Damien F. Mackey
Comparing the tri-partite parallel crowning ceremonies of Solomon, by King David,
and of Hatshepsut by the 18th dynasty pharaoh, Thutmose (Tuthmosis) I.
The Coronation Ceremonies
The cultural overflow from the Israel of kings David and Solomon went to the very heart of the matter: to the coronation ceremony.
The very ceremonial procedure, in its three phases, that David used for the coronation of his chosen son, Solomon, was the procedure also used by pharaoh Thutmose I in the coronation of Hatshepsut, who is thought to have been the pharaoh’s daughter.
I have followed J. Baikie for the Egyptian texts below (A History of Egypt, A. and C. Black Ltd., London, 1929, Vol. 11, p. 63):
- The Assembly is Summoned
“David”, we are told, “assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of the tribes, the officers of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of thousands, … of hundreds, the stewards of all the property … and all the seasoned warriors” (I Chronicles 28:1).
Likewise in the case of the young Hatshepsut, Thutmose I: “… caused that there be brought to him the dignitaries of the king, the nobles, the companions, the officers of the court, and the chief of the people.
- The Future Ruler Presented
Next, David presented his son, Solomon, to the assembly as his successor, saying: ‘… of all my sons … the Lord … has chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord, over Israel. He said to me, ‘It is Solomon your son …. I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father’.’ (vv. 5-6).
So did Pharaoh present Hatshepsut to the august assembly: “Said His Majesty to them: ‘This my daughter … Hatshepsut …. I have appointed her; she is my successor, she it is assuredly who will sit on my wonderful seat [throne]. She shall command the people in every place of the palace; she it is who shall lead you …’.”
- The Assembly Embraces King’s Decision
The assembly of Israel concurred wholeheartedly with David’s decision: “And all the assembly blessed the Lord … and bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and did obeisance to the king …. And they ate and drank before the Lord on that day with great gladness” (29:20, 22). Similarly, in the case of the Egyptian officials: “They kissed the earth at his feet, when the royal word fell among them …. They went forth, their mouths rejoiced, they published his proclamation to them”.”
Might not one have imagined that Egypt, so steeped in ceremony and cultic procedure over so many dynasties and centuries would by now have had its own inviolable court system?
How great, therefore, must have been the Israel of King David’s time that even its ceremonial procedures had flowed into Egypt?