Biblical Bibliographies
Charles Conroy []

The "Israel Stela" of Merneptah (Merenptah)

[see also:  Egypt and Canaan]

The bibliography is divided into three sections as follows:

I.    On the Stela of Merneptah (Merenptah), with particular reference to its mention of "Israel"

1.   Text, translations, and images

i)   Early publications

Petrie, W. M. Flinders, Six Temples at Thebes, 1896. With a chapter by Wilhelm Spiegelberg, and 26 plates (London: B. Quaritch, 1897): see pp. 28-29 for a translation of the Merneptah stele by Spiegelberg, with plates 13-14.

Spiegelberg, W., "Der Siegeshymnus des Merneptah auf der Flinders Petrie-Stele", ZÄS 34 (1896) 1-25.

Spiegelberg, W., "Zu der Erwähnung Israels in dem Merneptah-Hymnus", OLZ 9 (1908) 403-405.

ii)   More recent publications

Davies, B. G., Ramesside Inscriptions, Translated and Annotated, Notes and Comments. Volume IV: Merenptah and the Late Nineteenth Dynasty (Ramesside Inscriptions Notes, Book 3; Chichester & Malden, MT: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).

Kitchen, K. A., Ramesside Inscriptions, Historical and Biographical. Vol. IV: Merenptah and the Late 19th Dynasty (Oxford: Blackwell, 1982).

Kitchen, K. A., Ramesside Inscriptions, Translated & Annotated Translations. Vol. IV: Merenptah & the Late Nineteenth Dynasty (Ramesside Inscriptions Translations, 6; Oxford: Blackwell, 2003) 10-15: "Triumph-Hymn, Cairo and Karnak ('Israel-Stela')".

iii)   Recent translations in standard collections

Hoffmeier, J. K., "The (Israel) Stela of Merneptah", COS 2.6:40-41. [only the Israel part]

Kaplony-Heckel, U., "Die Israel-Stele des Mer-en-ptah, 1208 v. Chr", TUAT 1:544-552.

Lichtheim, M., Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings, Vol. 2 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1976) 73-78: "The Poetical Stele of Merneptah (Israel Stele)".

Weippert, M., "Die sog. 'Israel-Stele' des Pharao Merenptah­", in M. Weippert – J. F. Quack – B. U. Schipper – S. J. Wimmer, Historisches Textbuch zum Alten Testament (Grundrisse zum Alten Testament, 10; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010) 168-171.

Wilson, J. A., "Hymn of Victory of Mer-ne-Ptah (The 'Israel Stela')", ANET 376-378. [the whole text]

iv)   Photographs

Pritchard, J. B., ANEP ## 342 and 343 (p. 115).

2.   Studies

Ahlström, G. W. – D. Edelman, "Merneptah's Israel", JNES 44 (1985) 59-61.

Atwell, J., "Treasures of Merenptah in the Karnak Temple at Luxor: The Record of the Walls of the Cour de la Cachette", in J. K. Aitken – K. J. Dell – B. A. Mastin (eds.), On Stone and Scroll: Essays in Honour of Graham Ivor Davies (BZAW 420; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011) 23-38.

Bimson, J. J., "Merenptah's Israel and Recent Theories of Israelite Origins", JSOT 49 (1991) 3-29.

Bruce, L. D., "The Merenptah Stele and the Biblical Origins of Israel", JETS 62 (2019) 463-493.

Dever, W. C., "Israelites", in K. A. Bard (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (London: Routledge, 1999) 382-384.

Dever, W. G., "Merenptah's 'Israel', the Bible's, and Ours", in J. D. Schloen (ed.), Exploring the Longue Durée: Essays in Honor of Lawrence E. Stager (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2009) 89-96.

Dijkstra, M., "Origins of Israel between History and Ideology", in B. Becking – L. L. Grabbe (eds.), Between Evidence and Ideology: Essays on the History of Ancient Israel Read at the Joint Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study and the Oud Testamentisch Werkgezelschap, Lincoln, July 2009 (OTS 59; Leiden: Brill, 2011) 41-82 (esp. 47-61).

Dijkstra, M., "Canaan in the Transition from the Late Bronze to the Early Iron Age from an Egyptian Perspective", in L. L. Grabbe (ed.), The Land of Canaan in the Late Bronze Age (LHB/OTS 636; London & New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017) 59-89.

Engel, H., "Die Siegesstele des Merneptah. Kritischer Überblick über die verschiedenen Versuche historischer Auswertung des Schlussabschnitts", Bib 60 (1979) 373-399.

Fecht, G., "Die Israelstele, Gestalt und Aussage", in M. Görg (ed.), Fontes atque Pontes. Eine Festgabe für Hellmut Brunner (ÄAT 5; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1983) 106-138.

Freedman, D. N. – D. Miano, "'His Seed is Not': 13th Century BCE Israel", in S. Gitin – J. E. Wright – J. P. Dessel (eds.), Confronting the Past. Archaeological and Historical Essays on Ancient Israel in Honor of William G. Dever (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006) 295-301.

Frolov, S., "Merneptah's Israel and the Horite Genealogy in Gen 36:20-30", Aula Orientalis 13 (1995) 203-209.

Goedicke, H., "Remarks on the 'Israel-Stela'", Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 94 (2004) 53-72 [with a photograph between pp. 72 and 73].

Görg, M., Die Beziehungen zwischen dem Alten Israel und Ägypten: von den Anfängen bis zum Exil (EdF 290; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1997).

Görg, M., "Israel in Hieroglyphen", BN 106 (2001) 21-27. Reprinted in his Mythos und Mythologie. Studien zur Religionsgeschichte und Theologie (ÄAT 70; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010) 251-258.

Hasel, M. G., "Israel in the Merneptah Stela", BASOR 296 (Nov. 1994) 45-61.

Hasel, M. G., "Merenptah's Inscription and Reliefs and the Origin of Israel", in B. A. Nakhai (ed.), The Near East in the Southwest: Essays in Honor of William G. Dever (AASOR 58; Boston, MA: American Schools of Oriental Research, 2003) 19-44.

Hasel, M. G., "The Structure of the Final Hymnic-Poetic Unit on the Merenptah Stela", ZAW 116 (2004) 75-81.

Hasel, M. G., "Merenptah's Reference to Israel: Critical Issues for the Origin of Israel", in R. S. Hess – G. A. Klingbeil – P. J. Ray, Jr. (eds.), Critical Issues in Early Israelite History (Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplement, 3; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2008) 47-59.

Hjelm, I. – T. L. Thompson, "The Victory Song of Merneptah, Israel and the People of Palestine", JSOT 27.1 (Sept. 2002) 3-18.

Hoffmeier, J. K., Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), esp. 27-31.

Hollis, S. T., "Two Hymns as Praise Poems, Royal Ideology, and History in Ancient Israel and Ancient Egypt: A Comparative Reflection", in S. Bar – D. Kahn – J. J. Shirley (eds.), Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism, Ideology and Literature. Proceedings of a Conference at the University of Haifa, 3-7 May 2009 (CHANE 52; Leiden: Brill, 2011) 115-135.

Hornung, E., "Die Israelstele des Merenptah", in M. Görg (ed.), Fontes atque Pontes. Eine Festgabe für Hellmut Brunner (ÄAT 5; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1983) 224-233.

Kahn, D., "A Geo-Political and Historical Perspective of Merneptah's Policy in Canaan", in G. Galil – A. Gilboa – A. M. Maeir – D. Kahn (eds.), The Ancient Near East in the 12th-10th Centuries BCE: Culture and History. Proceedings of the International Conference Held at the University of Haifa, 2-5 May, 2010 (AOAT 392; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2012) 255-268.

Kitchen, K. A., "The Physical Text of Merenptah's Victory Hymn (The 'Israel' Stela)", Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 24 (1997) 71-76.

Kitchen, K. A., "The Victories of Merenptah, and the Nature of their Record", JSOT 28.3 (Mar. 2004) 259-272.

Knauf, E. A., "The Impact of the Late Bronze III Period on the Origins of Israel", in L. L. Grabbe (ed.), The Land of Canaan in the Late Bronze Age (LHB/OTS 636; London & New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017) 125-132.

Kruchten, J.-M., "Quelques passages difficiles de la Stèle d'Israël", Göttinger Miszellen: Beiträge zur ägyptologischen Diskussion 140 (1994) 37-48.

Lurson, B., "Israël sous Merenptah ou le sort de l'ennemi dans l'Égypte ancienne", in J. Riaud (ed.), Étrangers et exclus dans le monde biblique. Colloque international à l'Université catholique de l'Ouest, Angers, les 21 et 22 février 2002 (Angers: Les Éditions de l'UCO, 2003) 45-62.

Morenz, L. D., "Wortwitz – Ideologie – Geschichte: »Israel« im Horizont Mer-en-ptahs", ZAW 120 (2008) 1-13.

Nestor, D., "Merneptah's 'Israel' and the Absence of Origins in Biblical Scholarship", CBR 13.3 (June 2015) 293-329. [available online here]

Nibbi, A., Canaan and Canaanite in Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Discussions in Egyptology and DE Publications, 1989), esp. 73-104.

Nibbi, A., "Some Unanswered Questions on Canaan and Egypt and the So-Called Israel Stela", BN 73 (1994) 74-89.

Nibbi, A., "Some Remarks on the Merenptah Stela and the So-Called Name of Israel", Discussions in Egyptology 36 (1996) 79-102.

Niccacci, A., "La stèle d'Israël. Grammaire et stratégie de communication," in M. Sigrist (ed.), Études égyptologiques et bibliques à la mémoire du Père B. Couroyer (CahRB 36; Paris: Gabalda, 1997) 43-107.

Otto, E., Jakob in Sichem. Überlieferungsgeschichtliche, archäologische und territorialgeschichtliche Studien zur Entstehungsgeschichte Israels (BWANT 110; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1979) 199-227.

Pfoh, E., "¿Cuándo comienza la historia de Israel en la antigua Palestina? Apuntes para una discusión", Historiae 12 (2015) 1-13.

Rainey, A. F. – F. Yurco, "Which Picture is the Israelites?", BAR 17/6 (Nov.-Dec. 1991) 54-61.93. Details: Photos of the Karnak reliefs in question (pp. 54-55); "Which Picture Is the Israelites? Anson F. Rainey's Challenge" (pp. 56-60.93); "Yurco's Response" (p. 61).

Rainey, A. F., "Israel in Merenptah's Inscription and Reliefs", IEJ 51 (2001) 57-75.

Redford, D. B., "The Ashkelon Relief at Karnak and the Israel Stela", IEJ 36 (1986) 188-200.

Redford, D. B., "Merenptah (Person)", ABD IV (1992) 700-701.

Servajean, F., Mérenptah et la fin de la XIXe dynastie (Les grands pharaons; Paris: Pygmalion, 2014).

Singer, I., "Merneptah's Campaign to Canaan and the Egyptian Occupation of the Southern Coastal Plain of Palestine in the Ramesside Period", BASOR 269 (Feb. 1988) 1-10.

Sourouzian, H., Les monuments du roi Merenptah (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Abteilung Kairo, Sonderschrift 22; Mainz am Rhein: von Zabern, 1989).

Sourouzian, H., "Merenptah", in D. B. Redford (gen. ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. 3 vols. (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2000) 2.379-381.

Sparks, K. L., "Merneptah's Stele and Deborah's Song", in K. L. Sparks, Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Israel: Prolegomena to the Study of Ethnic Sentiments and Their Expression in the Hebrew Bible (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1998) 94-124.

Stager, L. E., "Merneptah, Israel and the Sea Peoples: New Light on an Old Relief", in B. Mazar – Y. Yadin (eds.), Nahman Avigad Volume (Eretz-Israel 18; Jerusalem: The Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with the Institute of Archaeology of The Hebrew University, 1985) 56*-64*.

Way, T. von der, Göttergericht und "Heiliger" Krieg im alten Ägypten: Die Inschriften des Merenptah zum Libyerkrieg des Jahres 5 (Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altägyptens, 4; Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag, 1992), esp. 85-99.

Whitelam, K. W., "'Israel is Laid Waste; His Seed is No More': What If Merneptah's Scribes Were Telling the Truth?", BibInt 8 (2000) 8-22. Reprinted in J. C. Exum (ed.), Virtual History and the Bible (Leiden: Brill, 2000) 8-22.

Wiener, M. H., "Dating the Emergence of Historical Israel in Light of Recent Developments in Egyptian Chronology", TA 41 (2014) 50-54.

Yoyotte, J., "La campagne palestinienne du pharaon Merneptah. Données anciennes et récentes", in E.-M. Laperrousaz (ed.), La protohistoire d'Israël: de l'exode à la monarchie (Paris: Cerf, 1990) 109-119.

Yurco, F. J., "Merenptah's Canaanite Campaign", Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 23 (1986) 189-215.

Yurco, F. J., "3,200-Year-Old Picture of Israelites Found in Egypt", BAR 16/5 (Sept.-Oct. 1990) 20-38.

Yurco, F. J., "Merenptah's Canaanite Campaign and Israel's Origins", in E. S. Frerichs – L. H. Lesko (eds.), Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1997) 27-55.

II.    Is there an even earlier Egyptian attestation of the name "Israel"?

Görg, M., "Israel in Hieroglyphen", BN 106 (2001) 21-27. Reprinted [same title] in M. Görg, Mythos und Mythologie: Studien zur Religionsgeschichte und Theologie (Ägypten und Altes Testament, 70; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010) 251-258.

Görg, M., "Weitere Beobachtungen und Aspekte zur Genese des Namens 'Israel'", BN 154 (2012) 57-68.

Hoffmeier, J. K., "What is the Biblical Date for the Exodus? A Response to Bryant Wood", JETS 50 (2007) 225-247.

Pfoh, E., "The Earliest Reference to Israel: A Historiographical Reflection", RB 128 (2021) 321-331.

Shanks, H., "When Did Ancient Israel Begin? New Hieroglyphic Inscription May Date Israel's Ethnogenesis 200 Years Earlier Than You Thought", BAR 38/1 (Jan.-Feb 2012) 59-62, 67.

Veen, P. van der – C. Theis – M. Görg, "Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687", Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections vol. 2 / no. 4 (2010) 15-21. [can be downloaded here]

Veen, P. van der, "Berlin Statue Pedestal Reliefs 21687 and 21688: Ongoing Research", Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections vol. 4 / no. 4 (2012) 41-42.

Veen, P. G. van der – W. Zwickel, "Die neue Israel-Inschrift und ihre historischen Implikationen", in S. J. Wimmer – G. Gafus (eds.), "Vom Leben umfangen": Ägypten, das Alte Testament und das Gespräch der Religionen. Gedenkschrift für Manfred Görg (ÄAT 80; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2014) 425-433.

Veen, P. G. van der, "Israel and the Tribes of Asher, Reuben and Issachar: An Investigation into Four Canaanite Toponyms from New Kingdom Egypt", in S. J. Wimmer – W. Zwickel (eds.), Egypt and the Hebrew Bible: Proceedings of the Conference Celebrating 40 Years ÄAT, Munich, 6-7 Dec. 2019 = Ägypten und Altes Testament: Fachtagung "40 Jahre ÄAT", München, 6.-7. Dez. 2019 (AAT 100; Münster: Zaphon, 2022) 25-36.

Weippert, M., "Die sog. 'Israel-Stele' des Pharao Merenptah", in M. Weippert – J. F. Quack – B. U. Schipper – S. J. Wimmer, Historisches Textbuch zum Alten Testament (Grundrisse zum Alten Testament, 10; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010) esp. 169 n. 149.

Zwickel, W. – P. van der Veen, "The Earliest Reference to Israel and Its Possible Archaeological and Historical Background", VT 67 (2017) 129-140.

III.    Online resources

Sixteen images of the Stela (or portions of it) can be found here.