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Real Estate Transaction (3.133C)

(203 words)

Author(s): Steinkeller, Piotr
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Sumerian Archival Documents; Contracts; Sale Transactions Commentary This text comes from Šuruppak and dates to the Fara period (ca. 2400 BCE). Real Estate Transaction (3.133C) (lines 1–2) 1 mina (i.e. a pound) of copper (is) the price of the field. (line 3) 1 sar (is the size of) the field. (lines 4–5) 2 minas of copper (is) the additional payment. (lines 6–7) 6 minas of copper (is) the gift. (lines 8–11) 10 loaves of breads, 10 cakes, 2 PAB-measures of soup, (and) 2 PAB-measures of fish chowder (is the food offering). (lines 12–15) Ur-ens…

Sale of a Town (AT 52) (3.99B)

(482 words)

Author(s): Hess, Richard S.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Alalakh Commentary This is one of several texts at Alalakh from Level VII in which towns are bought and sold (see  AT 53–58). In this case a woman and her son, and therefore the one living heir, sell the town of Iburia to Yarimlim of Alalakh. The sale of towns recalls their use in payment from Solomon to Hiram (1 Kgs 11:11) and as a wedding gift from pharaoh to Solomon (1 Kgs 9:16–17). See also  AT 1 ( COS COSB.2.127) and  AT 456 ( COS COSB.2.137). Sale of a Town ( AT 52) (3.99B) Subject: Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 1…

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…

Transfer of Creditors (at 28) (3.102B)

(381 words)

Author(s): Hess, Richard S.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Alalakh Commentary This Level VII text describes the debt owed by the fowlers (lines 1–4) and their family. The debt is transferred from one creditor (Kurbišan) to another (Ammitaku). Transfer of Creditors (at 28) (3.102B) The debtors ( lines 1–5) 1 Ašma-Addu son of Inakabiti, 2 Wikken, 3 Zuḫerasi, 4 (and) Taʾuzen, 5 the fowlers. The change of creditors ( lines 6–12) 6 Regarding the principal investment of thirty silver shekels, 7 Kurbišan son of Niminašu 8 has seized them. 9 Ammitaku 12 the…

Royal Land Grant (3.109)

(223 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Property Conveyances from Ugarit Royal Land Grant (3.109) From the present day on, before Ammistamru, son of Niqmepa, king of Ugarit,1 Kalbiya, son of Kabityanu, has released 6 ikû fields,2 around the fields of the city3 for 520 (shekels) of silver4 to Kurwanu,5 son of Baʾal-azki and to his sons. These fields are granted6 to Kurwanu and to his sons forever. No person shall take away these fields from the hands of Kurwanu, or from the hands of his sons forever. And there is no pilku-service f…

Receipt for the Purchase of a Debt Slave (AT 65) (3.100)

(299 words)

Author(s): Hess, Richard S.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Alalakh Commentary This level VII tablet records the purchase of a debt slave. Debt slavery was well known in the ancient Near East. The use of the andarārum was a special dispensation that allowed all those in debt to be freed of their debts. In order to circumvent this possibility, Sumunnabi had a special clause written into the agreement. Perhaps this type of permanent servitude, with no exclusions, was what Leviticus 25:39–42 addressed. It required release of all those in debt du…

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 Marriage of Puzur-haya and Ubartum (3.135B)

(119 words)

Author(s): Steinkeller, Piotr
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Sumerian Archival Documents; Contracts; Marriage Agreements Commentary This tablet and its envelope originate from Lagaš and date to the Ur III period (4th year of Ibbi-Sin, ca. 2025 BCE). The Marriage of Puzur-haya and Ubartum (3.135B) (lines 1–4) Puzur-Haya took Ubartum as his wife. (lines 5–11) Before Ur-Damu, son of Ur-meme, (before) Ur-Dumuzi, (before) Bulali, (and before) Alduga, son of Ur-Dumuzi, the witnesses, before them, the oath by the name of the king was sworn. (line 12) Year that En-amgalana, the high-priest of…

Papyrus Milan 6 (3.7C)

(288 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Egyptian Archival Documents; Contracts; Demotic Self-Dedication Texts Papyrus Milan 6 (3.7C) There has said the female servant born within the estate, Taamon daughter of anonymous, whose mother is Baket,1 the one who says before Sobek, Lord of Tebtunis, the great god: “I am your servant together with the children of my children from today onward. And I shall give to you 2½ kite as servant-fee every month. No male or female spirit, sleeping man, ghost, drowned man, demon, ill-f…

Sale Transactions (3.99)

(34 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Alalakh Commentary The Purchase of Beer ( AT 33) Sale of a Town ( AT 52) Sale Transactions (3.99)

A Shipping Contract (3.139)

(258 words)

Author(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Sumerian Archival Documents; Contracts Commentary Functional contracts typically end with a witness list and a date. In the latter, note that the month name in the standard Babylonian calendar became the basis of the later Hebrew month names, replacing the Canaanite names of pre-exilic times. The present text also features a Persian Gulf seal, crucial for dating the civilization of the Persian Gulf. 7. A Shipping Contract (3.139) Subject: 1 Kgs 6:1 (1–3) 4 talents of haltikku-wool,1 2 bushels of wheat, 2 (bushels) of sesame (4–7) Hat…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

The Manumission of Umanigar (3.134A)

(280 words)

Author(s): Steinkeller, Piotr
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Sumerian Archival Documents; Contracts; Manumissions Commentary This text comes from Nippur and dates to the Ur III period (the 6th year of Amar-Sin, ca. 2041 BCE). The Manumission of Umanigar (3.134A) Subject: Gen 15:3 (lines 1–5) In the city-gate of Ninurta (named) “Lofty-city-gate-of-heaven-and earth,”1 Atu, his father, manumitted2 Umanigar, the slave of [PN], because of his being the (only) heir.3  a  (lines 6–9) Lu-kirizal (and) Lu-dingira, brothers of Atu, swore by the name of the king that (in the futu…

A Loan of Silver to Girini (3.136G)

(354 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 (6th year of Šu-Sin, 5th month, ca. 2032 BCE). It is an antichretic loan transaction. For similar transactions, see COSB.3.136E and COSB.3.136F above). Girini borrows 6 shekels of silver from Ur-Nanibgal. At the same time, Ur-Nanibgal rents, for 5 years, Girini’s house. The yearly rent of the house (2/3 shekel) will be deducted from the yearly interest on the loan (11/5 shekel). A Loa…
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