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A Psephomancy Ritual From Assur (1.127)

(809 words)

Author(s): Hurowitz, Victor
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary This text was found by the German excavations at Assur.1 It is an incantation recited while performing a ritual for divination by use of black (hematite) and white (alabaster) stones (psephomancy). The ritualist, while pronouncing the liturgy, tells which cultic manipulations he is performing, thus permitting the reader to follow his actions. The type of divination described has general similarit…

A Hymn Celebrating Assurnasirpal Ii’s Campaigns to the West (1.139)

(1,631 words)

Author(s): Hurowitz, Victor
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Royal Hymns Commentary This text was found by the German excavations at Assur in the house of a nargallu (chief singer).1 It begins as a hymn to Enlil (Assur),2 but then praises Assurnasirpal II (883–859 bce) for his campaigns to the mountains in the west and for contributing to various temples the wood taken on the campaigns. It ends with a blessing of the king.3 The events referred to are described in detail in the king’s annals and mentioned briefly in his royal titles.4 A Hymn Ce…

The “Sun Disk” Tablet of Nabû-apla-iddina (2.135)

(3,525 words)

Author(s): Hurowitz, Victor
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; “Functional” Inscriptions; Boundary Stones Commentary This inscription, beautifully engraved on a black stone tablet measuring 7“ x 11 5/8“ x 2", was found at Abu-Habbah (= Sippar) in 1881 by H. Rassam and is now in the British Museum.1 A relief occupying the top third of the obverse shows a large disk sitting on a table, suspended by ropes held by two deities.2 To the right of the disk and facing it, the sun-god Šamaš is seated on a throne under a canopy.3 To the left of the disk, facing i…

Aššurbanipal’s Rassam Prism (A) (4.41)

(12,799 words)

Author(s): Hurowitz, Victor Avigdor
Commentary Subject: Jer 1:5; 2Kgs 19:9; Jer 37:9; Nah 3:8; Ezek 30:14–16; Jer 46:25; 2 Kgs 23:29; Jer 46:2; 2 Chr 35:20; Jer 9:3; Deut 28:53–57; 2Kgs 19:36–37; Isa 37:37–38; Lev 26:29; Deut 28:53–57; Jer 19:9; Ezek 5:10; 2Kgs 6:28–29; Lam 2:20; 4:10; 2Kgs 7:1, 17, 18; Deut 28:53–57; Deut 29:19, 26; Lev 26:26; Deut 29:23–24; 1Kgs 9:8–9 Aššurbanipal is mentioned in the Bible only once, in an Aramaic letter where he is called Osnapar (Ezra 4:10), and is said to have deported several peoples from Babylonia and Elam and settled them in the city of Samaria a…

Esarhaddon’s Heidel Prism (Nineveh B) (4.40)

(2,529 words)

Author(s): Hurowitz, Victor Avigdor
(i.1–13) Palace of Esarhaddon, great king, mighty king, king of totality, king of the land of Assyria, governor of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, son of Sennacherib, king of the land of Assyria, son of Sargon, king of the land of Assyria, the king who, by the encouragement of Aššur, Sîn, Šamaš, Nabû, Marduk, Ištar of Nineveh, (and) Ištar of Arbela, the great gods, his lords, went again and again from the rising of the sun (east) to the setting of the sun (west), and has no rival. (i.14–37) Conqueror of the city of Sidon, which is in the middle of the sea; who flattens al…

Esarhaddon’s Thompson Prism (Nineveh A) (4.39)

(6,237 words)

Author(s): Hurowitz, Victor Avigdor
Commentary Subject: 2Kgs 21:1–18; 2Chr 33:1–20 One of the most important sources for the reign of Esarhaddon is the fully preserved hexagonal prism known for many years as the Thompson Prism, and eventually classified by Borger as Nineveh A.1 This text, written in the king’s eighth year (673bce) has been the subject of recent scholarly interest2 because of the light it sheds on Esarhaddon’s reign until slightly after his failed Egyptian campaign, and before his victorious war with Šubria3; but especially for the king’s “apology,” in which he explains his selection as heir…