Merneptah was a Pharaoh who ruled over Egypt in the late 13th century B.C. In 1896, renowned British archaeologist Flinders Petrie discovered a stone slab engraved with a description of Merneptah’s military victories in Africa and the Near East at Thebes. The inscription on the “Merneptah Stele” is significant because it likely contains the earliest known reference to the Israelites outside the Bible. The mention is short, simply saying, “Israel is laid waste, its seed is not.” Despite its brevity, the reference affirms a group identified as Israel was significant enough to be included among Pharaoh Merneptah’s conquests. The mention of Israel identifies them as a people, rather than as a city-state. Many scholars point to the period of the Judges as reflecting this set of tribal groups without a central city. Brought to you by Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.
More Book Minute Features
March 30, 2020
The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned several times in the Bible including his dramatic story of repentance in the Book of Daniel, Chapter...
March 16, 2020
Miserere mei Deus - Psalm 51
Miserere mei Deus (“Have mercy on me, O God”) by Gregorio Allegri, using the words from Psalm 51, is one of the most beautiful compositions ever writt...
March 09, 2020
Walt Whitman and the Bible in Poetry
Walt Whitman is regarded as one of America’s most significant 19th-century poets. Whitman references the Bible in several of his works. Evident in an...