The Earliest Reference to Israel and Its Possible Archaeological and Historical Background

In: Vetus Testamentum
Wolfgang Zwickel University of Mainz

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Pieter van der Veen University of Mainz

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Manfred Görg proposed to read the name Israel on a broken Egyptian inscription äm 21687, which is now kept in the storage facilities of the New Museum in Berlin. New research during the last number of years has confirmed this reading, although the writing of the name is different from that of the Merenptah inscription. Some characteristics appear to demonstrate that this inscription is older than the Israel stela of Merenptah and may likely date to the 14th or earlier 13th century bce. The paper will present some ideas about an earlier beginning of the formation of what is generally called Israel and about the way, how this early Israel came about.

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