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KRONOS Vol. I, Issue 4
THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE BIBLICAL "QUEEN OF SHEBA" WITH
HATSHEPSUT, "QUEEN OF EGYPT AND ETHIOPIA"
- as proclaimed by Immanuel
Velikovsky – In the Light of New Archaeological Discoveries
Editor's Note: The illustrations in Fig. I supersede and correct the drawing of the ''Timna
Temple" depicted on p. 19 of KRONOS 1, 3.
The literary sources used by Velikovsky contain memories of three peoples: Egyptians,
Ethiopians, and Hebrews.
The story of the "Queen of Sheba" is told in the Bible, by Josephus, and in Jewish and
Ethiopian legends. Velikovsky stressed the fact that, according to all these sources, the queen
came by sea.(65)
In the Bible, as well as in the Jewish Antiquities of Josephus, the arrival of the queen is
reported immediately after the information that Solomon had built a harbor at Ezion-geber –
i.e., at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba at the Red Sea – and that he had sent a naval expedition
to far-away Ophir. And the queens departure, and the presents, which she exchanged with the
king, are described alternately with an enumeration of the treasures which the said fleet had
brought back from distant countries.66 In other words, Velikovsky's supposition that the
queen passed through Ezion-geber on her way to Jerusalem is fully supported by Hebrew
records. This tradition blends perfectly with the Ethiopian one as preserved in the "Kebra
Nagast," which also makes her come and go by sea.
Concerning the provenance of the queen, Velikovsky found the answer in Josephus, a writer
whose reliability had been questioned by former generations but whose reputation has been
restored and confirmed by archaeologists of today. Josephus – his Jewish name was Joseph
ben-Mattatiahu – was born about 35 years before the destruction of the Second Temple by
Titus into one of the leading priestly families in Jerusalem. He grew up in the Temple precincts
which included, among other things, the Temple library with its wealth of ancient manuscripts of which practically
none have survived into our time.
Among the historical scrolls was the "Book of Chronicles of the Kings of Judah," to which the
Biblical student is referred time and again for more detailed information.67 If, therefore,
Josephus writes that "the woman, who, at that time, ruled as queen of Egypt and Ethiopia,
was thoroughly trained in wisdom and remarkable in other ways, and when she heard of
Solomon's virtue and understanding, was led to him by a strong desire to see him which arose
from the things told daily about his country,"68 there is every reason to accept this
information as correct.
Josephus, furthermore, provides the clue to the name under which she was registered in the
Bible: Sheba, transcribed "Saba" in Greek, was the name of the capital of Ethiopia up to the
time when this name was changed, by Cambyses, to Meroe.69 That Sheba/Saba was
connected very closely with Egypt can be deduced also from the table of nations in Genesis,
where Saba appears among the descendants of Ham (son of Noah), as son of Kush, the elder
brother of Egypt.70
That Ethiopia (part of present-day northern Sudan, and Erithraea) was under Egyptian rule at
the time of Hatshepsut is proved by the fact that her caravans actually came as far south as the
Tigre province, down to the Dancalie desert, south of the gulf of Massawa.71 By a curious
coincidence, one of the first archaeological finds brought to the knowledge of the newly
established antiquities museum at Addis Ababa consisted of some monuments found together
in the Tigre province "by the way ascending from the desert of Dancalie." Among them was a
small altar dedicated by a prince of Daamat and Saba, "which latter cannot be the famous land
of South Arabia, but must be a homonym for Ethiopia." Together with the altar were found
votive objects, partly of Egyptian origin.72
If, therefore, Saba has been accepted as a homonym for Ethiopia, the title given to Solomon's
visitor in the Bible seems in complete harmony with Josephus' statement and, incidentally,
From Josephus her Egyptian name was preserved, too: he calls her "Nikaule," quoting
Herodotos as his source.73 It seems, however, that Josephus may have been in error regarding
the source of the name. There is no such name to be found in Herodotos – at least not in the
manuscripts which have been preserved. The possibility should be considered, therefore, that
Josephus learnt the name from one of the Egyptian priests or scholars with whom he discussed
events of their common history during his stay in Alexandria. 74 If so, Egyptian sources must
be screened for the original of the Graecized name.
The student of the accepted reconstruction of Egyptian history will look in vain for a female
Pharaoh of the 10th century B.C. corresponding to Josephus' description. Neither will he find
the looked for name. The picture changes, however, as soon as Velikovsky's revised
chronology is applied and the Egyptian literature used by him is consulted.
The story of the "Queen of Sheba's" journey to King Solomon – according to Velikovsky's
reconstruction75 – is narrated in detail in the so-called Punt-reliefs which decorate the walls
of the middle colonnade of the temple at Deir el-Bahari, built by Queen Hatshepsut after the
completion of her expedition to "God's Land," Ta-Neter.76 As is well known, Egyptian
Pharaohs assumed as many as five names on the day of their accession; two of them, the
so-called prenom and nomen, are invariably written within "cartouches," i.e., a loop formed by
a double thickness of rope.77 In the cartouches of the Punt-reliefs the name Hatshepsut
appears only once. Everywhere else is written her prenom, which is compounded with the
name of the god Re: Ma'-ka-re. Ma'at is the goddess of truth and justice; she is pictured with a
characteristic headdress consisting of two high feathers. There is only one other goddess with
a similar high headdress: Neit, the great goddess of Sais, "the mother who brought forth the
sun," who wears the Red Crown of Lower Egypt.78
In Josephus' time, Neit had become the leading female deity in Lower Egypt, having absorbed
most of the goddesses of an earlier period. Thus, it might have happened that the picture of a
goddess with a peculiar high headdress, details of which were blurred on a cartouche carved
about 1000 years earlier, was taken for the symbol of the goddess Neit and the first syllable of
Hatshepsut's prenom read accordingly.79 Transcription of the second syllable, "ka," by
Josephus, offers no problem. Neither does the third syllable: Egyptian script had no sign for
the letter ' 1' but used the sign for 'r' for both consonants.80 From the strictly philological point
of view, therefore, there is no reason why the name pronounced by modern Egyptologists,
Ma'-ka-re, may not have been transcribed in the way given by Josephus.
Thus far the Hebrew sources: Though they help to identify the country from which King
Solomon's visitor came, they are of no assistance for solving the problem dealt with in Part II
of this paper, i.e., the archaeological history of the Negev, and especially that of the Hathor
Temple discovered there (Fig. 1). It seems, however, that the answer may be found in the
Egyptian records used by Velikovsky, the so-called Punt reliefs.
The reliefs, sculptured on the southern wall of the middle colonnade of Hatshepsut's mortuary
temple at Deir el-Bahari, opposite Karnak, have been repeatedly excavated, read, and
interpreted. Their special value lies in the vivacity with which they picture the incidents of the
voyage and sojourn in a strange land. Unfortunately, two-thirds of the wall on which was
sculptured the description of the Land of Punt is destroyed.81 The remaining third contains
the command of the god Amon to undertake the expedition, pictures of the ships, details of the
harbor where they landed – its inhabitants, fauna and flora, the houses of the settlement, etc. – and, after the successful return of the expedition, the treasures brought home and their
deposit in the Temple of Amon. On all these murals, the figure of the queen has been
mercilessly hacked out and her cartouches erased by one of her successors; only the shadows
remain82 - a fact to be remembered as it may serve as a clue to what befell the Hathor Temple
The erased, but still identifiable, oversized figure of the queen was understood by Breasted to
have been the picture of "a great stone statue of the queen to be erected in Punt."84 So far, no
trace of such a statue has been discovered in any of the countries supposed to have been the
enigmatic Land of Punt.
As far as could be ascertained, Velikovsky was the first who suggested that the erased figure
was that of the queen, and that she led her expedition in person, just as was the habit of the
Pharaohs in their military campaigns.85 There is nothing in the text preserved which would
prevent such a conclusion. Moreover, according to the answer given by the queen to her god – "I will lead the army on water and on land..."86 - she promised to do just that, and kept her
promise, as confirmed by her report after her return.87
Before screening the text which accompanies the reliefs, some additional explanatory notes to
Naville's plate LXIX (Fig. 2), which shows details of the harbor of Punt: These details show
an amazing similarity to characteristics of the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, unknown at
the time when Velikovsky wrote his reconstruction but to a very small circle of explorers.88
The drawings show meticulous care for details to a degree justifying the supposition "that the
expedition to Punt was accompanied by one or more draftsman who made careful studies of
what they saw there and that these studies were afterwards translated into stone by Theban
sculptors."89 On the picture reproduced on plate LXIX, palm trees and other trees, high
enough to shade houses on poles, and cattle, go right down to the edge of the water which
swarms with fish and other aquatic animals. Such plant and animal life is "not to be found by
the shore, nor do date palms grow in the sand and pebbles of the beach," concluded Naville,
Maspero and other Egyptologists, who, therefore, looked for a suitable harbor "at some
distance inland, safe from the high tides of the Red Sea."90 This opinion, however, is difficult
to uphold in light of the fact that the aquatic animals reproduced are typical specimens of the
The Egyptologists were not the only ones to remark on this unusual combination of nature.
Procopius, who lived in the sixth century A.D., mentions the date palms growing along the
coast of Aila (=Aqaba), the fruit of which obviously justified the fact that the Arab Abu Harb
gave them as a present to the Roman Caesar Justinianus. And the well-known Arab writer
Al-Mukadassi (10th century) describes the place just as it was shown on the mural of
Hatshepsut: "There are many date-trees, and an abundance of fish."92
A detail on the murals which seemed to hinder its identification with an Asiatic country
consists of the picture of the "abnormally fleshy wife" of the Puntites' governor.93 The obesity
of the wife was considered proof that the scene was in Africa, where wives are artificially fed
and fattened. This supposition, however, has also become obsolete. In a very thorough study,
made possible thanks to "the superior gift of observation of the Egyptians," it could be shown
that the unhappy woman suffered from a progressive dystrophy of the muscles, a malady the
cause of which is not known and against which no remedy has been found to this day. The
sickness is hereditary and the first signs of it seem to have been observed by the artist also on
her daughter, who follows behind her.94
Two more problems which baffled the Egyptologists may easily be solved the moment the
scenery is transferred from an unknown African country of the 15th century B.C. to the Red
Sea port of Elath of Solomon's time. First, the types of peoples shown side by side on the
murals: they are roughly divided into Semites, Hamites, and Africans, the latter being
subdivided into Gallas and Negroes.95 The Egyptologists who were looking for the Land of
Punt in Africa had a difficult time in explaining the presence of Semites and Hamites at a local
inland harbor. By transferring the scenery to Elath, Velikovsky could easily show that the
Semites were men of King Solomon while the Hamites would be the Phoenician sailors,
servants of King Hiram of Tyre, whom he had sent to accompany the Israelite sailors on their
venture to Ophir.96 Additionally, the fact that Africans worked in the harbor and/or in the
copper mines has now been proven by the discovery, described above (see KRONOS, Vol. I,
No. 3, Fall.1975, p. 14), of a tomb in the southern Arabah containing bones of an African of
the "proto-boscopoid type found in ancient Ethiopia. . ."97 (The Gallas, today, occupy a
region southwest of the Dancalie inside present-day Ethiopia.)
Second, the archaeological exploration of the Negev carried out by Glueck and Rothenberg
may also be helpful in refuting another argument for placing the enigmatic Land of Punt in
Africa. Among the gifts presented to the Egyptians was "green gold of the Land of 'Amu." The
'Amu are an Asiatic people,98 but the inscription clearly speaks of their land, not of the
people. And again, the Egyptologists wonder: What is the connection of this Asiatic land with
Punt in Africa, that its chieftains included products of a foreign country into an assortment of
gifts meant to represent the output of their own land and people?99 Now, as it happens, the
Egyptian sign translated "gold," if used as a determinative, is actually to be translated
"precious metal."100 In combination with a sign for "white," it means "silver." That is why it
was suggested to see in "green gold" an expression for "copper," which is stark green in its
natural state, coming to the surface in broad green bands across the hills bordering the
The Governor of Punt and his wife are introduced by name: he is called P'-r-hw; her name was
Eti (or Ati). According to Naville, these names have "no ethnographical significance."102
Naville was wrong: As Velikovsky has shown, these names are Biblical names from the period
of David, and Solomon. A certain Paruah was the father of one of
Solomon's twelve governors;103 a man named Atai was a member of the Ierahmielim, a
Bedouin tribe affiliated with Judah, who lived in the northern Negev.104 Another man of the
same name was one of the "men of might" who joined David when he hid in the wilderness
above the Dead Sea, and in Ziklag, because of Saul.105 According to Hebrew usage, the
daughter might have been presented with her father's name: Bat (=daughter of) Atai.
The governor "is a tall, well-shaped man. . .his hair is flaxen. . .his nose aquiline, his beard long
and pointed.... The Puntites are painted red, but not so dark as the Egyptians."106 Chabas
thought that the Puntites belonged to the Semitic stock, but Naville doubted it. According to
the reproductions in Naville, the governor had a beard trimmed like that of the Egyptian gods,
and Pharaohs. It seems that the clean-shaven Egyptians were thoroughly impressed by the fact
that the inhabitants of "God's Land" – an alternate name for Punt – wore beards like that, and
they referred to them as "the bearded ones,"107 a title given to no other people. Breasted,
however, writes: "Southerners of God's Land"108 instead of translating literally: "The
Bearded Ones of God's Land." In doing so, Breasted blurs the connection hinted at by the
Egyptian designation, that not only the Land reached by Hatshepsut's expedition was God's,
but that its inhabitants, too, in their outer appearance, lived up to its reputation – F. Petrie, on
the other hand, stated simply: "The physiognomy of the Puntites is finely rendered. . .the form
of beard is that of the Egyptian gods"; and E. Zyhlarz calls them "the God-like bearded ones of
Now, it is commonplace to remark that translation is interpretation. But while interpretation
has to be cut down to a minimum when translating, e.g., from one modern European language
into another, related one, interpretation becomes unavoidable when translating from Egyptian
hieroglyphs into modern European diction. In the case of the Punt-reliefs, hieroglyphs fill the
space left empty by the pictures, the "letters" being written in adaptation to the space available.
They are partly arranged in horizontal lines – to be read from left to right, or from right to left
– partly in vertical columns. There are no punctuation nor other diacritical marks. Thus, it is
left to the reader to decide where a sentence ends and a new one begins; whether or not there
is direct speech, and by whom, etc. Furthermore, while Naville translated line by line, Breasted
broke the text up into sections not to be found in the original, and even added headings which
are sometimes more confusing than helpful.
In addition, Naville as well as Breasted were influenced in their interpretations by their
conviction that the Land of Punt was a backward African country whose inhabitants were
overawed by the arrival of the highly civilized Egyptians who offered them trade goods "with
which civilization has beguiled the guileless native of Africa from the beginning," as another
Egyptologist put it. 110 Finally, knowledge of the Egyptian language, its grammar, and style,
has made great progress since the times of Naville and Breasted. In consequence of these
observations, it was deemed unavoidable to go back to the original Egyptian text as
reproduced by Naville and de Buck111 for unadulterated information.
Already the first mural preserved – Naville's Plate LXIX – gives ample cause for an
interpretation entirely different from that of Breasted. On it is pictured the meeting between an
Egyptian messenger and the local governor. The Egyptian is followed by some heavily armed
soldiers, the governor by members of his family, consisting of his wife, two sons, and his
daughter. Between the two parties are heaped a variety of articles – necklaces, daggers, etc.
According to Breasted, "They say, as they pray for peace. . ."112 Now, of the word translated
by Breasted "to pray for," only two letters have remained (-bh). The first letter and the
ideogram are missing and only the empty spaces left. Breasted completed the word to dbh =
beg for. There is, however, another possibility: -bh might be completed to sbh with a similar
ideogram, meaning: to call out to somebody.113 In other words, the governor of Punt turned
out with his entire family to greet the visitor, calling out to him, across the heap of presents:
"Peace!" (be with you)114 and adding: "Wherefore have you come to this country....?115 He
then continues: "Did you come down upon the ways of heaven?" (Breasted); viz.: "Have you
descended hither by the paths of the sky?" (Naville). The moment his words are translated into
Hebrew, however, they are much more down to earth: "Did you come down the upper roads
or did you sail. . . the sea of God's Land?116
According to our interpretation, the speaker is not an African native overcome with awe in the
presence of the half-gods who may have descended from the sky – as Breasted and Naville
thought – but the governor of a border province frequented by passing caravans on their way
to and from Egypt. The "upper roads" referred to are those leading from the Egyptian border
near Suez across the Sinai Peninsula to the head of the Gulf of Aqaba.117 Bordering the Gulf
is mountainous country, and the road goes up to about 800 meters before it falls away to "sea
level in three miles,near the head of the Gulf."
As mentioned, the governor of Punt and the messenger from Egypt are standing on opposite
sides of a pile of goods consisting of an axe, a dagger in its sheath, a few bracelets, eleven
necklaces – which may have been made of scaraboids – and five large rings.118 These were
not goods to be traded: the inscription above the Egyptians informs the reader that the "royal
messenger" had been dispatched "to bring all good things from the sovereign (i.e., Ma'-ka-re)
to Hathor the Lady of Punt, in order that she may give life, prosperity, and health to her
A second offering is brought ashore by a small boat, shown in the left hand corner of Naville's
plate LXXII, ' . . .for the life, prosperity, and health of her majesty to I;Iathor, mistress of Punt
– (lacuna) – that she may bring wind."120
If this is the case, there must have been a temple to Hathor not far from the landing place. So
far, no such temple has been located in any country bordering the Red Sea and tentatively
identified as the Land of Punt of the ancient Egyptians, except the Hathor-temple discovered,
and excavated, at Timna. And the question arises: is it possible that the presents brought by
Hatshepsut's messenger were destined for the shrine at Timna? And that the little sanctuary
was built by Hatshepsut in the tenth century in connection with, or in consequence of, her
supposed visit to King Solomon?
Recent archaeological discoveries in Southern Judaea and the Negev do not disprove this
supposition, and Biblical history may even help to unravel the structure's past, details of which
are still unsolved.
The XVIIIth Dynasty were fervent worshippers of Hathor; and Hatshepsut surpassed them all
in her devotion to the goddess, in whom she saw her divine mother. In Deir el-Bahari, a
special shrine was dedicated to Hathor. Naville, who excavated it, believes "the shrine of
Hathor to have been originally a cave where, according to tradition the queen was suckled by
the goddess and where, at the end of her life, she 'joined' her divine nurse." Hatshepsut
identifies herself with the goddess, "thus deifying herself and claiming the same worship."121
Hathor is a goddess who comes out of a mountain: the sanctuary, therefore, was cut in the
rock, which originally may have been a cave. Afterwards, the cave was enlarged by adding a
hypostyle hall and anteroom, the walls of which were covered with murals. In these, Hathor is
called "the lady of heaven, the lady of the sky, the queen of the gods, the divine mother, the
sacred Hesa(t)-cow." And it is Hathor, not Isis, who suckles the child Horus. If so, Hathor,
rather than Isis (or in addition to), may also represent the Planet Venus. Now, the first murals
in the hypostyle hall reproduced by Naville show a festive procession, by boats, on the Nile in
honor of Hathor's "second birth," as the text explains – "an expression which Brugsch
considers to refer to an astronomical period of four years:
Hat,hor, she reneweth her birth. Thebes is in joy Ma-ka-re, while endures....the sky, thou
endures." ". . .we see clearly the confusion which exists between the goddess and the queen, a
confusion which is intentional," adds Naville.122
Another inscription informs the reader that the queen is born "on the' throne of Tum."
According to Velikovsky, Thoum was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, who perished in the
whirlpool and departed to heaven.123
Still another mural shows the Hathor cow suckling a little boy who is represented also as a
grown-up king under her head; both have the name of the queen.124 This picture is almost a
photo of the famous life-size sculpture of the cow-goddess in the second cave attached to the
temple. This cave was only slightly altered; it is "about 10 feet long. . .it has been lined all
round with slabs of sandstone. . .the roof is a vault consisting of two stones abutting against
each other and cut in the form of an arch. There never was any pavement: the cow stood on
the rough rock."125 The cow in this cave has the name of Pharaoh Amenhotep II.
It is this cave-shrine which shows the greatest affinity with the Hathor-Temple at Timna. The
naos at Timna is 2.70 meters long, compared to "about" 10 feet (approximately 3 meters) at
Deir el-Bahari. Its walls were built of white sandstone which, as the excavator remarks, had to
be carried here from quite a distance, and it was leaning "against the face of a huge
picturesque eroded formation at the southwestern end of the Timna massif" in a similar way as
the shrine in the Nile valley leaned against the cliff which bordered it in the west. As to the
roof, there was no need of one, "because the overhanging rock served as an excellent
At Timna, the excavator differentiated five phases in the history of the site. Stratum I, the
uppermost layer, was Roman; stratum V, the layer immediately upon bedrock, was dated by
pottery and flint implements to the Chalcolithic period. Stratum II, below the Roman remains,
was declared separated from them by 1200 years: "Stratum II representing a period of great
upheaval in the history of the site, of destruction, a devastating earthquake and a short, final
revival of the Egyptian temple as a Semite, probably Midianite, shrine. This final phase is dated
not later than the middle of the 12th century B.C."127
The layers to be dealt with here are stratum IV, and III, "the main phases of the original
construction, later destruction and subsequent rebuilding of the Hathor Temple, dated to the
XIXth-XXth Dynasties of Egypt, from the end of the 14th to the middle of the 12th century
B.C., with a break of perhaps a generation in its occupation. It is suggested that this lacuna
coincides with the first destruction of the I;lathor Temple, during or shortly after the reign of
Sethos II, at the end of the 13th century B.C., although its accurate archaeological dating was
Concerning the history of the first Egyptian temple – stratum IV – ". . .apart from walls 1
and 3 and some parts of the naos, no architectural details of the original first temple structure
survived what must have been a thoroughly wanton destruction; and there was no
archaeological evidence to identify the destroyer of this first temple.... A new temple was built
on top of the ruins of the original temple structure, utilizing some of its architectural
elements.... Unfortunately [there was] little help in dating the destruction of the first temple as
the effects of the destruction went right down to bedrock. . ."129
"It seems that the first temple was built by Sethos I, (1318-1304) B.C.), destroyed or
abandoned during the reign of Sethos II (1216-1210 B.C.), and the second temple was
reconstructed by Ramses III (1198-1166 B.C.). However, it should be remembered that there
is no definite archaeological evidence for this, although it does appear to be a logical solution
which fits the historical picture of the period and the meagre stratigraphical evidence."130
In other words: the decisive material for dating the temple were the years during which the
Egyptian kings represented by inscriptions in the Timna Temple were supposed to have ruled,
according to conventional chronology .131
These same Pharaohs, however, have been dated, by Velikovsky, to the 8th to the first quarter
of the 4th century B.C. If so, does Israel's archaeology from these centuries and/or Biblical
history offer a more plausible explanation for the events which left their mark on the Timna
Temple than that offered by the excavator and his expert advisers?
As to the archaeology of the Negev, and the Arabah, including its coppermining, Glueck's and
Albright's dates correspond ideally to Velikovsky's "revised chronology," as shown above
(KRONOS I, 3, pp. 14-15), going right back into the Solomonic period.
One of the big surprises in Israelite archaeology of the last two decades was the discovery in
1963 of an Israelite sanctuary at Arad on the border of the Northern Negev. The sanctuary
was an integral part of the royal Israelite fortress which blocked the way to an invader from
the south (Edom), or east (Moab, Ammon). The shrine belongs to the 10th century B.C., i.e.,
the time of King Solomon. It seems to have been "deliberately and finally" destroyed – just
like the Timna Temple – probably at the time of the Assyrian invasion during the latter third of
the 8th century B.C., in connection with the religious reform by Hezekiah.132
Following this discovery, digging was renewed in 1966 and 1968 below the so-called
Sun-temple at Lachish, also a border-town at the southern boundary of Judah. The temple had
been discovered and excavated 30 years earlier by a British team which ascribed it to the
Persian period. As expected, an Israelite sanctuary was located below the remnants from later
periods. This shrine, too, could be dated to Solomonic times.133 Lachish which also had been
conquered by the advancing Assyrians, was later resettled by Edomites who, as usual, erected
a sanctuary to their deity on what was holy ground of old, and thus it happened that this latest
temple was destroyed only by the Maccabees in the 2nd century B.C. The discoverer and
excavator of these sanctuaries, Prof. Aharoni, has given much thought to the problem of how
to explain the. erection of an Israelite sanctuary outside Jerusalem, in Judah, at the time of
King Solomon. He suggests that the Arad sanctuary "was a border sanctuary, similar to those
reported in the Bible at Dan, Bethel, Geba, and Beersheba, all important cities at the borders
of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Evidently, these sanctuaries resulted from an early
religious conception which saw Yahweh as the deity of the land and claimed the god's
exclusivity for his own people and country, but did not reject the existence of other, outside
gods."134 The centralization of the cult in Jerusalem came only with the reign of Hezekiah, at
the end of 8th century B.C., to be completed by Josiah at the end of the 7th century B.C.
A 10th century temple at Timna would fit this idea perfectly. The newly-conquered Negev was
occupied territory, the "country of Edom," not the Land of Israel proper. The people who
worked the mines were Midianites, Kenites, eventually Amalekites – the same people who
worked the turquoise mines in Sinai, where Hathor, the "Lady of Turquoise," was their
protrectress to whom had been built the famous sanctuary at Serabith-el-Khadim. The
similarity between the two temples, that at Serabith and that at Timna, has been especially
stressed by Rothenberg and his advising Egyptologist.135
Hatshepsut's wish to erect a temple to her beloved Hathor, "Lady of Punt," right at the mines,
must have fulfilled a religious yearning of the local population without meeting with serious
resistance from King Solomon. A King, who filled his capital with temples to foreign gods (I
Kings 11:7) could hardly refuse permission to erect a shrine for his non-Israelite subjects,
where they could serve their local goddess, the less so as this temple was to be erected outside
the "Land of Yahweh" proper. And so, "King Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her
desire . ." (I Kings 10: 13).
For Hatshepsut, building a temple to Hathor at Timna was the symbol of her taking possession
of "all Punt" as she had been commanded by her god, who had given it to her.136 It was the
same conception well known from the Old Testament, where the God promises his chosen a
certain country and commands them to go out and take possession of it. Amon's command
was fulfilled by the queen, the temple erected as the outward sign of Egypt's foothold in the
promised country, and truthfully could the queen report, after her return: "it is a region set
apart from God's Land; it is indeed my place of delight. I have made it for myself in order to
make my heart glad, together with Mut, Hathor The-Great-Crown,137 Lady of Punt,
'Great-of-Magic,' the mistress of all the gods.138 And the god answers, explaining how he
made possible her success: "I made them amiable toward you according to your wishes; they
gave you adoration like to a god. . ."
For centuries, this first Egyptian temple at Timna remained in use, undisturbed, till the days of
Hezekiah, king of Judah (727-698 B.C.). In his days, an iconoclastic movement swept the
country which put an end to the Israelite sanctuaries outside Jerusalem. Concomitantly,
following the invasion of southern Judaea by the Assyrians, the southernmost tribe of Simeon
left its dwelling places around Beersheba in search of better pasture for its flocks. Five
hundred of them went south, to mount Seir, "and they smote the Amalekites. . .and dwelt
there. . ." (I Chron. 4:42, 43). The "thoroughly wanton destruction" down to bedrock of the
first Egyptian temple, observed by its excavator, may well have been the work of these fanatic
Beduin, who certainly made a very thorough job of it, the more so as the sanctuary was
dedicated to a female deity.
The interval between the destruction of the first Egyptian temple (Stratum IV) and its
rebuilding (Stratum III) was a very short one, as judged by the excavator. Now, the earliest
Pharaoh whose inscriptions were found at Timna was Sethos I. According to Velikovsky's
"revised chronology," this Pharaoh was a contemporary of Manasseh, son of the Judaean King
Hezekiah, who followed his father on the throne in 689 B.C., which would fit the situation
perfectly. Neither do the other inscriptions referring to specific Pharaohs, offer any difficulty
as far as Velikovsky's revised chronology and/or Glueck's dating by pottery are concerned.
There remains, however, a slight difficulty concerning the dating of Ramses III and Ramses
IV. But, until Velikovsky publishes his final figures for those two Pharaohs, certain
conclusions are best postponed to a time when those dates will be available.
To summarize: In the special case made the object of this study, the most recent
archaeological discoveries not only do not discredit Velikovsky's "revised chronology" but, to
the contrary, events observed by the archaeologists, who had no explanation for them, may
find an acceptable interpretation the moment this "revised chronology" has been applied.
The one great hindrance for a re-evaluation of the accepted chronology seems purely
psychological. It was best formulated by a well-known Biblical scholar with whom this writer
discussed a different interpretation of a Biblical text: "But how can I discard a theory which
has taken 25 years of my life to build?!" There is no answer to this.
65. I Kings 10:1-13; 11 Chron. 9:1-12; Josephus Jewish Antiquities, trans. Ralph Marcus, VIII
vi, 5. 1. Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos (N.Y., 1952), p. I14, quotes rabbinic writings: the queen
"assembled ail the ships of the sea and loaded them with. . . precious stones ' (Ginsherg,
Legends, IV, 144). Kebra Nagast, quoted in Ages in Chaos, pp. 106-107 and passim.
66. In the Hebrew text, tenses in I Kings 10:11 and 11 Chron. 9:10 are past perfect.
67. I Kings 11:41; 14:19, 14:29, 15:7; etc. Altogether (viz. those of Israel) are mentioned
more than 30 times.
68. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, VIII, vi, 5; Velikovsky, A in C, p. 107.
69. Josephus, Ibid., 11, x, 2. According to Josephus' descnption, Saba must have been farther
north, at the confluence of the Blue and the White Nile, near present-day Khartoum.
Excavations at ancient Meroe showed that the town was founded by one of Hatshepsut's
successors of the 18th Dynasty (J. Garstand, Fifth Interim Report on the Excavations at
Meroe in Ethiopia). Cambyses conquered Egypt ca. 525 B.C.
70. Genesis 10:7.
71. Ernest Zyhlarz, "The Countries of the Ethiopian Empire of Kash (Kush) and Egyptian Old
Ethiopia in the New Kingdom," trans. M. Jackson, Kush VI (1958), pp. 7-38. As to the
Danakil, see p. 12. Also see E. Naville, The Temple at Deir el-Bahari, Part III (London,
1913), p. 11.
72. Annales d'Ethiopie, Tome 1, 1955, p. 5. See also pp. 26-41, plates XI-XIV.
73. Josephus, Jewish Antiquildes, VIII, vi, 2
74. Josephus accompanied Vespasian to Alexandria, where he spent several months during the
years 69-70 A.D. before accompanying Titus to Jerusalem (Josephus, The Life, 75).
75. Velikovsky, A in C, pp. 108ff.
76. E. Naville, The Temple at Deir el-Bahari (Introductory Memoir, London, 1894; and Part
III London, 1913) plates LXIX, LXXII-LXXV. Transcription of Egyptian names is far from
uniform. That followed here is the one used by Naville. Differently A. Gardiner, Egypt of the
Pharaohs (Oxford, 1961) Preface, Most recently Abdel-Aziz Saleh, "Some Problems Relating
to the Pwenet Reliefs at Deir el-Bahan, ' Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 58 (1972), pp.
77. Alan Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, 3rd ed. (London, 1957), pp. 71ff.
78. James Baikie, Egyptian Antiquities in the Nile Valley (London, 1932), p. 11.
79. Wilkinson, one of the first Egyptologists to read the cartouches at Deir el-Bahari, thought,
too, that the picture of the goddess was that of Neit, and read the queen's name accordingly:
Neit-go-ri (Naville Memoir, p. 4.) As to the suppression of the fem. ending -t, see Gardiner,
Egyptian Grammar, para. 85, nte 2a; and JEA 27, 44 n. 1.
80. Transcription of Egyptian 'r' by the letter 'l' is quite often met in contemporary languages.
Both consonants are two trilled sounds, both continuants. . . 'r' being partially palatal and 'l'
partially dental" (H. A. Treble and G. H. Vallis, An ABC of English Usage, Oxford University
Press, 1937, p. 55). As to the transcription of 'ei,' 'i,' and 'j,' see Walter G. Till, Kopidsche
Grammatik (Leipzig, 1955), para. 15.
81. Naville, Memoir, op. cit., p. 22.
82. J. H. Breasted, A History of Egypt, 2nd ed. (London 1941), p. 283; Baikie, Egyptian
Antiquities, op. cit., pp. 415-416. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, op. cit., pp. 182-183:
"Such was the enmity excited by Hatshepsowe that her canouche was systematically erased on
many of her monuments and in later times was not admitted to any king-list." The question
who erased her name and who partly restored it, viz., replaced it by his own, is still undecided,
according to Gardiner who discusses the problem at length.
83. See below pp. 17-19.
84. Breasted, History of Egypt, op. cit., p. 276.
85. Velikovsky A in C, pp. 116ff.
86. J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. II, para. 285.
87. Ibid., paras. 286ff.
88. There will be no repetition of observations made by Velikovsky; as to these, the reader is
referred to A in C, Chapter 111.
89 Nina M. Davies, "A Fragment of a Punt Scene," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 47
(1961), pp. 19-23.
90. Naville Memoir, p. 22, where he quotes Maspero F. W. von Bissing, "Pyene (Punt) und
die Seefahnen der Aegypter," Die Welt des Orients, 3 Heft (August, 1948), pp. 147-157.
91. E. Danelius and H. Steinie, "The Fishes and Other Aquatic Animals on the Punt Reliefs at
Deir el-Bahan," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 53 (1967), pp. 15-24.
92. Zeev Vilnai, Elath (1964), pp. 59, 61 (Hebrew). A very instructive picture of the head of
the Gulf of Aqaba showing the rich vegetation, palm trees, etc., reaching down to the sea is
found in C. S. Jarvis, Yesterday and Today in Sinai (London: 1943) between pp. 12 and 13.
93. Breasted, Records, op. cit., para. 254 (description).
94. Emma Brunner-Traut, "Die Krankheit der Fuerstin von Punt," Die Welt des Orients
(Goettingen), Bd. II (1954-59), pp. 307-311. "Der Fall der Fuerstin von Punt stellt den
aeltesten Beleg fuer das Leiden dar. Wir danken ihn der ueberragenden Beobachtungsgahe der
Aegypter und ihrer treuen Benchterstattung" (p. 310).
95. Abdel-Aziz Saleh, op. dt., discusses the problem at length, giving peninent literature (JEA
58, 1972, pp. 147ff ).
96. Velikovsky A in C, pp. 114, 126, I Kings 10.27
97. See KRONOS I, 3, p. 14 and p. 18, note 51
98. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar,op. cit., p. 557.
99. Cf. the lengthy discussion of the problem by Ahdel-Aziz Saleh, op. cit.
100. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, p. 505, S. 12
101. The tentative translation "copper" instead of "green gold" was made by Prof. Polotzky –
without any connection with the problem dealt with here, naturally. The Egyptians had a word
for worked copper (bia); it seems, however, that "bia" was used only for the finished product.
– Gardiner wonders: "There is some mystery about copper which was fairly widely used. . .
and after Menes was the indispensable metal employed for tools and weapons" – and we do
not know where it came from. "From Dynasty XVIII onward Syria is spoken of as sending
tribute of copper . . . " (Egypt of the Pharaohs, p. 43). According to the newest discoveries of
Rothenberg, copper was mined in Timna since the Early Bronze Age (Illustrated London
News, March 1975), i.e., since the time of the so-called Old Kingdom of Egypt. According to
Egyptian records, the first Pharaoh to send an expedition to Punt was Pharaoh Sahure of the
Fifth Dynasty, who ruled during that period.
102. Bneasted, Records, para. 254. Naville, Memoir, p. 24.
103. Velikovsky, A in C, p. 115; I Kings 4:17.
104. I Chron. 2:35. See also The Westminster Historical Atlas to the Bible (Philadelphia:
1946), plate VI and p. 64B .
105. I Chron. 12:11 The name occurs a third time as that of a son of Rehoboam (II Chron.
11:20), which proves that it was a name used by the southern (Judaean) population.
106. Naville, Deir el-Bahari, Pan 111, pp. 12-13.
107. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, p. 584: "hbstyw = the bearded ones, i.e., the inhabitants of
Pwene(t) " Ermann-Grapow, Aegyptisches Handwoerterbuch (Hildesheim: 1961), p. 124:
hbswt = Ban.
108. Breasted, Records II, para. 288 (last line on p 117)
109. W. M. Flinders Petrie, A History of Egypt during the XVIIth and XVIIIth Dynasties
(1896 with additions to 1904. Sixth ed., London, 1917); Ernest Zyhlarz in Kush VI, op. cit., p.
10, n. 8, p. 17, n. 24. Quoted by Saleh, op. cit., p. 150.
110. Baikie, Antiquities, p. 421. Naville, too, remarks how "the poverty and meanness of the
Egyptian gifts are in striking contrast to the value of those which they receive" (Memoir, p.
111. The text was studied in the seminary of the Egyptian Department of the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, under the supervision of Prof. Polotzky, a linguist, and his assistant,
Dr. Groll, with the one and only aim of learning the language, its grammar, style, and
phraseology. The text used was that reproduced in A. de Huck Egyptian Reading Book I
(Leyden, 1948). (The "Urkunden der 18 Dynastie" were unavailable at that time to students at
the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.)
112. Breasted, Records, para. 257.
113. Ermann-Grapow (Woerterbuch) translates "Jemanden anrufen."
114. The Egyptian salutation "Htwp" is the literal translation of Hebrew "Shalom." See also
Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, para. 313.
115. So Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, para. 500, n 4, and Groll. Breasted translates, "Why
have you come?" (Records, p. 257). Naville: "How have you reached this land?" (Memoir, p.
116. The Hebrew expression "ha-drakhim ha'elyonoth," the exact counterpart of the Egyptian
one, can be applied to the ways In heaven, or to those on earth. (As to the relationship of
Egyptian to Hebrew see Gardiner Egyptian Grammar, para. 3.)
117. The existence of these routes, and their use by the Egyptians in antiquity, has been
confirmed only recently by Rothenberg's survey of the Sinai.
118. Naville, Deir el-Bahari, Memoir, plate VIII and p. 23; idem, Part III, plate LXIX and p.
119. Naville, Deir el-Bahari, Part III, p. 14. Breasted, Records, para. 255.
120. So Naville. Similar Breasted, Records, para. 252.
121. E. Naville, The Temple of Deir el-Bahari, Pan IV (London, 1907), preface. See also:
Robert Han, "Un scarabee inedit d'Hatshepsout," JEA, Vol. 60 (1974), pp. 134-139: "La
reine. . . problement pris les traits ou les attributs de la deesse Hathor. . . La ferveur
paniculiere de la reine pour cette deesse. . . rend cette supposition parfaitement plausible" (The
queen. . . probably, took on the appearance and the attributes of the goddess Hathor. . . The
special favour of the queen for this goddess. . . makes this supposition very
122. Naville, Deir el-Bahari, Pan IV, plates LXXXVIIIff., and p. 2 (emphasis mine).
123. Naville, Deir el-Bahari, Part IV, plates XCVIII, XCIX, and p. 4. Velikovsky, A in C, pp.
40, 44, 45.
124. Hatshepsut was repeatedly represented as a boy.
125. E. Naville, The Xltb Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari, Pan I (London, 1907), p. 64. The
cow, with its shrine, has been transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where it is now on
126. Rothenberg, Timna, op. cit., pp. 125, 130, 132.
127. Ibid., p. 128.
128. Ibid., pp. 128-131.
131. See KRONOS I, 3, p. 16 and n 61.
132. The final report on the excavations at Arad has not yet been published. The best account
available, amply Illustrated, is In Hebrew only: Y. Aharoni and R. Amiram, Arad.
Encydopaedie of Archaeological Excavations in Erez-lsrael (Jerusalem, 1970), pp. 469-477. A
concise report in English is found in Y. Aharoni "Arad: Its Inscriptions and Temple " The
Biblical Archaeologist 31(1968) 133. Here, too, the best report available is in Hebrew. Y.
Aharoni, "Excavations in the 'Solar Temple' at Lachish," Qadmoniotb 2 (1969), pp. 131-134
and Table III. An English summary of a lecture given by Prof. Aharonl at the opening of the
Lachish Exhibibon at Museum bition June, 1969, has been published in the Museum's Bulletin
No. 12 (1970).
134. Y. Aharoni, "Excavations at Biblical Beer-Sheba" (synopsis of the lecture at Museum
Haanetz, June, 1970) Bulletin of Museum Haaretz, No. 13 (1971), English section, p. 11.
Excavation at Beer-Sheba was started in the hope of discovering a sanctuary similar to those
at Arad and Lachish. So far only an altar has been discovered which was put to secondary use;
its form and measurements convinced the excavator that here, too, had stood a sanctuary
which functioned from the 10th century B.C. to the time of Sennacherib, viz., the rule of King
Hezekiah of Judah (Qadmonioth 6, 1973, pp. 75-84 – in Hebrew – and pl. 2 with a beautiful
picture of the reconstructed altar). As to the concept concerning the intimate connection
between a god and "His" Land – see: Judges 11:24.
135. Rothenberg, Timna, pp. 149-151. Rafael Giveon, Egyptologist at Tel-Aviv University
and Rothenberg's adviser, has been working on the problem for several years; he hopes to
publish a detailed report on both sanctuaries soon.
136. Breasted, Records, para. 286.
137. Mut was a goddess. Here "mut" is used without the ideogram, which may mean that it
stands for "mother," attributed to the following Hathor. The meaning of "The Great Crown" is
not clear. It seems to be an attribute of Hathor In this connection.
138. All attributes of Hathor. Differently understood by Breasted, Records, para. 288.
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