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Evidence for the Sea Peoples from Biblical and Later Jewish Writing from Late Antiquity*

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The French Egyptologist Emmanuel de Rougé termed the sea-borne foreign invaders who invaded Egypt during the late Bronze Age on the basis of the Great Karnak inscription, “peuples de la mer” or Sea Peoples. Recently however, specialists, in the absence of more direct evidence of the use of this term in antiquity, have called into question its historical provenance and have even declared it a “modern term”. Ancient Jewish writings, by contrast, refer to several Peoples of the Sea which notably include the Philistines. Moreover, close examination of the orthography of biblical ethnonyms in the context of migratory sea passages in both the Masoretic text and the Septuagint demonstrates the existence of a previously undescribed productive genitive sea-borne indicator within the very fabric of the biblical text.

Affiliations: 1: University of Chicago


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