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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…

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…

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…

Letter of the Ruler of Gezer (Gazru) (EA 292) (3.92C)

(643 words)

Author(s): Moran, William
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Tell El-Amarna Commentary This letter and  EA 293 were sent by the ruler of Gazru, whose name is written logographically and remains of uncertain interpretation. The scribe who wrote these two letters also wrote  EA 294, and probably for the same ruler. Letter of the Ruler of Gezer (Gazru) ( EA 292) (3.92C) Subject: Exod 24:17; 34:27–35; Num 6:25; Ezra 48:3; 1 Chr 8:6; Josh 10:33; 12:12; 16:3, 10; 21:21; Judg 1:29; 2 Sam 5:25; 1 Kgs 15–17; 1 Chr 6:52; 7:28; 14:16; 20:4 ( lines 1–7) Say to the king, my …

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)

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…

Letter of Rib-Haddi of Byblos (Gubla) (EA 362) (3.92E)

(736 words)

Author(s): Moran, William
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Tell El-Amarna Commentary The most diligent — and most wearisome — of the Pharaoh’s vassal correspondents, Rib-Hadda (here Rib-Haddi) continues his litany of requests for action against the rising state of Amurru to the north, earlier under Abdi-Aširta, now under his sons, especially Aziru. The Pharaoh is Amenophis IV (Akhenaten). Letter of Rib-Haddi of Byblos (Gubla) ( EA 362) (3.92E) Subject: Gen 43:28; 1 Sam 24:9; Isa 60:14; Ezek 27:9; Exod 5:3; 9:15; Lev 26:25; Num 14:12; Deut 28:21; 2 Sam…

The Slandered Bride (3.119)

(418 words)

Author(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Courtcases; Babylon Commentary Case law or “conditional law” is often based on actual precedent, and sometimes the provisions of Old Babylonian law, or even biblical law, seem to reflect situations encountered in court cases. A little dossier of three documents dating to the reign of Samsu-iluna (ca. 1749–1712 bce), illustrates provisions in the Laws of Hammurapi, his father and predecessor, as well as the casuistic legislation of Deuteronomy.1 In addition to a wedding document and a suppl…

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…

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 Letter to Zalaia (3.93)

(381 words)

Author(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Kumidi Commentary While most of the diplomatic correspondence of the Amarna period was found at Amarna itself (see above COSB.3.92A-G), some of it has turned up in excavations in the Levant. The following letter is known in two versions found in Lebanon at Kamid-el-Loz, the ancient Kumidi. (For other texts from the same site, see Huehnergard 1996:98). Judging by its conclusion, its royal author was presumably the pharaoh. A Letter to Zalaia (3.93) Subject: Gen 15:2; Gen 14:13; Gen 10:6; Mal 1:11;…

A Report on Work on Dūr-Šarrukin (3.98)

(368 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Assyria A Report on Work on Dūr-Šarrukin (3.98) Subject: 2 Kgs 17:6 (beginning 3–4 lines lost) ( lines 1´ -10´) [Concerning what the king], my lo[rd] wrote to me: “provide the [Sam]arians,1  a [as many as] are [in] your [ha]nds (with work) in Dūr-Šarrukin,”2 I thereafter [sent (word) to] the sheikhs [say]ing: “gather [all] the carpenters and potters; let them come (and) [direc]t the deportees [who are in D]ūr-Šarrukin.” (But) they did not consent to send (them) to me. ( lines 11´ - r. 4a) […

Letter of Tušratta, King of Mitanni (EA 17) (3.92D)

(762 words)

Author(s): Moran, William
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Letters; Tell El-Amarna Commentary In one of the earliest letters of the Amarna archive, the king of Mitanni tries to patch up relations with Egypt and renew an earlier alliance. Letter of Tušratta, King of Mitanni ( EA 17) (3.92D) Subject: Deut 6:5; Judg 5:31; 1 Sam 18:1, 3; 20:17; 2 Sam 19:7; 1 Kgs 5:15; Deut 1:27; Josh 6:2; 7:7, 24; 1 Kgs 22:6; 2 Kgs 18:30; 19:10; Exod 14:28; Deut 2:15; Josh 7:24 ( lines 1–10) Say to Nibmuareya,1 the king of Egypt, my brother: Thus Tušeratta,2 the king of Mitanni,3 your bro…

Land Donation for Service Rendered (3.107)

(214 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Akkadian Archival Documents; Contracts; Property Conveyances from Ugarit Land Donation for Service Rendered (3.107) From the present day on, Ammistamru, son of Niqmepa, king of Ugarit,1 has taken the houses and fields of Abutenu and given them to Abdi-Ḫagab,2 son of Shapidanu, and his sons forever. And the pilku3-service of tradership4 he has to perform.5 Next: while Abdi-Ḫagab performs this pilku-service of tradership, nobody shall take from the hands of Abdi-Ḫagab and from the hands of his sons (and…
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