Are the Israelites mentioned in ancient Egyptian scriptures? Why the hatred towards Ishmaelite’s?
The Ma’arat Writings, written in hieroglyphics, were meant to put a curse on the enemies of Egypt. They were written in the 18th and 19th centuries B.C., on small statues of prisoners or on bowls. The name “Rashlemum” (Jerusalem) is mentioned on some of them.
In the middle of the 2nd millenium B.C.E. the King of Egypt and his advisors carried on a volumous correspondence with the governors of the cities in the Land of Israel that were under Egyptian suzerainty. There was antagonism among these governors, and in their letters they complain about each other, and request help (one chariot or ten soldiers), to defeat their enemies, whom they describe as the enemies of the king. The letters were written in cuneiform, in the Akkadian language (which was the international language then, much as English is today), and some of them were found in Egypt, in the archive of the capital city, El-Amarna. Six of the letters found were written by the governor of Jerusalem (“Ershalem”).
Ishmael had twelve sons who became great rulers and eventually a nation of people. Hagar, who was Egyptian herself, found a wife from Egypt for her son, and Ishmael settled in the desert of Paran (Genesis 21:21). Ishmael’s descendants lived in Havilah.. “And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 25:18
The Bible lists Ishmael’s sons as Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah (Genesis 25:13–15).
The area of Havilah where Ishmael’s descendants lived is in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula; Shur is a wilderness area between Beersheba in the Negev Desert and Egypt. Isaiah 60:7 mentions the descendants of Nebaioth and Kedar as those who raise flocks. The descendants of Ishmael became known as Arabs, which basically means “nomads.” From the beginning, the descendants of Ishmael were a warlike people, as they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them, which is why there was so much anomosity towards them. This fulfilled God’s earlier word about Ishmael.. “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:12
Later, others settled in the Arabian Peninsula as well, including the descendants of Keturah’s sons (1 Chronicles 1:32–33) and some of Esau’s descendants, among them, the Amalekites (Genesis 36:12).