In the previous sidebar, I quote the reference in 1 Kings to Pharaoh Shishak’s attack on Jerusalem shortly after Solomon’s death. A similar passage can be found in Chronicles:
“Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of king Rehoboam. With 1200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt, he captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 12:2–4).
Unfortunately, no single Egyptian document gives us a narrative equivalent to that found in Kings and Chronicles. At the Karnak temple of the god Amun in Thebes, however, Shishak (Shoshenq I) left a vast triumphal relief—possibly unfinished—to celebrate his military campaign that brought to Egypt loot from Solomon’s Temple. The Amun temple relief lists many towns in Palestine and gives both more and less information about this Egyptian military campaign than do the Biblical accounts. Damage to several sections of the hieroglyphic list regrettably robs us of the mention of a number of place-names, particularly in Judah, while, on the other hand, the list includes many places in Israel, showing that Shishak also brought Jeroboam, king of Israel, to heel, a point that did not interest the Jerusalem-based Biblical annalists.