Comparing the Battle of Kadesh with the Battle of Carchemish - Pharaoh Ramses II with Pharaoh Necho
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In this comparison we show the account of two independent ancient sources and what they have to say about the famous battle of Carchemish fought between the Egyptians and the Hittites or was it the Egyptians and the Chaldean/Babylonians?
The divisions of Amon, Re, Ptah and Sutekh on their way to Carchemish
Hebrew sources about pharaoh Necho Egyptian sources about Ramses II
1. Pharaoh carries war into Palestine and Syria. [2.Kings 23:29]
Four years after the first invasion of Palestine by pharaoh Necho. [2.Chronicles 35:20; 2. Chronicles 36:2.4; Jeremiah 46:2]
"The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah the prophet against ... Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt ... which Nebuchadnezzar smote in the 4th year of Jehoiakim..."
The king of Juda before Jehoiakim was Josiah (640-609 BC) who died by an arrow shot through him by the archers of Pharaoh Necho on his first campaign. Therefore the fourth year of Jehoiakim is four years after this first encounter (609 BC) between an Egyptian army and a Judean king; but this time the contenders were Necho/Ramses II and Hattusilis/Nebuchadnezzar, the chief of Kadesh/Carchemish, placing it into 605 BC.
Pharaoh reached the North of Syria & established an outpost at Riblah in the land of Hamath. That he holds captives here indicates Riblah was going to be far behind the lines of his primary goal. From this campaign he brought back a captain of the royal house of Palestine and imposed tribute on the land. [2.Kings 23:33-35; 2.Chronicles 36:3, 4 ]
1. Four years after the first invasion of Palestine by pharaoh Ramses II.
"Ramses II's first campaign was directed along the Phoenician coast" during which he had the relief carving at Nahr el Kalb (just north of Beirut, Lebanon) made next to that of the Assyrian King Esarhaddon "in his fourth year. Another stela, dated `year 2' is called uncertain by Lepsius, and is probably to be read `year 10;' for the first is clearly 4; and there was but one campaign before the `year 5' against Kadesh."
[Stele of the 2nd year at Nahr-el-Kelb; `Annals'; `Poem of Pentaur'; Breasted, `Records', Vol. III, Sec. 297]
"Year 2, 11th month, 26th day, under the majesty of Ramses II, beloved of Amon-Re, king of gods, and Khnum, lord of the cataract region. ... He has overthrown myriads in the space of a moment ... He has crushed the foreigners of the north, the Temeh have fallen for fear of him, the Asiatics are anxious for breath from him, who sends Egypt on campaigns..." [Assuan stela; Brestead, `Records', Vol. III, Sec. 478, 479; Obelisk at Tanis]
2. By the river Euphrates in Carchemish.' [Jeremiah 46:2] "... against the army of Pharaoh Necho King of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebukadnezzar ..." 2. `In the land of Khatti, Nahrin [Naharaim], Carchemish, Kedy, the land of Kadesh.' [Poem of Pentaur] "Beginning of the victory of King Ramses II ... which he achieved in the land of Kheta and Naharin ... Arvad ... Pedes ... Derden ... Mesa ... Kelekesh ... Carchemish" [JBREA, `Records', Sec. 306]
3. Near a fortress, surrounded on all sides by water; the fortress as shown on the Balawat Gate at Niniveh, has a double wall and moats; it projects into a large stream; nearby is a sacred lake. [The description and plans of the Carchemish excavation.] City of Carchemish from the walls of Niniveh 3. Near a fortress, surrounded on all sides by water; the fortress has a double wall and moats; it projects into a large stream; nearby is a sacred lake. [The four plans drawn on the walls of Karnak.City of Kadesh from Egyptian monuments]
Click on the image to see the hieroglyphic inscription of the largest tower in the moat.Compare corbulated fortress wall of Carchemish at Niniveh with KadeshCompare the Fortresses crown of Qodesh with the fortress of Carchemish as shown at the Balawat Gate at Niniveh. Both show typical pointed bricks.
Position More Map 1 Map 2!
4. Carchemish is north of Bab. Compare maps. [`Lands of the Bible Today', National Geographic, Washington 1967; Edited for better visibility.]
Map to Carchemish - For educational purposes only. We have here 2 place names, Baw and Arima, representing successive points on the map on the way from Aleppo to Jerablus (Carchemish). In the past various cursory attempts were made to locate Arima, as far as we know, without success so far. Click on `Bab' and you will see two images described as of Al Bab in northern Syria. Today this region is described as treeless but Leonard Wooley mentions that it had forested areas until the 17th century of our era. [L. Wooley, `Carchemish', Pt. 2, pp. 33-34]
4. The field of battle was north of Baw.
See Karnak inscriptions. "Now the division of Re and the division of Ptah ... were in the forest of `bwy' (Baw)" [JBREA, Vol. III, Sec. 340; Breasted vocalizes `Bewey' in Records and `Baui' in `The Battle of Kadesh'.]
The records of Ramses state that the divisions of Ptah and Sutekh were "to the south of the town of Aronama (r-n-m) (Aranami)." [Ibid., Sec. 310] This is the town of Arima of today. [Originally this town was called `the city of Arame', the name of the king whose capital it was in the days of Shalmaneser III. Shalmaneser wrote during a campaign in his 10th year: "Against the cities of Aarame I drew near. Arne, his royal city, I captured." (Luckenbill, `Records of Assyria', Vol. I, Sec. 567; A. Gardiner, `Egyptian Grammar', London, 1927, pp. 52-53]
5. Cities were allied with pharaoh's adversaries. `The army of the Syrians' warring on the side of the Chaldean (Babylonian) army. [Jeremiah 35:11]
"... when Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and ... the Syrians..."
5. `Armies of the Syrian cities' on the side of the army of Hatti. "When his majesty went to look behind him, he found 2,500 chariotry surrounding him, in his way out, being all the youth of the wretched Kheta, together with its numerous allied countries, from Arvad, Mesa, Pedes, Keshkesh ... Aleppo ... Kadesh ... Luka" [JBREA, Sec. 312]
Who did Ramses fight against? The Hittites? Or was it the Hattiites? Well, how in the world did historians construe out of the `Hatti' the `Hittites'? For more click Here or Here!
Pharaoh's Army
6. Four divisions: Egyptians, Ethiopians, Libyans, Lydians.Jeremiah 46:9; Of these Lydians were mercenaries, `hired men.' Jeremiah 46:21. Chariotry participated in the battle. Jeremiah 46:9.
"Come up, you horses; and rage, you chariots; and let the mighty men come forward; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow." ... "Egypt is like a fair heifer (sheep), but destruction is coming, it comes out of the north. Also her hired men are in the middle of her like fatted bullocks."Jeremiah 46:9, 20, 21

Comment: The Egyptian account of their divisions approaching Kadesh shows how far apart they were by the time they reached the land of the Hittites. In our view this aspect supports more so a long journey toward far away Carchemish rather than Riblah. By the time the troops arrived in the region of Carchemish overpowering weariness may have set in. The result was, their inability to maintain a close knit fighting force became likely factors in their defeat. Though not admitting to defeat on the monuments, the lack of rich spoils and booty underscores that outcome..
6. Four divisions: Amon, Re, Ptah and Sutekh. [JBREA, Sec. 310]
[`Poem of Pentaur'] Mercenaries in the army were the Sardana, or the warriors from Sardis in Lydia. Chariotry participated in the battle. [`Annals' of Ramses II, `Poem of Pentaur.']
"Behold, his majesty prepared his infantry and his chariotry, the `srdyn' (Sherden/Sardana) ..." [JBREA, Sec. 307], "The arrival of the recruits of Pharaoh ...". [Ibid., Sec. 340]
Conventional chronology does not equate the `Sherden' with Sardana, a city of later times according to their dates, trying instead to turn them into recruits from `Sardinia' for which there is no good reason to understand why they would have chariots on Sardinia or be trained to use them, or have great battle ships with hardly any trees growing there. [Various chapters in N.K. Sandars, `The Sea Peoples' (London, 1978)] In contrast the men from Sardis, the capital of Lydia in today's Turkey, had skills and experience in warfare from many battles before this time, especially understandable when revised dates are considered.
"Then came the host of graceful-living Lydians who control all the mainland race. Princely commanders, Metrogathes and noble Arcteus, and Sardis rich in gold set these in motion mounted up with numerous chariots. In various squadrons...they are a dreadful sight to behold." [Aeschylus, `The Persians', 41-47]
"When Cyrus saw the Lydians take up battle positions on this plain, his fear of their cavalry led him to adopt a suggestion of Harpagus, one of the Medes; this was to get together all the camels...unload them and mount men armed as cavalrymen on their backs....The reason for confronting the Lydian cavalry with camels was the instinctive fear which they inspire in horses. No horse can endure the sight or smell of a camel....The ruse succeeded, for when the battle began, the horses turned tail the moment they smelt and saw the camels--and Croesus' chief ground of confidence was cut from under him."[Herodotus, Bk. I, Sec. 80]
If this account is true or not, after the Persian conquest Lydia, and with it Sardis, the region came under Greek influence.
The Course of the Battle
7. The Egyptian army was taken by surprise `dismayed and turned back.' Palestine was taken by the Chaldeans. [Jeremiah 46:5, 8-10]. 7. Suddenly attacked, "the infantry and chariotry of His Majesty were discomfited."[`Poem of the Battle of Kadesh'; Sec. 325; `Annals of Ramses II']
The Retreat Developed Into a Flight
8. "Their mighty men are beaten down, fled apace, and look back." Jeremiah 46:5. 8. "I charged all countries while I was alone, my infantry and my chariotry having forsaken me. Not one among them stood to turn about."
[`Annals of Ramses II', Sec. 327]
The Flight Took the Direction to the North, Away from Egypt
9. "...stumble and fall toward the north." Jeremiah 46:6. 9. "Then the infantry and chariotry of His Majesty were discomfited before them while going northward."
[`Annals of Ramses II., Sec. 325]
Additional Points to Ponder
10. Year 8: Egypt reconquers Ashkelon. "... Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley." Jeremiah 47:5. 10. Stele of Beth-Shan, bas relief and inscription in the Ramesseum.
11. Chaldeans drive Ramses out of Palestine again. "And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt." 2.Kings 24:7. 11.

12. Hostilities for many years without battles. "And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel." Ezekiel 29:6. 12.

Conventional authors claim that a special corps known as the `Naharin' turned the battle in Ramses' favor. The `Naharin' were an elite archery detachment of perhaps around 200 troops. At any rate they were too small a force to turn the battle into a victory. What they did do is give Ramses enough time to flee the tightening noose of the enclosing Babylonian/ Chaldean/Hittites. A far cry from an Egyptian victory.

The object of this comparison is that these 9 parallels as found in the Egyptian account and in the Bible represent grid points which in the kind of events, their chronological order, timing and outcomes are unique points which never repeated themselves in history and therefore pin down the time of Ramses II into the 7th/6th century. Not only are these 9 points sufficient evidence but also the close chronological correlation and interlocking reigns of Ramses II, Nebuchadnezzar and King Jehoiakim of Judah demand the same need to revise ancient history and bring Ramses II into the time of Jeremiah.

Written History Triumphs over Pottery Driven Chronology: The following information has been researched here.The larger picture A number of pieces of information direct our attention Die unter der Welle Glyphen am Turm von Karkemisch buchstabieren Kadesh (Heilige Stadt), da sie einen Tempel hatte.toward Carchemish as the site of confrontation between Ramses II and Hattusilis. Carchemish being a prominent city with a palace and temple means, Carchemish certainly qualifies as a `holy' kadesh city. - The Egyptian source for `Carchemish' as documented by Breasted reads, "Beginning of the victory of King Usermare-Setepnere (Ramses II), Brugsch: Qethsu or Qadesh[who is given life], forever, which he achieved in the land of Kheta (Ht) and Naharin (N-h-ry-n), in the land of Arvad (Y-r-tw), in Pedes (Py-d-s), in the Derden (D-r-d-ny), in the land of Mesa (M-s), in the land of Kelekesh ([K]-r-[k]y-s, sic!), -, Carchemish (K-r ]-k-my-š), Kode (Kdy), the land of Kadesh (Kdš), in the land of Ekereth (-k-r-t), and Mesheneth (Mw-š-n-t). " [James Breasted, Records, Vol. III, Sec. §§ 306, p. 136.] - - Hieroglyphic names for Kadesh can be compared here. The left is the form by Budge who locates it in Syria [E.A.W. Budge, Egyptian Dictionary, Vol. II, 1045a], the right is the writing in the larger tower in the fortress artwork (click on the image) of Qodesh on the north wall of the great hall of the temple at Abu Simbel. Both of these renditions seem to have enough in common below the wavy line to conclude that we have here the name for `Qodesh' represented. Other forms can be seen here. -- Here follows a cuneiform version for `Carchemish,' Carchemish which city name, as far as we know, is not found in the peace treaty version by Hattusilis.
  1. The faint outline of the pointing hand can be seen, it stands phonetically often for the letter `d', [W.V. Davis, Egyptian Hieroglyphics, p. 31.]
  2. The rectangular brick is intended here.
  3. The crown can be seen quite readily.
  4. The upside down arrow or pointer can be recognized.
Because of this written evidence from the monuments of Ramses II, the Fortress of Carchemish is the city of Kadesh where his army engaged the forces of Hattusilis/Nebuchadnezzar of the Hittite/Babylonian/Chaldean Empire. There never was a battle on the banks of the Orontes River.
Post script - Necharomes: We would like to emphasize that the conventional `Kadesh' on the Orontos River has never revealed any relevant information to the actions between Ramses II and his counterpart Hattusilis, which could not be interpreted any other way. That is so because the action took place near Carchemish, at least there was found a maze club bearing the name of one of the Ramese, probably that of Ramses II for there is no reason to assume that the other Rameses had contact with Carchemish. Displacing Ramses II into a wrong century wrecked havoc with ancient history, in particular the participants of these battles. The Peace Treaty represents an agreement between Nebuchadnezzar/Hattusilis and Ramses II/ Necho toward the end of the 7th century BC written in the writing of the Babylonian Chaldeans of Anatolia, the Hatti, not Hittites.

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