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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…

The Mibtahiah Archive (471–410 bce) (3.P141)

(513 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary In 1904, eleven Aramaic papyri were acquired from a dealer in Aswan by the British benefactors Lady William Cecil ( COS COSB.3.60, COSB.3.64, COSB.3.68, and half of COSB.3.63) and Mr. (later Sir) Robert Mond (COSB.3.61–62, COSB.3.65–67, and half of COSB.3.63) and by the Bodleian Library in Oxford (COSB.3.59). The Cecil-Mond papyri are housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and all were publis…

Aramaic Ostraca (3.WS.D.1)

(909 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts Commentary Egyptian Aramaic ceramic inscriptions are scattered in over a dozen different places throughout the world (New York, Oxford, Cambridge, London, Paris, Strasbourg, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, Cairo, Elephantine, and Jerusalem). So far 118 have been published, almost all from Achaemenid Elephantine, and these may be divided into six categories: letters ( TAD D7.1–57), accounts ( TAD D8.1–13), lists ( TAD D9.1–15), abecedaries ( TAD D10.1–2), jar insc…

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…

A Problem with Rations (RS 29.095) (3.45II)

(626 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Between Non-Royal Correspondents (35) A Problem with Rations (RS 29.095) (3.45II) 1 Address (lines 1–2) Message of Talmiyānu: To Pizziya say: Greetings and Double Return of News Formula ( lines 3–8) May it be well with you. May the gods keep you well, may they guard you. Here with me it is w[el]l. There with you 〈whatever well-being there may be〉, return word (of that) to me.2 What to Do about Rations ( lines 9–19) Now listen well: As ʿDN has been continually request…

Offer to Sew a Garment (3.87C)

(914 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Ostraca Commentary Discovered by Jean Clédat on March 20, 1907 and published by Dupont-Sommer in 1945 (Clermont-Ganneau 70), this is the only ostracon letter addressed “to my lord” by “your servant.” For this reason it contains not only one but two opening blessings and a concluding wish for well-being. All three formulae are closely paralleled in the nearly contemporary Makkibanit (Hermopolis) le…

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…

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…

Instructions Regarding Silver for Marzeaḥ (3.87D)

(639 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Ostraca Commentary Discovered in 1902 by Sayce, published by him in 1909 (RES 1295), deposited in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo (JE 35468A), and recopied by Lidzbarski in 1915, though without plate ( ESE III 119–121), this ostracon is the only Elephantine document to mention this institution, so widely known in the world of West-Semitic inscriptions for over a millennium. It was a funerary association that held periodic banquets…

Instructions Regarding Tunic (3.87J)

(638 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Ostraca Commentary Discovered in 1925 and published in 1926 by Aimé-Giron, this ostracon is housed in the Cairo Egyptian Museum (Cairo 49624). The attempt to interpret the text as an instruction to Uriah to dedicate a tunic to the Temple is based on both erroneous reading and assumption. Uriah is simply called upon to take it from the Temple and, in somewhat idiomatic language, “drop it off” at th…

Report of Imprisonment of Jewish Leaders (3.49)

(1,283 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 Opening and closing with a pagan Salutation, a private letter (P. Berlin 13456 + Cairo J. 43476 [ TAD A4.4]) from the otherwise unknown Islaḥ, son of Nathan, to an unknown son of Gaddul reported the fateful incarceration of several men in Elephantine and the seizure and imprisonment of six Jewish women and five Jewish leaders at the gate in Thebes. The men were apparently …

The King of Ugarit to the Queen-Mother In the Matter of His Meeting With the Hittite Sovereign (RS 16.379) (3.45F)

(488 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Ugaritic Letters; Correspondence Between Members of the Royal Family (6) The King of Ugarit to the Queen-Mother In the Matter of His Meeting With the Hittite Sovereign (RS 16.379) (3.45F) 1 Subject: Num 13:31; Judg 1:1 Address (lines 1–3) To the queen, my mo[ther], say: Message of the king, your son. Prostration and Greeting Formulae ( line 4–7) At my mother’s feet I fall. With my mo[ther] may it be well. May the god[s] guard you, may they keep [you] well. Report of Well-being and Request fo…

ʿAmmiṯtamru, King of Ugarit, to the King of Egypt (RIH 78.3+30) (3.45M)

(1,235 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 (13) ʿAmmiṯtamru, King of Ugarit, to the King of Egypt (RIH 78.3+30) (3.45M) 1 Subject: Isa 11:4–5; Ps 23:3; 45:5; Ezek 26:7; Dan 2:37; Ezra 7:12; Exod 20:17 Address and Prostration Formulae (lines 1–6) [To the Sun],2 the great king, the king of Egypt, the [goo]d [king], the just king, ee the [king of k]ings,3  ff master of all lands, […],4 say: Message of [ʿAmmiṯtam]ru,5 your servant. At my [master’s] feet I fa[ll]. Greetings…

From an Official in Alashia to the King (RS 18.113a+b) (3.45U)

(687 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 (21) From an Official in Alashia to the King (RS 18.113a+b) (3.45U) 1 Address (lines 1–3) To the king, [my] l[ord], s[ay]: Message of the Chief of Maʾ[ḫadu, your servant]. Prostration Formula ( lines 4–6) At the feet of my master [ (from) afar], seven times and seven times [do I fall.] Greetings ( lines 6–9) I do pronounce to Baʿlu-Ṣapuni, to Eternal Sun, to ʿAṯtartu, to ʿAnatu, to all the gods of Alashi[a] (…

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.

Loan of Grain (3.81)

(1,367 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary This is the only loan document for grain and we cannot tell for certain whether it was drawn up after Anani son of Haggai bought his in-laws’ apartment or before (COSB.3.80), since it lacked day date. In the middle of December, in the first month of the Egyptian year, Anani went to Syene to borrow from the Egyptian-named Aramean, Pakhnum son of Besa, 2 peras 3 seah of emmer (approximately …

Document of Wifehood (3.76)

(3,029 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary At forty-five lines, this is the longest contract in our collection. Emancipated and adopted seven years earlier (COSB.3.74), Jehoishma was given away not by her father Anani but by her adoptive brother Zaccur, who furnished her with a handsome dowry of 78.125 shekels plus seventeen unevaluated items (lines 4–21). This included a mohar of one karsh paid by the groom Anani son of Haggai. Th…

The Bukān Inscription (3.89)

(751 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Stela Fragment Commentary This inscription was discovered in two fragments: the major piece was found in archaeological excavations in 1985 at Tapeh Qalâychi near Bukān, southeast of Lake Urmia in Azerbaijan, Iran; the other, smaller piece, was recovered on the antiquities market in 1990.1 Together the fragments (.×.5 m) preserve only the last thirteen lines of an Old Aramaic inscription. Although much of the original text that was abo…

The King to Ḥayyaʾil Regarding an Allotment of Logs (RS 16.264) (3.45Q)

(1,601 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 (17) The King to Ḥayyaʾil Regarding an Allotment of Logs (RS 16.264) (3.45Q) 1 Subject: Gen 6:14; Exod 25:5; 1 Kgs 5:20, 22, 24; 9:11; Ps 22:18 Address (lines 1–3) Message (that) the king spoke: To Ḥayyaʾil:2 Reference to a Previous Letter from Ḥayyaʾil ( lines 4–6) Why do you keep sending me (the following message): “How am I to furnish3 the timbers4  jj for the temple of Damal?”?5 The King’s Decision ( lines 7–21)6 I …

Pgn to the King of Ugarit (RS 18.147) (3.45K)

(557 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 (11) Pgn to the King of Ugarit (RS 18.147) (3.45K) 1 Address (lines 1–3) Message of PGN, your father: To the king of Ugarit, [my son], say: Greetings ( lines 4–5) May it be well with you. May the gods guard you, may they keep you well. Report of Well-being and Request for Return of News ( lines 6–8) Here with me, it is well. There wi[th] my son, whatever is [w]ell, return word (of that) [to me]. Reference to Previous Correspondence Rega…
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