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SHISHAK (Heb. שִׁישַׁק), biblical name for Sheshonq (935–914 b.c.e.), founder of the 22nd (Bubastite) Dynasty of Egypt, and one of the last kings in Egyptian history to invade Palestine. His Tanite predecessors had markedly restrained themselves in this direction; Siamun captured Gezer in approximately 960 b.c.e., but immediately allied himself to *Solomon through a diplomatic marriage (i Kings 3:1; 9:16) and tried to restrain his Edomite protégé Hadad from revenge on Solomon (i Kings 11:14–22, 25). Shishak's campaign took place in the fifth year of *Rehoboam's reign (918/7 b.c.e.) and is recorded in i Kings 14:25–28, ii Chronicles 12:2–12, and in a relief at Karnak listing the 165 conquered cities. The motive for the campaign may have been ingratitude on the part of *Jeroboam, who earlier had found protection at Shishak's court (i Kings 11:40). Rehoboam was distracted by a task force dispatched to the Negev that penetrated as far as Edom, and he was made to pay a ransom from the Temple treasury; Jerusalem and Judah remained untouched. His southern fortifications (ii Chron. 11:5–12) may have been erected on this occasion. Shishak's main energies were directed against the north. He made a circuit of the area, bringing destruction on Gezer, Gibeon, cities in the Jordan valley, Shechem, Megiddo (where part of a stele bearing his name was found), and cities in the region of the Yarkon. Due to the destruction of Shechem, Jeroboam's residence was temporarily removed to Penuel (i Kings 12:25), which then also fell at the hands of Shishak's troops (it is not mentioned again in biblical sources).

[Irene Grumach]

In the Aggadah

Shishak's real name was Zevuv ("fly"), but he was so called because he longed (from the root Ḥa-SHa-K; "to desire") for the death of Solomon, whom he feared to attack (sor 20). The treasures which he plundered from Jerusalem (cf. i Kings 14:25ff.) were those which the children of Israel had taken from Egypt at the time of the Exodus (Ex. 12:36; Pes. 119a).


W.F. Albright, in: basor, 130 (1953), 4–11; B. Mazar, in: vts, 4 (1957), 57–66; J. Gray, i and ii Kings. A Commentary (1963), 114–6, 265, 313; G.E. Wright, Shechem (1965), 145. in the aggadah: Ginzberg, Legends, index; I. Ḥasida, Ishei ha-Tanakh (1964), 398.