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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…

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 …

ʾAbniya Isn’t Happy (RS 94.2284) (3.45LL)

(786 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between Non-Royal Correspondents (38) ʾAbniya Isn’t Happy (RS 94.2284) (3.45LL) 1 Subject: 13:12; 6:13; 11:6; 5:22; 1:26; 17:55; 20:3; 25:26; 2 Sam 11:11; 14:19; 2:2, 4, 6; 4:30 Address (lines 1–3) Message of ʾAbniya: To ʾUrtēṯub, ʾUrtēnu, my brother, say: Here … 2 Objects Sent with the Letter ( lines 4–6) With 〈Ba〉naʾilu I (herewith) send (you) two ʾIŠPR and three ʿRMLHḤT and four jars (of wine).3 ʾAbniya’s Problem ( lines 7–17) Now, the heart of your sister…

Arad 2: Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43B)

(234 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Hebrew Letters Arad 2: Order for Allotment of Supplies (3.43B) Subject: 1 Sam 7:16; 2 Chr 17:9; 23:2; Ruth 2:14 To Elyashib. And now, give to the Kittim two b( at-measures) of wine for the four days,1 three hundred loaves of bread, and a (nother) full ḥomer-measure of wine.2 Send them out on their rounds3  c tomorrow; don’t wait. If there is any vinegar d left, give (that) to them (also). Biblical References c 1 Sam 7:16 2 Chr 17:9 23:2 d Ruth 2:14 Notes^ back to text1. The Hebrew expression i…

A Letter From an Angry Housewife (3.130)

(650 words)

Author(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; Sumerian Archival Documents; Letters Commentary Following the interpretation of its original editor, this unusual letter seems to involve a woman’s defending herself against charges of waste and mismanagement of her husband’s estate as dealt with both in §§141–143 of the Laws of Hammurabi ( COS COSB.2.131) and in a model court-case (below, COSB.3.140). It may thus represent a model letter rather than a “functional” one, using the terminology of Roth (1979:101f.; for a different sense of “functional,” see  COS 2:91, 211, 327, 405.…

The Governor to the Queen (RS 94.2479) (3.45Z)

(537 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 (26) The Governor to the Queen (RS 94.2479) (3.45Z) 1 Address (lines 1–2) To the queen, my lady, say: Message of the governor, your servant. Prostration and Greeting Formulae ( lines 3–4) [A]t the feet of my lady I fall. With my lady may it be well. Report of Well-being and Request for Return of News ( lines 5–10) Here in the king’s palace, everything is fine. There with my lady, whatever (is fine), may she return …

Provisions Are Running Out (RS 94.2383 + Rs 94.2619) (3.45MM)

(274 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between Non-Royal Correspondents (39) Provisions Are Running Out (RS 94.2383 + Rs 94.2619) (3.45MM) 1 Address and Greeting (lines 1–5) To ʾUrtēnu, my brother, say: Message of ʿUṯtaya, your sister. May the gods keep you well, may they guard you. The Problem ( lines 6–13) (It has been) three days now that there is no food in your house and for [… someone] struck and provisions CARRY (to) the house of the king. Twice now (someone) has taken …

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…

Two Servants to their Master (RS 29.093) (3.45HH)

(1,007 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between Non-Royal Correspondents (34) Two Servants to their Master (RS 29.093) (3.45HH) 1 Subject: 1 Sam 20:6; Neh 13:6; Neh 3:34; 1 Chr 11:8 Address (lines 1–5) To Yadurma, our master, say: Message of Pinḥaṯu and Yarmîhaddu, your servants.2 Greetings and Prostration Formula ( lines 5–10) May it be well with our master. May the gods guard you, may they keep you well. At the feet of our master twice seven times (from) afar we fall.3 The Problem with Binu-ʿAyāna ( lines…

The King of Tyre to the King of Ugarit in the Matter of Storm-Damaged Ships (RS 18.031) (3.45H)

(1,378 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Incoming Correspondence From Other Courts (8) The King of Tyre to the King of Ugarit in the Matter of Storm-Damaged Ships (RS 18.031) (3.45H) 1 Subject: 2 Sam 5:11; 1 Kgs 5:15–25; 9:10–14, 26–27; 10:11, 22; 1 Kgs 18:45; Ezek 13:11, 13; Jon 1:4; Deut 22:9; Gen 12:5; Judg 1:31; 2 Sam 13:33; 19:20; 42:25 Address (lines 1–3) To the king of Ugarit, my brother, say: Message of the king of Tyre, your brother.2  r  Greetings ( lines 4–5) May it be well with you. May the gods guard…
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