MERENPTAH’S “ISRAEL,” THE BIBLE’S, AND OURS
By William Dever
Professor Emeritus, Judaic Studies
University of Arizona
This article is presented in PDF format, click Here for the article.
There is just one interesting question about this: whether or not Merneptah is referring to the territory of Judah as well. It is still an issue whether that territory was settled by a population that regarded itself (or would have been regarded) as 'Israel'.
Dever will never be a historian. Doesn't have mastery of the sources and can't think beyond the old boundaries of 'biblical archaeology'.
Maybe they were bigger groups with several religious or political centres.
It also seems (Stager himself seems to make this point in his article in the Oxford History of the Biblical World) that these groups were, or at least were presented to the Egyptian public by Merneptah as, quite similar, even if not identical, in culture and more or less on the same side against the evil empire.
This is not quite the Bible's Israel, is it?
And we should never forget that apart from trivial matters of appearances there is no scientific test for alleged racial differences and therefore no objective existence of different races. The ideas of race and nation are very important in imagination and poetry, but it is those who treat these poetic constructions as objective realities who are creating a postmodern merger between imagination and truth.
Use the form below to submit a new comment. Comments are moderated
and logged, and may be edited. You must provide your full name.
Inappropriate material will not be posted.