Proof of Israel outside the Bible in 1200 BC
"The period of Egyptian
oppression that drove the Israelites to revolt and escape probably
occurred during the reign of Ramses II (1304-1237 B.C.). Most
scholars believe that the Exodus itself took place under his
successor Merneptah. A victory stela dated 1220 B.C. relates a
battle fought with the Israelites beyond Sinai in Canaan. Taken
together with other evidence, it is believed that the Exodus
occurred in the thirteenth century B.C. and had been completed by
about 1225 B.C."
"Discovered in 1896 in
Merneptah's mortuary temple in Thebes by Flinders Petrie, the stela
is a poetic eulogy to pharaoh Merneptah, who ruled Egypt after
Ramesses the Great, ca. 1212-1202 BC. Of significance to Biblical
studies is a short section at the end of the poem describing a
campaign to Canaan by Merneptah in the first few years of his reign,
ca. 1210 BC....Here we have the earliest mention of
Israel outside the Bible and the only mention of Israel in Egyptian
This is a poetic eulogy to pharaoh
Merneptah, who ruled Egypt after Rameses the Great, between
One interesting facet to Merenptah's reign was that he moved the administrative center for Egypt from Piramesse (Pi-Ramesse), his fathers capital, back to Memphis, where he constructed a royal palace next to the temple of Ptah. This palace was excavated in 1915 by the University of Pennsylvania Museum led by Clarence Fischer, and yielded fine architectural elements.
Merenptah's tomb is number KV 8 located in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of Luxor (ancient Thebes). The king probably died around 1202 BC, but his mummy was not found within his tomb. In the 19th century, this apparently added to the speculation about him being the Pharaoh of the Exodus, since that king's body would have probably been washed away in the Red Sea.