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The Bible and Archaeology

What is the Merneptah Stele?

In 1896, an archaeologist named Flinders Petrie discovered a stele in the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes. This 10’ × 5’ granite stele dates from the 1200s B.C.E. during the reign of Merneptah. This was roughly the same time that the judges ruled in Israel. The stele chronicles Merneptah’s military victories. The last few lines of the stele deal with a military campaign in Canaan. One line translates, “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not.”


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