10.15.04 Hittite Treaties, Annals and other documents from Anatolia to Egypt, relating to Indo-European rites
Hittite Treaties, Annals & Documents from Anatolia to Egypt (continued)
Ras Shamra Documents (~1,400 B.C.)
Ras Shamra, located on the north Syrian coast, was the ancient Ugarit. The texts discovered in the site have attracted much interest from Biblical scholars, particularly from the standpoint of confirming the historical content of the Bible. The texts are informative from the aspect of giving us a deeper look into the soul of the people who worshipped the gods Baal and his pantheon. They date from about 1,400 B.C. See note (2) for the source of these texts.
The Legend of King Keret (3)
Atherat in this story is the Asherah of the Old Testament. She is the principal female diety of the Phoenicians, called Ishtar by the Assyrians, and Astarte by the Greeks and Romans. She and her consort, Baal, became the central controversy in the region called Israel (Samaria), with the region of Judah being the kingdom to the south. Samaria was the buffer area between Assyria and Judah and a place more favorable to the Assyrian ways than Judah and its capital, Jerusalem, where the temple of YHVH was located.
Cylinder seal showing the goddess Ishtar being worshipped under a canopy. She is usually shown with wings and archer's weapons, with one foot on the back of a lion. Neo-assyrian 8th-7th century B.C. northern Iraq, located in the Metropolitan Museum: http://www.metmuseum.org/
The following is a sample, of the contest between the gods Baal and Asherah and YHVH. What is of interest in the symbol of Asherah being a pole. To read a more complete account beginning with King Ahab and his Queen Jezebel, who worshipped Baal, one should begin at I Kings 16.29, the year ~930 B.C. But for brevity's sake we jump to the period of King Josiah (~698 B.C.) to King Zedekiah, who was carried off by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon (~600 B.C.). He and the pharoah, Necho II, contested for control of Syria and Palestine. Necho II, king of Egypt (reigned 610595 BC), was
"a member of the 26th dynasty, who unsuccessfully attempted to aid Assyria against the Neo-Babylonians and later sponsored an expedition that circumnavigated Africa. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Necho began the construction of a canal from the Nile River to the Red Sea, probably in response to the growth of trade in the Egyptian Delta, but an oracle persuaded him to discontinue the project. A threat developed in Mesopotamia, where the Assyrian Empire was falling to the Babylonians. Necho ordered fleets to be built on the Mediterranean and Red seas, and with them he undertook a Syrian campaign in 608 BC to assist the battered Assyrian armies. When Josiah, king of Judah and an ally of the Neo-Babylonians, was slain in battle at Megiddo, Necho replaced Josiah's chosen successor with his own nominee and imposed tribute on Judah. In 606 the Egyptians routed the Neo-Babylonians, but at the great Battle of Carchemish (a Syrian city on the middle Euphrates River) in 605 the Neo-Babyloniancrown prince, Nebuchadrezzar, soundly defeated Necho's troops and forced their withdrawal from Syria and Palestine. Egypt itself was threatened in 601, but Necho repelled the enemy and continued to promote anti-Babylonian coalitions in Syria and Palestine.
Herodotus also reports that Necho sent an expedition to circumnavigate Africa. His navigators apparently accomplished the feat, for they reported that, after a certain point in their voyage, the sun lay to their right (i.e., northward), as they sailed around southern Africa." (4)
A Biblical account relating to Baal and Asherah (Ishtar):
2Kgs. 22:3 In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the LORD. He said:
2Kgs. 22:4 ³Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the LORD, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people.
2Kgs. 22:5 Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the LORD
2Kgs. 22:6 the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple.
2Kgs. 22:7 But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are acting faithfully.²
2Kgs. 22:8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, ³I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.² He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.
2Kgs. 22:9 Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: ³Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the LORD and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple.²
2Kgs. 22:10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, ³Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.² And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.
2Kgs. 22:11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.
2Kgs. 22:12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the kingıs attendant:
2Kgs. 22:13 ³Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORDıs anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.²
2Kgs. 22:14 Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophetess Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the Second District.
2Kgs. 22:15 She said to them, ³This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me,
2Kgs. 22:16 This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read.
2Kgs. 22:17 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.ı
2Kgs. 22:18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard:
2Kgs. 22:19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD.
2Kgs. 22:20 Therefore I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.ı ² So they took her answer back to the king.
2Kgs. 23:1 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
2Kgs. 23:2 He went up to the temple of the LORD with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD.
2Kgs. 23:3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.
2Kgs. 23:4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel.
2Kgs. 23:5 He did away with the pagan priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts.
2Kgs. 23:6 He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the LORD to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people.
2Kgs. 23:7 He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes, which were in the temple of the LORD and where women did weaving for Asherah.
2Kgs. 23:8 Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the shrines at the gates at the entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which is on the left of the city gate.
2Kgs. 23:9 Although the priests of the high places did not serve at the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests.
2Kgs. 23:10 He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech.
2Kgs. 23:11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-melech. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.
2Kgs. 23:12 He pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts of the temple of the LORD. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley.
2Kgs. 23:13 The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the people of Ammon.
2Kgs. 23:14 Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.
2Kgs. 23:15 Even the altar at Bethel, the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin even that altar and high place he demolished. He burned the high place and ground it to powder, and burned the Asherah pole also.
2Kgs. 23:16 Then Josiah looked around, and when he saw the tombs that were there on the hillside, he had the bones removed from them and burned on the altar to defile it, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by the man of God who foretold these things.
2Kgs. 23:17 The king asked, ³What is that tombstone I see?² The men of the city said, ³It marks the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and pronounced against the altar of Bethel the very things you have done to it.²
2Kgs. 23:18 ³Leave it alone,² he said. ³Donıt let anyone disturb his bones.² So they spared his bones and those of the prophet who had come from Samaria.
2Kgs. 23:19 Just as he had done at Bethel, Josiah removed and defiled all the shrines at the high places that the kings of Israel had built in the towns of Samaria that had provoked the LORD to anger.
2Kgs. 23:20 Josiah slaughtered all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
2Kgs. 23:21 The king gave this order to all the people: ³Celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.²
2Kgs. 23:22 Not since the days of the judges who led Israel, nor throughout the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah, had any such Passover been observed.
2Kgs. 23:23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was celebrated to the LORD in Jerusalem.
2Kgs. 23:24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD.
2Kgs. 23:25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
2Kgs. 23:26 Nevertheless, the LORD did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to provoke him to anger.
2Kgs. 23:27 So the LORD said, ³I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, There shall my Name be.ı ²
2Kgs. 23:28 As for the other events of Josiahıs reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
2Kgs. 23:29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Neco faced him and killed him at Megiddo.
2Kgs. 23:30 Josiahıs servants brought his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in place of his father.
2Kgs. 23:31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His motherıs name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah.
2Kgs. 23:32 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his fathers had done.
2Kgs. 23:33 Pharaoh Neco put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath so that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and he imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
2Kgs. 23:34 Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah and changed Eliakimıs name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt, and there he died.
2Kgs. 23:35 Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh Neco the silver and gold he demanded. In order to do so, he taxed the land and exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land according to their assessments.
2Kgs. 23:36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His motherıs name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah; she was from Rumah.
2Kgs. 23:37 And he did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his fathers had done.
2Kgs. 24:1 During Jehoiakimıs reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he changed his mind and rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar.
2Kgs. 24:2 The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets.
2Kgs. 24:3 Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORDıs command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done,
2Kgs. 24:4 including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive.
2Kgs. 24:5 As for the other events of Jehoiakimıs reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
2Kgs. 24:6 Jehoiakim rested with his fathers. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded him as king.
2Kgs. 24:7 The king of Egypt did not march out from his own country again, because the king of Babylon had taken all his territory, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River.
2Kgs. 24:8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His motherıs name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem.
2Kgs. 24:9 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father had done.
2Kgs. 24:10 At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem and laid siege to it,
2Kgs. 24:11 and Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city while his officers were besieging it.
2Kgs. 24:12 Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his attendants, his nobles and his officials all surrendered to him. In the eighth year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner.
2Kgs. 24:13 As the LORD had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed all the treasures from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace, and took away all the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the LORD.
2Kgs. 24:14 He carried into exile all Jerusalem: all the officers and fighting men, and all the craftsmen and artisans a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left.
2Kgs. 24:15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the kingıs mother, his wives, his officials and the leading men of the land.
2Kgs. 24:16 The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand craftsmen and artisans.
2Kgs. 24:17 He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachinıs uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah.
2Kgs. 24:18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His motherıs name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah.
2Kgs. 24:19 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done.
2Kgs. 24:20 It was because of the LORDıs anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence. Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
2Kgs. 25:1 So in the ninth year of Zedekiahıs reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it.
2Kgs. 25:2 The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
2Kgs. 25:3 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat.
2Kgs. 25:4 Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the kingıs garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah,
2Kgs. 25:5 but the Babylonian army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered,
2Kgs. 25:6 and he was captured. He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him.
2Kgs. 25:7 They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.
2Kgs. 25:8 On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.
2Kgs. 25:9 He set fire to the temple of the LORD, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down.
2Kgs. 25:10 The whole Babylonian army, under the commander of the imperial guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem.
The Legend of King Keret (below) recalls the Hebrew (Aramaic Abraham was an Aramaean gone astray") wedding practice, first illustrated in the wedding of Abraham's heir, Isaac, to his brother's daughter, Rebecca, who was living with her father in Mesopotamia in the city of Nahor (Genesis 24). Isaac's son, Jacob, was told to take a wife of Canaan and as a result of a rift over the inheritance between him and his brother, Esau, fled to Pandan-aram. He married his uncle Laban's daughters, Rachel and Leah, and later wandered to Hebron. Laban was a Syrian and the brother of Rebeccah. Jacob's name was changed to Israel (Genesis 28-32). Weddings involved a dowry paid by the groom's family, which according to the Syrian custom noted below, would have been worth the weight of the bride. The practice noted in the Bible tended to be matrilineal, and even today one's Jewish heritage is based upon the mother's lineage. The argument over Jesus Christ's lineage to David also is conveyed in these terms, where Jesus' mother, Mary, is descended from David through her father. See The Family of Jesus.html at www.maravot.com for interesting particulars on wedding customs during the time of Christ.
The goddess Anat (Anath) mentioned in the text is the consort of Baal in the Canaanite pantheon. Her name is recorded in Biblical places such as Beth-anath (Beth means "house") in the territory of Naphtali and in the territory of Judah Beth-anoth.
"Anath, also spelled Anat chief West Semitic goddess of love and war, the sister and helpmate of the god Baal.
Considered a beautiful young girl, she was often designated ³the Virgin² in ancient texts. Probably one of the best-known of the Canaanite deities, she was famous for her youthful vigour and ferocity in battle; in that respect she was adopted as a special favourite by the Egyptian king Ramses II (reigned 12791213 BC). Although Anath was often associated with the god Resheph in ritual texts, she was primarily known for her role in the myth of Baal's death and resurrection, in which she mourned and searched for him and finally helped to retrieve him from the netherworld. Egyptian representations of Anath show a nude goddess, often standing on a lion and holding flowers. During the Hellenistic Age, the goddesses Anath and Astarte were blended into one deity, called Atargatis.
Judging on behalf of the widow and the orphan the failure thereof, being the reason Keret is deposed is a commandment often repeated in the Old Testament and repeated in the Gospels. D. Winton Thomas notes that such decisions were the office of the king, and here we can suppose was the justification for removal of the king.
The Legend of King Keret
A Royal Wooing
Keret came down from the roof,
He prepared food for the city,
Wheat for Beth Hubur,
He parched bread of the fifth,
5 Food for the sixth month.
The crowd mustered and came forth,
The elite of the fighting men mustered,
Then forth came the crowd together;
His host was abundant in freemen,
10 Three hundred times
Marching in thousands like a rainstorm,
Even in tens of thousands as winter rain.
After two, two marched,
After three, all of them.
15 The solitary man shut up his house,
The widow hired a substitute,
The sick man rose from his bed,
The blind man gave his benediction.
The bridegroom produced the bride-price,
20 Burning to claim his wife,
Yea, to acquire his beloved.
As locusts which occupy the fields,
As hoppers the desert marches,
They went a day, a second (day);
25 After that, at sunset on the third (day)
They reached the shrine of Atherat of Deposits,
Even (the shrine of) the Goddess of Oracles;
There Keret of Th' made a vow.
'As surely as Atherat of Deposits is present,
30 Even the Goddess of Oracles
If I take Hurriya into my house,
If I bring the damsel into my court,
Two-(thirds) of her will I give in silver,
Yea, a third in gold.'
35 They went a day, a second (day),
A third, a fourth day.
After sunset on the fourth day
He reached Udum the Great,
Even Udum Abundant in Water.
40 They abode at the city,
They watched at the town.
To and fro in the fields plied the women cutting wood,
Congregating in the open places.
To and fro at the well plied the women drawing water,
Filling (the jars) at the spring.
They tarried a day, a second (day)
A third, a fourth day,
A fifth, a sixth day,
Then at surnrise on the seventh day
50 Did King Pabil pay attention
To the sound of the bellowing of his bull,
To the sound of the braying of his ass,
to the lowing of his ploughing-ox,
To the barking of his tawny hound...
(King Pabil sends messengers to Keret with terms)
55 'Take silver and electrum,
Gold in token of her value,
And a henchman perpetual, three horses,
A chariot which stands in the stable of (thy) humble servant,
Take, O Keret, peace-offerings in peace.
60 Harm not Udum the Great,
Even Udum Abundant in Water.
Udum is the gift of El,
The present of the Father of Men.
Depart, O King, from my house,
65 Withdraw, O Keret, from my court,
Then answered Keret of Th':
'For what purpose are silver and electrum to me,
(Gold) in token of her value,
And a perpetual henchman, three horses,
70 A chariot which stands in the stable of a humble servant?
Nay, but what I have not in my house do thou give.
Give me the damsel Hurriya,
The fairest of the offspring of the first-born,
Whose grace is as the grace of Anat,
75 Whose beauty is as the beauty of Athtarat,
Whose eyeballs are as the sheen of Lapis-lazuli,
Whose eyelids are as bowls of cornelian,
For in my dream El granted,
In my vision the Father of Men,
80 Offspring should be born to Keret,
Even a lad to the Servant of El.'
II 'A Divinity that Doth Hedge a King'
'How say they Keret is the son of El,
The offspring of the Kindly One and the Holy?
Or do gods die,
85 The offspring of the Kindly One not live'?
Then declared El, the Kindly, the Merciful.
'Sit my sons, on your seats,
Even on your princely thrones.
I myself will resort to magic,
90 And will stay the power of the disease,
Driving out the sickness.'
With dung his hand he fills,
With goodly dung....he moulds.
Yasib too sits in the palace,
And his inwards instruct him.
'Go to thy father, Yasib,
Go to thy father and say,
Repeat to Keret of Th':
"Hear, and may thine ear be alert!
100 By slow degrees thou art growing old,
And in the tomb thou wilt abide.
Thou hast let thy hands fall into error,
Thou dost not judge the case of the widow,
Nor decide the suit of the oppressed.
105 Sickness is as thy bedfellow,
Disease as thy concubine.
Descend from thy rule that I may be king,
From thy government that I may be enthroned."
The Legend of Aqhat, Son of Dan'el
Then on the seventh day Baal proffered his intercession
For the impotence of Dan'el the Dispenser of Fertility
'Thenbless him, O Bull El, my father,
5 Grant him thy benediction, O Creator of Created Things.
And may there be a son for him in the house,
Even a scion in the midst of his palace,
One who may set up the pillar of his ancestral god
In the sanctuary, the refuge of his clan,
10 Who may pour out his drink-offering to the ground,
Even to the dust wine after him,
Who may heap up the platters of his company,
Who may drive away any who would molest his night-guest,
Who may take his hand when he is drunk,
15 Support him when he is full of wine,
Who may eat his slice in the temple of Baal,
Consume his portion in the temple of El,
Who may plaster his roof when it is muddy,
Who may wash his garment when it is dirty.'
20 'Hear, O Maiden who bearest water on thy shoulder,
Who sweepest the dew from the barley,
Who knowest the course of the stars....'
III A Mortal's Repulse of a Goddess
'Fabricate not, O Virgin; (5)
To a hero thy words are trash.
As for a mortal man, what does he get as his latter end?
What does mortal man get as his inheritance?
Glaze will be poured out on my head,
Even plaster upon my pate, (6)
And the death of all men will I die,
Yea, I will surely die.
Thereupon Dan'el, the Dispenser of Fertility,
The clouds with heat in the season of rain,
The clouds which rain in the season of summer fruit,
The dew which falls on the grapes.
'For seven years may Baal be restrained,
For eight He who Mounteth the Clouds, (5)
Without dew, without showers,
Without upsuring of the lower deep,
Without the drum-roll, the voice of Baal.
Fragmentary tablets containing the Baal Myths: death and resurrection of Baal.
(The arrogant Sea has cowed the divine assembly into submission, but
Baal stands forth as their champion, and is supported by the divine
craftsman, 'the Skilful and Percipient One')
Then up speaks the Skilful and Percipient One.
'Have I not told thee, O Prince Baal,
Have I not declared, O Thou who Mountest the Clouds?
Behold, thine enemies, O Baal,
Behold, thine enemies thou shalt smite,
Behold, thou shalt subdue thine adversaries.
thou shalt take thine eternal kingdom,
Thy Sovereignty Everlasting.'
(The divine craftsman fashions two maces for Baal,
named according to their purpose 'Driver' and 'Expeller')
Then soars and swoops the mace in the hand of Baal,
Even as an eagle in his fingers.
It smites the head of Prince Sea,
Between the eyes of Judge River
Sea collapses and falls to the ground,
His strength is impaired;
His dexterity fails.
Baal drags him away and disperses him,
He annihilates Judge River.
'Let Baal reign.'
II The Primordial Enemies of Baal
'What enemy rises up against Baal,
What adversaary against Him who Mounteth the Clouds?
Have I not slain Sea, beloved of El?
Have I not annihilated River, the great god?
Have I not muzzled the Dragon, holding her in a muzzle?
I have slain the Crooked Serpent,
The Foul-fanged with Seven Heads.
I have slain the Beloved of the earth-deities,
Even Death, who passes on his way with prodigious haste,
I have slain the Bitch of the gods, Fire,
I have annihilated the daughter of El, Flame,
Smiting and dispossesing the Flood,
Who would drive Baal from the crags of Saphon.'
'Dead is Baal the Mighty, (7)
Perished is the Prince, Lord of the Earth.'
Then the Kindly El, the Merciful,
Comes down from his throne; he leaps to the footstool;
And from the footstool he leaps to the ground.
He lets down his turban in grief;
On his head is the dust in which he wallows;
He tears asunder the knot of his girdle;
He makes the mountain re-echo with his lamentation,
And his clamour to resound in the forest.
Cheeks and chin he rends,
His upper arm he scores,
His chest as a garden-plot,
Even as a valley-bottom his back he lacerates.
Anat too goes and ranges (7)
Every mountain to the heart of the earth,
Every hill to the midst of the fields.
She comes to the pleasant land of pasture,
The fair field of the fat grazings;
She comes upon Ball fallen to the ground.
She seizes Death, the Son of El;
With a blade she cleaves him;
With a shovel she winnows him;
With fire she parches him;
With a millstone she grinds him;
In the field she sows him;
His remains the birds eat,
the wild creatures consume his portions;
Remains from remains are scattered.
In a dream of El, the Kindly, the Merciful,
In a vision of the Creator of Created Things,
The heavens rain oil,
The wadis run with honey.
El, the Kindly, the Merciful rejoices,
His feet on the footstool he sets,
He relaxes reserve and laughs.
He raises his voice and cries:
'I shall sit and take my ease,
And the shoul shall repose in my breast,
For Baal the Mighty is alive,
For the Prince, Lord of the earth, exists.'
Treaty between Hattusili and Ramesses II*
Heading to the Egyptian Translation of the Treaty
Copy of the tablet of silver which the great chief of Hatti, Hattusili, caused to be brought to Pharaoh by
the hand of his messenger Tartesub and his messenger Ramose, in order to beg peace
from the Majesty of Usimare-setpenrel, son of Re, Ramesse-mi-Amun, bull of rulers,
who makes his boundary where he will in every land.
[And so be it. Riamasesa-mai-] Amana, the great king, king [of the Egypt, the strong], [with Hattusili, the great king], king of the land Hatti, his brother, in order to give good peace, [good brotherhood and to obtain] a mighty [king]dom (?) between them as long as we [live] (and) [forever] [a treaty] has made.
Riamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, king of Egypt, the strong in all lands, son [of] Minmuaria, the great king, king of Egypt, the strong, son of the son of Minpahiritaria, the great king, [king of Egy]pt, the strong, unto Hattugili, the great king, king of the land Hatti, the strong, the son of Murgili, the great king, king of the land Hatti, the strong, son of the son of Subbiluliuma, the great king, king of the land Hatti, the strong, behold now I give [good] brotherhood, good peace between us forever, in order to give good peace, good brotherhood, by means of (a treaty (?)] of Egypt with Hatti forever. So it is.
The treaty which the great prince of Hatti, Hattusili, the strong, the son of Mursili, the great chief of Hatti, the strong, the son of the son of Subbi[luliuma, the great chief of Hatti, the str]ong, made upon a tablet of silver for Usimare-setpenre, the great ruler of Egypt, the strong, the son of Menmare, the great ruler of Egypt, the strong, the son of the son of Menpehtire, the great ruler of Egypt, the strong: the good treaty of peace and brother-hood, giving peace [and brother-hood(?) . . . between us by means of a treaty (?) of Hatti with Egypt] forever.
2.0 Resumption of Old Peaceful Relations
Behold, the policy of the great king, king of Egypt, [and of the great king], king of Hatti since eternity---god did not permit the making of hostility between them, [by means of a treaty] forever.
Behold, Riamagega-mai-Amana, the great king, king of Egypt, in order to make the policy a [which Samash and] Tegub made for Egypt with the land of Hatti because of his policy which is from eternity, wickedly (?)[will not become host]ile to make hostility between them unto everlasting and unto all (time).
Now aforetime, since eternity, as regards the policy of the great ruler of Egypt and the great chief of Hatti---the god did not permit hostility to be made between them, by means of a treaty.12
But in the time of Muwattalli, the great chief of Hatti, my brother, he fought with [Ramesse-mi-Amun], the great ruler of Egypt.
But hereafter, beginning from this clay, behold Hattusili, the great chief of Hatti, is (in?] a treaty for making permanent the policy which Pre made and Setekh made for the land of Egypt with the land of Hatti, so as not to permit hostilities to be made between them forever.
3.0 Declaration of the New Treaty
Riamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, king of Egypt, has made himself made himself in a treaty upon a silver tablet with Hattusili, the great king, king of the land Hatti, his brother, from this day to give good peace and good brotherhood between us forever; and he is a brother to me and at peace with me, and I am a brother to him and at peace with him forever.
And we have made brotherhood, peace and goodwill more than the brotherhood and peace of former times, which was between [Egypt and] Hatti.
Behold, Riamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, king of Egypt, is in good peace and good brotherhood with Hattugili, the great king, king of the land Hatti.
Behold, the sons of Riamasesa-mai-Amana, the king of Egypt, are at peace (and) are bro[thers with] the sons of Hattusili, the great king, king of the land Hatti, forever; and they are according to our policy of [our] brotherhood [and] our peace.
And Egypt with the land Hatti ---they are at peace, they are brothers like us forever.
Behold, Hattusili, the great chief of Hatti has in a treaty with Usimare-set-penre, the great ruler of Egypt, beginning with this day, to cause to be made good peace and good brotherhood between us forever; and he is in brotherhood with me and at peace with me, and I am in brotherhood with him and at peace with him forever.
And since Muwattalli, the great chief of Hatti, my brother, hastened after his fate, and Hattusili took his seat as great chief of Hatti on the throne of his father; behold I have become with Ramesse-mi-Amun, the great ruler of Egypt, we (?) being [together in?] our peace and our brotherhood; and it is better than the peace and the brotherhood of formerly, which was in the land.
Behold, I, being the great chief of Hatti, am with [Ramesse-mi-Amun], the great ruler of Egypt, in good peace and good brotherhood.
And the children of the children [of] the great chief of Hatti shall be (?) in brotherhood and at peace with the children of the children of Ramesse-mi-Amun, the great ruler of Egypt; they being in our policy of brotherhood and our policy [of peace].
[And the land of Egypt?] with the land Hatti [shall be ?] at peace and in brotherhood like us forever; and hostilities shall not be made between them forever.
4.0 Mutual Assurances with Regard to Invasion
And Riamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, king of Egypt, shall not trespass into the land Hatti to take aught from therein [forever]; and Hattusili, the great king, king of the land Hatti, shall not trespass into Egypt to take aught from therein [forever].
And the great chief of Hatti shall not trespass into the land of Egypt forever to take aught from it; and Usimare-setpenre, the great ruler of Egypt, shall not trespass into the land [of Hatti to take] (aught) from it forever.
5.0 Formal Renewal of the Former Treaty
Behold the decree of eternity which Samas and Tesub have made for Egypt and the land Hatti [to make peace] and brotherhood in order not to give hostility between them.
And behold, Riamasesa-mai-A[mana, the great king], king of Egypt, takes hold of it to make peace from this day.
Behold, Egypt and Hatti [are at peace, and] they are brothers forever.
As to the regular treaty which there was in the time of Subbiluliuma, the great chief of Hatti, and likewise the regular treaty which was in the time of Muwattalli (sic), the great chief of Hatti, my father, I take hold of it. Behold, Ramesse-mi-Amun, the great ruler of Egypt, takes hold [of the peace (?)which it (?)] makes together with us from this day; and we will act according to this regular policy.
6.0 Undertaking of a Defensive Alliance
And if another enemy come [against] the land Hatti, and Hattusili, [the great king of the land Hat]ti, send to me saying, 'Come unto me for [my] help against him'; then Ri[amasesa-mai-Ama]na, the great king, king of Egypt shall send his troops and) his chariots and shall slay [his enemy and] he shall restore [con]fidence (?) to the land Hatti.
And if another enemy come to the lands of Usimare-setpenre, the great ruler of Egypt, and he send to the great chief of Hatti saying, 'Coyne with me as help against him'; the great chief of Hatti shall [come to him], the great chief of Hatti [shall] slay (his enemy.
But if it be not the desire of the great chief of Hatti to come, he shall send his troops and his chariotry and shall slay his enemy.
7.0 Common Action To Be Taken Against Rebellious Subjects
And if Hattusili, the great king, king of the land Hatti, [become incensed] against servants of his [and they] sin against him, and thou send to Riamasesa, the great king, king of [Egypt] concerning it; straightway Riamasesa-mai-Amana his troops (and) his chariots shall send, and they shall destroy all [of them] against whom [thou art become incensed].
Or if Ramesse-mi-Amun, [the great ruler of Egypt], become incensed against servants of his, and they do another offence against him, and he go to slay his enemy; the great chief of Hatti shall act with him [to destroy] everyone [against whom] they shall be incensed.
8.0 Reciprocal Clause Corresponding to No. 6.0
[And if] another enemy come against Egypt, and Riamasesa-mai-Amana, the king of Egypt, thy brother, [send] to Hattusili, king of the land Hatti, his brother, saying, '[Co]me for my help against him'; straightway then shall Ha[ttusili] king of the land Hatti, send his troops (and) his [chariots]; he [shall slay] my enemy.
But [if] another enemy [come] against the great chief [of Hatti]; [then shall Usi]ma[re]- setpenre [the great ruler of Egypt] come to him as help to slay his enemy.
(But) if it be (not) the desire of Ramesse-mi-Amun, the great ruler of Egypt, to come, he . . . Hatti, [and he shall send his troops and his] chariotry, besides returning answer to the land of Hatti.
9.0 Reciprocal Clause Corresponding to No. 8.0
And if Riamasesa, [the great king, king] of Egypt, become incensed against servants of his, and they commit sin against [him, and I send] to Hattusili king of the land Hatti, my brother, concerning [it]; then Hattusili, the great king, king of Egypt, shall send his troops (and) his chariots and they shall destroy all [of them]; and I will . . .
But if servants of the great chief of Hatti trespass against him, and Rames[se]-mi-Amun, [the great ruler of Egypt,] . . .
10.0 A Clause Relating to Succession (?)
[Text so fragmentary that it is incomprehensible]
11.0 Extradition of Important Fugitives
[From this point onward, the Hittite text is missing.]
[If any great man flee from the land of Egypt and he come to the lands of (?)] the great chief of Hatti; or a town (or a district . . . ) [belong]ing to the lands of Ramesse-mi-Amun, the great ruler of Egypt, and they come to the great chief of Hatti: the great chief of Hatti shall not receive them. The great chief of Hatti shall cause them to be brought to Usimare-setpenre, the great ruler of Egypt, their lord, [on accou]nt of it.
12.0 Extradition of Fugitives of Humble Birth
Or if one man or two men who are unknown flee . . . , and they come to the land of Hatti to be servants of another, they shall not be left in the land of Hatti, they shall be brought to Ramesse-mi- Amun, the great ruler of Egypt.
13.0 Reciprocal Clause Corresponding to No. 11.0
Or if a great man flee from the land of Hatti, and [he come to the lands of (?) Usi]ma[re]-setpenre, the [great] ruler of Egypt; or a town or a district or . . . belonging to the land of Hatti, and they come to Ramesse-mi-Amun, the great ruler of Egypt: Usimare-set- penre, the great ruler of Egypt, shall not receive them. Ramesse-mi-Amun, the great ruler of Egypt, shall cause them to be brought to the chief . . . they shall not be left.
14.0 Reciprocal Clause Corresponding to No. 12.0
Likewise, if one man or two men who are [not] known flee to the land of Egypt to be subjects of others, Usimare-setpenre, the great ruler of Egypt, shall not leave them; he shall cause them to be brought to the great chief of Hatti.
15.0 The Gods of Hatti and Egypt Are Witnesses to the Treaty
As for these words of the treaty [made by (?) ] the great chief of Hatti with Rames[se-mi-Amun], the great ruler [of Egypt, in] writing upon this tablet of silver; as for these words, a thousand gods, male gods and female gods of those of the land of Hatti, together with a thousand gods, male gods and female gods of those of the land of Egypt ---they are with me as witnesses [hearing (?)] these words.
[A long list of gods and goddesses follows.]
16.0 Curses or Blessings on Those Who Violate or Keep the Treaty
As to these words which are upon this tablet of silver of the land of Hatti and of the land of Egypt, as to him who shall not keep them, a thousand gods of the land of Hatti and a thousand gods of the land of Egypt shall destroy his house, his land and his servants. But he who shall keep these words which are on this tablet of silver, be they Hatti, or be they Egyptians, and who do not neglect them (?), a thousand gods of the land of Hatti and a thousand gods of the land of Egypt will cause him to be healthy and to live, together with his houses and his (land) and his servants.
17.0 Amnesty for Extradited Persons
If one man flee from the land of Egypt, or two, or three, and they come to the great chief of Hatti, the great chief of Hatti shall seize them and shall cause them to be brought back to Usimare-setpenre, the great ruler of Egypt. But as for the man who shall be brought to Ramesse-mi-Amun, the great ruler of Egypt, let not his crime be charged against him, let not his house, his wives or his children be destroyed, [let him not] be [killed], let no injury be done to his eyes, to his ears, to his mouth or to his legs, let not any [crime be charged] against him.
18.0 Reciprocal Clause Corresponding to No. 17.0
Likewise, if a man flee from the land of Hatti, be he one, be he two, or be he three, and they come to Usimare-setpenre, the great ruler of Egypt, let Ramesse-mi-Amun, the [great] ruler [of Egypt, cause] them to be brought to the great Chief of Hatti, and the great chief of Hatti shall not charge their crime against them, and they shall not destroy his house, his wives or his children, and they shall not kill him, and they shall not do injury to his ears, to his eyes, to his mouth or to his legs, and they shall not charge any crime against him.
19.0 Description of the Silver Tablet
What is in the middle of the tablet of silver? On its front side: a relief (?) consisting of an image of Setekh embracing an image of the great prince of Hatti, surrounded by a legend (?) saying: the seal of Setekh, the ruler of the sky, the seal of the treaty made by Hattusili, the great chief of Hatti, the strong, the son of Mursili, the great chief of Hatti, the strong. What is within the surrounding (frame) of the relief: the seal [of Setekh, the ruler of the sky]. [What is on] its other side: a relief (?) consisting of a female image of [the] goddess of Hatti embracing a female image of the chieftainess of Hatti, surrounded by a legend saying: the seal of Pre of the town of Arinna, the lord of the land, the seal of Puduhepa, the chieftainess of the land of Hatti, the daughter of the land of Kizuwadna the [priestess?] of [the town (?) of ] Arinna, the lady of the land, the servant of the goddess. What is within the surrounding (frame) of the relief: the seal of Pre of Arinna, the lord of every land.
(1) The Treaty between Hattusili and Ramesses II is recorded from http://www.bakeru.edu/html/faculty/jrichards/World%20Civ%20I/E-Source%2011-Treaty.htm
(2) Documents from Old Testament Times, Edited by D. Winton Thomas, Harper Torchbooks, New York; originally published by Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., London, 1958, pp. 118-133.
(3) Ras Shamra texts contributed to Documents from Old Testament Times by (by J. Gray, M.A., B.D., PH.D., Lecturer in Hebrew and Biblical Criticism, University of Aberdeen)
(4) Encylopaedia Britannica
(5) Virgin, the stock epithet of Anat; He who mounteth the clouds is the stock epithet of Baal, says D. Winton Thomas, and is also associated with YHVH in Deut. 33.26 and Psalms 68.4 and 104.3.
(6) While D. Winton Thomas refers to the glazing and plaster as "white hair" (notes 19,20, p. 127), the Canaanites actually plastered the skulls of the departed. The the first skulls in this practice were found in Jericho. This may, in fact, be what is being described here.
(7) Anat gathers the scattered remains of Baal and is the means by which he is resurrected (signifying the rebirth of the crops in the Spring). Here Baal, who is destroyed by his evil brother (the son of El), is gathered by his wife, Anat, as Osiris, the god of the Underworld of Egypt was gathered by his wife, Isis, after his brother, Set, destroyed him and scattered his pieces across the land. In another version of the story Set gets Osiris to try out a coffin he had built, to see if it fit his size, and Osiris laid in it. Set quickly nailed the lid shut over Osiris and cast the coffin into the Nile, where it floated out to sea and then landed on a beach in Tyre, near the palace of the king of Tyre. The coffin rested at the base of a tree and the tree over time grew around it. Then one day the tree began to give off a great fragrance and the knowledge of it came to the attention of the queen of Tyre, known as the goddess Ishtar. At the same time the king thought to have the tree cut down and use it as a pillar in his palace. Then the casket of Osiris was discovered and when it was opened a child was discovered in it. Ishtar had the child delivered to her and then put out notice that she needed a nurse-maid for the boy. Isis, the Queen of Egypt (Queen of Heaven, in Egypt, as Ishtar was Queen of Heaven in Assyria and Canaan) heard about the matter and came to the palace of Tyre, applying for the job and got it. She nursed the child and when it grew to maturity she persuaded Ishtar to allow here to take Osiris to Egypt and marry him. In this manner Isis married her son who was her resurrected husband Osiris.
The resurrection of the god is in part played out in Greek mythology involving the abduction of Persephone by Hades and taken to the Underworld, where she presided as Queen of the Underworld, allowed to come up with the Spring growth (New Year), to spend 1/3 of each year on the surface of the earth and the rest of the time in the Underworld with her husband Hades, judging the dead. Like Persephone (Etruscan Phersipnei).
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Updated: 10.11.04; 10.15.04
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