Enki Iesous: From my class: he first well-attested use of the word Israel comes from an Egyptian source, dating to the reign after Ramesses II (with whom our course ends) known as the Merneptah Stela (also known as the Israel Stela). during a mission to Canaan, King Merneptah claims to have destroyed Israel, but at this time is referring to a group of people rather than a state. The state of Israel goes on to develop in the early Iron Age, while states such as Egypt are declining in power. Eventually, the kingdom divides into Israel and Judah. These lands occupy much of the territory formerly known as Canaan.