Erich Lessing

King Shishak of Egypt “took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 12:4). In about 925 B.C.E., Pharaoh Sheshonq I, called Shishak in the Bible, invaded Judah and conquered Israelite fortresses in the Negev desert, a conquest that has been archaeologically confirmed. According to the Bible, Shishak then continued on to Jerusalem and carried off the treasures of the royal palace and the Temple (1 Kings 14:25–26; 2 Chronicles 12:9). On returning to Egypt, he had the victory stela above carved on a wall in the Temple of Amun at Karnak. The existence of a system of defenses during, or somewhat after, the reign of David—and well away from the capital in Jerusalem—indicates the presence of an Israelite nation in the mid-tenth century B.C.E.