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Provisions Are Running Out (RS 94.2383 + Rs 94.2619) (3.45MM)

(274 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between Non-Royal Correspondents (39) Provisions Are Running Out (RS 94.2383 + Rs 94.2619) (3.45MM) 1 Address and Greeting (lines 1–5) To ʾUrtēnu, my brother, say: Message of ʿUṯtaya, your sister. May the gods keep you well, may they guard you. The Problem ( lines 6–13) (It has been) three days now that there is no food in your house and for [… someone] struck and provisions CARRY (to) the house of the king. Twice now (someone) has taken …

The Purchase of Beer (AT 33) (3.99A)

(445 words)

Author(s): Hess, Richard S.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Alalakh Commentary Found in 18th century bce Alalakh Level VII, this text describes the purchase of jars of beer and the exchange of 135 silver shekels. There is a guarantor in the form of the debtors who must make good their provision of beer. They apparently remain bound to this debt for as long as any among them shall live. The concept of debts held for the life of a person is known elsewhere in the biblical world. Th…

From Büyükkale, Building E (3.40)

(317 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Hittite Archival Documents; Accounts; Archive Shelf Lists From Büyükkale, Building E (3.40) (iii.2–3) “When they give [a festival (?)] in Šapinuwa to [the Stormgod (?)] in the third year.” ( iii.4) “When [they draw] from the road the Mother goddesses of the (king’s?) body.” ( iii.5–6) “When they celebrate the Spring Festival in Kulella for the Stormgod of Kul[ella].” ( iii.7–9) The word of Kantuzzi[li, Chief of the] priests (and) Prince: “When they pour […], and they call a little […], how they put down [……

Letter of Rib-Haddi of Byblos (Gubla) (EA 362) (3.92E)

(736 words)

Author(s): Moran, William
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Tell El-Amarna Commentary The most diligent — and most wearisome — of the Pharaoh’s vassal correspondents, Rib-Hadda (here Rib-Haddi) continues his litany of requests for action against the rising state of Amurru to the north, earlier under Abdi-Aširta, now under his sons, especially Aziru. The Pharaoh is Amenophis IV (Akhenaten). Letter of Rib-Haddi of Byblos (Gubla) ( EA 362) (3.92E) Subject: Gen 43:28; 1 Sam 24:9; Isa 60:14; Ezek 27:9; Exod 5:3; 9:15; Lev 26:25; Num 14:12; Deut 28:21; 2 Sam…

The Slandered Bride (3.119)

(418 words)

Author(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Courtcases; Babylon Commentary Case law or “conditional law” is often based on actual precedent, and sometimes the provisions of Old Babylonian law, or even biblical law, seem to reflect situations encountered in court cases. A little dossier of three documents dating to the reign of Samsu-iluna (ca. 1749–1712 bce), illustrates provisions in the Laws of Hammurapi, his father and predecessor, as well as the casuistic legislation of Deuteronomy.1 In addition to a wedding document and a suppl…

Two Servants to their Master (RS 29.093) (3.45HH)

(1,007 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between Non-Royal Correspondents (34) Two Servants to their Master (RS 29.093) (3.45HH) 1 Subject: 1 Sam 20:6; Neh 13:6; Neh 3:34; 1 Chr 11:8 Address (lines 1–5) To Yadurma, our master, say: Message of Pinḥaṯu and Yarmîhaddu, your servants.2 Greetings and Prostration Formula ( lines 5–10) May it be well with our master. May the gods guard you, may they keep you well. At the feet of our master twice seven times (from) afar we fall.3 The Problem with Binu-ʿAyāna ( lines…

A Debt Note (3.116)

(675 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Neo-assyrian Contracts Commentary This second tablet from Tel Hadid is dated by eponym to 664 bce. It was discovered in situ in rescue excavations in 1997 on a plaster floor of the central unit of a three-room late Iron II building (Brand 1998). The tablet is nearly intact and very readable. The text is a debt-note with an antichretic pledge1 — a pledge of a person or persons (usually family members) in lieu of the interest on the principal of a loan. There are no risk o…

The King of Tyre to the King of Ugarit in the Matter of Storm-Damaged Ships (RS 18.031) (3.45H)

(1,378 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Incoming Correspondence From Other Courts (8) The King of Tyre to the King of Ugarit in the Matter of Storm-Damaged Ships (RS 18.031) (3.45H) 1 Subject: 2 Sam 5:11; 1 Kgs 5:15–25; 9:10–14, 26–27; 10:11, 22; 1 Kgs 18:45; Ezek 13:11, 13; Jon 1:4; Deut 22:9; Gen 12:5; Judg 1:31; 2 Sam 13:33; 19:20; 42:25 Address (lines 1–3) To the king of Ugarit, my brother, say: Message of the king of Tyre, your brother.2  r  Greetings ( lines 4–5) May it be well with you. May the gods guard…

Bequest of Apartment to Wife (3.73)

(2,058 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary Anani refurbished the house of ʾpwly which he had bought from the Caspians Bagazushta and Wbyl. Three years after purchase date, the requisite period according to Egyptian law for establishing right to abandoned property, he bestowed a room therein (measuring ×1/3 cubits = 81 square cubits, see note 1 below) upon his wife Tamet, perhaps on the occasion of the birth of their daughter Jehoishma (lines 2–12). The Investiture clause did no…

Land Donation by the King (3.108)

(176 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Property Conveyances from Ugarit Land Donation by the King (3.108) From the present day on, Niqmaddu,1 son of Ammistamru, king of Ugarit2 has taken the house of Yatarmu, son of Sharupshu, and the fields of Ṣariru with all that they have, and has given them to Bin-ilu, Yaṣiru, and Abi-irshi,3 and their sons forever. In future nobody shall take (it) from their hands. It is a grant forever. The seal of Niqmaddu, son of Ammistamru, king of Ugarit. First the king gave them and, secondly, 200…

The King to the Queen-Mother In the Matter of the Amurrite Princess (RS 34.124) (3.45D)

(1,486 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Correspondence Between Members of the Royal Family (4) The King to the Queen-Mother1 In the Matter of the Amurrite Princess (RS 34.124) (3.45D) 2 Subject: 1 Kgs 2:19; Ps 51:19; 147:3; 19:12; 1 Kgs 11:1–3; 1 Kgs 10:2, 10; 1 Sam 10:1; 16:1, 13; 1 Kgs 1:39; 2 Kgs 9:1–3, 6; Pss 23:5; 133:2; Exod 20:5–6 Address (lines 1–3) [To the queen, my mother, say: Message of the] k[ing, your son.] Prostration and Greeting Formulae ( line 4–6) At my mother’s feet [I fall]. j With my mother 〈ma…

A Loan of Silver to Ur-ga (3.136B)

(191 words)

Author(s): Steinkeller, Piotr
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Sumerian Archival Documents; Contracts; Loan Transactions Commentary This tablet and its envelope originate from Nippur and date to the Ur III period (2nd year of Amar-Sin, 7th month, 20th day, ca. 2045 BCE). A Loan of Silver to Ur-ga (3.136B) (lines 1–4) Ur-ga received 10 shekels of silver from Adda’a as a loan; the yearly interest is 1 shekel for each 5 shekels. (lines 5–6) He is to restore it (any time) between the 20th day of the month DU6.KUG (= 7th month) and the (next) month DU6.KUG. (lines 7–10) Before Damu, (before) Puzur-Aššur…

Papyri Rollin and Lee (3.9)

(899 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Egyptian Archival Documents; Courtcases Commentary Although fragmentary, these trial records provide more detail regarding the techniques of the conspirators than the complementary summary, “The Judicial Papyrus of Turin” (see  COS COSB.3.8). The role of magic in the conspiracy is clearly evident, with the use of spells, potions and wax figures following procedures found in scrolls taken from the royal library of Ramses III. As the conspirators included a temple …

Ophel Ostracon (3.86)

(927 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Accounts; Hebrew Ostraca Commentary This fragmentary ostracon (× cm) was discovered during excavations on the Ophel (area south of the temple mount in Jerusalem) by J. G. Duncan in 1924, although in an unstratified context. It can be dated on palaeographic grounds to the end of the seventh or the beginning of the sixth century bce. While the ostracon appears to have contained eight lines, the left side of the inscription and lines 4–7 are no longer legible. Moreover, some of …

The King to Kaššū In Tapikka 12 (HKM 13) (3.24)

(201 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Hittite Archival Documents; Letters; Middle Hittite Period (ca. 1450–1350 BCE) The King to Kaššū In Tapikka 12 ( HKM 13) (3.24) Thus speaks His Majesty: Say to Kaššū: ( 3) Concerning the capitulation (?) of Maruwa, the ruler of the city of Ḫimmuwa, about which you wrote me: “I have dispatched him (to you).” On a tablet you wrote to me: “I have dispatched him (to you),” but as of now he has not come. Now put him in the charge of an officer, and have him conduct him quickly before My Majesty. ( 13) Otherwise, you will become responsible …

Sale of a Slave Woman (3.112)

(508 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Neo-assyrian Contracts Commentary Dating to approximately 642 bce (see note 1 below), this text (BM 103956) records the sale of a slave woman named Bānât-Esaggil. The person selling the slave woman has a Yahwistic name, Yadiʾ-Yau. This same woman appears to have been sold some years later (see note 2 below). Sale of a Slave Woman (3.112) ( lines 1–3) The seal of Yadiʾ-Yau,3 the […] of the chief of public works,4 owner of the woman being sold. ( Seals, faded) ( lines 4–8a) Nabû-metu-uballi…

Land Sale (3.106)

(260 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Property Conveyances from Ugarit Land Sale (3.106) Subject: Gen 41:43 From the present day on, before witnesses, Iliya, son of Siniya, and Padiya, his brother, and his sons sold 4 ( ikû)1 which are among the fields of Ṣaʾu2 for 180 (shekels) of silver3 to Sharelli,4 the queen. (These) 4 ( ikû) fields are bound like the sunny day5 to Sharelli, the queen,6 forever. Witness: Shipiṭ-Baʾal.7 Witness: Shubammu. Witness: Abdi-Milki,8 son of Yakunu. Witness: Anantenu, son of Bin…

The Bukān Inscription (3.89)

(751 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Stela Fragment Commentary This inscription was discovered in two fragments: the major piece was found in archaeological excavations in 1985 at Tapeh Qalâychi near Bukān, southeast of Lake Urmia in Azerbaijan, Iran; the other, smaller piece, was recovered on the antiquities market in 1990.1 Together the fragments (.×.5 m) preserve only the last thirteen lines of an Old Aramaic inscription. Although much of the original text that was abo…

Instructions Regarding Children and Inquiry Regarding Passover (TAD D7.6) (3.87A)

(1,314 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Ostraca Commentary Published by Archibald Henry Sayce in 1911 (Bodleian Aramaic Inscription 7) and variously dubbed the Oxford Ostracon ( DAE 94) or the Passover Ostracon (Fitzmyer and Kaufman 1992), this piece is an unexpected blend of concern for the care and diet of the children of Aḥutab during her absence and inquiry into when the Passover was to be observed. Attaching this query to matters banal leaves the i…

A Lease of Land (3.137A)

(189 words)

Author(s): Steinkeller, Piotr
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Sumerian Archival Documents; Contracts; Rental and Hire Transactions Commentary The text originates from Nippur and dates to the Ur III period (7th year of Šu-Sin, 3rd month, ca. 2031 BCE). A Lease of Land (3.137A) (lines 1–10) Madake, Ur-gagi’a, Katar, (and) Lu-melam leased out1 6 iku of land, (located in) the field Dalbana,2 to Ur-Sin, son of A-kala, for 3 years, (in exchange) for 1/3 (of its produce). (line 11) They (i.e., the lessors) swore by the name of the king (not to contest the agreement). (lines 12–15) Lu-Inanna, Šeš-kal…
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