British Museum

“The tribute of the country Musri” reads the third register of the Black Obelisk, listing the tribute of the Musri kingdom to Shalmaneser III. This kingdom has not been identified with certainty: The term musri comes from a root meaning “to mark, to draw a line,” hence “border country,” and could refer to more than one place. The Musri tribute includes a river ox, or hippopotamus, which suggests Egypt; but it also includes double-humped bactrian camels and elephants, neither of which was native to Egypt. More likely, the Musriites referred to on the stela were from southern Asia Minor. Thus musri is not cognate with the Hebrew misrayim, which in the Hebrew Bible always refers to Egypt.