Wednesday 3 April 2024

Role of Egypt in Old Testament Diplomatic Manoeuvres 10th century to 6th century BCE

Jeroboam formed an alliance with Egypt after becoming king of the northern tribes of Israel. This alliance was made during the reign of Pharaoh Shishak, who invaded the Kingdom of Judah during Rehoboam's rule. Jeroboam sought support from Egypt to strengthen his position as the ruler of Israel and to protect his kingdom from external threats.

Jeroboam's reign is estimated to have occurred around the 10th century BCE, specifically between approximately 931 BCE to 910 BCE. He is mentioned in the biblical texts as the first king of the northern tribes of Israel after the kingdom split following the death of King Solomon.

Over time that generation perished and new alliances were formed in later generations. The sources of threats changed over time. The Northern Kingdom had a lot of interactions with its Canaanite neighbors, exemplified by the Omride dynasty, where King Ahab famously married the Phoenician princess Jezebel. The kingdom also formed war alliances with other kingdoms like Syria to rebel against the rising might of the Assyrians. The Kingdom of Judah, on the other hand, reached out to Egypt in its time of need for aid against Assyria in 701 BCE, possibly due to its closer geographic proximity to Egypt. It is also recorded that with the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, many fled from the city to Egypt and settled on the Egyptian Island of Elephantine. In more recent times, archaeological excavations have unearthed artifacts like the King's seal with the Egyptian ankh inscribed.

During the intermediate periods from the 10th century BCE to the 6th century BCE, Egypt experienced political fragmentation and instability, leading to confusion about who held the title of pharaoh. This ambiguity often resulted in the existence of multiple claimants to the throne, each vying for power and legitimacy. For example, during the Third Intermediate Period, the Twenty-First Dynasty saw multiple pharaohs ruling concurrently, such as Psusennes II and Shoshenq I. Similarly, during the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty, there were rival claimants like Apries and Amasis, exacerbating the uncertainty about the true authority in Egypt. #africa

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