ISRAEL / HEBREWS
The game covers the historic period from the reign of Merneptah (1213-1203 BCE) to Rameses III (1186–1155 BC). As an historic title, I hope CA include the nation of Israel / Hebrew ('Habiru' / 'Apiru')? They fought against Mernaptah, were well established in the eastern mountians of Palestine / Jordan during this period and listed amongst nations.
Early period units
Late period units
Conservative depiction of terroritory based on Archeology. With a capital in Shechem
Both Armarna letters and Religious texts suggest much wider conquest
According to acrheology, the Habiru / Hebrew appeared in the mountains of eastern Canaan 100 years before the period of the game (eg. Against Amenohotep III, "Armarna letters" - mid-14th C BCE and then appeared again from the eastern mountains to fight against Egypt and neighbours as Israel during the game period.
(eg. Merneptah Stele 1208 BCE)
"ISRAEL IS LAID WASTE, ITS SEED IS NO MORE" - PHAROAH MERNEPTAH, 1204 BCE
Pharoah Merneptah calls Israel one of the "NINE BOWS" of foreign power which he contended with.
The Merneptah Stele uses the term 'People' / 'Nation' rather than stating a city / capital or area. This suggests the following;
- Israel was a signifcant entity during the period, worthy of Pharoah Merneptah bragging about their alleged defeat.
- Israel was a relative new entity with undefined borders / usurpers to an area (Canaan) that Egypt regarded it's own.
Berlin Pestal Relief
Egyptian victory over Gaza, Canaan and Israel
- Dated to 18th Dynasty 1550-1292 BCE
The cartouche in AM 21687 (Berlin Museum), suggests Israel was present in the Highlands / "Hills". This correlates with the mention of a signifcant body of people called the Habiru / Hebrew a century earlier, in the mid 14th C BCE
(Suggesting an earlier demographic genesis sometime during the late 15th / early 14 C BCE)
"Land of the Nomads who worship Yaweh"
Amenhotep III (reign: 1391-1353 BCE) victory inscription eastern Canaan - Temple of Soleb, Sudan
"His majesty was in the foreign country of the Retenu on his fourteenth campaign of victory and he fought with them in the hill country"
Despite the boasts, Amenhotep's campaign appears to have been nothing more than a punitive raid with no lasting impact. On his death, the Habiru / Hebrew ran riot throughout Canaan. Amenhotep's successor Akenaten did little to stem the onslaught:
We know the Habiru threat came from the eastern mountians and spread west, north and south. Gaza was one of the last areas to hold out.
ARMARNA LETTER EA 271: "THE POWER OF THE 'HABIRU"
"Say to the king (Pharoah), my lord, my god, my Sun: Message of Milkilu (Canaanite Ruler of Gezer), your servant, the dirt at your feet. I fall at the feet of the king, my Lord, 7 times and 7 times.
May the king, my lord, know that the war against me and against Šuwardata (Canaanite Ruler of Jerusalem) is severe. So may the king, my lord, save his land from the power of the Habiru.
O[th]erwise, may the king, my lord, send chariots to fetch us, lest they kill us.
Moreover, may the king, my lord, ask Yanhamu, his servant, about what is being done in his land."
ARMARNA LETTER EA 292: "LIKE A PLOT HELD IN PLEDGE"
Say to the king, my lord, my god, my Sun: Message of Adda-danu (Ruler of Gezer)
your servant, the dirt at your feet. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord,
my god, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times.
I looked this way, and I looked that way, and there was no light.
Then I looked towards the king, my lord, and there was light.
I have heard the orders that the king, my lord, wrote to his servant,
“Guard your commissioner, and guard the cities of the king, your lord."
I do indeed guard, and I do indeed obey the orders of the king, my lord, day and night.
May the king, my lord, be informed about his servant.
There being a fierce war being waged (by Habiru) against me from the mountains
ARMARNA LETTER EA 299: "A PLEA FOR HELP"
"To the king (Pharoah), my lord, my god, the Sun, the Sun from the sky: Message of Yapahu, the ruler of Gazru (Gezer), your servant, the dirt at your feet, the groom of your horses. Truly I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, the Sun from the sky, 7 times and 7 times, on the stomach and on the back.
I have listened to the words of the messenger of the king, my lord, very carefully. May the king, my lord, the Sun from the sky, take thought for his land. Since the Habiru are stronger than we, may the king, my lord, give me his help,....and may the king, my lord, get me away from the Habiru lest the Habiru destroy us."
NB: Gezer appears to have 3 different Canaanite Rulers in a 50 year period.
ARMARNA LETTER EA 100: "THE CITY OF IRQATA TO THE KING (PHAROAH)"
"To the king (Pharaoh), our lord: Message from Irqata (City Southern Lebanon) and its elders. We fall at the feet of the king, our lord, 7 times and 7 times. To our lord, the Sun: Message from Irqata. May the heart of the king, our lord, know that we guard Irqata for him. When the king, our lord, sent DUMU-Bi-Ha-A, he said to us, "Message of the king: Guard Irqata!". Irqata seeks loyalty to the king. As to silver having been given to Subaru
May you know the mind of Irqata! When a tablet from the king arrived (saying) to raid the land that the Habiru had taken from the king, they (Habiru) waged war with us, against our lord.
Truly we are guarding the land. May the king, our lord, heed the words of his loyal servants.
May he grant a gift to his servant(s) so our enemies will see this and eat dirt. May the breath of the king not depart from us. We shall keep the city gate barred until the breath of the king reaches us. Severe is the war against us — terribly, terribly.."
Defixo"It shall come about, when the Lord your God (Yaweh) brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim, and the curse upon MOUNT EBAL"
/ "Curse Tablet" (ANCIENT HEBREW
) - 1350 BCE
Uncut stone altar, Mount Ebal, Israel (dated 1400 - 1250 BCE, accompanying pottery dated to 14th C BCE / Amarna period)"Cursed, cursed, cursed—cursed by the god (El) Yaweh
You (Ruler of Jerusalem, possibly Canaanite King Abdi-Heba) will die cursed
Cursed you will surely die
Cursed by Yaweh —cursed, cursed, cursed"Universität Mainz, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, University of Haifa - Published: 12 May 2023
JUST FOR CONTEXT:
- Deuteronomy 11:29"Then Joshua built on MOUNT EBAL an altar to the Lord (Yaweh), the God of Israel, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones"
- Joshua 8:30-31
HEBREW related but different to CANAANITEFrom Abdi-Heba, Canaanite King of Jerusalem
ריִע “city” (Hebrew) = תרק (Canaanite)
בָהָז “gold” (Hebrew) = ץרח (Canaanite)
רוֹשׁ “bull, ox” (Hebrew) = ףלא (Canaanite)
ה-י-ה “be” (Hebrew) = ן-ו-כ (Canaanite)
אֹל “no, not” (Hebrew) = לב (Canaanite)
ARMANA LETTER EA 286: "A THRONE GRANTED, NOT INHERITED"
Say to the king (Pharoah), my lord: Message of Abdi-Heba, your servant.
I fall at the feet of my lord, the king,7 times and 7 times.
What have I done to the king, my lord?
They denounce me before the king, my lord, "Abdi-Heba has rebelled against the king, his lord."
I am slandered before the king, my lord.
Because I say, "Lost are the lands of the king, my lord," accordingly I am slandered before the king, my lord.
May the king, my lord, know that though the king, my lord stationed a garrison here, Yanhamu (Egyptian Commissioner) has taken it away.
All the lands of the king, my lord, have deserted.
For my part, I say, "I would go in to the king, my lord, and visit the king, my lord," but the war against me (by Habiru) is severe, and so I am not able to go in to the king, my lord
Whenever the commissioners have come out, I would say to them, "Lost are the lands of the king", but they did not listen to me.
Lost are all the rulers; there is not a ruler remaining to the king, my lord.
The king has no lands. The Habiru have plundered all the lands of the king.
Lost, lost are all the lands of the king, my lord!
The Habiru of Mount Yarmuta (Southern Galilee / same area as Mount Ebal) did arise and attack the Retenu (Canaanites) of Rehem. Then his majesty said, "How can these wretched Asiatics (Habiru) dare wage war? Then his majesty commanded a section of his infantry and his numerous chariotry to turned their faces toward (march into) the foreign country of Djahi (Coastal Canaan). The space of two days elapsed, and they (Egyptian Forces) returned in triumph from the country Yarmuta, carrying plunder and captives ....
Beth-Shan Stelae of Seti I, 1290–1279 BC, Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, East Jerusalem.
"I am Mesha, son of Chemosh-yt, king of Moab, the Dibonite. My father reigned over Moab thirty years, and I have reigned after my father. And I have built this sanctuary for Chemosh (diety) in Karchah, a sanctuary of salvation, for he saved me from all aggressors, and made me look upon all mine enemies with contempt.
Bubastite Portal, Karnak Temple
Victory inscription over "The Highlands of (King) David"
, rings 105 & 106 - Pharoah Shoshenq I, 10th C CBE
Omri was king of Israel, and oppressed Moab, and Chemosh was angry with his aggressions. His son succeeded him, and he also said, I will oppress Moab. In my days he said, Let us go, and I will see my desire upon him and his house, and Israel said, I shall destroy it for ever. Now Omri took the land of Madeba (Jordan), and occupied it in his day, and in the days of his son, forty years. And Chemosh had mercy on it in my time. And I built Baal-meon and made therein the ditch, and I built Kiriathaim.
And the men of Gad (Israeli tribe East of Jordan) dwelled in the country of Ataroth from ancient times, and the king of Israel fortified Ataroth. I assaulted the wall and captured it, and killed all the warriors of the city for the well-pleasing of Chemosh and Moab, and I removed from it all the spoil, and offered it before Chemosh in Kirjath; and I placed therein the men of Siran, and the men of Mochrath. And Chemosh said to me, Go take Nebo against Israel, and I went in the night and I fought against it from the break of day till noon, and I took it: and I killed in all seven thousand men...women and young girls, for I devoted (sacrificed) them to Ashtar-Chemosh; and I took from it the vessels of Yahweh, and offered them before Chemosh.
And the king of Israel fortified Jahaz
, and occupied it, when he made war against me, and Chemosh drove him out before me..." - King Mesha of Moab, 9th C BCE
Moabite votive incense altar, Khirbet Ataruz (Ataroth), Jordan"For 8 shekels of bronze
And this: 2 shekels of bronze
Total plunder: 10
4 + 60 from the Hebrews
And 4,000 foreign men were scattered, and abandoned in great number
From the desolate city (Ataroth) … which … a burnt offering/incense altar
"My father (King of Aram) went up..fighting against Ahab (King of Israel).
Tel Dan stele
And my father lay down, he went to his fathers. And the kings of Israel penetrated into my father's land. And Hadad (Canaanite Storm God) made me - myself - king (of Aram)
And Hadad went in front of me, and I departed from (the land) of my kings. And I killed two powerful kings, who harnessed two thousand chariots and two thousand horsemen. I killed Joram, son of Ahab, King of Israel, and I killed Ahaziah, son of Joram, King of the House of David (Judah). And I set (their towns into ruins and turned) their land into (desolation)"
- King of Aram, 9th C BCE
Also worth mentioning, before the Armana Letters above, Arkenaten's Dad - Pharoah Amenhotep III (Reigned1391–1353 BCE) called the Semitic people living on the east side of the Jordan SHASU ("wandering plunderers") who worshipped Yahweh ("YHWH"). Ramesses II & III also referred to the land of Yahweh.
So we know during the period the Hebrew / Israel:
- Were Semitic (Different DNA Haplogroup to other people of Canaan)
- Were residing in the hills of eastern hills of Palestine / Jordan valley
- Were still semi-nomadic
- Were respected for their military prowess
- Were likely worshipping a god called Yaweh
This makes for a very interesting faction akin to the way the Huns / 'Barbarian' factions were depicted in TW:Attila (albeit not as powerful).
NB: The ISRAELITES are not Canaanites (both regarded as Asiatics by Egypt), as atested by archeological DNA