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"The extender of Egypt"

In spite of all the circumstantial evidence that Shoshenq could not possibly be Shishak (see the web-site links for Egypt, Shishak, and Zerah) and that only one Egyptian King could possibly have fitted the Biblical profile of this invader, i.e. Ramesses III, the most common question asked is how the Biblical historian came up with the name Shishak.

During our expedition to Medinet Habu with the past head of the Cairo Museum, Mohammed Saleh, he did confirm the inscription of Ramesses III daughters’ who called him ShSh but that has not been enough to satisfy the dyed in the wool skeptics.

We hope the following evidence will be enough for some, there will never be enough for others J

One of the five names of an Egyptian King, was the so-called Horus name which in the earliest dynasties were always written in a serekh, thus:---

Whilst more usual in the earliest dynasties, the Horus name continued to be used even at the time of Ramesses III and two great Egyptologists recorded the names as below.





Henri Gauthier


What is immediately obvious is the name "Susekh" which any Israelite scribe might write as Shishak. Thus IN EGYPT one of the names of Ramesses III contained the Biblical name. Those who have scorned the inscription over the entrance of the Cairo Museum which includes "Shishak" can be scornful no more. Shishak was an Egyptian name not an Israelite one.

But what in fact did it mean?

Modern transliteration has the phrase swsx-Kmt Which means "Extender of Egypt". This would be the perfect name for a King who was rampaging around the Judean Hills and who took all the treasures of Solomon’s Temple.

So we have one of the titles of Ramesses III as swsx-Kmt "Extender of Egypt". Is there any evidence that the Biblical scribes knew not only of the phrase "extender" i.e. Shishak but of the name kmt = Egypt also.

If we look in the Septuagint, we will find a remarkable passage which describes what the Masoretic text has as Shishak.

"And Susakim (Shishak) gave to Jeroboam to be his wife Ano, the eldest sister of Thelkemina, his own wife. She was great among the daughters of the king and she bore to Jeroboam Abijah." Septuagint, Reignorum III: 12, 24e

There the name used is Susakim. It is quite likely that in the phrase "swsx-Kmt" the final "t" was not vocalized and that Susakim was in fact a direct transliteration of one of the titles of Ramesses III i.e. "Extender of Egypt" in FULL.

Michael S. Sanders
Irvine CA 92604
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

With thanks to Aayko Eyma and Johnny Zwick for their kind contributions.

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