was Senenmut, the most trusted noble of Queen-Pharaoh Hatshepsut. It appears that in time Solomon, after having married an Egyptian princess, may have felt himself too restricted in his own kingdom and during the second half of his 40 year reign his gaze was directed toward Egypt. Being a cozy friend with the Egyptian king, he became the highest official and closest adviser to Hatshepsut. What he could not do in Israel he could do in Egypt – leave inscriptions, representations and monuments with his name on them. No wonder his own people would not leave any stone unturned in their homeland which would remind anyone of their wayward king.

 

Having said this we may get an idea about the importance of correct chronology before we go around and teach doubt and reproof of the Hebrew sources. But we realize that the majority of those who have voiced opinions on the ancient history of the Bible lands are still captivated by the rightness of conventional chronology. How can so many famous historians, scholars, archaeologists, scientists be wrong and so few, nameless new people be right? Could it be that sometimes being too close to something for too long disables us to get a clear view? Should we trust in the pronouncements of famous people just because `they must know what they are saying for they dig it out themselves and see it?’ Yes, they certainly do, but still their interpretations are colored by their scholarly upbringing. What can we say? Explaining the same history in line with revised chronology will open up so many more intrinsic, grand views of enchanting history that it is well worth to try and study and think our way into it.

 

His scarabs found in Ashurnasirpal’s city of Calah

“Strange as it may seem, Ashurnasirpal II was also a great builder.

He too raised monuments throughout Assyria. These included a new capital named Calah.

In Calah archaeologists found numerous [artifacts] … of Egyptian manufacture.

There were, for example, many scarabs of the latter Eighteenth Dynasty,

especially from the time of Amenhotap [Amenhotep] III”.

 

Emmet Sweeney


 

Emmet Sweeney gives evidence here to indicate that pharaoh Amenhotep III reigned closely in time to Ashurnasirpal (so-called II) of Assyria, who Emmet thinks must also be the enigmatic “Assuruballit” of El-Amarna (EA letters 15 and 16).

EA 15 is addressed “To the king of the land of Egypt”, whereas

EA 16 is addressed more specifically “To Napkhororia, Great King, king of Egypt, my brother”– generally considered to be Akhnaton, the son of Amenhotep III.

 

Emmet Sweeney writes: http://www.hyksos.org/index.php?title=Shalmaneser_III_and_Egypt

 

Shalmaneser III and Egypt

….

Immanuel Velikovsky argued that roughly five and a half centuries needed to be subtracted from New Kingdom Egyptian history to bring it into line with that of Israel; and indeed in Ages in Chaos (1952) he demonstrated many striking synchronisms between the two histories once these extra years were removed. In line with that system he suggested that Ahab of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah were two of the correspondents of the Amarna documents who exchanged letters with Amenhotep III and Akhnaton.

 

He also argued that Shalmaneser III of Assyria, a contemporary of Ahab, was the “King of Hatti” who threatened northern Syria in the time of Akhnaton. This part of his reconstruction however was not well received, and always remained problematic. We know, for example, that the King of Hatti named in the Amarna Letters was Suppiluliumas I, whilst the King of Assyria at the time was called Ashuruballit, a man who was very definitely not the same person as Shalmaneser III.

 

For all that, a host of other evidences suggest that Velikovsky was broadly correct in his demand for a five and a half century reduction in Egyptian dates, and that the errors he made in his reconstruction of the Amarna period were errors of detail. What was needed was fine tuning, not complete rejection.

 

All attempts at historical reconstruction must be based firmly upon the evidence of stratigraphy; and it so happens that the stratigraphy of Assyria fully supports Velikovsky. A whole series of sites in northern Mesopotamia show the following:

 

Neo-Assyrians and Neo-Babylonians (860-550 BC)

Mitannians (1550-1350 BC)

Akkadians (2350-2250 BC)

 

We see that, without exception, the Mitannian levels are followed immediately, and without any gap, by the Neo-Assyrian ones; and the Neo-Assyrian material is that of the early Neo-Assyrians, Ashurnasirpal II and his son Shalmaneser III. Now, since the last Mitannian king, Tushratta, was a contemporary of Akhenaton, this would suggest that Ashuruballit, who wrote several letters to Akhenaton, was the same person as Ashurnasirpal II, father of Shalmaneser III.

 

The end of the Mitannian kingdom is documented in a series of texts from the Hittite capital. We are told that Tushratta was murdered by one of his sons, a man named Kurtiwaza. The latter then [fled], half naked, to the court of the Hittite King, Suppiluliumas, who put an army at his disposal; with which the parricide conquered the Mitannian lands. The capital city, Washukanni, was taken, and Kurtiwaza was presumably rewarded for his treachery.

 

The region of [Assyria] … was a mainstay of the Mitannian kingdom. A few years earlier Tushratta had sent the cult statue of Ishtar of Nineveh to Egypt. So, if Kurtiwaza was established as a puppet king by Suppiluliumas, it is likely that his kingdom would have included Assyria. We know that immediately after the overthrow of the Mitanni lands we find a supposedly resurgent Assyria reasserting itself under King Ashuruballit.

The latter’s domain included the Mitanni heartland, for we find him plundering the Mitanni capital of Washukanni and taking from there various treasures with which to adorn his own monuments in Nineveh and Ashur. Indeed, Ashuruballit seems to have been a great builder, and we hear of many new monuments raised by him and many old ones renovated. Strangely, however, none of these structures have been found by excavators. What they have found, right on top of the monuments built by the last of the Mitannians, are the monuments of Ashurnasirpal II, supposedly five and a half centuries after the destruction of Mitannian power.

 

Strange as it may seem, Ashurnasirpal II was also a great builder. He too raised monuments throughout Assyria. These included a new capital named Calah. In Calah archaeologists found numerous [artifacts] … of Egyptian manufacture. There were, for example, many scarabs of the latter Eighteenth Dynasty, especially from the time of Amenhotap [Amenhotep] III. (See Austen Layard, Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon (London, 1853) p. 282)

 

So, just in the place where we would expect to find the monuments of Ashuruballit, who was a contemporary of the latter Eighteenth Dynasty, we find the monuments of Ashurnasirpal II, whose buildings are full of artifacts of the latter Eighteenth Dynasty. This would strongly suggest, even demand, that Ashuruballit and Ashurnasirpal II are one and the same person. Furthermore, since Ashuruballit, the new king of Assyria after the death of Tushratta, seems to be an Assyrian alter-ego of Tushratta’s parricide son Kurtiwaza, this would imply that Ashurnasirpal was yet another alter-ego of Kurtiwaza, and was himself the murderer of Tushratta.

 

Is there then any evidence to suggest that Ashurnasirpal II was a parricide?

 

The Babylonian Chronicle tells us that a “Middle Assyrian” king named Tukulti-Ninurta was murdered by his own son. The name of the murderer is give: it is Ashurnasirpal.

 

The “Middle Assyrians” were a mysterious line of kings who ruled Assyria before the time of the Neo-Assyrians and supposedly after the time of the Mitannians. Yet we know of no Assyrian stratigraphy which can give a clear line from Mitannian to Middle Assyrian to Neo-Assyrian. On the contrary, as we saw, the Mitannians are followed immediately by the Neo-Assyrians of Ashurnasirpal II and Shalmaneser III. This can only mean that the Middle Assyrians must have been contemporaries of the Mitannians, and were most likely Mitannian kings using Assyrian names. We know that ancient rulers often bore several titles in accordance with the various nations and ethnic groups over which they reigned. Since the Mitannian royal names are Indo-Iranian, and therefore meaningless and probably unpronounceable to the Semitic speakers of Assyria, it is almost certain that they would also have used Assyrian-sounding titles.

 

That the Middle Assyrians were in fact contemporary with the Mitannians is shown in numberless details of artwork, pottery, epigraphy, etc. (See for example P. Pfalzner, Mittanische und Mittelassyrische Keramik (Berlin, 1995)

 

Thus it would appear that Tukulti Ninurta, who was murdered by his son Ashurnasirpal, was one and the same as Tushratta, who was murdered by his son Kurtiwaza. This latter, upon being appointed king of Assyria by Suppiluliumas, first used the Assyrian name Ashuruballit, but later changed it to Ashurnasirpal. Such adopting of new titles to mark different stages in one’s life and career was by no means uncommon in ancient times.

[End of quote]

 

But Ashurnasirpal of Assyria’s reign also appears to have been quite close to the era of pharaoh Seti I of the Nineteenth Egyptian Dynasty, which, if that truly be the case, does not bode well for Dr. Velikovsky’s lengthy separation of the Nineteenth from the Eighteenth Dynasty.

This is what I wrote about it, again with reference to Emmet Sweeney, in my university thesis:

 

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

 and its Background

AMAIC_Final_Thesis_2009.pdf

(Volume One, pp. 80-81)

 

Some Related Technological and Art Anomalies

 

Though a neo-Assyrian king as to dating (C9th BC), there are strong indications that Ashurnasirpal II was also in fact closely contemporaneous with the early 19th dynasty (c. 1300 BC, conventional dating) and the latter’s Hittite opponents – and by no means, therefore, was he separated from these by the approximately four centuries that are usually estimated. Similarities between C9th BC Assyrian art and that of the early Ramessides (and contemporaneous Hittites) is of course just what one should expect in terms of this revision. They are reflected in both warfare – particularly in cavalry tactics

and horsemanship – and in art. (For more on this, see Chapter 10, p. 250).

….

Here is what Sweeney has noted in regard to the similarities between Ashurnasirpal’s cavalry tactics and that of the Hittite opponents of pharaoh Seti I (c. 1294-1279 BC, conventional dates):[1] “Hittite cavalry are shown in action against Seti I, and their deployment etc. displays striking parallels with that of the cavalry belonging to Ashurnasirpal II”. Thus for example the Assyrian horsemen, he says, “ride bareback, obtaining a firm grip by means of pressing the raised knees against the horse’s flanks – exactly the method of riding employed by the Hittites portrayed on the monuments of Seti I and Ramses II”. Again, both the early neo-Assyrian cavalry and those of the Hittites against whom Seti I battled, employed the bow as their only weapon. “Even more importantly, they are used in an identical way tactically: they are invariably used in conjunction with the chariotry”.

 

Sweeney next turns to Maspero’s description of the cavalry of Ashurnasirpal: “The army [of Assyria] … now possessed a new element, whose appearance in the field of battle was to revolutionize the whole method of warfare; this was the cavalry, properly so called, introduced as an adjunct to the chariotry.” More specifically, he writes:

 

This body of cavalry, having little confidence in its own powers, kept in close contact with the main body of the army, and it was not used in independent manoeuvres; it was associated with and formed an escort to the chariotry in expeditions where speed was essential, and where ordinary foot soldiers would have hampered the movements of the charioteers.

 

Again, this is just what one would expect from the prevailing ‘Indo-European’ influence, the ‘chariot-riding aristocracy’, with its magnificent horsemanship.

Similarly, James tells of the definite likeness between the neo-Assyrian art of Ashurnasirpal II and that of the ‘Middle’ Assyrian period several centuries earlier, C13th-12th BC:[2]

 

One scholar noted that the forms of decoration of the intricately carved Assyrian seals of the 12th century are ‘clearly late’, as they ‘point the way to the ornate figures which line the walls of the Neo-Assyrian palace of Assurnasirpal [mid-9th century BC]’. The sculptors employed by this king, in the words of another expert on Assyrian art, ‘worked within a tradition that went back to the thirteenth century BC’.

 

Professor Greenberg has observed, along the same lines, that Mycenaean Greece Shaft Grave Stelae, currently dated variously to the late C14th, or mid C13th BC, “make a good deal more art historical sense when compared, for example, with the hunting scenes of Ashurnasirpal II from Nimrud, which are dated in the ninth century BC …”.[3]

 

Thus [Eduard] Meyer was being perfectly logical, according to his own artificial context – with its subsequent misalignment of the early history of Israel – when issuing his bold challenge to gainsay the traditional view that Moses was a real historical person. And Meyer was entirely correct too back then, in 1906 (a full century ago), when stating that “not one of those who treat [Moses] as a historical reality has hitherto been able to fill him with any kind of content whatever …”. For Meyer’s chronology, as promoted by the Berlin School of Egyptology, and later by Sir Henry Breasted, which had become the standard, had made it quite impossible for scholars even to locate Moses in that complex scheme, let alone “to fill him with any kind of content”. Whilst an independent-minded historian like Sir Flinders Petrie might try valiantly to make a major adjustment to Sothic chronology – though still unfortunately based on that system’s faulty premises, by adding an extra Sothic period – he did not like what he eventually saw and so had to reject his novel idea.[4] Meyer’s Sothic chronology therefore survived the challenge and prevailed.

Today, for those who do give some credence to the story of Moses and the Exodus account, the favoured era is, as it was in Meyer’s day, the 19th Ramesside dynasty, Sothically dated to the C13th-C12th’s BC – but still two or more centuries after properly calculated biblical estimates for Moses. Ramses II (c. 1279-1212 BC, conventional dates) is now generally considered to have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus; though no evidence whatsoever for a mass exodus of foreigners can be found during his reign.

 

Fortunately, the work of revision is serving to resurrect some long-lost biblical characters of great import. I have already shown in fair detail in Part I how C9th BC biblical characters, for instance, emerge in some profusion when a Velikovskian-based revision is carefully applied to the well-documented EA period. ….

 

[1] Ibid, p. 24.

[2] Centuries of Darkness, p. 273.

[3] ‘Lion Gate at Mycenae’ (1973), p. 28.

[4] Researches in Sinai, ch. xii; q.v. his A History of Egypt, vol. i, add. xvii, xviii.

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