Biblical bottles: Jeroboam to Salmanazar

Rehoboam – four and a half litres/six bottles
Used in: Champagne and Burgundy

The arrogance of Rehoboam towards the elders of the Ten Tribes of Israel by Hans Holbein the Younger

Rehoboam, as the first part made clear, was the son and successor of Solomon. His apparent arrogance and threats to tax and “chastise… with scorpions” the 10 northern tribes of Israel led to their rebellion and the sundering of the united kingdom. Jeroboam became king of Israel (Samaria) and Rehoboam king of Judah, which encompassed the territories of the tribes of Benjamin and Judah and with Jerusalem as his capital.

After his declaration to the northern tribes he was forced, ignominiously, to flee Sechem without being crowned after one of his lieutenants was stoned to death by a mob.

Although a state of war existed between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Rehoboam did not succeed in defeating the rebellious northern tribes and his attentions were soon drawn elsewhere when his territory was invaded by the Egyptians.

In the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign, the pharaoh ‘Shishaq’ invaded Judah with over 1,000 chariots and, say the chronicles, swarms of subject soldiery: Libyans, Sukkites and Kushites. Shisaq as he is referred to in both Kings and Chronicles has tentatively been identified as Shoshenq I who did pursue an aggressive foreign policy in the Levant, attacking numerous towns in the region as listed on the Bubasite Portal.

According to the Biblical narrative, Sishaq captured the fortified towns leading to Jerusalem and laid siege to the city. The Book of Kings relates that Rehoboam was forced to give up the city and Shisaq marched off with “the treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made,” and Judah became a vassal state of Egypt.

However, Jerusalem is not mentioned on Shoshenq’s list of conquered places, leading some to suggest he is not the Shishak of the Bible. Others suggest that Jerusalem may be one of the missing names on the list (many are lost or damaged) or Rehoboam may have surrendered the city and its treasures without a fight so Shoshenq did not consider it truly part of his conquests. Not that pharaohs are much noted for their humility.

Rehoboam is said to have died in 913 BC, to be succeeded by his son, Abijam.

5 Responses to “Biblical bottles: Jeroboam to Salmanazar”

  1. Kent Benson says:

    “In the Book of Samuel, Saul does indeed meet death and defeat at the hands of the Philistines at the Battle of Gilboa after proving himself unworthy in the eyes of God, although whether he fell on his own sword or was polished off by an Amalekite is unknown as both accounts are given in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel respectively.”

    The II Sam. 1:1-16 account of Saul being killed by an Amalekite at the battle of Gilboa was a story told to David by the very Amalekite in question. It is thought that the Amalekite was an opportunist hoping to curry favor with the heir to the throne (David) by delivering the news of Saul’s death and taking credit for it. It didn’t work, David had him killed for slaying “God’s anointed.”

    The Amalekite’s story is probably not what actually happened. The history recorded by the chroniclers of I & II Samuel (I Sam. 31:1-6) has Samuel killing himself with his sword in order to avoid torture at the hands of the Philistines, after being incapacitated by a Philistine arrow – this, only after his armourbearer refused to do the job. An almost identical account is recorded in I Chron. 10:1-6.

  2. Kent Benson says:

    “Of course, these figures are nonsense, although people have tried to justify them literally through all manner of tenuous arguments.”

    It is your explanation of the Bible’s account of pre-flood longevity that is tenuous. Many things in the Bible seemed like nonsense until science advanced to enough to give them credence. Isaiah 40:22 refers to the “circle of the earth”, which was nonsense prior to Galileo. The physical world prior to a world-wide flood could have been dramatically different. According to the biblical record, it never rained, instead a mist went up from the earth to water the ground (Gen. 2:5-6). One speculation is that a filtering canopy surrounded the earth blocking virtually all harmful solar radiation. In addition, there could have been a much more oxygen-rich environment contributing to longevity. We’re not likely to ever know why humans may have lived much longer thousands of years ago, but treating the idea as nonsense is a closed minded approach to examining human history.

  3. There are several kings named Shalmaneser, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalmaneser .
    Shalmaneser II was the king of Assyria 1030–1019 BC and ruled for 12 years according to the Assyrian Kinglist.
    So, I think, a big bottle containing 12 standard bottles, is named in honor of these 12 years 🙂

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