Skip to comments.Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief...
Posted on 12/07/2010 6:48:32 PM PST by SunkenCiv
...As for the name rings on the slab no. 21687, three names can be discerned. The first on the left reads... "Ashkelon." A similar writing (but with a vowel marker) is attested on Merenptah's Israel Stele... The name in the central ring reads... "Canaan." This form of the name is well attested during the Eighteenth Dynasty, and finds close parallels under Amenhotep II... Görg derives the name "Canaan"... translating it as "low land"... and suggests that the... ending reflects an Amorite name pattern. This too would underscore the antiquity of the name... As discussed above, evidence of early orthography is evident also from the other names on the Berlin pedestal relief, Ashkelon and Canaan, which both reveal archaic elements that suggest this section of the topographical list had been copied from an earlier source that could have had its origin during the first half of the Eighteenth Dynasty, or perhaps earlier still (Second Intermediate Period?)... The topographical sequence of the name [Israel] on the Berlin pedestal relief occurs together with Ashkelon and Canaan and therefore closely resembles the topographical names listed in close proximity to Israel on the Israel Stele (i.e., Pa-Canaan, Ashkelon, Gezer, Yenoam, Israel)... their geographical nearness suggests the identification... no linguistically feasible name is attested in any of the extant texts, so "Israel" remains the most logical candidate... It is to be expected that many scholars will find it hard to accept that the name... on the... relief could refer to biblical Israel in Canaan prior to the reign of Merenptah... If the name refers to biblical Israel, and if it was located in Canaan... and ifthe names had been copied from an earlier source... this would indeed suggest that Proto-Israelites had migrated to Canaan sometime nearer the middle of the second millenium BCE.
(Excerpt) Read more at ia700308.us.archive.org ...
Full title: Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687
The next theory reduces the age of the Exodus further: it has for its cornerstone a stele of Merneptah, in which this king of the Nineteenth Dynasty says that Palestine "is a widow" and that "the seed of Israel is destroyed." This is regarded as the earliest mention of Israel in an Egyptian document. Merneptah did not perish in the sea, nor did he suffer a debacle; he obviously inflicted a defeat on Israel and ravaged Palestine. The circumstances do not correspond with the pronounced tradition of Israel, but since it is the first mention of Israel, Merneptah is regarded by many as the Pharaoh of the Exodus (about 1220), and Ramses II, his predecessor, as the Pharaoh of Oppression. 15 Other scholars, however, consider the mention of Israel in Palestine in the days of Merneptah not as a corroboration, but as a refutation of the theory that Merneptah was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. They argue that if he found Israel already in Palestine, he could not have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus. [p.9]...
They are believed to have left Egypt in the days of Merneptah (though his stele mentions Israel as already in Canaan), but they did not appear iu Palestine until after the invading Philistines, with whom Ramses III battled. Accordingly, the invasion of Palestine by the Philistines is put some fifty years after the Exodus and a few years before the conquest of Canaan by Israel....
The arrival of the Israelites in Palestine in the days of Merneptah., and still less in the days of Ramses III after his campaign there* in 1186, leaves no room for the events of the Judges who guided the people for four centuries prior to Saul and David... [p.10]
It is appropriate here to explain the name "Retenu" or "Rezenu" often employed in the Egyptian inscriptions of the New Kingdom to designate Palestine. Galilee is called "Upper Rezenu." "Rezenu" is apparently a transcription of the name used by the population of Palestine for their land. The Hebrew language must be questioned on its meaning.
In the Scriptures Palestine is frequently called "Erez" ( country ), "Erez Israel" (the land of Israel), and "Arzenu" (possessive case, "our country"). What the Egyptologists read as Retenu or Rezenu is probably the "Arzenu" of the Bible.
In only one inscription of the Middle Kingdom (Twelfth Dynasty) under Sesostris III is the name Rezenu mentioned it is a very short account of a raid into that country against M-n-tyw. As we shall find the same name, Mntyw, in Egyptian documents of a much later period, that of King Menashe (Manasseh), the Mntyw of the Middle Kingdom must mean the tribe Menashe. If the inscription is correctly attributed to the time of Sesostris III, the mention of the tribe Menashe would imply that before the Israelites had come to stay in Egypt they had dwelt in Palestine, not as a single patriarchal family, but as tribes strong enough to be regarded as enemies by the pharaoh. This would accord with the tradition of a defeat inflicted by Abraham and the servants of his household on the kings of Shinar and Elam and their allies (Genesis 14), and with the number of the Israelites (about two million, including women and children) in the days of the Exodus, after some two hundred years of sojourning in Egypt. [pp.173-4]
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It didn’t come through. :’(
Weird, two different errors. Here’s the page:
And, I had to hand-type the text from the PDF, so I really think I should be feted from one end of the country to the other. Okay, maybe that’s going overboard.
Ouch! I’ve done that before too. Painful.
It’s feted here, in the heartland, though I can’t speak for the coasts.
Can't prove it but I've long thought that Radhanite was derived from Retenu.
Under Mac OS X I could have just selected all, copied, and pasted the text into an editor (have done that before). The pics are nice in the original. All those interested should d/l the PDF while it’s available, probably won’t be for long.
Yeah, well, their guess is as good as mine. I’ll go check it out but I bet they admit they’re just guessing!
I’ll buy you a beer. Now, if you had said “I had to hand set the type first....”
But this is interesting. And anything that gets Velikovsky in the mention rates right up there.
In fact, I’ll buy you 2.
Ha! Scholar #668 suggests/believes that Radhan=Retenu.
I’ve done that too, but I once (pre-computer era) transcribed a 19 page document by hand from the National Archives then retyped it on my Underwood typewriter.
I’ve got Underwood near me, on a shelf — but it’s a can of deviled ham. :’)
...a district in Mesopotamia called "the land of Radhan" in Arabic and Hebrew texts of the period.And we have a winner. :')
Why would anyone want to be fetid?
And, I had to hand-type the text from the PDF...
I don't get it.
Sure you did, it’s up in message one. ;’)
Maybe it’s fated.
Nubian name.11 Although the outer right name ring is incomplete, its name can be clearly restored as °F»C°, R- t- n- w + [Xr.]t, or as°F»w°, R-t- n- w + [Hr.]t i.e., (Upper) Retenu. Slab no. 21687 has been tentatively dated by Manfred Görg to the Nineteenth Dynastypossibly to the reign of Ramesses II primarily because the mention of the three names (see below) resembles that of Merenptahs Israel Stele rather closely.12 e date may be further supported by additional iconographic features from the same reign at the temple of Karnak (Ashkelon Wall) and a possible vorlage from the reign of Ramesses II.13 Alternatively, the relief may be older (as originally suggested by Görg and Raphael Giveon, who dated it to the Eighteenth Dynasty).14 There is also a band of hieroglyphs carved above the heads of the prisoners depicted on slab no. 21687 that reads: .C°¾»4C¼¼ª°õ , [ . . . ] Xtb.wXrrd. wi=f [ . . . ]: one, who is falling on his feet . . .Granted it's not very "clean"(symbols wouldn't transcribe for eg) but with a little housekeeping would serve the purpose, no? I'm just curious if there's something I'm missing here. Or maybe it's more trouble to copy and clean than retype???
As I noted earlier, I could do that under OS X, but I’m running a 15 year old machine (original hard drive, btw) under 9.2.2.
The other method is to take a screen shot — which can then be cropped and looks exactly like the original — and upload it to Tinypic, but I haven’t been able to get Tinypic to work in a year, it won’t accept my uploads.
Thorughout history, it is ‘your’ land if you can take it and hold it.
“Get off this estate.
Because it is mine.
Where did you get it?
From my father.
Where did he get it?
From his father.
And where did he get it?
He fought for it.
Well, Ill fight you for it.
Carl Sandburg, poet and biographer (January 6, 1878 July 22, 1967)
I also considered doing the screen save, then clipping out the “problem” parts (the weirdo fonts), saving those as tiny graphics files, then doing a graphic-to-TABLE conversion, that would have worked, but wow, the time.
Waaaaaay too much trouble. You already went above and beyond the call of duty. Thanks!
My pleasure. Y’know, that gets me thinking, I’d better check the filename I saved all this under, because basically always I misspell the name of this pharaoh.
Thanks! I’ll send the usual five bucks for that one. ;’)
Rohl (in "Pharaohs and Kings") follows Kenneth Kitchen that Zaphnath-paaneah translates as "he who is called Pa'aneah", and that Pa'aneah was really Ipiankhu, a name common in the Middle Kingdom but "'not any later.'" His Biblical wife Asenath was named "Ius-en-at ('she belongs to you')". [p 350]Joseph and Potiphar[R]ealizing that the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt took place not during the New Kingdom but during the preceding Middle Kingdom, in order to find out whether the personality of Joseph or the patron of the early stage of his career, Potiphar, is referred to in the historical documents, we have to look into those of the Middle Kingdom. The task appears simple. According to the Book of Genesis Potiphar was "an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard." In the register of the private names to the Ancient Records of Egypt by James Breasted, we find the name Ptahwer. Ptahwer was at the service of the Pharaoh Amenemhet III of the Twelfth Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom. According to an inscription of Ptahwer at Sarbut el-Khadem in Sinai dated in the forty-fifth year of Amenemhet III, his office was that of "master of the double cabinet, chief of the treasury." ...Since there is only one Ptahwer in the historical documents, and since he lived in the time when we expect to find him, we are probably not wrong in identifying the biblical Potiphar with the historical Ptahwer... In the days of Amenemhet III there occurred in Egypt a famine enduring nine long years... Thus it seems that the Pharaoh in whose days was the seven years' famine was the successor of the Pharaoh in whose days began the rise of Joseph's career (if Yatu is Joseph). Potiphar, who lived under Amenemhet III, probably lived also under his successor. The inscription which deals with Ptahwer mentions a man whose name is transliterated by Breasted as Y-t-w. Among the monuments of Amenemhet III's reign is one of the Storekeeper who was honored together with two other persons... If we remember that according to the Scriptural narrative Joseph was appointed storekeeper of the State (Gen. 41:40-41) in anticipation of the seven lean years, with the powers of a chief Minister of State or Vice-King, we may suspect in Yatu the Biblical Joseph. In the Scriptures it is said that his name was changed by Pharaoh to Zaphnath-paaneah, but still his original name may have been in use until he became next to the Pharaoh in importance.
by Immanuel Velikovsky
Oh, and hang on to the five bucks for now. It might put me in a higher tax bracket. I'll know more after the first of the year...
Does the Merneptah Stele Contain the First Mention of Israel?
Scholars Manfred Görg, Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis say maybe not
Biblical Archaeology Society Staff