Pharaoh Shishak as Pharaoh Shoshenq I

Late in the reign of Solomon ca. 943 BC, a new Pharaoh named Shoshenq I arose in Egypt, although his interactions were with Solomon’s successors rather than Solomon himself (1 Kings 11:40). Shoshenq I continued to reign after the death of Solomon and into the early period of the Divided Kingdom. This king of Egypt appears around the time of the kings Jeroboam of Israel and Rehoboam of Judah, who were the first kings after the death of Solomon and the split of the kingdom into north and south. In absolute chronology, this is sometime around roughly 930 BC.

The Ancient Egyptian Setting of the Joseph Story

Analysis of the Joseph story reveals details of the narrative that demonstrate a setting in ancient Egypt and even suggest a specific time known as the 2nd Intermediate Period. The account begins with a clear distinction between Joseph and his brothers, apparent by happenings such as Jacob giving Joseph a tunic of many colors (Genesis 37:3). Tunics of many colors were in style during the Middle Bronze Age in Canaan, as exhibited by the clothing of migrants from Canaan depicted on the walls of the Tomb of Khnumhotep II (Newberry, Beni Hasan).

Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Cyrus

Following the rise of the Neo-Babylonian Empire in the late 7th century BC and the subjugation of the Kingdom of Judah, many of the former residents of Judah were eventually taken into captivity in Babylon as a result of rebellion against Babylonian rule. In three waves of exile, citizens of Judah were taken to Babylon and the surrounding area and forced to remain there until the Persians eventually conquered Babylon and allowed the various subjugated nations to return to their homelands.

The Magi and Jesus

The “magi” who visited baby Jesus of Nazareth after his birth in Bethlehem near the end of the 1st century BC are often misunderstood and somewhat of an enigma. Popular songs and plays refer to them incorrectly as “3 Kings,” while few have much of an idea who these men were and what country or culture they came from. The book of Matthew is the only surviving 1st century AD record of these mysterious magi who visit Jesus as a very young child—the other three Gospels do not mention this occurrence, and no reference is made to their visit in any other New Testament book.

Hebrews in Egypt before the Exodus? Evidence from Papyrus Brooklyn

The presence of Hebrews in Egypt prior to their departure is a key component in the Exodus story, leading to the eventual formation of the Israelite nation and the subsequent settlement of Canaan. However, skepticism about the historical validity of the Exodus story has spread through both academia and the general public over the last century. One of the key problems for asserting the Exodus narrative as historical has to do with the supposed lack of archaeological confirmation for Hebrews living in Egypt.

Sergius Paulus the Proconsul and the Apostle Paul

Sergius Paulus was the Roman official presiding over the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea near the middle of the 1st century AD according to the book of Acts. During his first major journey, the Apostle Paul met a man named Sergius Paulus while traveling across Cyprus to the city of Paphos (Acts 13:4-7).

Late Bronze Age Canaan Demographic Settlement Map

Interactive Late Bronze Age settlement map, divided into Late Bronze I, Late Bronze II, and Late Bronze (general) of ancient Canaan. Geographic regions and specific time periods may be selected and unselected. Site names and historical names can be searched.


Gospel of Jesus' Wife: Forgery or Irrelevant?

A small papyrus fragment from the antiquities market was announced to contain the words “…Jesus said to them my wife…” This sentence fragment immediately sparked interest and controversy due to the apparent contradiction of the statement to information about the life of Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament and the writings of the early Church. Popular fiction and conspiracy theories also have lately explored this idea, adding skewed perceptions about the life of Jesus in society. Initially, some scholars considered it likely that the papyrus fragment was authentic.

Archaeology of the Judges Period

The Israelite Conquest under the leadership of Joshua was a relatively short period of time, lasting approximately 5 years (cf. Joshua 14:7-10). Following the time of Joshua, there is a period of over 300 years until the Israelite Monarchy begins with the kingship of Saul, leading to the period of David and Solomon (cf. Judges 11:26). This period is the time of the Judges, when Israel was ruled by more localized leaders instead of one king or supreme commander.