The Revival of Egypt
The return of Egypt to a great world power commenced with the overthrow of the Shepherd Kings in Upper Egypt. It opened the way for the most glamorous — and the most incestuous — of all Egyptian families — Dynasty XVIII of Thebes.
Click here to view the figure placed here.
Archaeology has provided a wealth of information for this period. Yet no standard textbook has ever restored Dynasty XVIII to its rightful place in history. Because Manetho presented his history of Egypt's thirty dynasties in successive order, it was early assumed that the exodus occurred under this dynasty. Modern historians have long recognized that not one shred of evidence supports this preposterous traditional conception inherited from Catholic scholars. As a solution, they have proposed an even more preposterous theory — that the exodus — if it took place at all! — was under the succeeding nineteenth dynasty. There is indeed a reference to Israel during the nineteenth dynasty of Egypt, but it is to the captivity of Israel — not to the exodus, as will be demonstrated when restoring the Ramesside period.
Dynasty XVIII Archaeological and classical materials are sufficient to restore in detail the dynastic sequence and relationship of the kings and queens of Dynasty XVIII. Ahmose commenced the dynasty and expelled the foreign Shepherd Kings. His queen, Ahmose-Nofreteroi, is "depicted for some unaccountable reason with a black countenance," declared Sir Alan Gardiner in "Egypt of the Pharaohs", page 175. The second king, Amenhotpe (Amenophis I), was pictured, black (I. Rosellini, "I Monumenti dell' Egitto e della Nubia", Pisa, 1832-44). Foucart in an article in the "Bulletin de, l'Institut Egyptien", 5 serie, II (1917), pages 268-269), presented evidence that in the Egyptian royal family of this period was Ethiopian blood.
But first, to restore Dynasty XVIII to its rightful place in history. From archaeological research and the classical writers the following chronological chart may be constructed.
At this point the dynasty should be interrupted to recount the major events in Egypt which synchronize with the history of neighhoring nations and with the Bible.
Names of the Names from Lengths of Dates
Kings and Queen Manetho Reign from
of Dynasty XVIII Archaeological
from archaeology evidence and
Ahmose —- 25 1076-1051
(Amenophis I) —- 21 1051-1030
Thutmose (I) Chebron 13 1030-1017
Thutmose (II) Amenophis 20 1017- 997
Hashepsowe Amessis or
(Hatshepsut) Smensis 21 996- 975*
Thutmose (III) Mephres or
Misaphris 54 997- 943
Amenhotpe Mephramuthosis or
(Amenophis II) Misphragmuthosis 25 943- 918
Thutmose (IV) Tuthmosis 9 918- 909
*Joint with Thutmose III.
The Biblical Parallel The synchronism of Biblical and Egyptian history begins in the reign of Solomon, king of Israel. "Solomon became allied to Pharaoh king of Egypt by marriage, and took Pharoah's daughter, and brought her into the city of David ..." (I Kings 3:1, Jewish Pub. Soc. trans.). (Who was the Pharaoh who became Solomon's father-in-law?
The answer may be established by determining the time of Solomon's reign. It is stated in I Kings 6:1, "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord" (JPS trans.).
From Egyptian history the exodus may be dated Nisan (March-April) 1486. The 480th year thus extended from 1007-1006 (spring to spring). The fourth year of the reign of Solomon (1008-1007, reckoning autumn to autumn according to the civil calendar) thus corresponds to the time of Pharaoh Thutmose II. His chief wife and queen was Hashepsowe (Hatshepsut in earlier authors). As the mother of the Egyptian princess whom Solomon married is unrecorded it is presently impossible to determine from history whether Hashepsowe was Solomon's mother-in-law or step-mother-in-law. In either case she could learn firsthand of the riches and fame of Israel's king.
Solomon commenced the building of the Temple in his fourth year. In the eleventh year of his reign it was completed (I Kings 6:37-38). Thereupon Solomon devoted his time to the erection of his palace. "And Solomon was building his own house thirteen years ..." (I Kings 7:1). It was now the twenty-fourth year of Solomon's reign.
"And it came to pass at the end of twenty years (7 plus 13), wherein Solomon had build the two houses ..." that Hiram the king of Tyre came to visit Solomon (I Kings 9:10). But Hiram was not the only royal visitor who came about this time. "And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon because of the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions" (I Kings 10:1). Jesus called the queen of Sheba "the queen of the south" (Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31). In the book of Daniel, chapter 11, the king of the south is the ruler of Egypt and Ethiopia. Jesus' designation of the queen of Sheba as the "queen of the south" therefore means that she was the ruler of Egypt and Ethiopia. Was a woman — a queen — ruling Egypt in the twenty-fourth year of Solomon? Indeed — Maekaure Hashepsowe!
Josephus, the Jewish historian, preserves an account of this famous visitor. "There was then a woman, queen of Egypt and Ethiopia book VIII, chapter vi, part 5).
Many modern historians have assumed that both Jesus and Josephus were incorrect. They limit the land of Sheba exclusively to southern Arabia. It is at this point that they seem to forget their history. Ethiopia anciently extended to southern Arabia. The land of Sheba — the leading Ethiopian tribe — included both southern Arabia and Ethiopia. Under Dynasty XVIII of Thebes Ethiopia and Egypt were united. The queen of the south was therefore also queen of Egypt — the Hashepsowe of history.
Josephus preserves the name of the Queen of Sheba. He quotes from Herodotus and calls her "Nicaule" ("Antiquities", book VIII, chapter vi, part 2). Any philologist would immediately recognize in the name Nicaule (Nikaule in Greek) only a dialectic form of the Egyptian Maekaure, the "prenomen" of Hashepsowe.
Perhaps the most striking proof that Hashepsowe visited Palestine may be found recorded in the temple at Deir el Bahari. The walls of this temple enshrine the visit of the Queen to "God's Land." The event occurred in her ninth year — 988-987 — the year Solomon completed his great palace. In "Ancient Records of Egypt", by Breasted, volume II, may be found the English translation of the inscriptions of the expedition. Here are extracts from this most famous of all Egyptian voyages:
"Sailing in the sea, beginning the goodly way towards God's-Land, journeying in peace to the land of Punt ..." (section 253).
God's Land is described in detail in section 288: "I have led them on water and on land, to explore the waters of inaccessible channels, and I have reached the Myrrh-terraces."
Queen Hashepsowe explored in God's Land "waters of inaccessible channels" — an awkward modern translation meaning "spring-fed pools." Solomon built many spring-fed pools to supply the lovely artificial wooded terraces. "I made me gardens and parks," wrote Solomon, "and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit; I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the wood springing up with trees" (Ecclesiastes 2:5-7).
"It is a glorious region of God's-Land; it is indeed my place of delight .... They took myrrh as they wished, they loaded the vessels to their hearts' content, with fresh myrrh trees, every good gift of this country, Puntites whom the people know not, Southerns of God's-Land." "Trees were taken up in God's-Land, and set in the ground in Egypt" (sect. 294). The vessels of the Queen, on the return trip up the Nile to Thebes were heavily loaded with "all goodly fragrant woods of God's-Land" and many other rarities which previously had been imported from around the world by the people of God's-Land. "Never was brought the like of this for any king who has been since the beginning" (sect. 265).
Scholars have foolishly puzzled for decades over the location of "God's-Land" — "Toneter" in Egyptian. It is really no puzzle. The word in Egyptian signifies "Divine Land" or "Holy Land." The "Holy Land" is Palestine!
Egyptian inscriptions precisely define the location of God's-Land as Palestine. It lies between Egypt and Syria. In the Papyrus Harris one reads of "the products of Egypt, God's-Land, Syria and Kush" (Breasted, op. cit., vol. IV, sect. 313). Again: "products of Egypt, products of God's-Land, products of Syria" (sects. 341, 387).
From the Piankhi Stela comes the same evidence: "Then the ships were laden with silver, gold, copper, clothing, and everything of the Northland, every product of Syria, and all sweet woods of God's-Land. His majesty sailed up-stream ..." from the Mediterranean coast southward up the Nile to Upper Egypt (Breasted, op. cit., vol. IV, sect. 883).
En route from Egypt to Upper Syria, Thutmose III passed by God's Land. "All plants that grow, all flowers that are in God's-Land which were found by his majesty when his majesty proceeded to Upper Retenu (Syria)" (Breasted, op. cit., vol. II, sect. 451).
Amenhotpe III cut cedar in God's Land for his sacred barge: " was dragged over the mountains of Retenu (Lebanon) by the princes of all countries" (section 888). No mistaking this reference. God's Land could refer to no other region than Palestine, the Holy Land.
In God's Land, or Palestine, Hashepsowe found more than one people. Inhabiting the southern portion, where the Queen first landed, were native "Puntites," presented to her as servants by the ruling people of the land. In her monuments at Deir el Bahari these "Puntites" are pictured as a short, round-headed, dark-skinned, thick-lipped people, whereas the dominant people were white men (Naville's "Deir el Bahari", Pt. III, page 12).
The two peoples of the Holy Land were Israelites and Canaanites. A remnant of Canaanites — the "Puntites" of the inscriptions — long lived in the mountains of Seir bordering on the Gulf of Aqaba. The words "Punt" and "Puntite" came to be pronounced in Egyptian without the "t." A better spelling of the Egyptian word would be "Puoni" or "Pwene", the latter most commonly used today by scholars. (See Gardiner's "Egypt of the Pharaohs", page 37, note 1.) When referring to wars with the Canaanite Carthaginians, the Romans spoke of Punic wars — Punic being a synonym for Canaanite. The chief Canaanite people were the Sidonians. The father of Sidon, in classical literature, was named Pontus (Eusebius, "Preparation for the Gospel", I, x, 27). In Scripture he is Canaan.
The land of Punt or Pwene was the land wherever Canaanites settled. Originally the land of "Punt" was limited to Palestine — in Scripture "the land of Canaan" — but in later times signified any land to which Phoenicians or Canaanites migrated. "Afterward were the families of the Canaanite spread abroad" (Genesis 10:18). Hence in Egyptian literature Punt included lands outside of Palestine or God's Land.
God's Land is Palestine. The Queen of Sheba is Hashepsowe. But who is "Shishak" the king of Egypt at the close of Solomon's reign?
Shishak Captures Jerusalem In the later years of Solomon's reign, Egypt was ruled by a king named Shishak. He is introduced in I Kings 11:40, in an account of the strife between Solomon and Jeroboam. "Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam; but Jeroboam arose, and fled to Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was there in Egypt until the death of Solomon." Archaeology has as yet not found this name in Egypt, but it has appeared on tablets excavated at Ras Shamra in northern Syria. (See Dhorme's article in "Revue Biblique", XL, Jan. 1931, page 55.) The Pharaohs of Egypt usually had many names, many of which have not yet been recovered by the archaeologists. Which king of Dynasty XVIII was Shishak?
The chronological chart at the beginning of this chapter indicates he was Thutmose III, often designated "the Great." He reigned not only in the later years of Solomon, but in the time of Rehoboam.
The Biblical record states that Shishak invaded Judah shortly after Solomon's death. "And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; and he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house: he even took away all; and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made" (I Kings 14:25-26).
A parallel and richer account is preserved in II Chronicles 12:1-8:
And it came to pass, when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had dealt treacherously with the Lord, with twelve hundred chariots, and three- score thousand horsemen; and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. And he took the fortified cities which pertained to Judah, and came unto Jerusalem. Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them: 'Thus saith the Lord: Ye have forsaken Me, therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.' Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said: 'The Lord is righteous.' And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying: 'They have humbled themselves; I will not destroy them: but I will grant them some deliverance, and My wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Never- theless they shall be his servants; that they may know My service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.' " This momentous event in the history of Judah is dated to the fifth year of king Rehoboam. Reckoning from the fourth year of Solomon, 1008-1007 (autumn to autumn according to the civil calendar). the fifth year of Rehoboam would be 967-966. Now the thirty-first year of Thutmose III is 967-966 (spring to spring). The two regnal years overlap six months in the autumn and winter of the year 967-966.
In his thirtieth year Thutmose campaigned in Judah. He did not capture Jerusalem in this year (Breasted's "Ancient Records of Egypt", vol. II, sect. 465, footnote a). However he did harvest their grain and take hostages.
Year thirty-one of Thutmose corresponds to Rehoboam's fifth. In this year Rehoboam humbled himself. Nevertheless, God allowed Thutmose to take Jerusalem. (For best Bible rendering see the Jewish Publication Society translation of II Chronicles 12:1-8.) For the list of spoils and tribute taken see Breasted, sections 471 and 473.
The first Egyptian to pierce the walls of Kadesh was Amenemhab He records in his biography: "His majesty sent forth every valiant man of his army, in order to pierce the wall for the first time, which Kadesh had made. I was the one who pierced it, being the first of all the valiant: no other before me did it" (section 590).
Archaeologists have spent years guessing the whereabouts of the city of Kadesh. No one, it seems, has suspected that it is Jerusalem!
All scholars recognize that the word Kadesh means "Holy." When used in reference to a city, it means a Holy City. Jerusalem is many times called the Holy City in Scripture. In Daniel 9:24 Jerusalem is referred to as "the holy city." In the original Hebrew, the root word for "holy" is KADESH. Nehemiah 11:1 speaks of "Jerusalem the holy city." Again the Hebrew root for "holy" is KADESH, sometimes spelled KODESH. See also Isaiah 48:2 and numerous other passages.
In all, Thutmose mentions one hundred and nineteen captured cities of Palestine. Kadesh is listed first, Megiddo second (A. Jirku, "Die aegyptischen Listen der Palaestinensischen und Syrischen Ortsnamen," "Klio Beihefte", XXXVIII, Leipzig, 1937). The wealth plundered from the Palace and the Temple in Jerusalem was engraved on the walls of the great Amon temple at Karnak and may be seen to this day.
Thutmose received continuous tribute from Judaea during the succeeding years of his reign, confirming the Biblical statement that the Jews became the "servants" of Shishak (II Chronicles 12:8).
In the forty-second year of Thutmose's reign he again "arrived at the district of Kadesh, captured the cities therein." (Sections 529, 531 ) This was in 955 or one year before Rehoboam died. Rehoboam reigned seventeen years in all (II Chronicles 12:13) In 954 Abijah succeeded his father — twelve years after the capture of Jerusalem (966) Thutmose's intention was to perpetuate Egyptian rule on the kingdom of Judah. Rehoboam was old and weak after continual wars with Jeroboam.
Before completing the life of Thutmose, it is important to consider two other campaigns which preceded the attack on Jerusalem. In his twenty-third year, 975 exactly 511 years after the Exodus and the coming of the Hyksos into Egypt, Thutmose commenced "the first victorious expedition to extend the boundaries of Egypt with might ... Now, at that period the Asiatics had fallen into disagreement, each man fighting against his neighbor ." (Breasted, op cit., vol II, sections 415-416).
This campaign proceeded no farther north than Tripolis of the southern Lebanon. It marks the termination of the 511 years assigned to the Hyksos period by Josephus and the classical writers. Southern Phoenicia, from whence came some of the Shepherd Kings, was now subject to the Egyptians. Seven years later, 518 years after the Exodus in the thirtieth year of Thutmose III, a major campaign was carried on along the eastern Mediterranean coast to the city of Arvad (sect. 461). All of Phoenicia now passed under Egyptian sway. With this campaign the 518 years also assigned to the Hyksos period by Josephus were completed.
These momentous shifts in world politics at the close of Solomon's reign were the direct result of Solomon' sin, described in I Kings 11:1-13. Historians, interpreting history without God and the Bible, have mistakenly assumed that the spectacular growth in Egyptian power was due solely to Thutmose's political astuteness. Neglected is the military situation. Thutmose could never have accomplished his extended campaigns apart from revolts against Solomon. I Kings 11 14-40 unveils what the trip-hammer blows were that cracked Israel's power. The Edomites became restive, the Arameans in Damascus independent, and ten out of the twelve tribes of Israel were anticipating the death of Solomon as a quick remedy for excessive taxation. Thutmose merely seized the spoils of a nation which had grown soft spiritually because it set its mind on physical greatness alone.
Who Was Zerah the Ethiopian? Time moves on to another generation. Thutmose is dead. In his stead reigns Amenhotpe II. In Jerusalem king Rehoboam was succeeded first by Abijah (for 3 years), then by his grandson Asa. The record is found in II Chronicles 14 and 15.
Important military changes were disturbing the eastern Mediterranean seaboard. Fortified cities had to be hastily constructed throughout Judah (II Chr 14:5). An efficient army was trained during ten years of quiet. Suddenly in the fifteenth year of Asa (937-936) "there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an army of a thousand thousand (one million troops), and three hundred chariots; and he came unto Mareshah. Then Asa went out to meet him ...." Judah earnestly sought divine intervention against the great host of Lubim and the Ethiopiens (II Chr. 16:8) that had come out of Egypt. "So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar; and there fell of the Ethiopians so that none remained alive: for they were scattered before the Lord, and before His host: and they (Judah) carried away much booty" (Jewish translation), After the battle and the spoiling of the region of Gerar, the Jews "gathered themselves to Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. And they sacrificed unto the Lord in that day (Pentecost), of the spoil which they had brought ..." (II Chr. 15:10-11). Who was the Zerah whose army was totally annihilated in Asa's reign?
One would hardly expect to discover the full truth of such a catastrophic defeat engraven on the monuments of the vanquished. Perchance the defeat is glossed over and made to appear a victory.
No monument to our knowledge tells the story of the defeat. However, there certainly is an historical Zerah. He appears in the king lists of Ethiopia at the very time the battle occurred. Through the centuries the Ethiopians preserved the name of this man who played no small role in the history of Judah.
Zerah belonged to the Dynasty of Menelik I. The dynasty began with the death of Hashepsowe in 975 B.C. Menelik, the first ruler, was the son of Solomon and an Egyptian princess. The complete king list can be found in C.F. Rey's book: "In the Country of the Blue Nile", 1927.
Dynasty of Menelik I
The king list continues down to the present and can be referred to in the Compendium, vol. II, appendix B.
Ruler Length of Reign Dates
1 Menelik I
(succeeded Hashepsowe) 25 975-950
2 Hanyon 1 950-949
3 Sera I (Tomai) 26 949-923
Sera is Zerah
In Egypt Amenhotpe II was reigning. His authority extended south beyond Napata in Ethiopia (Breasted, "Ancient Records", vol. II, sect. 797). He succeeded his father Thutmose III in 943. Amenhotpe's first documented campaign into Palestine occurred in his year 3 (941). This was near the close of the 10th year of Asa, king of Judah. Asa had ten years of peace at the beginning of his reign (951-941). (See II Chronicles 14:1, 5, 6). A later Egyptian campaign occurred in the beginning of Amenhotpe's seventh year (937). The king set out on a grand expedition into Palestine. His seventh year corresponds to Asa's fourteenth. This date — 937 — is one year before Zerah's invasion. Amenhotpe's campaign, recorded on the Memphis stela, should not be confused with the Ethiopian invasion of Palestine in the spring of 936.
Click here to view the figure placed here.
The Memphis stela reads: "Year 7, 1st month of the third season. day 25 .... His majesty proceeded to Retenu (Palestine) .... His majesty reached Shamesh-Edom." On the Karnak stela the next move is also dated: "1st month of the third season. day 26. His majesty's crossing the ford of the Orontes on this day." He was north of Palestine.
The prince of Kadesh surrendered the city to the armies of Amenhotpe. He swore fealty to the Egyptians rather than undergo a siege. But this Kadesh — a holy city — was Carchemish in Syria. (Consult Pritchard's "Ancient Near Eastern Texts", page 245, and footnotes 8 and 9; also Breasted's translation of the Karnak stela, section 784.)
Dynasty XVIII in Manetho Manetho's transcribers — Josephus, Africanus, Eusebius — are usually charged with totally corrupting this Theban dynasty. Had the archaeologists and historians spent as much time understanding Manetho's extractors. instead of condemning them, they would have recovered the full account of Amenhotpe II. The chart which follows is based solely on Manetho's transcribers. It should be compared with the first one given in this chapter which is based on archaeological evidence and on Manetho. (The abbreviations — "J", "A", "E", "T" — following either names, or lengths of reign stand for variations in Josephus Africanus, Eusebius, or Theophilus. — The figures of Josephus have been reduced to whole calendar years.)
The insignificant differences of spelling in the Greek are due naturally to the changes in pronunciation of Egyptian sounds over many centuries — and to abbreviations. Several of these names have never been discovered by archaeologists. This does not mean the Greek or Hebrew writers imagined names, but rather that archaeology is limited in what it can recover from the past.
Names of Dynasty Lengths of Reign Dates Names from
XVIII in Manetho Archaeology
Tethmosis (J), 25 1076-1051 Ahmose
Amose (A) and
His son: Chebron, 13 1030-1017 Thutmose I
or Chebros (A)
Amenophis (J), 21 (A) (E)1017- 996 Thutmose II
Ammenophthis (A) (E) 20 (J) 1017- 997
His sister: Amessis (J), 21 (J) 996- 975 Hashepsowe
Amensis (A) 22 (A) 997- 975 (Queen of
Her (step)son: 12 (J) (E) 975- 963 Thutmose III
Mephres (J) 13 (A) 976- 963 (Shishak)
His son: Mephramuthosis (J) 25 (J) 943- 918 Amenhotpe II
Misphragmuthosis (A) (E) 26 (A)(E) 944- 918
Mephrammuthosis (T) 20 (T) 963- 943
His son: Thmosis (J) 9 918- 909 Thutmose IV
Tuthmosis (A) (E)
Of greater historic significance are the variations in regnal years. Far from being mere scribal errors, each contributes additional information not preserved by the other epitomes of Manetho. If Manetho is to be fully understood, all the evidence must be taken together.
Consider the minor variations in the reign of Thutmose II and Hashepsowe. Josephus preserves the fact that he reigned only twenty full calendar years when succeeded by his son Thutmose III. But both Africanus and Eusebius bring out the detail that one more year elapsed before his sister and queen, Hashepsowe, assumed supreme rule as Queen of Egypt. Again, Africanus assigns 22 years to Hashepsowe to indicate that she was associated with her stepson for 22 calendar years after the death of her brother. Her dominant role in government as senior co-regent for 21 years is preserved only by Josephus, who is confirmed by archaeology and monumental finds.
The length of reign of Thutmose III as preserved by Manetho's abstractors has been rejected in toto. Though it appears on the surface to be irreconcilable with archaeological finds, it is nevertheless correct. Thutmose III reigned solely for only 12 years after the death of Hashepsowe. At that time he associated his son Amenhotpe II with him on the throne. Archaeology confirms a period of joint reign, but has not yet discovered its duration. Had the archaeologists opened their eyes, they would have long ago found its duration in Manetho. (See Pritchard's "Ancient Near Eastern Texts", page 245, footnote 1.)
The figure of 13 calendar years for the reign of Thutmose III, preserved by Africanus, does not commence with the death of his step-mother, but with his assumption of power in 976 — the beginning of his 22nd year. In the year following 976 he began his military campaign into southern Phoenicia, 511 years after the Exodus. Next the reign of Amenhotpe II — the son of Thutmose III. His frightfully long name is not what has confounded historians. It is his length of reign that no one, it seems, has made sense of. Compare the information from archaeology, in the first chart, with these figures from Manetho. It is immediately evident that Theophilus has preserved the length of the joint reign — 20 years — 963-943. In 943 Thutmose III died. Josephus, by contrast, has preserved Amenhotpe II's length of reign — 25 years — after the death of his father. But Africanus and Eusebius give yet a different length — 26 years. They measure the length of Amenhotpe's reign from the time he held full power during the last year of his father's reign — that is 944-943. The emphasis upon this date in Amenhotpe's reign has been corroborated by archaeology. Again the figures of the transcribers can be explained.
It should be noted that none of the transcribers of Manetho has preserved all his facts. Each, however, complements the other. Why is Amenhotpe I missing as the second king in the dynasty? Tethmosis or Amose is correctly stated to be the first king. His 25 years are also confirmed by archaeology. He is plainly declared by Manetho's transcribers to be the father of Thutmose I or Chebron who was the third king of Dynasty XVIII. How are these apparent discrepancies to be resolved?
It has been commonly assumed by moderns that Thutmose I was a son of the first Amenhotpe by a secondary wife. But there is absolutely no evidence from archaeology to support this hypothesis (Drioton and Vandier, "L'Egypte" (1952), page 336).
Manetho's statement that he was a son of Ahmose explains, in part, why the classical writers passed over Amenhotpe I. The story of Dynasty XVIII is the story of a family through blood descent. Apparently Amenhotpe I was not in that line of descent. He may have been a younger brother of Amosis. The following list of kings, beginning from the expulsion of the Hyksos rulers in 1076, is preserved by Syncellus from the book of Sothis. Take special note of the dates of Amose.
The Book of Sothis
This list also placed Amosis immediately before Chebron (Thutmose I). Ahmose (Amosis) reigned into his 26th year. Syncellus therefore assigned the last incomplete year as a whole calendar year and gave him 26 — from 1076 to 1050. In 1030 his son Chebron assumed the throne under the name of Thutmose. Manetho's other transcribers gave only the length of reign from 1076 to 1051 using the non-accession year method of reckoning. By contrast Syncellus used the accession year method of reckoning for Amosis, whereby the last incomplete year is assigned to the predecessor, not to the successor. Since Syncellus also did not include Amenhotpe I, he overlooked 20 years and proceeded to name Chebron next.
Kings in Book Lengths of Reign Dates
33 Amosis, also called 26 1076-1050
34 Chebron, his son 13 1030-1017
35 Amemphis 15 1011-1002
36 Amensis 11 1002- 991
37 Misphragmuthosis 16 991-975
38 Misphres 23 975-952
39 Tuthmosis 39 952-913
To fully understand Manetho, one must combine the evidence from his transcribers with archaeological discoveries. Neither Manetho nor archaeological evidence is sufficiently complete to be used alone for the beginning reigns of this dynasty.
The Book of Sothis' dates of the reigns of the first several rulers of the Theban dynasty are not necessarily indicative of the year of death. They may designate political changes. Recall the case of Joseph in the third dynasty, who lived another 14 years after completing his term in public office.
In the book of Sothis king Thutmose II, the husband and brother of Amenses-Hashepsowe, is given only 15 years. This dating is confirmed by rock inscriptions at Assuan. Hashepsowe ordered Senmut, an important public officer, to prepare two great obelisks to commemorate her co-regency "in year 16" of her brother Thutmose II. It has been commonly assumed that "year 16" refers to a time in her own reign. This conclusion is totally unwarranted, for "in year 16" Hashepsowe was still "King's Sister, Divine Consort, Great King's Wife." Thutmose II was still living. The inscription is in honor of "the Divine Consort, Sovereign of the entire Two Lands" — that is, in honor of the assumption of royal power by Hashepsowe in her brother's sixteenth year. The obelisks were not finally erected and inscribed until her joint reign with her stepson Thutmose III. (See Breasted's "Ancient Records", vol. II, sections 359-362; also Weigall's "History of the Pharaohs", vol. II, pages 288-289.)
Thus for five years prior to his death, Thutmose II associated his sister-wife with him on the throne as queen consort. She became senior co-regent with her stepson in 996, one year after the death of her brother. She continued in public office until 975.
Why then does her reign appear to cease in 991 according to the book of Sothis? Who is the "king" named Misphragmuthosis who ceased to reign the very year that Hashepsowe died?
The answer is unique in Egyptian history. The masculine name Misphragmuthosis is Hashepsowe's! Under Thutmose II she was originally only queen consort. In the year after his death she began to rule as Queen. At length — in 991 — she assumed masculine titles, appeared as a man and took a man's name. The monuments of Egypt picture her in her later life as a male, though they at times refer to the king as "her."
Writes Sir Alan Gardiner in "Egypt of the Pharaohs", page 183: " man. The change did not come about without some hesitation, because there is at least one relief where she appears as King of Upper and Lower Egypt, and yet is clad in woman's attire."
The inscriptions recovered by archaeologists indicate she commenced the idea of becoming a king as early as her second year. ("Nachrichten von der Koeniglichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen," 1955, page 212.) But it was not until her sixth year that it is officially recognized in the Book of Sothis.
One other hitherto unnoticed fact appears in the book of Sothis. The reign of Misphres (Thutmose III) continues 23 years after the reign of "King" Hashepsowe. At that point his grandson Thutmose IV is associated with him on the throne. The book of Sothis takes no notice of Amenhotpe II. These records indicate that the practice of Theban Dynasty XII, of associating sons and grandsons on the throne. was also a practice of Theban Dynasty XVIII. For the last nine years of Thutmose III or Shishak's life, he was associated on the throne with both son and grandson.
With the reign of Thutmose IV, the first half of Dynasty XVIII is completed. The succeeding rulers of the dynasty lead into the much-misunderstood period of the Ramessides, to be unravelled in the next chapter, or two.