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w N25
(determ.-foreign land)
in hieroglyphs

Retjenu (rṯnw; Reṯenu, Retenu), was an Ancient Egyptian name for Canaan and Syria. It covered the region from the Negev Desert north to the Orontes River. The borders of Retjenu shifted with time, but it generally consisted of three regions. The southernmost was Djahy, which had about the same boundaries as Canaan.[2] Lebanon proper was located in the middle, between the Mediterranean and the Orontes River.[2] North of Lebanon was designated Amurru, the land of the Amorites.[2]

The earliest attestation of the name occurs in the Tale of Sinuhe, inscribed on a piece of limestone in 14th century BC.

The suggestion that Retenu is an Egyptian transliteration of the Hebrew term `arzenu, meaning "our land", was first made by Immanuel Velikovsky.[3]


  1. Faulkner, Ramond O. Middle Egyptian. p. 154. Griffith Institute, Oxford, 1962.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Steindorff, George. When Egypt Ruled the East. p. 47. University of Chicago Press, 1942.
  3. Ages In Chaos - From The Exodus To King Akhnaton - Vol I by Immanuel Velikovsky, p. 173.