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Arad Ostraca (3.43)

(352 words)

Author(s): Pardee, Dennis
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Commentary Over two hundred inscribed objects were discovered during excavations at the site of Tel Arad in the northern Negeb, one hundred and twelve in Hebrew, eighty-five in Aramaic, two in Greek, and five in Arabic; in addition there were thirteen inscribed seals, and nine l mlk seal impressions on jar handles (Aharoni et al. 1975/1981). Though some of the Hebrew inscriptions may date back as far a…

Arad 1: Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43A)

(901 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 1: Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43A) Subject: Ezek 24:2; Josh 9:12 To Elyashib.1 And now,2 give to the Kittim3 three b( at-measures)4 of wine and write down the date.5  a From what is left of the first meal, have one ḥomer-measure (?) of flour loaded up so they can make bread for themselves.6  b It is wine from the craters that you are to give (to them).7 Biblical References a Ezek 24:2 b Josh 9:12 Notes^ back to text1. The simple form of address, with no i…

Lachish 3: Complaints and Information (3.42B)

(1,194 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Lachish 3: Complaints and Information (3.42B) Subject: Gen 32:6; 2 Sam 11:22; 2 Kgs 5:6; 10:2; Isa 42:20; Isa 1:5; 8:18; 1:22; 5:17; 1 Sam 17:55; 1 Kgs 1:19; Jer 26:22; 37:5–11; Ezek 17:15; 29:1–16; 30:20–26; 31:1–18; Lam 4:17; 2 Kgs 6:9; Isa 7:4 Salutation (lines 1–3) Your servant Hoshayahu (hereby) reports c to my lord Yaush. May Yahweh give you the very best possible news.1 Complaint and Self-Defense ( lines 4–13) And now,2  d please explain e to your servant the meani…

Arad 17: Another Order for Allotment of Supplies, With Postscript (3.43H)

(262 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 17: Another Order for Allotment of Supplies, With Postscript (3.43H) To Naḥum. [And] now, go to the house of Elyashib son of Eshyahu and get from there one (jar of) oil and send (it) to Ziph right away (after) affixing your seal to it. Dated Postscript ( lines 8–9) On the twenty-fourth of the month Naḥum gave oil to the Kitti (for delivery) — one (jar).1 Notes^ back to text1. Naḥum, whose function and identity are unknown and who may have been located anywhere …

Lachish 9: Requests (3.42F)

(716 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Lachish 9: Requests (3.42F) Subject: 1 Sam 17:30; 2 Sam 3:11; 1 Kgs 12:6 Salutation (lines 1–2) May Yahweh give my lord the [best] possible news. Release to Bearer ( lines 3–4)1 [And] now, give ten (loaves of) bread and two ( bat-measures?)2 of wine (to bearer). Request for Information ( lines 4–9) Return word o [to] your servant by the intermediary of Shelemyahu regarding what we are to do tomorrow. Bibliographical References Text, translations, and studies: Coats 1970 …

Arad 88: A Fragment of a Copy of a Royal Proclamation (3.43M)

(643 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 88: A Fragment of a Copy of a Royal Proclamation (3.43M) 1 Subject: Prov 31:17; Ps 89:22 I have become king in […]2 STRENGTHEN3 the arm p and […] the King of Egypt […] Bibliographical References Texts, translations and studies: Aharoni 1966 Aharoni 1970 Aharoni and Naveh 1975 Aharoni, Naveh, Rainey, Aharoni, Lifshitz, Sharon, and Gofer 1981 Beit-Arieh and Cresson 1991 Bron and Lemaire 1980 P.-E. Dion, ‛“Review.”  JAOS 103:470–472. ( 1983 ) ’ , P.-E. Dion, ‛“Les KTYM d…

The Meṣad Ḥashavyahu (Yavneh Yam) Ostracon (3.41)

(1,435 words)

Author(s): Pardee, Dennis
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Commentary Two archaeological campaigns in 1960 at the site of Meṣad Ḥashavyahu, located about a mile south of Yavneh Yam, unearthed seven Hebrew inscriptions, the longest of which was a fifteen-line text written on an ostracon. In a Hebrew that is very close to standard Biblical Hebrew prose, a harvest worker pleads with his superior that a confiscated garment be returned. Apparently the worker was …

Arad 40: the Edomite Problem (3.43L)

(381 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 40: the Edomite Problem (3.43L) 1 Subject: 1 Kgs 8:58 Your son Gemar[yahu], as well as Neḥemyahu, (hereby) send [greetings to] (you) Malkiyahu.2 I bless [you to Yahweh]. And now, your servant has applied himself o to what you ordered.3 [I (hereby) write] to my lord [everything that the man] wanted. [Eshyahu has come] from you but [he has not given] them any men. You know [the reports from] Edom. I sent them to [my] lord [before] …

Arad 4: Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43D)

(102 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 4: Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43D) To Elyashib. Give to the Kittim one (jar of) oil.1 Seal (the jar) and send it. Also give them one b( at-measure) of wine. Notes^ back to text1. The text is “ šmn /,” where the oblique stroke indicates the number, but with no indication of the measure. Since the standard abbreviation for bat-measure is not used in these texts when oil is mentioned, it is quite possible that oil was circulated in containers of a different size.

Arad 18: A Letter From One of Elyashib’s Subordinates (3.43I)

(288 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 18: A Letter From One of Elyashib’s Subordinates (3.43I) Subject: Ezra 2:44; Neh 7:47; Neh 13:4–9 To my lord Elyashib. May Yahweh concern himself with your well-being.1 And now, give Shemaryahu a letek-measure (?) (of flour?) and to the Qerosite g give a ḥomer-measure (?) (of flour?).2 A Confidential Matter ( lines 7–10) As regards the matter concerning which you gave me orders: everything is fine now: he is staying in the temple of Yahweh.3  h  Biblical References g E…

Lachish Ostraca (3.42)

(312 words)

Author(s): Pardee, Dennis
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Commentary Some thirty-six inscriptions have been discovered at Tell ed-Duwêr/Tel Lachish, including Proto-Canaanite inscriptions, inscribed seals and weights, several Egyptian inscriptions, and an Aramaic inscription on a Persian-period altar (for a recent overview with bibliography, see Pardee 1997c). The so-called “Lachish Letters,” nineteen inscribed ostraca discovered in 1935 and 1938 and publish…

Arad 24: Military Movements (3.43K)

(470 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 24: Military Movements (3.43K) Subject: 2 Sam 18:2; Jer 40:7; Gen 42:4; Deut 8:19; 32:46; 1Sam22:6; 2 Sam 1:11; 17:12; Jer 41:2, 7 […]1 from Arad five2 and from Qinah […] and send them to Ramat-negeb under j Malkiyahu son of Qerabur. He is to hand them over to k Elisha son of Yirmeyahu at Ramat-negeb3 lest anything happen l to the city. This is an order from the king — a life-and-death matter for you. I send (this message) to warn you now: m The (se) men (must be) with n Elisha4…

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[…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Lachish 6: Reactions to Forwarded Correspondence (3.42E)

(301 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Lachish 6: Reactions to Forwarded Correspondence (3.42E) Subject: Jer 38:4 Salutation (line 1) To my lord Yaush. May Yahweh make this time a good one for you.1 Letters that Weaken Resolve ( lines 2–15) Who is your servant (but) a dog that my lord should have sent (him) the king’s letter and those of the officials asking me to read them? The [officials’]2 statements are not good — (they are of a kind) to slacken your courage3  n and to weaken that of the men[…]. Won’t you w…

Lachish 5: Thanks and Remarks on the Harvest (3.42D)

(182 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Lachish 5: Thanks and Remarks on the Harvest (3.42D) Salutation (lines 1–2) May [Yahweh] give my lord the best possible [news at this very time]. Humble Thanks for Correspondence ( lines 3–7) Who is your servant (but) a dog that you should have sent to your servant these letters?1 Your servant (herewith) returns the letters to my lord. The Grain Harvest ( lines 7–10) May Yahweh allow my lord to witness a good harvest today. Is Ṭobyahu going to send royal grain to your servant?2 No…

Arad 21: A Son’s Letter (3.43J)

(92 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 21: A Son’s Letter (3.43J) Subject: 1 Sam 24:20; Prov 13:21; 25:22 Your son Yehukal (hereby) sends greetings to (you) Gedalyahu [son of] Elyair and to your household. I bless you to Yahweh. And now, if my lord had done […] may Yahweh reward i my lord […].1 Biblical References i 1 Sam 24:20 Prov 13:21 25:22 Notes^ back to text1. This letter was originally ten lines long, but only the praescriptio and the beginning of the body are reasonably well preserved.
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