Merneptah

MERNEPTAH mĕr’ nĕp’ tä' (beloved of Ptah), also Merenptah. Some specialists prefer Meneptah, partly because of its closer agreement with the Ammenephthēs of Manetho. The name does not appear in the Bible. The thirteenth son and the successor of Ramses II of the nineteenth dynasty Mer-ne-Ptah ruled Egypt from c. 1224 to 1214 b.c. (see A. H. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, p. 445). Among Bible scholars Mer-ne-Ptah is best known because at various times he has been regarded as the king who ruled Egypt at the time of the Israelite Exodus. His mortuary temple, on the W bank at Thebes, not far from the Rameseum, is in ruins, but Petrie recovered many artistic and structural elements of it. The most famous object found there is a large granite stele, originally of Amenhotep III but reused by Mer-ne-Ptah often called the “Israel” stele because of a reference to a victory over Israel in the fifth year of Mer-ne-Ptah: “Israel is laid waste; his seed is not” (see J. A. Wilson, in ANET, 2nd ed., pp. 376-378).