July 21, 2012

Triumphal Monument of Sheshonk I

Triumphal Monument of Sheshonk I
Retracing our steps to the Great Court via the exit to the east of Ramses Ill’s court, we find ourselves in the portico of the Bubastides (h) which is embellished with reliefs and inscriptions of the Pharaohs of the 22nd Dynasty. The rear door of this portico leads to the Triumphal Monument of Sheshonk I, which is situated on the outside of the southern tower of the second pylon (i). This scene commemorates the victory of Shishak of the Bible over Rehoboam, son of Solomon the King of Judah, when Solomon’s temple was robbed of its riches. Beneath Amon is the goddess Mut holding a club, bow and quiver, leading five rows of captives carved in perfect symmetry. To the right Sheshonk is grasping a group of captives by the hair and striking them with his raised club. The Biblical passages covering this campaign are:

Triumphal Monument of Sheshonk

‘And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem: and he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house', he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.'1 (1 Kings 14:25-6)

‘ ... And it came to pass, that 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 ...’ (2nd Chro. 12:2-2)

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