Friday, October 2, 2009

Hyk-Merneptah Stele

Hyk-Merneptah Stele

Merneptah Stele

18th Dynasty 1550-1295 BC
Ahmose "drove out the Hyksos"
(8 kings after Ahmose)
Amenhotep III "errected the stele"
Amenhotep IV 1
Neferneferuaten 2
Tutankhamen 3
Ay 4
Horemheb 5
19th Dynasty 1295 - 1186 BC
Rameses I 6
Seti I 7
Rameses II 8
Merenptah 9
Merenpath inscribed the stele after Amenhotep and 8 other kings died? Did Amenhotep errect a blank stele and later Merenpath decided to use it for his own scratch pad?

Merneptah Stele / Israel Stele / Victory Stele

Discovered in the first court of Merneptah's mortuary temple at Thebes by Flinders Petrie in 1896

Now in the collection of the Egyptian Museum at Cairo is a fragmentary copy of the stele also found at Karnak.

Erected by Amenhotep III, later inscribed by Merneptah who ruled Egypt

The black granite stela : height of 318 cm/10 ft - width of 163 cm / 5 ft

The stela is dated to 1208 BC

There is not a single line about Israel. The hieroglyphic is foreigners:

"The foreigners are wasted, bare of seed" or no longer exists.

After doing a little research on the 1976 translation of this stele, I found out what the basis of translating the hieroglyphic word foreigner to Israel.

The woman who translated this happens to have the "Jewish name" (Miriam)

She lived in Israel and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She also wrote Talmudic material ... You can guess how the word foreigner was changed to Israel by this author.


The stela is a eulogy to pharaoh Merneptah, who ruled Egypt after Rameses describing a campaign to Canaan by Merneptah

Merneptah was the son of Rameses II and was the next ruler of Egypt in the late 13th century BC


A couple kings reigned between Rameses 2 and Ramses 3, Merneptah was one of them.

Exodus 1:11 ... The Egyptians set taskmasters over the Israelites.. and they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Ramses.

There was no city of Ramses until there was a king Ramses.

If Merneptah was the son of Ramses 2, then there could be only 2 kings before him.

Genesis 41:46 Joseph was 30 when he stood before Pharaoh

Genesis 50:26 Joseph died, at 110 years old.

110 - 30 = 80 years.

Exodus 1:8 There arose up a new, which knew not Joseph... so that would have to be at least 80 years after Joseph hung out with the pharaoh who's dreams were interpreted.

Genesis 46 There were 52 grandchildren of Israel who went into Egypt. From these all future Israelites would be created.

How many offspring's could be created in 80 years from 52 people?

* If the Israelites built the city of Rameses.. Rameses being any Rameses after Rameses 2, then of course Merneptah could not have encountered any such thing as a nation - Israel in the inscription because he was long dead when Rameses 3 came along.

Israelites in Egypt 430 years plus 40 years wandering in wilderness outside of Canaan = 470 years before they crossed over into Jordan.

From the time Joseph hung out with the Pharaoh of dreams, to the time another pharaoh did not know him was 80 years. The Israelites did not enter into Canaan, for 470 years after they first left. 470 - 80 = 390 years.

* If the Israelites built the city of Ramses 1 or Ramese 2, of course they would still have been in Egypt when Merneptah was fighting in Canaan and inscribed the stele to record the events.. during that period, the Israelites were living in Egypt.

( All of this based on the validity of the bible. If the bible is false of course the Israelites are nothing but myths like leprechauns or Robin Hood)


Merneptah erected a stele commemorating his victorious campaign against Canaan and Syria around 1212 to 1209 BC

On this stele is the earliest historical mention of the nation of Israel, which Merneptah claims to have totally annihilated


The translation is foreigners not Israel and IF the bible is true, there was nothing but a family of less than 50 members or the Israelites were in captivity in Egypt, when Merneptah fought in Canaan.


The black granite stela primarily commemorates a victory in a campaign against the Libu and Meshwesh Libyans and their Sea People allies, but its final two lines refer to a prior military campaign in Canaan in which Merneptah states that he defeated Ashkelon, Gezer, Yanoam and others.


If you were actually going to do a study of this translation I suppose you might print out the Word Definitions at the bottom of this page. It is confusing enough with out having a clue what some of the words mean.



Translation by Miriam Lichtheim. From Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume II (Berkeley: U of CA Press, 1976)

1 =============================

The Victory (Israeli) Stele of Merneptah

2 =============================

Year 5, 3rd month of summer, day 3, under the Majesty of Horus: Mighty Bull, Rejoicing in Maat; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Banere-meramun; the Son of Re: Merneptah, Content with Maat, magnified by the power, exalted by the strength of Horus; strong bull who smites the Nine Bows, whose name is given to eternity forever.

3 =============================

Recital of his victories in all lands, to let all lands together know, to let the glory of his deeds be seen: the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Banere-meramun; the Son of Re: Merneptah, Content with Maat; the Bull, lord of strength who slays his foes, splendid on the field of valour when his attack is made: Shu who dispelled the cloud that was over Egypt, letting Egypt see the rays of the sun disk.

4 =============================

Who removed the mountain of copper from the people's neck, that he might give breath to the imprisoned folk.

5 =============================

Who let Hut-Ka-Ptah exult over its foes, letting Tjenen triumph over his opponents.

6 =============================

Opener of Memphis' gates that were barred, who allowed the temples to receive their foods.

7 =============================

The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Banere-meramun, the Son of Re, Merneptah, Content with Maat.

8 =============================

The Sole One who steadied the hearts of hundred thousands, breath entered their nostrils at the sight of him.

9 =============================

Who destroyed the land of the Tjemeh in his lifetime, cast abiding terror in the heart of the Meshwesh.

10 =============================

He turned back the Libyans who trod Egypt, great is dread of Egypt in their hearts.

11 =============================

Their leading troops were left behind, Their legs made no stand except to flee, Their archers abandoned their bows, The hearts of their runners grew weak as they sped, They loosened their water-skins, cast them down, Their packs were untied, thrown away.

12 =============================

The vile chief, the Libyan foe, Fled in the deep of night alone, No plume on his head, his feet unshod, His wives were carried off from his presence, His food supplies were snatched away, He had no drinking water to sustain him.

13 =============================

The gaze of his brothers was fierce to slay him, His officers fought among each other, Their tents were fired, burnt to ashes, All his goods were food for the troops.

14 =============================

When he reached his country he was in mourning those left in his land were loath to receive him "A chief, ill-fated, evil-plumed", All said of him, those of his town.

15 =============================

"He is in the power of the gods, the lords of Memphis The Lord of Egypt has made his name accursed; Merey is the abomination of Memphis, So is son after son of his kin forever.

16 =============================

Banere-meramun will be after his children, Merneptah, Content with Maat is given him as fate.

17 =============================

He has become a [proverbial saying] for Libya, Generation says to generation of his victories: It was never done to us since the time of Re;" So says every old man speaking to his son.

18 =============================

Woe to Libyans, they have ceased to live In the good manner of roaming the field; In a single day their stride was halted In a single year were the Tjehenu burned! Seth turned his back upon their chief, By his word their villages were ruined; There's no work of carrying [loads] these days.

29 =============================

Hiding is useful, it's safe in the cave.

20 =============================

The great Lord of Egypt, might and strength are his, Who will combat, knowing how he strides? A witless fool is he who takes him on, He knows no tomorrow who attacks his border! As for Egypt, "Since the gods," they say, "She is the only daughter of Pre; His son is he who's on the throne of Shu, None who attacks her people will succeed.

21 =============================

The eye of every god is after her despoiler, It will make an end of all its foes", So say they who gaze toward their stars, And know all their spells by looking to the winds.

22 =============================

A great wonder has occurred for Egypt, Her attacker was placed captive (in) her hand, Through the counsels of the godly king, Who prevailed against his foes before Pre.

23 =============================

Merey who stealthily did evil To all the gods who are in Memphis, He was contended with in On, The Ennead found him guilty of his crimes.

24 =============================

Said the Lord-of-all: "Give the sword to my son, The right-hearted, kind, gracious Banere-meramun, Who cared for Memphis, who avenged On, Who opened the quarters that were barred.

25 =============================

He has freed the many shut up in all districts, He has given the offerings to the temples, He has let incense be brought to the gods, He has let the nobles retain their possessions, He has let the humble frequent their towns".

26 =============================

Then spoke the lords of On in behalf of their son, Merneptah, Content with Maat: "Grant him a lifetime like that of Re, To avenge those injured by any land; Egypt has been assigned him as portion, He owns it forever to protect its people".

27 =============================

Lo, when one dwells in the time of the mighty, The breath of life comes readily.

28 =============================

The brave bestows wealth on the just, The cheat cannot retain his plunder; [What a man has of ill-gotten wealth Falls to others, not (his) children.

29 =============================

] This (too) shall be said: Merey the vile foe, the Libyan foe Had come to attack the walls of Ta-tenen, Whose lord had made his son arise in his place, The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Banere-meramun, Son of Re, Merneptah, Content with Maat.

30 =============================

Then said Ptah concerning the vile Libyan foe: "His crimes are all gathered upon his head.

31 =============================

Give him into the hand of Merneptah, Content with Maat, He shall make him spew what he gorged like a crocodile.

32 =============================

Lo, the swift will catch the swift, The lord who knows his strength will snare him; It is Amun who curbs him with his hand, He will deliver him to his Ka in Southern On, The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Banere-meramun, Son of Re, Merneptah, Content with Maat".


33 Great joy has arisen in Egypt, Shouts go up from Egypt's towns; They relate the Libyan victories Of Merneptah, Content with Maat: "How beloved is he, the victorious ruler! How exalted is he, the King among the gods! How splendid is he, the lord of command! O how sweet it is to sit and babble!" One walks free-striding on the road, For there's no fear in people's hearts; Fortresses are left to themselves, Wells are open for the messengers' use.


34 Bastioned ramparts are becalmed, Sunlight only wakes the watchmen; Medjai are stretched out asleep, Nau and Tekten are in the fields they love.


35 The cattle of the field are left to roam, No herdsmen cross the river's flood; There's no calling out at night: "Wait, I come," in a stranger's voice.


36 Going and coming are with song, People don't [lament] and mourn; Towns are settled once again, He who tends his crop will eat it.


37 Re has turned around to Egypt, The Son is ordained as her protector, The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Banere-meramun, Son of Re, Merneptah, Content with Maat The princes are prostrate saying: "Shalom!" Not one of the Nine Bows lifts his head: Tjehenu is vanquished, Khatti at peace, Canaan is captive with all woe.


38 Ashkelon is conquered, Gezer seized, Yanoam made nonexistent; Israel foreigners are wasted, bare of seed, Khor is become a widow for Egypt.

Foreigners NOT Israel !


39 All who roamed have been subdued.


40 By the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Banere-meramun, Son of Re, Merneptah, Content with Maat, Given life like Re every day.


Word Definitions

I did a quick check of the meaning of the words I didn't know. I am not sure the definitions I did find, are the definitions of the words used in this translation. If you were really going to do a complete study of this stele, I suppose you should have print out of the definitions as you read along. If you find definitions I got wrong or didn't include, send me a post

Amun = a god

Ashkelon = Ashkelon is just 12 miles (19 kilometers) north of the Gaza Strip.

Banere-meramun = son of Re (Re = an Egyptian god)

Bastioned = ???

Canaan = Palestine / Israel

Ennead = Egyptian god

Gezer = Gezer is located c.8 km south-east of modern Ramla

Horus = An Egyptian god

Hut-Ka-Ptah = Another geographic term for Memphis

Ka = ???

Khatti = Kheta or Khatti were identical with the Hittites <> The Khatti were the rulers of the early Akkad-Sumerians

Khor = Khor is located 57 km from Doha

Miriam Lichtheim = Berkley woman with a "Jewish name" (Miriam) translated the stele. (1914, Istanbul – 2004, Jerusalem). She studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1982 she moved to Israel where she taught at the Hebrew University. She wrote Talmudic books

Maat = The Ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice

Medjai = Medjai were a tribal community, but split: one part was pastoral, the other served as soldiers in the Egyptian army. The Medjai were an ancient people of Nubia

Merey = Enemy of the Egyptians

Merneptah = Egyptian king who inscribed the stele

Meshwesh = An ancient Libyan (i.e., Berber) tribe from Cyrenaica

Nau = Unidentified person/god

Ptah = Ptah was the chief god of the ancient city of Memphis

Re = Re was identified with Horus, who as a falcon-god represented the loftiness of the skies

Shu = A god the Egyptians believed that Shu was the second divine pharaoh, ruling after Ra = Ra was more than just another god. He was the bringer of life and master of the heavens

Ta-tenen = Unidentified person/god

Tekten = Unidentified God/Person

Tjehenu = Inhabitants of the regions known as Tjemeh and Tjehnu, a more generic terms applied to the region west of the Delta, as far as Cyrenaica in modern Libya

Tjemeh = Inhabitants of the regions known as Tjemeh and Tjehnu, a more generic terms applied to the region west of the Delta, as far as Cyrenaica in modern Libya

Tjenen = Unidentified Egyptian?

Yanoam = Yanoam (located in Galilee)