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Egyptian military campaigns affecting Israel
A number of Egyptian rulers conducted substantial campaigns through Palestine. However, most of these were concerned with the coastal route towards Ugarit and ultimately the Hittites, and these can be expected to impinge only slightly on the Israelites until the monarchy period. Indeed, many of them proceeded by ship to the port of Byblos and continued from there. However, a few Pharaohs campaigned further inland, and these are more significant. It is of interest to compare the campaign march routes as recorded by the Egyptians with the Biblical record of Egyptian incursions. For example, 2 Chronicles 12.2-4, 9 (see also 1 Kings 14.25,26) speaks of an attack on Rehoboam by an Egyptian ruler referred to as 'Shishak' who "captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem"
. Jeroboam, the contemporary ruler of the northern kingdom of Israel, had fled into exile with Shishak during Solomon's reign (1 Kings 11.40, see also 2 Chronicles 10.2). He had fortified Shechem and built up Peniel (also called Penuel). Rehoboam meanwhile had been fortifying cities in the parts of Judah towards the Philistine and Egyptian borders.
The identification of 'Shishak' is of considerable interest for chronological purposes. Within conventional chronology Shoshenk I is indicated. Within the New Chronology, Rameses II is preferred, with Shoshenk's campaign about 100 years later in the reigns of Jehoahaz (north) and Joash (south). This campaign is not explicitly recorded in the Old Testament, although some people have seen the reference to "Israel's deliverer" in 2 Kings 13 as relating to this. Since this deliverance was from the power of Aram, and nothing is mentioned in connection with Judah, this link is somewhat tenuous. Both Rameses II and Shoshenk I conducted campaigns through the hill country including the vicinity of Jerusalem, and also in the northern parts of the country around Megiddo. Conventionally, Rameses' campaign would have been within the Judges era, at which time Israel did not control Jerusalem.