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Plague Prayers of Muršili II (1.60)

(4,269 words)

Author(s): Beckman, Gary
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Prayers Commentary When he came to the throne, the Great King Muršili II was confronted with both the fragmentation of the Hittite empire and the raging of an epidemic of uncertain character which had carried off in short succession both his father Šuppiluliuma I and his brother Arnuwanda II. Innumerable ordinary Hittites had perished as well. While Muršili mastered the political situation within the firs…

The Prayer of Nabonidus (4QPrNab) (1.89)

(1,599 words)

Author(s): Levine, Baruch A. | Robertson, Anne
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Prayers Commentary This Aramaic text from Qumran, Cave 4, which speaks of Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, was first published by J. T. Milik (1956), who assembled it from separate fragments of a single manuscript. These fragments were later realigned by F. M. Cross (1984), who dated the inscription paleographically to ca. 75–50 bce. Many large gaps remain, some of which can be restored on the basis of parallel statements occurring elsewhere in the in…

Ugaritic Prayer for A City Under Siege (1.88)

(2,526 words)

Author(s): Pardee, Dennis
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Prayers Commentary The sole clear example of a cultic prayer in the Ugaritic language is embedded in a ritual text, discovered in 1961 among a large quantity of ritually oriented texts (see the omen texts COSB.1.90 and COSB.1.92 below). The complete text is translated here to enable the reader to perceive the cultic context. The principal point of interest as regards the document as a whole is the degree…

Prayer to Re-harakhti (1.29)

(770 words)

Author(s): Fox, Michael V.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Prayers Commentary This is an individual supplication in a fairly stereotypic form, probably designed for use by different people in various situations. The worshipper asks for acceptance of his prayers without praying for anything in particular and confesses his sins and folly without reference to specific transgressions. The worshipper seems to be a pilgrim to the temple at Heliopolis. The prayer is an expression of “personal piety,” a form of relig…