Merenptah  | King of Egypt(reigned 1213–1203 BCE) 19th Dynasty

The Pharaoh was the political and the religious ruler of the country and Merenptah means the beloved from the god Ptah.

Facts about the king Merenptah

  1. Merenptah was the thirteenth son of the king Ramses II from his wife Isisnofre. Merenptah ruled for 10 years only between 1213 till 1203 BCE but he was his father co-ruler in his last 12 years on the throne. More precisely he started to be crown prince in the 80th of his father reign Ramses II.
  2. He was a royal scribe and the great commander of the army
  3. Seems he was the real ruler of Egypt at the end of his father’s Ramesses II reign according to a scarab dates back to his father time.

Merenptah Facts

Main Information Title Remarks
Name Merenptah  13th son of Ramses II
Horus Name kꜢ-nḫt ḥi-m-mꜢꜤt The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth
Nebty Name  iri-bꜢw-r-tꜢ-n-ṯmhw Who exercised power against the land of the Temehu
Golden Horus Name nb-snḏ ꜤꜢ-šfit Lord of fear and great of majes
Throne Name bꜢ-n-rꜤ mri-nṯrw The soul of Ra, beloved of the Gods
Birth Name mri-n-ptḥ ḥtp-ḥr-mꜢꜤt Beloved of Ptah, Maat is satisfied
Egyptian Kingdom New Kingdom
Dynasty Dynasty XIX 10 years maximum
Ruled 1213–1203
Previous Pharaoh Ramesses II
Successor Pharaoh Seti II
Mother Isisnofre
Chief wife of the King Isisnofre II, Takhat (2nd wife)
Location of the tomb Valley of the kings kv8
Year of discovery
Egyptologist who discovered the tomb Haward Carter 1903
Location of the Mummy Amenhotep 2 tomb – KV 35 cache


Merenptah  achievements

  • Peace had reigned on the Egyptian frontiers and amongst the vassals during the last years of the great father Ramses II. Then there was unrest on the western borders with the Libyans who decided to attack the Delta on his fifth years and he rapidly crashed them.
  • Merenptah took the responsibilities to defeat a Syrian ruler Mereye on his 5th year when he marched with massive army consists of 16 000 people with their families towards Memphis. Merenptah met them and defeated them
  • victory stela(Egyptian Museum now) founded 1896 by Flinders Petrie
  • originally it was not for his, it was found in the mortuary temple of Amenophis III and it was reused by Merenptah. the stela is known also as the Israel stela as the name was mentioned there for the first time in Egypt’s history so it is the oldest non biblical reference to the nation of Israel. It was always thought that Merenptah was the pharaoh of the Exodus with no evidence.
  • Israel was mentioned not as a place but as people and it was listed with other names like GEZER, CANAAN, YENOAM AND SYRIA
  • The stela describes Merenptah’s military victories in near East and Africa.
  • The stela contains a hymn and a list of the Pharaoh’s military victories. The stela mentions the kings victory against the invasion of the coalition between the Libyans and the Sea peoples(sea peoples including Libu, Meshuesh, people from Anatolia, island of Aegean). The invasion ended with 6000 enemies and 9000 prisoners of war.
  • The largest sarcophagus dates back to the ancient era was found in the valley of the kings dates back to Merenptah. The lid is decorated with the figure of the king in a mummy form wearing the false beard of royalty and holding in his hands the Heqa scepter and Nehen scourge

Monuments of Merenptah

  1. His tomb in the valley of the kings known as KV8 DISCOVERED IN 1903
  2. Mortuary temple near that one of Amenhotep the third and seems he reused the stones from Amenhotep temple
  3. He added parts to Madinet Habu temple, Dendera temple, Osireion in Abydos

Merenptah death

  • Merenptah reigned only 10 years and he died very old in 1203 BCE leaving some of his projects unfinished.
  • He was followed by his son Seti II
  • Merenptah was buried in his tomb KV8 in the valley of the kings but his mummy was found in the royal cache in the tomb of Amenhotep II”s tomb in 1898(KV 35).

We will talk later in details about his tomb KV8 in the valley of the kings