Shi'shak (Heb. Shishak', שַׁישִׁק [so the margin] but the text has Shushak' or Shoshak', שושק]; Sept Σούσακος; Vulg. Sesac), a king of Egypt contemporary with Jeroboam, to whom he gave an asylum when he fled from Solomon (1Ki 11:40). This was indicative of his politic disposition to encourage the weakening of the neighboring kingdom, the growth of which; under David and Solomon, was probably regarded by the kings of Egypt with some alarm. After Jeroboam had become king of Israel, and probably at his suggestion, Shishak invaded the kingdom of Judah, B.C. 971, at the head of an immense, army and after having taken the fortified places, advanced against Jerusalem. Satisfied with the submission of Rehoboam, and with the immense spoils of the Temple the king of Egypt withdraw without imposing any onerous conditions on the humbled grandson of David, (14:25, 26; 2Ch 12:2-9) The importance of this connection beteen the Hebrew and Egyptian annals justifies a full treatment of the subject, which we get from the latest archaelogical investigations. SEE JUDAH, KING OF.
I. Name.—We see above an uncertainty in the Hebrew, form of Shishak's name. Josephus Graecizes the name as Susacus (Σούσακος, Ant. 7, 5, 3; 8, 7, 8). He has generally been recognized as the Sesonchis: (Σεσώγχις) of Manetho, and the Sheshenk or Sheshonk I of the monuments, first sovereign of the Bubastite, or twenty-second, dynasty. The accompanying cartouches present his name as written in hieroglyphics. The followig is a transcription aind translation of the second oval, containing more particularly his royal title, which reads Amenem Sheshenk, i.e. "Sacred to Shishak."
II. History. — In order to render the following observations clear, it will be necessary to say a few words on the history of Egypt before the accession of Sheshenk I. On the decline of the Theban line or Rameses family (the twentieth dynasty), two royal houses appear to have arisen. At Thebes the high priests of Amen, after a virtual usurpation; at last took the regal title, and in Lower Egypt a Tanitic dynasty (Manetho's twenty-first) seems to have gained royal power. But it is possible that there was but one line between the twentieth and twenty-second dynasties, and that the high priest kings belonged to the twenty-first. The origin of the royal line of which Sheshenk I was the head is extremely obscure. Mr. Birch's discovery that several of the names of the family are Shemitic has led to the supposition that, it was of Assyrian or Babylonian origin. Shishak, שַׁישִׁק, may be compared with Sheshak, שֵׁשִׁך, a name of Babylon (rashly thought to be for Babel by "Atbash"); Usarken has been compared with Sargon, and Tekerut with Tiglath in Tiglath-pileser. If there were any doubt as to these identifications, some of which, as the second and third cited, are certainly conjectural, the name Namuret, Nimrod, which occurs as that of princes of this line, would afford conclusive evidence, and it is needless here to compare other names, though those occurring in the genealogies of the dynasty, given by Lepsius, well merit the attention of Shemitic students (22 agypt. Konigsdyn. And konigsbuch). It is worthy of notice that the name nimrod, and the designation of zerah (perhaps a king of this line, otherwise a general in its service), as "the cushite," seem to indicate that the family sprang from a cushite origin. They may possibly have been connected with the mashuwasha, a shemitic nation, apparently of libyans, for tekerut ii as prince is called "great chief of the mashuwasha," and also "great chief of the matu," or mercenaries; but they can scarcely have been of this people. Whether eastern or western cushites, there does not seem to be any evidence in favor of their having been nigritians; and as there is no trace of any connection between them and the twenty-fifth dynasty of ethiopians, they must rather be supposed to be of the eastern branch. Their names, when not Egyptian, are traceable to Shemitic roots, which is not. the case, so far as we know, with the ancient kings of Ethiopia, whose civilization is the same as that of Egypt. We find these foreign Shemitic names in the family of the high priest king Her-har, three of whose sons are called, respectively, Masaharata, Masakasharata, and Maten-neb, although the names of most of his other sons and those of his line appear to be Egyptian. This is not a parallel case to the preponderance of Shemitic names in the line of the twenty-second dynasty, but it warns us against too positive a conclusion. M. de Rouge, instead of seeing in those names of the twenty-second dynasty a Shemitic or Asiatic origin, is disposed to trace the line to that of the high priest kings. Manetho calls the twenty-second a dynasty of Bubastites, and an ancestor of the priest king dynasty bears the name Meri-bast, "beloved of Bubastis." Both lines used Shemitic names, and both held the high priesthood of Amen (comp. Etude. sur une Stele Egyptienne, p. 203, 204). This evidence does not seem to us conclusive; for policy may have induced the line of the twenty-second dynasty to effect intermarriages with the family of the priest kings, and to assume their functions. The occurrence of Shemitic names at an earlier time may indicate nothing more than Shemitic alliances, but those alliances might not improbably end in usurpation. Lepsius gives a genealogy of Sheshenk I from the tablet of Har-p-sen from the Serapeum, which, if correct, decides the question (22 agypt. Konigsdyn. p. 267-269). In this, Sheshenk I is the son of a chief Namuret, whose ancestors, excepting his mother, who is called "royal mother," not, as Lepsiaus gives it, "royal daughter" (Etude, etc., p. 203, note 2), are all untitled persons, and all but the princess bear foreign, apparently Shemitic, names. But, as M. de Rougd observes, this genealogy cannot be conclusively made out from the tablet, though we think it more probable than. he does (ibid. p. 203, and note 2).
Sheshenk I, on his accession, must have found the state weakened by internal strife and deprived of much of its foreign influence. In the time of the later kings of the Rameses family, two, if not three, sovereigns had a real or titular authority; but before the accession of Sheshenk it is probable that their lines had been united; certainly towards the close of the twenty- first dynasty a Pharaoh was powerful enough to lead an expedition into Palestine and capture Gezer (1Ki 9:16). Sheshenk took as the title of his standard "He who attains royalty, by uniting the two regions [of Egypt]" (De Rouge, Etude, etc., p. 204; Lepsius, Konigsbuch, 44, 567 A, a). He himself probably married the heiress of the Rameses family, while his son and successor, Usarken, appears to have taken to wife the daughter, and perhaps heiress, of the Tanitic twenty-first dynasty. Probably it was not until late in his reign that he was able to carry on the foreign wars of the earlier king who captured Gezer. It is observable that we trace a change of dynasty in the policy that induced Sheshenk, at the beginning of his reign, to receive the fugitive Jeroboam (1Ki 11:40). Although it was probably a constant practice for the kings of Egypt to show hospitality to fugitives of importance, Jeroboam would scarcely have been included in their class. Probably, it is expressly related that he fled to Shishak because he was well received as an enemy of Solomon. We do not venture to lay any stress upon the Sept. additional portion of 1 Kings 12, as the narrative there given seems irreconcilable with that of the previous chapter, which agrees with the Masoretic text. In the latter chapter Hadad (Sept. Ader) the Edomite flees from the slaughter of his people by Joab and David, to Egypt, and marries the elder sister of Tahpenes (Sept. Thekemina), Pharaoh's queen, returning to Idumaea after the death of David and Joab. In the additional portion of the former chapter, Jeroboam — already said to have fled to Shishak (Sept. Susakim) — is married, after Solomon's death, to an elder sister of Thekemina the queen. Between Hadad's return and Solomon's death, probably more than thirty years elapsed, certainly twenty. Besides, how are we to account for the two elder sisters? Moreover, Shishak's queen, his only or principal wife, is called Karaama, which is remote from Tahpenes, or Thekemina. SEE TAHPENES.
The king of Egypt does not seem to have commenced hostilities during the powerful reign of Solomon. It was not until the division of the tribes that, probably at the instigation of Jeroboam, he attacked Rehoboam. The following particulars of this war are related in the Bible: "In the fifth year of king Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the Lord, with twelve hundred chariots and threescore thousand horsemen; and the people [were] without number that came with him out of Egypt. the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Cushim. And he took the fenced cities which [pertained] to Judah, and came to Jerusalem" (2Ch 12:2-4). Shishak did not pillage Jerusalem, but exacted all the treasures of his city from Rehoboam, and apparently made him tributary (ver. 5, 9-12, especially 8). The narrative in Kings mentions only the invasion and the exaction (1Ki 14:25-26). The strong cities of Rehoboam are thus enumerated in an earlier passage "And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, and Beth-zur, and Shoco, Adullam, and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which [are] in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities" (2Ch 11:5-10).
Shishak has left a record of this expedition sculptured on the wall of the Great Temple of Karnak. It is a list of the countries, cities, and tribes conquered or ruled by him, or tributary to him. In this list Champollion recognized a name which he translated "the kingdom of Judah," and was thus led to trace the names of certain cities of Palestine. It is well to observe that this figure has not, as some have hastily conceived, been alleged to represent the king, but to personify the kingdom of Judah (Champollion, Systeme Hieroglyph. p. 205; Rosellini, Monumenti Storici, i, 15; Wilkinson, Anc., Egypt. 1, 37; Cory, Chronological Inquiry, p. 5). SEE REHOBOAM. The list of Shishak in the original hieroglyphics is published by Rosellini, Monumenti Reali, No. 148; Lepsius, Denkmaler, Abth. 3, Bl. 252; and Brugsch, Geoqr. Inschr . 2, Taf. 24; commented upon by the latter (ibid. p. 56 sq.) and Dr. Blau (Zeitschr. d. deutsch. morgenland. Gesellsch. 15, 233 sq.). There are several similar geographical lists, dating for the most part during the period of the empire, but they differ from this in presenting few, if any, repetitions, and only one of them contains names certainly the same as some in the present. They are lists of countries, cities, and tribes forming the Egyptian empire, and so far records of conquest that any cities previously taken by the Pharaoh to whose reign they belong are mentioned. The list, which contains some of the names in Sheshenl's, is of Thothmes 3, sixth sovereign of the eighteenth dynasty, and comprises many names of cities of Palestine, mainly in the outskirts of the Israelitish territory. It is important, in reference to this list, to state that Thotihmes III, in his twenty-third year, had fought a battle with confederate nations near Megiddo, whose territories the list enumerates. The narrative of the expedition fully establishes the identity of this and other towns in the list of Shishak. It is given in the document known as the "Statistical Tablet of El- Karnakl" (Birch, "Annals of Thotuhmies 3," Archceologia ; De Rougd, Rec. Arch. N. S. 11:347 sq.; Brugsch, Geogr. Inschr. ii. 32 sq.). The only general result of the comparison of the two lists is that in the later one the Egyptian article is in two cases prefixed to foreign names, Nekbu of the list of Thothmes III being the same as Penakbu of the list of Shishak, and Aameku of the former being the same as Peaakma of the latter. It will be perceived that the: list contains three classes of names mainly grouped together — (1) Levitical and Canaanitish cities of Israel; (2) cities of Judah; and (3) Arab tribes to the south of Palestine. The occurrence together of Levitical cities was observed by Dr. Brugsch. It is evident that Jeroboam Was not at once firmly established, and that the Levites especially held to Rehoboam. Therefore it may have been the policy of Jeroboam to employ Shishak to capture their cities. Other cities in his territory were perhaps still garrisoned by Rehoboam's forces or held by the Canaanites, who may have somewhat recovered their independence at this period. The small number of cities identified in the actual territory of Rehoboam is explained by the erasure of fourteen names of the part of the list where they occur. The identification of some names of Arab tribes is of great interest and historical value, though it is to be feared that further progress can scarcely be made in their part of the list.
The Pharaohs of the empire passed through northern Palestine to push their conquests to the Euphrates and Mesopotamia. Shishak, probably unable to attack the Assyrians, attempted the subjugation of Palestine and the tracts of Arabia which border Egypt, knowing that the Arabs would interpose an effectual resistance to any invader of Egypt. He seems to have succeeded in consolidating his power in Arabia, and we accordingly find Zerah in alliance with the people of Gerar, if we may infer this from their sharing his overthrow.
III. Chronology. — The reign of Shishak offers the first determined synchronisms of Egyptian and Hebrew history. Its chronology must therefore be examined. We first give a table with the Egyptian and Hebrew data for the chronology of the dynasty, continued as far as l the time of Zerah, who was probably a successor of Shishak, in order to avoid repetition in treating of the latter. SEE ZERAH
Respecting the Egyptian columns of this table, it is only necessary to observe that, as a date of the twenty-third year of Usarken II occurs on the monuments, it is reasonable to suppose that the sum of the third, fourth, and fifth reigns should be twenty-nine years instead of twenty-five, ΚΘ being easily changed to KE (Lepsius, Konigsbuch, p. 85). We follow Lepsius's arrangement, our Tekerut I, for instance, being the same as his.
The synchronism of Shishak and Solomon and that of Shishak and Rehoboam may be nearly fixed, as shown in the article SEE CHRONOLOGY. Lepsius, however, states that it is of the twenty-first year, correcting Champollion, who had been followed by Bunsen and others. (22 digypt. Konigsdyn. p. 272, note 1). It must therefore be supposed that the invasion of Judah took place in the twentieth, and not in the twenty-first, year of Shishak. The first year of Shishak would thus about correspond to the twenty-sixth of Solomon, and the twentieth to the fifth of Rehoboam.
The synchronism of Zerah and Asa is more difficult to determine. It seems, from the narrative in Chronicles, that the battle between Asa and Zerah took place early in the reign of the king of Judah. It is mentioned before an event of the fifteenth year of his reign, and afterwards we read that "there was no [more] war unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa" (2Ch 15:19). This is immediately followed by the account of Baasha's coming up against Judah "in the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa" (Chronicles 16: 1). The latter two dates may perhaps be reckoned from the division of the. kingdom, unless we can read the fifteenth and sixteenth, for Baasha began to reign in the third year of Asa, and died after a reign of twenty-four years, and was succeeded by Elah, in the twenty- sixth year of Asa. It seems, therefore, most probable that the war with Zerah took place early in Asa's reign, before his fifteenth year, and thus also early in the reign of Usarken II. The probable identification of Zerah is considered under that name. SEE EGYPT.