The tombs of King David, King Solomon
and the Queen of Sheba Discovered

by Ralph Ellis

The Missing Monarchy

One of the primary problems for Judaeo-Christian theologians is the disturbing reality that both King David and King Solomon, the most celebrated kings of Judaic history, cannot be found in the historical record. So how can this be so? How could a wealthy and influential empire suddenly disappear from the archaeological record? The physical evidence, or rather the lack of it, has long been deeply troubling.

But, having at last discovered solid evidence that showed the true location for the tombs and sarcophagi of King Solomon and King David, I did wonder how these precious artifacts had not been identified previously. It was only on visiting this location that the reasons became more clear. While I had already ascertained that these two historic sarcophagi had lain, mis-identified, in a museum for more than sixty years, I was still not prepared for what I actually discovered – at the back of a small, unexceptional room, the magnificent solid silver coffins of two of the most celebrated monarchs in ancient history lay in total darkness!

This investigation had begun several years ago with the publication of my first book Jesus, Last of the Pharaohs, in which I traced the history of the early Biblical patriarchs and showed them to have been the Hyksos pharaohs of Egypt. If the truth were known, the Biblical Exodus of ‘lowly’ shepherds out of Egypt was actually the historical exodus of the Hyksos Shepherd Kings out of Egypt. This book was followed swiftly by a sequel called Tempest & Exodus, which showed clear evidence that the Biblical Exodus had been inscribed upon an ancient Egyptian stele of Ahmose I.

But what of these later and more famous Israelite monarchs? What of King David and King Solomon? While these monarchs were undoubtedly missing from the archaeological record of Judaea, could they too have had an Egyptian ancestry and heritage? While this suggestion might initially seem to be highly unlikely, it may actually be true. The following table lists the known pharaohs of the twenty-first dynasty and compares these names with the equivalent Biblical ancestors of King David:

Biblical Leaders
Historical Pharaohs
   
Ezron (Hezron) Ramesses
Ram Ramesses
Amminadab Amen-Nesbanebdjed (Smendes)
Nahshon Nemneshu (Amenemnishu)
Salmon Siamun
Boaz Bas-Uasorkon
Obed Amenemopet
Jesse Harsiese
David Psusennes II

Some of the entries in the above list can be seen to be direct equivalents of each other, while some of the other names look less convincing. For the latter entries, perhaps some extra explanations are required, and these are listed below. The top line in each case represents the Biblical pronunciation (B), while the lower line is the historical equivalent (H):

B Ez--ron,    
H Esses--ram(Ramesses X),    
           
B Ram,    
H Ram--esses (Ramesses XI),    
           
B Ammin--nad-dab,  
H Amen--Nes-ba-neb-djed,  
           
B ...Nah--shon,  
H Amenem-Ne-shu,    
           
B S--almon,      
H Si--amun,      
           
B B--Oaz,    
H Bas--Uas--orkon,    
           
B ...Obed,      
H Amenem--Opet,      
           
B Je--sse,      
H Har--siese,      
           
B David,      
H Psusennes.      

This list clearly demonstrates that there are some equivalent names in both the historical chronology of Egypt and the Biblical chronology of the United Monarchy – indeed the two royal lines appear to mimic each other remarkably well. But there is a problem with this suggestion, because the pharaonic king-list ends up with a pharaoh called Psusennes, whereas the Biblical chronology results in King David. On the surface, there would appear to be no comparison to be made between these two monarchs whatsoever.

The method of making progress in this research is not simply to compare names, but to look at these characters’ attributes as well. There are two main claims to fame for King David: phrases and imagery that have come down to us through the centuries and the millennia, and which are probably as familiar to us now as they were nearly three thousand years ago during the reign of this famous king – the ‘Star of David’ and the ‘City of David’. Having highlighted these two, unique terms, the primary goal of this investigation would seem to be self-explanatory: if a member of the Egyptian royal family can be found who is strongly associated with both a star and a city, we may well be a long way down the road to resolving the identity of the historical King David.
As it happens, there was an Egyptian pharaoh of the twenty-first dynasty whose name in the hieroglyphic spelling encompassed both the star and the city glyphs, and he was called Pa-seba-kha-en-nuit.

Fig 1. Cartouche of Pasebakhaen-nuit (Psusennes or David)

The initial similarity between these two monarchs is, therefore, quite striking, and so the possibility exists that these monarchs may have been either related to each other or, more provocatively, the same individual. Having discovered this synchronism, it was even more interesting to find that the common Greek name for this particular pharaoh was Psusennes – the very same pharaoh who appears in the Egyptian king-list next to the Biblical King David.

If these two kings now appear to have once had rather similar attributes, their names still seem to be remarkably different. If these two monarchs are to be compared in some manner, then how did the Biblical scribes manage to confuse a complicated Egyptian name like Pa-seba-kha-en-nuit (Psusennes) with the Judaic name, David? The simple answer to this, is that the name David is a greatly shortened nickname, based upon the star glyph. The common pronunciation for this glyph is seba , as can be seen from the name Pa-seba-kha-en-nuit. However, seba is not the only word in Egyptian that can be used to describe a star, and the one that the scribes were thinking about when they made the Judaic translation of this name was actually djuat.

The Hebrew form of the name ‘David’ is pronounced Daveed dwd and even in this translation it is not difficult to see how this name was derived from the Egyptian original of djuat or djuait. But the Hebrew translation, as given in the text books, is not necessarily the original pronunciation of this royal name. The name of King David is only given by the three consonants of Daleth, Waw and Daleth, which can actually give us the name DVD or DUD dwd, and this is recognised as being the short form of the name David.

Since true vowels are not written in Hebrew text, they have to be inserted between these consonants to produce a name like DaVaD or DaUaD. But if the true pronunciation of this name is unknown then this insertion of vowels is largely based upon guesswork, and if the initial vowel were deleted in this particular case, then the resulting name for King David would be either DVaD or DUaD. Rectifying this error in pronunciation would mean that the real Hebrew name for King David was actually Duad, whereas the Egyptian word for this star was pronounced djuat. But the ‘t’ and ‘d’ consonants are almost interchangeable within the Egyptian alphabet, so the words djuat and djuad could be considered to be direct equivalents of each other. Only now can the truth of the matter be clearly seen, the Judaean King known as David [Duad] was most probably the Egyptian pharaoh called Psusennes (Pa-djuat-kha-en-nuit).

Sheba

Since this suggestion represents such a fundamental revision to both theology and history, such a list of similarities and coincidences is simply not enough evidence to convince the skeptical reader. Luckily for the theory, however, this scenario is further confirmed by the name of a daughter of this same pharaoh, who was known as Maakare Mu-Tamhat.

Surprising as it may seem, King David had a daughter who bore a strikingly similar name; she was called Maakhah Tamar rmt hkem. The only appreciable difference between the names of these two royal princesses is that the Judaean lady has dropped the ‘Mu’ from her second name – in the Hebrew texts, the Egyptian name Maakare Mu-Tamhat has become Maakare Tamhat, or Maakhah Tamar.

fig 2 Maakare mu-Tamhat or Maakah Tamar

It is at this point that the story diverges for a while, and the next task is to trace the origins of the legendary Queen of Sheba. So where did this famous queen really come from? Theologians will point towards Ethiopia, while historians will instead indicate that she came from Saba, an ancient city-state that was situated in modern-day Yemen. It transpires that both of these locations are wrong, and it was the first century historian Josephus who had a much better grasp of the history of this era, when he stated that the Queen of Sheba came instead from Egypt. This fact was actually noted in the Biblical texts, but the scribes were being typically obtuse in not actually naming this famous (Egyptian) queen in this particular verse:

And Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David. (1Ki 3:1)

While it is clear that an Egyptian princess did visit and marry King Solomon, the Bible tries to keep this verse separate from the section that details the ‘additional’ visit to King Solomon by the Queen of Sheba. (1Ki 10:1-13) But the Kebra Nagast, the Ethiopian Bible, eventually gives away the Judaic Bible’s long-lost secret. Firstly, the Kebra Nagast says that this ‘pharaoh’s daughter’ was actually the Queen of Sheba, which is remarkable enough. Secondly, the text then goes on to name this princess, and it would seem that she was originally known as Maakshare – a name that can also be read as Maakare, as the ‘kh’ and ‘sh’ transpositions between the Egyptian and Hebrew languages are numerous.

The result of this comparison between three different textual sources suggests that the Queen of Sheba was an Egypto-Judaean princess who was called Maakare Mu-Tamhat in the Egyptian language, and Maakhah Tamar in the Hebrew. But if this was true, then how did this Egypto-Judaean princess become known as the Queen of Sheba? The answer lies in the convoluted consanguinity rules that were applied during this era, and the resulting marriage between Princess Maakhah Tamar and her father, King David [Psusennes].

The precise Egyptian name for Pharaoh Psusennes [King David] was Pa-djuat-khaennuit. It was from the star glyph in this name , which can be pronounced as djuat, that this king’s nickname of Duad or David was derived. Since the djuat was a star that was closely associated with this particular pharaoh, the common phrase for this glyph became the ‘Star of Duad’ or the ‘Star of David’. In turn, since the princess called Maakhah Tamar was now married to King David [Psusennes], she would naturally have picked up the same associations, and so she is likely to have been known as the ‘Queen of King Duad’ or the ‘Queen of King David’.

But there is another, more common way of pronouncing this particular pharaoh’s name in the modern reference manuals, and that is Pa-seba-khaennuit . All that has happened here is that the star glyph has been translated as being the word seba (sheba) , which also means ‘star’. If this had been the fashion in ancient times, then King David could also have been known as King Sheba. This alteration would, of course, have had a corresponding effect on the title that was given to Maakhah Tamar, the daughter-wife of King David – instead of being known as the ‘Queen of King David’, she would quite naturally have been called the ‘Queen of King Sheba’, or perhaps the ‘Queen of Sheba’ for short.

The Biblical texts confirm this argument when they appear to show that Maakhah Tamar had another title, that of Bathsheba. This title is composed of two elements, bath tb meaning ‘daughter’ and sheba ebv meaning ‘Sheba’. However, this was the name of Maakhah Tamar before she married, and since she was King David’s daughter she would obviously have been called the ‘Daughter of Sheba’ (Bath Sheba). It was only after she married her father that she became the ‘Queen of Sheba’ (Malkah Sheba).

But the biblical texts say that the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon, not King David, so how does this new theory solve this little puzzle? The simple answer to this problem is that Maakhah Tamar [Bathsheba, the Queen of Sheba] was not only the wife of King David, but also the young mother of King Solomon. She may have retired to Upper Egypt after the death of King David – she disappears from the biblical record at this point in time – but when she later visited her most famous son, who was now the king of all Israel (and Lower Egypt), she was still known by her previous formal title of the Queen of Sheba. This would explain the great wealth and status that the biblical texts have attached to this monarch; she was, after all, both the king’s mother and the widow of the most powerful of all the monarchs in that era, King David [King Sheba or Pharaoh Psusennes].

Confirmation

While the evidence already given may seem to provide a convincing link between Kind David and the pharaoh Psusennes II, the final pieces of the jigsaw that truly confirm this hypothesis are the other characters that this theory can also identify. The first of these is the chief army commander of King David, who is said to have been called Joab. Surprisingly enough, the chief army commander of Psusennes II was called Un-tchoab-endjed, or Joab for short. Once more, the Biblical and historical accounts give the same name for this army commander, a fact that serves to strengthen the links between Psusennes II and King David.

Finally, there is the strange case of the chief architects of this era. The Bible indicates that the chief architect of King David and King Solomon was called Hiram Abi, who is the same individual as is it mentioned and revered in the Masonic world as Hiram Abif. Meanwhile, if we search though the historical record, it can be seen that the chief architect of the pharaoh Psusennes II was called Herum Atif. Again this investigation has discovered the same name for the same individual in two ‘completely separate’ royal dynasties.

fig 3 Un-joab-endjed (Joab) and Herum Atif (Hiram Atif)

It is apparent that the historical and Biblical records precisely agree on a number of names and positions within these two royal dynasties of the tenth century BC, and all of these characters were known to have lived just one generation before the pharaoh Sheshonq I (Bib. Shishak) came to the throne. Perhaps it is worth listing these individuals for clarity.

Biblical name Egyptian name Rank or position
King David (Duat) King Psusennes (Duat) A king who reigned before Shishak
Maakhah Tamar Maakhare Mu-Tamhat A daughter of the above king
Joab Un-joab-endjed (Joab) An army commander of the above king
Hiram Abi(f) Herum Atif A chief architect of the above king and his son


This is the tip of the great iceberg of evidence that Ralph has drawn together and which proves conclusively that the Judaic United Monarchy of King David was actually one and the same as the Lower Egyptian monarchy of the twenty-first and twenty-second dynasties. While this declaration in itself represents a major re-evaluation of both history and theology, this evidence also brings with it one further dramatic revelation.

A number of excavations have been conducted in Egypt over the years. One of these discovered a cache of royal mummies at at Deir el-Bahri near Thebes, while the 1939 expedition of Pierre Montet discovered some untouched tombs within the temple enclosure at Tanis. It is entirely possible that the sarcophaguses and mummys of King David, King Solomon, Joab, Hiram Abif and the Queen of Sheba all now reside in the Cairo Museum.