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SHISHAK (SHESHONḲ I.):

The first king of the twenty-second dynasty of Egypt. His grandfather, Sheshonḳ, descendant of a Libyan soldier, married a royal princess of Egypt. His father, Namarôti, chief of the Mashaûasha, held in addition several religious offices. He himself, the illustrious Shishak of I Kings (xiv. 25-28) and II Chronicles (xii. 2, 9-11), before he had ascended the throne, was recognized as king and prince of princes, and had conferred on him the command of all the Libyan troops. He was officially in rank next to the sovereign. Through shrewdly arranged domestic alliances for his sons, and other intrigues, he soon succeeded to the throne, as the founder of the Bubastite dynasty (Maspero, "Struggle of the Nations," pp. 769 et seq.).

Shishak's acquaintance with Jeroboam, a fugitive from Solomon, and with Hadad of Edom doubtless called his attention to the critical political conditions in the little Palestinian buffer state and its neighbors. As soon as the great Solomon (some think a vassal of Egypt) had passed away, there were signs of disintegration. Hadad had already returned; and Jeroboam, now domestically allied with the royal family of Egypt, made his way to the disaffected subjects in the north. The disruption of the kingdom had violently taken place, and Jeroboam, Egypt's friend, had become sovereign over the seceding tribes of the north. Shishak thereupon invaded Palestine in the fifth year of Rehoboam, King of Judah. Jerusalem seems to have been, according to the Books of Kings, his objective. He sacked the king's palace and the royal buildings, and the Temple. His withdrawal seems to have been permanent. From his own records, inscribed on the walls of Luxor, by the side of those of Rameses II., it appears that in this campaign he took 156 places. Megiddo is the northernmost point reported, and such places as Rabbath, Taanach, Mahanaim, Gibeon, Beth-horon, Aijalon, Migdol, and Shocho are mentioned. This list of names shows that Shishak must have plundered cities situated in both the Southern and Northern Kingdoms, and that probably he made this campaign for plunder, as well as for the prevention of the unification of all Palestinian peoples under one central power, although it has been claimed that he was prompted thereto either at the suggestion or invitation of Jeroboam to conquer his own foe in the south, or simply by the desire to subdue unconquered Canaanitish cities. There is no further hint as to his relation to the Hebrews.

E. G. H. I. M. P.
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