Old Testament Backgrounds

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Above: Front entrance of the Medinet Habu Temple as it looks today.

Left: Aerial photograph of the massive temple complex.

Although all appeared well following this great victory, it is apparent that there was trouble. Rameses accompanied a great naval expedition to the land of Punt but there is also record of a workers’ strike, the first time in Egyptian history. Still another is an aborted assassination plot by an ambitious wife. There is serious grave robbing throughout the dynasty.

This ivory piece was found at Megiddo and should serve to remind us of the actual position of Egypt in Palestine. The monarchy in Israel would not come on the scene until 1050, nearly 140 years after the SPM. While parts of Palestine were a sort of no-man’s land the Egyptians controlled the Via Maris and the important cities such as Megiddo.
The SPM did, however, effectively remove N. Syria from their control and also so weakened Egypt that the Israelite monarchy would ultimately be allowed to coalesce. By the time of the monarchy, it was not a powerful Egypt which threatned Israel , but an independent Philistia.
This ivory shows Semites being enslaved by Egyptian military forces. It is not clear if the scene is to be limited to Palestine or if they are being brought to Egypt.
With the fall of the NK, Egyptian history for biblical purposes, becomes a sort of backwater study. It is only after the schism of the Divided Monarchy occurs that interventionism was once again realized. Even in the following years Egypt appeared unable to exploit the weakened Judah; hence, for our purposes, OTB in Egypt ends with Rameses III.

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