Digging Into The Past

Ferrell Jenkins
Temple Terrace, Florida

Shishak's Invasion of Jerusalem

Pharaoh Sheshonk I of Egypt was the founder of the twenty-second dynasty in Egypt and ruled from about 945 to 915 B.C. In the Bible this ruler is called Shishak. "And it came to pass in the 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 Jehovah, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon bad made" (I Kings 14:25-26). This campaign is confirmed by a triumphal relief on a wall in the temple of Amun at Karnak in Egypt. The relief names 156 towns of both Judah and Israel which Shishak claims to have taken, including Taanach, Shunem, Beth-shean, Gibeon, Beth-horon, Ajalon, Arad and Megiddo. In the excavation of Megiddo "a fragment of a stela of Shishak was found" (Finegan, Light From the Ancient Past, p.183).

The relief at Karnak also records the capturing of a place in Palestine called "The Field of Abram" (Ibid., p. 91). Shishak's inscription is significant because it records the first personal Biblical name (Shishak) to be found outside the Bible in a contemporary record, and, for the time being, it is the last Egyptian inscription of importance to Biblical studies.


February 5, 1970