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The King of Ugarit to the Queen-Mother In the Matter of His Meeting With the Hittite Sovereign (RS 16.379) (3.45F)

(488 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 (6) The King of Ugarit to the Queen-Mother In the Matter of His Meeting With the Hittite Sovereign (RS 16.379) (3.45F) 1 Subject: Num 13:31; Judg 1:1 Address (lines 1–3) To the queen, my mo[ther], say: Message of the king, your son. Prostration and Greeting Formulae ( line 4–7) At my mother’s feet I fall. With my mo[ther] may it be well. May the god[s] guard you, may they keep [you] well. Report of Well-being and Request fo…

The Widow’s Plea (3.44)

(1,061 words)

Author(s): Pardee, Dennis
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Commentary This text did not come from regular excavations and the question of authenticity arises here as in other such cases. Because there are no irregularities in script or language, I continue to believe (see Bordreuil, Israel, and Pardee 1996 and 1998) that the text is authentic. To believe the opposite requires the hypothesis that the forger was a master epigrapher, a master grammarian (only an …

Ḥesbân Ostracon A2 (3.85)

(397 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Accounts; Ammonite Ostraca from Ḥesbân Commentary This ostracon, discovered in 1974, is a body sherd from a heavy storage jar. Its maximum dimensions are 8.×.4 cm. It was, however, originally larger than its present version as evidenced by a modern break along its top. The text is a list of goods, written in Ammonite cursive script.1 The ostracon is in the Amman Archaeological Museum, Ḥesbân No. H74.2092.2 It has been dated paleographically to ca. 575 bce.3 Ḥesbân Ostracon A2 (3.85) Subject: N…

Instructions to Shear Ewe (3.87B)

(957 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Ostraca Commentary Discovered in the Rubensohn excavations of 1906–1907, published in 1911 by Sachau (plate 63, 1) but properly understood only by Lidzbarski and Perles, this ostracon was made over to the Egyptian Museum, Cairo (JE 43464B). The anonymous writer informed Uriah that it was time for him to shear his big ewe (3–4 years old) lest its wool get torn by thorns. Moreover, the shearing shoul…

Recommendation for Reconstruction of Temple (3.52)

(1,088 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Aramaic Letters; The Jedaniah Archive From Elephantine Commentary If a written reply to the petition was sent, as requested, it has not been found. Preserved herein (P. Berlin 13497 [ TAD A4.9]) is a concise and precise verbal message dictated jointly by the authorities in Jerusalem and Samaria. Written on a torn piece of papyrus by the same scribe as the second draft of the petition ( TAD A4.8), it was much amended. Its close adherence to the petition indicates an essential en…

A Life Estate of Usufruct (3.75)

(1,337 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary Written by an unknown scribe, this document was much corrected and bore unique terms and formulae.1 It was the first of three deeds drawn up by Anani for the bequest of room(s) in his house which he was bestowing upon his daughter Jehoishma. This one was in contemplation of her marriage, which was to be recorded in a document of wifehood drawn up three months later (COSB.3.76:1). Absence of certain prov…

Report of Conflict and Request for Assistance (3.47)

(1,594 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Aramaic Letters; The Jedaniah Archive From Elephantine Commentary Written on a three-ply protocol (first sheet) of a scroll (Cairo J. 43471 [ TAD A4.2]), this letter defies proper understanding because of the loss of its left half and the use of numerous words and phrases that occur only here. An unknown subordinate, using the standard pagan Salutation formula, informed the leaders Jedaniah, Mauziah, and Uriah of proceedings at the co…

The Jedaniah Archive from Elephantime (3.P116)

(563 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Aramaic Letters Commentary The first identifiably Elephantine Aramaic papyrus was acquired in 1898/99 on the antiquities market by the Egyptologist Wilhelm Spiegelberg for the (now-named) Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire of Strasbourg and published by Julius Euting in 1903 ( COS COSB.3.50). While fragmentary, it reported the nefarious acts of the Khnum priests and foreshadowed the tale of the destruction of the Jewish temple. T…

From an Official in Alashia to the King (RS 18.113a+b) (3.45U)

(687 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between King or Queen and a Non-Royal Personage (21) From an Official in Alashia to the King (RS 18.113a+b) (3.45U) 1 Address (lines 1–3) To the king, [my] l[ord], s[ay]: Message of the Chief of Maʾ[ḫadu, your servant]. Prostration Formula ( lines 4–6) At the feet of my master [ (from) afar], seven times and seven times [do I fall.] Greetings ( lines 6–9) I do pronounce to Baʿlu-Ṣapuni, to Eternal Sun, to ʿAṯtartu, to ʿAnatu, to all the gods of Alashi[a] (…

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…

Offer of Payment for Reconstruction of Temple (Draft) (3.53)

(996 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Aramaic Letters; The Jedaniah Archive From Elephantine Commentary The lower, left half of the text is lost and holes affect the reading of several other crucial words. As a draft (Cairo J. 43467 [ TAD A4.10]), the letter omitted the praescriptio but listed in column form the names of the five leaders presenting the petition. Headed by Jedaniah, they were not priests or “Jews, citizens of Elephantine” (COSB.3.51:1, 22) but “Syenians, hereditary pr…

The Queen to Yarmîhaddu (RS 96.2039) (3.45S)

(859 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between King or Queen and a Non-Royal Personage (19) The Queen to Yarmîhaddu (RS 96.2039) (3.45S) 1 Subject: Exod 21:1–6; Judg 6:11 Address (lines 1–3) [Me]ssage of the queen: To Yarmîhaddu, my brother, say: Reference to a Preceding Letter in Reference to a Servant Who Had Fled ( lines 4–17) (As for) the (message)-tablet (in which I said) “Your servant whom I took […]; and I, for my part, gave his wife to you; ll and that servant worked on my farm;2  mm but that servant re…

A Scribe Shows Off (RS 16.265) (3.45OO)

(494 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Scribal Exercises (41) A Scribe Shows Off (RS 16.265) (3.45OO) 1 Subject: 111:8; 148:6 Address and Greetings (lines 1–6) [Me]ssage of ʾIṯtēlu to MNN: May the gods guard you, may they keep you well, may they strengthen you, for a thousand days and ten thousand years, through the endless reaches of time.2  kkk  The Request ( lines 7–16) A request I would make of my brother, my friend, and may he grant it to his brother, his friend, (his) friend forever…

Ammonite Ostraca from Ḥesbân (3.WS.C.2)

(383 words)

Author(s): Aufrecht, Walter E.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Accounts Commentary Between 1968 and 1978, the Tell Ḥesbân excavations produced eight ostraca with writing in the cursive Ammonite or Aramaic scripts.1 Four of these, A3, A4, A5 and A6, are lists of names; two, A7 and A8, are graffiti; and two, A1 and A2, are accounts presented below.2 2. Ammonite Ostraca from Ḥesbân Notes^ back to text1. The Ḥesbân ostraca were published in the sequence of their discovery. Cross (1986; 2002) has rearranged the series in the order of their date: A1 (old #4 =  CAI …

Aramaic Ostraca (3.WS.D.1)

(909 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts Commentary Egyptian Aramaic ceramic inscriptions are scattered in over a dozen different places throughout the world (New York, Oxford, Cambridge, London, Paris, Strasbourg, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, Cairo, Elephantine, and Jerusalem). So far 118 have been published, almost all from Achaemenid Elephantine, and these may be divided into six categories: letters ( TAD D7.1–57), accounts ( TAD D8.1–13), lists ( TAD D9.1–15), abecedaries ( TAD D10.1–2), jar insc…

ʾUrǵitēṯub (Urḫi-tešub) to the Queen (RS 20.199) (3.45Y)

(310 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between King or Queen and a Non-Royal Personage (25) ʾUrǵitēṯub (Urḫi-tešub) to the Queen (RS 20.199) (3.45Y) 1 To the queen, my lady, say: [Me]ssage of ʾUrǵitēṯub, your servant. At the feet of my lady (from) afar seven times and seven times do I fall. With my lady may it be well. May the [go]ds guard you, [may they keep] you well. [Her]e [with me], everything is [ver]y well. There with my lady, whatever is well, send word (of that) back to your servant. Notes^ …

Arad 16: A Letter Between Brothers (3.43G)

(330 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 16: A Letter Between Brothers (3.43G) Your brother Ḥananyahu (hereby) sends greetings to (you) Elyashib and to your household. I bless you to Yahweh.1 And now, when I leave your house I will send the money,2 eight shekels, to the sons of Geʾalyahu [by] the intermediary of] Azaryahu, as well as the […]3 Notes^ back to text1. Without patronyms, it is impossible to know whether this Ḥananyahu is the same person as the one bearing the same name who is…

Notice of Dispatch of Wood (3.87K)

(442 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Ostraca Commentary Discovered on November 1, 1979 in the eighth season of the German Institute of Archaeology, this ostracon was published in 1987 by Mohammed Maraqten. Collated at source, it has yielded several new readings. It may be interpreted to mean that the writer has made a donation (ḥntʾ) of as much as 70 pieces of wood for the Temple altar, being sent by boat from Syene. Notice of Dispatch of Wood (3.87K) Subject: Lev 16:21; 1 Sam 11:7; 16:20; 2 Sam 10:2; 11:14; 12:25…

Recommendation to Aid Two Benefactors (3.48)

(1,863 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Aramaic Letters; The Jedaniah Archive From Elephantine Commentary This bipartite letter of recommendation (Cairo J. 43472 [ TAD A4.3]) set forth in the first half the benefit that Djeḥo and Ḥor had bestowed upon the writer, the scribe and leader Mauziah (lines 3–5), and in the second half recommended that upon their arrival at Elephantine they be handsomely reimbursed (lines 5–11). The Troop Commander of Elephantine arrested Ma…

Village Tithe Payments at Ugarit (3.83)

(388 words)

Author(s): Heltzer, Michael
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Accounts; The Tithe in Ugarit Commentary Despite the fact that the text is in a damaged state, we see here payments to the authorities, which could be the tithe from a number of villages of the kingdom of Ugarit. The text is written in Akkadian and shows the tax (tithe) payments by the villages in kind: barley (flour), oxen and wine. Village Tithe Payments at Ugarit (3.83) 1´ [the village … kùr ]1 barley or (flour)2 2´ The village3 […] kùr barley (or flour), 1 [ox]4 3´ The village Araniya 2 kùr barley …
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