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The Queen of Sheba - The 18th Dynasty and Queen Pharaoh Hatshepsut
The Old Kingdom
Solomon in Egypt
Kebra Nagast
Solomon & Son
A New Proposal
Thebes, Capital of Egypt
Ancient Ship Building
The Latest Info on Punt
Punt in Lebanon
The Hula Lake Region of Lebanon / The Animals
Where was Punt?
Punt as a Southern Location
Punt as a Southern Boundary
The Tomb of Rekhmire
Speciating the Algum Trees
The Tomb of Menkheper-re-seneb
Thutmose III and Punt
Exchanging of Gifts
The Time and Direction
The Participants
Can we Place Hatshepsut in Jerusalem?
Only Indirect Clues
Who Visited Solomon?
The End of Hatshepsut
Irem and Punt
The Campaigns of Seti I in Irem
Notes & References
Thutmose III
Artist's Views of Solomon's Temple
Davidic Dynasty?
The Exodus
Die Königin von Saba
A New Proposal for the Queen of Sheba Visit and the Punt Reliefs at Deir el Bahari [10]

As Damien has recently published his findings where he shows that the crucial point of the Hatshepsut/Queen of Sheba Cartouche of Hatshepsutequation is that it must be tied to the principal diplomatic event of Solomon's reign - his marriage of an Egyptian princess, daughter of Thutmose II. The quantity of gifts exchanged give every indication of an additional dowry or down payment in an ally situation as Solomon, now ruling a substantial kingdom, is courted by the Egyptians. According to Damien's earlier reconstruction `Shishak', Thutmose II, was the father of the princess who was married to Solomon and he was the husband of Hatshepsut. Thutmose did in fact campaign in Palestine. [Likewise Thutmose III was later also called Shishak.] That is the reason how it could be that the Queen who visited Jerusalem was "the mother-in-law of Solomon."

Damien then concludes that the Queen's celebrated visit to Jerusalem occurred while she was still Queen, before she became Pharaoh, and therefore we have the appellation "Queen of Sheba".[15] Her husband, Thutmose II, was then ruler of Egypt. Conventionally, Thutmose I is dated from about 1524-1518 and Thutmose II ca. 1518-1504 BC. Their revised regnal years were, for Thutmose I from 969-ca. 963, and for Thutmose II from about 963-950/49 BC. When Thutmose II disappeared from the scene, Senenmut began to intervene in the affairs of Egypt at the invitation of Hatshepsut herself, the word used is "command", as Senenmut himself puts it. [20]

Here are quotations from the relevant Egyptian reliefs:

As to the question if Thutmose qualifies for the pharaoh who sacked a city in the Palestine of Solomon, Kurt Sethe noticed a fragment recording a campaign of Thutmose II in "Retenu, the Upper". and probably as far as Niy, so far an unknown location.

"[Gifts which were brought to] the fame of the king, Okhepernere (Thutmose II) [from his vic]tories .... elephants .... horse[s] .... [Retenu] the Upper .... [the land] of Niy ... kings ... his majesty in ... [when] he came out of ..." [30]

From the above Egyptian quotation we can see that Thutmose II qualifies for the pharaoh who sacked Gezer [1.Kings 9:16] and with whom Solomon had "made affinity".[1.Kings 3:1]

One may ask, how can it be that a worshiper of Yahwe, the true God of Israel, could steep to such a level and idolize Egyptian gods and goddesses as Senmut does? After all he makes statements like
"... that I may be remembered in the nether world ... steward of Amon, Senmut..may he follow the god, lord of gods ..." [40] to cite a few. A partial answer to that question may be that these inscriptions were made by Egyptian workmen or priests according to set patterns of laudations, praises and invocations of gods, quite independent of the particular desire of the person being memorialized. If Solomon could or would have been interested in changing these patterns to accommodate his Hebrew beliefs we just don't know.
As for the inscription of Senenmut where he recounts how he was `commanded' to the court of Hatshepsut we read in the section entitled `His Duties as Architect:

"[It was] the chief steward, Senmut, who conducted all the works of the king: in Karnak, in Hermonthis, [in] Deir el Bahari of Amon, in the temple of Mut, in Ishru, in southern Opet of Amon (Luxor), in [the presence] of this august god, while maintaining the monuments of the Lord of the Two Lands, enlarging, restoring --- works, without deafness, (but) according to all that was commanded at the court, LPH. It was commanded him that [he] should be --- because he was so excellent for the heart (of the king). It came to pass in every respect, as was commanded by doing according to the desire of his majesty concerning it. His true servant, without his like; strong-hearted, not lax concerning the monuments of the lord of gods; wearer of the royal seal, prophet of Amon, [Se]nmut." [50]

With Solomon probably being Senenmut what we read in his inscriptions in Egypt derives new meaning:

"I was a noble, to whom one hearkened; moreover, I had access to all the writings of the prophets; there was nothing which I did not know of that which happened since the beginning." [60]

ThebesUs or Uas, the city of Thebes (Waset) [70], the great Capital of Egypt during the 18th Dynasty

Since none of us lived at the time of the events we are describing, all we can do is present a scenario we deem best to understand the ancient past. At times, new recognitions require a change in the material presented. This way we hope to be able to always provide the best possible accounts of the events for our readers. Such a change may be indicated at this time. We now would like to follow new information made available from the writings of Emmet Sweeney whose insights as to the `Queen of Sheba' historical aspects we shall adopt in our new presentation of this subject. Whenever indicated we may illustrate and/or expand on what has already been written.

In antiquity there were two cities well known to historians by the name of Thebes. One was located in Greece and the other in Egypt. Our foremost interest will relate to the great 18th Dynasty capital of Thebes on the banks of the southern Nile.

This section is by Emmet Sweeney

"The capital of Egypt during the 18th Dynasty was the mighty city of Thebes. Modern Egyptologists still use this name, which is derived from the Greeks. Where the Greeks got it has always been a mystery, since the native name of the metropolis, in the hieroglyphs, is read as Wa.se or Wa.she (actually, the glyphs used are that of the sceptre - written as Uas-t by Budge - and that of a plant and an arm - written as Shema or Sh-a by Budge: thus Uas-sha or Was-sha). Twelve years ago Brad Aaronson of Israel, an authority on both hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts, pointed out to me that in his opinion the word should be read as Se.wa or She.wa, since the spellings of hieroglyphic names vary and in addition are often written not precisely as they should be pronounced. In fact, spellings often had more to do with aesthetics or religious sentiment than with strict phonetics. Thus the name Tutankhamen is actually written as Amen-tut-ankh (since the god's name had to come first) and the names of the Senwosret pharaohs of the 12th Dynasty appear in the hieroglyphs as Weser-t-sen. We may also note that various pharaohs whose names are made up of the elements Ka-nefer-re are alternately named Nefer-ka-ra (in actual fact the name appears in the hieroglyphs normally as Ra-nefer-ka).

Now, if Thebes' Egyptian name is really Shewa (Sheba), derived from `She.wa' (reverse reading of Wa.shet or Wa.set), then a whole host of hitherto mysterious facts become comprehensible. First and foremost, we now know where the Greeks got the word Thebes (Theba). A normal linguistic mutation (lisping) turns "s" or "sh" into "th". Thus for example the Persians called Assyria, Athuria. Secondly, we know why Josephus called the capital of Ethiopia (ie. Upper Egypt/Nubia) by the name Saba or Shaba. Finally, we understand the significance of the name of another cult shrine of the god Amon - the oasis of Siwa.

So, the two titles by which the Queen of Sheba is known in the biblical story clearly and unequivocally identify her as a queen of Egypt. It is simply untrue to say we don't know where she came from: And if all that is not enough, we should not forget that Josephus too specifically identified her as "Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia".

Before moving on, there is one more point that needs to be stressed. The context within which the Queen of Sheba story appears in itself constitutes evidence which cannot be ignored. The Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon was the ruler of an important and powerful kingdom. This is proved beyond question by the large amount of space devoted to her in the biblical account, and precludes the possibility that she was the queen of some desert principality in southern Arabia. Solomon no doubt entertained many princes and princesses from Arabia and other areas, but their visits are not recorded because they lacked significance. From the importance placed on the Queen of the South's visit, it is evident that she must have been the ruler of an extremely powerful nation. This alone would point to Egypt and would, I suggest - even without the evidence mentioned above - be sufficient to identify her as an Egyptian monarch. [80]

The parallels between Hatshepsut and Solomon extent even further for they were no ordinary rulers

1. they were in the process of extending their foreign relations to far off regions by trading from the deck of their ships;
2. neither of them broke the peace in their country,
3. both built large palaces and temples,
4. both enriched their countries, not by war, but by peaceful enterprises,
5. Egypt and Israel possessed fleets of ships in the Red Sea [82] and had no difficulty sending ships into the Mediterranean Sea on merchant/visitation expeditions, just like they could later, in the days of Ahab and Joram/Tutankhamun take place.
a) the success of her Punt voyages and in the case of Solomon, his merchant mariners, were emphasized by both kings,
b) the merchant vessels of the combined Israelite/Phoenician navy going on up to 3 year trading voyages along the shores of the Red Sea, Arabia, Africa, and perhaps as far as today's Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the east. To the south they could have reached as far as Madagaskar, today's Zanzibar and gold rich Zimbabwe were visitors found many ruins and paintings on rocks reaching far back in time.
6. their time in history were the most glorious periods for their respective countries;

And so the adventurous Queen wrote these words of praise:

"Thy name reaches as far as the circuit of heaven, the fame of Makere (Hatshepsut) encircles the sea, ... and her fame has encompassed the Great Circle (ocean) ..."
"The king himself, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Makere (Hatshepsut). ... the best of myrrh is upon all her limbs, her fragrance is divine dew, her odor is mingled with Punt, her skin is gilded with electrum, shining as do the stars, in the midst of the festival hall [85], before the whole land."

7. Solomon marrying the daughter of Thutmose II indicates that the `Queen of Sheba' visit had something to do with this marriage which explains also the exchanging of gifts. It is also possible that traders from India lived along the African coast even then from which the king's fleet could have traded for oriental goods.

In 3 years even a slow moving ship could traverse quite a distance, staying in protected coves or harbors during bad weather. We are not told if Solomon's fleet sustained any losses but they must have because toward the second half of his reign these voyages were probably already discontinued.1)

Ancient Ship Building
1) Some 100 years later, from the time of king Jehoshaphat (872-848 BC), we read: "Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Ezion-Geber." 1.Kings 22:48

The place names of Tharshish and Ophir certainly seem to bring a degree of confusion in the account (2.Chr. 9:21; 20:6), for from Jonah 1:3 we know that Tarshish (), if it is the same locality as Tharshish (it is), was located in the Mediterranean Sea, and Ophir must have been reachable by sea from Ezion Geber, south on the Red Sea to Ethiopia and the eastern coast of Africa or towards India. On the other hand we may assume, that ships were under construction in two ports, at Ezion Geber and at a port on the Mediterranean coast. The difficulty then is, why the latter harbor is not named, except that it seems to be associated with `the isles', and with Tyre (Isa. 23:1,6,14,15; Ps. 72:10). So, please excuse us when we are still a bit uncertain.

"And after this did Jehoshaphat join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly: And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish [95]. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Maresha prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because you have made a joined venture with Ahaziah, the Lord has broken your works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish." 2.Chronicles 20:35-37 It appears the Minoans had a fleet of ships on the Mediterraean Sea which participated with the Phoenician navy in trading ventures begun by Solomon and that a storm wrecked the ships at the wharf. The words `to make ships go to Tarshish' should probably be understood as the navy of Tarshish being readied for a voyage to the far harbors of the Mediterraean Sea and the Book of Kings has the better rendition of the original meaning.
The destruction of the fleet at the construction site did not stop the commercial activities for a century later we read again: "Howl, ye, ships of Tarshish, for it [City of Tyre] is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in ..." Isaiah 23. Meaning that the people of Tyre made their way to Tarshish, the island of Crete, or was it in Spain as some imply? (1Ki. 22:48; 10:22; Jer. 10:9; Eze. 27:12). This information from later centuries on navy merchant ventures started in the days of Solomon. To have Cretan/Tarshish ships at that harbor implies that large amounts of felled trees and/or cut timber had to be transported to where they wer needed and that the area must have had a ship yard for a lengthy period of time. [100]
Egyptian Ship Building
Interestingly enough during this approximate period of time approching the El Amarna Age, the time of Amenhotep II/Amenhotep III, Egyptian papyri also mention ship building. Here is what Donald B. Redford says about a document known as BM10056:
Frequent mention is made of the "king's son and sm-priest Amenhotpe" but the papyrus is concerned with wood for shipbuilding and mentions the northern town of `Prw-nfr' where a dockyard was situated.
Another papyrus, Leningrad 1116B, is also concerned with wood for shipbuilding and Leningrad 1116B mentions `Prw-nfr', Granville concludes they all have a common origin.
We don't know where the town of `Prw-nfr' was located.
Could it be that there was competition for wood suitable for ship building? It is very likely that the Egyptian shipbuilders and those of Jehoshaphat's time received their wood from the same region, the Phoenician coastal mountain range, today's Lebanon.
From Old Kingdom times remains of 14 planked ships were found at Abydos. [110]
Later Period Harbors
The ancient Red Sea harbor of Berenike goes back to at least Roman period times. Evidence was found that show goods were imported from as far away as India.

The Latest Information on the Location of Punt

Paruah and his wife Eti may have been such trading ambassadors.

The whole account of the Punt voyage and the Queen of Sheba visit appears to us to have been a culmination of a longer journey or journeys probably conducted by Hatshepsut in imitation of the successful voyages undertaken by the Israelite/Phoenician fleet of which the Egyptians must have been very much aware. That is why an economically bankrupt 21st Dynasty background to this era as specified by conventional historians is such an anachronistic situation. However, her own journey to Punt may be unrelated to the relief carvings of 5 ships on the walls of Deir el Bahari. They may have been separate events.

Ever since old times the people of southern Arabia (Yemen) and Ethiopia vied for calling the Queen of Sheba their own queen. The actual situation was that Hatshepsut was the queen of both of these people. During her reign borders were not clearly defined and the Punt reliefs proof that she had commercial contact via an Egyptian fleet with distant locations. Her fame had spread with these voyages making it understandable how both nations could accept her as their Egyptian suzerain.

While Solomon's and the Egyptian fleets plowed the waters searching for the richest harbors, at some point Hatshepsut herself, probably quite early during this time, made the fateful decision to visit Solomon to learn about all these activities from him. Before we concluded that Hatshepsut voyaged to Eilat at the tip of the Gulf of Aqaba [111] and from there reached Jerusalem by caravan. Next we had written that she could have traveled down the Nile to a delta town and crossed the Sinia. This last statement we would like to update for her to have traveled to a Puntite city like Tyre or Byblos and from there continued her journey by caravan. But for sure we do not know exactly where she would have arrived. It is also possible that an additional Egyptian contingent did arrive at Ezion-Geber and approached Jerusalem from the south. The object was to explore the regions of Punt/Palestine. Why the Egyptian records seem to indicate that `Punt' was south of Egypt we explain later.

Punt in Lebanon
This section is by Emmet Sweeney

"A substantial body of evidence, generally ignored or dismissed by Velikovsky's critics, leaves us in no doubt that Punt is as strongly identified with Palestine/Phoenicia as is Ta Netjer.

The word netjer or neter "god" in Egyptian [112] is said to be related to the word natron (Greek natrin), a substance used in the embalming process. Some at least of the materials used in embalming came from Phoenicia, specifically from the cedars of Lebanon. Now according to Egyptian tradition the first being to be mummified was the god Osiris, whose body was floated down the Nile in a wooden casket and washed ashore at Byblos. For this reason Byblos was a region sacred to Osiris and his cult. Innumerable texts from Egypt confirm the connection. Byblos was thus the "land of the god Osiris", and, as we saw, the region is repeatedly referred to as Ta Netjer. Yet the word netjer itself is particularly linked to Osiris. Thus as recently as 1973 S. Morenz found it "striking that the most human of gods, Osiris, is called netjer in a particular context: in quite a number of puns this word is used almost as though it were his name."

At CIAS we bring this up not to uplift idols such as these, but to find the historical evidence for the `Queen of Sheba' visit since even Jesus refers to it.

So, in the Egyptian language the word netjer is linked to the god Osiris, whilst in numerous other sources Byblos, the city sacred to Osiris, is linked to and considered to be the key to Ta Netjer, the Land of the God.

Thus two quite separate pieces of evidence unite to answer the question: Which god is Ta Netjer, the Land of? The answer is Osiris: And his land is Byblos and Phoenicia.

This alone should be sufficient reason to end the debate. Punt is the Land of Netjer (Osiris), and the Land of Netjer is Palestine/Lebanon. Yet, as we saw, whilst conceding that Ta Netjer is connected with Palestine/Phoenicia, Velikovsky's critics insist that the term was also used in connection with another, southern, land which they say is Punt. It is further asserted that whilst Ta Netjer is frequently identified as Palestine/Phoenicia, Punt is never so identified and is clearly a separate region lying to the south of Egypt. What are we to make of such claims?

Various statements in Egyptian literature clearly link Punt to Phoenicia and Palestine. Velikovsky himself noted an official of the 6th Dynasty who casually remarked that he had visited Punt and Byblos eleven times, and in fact no less than three Old Kingdom texts speak of Byblos and Punt in connection with each other. In addition, and this is a point even Lorton has to concede, Punt is always described as being to the east of Egypt, whilst a whole series of documents, Bimson admits, place Punt in the north, and specifically associate the region with known cities in Syria and Palestine.

But Hatshepsut herself identifies Punt with the Lebanon, and this is a fact strangely overlooked by the critics. Thus in one well-known inscription she writes;

"The myrrh of Punt has been brought to me ... all the luxurious marvels of this country were brought to my palace in one collection ... They have brought me the choicest products ... of cedar, of juniper and of meru-wood; ... all the goodly sweet woods of God's Land." [115]

Everywhere else Hatshepsut uses the term God's Land it is not denied that she is referring to Punt. But here, because she talks of the cedar of God's Land, it is claimed that on this occasion she is referring to somewhere else, namely Lebanon. [120]

With equal clarity Thutmose III describes Punt as located in Palestine/Syria. Three years after his sixth campaign (in which he conquered northern Syria) the pharaoh returned to Palestine to gather the levy. Immediately after describing the tribute obtained from Shinar and Kheta and the land of Naharin (northern Syria), the register reads: "Marvels brought to his majesty in the land of Punt in this year: dried myrrh ..."

One of the deities most closely identified by the Egyptians with Byblos was the goddess Hathor. In literally scores of inscriptions Hathor is described as the "Mistress (or Lady) of Byblos". Yet a substantial number of Egyptian texts (and this is admitted by Lorton) also describe Hathor as the "Mistress of Punt". Thus, one oft-quoted poem to Hathor praises her thus:

Your eyes have felled the Nubians,
Oh, great mistress of Punt,
Delighful source of the north wind,
Mistress of the pleasant air.

To the above we may also note an inscription in Wadi Gasus, which refers to Sesostris I as "beloved of Hathor, mistress of Punt."

So, Hathor was equally the "Lady of Byblos" and the "Lady of Punt";View of a restored Deir el-Bahari in much the same way as the Byblos region was "God's Land" and Punt too was "God's Land".

There is thus a great deal of inscriptional evidence pointing to the fact that Punt was closely associated with Palestine/Phoenicia. But there exists another important pointer in the same direction, one which, like the others, was ignored by the critics.

A major objective of Hatshepsut's expedition to Punt was the acquisition of incense trees (anti) for transplanting in Egypt. This is stressed again and again at Deir el Bahari. Incense was of course essential to temple ritual and we cannot doubt that God's Land was so named at least in part because of its association with this sacred material. In the Deir el Bahri reliefs the incense trees are depicted being loaded onto the Egyptian ships, whilst upon completion of the successful journey the inscription describes how "the best of myrrh is upon all her [Hatshepsut's] limbs, her fragrance is divine dew, her odour is mingled with that of Punt.".

Now, in modern times, frankincense grows wild in southern Arabia and north-east Africa, Ancient Temple lilies compared to contemporary days lotus lilies growing in a pond in California.and this was one of the major reasons for looking south in the search for Punt. Similarily the lily floral designs, called the lotus design by the Egyptians is known from Deir El Bahari and Jerusalem. But, as Velikovsky stated, there is very good reason to suppose that in antiquity the shrub was also cultivated in Syria/Palestine. This is hinted very strongly in a number of biblical passages. Thus in the Song of Songs, reputedly composed by Solomon, we read:

"My hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh; Sweeter your love than wine, the scent of your perfume than any spice; Your lips drip honey, and the scent of your robes is like the scent of Lebanon." [Song of Songs 4:10-11]

Note how Lebanon is apparently here linked with myrrh. But there is more than an apparent link. The records of Egypt inform us repeatedly that Palestine/Phoenicia was a source of incense. Thus after his fifth inspection of conquered Syria and Palestine, Thutmose III listed frankincense, oil, honey and wine as tribute. After his ninth visit he stated that he had received as "Retenu [Palestinian] tribute of this year" horses, chariots, various silver vessels of the workmanship of the country, and also "dry myrrh, incense 693 jars, sweet oil and green oil 2080 jars, and wine 608 jars". Thutmose III again refers to the great amounts of incense he took from Palestine after his seventh campaign.

In this scenario Punt then could very well have been a Lebanese location with Palestinian ambassadors living there. The potted trees we see being brought aboard ship were apparently fragrant myrrh trees, Boswellia sacra species. Anti-trees or myrrh (frankincense) trees are mentioned in the Egyptian records while in the Bible we read about algum trees. [125] It is not hard to conclude that 2 kinds of trees fascinated the queen:

1. trees for their fruit and shade
2. certain trees for their aromatic properties

We may surmize that these by Solomon imported trees may have been fruit trees like almond nut trees or sandal wood trees.

Almond trees or nuts (if translated correctly) are mentioned in: Gen. 43:11; Exodus 25:33; 37:19, 20; Num. 17:8; Ecclesiastes 12:5; Jeremiah 1:11.

The Hula Lake Region of Lebanon

The most likely region satisfying the Egyptian criteria for some regional characteristics of Punt is the ancient Hula Valley just to the north of the Sea of Galilee. Lake Hula, once also known as the `Waters of Merom', does not exist anymore today. Where water runoff from Mt. Hermon once shimmered, newly arriving settlers embarked on a far reaching reclamation of these lands. Before the 1900's the wet area consisted of about 90 square kilometers (44 sq. miles) of swamps. In 1869 the Scottish adventurer John MacGregor explored the area using a canoe. He suggested that someone should cut a hole at the bottom end of the lake shored up by basalt rock and drain the lake which bred Malaria. Satelite map of the approximate Hula Valley regon In Bible times water drained into the shallow swamps of the Hula Valley. These swamps were filled with semi-tropical plants, alligators, a species of hippopotamuses, water buffaloes, large cats now considered typical for Africa and many other animals. In Old Testament times, river water had cut a canal 10 miles through the basaltic rock. The canal drops some 750 feet in that distance and deepened as it went on its southern course. Ancient caravans and travelers from Israel and Egypt could cross the Jordan River only at one point of the canal just below the lake. In our historical times the Bridge of the Daughters of Jacob spans the ancient ford further down. [130]

The Hula Valley then would represent the region of the "marshes of Asia" located adjacent to `God's Land' known from Egyptian inscriptions. Any people living here would have been using stilt huts for their living quarters much like the ancient people around the `Bodensee' along the southern German border with Switzerland lived. "As recently as the 20th century the inhabitants of the area, the Ghor Arabs, led a life typical of marsh-dwellers. Aside from farming the rich moist earth, their occupations, we are told, included "hunting and fishing, and making mats etc. of reeds from the marshes." Of the latter material too "many of their fragile houses [were] ... built."

Where was Punt?

According to the southern portal information of inscriptions by Thutmose III at Karnak Punt was #48 in a list of locations to the south of Egypt.

In the `Hymn of Victory' Thutmose III wrote the following:

"I have come, causing thee to smite the princes of Zahi (D'h);
I have hurled them beneath thy feet amongst their highlands.
I have caused them to see thy majesty as lord of radiance,
so that thou hast shone in their faces like my image.
I have come, causing thee to smite the Asiatics,
thou hast made captive the heads of the Asiatics at
I have caused them to see thy majesty equipped with thy adornment,
When thou takest the weapons of war in the chariot.
I have come causing thee to smite
the eastern land,
Thou hast trampled those who are in the district's of
I have caused them to see thy majesty as a circling star,
when it scatters its flame in fire, and gives forth its dew."

No one questions that Retenu of the Asiatics is Palestine. As for `God's-Land', it is closely associated with `the eastern land' and that is where we should leave it. From this we can gather then that Retenu, Upper Retenu and God's-Land are the same larger geographical region - one a northern and the other a southern region. We should also realize that `Retenu' could be read as `Rezenu', exchanging the `t' for a `z' as in Terah vs. Zerah. Re-ze-nu then stands for `er-ez' Israel as the Israelites called their land, `our land Israel'.

If we then equate `Retenu' with `God's-Land' we learn from other inscriptions at Deir el Bahari that `God's-Land' is also the same place or very closely associated with `Punt'.
"[The arrival] of the king's messenger in God's-Land together with the army which is behind him, before the chief's of Punt." [150]

From this we can now determine that all three, Retenu, God's-Land and Punt are one and the same region at this time in history. To regard `God's Land' as Egypt itself does not seem to be supported by the context of these quotes for it describes the foreigners with which the Egyptian expedition came in contact with. In later times these terms, however, may have changed their meaning again.

Additional considerations
The term `Punt' seems to indicate something more than just a particular town. We would suggest that it means something like a place where the `southerners' or `Africans(?)' live, wherever that may be, in Africa itself or in Palestine. In that sense it would not be a town anywhere in Africa but rather in locations closely connected to Egypt and Palestine by economic ties, a sort of `most favored nation' status for it was Solomon who, according to Josephus, brought African natives to Palestine.[152] From wherever the Egyptians received their most desired goods that was a `Punt' to them. In the past commentators have looked for an easy way out, a fixed location (toponym). But we think it may be more complex than that, a term having to do with the merchant activities of the period.

While some aspects seem to favor African locations for Punt, Comparing facial featuresi.e. the short kilt, the throw stick or club like object some of those illustrated at Deir el Bahari hold in their hand, other descriptions do fit a Palestinian location quite well, i.e. the hair do and facial features and beards do not seem to be African. For all we know Egypt never had soldiers in their service whose place of origin was called `Punt'.

Besides the term `Punt' also the word `hbsti' had been used to describe `God's land', i.e. the East. This word was thought to have to do with the sap from aromatic trees, i.e. frankincense. Others cautioned that it had not to do with `scraping (abkratzen)' sap but rather with `tearing open (aufkratzen)', that is plowing fields. But the `hbsti' are connected to the `trti', `stair(way) dwellers' (Treppenbewohner)' understood to mean hill country regions where terraces were constructed to maintain orchards and other plants. According to reports, conventional locations for Punt along Africa's eastern coast did not yield locations where such terraces (Myrrhterasses) could have been in use. [160] But terrace agriculture was used in Palestine and the Lebanon mountains.

As far as `God's-Land' is concerned we believe it was not just a locality in Egypt but was definitely situated outside the borders of Egypt proper. Egyptian texts frequently mention God's-Land and Punt together, jumping easily from a southern to a northern location within a sentence.

So, was Punt a southern locality?

The terms `Retenu', `Upper-Retenu', `God's-Land' and `Punt' as translated from Egyptian records, are all descriptive terms pointing to the region between the Sinai peninsula and at least as far north/northeast as Byblos. Emmet Sweeney said it this way:

"Both Lorton and Bimson, as well as the entire Egyptological establishment, assert that the name Punt is found in Egyptian documents associated with a southern territory. Did the Egyptians know of a Punt in the south?

In actual fact, before the discovery of the Hatshepsut temple at Deir el Bahari [166], it was universally assumed that Punt lay in Asia, with most authorities placing it somewhere in Syria/Palestine. However, the reliefs at Deir el Bahri seemed to point to Africa (more on this below), and this caused a rethink. All the evidence that had hitherto identified Punt with Asia was now either ignored or downplayed. Even worse, there was now a concerted effort to find inscriptional justification for this geographic relocation. In time, it became part of received wisdom that a number of Egyptian documents do indeed tell of a Punt in the south.

A search of the evidence shows that in fact there are but two: both of which shall now be addressed.

The more important of these is the famous victory lists of Thutmose III in the temple of Amon at Karnak, a series of documents whose importance was emphasized at great length by David Lorton. The lists in question, copied three times, record the names of all the foreign nations and city-states conquered by Thutmose III in his first year. The subjugated regions are not enumerated haphazardly, but follow a definite sequence. In fact, they are named according to their geographical location. Thus, one of the lists, on the northwest facade of the seventh pylon, begins (following Lorton's translation):

"Summary of the foreign countries of Upper Retenu, which his majesty had shut up in the town of doomed Megiddo, and whose children his majesty had brought back as living captives to the town (…) in Karnak, in his first campaign of victory, as his father Amon, who led him to the goodly roads, had commanded."

It would appear that Upper Retenu is the Egyptian term for the mountainous or upland regions of Palestine/Syria, very probably the Lebanese mountains. Megiddo itself is in the land of Israel, but a coalition of northern princes apparently had come to the aid of the people of Palestine.

After listing the conquered states and cities of Upper Retenu, Thutmose goes on to enumerate states closer to Egypt. He ends, according to Lorton (and this is accepted by Egyptologists in general), with a quite separate and corresponding list of southern states, similarly conquered in the first year. This list begins:

"Summary of these southern foreign countries of the Nubian 'Iwntyw - people of Khenthenopher whom his majesty had slaughtered, a massacre made of them, the numbers not known, all their inhabitants brought back as living captives to Thebes to fill the workhouse of his father Amon-Re lord of the Two Lands."

Thus there appear to be two separate lists, one comprised of regions to the north of Egypt and the other of regions to the south of Egypt. Somewhat triumphantly, Lorton announces that in all three copies of these lists Punt is clearly and unequivocally placed as the forty-eighth land of the "southern" list. The evidence of these lists, he says, is "in and of itself sufficient to demonstrate that the thesis of Chapter III of Ages in Chaos [170] cannot be correct."

If the lists said what Lorton claims they say, then perhaps there would be some weight to his argument. But the fact is that they do not say what he claims. Before examining what the lists really say, let's look carefully at what he says about them.

(a) First and foremost, he says that there are two separate lists, copied three times, of the northern and southern states conquered by Thutmose III.
(b) Secondly, he says that the three lists are identical, and that they all clearly and unequivocally place Punt along with the southern (Nubian) states.

Statement (a) is in fact only partly correct. There are indeed two lists, but they are not entirely separate, in that one list always and only names northern states and the other always and only names southern states. More on this in due course. Statement (b) is quite simply untrue: And with this assertion Lorton is committing an act of legerdemain on his readers. Let's look at what he says about the lists. "The three lists," he claims, "are identical, the only differences among them being minor orthographic variations." He continues, "I have quoted the introductory passages at length to show that, despite some variation in wording and some loss of text, the variants are nevertheless explicit as to the fact that one of these is a list of northern countries and the other a list of southern countries."

It is with good reason that Lorton emphasises the importance of the introductory passages. For it is there that we are told of the lists' contents. But the "minor variation" in wording of the introductions, which Lorton presumably hopes the reader will not question too much, is in fact a major variation in wording. Lorton, remember, bases his argument on the assertion that there are two entirely separate lists, one of the northern regions, the other of the southern, and that these lists are copied identically three times. But let's look at what the introduction to the register on the southwest facade of the seventh pylon says: "Summary of these southern and northern foreign countries whom his majesty had slaughtered." Lorton's comment gives the game away: "For reasons of space in this particular case, the last part of the northern list had to be placed with the southern list." This, I would suggest, hardly constitutes a "minor orthographic variation". The fact that "in this case" the last part of the northern list "had to be placed with the southern list" in fact invalidates his entire argument. Evidently there are not two separate lists, but one continuous list, beginning with Thutmose III's most northerly conquests and ending with his most southerly.

In order to properly understand these registers, the reader should consider the following. The vast majority of the territories and cities conquered by Thutmose III were in Asia, in the region of Syria/Palestine. Therefore we must suppose that these would take up much more space in his inscriptions than the cities of Nubia. Therefore, quite probably in all three copies of the lists, we must expect that "for reasons of space" the "northern" list will overflow into the "southern". That this is so is, as we have seen, explicitly stated on one occasion. On another copy of the "southern" list the introduction, as Lorton himself admits, is lost. Which leaves only a single list to which Lorton can point to in support of his thesis.

The reader himself will by now, I am sure, be less certain of accepting anything Lorton has to say. His statement that three copies of the Thutmose III lists clearly place Punt to the south of Egypt is exposed as being simply untrue.

I would, at this stage, ask the reader to consider the following: In Velikovsky's theory Punt is identified as Palestine: in other words the southernmost of Thutmose III's Asiatic conquests. Now, if as we say, these lists are in fact simply one long list, in a geographical north to south sequence, we must assume that in all of the copies Punt/Palestine will be placed right next to the cities of Nubia, which come next geographically to his southernmost Asiatic conquests: And this of course is exactly what we do find. On the other hand, there is a distinct possibility that the word 'Punt', which would appear to come at the end of the list of northern territories, is a wide geographical designation, intended to inform the reader to the effect that all the territories listed prior were in the region of Punt.

How then do we explain the one copy of the register where Punt is indeed apparently placed in the south? Since I myself have not seen the inscriptions in question I have to take Lorton's word for certain things. Now one of the things he does stress is that in all three copies of the lists Punt is placed as the forty-eighth region of the second or so-called "southern" list. But if Punt occupies an identical position in all three copies, this must mean that all three copies are in fact, just as we surmised, an identical list of "southern and northern" regions. That one of these inscriptions is introduced as simply a list of southern regions can, I would suggest, be explained in the following way. The scribes and craftsmen had indeed originally intended to produce two separate lists, one of Thutmose's northern conquests and another of his southern. When it came to actually entering the names onto the prepared registers, it was found that there were far more northern names and these had to continue into the southern list. Having made the mistake once, the scribes corrected the error by describing the other two copies as a list of southern and northern states.

Punt as a 'Southern' Boundary?

There is, it is said, one other written source - mentioned by Bimson and frequently alluded to in the literature - which is held to prove Punt a southern country. This is the famous inscription on the shaft of a fallen obelisk at Karnak where a passage celebrates Amon's goodness in establishing Hatshepsut's kingdom. The god, she says, has made her "southern boundary as far as Punt".

On the face of it, this seems to be fairly powerful evidence against Velikovsky's thesis. If that is truly what the inscription says, then everything else we have argued, powerful though the evidence might be, is brought into question. Before taking a more detailed look at the inscription and its interpretation, let's have a look at the fuller text:

"He [Amon] hath made my kingdom, the Black Land, and the Red Lands are united under my feet. My southern boundary is as far as Punt ...; my eastern boundary is as far as the marshes of Asia, and the Asiatics are in my grasp; my western boundary is as far as the mountain of Manu ... my fame is among the Sand-dwellers altogether. The myrrh of Punt has been brought to me ... all the luxurious marvels of this country were brought to my palace in one collection ... They have brought me the choicest products of cedar, of juniper and of meru-wood; ... all the goodly sweet woods of God's Land."

A couple of things should be noted here:

First and foremost, whilst the queen supposedly here refers to her 'southern' boundary (ie Punt), she apparently makes no mention of her northern boundary, but instead moves on immediately to her eastern boundary, which she declares to be as far as the marshlands of Asia. Her western (Libyan) border is next described, but she remains silent, apparently, about her northern boundary. This should immediately cause us to pause. Of all her boundaries, those to the north of Egypt - from which direction she was most frequently attacked - were her most important. In that direction lay the mighty empires of Hatti, Mitanni and Assyria. It could of course be argued that the 'eastern' boundary by itself deals with all the lands of the Asiatics; and certainly the queen claims to have the Asiatics in her 'grasp'. It may be argued also that the reference to the northern boundary could originally have been located in one of the lacunae. Nevertheless, it does seem strange that Punt is placed immediately next to the reference to the east, and that later on (as we saw earlier) Punt is named in conjunction with God's Land, which here however is said to be the source of cedar-wood, the typical product of Lebanon. Even more to the point, the eastern border is here described as extending as far as the marshes of Asia. Now Punt itself is frequently described as to the east of Egypt (a fact admitted by all), whilst in numerous inscriptions (one of which, by Thutmose III, was quoted above) the "marshes of Asia" are clearly adjacent to God's Land and Byblos. Strange then that Hatshepsut too should mention the "marshes of Asia", of God's Land (Lebanon) next to Punt (also God's Land, but in this case supposedly to the south of Egypt).

Secondly, if Punt truly marked the southern extent of Egypt's rule, this means (according to conventional ideas) that Hatshepsut was claiming to rule everything to the south as far as Eritrea (or Somalia). Even taking into account the normal bombast and exaggeration of Egyptian royal inscriptions, this seems a fantastically improbable claim.

Still, the inscription, we are told, does apparently describe Punt as Egypt's 'southern' border. If that is true it constitutes an inescapable fact which no interpretation can get round. What then is the solution?

Assuming that James Breasted (1865-1935) translated the inscription literally (which he frequently did not) the text, I would argue, still poses no real problem. It is apparent that Punt may here be used simply as a measure of distance. All the queen seems to be saying is that her southern border, in Nubia, is as far distant from Thebes as her northern border, in Punt. (scholars who were able to 'explain' the 6th Dynasty official's eleven visits to Punt and Byblos as a reference to eleven visits to the northern and southern extremities of the Egyptian world should have no quarrel with this interpretation). Since the Lebanon was a great distance to the north of Thebes, this would mean that she was claiming to rule Nubia probably as far south as Meroe.

So, we are now in a position where we can assert that not a single Egyptian source unquestionably places Punt in the south. Contrast this with the scores of documents which beyond all doubt place Ta Netjer (according to Hatshepsut one and the same as Punt) in the vicinity of Byblos and the Lebanese mountains. Add to this perhaps a dozen or so other documents which specifically refer to Punt itself (sacred to the goddess Hathor) as being in the Byblos region (also sacred to Hathor) and I feel there should no longer be any reasonable doubt as to the country's true location.

Similarly for us here in California, we may speak of `southern Canada' knowing that the whole country is north of us.

Before moving on, I would like to put an open question to the supporters of the southern Punt theory. Considering the fact that Punt appears in a list of territories which Thutmose III claims to have conquered in his first year, this would compel Egyptologists to place it somewhere in Nubia. But of course it cannot have been located there, because the Hatshepsut reliefs clearly show, and refer to, a sea voyage. Thus Punt has to be, as the only other alternative, placed somewhere near the southern end of the Red Sea, say in Eritrea or Somalia (the latter two regions being in fact the favored location for Punt). But such a location causes immense problems, because Thutmose III states that Punt (along with the other areas mentioned) was a conquered territory. The list, after all, is introduced with the words, "Summary of these foreign countries of the Nubian people of Khenthenopher whom his majesty had slaughtered, a massacre made of them". No one in his right mind of course would suggest that Thutmose III or any other pharaoh conquered Eritrea or Somalia; but this is the unavoidable and inevitable consequence of placing Punt to the south of Egypt.

It is a pity scholars do not always think out the consequences of their statements before making them."

The Inscriptions in the tomb of Rekhmire

"Reception of the tribute of the south country, besides the tribute of Punt, the tribute of Retenu (Rtnw), the tribute of Keftyew, besides the booty of all countries which the fame of his majesty, King Menkheperre (Thutmose III), brought, by the hereditary prince ... Rekhmire." [180]

It appears that Rekhmire shifts his view from the south country to Punt and Retenu located in Palestine. The south country could refer to locations from Lebanon to south of the Judean regional limits at Ezion-Geber and in describing it thus refer to the African natives, "Southerners of God's-Land", imported by Solomon's fleet, who may have been living now at Lake Hula or even at the tip of the Gulf of Eilat. Deir el Bahari view of Punt, probably the marshes of Lake Hula This view is supported by the bee-hive huts built on stilts we find represented at Deir el Bahari. The Punt reliefs from Deir el Bahari seem to suggest a tropical, African location because of stilted, beehive shaped huts, a shape found in use around Lake Victoria even during the 1850's. One can see palm trees, cattle and what appears to be somewhat similar to a hippopotamus similar to the Set hippo on the walls of the Ptolemaic temple at Edfu. [See the topic `Senmut' for images of these features.; KMT, Spring 2000, p. 78] These stilts were probably not so much needed to keep the dwellings dry from tide water as they were to keep out the scorpions and snakes of the surrounding land. It was not uncommon to find such structures in native African countries were they served as dwellings. In the Negev region they were judged to have served as granaries. But as we showed above, more recent studies suggest that these stilted huts may have been dwellings used by those living in the marshes of the Hula Valley. We have no indication that Hiram/Solomon kept Africans as slaves, they may have come along on this journey quite voluntarily for life in an African village could sometimes be frightful. [190] The important fact to remember is that the Puntites were of Semitic appearance as Egyptologists also acknowledge. Comparing the types

While the above mentioned issue of the KMT magazine captions its images of giraffs, a leopard and gaboon, a young elephant, a hyena like animal in conventional fashion as from Nubia we suggest that the African natives leading them may have been imports from Hiram/Solomon's fleet to the northern marsh lands or there abouts in charge of hunting and/or taking care of these animals. In Rekhmire's tomb these few African natives appear in the midst of a larger number of Asiatic Semitic Puntites.

We tend to agree now with Emmet Sweeney that `Punt' is not a name for a fixed location but describes a larger region. As we show now it refers to the fertile crescent which long supplied Egypt with sought after merchandise wherever on the compass that might be and in the sense of our new findings that would be the Syrian region in the north and Palestine in the south. We find this supported by comparing references to Punt in the annals of Pharaoh Harmhab where Punt would now indicate a southern Palestine vs. those of Ramses III, where Punt seems to be more associated with the `North' probably an Egyptianism for Phoenicia. [200]

In the section entitled `The Syrian War' in the days of Ramses III, we read:

"... Thou hast subdued the hearts of the rebels; the chiefs come to thee, bearing tribute --, every good product of their countries. I give to thee Egypt with good things, the bow-peoples (Nine bows, Egyptians) as subjects of thy palace. The South comes to thee in fear, and the North bowing down to thy fame. I open for thee the ways of Punt, with myrrh and incense for thy serpent-diadem..." [210]

From the Song of Songs 4:6, 13-15 we learn that the Palestine of Solomon produced aromatic frankincense and myrrh. Schoff identified `anti-trees' as `Boswellia carteri' in Lucas, `Ancient Egyptian Materials', p. 93.

Pterocarpus santalinus
Pterocarpus santalinus Sandelwood tree
Algum leaves
Algum tree
Boswellia carteri leaves
Frankincense tree Boswellia carteri
They were termed `myrrh' by Breasted and `frankincense' by E. Naville. May the reader be reminded that the use of fragrant woods, oils and the like is talked about frequently during the time of Solomon and in the writings attributed to him. It is part of the cultural, political and economical impact the Egypt of the 18th Dynasty had on the early monarchy and later the divided kingdom of Israel and Judah. This impact is also evidenced by intermarriage, Solomon married an Egyptian princess, Egyptian artifacts in Palestine like scarabs, statuettes, ushabtis and figurines [215], in word phrases or Egyptianisms, borrowing of earlier poetic literature from the
writings of David in the Psalms, the ivory age and so on, all these leave a trail of Egyptian-Palestinian relations. We also do well to remember that in the revised scenario Ahmose lived just some 60 years before Hatshepsut and the help he received from the "One" (King Saul) in driving out the Amalekite/Hyksos of Egypt was very much appreciated and brought on a friendly affinity between these two nations. Their history had come full circle. At one time the Israelites were made slaves in Egypt and now, after the Egyptians themselves had to endure hardships from foreign occupiers it was their former slaves who assisted them in overcoming their task masters. These were indeed good reasons for starting off the relations between Egypt and Israel on good terms. It was perhaps this closeness that prompted Hatshepsut and Thutmose III to use the term `God's-Land' to describe Israel/Judah. It was a time when religious feelings and believes dictated behavioral viewpoints, and the ups and downs of people and nations were viewed as the will of the gods. No doubt the Egyptians viewed the Israelites as worshiping a powerful God. While Israel had endured about 125 years2) of slavery in Egypt, the Egyptians had to endure over 400 years under the Hyksos/Amalekites.

2) The Calculations for Chronologists: Calculated from the time that Abraham received the promise of a son (Issak) to the Exodus: Abraham was 75 years old at the time of `The Promise', Genesis 12:1-4; Galatians 3:17, but 100 when Isaak was born (Genesis 21:5). Therefore 25 yrs + age of Isaak at birth of Jacob (Genesis 25:26) + age of Jacob when he migrated to Egypt was 130 (17 years before his death at 147 yrs of age, Genesis 47:9) + life span of Joseph minus 30 (age at start of 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine Genesis 41:46), 5 yrs famine left when Jacob arrived (Genesis 45:6): therefore 130-39=90/91, age of Jacob at birth of Joseph) + 64 years after death of Joseph Moses was born + 80 yrs (Age of Moses at the time of the Exodus) = ca. 430 years. Inserting the numbers we have: 25 + 60 + 91 + 110 + 64 + 80 = 430 yrs (Exodus 12:40), of which about the last 125 years were spent under conditions of slavery in Egypt calculated from: the whole life span of Moses plus its start some years after the death of Joseph: 80 + ca. 45 years of the 64 year interval between the death of Joseph and the birth of Moses: 80 + 45 = 125 years. Using 1445 BC as the date for the Exodus we get: 1445 + 425 = 1870 BC as the year Abraham received the Promise of a son. 480 years after the Exodus the Solomonic Temple was built (1.Kings 6:1) and finished 20 years later, by ca. 945 BC.
What about the long life spans of the patriarchs? Could people really have lived that long? Well, consider this. Today is September 30, 2003. I just read today that this week the oldest man in Japan,Yukichi Chuganji, died at the age of 114. It is all in the genes, living healthy - for we are what we eat, some luck and lifestyle. Does that help to get the point?

What were the Biblical algum trees?
While the inscriptions of Deir el Bahari mention `anti-trees', the Bible talks about algum wood in connection with the Queen of Sheba visit and says that Solomon used algum wood to make harps and psalteries. "And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the Lord..." 2.Chronicles 9:11. This verse could also be read as `algum wood'. Does it then mean that the terraces themselves were made of wood rather than having algum trees planted on them? It is very unlikely that terraces were made of wood.
There is every reason to think that such an architectural feature would require stone and `trees' should be read instead of `wood'. In the Punt reliefs at Deir el Bahari showing the fleet being loaded we see men carrying potted trees into the ship, trees they had received as gifts from the Puntites. Juniperos occidentalis The reliefs also show a group of 3 trees under whose branches piles of flasks, rings and even cattle are shown. Comparing the leaves of these trees with Boswellia species leads us to conclude they are the famous spice trees but others have identified them as `Pterocarpus santalinus', red sandalwood from southern India. [220] These trees are drawn in proportion to their surroundings but must have been still small when transported in pots and the carving must have been made after they had grown for a while or else drawn what the later, anticipated look would be like. Boswellia trees grow up to 24 feet tall.

Others have suggested that the Algum tree of Solomn's time was a `Juniperus excelsa' which grows like a pyramid and can reach a height of about 60 feet. This tree is reportedly native to the Lebanon mountains and Gilead. The example shows a `Juniperus occidentalis' species. If the `J. excelsa' is of the same appearance they don't seem to resemble the leave patterns on the Egyptian monuments, provided they were reproduced true to the appearance of the actual tree.

Does it mean that the different name, `anti trees' [230], in the Egyptian inscription precludes that we are talking about the same event? Most every people call trees by different names. The Egyptians did not copy tree names from Israel and vice versa. Perhaps a comparison of the leaves with the Egyptian relief pictures of the trees imported from Punt may help. If the leaves look most likely as those of `Boswellia carteri', that may help us understand that these fragrant trees came from Palestine.

The Tomb of Menkheper-re-seneb
Two lines of Asiatics bring forward splendid and richly chased vessels of gold, silver, etc. The Asiatics are designated as "the chief of Keftyew, the chief of Kheta, the chief of Tunip (Tnpw), the chief of Kadesh." Before them is an inscription:
"Giving praise to the Lord of the Two Lands, obeisance to the Good God, by the chiefs of every land. They acclaim the victories of his majesty; their tribute is upon their backs, being every [product] of Gods-Land: silver, gold, lapis lazuli, malachite, every splendid, costly stone..." [240]
It appears that in this case God's-land is located within the realm of the Asiatics of Palestine.

Did Thutmose III ever call Palestine by the name Hatshepsut had called it - Punt?
We read:
"Marvels brought to his majesty in the land of Punt in this year: dried myrrh ..." [250]
So we see that Thutmose III also had made Punt his possession.

A Comparison of the Exchange of Gifts
The Egyptian Sources The Hebrew Sources
The Gifts of the Egyptians for the Puntites The Gifts of Solomon for the Queen of Sheba
The leader of the Egyptian expeditions, Nehesi, brought:
an axe, a poignard in its sheath, 2 leg bangles, 11 necklaces, 5 large rings.
But the records of the loading of the boats with gifts given by the Puntites list the following items:
Two vessels heavily laden with myrrh trees, sacks filled with myrrh and ivory. We see examples of probably fragrant woods, ebony, pure ivory, green gold of Emu, cinnamon wood, khesyt wood, incense, balsam wood, resin, antimony, eye cosmetics, apes, monkeys, dogs, skins of panthers, throw sticks (perhaps a sort of boomerang), natives and their children.
The Bible says plainly, `Solomon gave the queen "all her desire."':
In her counting scene we get a better impression on the riches she received from Punt which included "silver, gold, lapis lazuli, malachite, and every splendid costly stone" ... great abundance of spices, algum trees and heaps of myrrh. Riches imported by Solomon from the harbors visited by his merchant fleet.
The Egyptian gifts for the Puntites appear to be more what we would think in more modern times to have been presented by explorers of Africa to native chieftains, again, fitting the view that Punt had something to do with African people.
The Timing and Direction of the Voyage
The Timing The Direction
We date Solomon from 970-930 and Hatshepsut, daughter of Ahmes [260], from about 955-948 as queen and from 948-926 as pharaoh. Solomon began the construction of the Temple in 966 and completed it 7 years later in 959 and his own house in 13 years later in 953 BC (always counting from 966 BC).[1.Kings 6:38; 7:1; but see 2.Chronicles 3:1-3; 8:1]
The scriptures seem to indicate that the royal visitor came to Jerusalem after the completion of the Temple. If the Punt reliefs show indeed a visit of her officers to Punt prior to that of the Queen herself then that visit would have taken place between years 960-953 BC when she was still queen. We would favor a year closer to 953 rather than at the very beginning of her queenship.
The following possibilities offer themselves from the information gleaned from the Punt reliefs at Deir el Bahari:
1. The royal vessels sailed on the Nile to a Lebanese/Syrian harbor and there met the Puntites.
2. The phrase `on water and on land' and the statement, `Sailing in the sea, beginning the goodly way toward's God's Land, journeying in peace to the land of Punt...' indicates a more ambitious voyage in the `sea' like the Mediterranean Sea to a far off port like Tyre or Byblos. The recently begun maritime ventures of the combined Phoenician/Israelite fleet of merchant mariners was quite a novelty in its time never done before in Israel and never to be repeated again in the history of Israel until we get to later Greek and Roman times. These activities aroused the interest of the Egyptians whose queen at that time was Hatshepsut, also known as Makeda (Makere).
If the Egyptians sailed on the Nile from Thebes to the delta and then crossed the Mediterranean to arrive at a Syrian port city, they must have next traversed the mountains of Lebanon toward the marshes of the Hula Valley and proceeded from there south toward Jerusalem. Those living in stilted huts were the dwellers of these Asiatic marshes and therefore do we find them represented to show how the foreigners lived, foreigners who were not living on Egyptian soil. The Egyptians, coming from a desert environment, were exceedingly impressed by what they saw along the route of their journey.

Besides Egyptians voyaging to the coast of Somalia or Yemen, the queen had heard from the achievements and wisdom of Solomon and made up her mind to visit him. She wrote: "... it was heard of from mouth to mouth by hearsay of the ancestors...". 270] The easiest way was to travel by sea. Even though she is not shown to be on the fleet headed for "Punt" the prominence this event had in her life leads us to conclude that in fact she did go on that journey. One day she stepped outside of her palace to be born in her carriage to the dockside on the shores of the Nile. Perhaps she had even closer access via a sacred lake or canal to the river. As the Queen of Egypt it need not be that her foot even once for the entire trip stepped on common ground [275]. This scenario is much more likely then her having to travel first by caravan to a Red Sea harbor, a detail which we did not quite know how to solve at the time. From there on out the following routes could have been taken:

1. As already described above she could have traveled down the Nile and across the Mediterranean Sea to a Syrian coastal harbor and from there traveled by caravan to Palestine, descending the high mountain ridges down to the Jordan Valley at least some of the Egyptian party traveled south from there to visit Solomon.
2. If Hatshepsut herself took this longer route or came from a harbor closer to Jerusalem we cannot say.
3. Our previous view of a journey starting from the ancient Red Sea harbor of Qoseir (at the Via Hadriana at Myos Hormos) and up the Gulf of Aqaba to Eilat we now abandon except to say that other times such merchant voyages may have also taken place.
4. Today we also may speak of northern and southern Canada even though the whole country is north of us in California. Similarly the Egyptians could speak of Punt as a southern location even though it was north or north-east of Thebes. The emphasize is on the word `Punt', not the compass direction which is subordinate to the starting point of a locality.

Eilat was the town from which Solomon's navy manned by his and Hiram's sailors departed for their 3 years round-trip voyages to the African coast and perhaps all the way to India [277]. From there they returned with precious metals, many spices, trees, creatures of the land, air and sea, and also African natives. Explaining Punt "And Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, beside Eilat, on the shore of the Red Sea..And Hiram sent in the navy his servants that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. And they came to Ophir, and brought from there gold, 420 talents to king Solomon." 1.Kings 9:26-28." For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks." 1.Kings 10:22.

According to both sources, the Egyptian records and the Bible, the participants of these voyages are the same. In her inscriptions are mentioned "the chiefs of Irem", which could have been the men of Hiram or else men from a location called "Irem", "the chiefs of Nemyeh" were blacks from Africa. Compare this with the account given by the Jewish historian Josephus: "the king had many ships ... and a great quantity of ivory, and Ethiopians, and apes..." were brought. [280] It appears that people in her days had just as much fun watching monkeys at play as we do today and that perhaps is the reason the memory of those times stayed in the folklore of Israel and Josephus made a reference to them.

The Participants of the Voyage to Punt according to Three Ancient Sources
The Biblical Account Deir el-Bahari Inscriptions Flavius Josephus Account
"The men of Hiram (Huram)"
2.Chr. 8:18.
"the chiefs of Irem (Hirem)" and
"the chiefs of Nemyew (African natives)" participated.
"For the king had many ships which lay upon the Sea of Tarsus; these he commanded to carry out all sorts of merchandise into the remotest nations; by the sale of which, silver and gold were brought to the king, and great quantity of ivory, and Ethiopians and apes; and they finished their voyage, going and returning, in 3 years time." [300]

Solomon in corroboration with the Phoenicians established trading posts in promising distant locations and probably imported African natives during this time. [310] We find this ongoing commerce to be very unique and it took place never again at any other time involving Israel, Africa and Phoenicia. Arriving at Punt her fleet's crew met the local chief by the name of `Paruah (P'-r'hw)' and his grotesquely fleshy wife `Eti' or `Ati' as they are named on the walls of her mortuary temple at Deir el Bahari. These names were in vogue in the days of Solomon and we find them in the Bible as Parahu, Palahu or possibly Paruach, the governor of Issachar. The tribal land of Issachar was located around Mount Tabor adjacent to the Valley of Jezreel. [320] This is just east of Megiddo and Paruah very well may have had his office at a coastal harbor site at the time.

Solomon had 12 officers overseeing the affairs in his land. The 10th officer was a man by the name of `Peruah' who was the officer in charge over a locality in Punt, 1.Kings 4:17b. The name of his wife is not given here but we know from 2.Chronicles 2:35 that the name `Atti' or `Eti' was in vogue: "And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife; and she bare him Attai." Peruah is shown in the Egyptian reliefs as having something like rings on what probably would be his right leg. These reach from just above the ankle to above his knee up to the Egyptian style kilt overlapping in the front. Most likely these represent metal rings worn on the occasion of the arrival of an important visitor. Some consider this as a typical feature for an African heritage. These rings are a unique occurrence for an Israeli (or Phoenician?) officer. To suggest he wore bandages for a physical ailment is probably less likely that the Egyptian artists would have shown that. Peruah's purpose was to show his wealth. In doing so he was a product of his time and environment. It was not only Africans who could display such adornments. If the African arrivals from the shipping vessels of the Israeli/Phoenician alliance wore such rings we don't know but it may well have been the case. He may just have liked that method of display and copied their custom. That his name is known from scripture and the Egyptian monuments suggests to us he was an Israeli/(Phoenician?) native who experienced an extraordinary urge for a grand display toward his royal visitors on that day.
We read just before the arrival of the Queen of Sheba: "Then went Solomon to Ezion-geber, and to Eiloth at the sea side in the land of Edom." 2.Chronicles 8:17. The reason for his visit is not stated but it must have been to make sure a proper welcome was awaiting some representatives of his royal guest or a group of merchants for the next verse has her arriving.

That Punt is connected with Palestinian interests can be seen by comparing inscriptions from Hatshepsut and Thutmoses III: "Sailing in the sea, beginning the godly way toward God's Land, journeying in peace to the land of Punt...according to the command ... of Amon ... because he so much loves the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, [Makere, Hatshepsut]." [330] Breasted also contains a rare quotation of how Egyptian kings refered back to their predecessor kings. We read, "... he who loves so much the king ... more than other kings who have been in this land forever." They don't refer to family, dynasties, houses of kings but to `other kings', Sec. 265, `... any king who has been since the beginning', and perhaps `ancestors.']

In order to recognize the similarities in expressions we compare this with the record in the Bible where the Queen of Sheba is quoted as saying: "... because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king..."1.Kings 10:9. Here we have these singular expressions independently done in both records, in Egypt and in the Bible. In the account of her voyage the Queen wrote: Through Amon-Re Hatshepsut is then saying the following: "I have led them on water and on land, to explore the waters of inaccessible channels, and I have reached the Myrrh-terraces." [340] Parallel to this we read in the Bible, "And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the lord..." [2.Chronicles 9:11]. Again in both records are mentioned the terraces. She called the land she visited "the glorious region of God's land" Ibid. She wrote: "I conciliated them by love that they might give to thee praise..." [350]

We conclude from this that these voyages were not undertaken to a single location but were part of a more extended round trip journey, a visit of her Red Sea to Africa and Thebes to Phoenicia realm. It appears the Queen herself left at least once her hometown of Thebes in order to visit abroad.

What impressed the queen were the fragrant goods like myrrh. She wrote: "31 fresh myrrh trees, brought as marvels of Punt for her majesty... never was seen the like since the beginning." [360] Compare this with "... there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day." [1.Kings 10:12]. We read: "A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night between my breasts." [Song of Solomon 1:13] From this we know that myrrh was in vogue in the days of Solomon. If almug trees were myrrh trees we cannot be sure of, they could have been some other fruit trees and anti trees could have been imported from the Hula Valley as part of this same round trip journey. According to the scriptural account the Queen was accompanied by "a very great train, with camels that bare" ... gifts. This reading seems to imply that the visitors coordinated a rather unique event. It could be that these camels had been sent from Egypt in advance to meet up with the queen when she would disembark from her flag ship and arrive together with her rich presents at Jerusalem. According to the Punt Reliefs one of her journeys is thus described, "Her majesty journeyed to the North country after her father ... Okheperkere (Thutmose I)... . They (all her gods) traversed for her, pleasant ways, (they) came, and they brought all life and satisfaction with them ... ." [370] This quotation may derive new meaning if Damien's assumption that Thutmose I was the alter ego of King David could be upheld. A little later we shall attempt to check on the reasons to place Hatshepsut in Jerusalem.

It was a chimerical time. A time were dreams came true. Her inscriptions give the impression that she went on her journey with high expectations and a foreknowledge on what was going to happen. Everything was weighed and counted and recorded in her annals as well as in the Bible. These weighing and counting scenes at Deir el Bahari are well known. . "Measuring the fresh myrrh . Recording in writing, reckoning the numbers, summing up in millions, hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, thousands and hundreds; reception of the marvels of Punt..." [380] "the balances, accurate and true ... in order to weigh the silver, gold ... and every splendid costly stone..." [390] Compare with 1.Kings 10:10,14] "and precious stones." [V.10].

It could be that Hatshepsut had begun the construction of her mortuary temple already before she visited Solomon. The mortuary temple of the 11th Dynasty ruler Nebhepetre Montuhotep was already built in the same valley Hatshepsut would put her own temple both of which feature an ascending ramp leading up to the temple and square pillars [395]. If Hatshepsut had already started her temple construction, it was probably the foundations and lower complexes which were then begun. In this project the two monarchs may have worked together and with Solomon's expert design knowledge completed her edifice at Deir el Bahari, her Egyptian Punt. It becomes apparent that Solomon was quite familiar with older Egyptian architectural techniques and utilized some of them in his own projects, i.e. the use of long ascending ramps or steps, platforms and nearly square pillars when most other Egyptian temples used round pillars. But it is exactly this feature which was used in the constructions of Solomon, "And all the doors and posts were square" [1.Kings 7:4].

When Solomon began to reign, the old desert tabernacle tent was in a dilapidated condition. It was several hundred years old and had been exposed to wind and weather for a long time. David had purposed to build the Lord a house, but because his hands had been bloodied in much warfare he was not permitted to do so. That is so, because the Lord, His God, is a just God who hates war, bloodshed and sin. It fell upon the son of David, Solomon, to build the Temple to the Lord, 1.Kings 6:7.

The Temple of Jerusalem ushered in almost a frenzy in temple constructions in Egypt. With the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 587 BC, those of Ramses II/Necho II were the most impressive, brand new monumental structures in existence. Locations for these were in Egypt, Palmyra and Dan/Baalbek.

Next we read, "Trees were taken up in God's Land, and set into the ground in Egypt." [400] "I will cause you to know that which is commanded me ... to establish for him [Amon] a Punt in his house, to plant the trees of God's Land beside his temple, in his garden, according as he commanded." [410] Image posted for educational purposes only In fact there are good reasons to think that her famous vizier Senmut was Solomon himself. The scriptures have nothing to tell about the last part of the life of Solomon perhaps because he spent much time in Egypt then. There was none better qualified to have been Senenmut besides Solomon himself.

Further Evidence that the Queen of Sheba or Queen Sheba came from Egypt.
"There was then a woman, queen of Egypt and Ethiopia; she was inquisitive into philosophy, and one that on other accounts also was to be admired. When this queen heard of the virtue and prudence of Solomon, she had a great mind to see him, and the reports that went every day abroad induced her to come to him..." [420]

A Psalm of Solomon also distinguishes between Sheba and Seba which should help us understand that in ancient times these terms were not the same for we read:

"The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts."[Psalms 72:10; This is a psalm for Solomon]

* By what names did Thutmoses III refer to Palestine? "Year 25... Plants which his majesty found in the land of Retenue. 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..." [430] where he calls it "Punt".

In his `Hymn of Victory' he uses the terms interchangeably: "...the heads of the Asiatics of Retenue...thou hast trampled those who are in the districts of God's-Land..." [440] From the annals of Hatshepsut we know already that God's-Land and Punt were closely associated with each other probably because of them being trading partners. The reference "who are in the districts of God's-Land" should probably be understood to refer to the land allocations for the various Israelite tribes. Now we know that `God's Land' was also called Retenu or better Rezenu, Palestine. The reason Egyptian texts refer to Palestine as Retenu or Rezenu is because that is what the Israelites called the land, "erez Israel",[Joshua 9:11; Judges 16:24; Psalms 85:9; Micah 5:5]; the Hebrew word for land is `erez' [rezenu]. [450]

Egyptians were very familiar with dividing a country into administrative, governing zones. They called such divisions in their country `nomes'. We ought not to be surprised if they made a reference to such districts or regional entities in Punt, God's Land, Israel, the land of the 12 tribes. Referring to such `districts' in Israel as Punt makes more sense than Punt being in Africa. [460]

"The Queen of the South ... for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon..."Matthew 12:42 (NIV).
Jesus calls the queen who visited Solomon "the Queen of the South", which is in Greek, `basilissa notou'. We also should remember that Egypt just like Palestine, in the days of Jesus, was little more than a Roman province. Perhaps that is the reason that Jesus did not refer to it as `Egypt'. In that case Jesus was then very accurate in his reference to the land in the south since both, Judah and Egypt, were ruled by the same foreign power. The phrase "ends of the earth" is a known Egyptianism. [470]

Two phrases then

1. `... of the south' (Thebes) and
2. `ends of the earth' (presumably Thebes)

when combined point unerringly in the direction of Egypt and Ethiopia, at the southern extremity of the compass for those biblical days. Beyond that was the little understood continent of Africa.

This view may be strengthened by the words of Isaiah who enumerated the regions and their people surrounding Israel when he wrote: "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light ... the multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah (the east, Mesopotamia); all they from Sheba shall come (the south) ... all the flocks of Kedar ... the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee (the east, Arabia) ... surely the isles shall wait for me (the west, Greek islands) ... and the ships of Tarshish ..." [Isaiah 60:3, 6, 7, 9]

The capital of Hatshepsut and the 18th Dynasty kings was Thebes which is about 380 miles south of Memphis and about 650 miles from Jerusalem. For the Jews Egypt proper was located in the Nile delta, but the new Kingdom kings made their capital at Thebes, far to the south, not in Egypt proper. We should not assume that the ancients thought of countries and borders as fixed lines as we do today, especially since we have no indications that they had any maps to guide them. In her days the voyage was certainly a very long, difficult over land and Nile boat journey. She chose to travel by ship to cover most of the distance in relative ease.

From the Book of Daniel we learn that in the minds of Jewish people "the south" always referred to Egypt. "The king of the south..." [Daniel 11:5,6, 8,9,11,25]. From the context and Daniel 11:40,42 we know that`the king of the south' is the king of Egypt. Therefore, Solomon's visitor came from Egypt. Only modern misunderstanding of history has her come from other places.

Can we Place Hatshepsut in Jerusalem?
The Scriptural Account The Account on Egyptian Reliefs Addendum
The Exchanging of Gifts: The Queen brought spices, much gold and precious stones. But most of all wanted she to communicate with Solomon. Hear what he had to say. The Accounting of the Gifts: The gifts brought by the Punt Fleet may be a separate event from the Queen's visit. The title of the `high priest' of Tanis is found only seldom on monuments. One example was found on a naophore statue at Paris. [475]
The language: "... and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And when the queen ... had seen ... the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent ... unto the house of the Lord ..." [1.Kings 10: 2, 5] The Egyptian text: "They said, `Welcome, daughter of Amon-Re; thou hast seen thy administration in the land, thou shall set it in order. thou shalt restore that which has gone to its ruin, thou shalt make thy monuments in this house ..." [480]
The 24 Priestly Courses
The Israelites had a multiple of 12, namely 24 courses of priests serving in the temple with a chief priest over each course. Aaron had four sons, two of which died, leaving Eleazar and Ithamar. Eleazar had 16 chief men and Ithamar had 8 chief men, 24 chief men in all which served as priests in the following years. At the time of King David Zadok was a (high) priest. [1.Chronicles 24:1-(18)-19]
Twelve Priests
It was not until the temple of the Most Splendid at Deir el Bahari was constructed that twelve priests, with a high priest heading them, officiated before the altar. A relief on a fragment shows twelve priests divided into four orders, three in each order, and a damaged inscription over their heads reads, "... in the temple of Amon, in `Most Splendid of Splendors', by the high priest of Amon in `Most Splendid of Splendors', Senu, triumphant ..." [490]
"The queen was conscious of the resemblance of the temple-gardens in Deir el Bahari and Punt. The service and equipment of the temple receive some light from the mention of its High Priest, with twelve subordinate priests in four orders." [500]
The office of the high priest was established in the Egyptian service only at the time of Queen Hatshepsut. This reform in the religious service was introduced after the visit of the queen to the Divine Land, where shortly before the House of the Lord had been completed and organized in a similar way for the Jewish services. [For a reference to a priest of the Second Order under Thutmose III click Here!]

Only Indirect Clues

There were no direct statements found that Hatshepsut herself traveled to Punt. Neither do we find the name of a known city mentioned in the records of Hatshepsut. City lists do not appear until some 10 years later in the records of her successor Thutmose III. Even in those lists the word Jerusalem is not found but the label `Kadesh' is. One reason may be that Jerusalem/Kadesh was still a fairly new locality. King Saul did not have his palace there. Not until king David transported the ark of the covenant there, were significant constructions carried out in Jerusalem.
And so we find that king David frequently spoke of his city as the `Holy' city, `Holy Mount' or `Mount Zion' rather than calling it Jerusalem. Like every major city, Jerusalem too had humble beginnings and we should not be surprised that Hatshepsut did not specifically call it by name. By the time Thutmose III/Shishak arrived at the city gates ca. 70-80 years had passed which probably saw a great deal of heavy construction going on.[512] Any Egyptian clues also depend on the instructions the artists followed when engraving the monuments. Their main purpose was to idolize their king and gods, not to memorialize foreign people and their achievements. The king was not standing beside them when they did their work and many artists may have been unfamiliar with the places and exact events abroad. Our overall success on how well we can describe the interactions between these two neighboring nations despite vague texts and references perhaps from the time of King Ahmose onward should be consulted in dating the 18th Dynasty. This includes Damien's suggestion that Thutmose I may be the alter ego of King David, Thutmose III was Shishak, Zera's time, the El Amarna Period and many more great and small events and correlations. Overall we think revision has done marvels in showing numerous clues to give us reason to retain our revised chronology. The scholarly community's conventional placements, which some of them perceive as `a vast area of available technical data' and `carefully crafted', we find full of holes and riddled with incongruities. The conventional structure, this writer believes, was held up to a significant degree by very strong willed and opinionated individuals who were funded and promoted by the leading educational centers of their time. History is not a science like mathematics, chemistry or physics and to assume that leading interpreters of ancient history have superior knowledge because they have seen the ancient lands, dug there and analyzed its remains may not suffice if their starting theories are in error and/or they have not hit upon the right interpretation for their discoveries early on. To interpret ancient phenomena without written instructions may be a hazardous task indeed. To subordinate ancient histories like the Bible and Greek authors to modern interpretations, because we assume we read archaeological layers and interpret metal and pottery ages correctly is probably assuming too much. To assume that just because everything seems written up so well ancient history has been largely arranged correctly is a fallacy which we show to be wanting in many ways.

Who were the kings who visited Solomon?

"King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift - articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules." [1.Kings 10:23-25]
Since we are presenting the ancient history of the Orient here in quite a different way then conventional history does, we want to present a few possibilities on who these visiting kings and rulers of the ancient world might have been who visited Solomon. Until now these verses were largely ignored by historians most probably on grounds that they were considered to be Jewish exaggerations not worthy of consideration. That conclusion is easily to come by when interpreting this era in the conventional framework of history. But we are not bound by such limitations as we present it in our various papers.

The statement of royal visitors having come to pay their respects to Solomon comes after the Queen of Sheba visit. Since Queen Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba, before she had become Pharaoh, some of these visitors must have been Egyptian officials and highly placed officers. The predecessors of Hatshepsut had however died, and therefore are unlikely candidates. The later Thutmose III may have been still too young to have been among them, but if he did visit, that may have been a cause of later animosity toward the State of Solomon, King of Israel, vizier and royal architect of Hatshepsut and husband of an Egyptian princess.

From Arabia may have come some leaders of the various tribes in the desert areas. Since we equate Zimri Lim with Rezon, and Yarim Lim with Hiram, Yarim Lim probably was one of these visitors. Since, however, Damien found reason to identify Hammurabi with Solomon himself he was of course there, albeit with at least two or three name tags at his plate. These were illustrious days and the talk about law making was on everyone's mind. Since Hammurabi is now positioned as the wise King Solomon himself, contemporary of Hiram and Zimri Lim, this would wonderfully explain the echoes of the Mosaic laws underlying the authorship of the amazing Codex Hammurabi. It was a wonderful opportunity for Solomon to witness for the great Creator God who had led his people. From the Greek Isles visitors might have come, Cretans, Lybiens, Sidonians, Ishme-Dagan, Rim-Sin and Hadad from Mesopotamia and North Africa. Potentates from these kingdoms are candidates for visitors to Solomon in Jerusalem. Solomon lived right in the so-called Mycenaean and Geometric Age which existed concurrently. In time his fame took over Solomon's imaginations as he forgot God and turned toward the gods of other nations.

The End of Hatshepsut

Senenmut disappears from the scene before his queen. The tomb of the Queen was cut on a vertical cliff, 112 m/367 feet high, 70 meters/229 feet above the floor at the extreme end of Wadi e' Sikkat e' Taqa e' Zeide, an isolated, inaccessible desert valley, once roped into by Howard Carter about in 1893. But the royal cartouche of Hatshpesut was not carved into the registers of Egyptian kings probably by orders of her successor. But her name was found in the turquoise mines of the Sinai in the area of Serabit el-Khadim. [520]

A Short Comment on Conventional Scholars Views on the Location of `Irem' and `Punt'.

In 1987 the `Journal of Egyptian Archaeology' published an article by David O'Conner entitled `The Location of Irem' in which he also discusses briefly the location of Punt. The evidence he cites for the location of `Irem' (rm) in the region of Nubia consists of the following:

1. A long inscription on the walls of the Temple `T' at Kawa [known as Kawa IX], a city about 50 miles south of the 3rd cataract on the banks of the Nile.

2. There are supposed to exist 5 Meroitic graffiti which appear to refer to 5 people but which, in the words of O'Conner, appear to come from a region called `Arme' or `Armi', which some believe to stand for `Irem'. A conclusion which seems rather arbitrary in our opinion, especially since names of other locations are also found in graffiti from which these men could have come as O'Conner also points out.
This long text from temple `T' tells about events which took place during the reign of a Nubian king by the name of Irike-Amonate (about 431-405 BC). Because of this great difference in time (500 years) between the time of Hatshepsut and this Nubian king we have to view such a reading with suspicion. 3. The `Kush-List' of Pharaoh Thutmose III. This only partially preserved list is supposed to contain some 22 names of toponym locations. About half way down is supposedly the entry `rm'. But, as O'Conner also points out, place names retain only rarely their name over so many centuries.
4. The Annals of Thutmose III - These annals state that in his 34th year the `b'kw' sent from Kush consisted of gold, Nehasyu as servants, 4 sons of the ruler of `rm', long and short horned cattle, bulls, ships laden with ivory, ebony, and all the products of this land and the harvest of Kush.' [530]

The article cited mentions also the reliefs of Queen/Pharaoh Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari where she not only refers to the `men of Irem' but even has them represented in pictures just like she shows the men of Punt and also those of `Nmy'. The significant lesson to learn from these reliefs is that the Puntites as well as the only surviving physiognomy of a man of Irem show that they have no negroid features. The men of `Nmy' on the other hand seem definitely to be Africans.

Bahari types The only way the men of Irem/Hiram of Phoenicia could get into Africa is the way we described above, as merchants looking for merchandise. But we do not think that the `rm' from the 5th century BC are the same people as those in the days of Hatshepsut. We would suggest that 2 letter words represented in hieroglyphics and transliterated as `rm' can spring up, statistically speaking, much more frequently then longer words and therefore we must be careful to jump to conclusions here. We think this `rm' from Kawa does not carry with it a lot of weight in explaining this issue.
But we still need to explain the annals of Thutmose III. A certain hieroglyphic passage was translated as follows:

Impost of Kush - "Impost of Kush the wretched: gold, 300 deben; 60 negroes; the son of the chief of Irem (Yrm) ..... total, 64; oxen, [95; calves,] 180; total 275; besides [vessels] laden with ivory, ebony and all products of this country; the harvest of Kush likewise." [540]

While it is not impossible that Phoenicians [and especially the son of a chief rather than the chief himself] found their way into Nubia to locate merchandise there and in particular gold, that is as yet an assumption we cannot proof but find it to be as good an explanation as any other we read about.

The Campaign of Seti the Great in Irem

The text indicates that Seti's army went on this campaign from a fortress whose location we don't know. But according to those who studied this source, the location this action took place in seems to suggest a desert or should we tone that down to arid land conditions? The important point is that the point of departure is not stated. It could just as well have been in Palestine rather then the vicinity of the 3rd cataract. Hieroglyphics at Deir el Bahari. The section where the word for `yrm' occurs is not shown.That location was only chosen because that is where conventional scholars think Punt and Irem was located. But in the days of Seti the Great the heydays of the Phoenicians were already over. Ugarit/Ras Shamra lay in ruins. Only Tyre, Sidon and Arvad were still populated.

The article fails to take into account the physiognomy of the various participants of the Punt voyage as they are represented on the Punt reliefs. We find here enough visual help leading us to conclude that the men of `rm' found at Kawa, Nubia, had nothing to do with the men of `yrm', the men of Hiram, the Phoenicians as found at Deir el Bahari.

Notes & References

[10] For images of Deir el Bahari see KMT, Vol. 11, Winter, 2000-2001, p. 50ff and KMT, Fall 2001, Vol. 12, p. 40f, 46f. The image shows the Mentuhotep temple in front (and drawings of its original appearance) and the Bahari temple behind/above it, both from a side view. See also KMT Spring 2003, Vol. 14, p. 30f.
News reports stated March 16, 2009 that "Egyptian officials says archaeologists have found ancient golden jewelry in a pharaonic-era tomb that belonged to a senior official under Egypt's most powerful queen. The Supreme Council of Antiquities says five golden earrings and two rings were found in the tomb of Gahouti, the head of the treasury under Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt 3,500 years ago.

[15] A color image of the head of Hatshepsut depicting her crowning by Amen-Re, done in sunk relief, can be seen in KMT, Vol. 16, No. 3, Fall 2005, p. 27.

[20] Breasted, James (1865-1935), `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 351; Others state that Thutmose II also was husband to his sister by the name of Ramaka.

[30] Ibid., Vol. II, Sec. 125.

[40] Ibid., Sec. 353.

[50] Ibid., Sec. 351. See also J. Pinkovsky, Archaeology, Sep/Oct 2006, p. 44-49, on Mut's temples associated withe Hathshepsut and perhaps Senenmut.

[60] Ibid., Sec. 353.

[70] See also KMT, Vol. 11, Winter, 2000-2001, p. 50ff.

[80] E. Sweeney, `Hatshepsut - The Queen of Sheba and Velikovsky'.

[82] Dismantled Egyptian ship parts numbered for re-assembly were found in man made caves with Marine instructions from previous voyages along the Red Sea side Wadi Gawasis, thought to be a launching area to Punt. [Archaeology, May/June 2006, p. 16.]

[85] To see the more recently discovered throne of Hatshepsut turn to Dylan Bickerstaffe, `The Discovery of Hatshepsut's Throne' in KMT, Spring 2002, p. 71-77.

[90] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 269, 274; See also `Kebra Nagast' for more about the name Makere.

[95] The early, now by some doubted, accounts of Ezion Geber by Nelson Glueck can be found in The First Campaign at Tell el-Kheleifeh in BASOR, Oct. 1938, p. 3-18.

[100] Sandra Scham, `Legacy of the Crusades' in Archaeology, Sep/Oct 2002, p. 24 for a good image, including the harbor. - As to `Tharshish', opinions vary a great deal, from a southern port to Crete, to Spain.

[110] David O'Connor, Moored in the Desert, Archaeology, May/Jun 2001, p.44ff. See alsoRobert R. Stieglitz, Long Distance Seafaring in the Ancient Near East, BA, Sep 1984, p. 134-142. The article cites an ostracon from Tell Qasileh dated to ca. 8th cent. BC reading, "Gold of Ophir for Beth-Horon ... 30 she(kels)."

[111] A colorful image of the harbor of Eilat can be seen in Eretz, No. 78, Sep/Oct 2001, p. 19.

[112] See Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, Her-Bak, plates v & vi.

[115] Lorton's transliteration of Texts already referred to above from Breasted (LT). A well preserved and apparently undamaged 64 cm high amphora with its seal in place bears the cartouche of Hatshepsut and is assumed to stem from the time of her successor Thutmose III, his 7th year on the basis of an attached hieratic label. The amphora was found in the tomb of the parents of Senenmut. A B&W image of this vessel can be seen in Bryant G. Wood, Egyptian Amphorae in BA, June 1987, p. 75-(77)-83.

[120] On the subject of `Punt' and `God's Land' see also the conventional article by L.Bradbury, `Reflections on Traveling to `God's Land' and Punt in the Middle Kingdom', JARCE, Vol. XXV, 1988, p. 127-156; The conventional article fails to present a broader view of Egyptian accounts on this subject and instead presents a narrowed search failing to address pertinent information.

[125] A photo of these trees from Bahari can be seen in BAR, May 2000, p. 43.

[130] For an aerial image of the modern bridge at this location see B.J. Beitzel, `The Via Maris in Literature and Cartographic Sources' in Biblical Archaeology, Vol. 54, June 1991, p. 65.

[140] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 658.

[150] Ibid., Sec. 255.

[152] Flavius Josephus, `Antiquities of the Jews', Bk. VIII, ch. VII, Sec. 2.

[160] W.M.Müller, `Altägyptische Denkmäler', p. 118.

[166] See also Dennis Forbes, Howard Carter at Deir el Bahari, in KMT, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2011, p. 54-69.

[170] Where Velikovsky claims Hatshepsut = Queen of Sheba.

[180] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 761.

[190] Alan Moorehead, `The White Nile', (London, 1971), p. 61, 62, 68.

[200] Breasted, `Records', Vol. III, Sec. 34-40.

[210] Breasted, `Records', Vol. IV, Sec. 130.

[215] In various sources.

[220] Winifred Walke, `All the Plants of the Bible', Harper & Row.

[230] A photo of these trees from Bahari can be seen in BAR, May 2000, p. 43.

[240] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 773.

[250] Ibid., Sec. 486.

[260] See also related article by J.D. Currid, `The Beehive Buildings of Ancient Palestine', BA, Mar. 1986, p. 20-24. The article concludes that `beehive' structures in the Negev region served as granaries or store houses examples of which were also found in Egyptian tomb art. These storehouse type beehive structures discussed in the articles were not built on stilts.
Christine Lilyquist, `Egyptian Stone Vessels - Khian Through Thutmosis IV', N.Y., 1996, p. 30.

[270] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 287.

[275] A fine artist's color drawing of the Temple of Karnak with the sacred lake, harbor and the Nile River is shown in Joann Fletcher's, Chronicle of a Pharaoh, Oxford, 2000, p. 40-41. A color photo of the saced lake at the temple of Amun of Akhenaten's capital is shown in BAR, May/Jun 1987, p. 19.

[277] Ships (i.e. row boates) of Tyre bearing tribute to the Assyrian king can be seen on a relief from the bronze gates of Balawat of the time of Shalmaneser III. Tradition has it that Kabr-Hiram is the tomb of Hiram. See Nina Jijedian, Tyre through the Ages, Beirut, 1969, p. 38, Plate 8.

[280] Josephus, `Antiquities of the Jews', Bk. VIII, Ch. VII, Sec. 2.

[290] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 267.

[300] Josephus, `Antiquities', Bk.VIII, Ch.VII, Sec.2.

[310] The Phoenician necropolis at `Cerro de San Cristobal' yielded numerous (22) stone vases, some of alabaster according to the inscriptions used for storing wine. Most of them date from the 22nd dynasty when trading between the Phoenicians and Egypt resulted that eventually some of these ended up in Spain. There were many ancient Egyptian artifacts found in different regions of Spain and Portugal, among these are scarabs, ushabtis, amulets and several statues, i.e. the 26th Dynasty statue of one `Harsomtus-em-hat' (Madrid MAN #2014). More than 500 Egyptian objects were found in Spain dating to the Third Intermediate Period (TIP) and Late Period (LP), the time of Phoenician colonisation. Then historians suggest that some "antiquities" seem to have been brought to Spain by the Phoenicians as well and they cite as examples, 1. a marble vase with the name of Apophis I (Hyksos) and his sister, and 2. possibly a Ramesside figure-with-baboon statue.
See also S. Brown, Perspectives on Phoenician Art in BA, Vol. 55, Mar 1992, p. 6-24; featuring art work on a silver bowl, ivory art work, techniques for making metal bowls, stone altars and terracotta masks. See also in the same magazine, `Phoenicians in Spain', p. 29-34, featuring the search for Mainake, the site of Chorreras, presumed to be the oldest Iron Age city in Spain, and flood plains.

[320] See Zvi Gal, `Khirbet Roš Zayit - Biblical Cabul' in BA, June 1990, p. 88-97; Page 90 features a map of tribal lands of the region.
Some conventional historians discount the name Paruah as found in the Egyptian records as resembling anything like the name we read in the scriptures but they use also name similarities when it suits their own model of history, sometimes even more far fetched than `Paruah' and `P-r'hw' as for instance `Shishak' and `Sheshonk'.

[330] Breasted, `Records',Vol. II, 253, also 255, 265.

[340] 2.Chronicles 9:11; Ibid., Sec. 286-288.

[350] Psalm 35:18; 106:1; Ibid., Sec. 288.

[360] Ibid., Sec. 272

[370] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 224; This text is presented under the heading of her coronation - the northern journey.

[380] Ibid., Sec. 278.

[390] Ibid., Sec. 280.

[395] See images of the colonnades fronting the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari where each level is supported by square pillars.

[400] Ibid., Sec. 294.

[410] Ibid., Sec. 295.

[420] Josephus, `Antiquities', p. 1.

[430] Breasted, `Records' Vol. II, Sec.451 also 486.

[440] Ibid., Sec. 658.; the phrase, `heads of the ...' is found 32 times in the Bible. The word `tread' in place of trampled is found 33 times.

[450] A likely term for `districts' in hieroglyphics used in the above inscription is districts, regions `mkt, districts or regions'.

[460] For maps on tribal lands see Z. Gal, Khirbet Roš Zayit - Biblical Cabul - A Historical Geographical Case' in BA, Vol. 53, Jun 1990, p. 88-97; Joshua 10:27; 1.Kings 9:13.

[470] A. Yahuda, `The Language of the Pentateuch in its Relation to Egyptian', Oxford, 1933. Another Egyptian idiom is, he "presses the sandal of his father". See W.F. Albright, The 18th Cent. Prince of Byblos and the Chron. of the MB in BASOR, Dec 1964, p. 38-46. The phrase, `ends of the earth' occurs 28 times in the Bible.

[475] "Bibl. nat.", Nr. 621. The description of which was published in M. Ledrain, `Les Monuments egypt. de la Bibl. nat.', pl. 61.

[480] Ibid., Sec. 225.

[490] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, note to Sec. 679.

[500] Ibid., note to Sec. 291.

[512] With the crowning of Solomon and his construction programs in Israel, the type of city gate he became famous for became more recently also a bone of contention. For a comparison of city gates see `Where is the 10th Century?' in BAR, Mar 1998, p. 54-60.

[520] P. A. Clayton (1937-??), `Chronicle of the Pharaohs', p. 107.

[530] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 487.

[540] Ibid., Sec. 494.

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