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C O U R S E 
The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future
Dr. Jacob L. Wright, Emory University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The End of Egyptian Imperial Control
Notes taken on August 25, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
300 years after the fall of the Egyptian New Kingdom
the states of Israel and Judah to take shape
also Aram Damascus, Ammon, Moab, and Edom
at fall of New Kingdom (1050BC)
the reforms of Akhenaten had drawn Egypt out of international affairs
Ramside Period (ending of the New Kingdom up to 1050BC)
Egypt started to make its presence felt again in the Levant
by this time, the Hittites in Anatolia (modern Turkey) had extended their sphere of influence
Ramesses II had to hold them in check
he did this in the Battle of Qadesh
established with the Hittites a balance of power
Ramesses' son Merneptah
had campaigned in Canaan
Merneptah's claim on the Merneptah Stele was that "Israel is defeated, Israel is no longer"
despite this claim, Israel grew into a state that fought wars long after Merneptah
scholars debate whether Merneptah actually campaigned in Canaan
whatever the case may be, this claim about Israel shows Egypt's lack of concern of the peoples living up in this area
Egypt is starting to give up its interest in Canaan
Egypt's strategy was "divide et impera", keep the tribes down and against each other so they can't unite
the rule of Ramesses and Merneptah was the beginning of the end of Egyptian rule
a catastrophic collapse of the contemporary world systems
climate change
internal unrest
Assyrian, Hittite courts had problems at home
the coup de grace to this already unstable geopolitical structure: "The Sea Peoples"
from the Aegean and Mediterranean worlds
reflected in confused and frenzied images of Egyptian art from the period
Ramesses III claims to have conquered various groups
but it is suggested that he didn't conquer them but allowed them to reside near Egypt
the forming of the five Philistine city-states on the Mediterranean coast
de facto demise of an Egyptian province in Canaan
the Bible describes many conflicts between these city-states and Israel
1155 Ramesses III dies
Egypt beset by
low Nile flood levels
civil unrest
increasing power of the priests at Thebes
incessant bickering in the court
regionalization of cultures
society has turned its attention inwards
operated on a much more confined political sphere
caused a power vacuum
breathing room in which new peoples could emerge on the scene
Israel, Judah, and their neighbors
this is the case for three centuries, but then new empires emerge
meant the end of Judah and Israel
Egypt also wanted to use these states as a bulwark between them and the Assyrian and Babylonian armies
Assyrian Empire (9th-7th centuries)
Babylonian Empire (6th century)
Persian Empire (6th-4th century)
all of these empires focused their goals on Egypt
this meant that the city-states in the Levant land bridge would have to forfeit their sovereignty