Greater than Amenhotep

This handsome fellow is Amenhotep III, known as ‘the Great’, along with two other pharaohs of Egypt (Ramses II and Ptolemy I). He reigned for a long time and patronised much art, for the period was characterised by peace, stability and prosperity. He ruled 1390-1352BC, and many enjoy speculating whether he was one of the kings named in the Hebrew Bible. I am not satisfied by any of the proffered theories, and I think he reigned while Israel was ruled by the Judges and preoccupied by their various foes. To the great Amenhotep, the descendants of his ancestors’ runaway slaves were an irrelevance, bickering and feuding with their polytheistic neighbours, while providing a useful buffer state between him and his Hittite and Mesopotamian rivals. Yet today, fascinated as we are by ancient Egypt, few of us know her kings. Apart from his grandson, King Tut, Amenhotep is largely forgotten, while the kings of those obscure tribes- David, Solomon, Josiah and Hezekiah- are still providing lessons and inspiration to people to this day. It was from the line of Shem and Abram that the greatest King would come, not Ham and Mizraim. Yet King Jesus, while but a child, resided in the land of Amenhotep until another, particularly wicked king died. If only he knew that One greater than he was coming, not on a war chariot, but on a humble donkey.

The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” Isaiah 19:25