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Solomon as Senenmut - Fascination with History
The House of David
Queen of Sheba
Women & the Law
Salomo/Senenmut auf Deutsch
Smenkhare & Tutankhamun
According to Egyptian History
Senenmut in the Egyptian Sources
Solomon in the Hebrew Sources
Difficult Points
The Donation Stela of Senenmut
The Commonality of Hair-do Fashions
Senmut's Call
Senenmut as Tutor of Neerure and Thutmose III
The Time Solomon/Senmut in Egypt
Solomon's Administration & that of Senenmut
Senmut's Religious Functions
Senmut's Actions Abroad
As Chief Architect
Senmut's Temple Complex
Senmut's Astronomical Ceiling
Commemorative Obelisks
Scriptural Influences in Egypt during the Reign of Hatshepsut
An Image from Genesis
An Image from the Psalms
An Image from Proverbs
Written Sources
Solomon's Temple Different
Solomon's Spiritual Decline
Rescuing
Notes & References
Solomon as Hammurabi
More on Solomon
Thutmose III

Senenmut in the Egyptian Sources

Senenmut during the first six years of Hatshepsut's queenship.
Conventional history books have Thutmose II reign assigned anywhere from about 1520-1490 but we place him from about 961-948 BC. After the death of Thutmose II in 948 BC Hatshepsut calls on Solomon for help. This information we read on one of his statues, `I was in this land under [her] command since the occurrence of the death of [her] predecessor...' [0100]

Senenmut's name and title The first year subsequent to the death of Thutmose II (948) would also be the 1st year of Thutmose III while still a child and the beginning of his co-reign with Hatshepsut. Senenmut between his father Ramose and mother Hatnofer by Lepsius For the next 22 years, his `years of silence', Hatshepsut with the strong support of her closest courtiers, among them Senenmut/Solomon (Ir she-El Amon)/Jedidiah [2.Samuel 12:25; and `Lemuel' (Proverbs 31:1) How that could be click Here], rules over Egypt. Even when young Thutmose turned 16-18 years of age did she not relinquish the throne. It appears that Thutmose realized that he would not have a chance to climb the throne in his teens because of the influence of Senenmut in particular. And this is why today Egyptologists ask themselves the question, "How could someone with the drive and military ambition of Thutmose III stand by and allow Hatshepsut to retain the throne and virtually rule the country from the time he was 16 until he reached 24, or, even less likely, 35 years of age?" [0200] His revenge was that he sowed strife and discontent in the Egyptian educated servant of Solomon, Jeroboam. We all know how successful that was.

In about 948 Hatshepsut is seated on the throne as pharaoh and she begins the construction of her mortuary temple at Deir el Bahari in her 7th year in 941 BC. At about this same time Senenmut begins the construction of his mortuary temple connected to that of his queen. The queens tomb (TT#353) however was found by Carter in 1903 and penetrates 243 m (800 feet) deep into the rocks, so deep that air had to be pumped into it for the workmen to breath. Still another passage leads even further into the rocks but has not been explored to date. Inside were found her sarcophagus and that of Thutmose I, but little else remained.

Two tombs prepared for Senenmut were found. Of these tomb 353 was never finished and sealed. The long, large tomb of Senenmut [0300] (TT#71) located on the north-east corner of the temple of Hatshepsut, was found by Winlock in 1927. It was found that his portraits inside were mutilated everywhere, though the name of Hatshepsut was left untouched. His quartzite sarcophagus was smattered into small pieces strewn all around over a large area. Interestingly enough, however, a wrapped but not mummified body of a riding horse was found below his tomb. The body of the horse was then placed inside a 140 cm tall wooden coffin. In addition also the coffin of a singer, Harmose, with his nearly intact lute laying beside him was discovered in TT71. These finds remind us of Solomon buying and selling horses among many other goods (2.Chr. 9:28) and his love of music and poetry. We don't know who the owner of the horse was but even though the body of Senenmut himself was not found in Egypt, perhaps his singer and horse were buried there nevertheless.

We hear the last from Senenmut in his 16th year which corresponds well with the last 20 years of the reign of Solomon were the scriptures remain silent about events as if he was not in Israel during that time. We think that after having met many of the kings from `the ends of the earth' Solomon indeed lived in peace during the 2nd half of his reign and that this situation allowed him to become Senenmut at the court of his royal friend Hatshepsut. Certainly we do not assume that he twiddled his thumbs in Jerusalem. That the Bible is silent about any events relating to this time may be due to Jewish embarrassment that their king had such ties with Egypt and therefore they obliterated any memory of it in their writings.

Year 9 of Hatshepsut (-939) is the year when the Punt Expedition was sent out. For the next 10 years Hatshepsut was engaged in carrying out her many constructions. But in 930 BC Solomon/Senenmut died followed by the death of Hatshepsut in 926 BC.
The Queen was followed by Thutmose III who invaded Jerusalem in -925, the 5th year of King Rehoboam of Judah. The reign of Thutmose III lasted until about 899 BC.



Senenmut in the Hebrew Sources and the Compelling Reasons to Regard Solomon and Hatshepsut as Contemporaries

Solomon apparently was known by more than one name. The prophet Nathan named him `Jedediah' (2.Samuel 12:25) and he may also have been known as `Lemuel' (Proverbs 31:1). Compared to what we could write about Senenmut, the Biblical information of the activities of Solomon during part of the second half of his 40 year reign are meager indeed. We believe that the reason for that fact may be that he indeed may have spent much of this time in Egypt as Senenmut, the confidant and architect of the Egypt under his friend, Queen/Pharaoh Hatshepsut. In traveling to Egypt he followed the footsteps of his ancestors, Abraham and Jacob. Solomon also may have admired the patriarch Joseph and what he did for Egypt and his people. As far as the name `slmn (slmh)' and `snnmt' is concerned for most of the history of Egypt the `t' sound was not pronounced leaving us with `snnm-' or by the rules of transliteration `slnm' which is the same as `slmn' when writing only consonants.

Besides this similarity in the name of Solomon and Senenmut we also have two ivory images which according to some could represent King Solomon wearing an Egyptian head cover, wig or just arranged his families luxurious growth of hair.

Tel el Far'ah, south of Gaza, ivory plaque - banquet of a king Megiddo ivory plaque - Banquet of a king Origin of Evil
The Egyptianization of Solomon may have led to production of these ivory scenes found in two different locations within the sphere of influence of King Solomon. They depict a monarch wearing Egyptian fashions holding court. Commenting on the Megiddo ivory (right) Peter James wrote [380]:

"The ivory plaque is of particular interest. [The monarch] is seated on a throne decorated with sphinxes. If it was intended to represent a specific rather then an idealized ruler, would it be too much to imagine that in this ivory we actually have a depiction of the Egyptianized King Solomon?" [0400]

The harp player also fits in the era of King David and his son Solomon. Overall the whole scene seems to be one we can read about in biblical narratives.

"... David took a harp, and played with his hand ... And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments ... even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals." 1.Samuel 16:23; 2.Sam. 6:5.

"And also Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom." "Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David ..." "And the king rose up to meet [Bath-sheba] ... and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand." 1.Kings 1:46; 2:12, 19.

Ancient Gardens

Even before Israel arrived in Canaan, they were informed of the difference between living in Egypt and living in Palestine:

"The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven." [0500]

Gardens were maintained in the days of Solomon and by the kings of Juda and Israel, Egypt and Crete, before, during and after Solomon's time, for we find them represented in art and mentioned at various times in the Bible, i.e. a) from the writings of Solomon, Songs of Solomon 4, 5, 6, 8; Ecclesiastes 2:5; b) in the days of King Ahab, 1.Kings 21:2; c) in the days of King Ahaziah of Judah and Jehu of Israel, 2.Kings 27:9; d) in the days of the Egyptianized King Manasseh of Judah, 2.Kings 21:18; and e) in the final days of King Zedekiah of Jerusalem, 2.Kings 25:4.

Senenmut/Solomon also had a garden scene painted in his tomb with characteristics of his age including Minoan artistic conventions.

But a few points make it difficult to identify Senenmut with Solomon. The name comparison itself is possible enough but one problem is the following:

1. Senenmut is said to have been involved in the Punt expedition

As the chief steward to the queen, Senenmut was the most powerful nobleman during the reign of Hatshepsut. He was prominent in a Punt expedition, presumably the same which culminated in the one we regard as the visit to Jerusalem. In the announcement scene at Deir el Bahari the queen is enthroned in a splendid kiosk, and before her are the figures of three nobleman, figures which all were hacked out in ancient times. The accompanying texts read:

"Behold, it was commanded, as follows: `They shall give the court, L.P.H., to the hereditary prince, count, wearer of the royal seal, sole companion, chief treasurer, Nehsi, to dispatch the army [to] Punt." Over both are the words: "The king's-dignitaries, the companions of the court, L.P.H." and over the man in the middle: "Steward of Amon, Senenmut" the well known favorite of the queen. [0600]

If Senenmut was Solomon, how could he have presided over the Punt expedition before it occurred? One explanation could be that after having married a daughter of Thutmose II Solomon/Senenmut (`Bat Shlomo') was indeed included in much or everything that happened after that in the royal court on the Nile. That his royal visitor did not come unexpected may be surmised from the following statement:

"Then went Solomon to Ezion-geber [0650], and to Eloth, at the sea side in the land of Edom." [2.Chronicles 8:17]

Two verses later, in 2.Chronicles 9:1 we read about the arrival of the Queen of Sheba visit. Even though the purpose for Solomon's visit at his harbor town is not stated, we may not be far off in assuming that he went there to make sure everything was ready to receive the royal merchant mariners.

Reception in Punt - Before the Leader of the Puntites

"The chief of Punt, Perehu (P'-r'-hw)." "His wife Eti ('ty')." [0700]

Even though the records at Deir el Bahari don't give a clue that Senenmut was royalty elsewhere on the planet, that still could not be ruled out not to offend the Egyptian readers and native officials with such remarks.

But like in our chronological sequence Senenmut passed away before Hatshepsut, but before he did, it appears that Solomon had a change of heart and mind, returned back to Jerusalem and probably broke his former ties with Hatshepsut. This scenario is supported by the fact that Hatshepsut seems to have been the instigator behind some defacements of monuments of Senenmut herself. The evidence for that comes from erasures "on the Silsila cenotaph, tomb 353, the false-door stela from tomb 71, and the Deir el Bahari reliefs..." [0800]

In the following text we find the names of the parents of Senenmut. This text claims Ramose to have been Solomon's physical father. But that may not necessarily preclude the possibility that this was written to acquiesce those Egyptians who would have complained if Solomon would have been presented as of foreign origin. We read:

"May he (Osiris) give goodly burial in the western highland, [as one revere]d by the great god; to the ka of the privy councilor of the right hand, Senenmut; splendor in heaven, power on earth; to the ka of the overseer of the temples of Neit, Senenmut, begotten of Ramose, born of Henofer." [0900]

Unlike Solomon, he is being much praised for carrying idols in procession, indicating a thorough enchantment of Senenmut/Solomon with things Egyptian. He is said to be buried in Egypt juxtaposing the scriptural claim that he was buried with his fathers in the city of David. [1.Kings 11:43]

2. Senmut's parents

We know that King David was the father and Bethsheba the mother of Solomon and we know that David was buried in Israel. How then could his parents be buried in Egypt? Beneath the collapsed artificial terrace in front of TT#71 excavators found in the 1930's the small, rock-cut chamber that held the mummies of those who are presumed to be Senmut's family, including Ramose (father), Hatnofer (mother) - laid to rest there. [950]

It is quite possible that Hatnofer was Bethsheba whose body revealed an elderly lady who was buried there with great pomp in regnal year 7 of Hatshepsut, or reignal year 30 of Solomon - 941 BC. Since we don't know anything from the scriptures about the life of Bethsheba following the birth of Solomon we can only speculate that she may have remarried again following the death of David and lived with her son Senenmut/Solomon in Egypt and that Ramose was now his stepfather. The husband of Hatnofer/Bethsheba was about 50 or 60 years at death, considerably younger than David would have been. Of the 8 mummies present, that of Hatinofer `had been carefully mummified in linen from Hatshepsut's royal estate and equipped with a complete funerary outfit...'. One has the impression that Hatinofer had been singled out for special honors.

On two walls Senenmut is depicted together with one of his parents. One can see once again Hatinofer seated behind her son though it could be that Ramose was represented on a wall now damaged. In addition a 64 cm tall, large amphora with the seal and cap intact bearing the cartouche of Hatshepsut was also found in the tomb of the parents of Senenmut. A hieratic label on the jar reads, "Regnal year 7" which in our view would be about 941 BC. The author of the article states the label refers to the reign of Thutmose III, but we suggest it belongs to the time of Hatshepsut since there would be no reason for anyone during the reign of Thutmose to honor the parents of Senenmut. We also realize that Thutmose usurped all 22 years of the reign of Hatshepsut counting them as his own time and therefore in essence both started their reign in 948 BC. [1000]

3. Senmut's brother(s)

According to some accounts Senenmut was supposed to have had a brother named `Senimen/Senmen' [1100] who eventually became the steward of `Neferura'. Oftentimes, however, brother could also mean brother-in-law as for instance a brother or half-brother of the Egyptian princess Solomon/Senenmut had married. The latest information seemed to confirm that Senimen was not a brother to Senenmut but called that by Kurt Sethe who conflated two unrelated inscriptions in tomb 71. [1200] However, our latest take on this brother is also quite compelling and you can read the whole article here.

4. Senmeut's wife(s)

So far no wives living with Senenmut in Egypt could be identified. Evidence has shown that `Nofrethor' and `Ahhotep' are referred to as `sister(s)'. We read, `his (sister), his (beloved) Ahhotep', where the words in brackets were added by William C. Hayes [1300]. At the most they, like his `brothers' would be the offspring of Ramose from his previous marriage and therefore sister- and brother-in-laws. In revised view Senmuts wives and children lived in Israel.

5. The Education of Jeroboam in Egypt

If Solomon was Senenmut and spent time in Egypt during his second half as reigning king over Israel, how could Jeroboam successfully hide from him in Egypt?

"Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon." 1.Kings 11:40

In what year of Solomon this split between him and Jeroboam began we do not know but it must have been during the last few years or months of his reign. Solomon died in about 930 BC and Hatshepsut's 22 year reign ended in 926 BC, disregarding the possibility of predating for now. If we would choose that the split came during the last 2 years of Solomon and Jeroboam, then Thutmose/Shishak, according to 1.Kings 11, was king at that time, no doubt meaning coruler to Hatshepsut. With this in mind Thutmose must have had some royal duties and privileges during the reign of Hatshepsut. The reason that our history books state that his waiting for the throne as sole ruler were `silent years' has to do with the absence of records about him during that time. But apparently the Israelites knew that he was the real king in waiting, for the reigning monarch was a woman.

The reason that Jeroboam was able to hide from Solomon/Senenmut in Egypt must be that during the last part of the now aged Solomon he again lived in Jerusalem and had largely lost his influence in Egypt. We must also assume that the court of Thutmose was not the same as that of Hatshepsut, they didn't live together, if ever, in the same palace after his childhood years.

6. The donation stela of Senenmut
Though much in doubt as to the original wording in the first 13 lines the significance of this text for our theme lies in the observation that in this stela either Hatshepsut or Thutmose III was mentioned as the king to whom Senenmut makes application for his deed of transfer of property, the land in question having been designated from his endowment that your majesty gave me when you were in inpw sometime in year 4. If Solomon was Senenmut should we expect such a situation were the king of Israel applies for property transfers to an Egyptian king or king to be?

Again, we must stress the fact that the actual writing of these texts was done by scribes and, yes, once Solomon would have accepted his titles and responsibilities in Egypt and perhaps stayed there for an extended period of time, he was not `the great king' in Egypt, only in Israel, and for whatever possible reasons he would have chosen to forsake his throne for a period of time, he was now acting in behalf of the interests of Hatshepsut. Surely land deals were just a small part of his offices' business transactions and he probably hardly was aware that this land deal had taken place. We would say that this transaction in year 4 or close to it, took place when the presence of Solomon in Egypt was still a new arrangement and if the text refers to Thutmose III as the executor of the land deed, he was still young at that time and the rift between the two still ahead.

The Compelling Supports of the Senenmut/Solomon Equation

The Commonality of Hair-do Fashions in Israel and Egypt

Solomon's Book of Songs mentions the following "... his hair is wavy and black as a raven..." [Song of Solomon 5:11] Luxuriant hair growth was also a hallmark of the family of David as evidenced by Absalom "But in all of Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. ... Whenever he cut the hair of his head ... he would weigh it, and its weight was 200 shekels by the royal standard." (That is about 5 pounds or 2.3 Kg) [2.Samuel 14: 25, 26] How could we explain such weighty hair? Did Absalom use henna to color his hair? Or could this weight be due to other as yet undiscovered details? While it may be easiest to just dismiss such numbers as in error, we should take care not to judge too quickly and let perhaps historical insights help us in finding answers to puzzling questions.

Luxuriant hair, wigs, artificial curls, artificial lengthening of the hair were fashionable in Egypt for a long time but in particular also 18th Dynasty times. Artificially lengthened locks of hair and braids were found in the tomb of the parents of Senenmut/Solomon. "The curls of his mother, Hatnefer (Bathsheba?) had been supplemented with many tapered, dark-brown plaits arranged in two thick masses at each side of her head and ended in two rounded sections." [1400]

While wigs and varying ways of hair fashions always existed, they come particularly together also during the time we are discussing, the time of Senenmut - Solomon - Hatshepsut - Queen of Sheba. At best this feature does not proof our views but presents good grounds for timeliness.

Senmut's Call
From one of the statuettes of Senenmut we gather that Hatshepsut had called (The word used is `commanded') him into the land of Egypt following the death of Thutmose II.
"I was in this land under her command since the occurrence of the death of her predecessor..." That statement, combined with Senmut's information that his `ancestors were not found in writing', or also translated as "whose name is not to be found among the annals of the ancestors' indicates to us that Senenmut was not of Egyptian origins.

Other possible hints that Senenmut was a foreigner in Egypt was his fascination with the Egyptian language, his `idiosyncrasies in regard to the uncommon substitution of certain hieroglyphics' and his penchant for creating cryptograms as for example to the throne name of Hatshepsut, `Make-ra'. [1430]



In the revision it also comes to light that Senmut's arrival `in this land of Egypt' was a direct result of Hatshepsut's visit to Jerusalem as the Queen of Sheba. We read:

"King Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked." 1.Kings 10:13

The Queen of Sheba had hung on Solomon's every word. She had been so convinced by what he had to tell her that "there was no more spirit in her." 1.Kings 10:3,5

What impressed the Queen most during her visit in Jerusalem, apart from his renowned wisdom, (2.Chr. 1:9-12; 1.Ki. 3:5-15)? It was Solomon's palace, his officials and how things were organized and maintained, his fleet of merchant mariners (1.Kings 10:11), his parks and gardens (Song of Songs 5:1; 6:2), the Temple and its sacrifices (1.Kings 10:4-5); in short, Solomon's civil and religious administration. Interestingly enough we also find in Egypt from this revised time for Enene and Rekhmire for example, the latter being the famous vizier of Thutmose III, a new emphasize to illustrate their garden in their tomb art. His was the age of silver which he received in great abundance, 1.Kings 10:27; 2.Chronicles 1:15. In fact so much so, that we are told that he made the floor to walk on in his palace of shining silver. [1500] Not only did Solomon use silver in abundance in his constructions but the other viziers, Senenmut/Solomon's associates, did too.

Another highly placed official in the days of Hatshepsut was Ineni who wrote:

"Her majesty praised me, she loved me, she recognized my worth at her court, she presented me with things, she magnified me, she filled my house with silver and gold, with all beautiful stuffs of the royal house." [1600]

Thutiy, Senenmut's right hand man, his titles were:

"Hereditary prince, count, overseer of the double house-silver, overseer of the double gold-house, great favorite of the Lord of Two Lands, Thutiy. ..."

Works in Deir el-Bahari

"`Most Splendid' the temple of myriads of years; its great doors fashioned of black copper, the inlaid figures of electrum.
`Khikhet', the great seat of Amon, his horizon in the west; all its doors of real cedar, wrought with bronze.
`The house of Amon', his enduring horizon for eternity; its floor wrought with gold and silver; its beauty was like the horizon of heaven.
`a great shrine' of ebony of Nubia; the stairs beneath it, high and wide, of pure alabaster of Hatnub.
`Palace' of the god, wrought with gold and [silver]; it illuminated the faces (of people) with its brightness."
[1700]

Senenmut himself wrote:

"I was a foreman of foremen, superior of the great, [overseer] of all [works] of the house of silver, conductor of every handicraft, chief of the prophets of Montu in Hermonthis, Senenmut." [1800]

For we read: "And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon." 1.Kings 10:21. Is it just coincident that silver was also abundantly available in the days of Hatshepsut? Could it be that Solomon just worked the same way he had done in Israel? The court of Solomon consumed in one day "30 measures of fine flour, 60 measures of meal, 10 fat oxen, and 20 oxen out of the pastures, and 100 sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fellowdeer, and fatted fowl..." 1.Kings 4:22,23; [60 `measures' is probably 185 bushels or 6.6 kiloliters. `Meal' is another type of flower, `harts' are elk, `roebucks' are deer bucks, `fellowdeer' are probably gazelles.] In other words Solomon's court was the size of a city. [Want to see what it looked like? Click here.]



Some might argue that this is nothing special for Israel and if Solomon was such a great personality in Israel where is the evidence? To this we replay that the wealth and evidence of Jerusalem and of all Judah and Israel has been robbed from them by Thutmose III/Shishak, the local population, countless intrusions by enemies, destructions and occupations.

The Fame of Senenmut/Solomon

It would be quite a natural plan on the part of the Queen to look for support in her sudden rise to the political forefront in Egypt upon the death of the king. Just like Solomon had risen to kingship while still quite young, so she too. And we know that the one person who probably contributed most to her success in government was her chief steward, Senenmut, a canny politician and a brilliant administrator who rose to become the Queen's most favored official. No one besides Solomon was better qualified for this position. How totally his interests gravitated away from Israel and toward Egypt may perhaps best be understood by the influence Egyptian Women may have had on him.

That Hatshepsut indeed regarded Senenmut as her mentor is confirmed by an inscription found on one of his Cairo statues according to which Senenmut was one "whose opinion [Hatshpesut] desired for [herself], who pleases the mistress of [Egypt] with his utterances." [1900]

In these statements we learn that Senenmut was both, `chief spokesman of her estates' meaning the material wealth and properties of the royal household were placed under his supervision, and `judge in the entire land' of Egypt.

Similarly, Solomon was called `judge' in and of Israel. [1.Kings 3:9]

He was a Tutor
The block statues of Senenmut cradling Neferrure in his arms are well known. Senenmut As far as Solomon is concerned the biblical book of the Proverbs of Solomon are eloquent enough to realize that Solomon also was an educator often addressing the young to make good choices. [2000]

Senmut's Successes
The period of Solomon/Senmut's activities in Egypt would fall during the last half of his time as King over Israel, and during the first 2/3 of the reign of Hatshepsut. Both Solomon's years of serving the God of Israel and his apostasy ought to be reflected in his abundant inscriptions. Senenmut as the chief architect was a natural choice considering his experience gained from building the terraced Temple of Jerusalem also using square pillars. Comparing this information with the construction of the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari also built on three terraces and employing square pillars explains the history of these edifices quite well. Local conditions required the approaches to the Jerusalem temple to be constructed on ascending platforms. As a result of that the Songs of Mounting (Shir ha-maaloth; in German `Lied im höheren Chor'), which are included among the Psalms, were sung by priests while ascending the terraces leading up to the temple proper. [2100]

The imagery of the swallow

The incidental mention of the swallow occurs only once in the writings of Solomon. We read in context:

"As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come." Proverbs 26:1-2.

In ancient Egyptian imagery archaeologists found at times a tiny, standing or crouching swallow with a sun disk adorning garments (kilts). Seti I swallowSuch a swallow was found `attached to the lower border of the hip drape' on a relief block of Amenhotep III, King Tut's swallowon a sheet-gold belt of Tutankhamon (as a stylistically represented swallow) and on a relief of the Osiris complex of the temple of Seti the Great at Abydos. [2200]

The hieroglyphic image of a swallow without a sun disc occurs in a group of hieroglyphic characters transliterated as the `Arch-seer', at Heliopolis, and in words relating to priests, ie. ura herp hem, priests in the service of Ptah. [2300]

Perhaps Solomon knew something about Egypt to explain this feature and the Solomonic allusion holds the secret to the meaning of the Egyptian swallow with a sun disc and written by itself - to hold off or divert a curse. Similarly the phrase,

"... I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips." Proverbs 8:6-7.
... sounds inadvertently, in the English, like a play on words of the Egyptianism of the "opening of the mouth" ceremony.

Senmut's Administration
For all the genious Solomon displayed the resources of his people were too few to sustain such affluence of life style and government for very long. Heavy taxation became the norm in Israel and led to the dissolution of the state during the reign of his son Rehoboam.

Solomon's/Senmut's Religious Functions
Like Solomon was a king and also acted the part of a priest (1.Kings 8:22), so Senmut's chief role was also a religious one.

Solomon's/Senmut's Actions Abroad
During the last 15-16 years of Solomon he was a world wide trader.
1. He shared the trade of the `ships of Tarshish' with Hiram of Tyre, 1.Kings 10:11.
2. He received gifts worldwide from the 'kings of the earth', 1.Kings 10:23-25.
3. He imported horses and chariots and then resold them to the kings of Syria and the Hittites, 1.Kings 10:28-29 (transl. from the Zürcher Transl.) [2350].

"And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt (`Mizraim') and Qoa (Qwh) ..."
4. The scriptures give no clear indication that Solomon was in Jerusalem during any of this time.

Similarly Senenmut wrote:
"...The labor of all countries was under my charge." [2400]

A wooden grip with a square hole on one end was found bearing this hieroglyphic inscription: "Captain of Senenmut, Nb-irj". [2500]

According to the examiner, traces of leather reams in the hole show that this was used as a whip. However, it could also have been a whip used to drive a team of horses.

This reminds us of the words: "... upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice to this day; but of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen." [1.Kings 9:21,22]

Numerous sherds (ostraca) were also found bearing the name `Senenmut'. The most important one reads: (verso) .... wdnt-bread-container ... 1; incense for offerings, 2 vessels; and (hr?) variouses breads, 300; mr pr R3-3w znw-bread, 1; wdnt-bread-container, 1; shn-bread, 2; small bird, 1; incense for offering, 2 vessels; 2; ... znw-bread, 1
(recto) year 16, 1. month 3ht, 8. day. Assigning of workers for the necropolis (sdmw-s) of Senenmut under two overseers. Those belonging to Ipr-wr: captain Mcj ... untill the 1. month 3ht 11. day; captain Dj.f-drt ...f; Msw; Minj; Sm-hr; Imn-m-h3t, all together 6;"
[2600]

This incidental year seems to indicate that Solomon/Senenmut fulfilled his functions for at least that length of time.

Senenmut, the Architect
Just like Solomon began to use forced labor in Israel to accomplish his many constructions so Senenmut too was both, `foreman and overseer' of Egyptian work gangs. He was involved in the construction of the temples of Karnak, Luxor, Deir el Bahari and Armant.

Among artifacts found were also stones bearing the name of Solomon/Senenmut as a dedication: "The mr pr Nb-ntrw for mr pr Senenmut, the overseer of the stone masons Thutmosis", or "His beloved brother Amenemhet" [2700]

The here represented titles of Solomon/Senenmut (mr pr), still ingratiated with things Egyptian, are regarded as pertaining to his functions in the temple of Amun.

The name of Senenmut was also found on foundation stones underneath the Hathor chapel at Deir-el-Bahari. It says: "The good god `Mt-k-r', beloved of Hathor, the first of Thebes, located at Dsr-dsrw, mr pr Senenmut" [2800]

The appearance of the name of a king (Hatshepsut/Makere) together with Senenmut on stones like this is unique in the history of Egypt.

Senmut's Temple
The Astronomical Ceiling
The great versatility of Senenmut/Solomon is revealed in the paintings of his funerary complex [2850].

The astronomical ceiling in chamber A of the tomb of Senenmut The ceiling is divided into 2 parts by several transverse bands of texts, the central section contains the names of Hatshepsut and Senenmut. The southern half contains a list of decans (decanal stars) derived from coffins of the Late Middle Kingdom. The northern half is decorated with the earliest depiction of the northern constellations; 4 planets (Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn) are portrayed. The lunar calendar is represented by 12 large circles.

Also according to the apogryphical book `Wisdom of Solomon' the king had extensive knowledge in astronomical matters. We read:

"For he has given me certain knowledge of all things, that I know how the world was made, and the power of the elements; the beginning of time, start and the middle; how the day waxes and wanes, how seasons change, and how the year runs about, how the stars stand in their place." translated from the German "Denn er hat mir gegeben gewisse Erkenntnisse aller Dinge, daß ich weiß, wie die Welt gemacht ist, und die Kraft der Elemente; der Zeit Anfang, Ende und Mitte; wie der Tag zu-und abnimmt; wie die Zeit des Jahres sich ändert, und wie das Jahr herumläuft; wie die Sterne stehen." [Wisdom 7:17-19; Weisheit 7:17-19]

Drawing of Senenmut

Grimal wrote: `Senmut's constructions show that he was an architect, but other dimensions of his career are suggested by the presence of an astronomical ceiling in his tomb at Deir el Bahari and about 150 ostraca in his tomb at Qurna, including several drawings (notably two plans of the tomb itself), as well as lists, calculations, various reports and some copies of religious, funerary and literary works. No doubt the workmen were instructed to decorate his tomb with items of interest in the life of Senemut.'

It appears the Israelite patriarchs had a vast amount of knowledge in astronomical matters for we read:

"[Abraham] communicated to them arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for, before Abram came to Egypt, they were unacquainted with those parts of learning..." [2900]

Even if this passage might express exaggerated information. If even a morsel of truth is expressed here that would be enough to grasp how biblical longevity among the patriarchs allowed them to come to such knowledge.

Perhaps Solomon had learned some of the wisdom of his father David on the sun, moon and stars. For we read statements like the following about the apparent astronomical understanding of their time:

"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained ..." Psalm 8:3

"To him that by wisdom made the heavens ... To him that stretched out the earth above the waters ... To him that made great lights ... The sun to rule by day ... The moon and stars to rule by night ..." Psalm 136

"He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names." Psalm 147:4

Later Job would add his insights to the biblical treasures of heavenly knowledge. He wrote:

"He strechted out the north over the empty place, and hung the earth upon nothing." Job 26:7

"Can you bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of the Orion?" Job 38:31

Like other fathers, David probably spoke to his young son Solomon about God, the heavens, faith, the history of his people and the hopes for the future. All he knew he passed on to his young son, the future king.

The Commemorative Obelisks
Is it possible to proof that Senenmut was actually, physically present in Egypt? The best occasions for that seem to be in year 7 during Hatshepsut's coronation and again in year 9, when Hatshepsut summoned Senenmut and Nehesi and gave them places of honor, while she proclaimed to the assembly the success of her Punt venture and again during several occasions in her 16th year.

An Image from Genesis
Certainly his Hebrew upbringing should show itself in some way in his life in Egypt. After Hatshepsut had returned from her Punt voyage, she gathered together all her nobles and proclaimed before them the great things she had done in the behest of her father Amon-Ra. It is at the conclusion of this speech to her nobles that we encounter a scriptural image when she says, `I have made for Amon-Ra a Punt in his garden at Thebes ... it is big enough for him to walk about in.' `Records', Sec. 295. This is a phrase which reminds us of the book of Genesis and God walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening, Gen. 3:8.

An Image from the Psalms
We find other utterances of Hatshepsut which remind us of the Psalms. On her commemorative obelisks she wrote:
`I did it under Amon-Ra's command; it was he who led me. I conceived no works without his doings ... I slept not because of his temple; I erred not from that which he commanded ... I entered into the affairs of his heart. I turned not my back on the City of the All-Lord; but turned to it the face. I know that Karnak is God's dwelling upon earth; ... the Place of his Heart; Which wears his beauty ...' [3000]

We compare this with the words of David's Psalms.
`Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids. Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob - For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it.' Psalm 132:1-5, 13, 14.

An Image from the Proverbs
In another, related verse of the Punt reliefs, referring to Amon-Ra's leading of the expedition to `the Myrrh-terraces ... a glorious region of God's Land' [3100], the god speaks of his creating of the fabled Land of Punt in playful terms that remind us of the words that Solomon wrote about Wisdom's role in the work of Creation: `I, Wisdom ... was with [the Creator], forming all things, and was His delight every day, playing before Him at all times, playing on the surface of His earth, delighting to be with the sons of men' (Proverbs 8:12, 30-31; See also Song of Songs 1:13;3:6 and more) In the Egyptian version there is also reference to Hathor, the goddess of wisdom:

`... it is indeed a place of delight. I have made it for myself, in order to divert my heart, together with ... Hathor ... mistress of Punt ...' [3200]

Interestingly, the original roles of the goddesses Hathor and Isis, in the prestigious Heliopolitan 'theology', were ones very similar to those of Moses' sister and mother, respectively (the god Horus reminding of Moses). Thus we read in Grimal [3300]:

`Isis hid Horus in the marshes of the Delta ... with the help of the goddess Hathor, the wet-nurse in the form of a cow. The child grew up ...'. Compare this with the action of Moses's mother and sister: `[Moses's mother] put the child in [the basket] and placed it among the reeds at the river's brink. And his sister stood at a distance .... Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, 'Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?' ... And the child grew ...' (Exodus: 2:3-4,7,10)

Even though the establishment does not allow for such parallels and deductions we are making in this paper, the reader can see why they do not allow such studies for it will invariably lead to the type of conclusions presented and make havoc of their darling study of Egyptology. For this reason quoting from certain books is taboo among the proponents of today's Egyptology and like the proverbial ostrich they bury their head in the sand - a decided phenomena of teachers of evolution now a'days. - The `Song of Solomon' illustrates how close God wants His people to be with Him. And so it is we must guard against uplifting anything having to do with these man made idols, for the Bible teaches that every idol is a devil, 1.Cor. 10:19-21.

Written Sources
Professor James Breasted wrote: "In the remarkable inscription on the Berlin statue of Senmut occurs the following phrase: Berlin inscription `arna nen m kat aba' I had rendered this `arna nen m kat aba' doubtfully as: "I did this according to the thought of my heart." I then noticed the same phrase in Hatshepsut's Speos Artemidos inscription: Artemidos glyphs "I did this according to the thought of my heart," referring to the queen's restoration of the temples which had fallen during the Hyksos domination. Finally, another example confirmed the rendering of kat as `kat', "thought"; and also that of `m' as "according to." It occurs over a vessel among the offerings to Amon made by Thutmose III in the offering scene depicted on the wall of the Annals of Karnak: Inscription at offering scene in the Annals at Karnak `aat arn hen-f m ka-t ?b-f zs-f' = "(Of) costly stone, which his majesty made according to the design of his own heart," evidently meaning that the king himself designed the vessel. ..." [3400]

Solomon's Temple Different from Egypts
In the beginning of the reign of Solomon he was blessed by God with great wisdom. Solomon In time his eyes, ears, tastes and surrounding fragrancies diverted his mind from the true God and inclined them to mere human doings. After constructing the temple sanctuary in Jerusalem, the prayer offered by Solomon at the dedication of the temple breathed sentiments of loftiest piety blended with deepest humility, 2.Chr. 7:4-8. In all that was said during the dedicatory services, Solomon sought to remove from the minds of those present the superstitions in regard to the Creator that had beclouded the minds of the heathen. He told them in essence that the God of heaven is not like the gods of the heathen, who are confined to temples built for them, but that the true God would meet with his people by his Spirit when they should assemble at the house dedicated to his worship. The Lord visits his people in their homes, or wherever they may be, and cheers them by special revelations of his goodness through His Word. And in every place they may find themselves in, God's children have the privilege of worshiping their Heavenly Father.

The Spiritual Decline of Israel

During the years of Solomon's apostasy, the spiritual decline of Israel was rapid. How could it have been otherwise, when their king united with satanic agencies? Through these agencies the enemy worked to confuse the minds of the people in regard to true and false worship. They became an easy prey. It came to be a common practice to intermarry with the heathen. The Israelites rapidly lost their abhorrence of idolatry. Heathen customs were introduced. Idolatrous mothers brought their children up to observe heathen rites. The Hebrew faith was fast becoming a mixture of confused ideas. Commerce with other nations brought the Israelites into intimate contact with those who had no love for God, and their own love for him was greatly lessened. Their keen sense of the high and holy character of God was deadened. Refusing to follow in the path of obedience, they transferred their allegiance to Satan. The enemy rejoiced in his success in effacing the divine image from the minds of the people that God had chosen as his representatives. Through intermarriage with idolaters and constant association with them, Satan brought about that for which he had long been working,--a national apostasy.

Rescuing
At last we would like to state that the above information together with the information found in our file on Zimri Lim and Hammurabi and its testimony to the `Benjaminites' and `Dawidum' with respect to Saul, David and Solomon becomes an affirmative reality to the historicity of these kings. Today's mainstream historians, once having embarked upon an erroneous chronological path supported by now thousands of research papers of people who have no or little knowledge of the chronology here presented, have abandoned good historical methods. The above mentioned papers, as well as many other details presented at this website (i.e. the `Peleset/Peleset' issue) provide positive evidence for the history of the people presented in the Hebrew Scriptures, and as we show it also agrees with many extra biblical sources.



Notes & References

[0100] P. Dorman, `The Monuments of Senenmut', (Kegan, Paul, London, 1988); Kurt Sethe read this line similarly as `Ich bin in diesem Lande unter seinem (Hatshepsut's) Befehl, seit eintrat der Tod seines Vorgängers.'
[0200] KMT, Spring 2000, p. 53.
[0300] It appears that today Egyptologists prefer the reading of this name as `Senenmut' rather than `Senmut'. We just use (or used) the shorter version to save space/bytes and make reading a bit easier.
[0380] For more information on who built in Megiddo click here.
[0400] P.James, `Centuries of Darkness', London, 1991, p. 200. Compare also the scene presented on the Sarcophagus of Ahiram where the throne is very similar to that of the ivory from Megiddo. See Glenn E. Markoe, The Emergence of Phoenician Art in ASOR Bulletin, No 279, Aug 1990, p. 13-26. The setting has been perhaps either mimicked over a long period or the sarcophagus itself has been made at a closer time to Solomon while the lid was made or inscribed later. For the images see BAR, Jan/Feb 1982, p. 30.
[0500] Deuteronomy 11:10, 11; See also David C. Hopkins, `The Subsistence Struggle of Early Isreal', in BA, Sep. 1987, p. 178ff.
[0600] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 289-290.
[0650] Gary D. Pratico, A Tell el-Kheleifeh (at Ezion Geber) Reappraisal in ASOR Bulletin, No. 259, Aug 1985, p. 1-32.
[0700] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 258; Eti was a name in vogue during this time according to 1.Chronicles 2:35, "At-tai".
[0800] P. Dorman, `The Monuments of Senenmut' p. 15.
[0900] Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 358.; See also the inscription on an alabaster vessel from the British Museum, reading: `Hereditary prince, Mayor, Seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt, great courtier, beloved, Overseer of the Cows of Amun, Senenmut, Overseer of the Two Granaries of Amun, Senenmut, justified.' [Brief Communications in Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 65, 1979, p. 164. This seems to be an inscription commissioned by work detail supervisors, priests, royal officials or applied, as a routine task, by workmen who may not have known who Senenmut really was.]
[0950] Mummification became a custom in Egypt as a consequence to their pagan believe on an afterlife for the deceased. Kings in particular wanted to make sure that their returning `soul' would find their body not decomposed but in good shape. Today, some of those who believe in an after life also tend to decorate their dead to some degree.
[1000] Biblical Archaeology, June 1987, p. 77. See also an amphora with clay cap and seal bearing the name of Hathsepsut, saying "regnal year 7" (of Thutmose III), which would be ca. 919 BC on same page 77.
[1100] N. de G. Davies, `The Tomb of Senmen, Brother of Senmut': The statue and tomb of Senmen with inscriptions can be seen in PSBA, Dec 1913, p. 282-285.
[1200] Doorman P., `The Monuments of Senenmut', p. 165f; N.G. Davies, `The Tomb of Senmen, Brother of Senmut' in PSBA, 1913, p. 282-285.; Plates XLIX-LIII.
[1300] William Hayes, `Scepter II', p. 111.
[1400] Joann Fletcher in `Egypt Revealed', Fall 2000, p. 40.
[1430] (First quote in the last 2 paragraphs) P.Dorman, `The Monuments of Senenmut', (London, 1988), op. cit., p. 175.; (Second quote) J. Baike, `A History of Egypt' (London, 1929), Vol. II, p. 80.; (Third quote) Dorman, op. cit., p. 138, 165.
[1500] Ginzberg, `Legends', Vol. IV, p. 145. According to a legend: "Thy hair is masculine; hair is an ornament to a man, but it disfigures a woman."
[1600] J. Breasted, `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 342.
[1700] `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 375.
[1800] `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 352.
[1900] P.Dorman, `The Monuments of Senenmut', London, 1988, p. 124. Cairo statue JdE 47278; See also a good quality BW image of a statue of Senenmut in E.A.W. Budge, `By Nile and Tigris', Vol. II, 1920, p. 368 (BM#174).
[2000] For an image see KMT, Spring 2001, Vol. 12, p. 25.
[2100] 1.Kings 10:5;Psalm 24; For the prettiest image of an artist's conception of the Temple of Solomon click here.
[2200] B. Hellinckx, `Tutankhamen's Carnelian Swallow with Sun Disk: Part of a Garment', JEA, Vol. 83, 1997, p. 109-125.
[2300] Notes, in PSBA, Vol. XIV, p. 215-(220)-222.
[2350] The 1942 German language Zürcher Bible Translation is considered a top translation. Since the Hebrew text has Solomon purchasing horses from Egypt and `Qwoh' and we know where Egypt is, the question remains, `Where was `Qwh' located'. Michael Astour thought it was in the vicinity of the `Plain of Adana', near Ugarit. While it makes sense for Solomon to obtain horses from Egypt for resale to the Syrians, it would make less sense for him to purchase them from Que at the eastern most border of Cilicia with Syria and then sell them to the Syrians. We would suggest, that `Qwh/ Koa' may be a rather unknown location, perhaps even in Arabia.
The time of Horemheb was one where chariots featured frequently. This was true for the time of Tutankhamon as well as the Assyrian period.
[2400] `Records', Vol. II, Sec. 352.
[2500] Meyers, `Senenmut', p. 261.
[2600] Meyers, C., `Senenmut', p. 249f.
[2700] Ibid., p. 257.
[2800] Ibid., p. 259.
[2850] For a full page drawn image of the astronomical ceiling of Senenmut see JARCE, Vol. XXXIV, 1997, p. 144.
[2900] Josephus, `Antiquities', Ch. VIII, Sec. 2. For readily available info and colorful images on the Milky Way, the spectrum of waves of energy and more see National Geographic, Jan 1994.
[3000] `Records', Sec. 316.
[3100] Sec. 288.
[3200] Sec. 288. So it is that `IHS' (Isis, Hathor. Seth) became the sign for the order of Ignacious Loyola's troops.
[3300] Grimal, Op. cit., 42-43.
[3400] Prof. James H. Breasted, Varia in PSBA, May 8, 1901, p. 236-237.



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