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Does the Bible mention Pharaoh Merneptah?
This painting is of a granite statue of Pharaoh Merneptah with his royal head-dress now in the Egyptian Museum. Merneptah reigned in Egypt during the 19th dynasty (1213-1203 BC), and he was the son of the great Rameses II. His name is inscribed on the cartouche on his right shoulder. It is this Pharaoh who mentions the people of Israel in his monument called "The Merneptah Stela", where he boasts of a decisive victory over "Israel". The Merneptah Statue discovery is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology, it shows an image of the Pharaoh of Egypt who mentions the Israelites dwelling in the land of Canaan during the time of Joshua and the Judges.
Joshua 15:9 "And the border was drawn from the top of the hill unto the fountain of the water of Nephtoah, and went out to the cities of mount Ephron; and the border was drawn to Baalah, which [is] Kirjathjearim"
In Hebrew the name Nephtoah is Mei Neftoah which is derived from Pharaoh Merneptah.
Judges 10:6 - And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.
Merneptah at the Egyptian Museum
Name: KING MERENPTAH
King Name: Merenptah
Date: New Kingdom , 19th Dynasty
Material: Gray Granite
Floor: ground, Room 9
JE 31414, CG 607
Egyptian Museum Excerpt
Merenptah was the thirteenth son of Ramses II. He reigned for ten years during which he successfully repelled the invasions of the Libyans and the Sea Peoples. This bust is an idealized portrait of the king depicted as the sovereign at a young age. The bust tends to emphasize the power rather than the actual features of the king who was probably over 50 years old at the time the statue was made. The sculpture derives from a colossal seated statue of Merenptah and was found at the king's mortuary temple at Thebes. The king's cartouches with their royal titulary are elegantly inscribed on his shoulders.
Met Museum Excerpt
Merneptah was the fourteenth son of Ramesses II by his queen Istnofret. Already of advanced age, he built little except for a palace at Memphis, his mortuary temple at Thebes (for which he took much of the building material as well as many of the statues from the adjacent temple of Amenhotep IIII), and his exceptionally large tomb in the Valley of the Kings. After the long reign of Ramesses II and the period of peace begun with the Hittite treaties, the whole Mediterranean world was in upheaval. Egypt was attacked from the west by the Libyans in coalition with the Sea Peoples. Merneptah successfully repelled this invasion as well as campaigning in southern Palestine.
Osirid figure of Merneptah,
New Kingdom, Dynasty 19,
reign of Merneptah, ca. 1213–1203 B.C.,
H. 7 1/4 in. (18.5 cm)
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
Merneptah Figurine at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Also See The Israel Stela