Ancient Near Eastern Texts

NOTE: Selected material is taken from the following resources and included with the gallery to focus in on key passages and information to amplify the gallery's collection by providing contexts and background literary information.

Pritchard, James B. Ancient Near Eastern Texts.
  Princeton, 1969

AMARNA LETTERS (Late Bronze Age, 14th c. B.C.E.)

To the King my lord, my sun, my god, the breath of my life... your slave and dust under your feet. At the feet of the King my lord, my sun, my god, the breath of my life, I bowed down seven times seven times. I heard the words of the tablets of the King my lord, my sun, my god, the breath of my life, and the heat of your slave and the dust under the feet of the King, my lord, my sun, my god, the breath of my life, is exceeing glad that the breath of the King my lord, my sun, my god has gone out to his slave and to the dust under his fee.

Who is your servant but a dog? and they prostrate themselves before the Pharaoh Seven times and seven times on both back and belly.


EPITHETS OF DEITIES: ANET., pp. 17-18,249-250, 470.

  War Chariot likened to Astarte and Anat (Egypt, 13th c. B.C.E.)
  Anat, Lady of Heaven, Mistress of All the gods" (Beth Shan, Ramesis III)

  Ashtoreth of the Field (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Dame Athirat of the Sea (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Lady Asherah of the Sea  (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Progenitress of the Gods  (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Prophet of Astarte (Egypt, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  mighty in the chariot like Astarte (Egypt, Thothmosis IV)
  War Chariot likened to Astarte and Anat (Egypt, 13th c. B.C.E.)
  Astarte appears in its orient"= temple of Astarte (Papyrus Anastasi II,
            13th c. B.C.E.)

  the Prince of Earth (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Prince Baal  (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Dagon's Son   (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Rider of the Clouds (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Prophet of Baal (Egypt, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Adon-Zaphon = Lord of the North (Sa'ad, Ramesis II)
  I was like Seth/Montu/Baal in the time of his might" (Different
                versions of same text, Ramesis II)
  Baal Shamaim = Master/Lord of Heaven (Egyptian text, Ramesis III)

  the Kindly One (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  the Bull El (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Bull his father El (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Bull El Benign (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Creator of creatures (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Father of mankind (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  King Father Shunem.  (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)
  Creator of Creatures  (Ugarit, 14th c. B.C.E.)

  Mekal, the god of BethShan worshipped by Egyptian architect
  Amen-em-Opet and his son (Beth Shan,Thothmosis III)
  Melqart (Ben-Hadad, 9th c. B.C.E.)

  Rashap, the great god, lord of heaven, ruler of the Ennead (Stela of
  Rashap, the great god, lord of heaven, ruler of the Ennead, and lord
  of eternity (Egypt, late 18th Dynasty)
  The chariot-warriors are as mighty as Rashaps (Egypt, Ramesis III)

  Seth of Hatti  (Ramesis II)

DYING AND RISING GOD MOTIF (14th c. B.C.E.) ANET., pp.138-141.

GOD:ANET., pp. 138-141. A 
characteristic aspect of Near Eastern 
religiosity is the idea of a deity who 
dies to rise again.  The deity usually 
seems associated with fertility in 
some fashion (e.g. Osiris or even 
Adonis).  Baal seems to belong to this 
type of theophany.
From the tomb of the Godly Mot, 
From the pit of El's Belov'd Ghazir, 
The gods twain depart, tarry not. 
There, they are off on their way 
To Baal of the Summit of Zaphon. 
Then Gapn and Ugar declare: 
"Message of Godly Mot, 
Word of the God-Belov'd Ghazir: 
(next 13 lines unclear)
If thou smite Lotan, the serpent 
Destroy the serpent tortuous, 
..Shalyat of the seven heads, 
(30 lines missing)
One lip to earth and one to heaven,* 
[He stretches his to]ngue to the stars.
Baal enters his mouth, 
Descends into him like an olive-cake,
Like the yield of the earth and trees' 
Sore afraid is Puissant Baal, 
Filled with dread is the Rider of 
"Begone? Say unto Godly Mot, 
Repeat unto El's Belov'd Ghazir: 
'Message of Puissant Baal, (xo)
Word of the Powerful Hero: 
Be gracious, 0 Godly Mot; 
Thy slave I, thy bondman for ever.' 
The gods depart, tarry not. 
There, they are off on their way 
Unto Godly Mot, 
Into his city Hamriya, 
Down to the throne that [he] sits on 
His [filthy] land of inher'tance. 
They lift up their voice and cry: 
"Message of Puissant Son Baal, 
Word of the Powerful Hero: 
Be gracious, 0 Godly Mot; 
Thy slave 1, thy bondman for ever."-
The Godly Mot rejoices [And lifting] 
his [volice he cries:
"How humbled is [ ... ]."
(Several ends of lines, then about 20-
25 lines missing. Cols. iii-iv too 
damaged for connected sense.)
(About 25 lines missing at the top. 
Then 1-5 defective. )
But thou, take thy cloud, thy wind, 
Thy..., thy rains;
With thee thy seven lads,
Thine eight boars.
With thee Padriya, daughter of Ar; 
With thee Tatalliya (Tfly),s daughter 
of Rabb. 
There now, be off on thy way 
Unto the Mount of Kankaniya. 
Lift the mount upon thy hands, 
The elevation upon thy palms, 
And descend to the depth of the 
Be of those who descend into earth, 
Puissant Baal complies. 
He desires a cow-calf in Dubr, 
A heifer in Shihlmemat-field \ 
Lies with her times seventy-seven, 
[ ... ] ... times eighty-eight. 
She [conc]eives and gives birth to 
(fragments of 3 more lines; another 
x~ missing)
(about 3° lines missing at the top)
[They" penetrate El's Field and enter
The pavilion of King El Father] 
Shunem. [And lifting their voice they 
cr]y: "We went [... ],
We [ca]me to the pleasance of Dabr-
land, To the beauty of Shihlmemat-
We came upon Baal Fallen on the 
Puissant Baal is dead,
The Prince, Lord of Earth, is 
perished." (10)
Straightway Kindly El Benign 
Descends from the throne, 
Sits on the footstool; 
From the footstool, 
And sits on the ground; 
Pours dust of mourning on his head, 
Earth of mortification on his pate; 
And puts on sackcloth and loindoth. 
He cuts a gash with a stone, 
Incisions with... 
He gashes his cheeks and his chin, 
He harrows the roll of his arm. (20) 
He plows his chest like a garden, 
Harrows his back like a plain. 
He lifts up his voice and cries: 
"Baal's dead l--What becomes of the 
people ? 
Dagon's Son --What of the masses ? 
After Baal I'11 descend into earth." 
Anath also goes and wanders 
Every mount to the heart of the 
Every hill to the earth's very 
She comes to the pleasance of Dabr-
To the beauty of Shihlmemat-field. 
She [comes] upon Baal 
Fal[len] on the ground: 
She puts on [sackcloth] and loindoth. 
h. IAB
(Pertaining to "Baal.") 
She cuts a gash with a stone, 
Incisions with... etc. 
(See g, col. vi.) 
Then weeps she her fill of weeping; 
Deep she drinks tears, like wine. (m) 
Loudly she calls 
Unto the Gods' Torch Shapsh. 
"Lift Puissant Baal, I pray, 
Onto me." 
Hearkening, Gods' Torch Shapsh 
Picks up Puissant Baal, 
Sets him on Anath's shoulder. 
Up'to Zaphon's Fastness she brings 
Bewails him and buries him too, 
Lays him in the hollows of the earth-
She slaughters seventy buffaloes 
As tribute to Puissant Baal; 
She slaughters seventy neat (20) 
[As tr]ibute to Puissant Baal; 
[She slaugh]ters seventy small cattle 
[As tribu]te to Puissant Baal; 
[She slaugh]ters seventy deer 
[As tribute to] Puissant Baal; 
[She slaughters] seventy mountain-
[As tribute to Pu]issant Baal; 
[She slaughters seventy rolebucks 
[As tribu]te to Puissant Baal. 
[... ]... A[nath], (30) 
[... ] Yabama[t] Liimmim.--
[The]re, she is off on her way
To [Ell of the Sources of the Floods,
In the midst of [the Hea]dwaters of 
the Two Deeps. She penetrates Ers 
Field and enters
The pavilion of King Father Shunem. 
At Ers feet she bows and falls down,
Prostrates her and does him 
honor. She lifts up her voice and 
"Now let As'herah rejoice and her 
sons, (40)
Elath and the band of her kinsmen; 
For dead is Puissant Baal, 
Perished the Prince, Lord of Earth." 
Loudly El doth cry 
To Lady Asherah of the Sea: 
"Hark, Lad y A [ sherah of the S ] ea, 
Give one of thy s[ons] I'll make 
Quoth Lady Asherah of the Sea:
"Why, let's make Yadi' Yalhan 
king." Answered Kindly One El 
"Too weakly. He can't race with 
Throw jav'lin with Dagon's Son 
Glory-Crown !" Replied Lady 
Asherah of the Sea:
"Well, let's make it Ashtar the 
Let Ashtar the Tyrant be king."--
Straightway Ashtar the Tyrant
Goes up to the Fastness of Zaphon
(And) sits on Baal Puissant's throne. 
(But) his feet reach not down to the 
Nor his head reaches up to the top. 
So Ashtar the Tyrant declares: 
"I'll not reign in Zaphon's Fastness!" 
Down goes Ashtar the Tyrant, . 
Down from the throne of Baal 
And reigns in Ers Earth, all of it. 
(some 30 lines missing on top) 
[... ]. A day, days go by, (4) 
[And Anath the Lass] draws nigh 
Like the heart of a c[ow] for her 
Like the heart of a ew[e] for her 
So's the heart of Ana[th] for Baal. 
She grabs Mot by the fold of his 
Seizes [him] by the hem of his robe. 
She lifts up her voice and [cries]: 
"Now, Mot! Deliver my brother." 
Responds the Godly Mot: 
"What wouldst thou, 0 Maiden Anath 
I indeed have gone and have 
Every mount to the heart of the 
Every hill to the earth's very 
Lifebreath was wanting 'mong men, 
Lifebreath among earth's masses. 
I came to the pleasance of Dabr-
The beauty of Shihlmemat-field. 
I did masticate Puissant Baal. 
I made him like a lamb in my mouth; 
Like a kid in my gullet he's crushed. 
Even the Gods' Torch Shapsh, 
Who wings over heaven's expanse, 
Is in Mot the Godly's hand." 
A day,. even days pass by, 
From days unto months. 
Then Anath the Lass draws nigh him. 
Like the heart of a cow for her calf, 
Like the heart of a ewe for her lamb, 
So's the heart of Anath for Baal. (3°) 
She seizes the Godly Mot--
With sword she doth cleave him. 
With fan she doth winnow him--
With fire she doth burn him? 
With hand-mill she grinds him--
In the field she doth sow him. 
Birds eat his remnants, 
Consuming his portions, 
Flitting from remnant to remnant.'
(some 4° lines missing on top of col. 
[That Puissant Baal had died ],
That the Prince [Lord of Earth] had 
perished. And behold, alive is 
[Puissant Baal]!
And behold, existent the Prince, 
Lo[rd of Earth]! In a dream, 0 
Kindly El Benign,
In a vision, Creator of Creatures, 
The heavens fat did rain,
The wadies flow with honey. So I 
That alive was Puissant Baal
Existent the Prince, Lord of Earth!
In a dream, Kindly El Benign, (10) 
In a vision, Creator of Creatures, 
The heavens fat did rain, 
The wadies flow with honey l"--
The Kindly One El Benign's glad. 
His feet on the footstool he sets, 
And parts his jaws and laughs. 
He lifts up his voice and cries: 
"Now will I sit and rest 
And my soul be at ease in my breast. 
For alive is Puissant Baal, (20) 
Existent the Prince, Lord of Earth !" 
Loudly El doth cry 
Unto the Maiden Anath. 
"Hearken, 0 Maiden Anath! 
Say to the Gods' Torch Shapsh:
'Parch'd is the furrow of Soil, O 
Parched is El's Soil's furrow: 
Baal neglects the furrow of his 
Where is Puissant Baal ? 
Where is the Prince, Lord of Earth 
The Maiden Anath departs. (30) 
There, she is off on her way 
Unto the Gods' Torch Shapsh. 
She lifts up her voice and cries: 
"Message of Bull El thy father, 
Word of the Kindly, thy begetter: 
Parch'd is the furrow of Soil, 0 
Parched is El's Soil's furrow: 
Baal ne[glects] the furrow of his 
Where is Puissant Baal ? 
Where is the Prince, Lord of Earth 
?"-- (4°) 
Answer'd the Gods' Torch Sha[psh]: 
"... in the... [of thy brother], 
In the... of thy sibling, 
And I'11 look for Puissant Baal."--
Quoth the Maiden Anath:
"...... ,0 Shapsh;
Ma; .' .'. [ ... ] guard thee, 
... [... ]."(?) 
(some 35 lines missing)
Baal seizes the sons of Asherah. 
Rabbim* he strikes in the back. 
Dokyamm he strikes with a 
... he fells to the earth. 
Baal [mounts] his throne of kingship, 
[Dagon's Son] his seat of dominion. 
[From] days to months, from months 
to years. 
Lo, after seven years, 
The Godly Mot [ ... ] 
Unto Puissant Baal.(xo)
He lifts up his voice and says: 
'Upon thee ... may I see,' 
Downfall upon thee may I see. 
Winnowing (with fan 
Upon thee may I see. 
Cleaving) with sword 
Upon thee may I see. 
Burning with fire 
Upon thee [may I see. 
Gri]nding with hand-mill 
Up[on thee] may I s[ee 
Siftin ]gwith sieve 
Upon thee [may I] see. 
[ ... ]. [ ... ] in the soil
Upon thee may I see. 
Sowing on the sea 
(Lines 20-28 defective and obscure. 
Some further 35 lines missing.)
Returning to Baal of Zaphon's 
Fastness,He lifts up his voice and 
"My brothers hast thou given, Baal, 
my... [s ?]; 
My mother's sons, my...
They... like camels: 
Mot's firm, Baal's firm. 
They gore like buffaloes: 
Mot's firm. Baal's firm. 
They bite like snakes: 
Mot's firm. Baal's firm. (20) 
They kick like chargers: 
Mot falls. Baal falls. 
Above Shapsh cries to Mot: 
"Hearken, now, Godly Mot! 
Why striv'st thou with Puissant Baal 
? Why ? 
Should Bull El thy father hear thee, 
He'll pull out thy dwelling's pillars. 
Overturn thy throne of kingship, 
Break thy staff of dominion !" 
Sore afraid was Godly Mot, . (30) 
Filled with dread El's Beloved 
..[.... ]
Baal seats him [on] his kingdom's 
Upon his dominion's [seat]. 
(3642 missing, defective, or 
Thou'It' eat the bread of honor, (46) 
Thou'It' drink the wine of favor. 
Shapsh shall govern the gathered 
Shapsh shall govern the divine ones. 
...gods... mortals, 
... Kothar thy fellow, 
Even Khasis thine intimate." 
On the sea of monster and dragon, 
Proceedeth Kothar wa-Khasis, 
Kothar wa-Khasis doth journey.*'

Written by Elimelech the Shabnite.
Dictated by Attani-puruleni, Chief of 
Priests, Chief of (Temple)-herdsmen.
Donated by Niqmadd, King of 
Ugarit, Master of Yargub, Lord of 


"... Baal in his home, 
 The God Hadd in the midst of his palace ? ''
The lads of Baal make answer: 
"Baal is not in his house, 
 [The God] Hadd in the midst of his palace. 
His bow he has ta'en in his hand, 
 Also his darts in his right hand. 
There he is off on his way
To Shimak Canebrake,(Lake Huleh?) the [bu[]falo-filled."--
 The Maiden Ana[th] lifts her wing,	(10)
Lifts her wing and speeds in flignt, 
To Shimak Canebrake,(Lake Huleh?) the [bu[]falo-filled."--
puissant Baal lifts up his eyes, 
 Lifts up his eyes and beholds,
Beholds the Maiden Anath,	 
 Fairest among Baal's sisters. 
Before her he rises, he stands, 
 At her feet he kneels and falls down. 
And he lilts up his voice and cries:   (20)
"Hail, sister, and...! 
The horns of thy..., 0 Maiden Anath, 
 The horns of thy...Baal will anoint, 
 Baal will anoint them in flight. 
We'll thrust my foes into the earth,
To the ground them that rise ‘against thy brother !"-
The Maiden Anath lifts up her eyes, 
Lihs up her eyes and beholds, 
Beholds a cow and proceeds a-walking,
proceeds a-walking and proceeds a-dancing, 
In the pleasant spots, in the lovely places.	(30) 
			(RS 319)
(8 or 9 badly damaged lines at the bottom)
He seizes and holds [her] womb;
[She] seizes and holds [his] stones. 
Baal... to an ox.
[ ... the Mailden Anath
[... ] to conceive and bear.

(another 14 lines very fragmentary) 
		(IV AB iii)

[Calvels the cows dr[op]: An ox for Maiden Anath
And a heifer for Yahamat LiimmimQuoth puissant [Baal]:
"...that our progenitor is eternal,  ,, To all generations our begetter.
Baal scoops [his hands] full,
[The God] Hadd [his] fin[gets] full. 
... the mouth of Maiden An[ath],	(10)
E'en the mouth of [his] fairest sister. 
Baal goes up in the mou[ntain], 
Dagon's Son in the s[ky]. 
Baal sits upon [his th]rone, 
Dagon's Son upon [his se]at.
(In lines 16-29, which are poorly preserved, there is again talk of 
a buffalo being born to Baal, it being still not absolutely 
clear that his bovine mother was Anath
herself.)	(30) 
And so she goes up to Arar, 
Up to Arar and Zaphon. 
In the pleasance, the Mount of possession, 
She cries aloud to Baal: 
"Receive, Baal, godly tidings, 
Yea receive, 0 Son of Dagon: 
A wild-ox is [born] to Baal, 
 A buffalo to Rider of Clouds." 
Puissant Baal rejoices.

FAMINE AND RAIN :"The Tale of Aqhat. (14th c. B.C.E.)" ANET ., p 153.

Seven years shall Baal fail,
     Eight the Rider of the Clouds.
No dew,
     No rain;
No welling up of the deep,
     No sweetness of Baal's voice.

DESCRIPTION OF SACRIFICE:"The Legend of King Keret (14th c. B.C.E.)" ANET., p. 143.

Enter [the shade of a pavilion].           65
Take a lam[b in thy hand],
    A lamb of sac[rifice in thy] right hand;
A kid in th[e grasp of thy han]d,
    All thy most tempting food.
Take a turtle [dove],
    Bird of sacrifice.
[In a bo]wl of silver pour wine,
    Honey in a bowl of [g]old.
{Go up to the top of a [to]wer;
    Bestride the top of the wall;
Lift up thy hands to heaven,
    Sacrifice to Bull, thy father El;
Honor Baal with thy sacrifice,
    Dagon's Son with thine oblations.

TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: "Building Inscriptions of YEHIMILK OF BYBLOS (10th c. B.C.E)" ANET., p. 653. (see M. Dunand, RB, 39 (1930), pp. 321-31.) A house built by Yehimilk, king of Byblos, who also has restored all the ruins of the houses here. May Ba'Ishamem and the Lord of Byblos (or Lady of Byblos) and the Assembly of the Holy Gods of Byblos prolong the days and years of Yehimilk in Byblos, for (he is) a righteous king and an upright king before the Holy Gods of Byblos!

DEDICATED STELA: "Cultic Inscriptions of BEN-HADAD OF DAMASCUS (mid 9th c. B.C.E.)." ANET., p. 655. See: M. Dunand, Bulletin du Musee de Beyrouth, III (1939), pp. 65- 76; vi (1942-43), pp. 41-45). A stela set up by Barhadad, the son of T[abrimmon, the son of Hezion], king of Aram, for his Lord Melqart, which he vowed to him and he (then)'heard his voice.

TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: "YEHAWMILK OF BYBLOS (5th - 4th c. B.C.E.)" ANET., p.656. Lidzbarski, Handbuch der nordsemitischen Epigraphiik Weimar, 1898), p. 416, pl. 3. I am Yehawmilk, king of Byblos, the son of Yeharba'l, the grandson of Urimilk, king of Byblos, whom the mistress, the Lady of Byblos, made king over Byblos (5th - 4th c. B.C.E.). I have been calling my mistress, the Lady of Byblos, [and she heard my voice]. Therefore, I have made for my mistress, the Lady of Byblos, this altar of bronze which is in this [courtyard], and this engraved object of gold which is in front of this inscription of mine, with the bird (winged sun ?) of gold that is set in a (semiprecious) stone, which is upon this engraved object of gold, and this portico with its columns and the [capitals] which are upon them, and its roof: I, Yehawmilk, king of Byblos, have made (these things) for my mistress, the Lady of Byblos, as I called my mistress, the Lady of Byblos, and she heard my voice and treated me kindly. May the Lady of Byblos bless and preserve Yehawmilk, king of Byblos, and prolong his days and years in Byblos, for he is a righteous king. And may [the mistress,] the Lady of Byblos, give [him] favor in the eyes of the gods and in the eyes of the people of this country and (that he be) pleased with the people of this country. [Whoever you are,] ruler and (ordinary) man, who might [continue] to do work on this altar and this engraved work of gold and this portico, my name, Yehawmilk, king of Byblos, [you should put with] yours upon that work, and if you do not put my name with yours, or if you [remove] this [wark and trans[er this work [rom its leoundation] upon this place and [ ..., may] the mistress, the Lady of Byblos, [destroy] that man and his seed before all the Gods of Byblos.

OFFERINGS AND PAYMENTS: "THE MARSEILLES TARIFF FROM TEMPLE OF BA'L-ZAPHON (3rd century B.C.E.)," ANET., pp. 656-657. G.A. Cooke, A Text-Book ol NorthSemitic Inscriptions (Oxford, 1903), pp. 112-22.

  • Tariff of payments set up [by the men in charge of] the payments in the time of [the lords Hilles]ba'l, the suffete, the son of Bodtanit, the son of Bod[eshmun, and Hillesba'l,] the suffete, the son of Bodeshmun, the son of Hillesba'l, and their colleagues.
  • For an ox, as a whole offering or a substitute offering or a complete whole offering, the priests shall have ten --10--silver (pieces) for each. In the case of a whole offering, they shall have, over and above this payment, meat [weighing three hundred--300]. In the case of a substitute offering, they shall have neck (or knucklebones) and shoulder joints (chuck), while the person offering the shall have the skin, ribs, feet, and the rest of the meat.
  • For a calf whose horns are still lacking somewhat and ..., or for a stag, as a whole offering or a substitute offering or a complete whole offering, the priests shall have five--5--silver [pieces for each. In the case of a whole offering, they shall have, over and] abovt 'his payment, meat weighing one hundred and fifty--150. In the case of a substitute offering, they shall have neck (or knucklebones) and shoulder joints, while [the person offering the sacrifice] shall have the skin, ribs, feet, [and the of the meat].
  • For a ram or a goat, as a whole offering or a subaj. lute offering or a complete whole offering, the shall have one--1--shekel of silver and 2 zr(=a coin) for In the case of a substitute offering, they shall have [over and above this payment, neck] and shoulder joints, while the person offering the sacrifice shall have the skin, ribs, feet, and the rest of the meat.
  • For a lamb or for a kid or for a young stag, as a whole offering or a substitute offering or a complete whole offering, the priests shall have three quarters of silver and [2] zr (=coin) [for each. In the case of a substitute offering, they shall have, over and] above this payment, neck and shoulder joints, while the person offering [the sacrifice] shall have the skin, ribs, feet, and the rest of the meat.
  • For an gnn bird or a .ss (bird), as a complete whole offering or ass[ offering or a hzt offering, the priests shall have three quarters of silver and 2 zr (=coin) for each. [The person offering the sacrifice] shall have the meat.
  • [For] any (other) bird or a holy oblation or a hunt offering or an oil offering, the priests shall have 10 'a (=fodder?) of silver for each [ ... ].
  • For any substitute offering which they shall have to carry to the God, the priests shall have neck (or knucklebones) and shoulder joints, and for a substitute offering [ ... ].
  • Upon a cake and upon milk and upon fat and upon any sacrifice which someone is to offer as a meal-offering, [the priests shall have ... ].
  • For any sacrifice which shall be offered by persons poor in~ cattle or poor in fowl, the priests shall have nothing [whatever].
  • Any citizen and any scion (of a noble clan) and any -participant in a banquet for the God and anybody who shall offer a sacrifice [ ... ], those men shall make payment per sacrifice as specified in a written document [which was set up under... ].
  • Any payment which is not specified in this tablet shall be made according to the written document which [was also set up . .. under Hillesba'l, the son of Bodtan]it and Hillesba'l, the son of Bodeshmun, and their colleagues.
  • Any priest who shall accept a payment contrary to what is specified in this tablet shall be fined [ ... ].
  • Any person offering a sacrifice who shall not give the [money for] the payment [which is specified in this tablet... ]

    CHILD SACRIFICE: Philo of Byblos (Porphyry). It is the custome among the ancients, in times of great calamity, in order to prevent the ruin of all, for the rulers of the city or nation to sacrifice to the avenging deities the most beloved of their children.

    SNAKE WORSHIP: Philo of Bylos in Eusebius 1.10 (4th c. C.E.) See I. Cory, Ancient Fragments., pp.22-23. Taautus (Thoth) first consecrated the basilisk, and introduced the worshipo of the serpent-tribe; in which he was followed by the Phoenicians and Egyptians. For this animal was held by him to be the most inspirited as it exhibits an incredible celebrity, moving by its spirit without either hands, or feet, or any of those external organs, by which other animals effect their motion....Taautus has laid down in the sacred books, wherefore this animal is introduced in the sacred rites and mysteries.


    "Commerative Stela of family of Ramesis at Tanis" ANET., pp.252-253. (1) Live the Horus: Mighty Bull, Who Loves Truth, ... (Ramses 1I).' (5) His majesty commanded the making of a great stela of granite bearing the great name of his fathers, inorder to set up the name of the father of his fathers (and of) the King Men-maat-Re, the Son of Re: Seti Mer-ne-Ptah, (Seti I) and abiding forever like Re every day: Year 400, 4th month of the third season, day 4,' of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Seth-the-Great-of-Strength; the Son of Re, his beloved: The-Ombite,* beloved of Re-Har-akhti, so that he exists forever and ever. Now there came the Hereditary Prince; Mayor of the City and Vizier; Fan-Bearer on the Right Hand of the King, Troop Commander; Overseer of Foreign Countries; Overseer of the Fortress of Sile; Chief of Police, Royal Scribe; Master of Horse; Conductor of the Feast of the Ram-the- Lord-of-Mendes; High Priest of Seth; Lector Priest of Uto, She-Whe~Opens- the-Two-Lands; and Overseer of the Prophets of All the Gods, Seti, the triumphant, the son of the Hereditary Prince; Mayor of the City and Vizier; (10) Troop Commander; Overseer of Foreign Countries; Overseer of the Fortress of Sile; Royal Scribe; and Master of Horse, Pa-Ramses (Ramesis I), the triumphant, and child of the Lady of the House and Singer of the Re, Tiu, the triumphant. He said: 'Hail to thee, 0 Seth, Son of Nut, the Great of Strength in the Barque of Millions, felling the enemy at the prow of the barque of Re, great of battle cry... ! Mayest [thou] give me a good lifetime serving [thy] ka, while I remain in [thy favor] ...'

    Hymn of Merneptah ANET., pp. 376-378.

    The princes are prostrate, saying: "Mercy!"
      Not one raises his head among the Nine Bows.
    Desolation is for Tehenu; Hatti is pacified;
      Plundered is the Canaan with every evil;
    Carried off is Ashkelon; seized upon is Gezer;
      Yanoam is made as that which does not exist;
    Israel is laid waste, his seed is not;
      Hurru is become a widow for Egypt!
    All lands together, they are pacified;

    "The Journal of a Frontier Official" ANET., pp., 258-259. (Papyrus Anastasi III):

    Year 3, 1st MONTH OF THE 3RB SEASON, DAY 
    15.The Guardsman Baal-roy, son of Zippor, of Gaza, 
    went up, who had two different despatches for 
    Syria: the Commander of the Garrison Khay, one 
    despatch; the Prince of Tyre Baal-termeg, one 
    (4) Year 3, 1st MONTH OF THE 3rd SEASON, DAY
     17. The Chief of Bowmen of the Wells of Mer-ne-
    Ptah Hotep-hir-Maat--life, prosperity, health!--which 
    is (on) the mountain rangearrived for a (judicial) 
    investigation in the fortress which is in Sile.
    (6) Year 3, 1st MONTH OF THE 3rd SEASON, DAY 
    22. The
    Guardsman Thuti, son of Tjekrem, of Gaza, came, 
    in company with Tjedet son of Shemu-Baal, of 
    ditto, and Seth-mose, son of Apar-dagal, of ditto, 
    who had with him, for the place where One was, 
    (for) the Commander of the Garrison Khay, gifts 
    and one despatch?
    (v 1) THERE WENT UP the Guardsman Nakht-
    Amon, son of Tjer, of the Castle of Mer-ne-Ptah 
    Hotep-hir-Maat--life, prosperity, health! -- which is near Sar-ram,
    who had with him two different despatches for 
    Syria: the Commander of the Garrison Pen-Amon, 
    one despatch; the Steward (of) this town Ramses-
    nakht, one despatch.
    (4) There came the Overseer of the Stable of the 
    town Mer-ne-Ptah Hotep-hir-Maat--life, prosperity, health !--which is in the 
    district of the Arem, Pa-mer-khetem, son of Ani, who had with him two 
    different despatches for the place where One was: the Commander of the 
    Garrison Pa-Re-em-heb, one despatch; the Deputy Pa-Re-em-heb, one 
    (8) Year 3, 1st MONTH OF THE 3rd SEASON, DAY 
    25. The Charioteer of the Great Stable of Ba-(en)-Re 
    Meri-Amon--life, prosperity, health!--[of] the Court, 
    In-wau, went up.

    The Report of a Frontier Official ANET., p.259. (Papyrus Anastasi VI lines 51-61). (5x) The Scribe lnena communicating to his lord, the Scribe of the Treasury Qa-g[abu],... :--In life, pros-perity, health! This is a letter [to] let [my lord] know: An[other communication to] my lord, to wit: [I] have carried out every commission laid upon me, in good shape and strong as metal. I have not been lax. Another communication to my [lord], to [wit: We] have finished letting the Bedouin tribes of Edom pass the Fortress [of] Mer-ne-Ptah Hotep- hir-Maat--life, prosperity, healthl--which is (in) Tjeku, (56) to the pools of Per- Atum (biblical Pithom according to Gardiner= Tell er-Retabeh) [of] Mer-[ne]- Ptah Hotep-hir-Maat, which are (in) Tjeku, to keep them alive and to keep their cattle alive, through the great ka of Pharaoh --life, prosperity, health !-- the good sun of every land, in the year 8, 5 [intercalary] days, [the Birth of] Seth." I have had them brought in a copy of the report to the [place where] my lord is, as well as the other names of days' when the Fortress of Mer-ne-Ptah Hotep-hir-Maat --life, prosperity, health!--which is (in) [Tj]ek[u], may be passed ....

    The Pursuit of Runaway Slaves ANET., p 259. (Papyrus Anastasi V: 19.2- 20.6). The Chief of Bowmen of Tjeku, Ka-Kem-wer, to the Chief of Bowmen Ani and the Chief of Bowmen Bak-en-Ptah: In life, prosperity, health! In the favor of Amon-Re, King of the Gods, and of the ka of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: User-kheperu-Re Setep-en-Re (Seti II)--life, prosperity, health!--our good lord--life, prosperity, health! I say to (xix 5) the Re-Har-akhti: "Keep Phar-aoh-life, prosperity, health! our good lord--life, prosperity, health!----in health! Let him celebrate millions of jubilees, while we are in his favor daily!" Another matter, to wit: I was sent forth from the broad-halls of the palace--life, prosperity, health!--in the 3rd month of the third season, day 9, at the time of evening, following after these two slaves. Now when I reached the enclosure-wall of Tjeku on the 3rd month of the third season, day 10, they told [me] they were saying to the south that they had passed by on the 3rd month of the third season, day 10.(xx 1) [Now] when [I] reached the fortress, they told me that the scout had come from the desert [saying that] they had passed the walled place north of the Migdol of Seti Mer-ne-Ptah--life, prosperity,~health !--Beloved like Seth." When my letter reaches you, write to me about all that has happened to [them]. Who found their tracks ? Which watch found their tracks ? What people are after them ? Write to me about all that has happened to them and how many people you send out after them. [May your health] be good!

    Tale of Aqhat, Ugarit (14th c. B.C.E.)
    One who may set up the stela of his ancestral god
    In the sanctuary which enshrines his forefather,
    Who may pour out his liquid offering to the ground,
    Even to the dust wine after him.

    "Sepulchral Inscriptions of Ahiram of Byblos (early 10th c. B.C.E.)," ANET., p 661. P. Montet, Byblos et l'Egypte (Paris, 1928-29), p 236- 238.A sarcophagus made by [It]toba'l, the son of Ahiram, king of. Byblos, for Ahiram, his father, as his eternal (dweIling-)place. If there be a king among kings and a governor among governors and an army commander up in Byblos who shall uncover this sarcophagus, let his judicial staff be broken, let his royal throne be upset! May peace flee from Byblos, and he himself be wiped out!

    "TABNIT OF SIDON (early 5th c. B.C.E.)" ANET., p.662. This inscription, which was excavated in 1887, dates, as is now generally held on historical and archaeological grounds, from Achaemenid times, apparently, the early fifth century re! also no. 4, n. 4). Bibliography: M. Lidzbarski, Hanavucn nordsemitischen Epigraphik (Weimar, I898), p. 417, pl. iv; I, Tabnit, priest of Astarte, king of Sidon, the son of Eshmun'azar, priest of Astarte, king of Sidon, am lying in this sarcophagus. Whoever you are who might find this sarcophagus, don't, don't open it and don't disturb me, for no silver has been given rue, no gold and no jewelry whatever has been given me! Only 1 (myself) am lying in this sarcophagus. Don't, don't open it, and don't disturb me, for such a thing would be an abomination to Astarte! But if you do open it and if you do disturb me, may (you> not have any seed among the living under the sun or rest ing-place together with the shades!


    Hear ye all people and the folk as many as they may be, I have done these things through the counsel of my heart. I have not slept forgetfully, (but) I have restored that which has been ruined. I have raise up that which has gone to pieces formerly, since the Asiatics were in the midst of Avaris of the Northland, and vagabonds were in the midst of them, overthrowing that which had been made. They ruled without Re, and he did not act by divine command down to (the reign of) my majesty. (Now) I am established upon the thrones of Re....

    Expulsion of the Hyksos (ANET., pp. 233-234).

    The commander of a crew, Ah-mose, son of Eben, the triumphant, says:

    I speak to you, all mankind, that I may let you know the favors which have come to me. I have been awarded gold seven times in the presence of the entire land, and male and female slaves in like manner, and I have been vested with very many fields. The reputation of a valiant man is from what he has done, not being destroyed in this land forever.

    He speaks thus:

    I had my upbringing in the town of el- Kab, my father being a soldier of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Seqnen-Re, the triumphant, his name being Bebe, (5) the son of (the woman) Ro-onet. Then I served as soldier in his place in the ship, "The Wild Bull," in the time of the Lord of the Two Lands: Neb-pehti-Re, the triumphant, when I was (still) a boy, before I had taken a wife, (but) while I was (still) sleeping in a net hammock.

    But after I had set up a household, then I was taken on the ship, "Northern," because I was valiant. Thus I used to accompany the Sovereign—life, prosperity, health! —on foot, following his excursions in his chariot. When the town of Avaris was besieged, then I showed valor on foot in the presence of his majesty. Thereupon I was appointed to the ship, "Appearing in Memphis." Then there was fighting on the water in the canal PaDjedku of Avaris. Thereupon I made a capture, (10) and I carried away a hand.R It was reported to the king's herald. Then the Gold of Valor was given to me. Thereupon there was fighting again in this place. Then I made a capture again there and brought away a hand. Then the Gold of Valor was given to me over again.

    Then there was fighting in the Egypt which is south of this town. Thereupon I carried off a man (as) living prisoner. I went down into the water—now he was taken captive on the side of the town —and crossed over the water carrying him. Report was made to the king's herald. Thereupon I was awarded gold another time.

    Then Avaris was despoiled. Then I carried off spoil from there: one man, three women, a total of four persons. Then his majesty gave them to me to be slaves.

    Then (15) Sharuhen was besieged for three years. Then his majesty despoiled it. Thereupon I carried off spoil from there: two women and a hand. Then the Gold of Valor was given to me, and my spoil was given to me to be slaves.

    Now after his majesty had killed the Asiatics, then he saile southward to Khenti-hen-nefer, to destroy the Nubian nomads ....

    LACHISH LETTERS (IRON AGE, 7th-6th c. B.C.E.): [ANET pp. 321-322] Lachish Ostracon IV [The 21 ostraca from Lachish come from level II and are interpreted to belong to the period of the Chaldean siege of the site (598/588 B.C.E.)

     May Yahweh cause my lord to hear this very day
    tidings of good! .... 
       And let (my lord) know that we are watching
    for the signals of Lachish, according to all
    that indications which my lord hath given, for
    we cannot see Azekah. (ANET., p.322). 

    MESHA STELA (IRON AGE, 9th c. B.C.E.): [ANET., pp. 320-321] The longest inscription from Palestine, the Mesha Stone, records the victories of King Mesha of Moab (2 Kings 3:4) over the tribal inheritance of Reuben.

    I (am) Mesha, son of Chemosh-[ . . . ], king of
    the Dibonite—my father (had) reigned over Moab
    thirty years, and I reigned after my
    father,—(who) made this high place for Chemosh
    in Qarhoh [ . . .] because he saved me from all
    the kings and caused to triumph over all my
    adversaries. As for Omri, king of Israel, he
    humbled Moab many years lit. days), for Chemosh
    was angry at his land. And his son followed him
    and he also said, "I will humble Moab." In my
    time he spoke (thus), but I have triumphed over
    him and over his house, while Israel hath
    perished for ever ! (Now) Omri had occupied the
    land Medeba, and (Israel) had dwelt there in
    his time, and half the time of his son (Ahab),
    forty years; I Chemosh dwelt there in my time.
    And I built Baal-meon, making a reservoir in
    it, and I built (10) Qaryaten. Now the men of
    Gad had ways dwelt in the land of Ataroth, and
    the king Israel had built Ataroth for them; but
    I fought against the town and took it and slew
    all the people of the town as satiation
    (intoxication) for Chemosh Moab. And I brought
    back from there Arel (or Oriel), its chieftain,
    dragging him before Chemosh in Kerioth and I
    settled there men of Sharon and men of
    Maharith. And Chemosh said to me, "Go, take
    Nebo from Israel!" (15) So I went by night and
    fought against it from the break of dawn until
    noon, taking and slaying all, seven thousand
    men, boys, women, girls and maid-servants, for
    I had devoted them to destruction for (the god)
    Ashtar-Chemosh. And I took from there the [ . .
    . ] of Yahweh, dragging them before Chemosh.
    And the king of Israel had built Jahaz, and he
    dwelt there while he was fighting against me,
    but Chemosh drove him out before me. And (20) I
    took from Moab two hundred men, all first class
    (warriors), anili them against Jahaz and took
    it in order to attach it (the district of)
    Dibon. It was I (who) built Qarhoh, the wall of
    thc forests and the wall of the citadel; I also
    built its gates and I built its towers and I
    built the king's house, and I made both of its
    reservoirs for water inside the tower.  And
    there was no cistern inside the town at Qarhoh,
    so I said to all the people, "Let each of you
    made a cistern for himself in his house!" And I
    cut beams for Qarhoh with Israelite captives. I
    built Aroer, and I made the highway in the
    Arnon (valley); I built Beth-bamoth, for it had
    been destroyed; I built Bezer-- for it lay in
    ruines-- with fifty men of Dibon, for all Dibon
    is (my) loyal dependency. 
      And I reigned [in peace] over the hundred
    towns which I had added to the land. And I
    built (30) [. . .] Medeba and Beth-diblathen
    and Beth-baal-meon, and I set there the [. . .]
    of the land.  And as for Hauronen, there dwelt
    in it [. . . And] Chemosh said to me, "Go down,
    fight against Hauronen.  And I went down [ and
    I fought against the town and took it], and
    Chemosh dwelt there in my time . . . . 

    RAMESIS II (Late Bronze Age, 13th c. B.C.E.): "The Asiatic Campaigning of Ramses II" ANET., pp.255-256. Now then, his majesty had prepared (8) his infantry, his chariotry, and the Sherden of his majesty's cap-turing, whom he had carried off by the victories of his arm, equipped with all their weapons, to whom the orders of combat had been given. His majesty journeyed northward, his infantry and chariotry with him. He began to march on the good way in the year 5, 2nd month of the third season, day 9, (when) his majesty passed the fortress of Sile. [He] was mighty like Montu when he goes forth, (so that) every foreign country was trembling before him, their chiefs were presenting their tribute, and all the rebels were coming, bowing down through fear of the glory of his majesty. His infantry went on the narrow passes as if on the highways of Egypt. Now after days had passed after this, then his majesty was in Ramses Meri-Amon, the town which is in the Valley of the Cedar. His majesty proceeded northward. After his majesty reached the mountain range of Kadesh, then his majesty went forward like his father Montu, Lord of Thebes, and he crossed (12) the ford of the Orontes, with the first division of Amon (named) "He Gives Victory to User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re.'' His majesty reached the town of Kadesh ....Now the wretched foe belonging to Hatti, with the numerous foreign countries which were with him, was waiting hidden and ready on the northeast of the town of Kadesh, while his majesty was alone by himself (17) with his retinue. The division of Amon was on the march behind him; the division of Re was crossing the ford in a district south of the town of Shabtuna, at the dis-stance of one iter from the place where his majesty was ; the division of Ptah was on the south of the town of Arnaim; and the division of Seth was marching on the road. His majesty had formed the first ranks of battle of all the leaders of his army, while they were (still) on the shore in the land of Amurru ....

    Year 5, 3rd month of the third season, day 9, under the majesty of (Ramses II). When his majesty was in Djahi on his second victorious campaign, the goodly awakening in life, prosperity, and health was at the tent of his majesty on the mountain range south of Kadesh. After this, at the time of dawn, his majesty appeared like the rising of Re, and he took the adornments of his father Montu. The lord proceeded northward, and his majesty arrived at a vicinity south of the town of Shabtuna.... [add full text of battle here]

    The town which his majesty 
    desolated in the year 8, Merom.
    The town which his majesty 
    desolated in the year 8, Salem.
    The town which his majesty 
    desolated on the mountain of 
    Beth-Anath, Kerep (Palestine ?).
    The town which his majesty desolated in 
    the land of Amurru, Deper (region of Tunip in Syria?).
    The town which his majesty desolated, Acre.
    The wretched town which his majesty took when it was wicked, 
    Ashkelon. It says: "Happy is he who 
    acts in fidelity to thee, (but) woe (to) him who 
    transgresses. thy frontier! Leave over a heritage, 
    so that we may relate thy strength to every ignorant 
    foreign country!

    Beth-Shan Stelae of Ramses II ANET., p.254. BASOR (1952): 24-32. Year 9, 4th month of the second season, day 1 ... When day had broken, he made to retreat the Asiatics .... They all come bowing down to him, to his palace of life and satisfaction, Per-Ramses-Meri-Amon-the-Great of Victories (the capital in Delta)...

    SENNACHERIB'S CAMPAIGN (IRON AGE, 8th c. B.C.E.): = [ANET., pp. 287-88] The Siege of Jerusalem and the campaign of Sennarcherib are recorded on the Oriental Institutes Prism of Sennacherib. Further references to the campaign (particularly the siege of Lachich) are found on the palace reliefs.

    (ii - iii 49)
    In my third campaign I marched against Hatti.
    Luli, king of Sidon, whom the terror-inspiring
    glamor of my lordship had overwhelmed, fled far
    overseas and perished.° The awe-inspiring
    splendor of the "Weapon" of Ashur, my lord,
    overwhelmed his strong cities (such as) Great
    Sidon, Little Sidon, Bit-Zitti, Zaribtu, Mahal
    liba, Ushu (i.e. the mainland settlement of
    Tyre), Akzib (and) Akko, (all) his fortress
    cities, walled (and well) provided with feed
    and water for his garrisons, and they bowed in
    submission to my feet. I installed Ethba'al
    (Tuba'lu) upon the throne to be their king and
    imposed upon him tribute (due) to me (as his)
    overlord (to be paid) annually without
    interruption. As to all the kings of
    Amurru—Menahem (Mi-inhi-im-mu) from
    Samsimuruna, Tuba'lu from Sidon, Abdili'ti from
    Arvad, Urumilki from Byblos, Mitinti from
    Ashdod, Buduili from Beth-Ammon, Kammusunadbi
    from Moab (and) Aiarammu from Edom, they
    brought sumptuous gifts (igisu)
    and—fourfold—their heavy tamartu -presents to
    me and kissed my feet.  Sidqia, however, king
    of Ashkelon, who did not bow to my yoke, I
    deported and sent to Assyria, his family gods,
    himself, his wife, his children, his brothers,
    all the male descendants of his family. I set
    Sharruludari, son of Rukibtu, their former
    king, over the inhabitants of Ashkelon and
    imposed upon him the payment of tribute (and
    of) katru -presents (due) to me (as) overlord—
    and he (now) pulls the straps (of my yoke) ! In
    the continuation of my campaign I besieged Beth
    Dagon, Joppa, Banai-Barqa, Azuru, cities
    belonging to Sidqia who did not bow to my feet
    quickly (enough); I conquered (them) and
    carried their spoils away. The officials, the
    patricians and the (common) people of
    Ekron3—who had thrown Padi, their king, into
    fetters (because he was) loyal to (his) solemn
    oath (sworn) by the god Ashur, and had handed
    him over to Hezekiah, the Jew (Ha-za-qi-(i)a-u
    ame~la-u'-da-ai)— (and) he (Hezekiah) held him
    in prison, unlawfully, as if he (Padi) be an
    enemy—had become afraid and had called (for
    help) upon the kings of Egypt (Mu,s(u)ri) (and)
    the bowmen, the chariot(-corps) and the cavalry
    of the king of Ethiopia (Meluhha), an army
    beyond counting—and they (actually) had come to
    their assistance. In the plain of Eltekeh
    (A1-ta-qu-u), their battle lines were drawn up
    against me and they sharpened their weapons.
    Upon a trust(-inspiring) oracle (given) by
    Ashur, my lord, I fought with them and
    inflicted a defeat upon them. In the mle of the
    battle, I personally captured alive the
    Egyptian charioteers with the(ir) princes and
    (also) the charioteers of the king of Ethiopia.
    I besieged Eltekeh (and) Timnah (Ta-amna-a),
    conquered (them) and carried their spoils away.
    I assaulted Ekron and killed the officials and
    patricians who had committed the crime and hung
    their bodies on poles surrounding the city. The
    (common) citizens who were guilty of minor
    crimes, I considered prisoners of war. The rest
    of them, those who were not of crimes and
    misbehavior, I released. I made Padi, their
    king, come from Jerusalem (Ur-sa-li-im-mu) and
    set him as their lord on the throne, imposing
    upon him the tribute (due) to me (as) overlord. 
      As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to
    my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong
    cities, walled forts and to the countless small
    villages in their vicinity, and conquered
    (them) by means of well-stamped (earth-)ramps
    and battering-rams brought (thus) near (to the
    walls) (combined with) the attack by foot
    soldiers, (using) mines, breeches as well as
    sapper work.  I drove out (of them) 200,150
    people, young and old, male and female, horses,
    mules, donkeys, camels, big and small cattle
    beyond counting, and considered (them) booty.
    Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his
    royal residence, like a bird in a cage. I
    surrounded him with earthwork in order to
    molest those who were his city's gate. His
    towns which I had plundered, I took away from
    his country and gave them (over) to Mitinti,
    king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and
    Sillibel, king of Gaza. Thus I reduced his
    country, but I still increased the tribute and
    the katru -presents (due) to me (as his)
    overlord which I imposed (later) upon him
    beyond the former tribute, to be delivered
    annually. Hezekiah himself, whom the
    terror-inspiring splendor of my lordship had
    overwhelmed and whose irregular and elite
    troops which he had brought into Jerusalem, his
    royal residence, in order to strengthen (it),
    had deserted him, did send me, later, to
    Nineveh, my lordly city, together with 30
    talents of gold, 800 talents of silver,
    precious stones, antimony, large cuts of red
    stone, couches (inlaid) with ivory,
    nimedu-chairs (inlaid) with ivory,
    elephant-hides, ebony-wood, boxwood (and) all
    kinds of valuable treasures, his (own)
    daughters, concubines, male and female
    musicians.  In orer to deliver the tribute to
    do obeisance as a slave he sent his (personal)

    SETI I (Late Bronze Age, 13th c. B.C.E.):

    Campaign of Seti I in Northern Palestine," ANET., pp.253-254. Year 1, 3rd month of the third season, day 10. Live the Horus: Mighty Bull, Appearing in Thebes, Making the Two Lands to Live; the Two Goddesses: Repeating Births, Mighty of Arm, Repelling the Nine Bows; the Horus of Gold: Repeating Appearances, Mighty of Bows in All Lands; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands: Men-maat-Re [Ir]-en-Re; the Son of Re, Lord of Diadems: Seti Mer-ne-Ptah,(full titulary of Seti I) beloved of Re-Har-akhti, the great god. The good god, potent with his arm, heroic and valiant like Montu, rich in captives, (5) knowing (how to) place his hand, alert wherever he is; speaking with his mouth, acting with his hands, valiant leader of his army, valiant warrior in the very heart of the fray, a Bastet terrible in combat, penetrating into a mass of Asiatics and making them prostrate, crushing the princes of Retenu, reaching the (very) ends of (m) him who transgresses against his way. He causes to retreat the princes of Syria (Kharu), all the boastfulness of whose mouth was (so) great. Every foreign country of the ends of the earth, their princes say: "Where shall we go ?" They spend the night giving testimony in his name, saying: "Behold it, behold it? in their hearts. It is the strength of his father Amon that decreed to him valor and victory. On this day one came to speak to his majesty, as follows: (15) "The wretched foe who is in the town of Hamath is gathering to himself many people, while he is seizing the town of Beth-Shan. Then there will be an alliance with them of Pahel. He does not permit the Prince of Rehob to go outside." (Generally all the cities are near Beth-Shan.) Thereupon his majesty sent the first army of Amon, (named) "Mighty of Bows," to the town of Hamath, the first army of the (20) Re, (named) "Plentiful of Valor," to the town of Beth-Shan, and the first army of Seth, (named) "Strong of Bows," to the town of Yanoam. (See Karnak inscription on felling trees near Yanoam.) When the space of a day had passed, they were overthrown to the glory of his majesty, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Men-maat-Re; the Son of Re: Seti Mer-ne-Ptah, given life.

    Campaigns of Seti I in Asia ANET., pp.254-55. Temple of Karnak

    A= Campaign(s) in Djahi

    Year 1 of the Renaissance, and of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands: Men-maat-Re (Seti I), given life. Then one came to say to his majesty: "The foe belonging to the Shasu are plotting (5) rebellion.

    Their tribal chiefs are gathered in one place, waiting on the mountain ranges of Kharu (see Beth Shan stela). They have taken to clamoring and quarreling, one of them killing his fellow. They have no regard for the laws of the palace." The heart of his majesty--life, prosperity, health!--was glad at it. (10)

    Now as for the good god, he exults at undertaking combat; he delights at an attack on him; his heart is satisfied at the sight of blood. He cuts off the heads of the perverse of heart. He loves (15) an instant of trampling more than a day of jubilation. His majesty kills them all at one time, and leaves no heirs among them. He who is spared by his hand is a living prisoner, carried off to Egypt.

    C= Campaign(s) in Djahi

    (Somewhere in Palestine Seti I attacked a fortified place, "the town of the Canaan," which we cannot locate. As the accompanying text indicates, this was on the same expedition as that of the scenes just mentioned.)

    Year 1 of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Men-maat-Re. The desolation which the mighty arm of Pharaoh--life, prosperity, health !--made among the foe belonging to the Shasu from the fortress of Sile to the Canaan. His majesty [pre]vailed over them like a fierce lion. They were made into corpses throughout their valleys, stretched out in their (own) blood, like that which has never been.

    (Another scene shows the felling of trees around the "town of Yanoam." See Beth Shan stela. A similar scene mentions the felling of trees in Lebanon).

    ... Lebanon. Cutting down [cedar for] the great barque upon the river, "[Amon]-U[ser-h]et,"~ as well as for the great flagpoles of Amon...

    D = Campaign(s) in Djahi

    The return [of] his majesty from Upper Retenu,having extended the frontiers of Egypt. The plunder which his majesty carried off from these Shasu, whom his majesty himself captured in the year 1 of the Renaissance.

    E = Campaign(s) in Upper Retenu

    (Other scenes show Seti I engaged with the Hittites in Syria. He is shown attacking a mountainous settlement, "the town of Kadesh." in Syria.)

    The going up which Pharaoh--life, prosperity, health !----made to desolate the land of Kadesh and the land of Amurru.*

    (Either on this expedition or on a subsequent campaign, the pharaoh came into military competition with the powerful state of Hatti. He is shown in battle, with the legend:)

    The wretched land of the Hittites, among whom his majesty--life, prosperity, health !--made a great slaughter.

    On his return to Egypt, the pharaoh enjoyed the usual triumph and made the customary gift acknowledgement to the imperial god Amon.)

    [Presentation of] tribute by the good god to his father Amon-Re, Lord of the [Thrones] of [the Two Lands, at] his return from the country of Hatti, having annihilated the rebellious countries and crushed the Asi-atics in their places...The great princes of the wretched Retenu, whom his majesty carried off by his victories from the country of Hatti, to fill the workhouse of his father Amon-Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, according as he had given valor against the south and victory against the north...

    Beth-Shan Stelae of Seti I ANET., p.254. BASOR (1952): 24-32. On this day, lo (10) [one came to tell] his [majesty]: The Apiru of Mount Yarmuta (identified by Albright as at or near Belvoir, 10 km from Beth Shan), with Teyer..., [have ari]sen in attack upon the Asiatics of Rehem. Then [his majesty] said: How can these wretched Asiatics think [of taking] their [arms] for further disorder?... (16) ... Then his majesty commanded a certain number of people from his [infantry and his] numerous chariotry that their faces turn back to the foreign country Djahi. The space of two days elapsed, [and they returned in triumph from] the country Ye ..., having [their] levy [consisting 0f ]living [captives] as plunder ....

    SILOAM TOMB INSCRIPTION (IRON AGE, 7th c. B.C.E.): [ANET., p. 321] This inscription found in the Siloam tunnel is generally dated on paleographic grounds and content (see 2 Kings 22:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:30) to the reign of Hezekiah.

     [...when] (the tunnel) was driven through. 
    And this was the way in which it was cut
    through:- While [...] (were) stil [...] axe(s),
    each man toward his fellow, and while there
    were still three cubits to be cut through,
    [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to
    his fellow, for there was an overlap in the
    rock on the right [and on the left].  And when
    the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen
    hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow,
    axe against axe; and the water flowed from the
    spring toward the reservoir for 1,200 cubits,
    and the height of the rock above the head(s) of
    the quarrymen was 100 cubits. 

    TALE of SINUHE (Middle Bronze Age): Description of Asiatic life from the Tale of Sinuhe (ANET., pp. 18-19).

    He set me at the head of his children. He married me to his eldest daughter. He let me choose for myself of his country, (80) of the choicest of that which was with him on his frontier with another country. It was a good land, named Yaa. Figs were in it, and grapes. It had more wine than water. Plentiful was its honey, abundant its olives. Every (kind of) fruit was on its trees. Barley were there, and emmer. There was no limit to any (kind of) cattle. (85) Moreover, great was that which accrued to me as a result of the love of me. He made me ruler of a tribe of the choicest of his country. Bread was made for me as daily fare, wine as daily provision, cooked meat and roast fowl, beside the wild beasts of the desert, for they hunted (go) for me and laid before me, beside the catch of my (own) hounds. Many . . . were made for me, and milk in every (kind of) cooking.

    I spent many years, and my children grew up to be strong men, each man as the restrainer of his (own) tribe. The messenger who went north or who went south to the Residence City (95) stopped over with me, (for) I used to make everybody stop over. I gave water to the thirstv. I put him who had strayed (back) on the road. I rescued him who had been robbed. When the Asiatics became so bold as to oppose the rulers of foreign countries,l3 I counseled their movements. This ruler of (100) (Re)tenu had me spend many years as commander of his army. Every foreign country against which I went forth, when I had made my attack on it, was driven away from its pasturage and its wells. I plundered its cattle, carried off its inhabitants, took away their food, and slew people in it (105) by my strong arm, by my bow, by my movements, and by my successful plans. I found favol in his heart, he loved me, he recognized my valor, and he placed me at the head of his children, when he saw how my arms fiourished.

    A mighty man of Retenu came, that he might challenge me (110) in my (own) camp. He was a hero without his peer, and he had repelled all of it.l7 He said that he would fight me, he intended to despoil me, and he planned to plunder my cattle, on the advice of his tribe. That prince discussed (it) with me, and I said: "I do not know him. Certainly I am no confederate of his, (115) SO that I might move freely in his encampment. Is it the case that I have (ever) opened his door or overthrown his fences? (Rather), it is hostility because he sees me carrying out thy commissions. I am reallv like a stray bull in the midst of another herd, and a bull of (these) cattle attacks him....

    During the night I strung my bow and shot my arrows, I gave free play to my dagger, and polished my weapons. When day broke, (Re)tenu was come. (I30) It had whipped up its tribes and collected the countries of a (good) half of it. It had thought (only) of this fight. Then he came to me as I was waiting, (for) I had placed myself near him. Every heart burned for me; women and men groaned. Every heart was sick for me. They said: "Is there another strong man who could fight against him?" Then (he took) his shield, his battle-axe, (I35) and his armful of javelins. Now after I had let his weapons issue forth, I made his arrows pass by me uselessly, one close to another. He charge me, and I shot him, my arrow sticking in his neck. H cried out and fell on his nose. (140) I felled him with his (own) battle-axe and raised my cry of victory over hi back, while every Asiatic roared. I gave praise to Montu, while his adherents were mourning for him. This rule Ammi- enshi took me into his embrace. Then I carried off his goods and plundered his cattle. What he had planned to do (145) to me I did to him. I took wha was in his tent and stripped his encampment. I became great thereby, I became extensive in my wealth, I became abundant in my cattle.

    THOTHMOSIS III (Late Bronze Age, 15th c. B.C.E.):

    The Asiatic Campaigns of Thut-mose III: The Armant Stela (15th c. B.C.E.) ANET., p.234

    Live the Horus: Mighty Bull, Appearing in Thebes; the Two Goddesses: Enduring of Kingship, like Re in Heaven; the Horus of Gold: Majestic of Appearances, Mighty of Strength; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Lord of Making Offerings: Men-kheper-Re; the Son of Re, of his Body: Thut-mose Heqa-Maat, beloved of Montu, Lord of Thebes, Residing in Hermonthis, living forever.

    Year 22, 2nd month of the second season, day 10. Summary of the deeds of valor and victory which this good god performed, being every effective deed of heroism, beginning from the first generation; that which the Lord of the Gods, the Lord of Hermonthis, did for him: the magnification of his victories, to cause that his deeds of valor be related for millions of years to come, apart from the deeds of heroism which his majesty did at all times. If (they) were to be related all together by their names, they would be (too) numerous to put them into writing

    His majesty made no delay in proceeding to the land of Djahi, to kill the treacherous ones who were in it and to give things to those who were loyal to him; witness, indeed, [their] names, each [country] according to its time. His majesty returned on each occasion, when his attack had been effected in valor and victory, so that he caused Egypt to be in its condition as (it was) when Re was in it as king. [Year 22, 4th month of the second season, day... Proceeding] from Memphis, to slay the countries of the wretched Retenu, on the first occasion of victory. It was his majesty who opened its roads and foxed its every way for his army, after it had made [rebellion, gathered in Megid]do. His majesty entered upon that road which becomes very narrow,' as the first of his entire army, while every country had gathered, standing prepared at its mouth. ... The enemy quailed, fleeing headlong to their town, together with the prince who was in... (15)... to them, beseeching [breath], their goods upon their backs. His majesty returned in gladness of heart, with this entire land as vassal... [Asia]tics, coming at one time, bear-ing [their] tribute...See also fuller description from the Temple of Karnak and similar type of description from the Barkal stela. ANET., pp. 234-238.

    Almost all subsequent campaigns were directed against rebellious cities in Upper Retenu (that is, Syria) and not Lower Retenu, Djahi. The city of Kadesh and the kingdom of Mitanni were generally the focus of the king's military campaigns. See: ANET., pp. 238-242.

    THOTHMOSIS IV (Late Bronze Age, 14th c. B.C.E.):

    "A Syrian Captive Colony" ANET., pp. 248. The settlement of the fortification of Men-khepru-Re (Thothmosis IV) with the Syrians (=Kharu) [of] his majesty's capturing in the town of Gez[er].


    TOMBS OF THE NOBLEMEN (Late Bronze Age, 15th-13th c. B.C.E.):

    "Scenes of Asiatic Commerce in Theban Tombs (Rek-mi-Re)" ANET., pp. 248.Coming in peace by the princes of Retenu and all northern countries of the ends of Asia, bowing down in humility, with their tribute upon their backs, seeking that there be given them the breath of life and desiring to be subject to his majesty, for they have seen his very great victories and the terror of him has mastered their hearts. Now it is the Hereditary Prince, Count, Father and Beloved of the God, great trusted man of the Lord of the Two Lands, Mayor and Vizier, Rekh-mi-Re (reign of Thothmosis III), who receives the tribute of all foreign countries...Presenting the children of the princes of the southern countries, along with the children of the princes of the northern countries, who were brought as the best of the booty of his majesty, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Men-kheper-Re (Thothmosis III), given life, from all foreign countries, to fill the workshop and to be serfs of the divine offerings of his father Amon, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, according as there have been given to him all foreign countries together in his grasp, with their princes prostrated under his sandals ....

    TUTANKHAMUN (Late Bronze Age, 14th c. B.C.E.):

    "Tut-ankh-Amon' s Restoration after the Amarna Revolution" ANET., pp. 251-252... The good ruler, performing benefactions for his father (Amon) and all the gods, for he has made what was ruined to endure as a monument for the ages (5) of eternity and he has expelled deceit throughout the Two Lands, and justice was set up [so that] it might make lying to be an abomination of the land, as (in) its first time. Now when his majesty appeared as king, the temples of the gods and goddesses from Elephantine [down] to the marshes of the Delta [had... and] gone to pieces( or fallen into neglect). Their shrines had become desolate, had become mounds overgrown with [weeds]. Their sanctuaries (or chapels) were as if they had never been. Their halls were a footpath (or trodden roads). The land was topsy-turvy and the gods turned their backs upon this land. If [the army was] sent to Djahi to extend the frontiers of Egypt, no success of theirs came at all. If one prayed to a god to seek counsel from him, he would never come [at all]. If one made supplication (or petition) to a goddess similarly, she would never come at all.