Ramses III and Israel

Ramses 3
Other spellings: Rameses, Ramesses

From the grave of Ramses 6 in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor.

From the grave of Ramses 6 in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor.

King of Ancient Egypt (1184- 1153 BCE), the 2nd, and most influential and important ruler of the 20th Dynasty.
Ramses 3 was the son of King Setnakht, a man about whom we know little except that he founded a new dynasty. He assumed power toward the end of civil wars that brought the 19th Dynasty to a conclusion.
During his reign Egypt was involved in 3 great wars, all the result of foreign invasion into Egyptian territory. Twice the attacks were from the Lybians, and once from the Sea People. Egypt defeated brought defeat to its attackers in all three wars. But the victory against the Sea People was only partial, since many of the Sea People settled along the coast to the north of the Egyptian borders (corresponding to modern Israel). Their control over the area would for ever mean an end to advances by Ancient Egyptian into that area.
With the end of the 3rd war, Egypt sent an expedition to Punt (probably corresponding to modern Somalia). Minerals were extracted from Sinai and Nubia.
The most enduring problems of his reign were internal. Corruption and crime were hard to suppress at the end of the civil wars. Yet, much was achieved in terms of restructuring Egyptian society and creating a workable administration. The middle period of his reign was stable and prosperous, but things became difficult later because of conflicts between groups in the administration. A good example of a problem is that one of his wives plotted to have Ramses 3 killed in order to secure her son’s position as the next king. It is most probable that the plot didn’t succeed, as there are no wounds on his mummy. The plotters were captured and brought to trial.
During his reign many temples assumed positions of power in Egypt, while Ramses’ own court declined in affluence and authority. This resulted from a change in the distributing of taxes.
The achievements of Ramses 3 are celebrated on the walls of his mortuary temple at Madinet Habu near Luxor. Temples and palaces built by Ramses 3 had the same characteristics as those built by Ramses 2.
1198: Succeeds his father Setnakht.
1196: Libyan tribes invade the western parts of the Nile Delta. They are fairly soon defeated.
1191: Attack by the Sea People, who probably immigrate from the Aegean Islands and Asia Minor. Before the attack on Egypt they take control over large parts of the Levant. Their army is defeated by the Egyptians in Palestine, while their naval fleet is tricked and beaten in the Nile delta
1188: New invasion by a coalition of Libyan tribes. This time the conflict ends when the Libyan chief is captured by the Egyptians.
1170: Ramses 3 dismisses his vizier because of corruption.
1169: Workers at the royal tombs in Thebes go on strike because their monthly rations are not delivered.
1166: Ramses 3 dies or gives the throne to his son, Ramses 4. If he does ascend the throne, he dies soon thereafter.

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By: Tore Kjeilen

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