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Riaan

The History of the Queen of Sheba

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Hi all, you may remember that I have long argued that Nefertiti and Solomon’s Queen of Sheba were one and the same person. In short, this is based on the following observations/conclusions:

1. In his A Test of Time David Rohl showed that the Amarna contemporaries Labayu and Dadua can be equated with the biblical kings Saul and David. Rohl used this link to move the Amarna period later in time, to ca. 1000 BCE, the conventional dating of Israel’s United Monarch under King David. However, he should have moved the era of United Monarchy earlier in time to match that of the Amarna era.

2. Solomon’s Queen of Sheba is referred to that name in the Old Testament only. Josephus calls her the Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia, she is called the Queen of the South in the New Testament and the Koran refers to her as the queen of the country where they worship the sun (the Aten). The only significant queen of Egypt during the Amarna era is Nefertiti.

3. When the United Monarchy is moved back in time to match the Amarna period, it can be argued that the so-called Megiddo ivory depicts this visit by an Egyptian queen to a Canaanite king. The crown worn by the queen is identical to Nefertiti’s famous flat-topped crown.

Megiddo_ivory_scene.jpg

4. I contend that Sheba is not a country but a person called Sheba, in fact most likely Sheba, David’s fiercest opponent. Bathsheba would have been his daughter, and the Queen of Sheba should actually be read Sheba’s Queen (of Egypt), in other words, Nefertiti. Ahmed Osman has shown that the biblical Joseph and the Egyptian courtier Yuya must have been one and the same person. Bathsheba must have had children by Uriah before he was murdered by David, most likely two infant daughters. She must have sent them to Joseph in Egypt for protection against David.

5. I have also argued earlier that various legends about the Queen of Sheba, called Nitocris (Nicaule) by Herodotus, relate that she had invited the murderers of her husband/brother to a banquet during which she had them drowned / burned to death.

While completing my book, now published, I stumbled upon a book by Sabine Baring-Gould called Legends of Old Testament characters, from the Talmud and other sources (1871) (pdf can be download here, 20 MB, pp. 344-349). In it is recorded that:

• The Queen of Sheba, here called Balkis, was born to a Jinn (a genie) disguised as a woman and a vizier in the service of his king. The mother disappeared and it was left to the vizier to raise her. Given the Amarna setting and Balkis’ true identity as Nefertiti, the vizier in question can only be Yuya. Yuya and Tiye must have raised an infant of whom the biological mother was not known. Tiye would then indeed have been Nefertiti’s wet nurse as recorded in Egyptian records.

• The description of the vizier as being of exceptional beauty and having fallen out of favour with the king, a tyrant called Scharabel, only to be reinstated as grand vizier, matches the biblical Joseph in both respects.

• Balkis was also exceptionally beautiful, as was Nefertiti, whose name meant ‘The beautiful one has come’.

• She was to be married to the tyrant king, who had assembled himself a large harem and was infamous for demanding beautiful women as his concubines. This matches Amenhotep III who was widely known for his sexual endeavours.

• Balkis arranged a banquet for the purpose of killing the king. Although in reality the tyrant was not killed (he had withdrawn to Ethiopia), someone or some people were indeed killed at the banquet, matching the treacherous banquet associated with Nefertiti.

• There was a revolt against the tyrant, not only by civilians, but also by parts of his army (‘those who were officers in the army agitated amongst their soldiers’). This revolt agrees with the revolt by Egyptians and slaves, under the leadership of Moses, against Amenhotep and the Amun priesthood, following the failed sacrifice of the firstborn (see original summary here).

Any comments?

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Sounds very logical. But it does require one to put David and the United Israel 350 years further back then is currently accepted. How do you put aside the various and extensive evidence (Lines up with Kings of Israel. Lines up with Wars fought by Israel. Lines up qith structures built, and archeological items found.) that shows that David did not live 350 years earlier??

Why would the daughter of the most powerful woman in Egypt be married to Uriah, one of David's best, True, but still just an officer of the Army? Would Bathsheba have been so down the line of Sheba's children as to be handed over to a Israelite officer?

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Sounds very logical. But it does require one to put David and the United Israel 350 years further back then is currently accepted. How do you put aside the various and extensive evidence (Lines up with Kings of Israel. Lines up with Wars fought by Israel. Lines up qith structures built, and archeological items found.) that shows that David did not live 350 years earlier??

Why would the daughter of the most powerful woman in Egypt be married to Uriah, one of David's best, True, but still just an officer of the Army? Would Bathsheba have been so down the line of Sheba's children as to be handed over to a Israelite officer?

The problem we have here, no matter if around 1000 BC or 1300 BC, there is very little archeological evidence for the whole line of David, and should there have been a King David of Judah, he surely did not have the importance attributed to him. Judah was a quite unimportant place and its capital a 3 goat town. If you want to find anything relevant of the era and to Judaism you have to search in Samaria.

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Herodotus' Nitocris never existed, but was a faulty translation of the name Netjerkare Siptah I who was very much a male ruler. He succeeded Nemtyemsaf I of the 6th dynasty, circa 23rd century BC.

cormac

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The problem we have here, no matter if around 1000 BC or 1300 BC, there is very little archeological evidence for the whole line of David, and should there have been a King David of Judah, he surely did not have the importance attributed to him. Judah was a quite unimportant place and its capital a 3 goat town. If you want to find anything relevant of the era and to Judaism you have to search in Samaria.

Which goes back to why would the King and Queen of Egypt give their daughter to a officer of a 3 goat kingdom?

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Which goes back to why would the King and Queen of Egypt give their daughter to a officer of a 3 goat kingdom?

Exactly.

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Exactly.

There seems to be a misunderstanding here. It was the other way around. When Bathsheba was taken by David, she sent her infant children (two sisters) to Yuya (Joseph) in Egypt. Had they remained in Israel, David would have had them killed. These two girls grew up in Egypt and the most beautiful one of them, Nefertiti, was most likely betrothed to Amenhotep III, but in the end became Akhenaten's wife. The Israelites knew about this, specifically when she came from Egypt to see Solomon, her half-brother, and remembered her in oral tradition or scripture as "Sheba's queen". Josephus knew that she was in fact the queen of Egypt. Bathsheba, her biological mother, may even still have been alive when Nefertiti visited Solomon. In other words, Nefertiti was half-Hittite (from Uriah) and half Jewish (from Bathsheba).

Are you perhaps referring to the bride Solomon received from the an Egyptian Pharaoh? She may have been one of the numerous daughters of Amehotep III, given to Solomon as bride by Nefertiti and Akhenaten as a sign of goodwill.

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There seems to be a misunderstanding here. It was the other way around. When Bathsheba was taken by David, she sent her infant children (two sisters) to Yuya (Joseph) in Egypt. Had they remained in Israel, David would have had them killed. These two girls grew up in Egypt and the most beautiful one of them, Nefertiti, was most likely betrothed to Amenhotep III, but in the end became Akhenaten's wife. The Israelites knew about this, specifically when she came from Egypt to see Solomon, her half-brother, and remembered her in oral tradition or scripture as "Sheba's queen". Josephus knew that she was in fact the queen of Egypt. Bathsheba, her biological mother, may even still have been alive when Nefertiti visited Solomon. In other words, Nefertiti was half-Hittite (from Uriah) and half Jewish (from Bathsheba).

Are you perhaps referring to the bride Solomon received from the an Egyptian Pharaoh? She may have been one of the numerous daughters of Amehotep III, given to Solomon as bride by Nefertiti and Akhenaten as a sign of goodwill.

Mostly I am referring to that it hardly is the house of David that had any relevance, the relevant state at the time was Samaria. If we can believe Finkelstein and Silberman (who happen to be the best regarded authorities in Israeli archeology and history) the Book of Kings is an amalgam of both Samarian and Judean traditions, wherein Samaria was the relevant state (powerful, economically successful and respected by its neighbors) comparing to Judah like New York State to Rhode Island.

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The description of the vizier as being of exceptional beauty and having fallen out of favour with the king, a tyrant called Scharabel, only to be reinstated as grand vizier, matches the biblical Joseph in both respects.

There were no female Vizier's in Ancient Egypt nor a king named Scharabel, which isn't an Egyptian name in any case.

cormac

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Mostly I am referring to that it hardly is the house of David that had any relevance, the relevant state at the time was Samaria. If we can believe Finkelstein and Silberman (who happen to be the best regarded authorities in Israeli archeology and history) the Book of Kings is an amalgam of both Samarian and Judean traditions, wherein Samaria was the relevant state (powerful, economically successful and respected by its neighbors) comparing to Judah like New York State to Rhode Island.

As I mention in my book, Finklestein questions whether Saul and David existed at all. However, Rohl's argument that they were in fact the Amarna vassal kings Labayu and Dadua places them in the correct time frame and at least shows that Saul's kingdom, and presumably David's after him, were important enough for these kings to have communicated directly with the Egyptian rulers and vice versa.

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As I mention in my book, Finklestein questions whether Saul and David existed at all. However, Rohl's argument that they were in fact the Amarna vassal kings Labayu and Dadua places them in the correct time frame and at least shows that Saul's kingdom, and presumably David's after him, were important enough for these kings to have communicated directly with the Egyptian rulers and vice versa.

Where Finkelstein's case is compelling, no archeological evidence for more than a 3 goat town where Jerusalem is now is pretty convincing for me too. Hardly a relevant kingdome, even at the time.

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There were no female Vizier's in Ancient Egypt nor a king named Scharabel, which isn't an Egyptian name in any case.

cormac

Sorry - not properly explained. In the Bible Joseph was described as a man of exceptional beauty who was coveted by his master's wife. When Joseph rejected her advances, she accused him of attempted rape and he was imprisoned. The king, who was a tyrant, was called Scharabel in the text. No idea where the author of this text got the name from.

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Where Finkelstein's case is compelling, no archeological evidence for more than a 3 goat town where Jerusalem is now is pretty convincing for me too. Hardly a relevant kingdome, even at the time.

Saul was important enough for the Amarna rulers to have communicated with - Labayu wrote ‘Moreover, the king wrote for my son. I did not know that my son was consorting with the Habiru.’ How big these petty kingdoms were one will never know, but either Amenhotep III or Akhenaten considered Labayu important enough to correspond with him. If Rohl's identification of Saul with Labayu is correct, it is stronger evidence than the absence of archaeological evidence. As they say, absence of proof is not proof of absence.

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Saul was important enough for the Amarna rulers to have communicated with - Labayu wrote ‘Moreover, the king wrote for my son. I did not know that my son was consorting with the Habiru.’ How big these petty kingdoms were one will never know, but either Amenhotep III or Akhenaten considered Labayu important enough to correspond with him. If Rohl's identification of Saul with Labayu is correct, it is stronger evidence than the absence of archaeological evidence. As they say, absence of proof is not proof of absence.

And we have an actual document showing this?

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And we have an actual document showing this?

Yes, the Amarna letters. Rohl analysed the contents of these letters and observed that many of the events and locations described in the letters match those associated with Saul.

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Sorry - not properly explained. In the Bible Joseph was described as a man of exceptional beauty who was coveted by his master's wife. When Joseph rejected her advances, she accused him of attempted rape and he was imprisoned. The king, who was a tyrant, was called Scharabel in the text. No idea where the author of this text got the name from.

Would you care to cite that reference as it's not in Genesis Chapter 39, which is where the story is told. Also, what evidence do you have that Yuya was ever thrown in prison? As to the name Scharabel, it exists nowhere in the Bible so is rather meaningless.

cormac

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Based on archaeology we know nothing about Solomon.

But its interesting that Solomon could speak with animals,birds, he could control devil,he is prophet in Islam.

Thats why we have so many Suleiman rulers

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Yes, the Amarna letters. Rohl analysed the contents of these letters and observed that many of the events and locations described in the letters match those associated with Saul.

Where we have the Garden Eden and the rest... your problem is that nobody seems to agree with him.

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There seems to be a misunderstanding here. It was the other way around. When Bathsheba was taken by David, she sent her infant children (two sisters) to Yuya (Joseph) in Egypt. Had they remained in Israel, David would have had them killed. These two girls grew up in Egypt and the most beautiful one of them, Nefertiti, was most likely betrothed to Amenhotep III, but in the end became Akhenaten's wife. The Israelites knew about this, specifically when she came from Egypt to see Solomon, her half-brother, and remembered her in oral tradition or scripture as "Sheba's queen". Josephus knew that she was in fact the queen of Egypt. Bathsheba, her biological mother, may even still have been alive when Nefertiti visited Solomon. In other words, Nefertiti was half-Hittite (from Uriah) and half Jewish (from Bathsheba).

Are you perhaps referring to the bride Solomon received from the an Egyptian Pharaoh? She may have been one of the numerous daughters of Amehotep III, given to Solomon as bride by Nefertiti and Akhenaten as a sign of goodwill.

Ah... I see after re-reading. You are saying Bathsheba (wife of Uriah the Hittite) was the daughter of Sheba son of Bikri (2nd Samuael 20). And that Bathsheba had at least one daughter who escaped to Egypt to live with Joseph. But how would Sheba, or Bathsheba have known Joseph to send this girl there?

Are you talking about the Joseph, son of Jacob (12th son), from Genesis? If so then he, Joseph would have to be monsterously old, since he would have been Moses's great, great Uncle. And David, having been decended from Judah (Jacob's 4th son) would have been his great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grand uncle (8 "greats"). I don't think he would still be around after 11 generations...

Edited by DieChecker
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The problem we have here, no matter if around 1000 BC or 1300 BC, there is very little archeological evidence for the whole line of David, and should there have been a King David of Judah, he surely did not have the importance attributed to him. Judah was a quite unimportant place and its capital a 3 goat town. If you want to find anything relevant of the era and to Judaism you have to search in Samaria.

Why would such an unimportant '3 goat town' show up in ancient Egyptian and Akkadian records?

A city called Rušalimum or Urušalimum (Foundation of Shalem) is mentioned twice in ancient Egyptian records. These references are widely, if not universally, assumed to indicate Jerusalem, and date back to the 19th and 18th centuries BCE. The name recurs in Akkadian cuneiform as Urušalim, in the Amarna tablets datable to the 1400-1360 BCE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem

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interesting stuff but joseph and david arnt alive at the same time i thought

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Why would such an unimportant '3 goat town' show up in ancient Egyptian and Akkadian records?

A city called Rušalimum or Urušalimum (Foundation of Shalem) is mentioned twice in ancient Egyptian records. These references are widely, if not universally, assumed to indicate Jerusalem, and date back to the 19th and 18th centuries BCE. The name recurs in Akkadian cuneiform as Urušalim, in the Amarna tablets datable to the 1400-1360 BCE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem

Well, have a look at what they excavated and then tell me, but I guess it is more due to the fact that Judah was not an independent kingdom until around the 4th century, but sometimes an Egyptian province, others an Egyptian colony and mostly an Egyptian protectorate (until the Babylonians had enough of the crap and took the whole thing over). After that a Persian province and a Greek province. The Kings of Judah were as independent as Erich Honecker's GDR or Czechoslovakia (until 1990, that is). An Jerusalem means city of peace in Hebrew and much more likely to be the origin of the name, so it might be very possible that Urusalim is a completely different place.

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Well, have a look at what they excavated and then tell me, but I guess it is more due to the fact that Judah was not an independent kingdom until around the 4th century, but sometimes an Egyptian province, others an Egyptian colony and mostly an Egyptian protectorate (until the Babylonians had enough of the crap and took the whole thing over). After that a Persian province and a Greek province. The Kings of Judah were as independent as Erich Honecker's GDR or Czechoslovakia (until 1990, that is). An Jerusalem means city of peace in Hebrew and much more likely to be the origin of the name, so it might be very possible that Urusalim is a completely different place.

You may be interested in what I just posted in the "Are the Jews Egyptians?" thread.

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You may be interested in what I just posted in the "Are the Jews Egyptians?" thread.

Probably, but we always have to bear in mind that "Israel" was in fact two distinct nations until about the 7th century, Judah in the South (Egyptian protectorate)and Samaria (first pretty independent, later an Assyrian protectorate, short times also colonized by Egypt) in the North. It was not until a large part of the Samaritan population was displaced by the Babylonian occupation (most ending up in Judah) that we suddenly have an "Israeli tribe". Before that they hated each others guts (and if we are to believe the Bible were not on the best speaking terms once reunified under the Persian empire either).

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Where we have the Garden Eden and the rest... your problem is that nobody seems to agree with him.

The reason why nobody agrees with Rohl is that he shifts the well-established dating of the New Kingdom to the rather tenuous conventional dating of Saul and David. If he had done it the other way around, and moved only the dating of Saul and David earlier in time, I'm sure scholars would have taken him more seriously.

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