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Dowry Addendum (3.79)

(2,028 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary Less than a year and one-half after Anani had written for his daughter a bequest in contemplation of death, he upgraded it to one to take effect immediately. Assigning title to courtyard and stairway, Anani had no need to spell out specific rights, as earlier (COSB.3.78:13–15). Omission of the right of alienation to anyone other than her own children, however (lines 8–9), indicated that An…

Arad 5: Order for Allotment of Supplies Plus a Possible Mention of Tithe (3.43E)

(225 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 5: Order for Allotment of Supplies Plus a Possible Mention of Tithe (3.43E) To Elyashib. And now, send some of the flour which you have left from the [first (batch)], which […] flour [to make] bread for the Kittim […] […] (someone) will [send] you the tithe in it, before the month passes.1 And from the surplus of […] Notes^ back to text1. This text of fifteen lines is poorly preserved, and the presence of the word for “tithe,” only partially preserved ({hmʿ[…

Letter From Queen Naptera of Egypt to Queen Puduḫepa of Ḫatti (3.30)

(399 words)

Author(s): Hoffner, Harry A., Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Hittite Archival Documents; Letters; Later New Kingdom (Ḫattušili III TO Suppiluliuma II) (ca. 1250–1180 BCE) Letter From Queen Naptera of Egypt to Queen Puduḫepa of Ḫatti (3.30) §1 Thus says Naptera, Great Queen of Egypt: Say to Puduhepa, Great Queen of Hatti, my sister: §2 It is well with me, your sister. It is also well with my land. §3 May it be well with you, my sister. May it also be well with your land. I have learned that you, my sister, wrote inquiring about my health, and that you wrote inquiring …

The King to Kaššū and Pulli In Tapikka (HKM 18) (3.29)

(188 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 Pulli In Tapikka ( HKM 18) (3.29) Thus speaks [His Majesty]: Say to [Kaššū and Pulli]: [ Lines 3–15 are too badly broken for translation] ( 16) And send them before My Majesty. ( 17) Concerning the matter of troops about which you wrote me: I have some troops of the Upper Land and of the land of Išḫupitta here with me. I will send them to you. ps ( 21) Thus speaks Pišeni: Say to Kaššū and Pulli, my dear sons: ( 23) The grain which the …

Letter of Abdi-Heba of Jerusalem (EA 286) (3.92A)

(1,051 words)

Author(s): Moran, William
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Tell El-Amarna Commentary This letter is one of six ( EA 285–290) in the Amarna archive from Abdi-Heba,1 ruler of Jerusalem, to the Pharaoh, probably Amenophis IV (ca. 1350–1334 bce).2 Letter of Abdi-Heba of Jerusalem ( EA 286) (3.92A) Subject: Gen 43:28; 1 Sam 24:9; Isa 60:14; Jer 2:5; Mic 6:3; Deut 4:34; 5:15; 21:5; Gen 42:15–16; 15:21; Deut 6:5; Judg 5:31; 1 Sam 18:1, 3; 20:17; 2 Sam 19:7; 1 Kgs 5:15 ( lines 1–4) Say to the king, my lord: Message of Abdi-Heba, your servant. I fall at …

Withdrawal from Hyrʾ (3.70)

(1,524 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary This is one of the most enigmatic documents in our collection. The object of the contract (hyrʾ) remains unexplained. The Waiver and Penalty clauses covered only the party drawing up the contract (lines 4–8). A Defension clause covered only brother and sister (lines 8–9). Both parties had entered a complaint about the property; Anani paid Mica five shekels to withdraw. Mica did so, but pro…

Withdrawal from House (3.67)

(1,849 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary Like the preceding document, this too was drawn up in the presence of the Troop Commander. But unlike that one, there is no mention here of a suit. A nephew of Jezaniah, Mibtahiah’s first husband, withdrew from Jezaniah’s house in favor of Mibtahiah’s children from her second husband, here named Nathan (lines 2–9). Upon Jezaniah’s premature death, his house must have passed to his wife. Sh…

Document of Wifehood (3.71)

(2,087 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary This record of a free man-handmaiden marriage presents a unique opportunity to reconstruct the haggling that went on between groom and master regarding the status of the bride and the rights of the parties to the contract. Tamet’s status may be described as comparable to the biblical “slave woman designated for a man” for the purpose of marriage (Lev 19:20). In rabbinic terms she was “part slave and part free.” Not yet manumitted, she was not enti…

Lachish 4: Military Reports (3.42C)

(595 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Lachish 4: Military Reports (3.42C) Subject: Jer 36:23; Josh 7:24; Judg 13:19; 1 Kgs 17:19; Jer 39:5; Judg 20:38, 40; Jer 6:1; Jer 34:7 Salutation (lines 1) May Yahweh give you good news at this time. General Statement ( lines 2–4) And now, your servant has done everything my lord sent (me word to do). I have written down j everything you sent me (word to do). Report on Bet-HRPD ( lines 4–6) As regards what my lord said about Bet-HRPD, there is no one there. The Semakyahu Situation ( line…

Bequest In Contemplation of Death (3.78)

(2,548 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary Sixteen years after his grant of a life estate of usufruct (COSB.3.75), Anani granted his daughter title to the apartment, but only to take effect upon his death. To reassure her in the interim, the scribe repeated the operative word “gave” eight times, doubled the formulae in both the Pedigree (“bought” and “gave”) and Investiture (“yours” and “right”) clauses (lines 3, 11), granted her r…

The King to Kaššū In Tapikka 1 (HKM 1) (3.13)

(221 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 1 ( HKM 1) (3.13) Thus speaks His Majesty: Say to Kaššū: ( 4) Concerning the matter1 of the enemy2 about which you wrote to me, saying: “The enemy is holding the city Kašaša”: ( 8) Be advised that I have just dispatched chariotry. Be very much on guard against the enemy.3 Bibliographical References Text:  HKM 1  HBM 120f., 302. Translations:  HBM 121. Notes^ back to text1. The sections beginning with the word “Con…

Lachish 2: Thanks and Good Wishes (3.42A)

(455 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Lachish 2: Thanks and Good Wishes (3.42A) Subject: 1 Sam 2:24; 1 Kgs 10:7; 2 Kgs 19:7; Jer 51:46; Prov 15:30; 25:25; 2 Kgs 8:13 Salutation (lines 1–2) To my lord Yaush.1 May Yahweh2 give you good news3  a at this very time. Humble Thanks for Being Remembered ( lines 3–5) Who is your servant (but) a dog4  b that my lord should remember5 his servant? May Yahweh give my lord first knowledge6 of anything you do not already know. Biblical References a 1 Sam 2:24 1 Kgs 10:7 2 Kgs 19:7 Jer 51…

Testamentary Manumission (3.74)

(1,404 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary In a document drawn up in contemplation of death, at least twenty-two years after Tamet’s marriage to Anani, her master Meshullam manumitted wife and daughter Jehoishma upon his death. The contract was designated on the endorsement “document of withdrawal” (line 18) and its format was that of the conveyance, freedom here being the commodity conveyed and a stiff fifty karsh penalty imposed …

[From the King of Ugarit?] to the Hittite Emperor (RS 94.5015) (3.45P)

(598 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Outgoing Correspondence To Other Courts (16) [From the King of Ugarit?] to the Hittite Emperor (RS 94.5015) (3.45P) 1 Subject: Amos 1:3; 30:18; Ps 62:12 The Writer Refers to his Sovereign’s Promises (lines 1–12) […] SAY […] twice […] GO […] to ʾAnzaḫu, I, even I, your servant. I will give donkeys, I will give troops (to be) with him.”2 Moreover, the Sun, the great king, my master, said: “I will cause (him) to return and he will ML.”3 Then, (because of) this, there was n…

The Greetings That ʾAbniya Might Have Sent (RS 94.2273) (3.45PP)

(1,737 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Scribal Exercises (42) The Greetings That ʾAbniya Might Have Sent (RS 94.2273) (3.45PP) 1 Address and Greetings (lines 1–7) [Mess]age of ʾAbniya to ʾUrtēṯub: [I] fall at the feet of my brother. Here from afar I fall; seven times, eight times, I fall. May the gods guard you, may they ke[ep you well].2 Bibliographical References Text, translations and studies: Ahl 1973 W. F. Albright, ‛“Specimens of Late Ugaritic Prose.”  BASOR 150:36–38. ( 1958 ) ’ , …

The King to Kaššū In Tapikka 6 (HKM 6) (3.18)

(246 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 6 ( HKM 6) (3.18) Thus speaks His Majesty: Say to Kaššū: ( 3) Concerning what you wrote me, saying: “The enemy has come. He pressed1 the city of Ḫapara on that side of me and the city of Kašipūra on this side. But he himself passed through, and I don’t know where he went.” ( 11) Was that “enemy” perhaps enchanted, that you did not recognize him? ( 15) Now be very much on guard against the enemy. ( 17) Concerning what you wrote m…

Arad 3: Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43C)

(270 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 3: Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43C) Subject: 2 Kgs 5:17 To Elyashib. And now, give three b( at-measures) of wine (to bearer).1 Moreover, Ḥananyahu has given you orders2 concerning Beersheba: you are yourself to load up and convey there two donkey loads e of dough.3 Calculate the (amount of) wheat ([at Arad?]) and count the (loaves of) bread (already made).4 Take […]5 Biblical References e 2 Kgs 5:17 Notes^ back to text1. When the indirect object is not i…

Withdrawal from Goods (3.66)

(2,062 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary It must have been shortly after the death of Esḥor that the brothers Menahem and Ananiah, grandsons of Shelomam, sued Jedaniah and Mahseiah before the Chief and the Troop Commander, claiming that Shelomam had deposited assorted goods with Esḥor, who never returned them. The brothers were interrogated and satisfied the claimants by returning the goods. They then drew up the present docume…

Ugaritic Letters (3.WS.A.2)

(1,010 words)

Author(s): Pardee, Dennis
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters Commentary Excavations began at the site of Ras Shamra in the spring of 1929 and have continued with some regularity to the present. Over four thousand inscribed objects have been discovered, including many texts in Ugaritic and Akkadian inscribed on clay tablets (overviews in Yon 1997 and Pardee 1997a,b). The Ugaritic poetic corpus has attracted the greatest attention (see introductions to the Ugaritic myths in  COS 1), but the vast majority of texts are prosaic reflections of e…

Arad 7: Another Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43F)

(160 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 7: Another Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43F) Subject: Josh 8:32; Isa 65:6; 3:16; Est 2:23; 1 Chr 24:6 To Elyashib. And now, give to the Kittim for the (period from) the first (day) of the tenth (month) until the sixth (day) of (that) month three b( at-measures of wine?). [And] make a record (of this) f on the second (day) of the tenth month.1 Also seal (a jar of) oil [and send it …].2 Biblical References f Josh 8:32 Isa 65:6 3:16 Est 2:23 1 Chr 24:6 Notes^ back to text1. This f…
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