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Jerusalem, Jan. 20, 1977

Dear Dr. Velikovsky,

May I express my hearty thanks for your generous gift in sending me your fascinating work Peoples of the Sea.

I have just started to leaf through its pages, and following your often expressed encouragement, I would like to make a few remarks.

The stele of Merneptah, which says “that Palestine ‘is a widow’ and that ‘the seed of Israel is destroyed’ , indicates that Merneptah obviously inflicted a defeat on Israel...” (AiC, p. 9). It is somehow startling that Breasted supplies the happenings recorded on the stele with the Heading “Hymn on the Victory over the Libyans (Israel Stela)” (Anc. Rec., Vol. III, para 602). Libya does not fit either geographically or etymologically into the list of subdued peoples mentioned on the stele.

According to Breasted the text reads: “The kings are overthrown, saying ‘Salâm’” (Fn. “The Libyans are represented also using this Semitic word in Ramses III’s war with them.” ).

” ... Wasted is Tehenu (Libya),
Kheta is pacified,
Plundered is Pekanan with every evil,
Carried off is Askalon,
Seized upon is Gezer,
Yenoam is made as a thing not existing,
Israel is desolated, his seed is not,
Palestine has become a widow for Egypt...”

But there are further problems: Merneptah is supposed to have routed at Perire in the Western Delta in his fifth year a coalition of Libyans “with the maritime peoples of the Mediterranean” (Anc. Rec. III, 569). This does not tally with F. A. Schaeffer: “Mineptah a commandé à Ugarit des épées de ce (longue) type marquées de son cartouche pour l’armement des troupes auxiliaires qui devaient affronter l’invasion des Libyens auxquels s’ taient joints des contingents des ‘Peuples de la Mer’” (Ugaritica III, 1956, p. 173).

Now where was the battle fought? At the gates of Memphis or from Ugarit against northern invaders, who, so we are told, set up camp in Syria? Cf. Anc. Rec. III, 604:

“1.) Those who reached my border are desolated, their seed is not (referring to northern invaders).

2.) The Libyans and the Seped are wasted, their seed is not. [...]

4.) Their cities are made ashes, wasted, desolated; their seed is not (referring to the Meshwesh).” (Cf. Velikovsky, Peoples of the Sea, p. 53).

According to these a/m inscriptions it would appear that the Meshwesh, “enemies known from the wars of Ramses III” (ibid. p. 76), associated to the Tjekers who patrolled along the Palestinian coast, and invaded Tekenu (Anc. Rec., IV, 87), were already adversaries of Merneptah.

Merneptah received a memorial recording victory over peoples to the north of Egypt. Is it likely that he is the same as Apries who suffered great defeat at Cyrene, and was ignominiously deposed by his general Amasis (Herodot III, 169), or, as Hophra would have to be contemporaneous with the destruction of Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar?

There exists no unanimity regarding the complexion, and therefore the racial or geographical origin of the Tekenu. Although the authors tend to place them into Libya, they differ in their descriptions: “On se rappellera ici que le Libyen typique était blond pour les Égyptiens, qui ont représenté nombre de fois sur les monuments de l’ancien, du moyen et du nouvel Empire, des hommes roux leur servant d’esclaves ou d’auxiliaires... Il y a ainsi beaucoup de chances pour que les Égyptiens, qui sacrifiaient les hommes roux ou blonds, aient été choisir leurs victimes chez les Libyens blonds avoisinant l’Égypte, c’est-à-dire chez les Tekennu des Oasis, lorsque du moins les sacrifices avaient lieu à Abydos, ville rapprochée des Oasis” (R. Lefèbure, “Le Sacrifice humain d’après les rites de Busiris et d’Abydos” , Sphinx III, 1900, p. 155f).

Somehow reserved, but nevertheless, G. A. Wainwright concedes that fair hair and skin is not the monopoly of the inhabitants to the west of Egypt: “Though hardly likely in view of the above evidence for Libya, the possibility should not be overlooked that red-headed foreigners might have come from the north... There is a fair, red-haired type of Jew known as the ‘pseudo-Gentile’ (... and David himself is described as being ‘ruddy’ ; I Sam. XVI, 12; XVII, 42)... Nitocris (a pharaoh of an early dynasty; Herodot II, 100) colouring was also that of Seth, and again he was important in Libya... Whether Libyan or not, in having a fair or red complexion Nitocris was clearly one of the red Typhonians who were sacrificed by fire for the welfare of the people” (The Sky-Religion of Egypt, 1938, fn. and text on p. 44).

Seth was particularly important at the eastern border of Egypt at Auaris, and whatever her [Nitocris’ ] cradle, it is quite revealing that “at least two ladies of the OK, one of whom was a queen” were red [golden] coloured and bore Hebrew names. “Sie [Hetep-Heres] nennt sich nur noch ‘königliche Verwandte’ , weder Prinzessin noch Königin, aber die auffallende Blondheit und die Namensgleichheit machen m. E. den Schluss zwingend, dass sie direkt von der Königin Hetep-Heres II vielleicht als ihre Enkelin abstammt. Sie führt den Titel “Priesterin der Neith” , der ursprünglich libyschen Deltagöttin von Sais, was möglicherweise auf einen Zusammenhang mit ihrer blonden, libyschen Abstammung hindeutet” (A. Scharff, “Ein Beitrag z. Chronologie der 4. äg. Dynastie” , OLZ, 1928, Sp. 80/1).

This raises 3 points. Hebrew names at the time of the 4th Eg. Dynasty? Athena-Neith somehow as equivalent for Seth! And last not least one is reminded of Ir-haheres (Jes. 19:18), approached to Leontopolis, where Onias built his sanctuary on the ruins of the former temple of the goddess Bubastis (cf. Kautzsch, Die Heil. Schrift des AT). According to G. Ebers “Isis-Hathor ist die gleiche Göttin wie die Isis-Paxt oder Sexet und Bast, die Fremdenaphrodite des Herodot und die Venus-Urania, deren Heiligtum zu Bubastis stand” (Durch Gosen zum Sinai, 1881, p. 495). The site is located by most scholars at modern Tell-el-Yehudiyeh (Jew. Enc., art. “Leontopolis” ), where Greek letters were found on the tiles of Ramses III.

I trust that you are in the best of health and would be very happy if you could respond to above in some way.

With kind regards also to Mrs. Velikovsky, Yours

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