The Merneptah Stele and Early ‘Israel’.
The inclusion of ‘Israel’ in the Merneptah Stele demonstrates the importance of these people. It was not in the traditions of the Egyptian scribes to mention an entity that was considered socially inferior or of little importance in the political environment of the era. Poetic licence and propaganda was employed to ensure the Egyptian …show more content…
Different interpretations of the line mentioning ‘Israel’ also support Leuchter’s claim a full victory may not have been achieved. Egyptologist Joseph Davidovits refutes the accepted translation of ‘Israel is laid waste, his seed is not’ and proposes a new translation on the basis of the hieroglyphs being read incorrectly (the owl being read as a vulture in line 27), therefore the new translation is ‘existing is Israel the people’. If the Israelites were not conquered and their ‘seed’ was not laid waste then this would also allow for a solid framework for the establishment of the Hebrew monarchy and much to the consternation of minimalist scholars, a loose confirmation of the biblical traditions .
The location of ‘Israel’ in the central highlands, protected them from conquering factions and larger armies, and also set them apart from the people of the Canaan lowlands . The other factor that constituted a strong coalition of the people was the common identity shared by