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The Ekron Inscription of Akhayus (2.42)

(947 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Philistine Inscriptions Commentary Written in a lapidary style script developed by the Philistines at Ekron, the text is a royal dedicatory inscription for the temple of the goddess Ptgyh made by Akhayus,1 the son of Padi, the ruler of Ekron. The royal names (“Padi” and “Akhayus”) are names known from Assyrian sources: for Padi, the inscriptions of Sennacherib ( COS COSB.2.119B) and another inscription from Ekron (see n. 2 below); for Akhayus…

Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur — Suḫu Annals (#18) (2.115C)

(698 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Inscribed on a stone stela discovered on the island of ʿĀnā, this text describes a revolt of the city of Anat (before the days of Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur) and the subsequent disaster when “the Assyrian” took action against the city. It records Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur’s restoration of the city, emphasizing his goodness and kindness. Ninurta-kudurrī-uṣur — Suḫu Annals (#18) (2.115C) ( lines i.1–5) I, Ninurta…

The Die (Pūru) of Yaḫali (2.113I)

(711 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary In ancient Assyria, the system of dating was by eponym (see  COS COSB.1.136). Each year was named after the līmu, “eponym,” who was a high officer of state. Inscribed clay cubes were used as dice for casting lots to determine the eponyms. This die (× x 28 mm) belonged to Yaḫali, an official of Shalmaneser III. He held the office of eponym twice during Shalmaneser’s reign (833 and 824 bce). The use of lots for many leg…

The Panamuwa Inscription (2.37)

(2,178 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Old Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary The inscription, engraved on the lower half of a statue, is written in Samalian Aramaic (see  COS COSB.2.36). It was discovered in the German excavations at Zinjirli. Bar-Rakib, the son of Panamuwa II, probably raised this monument early in his reign to memorialize his father because of his sudden and unexpected death during Tiglath-Pileser III’s campaign against Damascus (733–732 bce). The text also serv…

Calah Orthostat Slab (2.114G)

(372 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Discovered in 1854 at Calah, the text was inscribed on a broken stone slab which was left on the mound of Nimrud. It is known only through its publication based on the paper squeezes1 made by Norris on the site. Only the latter half of the inscription is translated here. Calah Orthostat Slab (2.114G) ( lines 11–14) I subdued from the bank of the Euphrates, the land of Ḫatti, the land of Amurru in its enti…

The Temple of the Lord Ostracon (2.50)

(880 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary This is one of two ostraca in the Moussaïeff collection (for the other, see the Widow’s Plea Ostracon,  COS COSB.3). It is a five-line inscription that records a royal contribution of silver by a king ʾAshyahu to the temple of Yahweh to be made through the agency of a royal functionary named Zakaryahu. The ostracon is 10.9 cm x 8.6 cm, and is written in Hebrew script that dates1 on the basis of palaeography to the time of Josiah (640–609 bce)…

Summary Inscription 8 (2.117E)

(993 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This inscription (ND 400, now BM 131982) is found on a well-baked tablet fragment (8.×.8 cm) discovered at Nimrud in 1950. While it may be possible that the inscription is part of the same tablet as Summary Inscription 7 (K 3751), this is far from certain (it may be an additional copy). Summary Inscription 8 (2.117E) Subject: Amos 1:6–8; 1 Chr 4:41; 2 Chr 20:1; 26:7 ( lines 1´ -9´) […] […] his […] on dry land […] […] I…

A Loan of Silver from Assur (3.57)

(448 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Contracts; Assyrian Aramaic Commentary Discovered in excavations at Assur, this Assyrian Aramaic inscription recording a loan of silver is written on a triangular clay docket. While the text contains no date, it can be dated on the basis of its archival context to the reign of Assurbanipal or later.1 A Loan of Silver from Assur (3.57) Subject: Exod 22:24; Lev 25:36–37; 15:2; 23:20–21; 1 Kgs 6:38; 12:32, 33; Zech 1:1; 1 Chr 27:11 ( Five fingernail marks on the top of the tablet) ( lines 1–5a) 8 shekels of…

Aššur Basalt Statue (2.113G)

(407 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This is a Summary or Display inscription which is incised on the front, left hip and back of a broken basalt statue of Shalmaneser. It was discovered in the 1903 German excavations at the entrance to a Parthian building where it had been moved from its original location at the Tabira Gate. The statue had been broken into two large and many small pieces and the head was missing. The text appears to date to 833 bce based on the…

The Bar-Rakib Inscription (2.38)

(511 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Old Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary Composed not long after the Panamuwa inscription (i.e. 733–727 bce), the Bar-Rakib inscription was written in an Old Aramaic dialect which as been identified as “Mesopotamian Aramaic.”1 Its form is that of the memorial genre, though the emphasis is on Bar-Rakib’s vassal loyalty to Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria.2 The inscription was discovered in excavations conducted at Zenjirli (cf.  COS

Pavement Inscription 4 (2.118G)

(233 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary The text was inscribed on a pavement slab for the gates at Dūr-Šarrukīn (Khorsabad). Pavement Inscription 4 (2.118G) ( lines 31–41) (Sargon II) … who conquered Samaria and the entire land of Bīt-Ḫumria (Israel);1 who plundered Ashdod (and) Šinuḫtu,2 who caught the Ionians3 like fish in the middle of the sea; who deported the Kasku, all of Tabal, and Ḫilakku; who drove away Mita (Midas), the king of Muski; who decisively defeated Egypt at Raphia, and counted Hanunu, king of Gaza, as spoil. B…

Annals: Calaḫ Bulls (2.113C)

(1,210 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary This is a reconstructed recension (Recension D according to Schramm  EAK 2:76–77) based on inscriptions on two monumental bulls found at Calaḫ and supplemented by two small fragments of inscribed stones. The edition apparently dates to 841 bce1 and is the first edition of Shalmaneser’s annals that documents Shalmaneser’s campaign in his eighteenth regnal year against Hazael of Damascus…

Black Obelisk (2.113F)

(1,136 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Sculpted from black alabaster, the famous “Black Obelisk,” is 2.02 meters in height and contains the longest account of Shalmaneser’s reign, stretching down to the king’s thirty-first regnal year.1 It was discovered by Layard at Calaḫ in 1846. The text is identified as Recension F and dates to 828–827 bce. The Obelisk is formed in the shape of a ziggurat, having four sides with five panels on each…

A Letter Reporting Matters in Kalaḫ (Kalḫu) (3.96)

(1,336 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Assyria Commentary This letter (NL 16; ND 2765; IM 64159) comes from Kalaḫ (Nimrud) and dates between 720 and 715 bce during the reign of Sargon II. Therefore its contents cannot refer to the aftermath of the campaign against Ashdod in 712/ 711 bce (see note 1). Beside the issues regarding a festival that has recently been celebrated in the city and certain bull colossi that the governor, Marduk-rēmanni, had been placing in their appropriate locations, the l…

An Assyrian Horse List (3.128)

(831 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Accounts; Neo-Assyrian Commentary This tablet (× cm), with two columns on the front and two columns on the back, was discovered during the 1957–63 excavations of Nimrud (ancient Kalḫu) in an area at the southeastern corner of the lower city known as Fort Shalmaneser. The text is one of the administrative documents known more specifically as the Horse Lists.1 Apparently, it was a formal check list either preceding or following the actual muster lists, which were less carefully wri…

Sale of Three Slaves (3.111)

(518 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Neo-assyrian Contracts Commentary This text is dated by eponym to 709 bce (Mannu-kī-Aššur-lēʾi, see Millard 1994:47). It records the sale of three slaves (two men and a woman) to a chariot driver named Šumma-ilāni (known from other texts). Another chariot driver, Nadbi-Yau (Ina-ad-bi-ia-a-ú), is also mentioned; his name contains the Yahwistic theophoric element. He serves as a witness to the transaction. Sale of Three Slaves (3.111) Subject: 1 Chr 3:18 ( lines 1–2) Seal of D[aga…

The Calaḫ Annals (2.117A)

(2,314 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary In the final years of Tiglath-pileser’s reign,1 the royal scribes composed what became the final “full” edition of his Annals, made up of seventeen palû’s (or regnal years). This edition was inscribed between two registers of reliefs on stone slabs already in place decorating the walls of Tiglath-pileser’s palace at Calah (Nimrud). However, the palace was…

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 Cylinder Inscription (2.118H)

(238 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary Discovered at Khorsabad, the text is inscribed on four barrel cylinders (two in the Louvre at Paris and two in the British Museum in London). The inscription commemorates the founding of Sargon’s new capital at Dūr-Šarrukīn. The Cylinder Inscription (2.118H) ( lines 19–20)1 (Sargon) who subjugated the extensive land of Bīt-Ḫumria (Israel), who inflicted a decisive defeat on Egypt at Rap…

Summary Inscription 9–10 (2.117F)

(983 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Display Inscriptions; Neo-Assyrian Inscriptions Commentary The text is written on a large, very fragmentary clay tablet1 (18.4 cm wide) which was recovered in excavations at Nimrud in 1955. The reverse of the tablet preserves narrations of Tiglath-pileser’s Levantine campaigns, arranged geographically and set off by rulings across the surface of the tablet. Summary Inscription 10 (K 2649),2 following Tadmor’s designation (1994:180), is a tiny fragment (2.×.…
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