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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…

Ammonite Ostraca from Ḥesbân (3.WS.C.2)

(383 words)

Author(s): Aufrecht, Walter E.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Accounts Commentary Between 1968 and 1978, the Tell Ḥesbân excavations produced eight ostraca with writing in the cursive Ammonite or Aramaic scripts.1 Four of these, A3, A4, A5 and A6, are lists of names; two, A7 and A8, are graffiti; and two, A1 and A2, are accounts presented below.2 2. Ammonite Ostraca from Ḥesbân Notes^ back to text1. The Ḥesbân ostraca were published in the sequence of their discovery. Cross (1986; 2002) has rearranged the series in the order of their date: A1 (old #4 =  CAI …

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…

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^ …

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…

Notice of Dispatch of Wood (3.87K)

(442 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; Aramaic Ostraca Commentary Discovered on November 1, 1979 in the eighth season of the German Institute of Archaeology, this ostracon was published in 1987 by Mohammed Maraqten. Collated at source, it has yielded several new readings. It may be interpreted to mean that the writer has made a donation (ḥntʾ) of as much as 70 pieces of wood for the Temple altar, being sent by boat from Syene. Notice of Dispatch of Wood (3.87K) Subject: Lev 16:21; 1 Sam 11:7; 16:20; 2 Sam 10:2; 11:14; 12:25…

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…

Village Tithe Payments at Ugarit (3.83)

(388 words)

Author(s): Heltzer, Michael
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Accounts; The Tithe in Ugarit Commentary Despite the fact that the text is in a damaged state, we see here payments to the authorities, which could be the tithe from a number of villages of the kingdom of Ugarit. The text is written in Akkadian and shows the tax (tithe) payments by the villages in kind: barley (flour), oxen and wine. Village Tithe Payments at Ugarit (3.83) 1´ [the village … kùr ]1 barley or (flour)2 2´ The village3 […] kùr barley (or flour), 1 [ox]4 3´ The village Araniya 2 kùr barley …

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…

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 …

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…

Bequest of Apartment to Wife (3.73)

(2,058 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Letters; Egyptian Aramaic Commentary Anani refurbished the house of ʾpwly which he had bought from the Caspians Bagazushta and Wbyl. Three years after purchase date, the requisite period according to Egyptian law for establishing right to abandoned property, he bestowed a room therein (measuring ×1/3 cubits = 81 square cubits, see note 1 below) upon his wife Tamet, perhaps on the occasion of the birth of their daughter Jehoishma (lines 2–12). The Investiture clause did no…

The King to the Queen-Mother In the Matter of the Amurrite Princess (RS 34.124) (3.45D)

(1,486 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 (4) The King to the Queen-Mother1 In the Matter of the Amurrite Princess (RS 34.124) (3.45D) 2 Subject: 1 Kgs 2:19; Ps 51:19; 147:3; 19:12; 1 Kgs 11:1–3; 1 Kgs 10:2, 10; 1 Sam 10:1; 16:1, 13; 1 Kgs 1:39; 2 Kgs 9:1–3, 6; Pss 23:5; 133:2; Exod 20:5–6 Address (lines 1–3) [To the queen, my mother, say: Message of the] k[ing, your son.] Prostration and Greeting Formulae ( line 4–6) At my mother’s feet [I fall]. j With my mother 〈ma…

Ophel Ostracon (3.86)

(927 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Archival Documents from the Biblical World; West Semitic Archival Documents; Accounts; Hebrew Ostraca Commentary This fragmentary ostracon (× cm) was discovered during excavations on the Ophel (area south of the temple mount in Jerusalem) by J. G. Duncan in 1924, although in an unstratified context. It can be dated on palaeographic grounds to the end of the seventh or the beginning of the sixth century bce. While the ostracon appears to have contained eight lines, the left side of the inscription and lines 4–7 are no longer legible. Moreover, some of …

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…
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