Jeroboam and Vizier Rekhmire in Egypt
If I were to look for an identification for Jeroboam in Thutmoside Egypt, I would have to point to the famous official, Rekhmire, at the time of Thutmose II (= Solomon?).
Chronologically, he fits perfectly, starting at the time of Thutmose II, and serving Thutmose III and Amenhotep II (the latter two being fully contemporaneous according to this article.
Jeroboam’s high rank as an official of King Solomon (I Kings 11:26) is fitting for Rekhmire, who was the Vizier of Thutmose III/“Shishak” – this would be after “Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death” (v. 40).
It was during this time, that Rekhmire could have made his impact upon Egypt.
And what an impact it was!
He claimed for himself virtual Solomonic wisdom. In fact, his very name, Rekhmire, probably means “knowing like [the god] Re”. And his legal judgements and purported works of charity towards the poor likewise recall those of Solomon (and Hammurabi).
John Gardner Wilkinson, father of Egyptology, wrote in 1835 that this tomb, of a vizier of Upper Egypt who was second in command to Thutmes [Thutmose] II, was “the most curious, I may say, of all the tombs in Thebes, since it throws more light on the manners and customs of the Egyptians than any hitherto discovered.” Rekhmire wrote of himself as follows: there was “nothing of which he was ignorant in heaven, on earth, or in any quarter of the underworld.” Not only that, Rekmire claimed that he “managed the vast royal estates, supervised temples, judged court cases, checked irrigation schemes…[and] judged impartially between the pauper and the wealthy. I rescued the weakling from the bully. I warded off the rage of the bad-tempered and I repressed the acts of the covetous…. I gave bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, meat, beer, and clothing to him who had none.” Still, he was ultimately disgraced and apparently never buried in the tomb prepared for him. (Quotes from Kent R. Weeks, The Treasures of Luxor, 2005, p. 392-3.)
Certainly Jeroboam I “was ultimately disgraced” and fell from grace.
I Kings 14:9-11 tells of it:
‘You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me.
Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!’
That fearful prophecy, uttered by Ahijah, would be fulfilled in the next reign.
For complete article, see:
From Rehoboam to Asa, Descendants of Solomon
John R. Salverda has commented on this:
Exiles from Jeroboam’s kingdom founded colonies in Mycenaean lands, including Greece (where the “virgin Israel” was likely even known by a feminine corruption of Jeroboam’s name “Europa”); Where a famous set of twins fought in the womb, and one of the twins (Acrisius) set up a twelve tribe “Amphictyon” to maintain a special temple. This Greek temple was located at a place known as “Pytho” (a likely transliteration of the term “Bethel,” also called Delphi) thought to be named for “Python” (a possible corruption of “Beth-Aven” or without the slur “Beth-On”), where Apollo (Identified by the Greeks with the Egyptian Horus) slew the great serpent (as Horus did Seth/Apophis). As the Bethel shrine was turned into a copy of the Jerusalem Temple, so the Pyhtian temple of Apollo shares many detailed coincidences with the Judean Temple. The “omphalos” as the “Eben Shetiyah” (the respective “center stones” of the Earth), the Adyton as the Holy of Holies (the sanctuary of forbidden entry), the goat sacrifice (complete with special treatment for the entrails), the fumigation (sweet smelling incense), and ritual bathing (in specifically “living water”) … there are many other corresponding ritualistic and anecdotal features shared by these two temple schemes too numerous to outline in this forum! Well, before going on too long, notice all of the “Egyptian” motifs in this narrative. ….