Israel, a people? (was: "his seed is not")
- Hello Doug.
On this one singular question, I had to wonder if the conventional interpretation was not too narrow.
By way of example, when referencing a variety of texts by Ramesses III where the Peleset are identified by name, we do see three different methods.
In the first case the name Peleset was accompanied by the 'tripple-hill' determinative (xAst) for Land.
In the second case Peleset is accompanied by the signs for "people" (as with Israel).
In the third case Peleset was accompanied by the 'warrior' (with bow) determinative.
What this may indicate is that the Egyptian scribe can be very specific as to what or whom he is referring to.
Assuming we only had the one example of Peleset + "people", would we also assume they had no land, and no military?
We can see, we would be wrong.
In this I am not at all suggesting the Israel, at the time of Merneptah, possessed both a land of their own and an organized military, but that for "us" to decide this single example of Israel + "people" which has survived is sufficient with which to judge.
It possibly is not.
On an Egyptian campaign, Merneptah met Israelite citizens perhaps families of unknown number, and eliminated them. Whether they were an undefended and isolated clan some distance from their 'home', is open to debate.
That is perhaps the most that can be interpreted from this one isolated example.
Regards, Jon Smyth
Kitchener, ON Can.
--- In ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org, "Douglas Petrovich" <dp@...> wrote:
> Finally, it was seen that the writer of the stele singled out Israel as unique among these Asiatic enemies by assigning to it the people-determinative, as opposed to the usual land-determinative. This allegedly communicates that the Israelite people had no fixed land or place of settled habitation, which directly would contradict the notion of at least one agricultural-view proponent, who determined that the crops in view here suggest that Israel was a sedentary people in the land of Canaan at this point in their history. Whether they were sedentary or not, however, cannot be substantiated from the text of the Merneptah Stele, since the focus of the Egyptian scribeâs hyperbolic claim was not upon Israelâs supply of grain and sustenance for life, but upon Israelâs very existence. This pharaonic boast was an empty one, though, as the Israelites continued to live.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Yigal - I knew about Albright but I did not know about Rainey. Honestly, I do not find the Tell el-Hammah identification credible. The inscription indicates Hammath was the leader of the revolt which involved other cities - all of them larger and more important. It is Hammath that threatens the Egyptian garrison of Beth-Shean while it is Pehel who beseiges Tell Rehov. Also, if Hammath revolted against Rehob, then I would expect Rehob to attack Hammath - not the other way around. Also, if it were an inter-city squabble, why attack the Egyptian garrison? That is a revolt against Seti! Seti sent 3 arms of his troops to the cities which suggests more than a few soldiers to deal with these cities. Were it about a squabble between cities, then when Seti arrived at Beth-Shean I would expect these cities to appeal to him and there would be no need for troops to go to these cities.
You may be correct about Hammath but I find it difficult to believe that story.
--- In ANEemail@example.com, Yigal Levin <yigal.levin@...> wrote:
> Hi again,
> Once more according to Rainey (Sacred Bridge p. 93, citing Albright from
> 1926), the Hamath involved was the small site of Tell el-Hammah, 16 km south
> of Beth-shean, which would make it about 10 km south of THAT Rehob. Rainey's
> reconstruction is that Hamath was a vassal of Rehob (which is a much larger
> site), and rebelled, encouraged by Pehel, Rehob's rival. Pehel and Hamath
> first neutralized the Egyptian "police post" (Raney's words) at Beth-shean
> and then attacked Rehob, at which point Seti intervened. We have no way of
> knowing what Yenoam's role in the story was, only that Seti sent a force
> there as well.
> It makes much more sense to read this as a minor squabble between rival
> cities, all within a 20 km radius of Beth-shean, than as a major war
> involving such far-away places as the north-Syrian Hamath. Remember that the
> victory stele was set up at Beth-shean, and no mention of this has been
> found in Egypt itself.