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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…

Letter II (3.1B)

(1,413 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Egyptian Archival Documents; Letters; Middle Kingdom Letters Letter II (3.1B) Subject: Isa 9:19; Mic 3:3; Gen 16:12 (vo. 5–6) From ka-servant Heqanakht to his household of Sidder Grove.1 ( ro. 1) A son who speaks to his mother, ka-servant Heqanakht to his mother Ipi, and to Hetepet:2 how is your life, soundness, and health? In the blessing of Montu, lord of Thebes.3 To the whole household: how are you and how is your life, soundness, and health? Don’t concern yourselves about me. Look, I am healthy and alive. ( ro. 3) Look, you are li…

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 …

A Report of Escaped Laborers (3.4)

(528 words)

Author(s): Allen, James P.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Egyptian Archival Documents; Letters; New Kingdom Model Letters Commentary Like Papyrus Anastasi III, the papyrus from which this letter is taken, now in the British Museum (EA 10244), contains a number of model letters and other scribal compositions, some of which appear in other contemporary papyri. Since several of these, including the letter translated here, mention the pharaoh Seti II (Dyn. 19, ca. 1200–1194 bce), the papyrus was probably written during his reign, but the mention of Regnal Year 33 elsewhere …

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] (…

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…

The King to Kaššū In Tapikka 4 (HKM 4) (3.16)

(132 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 4 ( HKM 4) (3.16) Thus speaks His Majesty: Say to Kaššū: Write to me quickly concerning the condition of the vines, the cattle, and the sheep, in that land.1 Bibliographical References Text:  HKM 4. Edition:  HBM 124–127, 304. Notes^ back to text1. This letter reveals the direct concern of the king for viticulture and livestock in the provinces, a fact we would otherwise not have known. It is w…

The King to Kaššū and Zulapi In Tapikka 1 (HKM 15) (3.26)

(98 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 and Zulapi In Tapikka 1 ( HKM 15) (3.26) Thus speaks His Majesty: Say to Kaššū and Zilapi: ( 4) As soon as this tablet reaches you, quickly — within three days1 — bring before My Majesty the assembled troops and the chariotry which is with them. Bibliographical References Text:  HKM 15. Edition:  HBM 140f. Notes^ back to text1. Line 11 informs us that Tapikka lay within 3 days’ march of Ḫattuša.

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^ …

Letter III (3.1C)

(719 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Egyptian Archival Documents; Letters; Middle Kingdom Letters Letter III (3.1C) (vo. 3)To Delta-overseer Herunefer.1 ( ro. 1) Funerary-estate worker, ka-servant Heqanakht, who speaks.2 Your condition is like living, a million times. May Harsaphes, lord of Herakleopolis, and all the gods who are (in the sky and on earth) act for you. May Ptah South of His Wall sweeten your heart greatly with life and a (good) old age. May your final honor be with the life force of Harsaphes, lord of Herakleopolis.3 ( ro. 3) Your humble servant4 spe…

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…

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…

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…

A Letter of Enna-Dagan (3.90)

(1,184 words)

Author(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Ebla Commentary The city of Ebla ruled a considerable territory in western Syria during the third millennium; for an overview of its history and a brief bibliography see Milano 1995. For fuller bibliographies see Beld, Hallo and Michalowski 1984; Baffi Guardata, Baldacci and Pomponio 1987, 1989, 1993, 1997. The language of Ebla was neither purely Akkadian (East Semitic) nor certifiably West Semitic. It combined element…
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