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Title: Archæology and the Bible
Author: Barton, George A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Green Fund Book, No. 17







  1816 Chestnut Street

  Copyright, 1916, by

  All rights vested in and reserved by

  First Edition, May, 1916.
  Second Edition, June, 1917.

  Faithful Comrade in
  the Campaign of Life


For a hundred years or more the explorer and the excavator have been busy
in many parts of the world. They have brought to light monuments and texts
that have in many cases revolutionized our conceptions of history and have
in other cases thrown much new light on what was previously known.

In no part of the world have these labors been more fruitful than in the
lands of the Bible. In Egypt and Babylonia vistas of history have been
opened to view that were undreamed of before exploration began. The same
is true for that part of the history of Palestine which antedates the
coming of Israel. Information has also been obtained which illumines later
portions of the history, and makes the Biblical narrative seem much more
vivid. It is now possible to make real to oneself the details of the life
of the Biblical heroes, and to understand the problems of their world as
formerly one could not do. Exploration has also brought to light many
inscriptions in the various countries that confirm or illuminate the
traditions, history, poetry, and prophecy of the Bible. The sands of Egypt
have even yielded us some reputed new sayings of our Lord.

It is the purpose of this book to gather into one volume the most valuable
information of all sorts that the excavations in Bible lands have
afforded, and to put it in such form that it may be of service to the
pastor and Sunday-school teacher. An attempt has been made so to present
the material that one may not only have the wealth of illumination for
Biblical study that exploration has produced, but also that he may possess
an outline of the history of the exploration and of the countries
sufficient to enable him to place each item in its proper perspective.
Whether in handling so large a mass of data the writer has achieved his
aim, the reader must judge. The preparation of the volume was undertaken
at the request of the Board of Managers of the American Sunday-School
Union, for publication under the John C. Green Income Fund,--a fund
founded in 1877 “for the purpose of aiding ... in securing a
Sunday-school literature of the highest order of merit ... by procuring
works ... germane to the objects of the Society.” The foundation requires
that the manuscripts procured by the fund shall become the exclusive
property of the American Sunday-School Union, and, that the selling price
may be reduced, the Society is prohibited from including the cost of the
manuscript in the price of the book.

This work is confined to those phases of archæology upon which light has
been thrown by exploration. No attempt is made, for example, to treat the
constitution of the Hebrew family, or the dress worn in ancient Palestine,
for these are subjects to which exploration has contributed no new

The texts published in Part II have, with few exceptions, been freshly
translated by the writer especially for this work. This is true of all
except the majority of the Egyptian texts and two Greek papyri which were
not accessible in the original. Translations of these were taken from the
works of well-known scholars, to each of whom credit is given in
connection with the passage quoted from his work. The quotations of
Palestinian place names from the inscriptions of the Egyptian kings, of
which the writer has made a special study, are based on his own
translations of the originals.

An archæological fact, or a text brought to light by excavation, is often
of little significance apart from its interpretation, and the
interpretation of such data frequently varies according to the point of
view occupied by the interpreter. As stated in the foreword of Part II, it
has been the writer’s aim throughout to maintain a neutral attitude on
controverted points.

Not the least service that archæology has rendered has been the
presentation of a new background against which the inspiration of the
Biblical writers stands out in striking vividness. Often one finds
traditions in Babylonia identical with those embodied in the Old
Testament, but they are so narrated that no such conception of God shines
through them as shines through the Biblical narrative. Babylonians and
Egyptians pour out their hearts in psalms with something of the same
fervor and pathos as the Hebrews, but no such vital conception of God and
his oneness gives shape to their faith and brings the longed-for strength
to the spirit. Egyptian sages developed a social conscience comparable in
many respects with that of the Hebrew prophets, but they lacked the vital
touch of religious devotion which took the conceptions of the prophets
out of the realm of individual speculation and made them the working
ethics of a whole people. Archæology thus reinforces to the modern man
with unmistakable emphasis the ancient words, “Men spake from God, being
moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

The writer is under obligation to all his predecessors. Endeavor has been
made in the footnotes to acknowledge each individual obligation. Lest any
oversight may have occurred there, he would here express both his
indebtedness and his gratitude to all who by their various explorations
and studies have preceded him and been his teachers.

Of these, Prof. R. A. Stewart Macalister should, perhaps, be singled out
for an especial word of gratitude, for in Chapters VI-XI of Part I his
work of excavation has been quoted more frequently than any other. This
apparent partiality is due to the fact that Gezer was excavated more
completely than any other Palestinian site; that, because of its early and
long-continued occupation in ancient times, it reveals a great variety of
civilizations; and that, in _The Excavation of Gezer_, Prof. Macalister
has presented the results of his work with a completeness and a degree of
intelligibility that no other excavator in Palestine has approached. He
has made his work a model of what such a publication should be, and has
thereby made us all his debtors.

Especial thanks are due to Dr. George B. Gordon, Director of the
University Museum, Philadelphia, for his kindness in furnishing an advance
copy of the proof-sheets of Volume X of the _Publications of the
Babylonian Section_ of the museum, from which the material embodied in
Chapter VIII of Part II was translated, and to Prof. Morris Jastrow, Jr.,
and Dr. Edward Chiera for the benefit of their fresh collation of the
text. This was of considerable importance, since Dr. Langdon’s copy of
large portions of it had been made from photographs, rather than from the
original tablet. The writer is also indebted to Prof. W. R. Arnold, of
Andover Theological Seminary, for helpful suggestions concerning the
interpretation of a passage in the temple-papyrus from Elephantine which
has hitherto baffled translators. Thanks are also due to the following
authors and publishers for permission to reproduce illustrations contained
in books written or published by them: The Palestine Exploration Fund, for
permission relating to Warren’s _Jerusalem_; Bliss and Macalister’s
_Excavations in Palestine, 1898-1900_; Macalister’s _Excavation of
Gezer_, and Peters and Thiersch’s _Painted Tombs of Marissa_; Rev. Prof.
C. J. Ball, of Oxford, _Light from the East_; J. C. Hinrichs’sche
Buchhandlung, Koldewey’s _Das Wieder Erstehende Babylon_; Dr. I. Benzinger
and Herr Paul Siebeck, _Hebräische Archäologie_; Monsieur J. Gabalda,
Vincent’s _Jérusalem_; Prof. A. T. Clay, of Yale, _Light on the Old
Testament from Babel_; Prof. Paul Haupt, of Johns Hopkins, _The Psalms_ in
his _Sacred Books of the Old Testament_; Rev. J. P. Peters and G. P.
Putnam’s Sons, Peters’ _Nippur_; Prof. C. C. Torrey, of Yale, _Journal of
the American Oriental Society_; George H. Doran Co., Ramsay’s _Letters to
the Seven Churches of Asia_; Dr. Mitchell Carroll, _American Journal of
Archæology_ and _Art and Archæology_; Rev. A. E. Breen, _Diary of My Life
in the Holy Land_; Thomas Nelson and Sons, _The Illustrated Teachers’
Bible_; and to Ferris and Leach, for permission to use again a number of
photographs published in the writer’s _A Year’s Wandering in Bible Lands_.
Dr. R. E. Brünnow not only granted permission to reproduce illustrations
from Brünnow and Domaszewski’s _Provincia Arabia_, but generously loaned
the original photographs and drawings. Prof. Harold N. Fowler, Editor of
the _American Journal of Archæology_, also kindly loaned an original
photograph of the excavation at Sardis. The source of each illustration,
when not the writer’s own, is indicated in the list of illustrations by
mentioning the name of the author of the book or article from which it is

Grateful acknowledgment should also be made to Rev. Edwin Wilbur Rice, D.
D., Litt. D., Honorary Editor of the Publications of the American
Sunday-School Union, who carefully read the book in manuscript and made
many valuable criticisms and suggestions.

The table of contents and the chapter-headings were prepared by James
McConaughy, Litt. D., Editor of the Publications of the American
Sunday-School Union; the indices, by A. J. R. Schumaker, M. A., Assistant
Editor. The writer is grateful to them, not only for this service, but for
many helpful criticisms and courtesies while the book has been passing
through the press. Valuable suggestions have also been made by Mrs.
Barton, who has carefully read the proofs. Miss Bertha V. Dreisbach has
given intelligent and painstaking service in preparing the manuscript for
the press, and in proof-reading; Mr. V. Winfield Challenger and Miss Laura
G. Leach have rendered a like valuable service in assembling and arranging
the illustrations.

The quotations of Scripture passages throughout are from the American
Standard Revised Version.

If this volume should bring to some remote worker or secluded young person
a tithe of the inspiration and joy that such a book would have brought the
writer in the rural home of his boyhood, he would ask no higher reward for
the labor it has cost.


  MAY, 1916.


It is gratifying to know that this book has been found useful by so many
students of the Bible and that a second edition is necessary. Minor
errors, especially typographical, have been corrected throughout the
volume. The chief feature of this edition is the addition of an Appendix,
in which will be found some material that has come to light in the last
year, and one or two items that were overlooked when the first edition was


  JUNE, 1917.



  CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS                                                  1

  TABLE OF SIGNS                                                         9

  INTRODUCTION                                                          11

  I. EGYPT                                                              17

    The Land. The Preservation of Antiquities. Egyptian
    Discoveries. Decipherment. Chronology. Outline of the
    History. Egyptian Discoveries which bear on the Bible.

  II. BABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA                                             40

    The Land. The Preservation of Antiquities. The Discovery of
    Antiquities. The Decipherment of the Inscriptions.
    Chronology. Outline of the History. Discoveries which
    illumine the Bible.

  III. THE HITTITES                                                     68

    A Forgotten Empire. Hittite Monuments. Hittite Decipherment.
    Hittite History.

  IV. PALESTINE AND ITS EXPLORATION                                     83

    The Land. Early Exploration. Early American Explorations.
    Palestine Exploration Fund. The German Palestine Society.
    The American School at Jerusalem. Samaria. Parker’s
    Excavations at Jerusalem. Latest Excavations.


    The Early Stone Age. The Late Stone Age. The Amorites. The
    Canaanites. Egyptian Domination. The Philistines. The
    Hebrews. Philistine Civilization. The Hebrew Kingdoms. The
    Exile and After. The Coming of Rome. Later History.

  VI. THE CITIES OF PALESTINE                                          123

    Their Sites. The Walls. The Stone Work. Houses. Palaces.
    Foundation Sacrifices. City Gates. Water Supply.

  VII. ROADS AND AGRICULTURE                                           132

  VIII. POTTERY                                                        141

    Importance of Pottery. Pre-Semitic Pottery. First Semitic
    Pottery to 1800 B. C. Pottery of Second Semitic Period.
    Third Semitic Period. Israelitish or Fourth Semitic Period.
    Hellenistic Period.

  IX. UTENSILS AND PERSONAL ORNAMENTS                                  149

  X. MEASURES, WEIGHTS, AND MONEY                                      158

    Measures. Weights. Inscribed Weights. Money.

  XI. HIGH PLACES AND TEMPLES                                          167

    A Sanctuary of the Pre-Semitic Cave-Dwellers. A Rock-Altar
    at Megiddo. A Rock-Altar at Jerusalem. High Place at Tell
    es-Safi. High Place at Gezer. At Taanach. High Places at
    Petra. A Supposed Philistine Temple. At Megiddo. The Temple
    to Augustus at Samaria.

  XII. THE TOMBS OF PALESTINE                                          179

    Burning the Dead. Cave Burials. Cistern Burial. Burial under
    Menhirs. Earth-Graves. Rock-Hewn Shaft Tombs. Doorway Tombs.
    Tombs with a Rolling-Stone.

  XIII. JERUSALEM                                                      185

    Situation. Gihon. Cave-Dwellers. The El-Amarna Period.
    Jebusite Jerusalem. The City of David. Solomon’s Jerusalem.
    From Solomon to Hezekiah. Hezekiah. From Hezekiah to the
    Exile. The Destruction of 586 B. C. The Second Temple.
    Nehemiah and the Walls. Late Persian and Early Greek
    Periods. In the Time of the Maccabees. Asmonæan Jerusalem.
    Herod the Great. The Pool of Bethesda. Gethsemane. Calvary.
    Agrippa I and the Third Wall.

  XIV. THE DECAPOLIS                                                   213

    Origin. Damascus. Scythopolis. Cities East of the Sea of
    Galilee. Gadara. Pella and Dion. Gerasa. Philadelphia. Jesus
    in the Decapolis.

  XV. ATHENS, CORINTH, AND THE CHURCHES OF ASIA                        219


  ASSYRIA IN THE SEVENTH CENTURY B. C.                                 235

    Text of the Epic. Comparison of the Epic with the First
    Chapter of Genesis. The Epic and Other Parts of the Bible.


    Text of the Account. Comparison of it with Genesis 2.

  III. THE BABYLONIAN SABBATH                                          258

    Feast of Marduk and Zarpanit. A Day called Shabatum. A Day
    in Some Tablets at Yale.

  IV. THE LEGEND OF ADAPA AND THE FALL OF MAN                          260

    Comparison with Genesis 3. The Adapa Myth.

  V. THE PATRIARCHS BEFORE THE FLOOD                                   264

    Babylonian Long-Lived Kings. Comparison with Genesis 5.
    Comparison with Genesis 4. Comparison with the List of

  AT NINEVEH IN THE SEVENTH CENTURY B. C.                              273

    Translation of the Text. Comparison with Genesis 6-9.
    Another Babylonian Version.

  WRITTEN AT NIPPUR BEFORE 2000 B. C.                                  278

    Translation. Comparison with the Other Version.


    Translation. Comparison with Biblical Material.

  IX. ABRAHAM AND ARCHÆOLOGY                                           290

    Abraham hired an Ox. Abraham leased a Farm. Abraham paid his
    Rent. Who was this Abraham? Travel between Babylonia and
    Palestine. Hammurapi, King of the Westland. Kadur-Mabug.
    Kings supposed by some to be those of Genesis 14.

  X. JACOB AND JOSEPH                                                  299

    Appearances of these Names in Babylonian and Egyptian
    Records. “The Tale of the Two Brothers”; its Bearing on the
    Story of Joseph in Genesis. Letters to a Ruler like Joseph.
    The Seven Years of Famine. Inscription showing Preparation
    for Famine.

  XI. PALESTINE IN THE PATRIARCHAL AGE                                 307

    The Tale of Sinuhe. Communication between Egypt and

  XII. MOSES AND THE EXODUS                                            310

    The Legend of Sargon of Agade; its Resemblance to the Story
    of Moses. The Pillar of Merneptah; the Only Appearance of
    the Name “Israel” outside of the Bible.


    The Text of the Code; Resemblance to and Contrast with the
    Mosaic Code. The Mosaic Code not borrowed from the
    Babylonian; Different Underlying Conceptions.

  CONCERNING SACRIFICES                                                342

    The Text of the Carthaginian Law. Comparison with the
    Levitical Law.

  XV. SOME LETTERS FROM PALESTINE                                      344

    Letters of Rib-Adda of Gebal. Of Ebed-Hepa of Jerusalem.
    Their Light on Conditions in the Period of the Egyptian
    Domination of Palestine.


    Report of Wenamon. Its Illustration of Certain Points of
    Biblical History about the Time of Deborah or Gideon.
    Reference to the Philistines.


    Gudea and Cedar-Wood for his Palace. The Eponym Canon. The
    Seal of Shema. Shishak’s List of Conquered Asiatic Cities.
    Ashurnasirpal’s Description of his Expedition to
    Mediterranean Lands. Shalmaneser III’s Claims regarding
    Tribute from the Kings of Israel. The Moabite Stone.
    Adadnirari IV’s Mention of the “Land of Omri.” Inscription
    describing Tiglathpileser IV’s Campaign. Sargon’s Conquests.
    Sennacherib’s Western Campaigns. The Siloam Inscription.
    Esarhaddon’s List of Conquered Kings. Ashurbanipal’s
    Assyrian Campaign. Necho of Egypt. Nebuchadrezzar II.
    Evil-Merodach. Discoveries in Sheba.

  XVIII. THE END OF THE BABYLONIAN EXILE                               382

    Inscriptions of Nabuna’id; their Bearing on Biblical
    Statements regarding Belshazzar. Account of the Capture of
    Babylon bearing on the Book of Daniel. Inscription of Cyrus
    bearing on the Capture of Babylon. Cyrus’s Permission for
    the Return to Jerusalem.


    Papyri Witness to the Existence of a Colony at Elephantine.
    Translation of a Petition relating to their Temple. Reply of
    Persian Governor. Historical Bearings of these Documents. A
    Letter relating to the Passover. A Letter showing that the
    Jews were Unpopular at Elephantine.

  XX. A BABYLONIAN JOB                                                 392

    Translation of a Poem relating to the Afflictions of a Good
    Man. Comparison with the Book of Job. A Fragment of Another
    Similar Poem.

  XXI. PSALMS FROM BABYLONIA AND EGYPT                                 398

    Character of their Psalms. Babylonian Prayers to the Goddess
    Ishtar. Comparison with the Psalter. A Babylonian Hymn to
    the Moon-God. A Babylonian Hymn to Bel. An Egyptian Hymn to
    the Sun-God. Is the Hymn Monotheistic? An Egyptian Hymn in
    Praise of Aton. Comparison with the Psalter.


    The Nature of the Book of Proverbs and the Parallels.
    Babylonian Proverbs from the Library of Ashurbanipal.
    Precepts from the Library of Ashurbanipal. Comparison with
    the Bible. Egyptian Precepts of Ptahhotep. Comparison with
    the Bible. Parallel to Ecclesiastes from the Gilgamesh Epic.


    Nature of the Song of Songs. Translation of Some Egyptian
    Love-Poems. Comparison with Biblical Passages.


    Uniqueness of the Prophetic Books. An Assyrian Prophetic
    Vision. Comparison with the Bible. The Egyptian Social
    Conscience. Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. Comparison with
    the Bible. An Ideal King; Extract from the Admonitions of
    Ipuwer. Comparison with Messianic Expectations. Sheol.
    Ishtar’s Descent to the Underworld. Comparison with
    Prophetic Passages. A Lamentation for Tammuz.

  XXV. REPUTED SAYINGS OF JESUS FOUND IN EGYPT                         428

    Early Collections of the Words of Jesus. Translation of
    Sayings found in 1897. Comments. Translation of a Leaf found
    in 1904. Comments. Opinions as to these Sayings.


    Translation of a Papyrus showing that in the Second Century
    Enrolment was made Every Fourteen Years. Comments.
    Translation referring to an Enrolment in the Reign of Nero.
    Fragment from the Reign of Tiberius. Enrolments probably
    inaugurated by Augustus. Document showing that People went
    to their own towns for Enrolment. Inscription supposed to
    refer to Quirinius. Inscription from Asia Minor referring to
    Quirinius. Discussion. Conclusions.


    The Politarchs of Thessalonica. An Altar to Unknown Gods. An
    Inscription from Delphi and the Date of Paul’s Contact with
    Gallio. Some Epistles from Egypt. Inscriptions mentioning
    Aretas, King of Arabia.

  APPENDIX                                                             445

    Discoveries at Carchemish. Hrozny’s Decipherment of Hittite.
    Discoveries at Jerusalem and Balata. A New Babylonian
    Account of the Creation of Man. Reports of Commanders of
    Egyptian Frontier-Fortresses Relating to the Entrance of
    Asiatics into Egypt in Time of Famine. Supposed Trace of the
    Ten Lost Tribes in Mesopotamia.

  INDEX OF SCRIPTURE PASSAGES                                          453

  INDEX                                                                459

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Plates 1-114.


  A Hillside Street in Roman Jerusalem along which Jesus
  and the Disciples may well have walked                   _Frontispiece._

  FIGURE                                                             PLATE

    1 Syrian Traders in Egypt, from a Tomb at Beni Hasan (_after
      Ball_)                                                             1

    2 Crown of Lower Egypt                                               1

    3 Crown of Upper Egypt                                               1

    4 Crown of United Egypt                                              1

    5 Sphinx and Pyramid of Khafre                                       1

    6 Pyramids of Khufu and Khafre                                       2

    7 Step Pyramid of Zoser                                              2

    8 Body from a Pre-dynastic Tomb                                      3

    9 Head of the Mummy of Ramses II                                     3

   10 A Store-Chamber at Pithom (_after Naville_)                        4

   11 Ancient and Modern Brick-Making (_after Petrie_)                   4

   12 Plan of City and Temple of Leontopolis (_after Petrie_)            5

   13 A Passover-Oven (_after Petrie_)                                   5

   14 The Rosetta Stone (_after Thomas Nelson and Sons_)                 6

   15 The “Israel” Inscription of Merneptah                              6

   16 Mounds of Nuffar (_after Clay_)                                    7

   17 Excavation at Nuffar (_after Clay_)                                7

   18 Gate of Ishtar, Babylon (_after Koldewey_)                         8

   19 Phalanx of Soldiers from Eannatum’s “Stele of Vultures”            8

   20 Inscribed Column from Persepolis                                   9

   21 Silver Vase of Entemena                                            9

   22 Mound of Birs Nimrûd (_after Peters_)                              9

   23 Hittite Gates at Boghaz Koi (_after Puchstein_)                   10

   24 Hittite Types from Egyptian Monuments (_after Garstang_)          10

   25 A Hittite King (_after Puchstein_)                                11

   26 The Boss of Tarkondemos                                           11

   27 The Seal of Shema, Servant of Jeroboam                            11

   28 Tell el-Hesy after Excavation                                     12

   29 The Site of the Old Testament Jericho                             12

   30 Excavation of Gezer                                               13

   31 Remains of a Colonnaded Street at Samaria                         13

   32 Excavation at Tell Hum                                            14

   33 Egyptians Attacking a Palestinian City (_after Perrot and
      Chipiez_)                                                         14

   34 Israelitish Jericho (_after Sellin_)                              15

   35 Israelitish Houses at Jericho (_after Sellin_)                    15

   36 Philistines from the Palace of Ramses III                         16

   37 Canaanitish Fortress at Jericho (_after Sellin_)                  16

   38 Inscribed Disc from Phæstos (one-fourth actual size)              17

   39 Gebel Fureidis                                                    17

   40 Bastion for the Protection of an Inserted Tower (_after
      Macalister_)                                                      18

   41 Remains of Walls of Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                  18

   42 Walls of Buildings at Samaria (_after Reisner_)                   19

   43 Specimens of Stone-Work at Gezer (_after Macalister_)             19

   44 Building-Bricks from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                   19

   45 Plan of Palace at Taanach (_after Sellin_)                        20

   46 The Great City Wall at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                 20

   47 Israelitish Houses at Gezer                                       21

   48 Specimens of Mosaic Floors (_after Macalister_)                   21

   49 A Doorway at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                           22

   50 Door-Sockets from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                      22

   51 Supposed House of Hiel, Jericho (_after Sellin_)                  23

   52 Foundation of the Palace of Omri, Samaria (_after Reisner_)       23

   53 Hebrew Palace at Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                     23

   54 Plan of the Maccabæan Castle at Gezer (_after Macalister_)        24

   55 Stone-Work of the Maccabæan Castle (_after Macalister_)           24

   56 A Foundation-Deposit, Gezer (_after Macalister_)                  24

   57 A City Gate at Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                       25

   58 The South Gate at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                      25

   59 The South Gate at Beth-shemesh (_after Mackenzie_)                25

   60 Entrance to the Underground Tunnel at Gezer (_after
      Macalister_)                                                      26

   61 The North Gate at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                      26

   62 Plans of the Underground Tunnel at Gezer (_after Macalister_)     27

   63 Plan of Underground Tunnel at Gibeon (_after Abel_)               28

   64 One of Solomon’s Pools                                            28

   65 Post of City Gate, Samaria (_after Reisner_)                      29

   66 Part of City Wall and Gate, Samaria (_after Reisner_)             29

   67 Road South of Gerizim                                             30

   68 Lines of Roman Roads at Tell el-Ful                               30

   69 Roman Road North of Amman                                         30

   70 A Granary at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                           31

   71 Some Roman Mile-Stones                                            31

   72 Plan of a Granary at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                   31

   73 A Hoe (_after Macalister_)                                        32

   74 An Egyptian Reaping (_after Wreszinski_)                          32

   75 A Sickle (_after Wreszinski_)                                     32

   76 Plowshares from Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                      32

   77 Egyptian Plowing (_after Wilkinson_)                              33

   78 A Modern Threshing-Floor                                          33

   79 Egyptians Threshing and Winnowing (_after Wilkinson_)             33

   80 Egyptian Threshing-Sledge (_after Wilkinson_)                     33

   81 A Saddle-Quern from Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                  34

   82 A Rotary-Quern (_after Macalister_)                               34

   83 A Mortar and Pestle (_after Macalister_)                          34

   84 Two Women Grinding at a Mill (_after Schumacher_)                 34

   85 An Ancient Olive-Press (_after Macalister_)                       35

   86 A Modern Olive-Press (_after Macalister_)                         35

   87 A Wine Vat (_after Macalister_)                                   36

   88 An Olive-Press at Work (_after Macalister_)                       36

   89 Cows’ Horns from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                       37

   90 Animals’ Heads from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                    37

   91 A Horse’s Bit from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                     37

   92 Drawings of Horses from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                37

   93 A Clay Bird from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                       38

   94 A Cock from Marissa (_after Peters and Thiersch_)                 38

   95 A Bee-Hive from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                        38

   96 Pre-Semitic Jars (_after Macalister_)                             39

   97 Pre-Semitic Pottery (_after Macalister_)                          39

   98 Four Pitchers from the First Semitic Stratum (_after
      Macalister_)                                                      39

   99 Three Pitchers from the First Semitic Stratum (_after
      Macalister_)                                                      39

  100 A Jar from the First Semitic Stratum (_after Macalister_)         39

  101 Jugs from the Second Semitic Stratum (_after Macalister_)         40

  102 A Jug from the Second Semitic Stratum (_after Macalister_)        40

  103 A Jar from the Second Semitic Stratum (_after Macalister_)        40

  104 Some Fine Pottery from the First Semitic Stratum (_after
      Macalister_)                                                      41

  105 “Ear” and “Button” Jar-Handles (_after Macalister_)               41

  106 A “Pillar” Handle (_after Macalister_)                            41

  107 A Flat-bottomed Jug (_after Macalister_)                          41

  108 A Painted Philistine Vase from Beth-shemesh (_after Mackenzie_)   42

  109 War-Scene on Potsherd from Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)           42

  110 Jars of Third Semitic Stratum from Beth-shemesh (_after
      Mackenzie_)                                                       42

  111 Hebrew Pottery from Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                  42

  112 Hebrew Jars and Pitchers from Jericho (_after Sellin_)            43

  113 Hebrew Pitchers and Bowls from Jericho (_after Sellin_)           43

  114 A Funnel from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                          44

  115 A Potter’s Seal from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                   44

  116 An Inscribed Hebrew Jar-Stamp from the Shephelah (_after
      Bliss and Macalister_)                                            44

  117 Hebrew Pottery from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                    44

  118 A Scarab used as a Jar-Stamp (_after Macalister_)                 45

  119 A Jar-Handle Stamped with a Scarab (_after Macalister_)           45

  120 A Jar with Tapering Base from Gezer (_after Macalister_)          45

  121 Hellenistic Filter from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                45

  122 Hellenistic Pottery from Gezer (_after Macalister_)               45

  123 Hellenistic Strainer from Gezer (_after Macalister_)              46

  124 Roman Pots from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                        46

  125 Hellenistic Jar from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                   46

  126 A Lamp of the First Semitic Period, Megiddo (_after
      Schumacher_)                                                      46

  127 Lamps from the Second Semitic Period, Gezer (_after
      Macalister_)                                                      47

  128 Lamps from the Israelitish Period, Gezer (_after Macalister_)     47

  129 A Byzantine Lamp from Jericho (_after Sellin_)                    47

  130 A Lamp bearing a Christian Legend (_after Macalister_)            47

  131 Hellenistic Lamps from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                 48

  132 Hebrew Lamps from Jericho (_after Sellin_)                        48

  133 Ovens found at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                         49

  134 A Baking-Tray from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                     49

  135 Bronze Dishes from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                     49

  136 Shell Spoons from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                      49

  137 Silver Dishes from a Philistine Grave at Gezer (_after
      Macalister_)                                                      50

  138 Glass Ointment Vessels from Gezer (_after Macalister_)            50

  139 Feeding-Bottles (?), Gezer (_after Macalister_)                   51

  140 Forks from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                             51

  141 Philistine Silver Ladle, Gezer (_after Macalister_)               51

  142 Bronze Needles and Pins from Gezer (_after Macalister_)           51

  143 Bone Needles from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                      52

  144 Modern Woman Spinning                                             52

  145 Spindle Whorls from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                    52

  146 A Large Key from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                       52

  147 A Smaller Key from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                     52

  148 Lamp-Stands from Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                     53

  149 Flint Knives from Jericho (_after Sellin_)                        53

  150 Iron Knives from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                       54

  151 Bronze Knives from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                     54

  152 A Chisel from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                          55

  153 A File from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                            55

  154 A Cone of Flint for making Knives, Gezer (_after Macalister_)     55

  155 A Bronze Hammer-Head, Gezer (_after Macalister_)                  55

  156 A Fish-Hook, Gezer (_after Macalister_)                           55

  157 A Bone Awl-Handle from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                 55

  158 Whetstones from Jericho (_after Sellin_)                          55

  159 Nails from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                             55

  160 Axe-Heads from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                         56

  161 Carpenters’ Tools from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                 56

  162 A Scimitar from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                        57

  163 Impression of a Basket on Mud, Gezer (_after Macalister_)         57

  164 Flint Arrow-Heads from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                 57

  165 Bronze Arrow-Heads from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                57

  166 Bronze Swords from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                     58

  167 Bronze Spear-Heads, Gezer (_after Macalister_)                    58

  168 A Pipe from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                            59

  169 An Egyptian Harp (_after Haupt_)                                  59

  170 An Assyrian Upright Harp (_after Haupt_)                          59

  171 An Assyrian Horizontal Harp (_after Haupt_)                       59

  172 A Babylonian Harp (_after Haupt_)                                 59

  173 Jewish Harps on Coins of Bar Cocheba, 132-135 A. D. (_after
      Madden_)                                                          59

  174 Assyrian Dulcimer (_after Haupt_)                                 59

  175 Seals from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                             60

  176 A Comb from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                            60

  177 Toys from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                              60

  178 Styli from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                             60

  179 Children’s Rattles from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                60

  180 A Perfume-Box, Gezer (_after Macalister_)                         61

  181 A Necklace from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                        61

  182 Bracelets from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                         61

  183 Spatulæ from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                           61

  184 Rings from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                             61

  185 Supposed Hebrew Measures from Jerusalem (_after Germer-Durand_)   62

  186 A _Neseph_ Weight                                                 63

  187 A _Payim_ Weight belonging to Haverford College                   63

  188 A _Beqa_ Weight (_after Torrey_)                                  63

  189 A “Daric” of Darius (_after Benzinger_)                           63

  190 A Tetradrachma of Alexander the Great (_after Benzinger_)         63

  191 A Coin of Ptolemy Lagi (_after Benzinger_)                        63

  192 Half-Shekel of Simon the Maccabee (_after Benzinger_)             64

  193 A Coin of John Hyrcanus (_after Madden_)                          64

  194 Tetradrachma of Lysimachus                                        64

  195 A Coin of Augustus                                                64

  196 A Denarius of Tiberius                                            64

  197 A Coin of Claudius                                                64

  198 A Coin of Herod the Great                                         64

  199 A Roman Quadrans (?)                                              64

  200 A Coin of Herod Agrippa I                                         64

  201 A Shekel of the Revolt of A. D. 70                                64

  202 Cave-Dwellers’ Place of Sacrifice, Gezer (_after Macalister_)     65

  203 Plan of Caves at Semitic High Place, Gezer (_after Macalister_)   65

  204 “Pillars” of the High Place at Gezer                              65

  205 Rock-Altar at Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                        66

  206 The “Beth-el” of Gezer (_after Macalister_)                       66

  207 The Supposed Serpent-Pen at Gezer (_after Macalister_)            66

  208 The Rock-Altar at Jerusalem (_after Dalman_)                      67

  209 The Laver at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                           67

  210 The Terra-cotta Altar from Taanach (_after Sellin_)               68

  211 Supposed High Place at Taanach (_after Sellin_)                   68

  212 High Place at Tell es-Safi (_after Bliss and Macalister_)         69

  213 Libation Bowl from Taanach (_after Sellin_)                       69

  214 An Astarte Plaque from Gezer (_after Macalister_)                 69

  215 Plan of the High Place at Petra (_after Brünnow_)                 70

  216 Plan of Herod’s Temple at Samaria (_after Lyon_)                  70

  217 The Altar at Petra (_after Brünnow_)                              71

  218 The “Round Altar” at Petra (_after Brünnow_)                      71

  219 Supposed “Pillars” at Petra (_after Brünnow_)                     71

  219_a_ A Brazen Serpent from Gezer (_after Macalister_)               72

  220 Plan of Supposed Semitic Temple at Gezer (_after Macalister_)     72

  221 Walls of Herod’s Temple, Samaria (_after Reisner_)                72

  222 “Pillars” of a Supposed Temple, Gezer (_after Macalister_)        73

  223 Chapel of the Palace at Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)              73

  224 Voluted Capital (probably Philistine) from Megiddo (_after
      Schumacher_)                                                      74

  225 Incense-Burner from Megiddo (_after Schumacher_)                  74

  226 Philistine Graves, Gezer (_after Macalister_)                     75

  227 A Rock-hewn Tomb at Siloam (_after Benzinger_)                    75

  228 A Shaft-Tomb (_after Bliss and Macalister_)                       75

  229 A Cistern-Burial at Gezer (_after Macalister_)                    75

  230 A Columbarium at Petra (_after Dalman_)                           76

  231 Entrance to the Tomb of the Judges                                76

  232 A Sunken-Door Tomb (_after Mitt. u. Nach. d. Deutsch.
      Palästina-Vereins_)                                               77

  233 _Kokim_ in the Tomb of the Judges                                 77

  234 Plan of a Hellenistic Tomb at Marissa (_after Peters and
      Thiersch_)                                                        78

  235 A Cross-Section of the Tomb of the Judges                         78

  236 Architectural Decoration of a Hellenistic Tomb at Marissa
      (_after Peters and Thiersch_)                                     79

  237 Plan of the Upper Floor of the Tomb of the Judges                 79

  238 A Tomb with a Rolling-Stone at Beit Jibrin (_after Moulton_)      80

  239 Interior of a Hellenistic Tomb at Marissa (_after Peters and
      Thiersch_)                                                        80

  240 The Hills and Valleys of Jerusalem (_after Vincent_)              81

  241 Underground Jebusite Tunnel at Gihon, Jerusalem (_after
      Vincent_)                                                         82

  242 Maudsley’s Scarp, Jerusalem                                       82

  243 Plan of Solomon’s Buildings, Jerusalem (_after Stade_)            83

  244 Phoenician Quarry-Marks, Jerusalem (_after Warren_)               83

  245 Shaft at the Southeast Corner of the Temple Area (_after
      Warren_)                                                          84

  246 Examining Ancient Walls in an Underground Tunnel (_after
      Warren_)                                                          84

  247 Front Views of Solomon’s Temple (_after Stade_)                   85

  248 Side Views of Solomon’s Temple (_after Stade_)                    85

  249 Plan of Solomon’s Temple (_after Stade_)                          86

  250 The Seven-branched Lamp-Stand from the Arch of Titus              86

  251 The Brazen Laver of Solomon’s Temple (_after Stade_)              87

  252 A Portable Laver of Solomon’s Temple (_after Stade_)              87

  253 Stone-Work of a Wall of Jerusalem built in the Fifth Century
      A. D.                                                             88

  254 Stone-Work in Nehemiah’s Wall, Jerusalem                          88

  255 Restoration of the Asmonæan Bridge over the Tyropoeon Valley
      (_after Hanauer_)                                                 89

  256 Front of “David’s Tower” (Herod’s Palace) Today (_after Breen_)   89

  257 Reconstruction of Herod’s Temple (_after Caldecott_)              90

  258 “Solomon’s Stables”                                               90

  259 One of the Supposed Pools of Bethesda (_after Hanauer_)           91

  260 Front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher                         91

  261 “Gordon’s Calvary,” looking toward Jerusalem (_after Breen_)      92

  262 “Gordon’s Calvary,” from the City Wall (_after Breen_)            92

  263 Outside of “Gordon’s Holy Sepulcher” (_after Breen_)              93

  264 Inside of “Gordon’s Holy Sepulcher” (_after Breen_)               93

  265 The Barada (Abana), Damascus                                      94

  266 The Street Called Straight, Damascus                              94

  267 Palace at Kanatha (_after Brünnow_)                               95

  268 Circular Forum and Colonnaded Street, Gerasa                      95

  269 Temple of the Sun, Gerasa                                         96

  270 Site of Rabbah Ammon                                              96

  271 Theater at Amman (Palestinian Philadelphia)                       97

  272 Roman Forum at Athens                                             97

  273 Mars’ Hill, Athens                                                98

  274 Fountain in the Agora, Corinth                                    98

  275 Lintel of Jewish Synagogue, Corinth (_after Richardson_)          99

  276 Lechæum Road, Corinth (_after Richardson_)                        99

  277 Parthenon, Athens, from the East                                 100

  278 Main Street at Ephesus                                           100

  279 Site of the Temple of Diana, Ephesus, in 1902                    101

  280 The Theater, Ephesus                                             101

  281 The Amphitheater, Ephesus                                        102

  282 The Stadium, Ephesus                                             102

  283 Pergamum (_after Ramsay_)                                        103

  284 The Acropolis and partly Excavated Temple, Sardis (_after
      Butler_)                                                         103

  285 Excavated Temple, Sardis, looking toward the Hermus Valley
      (_after Butler_)                                                 104

  286 A Christian Church at Sardis (_after Butler_)                    105

  287 Smyrna (_after Ramsay_)                                          105

  288 A Ruin at Laodicea (_after Ramsay_)                              106

  289 A Bridge over the Jordan on the Line of a Roman Road             106

  290 Fragment of a Creation-Tablet                                    107

  291 Assyrian Sacred Tree Conventionalized                            107

  292 Hammurapi Receiving the Laws from the Sun-God                    107

  293 The So-called Adam and Eve Seal                                  107

  294 A Tablet from Nippur, Relating the Beginnings of Irrigation
      and Agriculture (_after Langdon_)                                108

  295 Top of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser                          108

  296 Jehu of Israel Doing Homage to Shalmaneser                       108

  297 The Siloam Inscription                                           109

  298 Sennacherib Receiving Tribute at Lachish (_after Ball_)          109

  299 An Altar to Unknown Gods (_after Deissmann_)                     110

  300 The Moabite Stone                                                110

  301 Papyrus Containing Sayings of Jesus (_after Grenfell and Hunt_)  111


  Map of Egypt to First Cataract                         _Facing page_  18

  Map of the Ancient World                               _Facing page_  40

  Map of Palestine                                       _Facing page_ 104


  Map of Jerusalem in the Time of the Jebusites and David              112

  Map of Solomon’s Jerusalem                                           112

  Map of Jerusalem from Hezekiah to the Exile                          113

  Map of Nehemiah’s Jerusalem                                          113

  Map of Asmonæan Jerusalem                                            114

  Map of Herodian Jerusalem                                            114


         § = section.

     ibid. = the same.

  op. cit. = work cited.

        f. = and following page.

       ff. = and following pages.

       cf. = compare.

        v. = verse.

      col. = column.

        p. = page.

  [     ] in translations of tablets indicate words supplied where not

  ..... in translations of tablets indicate missing line or words which
        cannot be supplied.


One who would write on archæology and the Bible must at the outset define
the scope of his undertaking, for the word archæology conveys different
meanings to different people. Judgments also differ as to how things
ancient can best serve the interests of the Biblical student. To many the
word archæology calls up visions of ancient pottery, jewelry, swords,
utensils, etc., which are valued as objects of curiosity simply because
they are old. Others, when they think of archæology, call to mind
excavations, in which the walls of ancient temples and cities are laid
bare, so that we may see how men lived in other days. To such, archæology
is identical with antiquarianism. A book on archæology and the Bible
written from this point of view would confine itself to the way in which
texts of Scripture are illustrated or illumined by antiquarian objects.

To still others the word archæology calls up ancient tablets or papyri,
inscribed with hieroglyphics or some other strange characters, from which
the initiated can decipher texts that prove the truth of one’s views of
Scripture. According to this view, archæology is the science of ancient
documents, and a book dealing with archæology and the Bible should confine
itself to the discussion of documents which confirm or illustrate the
Biblical text.

Those who hold either of these views of archæology will find in this book
much that will accord with their expectations, but much also that will
seem to them irrelevant. In Part I, Chapters IV, VI-XII deal with
antiquities, their discovery, and the light which these shed upon the
inspired page, for antiquarianism is a part of archæology. Portions of
Part I are devoted to the discovery of inscribed objects; in Part II the
reader will find a full presentation of the bearing of these upon the
different parts of the Sacred Volume. Those who hold the second of the
views mentioned above will not, therefore, be disappointed.

Neither of the views mentioned corresponds, however, with the limits of
archæology. Archæology is “that branch of knowledge which takes cognizance
of past civilizations, and investigates their history in all fields, by
means of the remains of art, architecture, monuments, inscriptions,
literature, language, implements, customs, and all other examples which
have survived.”[1] This definition is accepted by the writer of this work
and has guided him in the preparation of the following pages. It has, of
course, been impossible in one volume to deal adequately with the
antiquities and the ancient documents and to treat fully the history of
the civilizations of the Biblical countries, but an endeavor has been made
to place the reader in possession of an intelligent point of view with
reference to these things. As the physical structure of a country
determines to a large degree the nature of its buildings, the utensils
employed by its inhabitants, their writing materials, and their relations
with other peoples,--as well as the way the objects were preserved from
ancient to modern times,--brief descriptions of the physical features of
Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Palestine, the three most prominent of Biblical
countries, have been introduced.

Our knowledge of the early history of Egypt and Babylonia has come almost
wholly from archæological exploration; it has seemed fitting, therefore,
to introduce in Part I, Chapter I, § 6, and Chapter II, § 6, brief
sketches of the history of these countries. This appeared all the more
necessary since the inhabitants of these two countries worked out, in
advance of any other peoples, the initial problems of civilization.
Palestine borrowed from them both, so that it is impossible to understand
the history and archæology of Palestine apart from Egyptian and Babylonian
antecedents. Whenever it is possible the reader should supplement these
sketches by reference to the larger works cited in the notes.

Similarly in Part I, Chapter V, an outline of the history of Palestine
from the earliest times is presented. To some this may seem unnecessary,
since centuries of that history passed before the Hebrew people came to
the country, but it is hoped that every reader will be glad to know the
various vicissitudes through which passed the land that was chosen by God
as the home of the religious leaders of the human race. This history also
gives emphasis to the promise “to give thee great and goodly cities, which
thou buildedst not, and houses full of all good things, which thou
filledst not, and cisterns hewn out, which thou hewedst not, vineyards and
olive-trees, which thou plantedst not” (Deut. 6:10, 11).

Some, too, may be surprised that the chronologies of Egypt and Babylonia
and Assyria should be treated as fully as they are in Part I, Chapter I, §
5, and Chapter II, § 5, but in the writer’s view this treatment was
necessary and appropriate for several reasons: (1) The data on which these
chronologies are built up are for the most part the fruits of
archæological research. (2) They are our only means of measuring the
antiquity of civilization, since the Bible itself affords no continuous
system of chronology.[2] If the student of the Bible is to have any
intelligent idea of what “the fulness of time” (Gal. 4:4) means, he should
know what the sources of our chronology are and how they are rightly used.
(3) Such a presentation seemed all the more necessary because in many
books, especially those of some English Egyptologists, the materials are
employed uncritically, and civilization is made to appear much older than
it really is.

To accomplish all these aims the writer has adopted the following plan: In
three chapters the archæology, history, and civilization of Egypt,
Babylonia and Assyria, and the Hittites are briefly treated, together with
the discoveries which especially interest the Biblical student. These are
the three great civilizations which preceded the Israelitish. A much more
detailed treatment is given to Palestine, to which Chapters IV-XIV of Part
I are devoted. In the last chapter of Part I an attempt has been made to
present the discoveries in Greece and Asia Minor which throw light on the
New Testament. In Part II the texts, Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian,
Hebrew, Moabitish, Phœnician, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin, which bear on the
Bible, are translated. They are arranged in the order of the Biblical
books which they illuminate. Each translation is accompanied by a brief
discussion in which its chief bearing on the Bible is pointed out.

In conclusion it may not be out of place to offer a word of guidance to
two or three classes of readers. Those who are not interested in the
history of Babylonia and Egypt, but wish simply to know what has been
discovered in those countries which throws light on the Scriptures, should
turn at once to Part I, Chapter I, § 7, and Chapter II, § 7, and to the
translations of the various texts in Part II. A reader that is interested
especially in Palestine, rather than in the ancient civilizations to which
the Hebrews were indebted, should begin Part I at Chapter IV. Possibly
after he has read that which the Holy Land has contributed to the
understanding of the Bible, he may be ready to give a little attention to
such outlying peoples as the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Hittites. In that
case he will turn back and read Chapters I-III.

Pastors or Sunday-school teachers who wish to employ the book as a tool by
means of which to study certain texts or lessons should follow a different
course. These will be able with the aid of the full index of Scripture
references to turn at once to all the material bearing on the passage in
question. If the use of this index does not afford all the information
desired, reference should then be made to the analytical table of contents
at the beginning, or to the index of subjects at the end, or to both.

It is the writer’s hope that, in addition to its use as a book of
reference for the elucidation or illustration of individual texts, there
may be some who will enjoy reading the whole work, and who will find, as
he himself has found, that every scrap of knowledge of ancient life in
Bible lands serves to make the Bible story and the lives of Biblical
characters so much more real, or puts them or their words in a perspective
so much more clear, that the eternal message comes with new power and can
be transmitted with greater efficiency.






    period. The archaic period. The old kingdom. The first period of
    disintegration. The middle kingdom. Second period of disintegration.
    The empire period. The period of foreign dynasties. The lower empire.
    The Persian period. The Ptolemaic period. The Roman period. EGYPTIAN
    DISCOVERIES WHICH BEAR ON THE BIBLE: Texts bearing on the story of
    Joseph. The Invasion of Egypt by the Hyksos. The El-Amarna letters.
    Period of the Oppression and the Exodus. Campaign of Sheshonk I.
    Papyri discovered at Elephantine. The palace of Hophra. The castle at
    Tahpanhes. The Jewish temple at Leontopolis. Papyri from Oxyrhynchus.
    Discoveries in Nubia.

=1. The Land.=--Egypt is in many ways unique among the countries of the
world. One of these unique features is its form. If we omit the Delta, it
has but one dimension,--length. From Cairo to the First Cataract is a
distance of 583 miles, while the breadth of the valley, including the
barren lands on each side of it, varies from 12½ to 31 miles. If we
include Nubia to the Fourth Cataract, which the Egyptians ultimately
conquered, the length is much greater, being about 1,100 miles. In Nubia
the banks are much more precipitous, the valley varying from 5 to 9½
miles. The verdant portion is, however, often not more than a mile in

This land is flanked on each side by extensive barren deserts on which
there is almost no rainfall. Egypt itself would be a part of this desert,
were it not for the overflow of the Nile. This overflow is caused by the
peculiar formation of this marvelous river.

The upper part of the Nile consists of two main branches, called,
respectively, the White and the Blue Nile. The White Nile rises 3 degrees
south of the equator, some 4,000 miles south of the Mediterranean, to the
south of Lake Victoria Nyanza. This region is watered by tropical rains,
which fall almost daily. This steady water supply gives to the Nile its
constant volume. At Khartum, 1,350 miles from the Mediterranean in a
direct line, and 1,650 miles as the river winds, the White Nile is joined
by the Blue Nile. This branch of the river drains a large part of
Abyssinia, an upland and mountainous region which has a dry and a rainy
season. In the dry season this stream dwindles almost to nothing; in the
rainy season it is a turbid mountain torrent, which rushes impetuously
onward, laden with loose soil from all the land which it drains. For this
reason it is called the Blue, _i. e._, the Dark or Turbid, Nile.

At a distance of 140 miles north of the union of the two Niles the river
receives its only other tributary, the Atbara, which also flows in from
the eastern side. The Atbara, like the Blue Nile, is an insignificant
stream except in the rainy season, when it is a torrent.

It is the variation of the water supply from the Blue Nile and Atbara
which causes the overflow of the river in Egypt. At the beginning of June
the river begins slowly to swell; between the 15th and the 20th of July
the increase becomes very rapid; toward the end of September the water
ceases to rise and remains at the same height for twenty to thirty days.
In October it rises again, attaining its greatest height. It then
decreases, and in January, February, and March the fields gradually dry
off. This overflow prepares the soil of Egypt for cultivation, first by
softening it and then by fertilizing it. It was easy, under these
conditions, to develop agriculture there.

Indeed, the width of productive Egypt is determined by the lateral extent
of this overflow. For the last 1,500 miles of its course the Nile receives
no tributary. It plows its way through regions of desert which, but for
the Nile itself, are unbroken. At six points, beginning at Khartum and
ending at Assuan, the river makes its way over granite ridges, through
which it has never succeeded in cutting a smooth channel. These are called
the Cataracts. As civilized man discovered these from the north, that at
Assuan is known as the First Cataract, and that at Khartum as the Sixth.
The calendar of ancient Egypt was shaped in part by the Nile. The year was
divided into three seasons of four months each. Beginning with the rise of
the water about July 19th, there was the season of the inundation, which
was followed by four months of winter and four months of summer.

[Illustration: MAP OF EGYPT.]

In late geologic time all Egypt north of Cairo was a bay of the
Mediterranean. In the course of the centuries the sea has been driven out
by deposits of detritus brought down by the Nile. As the mud was deposited
in this level region, the water continued to make its way through it here
and there. Several mouths were kept open, and thus the Delta was formed.
This Delta is called Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt extends from Cairo to the
First Cataract; Nubia, from the First Cataract to the Sixth.

=2. The Preservation of Antiquities.=--Rain in Egypt is very, very rare.
One might almost say that it never rains. The country lies in a latitude
so far south that frost is rarely known. These two conditions have united
to preserve the ruins of many ancient buildings in both Egypt and Nubia in
a state of perfection which is rare in other countries. It was the custom
of the ancient Egyptians to bury their dead in the dry land beyond the
reach of the Nile’s overflow. Like many other peoples, they placed in the
tombs of their dead many objects used by the departed in life. Further,
their peculiar beliefs concerning immortality led them to mummify the
bodies of the departed; _i. e._, they fortified them against decay. Thus
archæological objects have been preserved in Egypt in an abundance and a
perfection without parallel. So many of these are massive temples of
stone, which, through all the ages, have stood unconcealed as silent
witnesses of a past greatness, that from Cairo to the First Cataract Egypt
is one great archæological museum.

=3. Egyptian Discoveries.=--Although many Egyptian antiquities have always
been visible, they attracted little attention until modern times. Egyptian
temple walls are covered with hieroglyphic writing, but the art of reading
it had long been lost. Coptic, a language descended from the ancient
Egyptian, was still preserved as the sacred language of the Egyptian
Church, as Latin is the ecclesiastical language of Roman Catholics, but no
one realized that Coptic was simply late Egyptian.

In the seventeenth century European travelers began to bring home Egyptian
antiquities. In 1683 a specimen of Egyptian art was presented to the
Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. In the eighteenth century R. Pococke
(1704-1765) and F. L. Norden (1704-1742) described a number of Egyptian
ruins and identified a number of the sites mentioned by classical authors.
Pococke was an Englishman and Norden a Dane. Others, like the explorer
Bruce, who was seeking the sources of the Nile (1768-1773), participated
to some extent in the work.

No systematic examination of the antiquities was made, however, until the
time of Napoleon I. When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798, he was
accompanied by an army of eminent scholars and artists, nearly a hundred
strong, and although in the settlement with England, which followed in
1802, the French were compelled to surrender their archæological treasures
to Great Britain, they were permitted to publish the results of their
observations and explorations. The publication of these advanced slowly,
but between 1809 and 1822 the great work, consisting of one volume of
introduction, three volumes of plates, and three volumes of texts, was
given to the world. In these volumes the antiquities from the First
Cataract to Alexandria were systematically described, and many of them
were reproduced in magnificent water-color illustrations. As the
nineteenth century progressed, additional discoveries were made, partly by
the labors of such scientists as Lepsius and Mariette, and partly through
the rifling of tombs by natives, who often sold their finds to Europeans.
Since Egypt passed under English control, exploration has been fostered by
the government, and English, French, German, Italian, and American
explorers have taken part in it. The tombs of many of the ancient
Pharaohs, the mummies of a considerable number of them, all sorts of
implements and household furniture, have been discovered, as well as a
great variety of historical, literary, religious, and business documents.

Within the last twenty years a series of tombs of a previously unknown
type has been discovered. The bodies buried in these tombs did not lie on
the back as the ordinary Egyptian mummy does, but on the side, with the
knees drawn up to the chin. It was at first thought that these tombs were
the work of a new race of men who had invaded Egypt at some time in the
historical period, but further study indicates that they are the tombs of
the early Egyptians from whom the Egyptians known to history were

=4. Decipherment.=--One of the objects found by the French at the time of
Napoleon’s expedition was the “Rosetta Stone,” so called because found at
Rosetta (_Ar-Rashid_), a town near the mouth of the westernmost of the
large branches of the Nile. This stone was set up about 200 B. C. by some
priests, who expressed, through the inscription which it bore, their
thanks to the young king, Ptolemy V, because certain taxes formerly
imposed on them had been remitted. The inscription was written in three
kinds of writing--hieroglyphic Egyptian (picture-writing), demotic
Egyptian (developed from picture-writing), and Greek; (see Fig. 14). It
was among the objects which the English took in 1802, and had been placed
in the British Museum. Although the Greek portion of the inscription could
be easily read, the attempts of various scholars, through a period of
twenty years, had succeeded in establishing the values of only a few
characters of the Egyptian. In 1818 Jean François Champollion, a French
scholar, who before this had busied himself with the study of Coptic and
Egyptian geography, began the study of the Rosetta Stone. He assumed that
the language of the upper registers must be an older form of the Coptic
tongue. By a most painstaking comparison of the characters in the upper
registers with the Coptic equivalents of the words in the lower or Greek
register, he succeeded in deciphering the long-forgotten writing of
ancient Egypt. He published his discovery in 1822. Thus the door to the
historical and literary treasures of ancient Egypt was unlocked, and from
that time to this the study of Egyptian inscriptions and documents has
gone steadily forward. Many universities now maintain chairs of
Egyptology. The ability to read Egyptian has opened up vistas of history
of which men had hitherto no conception.

=5. Chronology.=--We are dependent for our main outline of Egyptian
chronology upon the work of Manetho, an Egyptian priest, who lived about
250 B. C., and wrote a chronicle of his native land in the Greek language.
He grouped the kings of Egypt from the time of Menes (or Mena) to the
conquest of Alexander the Great (332 B. C.) into thirty-one dynasties.
Manetho’s dynasties enable scholars to determine the relative order of the
kings, and thus form the backbone of our chronology. Around his statements
the discoveries of the excavators and explorers are grouped. Manetho’s
work has not, however, come down to us. We know it only through quotations
in the _Chronographiai_ of Julius Africanus (221 A. D.) and the
_Chronicon_ of Eusebius of Cesarea (265-340 A. D.). The number of years
assigned to each king, and consequently the length of time covered by the
dynasties, differ in these two copies, so that, while the work of Manetho
forms the backbone of our chronology, it gives us no absolutely reliable
chronology. It is for this reason that the chronological schemes of modern
scholars have differed so widely.

Another source of chronological information is the so-called “Palermo
Stone,” which is preserved in the Museum of Palermo, Sicily. This stone is
a hard diorite, and is but a fragment of the original. It was inscribed
about the middle of the fifth dynasty, and originally contained a list of
the kings of Egypt from a time long before Mena to the middle of the fifth
dynasty. Though now but a fragment, it is still of great value for the
period which it covers. In addition to this, we also have the King List of
Karnak, set up by Thothmes III, of the eighteenth dynasty, the King List
of Abydos, inscribed by Seti I and Ramses II, of the nineteenth dynasty,
and the King List of Sakkarah, inscribed by Ramses II. As these are all
simply selections from the list of the predecessors of their authors, they
are of secondary importance. The “Turin Papyrus” would be of value
chronologically, but for its unfortunate history. This papyrus originally
contained the most complete list of Egyptian kings that has come down to
us, with the exception of Manetho’s chronology. It formed part of the
collection of M. Drovetti, the French Consul-General in Egypt. The
collection was offered to the French government in 1818, but was finally
purchased by the king of Sardinia. When the collection arrived in Turin,
it was found that this papyrus was broken into small fragments in the
bottom of the box in which it had been shipped. The fragments were
afterward (1824) examined by Champollion the younger, who discovered their
true character. In 1826 another Egyptologist went to Turin and joined the
fragments; but the science of Egyptology was then in its infancy, and he
in his ignorance joined pieces which did not naturally belong together.
For this reason it is only occasionally that the document yields us any
chronological data.

The greatest aid in fixing Egyptian chronology is the “Sothic Cycle.” At
an early date the Egyptians adopted a calendar which made up a year of 365
days. Their year originally began when the rapid rising of the Nile
coincided with the rising of the star Sirius, called by them Sothis. These
events coincided on July 19th. As their calendar made no allowance for
leap year, in four years their new year began a day too soon, in eight
years two days too soon, and so on. In 1,460 years (_i. e._, 365 × 4)
their New Year’s Day would make a complete circuit of the year. These
periods of 1,460 years are called Sothic Cycles. Censorinus, in Chapters
XVIII and XXI of his _De Die Natali_, written in 238 A. D., tells us that
a new Sothic cycle began at some time between 140 and 144 A. D. If a new
cycle began in 140 A. D., the previous one began in 1320 B. C.; the one
before that, in 2780 B. C.; and the one before that,--if they had their
calendar so early,--in 4240 B. C. Reisner holds that the Egyptians adopted
their calendar in 2780 B. C., but Meyer and Breasted hold that it is
unthinkable that they should have been without a calendar until that time,
as by that date the civilization of the pyramid builders was at its
height; they accordingly maintain that the Egyptian calendar was adopted
in 4240 B. C.

An illustration will show how the Sothic cycle helps in determining dates.
A priest in the 120th year of the twelfth dynasty wrote a letter to his
subordinates, to inform them that the rising of Sothis would occur on the
fifteenth day of the eighth month. As there were thirty days in each
month, the year diverged at this time 225 days. This date, then, was just
900 years after the beginning of the cycle in 2780 B. C.; _i. e._, the
letter was written in the year 1880 B. C. It proves that the twelfth
dynasty began in 2000 B. C., and fixes for us all the dates of that
dynasty. The calendar in the so-called _Papyrus Ebers_ shows that in the
tenth year of Amenophis I, of the eighteenth dynasty, the divergence had
increased to 308 days. This must have been 1,232 years after the beginning
of the cycle, which was the year 1548 B. C. Data gained from these sources
are supplemented by what is called dead reckoning; _i. e._, by adding
together all the specific dates of the length of reigns which are given in
the inscriptions, and testing them by collateral references. Meyer and
Breasted have worked out the chronology from these data in this way. Meyer
places the accession of Mena at 3200 B. C., while Breasted places it at
3400 B. C. This difference is slight when compared with the differences in
the chronologies of the older Egyptologists.

=6. Outline of History.=[3]--The history of Egypt, as it concerns our
subject, extends over a period of five thousand years. It falls into
twelve periods:

(1) _The Pre-Dynastic Period_, which we suppose extended from about 5000
B. C., or earlier, until about 3400 B. C., is the period before that
covered by Manetho’s dynasties. At the beginning of this period Egypt was
divided into 42 districts, which the Egyptians called _spt_ or _ḥsp_, and
which the Greeks afterwards called _nomes_. Each nome was occupied by a
different tribe, which at the first lived in isolation from the other
tribes. Each tribe had its god, to which an animal was sacred. This
condition prevailed for so many centuries that the customs of this time
became permanently fixed. The sacredness of these animals continued right
down to Roman times. During this period the dead were buried on their
sides with the knees drawn up to the chin; (see Fig. 8). The Egyptians of
this period lived partly by hunting, partly by fishing, and partly by
agriculture. From objects found in their tombs we infer that they used
stone implements, wore a great many beads, made implements and combs of
bone, made decorated pottery, constructed boats for use on the Nile and
fitted sails to them, and each tribe had its own standard or emblem. Of
course, during the centuries when Egypt was so politically divided there
were many wars between nome and nome.

After some centuries, through the conquest of one nome by another, these
42 nomes were consolidated into two kingdoms. The 20 nomes of the Delta
formed the kingdom of Lower Egypt; the 22 nomes, which were ranged along
the Nile from Cairo to the First Cataract, formed the kingdom of Upper
Egypt. The symbol of Upper Egypt was a papyrus plant; that of Lower Egypt,
the bee. The crown of Upper Egypt was a kind of tall helmet; that of Lower
Egypt, a diadem of openwork; (see Figs. 2, 3, and 4).

At what period this union of the nomes into two kingdoms occurred, we can
only conjecture. Probably it was as early as 4200 or 4300 B. C. At all
events, the two kingdoms existed separately for so long a time that their
memory was ever afterward preserved. To the end of Egyptian history the
kings bore the title, “king of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.” Even in the
Hebrew of the Old Testament the name for Egypt is literally “The two
Egypts.” In this long pre-dynastic period the people were gradually
emerging from savagery toward civilization. They were solving the initial
problems of civilized life. According to Meyer and Breasted the people of
Lower Egypt had progressed far enough before 4200 B. C. to invent a
calendar which approximately coincided with the solar year.

(2) _The Archaic Period._--The history of united Egypt begins with the
reign of Menes or Mena, who in some way, whether by conquest or marriage
is uncertain, united the two crowns. He came from the nome of This, of
which the city of Abydos, sacred to the worship of Osiris, was the chief
town. He and his successors continued to administer the two parts of Egypt
as separate countries. Mena founded the first dynasty, and the second
dynasty seems to have been connected with his house; it was, at all
events, from the nome of This. These two dynasties ruled Egypt for 420
years, from 3400 to 2980 B. C. This is known as the _archaic period_ of
Egyptian history. Men were, during this time, gradually developing the art
of expressing thought by means of picture-writing. At some time during the
first dynasty the Egyptians began to work the turquoise mines in the Wady
Maghara in the peninsula of Sinai. The tombs of this period were low, flat
houses of brick. The Arabs call them _mastabas_ or “benches.” During the
second dynasty the Egyptians began to conceive of their gods in human
form. They preserved the continuity of the earlier animal and bird forms
by putting the old heads on human bodies.

(3) _The Old Kingdom_ embraces dynasties three to six, and extended from
2980 to 2475 B. C., a period of more than 500 years. During the third and
fourth dynasties the power of the king was supreme and the first great
culmination of Egypt’s civilization occurred. It was in this period that
the pyramids developed. Zoser, the first king of the third dynasty, built
as his tomb the so-called Step Pyramid; (see Fig. 7). It consists of five
stages which vary from 29½ to 36 feet in height. It is not, therefore, a
true pyramid. At the base it is 352 × 396 feet. Seneferu, the last king of
the third dynasty, built a similar tomb, but, as he made the stages lower
and more numerous, it approached more nearly the pyramidal form.

Khufu or Cheops, the founder of the fourth dynasty, improving upon the
work of his predecessors, constructed the first real pyramid and the
greatest of them all. The blocks with which he built were about three feet
high, and he made a step with each course of stones. A covering, which has
now been removed, was originally placed over the whole, thus securing a
perfect pyramidal form. This pyramid is now 750 (originally 768) feet on
each side, and 451 (originally 482) feet high. It contains some 2,300,000
blocks of stone, each weighing on the average two and a half tons; (see
Fig. 6). The stone was quarried from the Mokattam hills on the other side
of the Nile, more than twelve miles away.

Khafre, the next king but one after Khufu, built the second pyramid, which
is almost as high as that of Khufu, being 447½ feet, but measures on the
sides but 690½ feet. Within and under the pyramids are the tomb chambers.
Khafre also carved out of the native rock, not far from these two
pyramids, the great Sphinx, the head of which bore a portrait of himself.
From the top of the head to the pavement under the paws is 66 feet; the
breadth of the face is 13 feet 8 inches, and the other parts are in
proportion. Near the Sphinx stands a temple, built of polished granite,
which is connected by an underground passage with the pyramid of Khafre.
All these are silent but eloquent witnesses to the skill of the Egyptians
of this period in stone work, and to the absolute power of the Pharaoh;
(see Figs. 5 and 6).

Menkaure, the next king, constructed a smaller pyramid, the side of its
base being 356½ feet and its height 204 (originally 219) feet. Either his
power was less or the resources of the kingdom were becoming exhausted.
Though the pyramidal form of tombs continued for several centuries, no
others were ever built that approached these in size.

The fifth dynasty was founded by a priest of On. During its rule the power
of the king was not so absolute, and a powerful nobility began to develop.
These nobles had themselves buried in tombs of the old mastaba type, and
adorned the walls with pictures of the industries which were carried on
upon their country estates. One of the most famous of these is the tomb of
a certain Ti, from the pictures in which much has been learned of the
various industries of ancient Egypt.

By the time of the sixth dynasty a strong nobility had been developed in
the different nomes, so that the monarchy was thoroughly feudal. The
absolute power that the kings of the first four dynasties had exercised
had passed away. During the sixth dynasty the conquest of northern Nubia
was begun, an expedition was sent to the far-away land of Punt, a country
far to the south. It was probably the region on both sides of the straits
of Bab-el-Mandeb, comprising southwestern Arabia and Somaliland. An
expedition was also sent over sea to Palestine, to chastise the
inhabitants of the southern portion of that country for invading Egypt.
The capital of Egypt during the whole of the Old Kingdom was Memphis. The
city thus gained a prominence which made it ever afterward famous. In
early times it had been called the White Wall, but after the sixth dynasty
it was called _Men-nofer_, of which Memphis (Hosea 9:6) is a corruption.
It is in the Old Testament more often called Noph, a corruption of the
last part of the name. (See Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16; 44:1; 46:14, 19; Ezek.
30:13, 16.)

(4) _The First Period of Disintegration_ covers dynasties seven to ten of
Manetho’s list, a period lasting from 2475 to 2160 B. C. At the beginning
of this period the powerful nobles in the different nomes seem, many of
them, to have set up each a government of his own. Thus Egypt was once
more resolved into many contending kingdoms. Through a cycle of 2,500
years a whole circle of political evolution had been completed. Starting
with 42 chiefs or kinglets, the country had first become two kingdoms,
then one kingdom. In this struggle the local nobility had been eliminated.
Through nine hundred years the central monarchy was supreme, then slowly a
new nobility developed, which finally overthrew the kingdom and once more
made Egypt a group of weak and contending states.

During the last two hundred and fifty years of this period of darkness we
gain some glimpses of a feudal monarchy which had its residence at
Heracleopolis in central Egypt and controlled a good part of the land with
varying degrees of success. These kings were apparently the ninth and
tenth dynasties of Manetho.

(5) _The Middle Kingdom._--About 2160 B. C. an eleventh dynasty arose and
began to struggle for the supremacy, finally achieving it. This family
belonged to the nome of Thebes, which had hitherto been of no particular
importance. It now became the seat of government, and remained for 1,500
years one of the most important cities of Egypt.

About the year 2000 this dynasty was followed by the twelfth, a powerful
line of kings which ruled from 2000 to 1788 B. C. This was the period of
the great Middle Kingdom. The nobles were still strong, and the monarchy
was thoroughly feudal in its organization. Three of these monarchs bore
the name Sesostris. They raised Egypt to a high degree of prosperity and
power. Trade with Punt was resumed, Nubia was conquered to the Second
Cataract, which was made the southern frontier of the realm, the mines of
Sinai were worked, and one of the kings, Amenemhet III, built a large
temple there, at a point now called Sarbut el-Khadem. This temple was
explored a few years ago by Petrie.

Trade with Palestine and Syria flourished during this period. A noble of
middle Egypt pictured in his tomb some of those who came to trade with
him. When the pictures were first discovered, it was thought that they
were the sons of Jacob, come to buy corn in Egypt; (see Fig. 1).

Sesostris III invaded Palestine before 1850 B. C. and captured a city
which was apparently Shechem, though the spelling of the name is peculiar.
The kings of this period were buried in tombs of pyramidal form, though
the pyramids were not large. One of them built a great administration
building at Hawara, which was known to the Greeks as the Labyrinth and was
regarded as one of the wonders of the world.

During this and the preceding period a social conscience was developed in
Egypt which found expression in a remarkable literature. Extracts from two
examples of this, “The Eloquent Peasant” and “The Admonitions of Ipuwer,”
are published in Part II, p. 418, ff., 421, ff.

(6) _Second Period of Disintegration._--The thirteenth dynasty, which
began in 1788 B. C., had not been long upon the throne, when powerful
rebellions again broke up the kingdom. Petty kinglets ruled once more in
many parts of the land. These kings comprise Manetho’s thirteenth and
fourteenth dynasties. The land, disunited, became an easy prey to an
invader. Such an invader came. For more than 3,000 years Egypt, protected
by her deserts, had lived her life unmolested. The uncivilized Nubians on
the south, the Lybians on the west of the Delta, and the uncivilized
tribes of Sinai had been easily held in check. But now a powerful invader
came from Asia with a well organized, though barbaric army. They conquered
Egypt and imposed upon her two dynasties of kings, who ruled for about a
hundred years, until they were driven out about 1580 B. C. These kings
were Manetho’s fifteenth and sixteenth dynasties. He calls them Hyksos,
which has been held to mean “Shepherd Kings,” but which probably meant
“Ruler of Countries.” They have been generally believed to be Semitic,
though some scholars now think they may have been of Hittite origin. In
any event, large numbers of Semites came to Egypt with them, and left many
Semitic names in the Delta. Some of these will be discussed below. This
invasion broke up Egypt’s splendid isolation and brought her into the
current of world events, from which she was never afterward to free

(7) _The Empire Period._--At some time before 1600 B. C. a seventeenth
dynasty arose at Thebes and began the struggle to expel the foreign kings.
This was not accomplished until the founder of the eighteenth dynasty,
Amosis I (1580-1577), achieved it. In order to secure freedom from
invasion the kings of this dynasty were compelled to follow the invaders
into Asia, and in time Thothmes III (1501-1447) conquered Palestine,
Phœnicia, and Syria to the Euphrates, and organized it into a compact
empire, which held together until about 1360. The kings of this dynasty
also carried the conquest of Nubia to Napata, at the Fourth Cataract. They
worked the mines of Sinai, traded with Punt, and inaugurated the “empire
period,” which lasted in reality till well into the twentieth dynasty,
about 1165, and which, for convenience, we count as extending to the fall
of the twenty-first dynasty in 945 B. C.

The foreign conquests brought many immigrants to Egypt and also took many
Egyptians for longer or shorter periods to foreign lands. Egyptian customs
in dress as well as the Egyptian language changed rapidly during this
time. The Asiatic conquests of Thothmes III brought Egypt into relations
with Asiatic kings, and in time his successors, Amenophis III and
Amenophis IV, had an interesting exchange of letters with kings of
Babylon, Assyria, Mitanni, and Alashia (or Cyprus), as well as with
Egyptian viceroys in Syria and Palestine. Some of these letters are
translated in Part II, p. 344, ff.

Amenophis IV made the first attempt known in history to establish a
monotheistic religion. Although it was unsuccessful, it produced a
beautiful hymn, which is translated in Part II, p. 403, ff. The kings of
this period were buried in tombs of a new type. These were excavated out
of the solid rock, cut deep into the mountain-side. They were all in the
famous Valley of the Tombs of the Kings back of Thebes.

The nineteenth dynasty succeeded the eighteenth about 1350 B. C. During a
period of weakness between the two, the Asiatic dominions had been lost.
These were in large part reconquered by Seti I and Ramses II. The
last-mentioned king ruled 67 years, from 1292 to 1225 B. C. He did much
building in all parts of Egypt and Nubia. Among his enterprises were the
cities of Pithom and Raamses in the Delta. He has long been thought to
have been the Pharaoh who oppressed the Hebrews. Early in his reign he
fought with the Hittites, but afterward made a treaty of peace with their
king and married his daughter. The text of this treaty has been preserved.
It is the earliest extant international treaty, and it contained an
extradition clause, though this applied to political offenders only. (For
head of Ramses, see Fig. 9.)

Merneptah, the son and successor of Ramses II, has been supposed to be the
Pharaoh of the Exodus. His hymn of victory over his enemies is translated
in Part II, p. 311.

In the reign of Ramses III, of the twentieth dynasty (1198-1167 B. C.),
the Philistines and other tribes, coming from across the sea, from Crete
and Asia Minor, invaded Egypt. Repulsed by him, they invaded Palestine,
where they secured a foothold. Ramses IV, his successor, was the last
Pharaoh to work the mines in Sinai. By the reign of Ramses IX (1142-1123
B. C.), Egypt’s Asiatic empire was gone and her prosperity had so declined
that the natives of Thebes took to robbing the tombs of kings for a
living. The records of the trials of some of these have survived. In the
reign of Ramses XII (1118-1090 B. C.), Wenamon made his famous expedition
to Phœnicia, a part of which is narrated in Part II, p. 352, ff.

The twenty-first dynasty (1090-945 B. C.) was a line of weak monarchs, who
simply held Egypt together. During their rule David built up Israel’s
empire. One of them, either Siamon or Pesibkhenno II, was the Pharaoh
whose daughter Solomon married. (See 1 Kings 3:1, f.; 9:16.)

(8) _The Period of Foreign Dynasties_ (945-663 B. C.).--During the time of
the twenty-first dynasty the Lybians, who for centuries had made
unsuccessful attempts to invade Egypt, settled in large numbers in
different parts of the country, and adopted Egyptian customs, while some
of them became wealthy and powerful. In 945 B. C. one of these, named
Sheshonk, founded the twenty-second dynasty. This king is the Shishak of
the Bible. It was he who gave asylum to Jeroboam, when he fled from
Solomon (1 Kings 11:40), and who in the days of Rehoboam invaded
Palestine. (See 1 Kings 14:25-28.) The dynasty founded by Shishak lasted
for two hundred years. During the first century of this time it was very
flourishing. One of its kings, Osorkon II, was apparently an ally of
Ahab; at all events, a vase bearing Osorkon’s name was found at Samaria in
Ahab’s palace. This dynasty made its capital at Bubastis in the Egyptian
Delta, called Pi-beseth in Ezekiel 30:17.

During the last century of this dynasty’s rule Nubia, which had been for
many centuries under Egyptian sway, gained her independence under a
powerful dynasty which made Napata, at the Fourth Cataract, its capital.
In 745 B. C. the twenty-second dynasty was succeeded by the twenty-third,
which held a precarious existence until 718, when it was succeeded by the
one king of the twenty-fourth. Egypt was during this period in great
disorder, and in 712 the Nubian kings swept down from the south and
conquered the country, establishing the twenty-fifth dynasty. The control
thus passed from the Lybians to the Nubians. Tirhakah, the third king of
this dynasty, took part in the wars against Sennacherib in Palestine. (See
2 Kings 19:9; Isa. 37:9, and Part II, p. 375, ff.) In 670 Esarhaddon, King
of Assyria, invaded Egypt, defeated Tirhakah and made all the Delta as far
as Memphis an Assyrian province. Some years later, when Tanut-amon, the
successor of Tirhakah, endeavored to regain the Delta, Assurbanipal, of
Assyria, marched up the Nile, took Thebes, that for 1,500 years had been
mistress of Egypt, and during much of that time mistress of a large part
of the then known world, and barbarously sacked it. This was in 661 B. C.
This event made a great impression on surrounding nations. It is referred
to in Nahum 3:8, where Thebes is called No-amon, or the city of the god

(9) _The Lower Empire_ is the name given by scholars to the period of the
twenty-sixth dynasty, 663-525 B. C. This dynasty was founded by Psammetik
I, who became the viceroy of Egypt under Assurbanipal, of Assyria, in 663
B. C. Psammetik was descended from a native Egyptian family of the city of
Sais in the western Delta, and a number of his ancestors had been
prominent in the history of Egypt during the preceding century. At first
he was a vassal of Assyria, but soon troubles in the eastern part of the
Assyrian dominions enabled him to make Egypt independent. The Egyptians,
finding themselves once more free under a native dynasty, experienced a
great revival of national feeling. Everything Egyptian interested them.
They looked with particular affection upon the age of the pyramid
builders, who lived more than two thousand years before them. They revived
old names and old titles, and emulated the art of the olden days. They
manifested such vigor and originality withal, that the art of the lower
empire rivals that of the best periods of Egyptian history.

Necho, the son and successor of Psammetichus, endeavored, as Assyria was
declining to her fall, to regain an Asiatic empire. Josiah, of Judah, who
sought to thwart him, was defeated by Necho and killed at the battle of
Megiddo in 608 B. C. (2 Kings 23:29). Necho afterward deposed Jehoahaz and
took him captive to Egypt (2 Kings 23:34). Four years later, when Necho
made a second campaign into Asia, he was defeated by Nebuchadrezzar at
Charchemish on the Euphrates, and compelled to hastily retreat to Egypt,
hotly pursued by the Babylonians. Jeremiah, who perhaps caught sight of
the rapidly moving armies from the Judæan hills, has given a vivid account
of the flight in Jeremiah 46. Jeremiah considered this event so important
that he began then to commit his prophecies to writing. (See Jeremiah 36.)
After this Necho devoted himself to the internal government of Egypt,
though he became the patron of an enterprise for the circumnavigation of
Africa, which was carried out by some Phœnicians. (See Herodotus, IV, 42.)
Hophra, a later king of this dynasty (588-569 B. C.), in order to gain
influence in Asia, tempted King Zedekiah to rebel against Babylon, and
thus lured the little state of Judah to its destruction. During the reign
of Hophra’s successor, Amosis II, Cyrus the Great founded the Persian
empire, and in 525 B. C. Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, overthrew the
twenty-sixth dynasty, and made Egypt a Persian province.

(10) _The Persian Period._--Cambyses, after conquering Egypt, attempted in
vain to conquer Nubia. The Nubian monarchs at this time moved their
capital from Napata, at the Fourth Cataract, to Meroe, at the Sixth
Cataract. Darius (521-485 B. C.) ruled Egypt with great wisdom and tact,
but under his successors there were frequent rebellions. Finally, in 406
B. C., the Egyptians actually gained their independence, which they
maintained until 342 B. C. During this period three native dynasties, the
twenty-eighth, the twenty-ninth, and the thirtieth, successively occupied
the throne. Manetho counts the Persians as the twenty-seventh dynasty. In
342 B. C. the Persians reconquered the country and held it for ten years
until it was taken by Alexander the Great. This ten years of Persian rule
constitutes Manetho’s thirty-first dynasty.

(11) _The Ptolemaic Period_ (332-31 B. C.).--For eleven years Egypt
formed a part of Alexander’s empire. Upon his death, in 323 B. C., it fell
to the control of his general, Ptolemy Lagi, who founded a line of
Ptolemies that ruled until overthrown by Augustus in 31 B. C. With the
accession of the Ptolemies many Greeks settled in Egypt; Greek became one
of the languages of commerce, and had a considerable influence in
transforming the Egyptian language into Coptic. Until the year 198 B. C.
the Ptolemies controlled Palestine. Philadelphus, the second of the line,
rebuilt in the Greek style the city of Rabbah Ammon east of the Jordan,
and named it Philadelphia. He, like his father, encouraged many Jews to
settle in Alexandria, and, according to tradition, became the patron of
the translation of the Old Testament Scriptures into Greek. At all events,
the Pentateuch was translated in his time, and the translation of the
other books followed. This translation is known as the “Septuagint”
because of the legend that Ptolemy Philadelphus set 72 men to translate
it. By the beginning of the Christian era there were so many Jews in
Alexandria that it had become a second Judah.

(12) _The Roman Period._--The Romans, upon conquering Egypt, disturbed in
no way the internal affairs of the country. They gave it good government
and fostered its internal institutions. Many old Egyptian customs
persisted among the people; it is in regard to some of these that
discoveries of interest to Biblical scholars have been made. From tombs
and the places in the dry sands of the desert, where waste-baskets were
emptied, many records have been discovered, some of which are translated
in Part II, p. 432, ff., 440, ff.

Meantime, a state had developed out of the old monarchy of Nubia,
described above, which was ruled by a woman, whose official title was
Candace. It was an officer of hers to whom Philip preached, as described
in Acts 8:27-39. Recent excavations in Nubia have recovered some of the
art of these people, who became Christian in the second or third century,
as well as some inscriptions of theirs in a script that is not yet

=7. Egyptian Discoveries which Bear on the Bible.=

(1) _Texts Bearing on the Story of Joseph._--A number of texts from the
Middle Kingdom and other periods present features similar to parts of the
story of Joseph and afford somewhat faint parallels to certain conceptions
of the Hebrew Prophets. These are translated in Part II, p. 300, ff., and
p. 418, ff.

The name of Joseph’s wife, Asenath (in Egyptian _As-Neit_, “favorite of
the goddess Neith”), occurs from the eighteenth dynasty onward. Such names
as Potiphar, the master of Joseph (Gen. 39:1), and Potiphera, Joseph’s
father-in-law (Gen. 41:45), in Egyptian _Pedefre_, “he whom the god Re
gives,” as well as the name given to Joseph, Zaphenath-paneah (Gen.
41:45), in Egyptian _De-pnute-ef-‘onkh_, “the god speaks and he lives,”
are common in Egypt from the beginning of the twenty-second dynasty, 945
B. C.

(2) _The Invasion of Egypt by the Hyksos._--This took many Semites to
Egypt. The very name Hyksos is held by Breasted to mean “ruler of
countries.” It was probably a title by which these kings called
themselves, for they evidently ruled a considerable portion of western
Asia, as well as Egypt. “Ruler of countries” is just the
Semitic-Babylonian and Assyrian _shar-matâti_, a title which Mesopotamian
kings gave to themselves through much of their history. It had been
employed by the Sumerians before them, being the familiar Sumerian _lugal
kurkurra_, “king of countries.” If the Hyksos were Amorites, kinsmen of
theirs had ruled in Babylonia long before their invasion of Egypt, and
that these may have been Amorites is indicated by the name Jacob-her,
which was borne by one of their kings. This is an Egyptian form of the
Babylonian _Yagub-ilu_, or _Jacob-el_, an Amorite name found on business
documents in Babylonia three or four hundred years earlier. In the time of
Thothmes III this name was, Thothmes tells us, borne by a Palestinian
city, to which it had apparently been given by some Amorite from
Babylonia. Whether the Hyksos were Amorites or not, a number of Semitic
names were given to places in Lower Egypt at the time of their occupation.
Such was the name Magdol, or Migdol. The Egyptian name of Tanis was Zar,
which Brugsch claims as Semitic. Thakut, an old name of Pithom, is the
same as the Semitic Succoth, “booths.”

In the winter of 1905-1906 Petrie, excavating at Tell el-Ye-hudiyeh,[4]
about 20 miles north of Cairo, discovered what he believes to have been
one of the original encampments of the Hyksos in Egypt. This encampment
consisted of a large space, averaging about 1,500 feet in each direction,
surrounded by a wall of sloping sand and mud. This wall, varying from 80
to 140 feet wide at the top and from 130 to 200 feet wide at the bottom,
presented on the outer side a long slope, and is quite unlike any
structure of the native Egyptians. From the nature of the wall and the
small objects found near it, Petrie infers that it was the rampart of a
people who defended themselves with bows and arrows. A cemetery of the
same level yielded to the explorer a considerable amount of black pottery,
not at all like pottery of native Egyptian manufacture, and a number of
crude scarabs. These objects Petrie believes are products of the art of
the Hyksos before they had been in Egypt long enough to adopt Egyptian
civilization. In 1912 Petrie discovered a similar Hyksos camp at the site
of Heliopolis, the Biblical On.

It has been held by many that Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob all went to Egypt
during the reign of the Hyksos dynasty. It would be natural for Semites to
enter such a country, if it were ruled by a dynasty of the same blood as
themselves. Egypt has, however, furnished no positive archæological
evidence of this view. The Semitic names just alluded to, which are
sometimes cited as evidence of it, in reality only prove that many Semites
came with the Hyksos. They make it probable, indeed, that some of the
Hyksos were Semites, but give us no positive evidence concerning the
patriarchs. On the other hand, nothing has been discovered in Egypt to
disprove this view.

(3) _The El-Amarna Letters._--In the winter of 1887-1888 a native Egyptian
woman, according to one account, accidentally discovered some clay tablets
in the soil at Tell el-Amarna, about 200 miles south of Cairo on the east
bank of the Nile. She is said to have sold her rights in the discovery for
about 50 cents. It was thus that nearly four hundred clay tablets,
inscribed in the Babylonian language and characters, which opened an
entirely unknown vista in the history of Palestine and the surrounding
countries, were found. These were letters written to Kings Amenophis III
and Amenophis IV, of the eighteenth dynasty. (See § 6 (7).) Seven of them
were written by Ebed-hepa, King of Jerusalem, about 1360 B. C., and give
us a glimpse of that city more than 350 years before David conquered it
for Israel. Others of the letters came from other cities of Palestine and
Phœnicia, and reveal to us through contemporary documents the conditions
there in the patriarchal age. Some of these are translated in Part II, p.
344, ff.

(4) _Period of the Oppression and the Exodus._--The statement in Exodus
1:11 that the Pharaoh who oppressed the Egyptians built the store-cities
of Pithom and Raamses, indicates that this Pharaoh was Ramses II, for
Naville, who excavated the site of Pithom (Egyptian _Pi-tum_, “House of
the god Tum”) in 1883, found much work of Ramses II there, including
colossal statues of this king, and also found no evidence that there had
been any town of importance on the site before.[5] The name of the other
city, Raamses, also points to the same king, since Ramses I, the only
other king of the name Egypt had known, reigned less than two years--a
time insufficient for the building of a city. The Bible evidently refers,
then, to Ramses II. Concerning Ramses II and his reign much is now known,
as has been pointed out in § 6 (7); (see Fig. 10).

All through the nineteenth dynasty peoples from Syria were employed by the
kings on public works. Among these was a people called _‘prw_ = Aperu or
Apuri, which some have thought to be Hebrews. Whether the Hebrews are
really mentioned in this way is doubted by others, for references to the
_‘prw_ do not cease at the time the Exodus of Israel must have occurred.
They were employed by Ramses IV, of the twentieth dynasty, as late as 1165
B. C.

Much has been learned from archæology about Egyptian brick-making, and it
corresponds to the description of it given in Exodus. We have pictures of
men at the work. No one thought of burning bricks in Egypt. The clay was
moulded and dried in the sun. Straw was mixed with the clay to increase
its adhesive quality. Naville says that some of the corners of some of the
buildings at Pithom were actually built of _bricks without straw_. (See
Exod. 5:7-18; and Fig. 11.)

The name Pithom continued as one of the names of this store-city or
fortress until at least 250 B. C., for it is found on a pillar which
Ptolemy Philadelphus set up there, but side by side with this name the
place, all through its history, bore the name Thakut, which is
philologically the Egyptian equivalent of the Hebrew Succoth. As this was
the first station of the Hebrews when they left Egypt (Exod. 12:37; 13:20;
Num. 33:5, 6), Naville holds that the Hebrews, after leaving the land of
Goshen, must have passed out on the south side of the Isthmus of Suez.

Petrie believes that in the winter of 1905-1906 he discovered the city of
Raamses[6] at Tell el-Retabeh, eight miles west of the site of Pithom, on
the Wady Tumilat. The objects found here show that the site was occupied
in the time of the Old Kingdom and onward, but as Ramses II and Ramses III
both set up here statues of themselves, and erected important buildings,
and as the location is the only one that fulfils the conditions of the
city Raamses, Petrie feels confident that this was the site. This view
receives some confirmation from the title of an officer who served here
under Ramses III, and who is called: “Chief archer, keeper of the
granaries, keeper of the palace; chief archer, keeper of the granaries of
Arabia (or Syria).”

Merneptah, who is generally supposed to have been the Pharaoh under whom
the Exodus occurred, was not drowned in the Red Sea, as some have wrongly
inferred from Exod. 14:23-28, but was duly buried like his predecessors.
His mummy has been found and is now in the Gizeh Museum at Cairo.

Merneptah in the fifth year of his reign set up a hymn of victory on a
pillar in a temple erected by his father, Ramses II. This hymn, discovered
by Petrie in 1896, is famous as the only writing outside the Bible that
mentions Israel by name. A part of it is translated in Part II, p. 311,
where its bearing on the Exodus is discussed; (see Fig. 15).

(5) _Campaign of Sheshonk I._--The record on a wall of the temple of
Karnak in Egypt by Sheshonk I, the Shishak of 1 Kings 14:25, of his
campaign in Palestine, confirms the statement of Kings and puts the whole
campaign in a new perspective. It is treated in detail in Part II, p. 359,

(6) _Papyri Discovered at Elephantine._--In recent years papyri discovered
at Elephantine, an island in the First Cataract, reveal the existence of a
Jewish colony there, which had a Jewish temple on the island. This colony
was established there at some time during the twenty-sixth dynasty, and
was thus one of the earliest of those Jewish settlements in foreign
countries which formed the dispersion. A number of the records of these
papyri, which relate the fortunes of this temple, the relations of this
colony to their Egyptian neighbors and their knowledge of the law, are
translated in Part II, p. 387, ff. The origin of the colony is also
discussed there.

(7) _The Palace of Hophra._--Hophra, of the twenty-sixth dynasty, was, as
noted in § 6 (9), the king who lured Judah to her ruin. Petrie in 1907
discovered his palace at Memphis. The discovery makes Hophra seem a little
more real.[7]

(8) _The Castle at Tahpanhes._--We learn from Jer. 43:7, 8 and 44:1 that,
after the destruction of Jerusalem, Jeremiah with many other Jews fled to
Tahpanhes in Egypt and established a Jewish colony there. Jeremiah, as a
symbolical act, was directed to hide some stones in the cement of the
tiled area of the court of Pharaoh’s house there (Jer. 43:8). Tahpanhes
was the Daphne of the Greeks. It was on the site of the modern Tell
Defenneh. This was in ancient times the easternmost city of the northern
Delta. A hundred and fifty miles of desert stretched away to the east of
it, until one came to the gardens of Gaza in Palestine. Petrie excavated
Tell Defenneh in 1883-1884, and discovered the large castle there, which
is probably the building in which Jeremiah buried his stones. This was the
last act of Jeremiah’s life of which we have any record. He was then an
old man and apparently died soon afterward, probably at Tahpanhes,
certainly in Egypt.

(9) _The Jewish Temple at Leontopolis._--Josephus tells us twice, once in
his _Antiquities of the Jews_, Book XIII, Chapter III, and again in his
_Wars of the Jews_, Book VII, Chapter X, that, when Jonathan, the
Maccabee, was made high priest of the Jews, about 153 B. C., Onias, the
son of Onias III, the deposed high priest, went to Egypt and obtained a
grant of land and permission to build a Jewish temple. This land was in
the region of the city of Bubastis, the nome where the cat goddess was
sacred, and was accordingly called by the Greeks Leontopolis. There were
at this time about as many Jews in Egypt as in Palestine, and doubtless
Ptolemy VII thought to keep them more loyal by granting them a temple. He
gave to Onias the revenues of a considerable territory for the support of
the temple. Josephus tells us that Onias urged as a reason for the
construction of this temple that it would be in fulfilment of the prophecy
in Isa. 19:19-22. Josephus goes on to say that this temple was built as an
exact reproduction of the temple at Jerusalem and that it continued to
exist as a place of worship until after the destruction of Jerusalem by
Titus, when troubles caused by Jewish zealots led the Roman government to
close the temple at Leontopolis and discontinue its worship; (see Fig.

The site of this temple was at Tell el-Yehudiyeh, the “Tell of the
Jewess,” about 20 miles north of Cairo. This tell was excavated by Petrie
in 1905-1906. He found there remains of the Jewish temple, which fully
confirm the statements of Josephus. Not only the temple, but the form of
the Jewish settlement, was made as far as possible a replica of the city
of Jerusalem. One of the most interesting discoveries was a series of
ovens for the roasting of Paschal lambs. Others of a similar character
were found higher up in the mound, but this first series was most
numerous. Petrie infers that the temple was dedicated by a great Passover
Feast, to which Jews came in large numbers from throughout Egypt;[8] (see
Fig. 13).

(10) _Papyri from Oxyrhynchus._--About 123 miles south of Cairo and nine
miles to the west of the Nile lies the town of Behnesa, which the Greeks
called Oxyrhynchus, from a sharp-nosed fish which was sacred there. Since
1897 Grenfell and Hunt, two English explorers, have been season after
season exploring the rubbish heaps of the old town. The inhabitants
committed the contents of their waste-baskets to the sands, and on account
of the dry climate these have never decayed. Here were found the “Sayings
of Jesus,” some of the documents concerning the Roman census, and some of
the letters translated in Part II, pp. 432, ff., 440, ff., as well as many
remains of the works of classical authors. Similar documents have been
found in other parts of Egypt, but no other site has yielded as many as

(11) _Discoveries in Nubia._--During the winter of 1908-1909 MacIver
explored at Karanog in Nubia for the University of Pennsylvania. He found
in a cemetery many remains of the civilization of the Christian Nubians.
They still called their queen Candace (see Acts 8:27), fed her on milk,
and regarded obesity as an attribute of royalty. More will be known of the
Nubians of this period when the inscriptions discovered at Karanog and at
Shablul, deciphered by Mr. Griffith, have been more completely studied.
The explorations of the English at Meroe have afforded a connected view of
the development of this Nubian civilization. They found there the remains
of an early period extending from about 650-400 B. C., which was followed
by about a century when the royal residence was elsewhere, a middle period
from 300 to 1 B. C., during the latter part of which Hellenic influences
were felt, and a late period, from 1 to 350 A. D., during which Roman
forms of art penetrated the country.[9]



    ANTIQUITIES: By Benjamin of Tudela. By Rich. By Botta and Place. By
    Layard. By Loftus and Rawlinson. By Oppert and Rassam. By George
    Smith. By Sarzec. By Peters, Ward, and Haynes. By Koldeway. By Andrae.
    By de Morgan. By Harper and Banks. By Genouillac. THE DECIPHERMENT OF
    THE INSCRIPTIONS: By Niebuhr. By Grotefend, De Sacy, and Rawlinson.
    Babylonian column. Babylonian-Semitic. CHRONOLOGY. OUTLINE OF THE
    HISTORY: The prehistoric period. Sumerians. The Pre-Babylonian period.
    “Stele of the Vultures.” The early Babylonian period. Kassites. Pashe
    dynasty. The early Assyrian period. The second Assyrian period. The
    Neo-Babylonian period. The Persian period. The Greek and Parthian

=1. The Land.=--The Mesopotamian Valley, as the great region watered by
the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers is called, in many respects resembles
Egypt, although in other respects it differs strikingly from Egypt. The
country is like Egypt in that it is formed by rivers; it differs from
Egypt in that it has two rivers instead of one. In late geologic time the
Persian Gulf extended far up toward the Mediterranean. All of what was
Babylonia has been formed by detritus (silt) brought down by the Tigris
and the Euphrates. The process of forming land is still going on. At the
head of the Persian Gulf about seventy feet a year is still formed in this
way, or a mile in about seventy-five years.

Both the Tigris and the Euphrates rise in the mountainous regions of
Armenia, on opposite sides of the same range of mountains. The melting of
the snows on these mountains gives both rivers, like the Nile, a period of
overflow. As the source of the Tigris is on the south side of the
mountains, it begins to rise first. Its rise begins about the first of
March, its overflow is at its height in May, and the water recedes in June
or July. The Euphrates begins to rise about the middle of March, continues
to rise until June, and does not recede to its ordinary level until
September. The soil thus formed is of rich materials, and the retreating
flood leaves it each year well watered and softened for agriculture. Here,
as in Egypt, one of the earliest civilizations of the world developed.
It was quite independent of that in Egypt, and consequently differed
from the Egyptian in many respects. Unlike Egypt, Babylonia had a rainy
season; nevertheless she was mainly dependent upon the overflow of the
rivers for her irrigation and her fertility. As she possessed two rivers,
her breadth was greater than that of Egypt, but she lacked the contiguity
of protecting deserts, such as Egypt possessed. All through her history
her fertile plains attracted the mountain dwellers of the East and the
peoples of the West. Subject to frequent invasion by these, Babylonia had
no long peaceful development such as Egypt enjoyed before the Hyksos
invasion. From before the beginning of written history race mingled with
race in this great valley, invasions were frequent, and the construction
of permanent empires difficult.

[Illustration: MAP OF BIBLE LANDS]

The breadth of the Mesopotamian Valley affected also the building
materials and the character of the art. Stone was much more difficult to
obtain than in Egypt. Clay only was abundant. All buildings were
consequently of brick. These structures were far less enduring than those
in Egypt; their upper parts have disintegrated and buried the lower
portions. Babylonian ruins are accordingly all under ground. The abundant
clay was also used by the Babylonians as writing material. When baked, it
proved far more enduring than the Egyptian papyrus. Thus, notwithstanding
the general similarities which the Mesopotamian Valley presents to Egypt,
its differences profoundly affected Babylonian history and Babylonian art.

=2. The Preservation of Antiquities.=--Babylonian cities were usually
built on terraces of brick. The walls of the cities and their buildings
were constructed of the same material. Refuse from the houses in these
towns was always thrown out into the streets, so that, as the centuries
passed, the streets were gradually elevated. The walls of the brick houses
gradually became unstable in the lapse of time, and as the houses were
repaired they were brought up to the level of the street. Consequently
even in peaceful times the mounds on which the cities were built gradually
grew higher. Most of these cities were at various times destroyed in
warfare. Sometimes all the houses would be partially demolished and the
site would be for a time practically uninhabited. When at length the place
was repeopled, the top of the mound would be smoothed off and taken as the
base of a new city. In this way through the many centuries of Babylonian
history the sites of her cities have become great mounds. When these
cities finally fell into ruin, the clay of the upper part of the walls
gradually disintegrated in the weather and formed a coating of earth over
the whole, which preserved the foundations of the walls both of cities and
houses, as well as the inscribed clay, stone tablets, and the works of art
buried underneath.

Connected with each Babylonian and Assyrian temple was a kind of staged
tower, shaped in a general way like the stepped pyramid of Zoser at
Sakkarah in Egypt. The Babylonians called these towers _Ziggurats_. As the
bricks of these towers decayed, they formed in connection with the city
mound a kind of hillock or peak, which varied in accordance with the
height of the tower. The ruin of the _Ziggurat_ at Birs Nimrûd, the
ancient Borsippa, is one of the most imposing to be seen in ancient
Babylonia; it was long thought to be the original of the Tower of Babel
(Gen. 11:9). It thus came about that no ancient temple of Babylonia, like
some of those in Egypt, has remained above ground. Explorers have had to
dig to discover antiquities; (see Fig. 22).

=3. The Discovery of Antiquities:= _By Benjamin of Tudela_.--The first man
from western Europe who traveled through Babylonia and Assyria and noted
their ruins was a Jew, Benjamin of Tudela, in the kingdom of Navarre.
Leaving home about 1160 A. D., he traveled through Palestine, crossed the
desert by way of Tadmor, visited Mosul opposite ancient Nineveh, and went
southward to the site of Babylon. He also saw the ruin of Birs Nimrûd, and
believed it to be the Tower of Babel. Between the sixteenth and eighteenth
centuries many other travelers visited the Mesopotamian Valley and
described what they saw. Some of these, toward the close of the eighteenth
century, described curious inscriptions which they had seen there on
bricks. This information led the British East India Company in 1797 to
instruct its resident at Bussorah, in southern Babylonia, to try to secure
some of these inscriptions. This he did, and early in 1801 the first case
of inscribed bricks arrived at the East India House in London, where they
are still preserved.

_By Rich._--Early in the nineteenth century Claude James Rich became
resident of the East India Company at Bagdad. In his travels through the
region he visited the mounds of Hillah (Babylon), Kouyunjik (Nineveh), and
others, where he made some slight excavations, and found many
inscriptions. The smaller ones he added to his collection, but many of
them were of too monumental a character to be removed. Through these
efforts a wide-spread interest was aroused.

_By Botta and Place._--In 1842 the French government created a
vice-consulate at Mosul, opposite the site of ancient Nineveh, and
appointed to the position Paul Emil Botta, who had served as French consul
at Alexandria in Egypt. Botta’s mission was made in part archæological. In
December, 1842, Botta began digging in the mound of Kouyunjik, the site of
ancient Nineveh. Here he worked for three months. As he found only a few
inscribed bricks and the fragments of some bas-reliefs, he became
discouraged, and changed the field of his operations to a mound called
Khorsabad, situated about fourteen miles to the northeast of Kouyunjik.
Here he discovered a palace filled with interesting inscribed bas-reliefs
made of alabaster, as well as a city about a mile in circumference. Under
the corners of the palace and under the city gates were many inscribed
cylinders of clay. This proved to be the palace and city built by Sargon,
King of Assyria (722-705 B. C.), as his new capital. He named it
Dur-Sharrukin, or Sargonsburgh. His name had so entirely disappeared from
ancient literature that only one reference to him has survived, that in
Isaiah 20:1, but here was his palace arising from the dust together with
abundant annals of his reign. (See Part II, p. 369, ff.)

Botta and his successor, Victor Place, excavated intermittently at
Khorsabad for ten years, uncovering the palace and making a plan of it,
excavating the city walls and gates, studying the drainage of the ancient
town, and fully describing the whole. Although a part of the antiquities
found were lost in the Tigris by the wreck of a raft on which they were
being floated down the river, a large collection reached France, where
they are preserved in the Louvre.

_By Layard._--The success of Botta fired the enthusiasm of Austen Henry
Layard, a young Englishman of Huguenot descent, who began to excavate in
1845 at Nimrûd, a mound further down the Tigris than Mosul, and the site
of the Biblical Calah (Gen. 10:11). His money was at first furnished by a
few friends, but as he soon discovered a royal palace there similar to the
one Botta had unearthed at Khorsabad, the trustees of the British Museum
commissioned him to excavate for them. He thus continued the work
intermittently until 1849. During this time he spent most of his energy
upon the mound of Kouyunjik, where he discovered another royal palace.
This palace proved to be the work of Sennacherib, the son of Sargon (named
in 2 Kings 18:13; Isa. 36), who built the one at Khorsabad, while the
palace at Calah was, in its final form, the work of Esarhaddon, the son of
Sennacherib. (See 2 Kings 19:37.) The palace at Nineveh had in turn been
repaired by Esarhaddon’s son, Assurbanipal.

_By Loftus and Rawlinson._--As these excavations progressed, others were
stimulated to make minor explorations. Thus in 1850 William Kennett Loftus
carried on small excavations at the mound of Warka, the site of the
Biblical Erech (Gen. 10:10), in southern Babylonia, from which he
recovered important antiquities. From 1851-1855 the oversight of English
excavations was entrusted to Sir Henry C. Rawlinson, the British
consul-general at Bagdad. Under his direction J. E. Taylor, British
vice-consul at Bassorah, made an excavation at the mound of Mugheir, the
site of Ur of the Chaldees, where he unearthed important inscriptions. At
the same time Loftus was traveling about Babylonia collecting antiquities.

_By Oppert and Rassam._--In 1852 a French expedition under the direction
of Jules Oppert reached Babylonia. Oppert made important excavations at
Hillah, the site of the city of Babylon, and at Birs Nimrûd, the ancient
Borsippa. In 1852 Hormuzd Rassam, who had been one of Layard’s helpers,
continued under Rawlinson’s direction the excavation at Nineveh. This work
continued until 1854; Rassam had the good fortune to find, in a part of
the mound previously untouched, still another palace. This was the palace
of Assurbanipal, the last of Assyria’s great kings, who ruled from 668 to
626 B. C., and who collected here a great library. This library Rassam
discovered, and as it contained every variety of Babylonian and Assyrian
literature, including dictionaries and grammatical exercises, it was one
of the most important archæological discoveries ever made. During the last
part of the time Rassam was succeeded by Loftus. Finally, in the autumn of
1854, Rawlinson himself undertook an excavation at Birs Nimrûd, and
unearthed some important inscriptions of Nebuchadrezzar II, King of
Babylon, 604-562 B. C. (See 2 Kings 24, 25.)

After this the interest in excavation waned for a time, while scholars
were busy reading the tablets already found.

_By George Smith._--In December, 1872, George Smith, an employee of the
British Museum, announced that among the tablets from Nineveh he had
found an account of the flood which closely resembled that in the Bible.
This aroused so much interest that the proprietors of the London _Daily
Telegraph_ contributed money to send George Smith to Assyria to explore
further the mounds there. George Smith thus led two expeditions of
exploration, one in 1873 and the other in 1874. He extended the trenches
of his predecessors at Nineveh and discovered many more important
inscriptions. In 1876 he was on his way to Mesopotamia for the third time,
when he died of fever at Aleppo. The British Museum immediately secured
the services of Rassam again, who during that year and 1877 extended the
work at Kouyunjik (Nineveh) and also found a palace of Shalmaneser III,
King of Assyria, 860-824 B. C., at a mound called Balawat, situated to the
east of Kouyunjik.

_By Sarzec._--Meantime, the interest of France was again aroused, and in
1877 her consul at Bassorah, Ernest de Sarzec, began the excavation of
Telloh, a mound in southern Babylonia, which turned out to be the site of
Shirpurla or Lagash, one of the oldest and most important of the ancient
cities of Babylonia. Work was carried on at intervals here by Sarzec until
his death in 1901, and has since been continued by Gaston Cros. The
results have not received the popular acclaim accorded to the discoveries
of Botta and Layard, but scientifically they are far more important. Some
of the oldest examples of Babylonian art have been discovered, as well as
many thousands of tablets. One room alone contained an archive of business
documents estimated at thirty thousand. Much of our knowledge of the
history of early Babylonia is derived from material found at Telloh.

_By Peters, Ward, and Haynes._--In 1884 America began to take an interest
in Babylonian exploration. This was due largely to the initiative of Dr.
John P. Peters, then Professor of Hebrew in the University of
Pennsylvania, now Rector of St. Michael’s Church, New York. Through his
efforts Miss Catherine L. Wolfe, of New York, contributed the money to
defray the expenses of an expedition to Babylonia for a preliminary
survey. This expedition was led by Dr. William Hayes Ward, Editor of the
New York _Independent_. It spent the winter of 1884-1885 in Mesopotamia,
made many observations of the various mounds, and collected some
archæological material. Dr. Peters continued his efforts, and as a result
a fund was raised in Philadelphia to defray the expenses of an excavation
in the interest of the University of Pennsylvania. This expedition set out
in 1888 under the direction of Dr. Peters. The site chosen for the
exploration was Nuffar, about sixty miles to the southeast of Babylon. The
work was continued for two seasons under the direct control of Dr. Peters.
After an interruption of three years the work was resumed under the
general direction of Dr. Peters, with Dr. John H. Haynes as Field
Director. Dr. Haynes, in the most self-sacrificing and heroic manner,
continued the work both summer and winter until February, 1896, laying
bare many of the features of the ancient city of Nippur, which had
occupied the site, and discovering many inscribed tablets. While this work
was in progress Prof. Herman V. Hilprecht became nominal head of the
expedition on account of the removal of Dr. Peters to New York. A fourth
expedition under the guidance of Dr. Haynes began work at Nuffar (Nippur)
in February, 1899, and worked until March, 1900. During this work Dr.
Haynes discovered a large archive of tablets, the exact number of which is
variously estimated. The find was similar to that made by Sarzec at
Telloh; (see Figs. 16 and 17).

Nuffar, the ancient Nippur, was one of the oldest centers of Babylonian
civilization, and the work of the Americans there is, for our knowledge of
the history of ancient Babylonia, next in importance to that done by the
French at Telloh. A large number of the tablets discovered at Nippur are
now in the University Museum in Philadelphia. Meantime, the Turkish
government had undertaken on its own account an excavation at Abu Haba,
the site of the ancient Sippar in northern Babylonia. The direction of the
work was committed to the oversight of the French Assyriologist Père
Scheil, and the work was carried on in the early part of the year 1894.
Much interesting material was brought to light.

_By Koldewey._--Also during this decade a new Society, the
_Orient-Gesellschaft_, had been formed in Berlin for the purpose of
excavation. This Society began in 1899 the excavation of the great mound
which covered the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon. The work was
committed to the direction of Dr. Robert Koldewey, who has carried it
steadily forward until the present time. Koldewey has laid bare at Babylon
a number of the great works of King Nebuchadrezzar--the magnificent walls
with which he surrounded Babylon, and the palace and temples with which he
adorned it. As the work at Babylon has progressed, Koldewey has made a
number of minor excavations in smaller mounds of Babylonia. During the
season of 1912-1913 Dr. Julius Jordan undertook, under Dr. Koldewey’s
general direction, an excavation at Warka, the Biblical Erech, where
Loftus had dug sixty years before. A part of the great temple of Ishtar
has been uncovered by Dr. Jordan, together with a portion of the city wall
and many houses. Many tablets have also been found, some of them having
been written as late as the Seleucid and Parthian periods, 312-50 B. C.;
(see Fig. 18).

_By Andrae._--While the excavation at Babylon has been in progress, the
_Orient-Gesellschaft_ has also conducted another at Kalah-Sherghat, on the
Tigris, in ancient Assyria. This is the site of the city of Ashur, from
which the country of Assyria took its name. (Cf. Gen. 10:10, 11.) The work
has been under the direction of Dr. Andrae and has been in progress from
1902 to the present time. Temples and palaces have been uncovered, and
inscriptions from every period of Assyrian history have been found. The
latest reports of the work at Ashur tell of the discovery of objects which
connect the founding of the city with immigrants from Lagash in southern

_By de Morgan._--In 1900 a French expedition began the excavation of Susa,
in ancient Elam, the Shushan of the Bible. (See Neh. 1:1; Esther 1:2,
etc., and Dan. 8:2.) This work was under the direction of J. de Morgan.
While Susa is not in Babylonia, the excavations here added greatly to our
knowledge of Babylonian history and life, for during the first two seasons
of the excavation, two inscribed stone pillars were discovered, which the
ancient Elamites had at some time taken as trophies of war from the
Babylonians. One of these was an inscription of Manishtusu, King of Kish,
who ruled about 2700 B. C., and the other the pillar which contained the
laws of Hammurapi, the most important single document relating to
Babylonian life that is known to us. (See Part II, Chapter XIII.)

_By Harper and Banks._--During the year 1903-1904 the University of
Chicago sent an expedition to Babylonia. The expenses were borne by a
contribution from John D. Rockefeller. The late Prof. Robert Harper was
Scientific Director of the expedition, and Dr. Edgar J. Banks, Field
Director. The work was conducted at the mound of Bismya, which proved to
be the site of the ancient city of Adab, one of the oldest Babylonian
cities, which seems not to have been occupied since about 2600 B. C. Many
interesting finds were made, including a statue of a king, Lugaldaudu, and
many tablets. Friction with the Turkish government brought the expedition
to an untimely close, and owing to the same cause the tablets discovered
are hoarded at Constantinople and have not been given to the world.

_By Genouillac._--During the early part of the year 1914 a French
expedition, under the direction of H. de Genouillac, excavated at
Ukhaimir, the site of ancient Kish. They have discovered the great
_Ziggurat_ of the temple of Zamama, the god of Kish, and are said to have
made other important finds, but the details are not yet published.

=4. The Decipherment of the Inscriptions.=--The task of learning to read
the inscriptions of Babylonia and Assyria was much more difficult than the
decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, for no such simple key as the
Rosetta Stone was at hand. The key that finally unlocked the mystery came
not from Babylonia, but from Persepolis in Persia. When Cyrus the Great
conquered Babylon in 538 B. C. the Persians had not developed a system of
writing. They accordingly adapted to their language the characters of the
Babylonian script. The Babylonian script had begun, like the Egyptian
hieroglyphs, as a system of picture-writing, in which each picture
represented an idea. These had gone through a long development, in which
the original picture-forms had been supplanted by conventional characters
derived therefrom. In making these characters on clay, one end of a line
was always wider than the other, hence the characters are called
“wedge-shaped” or “cuneiform.” In the course of the ages the Babylonians
had come to use the characters to express both syllables and whole words,
and a scribe might mingle these uses of a sign at will in writing a
composition. Many of the signs might also express any one of several
syllables. In adapting this complicated system, the Persians had the
wisdom to simplify it. They selected or constructed a character for each
sound, making a real alphabet. Three of the Persian kings, Darius
(521-485), Xerxes (456-465), and Artaxerxes II (405-359), wrote their
inscriptions in three languages,--Babylonian, Elamite, and
Persian,--employing wedge-shaped scripts for all of them.

_By Niebuhr._--In the ruins of the great palace of the Persian kings at
Persepolis many of these inscriptions in three languages were preserved.
These ruins attracted the notice of many travelers from the time that
Odoric, a monk, saw them in 1320 A. D., and a number of travelers had made
copies of some of them and brought them back to Europe. The inscriptions
were a great puzzle. After Alexander the Great (331-323 B. C.) Persia had
been subject to foreign powers until 220 A. D., when the Sassanian dynasty
(220-641 A. D.) made Persia again an independent kingdom. In the revival
of Persian letters that occurred in Sassanian times, a form of the
Phœnician alphabet was used, because the old characters of these
inscriptions had been forgotten. In 1765 Carsten Niebuhr, a Dane, visited
Persepolis and made accurate copies of a large number of these
inscriptions. The first correct reading of any of these inscriptions was
done from Niebuhr’s copies; (see Fig. 20).

_By Grotefend_, _de Sacy_, and _Rawlinson_.--A number of scholars had
studied Niebuhr’s copies, but the first to read any of them correctly was
Georg Friedrich Grotefend, a German scholar. He began with the assumption
that the three groups of lines in the inscriptions contained respectively
three languages, and that the first of these was the Persian of Cyrus and
his successors. In the years 1787-1791 Sylvestre de Sacy, a French
Oriental scholar, had studied and in part expounded some Sassanian
alphabetic inscriptions from Persia, which had also long attracted the
notice of scholars. These Sassanian inscriptions were many of them cast in
the same mould. They ran thus:

    “X the great king, king of kings, the king of Iran and Aniran, son of
    Y, the great king,” etc.

Grotefend had these inscriptions before him, and compared this formula
with the inscriptions from Persepolis. He noted that as often as the
formula contained the word “king” the inscriptions from Persepolis
contained the same group of signs, and that as often as it had “of kings,”
they reproduced the group with a different ending. He therefore rightly
concluded that these signs were the old Persian spelling of the Persian
word for “king” with its genitive plural. Taking from the Sassanian
inscriptions the word for king, he proceeded to parcel out its sounds
among the characters with which the word was spelled in the Persepolis
inscriptions. He also found a king, who was the son of a man not a king.
This, he rightly held, could be none other than Darius, the son of
Hystaspes. Apportioning the proper groups of signs among the sounds of
these names, he obtained still further alphabetical values. Thus a
beginning was made. Grotefend was, however, unable to carry the work far,
and in the years that followed Eugène Burnouf, Christian Lassen, Isidore
Lowenstern, Henry C. Rawlinson, and Edward Hincks all made contributions
to the subject. The honor of having first correctly read and interpreted a
long inscription belongs to Rawlinson. Rawlinson was a young army officer,
who as a boy had been in India, where he learned Persian and several of
the dialects of India. In 1833 he was sent to Persia with other British
officers to assist in the reorganization of the Persian army. Here his
attention was attracted by the great Persian inscriptions in the mountains
near Hamadan, the ancient Ecbatana, and in the intervals of military
duties he copied and studied several of them. He was, in the early stages
of his work, quite unaware of the work done by Grotefend and others, but
hit independently upon the method followed by Grotefend. Owing to the fact
that the inscriptions on which Rawlinson worked were longer than those
accessible to Grotefend, and also contained more proper names, Rawlinson
attained greater success than any of his predecessors. He did not publish
his results, however, until he had become thoroughly familiar with all
that others had done. It was not until 1846 that he published a full
interpretation of the Persian column of the great Behistun[10] inscription
of Darius I.

_Babylonian Column._--This successful achievement related, however, only
to the Persian column. The mysteries of the Babylonian column had not yet
been solved. This task, as will be evident from the complicated nature of
the writing mentioned above, was a much more difficult one. The
decipherment of the Persian had, however, taught the sound of many
cuneiform signs. These sounds were carried over to the Babylonian column
as a nucleus of information. Excavations were all the time also bringing
new material to light, and a comparison of inscriptions, in many of which
the same words were written in different ways, sometimes ideographically
and sometimes syllabically, helped on the general stock of knowledge.
Rawlinson, Hincks, Jules Oppert, and Fox Talbot were the men who at this
stage of the work were still wrestling with the problem. Again Rawlinson
was the man to achieve the first distinguished success. In 1851 he
published one hundred and twelve lines of the Babylonian portion of the
Behistun inscription with transliteration and translation, and accompanied
the whole with copious notes in which the principles of the grammar were
set forth. A list of the signs and their values was also added. From that
day to this the study has steadily gone forward.

_Babylonian-Semitic._--The work of Rawlinson and his co-laborers proved
that the language of the ancient Babylonians was a Semitic language,
closely akin to Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Ethiopic. Within the next few
years after he had found the key to the cuneiform writing, Rawlinson
announced that the inscriptions from Babylonia contained material in
another and very different language. The researches of later years have
fully confirmed this, and scholars call this language Sumerian. The people
who spoke it were the inventors of many elements in the civilization of
early Babylonia, and for many centuries at the dawn of history divided the
country with the Semites.

=5. Chronology.=--The materials for constructing the chronology of
Babylonian and Assyrian history are as follows:

(1) Claudius Ptolemy, an Egyptian astronomer who flourished in the second
century A. D., made a list of the kings of Egypt, Persia, and Babylonia
back to the accession of the Babylonian king, Nabonassar, in 747 B. C.
This list was compiled as an astronomical aid, and is very accurate.

(2) The Assyrian kings kept lists of years and of principal events, to
which scholars have given the name “Eponym Lists,” because each year was
named after the king or some officer. Tablets containing these lists have
been recovered on which we can still read the chronology from 893 to 666
B. C. This list accordingly overlaps the list or “canon” of Ptolemy. Some
of these Assyrian kings were also kings of Babylon, and where the lists
overlap they agree. One of these lists mentions an eclipse which occurred
at Nineveh in the month Sivan (May-June), 763 B. C. This eclipse has been
calculated and verified by modern astronomers, so that the chronology
covered by these lists rests upon a secure scientific basis.

(3) For dates in Assyrian history anterior to 893 B. C. we have to depend
upon incidental notices in the inscriptions. Thus Sennacherib, whose date
is fixed by the Eponym Lists as 705-681 B. C., relates that during his
reign he recovered from Babylon the images of two gods that had been taken
as booty by Marduknadinakhi, King of Babylon, from Tiglath-pileser, King
of Assyria, 418 years before Sennacherib brought them back. It follows
from this that Tiglath-pileser I of Assyria and Marduknadinakhi of
Babylon were ruling from about 1120 to 1100 B. C.

We also have a long inscription from the Tiglath-pileser mentioned here,
who relates that in his reign he restored a temple, which had been built
by Shamshi-Adad, ruler of Assyria, son of Ishmi-Dagan, ruler of Assyria,
641 years before the time of Ashur-dan, King of Assyria. Ashur-dan had, he
tells us, pulled the temple down and it had lain in ruins 60 years until
he (Tiglath-pileser) rebuilt it. By adding these numbers we reach 1819 or
1820 B. C. as the accession of Shamshi-Adad.

Again Sennacherib found at Babylon a seal which bore the following

    “Tukulti-Ninib, king of the world, son of Shalmaneser, King of
    Assyria, conqueror of the land of Chaldæa. Whoever changes the writing
    of my name, may Ashur and Adad destroy his name. This seal was
    presented by the land of Assyria to the land of Akkad” (Babylonia).

To this Sennacherib added the following inscription:

    “I, Sennacherib, after 600 years conquered Babylon, and from its
    treasures brought it out and took it.”

We learn from this that Tukulti-Ninib was ruling in Assyria from about
1300 to 1290 B. C.

Andrae has recently (1914) published an inscription of Tukulti-Ninib in
which he states that he repaired a temple which had been built by his
ancestor, Ilu-shumma, King of Assyria, 720 years before. Ilu-shumma was,
accordingly, ruling in Assyria about 2020 to 2010 B. C.

(4) Among the tablets in the British Museum are two so-called “dynastic
tablets” which contain lists of the kings of Babylon from the time that
Babylon became the leading city of the country to its capture by the
Persians. The kings are divided into eight dynasties, the length of the
reign of each king was originally given, and at the end of each dynasty a
statement was given of the number of kings in that dynasty and the total
length of their reigns. These tablets are unfortunately much broken, so
that they afford us little help after the year 1000 B. C. We learn from
them, however, that Marduknadinakhi, the king mentioned by Sennacherib as
ruling about 1100 B. C., belonged to the fourth Babylonian dynasty, and,
if we add together the years given for the previous dynasties, we are
taken back nearly to the year 2400 B. C. for the accession of the first
dynasty of Babylon. Evidence has, however, come to light in recent years
which proves that the first and second of these dynasties overlapped, one
ruling in the north while the other ruled in the south. A reliable
chronology cannot, therefore, be obtained by adding these numbers
together. In order to correct them recourse must be had to other evidence.

(5) Franz Xaver Kugler, who is both an astronomer and an Assyriologist,
has recently shown that an astronomical tablet which was published as long
ago as 1870, and which notes for a series of years when Venus was the
evening and when the morning star, contains a date formula which fixes its
compilation in the reign of Ammi-zadugga, the tenth of the eleven kings of
the first dynasty of Babylon. From mathematical calculations of the
position of the planet Venus, Kugler is accordingly able to fix the
accession year of Ammi-zadugga as either 2040, 1976, or 1857 B. C. As the
first of these dates is too early, and the third is, in the judgment of
most scholars, too late, it follows that his accession year was in 1976.
From the lengths of the reigns of the various kings of this dynasty as
given in the dynastic tablets, it follows that the first dynasty of
Babylon began its rule in 2206 B. C.

(6) Under Adad-nirari III, King of Assyria (810-782 B. C.), a so-called
synchronistic history of Assyria and Babylonia was compiled. It covered
about 600 years, beginning with a treaty of peace between Karaindash, King
of Babylon, and Ashur-rim-nishishu, King of Assyria. It aids in filling
gaps left by breaks in other lists.

(7) A chronological tablet in the Babylonian collection of Yale University
contains a list of the kings of Larsa. This city was conquered by
Hammurapi, of the first dynasty of Babylon, in the 31st year of his reign.
The tablet, therefore, counts Hammurapi one of the kings of Larsa,
ascribing to him twelve years of rule. The tablet was apparently compiled
in the twelfth year of Samsuiluna, Hammurapi’s successor, to whom twelve
years are also ascribed. It gives the total length of the dynasty of Larsa
as 289 years. That dynasty, accordingly, began its rule in 2358 B. C.

(8) In a chronological list of the kings of Ur and Nisin on a tablet in
the University Museum, Philadelphia,[11] it is stated that the kings of
Ur ruled 117 years and the kings of Nisin 225 years and 6 months. A tablet
has now been discovered which shows that the dynasty of Nisin was not
overthrown until 2117 or 2116 B. C. Its 225 years, therefore, were all
parallel to the time of the dynasty of Larsa. As the dynasty of Nisin rose
upon the ruins of the kingdom of Ur, the dates of the kingdom of Ur are,
therefore, fixed as 2458-2341 B. C.

(9) A chronological tablet published by Scheil in the _Comptes rendus_ of
the French Academy for 1911 gives a list of five early dynasties of
Babylonia: a dynasty of Opis, one of Kish, one of Agade, and two of Erech.

(10) A group of chronological tablets in the University Museum in
Philadelphia,[12] which assign several dynasties to each of several
well-known Babylonian cities, ascribe to their kings incredibly long
reigns. One of these is translated in Part II, Chapter IV.

(11) Fragments of a work of Berossos, a Babylonian priest who lived after
the time of Alexander the Great, contain a list of Babylonian kings. He
based his work on such tablets as those in the University Museum. His
statements abound accordingly in incredible numbers.

From these tablets it appears that the dynasty of Ur was preceded by the
dynasty of Gutium, which ruled for 159 years; the dynasty of Gutium was
preceded by a dynasty of Erech for 26 years; that, by a dynasty of Agade
for 197 years; that, by one king of Erech, Lugalzaggisi, who ruled 25
years; he was apparently preceded by a dynasty of Kish for 106 years;
that, by a dynasty of Opis for 99 years. These figures take us back to
3070 B. C., though the arrangement for the time before Lugalzaggisi is in
part conjectural. Four dynasties of what are known to have been historical
kings existed before this time, so that we are led to place the beginning
of the historical period in Babylonia about 3200 B. C. or earlier.

(12) Nabuna’id, King of Babylon, 555-538 B. C., states that he found, in
repairing the temple at Sippar (Agade), the temple-platform of Naram-Sin,
son of Sargon, which no one had seen for 3,200 years. As he made this
statement about 550 B. C., it was long supposed that this fixed the date
of Naram-Sin as 3750 B. C., and that of his father, Sargon, at about 3800
B. C. These dates will be found in many of the older books, but they are
incredible. They would, if true, leave long gaps in the history that we
have no information to fill. Since it has been clearly proved that the
dynasties overlapped, it seems that Nabuna’id reached his date by adding
together the totals of dynasties, some of which were contemporary. It now
seems probable that he placed Naram-Sin about 1,100 years too early.

The sources here enumerated afford us a tolerably accurate chronology back
to about 2450 B. C. All dates earlier than this have to be estimated by
combining statements of early dynastic tablets with archæological and
palæographic considerations.

=6. Outline of the History.=--The history of Babylonia and Assyria falls
into eight different periods. Our information is not yet sufficiently
complete to enable us to write the history of any one of them, but we can
discern in outline a most fascinating course of events.

(1) _The Prehistoric Period_, or the period before the rise of written
history, during which we can ascertain from various inferences the general
course of events. This period must have begun about 4500 or 5000 B. C. and
lasted down to about 3200 B. C. The Semites from Arabia[13] were the first
to pour into the fertile valley of Mesopotamia. They came up from the
south, establishing the city of Eridu on the shore of the Persian Gulf,
then the cities of Ur, Erech, Lagash, Nippur, etc. They carried with them
the culture of the palm-tree, and learned to raise grain in the alluvial
soil of the rivers, but they had no system of writing. The early cities of
Babylonia were the fortified residences of different tribes, which were
frequently at war with one another. One city would subjugate its neighbors
for a time and establish a small empire. As long as it continued to rule,
a certain degree of homage was paid to its god by all the cities over
which it ruled. In prehistoric times there were kingdoms of this sort
ruled at one time by Eridu, at another by Erech, and at another by Nippur,
for Ea, the god of Eridu, Anu, the god of Erech, and Enlil or Bel, god of
Nippur, were ever after worshiped as the supreme gods of Babylonia.

_Sumerians._--At some time before the dawn of history a people whom we
call Sumerians moved into Babylonia from the East. These people spoke a
language which possesses some features in common with Finnish and Turkish.
They were neither Aryans nor Semites. The Semites wore thick hair and long
beards; the Sumerians shaved both their heads and faces. These Sumerians
overran southern Babylonia as far north as Nippur and in this region
became the ruling race. They grafted the worship of their own gods upon
the worship of the deities of the cities which they conquered, but the
Semitic elements of these local deities persisted even in Sumerian
thought. It thus came about that the bald and beardless Sumerians picture
their gods with hair and beards. After settling in Babylonia, the
Sumerians developed a system of writing. It was at first hieroglyphic,
like the Egyptian system. Afterward the Semites, who still retained the
supremacy in the cities of Kish and Agade in the north, and who had
probably been reinforced there by fresh migrations from Arabia, adapted
this system of writing to their own language. As clay was the usual
writing material and it was difficult to make good pictures on it, the
pictographic form of the writing was soon lost. The pictures degenerated
into those conventional symbols which are today known as the “cuneiform”

(2) _The Pre-Babylonian Period_ of the history includes the period from
about 3200 B. C. down to the rise of the city of Babylon, about 2100 B. C.
This period, like the preceding, was a time of successive city kingdoms.
One city would establish an empire for a while, then another, having
become more powerful, would take the leadership. When first our written
records enable us to trace the course of events, Lagash in the south and
Kish in the north were the rival cities. Lagash was ruled by a king,
Enkhegal. A little later Meselim, King of Kish, conquered all of southern
Babylonia, including Lagash. After Meselim had passed away, Ur-Nina
founded a new dynasty at Lagash and gained his independence. Ur-Nina’s
grandson, Eannatum, raised the power of Lagash to its greatest height,
conquering all the cities of Babylonia, even Kish. The Elamites were
always invading the fertile plains of Babylonia, so Eannatum ascended the
eastern mountains and subjugated Elam.

“_Stele of the Vultures._”--He celebrated his victories by the erection of
one of the most remarkable monuments which the ancient world produced, the
so-called “stele of the vultures.” From the pictures on the monument we
learn that the soldiers of Lagash, about 2950 B. C., waged their battles
in a solid phalanx protected by shields. The Greeks were formerly supposed
to have invented this form of attack, but were anticipated by 2,500 years;
(see Fig. 19).

Although this dynasty furnished several other rulers, the leadership of
all Babylonia was lost after the death of Eannatum. It passed first to
Opis and then again to Kish. Lagash continued to flourish, however, during
200 years, while these cities were the overlords of its rulers. Its wars
had made it rich, and all the arts flourished there. Our best specimens of
terra-cotta and stone work come from this period of this city. Under
Entemena, the successor of Eannatum, a silver vase of exquisite
workmanship and ornamentation was made; (see Fig. 21). After a century or
more of wealth and luxury, during which priests and officials became
corrupt, a new king, Urkagina, seized the throne and endeavored to reform
the administration. Naturally, his reforms were unpopular with the
priesthood and the army, and, though popular with the people, he
unintentionally weakened the defensive power of his country.

At this juncture a new ruler named Lugalzaggisi arose in the city of Umma,
who ultimately overthrew Lagash and became king of all Babylonia. He made
Erech his capital. This was about 2800 B. C. Lugalzaggisi claims to have
overrun the country from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. If so, and
there is no good reason to doubt his claim, Babylonia and the Palestinian
coast-lands were under him brought together for the first time.

After Lugalzaggisi the city of Agade came to the fore. Its great King
Sargon about 2775 B. C. founded a dynasty which ruled for nearly two
hundred years. The kings of this line were Semitic and resided sometimes
at Agade and sometimes at Kish. Sargon conquered Syria and a later
chronicle says that he crossed the western sea. As a seal of this dynasty
was found in Cyprus, it is possibly true. Naram-Sin, one of the most
famous kings of this line, conquered the country of Magan, which some
believe to be the peninsula of Sinai, but which others hold was situated
in eastern Arabia.

About the time of this dynasty, or a little before, King Lugaldaudu
flourished at Adab, the modern Bismya, where Dr. Banks found his statue.
In this same general period a king named Anubanini ruled in a city to the
northward, called Lulubi.

Perhaps it was under the later kings of this dynasty of Agade, or under a
dynasty of Erech which held sway for a brief period after them, that Gudea
flourished at Lagash. This ruler does not claim to be a king, but his city
enjoyed great prosperity under him, and he rebuilt it in fine style. He
seems to have been on peaceful terms with much of the world, and brought
for his structures stone from Magan, cedar wood from Amanus on the
Mediterranean coast, and copper from Lebanon. After this time the land was
overrun by hordes from Gutium, a region to the northeast beyond the
Tigris. They established a dynasty which lasted for 125 (or 159) years.

In 2458 B. C. a dynasty arose in the city of Ur, situated far to the
south. These kings were Sumerians and under them a great Sumerian revival
occurred. By this time northern Babylonia was called Akkad, from the city
of Agade, and southern Babylonia was called Sumir, from a corruption of
the name of one of the quarters of Lagash. These kings combined with the
title “king of Ur” the title “king of Sumir and Akkad.” Sumir is the
Biblical “Shinar” (Gen. 10:10; 11:2, etc.).

Dungi, the second king of this dynasty of Ur, reigned 58 years and
established a wide empire, which included Elam and the city of Susa. He
established a system of government posts to aid the royal officers of army
and state in the performance of their duties.

Upon the fall of the dynasty of Ur, the dominion of Babylonia was divided
between two cities, Nisin and Larsa, each of which furnished a dynasty
which flourished for more than two and a quarter centuries. Naturally,
these kings were continually struggling with each other for the supremacy,
and sometimes one city was the more powerful, sometimes the other. The
Elamites, who during the whole period had occasionally swooped down into
the Mesopotamian Valley, overran Larsa and furnished the last two kings of
its dynasty,--Arad-Sin and Rim-Sin. These kings have each been thought by
different scholars to be the Arioch of Gen. 14:1. (See Part II, Chapter

About 2210 B. C. a dynasty of rulers was founded in the city of Babylon
that was destined to bring a new era into the history of the country.
After a struggle of more than a century Hammurapi, the sixth king of this
line, broke the power of Larsa and made Babylon the leading city of the
country. Nisin had previously fallen. With the rise of Babylon another
period of the life of the country was ended.

The above sketch calls attention to a few only of the more prominent
features and cities of Babylonia. There were many others which
participated in her life during the millennium of the pre-Babylonian
period. The recovery of more inscriptions will no doubt make this
statement more true even than we now dream. Each of these contributed its
mite to the progress of civilization in this melting-pot of races in this
far-off time.

(3) _The Early Babylonian Period_ began with the reign of Hammurapi and
continued till about 1050 B. C. It includes the rule of the first four
dynasties of Babylon. The period began gloriously under Hammurapi, who
conquered all of Babylonia, and extended his sway also to the
Mediterranean. He was as great as an administrator as he was as a
conqueror; he codified the laws of Babylonia and inscribed them on a stone
pillar, which was set up in the temple of Marduk in Babylon. These laws
have been recovered, and are one of the most valuable archæological
discoveries of modern times. (See Part II, Chapter XIII.)

Soon after the death of Hammurapi, a revolt occurred under one Ilumailu,
who established in the region near the Persian Gulf a dynasty known as the
“dynasty of the sea lands,” which was afterward called the second dynasty
of Babylon. Down to 1924 B. C. the two dynasties divided the country
between them. In that year Babylonia was invaded by the Hittites, who came
from the northwest, and the first dynasty of Babylon was overthrown. The
Hittites appear to have ruled the country for a short time, when they were
driven out by the “dynasty of the sea lands,” which, so far as we know,
controlled the country for the next hundred and fifty years.

_Kassites._--About 1750 B. C., or shortly before, Babylonia was once more
invaded by a race of barbarians from the east of the Tigris, called
Kassites or Cossæans. They captured Babylon and founded the third dynasty
of Babylon, which ruled for 576 years. The kings of this dynasty gradually
absorbed Babylonian culture. Soon after 1700 B. C. they expelled the kings
of the sea lands from the south and ruled the whole country.

Assyria, which under the first dynasty had been a Babylonian colony,
gained her independence before 1400 B. C., so that after that the
independent histories of the two lands run on parallel lines. During the
long period of Kassite rule, Babylon experienced many vicissitudes.
Assyria was at times friendly and at times hostile. In the reign of
Kurigalzu, Elam was successfully invaded and spoil formerly taken by the
kings of Elam was brought back to Babylonia. Kadashman-turgu and
Burnaburiash, kings of this dynasty, carried on friendly correspondence
with Amenophis III and Amenophis IV, kings of Egypt, 1400-1350 B. C.

_Pashe Dynasty._--About 1175 B. C. the Kassite dynasty was superseded by
the Pashe dynasty, which ruled the country for more than a hundred and
thirty years. The greatest king of this time was Nebuchadrezzar I, who
reigned about 1150 B. C. He emulated with considerable success the career
of his great predecessor, Hammurapi. After the fall of the fourth dynasty,
the country was divided and fell a prey to the Elamites, who overran it
about 1050. For the following 450 years Babylonia, though often
independent, was of little political importance.

(4) _The Early Assyrian Period._--Assyria’s empire grew out of the
domination of the city of Ashur, as that of Rome grew out of the
domination of the city of Rome. Ashur and Nineveh had been founded by
colonists from Lagash about 3000 or 2800 B. C. This is shown by
archæological remains found at Ashur, and by the name of Nineveh. We can
first trace the names of Assyria’s rulers shortly before the year 2000 B.
C. They do not call themselves kings, and were, perhaps, then subject to

About 1430 B. C. we learn that Assyria had become an independent kingdom.
Her king at that time, Ashur-rim-nishishu, was a contemporary of
Karaindash, King of Babylon. Ashur-uballit about 1370-1343 was a
contemporary of Burnaburiash, King of Babylon, and shared in the
correspondence with Egyptian kings contained in the El-Amarna letters.
Shalmaneser I about 1300 B. C. conquered the region to the west of Assyria
extending across the Euphrates in the direction of the Mediterranean.
Ashur-nasirpal, a later king (884-860 B. C.), says that Shalmaneser “made”
the city of Calah[14] as a new capital for his country. His son,
Tukulti-Ninib I, turned his arms to the southward and conquered Babylon,
which he held for seven years. After him Assyria’s power declined for a
time, but was revived by Tiglath-pileser I, who carried Assyria’s
conquests again across the Euphrates to the Mediterranean Sea and
northward to the region of Lake Van. After the reign of Tiglath-pileser I,
Assyria’s power rapidly declined again, and the first period of Assyria’s
history was closed. Our sources almost fail us for a hundred years or

(5) _The Second Assyrian Period._--Assyria slowly emerged from the
obscurity into which she had fallen after the death of Tiglathpileser I.
The progress went forward through the reigns of eleven different kings.
Finally, in the reign of Ashur-nasirpal II, 884-860 B. C., a period of
foreign conquest was once more inaugurated. This monarch again carried the
conquests of his country northward and also to the Mediterranean. (See
Part II, p. 360.) Under him Assyria became the best fighting machine in
the ancient world--a machine that was run with ruthless cruelty over all
conquered peoples. This king set his successors the example of flaying and
impaling numbers of conquered peoples, and of boasting of such deeds in
his chronicles. Probably such deeds were not now committed for the first
time, but so far as we know they had not been so gloated over.

Ashur-nasirpal’s successor, Shalmaneser III, 868-824 B. C., made, besides
campaigns into Armenia and elsewhere, six campaigns against the lands of
Syria and Palestine. On his first campaign in 854 he was met at Qarqar by
a confederation of kings, among whom were Ahab of Israel and Ben-Hadad of
Damascus. (See Part II, p. 360, ff.) On his fourth campaign in 842 B. C.
Jehu, who had in that year usurped the throne of Israel, hastened to make
his peace with Shalmaneser by giving him a heavy tribute. Thus Assyria
gained a right to claim Israel as a vassal state. (See Part II, p. 362,

The next two kings, Shamshi-Adad IV and Adad-nirari IV, controlled Assyria
until 783 B. C., and maintained her power. The last-mentioned king made
three expeditions into the West, and claims to have received tribute not
only from Israel but from Philistia and Edom, but no details of his
campaigns have survived.

After 783 the power of Assyria declined again, and the decline lasted
until 745, when the reigning dynasty was overthrown, and an able general,
whose name was apparently Pul, gained the throne (cf. 2 Kings 15:19), and
took the great name of Tiglath-pileser. He reigned as the fourth king of
that name. Tiglath-pileser IV was great both as a warrior and as a
statesman. He broke for the time being the power of the kingdom of Urartu
in Armenia, conquered parts of Media on the east, and also annexed Babylon
to Assyria. Babylon during this later Assyrian period had usually been
permitted to retain a king of her own, though the kingdom was of little
political importance as compared with Assyria. Tiglath-pileser made his
power dominant in Babylonia at the beginning of his reign, and during the
last two years of his life actually reigned there as king. The Babylonian
scribes did not recognize his high-sounding name of Tiglath-pileser, but
still called him Pul.

In the first year of his reign Tiglath-pileser IV inaugurated a new policy
with reference to conquered peoples. This was the policy of transporting
to a distant part of his empire the wealthy and influential members of a
conquered nation, and of putting similar exiles from other lands in their
place. Individuals so transported would be unable longer to foment
rebellion against him. It was a brutal policy, but it was a measure
designed to build up a permanent empire.

Tiglath-pileser made four expeditions to the west, though the first two
touched northern Phœnicia only. In 739, when he made his appearance in
Palestine, Menahem, King of Israel, hastened to pay him tribute (2 Kings
15:19). Four years later, however, after Pekah had usurped the throne of
Israel, that king formed an alliance with Rezin of Damascus for the
purpose of throwing off the Assyrian yoke, and tried to force Ahaz of
Judah to join in the enterprise. (See Isa. 7:1, f.) This, Ahaz, supported
by the prophet Isaiah, refused to do. In 733-732 Tiglath-pileser came
again into the West, overran the territory of the kingdom of Israel,
deported the chief inhabitants of Galilee to distant parts of his
dominions (2 Kings 15:29, 30), and replaced Pekah, who had been killed, by
King Hoshea, who ruled over a greatly diminished territory and upon whom a
heavy Assyrian tribute was imposed. Tiglath-pileser then turned eastward
and conquered Damascus, which his predecessors since the days of
Shalmaneser III had been vainly trying to capture. While the Assyrian
monarch was at Damascus, King Ahaz of Judah went thither and became his
vassal. (See 2 Kings 16:10, f.) Thus Judah also passed under the Assyrian
yoke. (See Part II, p. 366.)

Tiglath-pileser IV was succeeded by Shalmaneser V, 727-722 B. C., and soon
after the death of Tiglath-pileser, Hoshea of Israel was persuaded to join
several petty rulers of Philistia and Egypt in rebelling against Assyria.
In 725 an Assyrian army overran Hoshea’s territory, and laid siege to
Samaria. The military position of Samaria and its strong walls made it
almost impregnable, and the siege dragged on for three years (2 Kings
17:5). Before the city fell, another king had ascended the throne of
Assyria. He was a usurper, a general, who took the great name of Sargon,
and who ruled from 722 to 705 B. C. Samaria succumbed in Sargon’s first
year and 27,290 of its inhabitants were deported. The discontent of the
west was not at once quieted. Other states remained in rebellion and an
Assyrian army finally defeated them at Raphia, southwest of Gaza, in 719
B. C. Sargon then turned his arms in other directions, fighting at various
times with the kingdom of Urartu in Armenia, overcoming Carchemish, a
Hittite kingdom on the Euphrates in 717 (see Isa. 10:9), and making an
expedition into Arabia in 715. In 711 Ashdod revolted and Sargon’s Tartan
or chief officer came to put the rebellion down (Isa. 20:1).

At the beginning of Sargon’s reign his arms had been defeated in
Babylonia, and Merodachbaladan, a Chaldæan (see 2 Kings 20:12), seized the
throne of Babylon and held it from 721 to 709. Then he was defeated and
Sargon took over the control of Babylonia. Merodachbaladan, however,
escaped to the marsh lands at the head of the Persian Gulf, and survived
to make trouble later. In 705 Sargon died and was succeeded by his son,
Sennacherib, who ruled from 705 to 681 B. C. At the beginning of his reign
troubles broke out in Babylonia, which cannot here be followed in detail.
They lasted for years, and none of Sennacherib’s measures gave the country
permanent peace. At last Sennacherib became so incensed that he destroyed
Babylon. Her buildings were burned and battered down, her walls
overthrown, and the Euphrates turned through canals into the land on which
she had stood, to make it a marsh. One incident in the series of events
which led up to this sad climax was the reappearance in 702 of
Merodachbaladan, who seized the throne of Babylon and tried to stir up a
rebellion against Assyria. He even sent letters to Hezekiah, King of
Judah. (See 2 Kings 20:12.) At the beginning of Sennacherib’s reign a
number of the petty kings of Philistia had withheld their tribute. Into
this revolt Hezekiah, King of Judah, had been drawn. Busied with other
wars, Sennacherib was unable to quell this rebellion until the year 701.
In that year his army met the forces of the confederated kingdoms at
Elteke in the valley of Aijalon and overcame them. Sennacherib then
proceeded to Lachish, where he received the submission of the neighboring
kinglets. From Lachish he sent a messenger who summoned Hezekiah of Judah
to submit (cf. Isa. 36, 37). Hezekiah obeyed the summons and paid a heavy
tribute. Space does not permit us to speak of the wars of Sennacherib
against Elam and other countries.

It would seem that after Tirhakah ascended the throne of Egypt in 688 B.
C., he persuaded the kingdoms of Palestine to rebel. The Assyrian came
west again and threatened to invade Egypt and to destroy Jerusalem. Isaiah
then predicted that Jerusalem would be delivered (Isa. 31:5), a prediction
which was fulfilled. Sennacherib’s army was attacked by bubonic plague and
was compelled to retire.[15]

Sennacherib was assassinated in 681 and was succeeded by his son,
Esarhaddon, who ruled till 668. Esarhaddon rebuilt Babylon, which his
father had destroyed, and two years before his death conquered all of
Lower Egypt and made it an Assyrian province. During his reign a great
horde of Scythians poured into Asia through the Caucasus region from
southern Russia. The Assyrian army prevented Assyria from being
overwhelmed by this horde. The stream of invaders was divided, one part
flowing east to Media, the other part westward to Asia Minor.

Esarhaddon’s son and successor, Ashurbanipal, ruled from 668 to 626. His
reign was the Augustan age of Assyria. At the beginning he was called upon
to put down a rebellion in Egypt, and as trouble there recurred several
times, trouble which was fomented by emissaries from Thebes and Nubia, he
finally in 661 pushed up the Nile and conquered Thebes and gave it over to
plunder. (See Nahum 3:8.) Space does not permit us to follow
Ashurbanipal’s wars. About the middle of his reign his brother,
Shamash-shumukin, who was ruling Babylon, rebelled along with many other
vassals, and although the rebels were finally put down, the seeds of the
decay of Assyria’s power were sown. Manasseh, King of Judah, as long as he
lived was a faithful vassal of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal. (Cf. 2 Kings
19:37; 2 Chron. 33.)

The great work of Ashurbanipal was the collection of his library at
Nineveh. He sent to all the old temples of Babylonia and had copies made
of their incantations, hymns, and epics. These, together with chronicles,
medical tablets, dictionaries, etc., he collected in his palace, where
they were found by Layard and Rassam, and form the basis of our knowledge
of the Assyrian and Babylonian language, literature, and history. With the
death of Ashurbanipal, the last Assyrian period had really closed. Though
the kingdom continued for twenty years more, they were but the years of a
lingering death.

(6) _The Neo-Babylonian Period._--In 625, the year after Ashurbanipal’s
death, Nabopolassar, the viceroy of Babylon, who appears to have been a
Chaldæan,[16] gained his independence, and established the Neo-Babylonian,
or Chaldæan empire. Nabopolassar himself reigned till 604 B. C. During his
reign the power of the city of Babylon gradually extended over all
southern Babylonia, and up the Euphrates to Carchemish. During these years
Assyria was gradually diminishing in territory. As Assyria had declined,
Media, which had long been in greater or less degree subject to Assyria,
had become free, and Median kings had little by little gained control of
the country toward Assyria. Nabopolassar finally made an alliance with the
Median king, and together they overthrew Nineveh in 606 B. C.

In 604 Necho of Egypt marched with an army to the Euphrates, and
Nabopolassar sent his son, Nebuchadrezzar II, to meet him. Nebuchadrezzar
defeated Necho at the battle of Carchemish, and hotly pursued him toward
Egypt. (See Jer. 46.) The pursuit was, however, interrupted by the death
of Nabopolassar, and the recall of Nebuchadrezzar to Babylon to be crowned
as king. The defeat of Necho had made Judah a Babylonian vassal-state.
Nebuchadrezzar ruled until 562 B. C., and raised Babylon to a height of
power which rivaled that attained under the great Hammurapi. He also
rebuilt the city in great magnificence. The palaces, temples, and walls of
this period, unearthed by Koldewey, were most magnificent structures.
Owing to rebellions, first of Jehoiakim and then of Zedekiah, kings of
Judah, Nebuchadrezzar twice besieged Jerusalem, once in 597, and again in
586 B. C., on both occasions capturing the city. In 586 he destroyed it.
(2 Kings 24, 25.) Following the Assyrian practice, which had prevailed
since Tiglath-pileser IV, he transported considerable numbers of the more
influential people of the city each time he took it. These were settled in
Babylonia. One colony of them was stationed near Nippur. Among those who
were transported in 597 was a young priest, who afterward became the
prophet Ezekiel. The colony with which he came was settled by the Khubur
canal near Nippur. (See Ezek. 1:1.) The young king, Jehoiachin, who was
also taken captive at that time, remained in confinement during the rest
of Nebuchadrezzar’s reign. He was only released by Amil-Marduk,
Nebuchadrezzar’s son, who succeeded his father and reigned two years. (See
2 Kings 25:27-30.)

After Nebuchadrezzar the kingdom of Babylon rapidly declined through four
reigns. Meantime, Cyrus, who in 553 had overthrown the kingdom of Media
and erected the kingdom of Persia on its ruins, had been gradually
extending his realm to the Ægean Sea on the west, and to the borders of
India on the east. In 538 B. C. Cyrus captured Babylon and overthrew

(7) _The Persian Period_ lasted from 538 to 331 B. C. During this time
Babylonia was but a province of the Persian empire, though the Persian
kings made it one of their capitals. Cyrus reversed the policy of
transportation, which had been practised by the Assyrians and Babylonians
for two hundred years, and permitted subject peoples to return to their
lands and restore their institutions and worship. He sought to attach them
to his government by gratitude instead of fear. It was owing to this
policy that the Jewish state was once more established with Jerusalem as
its capital, though still a Persian colony. Cambyses extended Persian
power to Egypt in 525, and Darius I, 521-485 B. C., extended it to India
and into Europe. Under Darius the temple at Jerusalem was rebuilt and the
Jews there tried unsuccessfully to regain their independence. This they
attempted once more under Artaxerxes III about 350 B. C., but his general,
Bagoses, put down their rebellion with great severity. During the Persian
period life in Babylonia went on as before. The old gods were worshiped,
the old culture was continued, the same language was used, and many
business documents written in it have come down to us. The earlier Persian
kings employed it for their inscriptions, and in a short time the Persians
made from it an alphabet of their own.

(8) _The Greek and Parthian Periods._--Alexander the Great overthrew
Darius III, the last of the Persian kings, in 331 B. C., when Assyria and
Babylonia passed under the sway of the Macedonian. When Alexander returned
from his conquest of hither India in 325 B. C., he planned to extend his
empire westward to the Atlantic Ocean, and to make Babylon its capital.
Plans for the enlargement and beautifying of the city, so as to make it a
worthy capital for such an empire, were under way when Alexander suddenly
died in June, 323 B. C. In the final division of the world among
Alexander’s successors, Babylonia fell to Seleucus, together with all the
territory from the Mediterranean to the borders of India. As Seleucus
desired a capital on the Mediterranean, so as to watch more successfully
the movements of his rivals, he built Antioch on the Orontes and made it
his residence. Babylon was, however, made the capital of the eastern half
of the empire, and the king’s son, as viceroy, made it his residence.

Soon after 260 B. C. Bactria and Parthia, in the eastern part of the
empire of the Seleucidæ, gained their independence. In course of time
Parthia absorbed Bactria and became an empire, which lasted till 230 A. D.
About 150 B. C. the Parthians conquered Babylonia, which remained with
little interruption under their sway till the establishment of the
Sassanian kingdom of the Persians in 220 A. D. Babylonia was under the
control of this last dynasty until the coming of the Mohammedans in the
year 637 A. D. The old culture of the Babylonians, their religion,
language, and writing were maintained well down toward the Christian era.
Copies of old Sumerian hymns have been found in Babylonia which bear dates
as late as 81 B. C., and business documents in Semitic are numerous.[17]

=7. Discoveries Which Illumine the Bible.=--Discoveries in Babylonia and
Assyria which illumine the Biblical narratives are numerous. The sites of
many cities, such as Ur of the Chaldees, Erech, Babylon, Ashur, Nineveh,
and Calah, have been excavated. The number of documents which have come to
light which in one way or another have a bearing on the Bible is too
numerous to mention here. An effort has been made in Part II to translate
examples of most of them. Indeed, the greater part of the material in Part
II was recovered by excavations in these countries.

To Babylonia and to Egypt mankind owes the working out of the initial
problems of civilization, the processes of agriculture, the making of
bricks, the working of stone, the manufacture and use of the ordinary
implements of life, the development of elementary mathematics and
astronomy, etc. These problems were by slow processes independently worked
out in each country through long ages. The higher spiritual concepts which
have now become the heritage of man neither Babylonia nor Egypt was fitted
to contribute. These came through the agency of other peoples.



    recent excavations. HITTITE DECIPHERMENT: Sayce’s early work. Peiser.
    Jensen. Conder. Sayce’s later work. Thompson. Delitzsch. HITTITE
    HISTORY: First appearance. Hyksos possibly Hittites. The Mitanni.
    Kingdom of “Hittite City.” Carchemish. Samal and Yadi. Hamath.

=1. A Forgotten Empire.=--Among the peoples who are said to have been in
Palestine in the Patriarchal age are the Hittites (Gen. 23:10; 26:34,
etc.). They are mentioned most often in the list of peoples whom the
Israelites drove out of the country when they conquered it: “the
Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite,” and
the man is still living who first suspected that anything more than this
could be known of them. This man was Prof. Sayce, of Oxford. In the
inscriptions of the Egyptian kings of the eighteenth and nineteenth
dynasties there is frequent mention of a people called _Kheta_. In the
inscriptions of Assyrian kings there is also frequent mention of a people
called _Kha-at-tu_. Slowly, too, during the nineteenth century
rock-carvings, often accompanied by inscriptions in a peculiar hieroglyph,
were found scattered through northern Syria and Asia Minor. The figures of
gods and men on these carvings usually wore caps of a peculiarly pointed
type and shoes turned far up at the toe. In 1876 it dawned upon Prof.
Sayce that these were all references to the Biblical Hittites. He
proceeded to elaborate this view in two articles published in the
_Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archæology_, Vols. V and VII.

About the same time the Rev. William Wright independently started the same
idea, and gave it expression in his book, _The Empire of the Hittites_,
1884, 2d ed., 1885. At this period it was impossible to discern more than
that there had been a widely scattered Hittite civilization, which might
have been an empire.

=2. Hittite Monuments.=--This civilization, it was seen, had left its
monuments at Hamath in Syria, at Carchemish on the Euphrates, at various
points in ancient Cappadocia, Lycaonia, and Phrygia, as well as near
Smyrna in Asia Minor and on the Lydian mountains to the west of Sardis. In
1891 Prof. W. Max Müller, of Philadelphia, reached the conclusion from a
study of the Egyptian inscriptions that the Hittites had come into Syria
from the northwest, and that their main strength was in Asia Minor. Among
the letters found at El-Amarna in Egypt in 1887-1888 were some from
Dushratta, a king of Mitanni. A study of these made it clear that the
Mitanni inhabited the region on both sides of the Euphrates north of
Carchemish, and that they were of the same stock as the Hittites. Our
sources of information indicate that the territory of the Mitanni lay east
of the Euphrates, but scattered monuments of the Hittite type are found on
the west of that river.

(1) _Sendjirli._--From 1888 to 1891 a German expedition excavated at
Sendjirli, near the head-waters of the Kara Su in northern Syria, and
brought to light most interesting remains of a civilization that was
fundamentally Hittite. Inscriptions found here dated in the reigns of
Tiglath-pileser IV and Esarhaddon were in Aramaic. By this time there had
been an influx of Aramæans, but the art shows that Hittites held the place
at an earlier time, and there is reason to believe that one of the kings
mentioned here had, about 850 B. C., joined in a Hittite federation.

(2) _Boghaz Koi._--Among the monuments known to Prof. Sayce at the
beginning of his brilliant studies of the Hittites, were some from Boghaz
Koi, in Asia Minor. Different travelers had noted that here must have been
a somewhat extensive city, adorned with several large buildings, all of
which were ornamented with carvings of the peculiar Hittite type. In 1906
the late Prof. Winckler, of Berlin, excavating here in connection with the
authorities of the Turkish Museum at Constantinople, discovered an archive
of clay tablets inscribed in Babylonian characters. A group of similar
tablets from Cappadocia had been previously purchased by the British
Museum. Winckler’s discovery was important because he found some of the
tablets inscribed in Hittite written in cuneiform characters. Of those
written in the Babylonian language, one contained a copy of the great
treaty between Hattusil, a Hittite king, and Ramses II of Egypt. There
were also tablets containing Sumerian and Semitic equivalents of Hittite
words. Owing to the long illness of Winckler which followed these
discoveries, an illness that terminated in death, the results of this
discovery are only now being given to the world.

In 1907 Winckler and Puchstein, in conjunction with Makridy Bey of the
Turkish Museum, made a thorough examination of the remains of walls and
buildings at Boghaz Koi. The results have since been published in a
handsome volume entitled _Boghaskoi, die Bauwerke_, Leipzig, 1912; (see
Figs. 23 and 25).

(3) _Other Recent Excavations._--An American expedition consisting of Drs.
Olmstead, Charles, and Wrench, of Cornell University, explored in Asia
Minor in 1907-1908. The members of this expedition collated all the known
monuments of the Hittites, but so far only their collation of the
inscriptions has been published.

The Institute of Archæology of the University of Liverpool has also sent
one or more expeditions to explore the Hittite country. In 1910 they
excavated to some extent at Sakje-Geuze, not far from Sendjirli, but their
results are not yet published.

Since 1911 the trustees of the British Museum have had an excavation in
progress at the site of ancient Carchemish on the Euphrates. Here most
important Hittite remains have been discovered, though again the details
of the work have not been given to the public. The expedition has also
made some minor excavations at several points in the neighborhood, and
find that Hittite remains are numerous in that region. In addition to
these places, Hittite remains have been observed at Yaila, Marash,
Giaour-Kalesi, Karaburna, Kizil Dagh, Fraktin, Ivriz, Kara-Bel, Mount
Sypilus, Tashji, Asarjik, Bulghar-Maden, Gurun, and Kara Dagh. One who
will look up these places on a map of modern Turkey will see that Hittite
monuments are distributed from near the shores of the Ægean Sea to the
Euphrates at Carchemish and to Hamath in Syria. (_For addition to this
section, see Appendix._)

=3. Hittite Decipherment.=

(1) _Sayce’s Early Work._--Prof. Sayce, whose insight first grasped the
significance of the Hittite monuments, was also the first to attempt the
solution of the riddle which the inscriptions present. In 1880 he thought
he had found a key to the writing, such as the Rosetta Stone had been to
Egyptian, in the so-called “Boss of Tarkondemos”; (see Fig. 26). This
“boss” consisted of a round silver plate, in form like half an orange,
which must have covered the knob of a staff or dagger. This had been
described by Dr. A. D. Mordtmann, in the Journal of the German Oriental
Society in 1872. The original was then in the possession of Alexander
Jovanoff, a numismatist of Constantinople, who had obtained it at Smyrna.
The “boss” bore in its center a figure of the peculiar Hittite form,
flanked on both sides by writing in the Hittite characters, while around
the whole was an inscription in the cuneiform writing of Assyria. From
this Sayce tentatively determined the values of a number of Hittite signs.
The results were, however, attended with considerable uncertainty, since
the Assyrian characters were capable of being read in more than one way.
Using the key thus obtained, Sayce enlarged his list of supposed
sign-values and in 1884 and 1885 published as known the values of
thirty-two Hittite signs. In the years that followed Ball and Menant took
up the discussion of the Hittite signs, but with no decisive result.

In 1889 Winckler and Abel published in one of the volumes of the Royal
Museum at Berlin the first instalment of the text of the El-Amarna
letters, in which there were two from Dushratta, King of Mitanni, in the
native language of that country, though written in Babylonian characters.
In the following year, 1890, Profs. Jensen, Brünnow, and Sayce all
published in the _Zeitschrift für Assyriologie_ studies of this language,
Sayce even venturing a translation of a part of the text. Each of these
scholars had worked independently of the others, but none of them seems to
have suspected that the language had anything to do with Hittite.

(2) _Peiser._--In 1892 Dr. Peiser, then of Breslau University, published
his book on the Hittite inscriptions, in which he essayed another method
of decipherment. Layard had found four Hittite seals in the palace of
Sennacherib at Nineveh. Peiser inferred that these must be seals of four
Hittite kings mentioned in the inscriptions of that time, and proceeded to
assign each seal to the name of a known Hittite king, and interpret the
signs on the seal by the name of that king as spelled out in the cuneiform
characters of the Assyrian inscriptions. Having obtained in this way
tentative values for several signs, he proceeded by inference to guess at
other signs, and so tentatively read some inscriptions.

(3) _Jensen._--Prof. Jensen, of Marburg, wrote in that same year an
unfavorable review of Peiser’s work. When reading the proofs of his review
he added a postscript to say that he believed he had himself discovered
the key to Hittite. Two years later, 1894, he published in the Journal of
the German Oriental Society his method of solving the problem. Jensen’s
starting-point was gained from inscriptions from Jerabis, the site of
ancient Carchemish, Hamath, and other places. He inferred that a certain
sign was the determinative for city, and that the names preceding this
sign were names of places. Gaining in this way some values for signs, he
read the names of some kings. He found that these names had nominatives
ending in _s_ and accusative cases ending in _m_; he accordingly leaped to
the conclusion that the Hittite language was a member of the Indo-European
group of languages, as this is the only known group of tongues in which
this phenomenon occurs. This inference later research has in part
confirmed. Jensen, however, went further and endeavored to show that the
Hittites were the ancestors of the Armenians of later time. This theory
led to the publication in 1898 of his book, _Hittiter und Armenier_. Of
the correctness of this view he has not been able to convince other
scholars. By this time Jensen and others had begun to see that the
Mitannians and the Hittites were kindred peoples and worshiped the same
gods. It is now recognized that Jensen correctly ascertained the value of
some signs, though many of his guesses, like those of his predecessors,
have proved incorrect.

(4) _Conder._--In 1898 Lieut.-Col. C. R. Conder published _The Hittites
and Their Language_, a work in which he presented still another
decipherment of the inscriptions. Conder’s decipherment was based on a
comparison of the Hittite characters with the Sumerian pictographs on the
one hand and the syllabary which was used by Greeks in Cyprus, Caria, and
Lydia on the other. He assumed that if a picture had in Sumerian a certain
syllabic value, and if the Cypriotic syllabary presented a character
somewhat resembling it which had a similar value, the Hittite character
which most closely resembled these must have the same value, since the
Hittites lived between the two peoples who used the other syllabaries.
This system of decipherment has attracted no adherents because it is based
on a fallacious inference. It does not follow because a nation lives
between two other nations, that its institutions are kindred to those of
its neighbors. One could not explain writings of the Indian tribes of
Arizona, for example, by comparing them with books printed in English in
St. Louis and in Spanish in Los Angeles! In 1899 Messerschmidt, who was
collecting in one body all the known Hittite inscriptions for publication,
published a study of the language of Mitanni,[18] which advanced our
knowledge of the language of the letters of Dushratta. Messerschmidt’s
later publication of the Hittite inscriptions[19] made it far easier for
scholars to study the subject.

(5) _Sayce’s Later Work._--Stimulated by Jensen’s efforts, Prof. Sayce
returned to the study of Hittite in 1903, and published in the
_Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archæology_ of that year (Vol.
XXV) a new decipherment. He followed Jensen’s method, accepting a number
of Jensen’s readings as proved, and with the originality and daring that
characterize so much of his work, launched many new readings. Some of
these have commended themselves to his successors.

In 1909 Ferdinand Bork returned to the problem of the language of Mitanni,
and published a pretty complete decipherment of the Mitannian tablets in
the El-Amarna letters. In 1911 Dr. B. B. Charles, the philologist of the
Cornell expedition to Asia Minor, published as Part II of Volume I of
_Travels and Studies in the Nearer East_, which is to embody the results
of the Cornell expedition, his collation of the Hittite inscriptions. This
publication added some new texts to those previously known. In 1912 Prof.
Clay, of Yale, rendered the subject of Hittiteology a distinct service by
including in his volume of _Personal Names from Cuneiform Inscriptions of
the Cassite Period_ a list of Hittite and Mitannian proper names, and a
list of the nominal and verbal elements which enter into the composition
of such names.

(6) _Thompson._--The latest attempt on a large scale to unravel the
mystery of the Hittite inscriptions is that of R. Campbell Thompson, “A
New Decipherment of the Hittite Hieroglyphs,” published in _Archæologia_,
second series, Vol. XIV, Oxford, 1913. Mr. Thompson was a member of the
British expedition which excavated Carchemish, and gained the idea which
gave him the starting-point for his decipherment from an inscription
excavated by that expedition. This inscription contained many proper
names, and, after passing it and looking at it every day for a long time,
it occurred to Mr. Thompson that a certain elaborate sign which frequently
occurred in it might be a part of the name of the Hittite King Sangar, who
is frequently mentioned by Ashurnasirpal II and Shalmeneser III of
Assyria. In seeking proof for this Mr. Thompson was led into a study of
the texts which resulted in a new interpretation of the Hittite signs. His
work is logical at every point, he makes no inference without first
examining all the occurrences in the known texts of the group of signs in
question, and he tests his inferences wherever possible by the known
results of a study of Mitannian and cuneiform Hittite. It is too soon to
pronounce a final verdict, but it looks as though Thompson had materially
advanced the decipherment of Hittite.

(7) _Delitzsch._--After the death of Prof. Winckler, the cuneiform tablets
which he had discovered at Boghaz Koi were turned over to Ernst Weidner
for publication. That publication is soon to appear, but Prof. Friedrich
Delitzsch, under whose general direction Weidner is working, published in
May, 1914, a study based on twenty-six fragments of lexicographical texts
which are to appear in Weidner’s work. These texts defined Hittite words
in Sumerian and in Assyrian. Although the texts are very fragmentary,
Prof. Delitzsch has been able to gain in this way a vocabulary of about
165 Hittite words, the meanings of most of which are known, and to
ascertain some facts about the grammar of Hittite.

We are, it would seem, just on the eve of a complete mastery of the
secrets of the Hittite inscriptions. The more our knowledge of the
Hittites grows, the less simple seems the problem of their racial
affinities. Some features of their speech clearly resemble features of the
Indo-European family of languages, but other features would seem to denote
Tartar affinities. In a number of instances the influence of the Assyrian
language can clearly be traced. The same confusion presents itself when we
study the pictures of Hittites as they appear in Egyptian reliefs. Two
distinct types of face are there portrayed. One type has high cheek bones,
oblique eyes, and wears a pigtail, like the peoples of Mongolia and China;
the other has a clean-cut head and face which resemble somewhat the early
Greeks. These may well have been Aryans. That there was a strain in the
Hittite composition that came from Turkestan or that came through that
country is also indicated by the fact that the Hittites were the first of
the peoples of western Asia to use the horse. Evidence of the use of the
horse as a domestic animal by the people of Turkestan at an early date was
brought to light by the excavations of Prof. Pumpelly[20] in that land, so
that the presence of horses among the Hittites naturally suggests some
connection with that region. Among the Hittite allies Semitic Amorites are
also pictured. These have receding foreheads and projecting beards.

=4. Hittite History.=

(1) _First Appearance._--The earliest reference to the Hittites which we
have in any written record occurs in a Babylonian chronicle, which states
that “against Shamsu-ditana the men of the country Khattu marched.”[21]
Shamsu-ditana was the last king of the first dynasty of Babylon. His reign
terminated in 1924 B. C. Khattu land, as will appear further on, was the
name later given to the Hittite settlement in Cappadocia. One would
naturally suppose that the name would have the same significance here, but
of this we cannot be certain. The tablet on which this chronicle was
written was inscribed in the Persian or late Babylonian period, but there
is evidence that it was copied from an earlier original. If its statement
is true, the Hittites had made their appearance in history and were
prepared to mingle in that _mêlée_ of the races which occurred when the
first dynasty of Babylon was overthrown. Nothing is said in the chronicle
as to the location of the land of Khattu, but there can be no doubt that
the Hittites approached Babylonia from the northwest. Their seat must have
been in the region where we later find the Hittites, or Mitanni. At what
period the Hittites came into this region we can only conjecture. The
excavations at Sakje-Geuze reveal a civilization there extending back to
about 3000 B. C., which resembled that found at Susa in Elam belonging to
the same period. This civilization may not have been Hittite in its
beginnings. Mr. Woolley, a member of the British expedition which has
excavated at Carchemish, in a study of the objects found in tombs at
Carchemish and at other places near by, thinks it possible that the coming
of the Hittites is marked by a transition period in the art--a period the
termination of which he marks by the date of the fall of the first dynasty
of Babylon. It may well be that Indo-Europeans followed by Mongols came
about 2100 or 2000 into this region, or that the Mongols were there
earlier and that the Indo-Europeans then came. In the resultant
civilization it would seem, from the information that we have, that there
was a mingling of the two races; (see Fig. 24).

(2) _Hyksos Possibly Hittites._--Since the Hittites were able to help
overthrow the first dynasty of Babylon, some scholars have recognized the
possibility that those invaders of Egypt who established the dynasties
called Hyksos may have been Hittites, or may have been led by Hittites.
There is much evidence that many Semites entered Egypt at that time, but
as Syria and Palestine were peopled with Semites earlier than this, such
an invasion would naturally have had many Semites among its camp
followers, if not in its armies, even if the leaders were Hittites. At
present, however, this is but a possibility. Some slight evidence in favor
of the possibility may be found in the name of the king of Jerusalem who
was a vassal of Amenophis IV, and who wrote the letters from Jerusalem
which are in the El-Amarna collection. (See Part II, p. 345, ff.) His name
was Abdi-Hepa, and Hepa was a Hittite and Mitannian deity. Abdi-Hepa had
grown up a trusted subject of the Egyptians. His ancestors must,
therefore, have been in Palestine for some time. A settlement of Hittites
there in the Hyksos days would account for this. The twenty-third chapter
of Genesis represents the city of Hebron as in the possession of the
Hittites when Abraham purchased the cave of Machpelah as a place of burial
for his dead, and, though many scholars regard Genesis 23, which gives
this account, as a late composition, its representation would receive some
confirmation from archæology, if the Hyksos were Hittites.

There is a possibility that the Hittites were in southern Palestine
earlier than this. Brugsch[22] thought that he found in an inscription in
the Louvre, written by an officer of Amenemhet I, King of Egypt, 2000-1970
B. C., a statement that this officer had destroyed the palaces of the
Hittites near the Egyptian frontier of Palestine. This reading is still
defended by Prof. Sayce,[23] though other Egyptologists, such as W. Max
Müller[24] and Breasted,[25] claim that the word that was thought to be
Hittites is not a proper name, but a common noun meaning nomads. The text
of the passage is uncertain, and no important inference can in any case be
made from it.

During the period when we obtain glimpses of the history of the Hittites,
they were never united in one empire. Different kingdoms flourished here
and there, such as that of the Mitanni in Mesopotamia, the Hittites at
Boghaz Koi, the kingdoms of Carchemish, of Hamath, and Tyana. These
flourished at different times all the way from 1400 to 700 B. C., and
there were doubtless other kingdoms also, for the Hittite sculptures near
Smyrna and Manissia cannot have been made by any of these, unless
possibly the great Hittite kingdom at Boghaz Koi may once have extended
its power to the Ægean.

(3) _The Mitanni._--The earliest of these kingdoms which we can trace is
that of the Mitanni. When Thothmes III of Egypt extended his conquests to
the Euphrates in 1468 B. C., he came into contact with the Mitanni. The
king of the country is not named, but it was claimed that her chiefs hid
themselves in caves.[26] There is some reason for believing that their
chief city was at Haran[27] in Mesopotamia, the city where Abraham
sojourned for a time (Gen. 11:31; 12:4). If this be true, it gives a new
meaning to Ezek. 16:3: “The Amorite was thy father and thy mother was a
Hittite.” Thothmes evidently touched the kingdom of Mitanni on its western
border. He did not penetrate its heart or overcome its king. Although he
took tribute, he does not tell us the name of the king of the Mitanni
whose armies he fought.

Half a century later the king of the Mitanni was Artatama I. He was a
contemporary of Thothmes IV of Egypt, who ruled 1420-1411 B. C. Perhaps it
was their mutual fear of the rising power of the Hittite kingdom at Boghaz
Koi that led Artatama and Thothmes IV to form an alliance. At all events,
such an alliance was made, and Thothmes married a daughter of Artatama,
though Artatama’s grandson says that the Egyptian king sent his request
for her hand seven times before Artatama yielded to his solicitations.
Artatama I was succeeded by Shutarna I, whose reign overlapped a part of
that of Amenophis III of Egypt, 1411-1375 B. C. Among the queens of
Amenophis III was a daughter of Shutarna I. Before the reign of Amenophis
III had ended Shutarna I had been succeeded by Dushratta, who continued
the friendly relations with Egypt. Dushratta’s reign also overlapped in
part that of Amenophis IV of Egypt, 1375-1357 B. C., and Dushratta wrote
several letters to both of these Egyptian kings. It is from these letters
that we gain most of our information about Mitanni.

Meanwhile the great kingdom of the Hittites at Boghaz Koi had entered upon
its era of expansion under Subbiluliuma, who pushed his conquests first
eastward and then southward. Dushratta feared to meet the Hittite in
battle and retired to the eastward, allowing much of his country to be
overrun. This land Subbiluliuma gave to one of his allies, and Dushratta
was murdered soon afterward by his son, Sutatarra, who usurped the crown.
Soon after this the Assyrians invaded the lands of the Mitanni from the
east, and the land, already distracted by its internal divisions, was
thrown into a worse confusion. At this juncture Subbiluliuma crossed the
Euphrates again and entered Mitannian territory. He was accompanied by
settlers who brought cattle, sheep, and horses to remain in the country.
Advised by an oracle, he deposed Sutatarra and placed upon the throne
Mattiuaza, a son of Dushratta, who had been heir-apparent and who had fled
when his father was murdered. To Mattiuaza Subbiluliuma gave his daughter
in marriage, and Mitanni became a vassal state of the Hittite realm. After
this our sources tell us no more of its history.

Near the Mitanni were the Harri, who were probably of the same race, for
in the time of Subbiluliuma they were ruled first by Artatama II, a
brother of Dushratta, and then by Sutarna II. This state also became a
part of Subbiluliuma’s kingdom.

(4) _Kingdom of “Hittite City.”_--The wave of migration from the northeast
which brought the Mitanni into upper Mesopotamia had swept on westward
into Cappadocia, where the greatest Hittite state afterward developed. The
monuments erected by the Hittites were nearly all of a religious
character. In the earlier time they wrote few historical inscriptions.
Such inscriptions as we have in Hittite hieroglyphs seem to come from the
later periods and to record alliances. It is probable that in the
development of the Hittite state in Cappadocia first one city and then
another had the upper hand. The Hittite monuments at Eyuk are of a more
primitive character than those at Boghaz Koi, and it is natural to suppose
that a Hittite state flourished here before the rise of the one at Boghaz
Koi. Be that as it may, the most powerful Hittite monarchy of which we
know arose at Boghaz Koi, which they called “Hittite City.” This monarchy
emerged about 1400 B. C. Its first king was Hattusil I, of whom we know no
more than that he was the founder of the great dynasty which ruled from
the “Hittite City” for two hundred years.

The king who laid the foundations of the greatness of this dynasty was
Subbiluliuma, the next king, whose conquests over the Mitanni and Harri we
have already traced. He conquered also a number of neighboring states, and
compelled them to sign with him treaties of alliance which made them his
vassals. Chronicles of these events were discovered by Winckler among the
clay tablets found at Boghaz Koi. Subbiluliuma also turned his armies
southward and conquered Syria down to the confines of Palestine. These
conquests were in progress when some of the El-Amarna letters, written to
Amenophis IV of Egypt and translated in Part II, p. 344, ff., were
written. Here he pursued the same policy that he had pursued in
Mesopotamia, and compelled the conquered countries to enter into treaties
with him, which subjugated them to his will. Among the kings so treated
was the Amorite King Aziru, who at that time ruled Amorites living in the
southern part of the valley between the Lebanon mountain ranges and in the
region afterward occupied by the tribe of Asher. They also held some of
the southern Phœnician cities. This represents the most southerly
extension of Subbiluliuma’s power.

Whether Subbiluliuma also extended his conquests to the west of Asia
Minor, we have no means of knowing. Some scholars suppose that he had done
so before he began the conquest of Mitanni. Certain it is that Hittite
rock sculptures of gigantic size exist in the mountains near Smyrna and
Manissia, to the west of Sardis. These sculptures represent the great
Hittite goddess. Near Smyrna there are also the remains of great
buildings. We know of no Hittite monarch who would be so likely to have
carried Hittite power to these parts as Subbiluliuma. If he did so,
possibly in later time the Hittites here became independent. At all
events, some centuries later they were known to Ionian Greeks in this
region, for Homer’s _Odyssey_, Book XI, line 521, records the tradition
that some Hittites were killed with Eurypylos.

When Subbiluliuma died he was succeeded by his son, Arandas, whose
occupation of the throne was brief, and who seems to have been without
effective power. After a short time he was replaced by his brother,
Mursil, who appears to have enjoyed a long reign. Subbiluliuma, called by
the Egyptians Seplel, was reigning when Amenophis IV of Egypt came to the
throne in 1375 B. C., for he sent an embassy to congratulate him, and
Mursil appears to have reigned until after the year 1320 B. C. The two
reigns, therefore, covered more than half a century. The first years of
Mursil’s reign were apparently passed in peace, but soon after 1320
Shalmeneser I invaded the countries in the eastern part of the Hittite
confederacy, conquering all the territory east of the Euphrates, and a
considerable territory to the west of that river. Meantime, Mursil had
renewed the treaty with the Amorites of Syria, whose king at this time was
Abbi-Teshub, or Abi-Adda. Ere long, however, trouble arose for him on his
southern border. Seti I of Egypt came to the throne in 1313 B. C., and
began a series of vigorous campaigns for the conquest of Palestine. In
time he came face to face with the Hittite power in Syria.

At this juncture Mursil died and was succeeded by his son, Mutallu, who
soon met Seti I in battle and convinced that monarch that it was unwise to
attempt to extend Egypt’s empire in Asia to the Euphrates, as Thothmes III
had done. Owing to internal troubles in Assyria the eastern border of the
Hittite realm was left undisturbed for a considerable time, during which
Mutallu could devote himself to other matters. In 1292 B. C. Ramses II
succeeded Seti I as king of Egypt and soon began vigorously to push
Egyptian conquests into northern Syria. Mutallu recognized the importance
of the struggle and collected a large army from all his allies. These
forces were drawn from all parts of Asia Minor; even the countries of the
extreme west contributed their quota. Aleppo and states in that region
also contributed their share. A great battle was fought at Kadesh on the
Orontes in 1287 B. C., in which Mutallu, by surprising his foe,
disorganized a part of the Egyptian forces and endangered the life of
Ramses himself. By the opportune arrival of reinforcements the Egyptians
escaped entire defeat, so that the result was a drawn battle.

The battle had, however, cost the Hittites much. The slaughter of their
forces had been enormous. Among the slain were many chieftains, including
the king of Aleppo. The Amorites at once threw off their allegiance to the
Hittites, and many of the other troops mutinied. Mutallu was assassinated.
He was succeeded by Hattusil II, the Khetasar of the Egyptian

Assyria had become weak, so that Hattusil was no longer pressed upon his
eastern border. After a little he reduced the Amorites once more to
submission, and compelled them to take back their king, Put-akhi, whom
they had driven out at the time of their rebellion against Mutallu. He
gave Put-akhi a Hittite princess for a wife. Later, about 1271 B. C.,
Hattusil concluded an offensive and defensive alliance with Ramses II of
Egypt. The treaty which guaranteed this alliance has come down to us, and
is the first international treaty the details of which are known to us.
(See Chapter I, p. 30.)

Hattusil II must have enjoyed a long reign, but we do not know the date of
his death. He had two successors, Dudkhalia and Arnuanta, whose reigns are
known to us, and who continued the sway of the dynasty down to about 1200
B. C. They were respectively the son and grandson of Hattusil II. An edict
of Dudkhalia concerning the vassal states has survived, in which the name
of Eni-Teshub, King of Carchemish, appears. Carchemish would seem to have
been the chief of the allied states. Of Arnuanta we have no details,
though two fragments of royal edicts and a seal of his have come down to
us. He was called “the great king, the son of Dudkhalia.” After him our
sources fail, and the story ends in darkness. We know, however, that the
days of the power of this dynasty were over. Egyptian sources tell us that
tribes from western Asia Minor and from beyond the sea swept over Cilicia
and northern Syria soon after the year 1200 B. C., and there was then no
Hittite power there to restrain them.

(5) _Carchemish._--Of the other Hittite kingdoms far less is known.
Carchemish, which, as we have just seen, played an important part in the
federation of the great Hittite power, continued its existence for several
centuries. In the time of Ashurnasirpal II and Shalmeneser III the kingdom
of Carchemish entered into alliance with these kings and preserved its
existence by becoming their vassal. Judging from the meager reports
hitherto published of the British excavation at Carchemish, this was a
flourishing period in the history of the city. A hundred years later, in
the reign of Sargon, Pisiris, who was then king of Carchemish, defied the
Assyrian, who brought the kingdom to an end in 717 B. C. (Cf. Isa. 10:9.)

(6) _Samal and Yadi._--When the Aramæans swept westward about 1300 B. C.
they apparently dislodged the Hittites from a number of their sites and
occupied their country. Among the places so occupied was the site of
Sendjirli mentioned above. All the carvings found among its architectural
remains reveal the influence of Hittite art, but the inscriptions found
there are in Aramaic. These inscriptions show that there were in that
region two petty kingdoms named, respectively, Samal and Yadi. The names
of several kings of these monarchies who ruled between 850 and 730 B. C.
have been recovered. They are all Aramæan.

(7) _Hamath._--Farther to the south, at Hamath on the Orontes, a Hittite
kingdom existed in the time of David. Its king was then called Toi or Tou,
who made an alliance with David (2 Sam. 8:9, f; 1 Chron. 18:9, f.). This
kingdom was probably the outgrowth of the earlier occupation of the
Orontes valley, three hundred years before, by the Hittites of the great
empire. It continued until the time of Ahab. Its king was then Irhulina,
who along with Ahab, Ben-Hadad of Damascus, and several other kings made
an alliance to resist the encroachments of Shalmaneser III of Assyria in
854 B. C. (See Part II, p. 360, ff.) Irhulina caused several inscriptions
to be made on stone, which survived at Hamath until our time. According to
Mr. Thompson’s interpretation of them they are all records of his various
alliances. By the next century, however, the Aramæans had captured Hamath,
for in the reigns of Tiglath-pileser IV (745-727) and of Sargon (722-705
B. C.) the names of its kings were Semitic. These names were,
respectively, Enu-ilu and Yau-bidi, or Ilu-bidi.

We gain glimpses also of a number of other Hittite states. There was, for
example, the state of Kummukh, which lay to the west of the Euphrates, and
another in western Cilicia, that had its center at Tyana, the modern Bor.
These states appear to have reached their zenith after the fall of the
great Hittite dynasty which had its capital at Boghaz Koi. Doubtless as
time goes on we shall learn of the existence of many other small Hittite
kingdoms which flourished at one time or another. At some time, either
when the Hyksos were making their way into Egypt or when Subbiluliuma was
pushing southward into Syria, the Hittites mentioned in the Old Testament
must have made some small settlements in Palestine. Here the Hebrews came
into contact with them. They were really an unimportant outlying fringe of
the great Hittite people, but they had the good fortune to have their
names preserved in the most immortal literature in the world, the Bible,
and so their memory was ever kept alive, while that of their more
illustrious kinsmen was utterly forgotten. It is only archæological
research that has restored something of the original perspective.



    EXPLORATIONS: Robinson and Smith. Lynch. American exploration
    societies. PALESTINE EXPLORATION FUND: Warren’s excavations at
    Jerusalem. The survey of Palestine. Exploration of Lachish. Bliss’s
    excavation at Jerusalem. Excavation at Azekah. At Tell es-Safi
    (Gath?). Tell el-Judeideh. At Marash (Moresheth-Gath). Gezer.
    Beth-shemesh. Exploring the Wilderness of Zin. THE GERMAN PALESTINE
    SOCIETY: Guthe’s excavation at Jerusalem. Megiddo. Taanach. Capernaum.

=1. The Land.=--Palestine is a very different land from either Egypt or
Mesopotamia. They are made by the irrigation of rivers. Palestine is
fertilized by rain from heaven. In them the scenery is monotonous; they
are river valleys each of which was once in part an arm of the sea, but
now filled up by the gradual deposit of mud. Palestine was formed in one
of the greatest geological upheavals the earth ever experienced. This was
nothing less than a great rift in the earth’s crust extending from the
Lebanon mountains to the Indian Ocean. The strata on the west side of this
rift slipped downward past those on its east side for a mile or more.
Those on the west were bent at different points in this long course in
different ways, but the result of the rift itself was to form the Jordan
valley and the bed of the Dead Sea, the valley which runs from the Dead
Sea to the Gulf of Akaba, and that deep rift between Asia and Africa which
forms the Red Sea itself.

In Palestine the strata on the west of this rift bent up into two parallel
ridges, to the west of which a narrow plain of varying width, ancient
Philistia, rises from the sea. To the east of this rift the land remained
at approximately its old level. The various ridges of the country are, on
account of the birth-pangs of their origin, intersected with valleys
innumerable, so that in no country of the world can such variety of
scenery and climate be found within such narrow limits.

_Rainfall._--This land, with all its variety of form, is redeemed from the
desert by the moisture which the west winds drive in from the
Mediterranean Sea. These winds in the winter months bring clouds, which,
when they come into contact with the colder air over the elevated hills,
deposit their moisture in rain. The Jordan valley is so warm that little
rain falls upon it, but it drains the water from the rainfall on both
sides of it. Just so far back as the clouds reach before their moisture is
exhausted, just so far the fertile land extends; beyond that is the
Arabian Desert. When the rainfall during a winter is good, bountiful crops
are raised the following season; when it is scant, the harvest fails and
famine follows. In Egypt and Babylonia a man could water his garden by
kicking a hole in a dyke; they were lands which were watered “with thy
foot” (Deut. 11:10); Palestine was dependent on heaven for its life, and
we cannot doubt that this fact was one of the instruments for the training
of the Israelites for their great religious mission. In a land of such
variety--a land in which for nine months in the year snow-capped Hermon
may be seen from many an elevated point and from the whole stretch of the
tropical Jordan valley, where oleanders are blooming and mustard seeds are
growing into trees--it was possible to think of God in a way that was at
least more difficult in Egypt or in Mesopotamia.

Here in this marvelous land, which formed a bridge between the two oldest
civilizations of the world, the men lived to whom God committed the task
of writing most of the Bible. This was the earthly home of the Son of God.

Even before the Hebrews came into it, many had crossed this bridge and
some had paused long upon it. Living here they had left the remains of
their homes, their cities, and their civilizations. Archæology is now
recovering these. After the time of Christ various races and civilizations
continued to pass over the bridge. Their remains buried those left by
earlier men. The story of the recovery of these earlier remains is,
accordingly, not only of great interest, but often of great value to the
reader of the Bible.

=2. Early Exploration.=--The misfortunes which overtook Judæa in the years
70 and 132-135 A. D., in consequence of the Jewish rebellions against
Rome, led to the paganizing of Jerusalem and the expulsion of the Jews
from Judæa. At this period Christianity was a struggling and a persecuted
religion, too busy working its way to take an active interest in the land
of its birth. When Constantine early in the fourth century made
Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire, all this was changed. Both
Constantine and his mother, Helena, took the deepest interest in
identifying the holy places in Jerusalem, and a stream of pilgrims began
at once to visit the land. The earliest of these to leave us an account of
his travels was a pilgrim from Bordeaux who visited Palestine in 333 A. D.
As he was anxious to see the principal places hallowed by the bodily
presence of Christ and the heroes of Scripture, he visited places in
different parts of the country. He was followed by many others. The stream
has been almost continuous down to the present time. As the aim of these
travelers was devotional and they possessed little scholarly training or
critical faculty, their works are of secondary value to the modern
student. They did, however, prevent that loss of knowledge of the country
to which Babylonia was subjected for so many centuries.

_Place Names._--At the very beginning of this period Eusebius of Cæsarea,
a contemporary of Constantine, compiled a list of the place names of
Palestine which are mentioned in the Bible. The names were arranged in
alphabetical order, the events for which the places are celebrated were
given, in many instances identifications with places existing in the
fourth century were proposed, and the distances from other well-known
places mentioned. In the next century this work was translated into Latin
by Jerome, who lived many years at Bethlehem and traveled extensively in
Palestine, and who died in 420 A. D. It is called the _Onomasticon_.

=3. Early American Explorations.=--As the reader approaches modern times
he finds the works of some of the pilgrims assuming a more scientific
character. To some extent, too, these works were supplemented by those of
travelers like Châteaubriand,[28] Burckhardt,[29] and Lamartine.[30]

(1) _Robinson and Smith._--The scientific study of the localities and
antiquities of Palestine was, however, begun by an American, the late
Prof. Edward Robinson, of Union Seminary, New York. Robinson was fully
equipped with Biblical knowledge, and was thoroughly familiar with
Josephus and other works bearing on his subject. He possessed the critical
faculty in a high degree, and combined with it a keen constructive
faculty. In 1838 and again in 1852 he traveled through Palestine with Eli
Smith, a missionary. They were equipped with compass, telescope,
thermometer, and measuring tape. His knowledge of history enabled
Robinson to look beneath many traditions. With keen penetration he
discerned under the guise of many a modern Arabic name the form of a
Biblical original, and accomplished more for the scientific study of
Biblical Palestine than any of his predecessors. As he traveled he also
noted and briefly described such remains of antiquity as could be seen
above ground. The results of Robinson’s first journey were embodied in his
_Biblical Researches_, New York, 1841. In the second edition, London,
1856, the results of the second journey were embodied, and the number of
volumes increased to three. The impetus given to the exploration of
Palestine by the labors of Robinson was continued by Tobler, Guérin,
Renan, and many others.[31]

(2) _Lynch._--Meantime, another American, Lieut. W. F. Lynch, of the
United States Navy, rendered an important service by the exploration in
1848 of the Dead Sea. In April and May of that year about three weeks were
spent in exploring that body of water. Lieut. Lynch was accompanied by Dr.
Anderson, a geologist. The party traversed the sea back and forth in two
metal boats that had been launched on the Sea of Galilee and floated down
the Jordan. The fact that the Jordan valley is lower than the level of the
sea had never been recognized until 1837, and, until the visit of Lynch
and Anderson, the depth of the depression was only a matter of conjecture.
By this expedition it was scientifically determined that the surface of
the Dead Sea is 1,300 feet lower than that of the Mediterranean.[32]

(3) _American Exploration Societies._--The work of American exploration
was later continued by the American Exploration Society, founded in 1870.
Under its auspices, Rev. John A. Paine, of Tarrytown, New York, visited
the Holy Land. One of the results of his visit was the identification of

Later an American Palestine Exploration Society was organized. This
Society employed Mr. Rudolph Meyer, an engineer, to make a map of
Palestine, and from 1875 to 1877 also employed Rev. Selah Merrill, who
afterward was for many years the U. S. Consul at Jerusalem, as explorer.
Dr. Merrill gathered much archæological information, especially in the
country east of the Jordan.[34]

=4. Palestine Exploration Fund.=--As a result of the interest engendered
by the work of Robinson, Lynch, and others, the Palestine Exploration Fund
was organized in London in 1865. By this act a permanent body was created
to foster continuously the exploration of the Holy Land, and to rescue the
work from the fitful activities of individual enterprise. Such enterprise
could supplement the work of the Fund, but could no longer hope to compete
with it.

Within six months from the organization of the Palestine Exploration Fund
its first expedition was sent out. This was led by Capt., now Gen. Sir
Charles Warren, who had just completed a survey of Jerusalem as part of a
plan for bringing water into the city. The chief object of this
expedition, which was in the field from December, 1865, to May, 1866, was
to indicate spots for future excavation. It made a series of sketch maps
of the country on the scale of one inch to the mile, studied some
synagogues in Galilee noted by Robinson, but not fully described by him,
and laid bare on Mount Gerizim the remains of a church built on a rough
platform which may once have supported the Samaritan temple.

(1) _Warren’s Excavations at Jerusalem._--A second expedition under
Lieut.-Col., now Sir Charles Warren, made considerable excavations on the
temple-hill at Jerusalem. He sank a remarkable series of shafts to the
bottom of the walls enclosing the temple area, and proved that in places
these walls rest on foundations from 80 to 125 feet below the present
surface. He laid bare solid masonry, which bore what are apparently
Phœnician quarry-marks and which he believed to go back to the time of
Solomon. On the west side of the temple enclosure he found 80 feet below
the present surface the ruins of a bridge, which Robinson had conjectured
crossed the Tyropœon Valley from the temple enclosure at this point from
an arch, the base of which is still visible outside of the temple
wall.[35] Among many other discoveries made by Warren were a part of the
ancient city wall south of the temple area and an underground passage
leading up from the ancient spring of Gihon, which was probably the
“gutter” (R. V., “watercourse”) of 2 Sam. 5:8.

(2) _The Survey of Palestine._--After this the Palestine Exploration Fund
undertook a survey of Palestine, the object of which was to make a
complete and authoritative map of the country on the scale of one inch to
a mile, and also a description of all archæological remains of antiquity
which were above ground. The work was undertaken in 1871 and the survey of
western Palestine was completed in 1878. Owing to an outbreak of cholera,
the work was interrupted from 1874 to 1877. Among those who took part in
it were Capt. C. R. Conder (now Lieut.-Col.), who was in charge of the
work from 1872 to 1874, and Capt. Kitchener (now Lord Kitchener). The
great map was published in 1880, and covers an area of 6,000 square miles,
from the Mediterranean to the Jordan and from the Egyptian desert to a
point near Tyre. The completion of this map was a monumental
accomplishment, and must form the basis for all similar work. The
archæological remains noted on the map are described in three volumes of
_Memoirs_, also published by the Exploration Fund.

In 1881 Capt. Conder was sent out to make a similar survey of the country
east of the Jordan. He endeavored to work under the old permit from the
Turkish government, but to this the Turks objected. After working for ten
weeks, during which he surveyed about 500 square miles of territory, he
was compelled to desist. The results of his work, however, fill a stout
volume entitled _The Survey of Eastern Palestine_, London, 1889. The work
undertaken by Conder has since been carried on by other agencies. Dr.
Gottlieb Schumacher, an engineer residing at Haifa, who was employed in
surveying the railway to Mecca, has published authoritative volumes on the
region to the east of the Sea of Galilee.[36] On a larger scale is the
work of Brünnow and Domaszewsky on the Roman province of Arabia,[37] a
work which includes ancient Edom as far as Petra. The last-mentioned
remarkable city has been described also in two excellent volumes by Gustaf
H. Dalman, Director of the German Evangelical Institute in Jerusalem.[38]

In 1873-1874 the Palestine Exploration Fund entrusted an archæological
mission of a general nature to the French scholar, Clermont-Ganneau, who
several years before had been French Consul at Jerusalem. Clermont-Ganneau
was embarrassed by the failure of the Turkish government to grant him a
firman, but made numerous archæological discoveries in the country between
Jaffa and Jerusalem. These were published by the Fund in two large
volumes,[39] although they did not appear until 1896 and 1899,

In the winter of 1883-1884, a complete geological survey was made of the
valley of the Dead Sea and the region to the south (Wady el-Arabah) by
Prof. Edward Hull, who afterward published a volume on the subject.[40]
Hull was accompanied by Major Kitchener, who made a complete triangulation
of the district lying between Mount Sinai and the Wady el-Arabah.

(3) _Exploration of Lachish._--In 1890 the Exploration Fund entered upon a
new phase of work or, rather, resumed one that had been interrupted for
twenty years,--that of excavation. The services of Prof. Petrie, the
Egyptian explorer, were secured and the attempt to wrest from the soil of
Palestine some of the buried secrets of the past was renewed. The site
chosen was Tell el-Hesy, where stood in ancient times the city of Lachish
(Josh. 10:3; 2 Kings 14:19; 18:14, etc.). This mound rose about 120 feet
above the bed of an intermittent stream. About 60 feet of this height
consisted of accumulated débris of the ancient city. The water in the
course of centuries had so exposed some of the potsherds that Petrie was
confident before he began digging that rich discoveries awaited him. He
worked here only about six weeks, running trenches into different parts of
the mound, but he found and classified such a variety of pottery that he
felt confident that he had unearthed a city which had been occupied from a
time anterior to the Hebrew conquest of Canaan down to about 350 B. C.[41]

In 1892 the work was continued under the direction of Dr. Frederick J.
Bliss, who cut away a considerable section from the northeast corner of
the mound, and found the stratified remains of eight different cities, one
above the other.[42] In the third of these cities from the bottom a
cuneiform tablet was found, which mentions one of the men who figure in
the letters found at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt. This tablet would indicate
that this third city was flourishing during the period 1400-1350 B. C.
The two cities below this must, accordingly, belong to an earlier period.
Bliss supposed that the first city was built about 1700 B. C. Above the
remains of the third city was a bed of ashes of some thickness, which
shows, in Petrie’s opinion, that after the destruction of this city the
mound was used for a period of perhaps fifty years as a place for burning
alkali. Near the top of the débris of the fourth city a glazed seal was
found similar to those made in Egypt in the time of the twenty-second
dynasty (945-745 B. C.). This city, then, belonged to the early part of
the kingdom of Judah. In the seventh and eighth cities pottery of polished
red and black types was found. This class of pottery is of Greek origin,
dating from 550-350 B. C. These occupations of the mound must, then, be of
that period. The fifth and sixth cities would, accordingly, fall between
750 and 550 B. C. This excavation thus shows how the stratification of the
mounds of Palestine reveals the march of the peoples across the country;
(see Fig. 28).

(4) _Bliss’s Excavation at Jerusalem._--From 1894 to 1897 Dr. Bliss was
engaged in excavations at Jerusalem.[43] Here he devoted his attention to
an endeavor to recover the line of the ancient wall on the south side of
the city. This he did, following it from “Maudsley’s Scarp”[44] at the
northwest corner of the westernmost of the two hills on which Jerusalem is
situated across the slope to the eastward and then across the Tyropœon
Valley. This was the wall rebuilt by Nehemiah on lines then already old
(Neh. 3-6). It was destroyed by Titus in the year 70 A. D., and afterward
rebuilt by the Empress Eudoxia in the fifth century A. D.

(5) _Excavation at Azekah._--From 1898 to 1900 Dr. Bliss excavated for the
Fund at several sites in the Biblical Shephelah,[45] the low hills which
formed the border-land between ancient Judæa and Philistia. The work began
at Tell Zakariya, the Biblical Azekah, situated above the lower part of
the Vale of Elah. Azekah was fortified by King Rehoboam (2 Chron.
11:5-10). Here an important citadel or fortress was uncovered. While the
masonry of the top part was similar to that of Herodian buildings at
Jerusalem, the pottery found about the foundations indicated that the
beginnings of the structure go back to early Israelitish times. It may
well be one of Jeroboam’s fortresses. Underneath it were remains from
late pre-Israelitish times. It appears that the hill was occupied as the
site of a city only shortly before the Hebrew conquest. The fortress was
not, however, built at the time of this earliest occupation.

(6) _At Tell es-Safi (Gath?)._--Next the excavation was transferred to
Tell es-Safi, which was situated on the south side of the ancient Vale of
Elah at the point where it sweeps into the Philistine plain, and which was
thought to be the site of the Biblical Gath (Josh. 11:22; 1 Sam. 5:8;
17:4; 2 Kings 12:17). Here in 1144 A. D. the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
established by the Crusaders built a fortress, which they called
Blanche-Garde, as an outpost against Ashkelon. It was hoped that the
excavation of Dr. Bliss would determine whether or not this was really the
site of Gath, but owing to the occupation of the tell by a Mohammedan
cemetery and a wely, or sacred building, this was not possible. The
outline of the city walls was, however, traced, the foundations of
Blanche-Garde examined, and here and there trenches were sunk to the rock.
These trenches revealed in the various strata pottery and objects, first,
of the period of the Crusaders; secondly, of the Seleucid period (312-65
B. C.); thirdly, of the Jewish period, 700-350 B. C., and two
pre-Israelite strata. The mound had, then, been occupied from about 1700
B. C. to the Seleucid times, and again in the period of the Latin Kingdom
of Jerusalem.

The most interesting discovery at Tell es-Safi was that of an old
pre-Israelitish high place, which contained three pillars such as are
denounced in Deuteronomy. (See Deut. 7:5; 12:3, etc.) At the time of this
discovery no similar discovery had been made. The foundations of this high
place were near the bottom of the last pre-Israelite stratum, so that it
was clearly constructed by the Amorites, or Canaanites, or whoever
occupied this city before the Hebrews arrived.

(7) _Tell el-Judeideh._--The excavations next moved to Tell el-Judeideh, a
mound some distance to the south of Tell Zakariya. Here they traced the
outlines of the city wall, found the remains of a Roman villa, and sunk a
number of shafts to the rock. From the pottery found in these shafts they
inferred that the mound had been occupied in the earliest period, but
deserted for a considerable time before the Hebrew conquest. It was then
reoccupied in the latter part of the Judæan monarchy, and was finally
fortified in the Seleucid or Roman period. It seems to have been deserted
soon after the Roman period. It is not known what was the ancient name of
the city that stood there.

(8) _At Marash (Moresheth-Gath)._--The last mound excavated in this region
was Tell Sandahanna, situated a mile to the south of Beit Jibrin. The
mound takes its name from a church of St. Anne, the ruins of which may
still be seen near by. It occupies the site of the city of Marissa of the
Seleucid period, and of the older Jewish Marash. It is probably the site
of Moresheth-Gath, the home of the prophet Micah. (See Micah 1:14.) Here
considerable portions of the Seleucid stratum of the mound were excavated,
and a smaller portion of the Jewish stratum. The Jewish stratum rested
directly on the rock; the site seems, therefore, not to have been
inhabited in pre-Israelite times.

(9) _Gezer._--The next undertaking of the Palestine Exploration Fund was
the excavation of Gezer. This work was entrusted to the direction of R. A.
Stewart Macalister, who had been Dr. Bliss’s assistant from 1898 to 1900
and who is now Professor of Celtic in the University of Dublin. Work was
begun on Tell el-Jazar, about six miles southeast of the town of Ramleh,
which Clermont Ganneau[46] had, in June, 1902, identified as the site of
Gezer. (Josh. 10:33; Judges 1:27; 2 Sam. 5:25.) It continued, with such
interruptions as winter weather and an outbreak of cholera made necessary,
until August, 1905. It was renewed in the spring of 1907 and carried on
until early in 1909. During this time more than half of the mound was
excavated. No other mound in Palestine has been so fully explored.
Naturally, therefore, Gezer has furnished us with more archæological
information than any other excavation; (see Fig. 30).

The results of this excavation convinced Mr. Macalister that the
classification of the strata adopted by the excavators of Lachish and the
mounds of the Shephelah was capable of improvement. He found that Gezer
had been occupied at first by a non-Semitic people, remains of whose bones
indicate that they were about 5 feet 6 inches high, who lived in caves,
and whose implements were wholly of stone. He estimated that these people
probably occupied the site from about 3000 to 2500 B. C. About 2500 B. C.
a Semitic race, probably Amorite, took possession of the city and occupied
it to the end of the Hebrew monarchy.

Four periods could be traced in the Semitic occupation, each represented
by differences in walls, implements, and objects used. The first Semitic
period ended with the fall of the twelfth Egyptian dynasty, about 1800 B.
C. In this stratum scarabs of the period of the Egyptian “middle kingdom”
were found. The second Semitic stratum continued until about the end of
the eighteenth Egyptian dynasty, about 1350 B. C. The third Semitic
stratum lasted till the establishment of the Hebrew monarchy, about 1000
B. C.; the fourth was contemporaneous with the Hebrew kingdoms, 1000-586
B. C. The mound was again occupied in the Hellenistic or Maccabæan
period.[47] After the Maccabæan turmoils the inhabitants seem to have
deserted the tell. Under the modern village of Abu Shusheh, on the
southwest slope of the mound, a Roman mosaic has been found, but nothing
from Roman times was discovered on the mound itself. There were likewise
no remains from the period of the Crusaders.

In the course of this excavation many important discoveries were made.
Many of these will be mentioned in subsequent chapters. We need only
mention here an old Semitic high place, which had its beginnings in the
first Semitic stratum before 1800 B. C., and was used down to the end of
the fourth Semitic or Hebrew stratum, about 600 B. C. It began with two
“pillars,” but others were added as time passed until there were ten in
all.[48] In the third Semitic stratum (_i. e._, the one preceding the
Hebrew occupation) a building was found which Mr. Macalister thought might
have been a temple. In the middle of its largest hall were some stones
which looked as though they might have supported wooden pillars, which, in
turn, probably supported the roof. Mr. Macalister thought this was a
structure similar to that which Samson pulled down at Gaza[49] (Judges

One of the most important discoveries was a rock-cut tunnel leading down
through the heart of the rock to a spring in a cave 94 feet below the
surface of the rock and 120 feet below the level of the present surface of
the ground.[50] This was to enable the people of the city to obtain water
in time of siege. It was used for some 500 years and was apparently closed
up about 1300-1200 B. C. Its beginnings go back accordingly to the first
Semitic period. A palace of the Maccabæan time, apparently built by Simon
the Maccabee, 143-135 B. C., was also discovered.[51] (Cf. 1 Macc. 14:34.)

Various walls were discovered, which at different times encircled the
city. The most massive of these was apparently constructed during the
eighteenth Egyptian dynasty, and continued to be the city wall down to the
Babylonian Exile. At some time after its construction towers had been
inserted in the wall. These towers were shown to be a later insertion by
the fact that their stones touched the stones of the wall on each side,
but were not interlocked with them. Mr. Macalister thinks that these
towers may have been inserted by Solomon when he fortified the city (1
Kings 9:15-19). At some later time the weakness of such a tower had become
apparent, and a bastion had been built around it.[52] The excavation at
Gezer was fruitful in many directions. Other aspects of it will be taken
up in future chapters in connection with other topics.

(10) _Beth-shemesh._--The next task undertaken by the Palestine
Exploration Fund was the exploration of Ain Shems, the Biblical
Beth-shemesh. (See Josh. 15:10; 2 Kings 14:8-14, etc.) Ain Shems, like
Gezer, is situated in what was in Biblical times the Shephelah. It is near
the station of Der Aban on the railway from Jaffa to Jerusalem.
Excavations were carried on at this point in 1911 and 1912 under the
direction of Dr. Duncan Mackenzie, who had had ten years’ experience on
the staff of Sir Arthur Evans, the explorer of Crete. At the bottom of the
mound the remains of a very early settlement were discovered.[53] Above
this the ruins of a once prosperous city, which was for that time large,
were found. It was surrounded by strong walls and one of its rugged gates
was discovered on the south. In the upper strata of this city imitations
of Cretan pottery were found. As it is probable that the Philistines came
from Crete, or were intimately associated with people who were under
Cretan influence, this pottery is doubtless Philistine. The city which was
encircled by this wall had passed through two periods of history. The
original wall was built before the domination of Palestine by Egypt. As
this domination began about 1500 B. C., the earlier fortress of
Beth-shemesh belongs to that period. The second period belongs in its
earlier strata to the age of the El-Amarna letters, in which the city is
called Beth-Ninib. The upper period of it belongs, as has been noted, to
the Philistine period.

This city was destroyed by a siege which resulted in the burning of the
city--a burning which left quite a bed of ashes. Dr. Mackenzie thought
that this was the siege by which the Israelites gained possession of
Beth-shemesh. The city was occupied by the Hebrews apparently until the
invasion of Palestine by Sennacherib, King of Assyria, in 701 B. C. At all
events, it was in the possession of Judah in the days of King Amaziah (2
Kings 14:8-14). Corresponding to this, Israelitish pottery was found in
the stratum above the ashes. Dr. Mackenzie is of the opinion that during
this Hebrew period the city was without a wall. Apparently after the time
of Sennacherib the site was abandoned for several centuries, for next
above the Israelitish stratum the remains of a monastery of the Byzantine
period (325-636 A. D.) were found. This monastery apparently was not begun
until just at the close of the Byzantine period, for it appears that it
was not finished at the time of the Mohammedan conquest.

(11) _Exploring the Wilderness of Zin._--The most recent service of the
Palestine Exploration Fund was the sending of two explorers, C. Leonard
Woolley and T. E. Lawrence, in the winter of 1913-14, to explore the
wilderness to the south of Palestine. The results of their work have been
published in the Fund’s _Annual_, Vol. III, under the title _The
Wilderness of Zin_. The explorers identified a considerable part of the
“Darb es-Shur,” or the “way of Shur” (Gen. 16:7, etc.). It was the caravan
road from Palestine to Egypt. They also adduce strong evidence against the
identification of Ain Kades with Kadesh-Barnea (Num. 32:8, etc.), and
think that Kossima, which lies nearer to the Egyptian road and is
surrounded by much more verdure, may have been Kadesh-Barnea. The
identification of Ain Kades with Kadesh-Barnea was made by the late Dr.
Henry Clay Trumbull, after a very brief visit to the spot, and it has been
accepted by many others.

Between 325 and 636 A. D. extensive settlements and cities of considerable
size existed in this wilderness. This was one of the facts that led
Ellsworth Huntington to believe that the rainfall in Palestine was much
greater at that time. With this view Woolley and Lawrence take issue. They
say that where the old wells have been kept open, the water still rises as
high as ever it did. They hold that the cities mentioned were possible
because of the great energy and skill of the people of that time in
sinking wells.

=5. The German Palestine Society.=--While the work of the Palestine
Exploration Fund, which has been outlined in detail, was going on, other
countries were aroused to similar activities. In 1877 a similar Society,
the Deutscher Palästina-Verein, was organized to foster the collection of
information about the land of the Bible. Accurate scientific research in
all branches of knowledge relating to Palestine was contemplated, and the
co-operation of travelers and of the German colonies in Palestine was
invited. In 1878 this Society began the publication of a journal[54] which
has become a repository of information about the Holy Land.

(1) _Guthe’s Excavation at Jerusalem._--In 1880 Prof. Guthe excavated at
various points on Ophel at Jerusalem, and followed the line of the ancient
wall along the east side of the city of David.[55]

(2) _Megiddo._--In 1903 this German Society undertook the excavation of
Tell el-Mutesellim, the site of the Biblical Megiddo[56] (Josh. 12:21; 2
Kings 23:29, etc.). This work was entrusted to the direction of Dr.
Gottlieb Schumacher, of Haifa. Work was begun on the 7th of February,
1903, and continued at intervals until the 30th of November, 1905. In the
lowest stratum of the mound Dr. Schumacher found traces of a settlement
the houses of which were constructed of mud-bricks. Over the ruins of
these a second series of houses had been built of stone. In the same
stratum some tombs were found containing skeletons, some pottery of early
forms, a bronze knife, and some scarabs set in gold. The walls of the city
were in part built of brick. The settlements represented by this stratum
antedated 2000 B. C.

In the next stratum a large structure, probably a palace, was found, which
had been occupied through the periods represented by the stratum in which
its foundations were laid and the stratum next above it. The building was
of stone and was large. In one part of it was a “pillar” apparently used
for worship. Various types of pottery, knives of flint and bronze, many
stone household utensils, an Astarte figure, and some scarabs of the
period of the twelfth Egyptian dynasty were found. This stratum, then,
belonged to the period 2000-1800 B. C.

Next above this stratum was one in which types of painted pottery similar
to that of the Philistines came to light. In the fifth stratum from the
bottom a palace of the Hebrew period was discovered. In this palace a seal
was found bearing a lion and the inscription “belonging to Shema, the
servant of Jeroboam.” It is impossible to tell whether the Jeroboam who
was Shema’s master was Jeroboam I or Jeroboam II. In this same stratum a
temple was found containing three “pillars”; (see Fig. 27).

In another part of the mound in a sixth stratum, which seemed to be late
Hebrew, three “pillars” were found in an open space near the south gate, a
stone religious emblem, and a decorated incense-burner. Elsewhere this
sixth stratum yielded a blacksmith’s shop. In a seventh stratum, just
under the soil, remains of the Greek period were found, among which was an
Athenian coin. This was the last occupation of the tell, and was
pre-Christian. At the beginning of the Roman period the town was moved
from the high land of the mound down nearer the water supply. On the slope
of the hill a native-rock altar was found which had been used in
prehistoric times.

(3) _Taanach._--In 1899 Prof. Ernst Sellin, of Vienna, visited Palestine
and became so deeply interested in its exploration that he induced several
Austrian scientific bodies and individuals to contribute a fund for the
purpose. The result was an excavation of Tell Taanek, the Biblical Taanach
(Josh. 12:21; Judges 5:19), conducted by Sellin in 1902 and 1903. Sellin
did not excavate the mound in a systematic way and his results are not
very clearly presented in his book.[57] He traced in several places four
strata in the tell. An early stratum had its beginnings, he thought, as
early as 2500 B. C. This stratum represented probably an occupation of
more than a thousand years. In its later parts the remains of a large
palace were found, and in a cave underneath it four cuneiform tablets,
written in the script of the El-Amarna period. Originally there were more
tablets in the archive, but it had been rifled in ancient times. Above
this was a stratum in which pottery of the Cypriote and Philistine type
was found. Next above this was a Hebrew stratum, which seems to have
lasted, judging by objects found in it, down to the time of Psammetik I of
Egypt, 663-609 B. C. In this stratum the remains of a high place with its
“pillars” were found, as well as a terra-cotta incense-altar of wonderful
construction. Above this there were in places a few remains from the
Seleucid period, including some pottery, and at the top of the mound some
remains of an Arabic settlement. This last seems to have been established
here about the time of the Crusaders. Sellin thinks Taanach was destroyed
by the Scythian invasion, about 625 B. C., that in the Seleucid period the
main settlement here was not on the mound, and that it was then unoccupied
until the time of the Crusaders.

(4) _Capernaum._--The Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, which was carrying on
excavations in Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria, undertook the investigation
of the remains of ancient synagogues in Galilee and the Jaulan. Among
these they excavated the ruins of the synagogue at Tell Hum on the Sea of
Galilee,[58] the probable site of Capernaum. Here they found the remains
of a once beautiful synagogue which was probably built in the fourth
century A. D. Beneath it is the floor of a still older building. This last
is probably the synagogue in which so many of the incidents of the
ministry of Christ in Capernaum took place, the one built by a Roman
centurion. (See Luke 7:5 and Fig. 32.)

(5) _Jericho._--This same Society undertook, in the years 1907-1909, the
excavation of Jericho; (see Fig. 29). The work was entrusted to the
direction of Prof. Sellin, of Vienna. The digging occupied about three
weeks in the spring of 1907, and about three months of the early part of
each of the years 1908 and 1909.[59] At the bottom of the mound traces of
a prehistoric occupation of the site were uncovered, but as these were
under the foundations of a Canaanitish fortress, which were not
demolished, nothing further was ascertained about them. Above this
prehistoric city were the remains of an Amorite or Canaanite city. A jar
handle found in the lower half of this Canaanite stratum was stamped with
a scarab of the time of the twelfth Egyptian dynasty, which indicates that
this occupation goes back to about 2000 B. C. The walls of this early city
were traced on all sides of the tell except the east. On this side, where
the Ain es-Sultan is (otherwise called Elisha’s Fountain, from the
incident of 2 Kings 2:19-22), the wall had entirely disappeared. This
early city was small. The whole of it could have been put into the
Colosseum at Rome. All early Palestinian cities were, however, small. In
the city was a citadel with a double wall. Each wall represented a
different period of history. Both were built of brick, as were the houses
of the time. The outer wall was between four and five feet thick and
appeared to be the older; the inner one was about ten feet thick. They
were joined here and there by transverse walls; (see Fig. 37). The city
had been burned apparently about 1300-1200 B. C., perhaps at the time of
the Hebrew conquest.

Above the ruins of this pre-Israelitish city were the remains of the
Hebrew town. The earliest of these remains seems to date from the ninth
century B. C.; (see 1 Kings 16:34), as it was rebuilt in the days of Ahab;
(see Fig. 34). The Israelites, in Sellin’s judgment, made the city
considerably larger than it had been in the earlier time. A wall, which he
believed to be the wall of the Hebrew period, was found on all sides
except the east, considerably outside the older wall. Père Vincent, of the
French _École Biblique_ at Jerusalem, believes this wall to have been
built in the Canaanite period also, but his reasons do not seem
convincing. On the eastern edge of the Israelitish stratum the remains of
a large stone building were found. Sellin thinks this may be the palace
and fortress built by Hiel in the time of Ahab (1 Kings 16:34). This
Israelitish city seems to have flourished only about two hundred years. It
was probably destroyed in the time of Sennacherib, about 700 B. C. Sellin
thought he found traces of another rebuilding which must soon have
followed the destruction, but this Jericho was also destroyed by
Nebuchadrezzar in 586 B. C. At some time after the Babylonian Exile the
city was rebuilt and flourished until destroyed by Vespasian in 70 A. D.
It was rebuilt after 325 A. D. and continued until destroyed by the
invasion of the Persian King Chosroes II, in 614 A. D. Some slight
settlements have existed on the mound in Moslem times, but the Jericho of
today is more than a mile distant.

=6. The American School at Jerusalem.=--In the year 1900 the American
School of Oriental Research in Palestine was opened at Jerusalem under the
ægis of the Archæological Institute of America. It is one of the purposes
of this school, when its funds will permit, to carry on excavations as
well as explorations. Hitherto it has not had money sufficient to enable
it to undertake extensive excavations. In addition to the investigation of
many matters not strictly archæological, the School has conducted a number
of minor explorations. When the present writer was Director, 1902-1903, he
cleared the so-called Tomb of the Judges and found the ruins of a
caravansary of the Crusading period near the Damascus Gate. Under L. B.
Paton, 1903-1904, an excavation was made on the supposed line of the
“Third Wall” of Jerusalem. Under Nathaniel Schmidt, 1904-1905, the Dead
Sea was explored and some discoveries made in the Valley of the Arnon and
the Wady Suweil.[60] Under D. G. Lyon, 1906-1907, some pre-Israelitish
pottery was recovered from tombs of Samieh east of Et-Taiyibeh.[61] Under
W. J. Moulton, 1912-1913, some painted tombs of the Seleucid time were
explored at Beit Jibrin.

=7. Samaria.=--Although the American School at Jerusalem has not yet been
able to undertake extensive excavations, through the generosity of Mr.
Jacob Schiff, of New York, Harvard University was able to excavate at
Sebastiyeh, the site of ancient Samaria, during parts of three
seasons--1908, 1909, and 1910. During the first season the work was under
the direction of Prof. D. G. Lyon; during 1909 and 1910, under the
direction of Prof. G. A. Reisner, who has had large experience in such
work in Egypt, and who, in addition to many archæological triumphs there,
has solved the riddle of the Sphinx. At Samaria[62] a large palace was
found built upon the native rock. This is believed to be the remains of
the palace of Omri (1 Kings 16:24). Above this were the ruins of a larger
palace, the wall of which was faced with white marble. This is believed to
have been the palace of Ahab, who is said to have built an “ivory house”
(1 Kings 22:39). In a building on a level with this palace a considerable
number of inscribed potsherds were found. They were receipts for wine and
oil stored there. At the western edge of the hill the old city gate was
uncovered. It had been rebuilt at different times. The foundations were
clearly laid in the Israelitish period. On these now rests a
superstructure of Herodian workmanship. Above the ruins of the Hebrew city
were the remains of a city built by the Assyrians. (See 2 Kings 17:24-34.)
This was inferred by the character of the building materials employed, and
by the fragment of a clay tablet found there. Still above this were
remains of a city of the Seleucid time--the city destroyed by John
Hyrcanus[63] in 109 B. C. Still above this were remains of the temple
built by Herod the Great, when he rebuilt Samaria and named it Sebaste,
the Greek for Augusta, in honor of the Emperor Augustus. This temple had
been repaired in the third century A. D.

=8. Parker’s Excavations at Jerusalem.=--In the years 1909, 1910, and 1911
an English expedition under Capt., the Hon. Montague Parker, a retired
officer of the British army, made extensive explorations upon Ophel, the
slope of the eastern hill south of the present city walls at Jerusalem.
Parker was not an archæologist and the motive for the exploration is not
yet disclosed. The party is said to have been abundantly supplied with
money, and to have come to Palestine in a private yacht, which was
anchored off Jaffa while they were at work. In 1911 the hostility of the
Moslems became so excited by the rumor that they had attempted to excavate
under the Mosque of Omar that the expedition came to an abrupt close, and
the explorers escaped on their yacht. Through the descriptions of two
residents of Jerusalem, Prof. Hughes Vincent[64] and Dr. E. W. G.
Masterman,[65] we have some knowledge of the value of Parker’s work. He
cleared the silt out of the Siloam tunnel so as to reveal its real depth,
which seems to have been between five and six feet. It had been so silted
up that it appeared to be only about half that depth. He also explored
more fully the caves about Ain Sitti Miriam (the Biblical Gihon, 1 Kings
1:33), which had been partially explored by Sir Charles Warren, so that
the nature and probable use of these are now known much better. More will
be said of this in a future chapter.

=9. Latest Excavations.=--Within the last few years the Assumptionist
Fathers have been excavating on a tract of land purchased by them on the
eastern slope of the western hill to the south of the present city wall.
They believe that they have discovered the house of Caiaphas, to which
Christ was led in the course of his trial (Matt. 26:57; John 18:24).
Possibly they have found the house which, after the time of Constantine,
was pointed out to Christian pilgrims as that of Caiaphas. However this
may be, they have unearthed several streets of Roman and Jewish Jerusalem,
and are keeping them uncovered. These streets, like the ruins of Pompeii,
disclose pavements and house-foundations that may go back to the time of
Christ. Here, possibly, one may look upon pavements which his feet
actually trod.[66]

In 1914 some excavations were made on Ophel at Jerusalem under the
direction of Capt. Weil for a Jewish organization, and at the mound
Balata, near Nablous, the Biblical Shechem, by the Germans. The work at
Balata was under the direction of Prof. Sellin. Both are said to have made
discoveries. At Balata it is said that the city gate of ancient Shechem
was uncovered. Nothing has, however, been published concerning these, and
the great war of 1914 brought all such work to a stop. The preparation of
foundations of a new Jewish hospital near the Dung Gate has laid bare the
aqueducts which conveyed the water from “Solomon’s Pools” into the

In this account only the principal explorations have been mentioned. In
all parts of Palestine, and especially at Jerusalem, important
archæological discoveries are frequently made when people are digging to
lay the foundations of buildings, to construct a cistern, or for other
purposes. Other important discoveries, as, for instance, the rock-cut high
place at Petra,[68] and the painted tombs at Beit Jibrin,[69] have been
made by people traveling through the land. Many discoveries made in this
way are recorded in the Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration
Fund, the _Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins_, and the _Revue
biblique_. Lack of space forbids the attempt to chronicle these.[70]



    EGYPTIAN DOMINATION: Thothmes III. Palestine in the El-Amarna Letters.
    Seti I. Ramses II. Merneptah. Ramses III. THE PHILISTINES. THE
    AFTER: The Samaritans. Alexander the Great and his successors. The
    Maccabees. The Asmonæans. THE COMING OF ROME: The Herods. The
    destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. LATER HISTORY.

=1. The Early Stone Age.=--Palestine appears to have been inhabited at a
very remote period. Scholars divide the races of prehistoric men, who used
stone implements, into two classes--Palæolithic and Neolithic. Palæolithic
men did not shape their stone implements. If they chanced to find a stone
shaped like an axe, they used it as such; if they found a long, thin one
with a sharp edge, they used it for a knife. Neolithic man had learned to
shape his stone tools. He could make knives for himself out of flint and
form other tools from stone. The earliest inhabitants of Palestine
belonged to the palæolithic period. Unshaped stone implements have been
found in many parts of the country. They have been picked up in the
maritime plain, in still larger numbers on the elevated land south of
Jerusalem, and again to the south of Amman, the Biblical Rabbah Ammon, on
the east of the Jordan. The Assumptionist Fathers of Notre Dame de France
at Jerusalem have a fine collection of flint implements in their Museum.

These palæolithic men lived in caves in which they left traces of their
occupation. Several of these caves in Phœnicia have been explored by Père
Zumoffen, of the Catholic University of St. Joseph, Beirut.[71] It has
been estimated that these cave-dwellers may have been in Palestine as
early as 10,000 B. C.

=2. The Late Stone Age.=--Of neolithic men in Palestine much more is
known. This knowledge comes in part from the numerous cromlechs, menhirs,
dolmens, and “gilgals” which are scattered over eastern Palestine. A
cromlech is a heap of stones roughly resembling a pyramid;[72] a menhir is
a group of unhewn stones so set in the earth as to stand upright like
columns;[73] a dolmen consists of a large unhewn stone which rests on two
others which separate it from the earth;[74] and a “gilgal” is a group of
menhirs set in a circle.[73] These monuments are the remains of men of the
stone age who dwelt here before the dawn of history. They were probably
erected by some of those peoples whom the Hebrews called Rephaim[75] or
“shades”--people who, having lived long before, were dead at the time of
the Hebrew occupation.

Similar monuments of the stone age have been found in Japan, India,
Persia, the Caucasus, the Crimea, Bulgaria; also in Tripoli,[76] Tunis,
Algeria, Morocco, Malta, southern Italy, Sardinia, Corsica, the Belearic
Isles, Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, Scandinavia, and the
German shores of the Baltic. Some scholars hold that all these monuments
were made by one race of men, who migrated from country to country. As the
monuments are not found at very great distances from the sea, the
migrations are supposed to have followed the sea coasts.[77] Others scout
the idea of a migration over such long distances at such an early epoch of
the world’s history, and believe that the fashion of making such monuments
was adopted from people to people by imitation. Be this as it may, these
monuments seem to have been in Egypt and Palestine before the Semites and
Hamites developed into the Egyptians, Amorites, and Hebrews, for they were
adopted by them as the “pillars” which are so often denounced in the Old
Testament, and in Egypt were gradually shaped and prolonged into the

[Illustration: MAP OF PALESTINE]

Of the men of this stone age the excavations have furnished us with some
further information. At Gezer the native rock below all the cities was
found to contain caves,[78] some natural and some artificial, which had
formed the dwellings of men of the stone age. They, like men today, were
lazy. If one found a cave that would protect him from heat, cold, and
rain, he would occupy it and save himself the trouble of making one.
But there were not enough caves to go around, so some of the men of
ancient Gezer cut caves for themselves out of the soft limestone rock. It
must have been a difficult task with the stone implements at their
disposal, but they accomplished it, sometimes cutting stairs by which to
descend into them. One such cave seems to have been used by them as a
temple. In it were found a quantity of pig bones, which were apparently
the remains of their sacrifices. If they offered the pig in sacrifice,
they were certainly not Semitic, for Semites abhorred swine. These early
men sometimes adorned the sides of their dwellings by scratching pictures
on the walls. Several pictures of cattle were found. One cow seemed to
have knobs on her horns to keep her from goring! One drawing represented a
stag that was being killed with a bow and arrow.[79] These early men
burned their dead, and one of the caves in the eastern end of the hill was
used as their crematory. Steps in the rock led down to its entrance. The
cave itself was 31 feet long, 24 feet 6 inches wide, and the height varied
from 2 to 5 feet. Near one end a hole had been cut to the upper air to act
as a flue. Below this the fires that burned their dead had been kindled;
cinders and charred bones of these far-off men were found as grim tokens
of their funeral rites. Shortly after these bones were found the
anatomist, Prof. Alexander Macalister, of Cambridge University, father of
the excavator, visited the camp at Gezer and made a study of the bones. He
found that they represented a non-Semitic race. The peculiar modifications
of the bones caused by the squatting so universally practised by Semites
were absent. The men whose bones these were could not have been more than
5 feet 6 inches in height, and many of the women must have been as short
as 5 feet 3 inches. A pottery head found in one of the caves, which may be
a rude portrait of the type of face seen in Gezer in this period, has a
sloping forehead, which afforded little brain-space, and a prominent lower
jaw. These people used flint knives, crushed their grain in hollow stones
with rounded stones, employed a variety of stone implements, and made
pottery of a rude type, which will be described in a later chapter.

The city of Gezer in this cave-dwelling period was surrounded by a unique
wall or rampart.[80] This consisted of a stone wall about 6 feet high and
2 feet thick, on the outer side of which was a rampart of packed earth
about 6 feet 6 inches at the base and sloping toward the top. This bank of
earth was protected by a covering of small stones about 8 inches in depth.
This rampart never could have been of much value in warfare, and was,
perhaps, meant as a protection against incursions of wild animals.

In the hillsides around Gezer there are many caves which were probably
human habitations during this period, but as they have been open during
many centuries, traces of their early occupation have long since been
destroyed. At Beit Jibrin, six or eight hours to the south of Gezer, there
are also many caves in the rock, numbers of which are artificial. At
various periods these have been employed as residences. It is altogether
probable that the use of some of them goes back to the time of the
cave-dwellers of Gezer.

Mr. Macalister has suggested a connection between these cave-dwellers of
Gezer and the Biblical Horites,[81] since Horite means “cave-dweller.” In
the Bible the Horites are said to have dwelt to the east of the Jordan,
and more especially in Edom (Gen. 14:6; 36:20, 21, 29; Deut. 2:12, 22). It
seems probable that the reason why the Bible places them all beyond Jordan
is that the cave-dwellers had disappeared from western Palestine centuries
before the Hebrews came, while to the east of the Jordan they lingered on
until displaced by those who were more nearly contemporary with the
Hebrews. On the west of the Jordan megalithic monuments were probably once
numerous, since traces of them still survive in Galilee and Judæa,[82] but
later divergent civilizations have removed most of them. In the time of
Amos one of these “gilgals” was used by the Hebrews as a place of worship,
of which the prophet did not approve.[83]

It seems probable that there was a settlement of these cave-dwellers at
Jerusalem. The excavations of Capt. Parker brought to light an extensive
system of caves around the Virgin’s Fountain, Ain Sitti Miriam, as the
Arabs call it, which is the Biblical Gihon.[84] These caves are far below
the present surface of the ground. It was found, too, that there would be
no spring at this point at all, if some early men had not walled up the
natural channel in the rock down which the water originally ran. These
men, judging by the fragments of pottery and the depth of the débris,
belonged to about the same period as the cave-dwellers of Gezer. They
apparently settled at this point because of the water, and one of the
caves may have been a sanctuary to their god. A new vista is thus added to
the history of that city, which was later the scene of so much Biblical

From various archæological considerations Mr. Macalister estimated that
the diminutive cave-dwelling men lived at Gezer for about 500 years, from
3000 to 2500 B. C., when they were displaced by a Semitic people.

=3. The Amorites.=--We are accustomed to call this Semitic people
Amorites, and it is probable that this is right. About 2800 B. C., under a
great king named Sargon,[85] a city of Babylonia called Uru, or
Amurru,[86] and Agade conquered all of Babylonia. The dynasty founded by
Sargon was Semitic and ruled Babylonia for 197 years.[87] Even before
Sargon conquered Babylonia, Lugalzaggisi, King of Erech, had penetrated to
the Mediterranean coast. Sargon and two of his successors, Naram-Sin and
Shargali-sharri, carried their conquests to the Mediterranean lands. A
seal of the last-mentioned king was found in Cyprus. It is probable that
the coming of the Amorites began in the north with the conquests of these
kings. To the east of the Lebanon the Princeton expedition found stone
structures similar to Babylonian _Ziggurats_, which they attribute to the
Amorites, and hold to indicate the prevalence of Babylonian influence in
this region. It is probable that the Amorites slowly worked southward,
occupying different cities as they went. Mr. Macalister’s estimate that
they reached Gezer about 2500 B. C. is not, therefore, unreasonable,
though they may have arrived there a century earlier than that. This was
the beginning of that long intercourse with Babylonia which resulted in
the employment of the Babylonian language and script for the purpose of
expressing written thought in Palestine long after the Egyptians had
conquered the country. This intercourse was the more natural because the
Semites who came to Palestine were of the same race as those who were
dominant in Babylonia.

Meantime, the Egyptians had begun to take notice of Palestine. Uni, an
officer of Pepi I of the sixth Egyptian dynasty, relates that he crossed
the sea in ships to the back of the height of the ridge north of the
“sand-dwellers” and punished the inhabitants.[88] This refers to the coast
of Palestine in the neighborhood of the Philistine cities or Gezer. The
time was between 2600 and 2570 B. C. Egypt was at this time only anxious
to make her own borders secure; she had no desire to occupy this Asiatic

Again, between 2300 and 2200 B. C., a fresh migration of Semites,
apparently also of the Amorite branch, invaded Babylonia and in time made
the city of Babylon the head of a great empire. This race furnished the
first dynasty of Babylon, which ruled from 2210 to 1924 B. C. Its greatest
king, Hammurapi,[89] who gave to Babylonia a code of laws in the
vernacular language,[90] conquered the “west land,” which means the
Mediterranean coast. It was probably under his successor, Shamsu-iluna,
but certainly under one of the kings of this period, that a man in Sippar,
in leasing a wagon for a year, stipulated that it should not be driven to
the Mediterranean coast, because, apparently, travel between that coast
and northern Babylonia was so frequent.[91] In this same period there
lived in Babylonia an Abraham, the records of some of whose business
documents have come down to us.[92] We also find there men who bore the
names Yagubilu (Jacobel) and Yashubilu (Josephel), and one who was called
simply Yagub, or Jacob. Palestinian evidence from a later time leads us to
believe that men bearing all these names migrated during this period to
Palestine and gave their names to cities which they either built or

Egyptians also came to Palestine during this period. The tale of
Sinuhe[94] relates the adventures of a man who fled to Palestine in the
year 1970 B. C., and who reached the land of Kedem, or the East, which
apparently lay to the east of the Jordan.[95] It is referred to several
times in the old Testament. (See Gen. 29:1; Judges 6:3, 33; 7:12; 8:10;
Job 1:3, etc.) Sinuhe there entered the service of an Amorite chieftain,
Ammienshi, married his eldest daughter, became ruler of a portion of his
land, and lived there for many years. He finally returned to Egypt and
wrote an account of his adventures. This region was also called by Sinuhe
and other Egyptians Upper Retenu, a name which they also applied to all
the higher parts of Syria and Palestine. Retenu is philologically
equivalent to Lotan (Gen. 36:20, 22, 29; 1 Chron. 1:38, 39) and Lot (Gen.
11:27; 12:4, etc.). When Sinuhe arrived in Kedem he found other Egyptians
already there. Ammienshi was well acquainted with Egyptians. There was
apparently considerable trade with Egypt at this time. Men from Palestine
often went there for this purpose. Such traders are pictured on an
Egyptian tomb of this period. Trade with Egypt is also shown to have
existed by the discovery of Egyptian scarabs of the time of the Middle
Kingdom in the excavation of Gezer, Jericho, Taanach, and Megiddo. As
Egypt was nearer and commerce with it easier, its art affected the art of
Palestine during this period more than did the art of Babylon, although
the people were akin to the Babylonians. In the reign of Sesostris III,
1887-1849 B. C., the Egyptian king sent an expedition into Palestine, and
captured a place, called in Egyptian Sekmem, which is thought by some to
be a misspelling of Shechem.[96] This expedition probably stimulated
Egyptian influence in the country, though the Egyptians established no
permanent control over the land at this time.

When the Amorites occupied Palestinian cities they at once erected
fortifications. The inmost of the three walls of Gezer is their work. It
was a wall about 13 feet in thickness, in which were towers 41 feet long
and 24 feet thick and about 90 feet apart. It contained at least two
gates.[97] At Megiddo the city was surrounded by a wall, parts of which
were made of brick,[98] while at Jericho the older of the walls of the
central citadel dates from this time.[99]

=4. The Canaanites.=--Between 1800 and 1750 B. C. a migration occurred
which greatly disturbed all western Asia. There moved into Babylonia from
the east a people called Kassites. They conquered Babylonia and
established a dynasty which reigned for 576 years.[100] Coincident with
this movement into Babylonia there was a migration across the whole of
Asia to the westward, which caused an invasion of Egypt and the
establishment of the Hyksos dynasties there.[101] As pointed out
previously,[102] it is possible that this movement, in so far as the
leadership of the invasion of Egypt was concerned, was Hittite. In any
event, however, many Semites were involved in it, as the Semitic names in
the Egyptian Delta at this time prove. It is customary to assume that it
was in connection with this migration that the Canaanites came into
Palestine. This cannot, in the present state of our knowledge, be clearly
proved, but such evidence as we have points in this direction. There began
at this time a new period of culture at Gezer, which is quite
distinguishable from that which had preceded. This indicates the coming of
new influences. Moreover, there was apparently an augmentation of the
population of Palestine at this time. New cities were founded at Tell
el-Hesy and Tell es-Safi,[103] and elsewhere. We thus feel sure that there
was an increase of population and, when next our written sources reveal to
us the location of the nations, the Canaanites were dwelling in Phœnicia.
The Egyptian scribes of a later time called the entire western part of
Syria and Palestine “The Canaan.”[104] Probably, therefore, the Canaanites
settled along the sea coast. We, therefore, infer that they came into this
region at this time. With the coming of an increased population, the
Amorites appear to have been in part subjugated and absorbed, and in part
forced into narrower limits. A powerful group of them maintained their
integrity in the region afterward occupied by the tribe of Asher and in
the valley between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains, where they
afterward formed a kingdom. Another group of them survived to the east of
the Jordan, where they maintained a kingdom until overthrown by the
Hebrews. (See Num. 21 and Deut. 1-3.)

After the coming of the Canaanites our information concerning the history
of Palestine fails us for nearly three hundred years. All that we know of
the history of the country is what can be inferred from the accumulated
débris of the “second Semitic” strata of the different mounds that have
been excavated. During these centuries Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos,
whose course was run, and under the great eighteenth dynasty the Hyksos
were expelled, chased into Asia, and the conquest of Asia undertaken.

=5. Egyptian Domination.=--Ahmose I, 1580-1557 B. C., besieged Sharuhen
(Josh. 19:6) in southern Palestine for six years and captured it, while
both Amenophis I and Thothmes I between 1557 and 1501 B. C. made raids
through Palestine and Syria to the Euphrates. Of their deeds in Palestine
no records have survived.

(1) _Thothmes III._--It is not until the reign of Thothmes III that
detailed information begins. Between 1478 and 1447 B. C. this king made no
less than seventeen expeditions into Palestine, Phœnicia, and Syria. At
the beginning of his reign this country was dotted with petty kingdoms;
before its close he had so thoroughly amalgamated it with Egypt that it
remained an integral part of the Egyptian dominion for 100 years. Before
his death Thothmes inscribed on the walls of the temple of Amon at Thebes
a list of the places in Asia which he had conquered. Many of these were in
Palestine and in Syria, and we learn in this way what towns were already
places of importance a century or two before the Hebrew conquest. Among
places that are mentioned in the Old Testament he names[105] Kedesh (Josh.
19:37), Megiddo, Lebonah (Judges 21:19), Addar (Josh. 15:3), two different
cities named Abel; see Judges 7:22 (which mentions one situated in the
Jordan valley), and 2 Sam. 20:14 (which refers to one near Dan), Damascus,
Hammath[106] (Josh. 19:35), situated on the Sea of Galilee (where there
are still hot springs), Beeroth (Josh. 9:17), Sharon, Tob (Judges 11:3,
5), Kanah (Josh. 19:28), Ashtaroth (Deut. 1:4; Josh. 9:20), Makkedah
(Josh. 15:41), Laish (Judges 18:7, 18), Hazor (Josh. 11:1; Judges 4:2),
Chinneroth (Josh. 11:2), Shunem (Josh. 19:18; 1 Sam. 28:41; 2 Kings 4:8),
Achshaph (Josh. 11:1), Taanach, Ibleam (Josh. 17:11; Judges 1:27), Ijon (1
Kings 15:20), Accho, Anaharath (Josh. 19:19), Ophra (Judges 6:11), Joppa,
Gath, Lod (Neh. 7:37) or Lydda (Acts 9:32), Ono (1 Chron. 8:12), Aphik (1
Sam. 4:1), Migdol, Ephes-dammim (1 Sam. 17:1), Rakkath (Josh. 19:35),
Gerar (Gen. 20:1, etc.), Rabbith (Josh. 19:20), Namaah (Josh. 15:41),
Rehob (Josh. 19:28), Edrei (Deut. 1:4; Josh. 12:4), Daiban (Neh. 11:25),
Bethshean (Josh. 17:11), Beth-anoth (Josh. 15:59), Helkath (Josh. 19:25),
Geba (Josh. 18:24), Zererah (Judges 7:22), and Zephath (Judges 1:17). In
addition to these towns which are mentioned in the Bible, the list of
Thothmes III contains many other names which we cannot yet identify. Among
these are the names of two cities, Josephel and Jacobel, which are
discussed in Part II, p. 300. These names, as already noted, are the same
as the names of two Babylonian Amorites of the time of the first dynasty.
It seems probable that two important Amorites had migrated to Palestine
and had either founded new cities, or had been men of such consequence
that their names were attached to cities previously in existence. A
parallel to this is found in the name of Abu Gosh. He was a sheik of the
nineteenth century, but his name displaced the name of the village
previously called Karyet el-Ineb, between Jaffa and Jerusalem, and it is
now called Abu Gosh. Conjectures differ as to the part of Palestine in
which the cities Jacobel and Josephel were situated. We have in reality no
certain clue as to this.

It is probable also that something similar had occurred in the case of
Abraham. It has been pointed out previously that Abraham is known to have
been a Babylonian name at the time of the first Babylonian dynasty. The
Biblical records tell of the coming of Abraham from Mesopotamia (Gen.
11:31-12:5), and the inscriptions of Sheshonk, the Biblical Shishak, tell
us some centuries later of the existence of a place, apparently in
southern Judah, called “The Field of Abram.” See Part II, p. 360.

(2) _Palestine in the El-Amarna Letters._--During the 100 years of
Egyptian supremacy in Palestine which Thothmes III inaugurated, the
fortifications of certain strategic cities were greatly strengthened. At
Gezer, for example, an entirely new wall was built. This was the “outer”
wall of Mr. Macalister’s classification, a substantial structure fourteen
feet wide, which completely encircled the city. This massive wall remained
the city’s defence down to the Babylonian Exile.

From the El-Amarna letters we gain another glimpse of Palestine about a
hundred years after the death of Thothmes III. The Biblical cities which
are mentioned in these letters are Accho (Judges 1:31), Ashkelon, Arvad
(Ezek. 27:8), Aroer (Num. 32:34), Ashtaroth (Deut. 1:4, etc.), Gebal
(Ezek. 27:9), Gezer (Josh. 10:33, 1 Kings 9:15, etc.), Gath, Gaza,
Jerusalem, Joppa, Keilah (1 Sam. 23:1), Lachish (Josh. 10:3, etc.),
Megiddo, Sidon, Tyre, Shechem, Sharon, Taanach, and Zorah (Judges 13:2).
One city, called in these letters Beth-Ninib, is, in all probability,
Bethshemesh (Josh. 15:10, etc.). Many other towns are mentioned in the
letters, but as they are not mentioned in the Bible they are not
enumerated here. These letters were written just as the Egyptian dominion
in Asia was breaking up, owing to the fact that King Amenophis IV was much
more deeply interested in religious reform than in politics.[107] The
disintegration of the empire produced great disorder. The power which
Egypt had exerted in the past made the Asiatics still fear to come out
openly against her, but the correspondence shows that several petty states
were plotting against one another, frequently encroaching upon one
another, and yet all the time professing to be loyal to Egypt. The largest
number of these states were in the north in Phœnicia. The principal states
were the city kingdoms of Gebal, Beirut, Tyre, Jerusalem, and the
Amorites.[108] Jerusalem at this time ruled a considerable territory,[109]
but its history will be discussed connectedly in a future chapter.[110]
The kings of the Amorites during this period were Ebed-Ashera and Aziru.
While these small kingdoms of Palestine and Phœnicia were contending with
one another, and the king of Egypt was giving no attention to them, the
land was invaded from the north by the Hittites under the great King
Subbiluliuma,[111] who gradually conquered the Amorites and the Orontes
Valley. It was at the same time invaded from the east by the Habiri, who
were probably the Hebrews.[112]

With this movement of peoples there came into the west a third wave of
Semitic migration, the Aramæan. We hear nothing of the Aramaic-speaking
peoples in earlier time, but about 1300 B. C. they are mentioned by both
Shalmaneser I, of Assyria, and Ramses II, of Egypt, as though they were in
Syria and Palestine. In later time they formed the basis of the population
from the east of the Euphrates to the Mediterranean coast and southward to
Damascus. In Deut. 26:5 Israelites are told to say “A wandering Aramæan
was my father” (R. V., margin). The reference seems to be to Jacob, though
possibly Abraham is intended. In either case, it shows that the Hebrews
recognized that there was an Aramæan strain in their ancestry. Perhaps the
Habiri were Aramæans, or were allied with Aramæans.

At all events, in the struggles that ensued, little by little all
allegiance to Egypt was thrown off by the Palestinians. Letters to Egypt
ceased to be written, our sources fail us, and for more than forty years
we can only conjecture what was happening in Palestine.

(3) _Seti I._--With the accession of Seti I of the nineteenth Egyptian
dynasty, who ruled from 1313 to 1292 B. C., some knowledge of events in
Palestine begins once more to come to us. Seti in his first year entered
Asia, captured an unnamed walled town on the border of the desert, pushed
northward and took the towns in the Plain of Jezreel, crossed the Jordan
and conquered cities in the Hauran, where he set up a pillar, discovered
there a few years since by Principal George Adam Smith; he then turned
west and conquered a city on the slopes of the Lebanon mountains.[113]
This campaign regained for Egypt all of Palestine and southern Phœnicia.
In his third year Seti was again in Asia. On this campaign he overthrew
the kingdom of the Amorites in northern Galilee. They occupied the city of
Kedesh in Naphtali (Josh. 19:37). This city Seti besieged and took.

(4) _Ramses II._--Thus at the beginning of the reign of Ramses II, who
ruled from 1292-1225 B. C., all Palestine was subject to Egypt. The
practical defeat of Ramses by the Hittites at Kadesh on the Orontes in his
fifth year, however, caused all Palestine to revolt, and Ramses was
compelled to undertake the reconquest of the land. This he accomplished
between his fifth and eighth years, beginning with the Philistine cities
and overrunning the whole country to the Hauran, where he set up a pillar,
as his father had previously done.[114] So far as we know, Palestine
remained quietly under the rule of Ramses during the remainder of his long

Ramses II, like Thothmes III, left on record a long list of cities
conquered by him in Asia. Of these the following are Palestinian towns
mentioned in the Bible:[115] Hammath (Josh. 19:35), Beth-shean (Josh.
17:11), Beth-anath (Josh. 19:38), and Hadasha (Josh. 15:37). Pella, a town
in the Jordan valley not mentioned in the Bible, also occurs in his list,
and there is also a possible mention of Jacobel in a corrupted form.

(5) _Merneptah._--After the accession of Merneptah, the successor of
Ramses II, a rebellion broke out. This was about 1223 B. C. Merneptah put
down the rebellion, but in the struggle caused by it, he was compelled to
reduce Gezer by siege. It was on this campaign that he came into contact
with Israel and defeated her.[116] Some think the Israelites whom he
mentioned were those who more than a century and a quarter before had been
battling against Jerusalem; others, that they were those who had just
escaped from Egypt.

The reign of Merneptah was followed by some years of unstable government
in Egypt, but this does not appear to have been a sufficiently long period
for great changes to occur in Palestine. Order was restored in Egypt by
Setnakht about 1200 B. C., and his son and successor, Ramses III,
1198-1167 B. C., reasserted his sovereignty over Palestine and Phœnicia.

(6) _Ramses III._--Ramses III found himself confronted with a peculiar
situation. The Egyptian Delta and the coasts of Palestine were invaded by
hordes of people from over the sea. As early as the reign of Ramses II the
Egyptians had employed men from the island of Sardinia as mercenaries;
there must then have been intercourse with distant islands across the sea.

=6. The Philistines.=--Now, however, hordes of Sicilians, Danaoi, Peleset
(Philistines), Thekel, and many other tribes came from over the sea. These
tribes came in part from islands, such as Sicily and Crete, and in part
from the coasts of Asia Minor. Ramses III was compelled to fight with
them, both in the Delta and in Phœnicia. On the walls of his temple at
Medinet Habu he has left us pictures of the Philistines. A remarkable
inscribed disc was found a few years since at Phæstos in Crete. It is
printed with a sort of movable type, and each character is a pictograph or
hieroglyph. Prof. Macalister has shown that it is, in all probability, a
contract tablet.[117] When the tablet was first published Eduard Meyer
pointed out[118] that a frequently recurring sign, which is apparently the
determinative for “man” or “person,” has the same sort of upstanding hair
as the Philistines pictured by Ramses III on the walls of Medinet Habu.
This tablet, accordingly, was written by Philistines or their near
kindred. In this view there is general agreement among scholars. Amos
declared that the Lord brought the Philistines from Caphtor (Amos 9:7).
If this disc was written in Crete, it would follow that Caphtor was Crete.
It is thought possible by some that the disc was written in Asia Minor,
whence it was carried to Crete; in that case Caphtor would be a name for
Asia Minor.[119] At all events, this inscription makes it clear that the
Philistines came from over the sea, and that their point of departure was
either Crete or Asia Minor. Ramses III reveals to us through his
inscriptions the Philistines in the act of migrating into Palestine. With
them were the Thekel, who afterward were absorbed by the Philistines; (see
Figs. 36 and 38).

In his struggle with these tribes Ramses III was compelled to carry the
war into Asia, where he overcame and defeated them. In commemoration of
this event he has left a list of places which he conquered in Asia. Most
of them, so far as they can be identified, were further north than
Palestine, but the following are names of places mentioned in the
Bible:[120] Seir (Gen. 14:6, etc.), Caineh (Amos 6:2), or Calno (Isa.
10:9), Tyre, Carchemish, Beth-Dagon (Josh. 15:41), Kir-Bezek, probably the
same as Bezek (Judges 1:5), Hadashah (Josh. 15:37), Ardon (1 Chron. 2:18),
Beer (cf. Num. 21:16), Senir (Deut. 3:9), Zobebah (1 Chron. 4:8), Gether
(Gen. 10:23), and Ar (Num. 21:15; Isa. 15:1, etc.).

After Ramses III the Egyptian empire became too weak to interfere in
Palestinian affairs. In the chronology followed by many scholars today it
was about this time that the Hebrews completed their conquest of the
country and the age of the Judges began.

=7. The Hebrews.=--On their way into Palestine the Hebrews, as already
noted, invaded and conquered a kingdom of the Amorites which lay to the
east of the Jordan and had its capital at Heshbon. (See Num. 21:21 and
Deut. 1:4, etc.). This kingdom was a survival of the ancient Amorite
occupation of the land. The Amorites composing it had not been absorbed or
displaced by more recent pre-Hebrew invaders.

It is stated in Judges 1:27-36 that there were a number of cities from
which the Israelites did not, at the time of their conquest, drive out the
inhabitants. The principal excavations in Palestine have had to do with
cities which were not conquered by Hebrews at this time--Taanach, Megiddo,
and Gezer. We are told in Josh. 10:33 that when Horam, King of Gezer,
came to the aid of the king of Lachish, Joshua “smote him and his people
till he left none remaining.” As nothing is said of the capture of Gezer,
this must refer only to the force which went to the aid of Lachish. This
view is confirmed by the fact that in the time of David, Gezer was in the
hands of the Philistines. (See 1 Chron. 20:4.) Gezer did not come into the
hands of the Hebrews until the time of Solomon, when Solomon’s Egyptian
father-in-law conquered it and gave it to him. Mr. Macalister found
evidence that at about this time there was a considerable increase of the
population of Gezer, which seems to confirm the statement of Judges 1:29
that Canaanites and Israelites dwelt together there. This evidence
consisted in the crowding together of houses, so that, as many new ones
were built, they became smaller. New houses also encroached upon the land
of the “high place.”[121] There was evidently an increase of the
population such as an influx of Hebrews would account for. Evidence of
Hebrew conquest seems also to have come to light in the capture and
burning of Jericho[122] and Bethshemesh,[123] which the excavations have

=8. Philistine Civilization.=--The next source of information which
archæology furnishes us concerning Palestine is the report of Wenamon,
translated in Part II, p. 352, ff. Wenamon visited Dor and Gebal about
1100 B. C. He found a king of the Thekel established in Dor, so that the
Philistines were probably by this time established in the whole maritime

With the coming of the Philistines into Palestine, new influences were
introduced into the country. These are most apparent in the pottery that
has come down to us. (See Chapter VIII.) The Philistines, whether they
came from Crete or from the coasts of the Ægean Sea, had been influenced
by those higher forms of art which were in later times developed into the
superb Greek forms. Just at the time when history tells us the Philistines
came into Palestine, we begin to find in its mounds the remains of a more
ornate pottery.

=9. The Hebrew Kingdoms.=--As the Philistines filled the maritime plain,
and began to push into the hill country, the Israelites formed a kingdom
by which to oppose them. The kingdom of Saul accomplished little, but that
of David, which began about 1000 B. C., overcame the Philistines and all
other peoples adjacent to the Hebrews and established an Israelitish
empire.[124] This was possible because just at that time both Egypt and
Assyria were weak. Before the end of the reign of Solomon this empire
began to disintegrate (1 Kings 11:14-25), and at his death, about 937 B.
C., it faded entirely away and the kingdom was divided into the kingdoms
of Israel and Judah. The history of these kingdoms is given in outline in
the Bible and is probably familiar to every reader of this book.

These kingdoms, frequently at war with each other, were first invaded by
Sheshonk (Shishak) of Egypt (1 Kings 14:25), who made them his vassals
(see Part II, p. 359, f.), and in later centuries were made subject to
Assyria. Israel suffered this fate first in 842 B. C., and Judah in 732.
On account of her rebellions, the kingdom of Israel was overthrown by
Assyria in the year 722 B. C. After Assyria became weak, Judah was made
subject to Egypt in 608 B. C., but passed under the sway of Babylon in the
year 604. Because she repeatedly rebelled against Babylon, the prominent
Judæans were carried captive partly in 597 B. C. and partly in 586, and in
the year last mentioned Jerusalem was overthrown and its temple destroyed.

Excavations have brought to light much evidence as to the houses, high
places, and the mode of life of this time,[125] as well as evidence of how
Shishak fought against Rehoboam, Shalmaneser III against Ahab and Jehu,
Tiglath-pileser IV against Menahem and Pekah, Shalmaneser V and Sargon
against Hoshea, and Sennacherib against Judah. It has also told us much
about Nebuchadrezzar.[126]

=10. The Exile and After.=--The Babylonian Exile was brought by Cyrus to a
possible end in 538 B. C. This is also illuminated by that which
exploration has brought to light.[127] The temple was rebuilt through the
efforts of Haggai and Zechariah during the years 520-517 B. C. In 444 B.
C. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, as related in Neh. 1-7. Thus
under the Persian empire Judah was re-established. It consisted of a
little country around Jerusalem; it was poor and weak, but was aided by
money sent from Babylonia by Jews who were still resident there.

(1) _The Samaritans._--In the neighborhood of Samaria was a people who
were descended in part from Hebrews whom Sargon did not carry away and in
part from the Gentiles whom he brought in. These people worshiped Jehovah.
(See 2 Kings 17:24-34.) When the little Jewish state had been
re-established at Jerusalem, they wished to participate in Jewish worship
and to be recognized as good Jews. Since they were not of pure Hebrew
descent, the Jews would not permit this, so they at last desisted, built a
temple to Jehovah on Mount Gerizim (see John 4:20), and became a large and
flourishing sect.[128] They based their worship on the Pentateuch, and
were so much like the Jews that there was constant friction between them.
This friction is reflected in Luke 9:51-54, John 4:9, and in many passages
of the Talmud. It was this sect that occupied Samaria in the time of
Christ and made it in his day a distinct division of the country.

(2) _Alexander the Great and His Successors._--In 332 B. C. Palestine
passed from Persian rule to that of Alexander the Great. After his death
in 323 it came under the rule of his general, Ptolemy Lagi, who ultimately
became king of Egypt. Later, 220-198 B. C., there was a struggle for the
possession of Palestine between the descendants of Ptolemy and the house
of Seleucus, another general of Alexander, who had established a kingdom
with its capital at Antioch. During these wars the Jews suffered greatly.
Finally the Seleucid king won, and Palestine passed definitely under the
control of Syria. With the coming of Alexander new cultural influences had
entered Palestine from the Hellenic world, and down to 168 B. C. such
influences were eagerly welcomed by a portion of the Jews.

(3) _The Maccabees._--In that year, however, Antiochus IV undertook to
forcibly Hellenize the Jews and to blot out their religion. This the more
faithful Jews resented, and a great revolt ensued. This revolt had as its
first successful general Judas, son of Mattathias, who, because of his
victories, was surnamed _makkab_, or the Hammer; it is, therefore, known
as the Maccabæan revolt. With varying fortunes the struggle dragged on for
25 years.[129] It finally succeeded because of civil wars in Syria. On
account of these each faction favored the Jews, and Syria became
continually weaker. In 143 B. C. the Jews once more achieved their
independence under Simon, brother of Judas, whom they ordained should be
Prince and High Priest forever.[130]

(4) _The Asmonæans._--The attaining of independence was accompanied by a
great wave of racial and religious enthusiasm. Not since the days of Ahaz,
in 733 B. C., had Judah been free of foreign domination. At the beginning
of the reign of Simon, it was still but a small territory around
Jerusalem. Hebron and all to the south of it was in the hands of the
Edomites, who three centuries before had been driven out of Edom by the
Nabathæans Simon began to enlarge their territory. He won Gezer and Joppa.
John Hyrcanus, his son and successor, 135-105 B. C., conquered the
Edomites, and compelled them to become Jews; he also conquered and
destroyed Samaria in 109 B. C. He began the conquest of Galilee. His son,
Aristobulus I 105-104 B. C., assumed the title of king. A regal dynasty
was thus founded, which is known as the Asmonæan or Hasmonæan dynasty, _i.
e._, the “Simonites” or descendants of Simon.

Alexander Jannæus, 104-79 B. C., completed the conquest of Galilee and the
region to the east of the Jordan, and extended the bounds of the kingdom
of the Asmonæans to practically the same limits as those of the kingdom of
David. The Galileans were also Judaized, as the Edomites had been. This
period of Jewish prosperity continued to 69 B. C. Through it all, in spite
of the religious zeal of the Jews, Hellenic influences made themselves
felt in many aspects of the country’s life.

=11. The Coming of Rome.=--On the death of Queen Alexandra in 69 B. C.,
her sons, John Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, both aspired to the supreme
power, and till 63 B. C. civil war ensued. In 65 B. C. the Romans had
terminated the independence of Syria and made it a Roman province. In 63
B. C. both the Jewish brothers appealed to Pompey, who had come to
Damascus. Aristobulus, however, acted treacherously, and Pompey marched
upon Jerusalem and took it by siege. Jewish independence was thus forever
lost, and Palestine passed under the yoke of Rome. Down to 37 B. C. the
country experienced many vicissitudes, as the struggles of the Roman
triumvirs were reflected in it. These vicissitudes culminated in the year
40 B. C., when Orodes I, King of Parthia, captured Jerusalem and placed
Antigonus, a son of Aristobulus II, on the throne. Antigonus was king and
a vassal of Parthia for three years.

(1) _The Herods._--In 37 B. C. Herod the Great, whose father had served
under the Romans, by the aid of a Roman army furnished him by Mark
Antony, drove Antigonous out and began his notable reign. Herod was a man
of great energy, an Edomite by descent, whose ancestors had become Jews by
compulsion. While professedly a Jew, he was deeply enamored of the
Græco-Roman culture. He wrung taxes from the people in order to beautify
Palestine with cities and temples built on Hellenic models. He rebuilt,
among other undertakings, the Jewish temple at Jerusalem and the city of
Samaria. This last he named Sebaste, the Greek for Augusta, naming it in
honor of the Emperor Augustus. He built a heathen temple there, surrounded
the city with a colonnaded street, many of the columns of which are still
standing, and otherwise adorned it. He built for himself a palace at
Jericho, and another on the top of a hill to the southeast of Bethlehem,
today called Gebel Fureidis; (see Figs. 31 and 39).

Upon his death, in 4 B. C., his kingdom was divided, Archelaus receiving
Judah and Samaria; Antipas, Galilee and Peræa, and Philip, Iturea and
Trachonitis. None of his sons was permitted by the Romans to be called
king, but all bore the title of “tetrarch.” The rule of Archelaus proved
so unbearable that in 6 A. D. Augustus banished him to Gaul and placed
Judæa and Samaria under Procurators, who were responsible to the
Proconsuls of the province of Syria. Pontius Pilate was the fifth of these
Procurators. After the death of Herod Antipas in 39 A. D., the Emperor
Caligula made Herod Agrippa I, a grandson of Herod the Great, king of the
dominions over which that monarch had ruled. Agrippa assumed control in 41
and ruled till his death in 44 A. D. His death is described in Acts 12:23.
After his death the whole country was governed by Procurators.

(2) _The Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. D._--Roman rule was always
distasteful to the Jews, and as the years passed they became more and more
restive. These smouldering fires broke into the flame of open rebellion in
the year 66 A. D., and after four years of terrible warfare Jerusalem was
captured and destroyed in 70 A. D. The temple, also razed to the ground,
has never been rebuilt. The country about Jerusalem was peopled by some of
the poorer of the peasantry, and the tenth Roman legion remained in the
city for a long time to keep order in that region.

=12. Later History.=--In 132 A. D., in the reign of Hadrian, a man called
Bar Chocaba, or the “Son of the Star,” came forward, claiming to be the
Messiah, and headed a Jewish revolt. So fiercely did the Jews fight that
the insurrection was not quelled by Rome until 135 A. D. When it was
finally put down, Hadrian determined to blot the name of Jerusalem from
the map. He rebuilt Jerusalem, making it a Roman colony, named it Ælia
Capitolina, and built a temple to Jupiter on the spot where the temple of
Jehovah had formerly stood. No Jew was permitted to come near the city.
Jerusalem as built by Hadrian continued until the time of Constantine, and
the form thus imposed upon it lasted much longer.

When Constantine made Christianity the religion of the empire, both he and
his mother began to take an interest in the Holy City and the Holy Land.
Other Christians followed them. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was
built, and the temple of Jupiter built by Hadrian was turned into a
Christian church. Pilgrimages to the Holy Land began, and monasteries,
churches, and bishoprics in time sprang up over all the country. Thus for
three hundred years the influences which were felt in Palestine emanated
from Byzantium or Constantinople. In 615 A. D. the land was overrun by
Chosroes II of Persia, who captured Jerusalem and destroyed many of its
churches. The Persians held it until 628, when the Byzantine kings
regained it. The control of Jerusalem by the Christians was, however, of
short duration, for in 636 Palestine was captured by the Mohammedans, and
with the exception of 89 years has ever since been under Mohammedan
control.[131] During these long centuries the country was ruled by the
Caliphs of Medina, Damascus, and Bagdad; by the Buvide Sultans, the
Fatimite Caliphs of Egypt, and the Seljuk Turks. The cruelties inflicted
by these last rulers upon Christians led to the Crusades, the first of
which established the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem,[132] which continued
from 1099 to 1188 A. D. This kingdom, organized on the feudal basis then
existing in western Europe, extended over all of Palestine and Syria,
including Antioch, and for nearly half the time, Edessa beyond the
Euphrates. Its existence marks an epoch in the archæology of the country.

Since the fall of this Latin kingdom, Palestine has remained under Moslem
control. First the Eyyubide Sultans of Egypt, then the Mamelukes of that
same land held sway. In 1517 the Ottoman Turks captured it, and have since
inflicted their misrule upon it. What fortunes the great war now raging
may bring to this land of sacred associations, we await with intense



    At Samaria. At Jericho. At Megiddo. FOUNDATION SACRIFICES. CITY GATES.
    WATER SUPPLY: Springs. Underground tunnels. Reservoirs.

=1. Their Sites.=--The cities of Palestine were usually built on hills.
These elevations, surmounted as they were by walls, created a natural
means of defence from attack; (see Fig. 33). Even more important than an
elevated situation was a water supply, hence all Palestinian cities of
importance are near springs. The necessity of being near a spring led, in
some cases, to the erection of a city on a level plain. This was the case
with Jericho; the only mound at its site is that created by the city

The hills on which the cities were erected varied in height. That at
Megiddo rose to a height of but 45 to 90 feet above the surrounding land,
but even this elevation was a great protection from the simple methods of
attack known to ancient warfare. The hill Ophel, the site of Jebusite
Jerusalem, rises today from 60 to 150 feet above the valley of the Kidron,
and in ancient times that valley was from 20 to 50 feet deeper than it is
now. The same hill was separated from the land on the west by a valley the
bed of which in ancient times was from 50 to 100 feet below the top of the
hill. The hill on which Samaria was situated rose some 300 feet above the
surrounding valley on all sides except the east, and when fortified
presented such an impregnable front that it took even an Assyrian army
three years to capture it. (2 Kings 17:5.) In the Seleucid and Roman
periods, when some cities expanded in size, the hilltops were sometimes
abandoned and they spread out over the plain. This was the case with
Gerasa and Philadelphia (Rabbah Ammon).[133] But “a city set on a hill”
(Matt. 5:14) was a common feature of the Palestinian landscape.

=2. The Walls.=--The walls by which the cities were surrounded varied
according to the advancement of the different periods, and according to
the importance of the place. As has already been pointed out in Chapter V,
the first wall at Gezer was but 6 feet high and 2 feet thick, and had a
sloping bank of earth packed against it on the outside. This bank was 6
feet 6 inches thick at the base and was covered with a facing of stone. In
the Amorite period a wall 13 feet thick was erected at Gezer, in which
towers were constructed about every 90 feet. These towers were 24 × 41
feet. Their height is, of course, unknown. This wall was probably built
about 2500 B. C. and formed the defense of the city for a thousand years.
By that time the tops of the houses probably protruded above the wall, and
the population had increased so that more space was needed. This wall was,
accordingly, replaced by another built outside of it. Much of the material
of which the old wall was constructed went into the new wall, which was
approximately 14 feet thick and contained occasional towers. At some time
a part of this wall had been destroyed, and then rebuilt. Probably at the
time of this rebuilding, additional towers had been inserted at different
points. The stones of these towers touched those of the wall without being
articulated with them. It has been conjectured[134] that these towers were
a part of the repairs made by King Solomon after the town had been
captured by his Egyptian father-in-law and presented to Solomon. (See 1
Kings 9:16, 17.) Still later an attempt was made to strengthen the
weakness caused by the unclosed seam between the towers and the wall by
constructing around the towers rude bastions. (See Figs. 40, 46.) Mr.
Macalister conjectures that this was done by the Syrian General Bacchides
when he hastily fortified Gezer and occupied it in 160 B. C.[135] (1 Macc.

At Lachish, Petrie found massive city walls, though he did not describe
them in detail.[136] At Taanach, Sellin found a strong city wall, but did
not attempt to trace it about the tell.[137] Schumacher devoted
considerable attention to the city walls of Megiddo, a part of which were
built of bricks.[138] At Tell es-Safi (Gath?) the outlines of the city
walls were traced, as they were at Tell el-Judeideh.[139] At Samaria a
part of the Roman wall of the time of Herod was found; lower down in the
mound remains of a Babylonian wall (see 2 Kings 17:24), beneath which the
excavators recognized the Hebrew wall.[140] City walls were found, too, at
Bethshemesh,[141] but of especial interest to the student of the Bible are
the walls of Jericho. Here, as at Megiddo, the walls were constructed in
part of brick. They had an average thickness of 13 feet. The Canaanitish
wall was traced around three sides of the mound. It was strengthened by
occasional towers.[142] On the east, next to the spring, they had entirely
disappeared. This must not be pressed into a confirmation of Josh. 6:20,
that the walls fell down flat, for the later Israelitish wall has
disappeared on that side of the mound also. Later, when in the days of
Ahab the Israelites rebuilt the city (1 Kings 16:34), they did not place
the wall on the old line, but enclosed a considerably larger space. This
wall was constructed partly of bricks, but mostly of stone.[143] The walls
of Jerusalem will be treated in Chapter XIII. At the northwest corner of
the Canaanitish wall was a tower enclosed by two brick walls; the outer
wall was a little more than 4 feet thick; the inner, about 10 feet.

=3. The Stone Work.=--The kind of stones used in city walls varied with
the circumstances and the degree of civilization. The walls of the stone
age were naturally made of small undressed stones. The Amorites began the
use of cut stone. Their blocks are often fairly smooth and regular. The
Amorite wall of Gezer was made of more regular stones than the wall of the
Egyptian period.[144] In the Israelitish and Jewish periods a stone with
an embossed edge was often used. It is found in the wall of Nehemiah,
excavated by Bliss,--a wall made of stones that some pre-exilic king had
used before,--and appears also in the structures of Herod the Great. In
the structures of Constantine and later Byzantine builders, this type of
stone is replaced by a stone with a perfectly smooth surface--much more
smooth than anything found in the early walls. This type of stone work
continued through the crusading period; (see Figs. 253, 254.) While these
types can be traced, their use was not altogether regular.[145]

The areas of Palestinian cities in the early time were very small. All of
Canaanite Jericho could be put in the Colosseum at Rome! Megiddo, one of
the largest of these early cities, was built on a mound that contained
only about eleven acres, and Jebusite Jerusalem was built on a ridge that
in ancient times contained not less than nine or more than thirteen acres.

=4. Houses.=--Within these small areas the houses were crowded together,
as in the modern native villages of Palestine, separated only by narrow,
crooked lanes. One may see in Hebron or in some parts of Jerusalem similar
conditions to this day. There was no drainage; refuse was thrown into the
streets. The cities were ill-smelling places. The wonder is that the
mortality was not greater. The houses in the central, elevated portion of
Palestine were usually of stone, though at Gezer, Jericho, and places in
the lower-lying portions of the country they were sometimes of brick. The
walls of the stone houses were constructed of rough stones of a great
variety of sizes, from small pebbles to large boulders. Mortar and cement
were never used. The stones were set in mud. They were not dressed except
with a hammer in the roughest way. The joints between them were wide and
irregular. Into the crevices serpents and scorpions might crawl. It was of
such a house that Amos says, “a man ... leaned his hand on the wall and a
serpent bit him”; (5:19). The bricks were rarely burned; they were simply
sun-dried, and had no more cohesion than the earth in which they were
embedded. The houses generally had no floor except the earth, which was
smoothed off and packed hard. Sometimes this was varied by mixing lime
with the mud and letting it harden, and sometimes floors of cobblestones
or stone chippings mixed with lime were found. In the Roman period mosaic
floors, made by embedding small smoothly cut squares of stone in the
earth, were introduced. By employing stones of different colors the
mosaics were often worked into beautiful patterns; (see Figs. 35, 42, 43,
44, 47, and 48). Sometimes pictures of birds and animals were formed in
the floors.

The doorways were usually simply an opening made by the vertical sides
left in the masonry. In the later time they were sometimes lined with
standing stones. The doors themselves have long since disappeared, but
there is evidence that, like many houses still to be seen in Palestine,
they were made fast to a post, the lower end of which was set in a hollow
or perforated stone. When the door swung the whole post turned in this
stone. Some of these stones were found. In a few houses at Gezer
enclosures of stones on end were sometimes found in the middle or the
corners of dwelling houses. Perhaps these were hearths.[146] Some houses
built after the time of Alexander the Great had a kind of piazza running
along the side. The remains of the pillars which supported the roofs of
these were discovered. Beginning with the Hellenistic period, some of the
better houses had baths. (On doors, see Figs. 49, 50.)

=5. Palaces.=--In the excavation of different sites the outlines of
several larger buildings or palaces were uncovered. A few of these are of
interest to the student of the Bible.

(1) _At Taanach._--In the northeast of the mound at Taanach[147] the
remains of a building about 75 × 77 feet were found. It was in existence
in the fourteenth century before Christ. This building contained several
rooms, as the plan will make clear; (see Fig. 45). The remains of the wall
still showed one layer of hewn stones, some of which were very large. In a
vault underneath the building four cuneiform tablets were found. They had
been placed there for safety in time of siege, and these four tablets had
been overlooked when the rest of the archive was rifled. These tablets
proved to be letters written at the same time as those found at
El-Amarna.[148] The building was the palace of a Canaanite king.

(2) _At Samaria._--Of especial interest to the student of the Bible are
the palaces of the Hebrew period. At Samaria Reisner discovered massive
walls, which were probably the remains of the palaces of Omri and Ahab.
That of Omri was built of large stones and rested on the native rock. As
Omri was the founder of the city (1 Kings 16:24), there can be little
doubt that this was his palace. An enlargement of this consisted of walls
the construction of which was finer. They were faced with white marble. In
this palace an alabaster vase was found, inscribed with the name of
Osorkon II, King of Egypt, who was a contemporary of King Ahab. This is,
therefore, believed to be the palace of Ahab--perhaps the “house of ivory”
which Ahab built (1 Kings 22:39). As the volume on the excavation at
Samaria is not yet published, it is impossible to give detailed plans of
these buildings. The accompanying picture (Fig. 52) shows some of their

(3) _At Jericho._--Another building of this period, which the excavators
believed might have been built by Hiel, the rebuilder of Jericho, in the
days of Ahab (1 Kings 16:34), was uncovered by Sellin. It is the most
pretentious building of the Hebrew time at Jericho and may well have been
the residence of the governor of the place. It consisted of a number of
large rooms, and was throughout constructed of fairly large but irregular
stones; (see Fig. 51).

(4) _At Megiddo._--Another residence of an Israelitish governor was found
at Megiddo. This was a large, irregular building, constructed around a
courtyard. Some of the work was of dressed stones of considerable size, in
every way superior to the stone-work of the earlier buildings of that
city. In this palace a seal of a man named Shema was found, which bore the
inscription, “Belonging to Shema, the servant of Jeroboam.” We do not know
whether this man served under Jeroboam I or Jeroboam II. The fine
character of the stone-work leads one to think the reign of Jeroboam II
the more probable date; (see Figs. 53 and 27).

One more palace should be noticed, that of Simon the Maccabee (143-135 B.
C.), at Gezer. This palace is clearly of the Hellenistic type, and was
identified as the dwelling-place that Simon built for himself (1 Macc.
13:48), by the discovery of an ancient curse against Simon’s palace
scrawled in Greek on a block of stone. This building was constructed of
rather finely cut stone, was of irregular shape (see Figs. 54, 55), had an
imposing gate which admitted into a courtyard, and was supplied with a
good system of drainage.

=6. Foundation Sacrifices.=--When a house was built it was customary to
consecrate it by a sacrifice. In early times in Palestine this was often a
human sacrifice. In Gezer the skeleton of a woman was found built into the
walls of a house. Numerous skeletons of children were also found under the
corners of houses. Such sacrificial offerings were more often made under
the corners of buildings, since the corners were considered sacred. In
Babylonia and Egypt the sacrifice was accompanied with the burial under
the corner-stone of inscriptions and other deposits, though in Egypt, as
in Palestine, the deposit was not always under the corners.[149] Similar
sacrifices were found at Taanach[150] and Megiddo.[151] These sacrifices
illustrate, some think, 1 Kings 16:34, where Hiel laid the foundation of
Jericho with the loss of his first-born, and set up its gates with the
loss of his youngest son; (see Fig. 56).

=7. City Gates.=--The city gate was in Palestine an important part of the
town. Gateways were constructed in different ways at different times. At
Gezer the northern gate consisted of a protruding tower, into which one
entered at the side, then turned a right angle to gain entrance to the
city; (see Fig. 58). Gates of this type are still common in the East. The
passageway in this gate at Gezer was 40 feet wide.[152] The southern gate
of Gezer consisted simply of a straight passageway, 42 feet long and 9
feet wide, between two brick towers; (see Fig. 61). Often, as in the case
of the gate found at Bethshemesh (Fig. 59), there were rooms on each side
of the passageway through the tower. One with still more space within its
tower was uncovered at Megiddo; (Fig. 57).

The city gates usually remained at the same points in the wall through the
successive reconstructions of the city. Thus at Samaria the remains of
round Herodian towers which flanked the gateway were found resting on
larger square bases of the Seleucid period, beneath which the outline of
the earlier Israelitish towers was still visible; (see Figs. 65, 66).

The form of these gates illuminates many Biblical passages. Lot sat in the
gate of Sodom (Gen. 19:1). Joab took Abner aside in the gate to speak to
him (2 Sam. 3:27). The gate was the place of conference for the elders of
a city (Gen. 34:20). To be praised in the “gates,” where the city’s
affairs were settled (Prov. 31:31), was to have desired fame.

=8. Water Supply.=

(1) _Springs._--The water supply of Palestinian cities came in part from
the never-failing springs near which they were built. This supply was,
however, seldom sufficient, so that from the early days cisterns were
built to catch the water of the rainy season and conserve it for use
during the summer months. These cisterns were often excavated in the solid
rock, but sometimes were simple pits in the earth, over the bottom of
which a coating of lime or cement had been spread.

(2) _Underground Tunnels._--In time of war, when a city might be shut up
for years, cities were often compelled to yield for want of water. This
was especially the case if the spring lay outside the city walls. In
several Palestinian cities means were taken to secure access to a spring
without exposing oneself to the enemy outside the wall. One of the
greatest of these undertakings was discovered at Gezer. This was a tunnel
cut in the solid rock, which was entered by a long flight of rock-cut
steps. At the entrance the rock formed an imposing archway 23 feet high
and 13 feet 10 inches broad. These dimensions were maintained throughout
about two-thirds of the length of the tunnel. The whole passage was about
130 feet long. The last third of it had to be cut through a much harder
rock, where the work was much more difficult, and its workmanship was here
not so good as above. The tunnel also became appreciably smaller. The
passage terminated in a large cave, in the bottom of which was a spring,
and was evidently constructed to enable the inhabitants to reach a water
supply in time of siege. The floor of the cave is 94 feet 6 inches below
the level of the rock surface under the ancient city. The whole tunnel is
a remarkable piece of engineering for an early people; (see Figs. 60 and

The earth with which the mouth of the tunnel was closed contained objects
which belonged to the time 1450-1250 B. C. The steps in the passageway had
been before this deeply worn by many feet--so deeply worn that Mr.
Macalister estimated that they must have been in use for 500 years. For
these reasons he supposes that this water-passage was excavated about 2000
B. C. or soon after that date. It had ceased to be used before the
Israelites conquered the place.

A similar underground tunnel leading to a spring has been found at El-Gib,
Gibeon, (Fig. 63), and one made in Jebusite times also existed at
Jerusalem. It is mentioned in 2 Sam. 5:8, and will be described in
connection with Jerusalem (p. 188). At Rabbah Ammon an underground passage
connected the old city situated on the hill with a large cistern which was
roofed over so as to be concealed. To this cistern in time of siege the
inhabitants could go through the passage and obtain water. It was this
cistern[153] which Joab had captured (2 Sam. 12:27) when he sent to David
to come and take the city. Antiochus III of Syria in the same way
compelled the city to surrender in the year 218 B. C.,[154] and Herod the
Great did the same thing before 30 B. C.[155]

(3) _Reservoirs._--Among the sources of water supply for the cities of
Palestine the so-called Pools of Solomon to the south of Bethlehem are
unique. They consist of three reservoirs, partly rock-cut and in part
constructed of walls of masonry, in the Wady Artas, about a mile and a
half to the southwest of Bethlehem. The highest of these pools is 127
yards long and 76 yards wide, and 25 feet deep at its lower end. The
central pool is 141 yards long, from 53 to 83 yards wide, and 38 feet
deep. The lowest and finest of the three is 194 yards long, 49 to 69 yards
wide, and 48 feet at its deepest part. In these reservoirs water from
neighboring springs was collected and stored. Two aqueducts at different
times conveyed it to Jerusalem as it was needed. These aqueducts are now
known respectively as the Low Level Aqueduct and the High Level Aqueduct.
The High Level Aqueduct appears to be the older. In recent years the Low
Level Aqueduct has been repaired, so that these “pools” still contribute
to the water supply of Jerusalem.

There is no evidence that Solomon built these. His name has been attached
to them solely on account of Eccl. 2:6: “I made me pools of water.” The
whole structure of these and their aqueducts seems rather to be Greek or
Roman work; (see Fig. 64).

Evidence for the dates is not conclusive,[156] but there is some
probability that the pools were constructed by John Hyrcanus I, 135-105 B.
C., who made the High Level Aqueduct, and that the Low Level Aqueduct was
constructed by Herod the Great. This is much longer than the High Level
Aqueduct, as it makes a detour toward Gebel Fureidis, where Herod
constructed a palace, to which he conveyed water. This Low Level Aqueduct
is probably the one afterward repaired by Pontius Pilate.[157]



    ROADS: Early paths. Roman roads. AGRICULTURE: Granaries. Hoes and
    plows. Sickles. Threshing. Winnowing. Grinding. Mortars. Fruits.
    Vineyards and wine-vats. Olive-presses. The agricultural calendar.
    Domestic animals. Bees. Birds. Hens.

=1. Roads.=--From the time cities were established in Palestine there was
more or less communication between them. Probably in a small way commerce
was carried on among some of them, but no effort was made to construct
roads, in the modern sense of the term, until the Roman period.

(1) _Early Paths._--Before that time all traveling was done on foot or on
the backs of donkeys and camels, and for such travel a simple foot-path,
made by continuous use, was all that was considered necessary. The roads
constructed by the Romans have long since fallen into a state of utter
disrepair, so that, with the exception of two or three roads that have
been built in recent years, the simple, rough foot-paths that have existed
from time immemorial still suffice for Palestinian travel. These paths are
often exceedingly rough. They were never surveyed and never repaired. They
were simply devoted to public use by immemorial custom. If a landowner
wished to raise grain in a field through which one of these paths ran, he
plowed up to the very edge of the narrow path and put in his seed. There
were neither fences nor ditches to separate the road from the field.
Fields traversed by such roads are still very common in Palestine. It was
along such a road that Jesus and the disciples were traveling when they
plucked the ears of wheat on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke
6:1). It was such a road to which Jesus alluded in the Parable of the
Sower: “Some seed fell by the wayside” (Matt. 13:4; Mark 4:4; Luke 8:5). A
rough path is shown in Fig. 67.

(2) _Roman Roads._--After Palestine passed under the sway of Rome in 63 B.
C. a system of roads was built to connect the most important places. We
have no definite information about these from a source earlier than the
_Onomasticon_ of Eusebius,[158] which was compiled before 340 A. D., but
in all probability those on the west of the Jordan were constructed before
the time of Christ. There were three main roads in this part of
Palestine.[159] One ran down the sea-coast. Starting at Sidon, it passed
southward through Tyre, Sarepta (Zarephath, 1 Kings 17:10; Luke 4:26),
Ptolemais (Accho), Dor, Cæsarea, Joppa, Lydda, Azotus (Ashdod), and
Askelon to Gaza. A branch road ran eastward from Tyre over the hills of
Galilee through Kedesh in Naphtali (Josh. 12:22; 20:7; Judges 4:6), to
Cæsarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13; Mark 8:27), which was near the ancient Dan
(Judges 18:29).

From Cæsarea, on the sea-coast south of Dor, another branch road ran
southeastward through the valley of Aijalon up to the site of Gibeah of
Saul (1 Sam. 10:26; 11:4, etc.), where it joined the road along the
central ridge of the country; (see Fig. 68).

Starting from Damascus another road ran southward to Hyppos, one of the
cities of the Decapolis, which lay southeast of the Sea of Galilee,[160]
crossed the Jordan on a bridge below the Sea of Galilee (shown in Fig.
289), passed through Scythopolis, the Beth-shean of the Old Testament
(Josh. 17:11; 1 Sam. 31:10), through Sychar (John 4:5), then southward
along the central ridge of the country, through Bethel and Ramah to
Jerusalem. South of Jerusalem it was continued to Bethlehem and Hebron.
Four miles north of Jerusalem it was joined by the road from Cæsarea, so
that travelers from the coast and from the north entered Jerusalem over
the same road. One can in many places still trace the lines of Roman
paving-stones which mark their courses. Thus the juncture of the two roads
just mentioned is still visible, and one may stand on the hillside and
feel sure that he is looking at the very way over which Paul was taken to
Cæsarea by the Roman soldiers the night after his arrest in Jerusalem
(Acts 23:23, 24).

From Scythopolis (Beth-shean) another road ran southward through the
Jordan valley to Jericho. This was probably continued to Jerusalem. From
Sebaste (Samaria) another road ran northwestward through Dothan (Gen.
37:17; 2 Kings 6:13), to Taanach, Megiddo, and the coast.

After Trajan overthrew the kingdom of the Nabathæans, in 106 A. D., he
built a road on the east of the Jordan, southward from Damascus to the Red
Sea. The Roman government kept these roads in good order. They marked the
distances by milestones, some of which have survived to modern times;
(Figs. 69, 71).

=2. Agriculture= was the chief occupation of the inhabitants of Palestine.
The cities were throughout its history simply the walled residences of
farmers. Such trade as developed at different periods was always
subordinate to agricultural pursuits. We cannot expect exploration to
furnish us with a complete view of ancient Palestinian agriculture, but
such glimpses as it does afford us are most illuminating.

(1) _Granaries._--In the excavation of Gezer[161] it was found that
granaries formed an important class of buildings. Some of these were
connected with private houses and evidently belonged to individuals, but
some of them were so large and so much grain was found in them that it was
rightly held that they must have been public granaries. Some of these
buildings had been destroyed by fire, and the charred grain, retaining its
original shape, was easily recognized. Most of the granaries were circular
structures, such as are seen today dotting the fields of the maritime
plain of Palestine. They varied greatly in size. One was but 2 feet 8
inches in diameter; another was 4 feet 9 inches across and 6 feet 9 inches
deep. One granary from the second Semitic stratum (1700-1350 B. C.) was
connected with a house, and contained several kinds of grain, each stored
in a separate chamber; (Figs. 70, 72).

From such receptacles wheat, barley, oats, and beans were recovered, as
well as three varieties of vetch, one of which was probably the “lentils”
of Gen. 25:34; 2 Sam. 17:28; 23:11; and Ezek. 4:9. Barley is often
mentioned in the Bible; the wheat is usually there called “corn.” Piles of
straw and chaff, such as the modern Palestinians call _tibn_, were also

(2). _Hoes and Plows._--Naturally, the implements with which the grain was
cultivated have nearly all perished. In the first place the ground had to
be broken and prepared to receive the seed. Remains of two different kinds
of hoes were found at Gezer, though the preparation of a sufficiently
large area of ground to bear grain to support cities cannot have been made
with such instruments; (see Fig. 73). From an early time the plow, which
is frequently mentioned in the Bible (see, for example, 1 Kings 19:19),
was in use in Palestine. A number of plowshares were found at Megiddo in
the ruins of a blacksmith’s shop, and a diamond-shaped iron ring, from
Gezer, may have been used to attach oxen to a plow, and the points of
several ox-goads were found. The ox-goad consisted, as it does today, of a
long stick into the end of which a sharp iron point was fixed. It is
alluded to in Acts 26:14. As this goad was used in driving the oxen in
plowing, it indicates that plows were used. These plows were probably
similar to those used at the time in Egypt; (see Figs. 76, 77).

(3) _Sickles._--When the grain was ripe it was reaped with a sickle (Deut.
16:9; Jer. 50:16; Joel 3:13). In the earlier periods these were of flint;
later they were made of bronze, and iron. Sickles of metal are, however,
rarely found. They were expensive, while flint was abundant and cheap.
Flint sickle-teeth were numerous, therefore, in all periods. The earliest
sickles were flints set in an animal’s jaw-bone, or in a curved piece of
wood similar to the Egyptian sickle shown in Figs. 74, 75.

(4) _Threshing._--After the grain was cut it was taken to the
threshing-floor to be threshed. These floors were often a comparatively
level portion of rock which formed a part of a high place or sanctuary.
Such was the threshing-floor of Araunah, the Jebusite, in 2 Sam. 24:18. It
took several days to complete a threshing, and as no one would think of
stealing from a sacred place, the whole community was protected by doing
the threshing in its precincts. Sometimes the cattle were driven about
over the grain, as in ancient Egypt (see Fig. 79), and as is done in
modern Palestine still; (see Fig. 78). This is the kind of threshing
contemplated in Deut. 25:4. At other times a kind of sledge drawn by
cattle was driven about over the grain. Ornan (Araunah) was threshing with
such an instrument (1 Chron. 21:23; 2 Sam. 24:22), and allusion is made to
one in Isa. 41:15; (see Fig. 80).

(5) _Winnowing._--The grain was winnowed or cleansed of chaff by being
thrown up, as in Fig. 79. As it fell the wind blew the chaff away. It is
this process that John the Baptist used as an illustration of the purging
work of Christ (Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17).

(6) _Grinding._--When the grain was cut, threshed, and winnowed, there
were no mills to which it could be taken for grinding. This process had to
be done in each home, and the labor of doing it fell to the women of the
household. (See Exod. 11:5; Matt. 24:41.) Grain was reduced to flour
either by rubbing or by pounding. The process of rubbing or grinding was
accomplished either by a flat saddle-shaped stone over which another was
rubbed (see Figs. 81, 84), or by crushing between two stones, the top one
of which was revolved somewhat as a modern millstone (Fig. 82). It
required two women, as Jesus said, to grind at such a mill--one to feed
it, while the other manipulated the rubbing stone. Such stones were made
of hard igneous rock procured from the region east of the Sea of Galilee,
and are called “querns.” In the different periods of the history of
Palestine they varied in size and shape, becoming round in the Seleucid
period (323-63 B. C.). The upper stone was apparently rotated by twisting
the wrist. It could be thus turned half-way round and then back again. No
round millstones, with the topmost of the pair perforated, as in the
modern millstone, were found before the Arabic period, 637 A. D. Pictures
of modern Syrian women turning this perforated type of millstone do not,
therefore, really illustrate, as is often assumed, the women of the Bible
as they ground at the mill.

Probably the millstone which crushed the head of Abimelech at Thebez
(Judges 9:53) was the upper stone of a “saddle quern.” The importance of
these millstones is recognized in Deut. 24:6, which prohibits the taking
of a mill or the upper millstone of a poor man as security, on the ground
that that was the same as taking a man’s life as security. The lower
millstone was always made of the harder stone. Because of this and of the
grinding and pounding to which it was subjected it became a symbol of
firmness (Job 41:24).

(7) _Mortars._--Apparently the grain was also frequently crushed by
pounding it with a pestle in a mortar. So many of these made of stone were
found at Gezer that it is thought that these may have been used more often
than the millstones; (see Fig. 83).

(8) _Fruits._--In the course of the excavation of Gezer dried figs,
grapes, pomegranates, and olives were found. All of these are mentioned in
the Bible, as, for example, in Cant. 2:13; Rev. 6:13; Gen. 40:11; Num.
13:23; Micah 6:15. In one trench what appeared to be a pile of charred
pistachio nuts was found. Acorns, terebinth, and apricot seeds were also
discovered.[162] Of these fruits, those which left the most archæological
evidence of their existence are just those that are most frequently
mentioned in the Bible,--the grape and the olive.

(9) _Vineyards and Wine-vats._--The grape is often alluded to in the
Bible, and directions are given as to how one may conduct himself in a
vineyard (Deut. 23:24) and as to how thoroughly one might glean his vines
(Lev. 25:5). The most complete description of a vineyard is in Isa. 5:1-8.
The one feature of that description that would survive for an archæologist
to discover is the wine-vat. These vats were often cut in the solid rock,
and many of them have been found, both in excavating and in traveling over
the country. The vats for pressing grapes and other fruits may be
distinguished from olive-presses because they lack all arrangements for
mechanical pressing. The grapes were trodden with the feet, and as the
juice was pressed out it ran down into a deeper portion of the vat. Some
of these vats are surrounded by “cup-marks” or hollow places cut in the
stone in order to hold pointed-bottomed jars upright. Sometimes the
cup-marks are connected with the main vat by tiny channels, through which
any of the grape-juice that might drain from the outside of the jar, after
the jar had been dipped in the vat, might run back; (see Fig. 87).

(10) _Olive-presses._--Similarly, olive-presses are very numerous in
Palestine. Presses were found in the stratum of the cave-dwellers of
Gezer. The olive industry is, accordingly, very old. Olive-presses
comprised, in addition to the vat, an upright stone with a large hole in
it. In this hole a beam was inserted. This beam rested on the olives which
were to be pressed, extending far beyond the receptacle containing the
olives, and weights were hung on the end farthest from the stone; (see
Fig. 88). Palestine in ancient times, as now, was covered with olive
orchards, many of which had oil-presses. Such an orchard was called a
“garden.” The Garden of Gethsemane, the scene of one of the most sacred
incidents of the life of Christ (Matt. 26:36; Mark 14:32), was an olive
orchard and took its name from the oil-press. Gethsemane means
“oil-press.” Wine-vats and oil-presses were of various types, but into
their forms there is not space to enter here[163]; (see Figs. 85, 86).

The prominent place held by wine and oil among the agricultural products
of the country is indicated by the receipts for the storage of various
quantities of these articles which were found at Samaria.

(11) _The Agricultural Calendar._--In the books of the old Testament the
names applied to the months are, for the most part, names derived from
Babylonia, but it appears that at Gezer they had a series of names for the
months based on their agricultural year. In the stratum which contained
remains from the time of the Hebrew monarchy, 1000-550 B. C., an
inscription was found which, though the end was broken away, contained the
following names for the months:

    1. Month of ingathering. (See Exod. 23:16; 34:22.)

    2. Month of sowing.

    3. Month of the late [sowing?].

    4. Month of the flax-harvest.

    5. Month of the barley-harvest. (See Ruth 2:23; 2 Sam. 21:9.)

    6. Month of the harvest of all [other grains?].

    7. Month of pruning [vines].

    8. Month of summer-fruit [figs].

This calendar, beginning in October, still conforms to the agricultural
pursuits of the year. It also gives us archæological evidence of the
culture of flax by the ancient Israelites. (See Josh. 2:6; Prov. 31:13;
Hosea 2:5, 9.)

(12) _Domestic Animals._--The domestic animals of ancient Palestine may be
traced in part by their bones found in various excavations, and in part by
the pictures of them drawn in caves and tombs. The domestic animals most
often mentioned in the Bible are asses, cattle, sheep, goats, and camels.
Bones, pictures, or models of these were found in all the strata of
Gezer.[164] There seem to have been a variety of cows; the breeds varied
in the different periods. No horse bones were found until the third
Semitic period (1350-1000 B. C.). It was, perhaps, during that period that
the horse was introduced by the Hittites, who appear to have brought it
from Turkestan, where its bones have been found in much earlier
strata.[165] The ass was, however, the common beast of burden in
Palestine, and bones of horses are rare until the Greek period. A number
of figures of horses’ heads with their bridles were found, as well as a
horse’s bit, and the picture of a horse and his rider. The pig was a
domesticated animal of the primitive cave-dwellers of Gezer, who appear to
have offered swine in sacrifice, but pig-bones are rarely found in the
Semitic strata. As swine were unclean to all Semites, this is not strange.
The dog appears to have been half-domesticated, as the Bible implies, as
his bones were employed for making prickers and similar tools, but no
pictures or models of dogs are known to the writer. Probably they were of
the half-wild pariah type. Certainly they were not held in high esteem.
(See 1 Sam. 17:43; 2 Sam. 16:9.) For illustrations, see Figs. 89-92.

(13) _Bees._--A number of inverted jars, each pierced with a number of
circular holes, were found. It seems probable that these were rude
beehives. Before the Israelites settled in Palestine they knew it as “a
land flowing with milk and honey” (Exod. 3:8, 17; Num. 14:8; 16:13, 14;
Deut. 6:3), and their view was, we are told, shared by others (2 Kings
18:32). It is not surprising, therefore, to find evidences of bee culture;
(see Fig. 95).

(14) _Birds._--As to birds, it is doubtful whether they had any
domesticated ones before the Babylonian Exile. A rude picture of an
ostrich painted on a potsherd was found at Gezer, as well as some painted
fragments of ostrich-egg shell. The ostrich is mentioned in the Old
Testament (Job 39:13; Lam. 4:3), but as a wild bird. The Palestinians knew
it as a bird that might be hunted. They sometimes gathered the eggs of
wild birds to eat (Deut. 22:6; Isa. 10:14). These were, perhaps, sometimes
ostrich-eggs. The modern Arabs make a kind of omelette of ostrich-eggs.
The ostrich was certainly not a domestic bird.

At Gezer, too, a clay bird was found, or, rather, a small jar made in the
form of a bird. The object was so realistic that holes were left in the
clay wings for the insertion of feathers; (Fig. 93). The bird bears some
resemblance to a duck, figures of which were found at Megiddo,[166] but
the duck may have been wild. One clay head of a goose or swan was also
found, but had the bird been domesticated there would probably have been
more traces of it.

(15) _Hens._--The one domestic bird that can be traced in Palestine is the
hen, and hens were not introduced until after the Exile. Hens seem to have
been first domesticated in India. They are not mentioned in the Rig Veda,
but the Aryans seem to have come into contact with them when they settled
in the valley of the Ganges about 1000 B. C. The Yajur and Atharva Vedas
mention the cock. The hen is a domesticated Bankiva fowl, which also
exists in a wild state in India. From India the hen was domesticated
eastward to China, and westward to Persia. There is a possible picture of
a cock on a sculpture of Sennacherib, which would indicate that the bird
was known in Assyria at the beginning of the seventh century before
Christ. Another is pictured on some Babylonian gems from the time of
Nabuna’id, about 550 B. C. Pictures of cocks, three of them somewhat
doubtful, are found on Babylonian seals of the Persian period.[167] The
domesticated hen, traveling by way of the Black Sea, reached Asia Minor as
early as the eighth century B. C.[168]

There is, however, no evidence of the presence of the hen in Palestine
before the Greek period. Neither hen nor cock is mentioned in the Old
Testament. In a tomb discovered by Peters and Thiersch in 1902, near Tell
Sandahanna, the Marissa of the Seleucid period and the Moresheth-gath of
Micah 1:14, a number of cocks are pictured; (Fig. 94). The tomb,
constructed about 200 B. C., contains a number of Greek inscriptions.[169]
In agreement with this evidence is also the fact that at Taanach there was
found in a late pre-Arabic stratum the skeleton of a hen with an egg.[170]
Before New Testament times, then, the hen had become a domestic fowl in
Palestine. Every one would accordingly understand the lament of Christ,
“How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen
gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37).
The cock was so universally kept at this time that one of the divisions of
the night was called the “cock-crowing” (Mark 13:35). It was the mark of
the progress of the night afforded by the habits of the cock that was used
by Jesus in predicting Peter’s denial (Matt. 26:34; Mark 14:30; Luke
22:34; John 13:38), and it was the recalling of this prediction by the
crowing of the cock that brought Peter to repentant tears (Matt. 26:74;
Mark 14:68, 72; Luke 22:60; John 18:27).




=1. Importance of Pottery.=--In all parts of the world the making of clay
jars and receptacles is one of the earliest arts to be discovered, and
Palestine was no exception to the rule. In Palestine such jars were
particularly useful, as the water for each family had to be carried from
the nearest spring to the house. It was natural that, in a country which
had so long a history as Palestine, and over which the influences of so
many diverse civilizations swept, there should be a considerable variety
in the types of pottery in different periods. Indeed, it is now recognized
that the differences in these types are so marked that in the absence of
other criteria it is possible approximately to date a stratum of the
remains of any ancient city by the type of pottery found in it. Since this
is so, a brief outline of the different types is not out of place here,
although these differences have little or no bearing upon the
interpretation of the Bible. Only a brief statement is here attempted.
Those who wish to study the subject more fully are referred to more
extended works.[171] The classifications of pottery made by the leading
experts differ, as they have been written at different times and as the
excavations have continually enlarged the material. The classification
presented in the following pages is mainly that of Macalister, based on
the work at Gezer and on previous excavations.

=2. Pre-Semitic Pottery.=--There is first, then, the pottery of the
pre-Semitic cave-dwellers. This pottery is made out of clay that was in no
way cleansed or refined. It was made by hand, the larger jars having been
built up little by little. The vessel, after receiving such ornament as
the potter desired, was usually fired, though sometimes simply sun-dried.
In firing the heat was often distributed very irregularly, so that the
surface was not all of the same color. The jars were of moderate size,
flat on the bottom, globular, conical, or cylindrical in shape. They had
concave necks and handles. The handles were of two kinds--“ledge” handles
and “loop” handles. A “ledge” handle consists of a piece of clay pinched
into a flat projecting ledge and then baked hard. A “loop” handle is one
fastened to the jar at both ends, similar to the handle of a pitcher.
Bowls or saucers were also sometimes made with “ledge” handles; (see Fig.

The most common ornamentation of the pottery of this period was made by
combing the clay with wooden combs notched with teeth of greater or less
fineness. Sometimes the marks left by the comb were perpendicular,
sometimes horizontal, and sometimes diagonal. One other type of ornament
was exhibited in the pottery of the cave-dwellers. That was either an
incised representation of a rope or cord, or a moulded imitation of one of
these. This ornamentation was probably suggested by the ropes or cords
which were bound about the vessel before it was fired, to prevent its
falling apart. At first the only coloring was a line of brick-red around
the rims of jugs and saucers. The most advanced stage is reached in Fig.
96, where a network of red lines cross each other diagonally. The tint of
the red varies a good deal, but this may be due to the unequal firing
already mentioned.

A few specimens of burnished pottery were found in the caves. This
burnishing consisted in rubbing the surface of the vessel with strokes of
a smooth bone or stone. In some cases the vessel was dipped in a whitish
wash after it was fired. This adhered to it everywhere except on the

=3. First Semitic Pottery to 1800 B. C.=--The pottery of the first Semitic
period, which terminated about 1800 B. C., is of a finer type. The larger
pieces were made on a wheel, as were many of the smaller ones. The wheel
was rotated with the left hand, while the potter moulded the vessel with
the right. The result was a much more shapely type of work than in the
previous period. In the pre-Semitic period limestone clays were employed;
in this period, sandstone clays. Many of the objects, like those of the
preceding period, were of a drab color, though the tints of some of them
ranged from a rich brownish red to orange. The patches of color in these
vessels were probably due to unequal heat in firing.

In size and shape the vessels presented a great variety. There were large
jars with flat bottoms, inverted conical bodies, and more or less abruptly
rounded shoulders; (see Fig. 100). The mouth was wide and circular and
surrounded by a flat, widely expanding rim. These jars averaged about two
feet in height. There were many pitchers made in this period. They were
large and small and of a great variety of shapes. Such pitchers present
similar characteristics, whether found at Gezer or Megiddo; (see Figs. 98,
99). Ledge and loop handles were common on the pitchers of this period,
but “pillar” and “button”[172] handles were also sometimes found; (see
Figs. 105, 106). The ornamentation of pottery showed some advance over the
preceding period. In addition to the rope motifs, decoration formed by
combinations of lines was also found. One particularly fine type of
pottery belonging to this period was found at Gezer. It was never found in
the caves or in the higher strata. Vessels of this ware were usually found
in groups, indicating that they were the possessions of the rich. The clay
was well cleaned, the shapes distinctive (see Fig. 104), and the ware was
always covered with a cream-like coating. Saucers and bowls were common in
this period. The comb was still used in ornamenting pottery, though
sometimes it produced only a series of dots. All surfaces were usually
burnished, though naturally this was much more thoroughly done in the
expensive than in the cheaper wares.

=4. Pottery of Second Semitic Period.=--During the second Semitic period,
1800-1400 B. C., trade was carried on with countries beyond the sea,
especially with Cyprus. There was probably also some trade with Egypt and
Crete, but the influence of Cyprus was most potent in the pottery. In this
period, probably owing to foreign influence, the potters’ wheel worked by
foot was introduced. This left both hands of the workman free and resulted
in a great improvement of the ware. There was in this period a great
variety in the material used. The cheaper vessels were made of a rough
clay, full of grits of black colored sand or flints, which burned black in
the middle of the clay and a reddish or yellowish drab on the surface. At
least seven other finer types of ware were found at Gezer.[173] One of
these was a ware made of a brilliant saffron-yellow clay, which was
enriched with painted decoration in bold black lines. This was probably of
foreign origin. In this period the jar with pointed bottom, long conical
body, well rounded shoulders, short concave neck, continuous circular
mouth, with an expanded rim, though much narrower than in the preceding
period, is the most common type. Jugs with pointed bottoms also became
common, though there was a great variety in the shapes of jugs. Ledge
handles had almost entirely disappeared in this period. Jars generally had
two loop handles, and sometimes four, though occasionally they had none at
all. “Button” handles are comparatively uncommon; the loop handle is the
style most generally used. “Ear” handles, both vertical and transverse,
are also common; (see Figs. 101-103, and 105).

The most striking feature of the pottery of this period is the increase in
the variety of ornamentation and the introduction of the pictures of
animals and birds as ornamental motifs. This was due, no doubt, to foreign
influence. The best specimens of this type of ornamentation so far
published are from Gezer, though it is found elsewhere.

All kinds of vessels were made of clay during this period: jars, jugs,
pitchers, bowls, saucers, drinking-cups, etc., etc. Many of the potters
signed their work with a peculiar mark. This mark was sometimes an
impression of the potter’s finger, sometimes linear devices of various
kinds scratched on the handle, and sometimes the impression of an
inscribed Egyptian scarab, usually of the period of the Middle Kingdom or
the Hyksos time. Jar handles marked with scarabs were also found at
Jericho; (Figs. 118, 119).

=5. Third Semitic Period.=--The third Semitic period, 1400 to 1000 B. C.,
while its wares sometimes differed in form from those of the preceding
period, is mainly marked off from the second period by a general
degeneration in style. No great differences are noticeable in the kinds of
clay employed. The jars have, as a rule, a less pointed bottom than in the
preceding period; (Fig. 110). The combed decoration is rare, and the
burnishing of the jars is both less frequent and less skilful than in the
preceding period. There is an increase in the tendency to use painted
ornamentation, which frequently consists of zigzag lines. Rough,
conventionalized representations of palm trees are also common. In the
last part of the period Cretan influences are traceable. This was probably
due to the coming of the Philistines.[174] Potters’ marks continue, but
scarabs are less often used in making them than in the preceding period.
The various kinds of vessels made seem to have been as great as in the
preceding period. A clay funnel or bottle-filler was also found in this
period; (see Fig. 114).

=6. Israelitish or Fourth Semitic Period.=--In the fourth Semitic, or the
Israelitish period, 1000-600 B. C., the method of manufacture remained the
same as before, and but little difference can be discerned in the clays
employed. There seems, however, to have been a steady decline in
excellence. The large jar with pointed bottom is still found, but there is
a tendency to broaden the bottom, while retaining the convex form. Thus
toward the close of the period a type of jar, conical in form, but with
the apex of the cone at the top instead of at the bottom, is found. The
types of pottery of this time may be seen by examining the forms found in
the Hebrew stratum at Jericho (Figs. 107, 112, 113), and from a temple at
Megiddo of the same period. (Fig. 111.) The forms and kinds of vessels
found in this period are numerous. Painted ornamentation consists, as a
rule, merely of rings around the vessel, though sometimes zigzags made
very carelessly are also found. Bird ornamentation, so frequent in the
third period, entirely disappears in this. The potters still employed
marks. These are of the same general character as in the earlier period,
though the scarab stamp entirely disappeared from Gezer and the use of
other seals became common. These were most often a simple device of stars,
or names written in the old Hebrew script. At Jericho the scarab stamp was
still employed; (see Figs. 115, 117).

Some jar handles inscribed with Hebrew letters were found at Gezer in a
stratum that was pre-exilic. A series of them was also found at the tells
excavated by Bliss and Macalister in the Shephelah in the years
1898-1900--Es-Safi, Judeideh, and Zakariyeh. These handles, in addition to
the impression of a seal, contained the words, “to the king,” in Hebrew
letters, and the names of the cities, Hebron, Socho, Ziph, and Mamsheth.
The first three of these are well-known Judæan towns; the last is
unidentified. Sir Charles Warren found some similar stamps near the temple
area at Jerusalem. There has been much discussion as to the date of the
handles bearing these stamps. Since nothing of the kind was found at
Megiddo and Taanach, it has been inferred that this kind of jar handle
came into existence after the overthrow of the kingdom of Israel in the
year 722 B. C. It may be that the “king” referred to is the king of Judah,
and that these stamps come from the last days of the kingdom of Judah.
Scholarly opinion is, however, divided, some authorities contending that
they come from the time after the Exile. The date is not entirely certain;
(see Fig. 116).[175]

=7. Hellenistic Period.=--In the time after the Exile there is not much
change in the character of the pottery until after the conquest of
Alexander the Great. The influx of influences from the Græco-Macedonian
world affected the whole life of the land, and was reflected also in its
pottery. As in the second and third Semitic periods, there were
importations of pottery from abroad, though at this time the importations
were from regions affected by Greek art. The Palestinian potters of this
period had, therefore, the best models. The use of the potters’ wheel was
all but universal, and the wares were burned hard. A pile of these
potsherds, when struck with a stick, emits a distinct musical “clink,”
which is not the case with potsherds from the earlier periods. The clay
employed was the finest and most homogeneous of any used in Palestinian
pottery, and there is a general tendency, especially in the cities near
the coast, to follow classical models; (see Figs. 122, 125).

Jars have rounded or bluntly pointed bases, vertical sides, flattened or
oblique shoulders, and round mouths. There are two loop handles just under
the shoulders. Another form, probably suggested by Rhodian amphoræ, has a
long, tapering base; (see Fig. 120).

It is impossible in the space that can be devoted to this topic to
enumerate all the kinds of vessels that were made in this period or the
variety of their forms. Only a few characteristic features can be noted.
The cooking pots of this time have a very distinctive form. They have a
globular base, globular body, short, wide neck, and a rounded continuous
mouth; (see Fig. 122{5a}). The body of the vessel is often ribbed with
horizontal flutings. Small jugs and vases were very common; some of them
had very characteristic forms. Jugs of this period found at Jericho had a
funnel at the side through which liquid could be poured into them.

As in the preceding period, jar handles were frequently stamped with the
mark of the potter. These were now often Greek letters, though those so
stamped were apparently imported from foreign countries. At Jericho ten
jar handles were found stamped with the name “Jah” and three stamped with
the name “Jahu.”[176] Both Jah (see Psa. 68:4) and Jahu are abbreviations
of the name Jehovah, and probably are so to be understood here. They often
formed part of a personal name--thus Elijah, “My God is Jah.”

From the second Semitic period onward, filters were made by piercing the
bottom of a jug with holes. These became more common in the third Semitic
period, but this sort of device reached its full development in the
Hellenistic period, which we are now considering. Various forms of
strainers were found, as shown in Fig. 123, and one very elaborate filter;
(see Fig. 121).

With the coming of the Romans in 63 B. C., new influences were introduced
into the civilization of Palestine. In time these influences modified the
pottery, but it is doubtful whether they had an appreciable effect until
after the New Testament times. Pots from the Roman period found at Gezer
(see Fig. 124) differ from those of the Hellenistic period chiefly in
having bottoms that are more nearly flat. By the time of the Emperor
Constantine a change can be noted, so that pottery of the Byzantine period
(325-637 A. D.) has characteristics of its own. That period, however, lies
beyond the range of Biblical history.

In the study of pottery one of the most interesting topics is the
evolution of the lamp. The earliest lamps were simply wicks stuck into a
saucer of oil and ignited. Of course, the wick would easily fall down into
the oil and the light would be extinguished. The earliest device to
prevent this was to make the saucer of irregular shape, with a slight
notch in one side in which the wick could lie. (See the right-hand lamp in
Fig. 127.) As time went on this resting-place for the wick developed more
and more into a spout. (See Fig. 126 and the left-hand lamp in Fig. 127.)

This form of lamp was known as early as the first Semitic period, and
persisted with slight development down through the Israelitish time; (see
Fig. 128). Its development was not, however, uniform in all parts of the
country. Israelitish lamps found at Jericho appear to be simply saucers
with two or more indentations in the rim; (see Fig. 132). Perhaps in these
more than one wick was used. In the Hellenistic period two improvements in
the making of lamps occurred. The first consisted in a still further
development of the spout until its sides almost met and formed nearly a
closed vessel. The second improvement was, perhaps, due to outside
influences. It consisted in making the saucer small and covered. In the
middle of the cover was a small round hole into which the oil was poured;
at one side a spout protruded and the wick came out through this; (see
Fig. 131). The top of such lamps was ornamented with various designs.

In the Byzantine and Arabic periods the same general style of lamp was
used, but the shape and ornamentation of each period were different, so
that they can easily be distinguished; (see Fig. 129). After the country
became Christian the ornamentation on the lamps was often made with Greek
letters. These were made in ornamental forms and usually expressed some
Christian sentiment. One of the most popular legends for these Christian
lamps was: “The light of Christ shines for all”; (see Fig. 130).

It was lamps such as these, probably of the Hellenistic type, to which
Christ alluded in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matt.
25:1-12). Such a lamp would not contain oil enough to burn all night, so
that to carry it to a prolonged wedding-feast without a supply of oil was
a powerful example of improvidence.



    UTENSILS: Ovens. Baking-trays. Bowls, etc. Feeding-bottles. Glassware.
    Spoons. Forks or Flesh-hooks. Needles. Spinning “Whorls.” Lamp-stands.
    Keys. Knives. Saws. Chisels. Awls. Axes. Adzes. Whetstones. Files.
    Hammers. Nails. Baskets. Arrows. Spears. Swords. Fish-hooks. Styli.
    Seals. The “Pipe.” Harps. The Dulcimer. Lyres. Children’s toys.
    PERSONAL ORNAMENTS: Combs. Perfume-boxes. Spatulæ for eye-paint, etc.
    Fibulæ. Beads. Necklaces. Bracelets. Anklets. Rings.

=1. Utensils.=--The term “utensil” is of wide application. The utensils of
agriculture and the hand-mills for grinding grain have been described in
Chapter VII. Among the devices used in connection with Palestinian houses
one of the most important was the oven.

(1) _Ovens._--The ovens of ancient Palestine were of the same kind as
those used by the peasantry of that country today. Each consists of a
cylinder of baked earth about 2 feet in diameter and 1½ inches thick. It
is closed by a cover of the same material, in which a stone or lump of
clay has been embedded as a handle. There is rarely any bottom except the
bare earth. The loaves, which were flat discs, were usually placed inside,
either on the ground covered with clean pebbles or on a baking-tray.
Sometimes the loaves were plastered over the outside of the oven. In this
case the fire was built inside and might consist of grass (Matt. 6:30;
Luke 12:28). The fire was usually heaped about the outside of the oven,
and often consisted of dried manure. It is this use of manure as fuel that
is alluded to in Ezek. 4:12-15--a passage that has sometimes been greatly
misunderstood. Such ovens were frequently found in all the strata. In Fig.
133 two varieties of ovens are shown. The one at the left hand is made of
plain tile; the other is covered over with potsherds, to make it retain
the heat longer. Sometimes in large houses groups of several ovens were
found together.

Ovens are frequently referred to in the Bible, sometimes as symbols of
things that are hot. (See Lev. 11:35; 26:26; Psa. 21:9; Hosea 7:4, 6, 7.)
Once a much-used oven is a symbol of blackness (Lam. 5:10).

(2) _Baking-trays_, consisting of discs of baked clay about 10 inches in
diameter, were also found. These were usually turned up at the edges, and
frequently perforated in order better to admit the heat to the under side
of the loaf. One specimen was found burnt through with constant use. These
trays were most numerous at Gezer in the second and third Semitic periods.
They were found at Jericho in the Jewish stratum; (see Fig. 134).

(3) _Bowls, etc._--In Chapter VIII, under the head of Pottery, the jars,
pitchers, clay bowls, saucers, and cups which were used about Palestinian
homes have already been described. Bowls and saucers of stone were also
employed from the earliest times. They were far less fragile, though more
expensive. Probably the dishes used by the common people were in all
periods made of clay. After the introduction of metal, however, the
wealthy often had dishes of bronze (see Fig. 135), and sometimes of
silver. A Philistine grave at Gezer yielded some silver dishes of
beautiful workmanship; (see Figs. 137, 141).

(4) _Feeding-bottles._--A number of curiously shaped jars with spouts were
found at Gezer; (see Fig. 139). Mr. Macalister was at a loss to explain
their use unless they were feeding-bottles. The only other suggestion that
he makes is that they were lamps, but they are so different from the lamps
of the time, that that possibility seems to be excluded. Sellin thought
similar objects found by him were vessels for pouring oil. This may have
been their purpose.

(5) _Glassware._--Vessels of glass are very rare in Palestine until Roman
times. In the remains of the third Semitic period at Gezer fragments of
ornamented glass vessels, which had been imported from Egypt, were found.
The ornamentation consisted of zigzag lines. Clear glass first appears in
the Israelitish period, but it was rare and inartistic. After the coming
of the Romans it became more common. For examples of its use, see the
ointment vessels in Fig. 138.

(6) _Spoons._--The spoons of the poor were in all periods apparently
adapted from shells, as shown in Fig. 136, but the more wealthy,
especially when under the influence of more artistic foreigners, had
ladles of metal that seem very modern; (see Fig. 141). These objects are
from a Philistine tomb.

(7) _Forks or Flesh-hooks._--Forks were in existence, as shown in Fig.
140, but were used not to eat with, but to handle meat when it was
cooking. The one with three prongs in Fig. 143 reminds one of the
“flesh-hook of three teeth” that the servant of Hophni and Phinehas, sons
of Eli, thrust into the caldron of seething sacrificial flesh, in order to
obtain the priest’s portion (1 Sam. 2:13, 14).

(8) _Needles_, both of bone and bronze, were found. They were employed
from the earliest times in such sewing as was necessary. The way the eyes
were made may be seen in Fig. 142. These give vivid reality to the saying
of Christ “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for
a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25;
Luke 18:25).

(9) _Spinning “Whorls.”_--Spinning in ancient Palestine, as now, was done
in the simplest possible manner. A tapering spindle was made of wood. To
this was attached a “whorl”--either a stone or a lump of baked clay--in
order to give the spindle momentum when whirled. The wool was held in the
hand, a bit of it twisted into a thread with the fingers and attached to
the spindle. Then more of the wool was pulled out and held in the hand
while the spindle and whorl were given a twist with the other hand and
allowed to twist the wool into thread. The process was repeated again and
again. The writer has seen women in the East spinning while on a journey.
Many of the spindle whorls, made both of stone and of clay, have been
found by excavators; (see Figs. 144, 145).

(10) _Lamp-stands._--In one of the palaces at Megiddo a number of bronze
tripods of various sorts were found; (see Fig. 148). The tallest of these
were 13¼ and 14 inches in height. They were intended to support either
bowls or lamps. They are the kind of “stand” mentioned in Matt. 5:15 (R.
V.--the King James Version called it a “candlestick”), on which men, when
they lighted a lamp, placed it so that it might “give light to all that
are in the house.” Probably the poor had some less expensive form of

(11) _Keys_ in Palestine were often large, clumsy affairs. They were
probably most often made of wood, and were much better fitted to be
carried on the shoulder, as a wood-chopper often carries his axe, than to
be carried in a pocket. This is why Isaiah (22:22) speaks of laying the
key of the house of David on the shoulder of Eliakim. Of course, all
wooden keys of the Biblical time have decayed. Iron keys from the
Hellenistic time were found at Gezer, two of which are shown in Figs. 146,

(12) _Knives._--One of the first implements made by man as he emerges from
savagery is the knife. The earliest knives of Palestine were of flint,
which is in that country very abundant. Flint knives are made by taking a
cone of flint that will easily flake, and skilfully striking the top of it
such a blow that a ribbon having a sharp edge is split off. At Gezer one
of these cones, left by an ancient flint knife-maker, was found; (see Fig.
154). After the introduction of bronze in the first Semitic period,
2500-1800 B. C., knives were often made of that; (see Fig. 151). When,
about 1000 B. C., iron came in, it, too, was employed for knife-making;
(see Fig. 150). Flint knives were always cheaper than those of metal and
were probably always employed by the common people. Knives are referred to
in the Bible as the implements for slaying sacrifices (Gen. 22:6, 10), and
in various other connections. (See, for example, Ezek. 5:1, 2.) Flint
knives were preferred for the rite of circumcision (Exod. 4:25 and Josh.
5:2, 3); (see Fig. 149).

(13) _Saws._--Ribbon-flint knives easily pass into saws when the edge is
irregular. A number of these came to light in the course of the excavation
of Gezer. Saws are referred to in 2 Sam. 12:31 and in 1 Kings 7:9. Saws
made of thin, flexible strips of metal existed. These were set in wooden
frames. Very meager fragments of these have been found.

(14) _Chisels_ were fairly common at Gezer in all strata after the
introduction of bronze. They were made usually of bronze, even after the
introduction of iron, although iron chisels were found. As the chisel is
one of the most necessary tools of a carpenter, our Lord must often have
used one in the days before his ministry; (see Fig. 152).

(15) _Awls._--The awl is also a very useful tool. In ancient Gezer they
were often set in bone handles. Modern Palestinian carpenters employ a
heated awl to make a hole in timber without splitting it. As ancient
carpenters probably had the same custom, the awl was also one of the
implements often used by Christ; (Fig. 157).

(16) _Axes_ were found from the second Semitic stratum onward. Those from
the earlier time were made, of course, of bronze; the later ones of iron.
In a few the butt of the axe-head was perforated to receive a thong to
lash it to the helve. How necessary this was is shown by such passages as
Deut. 19:5 and 2 Kings 6:5. A bronze double-edged axe was also found in
the second Semitic stratum; (see Fig. 160).

(17) _Adzes._--A few specimens of the adze were also found; (see Fig.
161). One of these was of bone.

(18) _Whetstones._--Tools, of course, needed sharpening, and various
specimens of whetstones were found; (see Fig. 158). It is difficult to
distinguish these from “rubbing-stones,” which were used when bathing to
rub hardened skin from the body. The same stone may at times have served
both purposes.

(19) _Files._--A bronze file was made by perforating a tube of bronze with
holes and leaving the rough edges made in the perforation protruding; (see
Fig. 153). These were probably used, however, for crumbing bread, and not
for sharpening tools.

(20) _Hammers._--Many stone hammers from every period of Palestinian
history have been found. The stone hammer seems to have persisted even
after the introduction of metal. Bronze hammers are rare. Probably the
hammer with which Jael killed Sisera (Judges 4:21; 5:26) was of stone;
also the one referred to in Jer. 23:29; (see Fig. 155).

(21) _Nails_ have been found in profusion, made both of bronze and of
iron; (see Fig. 159). As soon as iron was introduced into the country it
was generally employed in making nails. Christ, as a carpenter, must have
employed a hammer, and often have driven nails.

(22) _Baskets_ are used in Palestine, as in other countries, for all sorts
of purposes. They are frequently referred to in the Bible. (See Deut.
26:2, 4; 28:5, 17; Judges 6:19; Amos 8:1, 2.) The basket of the modern
Palestinian peasant is usually made by sewing together a coil of rope made
of straw or reeds. After the mat thus formed has become large enough for
the bottom of the basket, it is given an upward turn to form the sides. In
excavating the water-passage at Gezer interesting evidence came to light
of the existence of such baskets in ancient times. One of them had been
left on some soft earth in the tunnel, and, although the basket itself had
long ago decayed, the form of it was still visible on the hardened clod on
which it had rested; (see Fig. 163).

(23) _Arrows._--Of implements of warfare some portions have survived. One
of these was the arrow, which is mentioned more than fifty times in the
Bible, and is employed in many metaphors. Arrows were made of a light
perishable shaft to which an arrowhead of flint or bronze was attached.
This head terminated in a point, which inflicted the wound. Arrow-heads
were found in the Palestinian strata later than the cave-dwellers; (Figs.
164, 165, 166).

(24) _Spears._--The spear consisted of a long shaft with a metal head,
that could be thrown at an enemy. It is often called a javelin. Such
weapons are alluded to in the Bible almost as often as arrows. The
excavations have yielded a good variety of bronze spear-heads; (see Fig.

(25) _Swords._--The swords of ancient Palestine were used for thrusting
rather than for cutting. (See 1 Sam. 31:5; 2 Sam. 2:16.) The blades are,
therefore, short and pointed; (see Fig. 166). Sometimes the edges are
actually thickened. A fine scimitar, found in a tomb in which other
objects revealed Mycenean influence, is a great exception to the ordinary
form of sword found in Palestine; (see Fig. 162).

(26) _Fish-hooks._--Spears and arrows could, of course, be used in hunting
as well as in war, but a fish-hook found at Gezer (see Fig. 156) is of
especial interest to the student of the Bible, since some of the most
prominent apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, and John, were fishermen. The
fishing on the Sea of Galilee seems to have been done usually with nets.
Nevertheless, perhaps even there a hook was sometimes employed.

(27) _Styli._--The implements of the scribe which have survived are all
specimens of a stylus for writing on clay or wax; (see Fig. 178). The
usual length of these styli was 3½ to 4½ inches. In the Hellenistic
stratum at Gezer, however, one was found as short as 2½ inches; also one
as long as 12 inches. It was a stylus of the average kind found at Gezer
that Isaiah was directed to use as recorded in Isa. 8:1.

(28) _Seals._--Closely connected with the work of the scribe are the seals
which are found wherever a mound is thoroughly excavated. These were
sometimes Egyptian scarabs, but more often, especially in the later
periods, various figures and devices carved on a stone; (see Fig. 175).
They might or might not contain the name of the owner. The famous seal of
Shema, mentioned on p. 97, contained his name, but often they appear
simply to have been a kind of mark of their owners. They might be
impressed on clay or wax, and, as we have seen (p. 144), potters used them
to identify their work. If the writing was on a clay tablet the seals were
rolled over its edge (see Job 38:14), or over any unwritten portion of
its surface. This took the place of the signature of the writer. On the
use of seals in Bible times, see 1 Kings 21:8.

(29) _The “Pipe.”_--The people of Palestine have always been fond of
music, though in modern times their music is of a rude and primitive sort.
Probably in ancient times it did not rise to anything like modern
standards. At least one musical instrument has been brought to light by
the excavations. It is a part of a stone whistle or “pipe” found in the
third Semitic stratum--the period just before the coming of Israel. It is
conical in shape, and about 4 inches long, 1⅛ inches wide at one end, and
about ½ inch wide at the mouthpiece. It was perforated at the side by two
holes; (see Fig. 168). Probably a mouthpiece of reed was fitted into it.
It was possible to make several notes on it. This is probably a rude
example of the “pipe,” said to have been invented by Jubal (Gen. 4:21),
and often mentioned in the Bible. (See 1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa.
5:12; 1 Cor. 14:7.) The Hebrew word for pipe means “a pierced” or
“perforated thing,” and this stone whistle answers the description well.

(30) _Harps._--Other musical instruments were not made of material that
could survive; nevertheless from the Babylonian, Assyrian, and Egyptian
sculptures we have some idea of their form. Of these, the harp is
mentioned more than forty times in the Bible. For the forms of ancient
harps, see Figs. 169-172.

(31) _The Dulcimer._--This musical instrument is mentioned in Dan. 3:5,
15. An Assyrian dulcimer is shown in Fig. 174.

(32) _Lyres._--A kind of lyre is pictured on certain Jewish coins; (see
Fig. 173).

(33) _Children’s Toys._--A touch of nature that links the ancient world
with ours is found in the toys of children. Both from Babylonia and
Palestine clay rattles have been recovered. A series found at Gezer is
shown in Fig. 179. In addition to these rattles many grotesque animal
figures came to light through the various excavations; these figures were
probably made for children to play with. One or two had a hole drilled
through a leg, apparently for the insertion of a string by which a child
could drag it. The workmen who removed the earth sometimes begged for
permission to take them home for their own children to play with[177];
(see Fig. 177).

=2. Personal Ornaments.=

(1) _Combs._--Of toilet articles the most universal is the comb. These
were made of bone or ivory. They were both straight and curved, ornamented
and unornamented. A fragment of one from Gezer is shown in Fig. 176.

(2) _Perfume-boxes._--The ancients were fond of perfume. “Perfumed with
myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant” is a Hebrew
poet’s description of an elegantly dressed man. (See Cant. 3:6.)
Perfume-boxes, in which the various kinds of perfume were kept, frequently
are found in excavating; (see, for example, Fig. 180). Women’s
perfume-boxes are denounced in Isa. 3:20.

(3) _Spatulæ for Eye-paint, etc._--Little spatulæ, or tools for lifting
small quantities of cosmetics, were also found; (see Fig. 183). These were
probably most often used to apply _kohl_ to the eyelids--a practice that
was thought to enhance the beauty of women (see Ezek. 23:40) and which is
still followed in the East.

(4) _Fibulæ._--Another article of the toilet which is found in abundance
in all ancient excavations was the fibula--a rude kind of safety-pin. The
garments were held together by these. They consisted of a kind of
perforated bow through which a pin could be thrust. In the earlier periods
the bow and the pin were not fastened together.

The dress of the ancient Palestinians was much like that of the modern
peasants of the country. It was not, however, made of materials that would
last when buried in a mound. All that has survived of it are some articles
of personal adornment.

(5) _Beads_ were highly valued from the earliest times and are found in
all strata. In the earlier periods they were made of various colored
stones; it is only in the later strata that some glass beads are found.

(6) _Necklaces._--Beads, cylinders, and irregularly shaped pendants were
strung so as to form necklaces. One found at Jericho is shown in Fig. 181.
They are called “chains” in Isa. 3:19; Prov. 1:9, and “strings of jewels”
in Cant. 1:10.

(7) _Bracelets_ and armlets have been found in abundance from nearly all
periods. They were made of bronze, iron, ivory, glass, silver, and gold.
For some of their forms, see Fig. 182. They are frequently mentioned in
the Bible. (See, for example, Gen. 24:30; Exod. 35:22; 2 Sam. 1:10; Ezek.

(8) _Anklets_ of bronze and silver have also been found in various places.
They are like bracelets, only larger. In a country where the ankles were
usually left bare, it was as natural to wear ornaments on them as on the
arms. These, too, are denounced along with the other ornaments of women in
Isa. 3:18.

(9) _Rings_, too, of various kinds have been found in profusion. Most of
the finger rings were simple circles of metal; usually they were of
bronze; sometimes of iron. Silver and gold rings were comparatively few in
number and of small size. Several signet rings were found at Gezer. Finger
rings are not often mentioned in the Bible. (See, however, Num. 31:50.)
They evidently were highly regarded by well-to-do people, for in the
Parable of the Prodigal Son Jesus tells us that the father “put a ring on
his hand” (Luke 15:22). Signet rings were the possessions of the great and
of kings. (See Gen. 41:42 and Esther 3:10, 12, and Fig. 184.)



    Darics. Maccabæan coins. Asmonæan coins. Herodian coins. Roman coins.
    The Widow’s Mite. The Piece of Silver. Coinage of the Revolt of 66-70
    A. D.

=1. Measures.=--The Hebrew units of dry measure were: 1. The Homer (or
Cor), which contained 10 Ephahs (Ezek. 45:11, 14). 2. The Ephah, which
contained 3 Seahs (Isa. 40:12) or 10 Omers (Exod. 16:36) or 18 Cabs (2
Kings 6:25, and Josephus, _Antiquities_, IX, iv, 4).

Corresponding to these were the units of liquid measure: 1. The Homer (or
Cor), which contained 10 Baths (Ezek. 45:11, 14). 2. The Bath, which,
according to Josephus and Jerome, contained 6 Hins (see Exod. 29:40). 3.
The Hin, which contained 3 Cabs, or, according to the Talmud, 12 Logs.

These two systems have the Homer as their major unit. The Homer had the
same capacity in each system. The Ephah of dry measure equalled the Bath
of liquid measure, and the Cab was the same in each. If, then, the
capacity of one unit in either measure could be determined, we should know
the capacity of all the others.

It has been the custom of archæologists to strike a kind of average of the
confused statements of Josephus and Epiphanius[178] and correct these by
estimates based on Babylonian measures.

Calculations based on this method will be found in recent works on Hebrew
archæology and dictionaries of the Bible. It has been impossible, however,
to reach certainty. Three systems will be found in the books referred to:
one based on the supposition that the Log = 9/10 of a pint; one based on
the supposition that the Log = 91/100 of a pint; the third on the
supposition that the Log = 1 pint. The estimates of the Homer vary
accordingly from 80 gallons to 81.25 gallons, and 89.28 gallons.[179]

Under these circumstances some discoveries of the Augustinians of the
Assumption, in the grounds of their monastery in Jerusalem, appear to be
of importance.[180] They found at various times in excavating for building
purposes four vessels, which seem to have been a series of measures.
Taking the larger one as the unit, the capacity of the one next smaller is
three-quarters of the capacity of the first; the third was just half the
first; the fourth, a quarter of it. These vessels all appear to have been
in a building which had a Hebrew inscription over its door. Although the
inscription was broken, the word “Corban”[181] was still legible. Père
Germer-Durand assumes, accordingly, that the building was used as a place
where temple tithes were paid, and that this series of vessels were
standard measures employed in collecting tithes. The quantities of
material contained by these vessels are as follows:

  Largest, 21.25  litres or 19.6 quarts.
  Second,  15.937 litres or 14.7 quarts.
  Third,   10.625 litres or  9.8 quarts.
  Fourth,   5.312 litres or  4.9 quarts.

Père Germer-Durand thinks from a study of Josephus and Epiphanius that the
largest of his vessels represents the Ephah of dry measure or the Bath of
liquid measure. If this assumption is right, it gives a series of measures
which are each about 7/12 smaller than the smallest of the series referred
to above.

On this basis Hebrew dry measures become:

  Homer or Cor = 196 quarts or 6 bushels and ½ peck.
  Ephah        =  19.6 quarts or 2 pecks, 3.6 quarts.
  Seah         =   6.533+ quarts.
  Omer         =   1.96 quarts.
  Cab          =   1.888+ quarts.

Liquid measure becomes:

  Homer or Cor = 196 quarts or 49 gallons.
  Bath         =  19.6 quarts or 4.9 gallons.
  Seah         =   6.533+ quarts.
  Hin          =   3.266+ quarts.
  Cab          =   1.888+ quarts.
  Log          =    .272 quarts or approximately ½ pint.

It is not certain that the vessels found by the Augustinians represent the
measures that Germer-Durand supposes, but it is as likely that they do as
that the confused statements of Josephus and Epiphanius afford an accurate
basis for calculations.

It is probable that in actual business there was in ancient times a great
deal of variation allowed from the ordinary standard of measures. We know
of no rigid regulation of the matter by a central authority.

=2. Weights.=--The two weights most often mentioned in the Bible are the
talent and the shekel. The Bible nowhere tells us of how many shekels a
talent was composed. In Babylonia the talent consisted of 60 manas,[182]
and each mana of 60 shekels, so that the talent consisted of 3600 shekels.
The Phœnicians divided the mana into 50 shekels, and it is thought by
scholars that the Hebrews did the same, though we have no positive
evidence on the point. Manas are not mentioned in the Bible, unless in
Dan. 5:25.[183]

In the course of the excavations by Bliss in the Shephelah a number of
weights were found, some of which were inscribed. Macalister also found a
large number of weights at Gezer, a few of which bore inscriptions. Some
others have been found by natives and purchased by travelers. The writer
had the pleasure of discovering two weights in this way.

=3. Inscribed Weights.=--These inscribed weights are of the greatest
interest to the students of the Bible. Five weights are known that are
inscribed in old Hebrew characters with the word _neseph_, “half”; see
Fig. 186. These are undoubtedly half-shekels. Two of the three are broken,
and one is perforated. The other two weigh, respectively, 157.56 grains
and 153.6 grains. The average of these is 155.5 grains, which would make
the shekel 311 grains.

Another weight, said to have come from Samaria, was described some years
ago by Dr. Chaplin. It bears the inscription _roba neseph_, “the quarter
of a half,” and weighs 39.2 grains. Another weight from Samaria is in the
possession of Mr. Herbert Clark, of Jerusalem. It is made in the form of a
turtle and bears the inscription _homesh_, “a fifth,” and weighs 38.58
grains. Probably it was intended as the fifth part of a shekel.

Another series of inscribed weights, of which three examples are known,
bears the inscription _beqa_. The word comes from a root that means
“cleave” or “split.” This word occurs twice in the Old Testament, in Gen.
24:22 and Exod. 38:26. In the passage last mentioned it is defined as half
a shekel; (see Fig. 188).

A third variety of weight bears the inscription _payim_. The first of
these to be discovered was found by the writer in the hands of a dealer in
Jerusalem. On one side it bore the word _payim_ and on the other
_lezekaryahu yaer_, “belonging to Zechariah son of Jaer.” This weight is
cubic in form (see Fig. 187) and weighs 117.431 grains.[184] Macalister
found another of similar shape, which bore only the inscription _payim_.
It weighed 114.81 grains. The word _payim_ is very puzzling. It has been
interpreted by Clermont-Ganneau as meaning “two-thirds,” and as
designating two-thirds of a shekel. Possibly this is right. This weight is
mentioned in 1 Sam. 13:20, 21, and its discovery has explained a Hebrew
phrase which has puzzled all translators. We now know that these verses
should be rendered: “But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines,
to sharpen every man his plowshare, and his axe, and his adze, and his
hoe, and the price was a _pim_ (or _payim_) for the plowshares, and for
the axes, and for the three-tined forks, and for the adzes, and for the
setting of the goads.” The name of the weight here expresses the price,
just as shekel, the name of another weight, does elsewhere.[185] One
bronze weight found at Gezer bore words meaning “belonging to the king,”
but it is not clear to what king it referred.

A glance at the weights here described makes it evident that the standards
of the ancient Hebrews were not exact. If these are representative
weights, the shekel must have varied from 200 to more than 300 grains
Troy. This is what one acquainted with the Palestine of today would
expect. The peasants still use field-stone as weights, selecting one that
is approximately of the weight they desire. Even among the merchants of
modern Jerusalem, where one would expect more exact standards than among
the peasantry, odd scraps of old iron are used for weights.[186]

A large number of uninscribed weights of the same general size and shape
of those described[187] were found at Gezer. Whether larger weights or
multiples of a shekel were discovered is uncertain. A number of stones
might have been used for weights, but they were not inscribed and may have
been used for other purposes. A large bronze weight found at Tell
Sandahanna is just sixty times the weight of a 311-grain shekel, and may
be a mana.[188]

Where weights and measures differed so, the words of Amos (8:5), “making
the ephah small and the shekel great,” gain an added significance, and we
understand why the wise man denounced “false balances” (Prov. 11:1;
20:23). Indeed, of the weights found at Gezer so many were under the
average standard, and so many above it, that the inference lay close at
hand that many men had one set of weights by which to purchase and another
set by which to sell.[189]

=4. Money.=--Down to the seventh century before Christ money was not
coined. Whenever it was employed as a medium of exchange, it was weighed.
In western Asia and Egypt our sources show that in the period from 1500 to
1300 B. C. gold and silver were prepared for commercial use by being
formed into rings.[190] These rings were of no standard weight; they were
weighed in the mass by scales. Probably the rings were small, so that the
weight could, at the will of the merchant, be increased by very slight
amounts. The ring-form was probably selected because this shape would
present no corners that would rapidly wear away. This type of commercial
ring can be traced in the inscriptions of Ashurnasirpal II of
Assyria,[191] 884-860 B. C. It was used, then, in Egypt, Syria, Phœnicia,
by the Hittites, the Aramæans, and the Assyrians.

(1) _Who Invented Coinage?_--The oldest coins yet found were made by the
Lydians, and on this account it is usually said that the Lydians were the
first to coin money. The date of these coins is uncertain. They bear the
name of no king, but are usually assigned to the seventh century B. C. Mr.
Head, of the British Museum, dated them tentatively at 700 B. C. They
probably were made under the Lydian dynasty founded by Gyges in 697 B. C.,
the last king of which, the famous Crœsus, was overthrown by Cyrus the
Great, in 546 B. C. It is improbable that these coins were invented
earlier than the reign of Gyges, and they may not have been put into
circulation until he had been some years on the throne. It is recognized
that the weight of these coins conforms to a Babylonian standard.

There seems to be evidence that coined money was employed by the Assyrians
in the reign of Esarhaddon. None of the coins have been found, but a
series of loans and payments, dated in the years 676-671 B. C., designate
the amounts of money in “shekels of silver-heads of Ishtar.”[192] As has
been noted by Menant and Johns, this can hardly mean anything else than
silver made into coins of the value of a shekel and stamped with the head
of Ishtar. As Gyges was a contemporary of Esarhaddon, it seems probable
that Lydia borrowed the idea of coinage from the Mesopotamian Valley.

Be this as it may, the coinage of money was a great step forward. To have
the value of a piece of metal determined beforehand and guaranteed by an
official stamp greatly facilitated the transaction of business. It
eliminated the delays incident to weighing the metal, and the disputes
that were sure to ensue as to the correctness of the weights which were
put into the balances.

(2) _Darics._--The invention of coined money first affected Palestine
during the Persian period. Darius I of Persia, 521-486 B. C., organized
the coinage of that realm. The gold coins issued by him were of the weight
of a Babylonian shekel. They weighed from 125 to 130 grains Troy. One in
the British Museum weighs 129 grains. They bore on the face a picture of
Darius with a bow to the left; (see Fig. 189). Because of this picture
they were called “darics,” just as the French 20-franc piece is called a
“napoleon.” The daric is mentioned in several Biblical books that were
written after the beginning of the Persian period. (See 1 Chron. 29:7;
Ezra 2:69; 8:27; Neh. 7:70-72.) It is wrongly translated “dram” in the
Authorized Version.

After the Persian period the coinage of all the nations to whom the Jews
became subject circulated in turn in Palestine. Foreign coins also found
their way into the country. Many of these ultimately were lost and buried
in the soil, so that many, many coins have been brought to light by
archæological research. We have space here to mention only those that are
of the greatest interest to students of the Bible.

Palestine passed under the sway of Alexander the Great in 332 B. C., and
after his death in 323 it was attached to the territory of Ptolemy Lagi of
Egypt and his successors. In 199 B. C. Antiochus III wrested it from the
Ptolemies and the Jews passed under the sway of the Syrians. During this
time the coins of these rulers circulated in the country and are still
frequently dug up there, although they are not mentioned in the Bible.
Samples of these coins are shown in Figs. 190, 195. Not until the Jews had
gained their independence under Simon the Maccabee, in the year 143 B. C.,
did they issue any coinage of their own. Indeed, it now seems clear that
no coins were issued by Simon until after the year 139-138 B. C., when the
Syrian king by an especial grant accorded him that liberty. The coins then
issued appear to have been made of bronze only.[193] A silver coinage
formerly attributed to Simon the Maccabee is now regarded as belonging to
the time of the Jewish revolt of 66-70 A. D.

(3) _Maccabæan Coins._--The coins of Simon consist of bronze half-shekels
and quarter-shekels all dated in the year four. Antiochus VII of Syria
apparently prevented the issue of others during the reign of Simon. His
coins bear on their face the picture of a citron between two bundles of
twigs. Around the border runs the inscription in old Hebrew characters,
“year four; one-half.” On the other side is a palm-tree with two bunches
of fruit between two baskets filled with fruits, and around the border
runs the inscription, “belonging to the redemption of Zion;” (see Fig.
192). The weights of these coins vary from 232.6 to 237 grains. The
lighter ones are considerably worn.

The quarter-shekels have on one side two bundles of twigs, around which
run the words, “year four; one-fourth.” On the other side is pictured a
citron with the stalk upward, around which runs the inscription,
“belonging to the redemption of Zion.” The weights of the known coins of
this denomination vary from 113.7 to 192.3 grains. The form of the letters
on these coins shows that they are older than other Jewish coins.

(4) _Asmonæan Coins._--There are many coins from the reign of John
Hyrcanus, the son and successor of Simon, but they are all of copper; (see
Fig. 193). They bear on their face the inscription: “Johanan, the high
priest and the congregation of the Jews”; on the reverse is a poppy head
between two cornucopias. Similar coins were issued by the other Asmonæan

(5) _Herodian Coins._--As Herod the Great was a vassal of Rome, he was
permitted to issue copper coins only. These exist in considerable variety.
Figure 198 shows one, the face of which is stamped with the image of a
vessel with a bell-shaped cover, above which are two palm-branches; on the
reverse the words meaning “of King Herod” run around the edge, while a
tripod occupies the center. At the left of the tripod is an abbreviation
for “year 3”; at the right is a monogram. Several other patterns are

Coins of Archælaus, Antipas, Herod Philip (Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke
3:19), and of Herod Agrippa I are known. One is shown in Fig. 200.

(6) _Roman Coins._--The most common silver Roman coin was the denarius,
rendered in the Authorized Version “penny” and in the Revised Version
“shilling.” Its weight varied at different times. In the time of Christ it
weighed about 61.3 grains Troy, and was worth 16⅔ cents of American money.
As the ministry of Christ occurred in the reign of Tiberius, the tribute
money shown to Christ (Matt. 22:19; Mark 12:15-17) was probably a denarius
of Tiberius, such as is shown in Fig. 196. The denarius was so named
because it originally was equivalent to ten _asses_ or small copper coins,
but the _as_ was afterward reduced to 1/16 of the denarius. The _as_ is
mentioned in Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:6, where A. V. renders it “farthing” and
R. V. “penny.” It was worth about a cent. The Roman coin _quadrans_, or
the fourth part of an _as_, worth about ¼ of a cent, is mentioned in Matt.
5:26; Mark 12:42. It is translated “farthing”; (see Fig. 199).

(7) _The Widow’s Mite._--Another coin, translated “mite,” is in Greek
_lepton_, “the small one” or the “bit.” It was two of these that the widow
cast into the treasury, Mark 12:42,[194] where it is said that two of them
equaled a _quadrans_. The “mite” was, then, of the value of ⅛ of a cent.
It was doubtless the smallest coin in circulation, but it has not yet been
identified with certainty with any coin that archæology has discovered.

(8) _The Piece of Silver._--In Luke 15:8 the Greek _drachma_ is
mentioned. It is translated “piece of silver.” The _drachma_ corresponded
roughly in value to the denarius. Drachmas had been issued by many
different cities and many different kings, and were still in circulation
in Palestine in the time of Christ. One still sees in that country today
coins of the first Napoleon, and of many other sovereigns who have been
long dead, passing from hand to hand as media of value; (see Fig. 194).

(9) _Coinage of the Revolt of 66-70 A. D._--Two silver coins, a shekel and
a half-shekel (see Fig. 201), were formerly attributed to Simon the
Maccabee. The shekels weigh 212.3 to 217.9 grains and bear on their face
above a cup or chalice the legend “shekel of Israel” and a numeral. The
numeral stands for the first year. Examples are known which carry the
enumeration up to the year “five.” On the reverse a triple lily is
pictured, and in similar Hebrew characters the words “Jerusalem, the holy”
are inscribed. The half-shekel is smaller and has the same markings except
that the legend on its face is simply “half-shekel.” On the coins issued
after the first year a Hebrew _sh_ precedes the number of the year. The
_sh_ is an abbreviation of the Hebrew word _shana_, year. For various
reasons the consensus of expert opinion now is that these coins were
issued during the Jewish war of 66-70 A. D., which, according to Jewish
reckoning, extended into the fifth year.

Coins of the Roman Emperors, Augustus and Claudius, are shown in Figs.
195, 197.



    GEZER: Choice of site. Child-sacrifice. Corrupt worship. AT TAANACH:
    Pillars. An altar of incense. HIGH PLACES AT PETRA. A SUPPOSED
    PHILISTINE TEMPLE. AT MEGIDDO: A Hebrew temple. A palace chapel.

=1. A Sanctuary of the Pre-Semitic Cave-dwellers.=--The oldest sanctuary
which we can trace in Palestine appears to have been one of the caves at
Gezer. This cave was 32 feet long, 20 feet broad, and 7 feet 11 inches at
its maximum height. There were two entrances: one on the east, a tall,
narrow doorway, was approached by a passage sloping downward; the other,
on the west, was a low, narrow passage, just wide enough to admit a
person. At the northern end there was a projection in the form of an apse,
the floor of which was about 2 feet higher than that of the rest of the
cave. In the roof of this apse there was an opening, about 1 foot wide at
the bottom, leading to the upper air. The rock of the roof here was 3 feet
5½ inches thick. This opening was 2 feet 8 inches in diameter at the top,
and a channel 4 feet 6 inches long cut in the surface of the rock was
connected with it. On the surface of the rock above the cave and about
this channel there were a number of “cup-marks” similar to those found
near ancient sacred places. Some of these were, perhaps, intended for
places to set jars, but some of them were connected with the channel which
emptied into the opening in the roof of the cave[196]; (see Fig. 202).

The suggestion which the excavator, Prof. Macalister, makes is that this
was a sanctuary of the cave-dwellers, that they killed their victims on
the surface of the rock above, and let the blood run through the channel
and the opening into the cave underneath, where their deity was supposed
to dwell. They lived in caves themselves, and it was natural for them to
think their deity did the same. This suggestion received some
confirmation from the fact that on the floor of the apse under this
opening there were found, upon removing a layer of earth, a number of pig
bones. The presence of these might be accounted for on the supposition
that they were offered in sacrifice by the cave-dwellers to their deity.
Swine were unclean to all Semites, and, no doubt, the later Semitic
inhabitants would have thrown the bones away, if they had ever cleaned out
the cave sufficiently to discover them.

=2. A Rock-altar at Megiddo.=--Another rock-altar of high antiquity was
discovered on the slope of the mound of Tell el-Mutesellim, the ancient
Megiddo.[197] It was situated on the slope of the tell, about half-way
down. Its surface was covered with “cup-marks,” like those on the altar at
Gezer, and an opening about 2½ feet wide at the top and 1½ feet wide at
the bottom made it possible for blood to trickle down through 3 feet of
rock into a cave below. This cave contained several rooms, the largest of
which was about 18 feet 6 inches long, 7 feet 8 inches wide, and 8 feet 6
inches high. In the most northerly of the rooms were found various
implements of black flint, potsherds, coals of a wood-fire, the bones of
sheep and goats, olive-stones, and ashes. In the midst of the central room
there lay a heap of human bones, the skulls of which were badly destroyed.
These human bones show that after the cave had been used as a sanctuary it
was employed as a sepulcher. The same thing happened at Gezer and
elsewhere; (see Fig. 205).

=3. A Rock-altar at Jerusalem.=--We are told in Gen. 22:2 that Abraham
went to the land of Moriah to offer up Isaac, and in 2 Chron. 3:1, ff.
that Solomon built the temple on Mount Moriah on the threshing floor which
David acquired from Ornan (Araunah) the Jebusite. Just to the east of the
site of Solomon’s temple in the open court where the altar of
burnt-offering stood, there was a rock surface similar to the two
rock-altars described above. It is still visible in Jerusalem and is now
enclosed in the Mosque of Omar. The Mohammedans regard it as a sacred
rock. One can still trace on it the channels which conducted the blood to
an opening which in turn conducted it to a cave underneath. This cave is
still regarded by the Mohammedans as sacred. There is little doubt that
the sacrificial victims offered in the temples of Solomon and Herod were
slain on this stone, and that that part of the blood not used in
sprinkling drained into the cave underneath. This rock-altar is on the
hill to which we are told Abraham came for the sacrifice of Isaac[198];
(see Fig. 208).

=4. High Place of Tell es-Safi.=--In the Old Testament the “high place” is
frequently mentioned as a place of worship. (See 1 Sam. 9:12, f.; 1 Kings
3:2; 2 Kings 23:5, 8, etc.) It follows from 2 Kings 23:14 that these high
places contained “pillars” and “asherim.” The pillars were made of stone,
and the asherim of wood.

Recent exploration has brought to light a number of these high places, and
the revelations made by these discoveries greatly illuminate the Old
Testament narrative. The first of these was discovered by Bliss and
Macalister at Tell es-Safi.[199] The high place was enclosed by walls,
but, as the upper courses of these had been destroyed, the original height
of the walls could not be determined. Within the largest enclosure stood
three monoliths or “pillars.” These rested on bases of stone. The pillars
themselves were, respectively, 5 feet 10 inches, 6 feet 5 inches, and 7
feet 1 inch high. One of them was pointed, and one of them almost flat on
the top. No tool-mark was discernible on any of them. All showed signs of
having been rubbed. The fat and the blood of sacrifices were smeared over
such stones, and the rubbing was probably produced by this. The walls
enclosing these pillars formed an approximate square 30 feet from east to
west and 32 feet from north to south. On the north a fairly large room was
walled in, as shown in Fig. 212, and on the south three smaller rooms. In
the wall to the north of the three pillars was a semicircular apse. Facing
this apse was a low semicircle of stones 3 feet 7 inches in diameter,
which is situated much nearer the “pillars.” The purpose of this
semicircle is unknown. In the east wall of the court of the high place
there was a “skewed” opening, or an opening which ran diagonally through
the wall. The purpose of this is obscure. It has been suggested by Prof.
Macalister that it was made to permit the rising sun to shine on a certain
spot of the interior on a certain day of the year, but of this there is no

=5. High Place of Gezer.=--The foundations of this high place were in the
second stratum below that which contained Israelitish pottery. It was one
of the high places of the Canaanites, therefore, or of one of the tribes
that were in Palestine before the coming of Israel. This is the most
interesting of the high places which have been discovered in
Palestine.[200] It contained ten monoliths or upright “pillars,” the
tallest of which was 10 feet 9 inches in height, and the shortest 5 feet 5
inches. These pillars ran in a curved line the general direction of which
was from north to south. This was in striking contrast to the high place
of Tell es-Safi, where the line of pillars ran from east to west. The
center of the curved line of the pillars of Gezer was toward the east. All
of these pillars except one were of the kind of stone abundant about
Gezer. They had been found near by. None of them bore the mark of a tool.
They had not been shaped by working. One of them (the one that was _the_
sacred stone, as the smooth spots on it showed) was a different kind of
stone--the kind found at Jerusalem and elsewhere, but not near Gezer.
There were on it traces of an indentation, as though a rope for dragging
it might have been fitted around it; (Fig. 206). As Mesha, King of Moab,
tells us twice in his inscription that he dragged altar-hearths of other
deities away from their original locations into the presence of his god
Chemosh,[201] it seems likely that this stone was dragged to Gezer from
some other sanctuary--possibly from Jerusalem. Perhaps it was its capture
that first suggested to the inhabitants of Gezer the establishment of this
high place. The other stones of the series were erected to keep this one
company and to do it honor. These were probably not all set up at once.
They were added from time to time by different rulers of Gezer, and we
have no means of knowing when the latest of the pillars was erected; (see
Fig. 204).

(1) _Choice of Site._--Judging from the scarabs found about the
foundations of the high place, its beginnings date from 2000 B. C. or
earlier, and it continued in use down to the Babylonian Exile. Curiously
enough, this high place is not situated on the highest part of the hill.
The land is higher both to the east and to the west of it. It is situated
in a sort of saddle to the east of the middle of the mound. Why was this
spot chosen for it? Two considerations, perhaps, led to the choice of the
site. A great ramifying cave on a higher part of the hill had already been
appropriated by Semites as a sepulcher, and was, therefore, unclean. The
cave which the earlier inhabitants had used as a crematorium was for the
same reason unacceptable. Why the high place was not built near the cave
that the cave-dwellers had used as a temple, we cannot now conjecture.
Perhaps in some way the memory that that had been a sacred spot had faded
from men’s minds. Macalister thinks that the choice of the site was
determined by the presence at this point of the two caves shown in Fig.
203. These caves had been dwellings of cave-men in the pre-Semitic time.
They were now connected by a narrow, crooked passage, so that they could
be utilized for the giving of oracles. Macalister conjectures that a
priest or priestess would go into one, while the devotee who wished to
inquire of the god was sent into the other, and that the inquirer would
hear his oracle through this passage. This theory is plausible, though
incapable of full proof.

Just back of one of the pillars a square stone was found with a deep hole
cut in its upper side; (see Fig. 209). Several theories as to the use of
this have been put forward; the most probable one is that it was a laver.

The area of the high place seems to have been approximately 150 feet from
north to south and 120 feet from east to west. Some few walls were found
of the same date as the high place, but it was impossible to tell their
purpose. There seem to have been no buildings that could be regarded as a
part of the sanctuary. It seems to have been entirely open to the air. Two
circular structures, one at the north and the other to the south of the
sacred stones, were found. The one at the south was badly ruined; that to
the north was in a good state of preservation. This structure had a
pavement of stones on a level with the bottom of the sacred pillars. It
was entirely surrounded by a wall 2 feet thick at the bottom and 1 foot 6
inches thick at the top and 6 feet high. There was no doorway. The wall
leaned outward. The diameter of the structure was 13 feet 8 inches at the
bottom and 16 feet 6 inches at the top; (see Fig. 207). On the pavement in
this enclosure were the fragments of many clay bowls, of a type found in
Cyprus, but common at Gezer from 1400-800 B. C., and among these fragments
a brazen serpent, evidently the model of a cobra. This discovery suggests
the possibility that the structure may have been a pen in which sacred
serpents were kept. The practice of venerating serpents as sacred is found
in many parts of the world.[202] This brazen serpent reminds one of
Nehushtan, the brazen serpent worshiped by the Judæans until it was
destroyed by King Hezekiah. (See 2 Kings 18:4, and Fig. 219_a_.)

(2) _Child-sacrifice._--The whole area of the high place was found to be a
cemetery of new-born infants. These were in all probability first-born
children who had been sacrificed to the deity of the high place. Two of
them displayed marks of fire, but most of them had been simply enclosed in
large jars. The body was usually put in head first. Two or three smaller
vessels were put in with them. These generally included a bowl and a jug.
They were usually inside the jar between the body and the jar’s mouth;
sometimes they were outside near the mouth of the jar. That these were
sacrifices is shown by the fact that they were children. It was not,
therefore, a general place of burial. Indeed, had these children not been
sacrificial, they could not have been buried in the sanctuary, as dead
bodies were unclean.

The Semites generally believed that the first-born were sacred to deity
and must be sacrificed to it. This sort of human sacrifice persisted for a
long time among the Phœnicians. It was said that God called Abraham to
sacrifice Isaac, and that he then permitted him to offer a ram instead
(Gen. 22). The law provided for the redemption of Hebrew first-born by the
sacrifice of a lamb (Exod. 34:20), but in the time of King Manasseh the
old custom was revived and men “made their children pass through the
fire.” (See 2 Kings 21:6; 23:10; Jer. 7:31; 32:35.) The gruesome
discoveries of this high place have made very real these horrible
practices and the inhuman fate from which Isaac and other Hebrew children
were delivered.

With the exception of a little unhewn stone about 18 inches square, found
in one of the caves connected with the high place, and which might
possibly have served as an altar, no altar was found. Possibly none was
needed in the rites practised there, but it is more likely that the altar
was simply a mound of earth such as is prescribed in Exod. 20:24--a mound
which could not be distinguished, in excavating, from the common earth.

(3) _Corrupt Worship._--Of the nature of some of the services that went on
in this high place in the name of Ashtoreth eloquent testimony was borne
by unnumbered Ashtoreth-plaques that had been presented as votive
offerings by the worshipers. These varied in form and in artistic merit,
but were all designed to foster in the worshiper that type of debasing
service described in Isa. 57:3, ff., as Fig. 214 shows. Symbols of this
nature were abundant during all the period while the high place was in
use. No one who was not, like the writer, at Gezer during the excavation,
can realize how demoralizing the whole atmosphere of such worship must
have been. Archæology has here revealed to us in a most vivid way the
tremendous power of those corrupting religious influences which the Hebrew
prophets so vigorously denounced. These practices were deeply rooted in
the customs of the Canaanites; they were sanctified by a supposed divine
sanction of immemorial antiquity, and they made an all-powerful appeal to
the animal instincts in human nature. We can realize now as never before
the social and religious task which confronted the prophets. That Israel
was by prophetic teaching purged of this cult is due to the power of God!

=6. At Taanach.=

(1) _Pillars._--Sellin[203] discovered two monoliths which he believed to
be the pillars of a high place. These stones had, however, been hewn,
which does not accord with the general Semitic requirement that no tool
should be lifted up upon such stones; (see Fig. 211). However, the
indentation in one of the sacred stones of Gezer, apparently made to keep
a rope from slipping, shows that exceptions to the rule against cutting a
sacred stone were allowed. The two pillars at Taanach were situated over a
cave and figures of Ashtoreth were found in connection with them, so that
they probably constituted another high place. The stratum in which this
was found proves that it belongs to the same period as the high place at
Gezer. In connection with this high place an interesting libation bowl was
found which is shown in Fig. 213.

(2) _An Altar of Incense._--In another part of the mound at Taanach Sellin
discovered a remarkable incense altar of terra-cotta, 3 feet in height,
and 18 inches in diameter at the base, adorned with protruding animal
heads, which remind one of shortened gargoyles. On one side of it was the
figure of a palm-tree, with two ibexes descending a mountain. Part of an
Ashtoreth figure and fragments of another altar were found near. Sellin
thought that the building that contained these was a private house, and,
if so, we have in these objects some of the implements of private worship
employed by Israelites; (see Fig. 210).

=7. High Places at Petra.=--One of the most interesting high places is cut
out of the solid rock at Petra. Petra may possibly be the Sela of 2 Kings
14:7, since Sela means “crag” or “rock” in Hebrew, and Petra has the same
meaning in Greek. The identity of Petra with Sela is not, however,
certain. Petra lies in the southeastern part of ancient Edom, and was,
before the end of the fourth century B. C., occupied by the Nabathæans, a
Semitic tribe. These Nabathæans established a kingdom which continued
until 106 A. D. One of its kings, Haretat IV, is called Aretas in 2 Cor.
11:32.[204] When the Roman Emperor Trajan overthrew this kingdom he
organized its territory into the Province of Arabia, and the beautiful
buildings, the remains of which make Petra such an interesting ruin today,
date mostly from the Roman period of its history. During the Nabathæan
period of Petra they constructed three high places, which are high places
indeed, since they are perched on ledges of rock above the ancient town.
The largest of these high places is still in an excellent state of
preservation. It is a little to the north of the citadel on a ledge which
rises about 700 feet above the town. The ledge is 520 feet long by 90 feet
wide; it runs nearly north and south with a slight inclination to the
east.[205] The principal features of this ancient place of worship are an
altar on the west side of the ledge, a platform immediately south of this,
a large sunken area directly in front of the altar, and a little to the
south of this area a vat or laver.

This high place is approached by a flight of steps cut in the solid rock;
(see Fig. 215). The main area, which corresponds to the enclosure of the
high place at Tell es-Safi, is 47 feet 4 inches long, 24 feet 4 inches
wide, and 15 to 18 inches deep, though this depth is not uniform. In some
parts it falls to 10 inches. About midway of the length of this area and 5
feet from its west side, there is a rock platform 5 feet in length, 2 feet
7½ inches wide, and 4 inches high. It has been suggested that this
platform was intended for the offerer of a victim to stand upon, in order
that he might be distinguished from other worshipers who were crowding the
area. Another possible view is that the sacred “pillars” stood upon this
platform. No pillars were found in connection with it. Probably such
pillars were not cut out of the solid rock, but were, like the sacred
stone of Gezer, brought from elsewhere. The arrangement of other high
places would indicate that they stood on or near this platform. As this
high place was not buried, but exposed on the mountain top, such pillars
have in the course of the ages disappeared. The altar is separated from
the adjoining rock by a passageway which was cut on its north, south, and
west sides. It is of the same height as the adjoining rock. On the east
the ledge has been cut down to the level of the foot of the altar. The
altar is 9 feet 1 inch in length from north to south and 6 feet 2 inches
wide. It is 3 feet high at its highest point. On the top of the altar is a
hollow pan, perhaps to receive the fire. This is 3 feet 8 inches long, 1
foot 2 inches wide, and 3½ inches deep. Ascent to the altar was made by a
flight of steps leading up to its top on the east side. The top step is
wider than the others and forms a platform on which the officiating priest
might stand; (see Fig. 217).

Just south of the altar and separated from it by the passageway was the
place where the victims were slain. This has been called the round altar;
(see Fig. 218). This consists of a platform 16 feet 6 inches long from
east to west, 11 feet 9 inches wide. It is approached by a flight of
steps. Near its center are two circular and concentric pans, the larger 3
feet 8 inches in diameter with a depth of 3 inches, the smaller 1 foot 5
inches in diameter with a depth of 2 inches. From this inner basin a
conduit 3 feet 2 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 3 inches deep conducted
the blood to the edge of the platform. This platform was undoubtedly
intended for the place of slaughter. The Samaritans, when they assemble on
Mount Gerizim for the celebration of the Passover, still dig a round hole
in the turf, over which to slay the victim. This hole is about 18 inches
in diameter and 10 inches deep. From it a conduit is dug, through which
the blood flows off to be absorbed by the earth.[206]

The supposed laver at Petra is to the south of the area of the high place.
It is 9 feet 9 inches in length and 8 feet 6 inches in width. It is now
partially filled with earth, and has above the earth an average depth of 3

The remains of three other supposed high places have been found at Petra,
but lack of space forbids their description here.[207] The pillars
supposed to have been connected with one of them are shown in Fig. 219.

=8. A Supposed Philistine Temple.=--Turning now to Palestinian temples:
Macalister discovered the remains of a building at Gezer which he thinks
may have been a temple.[208] This building belonged to the third Semitic
stratum; in other words, to the period just before the coming of the
Israelites. A general plan of its walls is shown in Fig. 220. In a court
in one part of the structure were five pillars which may have had the same
religious significance as the pillars of the high place. The two circular
structures _f f_ remind one of the circular structures of the high place
of Gezer. These were filled with the fragments of the bones of sheep and
goats. As these bore no marks of cooking, they could not have been mere
domestic ash-pits, and it is plausible to think of them as receptacles for
the bodies of slaughtered victims. In a forecourt of the structure a line
of bases, apparently intended for the support of columns, was found.
Macalister conjectured that these supported a roof over a part of the
portico, and it reminded him of the story of Samson in the temple of
Dagon. (See Judges 16:23-30.) It is quite possible that the feast of Dagon
described in Judges 16 may have been held in a structure similar to this,
that the lords of the Philistines may have been gathered in such a porch,
and that Samson may have pulled such pillars as rested upon these bases
from under the roof that sheltered them, and caused their destruction and
his own death. It is all possible, but conjectural.

=9. At Megiddo.=

(1) _A Hebrew Temple._--In the course of the excavation at Megiddo a
temple was found concerning the sacred nature of which there can be no
such doubts as in the case of the building just mentioned[209]; (Fig.
222). This temple was in the Israelitish stratum, and so is of especial
interest to the students of the Bible. It was situated in the highest part
of the city. The whole space was not excavated, but the portion uncovered
was 131 feet long and 115 wide. It was of the same period as the palace in
which the seal of Shema the servant of Jeroboam was found, and contained
more drafted stones than the walls of that palace. In one of the rooms of
the temple stood two stones that were certainly “pillars” such as are
denounced in Deuteronomy. One of these was 7 feet 8 inches high; the
other, 7 feet high. The room in which these pillars stood was 30 feet long
and 10 feet 7 inches wide. In building the wall of this temple a stone was
used that had once formed the voluted capital of a column; (Fig. 224).
Probably this stone was taken from an earlier Philistine building.

In the grounds of the temple, which were once regarded as holy, several
jars containing the skeletons of children were unearthed. These had
apparently been offered in sacrifice and buried like those found in the
high place of Gezer.

While the walls of this temple were built of larger and more carefully cut
stones than most of the other walls in the city, no effort seems to have
been made to give the temple a definite architectural plan. Large towers
were found near it, but, as the temple was at the east end of the city,
these formed part of fortifications. The fortifications and other
buildings crowded upon the temple, so that, had an effort been made to
make it architecturally imposing, the effect would have been lost.

(2) _A Palace Chapel._--The people of Megiddo seem to have been
particularly fond of the type of worship represented by this temple, for
in a room to the east of the palace of the Hebrew governor was a room
containing three “pillars,” in which the remains of a number of
terra-cotta goddesses were found.[210] This was apparently the private
chapel of the palace. This room was almost 40 feet long and 32 feet 10
inches wide; (Fig. 223). Its beginnings antedate the Israelitish period,
since they come from the stratum before the conquest.

(3) _Another Chapel._--What seems to have been still another place of
worship equipped with the necessary “pillars” was found in the Hebrew
stratum between the governor’s palace and the southern gate of the
city.[211] It would appear from the connecting walls that this sacred
place may also have been intended for the special use of the occupants of
the palace. This room was not quite 30 feet long and a little less than 20
feet wide. It contained six stones which Dr. Schumacher took to be
“pillars.” Like those at Petra and Taanach, they had evidently been shaped
with tools. They did not stand in a row or in any regular relation to one
another. This might throw some doubt upon the religious significance of
the stones. Could they not have been columns used in supporting the roof
of the building? Since a small stone object that had religious
significance in the high places was found in this room, together with a
most remarkable incense burner, it is probable that these were religious
“pillars” and that the room was a little chapel. The object was of
limestone and about 7 inches long. It was lying at the foot of one of the
“pillars.” The incense burner was made of a greyish soft limestone. It was
a little over 9 inches in height. The diameter of the bowl was 6⅜ inches.
The stone was cut so that the bowl rested on a pedestal, which was divided
by rings into two portions, each of which was cut so as to represent a
circle of overhanging leaves; (see Fig. 225). The whole was decorated with
reddish-brown and cobalt-blue paints. The decoration of the rim of the
bowl is a geometrical design, that on the bowl itself represents a sort of
conventionalized lily blossom, while the leaves suggest those of the palm.

These discoveries make it plain that the Canaanite temples of Palestine,
which the Hebrews took over, were simply high places in miniature,
enclosed in walls and probably roofed over, though the roofs have
disappeared. The feeling that led to the change from the open air high
place was the same as that underlying the saying of David: “I dwell in a
house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains” (2 Sam. 7:2).

=10. The Temple to Augustus at Samaria.=--The excavations at Samaria[212]
have brought to light the foundation of the temple erected by Herod the
Great in honor of Augustus.[213] This was a temple of a very different
type. It was patterned on Græco-Roman models and everything was done to
make it architecturally impressive. Unfortunately, the results of the
Harvard expedition have not yet been given to the public in detail, but
from the imposing stairway, discovered during the first season of the
excavation, together with the partial plan of the building as then
uncovered, and the outlines of its walls as a later season’s work
disclosed them, one can form some idea of the imposing appearance of this
structure. A massive stairway led up to a large platform surrounded by
large pillars. This formed the portico. Back of this stretched the walls
of the temple. The general form of the building seems to have been similar
to that of the large temple at Jerash, which will be described in Chapter
XIV.[214] At the foot of the stairway leading up to the temple was found a
large altar, and near this a fallen statue of Augustus. For outlines of
the temple, see Figs. 216 and 221.

These ancient places of worship which archæology has brought to light are
eloquent witnesses of the pathetic way the men of Palestine “felt after
God, if haply they might find him” (Acts 17:27), and the pathos is not
lessened by the fact that they thus continued to grope, even after the
clearer light was shining about them.




=1. Burning the Dead.=--As noted in a previous chapter,[215] the
cave-dwellers of Gezer burned their dead. The Semitic inhabitants of
Palestine did not follow this custom, but buried theirs. At Gezer the
caves that had formed the dwellings of the first inhabitants were put by
the Semites to various uses. Sometimes they, too, lived in them; sometimes
they made cisterns of them; and sometimes they utilized them as places of
burial for their dead.

=2. Cave Burials.=--A cave that became a tomb after the Semitic occupation
was the one that had been the crematorium of the pre-Semitic
inhabitants.[216] All over the floor of the cave above the burned bones
was another stratum of bones that had never been burned. These were
scattered over the floor of the cave, and, although they had been much
disturbed by rats, it appeared that they belonged to that early type of
burial in which the body is placed on its side with the knees drawn up
toward the chin. These bodies had apparently been deposited in all parts
of the cave. Ranged around the sides of the cave was a series of
enclosures marked off from the floor by lines of stones. In these,
portions of various skeletons were found. These enclosures seem to have
been reservations made for persons of distinction. For a time, therefore,
the cave seems to have been used as a general place of burial. In some of
the other caves of Gezer evidence was found that they had been used as
tombs.[217] Beautiful pottery and alabaster vessels were found with the
bones. Wine and possibly food for the dead had been placed in these.
Underneath the pottery in one cave a considerable number of scarabs were
found, some of them mounted in gold. This must have been, accordingly,
the burial place of persons of comparative wealth. Similar cave burials
were found by Mackenzie at Beth-shemesh.[218]

Such cave burials as these at once recall Abraham’s purchase of the cave
of Machpelah as recorded in Gen. 23. The kind of burial presupposed in
that chapter is just that found at Gezer. The mouth of the cave could be
closed up and opened at will for later burials. (See Gen. 50:13.)

The custom of placing food or drink or both in the sepulcher was all but
universal in Palestine. It is silent testimony to a faith in a kind of
after-life. That that life as they conceived it was of a shadowy and an
unsatisfactory nature is shown by the references to it in Isa. 14:9-11 and
Ezek. 32:22-32.[219] Nevertheless, these evidences that the mourners who
stood by every ancient tomb provided food for their loved ones to eat in
the after-life is eloquent testimony to the fact that even in that age the
loving heart found it impossible to believe that the life of its dear ones
had been altogether terminated.

=3. Cistern Burial.=--Another burial at Gezer that must have been
connected with some unusual circumstance led to the deposit of fifteen
bodies in a cistern,[220] and a number of spear heads were found with
them. The skeletons were all males except one, which was that of a girl
about sixteen years old, whose spine had been severed and only the upper
part of the skeleton deposited in the cistern; (see Fig. 229). The cistern
is too deep to favor the supposition that the bodies had been deposited at
successive times. Macalister hazards the conjecture that the men died of
plague and that the girl was offered as a sacrifice to propitiate the
deity. A plague, however, would have attacked women as well as men.
Perhaps the men were slain in defending Gezer from the attack of an enemy
that had succeeded in severing the body of the girl. The real cause of the
tragedy is, however, unknown to us.

=4. Burial under Menhirs.=--A very old form of burial, still practised by
the half-nomadic tribes east of the Jordan, is to place the dead in the
earth within one of the prehistoric _gilgals_ or menhirs. How old this
form of burial is, it is impossible to tell. It is assumed by some
writers that it was practised by the neolithic people who erected these
monuments, and who are believed by such writers to have been ancestor
worshipers. If, however, these neolithic men were akin to the neolithic
cave-dwellers of Gezer, they burned their dead. Another explanation is,
accordingly, more probable. All through the history of Palestine the
sanctity of certain spots has persisted. A place once considered as holy,
if not so regarded by the next wave of conquerors, nevertheless often has
enough sanctity clinging to it to make it taboo. No thief will disturb
objects left within its precincts, lest the spirit of the place bring
disaster upon him. It seems probable that the wandering tribes on the
border of the Arabian Desert have utilized the sacred places of these
prehistoric men for the burial of their dead, in order that the fear of
violating the taboo pertaining to these places may secure the bodies from
disturbance. Whatever the reason may be, they still bury their dead in
such precincts and place their tribal _wasms_ or marks on such

=5. Earth-graves.=--The simplest form of burial was to place the body in
the ground without accessory of any kind. In the course of the excavation
of Gezer a few burials of this sort came to light.[222] The skeleton was
in these cases stretched out; sometimes it was lying on its back;
sometimes on its side. As these bodies were buried without accessories, so
contrary to the custom of the Palestinians who placed food or drink by the
dead, the excavator thought that they were probably the graves of murdered
persons, who had been hastily concealed in the earth.

Another form of burial, when the interment occurred within a city, is
illustrated by the five “Philistine” graves found at Gezer.[223] These
graves were excavations in the earth, lined with cement, and, after the
interment, covered with four or five massive stones and earth; (Fig. 226).
In these graves the usual deposits of food and drink had been made in
beautiful bronze and silver vessels, which show kinship to the art of
Cyprus; (see Fig. 137). They are probably, therefore, Philistine.

=6. Rock-hewn Shaft Tombs.=--A form of tomb of which many examples are to
be found in all parts of Palestine is the rock-hewn tomb. The limestone of
the country is easily cut, and lends itself readily to the construction
of this kind of burial-place. Such tombs are of two kinds--“shaft” tombs
and “doorway” tombs.

The structure of a shaft tomb is as follows:[224] The tomb chamber or
chambers are cut in the rock and are approached by a perpendicular
rock-hewn shaft, which is usually rectangular. This shaft is closed at the
bottom with slabs and then the shaft is filled with earth. Such tombs are
usually constructed in ledges covered over with soil, so that, when the
hole leading to the rock-cut shaft is filled, the tomb is effectually
concealed. Such tombs are very numerous all the way from pre-Israelitish
times to the Greek period. For a plan of one, see Fig. 228.

=7. Doorway Tombs.=--The “doorway” tombs are sometimes cut in a ledge that
is altogether under ground. In that case a flight of steps is excavated
leading down to the door; (Fig. 232). Often the tomb is cut in a ledge on
the slope of a hill, so that the doorway is approached from the level of
the ground; (see Fig. 227). Doors were, no doubt, fitted into the
doorways. The places cut in the rock for the latches or bars of such doors
are sometimes still visible. These tombs consisted sometimes of one room,
sometimes of several. Sometimes the bodies were laid on the floor of the
tomb; sometimes elevated benches or shelves were cut in the rock on which
bodies might be placed. Quite as often shafts or niches were cut into the
rock, into which a body or a sarcophagus could be shoved endwise. Such a
shaft is called technically a _kôk_, in the plural, _kôkim_. For examples
of them, see Figs. 233, 237. The date at which this kind of tomb was
introduced has not been satisfactorily determined.

Sometimes numerous small tombs, each one resembling somewhat a _kôk_, were
cut in a hillside. Archæologists call such a group of tombs a
“columbarium”; (see Fig. 230).

In the Hellenistic and Roman periods efforts were made to give adornment
to such tombs. The so-called “Tombs of the Judges”[225] near Jerusalem, of
which the writer was the first to make a scientific examination, is a good
example of this kind of tomb[226]; (see Fig. 231). This tomb consisted of
three rooms in its upper level and three in its lower level; (see Fig.
235). The ledges and _kôkim_ in it made provision for seventy bodies, and
a rough chamber opening out of room D was evidently used for the deposit
of the bones of those who had been long dead, when a niche or _kôk_ was
needed for the reception of another body. Sometimes the pillars of a porch
were carved out of the solid rock. A number of such tombs are to be found
near Jerusalem. There is one in the Kidron Valley near Gethsemane, cut
wholly out of the rock and finished to a spire at the top. This is the
so-called “Absalom’s pillar.”

In the time of Christ the tombs of Israel’s heroes were adorned and
venerated. Jesus alludes to this in Luke 11:47, 48. Elisha must have been
buried in a doorway tomb, into which by opening the door the body of a man
could be easily thrown. (See 2 Kings 13:20, 21.) It was, no doubt, the
memory of such narratives as this that led to the reverence paid to the
tombs of the prophets in the time of Christ.

Another tomb at Jerusalem, called the “Tombs of the Kings,” has a large
open court cut down into the rock, from the different sides of which
entrances lead to the other tomb chambers. This tomb was built for Queen
Helena of Adiabene, the ancient Assyria, who, in the days of Herod the
Great, was converted to Judaism and removed to Jerusalem. She died and was
buried there.[227]

Sometimes in the Seleucid period the interior of the tombs was also made
very ornate. Such were the tombs, discovered in 1902,[228] of some wealthy
Greek-speaking citizens of Marissa. A plan of one of them is shown in Fig.
234, and examples of its inner ornamentation in Fig. 236. These tombs were
also adorned with pictures of vases, trees, animals, etc.; (see Fig. 239).
The figures, as well as the interior generally, were decorated with red,
yellow, and brown paints. One of them was that of Apollophanes, chief of
the Sidonians at Marissa. Over the different niches in the tombs the names
of the persons buried were inscribed in Greek letters.

Rock-cut tombs, whether large or small, were regarded as important
possessions, and the people who might be buried in them were frequently
carefully specified by their builders. An example of this may be found in
Part II of the present work, p. 442.

=8. Tombs with a Rolling-stone.=--One other type of tomb must be noticed
even in this hasty sketch. To close a “doorway” tomb securely must always
have been a matter of difficulty in Palestine. It was not easy with the
kind of locks they had to keep intruders out of tombs. This led to the
cutting of a large groove by the side of the doorway into which a
rolling-stone was fitted. When it was desired to open the tomb, the stone
could be rolled back. The stones were too heavy to be easily disturbed. It
was in a new tomb of this type that the body of Jesus was laid, and it was
such a stone that the women found rolled away on the resurrection morning.
(See Matt. 28:2; Mark 16:3, 4; Luke 24:2; John 20:1, and Fig. 238.)



    JERUSALEM: Site of Solomon’s buildings. Solomon’s temple. Solomon’s
    Herod’s theater. Herod’s temple. THE POOL OF BETHESDA. GETHSEMANE.

=1. Situation.=--Since 1867 excavations have been made at Jerusalem from
time to time. The most important of these were mentioned in Chapter IV. An
attempt will be made here to set before the reader the growth and
development of Jerusalem from period to period, as that growth is now
understood by foremost scholars. Our knowledge of the situation and form
of the city in the different periods is based partly on formal
excavations, partly on remains that have been accidentally found, and
partly on a study of the references to Jerusalem in the Bible and other
ancient writings. These references are interpreted in the light of the
topography and of the archæological remains.

Jerusalem is situated on the central ridge of Palestine, where the ridge
broadens out to a small plateau. The plateau at this point is
approximately 2,500 feet above the level of the Mediterranean Sea. In a
narrower sense the site of the city is two rocky promontories which run
south from the plateau with the valley El-Wad (in Roman times the
Tyropœon) between them. On the north these promontories merge into the
plateau, but on the east, south, and west the valleys of Hinnom and the
Kidron sharply separate them from the surrounding land. The steep sides of
these valleys made fortification easy in ancient times. The highest point
of the western hill is about 400 feet higher than the bottom of the Kidron
valley, which in ancient times was 20 to 40 feet deeper than now; (see
Fig. 240). Indeed, the position was almost impregnable. Only on the north
was the city vulnerable.

West of the city hills gently rise to a slight elevation and shut out the
view. The easternmost of the two promontories is lower than the western,
which in its turn slopes to the east. Just south of the Mount of Olives,
to the east of Jerusalem, there is a rift in the hills through which the
distant mountains of Moab can be seen. From elevated buildings in the city
the Dead Sea is also visible. The slope of the hills of Jerusalem and her
broader outlook to the eastward are significant of the influences that
moulded her earlier history. During the centuries that Israel was an
independent nation the Philistine plain was nearly always in the hands of
a hostile people. Jerusalem was thus cut off from influences that might
otherwise have reached her from across the Mediterranean, and was shut up
to influences that reached her through kindred tribes and nations to the
east. Thus in intellectual kinship, as well as in physical outlook, the
gaze of Jerusalem was directed toward the Orient.

All Palestinian cities of importance were situated near perpetual springs.
There are at Jerusalem but two unfailing sources of water--the Ain Sitti
Miriam (the ancient Gihon) and the Bir Eyyub (Biblical En-rogel). These
are both in the Kidron valley, the former just under the brow of the
eastern hill some 400 yards from the southern point of the hill, the
latter at the point where the valley of Hinnom and the Kidron unite. Of
these two sources of supply, the Gihon is pre-eminently fitted to attract
an early settlement. It is almost under the hill, whereas the other is out
in the midst of the open valley. Gihon, too, is at the base of a hill that
can be defended easily on three sides, whereas a town built on a hillside
above En-rogel, as the modern Silwan is, could be easily attacked from
above. These conditions determined the situation of the earliest
settlement, which was near Gihon.

=2. Gihon.=--The Parker expedition of 1909-1911 revealed by its
excavations the fact that the source of the spring of Gihon is a great
crack in the rock in the bottom of the valley far below the present
apparent source.[230] This crack is about 16 feet long, is of great depth,
and runs east and west. The western end of it just enters the mouth of the
cave where the apparent source is today, but the eastern end passes out
into the bed of the valley. All the water would discharge into the valley
but for a wall at the eastern end of the rift, built in very ancient
times, which confines the water and compels it to flow into the cave. This
wall was constructed by some of the earliest inhabitants of the place. The
spring thus produced is intermittent. Its flow is not ceaseless. The water
breaks from the hole in the rainy season, three to five times a day; in
the summer but twice a day; and after the failure of the spring rains,
less than once a day. This fact indicates that the waters collect in some
underground cavern from which they are drained by a siphon-like tunnel.
The “troubling” of the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:4) is thought by some
scholars to have been due to the action of such a siphon-like spring.

=3. Cave-dwellers.=--About this spring the Parker expedition found large
caves and rooms excavated in the rock, and indications that these had once
been inhabited. A great deal of pre-Israelite pottery was also found
around the spring. These indications seem to show that the site was
inhabited for at least a thousand years before David, and perhaps for two
thousand, and that its first inhabitants were cave-dwellers. One naturally
thinks in this connection of the cave-dwellers of Gezer. It is possible
that the first Jerusalemites belonged to the same period and were of the
same race. One thinks, too, of the sacred cave and the stone altar on the
next peak of the eastern ridge to the north, where the temple afterward
stood, and wonders whether it may not have been the sanctuary of this
early cave-dwelling race. A definite answer cannot be given to this
question. One can only recognize that it may possibly be true.

=4. The El-Amarna Period.=--The next knowledge we have of Jerusalem comes
from the letters of Ebed-Hepa, which were written to Amenophis IV of Egypt
between 1375 and 1357 B. C. At that time it was already a walled city, for
Ebed-Hepa speaks of “throwing it open.”[231]

The fortified city of Ebed-Hepa was, no doubt, identical with the later
Jebusite city. It was situated on the eastern hill just above the spring
of Gihon. Probably in the period just before this time it had, like Gezer,
been surrounded by a massive wall. In connection with this fortification
the rock near Gihon had been scarped (cut to a perpendicular surface) in
order to increase the difficulty of scaling the wall.[232] As the wall of
Gezer lasted for a thousand years, so this Egyptian wall continued to the
reign of David.

It is privately reported that Weil in his excavation in 1913-14 found on
the eastern hill remains of a wall with a sloping glacis similar to that
belonging to the earliest period of Megiddo. This would not only confirm
our inference that Jerusalem was a walled city in the time of Ebed-Hepa,
but indicate that its wall had been built at a much earlier time. It was
also in the fourteenth century B. C. the capital of a considerable kingdom
which Ebed-Hepa ruled as a vassal of the king of Egypt. This kingdom
extended as far west as Beth-shemesh and Keilah (1 Sam. 23:1), including,
perhaps, Gezer. Aijalon seems to have been included in it on the north,
and Carmel in Judah (1 Sam. 25:2) on the south.

When the letters of Ebed-Hepa were written, his kingdom was being attacked
and apparently overcome by the Habiri, a people who may have been the
first wave of the Hebrew conquest.[233] The letters of Ebed-Hepa cease
without telling us whether or not the Habiri captured his city. If they
did and they were really Hebrews, they did not hold it long, for, when the
Biblical records lift the veil that hides so much of the past, Jerusalem
was in the hands of the Jebusites. (See Josh. 15:63; Judges 1:21.)

=5. Jebusite Jerusalem.=--The Jebusites held it all through the period of
the Judges (Judges 19:10, 11). Israel did not capture it until the reign
of David. (See 2 Sam. 5:6-8.) At some earlier period of the history of
Jerusalem an underground rock-cut passage similar to the one at Gezer[234]
had been made, so as to permit the inhabitants in case of siege to descend
to the spring for water without going outside the walls; (see Fig. 241).
The natural slope of the hill had been reinforced at this point by the
escarpment of the rock, and the Jebusites felt so secure that they taunted
the Hebrews from the top of the walls. Joab, however, discovered the way
to this underground passage through the cave back of the spring, Gihon,
and, leading a band of men up through it, appeared suddenly within the
city, taking the Jebusites by surprise, and captured it.

=6. The City of David.=--David then took up his residence at Jerusalem,
thus making it the capital of the kingdom of Israel. Thus the city of the
Jebusites, situated on the eastern hill, which was called Zion, became the
“city of David.”

A few modern writers still insist that the “city of David” was on the
western hill, which since 333 A. D. has been called Zion. This, as most
scholars have seen, is an impossible view. Solomon built a palace for
Pharaoh’s daughter near his own on the temple hill, and, when she moved
into it, she went _up_ out of the city of David (1 Kings 9:24). As the
western hill is higher than the eastern, she must have gone from a point
on the eastern hill lower than the temple. When the temple was completed,
Solomon brought the ark _up_ from the city of David to the holy of holies
in the new temple (2 Chron. 5:2). Scripture thus confirms the inferences
from the pottery and the water supply, that the “city of David” was on the
eastern hill, and that that hill was Zion. It was a small town, since the
space it could occupy was not more than thirteen acres, and may have been

(1) _Millo._--After occupying his new capital David “built round about
from Millo and inward” (2 Sam. 5:9). What was Millo? This is a great
puzzle, and there are many varying opinions about it. The word literally
means a “filling,” and is employed in Assyrian for the building up of a
terrace on which a building may be erected. It may have been a “filling”
on the line of the valley that separated the hill of the citadel of David
from Moriah or the temple hill. It would seem to have been on the edge of
the city, since David built from there “inward.” Some have supposed it to
be a fortress, and the Septuagint translated it by “akra,” which means
“citadel.” Some have thought of it as a fort, others as a solid tower. If
on the line of the valley mentioned, it may have been at the northeast
corner, or at the northwest corner of the town. Some have supposed that it
was at the southern end of the eastern hill in order to protect a pool
there. Just below the southern end of the eastern hill in the valley of
the Kidron lay the “King’s Gardens,” and just across the valley, the
village of Siloah. In 2 Kings 12:20 it is said that Joash was killed in
Millo, leading down to Silla. We know of no Silla. Is it a corruption of
the Hebrew word for “shade” or is it a corruption of Siloah? In the former
case the reference might be to the King’s Gardens, in the latter to the
village of Siloah. Either of these suppositions would favor a site for
Millo at the south end of the hill, but the words “leading down to Silla”
may have had quite a different origin and meaning.[235] We must,
therefore, confess that the location of Millo cannot at present be

(2) _David’s Reign._--As David’s reign advanced and his success in war
compelled neighboring nations to pay tribute, probably the population of
Jerusalem increased. Such an increase would naturally lead to the erection
of houses outside the walls, as it has in recent times. It is altogether
probable that a settlement on the western hill was thus begun in the reign
of David. There is no hint, however, that he took any steps to enclose
such a settlement within a wall. The phrase “the way of the gate” in 2
Sam. 15:2 implies that there was still but one gate in the walls. This is
in striking contrast to the number of gates in later times. The only
record that we have of further action on David’s part that affected the
future growth of Jerusalem refers to the way in which he took over the
rock on Mount Moriah and the sacred cave under it and made a sanctuary to
Jehovah. (See 2 Sam. 24.) This action, at a later time, determined the
site of the temple.

=7. Solomon’s Jerusalem.=--David left Jerusalem a military fortress;
Solomon transformed it into a city with imposing buildings. This creation
of a more imposing city was in accord with the general character of
Solomon’s reign. He established a large harem, made marriage alliances
with many neighboring kings, maintained such an establishment that it was
necessary to make a regular levy on a different portion of the country
each month for supplies, and endeavored to make his capital as splendid as
the capital of a rich commercial Phœnician monarch. Such a policy
necessitated, probably, the enlargement of Jerusalem. David, who began
life as a shepherd-boy, was content to live the simple life to the end;
Solomon, born to the purple, desired to surround himself with a pomp
befitting his rank. The Biblical writers were more interested in the
construction of the temple and of Solomon’s palace than in any other phase
of his work, but they have left us some hints of his activities in other

They tell us that he “built Millo and the wall of Jerusalem” (1 Kings
9:15), that he “built the wall of Jerusalem round about” (1 Kings 3:1),
and that he “built Millo and repaired the breach in the city of David, his
father” (1 Kings 11:27). Evidently Millo had fallen into disrepair since
David rebuilt it, and the walls of the city of David on the eastern hill
were also in need of repairs. These repairs he made, but did he go
further? It is intrinsically probable that he did. The king who fortified
Hazor in Naphtali, Megiddo, Gezer, Beth-horon, Baalath, and Tamar would
hardly leave a large suburb of his capital on the western hill
unfortified. The statement that he “built the wall of Jerusalem round
about,” while it does not clearly state that he did more than fortify the
“city of David” on Zion, seems to imply that he did. This view is
strengthened by Bliss’s discovery on the western hill of some walls that
connected once with a great fortress at the southwest corner of the
western hill, which he believed to be the work of Solomon.

The site of this fortress is now occupied by “Bishop Gobat’s School,” an
English foundation for the education of native boys. When the school was
rebuilt in 1874 Mr. Henry Maudsley examined the surface of the rock, which
is escarped, or cut perpendicularly, for about 100 feet to the southeast
of the school and 43 feet north of it. The scarp is about 40 feet high at
the highest point; (Fig. 242). The school is built on a large projection
of the scarp 45 feet square and 20 feet high. The surface of the rock
under the school bears unmistakable signs that there was once an ancient
tower there. To the eastward of this Bliss discovered the foundations of
an ancient tower. Beyond this to the east there was a deep rock-cut ditch.
The tower on its northeast corner fitted into another rock-scarp which ran
northward into land on which they could not excavate.[236] The deep
rock-cut ditch or moat at the east of the scarp suggests that at the
period of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099-1188 A. D., this fortress
formed the fortification of the southwest corner of the city, from which
the wall ran off sharply in a direction a little east of north. This view
is confirmed by the discovery which Bliss made of a wall, apparently built
by the Crusaders, that ran in a north-easterly direction by an irregular
course along the high part of the western hill toward the temple area. As
this wall rested on remains of the Roman time it cannot well have belonged
to a time earlier than the crusading period. May not, then, Maudsley’s
scarp itself have been cut by the Crusaders who were most energetic and
masterly builders? This seems hardly probable, for Josephus, in describing
the course of the wall on the west side of the western hill, says that
beginning at Herod’s palace (the modern Turkish fortress) the wall ran
southward through a place called “Bethso.”[237] Bethso is a corruption of
Beth-zur, which means rock-fortress--an apt description of the tower on
Maudsley’s scarp. As Josephus makes no mention of the construction of a
fortress at this point by Herod, it was probably built at an earlier
period. The writer holds with Bliss that it is probable that the original
fortress on the site of Bishop Gobat’s School was constructed by Solomon
and that he enclosed the top of the western hill with a wall. Whether that
wall simply enclosed the top of the hill and followed something of the
same course as the wall of the Crusaders mentioned above (so Bliss
thinks), or whether it ran down the eastern slope of the western hill to
the southern point of the “City of David,” it is impossible now to

The view that Solomon extended the city to the western hill cannot be
proved, since there is no definite reference in the Bible to the western
hill in the time of Solomon, and there is no inscription on the masonry
found definitely to connect it with him. In consideration of all the
conditions it seems probable that Solomon enclosed a part of the western
hill. If so, the wall built by Solomon on the north side of the western
hill was probably on the line of what Josephus called the “first wall.”
This wall, was rebuilt from time to time. The débris of a part of it seems
still to be in place at the east end of “David Street” in modern
Jerusalem. A short street, high above the surrounding levels, now runs on
the top of this débris.[238]

(1) _Site of Solomon’s Buildings._--Concerning the building of Solomon’s
palace and the temple there can be no doubt, for the Bible contains
accounts of the construction of these. Their general location is also well
known. They were across the little valley which separated the part of Zion
called Ophel (where the city of David was situated) from the part
sometimes called Moriah.[239] This hill-top included the threshing-floor
of Araunah, the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24), and Solomon now enclosed this with a
wall. Sir Charles Warren believed that he found portions of this wall at
the southeast angle of the ancient temple area, 80 feet below the present
surface of the ground. During his excavations in the years 1867-1870 he
sunk at this point a shaft to the native rock, from the bottom of which a
tunnel was carried inward to the base of the wall. He found twenty-one
courses of drafted stones below the surface at this point, and the stones
in the lower courses bore quarry marks which resemble old Hebrew or
Phœnician characters.[240] The lower courses of stones were from 3 feet 6
inches to 4 feet 3½ inches in height. Some of the characters were cut in
the stones; some painted on them. It is most probable that these were
remains of the work of Solomon; (see Figs. 244, 245, and 246).

The enclosure of this hill-top with a wall set it apart from the rest of
Jerusalem. It was a kind of separate fortress. At the time it emphasized
the majesty of Solomon--his apartness from his people. This separate
enclosure of the temple hill was perpetuated through the whole history of
Jerusalem and is maintained today. In all periods the temple hill has been
a fortress that could be defended apart from the city.

(2) _Solomon’s Temple._--Of the form and situation of the buildings of
Solomon on the hill that was enclosed by this new wall, there is a wide
diversity of opinion. This diversity arises in part from the fact that
some scholars take at their face value statements of Josephus, the Talmud,
and other late sources concerning Solomon’s temple, while others attribute
less weight to the statements of those sources which were written long
after this temple was destroyed, and base their views rather on the
earlier documents. The last is the only sound method of study, and is the
course followed here. We shall take as evidence of the plan and situation
of the buildings the Biblical writers who had seen them.

We are at the start confronted, however, with a difficulty, since no
Biblical writer has given us an exact statement as to what part of the
hill Solomon’s temple occupied. Most modern scholars hold, nevertheless,
that it was built at the highest point of the hill just west of the sacred
cave, which has already been mentioned,[241] and the old rock-altar above
it. This view is confirmed by Josephus[242] and is undoubtedly correct,
although three or four modern scholars have doubted it. The temple would
naturally be built near the spot where the angel is said to have appeared
to David (2 Sam. 24:16), and as angels are frequently represented in the
Old Testament as appearing upon rocks (see Judges 6:11, f.; 13:19)[243] it
is altogether probable that the appearance to David was on the rock-altar
at the top of the hill. On this rock the animals for sacrifice were slain,
as the conduits for blood still visible on its top indicate. Near it,
then, or on it the altar of burnt-offerings stood. We learn from Ezekiel,
who had served as a priest in the temple of Solomon, that the temple faced
the east, that it stood to the west of the altar, and that there was room
between the temple and the altar for twenty-five men. (See Ezek. 8:16.)
The temple was a rectangular building with its greatest length running
east and west. Its measurements were 124 feet for the length, 50 for the
breadth, and 55 for the height. It was constructed of stones and cedar
beams. The outer temple, afterward called the holy place, was 70 feet
long, 34½ feet wide, and 52 feet high. Back of it was the holy of holies,
where the ark was placed. It was a cube 34½ feet each way. Apparently
there was a chamber above it.[244] This room was adorned with carvings of
cherubim, palms, and open flowers (1 Kings 6:29, 32, 35). It had no
window. According to 2 Chron. 3:14, it was separated from the holy place
by a veil. The holy place contained the table of show-bread and ten golden
lamp-stands (1 Kings 7:49).[245] The lattice work high up in the walls of
this room (1 Kings 6:4) can have admitted only an uncertain light. The
building was richly adorned with cedar and gold. It consisted of three
stories, and the walls were of varying thickness, since ledges were built
in them to receive the beams of the different stories. Each story
contained a series of chambers for storage or the use of the priests.
Those of the first story were five cubits wide, those of the second six,
and those of the third seven; (see Figs. 247-249).

In front of the temple was a porch of unknown height, and before this were
two bronze pillars with ornamented tops, named Jachin and Boaz. A little
to the southeast of the temple in the open air was a brazen laver
supported by twelve brazen oxen (1 Kings 7:23-26, 39). Before the temple
Solomon also placed a brazen altar (2 Chron. 1:5, 6; 2 Kings 16:14).
Another article of temple furniture is described as a “base.” It was
apparently a portable holder for a laver. It was made of bronze, provided
with wheels, and ornamented with figures of lions, cherubim, and
palm-trees (1 Kings 7:27-37); (see Figs. 251, 252).

It is clear that the temple was not, like a modern church, intended for
the accommodation of the people. It was simply Jehovah’s dwelling. Hither
the priests might come to bring the offerings of the people, and to
propitiate him. Solomon surrounded the temple with a court enclosed by a
wall of three courses of hewn stones and cedar beams (1 Kings 6:36). This
court became in later time the auditorium of the nation. Outside of this
was a larger court with walls of similar construction (1 Kings 7:12); (see
Fig. 243).

(3) _Solomon’s Palace._--Just to the south of the temple court, separated
from it only by a wall, was a middle court in which was Solomon’s own
palace and the palace of Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 7:8). These palaces
were a little lower down the hill than the temple, and Solomon had a
private “ascent” by which he could go up into the temple (1 Kings 10:5).
The royal palaces were so near that a shout in the court around the altar
could be heard in the palace (2 Kings 11:12, 13). These palaces were built
of hewn stone and cedar. South of this court was still another, separated
from it by a wall. In this most southerly and lowest of the courts stood
the hall of state, in which was the throne room, where Solomon sat in
judgment. This hall was paneled with cedar from floor to roof. The throne
was of ivory, was approached by six steps, and flanked on each side by
lions (1 Kings 10:18-20). South of this and probably intended as its
vestibule was the “porch of pillars,” 86 by 52 feet (1 Kings 7:6). Still
south of this stood the “house of the forest of Lebanon” (1 Kings 7:2), so
called because its four rows of cedar pillars were poetically suggestive
of a Lebanon forest. This was the largest of all the buildings, being 172
feet long, 86 feet wide, and 52 feet high. There seem to have been two
stories, the uppermost of which was supported by 45 pillars in three rows.
Josephus says that the upper room of this hall was designed to “contain a
great body of men, who would come together to have their causes
determined.”[246] He may have been influenced, however, in making the
statement by the customs of his own time.

As one went northward, then, up the hill from the “city of David,” he
passed through a gateway into the large court. In this court he came first
to the “house of the forest of Lebanon.” Beyond this he would enter
through the “porch of pillars” into the splendid hall of judgment with its
imposing throne. If he were a favored servant or an honored guest of the
king, he might be admitted to the inner court, in which case he would
behold the imposing palaces of Solomon and his principal queen. A
passageway to the eastward of this more private court led the person not
so favored to the sacred court about the temple.

In the construction of these buildings Solomon employed Phœnician
architects and workmen. His buildings were, therefore, more imposing than
those ordinarily erected in Palestine. The Phœnicians were the
intermediaries of the ancient world, and were the recipients of influences
from Babylonia, Egypt, the Hittites, Cyprus, and the Mycenean world.
Through them something of the world’s architectural culture touched the
buildings of Solomon.

=8. From Solomon to Hezekiah.=--Between the time of Solomon and Hezekiah,
the Bible furnishes us with but little information about Jerusalem. One
topographical fact is given us in the narrative of the war between Amaziah
of Judah and Jehoash of Israel, before 782 B. C. After Jehoash had been
victorious in the battle at Beth-shemesh, he came up to Jerusalem and
“brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner
gate, four hundred cubits” (2 Kings 14:13); (see Fig. 304). This wall was
afterward repaired by Uzziah, who strengthened it with towers.

Indeed, it seems probable that Uzziah’s work was more extensive and that,
in order to render the city more impregnable, he added a second wall on
the north. Certainly a wall existed here before the Exile, for when
Nehemiah rebuilt the walls, this wall joined the temple area at its
northwest corner, and we know of no king after Uzziah who would be likely
to construct such a defence unless it was Hezekiah. As the city easily
withstood the attack of Pekah and Rezin in 735 (Isa. 7:1, ff.), it seems
probable that Uzziah was the builder.

This wall by whomsoever it was built was in all probability on the line of
the so-called “second wall” of Josephus. As to just what its course was we
cannot now tell, further than that it started from near the Corner Gate,
near where the modern Turkish fortress now stands, and terminated at the
temple area. Some have supposed that after leaving the Corner Gate it ran
as far northward as the line on which the northern wall of the modern city
runs, then eastward from there to a point near the present Damascus Gate,
and then turned southward to the temple area. This seems improbable,
however, since in the time of Zechariah the tower of Hananel, which stood
near the northwest corner of the present area of the Mosque of Omar, was
the most northerly point of the city. It is thus possible that this second
wall may have run south of the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Its whole course accordingly lies underneath the present city. None of
this has been excavated except a short part of the course near the ancient
Corner Gate. In 1885, when digging was in progress for the foundations of
the Grand New Hotel, just inside the Jaffa Gate and north of the Turkish
fortress, a course of large Jewish stones was laid bare which the late Dr.
Merrill and others believed to be a part of this second wall. The nature
of the digging did not, however, disclose its course for any great
distance; the part revealed ran nearly north and south.

Unless Solomon built the wall which ran from Maudsley’s scarp at the
northwest corner of the western hill eastward down the slope of that hill
to the southern point of the eastern hill, it must have been built by some
king of this period. No hint is given us as to who built this wall. It may
have been done in the reign of Jehoshaphat, which was a period of
prosperity and expansion (2 Kings 3:4-12), or in the reign of Uzziah,
which was also a very prosperous time. The need of stronger defenses
created by the advance of the Assyrians into western Asia in the ninth
and eighth centuries B. C. makes it probable that Uzziah was the builder.
At all events it was accomplished by the time of Hezekiah.

In the reign of Ahaz there was a conduit (Isa. 7:3) leading from the
“upper pool,” or Gihon, to a lower pool, which probably lay somewhere near
the mouth of the Tyropœon valley. This conduit has been discovered. It was
designed partly to conduct water from Gihon out into the valley of the
Kidron for the irrigation of the king’s gardens, and partly to fill the
lower pool so that cattle could come and drink. Isaiah refers to the
waters of this conduit as “the waters of Shiloah that go softly” (Isa.
8:6). Of course, this conduit was in Isaiah’s time an old one. It is
impossible to tell when it was first constructed. It may have been made as
early as the time of Solomon or David, or even in Jebusite times.

In the reign of Ahaz a change was made in the nature of the altar of
burnt-offerings in the temple. When Ahaz went to Damascus to do homage to
Tiglath-pileser IV of Assyria, he saw an altar that pleased him, and sent
a pattern of it home to the high priest, Urijah, with directions to have
one made like it for the temple. This Urijah did. This altar was
apparently constructed of stone. It displaced the brazen altar of Solomon,
which was henceforth kept for the king’s private use (2 Kings 16:10-16).
It is thought by some that the measurements of this stone altar are
reproduced in Ezekiel 43:13-17. The brazen altar had always been out of
accord with the Hebrew law. (See Exod. 20:24-26.)

=9. Hezekiah.=--Apart from his reform (2 Kings 18:1-6) and the invasions
of Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:9, ff.), the event of especial interest
mentioned in connection with Hezekiah is that “he made the pool and the
conduit and brought the water into the city” (2 Kings 20:20). Scholars are
agreed that this refers to the rock-cut aqueduct in which the Siloam
inscription was found.[247] This was for the time of its construction a
notable engineering achievement, though recent exploration of the tunnel
shows that the workers frequently went astray and cut in directions that
they did not intend. Indeed, it is probable that the great bends in the
tunnel were made on account of such mistakes and not as Clermont-Ganneau
formerly thought in order to avoid the tombs of the kings. Up to the
present, search for these tombs has been vain. They must have been
somewhere on the eastern hill, but there is no reason to believe that they
were at the great depth at which this tunnel was cut through the rock.

If the supposition made above as to the walls of Uzziah is correct, it was
Hezekiah who built the first wall across the mouth of the Tyropœon valley
so as to enclose within the city his new pool. This wall was found by
Bliss. It formed the dam of the pool. It was strongly buttressed and had
been rebuilt from time to time. Bliss detected five periods in its

=10. From Hezekiah to the Exile.=--After Hezekiah, the general features of
Jerusalem remained the same down to the time of the Babylonian Exile in
586 B. C. We hear of a Fish Gate, probably where it was at a later time,
at the north of the city in the wall built by Uzziah. Zephaniah mentions
in connection with it “the second quarter” of the city (Zeph. 1:10), which
was probably the part of the town between the north wall of Uzziah and the
older north wall of Solomon on the western hill. The prophetess Huldah
lived there in the time of Josiah (2 Kings 22:14). Zephaniah also mentions
a part of the city called _Maktesh_ or the Mortar (Zeph. 1:11). This was a
part of Jerusalem occupied by Phœnician traders and craftsmen. It was
probably in the hollow between the two hills, _i. e._, in the Tyropœon

In the reign of Manasseh we hear of the sacrifice of children. For this
purpose a pit was excavated on the floor of the valley of Hinnom, to the
south of the city, and arrangements were made to burn the victims. This
was called Topheth (Jer. 7:31). Later it was defiled (2 Kings 23:10), and
to perpetuate the defilement refuse from the city seems to have been
burned there. The valley of Hinnom is in Hebrew _gai hinnom_. Later
generations conceived that the heavenly Jerusalem had also its valley of
Hinnom for the consumption of its refuse, hence _gai hinnom_ is used in
the New Testament in the form Gehenna as a name of hell. (See Matt. 5:29;

=11. The Destruction of 586 B. C.=--Toward the end of the siege of
Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar in the year 586 it is said that the men of war
fled by the way of the gate between the two walls which was by the king’s
garden (2 Kings 25:4). This was evidently a gate by the Pool of Siloam,
where the two walls of the eastern hill and the wall which came down the
western hill and crossed the mouth of the Tyropœon valley all came

In August of the year 586 B. C. Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadrezzar.
The temple, the royal palace, and the residences of the principal men were
burned and the walls of the city were broken down (2 Kings 25:9, 10). All
that was combustible was burned, including the city gates (Neh. 1:3). All
portable things of value were carried away. Jerusalem now entered on a
period of desolation. The city was probably not entirely deserted. Some of
the poor who still managed to extract a subsistence from the desolate
hills still found shelter in her ruins. All the well-to-do inhabitants
were transported to Babylonia.

It is often assumed that the site of the temple was unused during the
Exile and that no offerings were made there, but Jer. 41:4, 5 shows that
this was not the case. Probably an altar was repaired very soon, and the
poor people still went through their most indispensable religious
ceremonies amid the desolation, for men came from Samaria two months after
the destruction of the city to celebrate there the Feast of Tabernacles.

This destruction of the city and the deportation of its population made a
very deep impression on the Jews. How their affections clung to the
desolate and defaced city is touchingly depicted in the book of
Lamentations and in the 137th Psalm. Indeed, the destruction of the real
Jerusalem was the beginning of that ideal Jerusalem which has been so
influential in the religious history of the world.[250]

=12. The Second Temple.=--Beyond the erection of an altar, already
mentioned, the first steps toward the rebuilding of the temple were taken,
so many scholars think, in the second year of King Darius of Persia, _i.
e._, in 520 B. C. Eighteen years earlier Cyrus had made it possible for
this to be done,[251] but for various reasons it had not been
undertaken.[252] The man whose preaching moved the people to begin the
rebuilding was Haggai, and the circumstances under which he did it are
recounted in his book. Haggai’s persuasion was later seconded by the
efforts of Zechariah. Through four years the house slowly rose, and was
finally completed in March of the sixth year of Darius (516 B. C.), five
months less than 70 years after it was destroyed.

There is no doubt that the second temple was built on the lines of the
first, which were probably still traceable in the débris. It was also
constructed of stone which still lay about the top of the hill--stone that
had been used in the work of Solomon. It was not because it was smaller
than the first temple that old men who had seen that wept as they looked
on the new one (Ezra 3:12), but because it was less ornate. It was
probably without ornament. Josephus (_Contra Apion_, i, 22) says that the
temple court was enclosed by a wall a plethra in length and 100 Greek
cubits in breadth, _i. e._, 485½ by 145½ feet. It was not, then, very
large. It is uncertain whether there was at this time more than one court;
1 Macc. 4:48 speaks of “courts,” but Josephus tells[253] how the people
pelted Alexander Jannæus with citrons while he was officiating at the
altar during the Feast of Tabernacles, so that it is probable that the
courts were not separated by a wall, but by a difference of elevation. The
inner court was probably higher than the other, as it is around the Mosque
of Omar today.

Within this court was an altar of unhewn stones. The temple itself
consisted as before of the holy place and the holy of holies. Before the
holy place was a porch, and around the building there were many small
chambers as formerly. The holy of holies was separated from the holy place
by a veil (1 Macc. 1:22), but now it contained no ark of the covenant, as
that had been lost in 586 B. C. The holy of holies in the second temple
was empty except for the “stone of foundation” on which the high priest
placed his censer on the day of atonement.[254] In the holy place the
table of show-bread stood in front of the veil. Instead of the ten golden
lamp-stands of Solomon’s temple there now stood there the lamp with seven
branches (see Zech. 4). A golden altar of incense replaced it (1 Macc.
1:21) in the time of the Maccabees, though it may not have been placed
there before the time of Ezra.

Such was the temple as reconstructed after the Exile. In one important
respect its perspective was changed. The royal palace and the
administrative buildings, which before the Exile had shared the crest of
the northern spur of Zion with the temple, were not rebuilt. The temple
stood there alone. Little by little the part of the hill to the south of
the temple was cleared of the débris and the ground became a temple court.
This was significant of the religious condition of the post-exilic time.
Kings had vanished; the worship of Jehovah held the supreme place in the
thought of the people.

=13. Nehemiah and the Walls.=--For seventy-two years after the temple was
rebuilt, the walls of the city still lay in ruins. That they were at last
restored was due to the patriotism and energy of a noble young Jew,
Nehemiah, who had been a cup-bearer to Artaxerxes I of Persia. The story
of how he obtained the royal permission to return to Jerusalem as
governor, with authority to rebuild the walls, how upon his arrival he
traced by their ruins the lines of the old walls, with what energy and
amid what difficulties he pushed their rebuilding to completion in the
course of three months in the year 444 B. C., is told in detail in
Nehemiah 1-7 and need not be repeated here.

At the northwest corner of the western hill there was placed in the wall
at this time a gate called the Valley Gate (Neh. 3:13). This was the gate
discovered by Bliss[255] a little to the east of the old fortress on
Maudsley’s scarp. When the wall was completed, a ceremony of dedication
was held. At this festival two processions started from this Valley Gate;
one of these went around the south side of the city, the other around the
north side (Neh. 12:31-40). They met at the temple. The procession that
went around the south side of the city passed by the Dung Gate, which was
situated in the southern wall well down the hill, then by the Fountain
Gate, near the Pool of Siloam, then up the “ascent of the wall” by the
stairs of the “City of David,” and passed the Water Gate somewhere above
the spring of Gihon. Still above this, probably just to the east of the
temple area, was the Horse Gate (Neh. 3:28). The other company, starting
from the Valley Gate at the southwest corner of the city, passed northward
by the “Tower of the Furnaces” unto the broad wall, above the Gate of
Ephraim, by the Old Gate, and by the Fish Gate, past the Tower of Hananel
and the Tower of Hammeah, unto the Sheep Gate. This description, together
with the line of the previous wall, enables us approximately to determine
the outline of post-exilic Jerusalem; (see Fig. 305). The one point of
doubt has to do with the line of the second wall on the north of the city,
laid out probably by Uzziah. As that line is directly under the present
city it has never been possible to follow it by excavations. We can only
conjecture what its course may have been. The towers of Hananel and
Hammeah were clearly north of the temple area. They probably fortified the
wall along the edge of a shallow valley which separated Moriah from the
hill north of it. This hill was later called Bezetha.

=14. Late Persian and Early Greek Periods.=--After the time of Ezra and
Nehemiah, we have no clear topographical references to Jerusalem until the
second century B. C. It seems probable that Jerusalem and Judah rebelled
against one of the later Persian kings and that the city suffered.[256] We
hear that Ptolemy I of Egypt also captured Jerusalem,[257] but whether
these experiences led to any modification in the form of the city, we do
not know. The _Wisdom of Jesus, the Son of Sirach_, often called
_Ecclesiasticus_, which was written about 180 B. C., indicates that
Jerusalem was a carefully organized city. Many professions and much
commerce were represented in it, as well as many human sins and
foibles.[258] The author declares[259] that a high priest, Simon, the son
of Onias (probably Simon II, 218-198 B. C.), repaired the temple and
fortified the city. What the nature of either work was, we do not know. So
far as can be ascertained, he confined himself to the strengthening of old
defenses, and did not change the topography.

In the early part of the reign of Antiochus IV, while many Jews were
kindly inclined to Greek culture and to Greek ways, an outdoor gymnasium
was established in Jerusalem.[260] This was in a hollow just above the
Tyropœon valley to the west of the south end of the temple enclosure.[261]
Josephus calls it the Xystus, a Greek name that reveals its character.
Some reminder that it was once a gymnasium perhaps lingers in _Maidan_,
the modern Arabic name for the locality, which means hippodrome, or place
of combat.

=15. In the Time of the Maccabees.=--In the Maccabæan period the city was
divided into three parts--the city proper, the temple, and the Akra or
citadel. As to the situation of the Akra, there is a wide difference of
opinion. Into the different theories it is impossible to go.[262] The
writer agrees with George Adam Smith, that in all probability the Akra
was the “City of David” of the earlier time, as 1 Maccabees states (1:33;
7:32, 33; 14:36). We first hear of this Akra in 198 B. C., when an
Egyptian garrison held out in it against Antiochus III.[263] It was so
shut off from the rest of Jerusalem that, though, after the onslaught of
Antiochus IV on the Jews in 168 B. C., Judas Maccabæus recovered the city
and temple as early as 165 B. C., the Syrians kept possession of the Akra
for twenty-three years more, until they were finally dislodged by Simon
the Maccabee in 142 B. C.[264]

=16. Asmonæan Jerusalem.=--During the Asmonæan dynasty which grew out of
the Maccabæan struggle,[265] three new features were added to Jerusalem.
One was a castle, to the northward of the temple area built by John
Hyrcanus I, 135-105 B. C.[266] This was known to Greek-speaking Jews as
Baris, which is a corruption of the Hebrew _Birah_, a fortress. Its walls
are massive and high. It commanded the approach to the temple area from
the north, and greatly strengthened the effectiveness of the temple

One of the Asmonæans, probably John Hyrcanus I, built a palace in
Jerusalem.[267] This palace apparently stood on the site now occupied by
the Synagogue of the German Jews in Jerusalem.[268] It was connected with
the temple area by a bridge,[269] of which a remnant of the easternmost
span, now called “Robinson’s Arch,”[270] is still visible on the western
wall of the temple enclosure. This bridge was destroyed by Pompey when he
captured Jerusalem in 63 B. C.,[271] and its remains were found by Warren
in the bottom of the Tyropœon valley, 80 feet below the present surface of
the ground.[272] As the Asmonæans were high priests as well as kings, this
bridge gave them easy access to the temple from their palace. The palace
itself, situated on a part of the western hill that overtopped the temple
hill, was so placed that the royal priest could sit in his palace and
watch what was transpiring in the temple courts and in the valley below.

The third accomplishment of the Asmonæans was probably the construction of
Solomon’s Pools and the High Level Aqueduct by which the water was brought
into Jerusalem.[273] This work appears also to have been accomplished by
John Hyrcanus I, for Timarchus, the biographer of Antiochus VII, who was a
contemporary of Hyrcanus I, says of Jerusalem that “the whole city runs
down with waters, so that even the gardens are irrigated by the water
which flows off from it.”[274] Such a description would be quite
unfitting, if all the water had been supplied by Gihon, En-rogel, and the
cisterns about Jerusalem. It implies that a perpetual stream of water,
such as came through one of the aqueducts, flowed into the city.

One other structure is attributed to an Asmonæan. Alexander Jannæus was
very unpopular with the Pharisees, and once, as already noted, he was
pelted by the people with citrons. He thereupon erected a wooden barrier
around the temple and the altar, thus excluding the laity from a close
approach to the temple,[275] and creating a court for the priests alone.

Jerusalem suffered from four sieges in the troublous days when the
Asmonæan power was waning and that of Rome was being established. The
first was by Haretat, King of the Nabathæans, in 65 B. C., but was lifted
without result.[276] The second was that of Pompey in 63 B. C. It resulted
in the capture of the city and in considerable damage. The bridge across
the Tyropœon to the royal palace was broken down.[277] The third was that
of the Partisans in 40 B. C., when they captured the city and placed
Antigonus, son of Aristobulus II, on the throne.[278] The fourth was that
by which Herod the Great became master of Jerusalem in 37 B. C. At this
time a part of the two northern walls were broken down.[279] The
topography of the city was in no way changed until after the conquest by
Herod, who changed the face of Jerusalem in many ways.

=17. Herod the Great.=--The first work of Herod was to rebuild and
strengthen the fortress to the north of the temple. This he did at the
beginning of his reign while Mark Antony was still in power in the East.
He accordingly renamed the castle Antonia.[280] Herod also rebuilt and
strengthened the walls which he had battered down in taking Jerusalem,
adding towers to make them more impregnable. At the southwest corner of
the city he erected three new towers,--Hippacus, Phasael, and
Mariamne.[281] These all probably stood in or near the space now covered
by the Turkish fortress at the Jaffa Gate. Hippacus was apparently the
northwest tower of the present citadel, Phasael the easternmost of the
towers in the same structure, which still bears the name “Tower of David”;
Mariamne lay to the east of these. Hippacus was 80 cubits high, Phasael
90, and Mariamne 50. On the north of these, perhaps near the point where
the northwest corner of the present city wall is, stood Psephinus, an
octagonal tower 70 cubits high.

(1) _Herod’s Palace._--In connection with the towers Hippacus and Phasael
and on the site of the present Turkish citadel, Herod built a new and
splendid royal palace.[282] Its walls on the west and north were the same
as the old city walls; on the east and south, walls of the same
massiveness were erected. It contained two halls, each the size of the
sanctuary, with couches within for a hundred guests. There were many other
richly furnished chambers. The towers and the palace were faced with
marble. Stretching to the southward, of the palace were colonnades which
bordered on open courts, in which shrubberies, fountains, and long walks
abounded. These fountains were fed by the High Level Aqueduct.

This palace commanded the highest point of the southwestern hill. Its
construction finally transferred the controlling power to the western
hill, or as Josephus calls it, the “Upper City.” Ever after this the
western hill was the seat of political power. When Procurators ruled Judæa
this palace became the prætorium.[283] It was to this castle that our
Saviour was brought to be tried by Pontius Pilate. It was to its entrance,
probably on the east, that Pilate brought Jesus and offered to release
him, when the people cried: “Away with this man ... crucify him” (Luke 23:
18, 21). This palace, built by one of the ablest and most unscrupulous of
men, is thus associated with one of the most sacred and tragic moments of
history. From that day to this it has remained the seat of political
authority in Jerusalem. Its presence on the western hill has gradually
drawn the name Zion from the original city of David to the western hill,
and so distorted the Old Testament traditions that even several modern
scholars[284] still refuse to give credence to the clear voice of the Old
Testament as to the site of the original Zion. The palace, battered down
and rebuilt again and again, still retains in its walls many of the
massive stones of Herod. This palace was completed about 23 B. C.

(2) _Herod’s Theater._--About 25 B. C. Herod founded an athletic gathering
to be celebrated every five years in honor of Augustus.[285] Josephus, in
speaking of this fact, says that Herod built a theater in Jerusalem, and
also a very great amphitheater in the plain. If he actually built a
theater in the city, all traces of it have disappeared. To the south of
the city on a hill considerably beyond the Valley of Hinnom, the remains
of a great theater were discovered some years ago by the late Dr.
Schick.[286] This theater faced the north, its diameter was more than 130
feet, and spectators seated in it could see Jerusalem in the distance. It
is thought by some scholars that this is the theater to which Josephus
alludes, as Herod would hardly have ventured to outrage Jewish feeling by
placing such a structure in the sacred city. If the discovery of Dr.
Schick represents Herod’s theater, it is quite unknown where the
“amphitheater in the plain,” to which Josephus makes reference, was

(3) _Herod’s Temple._--When the palace of Herod was completed, the
splendid structures of Antonia and the palace quite overshadowed the old
dingy temple. The temple had frequently been repaired by the high priests,
and perhaps during the Maccabæan time had been somewhat embellished, but
it nevertheless remained essentially as it had been rebuilt after the
Exile. Herod had built Sebaste on the site of ancient Samaria in 27 B. C.,
and began about 22 B. C. to build Cæsarea. In these and other cities he
had erected splendid temples to heathen deities; naturally he desired to
make the temple of his capital city worthy to stand beside them. He had
difficulty in persuading the Jews to let him touch the sacred house, but
yielding in many things to their scruples, work was finally begun in the
year 20-19 B. C. Some of the priests became carpenters and stone-cutters,
so that no profane hands need touch the sacred shrine.[287] The old temple
was taken down and the new one erected in the space of eighteen months.
But much remained to be done and the work dragged along until after
Herod’s death. In the time of Christ “forty and six years was this temple
in building” (John 2:20), and it was not then completed. It was finished
only in 64 A. D., six years before it was finally destroyed.[288] The
temple itself occupied the site of its predecessor, and was of the same
plan and dimensions. These Herod did not dare to change. They were
consecrated by nearly a thousand years of sacred associations. If he could
not enlarge it, however, he could make it higher, and he made its
elevation a hundred cubits or 172 feet. He also enlarged the porch, making
it 120 feet broad. The whole was built of huge blocks of white stone, with
plates of gold upon the front.[289] The holy of holies consisted, as
before, of a dark, empty room, 35 feet in each dimension. It was separated
from the holy place by curtains, an outer and an inner, which were a foot
apart. The holy place was still 40 by 20 cubits, but was now made 40
instead of 30 cubits high.[290] Its furniture was the same as in the
second temple: the table of show-bread, the altar of incense, and the lamp
with seven branches; (Fig. 250). The entrance to the holy place, 15 cubits
wide and 70 cubits high, was not closed by doors. Josephus declares that
it was left open to set forth the “unobstructed openness of heaven.”[291]

On the top of the temple, spikes with sharp points were arranged to
prevent birds from lighting upon it and defiling it. Twelve broad steps
led down from the temple to the court of the priests.[292] These steps
occupied nearly all the 22 cubits of space between the porch and the
altar. Not far from the steps at the south stood the great laver, which
had replaced the brazen sea of Solomon’s temple. The altar of unhewn
stones rose upon the sacred rock--sacred since the days of the Jebusites
(and possibly since the stone age), to which it was fitted by masonry. The
base of the altar was 32 cubits square and 1 high. On this rose a
structure 30 cubits square and 5 cubits high. On this was a ledge 1 cubit
broad, to which the horns of the altar were attached. Not far above was
another ledge, also a cubit broad, on which the officiating priests might
stand. Above this was the altar hearth itself, which was 24 cubits square.
South of the altar was a structure of masonry on which priests could
stand; north of it, the place for the slaughter of the victims. Here the
victims to be slain were tied to rings in the pavement. There were tables
of marble on which they could be washed and flayed. Beams supported by
pillars also contained hooks on which they could be hung for quartering.
Herod, as noted above,[293] probably constructed the Low Level Aqueduct.
By means of this he brought a larger supply of water into the temple area,
so that there was an abundance of water with which to flush the holy
place, and wash away the blood and refuse with which the place must often
have reeked, especially on festal days.

A low wall a cubit in height marked off the court of the priests from the
court of Israel. Accounts differ as to whether this wall was on the east
only or whether it ran around the whole temple. The court of Israel lay to
the east of the court of the priests. Again our sources of information
differ as to its exact size. Here the “congregation of Israel” could
assemble to witness the sacred sacrifices. To the east of the court of
Israel lay the court of the women. These were separated by a wall, but,
owing to the downward slope of the hill, the court of the women was
fifteen steps lower than that of Israel. Indeed, the level of the court of
Israel was only maintained by a series of arches which supported a
pavement. Perhaps the idea of a court for the women had been a gradual
development of the post-exilic time, in which they had been permitted to
watch the sacrifices from a definitely defined position in the rear of the
men. At all events, this court became a prominent feature in the temple of
Herod, and from elevated seats on its eastern side women could still watch
the sacred ceremonies of the temple. With the exception of this gallery,
the court of the women was open to men. It was 135 cubits square and so
was relatively large. Apparently the temple treasury was situated in this
court, together with the money boxes, for women had access to these. Here
probably Christ was sitting when he saw the poor widow cast into the
treasury her two mites (Mark 12:41, f.; Luke 21:1, f). Around these courts
ran a wall 43 feet high. This wall was pierced by nine gates, four on the
north, four on the south, and one on the east. A gate also separated the
court of the women from the court of Israel. Either the gate that opened
out of the court of the women to the eastward, or the one between the
court of the women and the court of Israel (it is uncertain which one)
had been given by one Nicanor and was of fine Corinthian bronze. It was
sometimes called “the gate beautiful” and sometimes “Nicanor’s gate.” It
was by this gate, and so near the treasury where people were devoting
their money to religion, that Peter and John found the lame man begging
(Acts 3:2, f.).

Outside all these courts lay the court of the Gentiles. This was separated
from the courts described above by a _Soreg_ or ritual wall, which no
Gentile might pass. Herod placed inscriptions in Greek at the various
gates in this ritual wall, which warned Gentiles on pain of death not to
enter. The court of the Gentiles surrounded the other courts on the north,
east, and south; it was, however, most extensive on the east and south;
(Fig. 257). To obtain a greater area for this court on the south, Herod
extended the level of the hill by erecting great arches which supported a
pavement. This structure still remains; it is now called “Solomon’s
stables”; (Fig. 258). In the Crusading period horses were stabled there.
Around the court thus enlarged ran a beautiful colonnade. The pillars for
this and for Herod’s palace were quarried from the rock around Jerusalem.
One pillar which had a defect and was accordingly never moved from the
quarry was found a few years since in front of the Russian cathedral north
of the city.

Although the temple has passed away and other sacred buildings have since
the second century been erected in succession near its site, the expanse
of the court of the Gentiles remains, and as the devout Christian visits
it he seems almost to hear the footfalls of Christ and of Paul!

=18. The Pool of Bethesda.=--Another spot connected with the life of
Christ lay not far from the temple on the north; it was the Pool of
Bethesda. It was situated near the Sheep Gate, which was just northeast of
the temple. Since the thirteenth century the _Birket Israin_[294] which
lies between the temple area and the modern St. Stephen’s Gate has been
identified by some with Bethesda. Since 1889 it has been thought by many
that two pools discovered in that year, now far under ground, in the land
of the Church of St. Anne, just north of St. Stephen’s Gate, constituted
the Pool of Bethesda; (see Fig. 259). It is really impossible to decide
between the two possibilities on the evidence we have. Both are in the
region where we should look for the Pool of Bethesda.

=19. Gethsemane.=--Two other spots near Jerusalem are of the deepest
interest to the Christian student--the Garden of Gethsemane and Golgotha.
The fact is certain that the Garden of Gethsemane lay on the western slope
of the Mount of Olives. (See Luke 22:39; John 18:1; Mark 14:26, 32.) Since
the sixteenth century the Roman Catholics have shown a little garden,
which lies just above the Kidron, as the Garden of Gethsemane. More
recently the Russian Church has walled in the space next above it as the
real garden. There is no certainty that the garden was on either site. To
the Jews of the first century a garden was not a place for flower-beds,
but an olive orchard, and such an orchard may have extended widely over
the hillside. We cannot now identify the spot made sacred by the Master’s
agony, but we know as we look at this hillside that it was somewhere on

=20. Calvary.=--The site of Calvary or Golgotha is not so easily
discerned. Since the year 326 A. D., when Helena, the mother of the
Emperor Constantine, visited Jerusalem, there has been a continuous
tradition in favor of the site on which the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
stands. We know from Hebrews 13:12 that the crucifixion took place outside
the city walls. Unfortunately, we cannot tell whether the second wall of
this period ran north or south of the spot on which the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher stands, for the whole region lies under the modern city, where
excavation has been impossible. If the second wall turned eastward before
it had gone as far north as this spot, it may well be that the crucifixion
occurred where the church now stands. Pilate condemned Jesus at the palace
of Herod near the gate Gennath at the northwest corner of the city of that
day. Doubtless the mob swept along with Jesus through the gate Gennath to
the spot called Golgotha. If the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was on that
spot, the walk was not a long one; (see Fig. 260).

In 1849 Otto Thenius suggested that the hill north of the modern Damascus
Gate above “Jeremiah’s Grotto” was the real Golgotha; (Figs. 261, 262).
This was also suggested by Fisher Howe in 1871, and advocated by Gen. C.
E. Gordon in 1881. Near it is a garden in which is a rock-hewn tomb;
(Figs. 263, 264). Since the days of Gordon a kind of Protestant tradition
and cult has grown up about this spot that in certain quarters evokes some
of the devotion called forth among Catholics and Oriental Christians by
the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It must be said that the tomb in the
garden is, like many similar tombs in the neighborhood, probably not
earlier than the third or fourth century A. D., and there is really no
more reason for regarding this spot as Golgotha than any other hill-top
near the city. The exact spot where our Lord suffered is not certainly

Ecclesiastical tradition has fixed upon many other spots in Jerusalem as
the places where certain events in the life of Christ occurred, but none
of these has a sufficient degree of probability in its favor to merit a
mention in an archæological work.

=21. Agrippa I and the Third Wall.=--In the reign of Herod Agrippa I
(41-44 A. D.), Jerusalem was again enlarged. Agrippa built a third wall on
the north. Its course is described by Josephus,[295] but as most of the
landmarks mentioned by him are unknown, opinions differ as to its course.
It is certain that it started at the tower Hippacus and went northward to
the tower Psephinus, that it enclosed the hill Bezetha, and that it ran
along the edge of the Kidron valley to join the old wall. Some scholars
suppose that it ran about on the line of the present northern Turkish wall
of the city; others, as Robinson and Merrill, thought it ran much further
north so that its northeastern corner was near the “Tombs of the Kings.”
While there is not decisive evidence in the matter, the first view, that
the third wall ran near the line of the modern wall, seems the more
probable. This wall was begun by Agrippa, who did not dare to finish it
lest Claudius should suspect him of an intention to rebel. It was,
however, completed by the Jews before the last tragic struggle of the
years 66-70, and formed one of the features of Jerusalem when Paul made
his later visits to the city.

We have not space to follow the fortunes of Jerusalem further. The history
of the “Virgin Daughter of Zion” since 70 A. D., when the walls were
broken down and the temple destroyed never to be rebuilt, has been no less
checkered and tragic than in the centuries that preceded,[296] but the
hearts of all Christians as well as of Jews and Mohammedans turn to her
with sympathy and affection, because of their debt to the holy men who at
various times, from David to Paul, lived in her and walked her streets,
and because of her tragic associations with the life and death of One who
was more than man.




=1. Origin.=--Three times in the Gospels the Decapolis is mentioned: Matt.
4:25; Mark 5:20 and 7:31. Decapolis is a Greek name and means “the ten
city” (region). The ancient writers who mention it agree that it
originally consisted of ten cities in which Greek population was dominant
and which were federated together. Pliny[297] gives the ten cities as
Damascus, Philadelphia, Raphana, Scythopolis, Gadara, Hippos, Dion, Pella,
Gerasa, and Kanatha. Ptolemy, the astronomer and geographer, in the second
century A. D. enumerated eighteen cities as belonging to it. In the time
of Christ it probably consisted of but ten. The Decapolis apparently was
created by the Roman General Pompey, when he conquered this region for
Rome in 65-63 B. C. These cities with Greek populations appear to have
appealed to him and he granted them certain privileges, including a degree
of autonomy. They were, however, subject to the Legate of Syria. Hippos,
Scythopolis, and Pella were released by him at this time from the Jewish
yoke.[298] Josephus, at the end of the first century A. D., does not
reckon Damascus in the Decapolis, but before the time of Paul, Damascus
had been captured by the Nabathæans or Arabians, and may not, when retaken
by Rome, have been again accorded the privileges of the cities of the

=2. Damascus=, which is mentioned in the annals of Thothmes III before
1447 B. C., and in the accounts of Abraham (Gen. 14:15; 15:2), has been
continuously in existence as a city ever since, and is one of the most
flourishing cities of Syria at the present time. It was occupied in the
thirteenth or fourteenth century B. C. by Aramæans who held it all through
the Old Testament period. Kings of Damascus frequently fought with Israel.
From the time of Alexander the Great it came under Hellenic influences.
After his death it was first possessed by the Ptolemies of Egypt, but was
taken by the Seleucid kings of Antioch before 261 B. C. It is situated in
one of the most fertile oases of the world--an oasis that Arabian poets
delighted to compare to Paradise. Probably Alexander’s successors, who, as
we shall see, built many Hellenic cities, beautified this oasis with one
of them, but as the site has been occupied continuously, no buildings from
this time remain. One feature at Damascus that still recalls Biblical
times is the street called Straight, which runs westward from the eastern
gate into the heart of the city. It was in a house on the ancient
forerunner of this street that Paul first lodged at the time of his
conversion (Acts 9:11); (see Fig. 265).

One other part of Damascus recalls a Biblical narrative. This is the river
Barada which still runs through the heart of the city. It is the river
called Abana in 2 Kings 5:12, and was said by Naaman to be “better than
all the waters of Israel”; (see Fig. 266).

=3. Scythopolis= was the only one of the cities of the Decapolis west of
the Jordan. It was on the site of the Beth-shean of the Old Testament
(Josh. 17:11; 1 Sam. 31:10, 12; 2 Sam. 21:12; 1 Kings 4:12). Beth-shean
was already a city at the time Palestine was conquered by Thothmes
III[299] and there has apparently been a town near this spot ever since.
It seems to have been called Scythopolis by the successors of Alexander
the Great, probably because a group of Scythians had taken the city and
settled there. When it came into the possession of Scythians we can only
conjecture, but it was probably at the time of the great Scythian invasion
of Palestine, about 625-615 B. C. This invasion called forth the dark
prophecies of the book of Zephaniah. Scythopolis appears from certain
coins[300] to have become a Hellenic city in the time of Alexander the
Great. In the time of Ptolemy Euergetes I, 247-222 B. C., it was subject
to Egypt,[301] but it passed to the dominions of the Seleucidæ of Antioch
in 198 B. C. Upon the break-up of the Syrian empire in 65-63 B. C., Pompey
made it one of the cities of the Decapolis.

The remains of the Hellenic city have now entirely disappeared with the
exception of the great stone amphitheater. This may still be seen[302] in
the valley on the south side of the mound which covers the ruins of the
ancient Beth-shean, where it is overgrown with briers. The name
Scythopolis has long since disappeared, and the old Hebrew name for the
place still survives in the name of the modern town Beisan. This modern
town is situated on the south side of the valley mentioned above, a little
distance from the mound which covers the ancient city. Scythopolis was
situated at the point where the plain of Jezreel or Esdraelon joins the
Jordan valley. In the time of Christ the Jews from Nazareth and its
vicinity, when going to the three annual festivals at Jerusalem, came down
the plain and then followed the Jordan valley down to Jericho (see Luke
19:1), in order to avoid going through Samaria. From the time that Jesus
was twelve years old he must, therefore, have often passed by Scythopolis
on his way to Jerusalem. As it was a Gentile town, however, neither he nor
his companions would enter it on such occasions, as they would thereby be
rendered unclean.

=4. Cities East of the Sea of Galilee.=--To the east of the Sea of Galilee
lay three of the cities of the Decapolis. Hippos was comparatively near
the sea, where Susiye now lies. The Jews of the Talmudic period called the
place Susitha.[303] Hippos is the Greek for horse. Susitha is a Hebrew
translation of this and Susiye is an Arabic corruption of the Hebrew. All
traces of the ancient Hippos except the name have disappeared.

Where Raphana was situated has not yet been definitely determined. It is
probably the same as Raphon mentioned in 1 Macc. 5:37, which was near to
Ashteroth-karnaim[304] (Gen. 14:5). Ashteroth-karnaim was situated either
at Tell Ashtara or at Tell Ashary, both of which are between twenty and
twenty-five miles east of the Sea of Galilee. Raphana, then, probably lay
about twenty miles due east from Hippos.

Still eastward of this lay the city of Kanatha, though scholars are
divided in opinion as to whether its site is to be identified with
El-Kerak or with Kanawat. If its site was at El-Kerak it was about forty
miles east of the Sea of Galilee; if at Kanawat it was about fifty-five
miles distant from the sea. As there are at Kanawat abundant ruins of a
beautiful Hellenic city,[305] Kanatha was probably situated here rather
than at El-Kerak. This was the Kenath of Num. 32:42.

=5. Gadara.=--A little to the south of the southern end of the Sea of
Galilee on the east of the Jordan and south of the Yarmuk lay the city of
Gadara, another member of the Decapolis. Its site is now marked by the
ruins of Umm Keis or Mukês. Here ruins of the Hellenic city are still to
be seen, including a great theater cut out of the black basaltic rock.
Gadara was a strong fortress as early as the time of Antiochus the Great
in 218 B. C.,[306] and was afterward besieged by Alexander Jannæus,[307]
104-79 B. C.

=6. Pella and Dion.=--On the east of the Jordan, a little further south
than Scythopolis or Beth-shean, but in the deep depression of the river
valley, Pella, another city of the Decapolis, was situated. The site now
bears the name Fahl. The city is mentioned in the list of Thothmes III,
1503-1447 B. C., as Pahul. Pella is a Greek form of this name. The Greek
city of Pella is said by Stephen of Byzantium[308] to have been founded by
Alexander the Great. In the Talmud it is called Pahal,[309] and the modern
name Fahl is an Arabian form of this. Extensive ruins of the Hellenic city
are still visible at Fahl.[310]

Dion is also said to have been founded by Alexander the Great and was
apparently not far from Pella. It is thought by Merrill[311] and G. A.
Smith to have been situated on the site of the modern Eidun, about twenty
miles east of Pella, though this is doubted by others.[312] If Dion was at
this point few, if any, antiquities remain to bear witness to the fact.

=7. Gerasa=, the modern Jerash, lay on one of the tributaries of the
Jabbok about fifty miles southeast of Pella. We do not know what the name
of the place was in Old Testament times. It is first mentioned in the time
of Alexander Jannæus (104-79 B. C.).[313] It was then called Gerasa and
was probably already at that time a Hellenic city. By whom it was built,
we do not know, but it was probably one of the early Ptolemies of Egypt.
From 100 B. C. till the Mohammedan conquest in 637 A. D., it flourished as
a beautiful city, and later it was a city of some importance. It probably
was overtaken by some calamity and the site of the Hellenic city
abandoned soon after the year 637, as there are no Arabic remains above
the Græco-Roman material. In the year 1121 Baldwin II, of the Latin
kingdom of Jerusalem, made a campaign against Gerasa, where the ruler of
Damascus had caused a castle to be built. In the next century the Arabian
geographer, Yakut, describes it as deserted. It appears to have been
ruined by an earthquake.

Apparently the Hellenic city at Gerasa lasted longer than any of the other
cities of the Decapolis unless it be Kanatha. One can, accordingly, gain
from the ruins of Gerasa an excellent idea of the general appearance of
one of these cities.[314] The writer has never seen more beautiful ruins
than those at Jerash except the ruins at Athens. As one approached the
site from the south he faced a beautiful arched gateway. After passing
this gateway one looked northward down a long colonnaded street, which at
a little distance from the gate broadened out into a circular forum. At
distances approximately equal from one another this main street was
crossed by other colonnaded streets. A number of these columns are
standing in different parts of the town. The remains of two imposing
temples, of two theaters, of a large Christian basilica, and of various
other buildings, impress one with the former glory of the city. A number
of the buildings at Gerasa were built in the second century A. D. in the
reign of the Antonines; (see Figs. 268, 269).

=8. Philadelphia=, the most southerly of the cities of the Decapolis, was
on the site of Rabbah Ammon (Deut. 3:11; Josh. 13:25; 2 Sam. 11:1, etc.).
This was situated on the upper Jabbok about twenty miles east of the
Jordan valley, where Amman now lies. The Hellenic city here was built by
Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt, who reigned from 283-247 B. C. It was named
Philadelphia from him. In 218 B. C. the city was taken by Antiochus III,
who captured the cistern to which in time of siege the Philadelphians went
for water by an underground passage,[315] after which thirst compelled
them to surrender. Joab centuries before had captured the city for David
by the same method,[316] and in 30 B. C. Herod the Great again took it in
the same way.[317] The remains of the Hellenic temple, of the theater,
and of other buildings, including a Christian basilica, are still to be
seen at Amman.[318] In the fourth century A. D. Philadelphia was one of
the prominent cities of the Roman province of Arabia; (see Figs. 270,

These cities of the Decapolis appear to have been built on a similar plan.
Each had a colonnaded street through the center of the town, each had at
least one temple and one theater, and some of them more. All were
architecturally beautiful. They all possessed a similar government also,
and each appears to have controlled the villages in its district.

=9. Jesus in the Decapolis.=--The prevailing influences in the Decapolis
were pagan, and yet there were Jews living in it, for multitudes of them
from the Decapolis followed Jesus (Matt. 4:25). On at least two occasions
our Lord himself went into the territory of the Decapolis. We read in Mark
5:1 that Jesus and his disciples “came to the other side of the sea to the
country of the Gerasenes.” The Authorized Version reads “to the country of
the Gadarenes.” The country to which Jesus came at this time cannot have
been that of the Decapolitan city Gerasa, for, as we have seen, that lay
far to the south. It was in a direct line nearly fifty miles from the Sea
of Galilee. Neither can it have been to the region of Gadara that he came,
for Gadara lay at least five miles to the south across the deep valley of
the Yarmuk. There was, however, on the east shore of the Sea of Galilee a
town called Gergesa, the modern Kursi. This place was near the city of
Hippos, and possibly one of the towns subordinate to Hippos. As Jesus and
the disciples walked back from the sea they met the demoniac, whom Jesus
healed. It was in connection with this healing that the herd of swine was
destroyed--an incident that could happen in no part of Palestine except
Decapolis or Philistia, for swine were unclean to Jews and they never kept
them. The demoniac, when cured, went and preached Jesus in the Decapolis
(Mark 5:20).

Again, toward the end of the ministry of Jesus, after he had withdrawn for
a time to Phœnicia, he returned by crossing the high lands of northern
Galilee and coming down east of the Jordan “through the midst of the
borders of Decapolis” (Mark 7:31).



    ATHENS. CORINTH. THE CHURCHES OF ASIA: Ephesus. Pergamum. Thyatira.
    Sardis. Philadelphia. Smyrna. Laodicea.

The greater part of Biblical history was enacted in Palestine and the
great valleys of Mesopotamia and the Nile. The Apostle Paul, however,
broke the Jewish bonds of primitive Christianity and carried the Gospel to
the coasts of the Ægean Sea. In cities of this region he spent years of
his active missionary life; to churches of this region most of his
epistles were sent, and to churches of this part of the world the seven
messages to the churches were addressed. We cannot, therefore, conclude
this sketch of what archæology has done to throw light upon the Bible
without saying a few words concerning exploration and excavations in
certain parts of Greece and Asia Minor. It will be impossible for lack of
space to go thoroughly into the history of this region, but as these lands
were not, like Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, and Palestine, closely connected
with Biblical history for a long period, detailed history of them before
the Apostolic age will not be missed by the student of the Bible.

The results of scattered discoveries at Thessalonica and elsewhere will be
presented in Part II, Chapter XXVII. At this point attention will be
directed to a few important cities.

=1. Athens=, the chief city of Attica, one of the least productive parts
of Greece, is the far-famed mistress of the world’s culture and art.
Emerging from obscurity in the seventh century before Christ, gaining a
position of leadership in the Persian wars after 500 B. C., Athens
established a considerable empire. In this period fell the age of
Pericles, 460-429 B. C., when the artistic and literary genius of Athens
reached a height never equaled in human history. Socrates was born here in
469 and lived till 399 B. C. Here Plato, who was born about 428, became a
pupil of Socrates and afterward taught. Hither came Aristotle, after the
year 367, to sit at Plato’s feet. Here from the age of Pericles the
acropolis was crowned with those architectural creations that are at once
the admiration and the despair of the world; (see Fig. 277). It stirs the
imagination to think of Paul in such a city.

In the time of Paul, Athens was a Roman city, though still one of the
great artistic and philosophical centers of the world. At a little
distance from the acropolis on its northern side, a forum of the Roman
period was laid bare in 1891; (see Fig. 272). Possibly this is the
market-place in which Paul, during his stay there, reasoned every day with
them that met him (Acts 17:17), though of this we cannot be certain, for,
while this was a market-place in the Roman period, the older market of the
Athenian people lay to the westward of it.

To the west of the acropolis lies the old Areopagus, or Mars’ Hill (Fig.
273), from which it was long supposed that Paul made the address recorded
in Acts 17:22-31. Ramsay,[319] following Curtius, has made it probable
that the address was delivered to the city-fathers of Athens, not because
they were putting Paul to a judicial trial, but because they wished to see
whether he was to be allowed to teach Christianity, which they took for a
new philosophy, in the university of Athens--for Athens itself was a kind
of university. It seems probable that the meetings of the city-fathers,
who were collectively called the Areopagus (Acts 17:22), were held not on
the top of the rock, but in the market-place. The Athenian altar “to an
unknown god” is treated in Part II, Chapter XXVII, § 2.

=2. Corinth.=--From Athens, Paul went to Corinth, where he spent a year
and a half (Acts 18:1, 11). Corinth was one of the old cities of Greece.
In Homeric and earlier times it appears to have been subject to Argos.
Situated on the isthmus between northern Greece and the Peloponnesus, the
sea-trade of Corinth made it an important city. It rose to prominence in
the seventh century before Christ. At some early time foreigners from the
east, probably Phœnicians, had settled in Corinth and established the
worship of the Semitic goddess Astarte on Acro-Corinthus, a hill that
rises some five hundred feet above the city. The goddess was here known as
Aphrodite,[320] and the debasing character of her worship tended to foster
that lack of sensitiveness in matters of social morality with which Paul
deals in his First Epistle to the Corinthians. The trade of Corinth made
it rich and its riches excited the enmity of Rome. It was accordingly
destroyed by the Romans in 146 B. C., but a century later was rebuilt by
Julius Cæsar. Ancient Corinth has now entirely vanished.

Excavations were begun at Corinth by the American School of Classical
Studies at Athens in 1896 under the direction of the late Prof. Rufus B.
Richardson. The work has been carried forward season by season ever
since.[321] Although there were no topographical indications to help the
excavators at the start, the theater, the Agora or market-place, a Roman
street, the road to Lechæum, and the temple of Apollo have been
discovered; (Figs. 274, 276).

Of greatest interest to the student of the Bible is a stone discovered in
1898 on the Lechæum road near the propylæa, or gateway leading to the
market-place. This stone once formed the lintel of a door and bore an
inscription in Greek letters. Although the beginning and the end of the
two words written on it are broken away, it is clear that the inscription
was “Synagogue of the Hebrews.”[322] The cutting of the letters was poorly
done, and the block was a second-hand one, adapted from some other use. It
seems probable, therefore, that the Jewish community at Corinth was not
wealthy. The block was of considerable size and so was probably found not
far from where the synagogue stood. If so, this synagogue, which is
probably identical with the one in which Paul preached (Acts 18:4), stood
on the Lechæum road not far from the market-place. Other discoveries in
the neighborhood indicate that this was a residence quarter of the city,
and we learn from Acts 18:7 that the house of Titus Justus, where
apparently Paul organized the first church in Corinth, “joined hard to the
synagogue.” The house of Justus must, then, have been here, and the
Lechæum road often echoed to the footsteps of Paul. Probably the
judgment-seat to which the Jews dragged Paul for the hearing before Gallio
(Acts 18:12) was in the market-place, so that the excavations have
revealed to us the parts of Corinth of special interest to a reader of the

=3. The Churches of Asia.=

(1) _Ephesus_ was situated on the Cayster river in western Asia Minor,
about three miles from the sea, but in ancient times the sea was navigable
up as far as the city. Cities which form the point of contact between
land and sea traffic become in most countries populous and wealthy. In
western Asia Minor four cities, situated at the mouths of the four river
valleys through which caravans could proceed into the interior, became
populous and important. These were Miletus (see Acts 20:15, 17, f.) at the
mouth of the Mæander, Ephesus at the mouth of the Cayster, Smyrna at the
mouth of the Hermus, and Pergamum on the Caicus. In the earliest times
known to us Ephesus was eclipsed in importance by Miletus, but before the
beginning of the Christian era Ephesus had outstripped her rival. This was
due to several causes, one of which was the partial silting up of the
harbor of Miletus. In Roman times Ephesus lay on the great line of
communication between Rome and the East in general.[323] In later
centuries the harbor of Ephesus was in its turn silted up, and the site is
now deserted except for a neighboring wretched Turkish village.

In Homer’s _Iliad_[324] the Carians are called the “barbarous-speaking
Carians.” This would indicate that they were not Greek, and it is thought
by some that they may at this time have been of Hittite stock. Miletus was
in Caria, and at that time Ephesus also. It is certain that the earliest
inhabitants of Ephesus were not Greek, but of Asiatic origin. They
established here, either on a mountain top about five miles from the sea,
just above the modern railway station of Ayassuluk, or on a mountain a
little to the south, the worship of an Asiatic goddess, probably Hittite.
Later, in the seventh century before Christ, the Ionian Greeks came and
settled among the Asiatics. They identified the goddess with their own
Artemis (Authorized Version, Diana), and moved her temple down into the
plain,[325] where it continued to stand far into Christian times. In the
sixth century B. C. Ephesus was conquered by the Lydians, and then by the
Persians. In later centuries it passed under the control of Alexander the
Great, of the Seleucidæ of Syria, and of the kings of Pergamum. In 133 B.
C. it passed with the rest of the kingdom of Pergamum into the hands of
Rome and became a part of the Roman Province of Asia. Because of its
situation it quickly became the most important city of the province. It
was noted for its wealth and its commerce. Rome became the patron of
Hellenic culture in the East, so Ephesus was, of course, made an
architecturally beautiful city.

At first Pergamum was the capital of the Province of Asia. In the second
and third centuries of the Christian era Ephesus had become the capital.
Buchner[326] thinks that this transfer was made in the reign of Claudius,
41-54 A. D. If this were true, Ephesus was the capital of the province at
the time of Paul’s residence there, but there is considerable doubt about
the facts, and in the beginning of the second century A. D. Pergamum still
ranked as the official capital.[327]

The temple of Artemis lay about two miles to the northeast of the ancient
city. Its site was determined in 1869 by the English explorer, J. T. Wood,
who partially excavated it (1869-1874).[328] Wood brought to light various
marble fragments which are preserved in the British Museum, but he was
more interested in making conjectural restorations of the temple than in
telling what he found. As he was not an expert in ancient architecture his
work is, accordingly, unsatisfactory. In 1904-1905, the British Museum
employed Mr. Hogarth to complete the excavation of the site. Hogarth
carried the excavation down to the virgin soil, and, being a skilled
archæologist, he was able to reconstruct the history of the building.[329]

There seems to have been a small tree shrine on the site of the temple
before the Ionians came. Between the seventh century and the fifth, three
different structures were erected on the spot. The last of these was
called the temple of Crœsus, because this king of Lydia presented some
beautiful columns to it, though the structure was not completed till a
century after his time, or 430 B. C. This structure was burned in 356 B.
C. on the night that Alexander the Great was born. Later a larger temple,
425 by 220 feet, was built on the site, with the help of contributions
from the whole of Asia. This was standing until long after Paul’s time. It
was very beautiful. Some of the porphyry columns now in Santa Sophia at
Constantinople are said to have been taken from it. It has been thought by
some that this beautiful temple suggested to Paul his figure in 1 Cor.
3:10-17, since the words were written from Ephesus.

This temple was venerated over all of western Asia Minor. To it came many
pilgrims every year, to whom Ephesian silversmiths sold little replicas of
the temple. It was because Christianity became so popular through the
preaching of Paul that the profitable sale of these shrines was
interfered with, that the riot in Ephesus occurred as described in Acts

Before Mr. Wood had discovered the site of the temple he had discovered
the theater within the limits of the ancient city. This has been examined
more thoroughly by the Austrian, Dr. Wiberg, who, beginning in 1894,
conducted excavations at Ephesus for many years. All the lower parts of
this theater still remain (see Figs. 280, 281) and bring vividly to the
imagination the assembly held in it on the occasion of the riot just
referred to. (See Acts 19:29-41.) The Austrians have also laid bare a
considerable part of the central street of the Ephesus of Roman times;
(see Fig. 278).

A little to the north of the theater is the ancient stadium. Some scholars
think that when Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:32, “If after the manner of men I
fought with beasts at Ephesus,” he is speaking of an incident that
literally occurred, and suppose that he was actually condemned to be
thrown to the beasts in the stadium, to make a spectacle for the Ephesian
populace, and that in some way he escaped alive. It is possible that this
may be true. If so, this stadium (see Fig. 282) presents to the eye a spot
which is of great interest to every Christian.

Ephesus, as the mother-church of the churches of Asia, is the first one to
which in the book of Revelation a letter is addressed. By the time
Revelation was written the first glow of Christian enthusiasm had worn
off, gnostic heresy had found a place in the Church, and its “first love”
was gone.

(2) _Pergamum_, the modern Bergama, lay in the valley of the Caicus in
Mysia, about fifteen miles from the sea. The city was built on a hill
about three miles north of the river. It was apparently a place of some
importance at a comparatively early date, but its chief importance began
with the reign of Philetærus, who made it an independent kingdom and ruled
it from 284-263 B. C. Philetærus had been a trusted servant of Lysimachus,
King of Thrace, one of the trusted generals of Alexander the Great. Under
the dynasty founded by Philetærus, Pergamum became one of the chief seats
of Hellenic culture. Eumenes I (263-241 B. C.) endeavored to make Pergamum
a rival of Alexandria as a literary center, and when the king of Egypt
forbade the exportation of papyrus in order to check the literary
aspirations of Pergamum, the servants of Eumenes invented a prepared kind
of skin on which to write. It was called _pergamena_, but time has
corrupted it to “parchment.”

In the course of the second century before Christ the kingdom of Pergamum
included all of western Asia Minor north of the Taurus. When in 133 B. C.
Attalus III, the last of the kings of Pergamum, died, he left his kingdom
by will to the Roman republic, with which Pergamum had long been in
alliance. Rome thus came into possession of her Province of Asia, the
first of her Oriental provinces. Pergamum was its capital, certainly until
the reign of Claudius, and probably until the second century A. D. The
Romans regarded themselves as the patrons of Hellenic culture in the East
and for centuries kept Pergamum the beautiful city which the Pergamene
kings had made it. Bergama, the squalid modern Turkish city, lies apart
from the splendid ruins of the ancient town; (see Fig. 283).

More than thirty years ago the Germans began to explore and to excavate at
Pergamum,[330] and the Museum at Berlin is enriched with many beautiful
objects found there. The visitor to Pergamum may still see, however, the
great gymnasium with many graceful columns still standing. Above it, on a
higher slope, are the sites of theaters and temples, and the great altar
of Zeus. Farther up the hill stood the temple of Athenæ Polias, which was
also a library, and above this the temple of Rome and of Augustus.

In Rev. 2:13 the church at Pergamum is said to dwell where “Satan’s throne
is.” Interpreters have been divided in opinion as to whether this is a
reference to the worship of Æsculapius, or to the presence of the great
throne-like altar of Zeus, or to the fact that Pergamum was the seat of
the worship of the Roman emperor.[331] On the whole, it seems probable
that “Satan’s throne” is a reference to the fact that Pergamum was the
seat of the government and of the worship of the emperor of Rome. When
Augustus inaugurated emperor-worship in order to give the empire a bond of
common sentiment, the first temple of the cult was erected at Pergamum.
This was in 29 B. C. Under Vespasian and his successors it became a test
of one’s Christianity whether he would or would not[332] offer incense to
the statue of the emperor, and Christians were often persecuted because
they would not. It is probable that in the remains of the temple to the
emperor archæologists have brought to light Satan’s throne. If, however,
that throne were the altar of Zeus, it has nevertheless been brought to

(3) _Thyatira_, the modern Ak-Hissar, lay in a valley which joined the
valley of the Hermus to the valley of the Caicus. The general direction of
this valley was north and south. It was made an important city by Seleucus
I of Syria (312-282 B. C.) in the latter part of his reign. Before this it
had been an obscure village. Josephus declares[333] that Seleucus made
Jews citizens of the cities which he founded in Asia, and apparently
Thyatira was one of these, for there appears to have been a flourishing
Jewish colony there. A little later than Seleucus, Thyatira became a city
of Pergamum, and passed in 133 B. C. with the territories of that realm
under the dominion of Rome. Thyatira was noted for its dyeing. Madder
root, with which they dyed a Turkey-red, grows abundantly in the
neighborhood.[334] As the ancients employed the names of colors with great
laxity, this was often termed purple. Lydia, an enterprising seller of
this purple, a Jewess from Thyatira, was present at Philippi when Paul and
Silas preached there (Acts 16:14). Lydia was converted, and perhaps it was
she who carried the Gospel back to Thyatira. Nothing has been discovered
at Thyatira that throws light on the message to its church in Rev.

(4) _Sardis_ was one of the oldest cities of western Asia. It is situated
on the south side of the great valley of the Hermus, just at the point
where the river Pactolus issues from the Tmolus mountains. Pottery found
in the course of excavations there carries its history back to
sub-Mycenæan, if not to Mycenæan, times.[335] It was the seat of the
worship of Atys or Cybele, a goddess that seems to have been kindred to
the mother-goddess of the Hittites. It is probable that, could we
penetrate back far enough, we should find that the place was once occupied
by Hittites. Herodotus traces the descent of the first dynasty that ruled
over the country to the goddess just mentioned.[336] Following this
dynasty was, he says, another of twenty-one kings who ruled before the
dynasty founded by Gyges. The Lydian kingdom of which we know began with
Gyges in 697 B. C. and ended with Crœsus in 546 B. C. Lydian inscriptions
found at Sardis are written in the same alphabet as Etruscan inscriptions
found in Italy. This indicates that the Lydians and Etruscans were closely
akin, but, as the inscriptions have not yet been deciphered, they do not
throw much light on either people.[337] It is possible that both peoples
were related to the Hittites, but that is at present only a hypothesis.

The mountains to the south of Sardis are composed largely of gravel
deposits left there by the melting of the glaciers at the end of the last
glacial period. From these gravels the Pactolus brought down gold in
ancient times. This was one of the sources of the wealth of the Lydian
kings, and contributed to those riches which are still celebrated in the
saying: “As rich as Crœsus.”

The Lydian kingdom fell when Cyrus captured Sardis in 546 B. C. With the
fall of the Persian empire the city passed into the hands of Alexander the
Great, and subsequently into the hands of his general, Antigonous, then to
the Seleucidæ of Syria, then to the kings of Pergamum, and so to the
dominion of Rome.

In 17 A. D. Sardis was shaken by a great earthquake which nearly destroyed
the city. A mass of gravel and conglomerate rock was then hurled from the
hill of the Acropolis of Sardis down into the city toward the temple,
where the work of the excavator shows that it still lies.[338] A part of
the city must have been buried under it. The city recovered from this
disaster and by the end of the first century a Christian church existed
there (Rev. 3:1-6). Sardis continued to be a city of importance until
1400-1403 A. D., when the Tartar conqueror, Timur or Tamerlane, swept over
the country destroying everything before him. From this destruction Sardis
never recovered. Two or three tiny wretched Turkish villages are now all
that occupy the spot.[339]

The Acropolis of Sardis was composed of gravel and a comparatively soft
conglomerate rock. It looks imposing and in ancient times looked far more
imposing than now. It has been gradually crumbling away through the
centuries. Ramsay thinks that this instability on the part of the city
itself is alluded to in the words, “thou hast a name that thou livest, and
thou art dead” and in the exhortation to be watchful and to strengthen the
things that remain, which follows it (Rev. 3:1, 2); (see Fig. 284).

Excavations were begun at Sardis by Princeton University under the
direction of Prof. Howard Crosby Butler in 1909, and the digging continued
for five seasons until interrupted by the great war.[340] The work began
at the point where two columns of the ancient temple of Cybele were still
protruding from the soil. The temple has been cleared and a considerable
area around it has been examined. It appears that the temple was built in
the fourth century B. C., that it suffered greatly in the earthquake of 17
A. D., and never was as splendid afterwards, though it was still in use in
the second century A. D.[341] Many objects have been discovered which
throw light upon the history and art of Lydia, and two bi-lingual
inscriptions, one Lydian and Aramaic, the other Lydian and Greek, were
found. These may afford the key to the decipherment of both Lydian and
Etruscan. Jewelry resembling Etruscan jewelry found in Italy was also

To the student of the Bible the most interesting discovery at Sardis was a
little Christian church built at the southeast corner of the temple.[343]
The entrance to this church was from the temple platform itself. The
structure was entirely of brick and was in a remarkably good state of
preservation. The building had apparently lost only its wooden roof. The
apse of the church was toward the east, and still contained its primitive
altar. It is uncertain at what date altars became a part of Christian
worship. Origen in the third century A. D. admits the charge of Celsus
that the Christians had no visible altar,[344] but Eusebius[345] in the
next century speaks as though altars existed throughout the Christian
world. This church at Sardis was built after the temple of Cybele had
fallen into disuse, and even if not earlier than the fourth century of our
era, this little structure is evidence that the name of the church had not
been blotted out of the book of life (Rev. 3:5), but that it had rather
appropriated to itself the once splendid precincts of the ancient heathen

(5) _Philadelphia_ was situated twenty-eight miles east of Sardis, and lay
in the valley of the Cogamis, a tributary of the Hermus. It is still a
flourishing city of about 15,000 inhabitants. It is now called
Ala-Sheher.[346] It is not to be confounded with the Philadelphia of the
Decapolis in Palestine.[347]

Philadelphia was founded by Attalus II, King of Pergamum, 159-138 B. C.,
who was called Philadelphus because of his devotion to his predecessor and
brother, Eumenes II. Hence the city was named Philadelphia. It was founded
for the purpose of spreading Hellenism in the eastern part of Lydia, and
so was a missionary city from the first. With the other Pergamene
territories it became a dependency of Rome in 133 B. C. In 17 A. D. it
suffered severely from the same earthquake that destroyed Sardis. Indeed,
at Philadelphia the quakings were even more severe. The trembling of the
earth lasted for a long time. When Strabo wrote in 20 A. D. earthquake
shocks at Philadelphia were an every-day occurrence. Few people lived in
the city; most of the inhabitants spent their time outside.[348] Allusion
to this is, perhaps, made in Rev. 3:12: “he shall go out thence no more.”

After the earthquake the city appealed to Rome for help. Tiberius granted
it and also permitted the city to change its name to Neocæsarea, or the
city of the young Cæsar.[349] This, too, seems to be alluded to in Rev.
3:12, where another new name is to be conferred.

At Ala-Sheher a part of the city wall of Philadelphia may still be traced,
and the sites of the acropolis, the theater, and the stadium may also be
seen, as well as the ruins of an old Christian church.[350]

(6) _Smyrna_, at the mouth of the Hermus, is one of the very old cities of
Asia Minor. A colony of Æolian Greeks founded a city here more than a
thousand years before Christ. A little later the place was captured by
Ionian Greeks, who held it till about 600 B. C., when it was conquered by
the kings of Lydia and destroyed.[351] For three hundred years the name
designated a district rather than a city. Lysimachus, the general of
Alexander the Great who became king of Thrace (301-282 B. C.), refounded
Smyrna as a Greek city about three miles southwest of the old site, and it
has continued ever since to be an important seaport of Asia Minor. It
passed with the other cities of the region successively under the sway of
the kings of Syria, the kings of Pergamum, and of Rome. Smyrna is today
one of the largest cities of the East with a population of between two and
three hundred thousand.

Smyrna claimed to be the birthplace of Homer. Ælius Aristides (born 117 A.
D.), who lived at Smyrna, several times likens the city to a crown, and
apparently the crown was in some way associated with Smyrna; (see Fig.
287). The goddess of the place, who was a kind of Cybele, is pictured as
wearing a crown.[352] This is, no doubt, the reason why in Rev. 2:10 a
crown of life is promised to the church of Smyrna if she is faithful. No
excavations have been made at Smyrna, but above the city the tomb of
Polycarp,[353] said in tradition to have been a disciple of the Apostle
John, is shown. Polycarp was martyred in 155 A. D. in one of those times
of tribulation predicted in Rev. 2:10.

(7) _Laodicea_ is situated a hundred miles east of Ephesus, in the valley
of the Lycus, where the Lycus empties into the Mæander. It was founded by
Antiochus II of Syria, 261-246 B. C.,[354] and named for his wife. Like
Philadelphia, it was designed to be a missionary of Hellenism to the
country of the region. Like the other Hellenic cities it was beautified
with temples, theaters, and colonnaded streets. Later Laodicea passed
under the control of Pergamum, and with that kingdom fell to Rome in 133
B. C. An influential element in its population was Jewish, and before
Paul’s imprisonment in Rome a Christian church had been founded there
(Col. 4:13). The city of Laodicea appears to have been devoted to commerce
and to material things. In Rev. 3:15 its church is said to have been
lukewarm. Except that its lukewarmness may have come from its commercial
spirit, there is nothing in the history or archæology of the city that
illustrates the letter[355] to it in Rev. 3:14-22.

The site of Laodicea is now almost deserted. Only the wretched Turkish
village of Eski Hissar represents habitation, but hundreds of acres are
covered with the ruins of the once splendid city. For hundreds of years
the villagers of neighboring hamlets have used the place as a quarry, but
nevertheless its ruins are impressive. Two theaters are in a fairly good
state of preservation; the seats are still in place.[356] The stadium is
in a similar condition of preservation. Its aqueduct and its gates are
still imposing in their dilapidation, but the desolation of Laodicea
recalls the words: “I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:16); (see
Fig. 288).




As noted in the Preface, the inferences drawn by different scholars, when
they compare the Bible with the records brought to light by exploration,
diverge according as their critical and theological views differ. In the
comments made throughout Part II, as in Part I, the writer has endeavored
to maintain a neutral attitude and impartially to report in each case the
principal inferences drawn by the most important groups of scholars, that
the reader may know something of the latitude of opinion that prevails. To
have recorded every opinion would have expanded the work far beyond the
limits prescribed, and would have burdened the reader with many views that
are mere vagaries. The temptation is always strong to declare that the
interpretation of an ancient record which accords with one’s own views
must be right, but unfortunately problems in ancient history that are thus
dogmatically settled do not remain settled. A deeper faith, confident in
the ultimate triumph of truth, patiently awaits further light.




=I. Text of the Epic.=

Tablet I

    1. Time was when above           heaven was not named

    2. Below to the earth            no name was given.

    3. Then the primeval Abyss       their begetter,

    4. The roaring Sea               who bore them,--

    5. Their waters                  together were mingled;

    6. No field had been formed, no marshland seen.

    7. Time was when gods            had not been made,

    8. No name was named,            no destiny [determined];

    9. Then were created the gods in the midst [of heaven].

    10. Lakhmu and Lakhamu           were formed [together].

    11. Ages multiplied,             .......................

    12. Anshar and Kishar were created, and over them ......

    13. Days were prolonged,         there came forth ......

    14. Anu, their son ...................................

    15. Anshar and Anu ...................................

    16. And the god Anu ..................................

    17. Nudimmud whose fathers, his begetters ....................

    18. Abounding in wisdom,         understanding ...............

    19. He was strong exceedingly ................................

    20. And he had no rival ......................................

    21. They were established and ................................

    22. In confusion were T[iâmat and Apsu][358] ...................

    23. They were troubled .................................

    24. In sin (?) .........................................

    25. Apsu was not diminished ............................

    26. Tiâmat roared ......................................

    27. She smote and their deeds ..........................

    28. Their way was not good; they themselves prospered.

    29. Then Apsu, the begetter of the great gods,

    30. Cried to Mummu, his minister, and said,

    31. O Mummu, my minister, who delightest my heart,

    32. Come, unto Tiâmat [let us go].

    33. They went, before Tiâmat they lay down,

    34. A plan they formed against the gods [their offspring].

    35. [Apsu] opened his mouth, [he said to her],

    36. Unto Tiâmat, the brilliant, a word he spoke:

    37. “[Intolerable to me] is their advancement,

    38. By day I have no rest, at night, no peace.

    39. But I will destroy their way, an end will I make.

    40. Let there be a cry, then we may be at peace!”

    41. When Tiâmat heard these words,

    42. She was angry and spoke against them [a curse];

    43. [She was] grievously [pained] she raged ....................

    44. A curse she let fall, unto [Apsu she spoke]:

    45. “What are we that we [should perish]!

    46. Let their way become difficult.” ...........................

    47. Mummu answered, Apsu [he counseled]

    48. .... not favorable was the counsel of the Roarer:

    49. “Their way is strong, but do thou confound [it],

    50. By day thou shalt be calm, by night thou shalt lie down.”

    51. Apsu heard and his face brightened,

    52. [Since] he planned evil against the gods, his sons,

    53. ............... [clasped his neck],

    54. [He took him on] his knees and kissed him.

    55. [They undertook the evil which] together they had planned.

    56. .................................. they ....................

    57. ............................................................

    58. A cry; a cry ........ in stillness they sat

    59. ............................................................

    60. Ea the wise went up, he saw their horrors (?),

    (More than thirty lines here are too broken for connected

    93. ....................... thy ......... they subjugated,

    94. ....................... weeps (?) and sits wailing.

    95. .................................. of fear,

    96. ..................... not shall we ourselves rest.

    97. ......................... Apsu laid waste,

    98. He and Mummu who were bound in ............

    99. .................. quickly thou shalt go

    100. ....................... we ourselves may rest.

    101. ..........................................................

    102. ..................... we ourselves may rest.

    103. ..................... their mercy avenge!

    104. ................................ to the storm .............

    105. ..................... the word of the bright god,

    106. .................. what thou givest, we will indeed do!

    107. ..................... the gods in .........................

    108. ............................... the gods [she] created.

    109. They separated themselves, to the side of Tiâmat they came;

    110. They raged, they planned, they rested not night or day.

    111. They prepared for battle, fuming, raging;

    112. Their assemblage was formed and they began war.

    113. Mother Khubur, who formed all things,

    114. Made unrivaled weapons, spawned great serpents,

    115. Sharp of tooth, unsparing of fang;

    116. With poison instead of blood their bodies she filled.

    117. Fierce dragons with terror she clothed,

    118. Luster she made abundant, to loftiness made them equal.

    119. Whoever beheld them, terror (?) overcame him;

    120. Their bodies they reared up without turning their breast.

    121. She established vipers, serpents, and Lakhami,[359]

    122. Hurricanes, raging hounds, scorpion-men,

    123. Mighty storms, fish-men, and rams (?);

    124. They bore merciless weapons, fearless of battle.

    125. Her behests were mighty; without rival were they.

    126. Moreover eleven such as these she created.

    127. Among the gods, her firstborn, who at her side gathered,

    128. She exalted Kingu, made him great in their midst,

    129. To march before the forces, to lead the host,

    130. To raise the conquering weapon, to lead the attack,

    131. To direct the battle, as commander-in-chief;

    132. To him she entrusted it, made him sit in purple (?):

    133. “Thy spell I have uttered; in the assembly of gods I have made
    thee great.

    134. The sovereignty of all the gods, I have placed in thy hand

    135. Surely thou art exalted, my only spouse!

    136. May they magnify thy name over all the Anunnaki.”

    137. She gave him the tablets of destiny, on his breast she laid them:

    138. “Thy command shall be unalterable, established, thy word.”

    139. Now Kingu was exalted, he received the highest rank,

    140. Among the gods, his sons, he fixed fate:

    141. “The opening of your mouth shall quench the fire-god;

    142. Who so is exalted in excellence, let him increase in might.”

Tablet II

    1. Tiâmat made mighty her work

    2. [Evil] she cherished against the gods, her offspring.

    3. [To avenge] Apsu, Tiâmat planned evil.

    4. Her [forces] how she joined, to Ea was divulged.

    5. Ea [hearkened] to this thing,

    6. He was thrown into [great] straits, he sat in silence.

    7. [The days] went by; his anger was appeased,

    8. [To the place] of Anshar, his father, he proceeded.

    9. [He went] before the father who begat him, Anshar,

    10. [All that] Tiâmat had planned he repeated unto him.

    11. “Tiâmat, our mother, has come to hate us;

    12. Her assembly is set; with rage she is hot;

    13. Turned unto her are the gods, all of them,

    14. With those ye created, they walk at her side.

    15. They have separated themselves; at the side of Tiâmat they go;

    16. They rage, they plan; they rest not day or night.”

(Lines 17-48 continue the literal repetition of lines 109-142 of the first
tablet which was begun in lines 15, 16. After this the narrative

    49. [When Anshar heard how Tiâmat] was greatly in disorder,

    50. [He smote his breast], he bit his lip,

    51. [His mind was disturbed], his heart was not at rest,

    52. ................................ his cry was wrung from him.

    53. [Away Ea, my son, go forth to] battle!

    54. ............................ my work (?) thou shalt establish!

    55. [Mummu and] Apsu thou hast already struck down.

    56. [Kill also Kin]gu who comes up before her

    57. ................................ deliberation.

    58. ............................ gods Nudimmud.

(A break of ten or twelve lines occurs at this point in the tablet.)

    72. [Anshar] spoke to his son [a word]:

    73. “Thou, this [son of mine], my warrior,

    74. [Whose strength is mighty], whose attack irresistible,

    75. [Go], stand before Tiâmat,

    76. [That] her wrath [may be appeased], her heart softened,

    77. [But if] she will not hearken to thy word,

    78. Our [word] shalt thou speak to her, that she may be appeased.”

    79. [He heard] the utterance of his father Anshar,

    80. He took the straight path to her, he entered the way.

    81. Anu [drew near], he beheld the terror (?) of Tiâmat,

    82. [He did not ascend to her presence], but turned back,

    83. [Then turned he to Ea and called] him, he, Anshar,

    84. [Opened his mouth] and spoke to him,

    85. [“Hateful are the ways of Tiâmat] to me.”

(Some twenty lines here are too fragmentary for translation.)

    108. [Ea opened his mouth (?)] and spoke to him:

    109. [“Marduk, my son, hear the word of] thy father.

    110. Thou art he, my son, who canst enlarge his heart.

    111. ................................ to the battle draw nigh,

    112. ............................ [to] Emarukka[360] give peace.”

    113. Then the lord rejoiced at the words of his father;

    114. He drew near and stood before Anshar.

    115. Anshar beheld him and his heart was filled with joy,

    116. He kissed his lips and his fear departed from him.

    117. ............ is not hidden; open thy lips.

    118. Verily I will go, I will attain the wish of thy heart.

    119. .......... is not concealed; open thy lips.

    120. Verily I will go, I will attain the wish of thy heart.

    121. Who is the man, who would bring thee out to his battle?

    122. [And now] shall Tiâmat, a woman, come against thee with weapons?

    123. ................................ rejoice and exult;

    124. On the neck of Tiâmat thou shalt shortly tread.

    125. ................................ rejoice and exult;

    126. On the neck of Tiâmat thou shalt shortly tread.”

    127. “My son, who knows all wisdom,

    128. Tiâmat pacify with thy pure incantation.

    129. Thy way speedily take;

    130. .......... thou shalt not fear, thou shalt use a spell

    131. Then the lord rejoiced at the word of his father,

    132. His heart exulted and to his father he spoke:

    133. “O Lord of the gods, fate of the great gods,

    134. If I accomplish your preservation,

    135. Take Tiâmat captive and save your lives,

    136. Appoint an assembly, make my fate strong, let it come in.

    137. In Upshukkunnaku seat yourselves joyfully together,

    138. The word of my mouth shall determine fate instead of you.

    139. Let there not be changed whatever I create,

    140. May the command of my lips not be altered or opposed.”

Tablet III

    1. Anshar opened his mouth and said,

    2. [To Gaga] his [messenger] a word he spoke:

    3. “[O Gaga, thou messen]ger, thou rejoicest my heart.

    4. [To Lakhmu and Lakh]amu will I send thee;

    5. [The desire of my heart] mayest thou attain.

    6. ................................ bring (?) before me.

    7. [May there come] the gods, all of them,

    8. [Let them prepare for converse], at banquets let them sit,

    9. [Bread may they eat], wine may they prepare,

    10. [For Marduk], their [avenger], let them decree the fate.

    11. [Go, Ga]ga, before them stand,

    12. [And all that] I tell thee repeat unto them

    13. [Anshar], your son, hath sent me,

    14. [The purpose of his heart he] hath disclosed to me,

    15. [Saying]: Tiâmat, who bore us, hates us,

    16. An assemblage is appointed, angrily she rages,

    17. Turned to her are the gods, all of them,

    18. With those whom ye created, they march at her side,

    19. They are rebellious, at Tiâmat’s side they come,

    20. They rage, they plot, they rest not day nor night,

    21. They prepare for battle, fuming and raging,

    22. An assembly is made, they start a revolt.

    23. Mother Khubur, who formed all things,

    24. Has made weapons without rival, has spawned monster-serpents,

    25. Sharp of tooth, unsparing of fang,

    26. With poison like blood their bodies she has filled;

    27. Fierce dragons with terror she has clothed,

    28. Luster has made abundant, to loftiness made equal.

    29. Whoever beholds them, terror (?) overcomes him.

    30. Their bodies they raise up without turning their breasts.

    31. She has established vipers, serpents, Lakhami,

    32. Hurricanes, raging hounds, scorpion-men,

    33. Mighty storms, fish-men, and rams;

    34. They bear merciless weapons, fearless of battle.

    35. Her behests are mighty, without rival are they.

    36. Moreover eleven such as these she has created.

    37. Among the gods, her firstborn, who are gathered at her side,

    38. She has exalted Kingu, made him great in their midst,

    39. To march before the forces, to lead the host,

    40. To raise the conquering weapon, to lead the attack,

    41. To direct the battle as commander-in-chief;

    42. To him she has entrusted it, made him sit in purple, [saying,]

    43. ‘Thy spell I have uttered, in the assembly of gods I have made
    thee great,

    44. The sovereignty of all the gods I have placed in thy hand,

    45. Surely thou art exalted, O my spouse!

    46. May they magnify thy name over all the Anunnaki.’

    47. She has given him the tablets of destiny, on his breast has laid
    them, [saying,]

    48. ‘Thy command shall be unalterable, established be thy word.’

    49. Now Kingu has been exalted, has received highest rank,

    50. Among the gods, her sons, he fixes fate, [saying]:

    51. ‘The opening of your mouth shall quench the fire-god,

    52. Whoso is exalted in excellence, let him increase in might.’

    53. I sent Anu; he had no power before her,

    54. Nudimmud feared and turned back,

    55. Marduk has set forth, the leader of the gods, your son,

    56. As a foe of Tiâmat his heart prompts him to go.

    57. He opened his mouth and spake to me, [saying]:

    58. ‘If I accomplish your preservation,

    59. Take Tiâmat captive, and save your lives,

    60. Appoint an assembly, make my fate strong, let it come in.

    61. In Upshukkunaku seat yourselves joyfully together,

    62. The word of my mouth shall determine fate instead of you.

    63. Let there not be changed whatever I create,

    64. May there not be altered or opposed the command of my lips.’

    65. Hasten, therefore, and quickly decree your fate,

    66. That he may go and fight your strong enemy.”

    67. Then Gaga went, his way he pursued,

    68. To the place of Lakhmu and Lakhamu, the gods, his fathers;

    69. He kissed the ground at their feet,

    70. He bowed himself; he stood up, he addressed them, [saying]:

    71. “Anshar, your son, hath sent me,

    72. The purpose of his heart he has disclosed to me

    73. Saying: Tiâmat, who bore us, hates us;

    74. An assemblage is appointed, angrily she rages,

    75. Turned to her are the gods, all of them,

    76. With those whom you created, they march at her side,

    77. They are rebellious, at Tiâmat’s side they come.

    78. They rage, they plot, they rest not day nor night,

    79. They prepare for battle, fuming and raging,

    80. An assembly is made, they start a revolt.

    81. Mother Khubur, who formed all things,

    82. Has made weapons without rival, has spawned monster-serpents,

    83. Sharp of tooth, unsparing of fang,

    84. With poison like blood their bodies she has filled;

    85. Fierce dragons with terror she has clothed;

    86. Luster has been made abundant, to loftiness made equal.

    87. Whoever beholds them, terror (?) overcomes him.

    88. Their bodies they raise up without turning their breasts.

    89. She has established vipers, serpents, Lakhami,

    90. Hurricanes, raging hounds, scorpion-men,

    91. Mighty storms, fish-men, rams;

    92. They bear merciless weapons, fearless of battle.

    93. Her behests are mighty, without rival are they.

    94. Moreover eleven such as these she has created.

    95. Among the gods, her firstborn, who are gathered at her side,

    96. She has exalted Kingu, made him great in their midst,

    97. To march before the forces, to lead the host,

    98. To raise the conquering weapon, to lead the attack,

    99. To direct the battle as commander-in-chief;

    100. To him she has entrusted it, made him sit in purple, [saying]:

    101. ‘Thy spell I have uttered, in the assembly of the gods I have
    made thee great;

    102. The sovereignty of all the gods I have placed in thy hand

    103. Surely thou art exalted, O my spouse!

    104. May they magnify thy name over all the Anunnaki.’

    105. She has given him the tablets of destiny, on his breast has laid
    them, [saying]:

    106. ‘Thy command shall be unalterable, established be thy word.’

    107. Now Kingu has been exalted, has received highest rank,

    108. Among the gods, her sons, he fixes fate, [saying:]

    109. ‘The opening of your mouth shall quench the fire-god,

    110. Whoso is exalted in excellence, let him increase in might.’

    111. I sent Anu, he had no power before her,

    112. Nudimmud feared and turned back,

    113. Marduk has set forth, the leader of the gods, your son,

    114. As a foe of Tiâmat his heart prompts him to go.

    115. He opened his mouth and spake to me, [saying:]

    116. ‘If I accomplish your preservation,

    117. Take Tiâmat captive and save your lives,

    118. Appoint an assembly, make my fate strong, let it come in.

    119. In Upshukkunaku seat yourselves joyfully together,

    120. The word of my mouth shall determine fate instead of you,

    121. Let there not be changed whatever I create,

    122. May there not be altered or opposed the command of my lips.’

    123. Hasten, therefore, and quickly decree your fate,

    124. That he may go and fight your strong enemy.”

    125. Lakhmu and Lakhamu heard, they cried aloud;

    126. The Igigi, all of them, wailed bitterly, [saying:]

    127. “What has changed that they should desire to take us (?)

    128. We do not understand what Tiâmat has done.”

    129. Then they massed themselves together, they went,

    130. The great gods, all of them, who decree fate.

    131. They entered in before Anshar, they filled, [Upshukkunaku].

    132. Brother kissed brother in the assembly .................

    133. They prepared for converse, sat down to the banquet,

    134. Bread they ate; wine they prepared.

    135. The sweet drink confused their minds (?),

    136. Drunk were they with drink, their bodies were filled (?),

    137. They became very unsteady, their hearts were exalted,

    138. For Marduk, their deliverer, they decreed the fate.

Tablet IV

    1. They prepared for him a princely chamber:

    2. In the presence of his fathers for sovereignty he became mighty.
    [They said:]

    3. “Thou art most honored among the great gods,

    4. Thy destiny is without rival, thy command is Anu’s!

    5. O Marduk, thou art most honored among the great gods,

    6. Thy destiny is without rival, thy command is Anu’s!

    7. From today without opposition shall be thy command;

    8. To exalt and to abase is verily in thy power;

    9. Established is thy utterance, irresistible thy command.

    10. None among the gods shall invade thy province.

    11. Sustenance, the desire of shrines of the gods,

    12. While they are in need, shall be certain in thy sanctuary!

    13. O Marduk, thou art the preserver of our lives!

    14. We give thee sovereignty over the totality of all the world.

    15. Sit thou in the assembly, thy word shall be exalted!

    16. Thy weapon shall never be o’ercome, may it destroy (?) thy foe!

    17. O lord, he who trusts thee--his life save!

    18. But the god that is wed to evil, its life pour out!”

    19. Then they placed in the midst a garment,

    20. And unto Marduk, their firstborn, they spoke,

    21. “Thy fate, O Lord, let it be first among the gods!

    22. To destroy and to create--speak, let it be established!

    23. At thy command let a garment perish!

    24. Again at thy command let the garment re-appear!”

    25. Then he spake with his mouth, the garment perished;

    26. Again he commanded and the garment was recreated.

    27. As the utterance of his mouth the gods, his fathers, saw,

    28. They rejoiced, they uttered blessing: “Marduk is king!”

    29. They bestowed upon him the scepter, the throne, and the

    30. They gave him an unrivaled weapon, which turns back (?) the foe.

    31. “Go, Tiâmat’s life cut off;

    32. May the winds bear her blood to secret places!”

    33. When the gods, his fathers had fixed Bel’s fate,

    34. The way of prosperity and success they caused him to take.

    35. His bow he prepared, his weapon he chose,

    36. A spear he bound on him at his waist,

    37. He raised the heavenly weapon, with his right hand grasped it,

    38. His bow and quiver at his side he hung,

    39. He placed the lightning before his face,

    40. With quivering flame his body he filled.

    41. He made a net to enclose Tiâmat’s body,

    42. He caused the four winds to seize so that nothing of her could

    43. The south wind, the north wind, the east wind, the west wind,

    44. He brought to the side of the net, the gift of his father Anu,

    45. He made the evil wind, the bad wind, the tempest and the

    46. The four winds, the seven winds, the whirlwind (?), the unhealthy

    47. He brought forth the winds which he had made, the seven of them,

    48. To trouble the inward parts of Tiâmat, they came after him.

    49. The lord raised up the tornado, his mighty weapon,

    50. As a chariot, a storm unrivaled for terror he mounted,

    51. He harnessed for himself and attached to it four steeds,

    52. “Destroyer,” “Unmerciful,” “Overwhelmer,” “Fleet-footed.”

    53. [Foam-covered (?)] were their teeth, filled with poison,

    54. Skilled were they [to run down], taught to destroy.

    55. ................................... mighty in battle,

    56. Left and right they opened (?) ...............

    57. His garment was [rage], with terror was he clad,

    58. With his overpowering brightness his head was crowned.

    59. He made straight the way, he took his path,

    60. To the place of Tiâmat, the raging (?), his face he set.

    61. With his lip .............................. he cursed (?),

    62. A plant of magical power (?)--he seized with his hand.

    63. On that day they exalted (?) him, the gods exalted (?) him;

    64. The gods, his fathers, exalted (?) him, the gods exalted (?) him.

    65. The lord approached, the waist of Tiâmat he scanned,

    66. Of Kingu, her spouse--he beheld his terrifying-glance (?).

    67. As Marduk gazed, Kingu’s progress was impeded,

    68. Destroyed was his purpose, frustrated his deed,

    69. And the gods his helpers, who marched at his side,

    70. Saw the warrior and leader; their look (?) was troubled.

    71. Tiâmat perceived it (?); she did not turn her neck.

    72. With proud (?) lips she uttered words of defiance:

    73. “Who decreed (?) that thou shouldst come as lord of the gods?

    74. Have they assembled from their places, are they to serve thee?”

    75. The lord raised the tornado, his mighty weapon,

    76. [Against] Tiâmat who was raging, thus he spoke:

    77. “[Why hast thou] made thyself great? Exalted thyself on high?

    78. [Why does thy heart] prompt thee to battle (?)

    79. [How can thy helpers] defy (?) the gods, their fathers?

    80. [Why] dost thou hate their [command], their ru[le despise]?

    81. [Why hast thou exalted Kingu] to be thy spouse?

    82. [Hast given] him the functions of deity?

    83. [How] canst thou seek after evil?

    84. [And against] the gods, my fathers, thy evil plan devise?

    85. [Let] thy forces be joined, girded on thy weapons!

    86. Stand! I and thou--come let us fight!”

    87. Tiâmat, when she heard this,

    88. Was like one possessed; she lost her reason.

    89. Tiâmat cried out vehemently with high voice,

    90. Like roots divided in twain her legs trembled.

    91. She uttered an incantation, she cast a charm,

    92. And the gods of battle demanded their weapons.

    93. Then took their stand Tiâmat and the leader of the gods, Marduk;

    94. For the fight they approached, for the battle they drew near.

    95. The lord spread out his net and enclosed her,

    96. The evil wind from behind he thrust into her face.

    97. As Tiâmat opened her mouth to its full extent,

    98. The evil wind he drove in, so that her lips could not close.

    99. With the mighty winds he filled her belly;

    100. Her courage was taken away, and she opened her mouth.

    101. He let fall the spear, he burst open her belly,

    102. He cut through her inward parts, he pierced her heart,

    103. He bound her and her life destroyed;

    104. Her body he cast down, upon it he stood.

    105. After Tiâmat, the leader, he had slain,

    106. Her army he broke, her host was scattered,

    107. And the gods, her helpers, who marched by her side,

    108. Trembled, feared, they turned their backs;

    109. They sought an exit, to save their lives;

    110. With a cordon they were encompassed; escape was not possible.

    111. He caught them, their weapons he broke,

    112. Into the net they fell, in the snare they remained.

    113. All quarters of the world they filled with lamentation.

    114. His wrath they endured; they were held in bondage.

    115. And the eleven creatures, whom she had filled with terribleness,

    116. The troop of demons who marched as her helpers (?),

    117. He threw into fetters, their power he [broke];

    118. Along with their opposition he trampled them under his feet.

    119. And Kingu who had been exalted over them,

    120. He took captive, as the god Dugga he counted him.

    121. He took from him the tablets of destiny, not rightly his,

    122. He sealed them with a seal, in his own breast he laid them.

    123. After his enemies he had seized and destroyed,

    124. His arrogant foe had completely humiliated (?),

    125. The triumph of Anshar over the foe had fully established,

    126. The wish of Nudimmud had accomplished, Marduk, the warrior

    127. Over the bound gods strengthened his hold,

    128. Unto Tiâmat, whom he had bound, he turned back.

    129. The lord trod upon Tiâmat’s feet

    130. And with his unsparing weapon crushed her head.

    131. He cut through the veins of her blood,

    132. He caused the north wind to bear it to secret places.

    133. His fathers saw it; they rejoiced, they exulted,

    134. Gifts and presents they brought unto him.

    135. Then the lord rested; he gazed upon her body,

    136. The flesh of the monster he divided; he formed a cunning plan.

    137. He split her open like a flat fish into two halves,

    138. One half of her he established and made a covering of the

    139. He drew a bolt, he established a guard,

    140. And not to let her waters come out, he commanded.

    141. He passed through the heavens, he surveyed the regions,

    142. Over against the deep he set the dwelling of Nudimmud.

    143. The structures of the deep the lord measured,

    144. As a palace like unto it he founded Esharra.

    145. In the palace Esharra which he built in the heavens,

    146. He caused Anu, Ellil, and Ea at their stations to dwell.

Tablet V

    1. He [Marduk] ordained the stations of the great gods;

    2. As stars their likenesses as constellations of the zodiac he

    3. He ordained the year, into parts he divided it,

    4. For the twelve months he established three stars.

    5. After the days of the year he had fashioned as images,

    6. He founded the station of Jupiter, to determine their bounds;

    7. That none might go wrong or err,

    8. The station of Bel he established, and Ea by his side.

    9. He opened gates on both sides.

    10. A lock he made strong on the left and the right,

    11. In the midst thereof he placed the zenith;

    12. The moon-god he caused to shine; the night he entrusted to him.

    13. He appointed him a being of the night, to determine the days;

    14. Monthly, without ceasing, into a crown he made him, [saying:]

    15. “At the beginning of the month shine upon the lands,

    16. Horns exhibit, to determine six days;

    17. On the seventh day let the tiara disappear;

    18. On the fourteenth day thou shalt stand over against the [two]

    19. When the sun-god on the horizon ........... thee,

    20. Thou ......... to be resplendent, and thou shalt turn (?) backward

    21. [Fourteen days] unto the path of the sun-god thou shalt approach,

    22. [On the 28th day] thou shalt approach the sun-god ...........

    23. .............................. signs (?), seek (?) her way!

    24. ................ approach ye and judge justice!

    25. .................................... to destroy,

    26. ........................................................ me.”

(Some lines are lost at this point. It is estimated that forty of them are

    67. After .................................

    68. In Esagila[361] .................................

    69. To establish ................................

    70. The station of .............................

    71. The great gods ................................

    72. The gods ...........................

    73. He received .........................

    74. The net which he had made the [great] gods saw,

    75. Saw the bow, how skillful [its workmanship];

    76. The work which he had done, they [loudly] praised.

    77. Then arose Anu in the assembly of the [great] gods,

    78. The bow he kissed it .............................

    79. “Long-wood shall be one name, and a second .................

    80. Its third name shall be Bow-star in the heavens.”

    81. He fixed its position [unto distant days].

    82. After the destiny of ..............................

    83. [He set] a throne ......................................

    84. ......................... in the heavens ...................

(Practically all the remainder of Tablet V is as yet undiscovered. From a
very broken fragment, preserved in the British Museum, it appears that
when the gods saw the work of Marduk in adorning the heavens with
constellations, they broke into rapturous praise of him. It is these words
to which reference is made at the beginning of Tablet VI.)

Tablet VI

    1. Marduk, the word of the gods, when he heard it,

    2. His heart was stirred, he formed a brilliant plan.

    3. He opened his mouth, to Ea he spoke,

    4. What in his heart he had conceived he made known to him:

    5. “My blood will I divide, bone will I [fashion],

    6. I will make man, yes, man ...................

    7. I will create man who shall dwell on the [earth];

    8. Truly shall the service of the gods be established--of them and
    their shrines.

    9. I will alter the ways of the gods, and will change [their paths],

    10. Together shall they be honored, and unto evil shall [they]” ......

    11. Then Ea answered him and said:

    12. ........ the ......... of the gods have I changed,

    13. ................... one .....................

    14. ........ shall be destroyed, and people will I .............

    15. ............. and the gods ................

    16. ........... give and they ..............

    17. ......... shall assemble (?) and the gods .............

    18. ............................................................

    19. .............. the gods ................................

    20. .................. the Anunnaki ..................

(The rest of Tablet VI is still unrecovered, except a few lines at the

    140. When ......................................

    141. They rejoiced ....................................

    142. In Upshukkunnaku they set [their assembly].

    143. Of their heroic son, their savior they [cried]:

    144. “We whom he succored.” ..................

    145. They seated themselves, in the assembly they named him ........

    146. They all cried aloud (?), they exalted him ..........

Tablet VII

    1. “O Asharu, bestower of harvests, founder of agriculture,

    2. Creator of grain and plants, who made green herbs to grow,

    3. O honored Asharu, revered in the house of counsel, rich in counsel,

    4. Whom the gods honor, fearing [laid hold upon them]

    5. O honored Asharu, powerful prince, the light [of the fathers who
    begat him],

    6. Who directs the decrees of Anu, Bel, [and Ea].

    7. He was their preserver, who ordained ..........

    8. He whose provision is abundance, he goeth forth ..........

    9. Tutu, the creator of their renewal is he.

    10. If their want be pure, then are [they satisfied];

    11. If he make an incantation, then are the gods [appeased];

    12. Should they attack him in anger, he will repulse their array;

    13. Let him therefore be exalted in the assembly of the gods.

    14. None among the gods is like unto him!

    15. Tutu-Ziukinna is the life of the host of the gods.

    16. Who established for the gods the bright heavens.

    17. Their way he received, [their path] ordained.

    18. Never forgotten among men shall be his [mighty] deeds.

    19. Tutu as Zi-azag thirdly they named, bringer of purification,

    20. God of the favoring breeze, the lord who hears and is merciful,

    21. Who creates fulness and plenty, who establishes abundance,

    22. Who turns whatever is small into something great.

    23. “In sore distress we caught his favoring breeze,”

    24. Let them honor him, praise him, bow humbly before him.

    25. Tutu as Aga-azag may the mighty ones praise,

    26. The lord of the pure incantation, who makes the dead to live,

    27. Who to the captive gods showed abundant compassion,

    28. The oppressive yoke he laid upon the gods, his enemies,

    29. For their[362] release he created mankind,

    30. The merciful one, with whom is life!

    31. Established and never forgotten be his word

    32. In the mouth of the black-headed race,[363] whom his hand created.

    33. Tutu as Mu-azag, fifthly, his pure incantation may their mouth

    34. Who through his pure incantation destroys all evil ones,

    35. Shagzu, who knows the hearts of the gods, who sees through the
    innermost parts.

    36. The evil doer he permits not to go out with him (?).

    37. Founder of the assembly of the gods [who gladdens] their heart.

    38. Who subdues the disobedient ..........

    39. Director of righteousness ......

(The tablet is too broken for connected translation, until nearly the end,
where it continues:)

    107. Truly he holds their beginning and ending ..........

    108. Saying, “He who passed through the midst of Tiâmat [without

    109. Let his name be Neberu, who seizes the midst,

    110. Who the stars of heaven--their ways he upholds;

    111. As a flock verily the gods pasture, all of them.”

    112. He bound Tiâmat, her life he apportioned, he ended.

    113. In the future, people, old in years,

    114. Shall renew unceasingly, “let him be lord forever!”

    115. Because he created the places and fashioned the fastnesses

    116. “Lord of countries” Bel, his father, named him.

    117. The names the Igigi named, all of them,

    118. Ea heard, and his heart rejoiced:

    119. “He whose name his fathers have magnified

    120. He, even like me, shall be named Ea.

    121. The binding of all my commands shall he control,

    122. All my decrees shall he proclaim!”

    123. By the name “Fifty” did the great gods

    124. His fifty names make known, they made his path pre-eminent.

    125. May they be held fast and the first men reveal them,

    126. The wise, the understanding shall consider them together;

    127. May the father repeat them and the son lay hold upon them,

    128. So that shepherd and herdsman may open their ears,

    129. And may rejoice in Marduk, the lord of the gods,

    130. That his land may be fertile, that he may have prosperity.

    131. His word is established, his command unfailing,

    132. The word of his mouth, no god hath annulled.

    133. He casts his glance without turning his neck,

    134. When he roars, no god can face his anger.

    135. Wide is his heart, great his goodness;

    136. The sinner and transgressor in his presence ..........

    137. They received instruction, they spake before him.

(The concluding lines are too broken for connected translation.)

=2. The First Chapter of Genesis and the Foregoing Creation Epic.=

The Babylonian Creation Epic, in the form in which we know it, took shape
in the city of Babylon. Naturally, therefore, the god Marduk is made the
central figure. It is he only who was sufficiently powerful to overcome
the primeval dragon, it was he who created the heavens and the earth, it
was he whom at the end gods and men adored.

A Babylonian priest, Berossos, in a work composed after the time of
Alexander the Great, gives an account of Babylonian ideas of the creation
of the world, which is but the tradition of the epic in a slightly
different form. A neoplatonic philosopher, Damascius, who lived about 560
A. D., has also preserved a part of the tradition in a form almost
identical with that of the epic.

Scholars of all shades of opinion agree that there is some connection
between this Babylonian tradition and the first chapter of Genesis, though
they differ as to whether the Biblical writer was acquainted with the
Babylonian tradition as we have it in the epic, or whether he knew an
earlier form of the story.

The points of similarity which have been urged between Genesis and the
Babylonian epic are the following: 1. They begin somewhat similarly,
Genesis with the words “In the beginning,” the epic with the words:

  “Time was when above heaven was not named;
   Below to the earth no name was given.”

2. Both accounts assume that primeval chaos consisted of a mass of waters,
and to this mass of waters they give the same name. The Hebrews called it
_t{e}hōm_, “deep”; the Babylonians, _Tiâmat_. These are really the same
word in the two closely related languages, just as _day_ and _Tag_ are the
same word in an English and a German form. In Genesis we are told that
“The Spirit of God moved (R. V. margin, was brooding) upon the face of the
waters”; in the Babylonian epic, the waters, which were thought to be of
two genders, were embosomed. In both the result is the beginning of the
creative process.

The two accounts agree that the heavens and the earth were created by the
division of the primeval ocean by a firmament (the Babylonian calls it a
covering), which held up a part of the waters, so that the earth could be
formed beneath. They accordingly agree in the conception that there is a
super-celestial ocean, _i. e._, “the waters which are above the firmament”
(Gen. 1:7).

Another striking similarity is found in the arrangement by sevens: the
Babylonian epic is arranged in seven tablets, or cantos, the Hebrew
account, in seven days. The Babylonian series culminates in the praise of
Marduk by all the gods; the Hebrew, in the institution of the sabbath. The
two series agree in connecting the heavens with the fourth epoch of
creation, and the creation of man with the sixth.

In other respects the order differs. In the Babylonian account the moon
and stars are created on the fifth day, instead of on the fourth. As
Marduk is identified with the sun, that orb is assumed; its creation is
not described. The creation of animals is not described in any text which
we can attach to a definite tablet of the Babylonian series. It is,
however, given in a fragment which reads as follows:

    1. When the gods in their assembly had made [the heavens],

    2. The firmament had established and bound [fast],

    3. Living things of all kinds had created,

    4. Cattle of the field, beasts of the field, and moving things of the

    5. After .......... unto all kinds of living things ..........

    6. [Between beasts] of the field and moving things of the city had

    7. .......... all creatures, the whole creation ..........

    8. ............ that which in the whole of my family ..........

    9. [Then arose] Nin-igi-azag, two small creatures [he created],

    10. In the assembly of the beasts he made [their form] brilliant,

    11. .......... the goddess Gula ..........

    12. ................ one white and one black ..........

    13. ............ one white and one black ..........

The Babylonian account, then, contained somewhere the story of the
creation of the animals, though, like the other parts of the Babylonian
account, its order and atmosphere differ widely from the Biblical

Some of these resemblances are of no great significance. The fact that the
two accounts are arranged by sevens may be due simply to the fact that
that number was sacred among both peoples. It is thought by some scholars
that its use in Genesis was consciously adopted in order to lead up to the
sabbath and glorify it. This might be true, even if the writer of the
chapter knew of the Babylonian arrangement by sevens.

The features of the two narratives, which have convinced some scholars of
all shades of opinion that there is a real kinship between the two
accounts, are their agreement as to the nature of primeval chaos, and the
division of the primeval ocean by a firmament for the creation of the
heavens and the earth. Both writers had, so to speak, the same raw
material of objective conceptions.

The differences between the accounts are, however, most marked. To speak
first of that which is least important, the Hebrew order is in many
respects different from the Babylonian. In the Babylonian the gods are
generated in the first tablet, the world is not created till the fourth,
and the creation of all other things is told in tablets four, five, and
six. In other words, creation is divided into two parts, each of which is
told in three tablets. The first three tablets deal with gods, the second
three with the world and living things.

This twofold division is found in the first chapter of Genesis. Here the
creative process is divided into two stages, each embracing four works,
and occupying three days. The distribution of these works is strikingly
different from the Babylonian. On the first day, light and darkness were
created; on the second, the firmament; on the third, the earth and
vegetation; on the fourth, the heavenly bodies; on the fifth, fishes and
birds; on the sixth, animals and men. The first series of three days
prepared the heavens and the earth; the second series studded the sky with
orbs and the earth with living beings. There is a striking parallelism
between the two series. The first begins with the creation of light; the
second, with light-giving bodies. To the third and sixth days two creative
acts each are assigned. On the second day the seas are isolated; on the
fifth they are stocked with fishes. On the third day dry land emerges, on
the sixth terrestrial animals are made. On the third also herbs began to
grow; on the sixth they are assigned to animals and men for food. The
classification of the acts of creation in Genesis is clear and consistent,
and thoroughly independent of that in the Babylonian account.

A more important difference lies in the religious conceptions of the two.
The Babylonian poem is mythological and polytheistic. Its conception of
deity is by no means exalted. Its gods love and hate, they scheme and
plot, fight and destroy. Marduk, the champion, conquers only after a
fierce struggle, which taxes his powers to the utmost. Genesis, on the
other hand, reflects the most exalted monotheism. God is so thoroughly the
master of all the elements of the universe, that they obey his slightest
word. He controls all without effort. He speaks and it is done. Granting,
as most scholars do, that there is a connection between the two
narratives, there is no better measure of the inspiration of the Biblical
account than to put it side by side with the Babylonian. As we read the
chapter in Genesis today, it still reveals to us the majesty and power of
the one God, and creates in the modern man, as it did in the ancient
Hebrew, a worshipful attitude toward the Creator.

=3. The Babylonian Creation Epic and Other Parts of the Bible.=

The Babylonian poem, crude though it seems to us, had a powerful
fascination for the imagination. With more or less distinctness parts of
it seem to have been known to various Hebrew writers, who, attributing to
their own God, Jehovah, the rôle ascribed in the epic to Marduk, used
these stories as poetic illustrations. At least this is the view of a
considerable group of scholars. Some object that, if this were true, it
would degrade Jehovah to the level of Marduk, but the objection does not
seem well founded. The Hebrews might well have been such ardent
monotheists as to believe that each and every mighty manifestation of
power had been the work of Jehovah, without in any way lowering Jehovah to
the level of a heathen god. The most important parallels which have been
cited are here given, so that the reader may judge for himself as to which
view is the more probable.

In Job 9:13, 14 we read:

  God will not withdraw his anger;
  The helpers of Rahab do stoop under him.
  How much less shall I answer him,
  And choose out my words to reason with him?

Rahab is believed by many to be here an epithet of Tiâmat. It means “the
one who acts boisterously” or “proudly.” Those who thus think believe the
lines in Job to refer to the overcoming of Tiâmat’s helpers in Tablet IV,
lines 105-118, of the Babylonian creation epic, which read as follows:

  After Tiâmat the leader he had slain,
  Her army he broke, her host was scattered,
  And the gods, her helpers, who marched at her side,
  Trembled, feared, they turned their backs;
  They sought an exit, to save their lives;
  With a cordon they were encompassed, escape was not possible.
  He caught them, their weapons he broke,
  Into the net they fell, in the snare they remained.
  All the quarters of the world they filled with their lamentation.
  His wrath they endured, they were held in bondage.
  And the eleven creatures, whom she had filled with terribleness,
  The troop of demons who marched as her helpers,
  He threw into fetters, their power he broke;
  Along with their opposition he trampled them under his feet.

This would seem to suit the reference in Job, and to give point to Job’s
words. As our Saviour used stories in his parables, so this poet may have
used this well-known story to illustrate his point.

Again Job 26:12, 13 reads:

  He stirreth up the sea with his power,
  And by his understanding he smiteth through Rahab.
  By his Spirit the heavens are garnished;
  His hand hath pierced the swift serpent.

Four of the ancient versions of the Old Testament, with a very slight
change in the Hebrew letters, read Job 26:13:

  The bars of heaven fear him;
  His hand hath pierced the swift serpent.

Into comparison with v. 12 and the last line of 13, scholars have brought
Tablet IV, line 93, ff., which runs:

  Then took their stand, Tiâmat and the leader of the gods, Marduk;
  For the fight they approached, for the battle drew near.
  The lord spread out his net and enclosed her,
  The evil wind from behind he thrust into her face.
  As Tiâmat opened her mouth to its full extent,
  The evil wind he drove in, so that her lips could not close.
  With the mighty winds he filled her belly.
  Her courage was taken away, and she opened her mouth.
  He let fall the spear, he burst open her belly,
  He cut through her inward parts, he pierced her heart,
  He bound her and her life destroyed;
  Her body he cast down and stood upon it.

Into comparison with the first line of v. 13, as the versions give it,
scholars have brought line 135, and ff., of the same tablet:

  Then the lord rested, he gazed upon her body,
  The flesh of the monster he divided; he formed a cunning plan.
  He split her open like a flat fish into two halves;
  One half of her he established and made a covering of the heavens.
  He drew a bolt, he established a guard,
  And not to let her waters come out, he commanded.

With the passages quoted above Psa. 74:13, 14 has also been compared:

  Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength:
  Thou brakest the heads of the sea-monsters in the waters.
  Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces;
  Thou gavest him to be food to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

Verses 16, 17 of the same Psalm continue the theme with the words:

  The day is thine, the night also is thine:
  Thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
  Thou hast set all the borders of the earth:
  Thou hast made summer and winter.

The theme is the same as that of the epic, viz.: the creation of the
world. It would appear from v. 14 that as the Hebrews called Tiâmat
Rahab, so they called Kingu leviathan. Those who so think find another
reference to the Babylonian creation epic in Job 3:8:

  Let them curse it that curse the day,
  Who are ready to rouse up leviathan.

Apparently there were magicians who professed to be able to arouse such a

Other references to leviathan are thought to employ the same illustrative
material. Thus in Isa. 27:1 we read:

    In that day Jehovah with his hard and great and strong sword will
    punish leviathan the swift serpent, and leviathan the crooked serpent;
    and he will slay the monster that is in the sea.

In Job 41 there is a long description of the crocodile under the name
leviathan. In verses 19-21 some things are said of him that do not suit a
real crocodile, and some scholars have thought that the language was
influenced by the Babylonian material. These verses are:

  Out of his mouth go burning torches,
  And sparks of fire leap forth.
  Out of his nostrils a smoke goeth,
  As of a boiling pot and burning rushes.
  His breath kindleth coals,
  And a flame goeth forth from his mouth.

Other references to Rahab, which have been thought to use the same
illustration, are Psalm 89:10:

  Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces as one that is slain;
  Thou hast scattered thine enemies with the arm of thy strength.

Also, Isaiah 51:9:

  Is it not thou that didst cut Rahab in pieces,
  That didst pierce the monster?

As to whether these sacred writers really employed the material of the
Babylonian epic to give force to their illustrations, the judgments of men
will differ in accordance with their views of what is possible for an
inspired writer.

In the following passages Rahab is used to denote Egypt as a proud and
imperious country. These uses are clearly figurative and metaphorical.

Isa. 30:7:

  For Egypt helpeth in vain and to no purpose:
  Therefore have I called her Rahab that sitteth still.

Psa. 87:4:

  Rahab and Babylon I proclaim my votaries.

A fragmentary account of an Assyrian version of the creation epic has been
found. It agrees with the Babylonian account in beginning with Tiâmat,
though the course of creation appears to have been different. The tablets
known to us present it, however, in a form too fragmentary for us to
follow the course of the narrative.




=1. Text of the Account.=

    1. A holy house, a house of the gods, in a holy place had not been

    2. No reed had sprung up, no tree had been created.

    3. No brick had been made, no foundation had been built,

    4. No house had been constructed, no city had been built;

    5. No city had been built, thrones had not been established;

    6. Nippur had not been constructed, Ekur had not been built;

    7. Erech had not been constructed, Eanna had not been built;

    8. The deep had not been formed, Eridu had not been built;

    9. The holy house, the house of the gods, the dwelling had not been

    10. All lands were sea,--

    11. Then in the midst of the sea was a water-course;

    12. In those days Eridu was constructed, Esagila was built,

    13. Esagila where, in the midst of the deep, the god Lugal-dul-azaga

    14. (Babylon was made, Esagila was completed).

    15. The gods and the Anunaki he made at one time.

    16. (The holy city, the dwelling of their hearts’ desire, they named
    as first),

    17. Marduk bound a structure of reeds upon the face of the waters,

    18. He formed dust, he poured it out beside the reed-structure.

    19. To cause the gods to dwell in the habitation of their hearts’

    20. He formed mankind.

    21. The goddess Aruru with him created mankind,

    22. Cattle of the field, in whom is breath of life, he created.

    23. He formed the Tigris and Euphrates and set them in their places,

    24. Their names he did well declare.

    25. The grass, marsh-grass, the reed and brushwood (?) he created,

    26. The green grass of the field he created,

    27. The land, the marshes, and the swamps;

    28. The wild cow and her young, the wild calf; the ewe and her young,
    the lamb of the fold;

    29. Gardens and forests;

    30. The wild goat, the mountain goat, (who) cares for himself (?).

    31. The lord Marduk filled a terrace by the seaside,

    32. ............ a marsh, reeds he set,

    33. .................. he caused to exist.

    34. [Reeds he creat]ed; trees he created;

    35. In their ........... in their place he made;

    36. [Bricks he laid, a founda]tion he constructed;

    37. [Houses he made], a city he built;

    38. [A city he built, a throne] he established;

    39. [Nuppur he constructed], Ekur he built;

    40. [Erech he constructed], Eanna he built.

(At this point the tablet is broken. When it again becomes legible, it is
in the midst of an incantation.)

=2. Comparison with Genesis 2.=

This account of the creation has sometimes been compared with Genesis 2:4,
ff., which describes a time when there was no grass or vegetation on the
earth, and then goes on to describe the creation of man and animals,
speaking of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

In this account of the creation it is stated (line 21) that the goddess
Aruru with Marduk created mankind.

In another Babylonian poem, the Gilgamesh epic, which contains the
Babylonian story of the flood, there is an account of the creation of man
which accords much more closely with Gen. 2:7 than that which we are
considering. It runs:

  The goddess Aruru, when she heard this,
  A man like Anu she formed in her heart.
  Aruru washed her hands;
  Clay she pinched off and spat upon it;
  Eabani, a hero she created,
  An exalted offspring, with the might of Ninib.

Here is clearly a tradition, similar to Genesis, that God formed man from
the dust of the ground. The allusion to Aruru indicates that this formed a
part of the early Babylonian tradition. There is considerable evidence
that in an earlier form of the Babylonian account Marduk had no place. He
was introduced into it later by the priests of Babylon. Aruru was in that
earlier form the creator of man, and probably was said to have formed him
from clay, as in the Gilgamesh epic.

While these points of likeness are evident, there are great differences
between the two narratives. The Babylonian account speaks not only of
grass and reeds as non-existent, but of cities and temples also, which, it
tells us, were created later. It has no picture of Eden; its thought
centers in well-known Babylonian cities. While Marduk appears as supreme
in the Babylonian poem, the gods and Anunaki, or spirits of earth, are
recognized, so that the polytheistic view is not entirely absent. In the
Biblical picture, on the other hand, Jehovah is supreme. Opinions of
scholars differ as to whether there was any real connection between the
two narratives. Whatever opinion one may hold on this point, there can be
no question but that the second chapter of Genesis is dominated by those
religious conceptions which were so uniquely manifested in Israel, while
they are absent from the Babylonian narrative.

(_For a new Babylonian account of the creation of man, see Appendix._)




=1. Feast of Marduk and Zarpanit.=

    The seventh day is the feast of Marduk and Zarpanit. It is an evil
    day. The shepherd of the great people shall not eat flesh cooked on
    the coals which is smoked. The garment of his body he shall not
    change; a clean one he shall not put on. A sacrifice he shall not
    offer. The king in a chariot shall not ride. In triumph he shall not
    speak. In the secret place a seer shall not give an oracle. The
    physician shall not lay his hand on the sick. It is not fitting to
    utter a malediction. At night before Marduk and Ishtar the king shall
    bring his offering; a libation he shall pour out. The lifting up of
    his hands shall then be pleasing to the gods.[365]

This passage occurs in a tablet which describes the nature of all the days
of a month. The same prohibitions are recorded for the fourteenth,
nineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth days. The tablet has often
been brought into comparison with the Hebrew sabbath, partly because the
seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth days are involved,
partly because the prohibitions remind the reader of Exodus 20:8-11 and
Deut. 5:12-15.

    Exod. 20:8-11. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days
    shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is a
    sabbath unto the Lord thy God: _in it_ thou shalt not do any work,
    thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy
    maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy
    gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and
    all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord
    blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    Deut. 5:12-15. Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord
    thy God commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy
    work: but the seventh day is a sabbath unto the Lord thy God: _in it_
    thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor
    thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor
    any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy
    manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And thou
    shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and the
    Lord thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and by a
    stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep
    the sabbath day.

In reality the Babylonian prohibitions apply to certain classes of people
only, and not to the whole population. A study of the contract literature
shows that there was no cessation of business upon these days of the
month, so that resemblance to the Hebrew sabbath is really quite slight.

=2. A Day Called Shabatum.=

These days were not, so far as we know, called _shabatum_, but another
tablet[366] tells us that the fifteenth day of each month was so called.
_Shabatum_ is etymologically the same as the Hebrew sabbath. As the
Babylonian months were lunar, the fifteenth was the time of the full moon,
so that in Babylonian the day denoted the completion of the moon’s growth.
In the Old Testament “sabbath” is sometimes coupled with “new moon,” as
though it may also have designated a similar day. (See 2 Kings 4:23; Amos
8:5; Hosea 2:11; Isa. 1:13; 66:23, and Ezek. 46:3.) This Babylonian
_shabatum_ can, in any event, have no direct relationship to the Hebrew
sabbath as a day of rest once a week.

=3. A Day in Some Tablets at Yale.=

A series of tablets in the Yale Babylonian Collection, a portion of which
has been published by Prof. Clay,[367] shows that special sacrifices were
offered on the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth of
each month. These sacrifices show that these days were thought to have
some peculiar significance, but, whatever that significance may have been,
the evidence cited shows that it was not the same as that of the Hebrew




Four fragments of the Adapa myth have been found. They really present but
three parts of the story, as two of them cover the same ground. These
three parts of the story are translated in this chapter. It will be noted
that the fragments do not present the entire story. Between fragments I
and II, as well as between fragments II and III, some lines have fallen
out, and the last fragment is broken away before the end of the account is
reached. Nevertheless, from the parts which we have it is clear that the
Babylonians shared with the Hebrews some of the traditions recorded in the
third chapter of Genesis.

=1. Comparison with Genesis 3.=

In the first place, Adapa, like Adam, had gained knowledge. This knowledge
carried with it a power hitherto regarded as an attribute of divinity. It
enabled Adapa to break the wing of the south wind; it tempted Adam and Eve
“to become like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). As in Genesis,
knowledge did not carry with it immortality. Ea, the god who had permitted
Adapa to become wise, feared that he might gain immortality, as Jehovah
thought that Adam might “put forth his hand and take of the tree of life
and eat and live forever” (Gen. 3:22). (For Babylonian and Assyrian
conceptions of the tree of life, see Figs. 291, 293.)

Ea accordingly told Adapa a falsehood when he was about to go into the
presence of the supreme god, Anu, in order to prevent him from eating the
food that would make him immortal; Jehovah drove man from the garden where
the tree of life grew. The two accounts agree in the thought that
immortality could be obtained by eating a certain kind of food. The lines
at the end of the Adapa story are much broken, but they make it clear that
as a punishment for what he had done, Adapa was subjected to sickness,
disease, and restlessness. This corresponds to the toil inflicted upon man
(Gen. 3:17-19), and the pangs of childbirth imposed upon woman (Gen.
3:16). It appears also that as Adam and Eve were clothed with skins in
consequence of their deed (Gen. 3:21), so Adapa was clothed by Anu in a
special clothing.

These similarities indicate that the Babylonians possessed the same
general ideas of the connection of increasing knowledge, with the
attributes of divinity on the one hand, and with suffering and clothing on
the other, which are presented in Genesis. An increasing number of modern
scholars regard the Babylonian story as an earlier form of a narrative
which the Hebrew writer took and purified. Others hold that it is a
somewhat degenerate form of the Biblical narrative. In any event, the
Babylonian story proves the Biblical conceptions to be very ancient, and,
by its contrasts to that of Genesis, it exhibits the dignity and religious
value of the Biblical narrative. In the Babylonian myth, the gods, Ea and
Anu, are divided and work at cross purposes; Ea tells a falsehood to
accomplish his end. Genesis, while it represents Jehovah as feeling and
acting in a much more human way than some parts of the Bible do, still
portrays him as a consistently righteous, omnipotent God, who demands
obedience, and whose punishments are the reasonable recompense for
transgressions. The superiority of the Old Testament stands out in
striking contrast.

=2. The Adapa Myth.=[368]


    1. He possessed intelligence ..........

    2. His command like the command of Anu ..........

    3. Wide intelligence he (Ea) made perfect for him, the destiny of the
    country to reveal.

    4. Unto him wisdom he gave; eternal life he did not grant him.

    5. In those days, in those years the wise man of Eridu,--

    6. Ea as a chief (?) among men had created him,--

    7. A wise man whose command no one could restrain,

    8. The prudent, the most wise among the Anunnaki was he,

    9. Blameless, clean of hands, anointed, the observer of divine

    10. With the bakers he made bread,

    11. With the bakers of Eridu he made bread,

    12. The food and water of Eridu he prepared daily,

    13. With his clean hands he prepared the table,

    14. And without him the table was not cleared.

    15. The ship he steered; fishing and hunting for Eridu he did.

    16. Then Adapa of Eridu,

    17. While Ea lay upon a bed in a chamber (?),

    18. Daily the closing of Eridu he made right.

    19. At the pure quay, the quay of the new-moon, he embarked upon the

    20. The wind blew, his ship sailed,

    21. With the rudder he steered the ship

    22. Upon the broad sea.



    1. ....................................

    2. The south wind [blew and capsized him],

    3. To the house [of the fishes] it made him sink,

    4. “O south wind [increase] thy rage as much as [thou art able],

    5. Thy wing I will break.” As he spoke with his mouth,

    6. The wing of the south wind was broken, seven days

    7. The south wind blew not on the land. Anu

    8. To his messenger, Ilabrat, said:

    9. “Why has the south wind not blown upon the land for seven days?”

    10. His messenger Ilabrat answered him, “My lord

    11. Adapa, the son of Ea, the wing of the south wind

    12. Has broken.” Anu, when he heard this,

    13. Cried “Help!” He ascended his throne: “Let some one bring him to

    14. Likewise Ea, who knows the heavens, summon him,

    14a. To King Ea to come.”[369]

    14b. To him he caused word to be borne,

    14c. .......... To him, to King Ea,

    14d. He sent a messenger.

    14e. He is of great understanding, he knows the hearts of the great

    14f. .......... of the heavens, he establishes it.

    15. [A soiled garment he made] him wear; with a mourning garment clad

    16. He clothed him and gave him counsel,

    17. Saying: “Adapa, into the presence of Anu, the king, thou art

    18. Fail not the order, my word keep,

    19. When thou goest up to heaven and approachest the gate of Anu,

    20. At the gate of Anu, Tammuz and Gishzida

    21. Stand, they will see thee, they will ask: ‘Lord,

    22. For whose sake art thou thus, Adapa? For whom

    23. Art thou clad in a mourning garment?’ ‘In our country two gods
    have vanished, therefore

    24. Am I thus.’ ‘Who are the two gods who in the land

    25. Have vanished?’ ‘Tammuz and Gishzida.’ They will look at one
    another and

    26. Be astonished. Favorable words

    27. To Anu they will speak. A joyful countenance of Anu

    28. They will reveal to thee. When thou standest in the presence of

    29. Food of death they will offer thee to eat;

    30. Thou shalt not eat. Water of death they will offer thee to drink;

    31. Thou shalt not drink. A garment will they show thee;

    32. Put it on. Oil they will set before thee; anoint thyself.

    33. The command which I give thee, forget not. The word

    34. Which I have spoken hold fast.” The messenger

    35. Of Anu came: “Adapa of the south wind

    36. The wing has broken. Into my presence bring him.”

    37. The road to heaven he made him take and to heaven he ascended.

    38. When to heaven he ascended, when he approached the gate of Anu,

    39. At the gate of Anu, Tammuz and Gishzida were standing.

    40. When they saw him they cried: “Adapa, help!

    41. Lord, for whose sake art thou thus?

    42. For whom art thou clad in a mourning garment?

    43. In the country two gods have vanished; therefore in a mourning

    44. Am I clad. Who are the two gods who from the land have vanished?”

    45. “Tammuz and Gishzida.” They looked at one another and

    46. Were astonished. When Adapa before Anu the king,

    47. Approached, Anu saw him and cried:

    48. “Come, Adapa, why of the south wind the wing

    49. Hast thou broken?” Adapa answered: “Anu, my lord,

    50. For the house of my lord in the midst of the sea

    51. I was catching fish. As I was midway of the voyage

    52. The south wind blew and capsized me;

    53. To the house of the fishes it made me sink. In the anger of my

    54. [The south wind] I cursed. At my side answered Tammuz

    55. And Gishzida: ‘The heart should be toward Anu.’

    56. They spoke, he was appeased, his heart was won (?).

    57. “Why has Ea, to impure man, of the heavens

    58. And the earth revealed the heart?

    59. Strong (?) has he made him (Adapa); a name he has given him.

    60. We--what can we do to him? Food of life

    61. Bring him, that he may eat.” Food of life

    62. They brought him; he ate it not. Water of life

    63. They brought him; he drank it not. A garment

    64. They brought him; he clothed himself. Oil

    65. They brought him; he anointed himself.

    66. Anu looked at him; he wondered (?) at him.

    67. “Come, Adapa, why dost thou not eat nor drink?

    68. Now thou shalt not live; men are mortal (?).” “Ea my lord

    69. Said: Thou shalt not eat, thou shalt not drink.”

    70. Take him and bring him back to earth.

    71. ............ looked upon him.


    1. ........................

    2. He commanded him and he ...........

    3. The garment, he commanded him and he clothed himself.

    4. ...... Anu wondered greatly at the deed of Ea.

    5. The gods of heaven and earth, as many as there are: “Who is thus
    mighty (?)?

    6. His command is the command of Anu. Who can surpass [him]?”

    7. As now Adapa from the horizon to the zenith of the heavens

    8. ...... looked, he saw his terror ...... (_i. e._, the terror he

    9. [Which] Anu concerning Adapa upon him ...... had placed.

    10. [The service (?)] of Ea he made his satisfaction.

    11. Anu fixed as his lot his lordship in brilliance to the distant

    12. .......... Adapa, the seed of mankind,

    13. [Who] victoriously broke the wing of the south wind,

    14. And to heaven he ascended. “Thus let it be!”

    15. ...... that which he in evil ways imposed on the people,

    16. .......... sickness which he placed in the bodies of people.

    17. ........ Ninkarrak appeased.

    18. Sickness [shall co]me, his disease be violent,

    19. .......... destruction shall fall upon him,

    20. [In] good sleep he shall not rest,

    21. .... shall overturn (?) the joy of people’s hearts.

(The remainder is broken away.)




A Biblical narrative that challenges attention is that in Genesis 5, which
contains the list of long-lived patriarchs who flourished before the
flood. This narrative finds a striking parallel in the following tablet
which tells of long-lived kings who are said to have ruled in ancient
Babylonia. The beginnings of all the columns of the tablet are broken

=1. Babylonian Long-lived Kings=

_Column I_

    2. ...... ruled 900 (?) years;


    7. Galumum

    8. ruled 900 (?) years;

    9. Zugagib

    10. ruled 840 (?) years;

    11. A-ri-pi, son of Mashgag,

    12. ruled 720 years;

    13. Etana, the shepherd,

    14. who ascended to heaven,

    15. who subdued all lands,

    16. ruled 635 years;

    17. Pilikam,

    18. son of Etana,

    19. ruled 350 years;

    20. Enmenunna

    21. reigned 611 years;

    22. Melam-Kish,

    23. son of Enmenunna,

    24. ruled 900 years;

    25. Barsalnunna,

    26. son of Enmenunna,

    27. ruled 1200 years;

    28. Mes (?) zamu, son of Barsalnunna,

    29. ruled ...... years;

    30. ...... son of Barsalnunna;

_Column II_


    1. from Kish

    2. the kingdom

    3. passed to Eanna.

    4. In Eanna

    5. Meskingashir,

    6. son of Shamash,[371]

    7. as lord,

    8. as king,

    9. ruled 325 years.

    10. Meskingashir

    11. entered into

    12. and went out from ......

    13. Enmeirgan,

    14, 15. son of Meskingashir,

    16. king of Erech,

    17. the people of Erech

    18. strengthened,

    19. as king

    20. ruled 420 years.

    21. Lugalbanda, the shepherd,

    22. ruled 1200 years.

    23. Dumuzi, the hunter[372] (?),

    24. Whose city is among fishes,

    25. ruled 100 years.

    26. Gilgamesh,

    27. whose father

    28. was lord of Kullab,

    29. ruled 126 years.

_Column III_

    (The kingdom)

    1. of Erech

    2. passed to Ur.

    3. In Ur

    4. Mesannipada

    5. was king;

    6. he ruled 80 years.

    7. Meskiagnunna,

    8. son of Mesannipada,

    9. ruled 30 years.

    10. Elu ........

    11. ruled 25 years.

    12. Balu .......

    13. 36 years.

    14. 4 kings

    15. ruled 171 years.

    16. As to Ur

    17. the kingdom

    18. passed to Awan.[373]

_Column IV_[374]

    1. ruled 21 years.

    2. Ishme-Dagan,

    3. son of Idin-Dagan,

    4. ruled 21 years.

    5. Libit-Ishtar,

    6. son of Idin-Dagan,

    7. ruled 11 years.

    8. Ur-Ninib,

    9. son of Im .......,


_Column V_

    1. Total 51 kings--

    2. their years were 18000 ...+

    3. 9 years ....... months .......

    4. Four times

    5. in Kish:

    6. total 22 kings--

    7. their years were 2610+

    8. 6 months, 15 days.

    9. Five times

    10. in Erech:

    11. total 13 kings--

    12. their years were 396--

    13. ruled.

    14. Three times

    15. in Ur:

    16. total 3 kings--

    17. their years were 356--

    18. ruled.

    19. Once

    20. in Awan:

    21. total 1 king--

    22. his rule was 7 years.

    23. Once

    24. in[375] .......

_Column VI_

    1. (total .......) kings--

    2. (their years) were 196--

    3. ruled.

    4. Twice in Agade:

    5. total 21 kings--

    6. their years were 125 years

    7. 40 days--ruled.

    8. Once

    9. in the people

    10. of Gutium:

    11. total 11 kings--

    12. their years were 159 years--

    13. ruled

    14. in Isin (?).

    15. Eleven

    16. royal cities

    17. ruled.

    18. Total 134 kings.

    19. Grand total 28876+

    20. years,

    21. ...... months.[375]

This interesting document does not stand alone. Three other tablets
published in the same volume[376] contain similar material, though all
that would have a bearing on our present topic is too broken for
connected translation. It is clear from the translation here given that
the Babylonians ascribed to some early kings reigns as long, and even
longer in some cases, than those ascribed to the antediluvian patriarchs
in Genesis 5.

The peculiar spelling of Galumum and Zugagib in the Babylonian characters,
together with the meaning of the words, shows that they are animal names.
Zugagib means “scorpion” and Galumum, “lamb.” In the lines which preceded,
probably similar animal names were recorded. Perhaps this expresses the
idea that animals were made before men, as is stated in Gen. 1:24-26.

=2. Comparison with Genesis 5.=--The next name, Aripi,[377] may also have
been read Adimê, and perhaps was so read by the Sumerians themselves. If
it came to the Hebrews in this form they would naturally equate it with
the Hebrew Adam, which means “man.”

Etana, the shepherd, is said in this list to have gone to heaven. This at
once suggests the fate of Enoch, who “was not; for God took him” (Gen.
5:24). In the Sumerian the words “to heaven” are AN-ŠU, which may also be
read AN-KU. If these words were not fully understood by the Hebrews, to
whom Sumerian was not only a foreign language but a dead language, they
might easily be mistaken for a proper name, and would in Hebrew give us
Enoch.[378] Another suggestion as to the method of borrowing is also
possible. Later traditions cherished the name of a king, Enmeduranki, whom
they called a king of Sippar or Agade.[379] Enmeduranki means “the hero
who binds together heaven and earth.” Etana is in our list of kings called
a king of Kish, but in later times kings of Kish were also called kings of
Agade. It is altogether probable, therefore, that the “hero who binds
together heaven and earth” is simply another designation of Etana who went
to heaven. The last two syllables of Enmeduranki, _i. e._, AN-KI, “heaven
and earth,” would, if taken over into Hebrew, also give Enoch. If we
assume that Etana and Enoch are the same, we may at a later point be able
to determine by which of these processes the name is most likely to have
come into Hebrew. In an old poem, fragments of which have been found on
some broken tablets from Nineveh, the fortunes of Etana were given in
detail. He is said to have been carried to heaven on the back of an eagle.
If he be really the prototype of Enoch, this lends a touch of realism to
the narrative.

The Sumerian name Enmenunna means “exalted hero” or “exalted man.” A
natural translation of this into Semitic Babylonian about 2000 B. C. would
be _Mutu-elu_,[380] or, in one word, _amelu_, and an equally natural
translation of this into Hebrew would give us Enosh.

Pilikam,[381] the next name, means in Sumerian “with intelligence to
build.” In Babylonian Semitic it would be literally _Ina-uzni-erêšu_, or,
rendered in one word, _ummanu_, “artificer.” The Hebrew translation of
this is Kenan, which means “artificer.” Melamkish gives us the Hebrew
Lamech by the simple elision of the first and last consonants. All people
are lazy and words sometimes wear away both at the beginning and at the

Barsalnunna, translated into Semitic Babylonian, becomes
_Shitḫu-elu_.[383] Seth may well be a transfer of a part of this name to
Hebrew. The final radical of the first part of the name may have worn away
or have been accidentally omitted.

Meskingashir is resolvable into four elements, MES-KI-INGA[384]-SHIR,[385]
“the hero” or “man who is great” or “exalted.” Translate this into Semitic
Babylonian and it becomes _Mutu-ša-elu_, which is almost exactly

Enmeirgan becomes when translated into Semitic Mutu-šalal-eqla,[386] and
Mahalalel is a much closer transfer of the first two elements of this to
Hebrew than are Sennacherib, Esar-haddon, Merodach-baladan, and
Evil-merodach of the names Sin-akhi-irba, Ashur-akhi-iddina,
Marduk-apal-iddin, and Amel-Marduk. Finally Dumuzi means “son of life,” or
“living son,” and Jared[387] means “descendant.”

The equivalent of Noah does not appear in this list, but there is no doubt
that he was Ziugiddu, otherwise called Ut-napishtim, of the Babylonian
accounts of the flood.

We have then the following equivalents, four of which are Hebrew
translations of Sumerian names; three, transfers into Hebrew of the whole
or of parts of Semitic Babylonian equivalents of these Sumerian names, two
of which are transfers to Hebrew of portions of a Sumerian original, and
one of which, Noah, is still unexplained.

  Sumerian           Semitic Babylonian              Hebrew

  Adimê                                              Adam
  Barsalnunna        Shitḫu-elu                      Seth
  Enmenunna          Mutu-elu (or amelu)             Enosh
  Pelikam            Ina-uzni-ereshu (or ummanu)     Kenan
  Enmeirgan          Mutu-šalal-gan                  Mahalalel
  Dumuzi             Apal-napišti                    Jared
  Etana                                              Enoch
  Meskingashir       Mutu-ša-elu                     Methuselah
  Melamkish                                          Lamech
  Ziugiddu                                           Noah

Of course, it may be objected that our list of kings did not furnish the
originals of these patriarchs, since there are more kings than patriarchs,
even though some of the names of kings have been lost by the breaking of
the tablet. In this connection, however, one should remember that in 1
Chron. 1-9, many names which appear in the earlier books of the Bible are
omitted, and that in Matt. 1:8, three kings--Ahaziah, Joash, and
Amaziah--are omitted from the genealogy of Christ. (Compare 2 Kings
11-15.) It appears, then, that Biblical writers did not always copy a full

It thus seems that the tablet translated above may be related to the text
of Genesis 5 in the names of the patriarchs as well as in the matter of
their ages. When we recall that the tablet was apparently written in the
year 2170 B. C., it seems probable that it may be a source from which the
Biblical names came.

=3. Comparison with Genesis 4.=

But our examination of the matter cannot stop here. In Gen. 4:16-23 there
is a list of the descendants of Cain strikingly similar to the list of the
descendants of Seth in Genesis 5. If the names of Adam and Abel be
supplied from Gen. 4:1,2, the two lists appear as follows:

  Genesis 4                 Genesis 5

  Adam                      Adam
    |    |      |
    |   Abel   Seth         Seth
    |           |
    |           |
    |          Enosh        Enosh
  Cain (Hebrew קין)          Kenan (Hebrew קינן)
  Enoch                     Mahalalel
  Irad (Hebrew עירד)         Jared (Hebrew ידד)
  Mehujael                  Enoch
  Methushael                Methuselah
  Lamech                    Lamech

The close parallelism of these two lists of names is really greater than
it appears to the English reader to be. Cain, which means “artificer,” is
in Hebrew the same word as Kenan, lacking only one formative letter at the
end. Irad and Jared differ in Hebrew only by the wearing away of one
consonant. Mehujael is as much like Mahalalel, and Methushael as much like
Methuselah as the Assyrian name of Tiglath-pileser, Tukultu-apal-esharra,
is like Tiglath-pileser, while Enoch and Lamech are the same.

The importance of this likeness arises from the fact that the so-called
critical scholars claim that these two lists of names are in reality the
same original list as it came through two lines of tradition and was
worked up differently by two writers. This view has been vigorously
opposed by some conservative scholars, notably by the late Professor
Green, of Princeton.[388]

Between rival critical hypotheses it is not the function of archæology to
decide. It must be admitted, however, that the names of the descendants of
Genesis 4 can be equated with those of our Babylonian kings, as well as
those of Gen. 5. Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cain, Enoch, Mehujael, and Methushael
would be derived exactly as it has been explained that the corresponding
names of Genesis 5 could be derived. It only remains to explain the names
Abel and Irad. It will be noticed that Abel occupies in the list a
position next to Adam and Cain; Abel is also said to have been a
shepherd. In the list of Babylonian kings Etana the shepherd comes in
between Adimê (Aripi) and Pilikam, the equivalent of Cain. It is probable,
therefore, that Etana is the king that corresponds to Abel. Etana is
described in the Sumerian as “the shepherd who went to heaven,” SIBA LÙ
AN-ŠU NI-IB-E-DA. If the two words SIBA LÙ became detached and
misunderstood as a proper name, the _s_ at the beginning, according to a
well known phonetic law, could become _h_ and give us the Hebrew Abel.
Irad may also be _ir-tu_, a corruption of ZI-IR-TU, a name of the mother
of Dumuzi, who may at times have been referred to as the son of
ZI-IR-TU.[389] These possibilities are not proof that the names arose as
suggested, but are not without weight.

If Abel arose from the traditions of Etana and Enoch did also, and if the
names of Genesis 4 are derived from the list of Babylonian kings, then
Etana figures twice in the fourth chapter of Genesis. If Enoch is a
fragment of the name Enmeduranki, a possibility already recognized, it is
not difficult to understand how Etana came into the tradition twice.

=4. Comparison with the List of Berossos.=

Another list of names awaits comparison. Berossos, a Babylonian priest who
died about 260 B. C., compiled a list of kings who lived before the flood,
and attributed to them incredibly long reigns. His work has not survived,
but his list is quoted by two early Christian writers, Eusebius and
Syncellus, and Hommel[390] and Sayce[391] have claimed that his names are,
many of them, identical with the patriarchs of Genesis 5.

The list of Berossos is as follows:

  Kings               Length of reign

  Alorus              36,000 years
  Alaparos            10,800   "
  Amēlon              46,800   "
  Ammenon             43,200   "
  Megalaros           64,800   "
  Daonos or Daos      36,000   "
  Euedorachos         64,800   "
  Amempsinos          36,000   "
  Otiartes            28,800   "
  Xisouthros          64,800   "
      Total          432,000 years.

It has long been recognized that Amēlon is the Semitic Babylonian word
_amelu_, “man.” It is a Babylonian synonym of Mutu-elu, the equivalent of
Enosh, and is also a translation of Enmenunna. Ammenon has also been
recognized as the Semitic Babylonian _ummanu_, “artisan.” It is a
translation in one word of the Sumerian Pilikam.

Daonos or Daos has, too, been seen to be the phonetic transliteration into
Greek letters of the Sumerian Dumu, the first part of the name Dumuzi.

Euedorachos has also been thought to be the Sumerian Enmeduranki, whom we
have recognized as another name for Etana. Four of the names of Berossos
are thus easily connected with names in the new list of kings.

The fifth one, Megalaros, might be a corruption either of Mutu-shalal or
of Mutu-ša-elu, and so go back ultimately either to Enmeirgan or to
Meskingashir. Xisouthros is clearly the same person as Ziugiddu. He had no
connection with this list of kings, but is, like Noah in Genesis 5,
attached to it on account of the flood. Hommel long ago saw that Otiartes
is the same as Ubara-tutu, who is said in the account of the deluge which
was found at Nineveh to have been the father of Utnapishtim, the hero of
the deluge.[392] Berossos has, accordingly, not only added the hero of the
deluge, but has displaced one of the names from the king list in order to
find a place for the father of Xisouthros.

The other names are puzzling. Poebel has suggested[393] that Alorus may be
a Greek corruption of the Sumerian name Laluralim, who is said to have
been a king of Nippur. An old text which contains this name[394] is
accompanied by a gloss _zugagib_, “scorpion,”[395] and the first king in
the list translated above is Zugagib. If, therefore, this suggestion is
true, the name may go back to the same source as the others, after all.

Amempsinos has been thought by some to be a corruption of the well known
Babylonian name Amil-Sin. There was an Amil-Sin in the first dynasty of
Babylon, but why the name should be inserted here cannot at present be
explained; nor has a satisfactory explanation been suggested for

The above discussion may be summed up in a few words. The Babylonian list
of kings with which this chapter begins makes no reference to the flood,
neither does the fourth chapter of Genesis. All the names in Genesis 4 may
be found in the Babylonian list, though Etana seems to have been inserted
twice under different names. As Genesis 5 omits Abel, it has Etana only
once. All the other names of Genesis 5, except Noah, are found in the
Babylonian list. Noah has been added to connect the list with the flood.
The ages of the patriarchs in Genesis 5 correspond approximately to the
general lengths of the reigns assigned to the kings in the tablet.
Berossos seems to have exercised much greater freedom, inserting several
names, the origin of some of which cannot now be made out. He also greatly
exaggerated the lengths of the kings’ reigns.

These correspondences are simply noted. It is but a few months since the
writer discovered them, and he was the first to do so. It is too early to
correctly estimate their ultimate significance. It should, however, be
observed that the Biblical numbers (Gen. 5) lack the gross exaggerations
of Berossos, and that, if the correspondences here pointed out are real,
the tradition embodied in Genesis is carried back to a time from 800 to
1000 years earlier than Moses.




=1. Translation of the Text.=

    1. Gilgamesh said to him, to Utnapishtim, the far-away:

    2. “I look upon thee, O Utnapishtim,

    3. Thy appearance is unchanged; thou are like me;

    4. Thou art not at all different, thou art like me.

    5. Thy courage is unbroken, to make combat,

    6. On thy side thou liest down--on thy back.

    7. [Tell me] how hast thou advanced and in the assembly of the gods
    hast found life?”

    8. Utnapishtim spoke to him, to Gilgamesh:

    9. I will reveal to thee, O Gilgamesh, the secret story,

    10. And the decision of the gods to thee will I relate.

    11. Shurippak, a city which thou knowest,

    12. Is situated on the bank of the Euphrates.

    13. That city was old and the gods in it--

    14. Their hearts prompted them--the great gods--to make a deluge.

    15. [There drew near] their father Anu,

    16. Their councillor, the warrior Ellil,

    17. Their herald, Enmashtu,

    18. Their hero, Ennugi.

    19. The lord of wisdom, Ea, counselled with them;

    20. Their words he repeated to the reed-hut:

    21. “O reed-hut, reed-hut, O wall, wall,

    22. O reed-hut, hearken; O wall, give heed!

    23. O man of Shurippak, son of Ubaratutu,

    24. Pull down thy house, build a ship,

    25. Leave thy possessions, take thought for thy life,

    26. Leave thy gods, thy life save!

    27. Embark seed of life of all kinds on a ship!

    28. The ship which thou shalt build,

    29. Measure well its dimensions,

    30. Make to correspond its breadth and its length;

    31. Upon the ocean thou shalt launch it.”

    32. I understood and spoke to Ea, my lord:

    33. “[I understand], my lord; what thou hast thus commanded

    34. I will honor and will do.

    35. [But] what shall I say to the city, the people, and the elders?”

    36. Ea opened his mouth and spake,

    37. He said unto me, his servant:

    38. “Thus shalt thou say unto them:

    39. Know that me--Ellil hates me.

    40. I may not dwell in your city,

    41. On Ellil’s soil I may not lift my face.

    42. I must go down to the ocean with Ea, my lord, to dwell.

    43. Upon you will he (Ellil) then rain abundance--

    44. [A catch] of birds, a catch of fishes,

    45. ................ a rich (?) harvest.

    46. [A time Shamash[397] appointed, at evening] the senders of rain

    47. [Shall rain upon] you a mighty rainstorm.

    48. When the grey of dawn brightens,

(Lines 49-55 are broken away.)

    56. The strong ...... brought what was needed.

    57. On the fifth day I raised its frame.

    58. According to its plan (?) its walls were 120 cubits high;

    59. 120 cubits correspondingly was the extent of its roof.

    60. I laid down its hull; I enclosed it.

    61. I constructed it in storys, up to six;

    62. I divided it [without (?)] into seven parts.

    63. Its interior I divided into nine parts.

    64. .......... I fastened in its midst.

    65. I looked out a rudder, and prepared what was necessary.

    66. 6 _sars_ of bitumen I poured over its outside (?);

    67. 3 _sars_ of bitumen I poured over its interior.

    68. 3 _sars_ of oil the people who carry jars brought.

    69. Besides a _sar_ of oil which was used as a libation,

    70. 2 _sars_ of oil the ship’s captain stowed away.

    71. For the people I slaughtered bullocks.

    72. I slaughtered lambs daily.

    73. Must, beer, oil, and wine,

    74. I gave the people to drink like river-water.

    75. I made a feast, like a new year’s festival.

    76. I opened (?) [a box of ointment]; I put ointment in my hand.

    77. [By the setting] of great Shamash, the ship was finished.

    78. [To move it from the stocks] was difficult.

    79. The men cleared the ship’s ways above and below.

    80. .............................. two-thirds of it.

    81. With all that I had I laded it (the ship);

    82. With all the silver I had I laded it.

    83. With all the gold I had I laded it.

    84. With all the living things I had I laded it.

    85. I embarked on the ship all my family and kindred.

    86. Cattle of the field, beasts of the field, craftsmen, all, I

    87. A fixed time Shamash had appointed, [saying]:

    88. “When the senders of rain shall rain upon you a mighty rainstorm
    at evening,

    89. Embark upon the ship and close thy door.”

    90. The appointed time approached,

    91. The senders of rain sent at evening a heavy rainstorm.

    92. I observed the appearance of the day,

    93. The day was terrible to look upon.

    94. I embarked upon the ship, I closed my door.

    95. To the master of the ship, to Puzur-Amurru, the sailor,

    96. I entrusted the structure together with its contents.

    97. When dew-dawn began to brighten,

    98. There arose from the horizon a black cloud;

    99. The god Adad thundered in its midst,

    100. While Nebo and Sharru marched before;

    101. They went as heralds over mountain and country.

    102. Nergal tore away the anchor,

    103. Enmashtu advanced, the floods he poured down;

    104. The Anunnaki raised their torches,

    105. At their brightness the land trembled.

    106. The raging of Adad reached to heaven;

    107. All light was turned to darkness

    108. .......... the land like ...............

    109. One day [raged the storm (?)]

    110. Swiftly it raged [and the waters covered] the mountains,

    111. Like a battle array over the people it swept.

    112. No one could see his fellow;

    113. No more were people recognized in heaven;

    114. The gods were frightened at the deluge,

    115. They fled, they climbed to the highest heaven;

    116. The gods crouched like dogs, they lay down by the walls.

    117. Ishtar cried like a woman in travail,

    118. Wailed the queen of the gods with her beautiful voice:

    119. “Those creatures are turned to clay,

    120. Since I commanded evil in the assembly of the gods;

    121. Because I commanded evil in the assembly of the gods,

    122. For the destruction of my people I commanded battle.

    123. I alone bore my people;

    124. Like spawn of fishes they fill the sea.”

    125. The gods along with the Anunnaki wept with her,

    126. The gods bowed, sat as they wept;

    127. Closed were their lips; [silent their] assembly.

    128. Six days and seven nights

    129. Blew the wind, the deluge the flood overpowered.

    130. When the seventh day approached, the deluge was prolonging the

    131. Which, like an army, it had waged.

    132. The sea calmed, the destruction abated, the flood ceased.

    133. I looked upon the sea, the roaring was stilled

    134. And all mankind was turned to clay;

    135. Like logs all were floating about.

    136. I opened the window, the light fell on my cheek;

    137. I was overcome, I sat down, I wept;

    138. Over my cheek streamed the tears.

    139. I looked in all directions--a fearful sea!

    140. After twelve days an island appeared;

    141. Toward mount Nizir the ship stood off;

    142. Mount Nizir held it fast, that it moved not.

    143. One day, two days, mount Nizir held it that it moved not,

    144. Three days, four days, mount Nizir held it that it moved not,

    145. Five days, six days, mount Nizir held it that it moved not,

    146. When the seventh day approached,

    147. I brought out a dove and let her go;

    148. The dove went out and returned;

    149. There was no resting-place and she came back.

    150. I brought out a swallow and let it go;

    151. The swallow went out and returned.

    152. There was no resting-place and it came back.

    153. I brought out a raven and let it go;

    154. The raven went out, the diminution of the waters it saw;

    155. It alighted, it waded about, it croaked, it did not come back.

    156. I disembarked [all]; to the four winds I poured a libation.

    157. I appointed a sacrifice on the top of the mountain peak;

    158. Seven by seven I arranged the sacrificial vessels;

    159. Beneath them I piled reeds, cedar wood, and myrtle.

    160. The gods smelled the savor,

    161. The gods smelled the sweet savor,

    162. The gods above the sacrificer collected like flies.

    163. When at length the queen of the gods drew near,

    164. She raised the great bows (?) which Anu at her wish had made.

    165. “O ye gods, as I shall not forget the jewel of my neck

    166. These days I shall not forget--to eternity I shall remember!

    167. Let the gods come to the sacrifice,

    168. But let Ellil not come to the sacrifice,

    169. For he was not wise; he sent the deluge,

    170. And numbered my people for destruction.”

    171. When at last Ellil drew near,

    172. He saw the ship, Ellil was angry,

    173. His heart was filled against the gods and the Igigi.[398]

    174. “Who then has come out alive?

    175. No man must escape from destruction.”

    176. Then Enmashtu opened his mouth and spake,

    177. He said to the warrior Ellil:

    178. “Who but Ea accomplished the thing?

    179. Even Ea knows every undertaking.”

    180. Ea opened his mouth and spake,

    181. He said to the warrior Ellil:

    182. “O thou, leader of the gods, warrior,

    183. How, how couldst thou without thought send a deluge?

    184. On the sinner let his sin rest,

    185. On the wrongdoer rest his misdeed.

    186. Forbear, let it not be done, have mercy, [that men perish not].

    187. Instead of thy sending a deluge

    188. Had the lion come and diminished the people!

    189. Instead of thy sending a deluge

    190. Had a wolf come and diminished the people!

    191. Instead of thy sending a deluge

    192. Had a famine come and the land [depopulated!]

    193. Instead of thy sending a deluge

    194. Had a pestilence come and the land [depopulated!]

    195. I have not divulged the decisions of the great gods.

    196. I caused Adrakhasis to see a dream and the decisions of the gods
    he heard.

    197. Now take counsel concerning him.”

    198. Then went Ea on board the ship,

    199. He took my hand and brought me forth,

    200. He brought forth my wife and made her kneel at my side;

    201. He turned us toward each other and stood between us; he blessed

    202. “In former time Utnapishtim was a man;

    203. Now let Utnapishtim and his wife be like gods--even like us;

    204. Let Utnapishtim dwell afar off at the mouth of the rivers!”

    205. He took me and caused me to dwell afar off at the mouth of the

=2. Comparison with Genesis 6-9.=

The above account of the deluge so closely resembles that in the Bible
(Gen. 6:9-9:19), that nearly all scholars recognize that they are two
versions of the same narrative.[399] In each case there is a divine
revelation to the hero of the deluge that a catastrophe is coming of which
every one else is ignorant. They both relate the building of the vessel,
the “pitching it within and without with pitch,” the embarkation, the
flood in which other men are destroyed, the resting of the ship on a
mountain, the sending out of the birds, the disembarkation, the sacrifice,
and the intimation that in future a deluge shall not be.

When the Babylonian account is compared with the Biblical, there are two
striking differences. 1. The Babylonian story makes the flood local; the
Biblical, general. 2. The Babylonian story, fascinating poetry though it
is, has a conception of deity in strong contrast with the dignity of the
Biblical monotheism. The Babylonian gods disagree; they blame each other;
they crouch with fear like dogs; they come swarming about the sacrifice
like hungry flies! Nothing could more strikingly illustrate the
inspiration of the Biblical story than to measure it against the
background of this Babylonian poem, which is clearly a variant version of

=3. Another Babylonian Version.=

From the library of Ashurbanipal there has come another version of the
deluge, which represents the purpose of its coming as different. According
to this version, men had sinned and had been afflicted with famine, after
which they reformed for a time. The famine was removed, but soon,
apparently, they sinned again. Pestilence was then sent upon them. An
appeal brought mitigation of their sufferings, but soon they plunged into
sin again. This time they were punished with unfruitfulness of the land
and of their race, but soon sinned as before. When all other punishments
had failed, as a last resort the flood was sent.

As this account does not so closely resemble that in Genesis, it is not
translated here. Those who wish to read it are referred to Rogers,
_Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament_, New York, 1912, p. 114, ff.


BEFORE 2000 B. C.


=1. Translation.=

This tablet was published by Dr. Arno Poebel, of Breslau. It was
apparently written in the time of the dynasty of Nisin, but at any rate
not later than the period of the first dynasty of Babylon. Only a part of
the tablet has been found, so that the narrative is incomplete both at the
beginning and at the end. Possibly the remaining portion may some time be
found in the museum at Constantinople. The tablet is inscribed on both
sides, and there are three columns to the side. The portions that are
still extant read as follows:[400]

_Column I (about three-fourths of the column missing)_

  “My human-kind from its destruction I will [raise up];
  With the aid of Nintu my creation .......... I will raise up;
  The people in their settlements I will establish;
  The city, wherever man creates one--indeed its protection--therein I
        will give him rest.
  Our house--its brick may he cast in a clean spot!
  Our places in a clean place may he establish!”
  Its brilliant splendor, the temple platform, he made straight,
  The exalted regulations he completed for it;
  The land he divided; a favorable plan he established.
  After Anu, Enlil,[401] Enki,[402] and Ninkharsag
  The black-headed[403] race had created,
  All that is from the earth, from the earth they caused to spring,
  Cattle and beasts of the field suitably they brought into being.

Here the first column ends. The passage opens in the midst of the speech
of some deity--perhaps Ninkharsag (a Sumerian name of Ishtar) or possibly
Enlil, the god of Nippur. First the deity tells how mankind, which has
been overthrown, shall be raised up again. Then we are told how he
perfected plans for the accomplishment of this purpose, and lastly how
four deities called into being men and animals.

_Column II (about three-fifths of the text is missing)_

  ................. I will ...............................
  ............. I will turn my eye upon him .............
  The ......... creator of the land ...............................
  ................ of royalty ......................
  ................ of royalty by him was determined;
  The exalted palace of the royal throne was by him set apart,
  The exalted precepts .......... he made perfect,
  In clean places .......... cities .......... he founded,
  Their names were named, they were allotted to guardian-spirits (?)
  Of these cities Eridu--the chief command to Nudimmud he gave,
  Unto the second the _nisag_-priests of Umma (?) he gave,
  Thirdly, Larak to Pabilkharsag he gave,
  Fourthly, Sippar as the dwelling of Shamash he gave,
  Fifthly, Shurippak unto _Lamkurru_ he gave.
  Their names were assigned; to guardian-spirits (?) they were allotted;
  Its rampart (?), a wall (?) he raised up, he established;
  Small rivers, canals (?), and water-courses (?) he established.

The last part of this column relates how five cities were established by
some deity. Of what the first part treated we cannot make out from the few
fragments of lines that are still legible.

_Column III_

  The land the sway of Anu ..................
  The people ....................
  A deluge ........................
  Their land (?) it entered ....................
  Then Nintu [cried out] like [a woman in travail] ..........
  The brilliant Ishtar [uttered] a groan on account of her people.
  Enki with himself held communion in his wisdom;
  Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninkharsag,
  The gods of heaven and earth, invoked the names of Anu and Enlil,
  At that time Ziugiddu was king, the priest of ..........
  The chief deity he made of wood ..........
  In humility prostrating himself, in reverence ..........
  Daily at all times was he present in person ..........
  Increasing dreams which had not come [before],
  Conjuring by the name of heaven and earth ..........

In this column the narrative has passed to the story of the deluge. The
gods have determined to send a deluge; Ziugiddu in consequence constructed
an idol from wood (compare Isa. 40:20), and earnestly worshiped it,
seeking oracles for his guidance.

_Column IV_

  For the settlement (?) the gods a wall (?) ..........
  Ziugiddu stood by its side, he heard ..........
  “At the wall at my left side stand ..........
  At the wall I will speak a word to thee
  O my brilliant one, let there enter thy ear ..........
  By our hand a deluge .......... will be sent.
  The seed of mankind to destroy ..........
  Is the momentous decision of the assembly (of the gods);
  The words of Anu and Enlil ..........
  Their kingdom, their rule ..........
  To them ....................”

It is clear from these fragmentary lines that Ziugiddu is being informed
of the approaching deluge. It is also clear that some of the elements of
the narrative are identical with some of the elements of the one discussed
in Chapter VI. Ziugiddu is commanded to stand by a wall, where some deity
will speak to him. This appears in the other version in the form:

  “O reed-hut, reed-hut, O wall, wall,[404]
   O reed-hut, hearken; O wall, give heed!
   O man of Shurippak, son of Ubartutu,
   Pull down thy house, build a ship,” etc.

In that account, too, the assembly of the gods is also referred to in line
120, ff. These are examples of the way the same theme, differently
treated, turns up in different forms.

_Column V_

  The evil winds, the wind that is hostile, came; all of them descended,
  The deluge .......... came on with them
  Seven days and seven nights
  The deluge swept over the land,
  The evil wind made the huge boat tremble.
  Shamash[405] came forth, on heaven and earth he shone;
  Ziugiddu the ship at the top uncovered,
  The peace of Shamash, his light, entered into the boat.
  Ziugiddu, the king
  Before Shamash bowed his face to the earth.
  The king--an ox he sacrificed, a sheep offered as oblation.

In this column we have a fragment which relates some details similar to
those told in lines 128, 129, and 136-138 of the account given in Chapter

_Column VI_

  By the life of heaven and the life of earth ye shall conjure him,
  That he may raise up from you;
  Anu and Enlil by the soul of heaven and the soul of earth ye shall
  That they may raise up from you
  The curse that has come upon the land, that they may remove it.
  Ziugiddu the king
  Before Anu and Enlil bowed his face to the earth.
  Life like a god’s he gave to him,
  An immortal spirit like a god’s he brought to him.
  Then Ziugiddu the king,
  Of the seed that was cursed, lord of mankind he made;
  In the fruitful land, the land of Dilmun .......... they made him dwell

At this point the last column is hopelessly broken. It is clear, however,
from the part which remains that Ziugiddu is in this narrative translated
to the Isle of the Blest as was Utnapishtim in the account translated in
Chapter VI, lines 202-205.[406] Indeed there is reason to believe that the
two accounts of the flood are divergent versions of the same story. In
addition to the likenesses already mentioned, the names of the two heroes,
though they appear so different, are the same in meaning. Utnapishtim (or
Unapishtim) means “day of life,” or “day-life,” while Ziugiddu means
“Life-day prolonged.”

=2. Comparison with the Other Version.=

Although this tablet is much broken, so that we have not the whole of the
story, it is clear from the parts that we have that in this version
preserved at Nippur the story was much shorter than in the form translated
in Chapter VI, which was preserved in the library of Ashurbanipal. It was
also combined with a briefer account of the creation than that translated
in Chapter I from Ashurbanipal’s library.

Of this Nippurian version of the creation story we have in this tablet
only the small fragments preserved in Columns I and II. It is, however,
probable that the Nippurian version of the creation was in its main
features similar to that preserved in the library at Nineveh, only more

If this be so, the conquest of the dragon Tiâmat is here attributed to
Enlil of Nippur, as in the other version it is attributed to Marduk of
Babylon, and as in Psa. 74:13, 14, it is attributed to Jehovah. This
older account from Nippur agrees in one respect more nearly with the
Biblical account than the one from the library at Nineveh does, for it
represents Ziugiddu as a very pious man, who was apparently saved from
destruction on account of his piety, and in blessing him God removed the
curse as Jehovah did in Gen. 8:21.




This tablet begins with a description of a place the name of which is not
identified; it is, accordingly, indicated in the translation by X.
Possibly it was Eridu; possibly Dilmun.

=1. Translation.=

_Column I_[407]

    1. They that are lofty, they that are lofty are ye,

    2. O X, pure;

    3. They that are holy, they that are lofty are ye.

    4. O X, pure,

    5. X is pure, X is bright,

    6. X is splendid, X is resplendent.

    7. Alone were they in X; they lay down.

    8. Where Enki and his consort lay,

    9. That place is splendid, that place is pure.

    10. Alone [in X they lay down].

    11. Where Enki with Ninella lay down,

    12. That place is splendid, [that place is pure].

    13. In X the raven cried not,

    14. The kite gave not his kite-call,

    15. The deadly lion destroyed not,

    16. The wolf a lamb seized not,

    17. The dog the weak kid worried not,

    18. The ewes the food-grain destroyed not,

    19. Offspring increased not ..........

    20. The birds of heaven their offspring ..... not;

    21. The doves were not put to flight (?).

    22. Of eye-disease, “it is eye-disease,” one said not;

    23. Of headache, “it is headache,” one said not.

    24. To a mother, “mother,” one said not,

    25. To a father, “father,” one said not.

    26. In the holy place a libation was poured not; in the city one drank

    27. The river-man “cross it?” said not;

    28. Fear one’s couch troubled not;

    29. The musician “sing,” said not;

    30. The prince of the city spoke not.

    31. Ninella to her father Enki said:

    32. “A city thou hast founded, a city thou hast founded, its destiny
    thou hast fixed;

    33. In X a city thou hast founded,

    34. .......... thou hast founded a city,

    35. ............ a canal there is not

    36. .............. thou hast founded a city.”

The rest of the first column is broken away; probably about nine lines are

All the first column is descriptive of a place inhabited only by a god and
goddess. Many activities are absent, because there is no one there to
carry them on. Lines 16-21 remind one a little of Isa. 11:6-9.

After the break the text continues:

_Column II_

    1. “From the bright covering of thy great heaven may the waters flow,

    2. May thy city be refreshed with water, may it drink,

    3. May X be refreshed with water, may it drink,

    4. May thy well of bitter water flow as a well of sweet water.

    5. May thy city be a resting, an abode of the people,

    6. May X be a resting, an abode of the people.

    7. Now, O sun-god, shine forth,

    8. O sun-god, stand in heaven;

    9. Bring the festal-grain from its place

    10. [And] fish, O moon-god, from the water.

    11. Along the face of the earth on the road with earth’s sweet water

    12. From the bright covering of the great heavens the waters flowed,

    13. His city was refreshed with water, it drank;

    14. X was refreshed with water, it drank,

    15. His well of bitter water became a well of sweet water.

    16. The fields and meadows with moisture caused grain to sprout (?);

    17. His city was a resting, an abode of the people;

    18. X was a resting, an abode of the people.

    19. Then the sun-god shone forth; this verily was so,

    20. The brilliant one, creator of intelligence.

    21. To Nintu, the mother of the people

(Lines 22-30 describe with a frankness common among primitive people a
marital union of the god and goddess. In many parts of the world it has
been thought that acts of creation proceed from such unions.)

    31. Enki, the father of Damgalnunna, his word spoke.

    32. Ninkharsag flooded the fields,

    33. The fields received the waters of Enki.

    34. It was the first day whose month is first;

    35. It was the second day whose month is second;

    36. It was the third day whose month is third;

    37. It was the fourth day whose month is fourth;

    38. It was the fifth day whose month is fifth;

    39. It was the sixth day whose month is sixth;

    40. It was the seventh day whose month is seventh;

    41. It was the eighth day [whose month is eighth];

    42. It was the ninth day whose month is ninth, the month of fertility.

    43. Like fat, like fat, like abundant sweet oil,

    44. [Nintu], mother of the land,

    45. .......... had brought them forth.

In the first part of the above column the description of the city is
continued. As a consequence of the union of the gods, water flowed to
irrigate the land. Lines 34-42 tell in a quaint way how the waters
continued to come for nine months and nine days.

_Column III_

    1. Ninshar on the bank of the river cried (?):

    2. “O Enki, for me are they filled! they are filled!”

    3. His messenger, Usmu himself the word repeated.

    4. The sons of men his favor did not understand,

    5. Ninshar his favor did not understand.

    6. His messenger, Usmu himself, answered;

    7. The sons of men his favor did not understand,

    8. Ninshar his favor did not understand.

    9. “My king, a storm-cloud! A storm-cloud!”

    10. With his foot on the boat he stepped,

    11. Two strong men as watchers he stationed,

    12. The command they received, they took.

    13. Enki flooded the fields,

    14. The fields received the waters of Enki.

    15. It was the first day whose month is first;

    16. It was the second day whose month is second;

    17. It was the ninth day whose month is ninth, the month of the height
    of the waters.

    18. Like fat, like fat, like abundant sweet oil,

    19. [Ninshar] like fat,

    20. Ninshar had brought them forth.

    21. Ninkurra[408] [on the bank of the river] c[ried (?)]

    22. “O Enki, for me they are filled! they are filled!”

    23. His messenger, Usmu, the word repeated.

    24. The sons of men his favor did not understand,

    25. Ninkurra his favor did not understand.

    26. His messenger, Usmu himself answered;

    27. The sons of men did not understand,

    28. Ninkurra did not understand.

    29. “My king, a storm-cloud! A storm-cloud!”

    30. With his foot on the boat he stepped,

    31. Two strong men as watchers he stationed;

    32. The command they received, they took.

    33. Enki flooded the fields

    34. The fields received the waters of Enki.

    35. It was the first day whose month is first;

    36. It was the ninth day whose month is ninth, the month of the height
    of the waters.

    37. Like fat, like fat, like abundant sweet oil,

    38. Ninkurra like fat had brought them forth.

    39. The god Tagtug and his wife she received;

    40. Ninkurra to Tagtug [and his wife] spoke:

    41. “Verily I will help (?) thee, my upright one, ..........

    42. With favorable words I speak ..........

    43. One man for me shall be counted ..........

    44. Enki for me shall ..........

The rest of the column, consisting of two or three lines, is missing. The
repetition in this column is characteristic of early poetry. Primitive
peoples are fond of iteration, and in the description of the way the
waters came it was to them very effective.

_Column IV (about twelve lines are broken from the tablet at the

    13. [To Tagtug and] his wife spoke ..........

    14. ........................................

    15. ......................................

    16. ................ in the garden ....................

    17. ........................................

    18. [Eba]raguldu let him found,

    19. Erabgaran let him found,

    20. At the temple let my fettered oxen stand,

    21. For Enki let my fettered oxen be sacrificed,

    22. Let two strong men pour out water,

    23. Abundant water let them pour out,

    24. Reservoir-water let them pour out,

    25. The barren land let them irrigate,

    26. As gardeners for the little plants let them go forth,

    27. On the bank, along the bank let them (_i. e._, the plants) extend.

    28. Who art thou? The garden ....................

    29. For Enki the gardener ............................

(Five lines are here broken away.)

    35. Ebaraguldu he founded,

    36. Erabgaran he founded, on its foundation he set it.

    37. Enki turned his eyes unto him; his scepter he lifted up;

    38. Enki to Tagtug directed the way.

    39. At the temple he cried: “Open the door, open the door;”

    40. “Who is it that thou art?”

    41. “I am a gardener, with gladness ..........

    42. With .......... the price (?) of milk will I present thee.”

    43. Tagtug with joyful heart at the temple opened the door,

    44. Enki spoke to Tagtug and his wife,

    45. With joy his possessions he gave to him;

    46. That Ebaraguldu he gave him;

    47. That Erabgaran he gave him.

    48. Tagtug and his wife bowed down; with the left hand they covered
    the mouth; with the right they did obeisance.

From the parts of Column IV, which are still legible, it appears that the
messenger was revealing to Tagtug the secrets of agriculture. This
corresponds to the statement in Gen. 9:20, that “Noah began to be a

At the beginning of Column V some seven lines have crumbled away, and the
beginnings of eight more have also become illegible.

_Column V_



    8. [The .......... plant] was green,

    9. [The .......... plant] was green,

    10. [The .......... plant] was green,

    11. [The .......... plant] was green,

    12. [The .......... plant] was green,

    13. [The .......... plant] was green,

    14. [The .......... plant] was green.

    15. “O Enki, for me they are counted,”

    16. His messenger, Usmu himself, the word repeated;

    17. “Plants I have called forth, their abundance ordained,

    18. The water shall make them bright, the water shall make them

    19. His messenger, Usmu himself, answered:

    20. “My king, as to the woody plants,” he said,

    21. “He shall prune, he shall [eat].”

    22. “As to the tall plants,” he said,

    23. “He shall pluck, he shall eat.”

    24. “My king, as to the .......... plants,” he said,

    25. “He shall prune, he shall eat.”

    26. “As to the plants of the watered garden (?),” he said,

    27. “He shall pluck, he shall eat.”

    28. “[My king], as to the .......... plants,” he said,

    29. “[He shall prune], he shall eat.”

    30. “[My king, as to the .......... plants],” he said,

    31. “[He shall pluck, he shall eat].”

    32. [“My king, as to the .......... plants”], he said,

    33. “[He shall prune, he shall] eat.”

    34. [“My king, as] to the cassia plant,” he said,

    35. “He [shall pluck] ........ he shall eat.”

    36. [“Enki] for [me] the plant of his wisdom has plucked, his heart
    has spoken.”

    37. Of Ninkharsag the name Enki uttered in curse:

    38. “The face of life when he dies he shall not see.”

    39. Then Anunnaki in the dust sat down.

    40. The rebellious one to Enlil said:

    41. “I, Ninkharsag, brought forth for thee people; what is my reward?”

    42. Enlil, the begetter, answered the rebellious one:

    43. “Thou, Ninkharsag, hast brought forth people,”

    44. “‘In my city let two creatures be made,’ shall thy name be

    45. As a dignitary his head alone he exalted,

    46. His heart (?) alone he made impetuous,

    47. His eye alone he filled with fire (?).

Langdon takes the portion of the narrative which we find in this column to
be an account of the fall of man, since line 36, as he rendered it, speaks
of Tagtug’s plucking and eating, and the next line speaks of the uttering
of a curse. This view the writer does not share. If the above translation
is correct, there is no allusion to anything of the kind.

_Column VI (perhaps five lines are broken away)_

    6. .......... the lord Enlil ..........

    7. ........ the lord of life ..........

    8. To .......... they went, ..........

    9. To .......... they went, the lord of the gods ..........

    10. Spoke to him, the water of life ..........

    11. ..............................

    12. Ninkharsag ....................

    13. ..............................

    14. ..................................

    15. ..............................

    16. ..........................

    17. ............................

    18. Ninkharsag ....................

    19. Enlil ...... his .......... they founded,

    20. Priests (?) they ordained,

    21. Fate they determined,

    22. With power established it.

    23. Ninkharsag in her temple granted his life to him:

    24. “My brother, what of thee is ill?”

    25. “My herd (?) is ill.”

    26. “The god Absham have I brought forth for thee.”

    27. “My brother, what of thee is ill?”

    28. “My herd is ill.”

    29. “The goddess ‘Queen of the herd’[409] have I brought forth for

    30. “My brother, what of thee is ill?” “My face is ill.”

    31. “The goddess Ninkautu have I brought forth for thee.”

    32. “My brother, what of thee is ill?” “My mouth is ill.”

    33. “The goddess ‘Queen who fills the mouth’[410] have I brought forth
    for thee.”

    34. “My brother, what of thee is ill?” [“My ...... is ill”].

    35. “The goddess Nazi have I brought forth for thee.”

    36. “My brother, what of thee is ill?” “My hand [is ill.”]

    37. “My goddess ‘Living hand’[411] have I brought forth for thee.”

    38. “My brother, what of thee is ill?” “My health is ill.”

    39. “The goddess ‘Queen of health’[412] have I brought forth for

    40. “My brother, what of thee is ill?” “My intelligence is ill.”

    41. “The god who makes the intelligence clear[413] have I brought
    forth for thee.”

    42. “Grandly are they brought forth, they are created.

    43. Let Absham be lord of vegetation,

    44. Let Nintulla be lord of Magan,

    45. Let Ninkautu choose Ninazu as a spouse,

    46. May Ninkasi be the full heart’s possession,

    47. May Nazi become mistress of weaving (?),

    48. May Dazima the house of strong life take,

    49. May Nintil become mistress of the month,

    50. May Enshagme become lord of X.

    51. Glory!”

=2. Comparison with the Bible.=

Here the tablet concludes. This last column, which tells how the goddess
Ninkharsag came to favor the hero and to create a number of divine helpers
for him, has no parallel in the Biblical account. As Tagtug received the
especial protection of Ninkharsag who created for him all these divine
helpers, it seems certain that this tablet had no reference to the fall of
man, as Langdon supposes. It appears rather to be a mythical account of
the beginnings of agriculture and the medicinal use of plants in
Babylonia. Agriculture implies irrigation. “From the first day whose month
is first” to the ninth month, is the period when Babylonia is watered. The
Tigris begins to rise in March, the first month, the overflow of the
Euphrates does not subside till the sixth month, and the winter rains are
at their height in the ninth month.

As Adam was driven from Eden to eat of the fruits of the earth (Gen. 3:18,
24; compare Gen. 1:29), and Noah became a husbandman (Gen. 9:20), the
story of Tagtug presents a remote similarity to both of them. Langdon[414]
compares the list of divine beings with which the tablet ends with the
antediluvian patriarchs of Gen. 4 and 5, and suggests the possibility that
here we have the original names of those patriarchs. Beyond the fact that
Absham somewhat resembles the name Abel and was, like Abel, an
agriculturist, there is no apparent connection. The names in no way
correspond. It is more probable that we have the names of those patriarchs
in the list of kings translated in Chapter V.



    OF GENESIS 14.

Archæological investigation has brought to light a number of texts
believed by scholars to illumine the Biblical accounts of Abraham. It is
the purpose of this chapter to translate and discuss these.

The documents which naturally attract us first are some contracts from
Babylonia in which an Abraham was one of the contracting parties. They are
as follows:

=1. Abraham Hired an Ox.=[415]

    1. One ox broken to the yoke,

    2. an ox from Ibni-Sin, son of Sin-imgurani,

    3. from Ibni-Sin

    4. through the agency of Kishti-Nabium,

    5. son of Eteru,

    6. Abarama, son of Awel-Ishtar,

    7. for one month has hired.

    8. For one month

    9. one shekel of silver

    10. he will pay.

    11. Of it ½ shekel of silver

    12. from the hand of

    13. Abarama

    14. Kishti-Nabium

    15. has received.

    16. In the presence of Idin-Urash, son of Idin-Labibaal,

    17. in the presence of Awêlê, son of Urri-bani,

    18. in the presence of Beliyatum, scribe.

    19. Month of the mission of Ishtar (_i. e._, Ulul), day 20th,

    20. The year Ammizadugga, the king (built)

    21. the wall of Ammizadugga, (_i. e._, Ammizadugga’s 11th year).

    22. Tablet of Kishti-Nabium.

This tablet shows how Abarama (Abraham), a farmer, hired an ox for a
month. The tablet, as the last line shows, is the copy made for
Kishti-Nabium, the agent. In such business transactions three copies were
often made, one for each of the contracting parties and one for the
scribe. The date of this tablet is 1965 B. C. Ammizadugga was the tenth
king of that first dynasty of Babylon, of which Hammurapi was the sixth.

=2. Abraham Leased a Farm.=[416]

    1. To the patrician

    2. speak,

    3. saying, Gimil-Marduk (wishes that)

    4. Shamash and Marduk may give thee health!

    5. Mayest thou have peace, mayest thou have health!

    6. May the god who protects thee thy head in luck

    7. hold!

    8. (To enquire) concerning thy health I am sending.

    9. May thy welfare before Shamash and Marduk

    10. be eternal!

    11. Concerning the 400 _shars_ of land, the field of Sin-idinam,

    12. which to Abamrama

    13. to lease, thou hast sent;

    14. the land-steward (?) and scribe

    15. appeared and

    16. on behalf of Sin-idinam

    17. I took that up.

    18. The 400 _shars_ of land to Abamrama

    19. as thou hast directed

    20. I have leased.

    21. Concerning thy dispatches I shall not be negligent.

It appears from this document that Abamrama, who is none other than a
Babylonian Abraham, was a small farmer, who leased a small tract of land.

=3. Abraham Paid His Rent.=[417]

    1. 1 shekel of silver

    2. of the rent (?) of his field,

    3. for the year Ammizadugga, the king,

    4. a lordly, splendid statue (set up),

    5. brought

    6. Abamrama,

    7. received

    8. Sin-idinam

    9. and Iddatum.

    10. Month Siman, 28th day,

    11. The year Ammizadugga, the king,

    12. a lordly, splendid statue (set up).

    (This was Ammizadugga’s 13th year.)

This document, dated two years after that in which the ox was hired, shows
how Abamrama (Abraham) paid a part of his rent.

The name Abamrama (Abraham) occurs in two other documents published in the
same volume (no. 101, and no. 102), where, in defining the boundaries of
other fields of Sin-idinam, they are said to be bounded on one side by the
field of Abamrama. As these documents mention the name of Abamrama only
incidentally, they are not translated here.

=4. Who Was This Abraham?=

These documents, which relate to the business of a Babylonian Abraham,
come from Dilbat, about eight miles south of Borsippa, which was just
across the Euphrates from Babylon. It is clear that this Abraham was a
small farmer, who hired a tract of land from a larger land-owner. He also
hired an ox wherewith to work his land, and paid the rent of the land and
the hire of the ox as a good citizen should. This Abraham was not the
Biblical patriarch. The patriarch’s father was Terah and his brother
Nahor; the father of this Babylonian Abraham was Awel-Ishtar, and his
brother Iddatum (_ibid._, no. 101, 9). The Abraham of the Bible was a
monotheist according to Genesis; the ancestors of the Babylonian Abraham
worshiped the goddess Ishtar, who corresponded to the Canaanitish
Ashtoreth. The Bible connects the patriarch with Ur and Haran; this
Abraham lived about half-way between these two cities.

Up to the present time this Babylonian Abraham is the only person known to
us other than the Biblical patriarch, who, in that period of history, bore
the name. He is the only one known to us outside the Biblical record.[418]
The only other occurrence of the name outside the Bible is in the name of
a place in Palestine, probably near Hebron, which Sheshonk I, the Biblical
Shishak, calls “The Field of Abram.”[419] As Shishak lived much later
(945-924 B. C.), being a contemporary of Rehoboam the son of Solomon, this
Egyptian place name is not so significant. The Babylonian Abraham
mentioned in the documents just translated is welcome proof that Abraham
was a personal name in Babylonia near the time in which the Bible places
the patriarch. With these documents Gen. 11:27-25:10 should be compared.

Another Babylonian contract is of interest in connection with the
migration of Abraham.

=5. Travel between Babylonia and Palestine.=

    1. A wagon[420]

    2. from Mannum-balum-Shamash,

    3. son of Shelibia,

    4. Khabilkinum,

    5. son of Appani[bi],

    6. on a lease

    7. for 1 year

    8. has hired.

    9. As a yearly rental

    10. ⅔ of a shekel of silver

    11. he will pay.

    12. As the first of the rent

    13. ⅙ of a shekel of silver

    14. he has received.

    15. Unto the land of Kittim

    16. he shall not drive it.

    17. In the presence of Ibku-Adad,

    18. son of Abiatum;

    19. in the presence of Ilukasha,

    20. son of Arad-ilishu;

    21. in the presence of Ilishu ..........

    22. Month Ululu, day 25,

    23. the year the king Erech from the flood

    24. of the river as a friend protected.

The date of the above interesting document has not been identified with
certainty. It is thought by some to belong to the reign of Shamsu-iluna,
the successor of Hammurapi. The writing clearly shows that at any rate it
comes from the period of this dynasty. That is, it comes from the period
to which Gen. 14 assigns the migration of Abraham. _Kittim_ in the
contract is the word used in the Hebrew of Jer. 2:10 and Ezek. 27:6 for
the coast lands of the Mediterranean. It undoubtedly has that meaning
here. This contract was written in Sippar, the Agade of earlier times, a
town on the Euphrates a little to the north of Babylon. It reveals the
fact that at the time the document was written there was so much travel
between Babylonia and the Mediterranean coast that a man could not lease a
wagon for a year without danger that it might be driven over the long
route to Syria or Palestine. Against such wear upon his vehicle the
particular wagon-owner of our document protected himself.

When, therefore, Abraham went out from his land and his kindred, he was
going to no unknown land. The tide of commerce and of emigration had
opened the way. Apparently it was no more remarkable for him to do it
than for an Irishman to come to America half a century ago, or for a south
European to come today.

=6. Hammurapi, King of the Westland.=

It is thought by many scholars that Hammurapi was the Amraphel of Genesis
14. The following inscription[421] relates to this king:

    1. To [Shar]ratum,

    2. the bride of Anu

    3. who has come to lordship,

    4. lady of strength and abundance,

    5. of the mountain-temple,

    6. faithful lady, of exalted counsel,

    7. lady who binds the heart,

    8. who for her spouse

    9. makes favorable her open oracle;

    10. to his lady,

    11. for the life of Hammurapi,

    12. king of the Westland (MAR-TU),

    13. Ibirum ..........

    14. governor of the river-[district] ..........

    15. son of Shuban ...........,

    16. a guardian-deity appropriate to her divinity,

    17. in the land which she loves,

    18. for her service (?)

    19. before her beloved temple has set up.

This inscription is quoted here for two reasons: 1. It was erected “for
the life of Hammurapi,” who is supposed by many to be the Amraphel of Gen.
14:1. Amraphel is supposed to be a corruption of Hammurapi, thus Amrapi.
The final _l_ of Amraphel is a difficulty. While many Assyriologists, from
Schrader onward, have recognized the equivalence, it is now seriously
questioned by Jensen and Eduard Meyer, and absolutely rejected by Bezold.
It must be said that, if Amraphel is intended for Hammurapi, the name had
undergone corruption before it was placed in the Biblical record.[422] 2.
In this inscription Hammurapi is called “king of MAR-TU,” or the Westland,
a name by which the Babylonians often designated Syria and Palestine.
MAR-TU simply means “sunset,” but was used like the Arabic _magrib_ as the
designation of a region. There is no reason to doubt that here it
designates Syria and Palestine, so that, if Amraphel is Hammurapi, this
is confirmatory of his connection with the West.

=7. Kudur-Mabug.=

The following inscription[423] has also often been brought into the
discussion of Genesis 14:

    1. To Nannar,

    2. his king,

    3. Kudur-Mabug,

    4. “Father” of the Westland (MAR-TU),

    5. son of Simti-shilkhak,

    6. when Nannar

    7. his prayer

    8. had heard,

    9. Enunmakh,

    10. belonging to Nannar,

    11. for his life

    12. and the life

    13. of Arad-Sin, his son,

    14. king of Larsa,

    15. he built.

This inscription has often been brought into connection with Abraham,
partly because some have seen in Kudur-Mabug the Chedorlaomer of Gen.
14:1, and partly because Kudur-Mabug in it calls himself “Father” or
governor of the Westland. If, however, Kudur-Mabug was intended by the
name Chedorlaomer, the name had been corrupted beyond all recognition in
the Biblical tradition before Gen. 14 was written. In reality there is no
reason to suppose that Kudur-Mabug and Chedorlaomer are the same. As to
the term “Westland,” it probably does not here designate Palestine, but
either the western part of Elam or the southern part of Babylonia.
Babylonia lay to the west of Elam, and Kudur-Mabug placed on the throne of
Larsa, a city of South Babylonia, first his son, Arad-Sin, and then his
son, Rim-Sin, and apparently maintained an over-lordship over both of
them. “Westland” accordingly means in his inscription, not Palestine, but
Babylonia. One of Kudur-Mabug’s sons calls his father “Father” (or
governor) of Emutbal, a region of Elam. It is a mistake, therefore, to
bring Kudur-Mabug into connection with Abraham and Gen. 14.[424]

=8. Kings Supposed by Some to be Those Mentioned in Gen. 14.=

Some fragmentary tablets from the Persian period, not earlier than the
fourth century B. C., contain references which have been brought by some
scholars into connection with Abraham and the fourteenth of Genesis. The
texts read as follows:


    1. ....................

    2. ..............................

    3. .................... his work not ..........

    4. .................. _su-ḫa-am-mu_ ..........

    5. ................ before the gods the creation of ..........

    6. ............ day .......... Shamash, who illumines ..........

    7. .......... the lord of the gods, Marduk, in the satisfaction of his

    8. .......... his servant, the region, all of it, a counsel not

    9. .......... by force of arms he overthrew. Dursirilani, son of
    Arad-Malaku (Eri?-..aku)

    10. ............ goods (?) he carried off, took as spoil, waters over
    Babylon and Esagil

    11. ........ his with the weapon of his hand like a lamb he killed

    12. .......... spoke to her, father, and son; with the weapon

    13. [Great] and small he cut off, Tudkhula, son of Gazza ..........

    14. ...... goods he took as spoil, waters over Babylon and Esagil

    15. ...... his son with the weapon of his hands upon him fell.

    16. ........ of his dominion before the temple of Annunit ..........

    17. ........ Elam, the city Akhkhi to (?) the city Rabbatu he spoiled.

    18. ...... like a deluge, he made the cities of Akkad, all of Borsippa

    19. ...... ended.[426] Kukukumal, his son pierced his heart with a
    girdle-dagger of iron.

    20. ........ the enemy took and the destruction of these kings,
    participators in wrong (?),

    21. .......... bondage for which the king of the gods, Marduk, was
    angry with them

    22. .......... with sickness their breast was oppressed ........

    23. ........ unto ruins were reduced (?). All of them to the king, our

    24. ...... knowing (?) the hearts of the gods, the gracious Marduk,
    for the commemoration of his name

    25. ........ and named Esagil--to his place may he return.

    26. .......... thy ...... may he make. This, O king, my lord we ......

    27. .......... his evil his heart the gods, his fathers ..........

    28. ............ a participator in sin shall not be (?).


    1. ..................... gods (?) ..........

    2. .......... in the city feared day (?) [and night (?)]

    3. .......... Larsa (?), the bond of heaven which unto the four winds

    4. he decreed them the park (?) which is in Babylon, the city of [his]
    majesty (?);

    5. he decreed them the possessions of Babylon, small and great.

    6. In their faithful counsel unto Kukukumal, King of Elam,

    7. they established the fixed advance which to them [seemed] good.

    8. In Babylon, the city of Karduniash, kingship he assumed ..........

    9. In Babylon, the city of the gods, Marduk set his throne (?),

    10. All, even the Sodomites of the plundered temples, obeyed [him].

    11. Ravens build nests; birds dwell [therein];

    12. The ravens croak (?), shrieking they hatch their young [in it].

    13. To the dog crunching the bone the lady .......... is favorable.

    14. The snake hisses (?), the evil one who spits [poison].

    15. Who is the king of Elam who the great building of Esagil

    16. which the Babylonians made, and their work was ..........?

    17. This is what thou hast written, saying: “I am a king, the son of a
    king” ....

    18. Who is the son of a daughter of a king, who on the royal throne
    will sit? ...

    19. He is Dursil-ilâni, son of Arad-Malkua, who the throne ..........

    20. on the royal throne he sat and before his warriors [he marched].

    21. Now let the king march who from ancient days .........

    22. has been proclaimed lord of Babylon; the work of ........ shall
    not endure.

    23. In the month Siman and the month Tammuz in Babylon there was done

    24. the work of the son of the magician. The bull (_i. e._, warrior)
    who devastates the land ..........

    25. The elders in their faithful counsel ..........

    26. [gave] the son of the magician the place instead of his father

    27. ................. 1 maid ....................

Two other similar fragmentary texts belonging to the series are published
as noted above, but it is unnecessary to quote them here. The two
fragments which we have translated contain the most important references,
and are sufficient to enable the reader to make up his mind as to the
bearing of these texts upon the fourteenth of Genesis.

Pinches and Sayce read the name of the Elamite king, Kukukumal,
Kudurlakhmal, and identify it with Chedorlaomer. Pinches so reads it,
hesitatingly; Sayce, confidently. There is no reason for so reading it,
except the desire to discover Chedorlaomer. The first three syllables are
represented in the cuneiform by the same sign--a sign the most frequent
value of which is _ku_. It does sometimes have the value _dur_, but never
_lakh_. King reads it Kukukumal, and there is really no reason for reading
it otherwise.

Another name which occurs twice is written in the two places with a slight
difference of spelling. It is according to the most natural reading of the
signs, Arad-Malkua, or Arad-Malaku. Sayce and Pinches read Eri-eaku and
identified him with “Arioch, king of Elassar,” (Gen. 14:1). While this is
a possible reading, it is only secured by giving to the signs their
Sumerian, instead of their Semitic values, and, as the documents are in
Semitic, this is probably wrong. The name is to be read Arad-Malkua.
Another name, Tudkhula, which occurs in the first document, has been
identified by the same scholars with “Tidal, king of the nations” (Gen.
14:1), but in this text there is no evidence that Tudkhula was a king at
all, and the identification is purely fanciful. It should be noted also
that Arad-Malkua, the supposed Eri-eaku, does not himself take any part in
the wars here recorded; it is his son, Dursil-ilâni, who is represented as
a contemporary of Kukukumal, the supposed Chedorlaomer.

It should be further noted that these documents represent a complete
conquest of Babylon by Elam--a conquest in which Babylon itself is laid
desolate. It is not certain just what part Dursil-ilâni played in the
story. He may have been a vassal king under Kukukumal, or the Babylonian
upon whom the hopes of the people centered, to free them from the yoke of
Elam. It is clear, however, that the events mentioned in these documents
are not in harmony with the supposition that these monarchs acted as
allies of Hammurapi in the invasion of Palestine. Hammurapi is excluded
from the account. Kukukumal conquered and desolated the very city in which
Hammurapi had his throne. Kukukumal must, accordingly, have lived at some
other period of the history, and the supposed confirmation of the account
of the fourteenth chapter of Genesis has not yet been found.

As already stated, these tablets are not earlier than the fourth century
B. C. The events which they record were probably much later than the time
of Abraham. Babylon is called by its Cassite name, Kar-duniash, a name
which it did not bear until some hundreds of years after the time of
Hammurapi. Many times in the course of Babylonian history was the country
overrun by Elam, and there is no real reason to suppose that the war here
referred to belongs to the age of Hammurapi.




=1. Jacob.=

Three different men in Babylonia at the time of the Hammurapi dynasty bore
the name Jacob-el. Thus, in the reign of Apil-Sin, the fourth king of the
dynasty (2161 to 2144 B. C.), two witnesses, Shubna-ilu and Yadakh-ilu
gave their father’s name as _Yakub-ilu_, or Jacob-el.[427] In the same
reign a witness to another document, one Lamaz, had a Jacob-el as his
father.[428] In the reign of Sin-muballit, the next king, a witness named
Nur-Shamash was also the son of a Jacob-el.[429] In the reign of the great
Hammurapi, the next king, a witness named Sin-erbiam gave his father’s
name simply as _Yakub_,[430] or Jacob. This last is clearly a shortening
of Jacob-el. These men all lived from 75 to 190 years before the
Babylonian Abraham, whose documents are discussed in Chapter IX.

In connection with these names it should be noted that Thothmes III of
Egypt, who made extensive conquests in Asia between 1478 and 1446 B. C.,
records the name of a city which he captured in Palestine as
_Ya-‘-k-b’-ra_, the Egyptian equivalent of Jacob-el.[431] It does not seem
a rash guess to suppose that in the period when intercourse between
Babylonia and Palestine was frequent and immigration from the former
country to the latter was in progress, some Babylonian bearing this name
migrated to Palestine, settled there and that a city was named after him.
Many parallels to this may be found in the names of places in the United
States and Canada. That this place name in Canaan had some connection with
the name of the Patriarch Jacob is probable, though just what that
connection was it is impossible in the present state of our knowledge to

=2. Joseph.=

A Babylonian business document of the time of the first dynasty of Babylon
has among its witnesses a man named _Yashub-ilu_, or Joseph-el.[432]

In the list of places which Thothmes III of Egypt conquered in Palestine
there is one _Ya-sha-p’-ra_, which many scholars have taken to be
Joseph-el, though Prof. W. Max Müller[433] thinks it rather is equivalent
to Yesheb-el, meaning “where God dwells.” In view of the clear Babylonian
equivalence, however, it seems probable that it is Joseph-el. If so, it
probably became a place-name in Palestine because some important
Babylonian who bore the name settled there, just as we have supposed
Jacob-el did. Some scholars hold that it is connected with the name of the
Patriarch Joseph in some way, but what that connection was, we cannot now

=3. The Tale of the Two Brothers.=[434]

    Once there were two brethren, of one mother and one father; Anpu was
    the name of the elder, and Bata was the name of the younger. Now, as
    for Anpu, he had a house, and he had a wife. But his little brother
    was to him, as it were, a son; he it was who made for him his clothes;
    he it was who followed behind his oxen to the fields; he it was who
    did the plowing; he it was who harvested the corn; he it was who did
    for him all the matters which were in the field. Behold his younger
    brother grew to be an excellent worker; there was not his equal in the
    whole land; behold the spirit of a god was in him.

    Now after this the younger brother followed his oxen in the daily
    manner; and every evening he turned again to the house, laden with all
    the herbs of the field, with milk and with wood, and with all things
    of the field. And he put them down before his elder brother who was
    sitting with his wife; and he drank and ate, and he lay down in his
    stable with the cattle. And at the dawn of day he took bread which he
    had baked, and laid it before his elder brother; and he took with him
    his bread to the field, and he drave his cattle to pasture in the
    fields. And as he walked behind his cattle, they said to him, “Good is
    the herbage which is in that place”; and he listened to all that they
    said, and he took them to the good place which they desired. And the
    cattle which were before him were exceeding excellent, and they
    multiplied greatly.

    Now at the time of plowing his elder brother said unto him, “Let us
    make ready for ourselves a goodly yoke of oxen for plowing, for the
    land has come out from the water; it is fit for plowing. Moreover, do
    thou come to the field with corn, for we will begin the plowing in the
    morrow morning.” Thus said he to him; and his younger brother did all
    things as his elder brother had spoken unto him to do them.

    And when the morn was come, they went to the fields with their things;
    and their hearts were pleased exceedingly with their task in the
    beginning of their work. And it came to pass after this that as they
    were in the field they stopped for corn, and he sent his younger
    brother, saying, “Haste thou, bring to us corn from the farm.” And the
    younger brother found the wife of his elder brother, as she was
    sitting tiring her hair. He said to her, “Get up, and give to me corn,
    that I may run to the field, for my elder brother hastened me; do not
    delay.” She said to him, “Go open the bin, and thou shalt take to
    thyself according to thy will, that I may not drop my locks of hair
    while I dress them.”

    The youth went to the stable; he took a large measure, for he desired
    to take much corn; he loaded it with wheat and barley; and he went out
    carrying it. She said to him, “How much of the corn that is wanted, is
    that which is on thy shoulder?” He said to her, “Three bushels of
    barley, and two of wheat, in all five; these are what are upon my
    shoulder:” thus said he to her. And she conversed with him, saying,
    “There is great strength in thee, for I see thy might every day.” And
    her heart knew him with the knowledge of youth. And she arose and came
    to him, and conversed with him, saying, “Come stay with me, and it
    shall be well for thee, and I will make for thee beautiful garments.”
    Then the youth became like a panther of the south with fury at the
    evil speech which she had made to him; and she feared greatly. And he
    spake unto her, saying, “Behold thou art to me as a mother, thy
    husband is to me as a father, for he who is elder than I brought me
    up. What is this wickedness that thou hast said to me? Say it not to
    me again. For I will not tell it to any man, for I will not let it be
    uttered by the mouth of any man.” He lifted up his burden, and he went
    to the field and came to his elder brother; and they took up their
    work, to labor at their task.

    Now afterward, at eventime, his elder brother was returning to his
    house; and the younger brother was following after his oxen, and he
    loaded himself with all the things of the field; and he brought his
    oxen before him, to make them lie down in their stable which was in
    the farm. And behold the wife of the elder brother was afraid for the
    words which she had said. She took a parcel of fat, she became like
    one who is evilly beaten, desiring to say to her husband, “It is thy
    younger brother who has done this wrong.” Her husband returned in the
    even as was his wont of every day: he came unto his house; he found
    his wife ill of violence; she did not give him water upon his hands as
    he used to have, she did not make a light before him, his house was in
    darkness, and she was lying very sick. Her husband said to her, “Who
    has spoken with thee?” Behold she said, “No one has spoken with me
    except thy younger brother. When he came to take for thee corn he
    found me sitting alone; he said to me, ‘Come, let us stay together,
    tie up thy hair’: thus spoke he to me. I did not listen to him, but
    thus spake I to him: ‘Behold, am I not thy mother, is not thy elder
    brother to thee as a father?’ And he feared, and he beat me to stop me
    from making report to thee, and if thou lettest him live I shall die.
    Now behold he is coming in the evening; and I complain of these wicked
    words, for he would have done this even in daylight.”

    And the elder brother became as a panther of the south; he sharpened
    his knife; he took it in his hand; he stood behind the door of the
    stable to slay his younger brother as he came in the evening to bring
    his cattle into the stable.

    Now the sun went down, and he loaded himself with herbs in his daily
    manner. He came, and his foremost cow entered the stable, and she said
    to her keeper, “Behold thy elder brother standing before thee with his
    knife to slay thee; flee from before him.” He heard what his first cow
    had said; and the next entering, she also said likewise. He looked
    beneath the door of the stable; he saw the feet of his elder brother;
    he was standing behind the door, and his knife was in his hand. He
    cast down his load to the ground, and betook himself to flee swiftly;
    and his elder brother pursued after him with his knife. Then the
    younger brother cried out unto Rā Harakhti,[435] saying, “My good
    lord! thou art he who divides the evil from the good.” And Rā stood
    and heard his cry; and Rā made a wide water between him and his elder
    brother, and it was full of crocodiles; and the one brother was on one
    bank, and the other on the other bank; and the elder brother smote
    twice on his hands at not slaying him. Thus did he. And the younger
    brother called to the elder brother on the bank, saying, “Stand still
    until the dawn of the day; and when Rā ariseth, I shall judge with
    thee before him, and he discerneth between the good and the evil. For
    I shall not be with thee any more forever; I shall not be in the place
    in which thou art; I shall go to the valley of the acacia.”

We need not follow the story further. Those who wish to do so are referred
to Petrie’s _Egyptian Tales_. From this point onward, it contains many
mythological features.

This story, in the form in which we have it, was written for Seti II
(1209-1205 B. C.) of the nineteenth Egyptian dynasty, while that monarch
was still crown prince. Scholars of all shades of opinion have recognized
in it a striking parallel to the story of Joseph in the house of Potiphar,
in Genesis 39:1-20. Joseph, like the younger brother of this tale, was
trusted with everything about his master’s place; Potiphar’s wife, like
the sister-in-law of the tale, tempted Joseph; Joseph, like the younger
brother, resisted temptation; and Potiphar’s wife, like the sister-in-law,
charged him with the crime which he had been unwilling to commit.

Scholars of the critical school regard this as the original of the story
in Genesis. While they recognize that it is a theme which is not confined
to Egyptians and Hebrews (compare for other parallels Lang, _Myth, Ritual,
and Religion_, II, 303, ff.), the fact that the theme of the Biblical
story is laid in Egypt leads them to think it extremely probable that
there is a connection between the two.

Conservative scholars on the other hand hold that in all probability there
was more than one such scandal in Egypt, and account for the likeness by
the similarity which would naturally present itself in such cases, holding
that the Egyptian tale has no bearing on the credibility of that in

=4. Letters to a Ruler Like Joseph.=

Among the letters in the Babylonian language and script found at El-Amarna
in Egypt in the winter of 1887-1888,[436] many of which were written to
Amenophis III and Amenophis IV, Kings of Egypt, 1411-1357 B. C., by
Egyptian vassals in Palestine and Syria, there are two which were written
to a Semite named Dûdu (David), which show that this Semite held at the
Egyptian court a position analogous to that which Joseph, as ruler of
Egypt, is said to have held (Gen. 41:39, f.; 50:26). These letters are as


    1. To Dûdu, my lord, my father,

    2. speaks Aziru, thy son, thy servant:

    3. at the feet of my father I fall.

    4. Unto my father may there be health!

    5. O Dûdu, truly I have given (_i. e._, done)

    6. the wish of the king, my lord,

    7. and whatever is the wish

    8. of the king, my lord, let him send

    9. and I will give (do) it.

    10. Further: see, thou art there,

    11. my father, and whatever is the wish

    12. of Dûdu, my father, send it

    13. and I will indeed give (do) it.

    14. Behold, thou art my father and my lord

    15. and I am thy son. The lands of the Amorites

    16. are thy lands, and my house is thy house,

    17. and whatever thy wish is,

    18. send, and I

    19. shall behold, and verily will give (do) it.

    20. And see, thou in the presence of

    21. the king, my lord, sittest.

    22. ............ enemies

    23. words of slander

    24. before my father, before

    25. the king, my lord, have spoken,

    26. but do thou not count them just!

    27. And behold thou in the presence

    28. of the king, my lord, as a dignitary (?)

    29. sittest ....................

    30. and the words of slander

    31. against me do not count true.

    32. Also I am a servant of the king, my lord,

    33. and from the words of the king, my lord,

    34. and from the words of Dûdu, my father,

    35. I shall not depart forever.

    36. But when the king, my lord, does not love me,

    37. but hates me,

    38. then I--what shall I say?


    1. To Dûdu, my lord, my father,

    2. speaks Aziru, thy servant:

    3. at the feet of my lord I fall.

    4. Khatib has come

    5. and has brought the words

    6. of the king, my lord, important and good,

    7. and I am very, very glad,

    8. and my land and my brethren,

    9. the servants of the king, my lord,

    10. and the servants of Dûdu, my lord,

    11. are very, very glad,

    12. when there comes

    13. the breath of the king, my lord,

    14. unto me. From the words

    15. of my lord, my god, my sun-god,

    16. and from the words of Dûdu,

    17. my lord, I shall not depart.

    18. My lord, truly Khatib

    19. stands with me.

    20. I and he will come.

    21. My lord, the king of the Hittites

    22. has come into Nukhashshi,

    23. so that I cannot come.

    24. Would that the king of the Hittites would depart!

    25. Then truly I would come,

    26. I and Khatib.

    27. May the king, my lord, my words

    28. hear! My lord, I fear

    29. on account of the face of the king, my lord,

    30. and on account of the face of Dûdu.

    31. And now by my gods

    32. and my angels verily I have sworn,

    33. O Dûdu and nobles

    34. of the king, my lord, that truly I will come.

    35. And so, Dûdu

    36. and the king, my lord, and the nobles,

    37. “Truly we will not conceive anything

    38. against Aziru that is unfavorable,”--

    39. even thus may ye swear

    40. by my gods and the god A!

    41. And truly I

    42. and Khatib are faithful servants of the king.

    43. O Dûdu, thou shalt truly know

    44. that I will come to thee.

The Aziru of these letters was the chieftain or petty king of the
Amorites, who were living at the time to the eastward of Phœnicia, between
the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains. The way in which he addresses Dûdu
is significant. Dûdu is classed continually with the king. Aziru fears to
offend Dûdu as he fears to offend the king; the words of Dûdu are of equal
importance with those of the king. Dûdu clearly occupied a position of
power with the king of Egypt similar to that ascribed to Joseph in Genesis
41. Moreover, Dûdu is a Semitic name; vocalized a little differently, it
becomes David.

The king to whom this letter was written was Amenophis III or Amenophis
IV, in whose reigns Semitic influence was especially strong in Egypt.
Amenophis III took as his favorite wife a woman named Tiy, daughter of
Yuaa and Tuau, whose mummies, discovered a few years ago, show, some
think, that they were Semitic. Queen Tiy was very influential during the
reign of her son, Amenophis IV, and was in part the cause of the
remarkable religious reform which he undertook (Part I, Chapter I, § 6
(vii)). It is not, accordingly, strange to find that the chief minister of
one of these kings was a Semite. Of course, Dûdu cannot be identified with
Joseph, but his career shows that such careers as that of Joseph were not
impossible at this period of Egyptian history.

=5. The Seven Years of Famine.=

The following inscription was found cut on a rock between the island of
Elephantine and the First Cataract, and was first published by Brugsch in
1891. It is written in hieroglyphic characters, and was apparently
inscribed in the reign of Ptolemy X, 117-89 B. C. It relates how King
Zoser, of the third dynasty, who began to reign about 2980 B. C., nearly
2,800 years before the inscription was written, appealed to Khnum, the god
of Elephantine, because of a famine. The part of the text which interests
us is as follows:[439]

    “I am very anxious on account of those who are in the palace. My heart
    is in great anxiety on account of misfortune, for in my time the Nile
    has not overflowed for a period of seven years. There is scarcely any
    produce of the field; herbage fails; eatables are wanting. Every man
    robs his neighbor. Men move (?) with nowhere to go. The children cry,
    the young people creep along (?). The aged heart is bowed down; their
    limbs are crippled; they sit (?) on the earth. Their arms are ........
    The people of the court are at their wits’ end. The store-houses (?)
    were built, but .......... and all that was in them has been

As Brugsch[440] saw, this inscription gives a graphic account of the
suffering caused by seven such years of famine as are said to have
occurred in the time of Joseph (Gen. 41:30, 54, ff.). It cannot be the
same seven-year famine as that referred to in Genesis, as it is placed
several centuries too early to coincide with the time of Joseph. As the
inscription is about 2,800 years later than the event it describes, its
historical accuracy might be questioned, but it is probable that it was a
renewal of an earlier inscription. But even if its historical accuracy be
impugned, it witnesses to a native Egyptian tradition that such famines
were possible.

=6. Inscription Showing Preparation for Famine.=

Inscription of Baba of El-Kab[441]

    “The chief at the table of the sovereign, Baba, the risen again,
    speaks thus: I loved my father; I honored my mother; my brothers and
    sisters loved me. I went out of the door of my house with a benevolent
    heart; I stood there with refreshing hand; splendid were my
    preparations of what I collected for the festal day. Mild was (my)
    heart, free from violent anger. The gods bestowed upon me abundant
    prosperity upon earth. The city wished me health and a life of full
    enjoyment. I punished the evil-doers. The children who stood before me
    in the town during the days which I fulfilled were--great and
    small--60; just as many beds were provided for them, just as many
    chairs (?), just as many tables (?). They all consumed 120 ephahs of
    durra, the milk of 3 cows, 52 goats, and 9 she-asses, a hin of balsam,
    and 2 jars of oil.

    “My words may seem a jest to the gainsayer, but I call the god Mut to
    witness that what I say is true. I had all this prepared in my house;
    in addition I put cream in the store-chamber and beer in the cellar in
    a more than sufficient number of hin-measures.

    “I collected corn as a friend of the harvest-god. I was watchful in
    time of sowing. And when a famine arose, lasting many years, I
    distributed corn to the city each year of famine.”

The Baba who wrote this inscription lived under the eighteenth Egyptian
dynasty, about 1500 B. C., or a little before. Brugsch pointed out many
years ago that Baba’s concluding statement forms an interesting parallel
to the conduct of Joseph as told in Gen. 41:47-57. Baba claims to have
done for his city, El-Kab, what Joseph is said to have done for all Egypt.
His statement affords striking evidence of the historical reality of
famines in Egypt, and of such economic preparation for them.




=1. The Tale of Sinuhe.=

In the year 1970 B. C., when Amenemhet I died and was succeeded by
Sesostris I, an Egyptian of high rank, named Sinuhe, for some reason now
unknown to us, fled from Egypt to Asia. The details of his escape from
Egypt are not of interest to the Biblical student, but his description of
the hardships encountered in the desert and of his experiences in eastern
Palestine are of great value, as they afford us our earliest description
of that country outside the Bible. The following extract begins just after
Sinuhe had told how he escaped the guards in the fort which stood at the
eastern frontier of Egypt.[442]

  I went on at the time of evening,
  As the earth brightened, I arrived at Peten.
  When I had reached the lake of Kemwer,[443]
  I fell down for thirst, fast came my breath,
  My throat was hot,
  I said: “This is the taste of death.”
  I upheld my heart, I drew my limbs together,
  As I heard the sound of lowing cattle,
  I beheld the Bedawin.
  That chief among them, who had been in Egypt, recognized me.
  He gave me water, he cooked for me milk.
  I went with him to his tribe,
  Good was that which they did (for me).
  One land sent me on to another,
  I loosed for Suan,[444]
  I arrived at Kedem;[445]
  I spent a year and a half there.
  Emuienshe,[446] that sheik of Upper [Ru]tenu,[447] brought me forth
  saying to me: “Happy art thou with me,
  (for) thou hearest the speech of Egypt.”
  He said this (for) he knew my character,
  He had heard of my wisdom;
  The Egyptians, who were there with him, bare witness of me.

The Amorite chieftain then questioned Sinuhe concerning his flight. He
gave evasive answers, merging with his reply a long hymn in praise of the
king. After this Emuienshe said to him:

  “Behold, thou shalt now abide with me;
   Good is that which I shall do for thee.”
   He put me at the head of his children,
   He married me to his eldest daughter,
   He made me select for myself of his land,
   Of the choicest of that which he had,
   On his boundary with another land.
   It was a goodly land, named Yaa;[448]
   There were figs in it and vines,
   More plentiful than water was its wine,
   Copious was its honey, plenteous its oil;
   All fruits were upon its trees.
   Barley was there and spelt,
   Without end all cattle.
   Moreover, great was that which came to me,
   Which came for love of me,
   When he appointed me sheik of the tribe,
   From the choicest of his land.
   I portioned the daily bread,
   And wine for every day,
   Cooked flesh and fowl in roast;
   Besides the mid goats of the hills,
   Which were trapped for me, and brought to me;
   Besides that which my dogs captured for me.
   There was much--made for me,
   And milk in every sort of cooked dish.
   I spent many years,
   My children became strong,
   Each the mighty man of his tribe.
   The messenger going north,
   Or passing southward to the court,
   He turned in to me.
   For I had all men turn in (to me).

The tale goes on concerning the personal prowess of Sinuhe, who, in his
old age, returned to Egypt and made his peace with the king.

=2. Communication between Egypt and Palestine.=

This document from the early patriarchal age reveals a close relationship
between Egypt and Palestine. There was frequent communication between
Kedem and Egypt; messengers went to and fro. The Egyptian language was
understood at the court of the Amorite chieftain. These conditions throw
light on the narratives of the descent of Abraham and Jacob to Egypt.
Sinuhe’s description of his life necessarily reminds one of the
description of Palestine so often met with in the Pentateuch, Joshua, and
the prophets, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” (See, for example,
Exod. 3:8, 17.)

(_For an addition to this chapter, see Appendix._)




=1. The Legend of Sargon of Agade.=

The following legend[449] contains a story of the exposure of an infant on
a river, strikingly like that told of Moses.

    1. Sargon, the mighty king, king of Agade am I,

    2. My mother was lowly; my father I did not know;[450]

    3. The brother of my father dwelt in the mountain.

    4. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the bank of the

    5. My lowly mother conceived me, in secret she brought me forth.

    6. She placed me in a basket of reeds, she closed my entrance with

    7. She cast me upon the river, which did not overflow me.

    8. The river carried me, it brought me to Akki, the irrigator.

    9. Akki, the irrigator, in the goodness of his heart lifted me out,

    10. Akki, the irrigator, as his own son ...... brought me up;

    11. Akki, the irrigator, as his gardener appointed me.

    12. When I was a gardener the goddess Ishtar loved me,

    13. And for four years I ruled the kingdom.

    14. The black-headed[451] peoples I ruled, I governed;

    15. Mighty mountains with axes of bronze I destroyed (?).

    16. I ascended the upper mountains;

    17. I burst through the lower mountains.

    18. The country of the sea I besieged three times;

    19. Dilmun[452] I captured (?).

    20. Unto the great Dur-ilu I went up, I ..........

    21. .......... I altered ..........

    22. Whatsoever king shall be exalted after me,

    23. ..............................

    24. Let him rule, let him govern the black-headed peoples;

    25. Mighty mountains with axes of bronze let him destroy;

    26. Let him ascend the upper mountains,

    27. Let him break through the lower mountains;

    28. The country of the sea let him besiege three times;

    29. Dilmun let him capture;

    30. To great Dur-ilu let him go up.

The rest is too broken for connected translation.

It is thought by some scholars of the critical school that the parallelism
between the secret birth, the exposure, the rescue and adoption of Sargon,
and the account of the secret birth, exposure, rescue, and adoption of
Moses in Exod. 2:1-10 is too close to be accidental. Conservative
scholars, on the other hand, hold that, if the legend of Sargon is
historical, it merely affords an example of a striking coincidence of
events in two independent lives.

=2. The Pillar of Merneptah.=

In the fifth year of King Merneptah, who ruled from 1225-1215 B. C., and
who is thought to be the Pharaoh of the exodus, he inscribed on a pillar
an account of his wars and victories. The inscription concludes with the
following poetic strophe:[453]

  The kings are overthrown, saying: “salaam!”
  Not one holds up his head among the nine bows.[454]
  Wasted is Tehenu,[455]
  Kheta[456] is pacified,
  Plundered is the Canaan[457] with every evil,
  Carried off is Askelon,
  Seized upon is Gezer,
  Yenoam[458] is made as a thing not existing.
  Israel is desolated, his seed is not;
  Palestine has become a widow for Egypt.
  All lands are united, they are pacified;
  Every one that is turbulent is bound by King Merneptah, who gives life
        like Rā every day.

This inscription contains the only mention of Israel in a document of this
age outside the Bible. It is, for that reason, of great importance. It
should be noted that Israel is mentioned along with peoples and places in
Palestine and Phœnicia. The Israel here referred to was not, accordingly,
in Egypt. Israel, on the other hand, may not have been more than a nomadic
people. The Egyptians used a certain “determinative” in connection with
the names of settled peoples. That sign is here used with Tehenu, Kheta,
Askelon, Gezer, and Yenoam, but not with Israel.

As Merneptah has been supposed by many to be the Pharaoh in whose reign
the exodus occurred, the mention of Israel here has somewhat puzzled
scholars, and different explanations of the fact have arisen. At least one
scholar holds that the exodus occurred in Merneptah’s third year, and that
he afterward attacked the Hebrews. Others have supposed that not all the
Hebrews had been in Egypt, but only the Joseph tribes. Still others have
thought that the Leah tribes had made their exodus during the eighteenth
dynasty, and that it was these with whom Merneptah fought, while the
Rachel tribes made their exodus under the nineteenth dynasty. Opinions
vary according to the critical views of different writers. All scholars
would welcome more information on these problems.




=1. The Text of the Code; Comparison with the Mosaic Code.=

The following code of laws was inscribed by order of Hammurapi, of the
first dynasty of Babylon (2104-2061 B. C.), on a block of black diorite
nearly eight feet in height and set up in Esagila, the temple of Marduk,
in Babylon, so that the people might have the laws in the mother-tongue.
As this last statement implies, the laws are written in Semitic
Babylonian; before the time of Hammurapi the laws had been written in
Sumerian. At some later time an Elamite conqueror, who was overrunning
Babylonia, took this pillar away to Susa as a trophy. In course of time
the pillar was broken into three parts, which were found by the French
expedition under de Morgan in December, 1901, and January, 1902, while
excavating at Susa. As the code is the oldest known code of laws in the
world, being a thousand years older than Moses, and as it affords some
interesting peculiarities as well as some striking parallels to the laws
in Exodus 21-23 and in Deuteronomy, a translation of it, with some
comparison of Exodus and Deuteronomy, is here given:

Against Witches

    § 1. If a man brings an accusation against a man, that he has laid a
    death-spell upon him, and has not proved it, the accuser shall be put
    to death.[459]

    § 2. If a man accuses another of practising sorcery upon him, but has
    not proved it, he against whom the charge of sorcery is made shall go
    to the sacred river; into the sacred river he shall plunge, and if the
    sacred river overpowers him, his accuser shall take possession of his
    house. If the sacred river shows that man to be innocent, and he is
    unharmed, he who charged him with sorcery shall be killed. He who
    plunged into the sacred river shall take the house of his accuser.

With these laws we should compare Exod. 22:18, which imposes the death
penalty upon witches, and Deut. 18:10, ff., which declares that there
shall be no sorcerer, diviner, magician, or charmer in Israel and promises
a line of prophets to render these unnecessary. Magic is banished from
Israel; its presence in Babylonia is taken for granted, and only some of
its exercises, which were supposed to be especially deadly, were
forbidden. In § 2 the man accused of sorcery is to be tried by ordeal. He
is to plunge into the river and if he can swim in its current, he is
innocent. Trial by ordeal is found but once in the Hebrew laws (Num.
5:11-28). There both the crime and the ordeal are very different from

Note that in these sections the false accuser suffers in just the way he
has tried to bring suffering to the other. This is the law of retaliation,
which appears in Deut. 19:16-21, where it is applied to false witnesses in
the same way as here. It will be found underlying many of the penalties of
this code.

Laws Concerning False Witness

    § 3. If in a case a man has borne false witness, or accused a man
    without proving it, if that case is a capital case, that man shall be
    put to death.

    § 4. If he has borne witness in a case of grain or money, the penalty
    of that case he shall himself bear.

Hebrew law was similar; a false witness was to be visited with the penalty
which he had purposed to bring upon his brother (Deut. 19:18, 19).

Against Reversing a Judicial Decision

    § 5. If a judge has pronounced a judgment, made a decision, caused it
    to be sealed, and afterward has altered his judgment, that judge they
    shall convict on account of the case which he decided and altered; the
    penalty which in that case he imposed he shall pay twelvefold, and in
    the assembly from the seat of his judgment they shall expel him; he
    shall not return; with the judges in a case he shall not sit.

Hebrew law presents no parallel to this.

Against Theft

    § 6. If a man steals the goods of a god (temple) or of a palace, that
    man shall be put to death, and he by whose hand the stolen goods were
    received shall be put to death.

    § 7. If a man purchases or receives on deposit either silver, gold,
    man-servant, maid-servant, ox, sheep, ass, or anything whatever from
    the hand of a minor or a slave without witnesses or contracts, that
    man is a thief; he shall be put to death.

    § 8. If a man has stolen ox, or sheep, or ass, or pig, or a boat,
    either from a god (temple) or a palace, he shall pay thirtyfold. If he
    is a poor man, he shall restore tenfold. If the thief has nothing to
    pay, he shall be put to death.

    § 9. If a man, who has lost anything, finds that which was lost in a
    man’s hand, (and) the man in whose hand the lost thing was found says:
    “A seller sold it; I bought it before witnesses”; and the owner of the
    lost thing says: “I will bring witnesses who know that the lost thing
    is mine”; if the purchaser brings the seller who sold it to him and
    the witnesses in whose presence it was bought, and the owner of the
    lost thing brings the witnesses who know that the lost thing is his,
    the judges shall examine their testimony. The witnesses before whom
    the purchaser purchased it, and the witnesses who know the lost thing,
    shall give their testimony in the presence of a god. The seller is a
    thief; he shall be put to death. The owner of the lost thing shall
    take that which was lost. The purchaser shall take from the house of
    the seller the money which he had paid.

    § 10. If the purchaser does not produce the seller who sold it to him
    and the witnesses before whom he bought it, and the owner of the lost
    thing produces the witnesses who know that the lost thing is his, the
    purchaser is the thief; he shall be put to death. The owner of the
    lost thing shall take that which he lost.

    § 11. If the owner of the lost thing does not bring the witnesses who
    know that the lost thing is his, he is one who has attempted fraud; he
    shall be put to death.

    § 12. If the seller has died, the purchaser shall recover from the
    house of the seller the damages of that case fivefold.

    § 13. If that man has not his witnesses near, the judges shall set an
    appointed time within six months; and if, within six months, his
    witnesses he does not produce, that man is a liar; the penalty of that
    case he shall himself bear.

The Hebrew laws comparable to these are found in Exod. 22:1-4, 9, and Lev.
6:3-5. Exodus directs (v. 1) that, if a man steals an ox or a sheep and
kills it or sells it, he shall restore live oxen for an ox and four sheep
for a sheep. In case it is not sold he shall restore double (v. 9). No
highly organized courts appear in the Biblical codes. The thief was
brought before God and his guilt determined by some religious test. The
law of Leviticus required a man guilty of theft to restore the lost
property, adding to it a fifth more, and to offer a ram in sacrifice. (See
Exod. 18:13-26. Cf. 2 Chron. 19:5-7 with 1 Chron. 23:4 and Deut.

The Babylonian laws presuppose a much more highly organized social
community than the Hebrew.

Against Stealing Children and Slaves

    § 14. If a man steals the son of a man who is a minor, he shall be put
    to death.

    § 15. If a man causes a male or female slave of a palace, or the male
    or female slave of a workingman to escape from the city gate, he shall
    be put to death.

    § 16. If a man harbors in his house either a male or a female slave
    who has escaped from a palace or from a workingman, and does not bring
    him out at the summons of the officer, the owner of that house shall
    be put to death.

    § 17. If a man finds in a field a male or a female slave who has
    escaped and restores him to his owner, the owner of the slave shall
    pay him 2 shekels of silver.

    § 18. If that slave will not name his owner, he shall bring him unto
    the palace and they shall investigate his record and restore him unto
    his owner.

    § 19. If he shall detain that slave in his house and afterward the
    slave is found, that man shall be put to death.

    § 20. If the slave escapes from the hand of his captor, that man shall
    declare it on oath to the owner of the slave and shall be innocent.

These laws are analogous to Exod. 21:16 and Deut. 23:15. The former
inflicts the death penalty for stealing a man and selling him, and the
latter prohibits one in whose house a fugitive slave has taken refuge from
returning the slave to his master. Slavery was not in Israel such a firmly
established institution as in Babylonia. (See Exod. 21:2-6; Deut.
15:12-18; Lev. 25:25-46.)

Housebreaking and Brigandage

    § 21. If a man breaks into a house, before that breach he shall be put
    to death and thrown into it.

    § 22. If a man practices brigandage and is caught, that man shall be
    put to death.

    § 23. If the robber is not caught, the man who is robbed shall declare
    his loss, whatever it is, in the presence of a god, and the city and
    governor in whose territory and jurisdiction the robbery was committed
    shall compensate him for whatever was lost.

    § 24. If it is a life, that city and governor shall pay to his
    relatives 1 mana of silver.[460]

Hebrew law presents an analogy to the last of these sections in Deut.
21:1-9, though in Israel no compensation was offered to the heirs of the
man who was slain, but a sacrifice was performed by the elders of the
nearest city, to purge it of innocent blood.

Stealing at a Fire

    § 25. If a fire breaks out in a man’s house, and a man who has come to
    extinguish it shall cast his eye upon the furniture of the owner of
    the house, and the furniture of the owner of the house shall take,
    that man shall be thrown into that fire.

The Duties and Privileges of Soldiers, Constables, and Tax-collectors

    § 26. If a soldier or a constable[461] who is ordered to go on a
    journey for the king does not go, but hires a substitute and
    dispatches him instead, that soldier or constable shall be put to
    death; his hired substitute shall appropriate his house.

    § 27. If a soldier or a constable is detained in a royal fortress and
    after him they give his field or garden to another and he takes it
    and carries it on, if the first one returns and reaches his city, they
    shall restore to him his field and garden, and he shall take it and
    carry it on.

    § 28. If a soldier or a constable who is detained in a royal fortress
    has a son who is able to carry on his business, they shall give to him
    his field and garden and he shall carry on the business of his father.

    § 29. If his son is small and not able to carry on the business of his
    father, they shall give one-third of his field and garden to his
    mother and she shall rear him.

    § 30. If a soldier or a constable from the beginning of his
    appointment neglects his field, garden, and house and leaves them
    uncared for, another after him shall take his field, garden, and
    house, and carry on his business for three years. If he returns and
    desires his field, garden, and house, they shall not give them to him.
    He who has taken them and carried on the business shall carry it on.

    § 31. If he leaves it uncared for but one year and returns, they shall
    give him his field, garden, and house, and he shall carry on his own

    § 32. If a merchant ransoms a soldier (?) or a constable who, on a
    journey of the king, was detained, and brings him back, to his city,
    if in his house there is sufficient ransom, he shall ransom himself.
    If in his house there is not sufficient to ransom him, by the temple
    of his city he shall be ransomed. If in the temple of his city there
    is not a sufficient ransom, he shall be ransomed by the palace. His
    field, garden, and house shall not be given for ransom.

    § 33. If a governor or a magistrate harbors a deserting soldier or
    accepts and sends a hired substitute on an errand of the king, that
    governor or magistrate shall be put to death.

    § 34. If a governor or a magistrate takes the property of a soldier,
    plunders a soldier, or hires out a soldier, has defrauded a soldier in
    a suit before a sheik, or takes the present which the king has given
    to a soldier, that governor or magistrate shall be put to death.

    § 35. If a man buys the cattle or sheep which the king has given to a
    soldier, he shall forfeit his money.

    § 36. One shall not sell the field, garden, or house of a soldier,
    constable, or tax-collector.

    § 37. If a man has bought the field, garden, or house of a soldier,
    constable, or tax-collector, his tablet shall be broken, he shall
    forfeit his money; the field, house, or garden shall return to its

    § 38. A soldier, constable, or tax-collector shall not deed to his
    wife or daughter the field, house, or garden, which is his perquisite,
    nor shall he assign them for debt.

    § 39. A field, garden, or house which he has purchased and possesses
    he may deed to his wife or daughter, or may assign for debt.

    § 40. A priestess, merchant, or other creditor may purchase his field,
    garden, or house. The purchaser shall conduct the business of the
    field, garden, or house which he has purchased.

    § 41. If a man has bargained for the field, garden, or house of a
    soldier, constable, or tax-collector and has given sureties, the
    soldier, constable, or tax-collector shall return to the field, house,
    or garden, and the sureties which were given him he shall keep.

No such officers as these are mentioned in the laws of the Old Testament,
though some of them appear in earlier times in the records of Babylonia.
The tax-collectors mentioned here remind us of Solomon’s tax-collectors
mentioned in 1 Kings 4:7, ff.

Laws of Agriculture

    § 42. If a man rents a field for cultivation and produces no grain in
    that field, they shall call him to account for doing no work in that
    field, and he shall give to the owner of the field grain similar to
    that of adjacent fields.

    § 43. If he does not cultivate that field and neglects it, he shall
    give the owner of the field grain similar to that of adjacent fields,
    and the field which he neglected he shall break up with mattocks, he
    shall harrow, and return it to the owner of the field.

    § 44. If a man rents an uncultivated field for three years for
    improvement and neglects its surface and does not develop the field,
    in the fourth year he shall break up the field with mattocks, he shall
    hoe and harrow it, and return it unto the owner of the field, and for
    every _Gan_ of land he shall measure out 10 _Gur_ of grain.

    § 45. If a man lets his field for pay on shares to a farmer and
    receives his rent, and afterward the storm-god inundates the field and
    carries off the produce, the loss is the farmer’s.

    § 46. If the rent of his field he has not received, and he has let the
    field for one-half or one-third (of the crop), the farmer and the
    owner of the field shall divide the grain which is in the field
    according to agreement.

    § 47. If the farmer, because he has not in a former year received a
    maintenance, entrusts the field to another farmer, the owner of the
    field shall not interfere. He would cultivate it, and his field has
    been cultivated. At the time of harvest he shall take grain according
    to his contracts.

    § 48. If a man has a debt against him and the storm-god inundates his
    field and carries away the produce, or if through lack of water grain
    has not grown in the field, in that year he shall not make a return of
    grain to his creditor; his contract he shall change, and the interest
    of that year he shall not pay.

    § 49. If a man borrows money from a merchant, and has given to the
    merchant a field planted with grain or sesame, and says to him:
    “Cultivate the field and harvest and take the grain or sesame which it
    produces”; if the tenant produces grain or sesame in the field, at the
    time of harvest the owner of the field shall take the grain or sesame
    which was produced by the field, and shall give to the merchant grain
    for the money which he borrowed from the merchant with its interest,
    and for the maintenance of the farmer.

    § 50. If the field was already planted [with grain or] sesame, the
    owner of the field shall receive the grain or the sesame which is
    produced in the field, and the money and its interest he shall return
    to the merchant.

    § 51. If there is not money to return, he shall give to the merchant
    [the grain or] sesame for the money and its interest which he had
    received from the merchant, according to the scale of prices fixed by
    the king.

    § 52. If the farmer does not produce grain or sesame in his field, he
    shall not alter his contract.

    § 53. If a man the side of his strong dyke has neglected and has not
    strengthened it, and in his dyke a break occurs, and the water
    destroys the farm-land, the man in whose dyke the break occurred shall
    restore the grain which was destroyed.

    § 54. If he is not able to restore the grain, they shall sell him and
    his possessions for money, and the owners of the fields whose grain
    was destroyed shall share it.

    § 55. If a man has opened his sluice for watering and has left it open
    and the water destroys the field of his neighbor, he shall measure out
    grain to him on the basis of that produced by neighboring fields.

    § 56. If a man opens the water and the water destroys the work[462] of
    a neighboring field, he shall measure out 10 _Gur_ of grain for each
    _Bur_ of land.

    § 57. If a shepherd causes his sheep to eat vegetation and has not
    made an agreement with the owner of the field, and without the consent
    of the owner of the field has pastured his sheep, the owner of the
    field shall harvest that field, and the shepherd who without the
    consent of the owner of the field caused his sheep to eat the field,
    shall pay the owner of the field in addition 20 _Gur_ of grain for
    each _Bur_ of land.

    § 58. If, after the sheep have come up out of the fields and are
    turned loose on the public common by the city gate, a shepherd turns
    his sheep into a field and causes the sheep to eat the field, the
    shepherd shall oversee the field which he caused to be eaten, and at
    harvest-time he shall measure to the owner of the field 60 _Gur_ of
    grain for each _Bur_ of land.

The Hebrew land laws are found in Exod. 22:5, 6; 23:10, 11; Lev. 19:9, and
Deut. 24:19-22; 23:24, 25. An examination of these passages reveals a wide
difference between Babylonia and Israel. In Babylonia it seems to have
often been the rule that a landlord let out the fields to tenants to work;
among the Hebrews the law presupposes that each man shall work his own
land. Many of the Babylonian laws are designed to secure the respective
rights of landlord and tenant. Naturally, there is nothing in the Old
Testament to correspond to these. Hebrew law (Exod. 22:5), like the
Babylonian, provides that one who causes a neighbor’s crop to be eaten
shall make restitution, but the regulations are of the most general
character. In Babylonia a larger social experience had made much more
specific regulations necessary.

The characters of the respective countries are reflected in the dangers
from which crops might be threatened. In waterless Palestine a fire
started by a careless man might burn his neighbor’s crop (Exod. 22:6); in
Babylonia, where irrigation from canals was conducted to fields lower than
the surface of the water, one might flood his neighbor’s field and destroy
his crop by carelessly leaving his sluice open.

The Hebrew legislation presupposes a poorer community. It provides that
the land shall lie fallow, and whatever it produces shall belong to the
poor (Exod. 23:10, 11). At harvest-time, too, one must not reap the
corners of his field; that was left to the poor (Lev. 19:9). If one forgot
a sheaf in his field, he must not return to take it; that should be left
to the poor (Deut. 24:19). Rich Babylonia made no such provision for the
poor; it felt no such social sympathy.

Again, even these agricultural laws show that commerce was highly
developed in Babylonia, with its necessary concomitant, the right to
charge interest for money. The uncommercial Hebrews regarded interest as
unlawful (Exod. 22:25), and it was Hillel, the contemporary of Herod the
Great, who invented an interpretation known as the Prosbūl, which
practically did away with this law and permitted Jews to take interest.

Horticultural Laws

    § 59. If a man shall cut down a tree in a man’s orchard without the
    consent of the owner, he shall pay ½ mana of silver.

    § 60. If a man gives a field to a gardener to plant as an orchard, the
    gardener shall plant the orchard and cultivate it for 4 years. In the
    fifth year the owner of the orchard and the gardener shall share it
    together. The owner of the orchard shall mark off his share and take

    § 61. If the gardener in planting does not complete it, but leaves a
    part of it waste, unto his portion they shall count it.

    § 62. If the field which is given to a gardener he does not plant, if
    vegetation is the produce of the field for the years during which it
    is neglected, the gardener shall measure out to the owner of the field
    on the basis of the adjacent fields, and shall perform the work on the
    field and restore it to the owner of the field.

    § 63. If the field is [left] waste land, he shall perform the work on
    the field and shall restore it to its owner, and 10 _Gur_ of grain for
    each _Bur_ of land he shall measure out.

    § 64. If a man lets his orchard to a gardener to manage, as long as
    the gardener is in possession of the garden he shall give to the owner
    of the garden two-thirds of the produce; one-third he shall take

    § 65. If the gardener does not manage the garden and diminishes its
    produce, the gardener shall measure out the produce of the orchard on
    the basis of adjacent orchards.[463]

    § 66. If a man has received money from a merchant, and his merchant
    puts him under bonds and he has nothing to give, and he gives his
    orchard for management unto the merchant and says: “The dates as many
    as are in my orchard take for thy money,” that merchant shall not
    consent; the owner of the orchard shall take the dates that are in the
    orchard and the money and its interest according to the tenor of his
    agreement he shall bring to the merchant. The remaining dates from the
    orchard shall belong to the owner of the orchard.

As in Palestine, there was no system of rental; the Bible contains almost
no horticultural laws. “Orchards” in Babylonia were, as the last section
shows, date orchards. The corresponding fruit in Palestine was the grape.
Hebrew laws deal with vineyards as with fields. If a man destroys the crop
in another’s vineyard, he is to give the best of his own (Exod. 22:5). He
is to leave his crop unpicked every seventh year for the poor (Exod.
23:11). He is not, when he gathers it, to glean it carefully, but leave
some for the poor (Lev. 19:10). When one goes into his neighbor’s
vineyard, he may pick what he wishes to eat, but must carry nothing away.
Horticulture among the Hebrews was not so highly developed as in

Five columns of writing have been erased after § 65 from the column on
which the laws are written. This erasure was probably made by the Elamite
conqueror, who carried the column as a trophy to Susa, in order to
inscribe his own name on it, but unfortunately, if that was the intention,
it was never carried out. We are accordingly in ignorance of his name. It
is estimated that 35 sections of laws were thus lost. As already noted,
one can be supplied from a fragment found at Susa, and from other tablets
fragments of two or three other sections can be made out. One of these
incomplete fragments refers to the rights of tenants of houses. It reads:

    [If] a man rents a house for money, and pays the whole rent for a year
    to the owner of the house, and the owner of the house orders that man
    to vacate before the expiration of his lease, the owner of the house
    from the money that he received shall ............

Unfortunately, the tablet is broken and the penalty for breaking the lease
is unknown. It is interesting to know that Babylonian tenants were
protected from avaricious landlords, even though no parallel law exists in
the Old Testament.

Two other sections of laws that once stood in this lacuna can now be
supplied from a considerably defaced tablet from Nippur in the University
Museum in Philadelphia, which once contained a part or all of the code of
Hammurapi. These sections are as follows:

A Bankrupt Law[464]

    If a man borrows grain or money from a merchant and for the payment
    has no grain or money, whatever is in his hand he shall in the
    presence of the elders give to the merchant in place of the debt; the
    merchant shall not refuse it; he shall receive it.

A Partnership Law[465]

    If a man gives money to a man for a partnership, the gain and profit
    that accrue are before the gods; together they shall do business.

The phrase “before the gods” means that the division shall be made on
oath. Commercial life was not sufficiently developed among the Hebrews so
that they needed such a law, consequently the Pentateuch contains no
parallel to this.

After the erasure of five columns the laws have to do with agents or
traveling salesmen.

Agents and Merchants

    § 100. [If an agent has received money from a merchant, he shall write
    down the amount and the amount of] the interest on the money, and,
    when the time has expired, he shall repay the merchant as much as he
    has received.

    § 101. If where he goes he does not meet with success, the agent shall
    double the amount of the money he received and return it to the

    § 102. If a merchant gives money to an agent as a favor, and where he
    goes he meets with misfortune, he shall restore the principal unto the

    § 103. If on the road as he travels an enemy robs him of anything he
    carries, the agent shall give an account of it under oath and shall be

    § 104. If a merchant has given to an agent grain, wool, or oil, or
    anything whatever to sell, the agent shall write down the price and
    shall return the money to the merchant. The agent shall take a receipt
    for the money which he gives to the merchant.

    § 105. If the agent is careless and does not take a receipt for the
    money he gave the merchant, money not receipted for shall not be
    placed to his account.

    § 106. If an agent receives money from a merchant and has a dispute
    with his merchant about it, that merchant shall put the agent on trial
    on oath before the elders concerning the money he received and the
    agent shall pay the merchant three times as much as he received.

    § 107. If a merchant lends to an agent and the agent returns to the
    merchant whatever the merchant had given him, if the merchant has a
    dispute with him about it, that agent shall put the merchant on trial
    on oath in the presence of the elders, and the merchant, because he
    had a dispute with his agent, whatever he received he shall give to
    the agent six times as much.

The Hebrews of the Old Testament time were not a commercial people and had
no such laws. Men today are inclined to think that the drummer, or
traveling salesman, is a modern invention, but these laws show that he was
an old institution in Babylonia four thousand years ago.

Wine Merchants

    § 108. If a woman who keeps a wine-shop does not receive grain as the
    price of drink, but takes money of greater value, or makes the measure
    of drink smaller than the measure of grain, that mistress of a
    wine-shop they shall put on trial and into the water shall throw her.

    § 109. If the mistress of a wine-shop collects criminals in her house,
    and does not seize these criminals and conduct them to the palace,
    that mistress of a wine-shop shall be put to death.

    § 110. If the wife of a god (_i. e._, a consecrated temple-woman), who
    is not living in the house appointed, opens a wine-shop or enters a
    wine-shop for a drink, they shall burn that woman.

    § 111. If the mistress of a wine-shop gives 60 _Qa_ of _sakani_-plant
    drink on credit at the time of harvest, she shall receive 50 _Qa_ of

The Old Testament affords no parallel. There were no wine-shops in Israel
so far as we know, and such consecrated women were prohibited by Deut.

Deposits and Distraints

    § 112. If a man continually traveling has given silver, gold, precious
    stones, or property to a man and has brought them to him for
    transportation, and that man does not deliver that which was for
    transportation at the place to which it was to be transported, but has
    appropriated it, the owner of the transported goods shall put that man
    on trial concerning that which was to be transported and was not
    delivered, and that man shall deliver unto the owner of the
    transported goods five times as much as was entrusted to him.

    § 113. If a man has grain or money deposited with a man and without
    the consent of the owner he takes grain from the heap or the granary,
    they shall prosecute that man because he took grain from the heap or
    the granary without the consent of the owner, and the grain as much as
    he took he shall return, and whatever it was he shall forfeit an equal

    § 114. If a man does not have against a man [a claim] for grain or
    money and secures a warrant against him for debt, for each warrant he
    shall pay ⅓ of a mana of money.

    § 115. If a man holds against a man [a claim] for grain or money and
    secures a warrant against him for debt and the debtor dies through his
    fate in the house of the creditor, that case has no penalty.

    § 116. If the debtor dies through violence or lack of care, the owner
    of the debtor shall prosecute the merchant; if it was the son of a
    man, his son shall be put to death; if the slave of a man, he shall
    pay ⅓ of a mana of money, and whatever [the debt] was, he shall
    forfeit as much.

Among the Hebrews, as among other ancient peoples, the poor at times
deposited their valuables with the more powerful for safekeeping. This was
natural before the invention of banks and safe deposit vaults.

The Hebrew law in Exod. 22:7-10 provides that if goods are given to
another man to keep and are stolen out of his house, the thief should, if
found, restore double the amount taken. If the thief was not found, the
owner of the house should be brought to God (so American R. V.)[466], _i.
e._, to the temple, where in some way (probably by lot) it was determined
whether he was guilty. If guilty, the owner of the house had to restore

Somewhat parallel to the Babylonian laws which permit the imprisonment of
a debtor in one’s house is the Hebrew law that a poor debtor might become
a slave for six years (Exod. 21:2-6; Deut. 15:7-18). The Old Testament
laws are not quite uniform. In reality it is only that of Deuteronomy
which contemplates slavery in consequence of indebtedness; Exodus speaks
as though the slave might not be bought in any way. The important point
is that in Babylonia a man might be imprisoned for debt; in Israel he
might become a temporary slave.

As to the deposit of valuable property with a creditor for security, the
Hebrew law, while it shows that there were other kinds of pledges (Deut.
24:10, ff.), mentions but one kind. This was in the case of a man so poor
that he had to give his outer garment as security. The law provided that
this should be returned to him at night, since the poor peasants had no
other blankets than these garments. A hard-hearted creditor might, by
keeping the garment at night, risk the life of the debtor (Exod. 22:26,
27; Deut. 24:11-13).


    § 117. If a man is subjected to an attachment for debt and sells his
    wife, son, or daughter, or they are given over to service, for three
    years they shall work in the house of their purchaser or temporary
    master; in the fourth year they shall be set free.

    § 118. If he binds to service a male or a female slave, and the
    merchant transfers or sells him, he can establish no claim.

    § 119. If a man is subjected to an attachment for debt and sells a
    maid-servant who has borne him children, the owner of the maid-servant
    shall pay and shall release his maid-servant.

These laws are quite similar to Exod. 21:2-11 and Deut. 15:12-18.

The main differences are that the Hebrew law contemplates that a man may
enter slavery himself; the Babylonian only that he shall permit his wife,
son, or daughter to do it. The Hebrews released such slaves at the end of
six years;[467] the Babylonians at the end of three. Hebrew law
recognized, too, that a man might sell his daughter into slavery (Exod.
21:7-11), but it stipulated that her treatment should be different from
that of men. It recognizes that either her master or his son would be
likely to make her a real or a secondary wife. She was not to be released
at the end of seven years, but in case her master did not deal with her in
certain specified ways she regained her freedom regardless of her period
of service.

Storage of Grain

    § 120. If a man has stored his grain in heaps in the building of
    another and an accident happens in the granary, or the owner of the
    building has disturbed the heap and taken grain, or has disputed the
    amount of grain that was stored in his building, the owner of the
    grain shall give an account of his grain under oath, the owner of the
    building shall double the amount of grain which he took and restore it
    to the owner of the grain.

    § 121. If a man stores grain in a man’s building, he shall pay each
    year 5 _Qa_ of grain for each _Gur_ of grain.

These laws have no Biblical parallel.

Deposits and Losses

    § 122. If a man gives to another on deposit silver or gold or anything
    whatever, anything as much as he deposits he shall recount to
    witnesses and shall institute contracts and make the deposit.

    § 123. If without witnesses and contracts he has placed anything on
    deposit and at the place of deposit they dispute it, that case has no

    § 124. If a man gives to another on deposit silver or gold or anything
    whatever in the presence of witnesses and he disputes it, he shall
    prosecute that man and he shall double whatever he disputed and shall
    repay it.

    § 125. If a man places anything on deposit and at the place of deposit
    either through burglary or pillage anything of his is lost, together
    with anything belonging to the owner of the building, the owner of the
    building who was negligent and lost what was given him on deposit
    shall make it good and restore it to the owner of the goods. The owner
    of the house shall institute a search for whatever was lost and take
    it from the thief.

    § 126. If a man has not lost anything, but says he has lost something,
    or files a claim as though he had lost something, he shall give
    account of his claim on oath, and whatever he brought suit for he
    shall double and shall give for his claim.

There is no mention in the laws of the Old Testament of this kind of
deposit, though, as already noted, it probably was sometimes practised.

Against Slandering Women

    § 127. If a man causes the finger to be pointed at the woman of a god
    or the wife of a man and cannot prove it, they shall bring him before
    the judges and they shall brand his forehead.

The nearest parallel to this in the Old Testament is in Deut. 22:13-21,
which is really quite a different law, for it applies only to cases where
men, when just married, slander their wives by charging them with previous
impurity. The Hebrew law provides a method of trial, a punishment for the
man, if guilty, and a much severer one for the woman, if the charge is
true. The two codes belong to quite a different legal development, as is
shown by the fact that the Babylonian law refers to “a woman of a god,”
_i. e._, one of the temple-women who, under certain religious rules,
represented in a concrete way the procreative power of the god.

This code recognizes several classes of these, as will appear later, but
Hebrew law forbade the existence of such women in Israel (Deut. 23:17).

Chastity, Marriage, and Divorce

    § 128. If a man takes a wife and does not execute contracts for her,
    that woman is no wife.

    § 129. If the wife of a man is caught lying with another man, they
    shall bind them and throw them into the water. If the husband of the
    woman would let her live, or the king would let his subject live, he
    may do so.

    § 130. If a man forces the betrothed wife of another who is living in
    her father’s house and has not known a man, and lies in her loins and
    they catch him, that man shall be put to death and that woman shall go

    § 131. If the wife of a man is accused by her husband, and she has not
    been caught lying with another man, she shall swear her innocence and
    return to her house.

    § 132. If the finger has been pointed at the wife of a man because of
    another man and she has not been caught lying with the other man, for
    her husband’s sake she shall plunge into the sacred river.

    § 133. If a man is taken captive and there is food in his house, his
    wife shall not go out from his house, her body she shall guard, into
    the house of another she shall not enter. If that woman does not guard
    her body and enters into the house of another, that woman they shall
    prosecute and throw her into the water.

    § 134. If a man is taken captive and in his house there is no food,
    and his wife enters into the house of another, that woman is not to

    § 135. If a man is taken captive and there is no food in his house and
    his wife has openly entered into the house of another and borne
    children, and afterwards her husband returns and reaches his city,
    that woman shall return to her husband and the children shall follow
    their father.

    § 136. If a man deserts his city and flees and after it his wife
    enters into the house of another, if that man returns and would take
    his wife, because he deserted his city and fled, the wife of the
    fugitive shall not return to the house of her husband.

    § 137. If a man sets his face against a concubine who has borne him
    children or a wife that has presented him with children, to put her
    away, he shall return to that woman her marriage portion, and shall
    give her the income of field, garden, and house, and she shall bring
    up her children. From the time that her children are grown, from
    whatever is given to her children, a portion like that of a son shall
    be given to her, and the husband of her choice she may marry.

    § 138. If a man would put away his spouse who has not borne him
    children, he shall give her silver equal to her marriage gift, and the
    dowry which she brought from her father’s house he shall restore to
    her and may put her away.

    § 139. If she had no dowry, he shall give her one mana of silver for a

    § 140. If he belongs to the laboring class, he shall give her
    one-third of a mana of silver.

    § 141. If the wife of a man who is living in the house of her husband
    sets her face to go out and act the fool, her house neglects and her
    husband belittles, they shall prosecute that woman. If her husband
    says: “I divorce her,” he may divorce her. On her departure nothing
    shall be given her for her divorce. If her husband does not say: “I
    divorce her,” her husband may take another wife; that woman shall
    dwell as a slave in the house of her husband.

    § 142. If a woman hates her husband and says: “Thou shalt not hold
    me,” they shall make investigation concerning her into her defects. If
    she has been discreet and there is no fault, and her husband has gone
    out and greatly belittled her, that woman has no blame; she may take
    her marriage-portion and go to her father’s house.

    § 143. If she has not been discreet, and has gone out and neglected
    her house and belittled her husband, they shall throw that woman into
    the water.

    § 144. If a man takes a priestess and that priestess gives a female
    slave to her husband, and she has children; if that man sets his face
    to take a concubine, they shall not favor that man. He may not take a

    § 145. If a man takes a priestess and she does not present him with
    children and he sets his face to take a concubine, that man may take a
    concubine and bring her into his house. That concubine shall not rank
    with the wife.

    § 146. If a man takes a priestess and she gives to her husband a
    maid-servant and she bears children, and afterward that maid-servant
    would take rank with her mistress; because she has borne children her
    mistress may not sell her for money, but she may reduce her to bondage
    and count her among the female slaves.

    § 147. If she has not borne children, her mistress may sell her for

    § 148. If a man takes a wife and she is attacked by disease, and he
    sets his face to take another, he may do it. His wife who was attacked
    by disease he may not divorce. She shall live in the house he has
    built and he shall support her as long as she lives.

    § 149. If that woman does not choose to live in the house of her
    husband, he shall make good to her the dowry which she brought from
    her father’s house and she may go away.

    § 150. If a man presents his wife with field, garden, house, or goods,
    and gives to her sealed deeds, after her husband’s death her children
    shall not press a claim against her. The mother after her death may
    leave it to her child whom she loves, but to a brother she may not
    leave it.

    § 151. If a wife who is living in the house of a husband has persuaded
    her husband and he has bound himself that she shall not be taken by a
    creditor of her husband; if that man had a debt against him before he
    took that woman, the creditor may not hold that woman, and if that
    woman had a debt against her before she entered the house of her
    husband, her creditor may not hold her husband.

    § 152. If they become indebted after the woman enters the man’s house,
    both of them are liable to the merchant.

    § 153. If a woman causes the death of her husband on account of
    another man, that woman they shall impale.

    § 154. If a man has known his daughter, the city shall drive out that

    § 155. If a man has betrothed a bride to his son and his son has known
    her and he afterward lies in her loins and they catch him, they shall
    bind that man and throw him into the water.

    § 156. If a man has betrothed a bride to his son and his son has not
    known her and he lies in her loins, he shall pay her half a mana of
    silver and restore to her whatever she brought from the house of her
    father, and the man of her choice may marry her.

    § 157. If a man after his father’s death lies in the loins of his
    mother, they shall burn both of them.

    § 158. If a man after his father’s death is admitted to the loins of
    his chief wife who has borne children, that man shall be expelled from
    the house of his father.

    § 159. If a man who has brought a present unto the house of his
    father-in-law and has given a bride-price looks with longing upon
    another woman, and says to his father-in-law: “Thy daughter I will not
    take,” the father of the daughter shall keep whatever was brought to

    § 160. If a man brings a present to the house of a father-in-law and
    gives a bride-price, and the father of the daughter says: “I will not
    give thee my daughter,” whatever was brought him he shall double and
    restore it.

    § 161. If a man brings a present to the house of his father-in-law and
    gives a bride-price, and his neighbor slanders him, and the father
    says to the groom: “Thou shalt not take my daughter,” whatever was
    brought he shall double and restore to him.

These Babylonian laws present numerous points of contact and of
divergence, when compared with the Biblical laws on the same subject.
There is no Biblical parallel to § 128. The law (§ 129) which imposes the
death penalty upon a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife and
upon the woman, finds an exact parallel in Lev. 20:10 and Deut. 22:22,
though the Biblical law, unlike the Babylonian, provides no way in which
clemency could be extended to the offenders.

The laws in §§ 130, 156, concerning the violation of betrothed virgins,
are in a general way paralleled by Lev. 19:20-22 and Deut. 22:23-26,
though there are such differences that, while the underlying principles
are the same, it is clear that there was entire independence of
development. A religious element enters into Leviticus that is entirely
absent from the Babylonian code. The Bible contains two laws on this
subject that are without parallel in the Babylonian code. These are found
in Exod. 22:16, 17 and Deut. 22:28, 29, and impose penalties for the
violation of virgins who were not betrothed. In both codes the principle
is manifest that the loss of a girl’s honor was to be compensated by
money, though Deut. 22:28, 29 recognizes that it has a value that money
cannot buy.

The laws relating to a wife whose fidelity is suspected (§§ 131, 132) find
a general parallel in Num. 5:11-28. The provision at the end of § 132 that
the wife should plunge into the sacred river is in the nature of trial by
ordeal. The law in Numbers imposes on such a woman trial by ordeal, though
it is of a different sort. She must drink water in which dust from the
floor of the sanctuary is mingled--dust surcharged with divine
potency--and if she does not swell up and die, she is counted innocent.

The laws which provide that a wife may present her husband with a
slave-girl as a concubine (§§ 137, 144-147) are without parallel in the
Biblical codes, but are strikingly illustrated by the patriarchal
narratives. Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham (Gen. 16); Rachel and Leah gave
Bilhah and Zilpah to Jacob (Gen. 30:1-13). The law (§ 146) which deals
with such a slave-girl who would rank with her mistress is closely
parallel to the story of the treatment of Hagar in Gen. 16:5-7 and 21:9,

The laws on divorce (§§ 138-141) are really in advance of the one Biblical
law on the subject (Deut. 24:1-4). The law in Deuteronomy permits a
husband to put away a wife, who in any way does not please him, without
alimony, while to the wife no privilege of initiating divorce proceedings
is granted at all. The Babylonian laws secure to the divorced woman a
maintenance, and, while by no means according her equal rights with the
man, provide (§ 142) that she may herself initiate the proceedings for
divorce. The ordeal must have been an unpleasant one, but in Israel’s law
a woman had no such rights.[468]

The law concerning adultery with a daughter-in-law (§ 155) is identical in
purpose and severity with Lev. 20:12. The laws in §§ 157, 158, which
prohibit immorality with one’s mother or the chief wife of one’s father,
just touch upon the great subject of incest and the prohibited degrees of
marriage which are treated at considerable length in Lev. 18:6-18; 20:11,
19-21, and Deut. 22:30. The Babylonian laws touch but two specific cases,
which may be said to be covered by Deut. 22:30, while the laws of
Leviticus treat the whole subject of the prohibited degrees of marriage in
a broad and comprehensive way. The main idea pervading Leviticus is
holiness. Israel is to be kept free from the pollution of incest in any
form. The religious motive exhibited here is foreign to the Babylonian


    § 162. It a man takes a wife and she bears him children and that woman
    dies, her father may not lay claim to her dowry. Her dowry belongs to
    her children.

    § 163. If a man takes a wife and she does not present him with
    children and that woman dies; if his father-in-law returns unto him
    the marriage-settlement, which that man brought to the house of the
    father-in-law, unto the dowry of that woman her husband may not lay
    claim. Her dowry belongs to the house of her father.

    § 164. But if his father-in-law does not return the
    marriage-settlement unto him, he shall deduct from her dowry the
    amount of the marriage-settlement, and then return the dowry to the
    house of her father.

    § 165. If a man has presented to his son, the first in his eyes,
    field, garden, or house, and written for him a sealed deed, and
    afterward the father dies; when the brothers divide, he shall take the
    present which his father gave him, and over and above they shall
    divide the goods of the father’s house equally.

    § 166. If a man takes wives for the sons which he possesses, but has
    not taken a wife for his youngest son, and afterward the father dies;
    when the brothers divide, for their younger brother who does not have
    a wife they shall present over and above his portion money for a
    marriage-settlement, and shall enable him to take a wife.

    § 167. If a man takes a wife and she bears him children and that woman
    dies, and after her he takes a second and she bears him children,
    after the father dies, the children shall not share according to their
    mothers. They shall receive the dowries of their respective mothers,
    and the goods of their father’s house they shall share equally.

    § 168. If a man has set his face to cut off his son, and says to the
    judges: “I will cut off my son,” the judges shall make investigation
    concerning him; if the son has not committed a grave crime which cuts
    off from sonship, the father may not cut off his son from sonship.

    § 169. If he has committed against his father a grave crime which cuts
    off from sonship, he shall pardon him for the first offense. If he
    commits a grave crime the second time, the father may cut off his son
    from sonship.

    § 170. If a man’s wife bears him children and a slave-girl bears him
    children, and the father during his lifetime says to the children
    which the slave-girl bore him: “My children,” and counts them with the
    children of the wife, after the father dies the children of the wife
    and the children of the slave-girl shall divide equally the goods of
    their father’s house. The sons that are sons of the wife shall at the
    sharing divide and take.

    § 171. But if the father during his lifetime has not said unto the
    children which the slave-girl bore him: “My children,” after the
    father dies the children of the slave-girl shall not share with the
    children of the wife. The slave-girl and her children shall be given
    their freedom; the children of the wife may not put a claim upon the
    children of the slave-girl for service. The wife shall receive her
    dowry and a gift which her husband gave her and wrote upon a tablet
    and may dwell in the dwelling of her husband as long as she lives and
    eat. She may not sell it. After her it belongs to her children.

    § 172. If her husband has not given her a gift, they shall restore to
    her her dowry and she shall receive from the goods of the house of her
    husband the portion of one son. If the children abuse her in order to
    drive her from the house, the judges shall investigate concerning her
    and if they find the children in the wrong, that woman shall not go
    from the house of her husband. If that woman sets her face to go out,
    she shall leave with her children the gift which her husband gave her;
    the dowry from the house of her father she shall receive and the
    husband of her choice may take her.

    § 173. If that woman, where she has entered, bears children to her
    later husband, after that woman dies the children of her first and her
    later husband shall share her dowry.

    § 174. If she did not bear children to her later husband, the children
    of her first husband shall receive her dowry.

    § 175. If a slave of the palace or the slave of a workingman takes the
    daughter of a patrician and she bears children, the owner of the slave
    shall have no claim for service on the children of the daughter of a

    § 176. But if a slave of the palace or the slave of a workingman takes
    the daughter of a patrician, and when he takes her she enters together
    with the dowry from her father’s house into the house of the slave of
    the palace or the slave of the workingman; if after they are united
    they build a house and acquire property and afterward the slave of the
    palace or the slave of the workingman dies, the daughter of the
    patrician shall receive her dowry and they shall divide into two parts
    whatever her husband and herself had acquired after their union. Half
    the owner of the slave shall take, and the daughter of the patrician
    shall receive half for her children. If the daughter of the patrician
    had no dowry, whatever her husband and herself had acquired after
    their union they shall divide into two parts. The owner of the slave
    shall take half and the daughter of the patrician shall receive half
    for her children.

    § 177. If a widow whose children are minors sets her face to enter the
    house of a second husband, she shall not do it without the consent of
    the judges. When she enters the house of a second husband, the judges
    shall inquire into the estate of her former husband, and the estate of
    the former husband they shall entrust to the second husband and to
    that woman, and shall cause them to leave a tablet (receipt). The
    estate they shall guard and rear the minors. The household goods they
    may not sell. The purchaser of household goods belonging to the
    children of a widow shall forfeit his money. The goods shall revert to
    their owners.

    § 178. If there is a wife of a god, priestess, or sacred harlot, whose
    father has given her a dowry and written her a record of gift, and in
    the record of gift he has not written, “after her she may give it to
    whomsoever she pleases,” and has not given her full discretion; after
    her father dies her brothers shall take her field and garden, and
    according to the value of her share they shall give her grain, oil,
    and wool, and shall content her heart. If her brothers shall not give
    her grain, oil, and wool, according to the value of her share, and
    shall not content her heart, she may let her field and garden unto any
    tenant she pleases and her tenant shall maintain her. Her field,
    garden, or whatever her father gave her she may enjoy as long as she
    lives. She may not sell it for money or transfer it to another. Her
    heritage belongs to her brothers.

    § 179. If there is a wife of a god, priestess, or sacred harlot, whose
    father has given her a dowry and written a record of gift; and in the
    record of gift he has written, “after her she may give it to
    whomsoever she pleases,” and has granted her full discretion; after
    her father dies she may give it after her to whomsoever she pleases.
    Her brothers have no claim upon her.

    § 180. If a father does not give a dowry to his daughter, a priestess
    living in the appointed house, or a sacred harlot, after the father
    dies she shall receive from the goods of her father’s house the same
    share as one son, and as long as she lives she shall enjoy it. After
    her it belongs to her brothers.

    § 181. If the father of a priestess, sacred harlot, or temple maiden
    gives her to a god and does not give her a dowry, after the father
    dies she shall receive from the goods of her father’s house a third of
    the portion of a son and shall enjoy it as long as she lives. After
    her it belongs to her brothers.

    § 182. If a father does not give a dowry to his daughter, a priestess
    of Marduk of Babylon, and does not write a record of gift for her;
    after her father dies she shall receive from the goods of her father’s
    house one-third of the portion of a son, and shall pay no tax. A
    priestess of Marduk after her death may leave it to whomsoever she

    § 183. If a father presents a dowry to his daughter who is a
    concubine, and gives her to a husband and writes a record of gift;
    after the father dies she shall not share in the goods of her father’s

    § 184. If a father does not present a dowry to his daughter who is a
    concubine and does not give her to a husband; after her father’s death
    her brothers shall give her a dowry according to the value of the
    father’s estate and shall give her to a husband.

In comparison with these Babylonian laws of inheritance those in the Old
Testament are comparatively simple. We learn from Deut. 21:15-17, that a
man’s firstborn son received a “double portion” of his father’s estate,
_i. e._, twice as much as any other son. The inference is that the other
sons shared equally. This law also provides that, when a man has two
wives, the sons of the favorite wife shall have no advantage as to
inheritance over the sons of the less loved wife. In Num. 27:8-11 it is
provided that if a man has no son, his estate (_i. e._, real estate) may
go to his daughter; if he has no daughter, it may go to his brothers; if
no brothers, it goes to his father’s brothers. If his father has no
brothers, the estate is to go to the next of kin. In Num. 36:2-12 the law
that a daughter may inherit her father’s estate is supplemented by the
provision that such a daughter must marry within the tribe, so that the
landed property may not in the next generation pass out of the tribe.

Such were the Hebrew laws of inheritance. They apply to a much less
complexly organized society than the Babylonian.

§§ 168, 169 of Hammurapi’s code deal with the cutting off of a son. This
is paralleled in Deut. 21:18-21, though punishment inflicted by the law in
Deuteronomy is quite different from the Babylonian, since the Hebrew boy,
whose parents have proved him before the elders to be unworthy of sonship,
was not cast out and sent away, but stoned to death. Another form of this
law appears in Exod. 21:17.


    § 185. If a man takes a young child in his name unto sonship and
    brings him up, one may not bring a claim for that adopted son.

    § 186. If a man takes a young child unto sonship, and when he has
    taken him he rebels against his [adopted] father and mother, that
    foster-child shall return to his father’s house.

    § 187. One may not bring claim for the son of a temple-servant, a
    palace guard, or of a sacred harlot.

    § 188. If an artisan takes a son to sonship and teaches him his
    handicraft, one may not bring claim for him.

    § 189. If he does not teach him his handicraft, that foster-son may
    return to the house of his father.

    § 190. If a man does not count among his sons a young child whom he
    has taken to sonship and reared, that foster-child may return to his
    father’s house.

    § 191. If a man who takes a young child to sonship and rears him and
    establishes a house and acquires children, afterward sets his face to
    cut off that foster-son, that son shall not go his way. The father who
    reared him shall give him from his goods one-third the share of a son
    and he shall go. From field, garden, or house, he shall not give him.

In the codes of the Old Testament there are no laws of adoption. The story
of the adoption of Ephraim and Manasseh by Jacob in Gen. 48 shows that the
idea was not unknown to the Hebrews, among whom the ceremony of adoption
would seem to have consisted of the act of acknowledging the children as
one’s own by placing one’s hands on their heads and giving them a paternal

Renunciation of Sonship

    § 192. If the son of a temple-servant or the son of a sacred harlot
    says to the father that brought him up or to the mother that brought
    him up, “Thou art not my father,” or, “Thou art not my mother,” they
    shall cut out his tongue.

    § 193. If the son of a temple-servant or the son of a sacred harlot
    has identified his father’s house and hated the father who brought him
    up or the mother who brought him up and goes back to his father’s
    house, they shall pluck out his eye.

The Old Testament has no laws with which to compare these. The two classes
of persons whose children are mentioned were banished from Israel by Deut.
23:17, 18.

Wet-nurses or Foster-mothers

    § 194. If a man gives his son unto a nurse and his son dies in the
    hands of the nurse and the nurse substitutes another child without the
    consent of the father or the mother, they shall prosecute her; because
    she substituted another child without the consent of his father or his
    mother they shall cut off her breast.

This law also is without Biblical parallel.

Assault and Battery

    § 195. If a son strikes his father, they shall cut off his hand.

    § 196. If a man destroys the eye of the son of a patrician, they shall
    destroy his eye.

    § 197. If he breaks a man’s bone, they shall break his bone.

    § 198. If one destroys the eye of a workingman or breaks the bone of a
    workingman, he shall pay 1 mana of silver.

    § 199. If one destroys the eye of a man’s slave or breaks the bone of
    a man’s slave, he shall pay half his value.

    § 200. If a man knocks out the tooth of a man of his own rank, they
    shall knock his tooth out.

    § 201. If one knocks out the tooth of a workingman, he shall pay ⅓ of
    a mana of silver.

    § 202. If a man shall strike the private-parts of a man who is of
    higher rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-hide
    scourge in the assembly.

    § 203. If a patrician strikes the private-parts of a patrician of his
    own rank, he shall pay 1 mana of silver.

    § 204. If a workingman strikes the private-parts of a workingman, he
    shall pay 10 shekels of silver.

    § 205. If the slave of a patrician strikes the private-parts of the
    son of a patrician, they shall cut off his ear.

    § 206. If a man strikes a man in a quarrel and wounds him, he shall
    swear, “I did not strike with intent,” and shall pay for the

    § 207. If from the stroke he dies, he shall swear [as above], and if
    it was a patrician, he shall pay ½ mana of silver.

    § 208. If it was a workingman, he shall pay ⅓ of a mana of silver.

    § 209. If a man strikes a man’s daughter and causes a miscarriage, he
    shall pay 10 shekels of silver for her miscarriage.

    § 210. If that woman dies, they shall put his daughter to death.

    § 211. If through a stroke one causes a miscarriage of the daughter of
    a workingman, he shall pay 5 shekels of silver.

    § 212. If that woman dies, he shall pay ½ mana of silver.

    § 213. If one strikes the slave-girl of a man and causes a
    miscarriage, he shall pay 2 shekels of silver.

    § 214. If that slave-girl dies, he shall pay ⅓ of a mana of silver.

These laws are strikingly parallel to Exod. 21:18-27, to which Exod.
21:12-14 should be prefixed. The Babylonian code, like the Hebrew, imposes
the death penalty for wilful murder. Both codes provide that one who is an
accidental homicide shall escape the penalty, but they do it in different
ways. Hammurapi provides that the killer may take an oath that he did it
without intent to kill. Exod. 21:13, 14 provides that the homicide may
find sanctuary at the altar of God. In place of this Deut. 19:4, ff.,
provides that he may flee to a city of refuge.

If a man injures another in a fight, the Bible (Exod. 21:18, 19) provides
that he shall pay for the lost time and, as does Hammurapi, the cost of
healing the injured man. Exod. 21:22 provides, as does Hammurapi, for the
payment of a fine for causing a woman to miscarry, but Exodus does not,
like the Babylonian code, fix the amount of the damage; that is left to
the judges. In the laws concerning the injury of slaves the two codes
differ. Exodus provides (21:20, 21, 26, 27) for cases in which owners
injure or kill their own slaves; Hammurapi, for cases in which the injury
is done by others. A mere reading of the penalties imposed by the parts of
the Babylonian code translated above impresses vividly upon the mind the
fact that underlying many of them is the principle so forcibly expressed
in Exod. 21:21-25: “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for
hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for
stripe.” The details of application are different, but the principle is
the same. Many of the differences were caused by the more complex nature
of Babylonian society, in which three classes, patricians, workingmen (or
semi-serfs), and slaves, existed. Hebrew law recognizes but two
classes--freemen and slaves.


    § 215. If a physician operates upon a man for a severe wound with a
    bronze lancet and saves the man’s life, or if he operates for cataract
    with a bronze lancet and saves the man’s eye, he shall receive 10
    shekels of silver.

    § 216. If it is a workingman, he shall receive 5 shekels of silver.

    § 217. If it is a man’s slave, the owner of the slave shall give the
    physician 2 shekels of silver.

    § 218. If a physician operates upon a man with a bronze lancet for a
    severe wound, and the man dies; or operates upon a man with a bronze
    lancet for cataract and the man’s eye is destroyed, they shall cut off
    his hand.

    § 219. If a physician operates with a bronze lancet upon the slave of
    a workingman and causes his death, he shall restore a slave of equal

    § 220. If he operates for cataract with a bronze lancet and destroys
    his eye, he shall pay ½ his price.

    § 221. If a physician sets a broken bone for a man or has cured of
    sickness inflamed flesh, the patient shall pay 5 shekels of silver to
    the physician.

    § 222. If he is a workingman, he shall give 3 shekels of silver.

    § 223. If he is the slave of a patrician, the owner of the slave shall
    give 3 shekels of silver to the physician.

    § 224. If an ox-doctor or an ass-doctor treats an ox or an ass for a
    severe wound and saves its life, the owner of the ox or the ass shall
    pay to the physician ⅙ of a shekel of silver as his fee.

    § 225. If he operates upon an ox or an ass for a severe wound and it
    dies, he shall give unto the owner of the ox or the ass ¼ of its

These laws about physicians have no parallel in the Old Testament, the
laws of which did not take account of the existence of doctors. They are
of interest, since they show the antiquity of physicians in Babylonia, not
only for men, but for animals. They also reveal the fact that the practice
of medicine in Babylonia was attended by some risks!

Herodotus (I, 197) declares that the Babylonians had no physicians, but
brought their sick out into the streets and asked of each passer-by
whether he had had a like sickness and what he had done for it. Possibly,
as among ourselves, there were many who did not wish to incur the expense
of a doctor, and who did as Herodotus reports, but these laws, and the
existence of physicians at Nineveh at the time of the later Assyrian
kings, make it probable that Herodotus was wrong as to their non-existence
at Babylon in his day.

Laws of Branding

    § 226. If a brander without the consent of the owner of a slave cuts a
    mark on a slave, making him unsalable, they shall cut off the hands of
    that brander.

    § 227. If a man deceives a brander and he brands a slave with a mark,
    making him unsalable, they shall put that man to death and cause him
    to perish in the gate of his house. The brander shall swear: “I did
    not brand him knowingly” and shall go free.

These laws have no parallel in the Old Testament. Evidently the simpler
organization of Hebrew society made them unnecessary.

Responsibility of House-builders

    § 228. If a builder builds a house for a man and completes it, he
    shall give him as his wages 2 shekels of silver for each _Shar_ of

    § 229. If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its
    work strong and the house which he made falls and causes the death of
    the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death.

    § 230. If it causes the death of the son of the owner, the son of that
    builder shall be put to death.

    § 231. If it causes the death of a slave of the owner of the house, a
    slave like the slave he shall give to the owner of the house.

    § 232. If it destroys property, he shall restore whatever was
    destroyed, and because he did not build the house strong and it fell,
    he shall rebuild the house that fell from his own property.

    § 233. If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make his
    work strong and a wall falls, that builder shall strengthen that wall
    at his own expense.

These laws have no parallel in the Bible. Among the agricultural
population of Palestine builders were not a separate class. The penalties
inflicted by the Babylonian code were severe, and yet, if modern
legislators would put upon the house-builders of our time a similar
responsibility for good work, fewer lives would be sacrificed by falling

Responsibility of Boatmen

    § 234. If a boatman builds a boat of 60 _Gur_ for a man, he shall give
    him 2 shekels of silver as his wages.

    § 235. If a boatman builds a boat for a man and does not make his work
    sound and in that year the boat is sent on a voyage and meets with
    disaster, that boatman shall repair that boat and from his own goods
    shall make it strong and shall give the boat in sound condition to the
    owner of the boat.

    § 236. If a man gives his boat to a boatman for hire and the boatman
    is careless and sinks or wrecks the boat, the boatman shall restore a
    boat to the owner of the boat.

    § 237. If a man hires a boatman and a boat and loads it with grain,
    wool, oil, dates, or any other kind of freight, and that boatman is
    careless and sinks the boat or destroys its freight, the boatman shall
    replace the boat and whatever there was in it which he destroyed.

    § 238. If a boatman sinks a man’s boat and re-floats it, he shall give
    money for ½ its value.

    § 239. If a man hires a boatman, he shall give him 6 _Gur_ of grain a

The Hebrews were not a maritime people, and had no such laws as these or
the following.

The Collision of Ships

    § 240. If a boat that is floating downstream strikes a boat that is
    being towed and sinks it, the owner of the boat that was sunk shall
    declare in the presence of a god everything that was in that boat and
    [the owner] of the boat floating downstream, which sunk the boat that
    was being towed, shall replace the boat and whatever was lost.

There is, naturally, nothing similar to this in the Old Testament.

Laws Concerning Cattle

    § 241. If a man levies a distraint upon an ox as security for debt, he
    shall pay ⅓ of a mana of silver.

    § 242. If a man hires for a year, the wages of a working ox is 4 _Gur_
    of grain.

    § 243. The hire of a milch cow, 3 _Gur_ of grain for a year he shall

    § 244. If a man hires an ox or an ass and a lion kills it in the
    field, the loss falls on the owner.

    § 245. If a man hires an ox and causes its death through neglect or
    blows, he shall restore to the owner an ox of equal value.

    § 246. If a man hires an ox and crushes its foot or cuts the cord of
    its neck, he shall restore to the owner an ox of like value.

    § 247. If a man hires an ox and destroys its eye, he shall pay to the
    owner of the ox money to ½ its value.

    § 248. If a man hires an ox and breaks off its horn, or cuts off its
    tail or injures the flesh which holds the ring, money to ¼ of its
    value he shall pay.

    § 249. If a man hires an ox and a god strikes it and it dies, the man
    who hires the ox shall take an oath in the presence of a god and shall
    go free.

    § 250. If an ox when passing along the street gores a man and causes
    his death, there is no penalty in that case.

    § 251. If the ox of a man has the habit of goring and they have
    informed him of his fault and his horns he has not protected nor kept
    his ox in, and that ox gores a man and causes his death, the owner of
    the ox shall pay ½ mana of money.

    § 252. If it is the slave of a man, he shall pay ⅓ of a mana of money.

    § 253. If a man hires a man and puts him over his field and furnishes
    him with seed-grain and intrusts him with oxen and contracts with him
    to cultivate the field, if that man steals the seed-grain or the crop
    and it is found in his possession, they shall cut off his hands.

    § 254. If he takes the seed-grain, but enfeebles the cattle, from the
    grain which he has cultivated he shall make restoration.

    § 255. If he shall let the cattle to a man for hire, or steal the
    seed-grain so that there is no crop, they shall prosecute that man,
    and he shall pay 60 _Gur_ of grain for each _Gan_.

    § 256. If he is not able to meet his obligation, they shall tear him
    in pieces in that field by means of the oxen.

The Biblical legislation corresponding to this is found in Exod. 21:28-35,
but it covers only a portion of the cases of which the Babylonian law
treats. It provides that, if an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox
shall be stoned. If the ox was wont to gore and the owner had not kept it
in, but it had been permitted to kill a man or a woman, the owner as well
as the ox should be stoned. At the discretion of the tribunal a fine or
ransom might be laid on the owner. In case the ox gored a slave, the
owner of the ox was to pay 30 shekels of silver and the ox was to be
stoned. If a man opened a pit and a neighbor’s ox or ass fell into it, the
digger of the pit must make good the loss to the owner of the animal, and
the dead beast became the property of the digger of the pit. If one man’s
ox killed the ox of another man, the two men were to sell the live ox and
divide the price. If it were known that the ox was wont to gore in the
past, and its owner had not kept it in, he was to pay ox for ox, and the
dead animal should be his.

It thus appears that the exigencies of Hebrew agricultural life were
different from those of Babylonia, and were naturally met in different

Wages of Laborers

    § 257. If a man hires a field-laborer, he shall pay him 8 _Gur_ of
    grain per year.

    § 258. If a man hires a herdsman, he shall pay him 6 _Gur_ of grain
    per year.

Hebrew law did not regulate wages.

On Stealing Farming-tools

    § 259. If a man steals a watering-machine from a field, he shall pay
    to the owner of the watering-machine 5 shekels of silver.

    § 260. If a man steals a watering-bucket or a plow, he shall pay 3
    shekels of silver.

As the Hebrews did not systematically irrigate their land, the Old
Testament contains no similar laws.

Laws Concerning Shepherds

    § 261. If a man hires a herdsman to tend cattle or sheep, he shall pay
    him 8 _Gur_ of grain per year.

    § 262. If a man, oxen, or sheep ..............

    (The rest is broken away.)

    § 263. If he loses an ox or a sheep that is intrusted to him, he shall
    restore ox for ox and sheep for sheep.

    § 264. If a herdsman who has had cattle or sheep intrusted to him
    receives his full pay and is satisfied, and he causes the cattle or
    the sheep to diminish in number or lessens the birth-rate, he shall
    give increase and produce according to his contracts.

    § 265. If a shepherd to whom cattle or sheep have been given to tend
    is dishonest and alters the price or sells them, they shall prosecute
    him, and he shall restore to their owner 10 times the oxen or sheep
    which he stole.

    § 266. If in a fold there is a pestilence of a god, or a lion has
    slain, the shepherd shall before a god declare himself innocent, and
    the owner of the fold shall bear the loss of the fold.

    § 267. If the shepherd is careless and causes a loss in the fold, the
    shepherd shall make good in cattle or sheep the loss which he caused
    in the fold and shall give them to the owner.

The nearest approach in the Old Testament to laws of this character is in
Exod. 22:10-13, which provides that, if a man deliver to his neighbor an
ox, or ass, or sheep, or any beast to keep, and it dies, or is injured or
is carried off when no one sees the deed, the oath of Jehovah shall be
between them that the keeper has not put his hand to his neighbor’s goods.
The owner was to accept this, and no restitution was necessary. If the
animals were stolen from the keeper, he must make restitution. If they
were torn in pieces by beasts of prey, he must bring the pieces for
witness, and need not make restitution.

The same general principles of the limits of responsibility underlay the
two codes in these cases, though they differ in details. In Israel the
shepherding of the flocks and herds of other people was not, as in
Babylonia, a distinct occupation.

On Wages of Animals and Men

    § 268. If a man hires an ox for threshing, 20 _Qa_ of grain is its

    § 269. If he hires an ass for threshing, 10 _Qa_ of grain is its hire.

    § 270. If he hires a kid for threshing, 1 _Qa_ of grain is its hire.

    § 271. If he hires cattle, a wagon and a driver, he shall pay 180 _Qa_
    of grain per day.

    § 272. If a man hires a wagon only, he shall pay 40 _Qa_ of grain per

    § 273. If a man hires a field-laborer from the beginning of the year
    until the fifth month, he shall pay him 6 _She_ of silver per day;
    from the sixth month to the end of the year, 5 _She_ of silver per day
    he shall pay.

    § 274. If a man hires an artisan, he shall give per day as the wages
    of a ..... 5 _She_; as the wages of a brick-maker, 5 _She_ of money;
    as the wages of a tailor, 5 _She_ of silver; as the wages of a
    stone-cutter, ...... _She_ of silver; ............ _She_ of silver;
    ............ _She_ of silver; ............ of a carpenter, 4 _She_ of
    silver; as the wages of a ...... 4 _She_ of silver; as the wages of a
    ...... _She_ of silver; the wages of a builder, ...... _She_ of

    § 275. If a man hires a boat (?) to go upstream (?), its hire is 3
    _She_ of silver per day.

    § 276. If he hires a boat to float downstream, he shall pay as its
    hire 2½ _She_ of silver per day.

    § 277. If a man hires a boat of 60 _Gur_ burden, he shall pay ⅙ of a
    shekel of money per day.

There are no parallels to these laws in the Bible, as the Old Testament
does not attempt to regulate prices. When one considers the customs of
trade all over the Orient, and the time fruitlessly consumed in making
bargains, one does not wonder that the practical sovereign of a great
commercial people, such as the Babylonians were, should regulate prices by
law. As a rule, to this day, a purchaser begins by offering only a
fraction of what he is willing to give, and the seller by asking at least
twice as much as he is willing to take. A long psychological battle
follows, during which there are many victories and capitulations on each
side. This law was designed to put an end to this time-consuming custom.

When the Sales of Slaves are Void

    § 278. If a man buys a male or a female slave and before a month is
    past he has an attack of rheumatism (?), he shall return to the
    seller, and the purchaser shall receive back the money that was paid.

    § 279. If a man buys a male or a female slave, and another has a legal
    claim upon him, the seller shall be responsible for that claim.

    § 280. If a man, while in a foreign country, purchases a male or a
    female slave of a man, and, when he returns home, the former owner of
    the male or the female slave recognizes his slave, if that male or
    female slave is a native of the land, he shall give it its freedom
    without recompense.

    § 281. If they are natives of another country, the purchaser shall
    declare in the presence of a god the price that he paid, and the
    former owner of the male or female slave shall pay the price to the
    merchant, and shall receive back his slave.

No laws similar to these are found in the Old Testament.

The Penalty for Renouncing a Master

    § 282. If a slave shall say to his owner: “Thou art not my owner,”
    they shall make him submit as his slave, and shall cut off his ear.

This penalty reminds one of the boring of a slave’s ear (Exod. 21:6; Deut.
15:17) in token of perpetual slavery.

=2. The Mosaic Code not Borrowed from the Babylonian; Different Underlying

A comparison of the code of Hammurapi as a whole with the Pentateuchal
laws as a whole, while it reveals certain similarities, convinces the
student that the laws of the Old Testament are in no essential way
dependent upon the Babylonian laws. Such resemblances as there are arose,
it seems clear, from a similarity of antecedents and of general
intellectual outlook; the striking differences show that there was no
direct borrowing. The primitive Semitic custom of an eye for an eye and a
tooth for a tooth (Exod. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21) is made the basis
of many penalties in the Babylonian code. (See §§ 196, 197, 200, 229, 230,
etc.) The principle underlying it is found also in many other sections.
These similarities only show that Babylonia had a large Semitic element in
its population. Again, Hammurapi pictured himself at the top of the pillar
on which these laws are written as receiving them from the sun-god (Fig.
292). The Bible tells us that Moses received the laws of the Pentateuch
from Jehovah. The whole attitude of the two documents is, however,
different. Hammurapi, in spite of the picture, takes credit, both in the
prologue and in the epilogue of his code, for the laws. He, not Shamash,
established justice in the land. Moses, on the other hand, was only the
instrument; the legislation stands as that of Jehovah himself.

This difference appears also in the contents of the two codes. The
Pentateuch contains many ritual regulations and purely religious laws,
while the code of Hammurapi is purely civil. As has been already pointed
out, the code of Hammurapi is adapted to the land of the rivers, and to a
highly civilized commercial people, while the Biblical laws are intended
for a dry land like Palestine, and for an agricultural community that was
at a far less advanced stage of commercial and social development.

Religion is, however, not a matter of social advancement only. In all that
pertains to religious insight the Pentateuch is far in advance of
Hammurapi’s laws.




=1. The Text of the Carthaginian Law.=

    Temple of Baal[zephon], Tar[iff of d]ues, which [the superintendents
    of d]ues fixed in the time [of our rulers, Khalas]baal, the judge, son
    of Bodtanith, son of Bod[eshmun, and of Khalasbaal], the judge, son of
    Bodeshmun, son of Khalasbaal, and their colleagues.

    For an ox as a whole burnt-offering[470] or a prayer-offering, or a
    whole peace-offering,[471] the priests shall have 10 (shekels) of
    silver for each; and in case of a whole burnt-offering, they shall
    have in addition to this fee [300 shekels of fle]sh; and, in case of a
    prayer-offering, the trimmings, the joints; but the skin and the fit
    of the inwards[472] and the feet and the rest of the flesh the owner
    of the sacrifice shall have.

    For a calf whose horns are wanting, in case of one not castrated (?),
    or in case of a ram as a whole burnt-offering, the priests shall have
    5 shekels of silver [for each; and in case of a whole burnt-offering
    they shall have in addit]ion to this fee 150 shekels of flesh; and, in
    case of a prayer-offering, the trimmings and the joints; but the skin
    and the fat of the inwards and the fe[et and the rest of the flesh the
    owner of the sacrifice shall have].

    In case of a ram or a goat as a whole burnt-offering, or a
    prayer-offering, or a whole peace-offering, the priests shall have 1
    shekel of silver and 2 _zars_ for each; and, in case of a
    prayer-offering, they shall [have in addition to this fee the
    trimmings] and the joints; but the skin and the fat of the inwards and
    the feet and the rest of the flesh the owner of the sacrifice shall

    For a lamb, or a kid, or the young (?) of a hart, as a whole
    burnt-offering, or a prayer-offering, or a whole peace-offering, the
    priests shall have ¾ (of a shekel) and ...... _zars_ of silver [for
    each; and, in case of a prayer-offering, they shall have in addition]
    to this fee the trimmings and the joints; but the skin and the fat of
    the inwards and the feet and the rest of the flesh the own[er of the
    sacrifice] shall have.

    For a bird, domestic or wild, as a whole peace-offering, or a
    sacrifice-to-avert-calamity (?) or an oracular (?) sacrifice, the
    priests shall have ¾ (of a shekel) of silver and 2 _zars_ for each;
    but the f[lesh shall belong to the owner of the sacrifice].

    For a bird, or sacred first-fruits, or a sacrifice of game, or a
    sacrifice of oil, the priests shall have 10 _g_[_erahs_] for each; but

    In case of every prayer-offering that is presented before the gods,
    the priests shall have the trimmings and the joints; and in the case
    of a prayer-offering ....

    For a cake, and for milk, and for every sacrifice which a man may
    offer, for a meal-offering[473] ..........

    For every sacrifice which a man may offer who is poor in cattle, or
    poor in birds, the priests shall not have anything ..........

    Every freeman and every slave and every dependent[474] of the gods and
    all men who may sacrifice .........., these men [shall give] for the
    sacrifice at the rate prescribed in the regulations ..........

    Every payment which is not prescribed in this table shall be made
    according to the regulations which [the superintendents of the dues
    fixed in the time of Khalasbaal, son of Bodtani]th, and Khalasbaal,
    son of Bodeshmun, and their colleagues.

    Every priest who shall accept payment beyond what is prescribed in
    this table shall be fi[ned] ............

    Every person who sacrifices, who shall not give ............ for the
    fee which ..............

=2. Comparison with the Levitical Law.=

This document is not earlier than the fourth or fifth century B. C. The
Carthaginians, from whom it comes, were an offshoot of the Phœnicians, who
were, in turn, descended from the Canaanites. They were accordingly of
kindred race to the Hebrews. One can, therefore, see from this document
something of how the Levitical institutions of Israel resembled and how
they differed from those of their kinsmen. It will be seen that the main
sacrifices bore the same names among both peoples. We find the “whole
burnt-offering,” the “peace-offering,” and the “meal-offering.” The
Carthaginians had no “sin-offering,” while among the Hebrews we find no
“prayer-offering.” The ways of rewarding the priests also differed with
the two peoples. The Hebrews had no such regular tariff of priests’ dues
as the Carthaginians, but parts of certain offerings and all of others
belonged to them. Leviticus assigns from the peace-offering the
“heave-thigh” and the “wave-breast” to the priests (Lev. 7:14, 34; Num.
5:9, 10; 31:29, 41). Meal- or flour-offerings belonged to the priests
(Lev. 5:13; 7:9, 10), as did the sin- and trespass-offerings (Lev. 6:18,
29; 7:9, 10). Of the burnt-offerings the priests had the skin (Lev. 7:8).

The interesting thing is that in the ritual, as in the social laws, we
find that the heathen Semites had a considerable number of regulations
similar to those of the Hebrews.




Many of the El-Amarna[475] Letters were written from Palestine and
Phœnicia. Some scholars think these letters come from the Patriarchal
period; others hold that they are contemporary with the Hebrew conquest,
and give us additional information concerning it. Some of those who hold
this last view believe that the conquest of Palestine by the Hebrews was
not made all at once. They think that the tribes descended from Leah
entered the land before those descended from Rachel. Such scholars hold
that these letters give us contemporary evidence of the wars of the Leah
tribes. Whichever view one takes, the letters are most interesting, as
they open to us a previously unknown chapter in the history of Jerusalem.

=1. Some Letters of Rib-Adda of Gebal.=[476]


    To the king, my lord, the king of the countries, speak, saying,
    Rib-Adda, thy servant, the footstool of thy feet; at the feet of the
    sun, my lord, eight times and seven times I prostrate myself. Again,
    there is clear to the king, my lord, the deed of Ebed-Ashera, the dog,
    when all the lands of the king, my lord, are made over unto him and
    are subservient to his land. And now behold the city of Sumur has been
    won over--a fold of my lord and a temple of his shrine--to him, and he
    has encamped in the temple of my shrine and has opened the place of
    the curse of my lord and won it. What is he, a man ......... and dog
    that he should judge? Again, when men say in the presence of the king,
    my lord: “Learn that Gebal is ..........,” then know that he has not
    taken Gebal ............... and it is difficult for the lands of the
    king, my lord. Again, let the king, my lord, send his inspector who
    may judge ................ and may protect the city of the king, my
    lord. And I ........ and will serve my lord, the king of the lands.
    And may my lord send people and let them bring whatever belongs to my
    .............. into the presence of the king, my lord, and let not
    that dog take anything that belongs to thy gods. And is it clear now
    that he would take Gebal? See, Gebal is like Memphis, loyal to the
    king. A second time, see Ebed-Ninib, the man whom I sent with Buhiya,
    is a .......... So send unto thy servant. Again see, Ummahnu is a
    maid-servant of the Baal-goddess of Gebal; her husband is Ishkur
    .......... send! ..........

(The tablet is broken off at this point.)


    To the king, my lord, my sun, say: Rib-Adda, thy servant; at the feet
    of my lord, my sun-god, seven times and seven times I prostrate
    myself. May the king, my lord, listen to the words of his faithful
    servant! It is going very hard for me! The hostility has become
    strong. The sons of Ebed-Ashera have become great in Amurru; theirs is
    the whole land. The city of Sumur and the city of Irkata are left to
    the princes. And behold in Sumur I am strong. When it was difficult
    for the princes on account of the enmity, I left Gebal and ........
    Zimridda and .......... Yapa-Addi ........ with me. Behold, then wrote
    the prince unto them; but they did not hearken unto him. And may the
    king, my lord, hearken to the words of his faithful servant! Send aid
    very quickly unto the city Sumur for its protection until the arrival
    of the mercenaries of the king, the sun. And may the king, the sun,
    drive out the enemy from his land. Again may the king, my lord,
    hearken to the word of his servant and send men as guards to the city
    of Sumur and to the city of Irkata, in case that all the guards flee
    from Sumur. And may it seem good to my lord, the sun of the countries,
    to give to me 20 pairs of horses. And may he send help very quickly to
    the city of Sumur to guard it. All the guards who remain are in
    straits and few are the men in the city. If mercenaries thou dost not
    send, then there will be no city remaining to thee. If there are
    mercenaries, we will take all the lands for the king.

These letters mention a certain Ebed-Ashera and claim that his sons are
gaining possession of all the land of Amurru. If the “Ebed” were dropped
out of the phrase, “sons of Ebed-Ashera,”[479] there would remain “sons of
Ashera,” or, “sons of Asher.” The “land of Amurru,” or, “land of the
Amorites,” lay, at the time these letters were written, in the later home
of the tribe of Asher, and a little to the north of it, between the
Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains. Some scholars hold that we have in
these letters references to the coming of the “sons of Asher,” or the
tribe of Asher into this region, but it is a theory which in the present
state of our knowledge we can neither prove nor disprove. If it should
prove to be true, these tablets would reflect a part of the Hebrew
conquest of this region.

=2. Letters of Ebed-Hepa of Jerusalem.=


    [To the king, my lord, speak, saying, E]bed-H[epa thy servant--at] the
    feet [of the king, my lord,] seven times and seven times [I prostrate
    myself]. Behold I am not a [prefect]; a vassal am I unto [the king,
    my lord]. Why did not the king, [my lord], send a messenger [quickly]?
    In similar circumstances sent Ienhamu .................. I. [May] the
    king [hearken unto Ebed]-Hepa, his servant. [Behold] there are no
    mercenaries. [May] the king, my lord, s[end a governor] and let him
    take [the prefects] with him .......... lands of the king .........
    and people .......... who are .......... [and Addaya], the governor of
    the king [has] their house .......... So may the king care for them
    and send a messenger quickly. When ..........


    To the king, my lord, speak, saying, Ebed-Hepa, thy servant--at the
    feet of my lord, the king, seven times and seven times I prostrate
    myself. What have I done to the king, my lord? They slander and
    misrepresent me before the king, my lord, [saying]: Ebed-Hepa is
    disloyal to the king, his lord. Behold I--neither my father nor my
    mother set me in this place; the arm of the mighty king caused me to
    enter into the house of my father. Why should I commit rebellion
    against the king, my lord? As long as the king, my lord, lives I will
    say unto the governor of the king, my lord: “Why dost thou love the
    Habiri and hate the prefects?” But thus he misrepresents me before the
    king, my lord. Now I say, “Lost are the lands of the king, my lord.”
    So he misrepresents me to the king, my lord. But let the king, my
    lord, know (that) after the king, my lord, set guards, Ienhamu took
    them all .................... Egypt .......... of the king, my lord;
    [there are no] guards there. Then may the king care for his land! May
    the king care for his land! Separated are all the lands from the king.
    Ilimilku has destroyed all the country of the king; so may the king,
    my lord, care for his land! I say: “I will enter the presence of the
    king, my lord, and I will behold the eye of the king, my lord,” but
    the enemy is more mighty than I, and I am not able to enter into the
    presence of the king, my lord. So may it seem right to the king
    .......... may he send guards, and I will enter in and will behold the
    eyes of the king, my lord! And so long as the king, my lord, lives, so
    long as the governors are withdrawn, I will say: “Perished are the
    lands of the king.” Thou dost not hearken to me! All the prefects have
    perished; there is left no prefect to the king, my lord! May the king
    turn his face toward mercenaries, so that there may come forth
    mercenaries of the king, my lord. There are no lands left to the king,
    my lord. The Habiri plunder all the countries of the king. If there
    are mercenaries in this year, then there will be left countries of the
    king, my lord. If there are no mercenaries, the countries of the king
    will be lost. Unto the scribe of the king, my lord, saying:
    “Ebed-Hepa, thy servant. Take beautiful words to the king, my lord!
    Lost are all the lands of the king, my lord.”


    [To the king, my lord, [speak,] saying, Eb]ed-Hepa, thy servant. [Unto
    the feet] of my lord seven [times and seven times I prostrate myself].
    [I have heard all] the words [which the king, my lord,] has sent to me
    .......... Behold the deed which .......... has done .......... Copper
    .......... word ........ He has brought [into the city Keilah]. [Cf.
    Josh. 15:44.] May the king know that all the lands are gone and there
    is enmity against me. So may the king care for his land! Behold the
    land of the city Gezer, the land of the city Askelon and the city of
    Lakish have given them food, oil, and all kinds of herbs. So may the
    king give attention to the mercenaries! May he send mercenaries
    against the people who commit outrages against the king, my lord! If
    there are in this year mercenaries, then there will remain lands and
    prefects to the king, my lord. But if there are no mercenaries, there
    will be no lands and prefects to the king. Behold this land of the
    city of Jerusalem--neither my father nor my mother gave it to me; the
    mighty hand, the arm of the king gave it to me. Behold this deed; it
    is the deed of Malkiel and the deed of the sons of Labaya, who have
    given the land of the king to the Habiri. Behold, O king, my lord,
    right is on my side as regards the Kashi-people. Let the king ask the
    governors whether that house is very mighty and they have committed a
    grievous, a great sin; they have taken their weapons and have cut off
    the horsemen (?) .......... And may he send into that land ..........
    who .......... with .......... servants. May [the king] care for them
    ................ the lands in their hands [and] may the king provide
    for them much food, much oil, much clothing until Paru, the governor
    of the king, comes up to the country of the city of Jerusalem. Gone is
    Addaya, together with the guards of the vassals whom the king
    appointed. Let the king know that Addaya said to me: “Behold, I am
    going away; do not thou abandon it” (the city). This year send me men
    as guards and a governor, O king! Send us .......... I have sent to
    the king, my lord .........., people, five thousand .......... three
    hundred and eighteen porters for the caravans of the king. They were
    indeed captured in the fields near the city Aijalon. (Cf. Josh.
    10:12.) Let the king, my lord, know that I am not able to send a
    caravan to the king, my lord. Indeed thou knowest it. Behold the king
    has set his name in the country of the city of Jerusalem forever and
    he ought not to abandon the lands of the city of Jerusalem.

    To the scribe of the king, my lord, has Ebed-Hepa, thy servant spoken,
    saying: At the feet I, thy servant, prostrate myself. Take beautiful
    words to the king, my lord! A vassal of the king am I, exceedingly
    loyal (?) as regards thee. Also an evil deed has been done against me
    by the men of Kashi. I was all but killed by the men of Kashi in my
    house. May the king make investigation concerning them. Seven times
    and seven times, O king, justice is on my side.


    To the king, my lord, my sun-god, speak, saying, Ebed-Hepa, thy
    servant. At the feet of the king, my lord, seven times and seven times
    I prostrate myself. Behold the king, my lord, has set his name at the
    rising of the sun and the setting of the sun. It is slander which they
    have multiplied against me. Behold I am not a prefect; a vassal of the
    king, my lord, am I. Behold I am a shepherd of the king and one who
    brings tribute to the king, am I. Neither my father nor my mother, but
    the arm of the mighty king set me in the house of my father ........
    There came unto me ....... I gave 10 slaves into his hand. Shuta, the
    governor of the king, came unto me. Twenty-one female slaves and
    eighty prisoners I gave into the hand of Shuta as a present to the
    king, my lord. Let the king take counsel for his land! Lost is the
    land of the king. All of it is taken from me. Enmity is against me. As
    far as the lands of Seir and as far as Gath-Carmel there is peace
    among all the prefects, but enmity against me is practised. When I
    sent a man, then he said: “I do not see the eyes of the king, my lord,
    for hostility is against me.” I set once a ship on the sea when the
    mighty arm of the king took Naharina and Kapasi, but, behold the
    Habiri take the cities of the king. There is no prefect to the king,
    my lord; all are lost. Behold Turbazu was killed in the city gate of
    Zilû and the king is inactive! Behold Zimridda of Lakish; his servants
    were enraged at him; he adhered to the Habiri. Yapti-Adda was killed
    in the city gate of Zilû and there is no action! Concerning it the
    king makes no inquiry! Let the king care for his land and let the king
    turn his face to mercenaries for the land of tribute! For if there
    are no mercenaries in this year, lost, perished are all the lands of
    the king, my lord. Let not one say in the presence of the king, my
    lord, that the land of the king, my lord, is lost and all the prefects
    are lost. If there are no mercenaries in this year, then let the king
    send a governor to bring me and my brothers unto thee and we will die
    with the king, our lord.

    To the scribe of the king, my lord, saying, Ebed-Hepa, thy servant. At
    thy feet I prostrate myself. Bring beautiful words to the king.
    Emphatically thy servant and thy son am I.


    To the king, my lord, speak, saying, Ebed-Hepa, thy servant. At the
    feet of my lord I prostrate myself seven times and seven times. Behold
    Malkiel, he has not separated himself from the sons of Labaya and from
    the sons of Arzaya that they may seek the hand of the king for
    themselves. A prefect who has done this deed--why does not the king
    call him to account? Behold Malkiel and Tagi--the deed which they have
    done is this: formerly they took Rabuda and now they seek Jerusalem.
    If this land belongs to the king, why is it oppressed? Gaza has sided
    with the king. Behold the land of Gath-Carmel belongs to Tagi and the
    people of Gath are on guard in Beth-shean, and verily it will happen
    to us when Labaya and the land of Shechem have been given to the
    Habiri. Malkiel has written to Tagi and his sons: “Let our two forces
    grant all their desire to the people of Keilah.” Shall we indeed throw
    open Jerusalem? The guards, whom thou didst send by the hand of Haya,
    son of Miare, Addaya took, stationing them in his house in Gaza and
    twenty men has he sent to Egypt. Let the king know that there are no
    royal guards with me! It is so as the king lives! Verily Puru is
    beaten. He has gone from me and is in Gaza. May the king remember it
    and may the king send fifty men as guards to protect the land! All the
    lands of the king are in revolt. Send Yinhenhame and let him care for
    the land of the king. To the scribe of the king, my lord, say:
    Ebed-Hepa, thy servant. Beautiful words give to the king. Ever
    emphatically am I thy servant.


    To the king, my lord, speak, saying, Ebed-Hepa, thy servant. At the
    feet of the king, my lord, seven times and seven times I prostrate
    myself. Behold the deed which Malkiel and Shuardatu have done against
    the country of the king, my lord! They have won over the soldiers of
    Gezer, the soldiers of Gath, and the soldiers of Keilah; they have
    seized the country of the city of Rubute. The country of the king is
    fallen away to the Habiri. And now also a city of the country of
    Jerusalem (its name is Beth-shemesh),[486] a city of the king, has
    gone over to the men of Keilah. May the king hearken unto Ebed-Hepa,
    thy servant, and send mercenaries that the land of the king may remain
    unto the king. If there are no mercenaries, lost is the land of the
    king to the Habiri. This is the deed which Malkiel and Shuardatu have
    done .......... May the king care for his land!

=3. Their Light upon Conditions in the Period of the Egyptian Domination
of Palestine.=

These letters are among the most interesting of the many fascinating
documents which have come to us from ancient times. They give us our
first historical glimpse of Jerusalem, giving us a view of it 350 years
before its capture by David. At this time its ruler was one Ebed-Hepa, a
vassal of Amenophis IV, King of Egypt. Jerusalem was at the time the
capital of a considerable territory. If the places mentioned have been
rightly identified by scholars, its dominion extended to Mount Carmel on
the northwest and as far as Rabbith in Issachar on the north. At the time
these letters were written, Jerusalem was hard pressed by some invaders
called Habiri, and Ebed-Hepa again and again appeals to the Egyptian king
to send mercenaries in that year or all the territories of the king would
be lost. Already the Egyptian army was composed in part of hired soldiers.
We know from Egyptian sources that Amenophis was much more interested in
religious reform than in statecraft. The desired troops were not sent, and
apparently Ebed-Hepa was overcome, for his letters cease.

The condition of Palestine, as revealed by these letters, is the same as
that of Phœnicia as revealed by the letters of Rib-Adda. Egyptian
authority was breaking up; each ruler was doing his best to look after his
own interests; while invaders were overrunning the country.

Who was Ebed-Hepa? All that we know of him is told in these letters. Hepa
was, however, the name of a Hittite and Mitannian goddess. It has,
accordingly, been inferred that Ebed-Hepa belonged to that race. Ezekiel
long afterward in speaking to Jerusalem said: “The Amorite was thy father
and thy mother was a Hittite” (Ezek. 16:3, 45). If this first ruler of
Jerusalem known to us was a Hittite, as seems probable, it would be a
striking confirmation of Ezekiel’s statement. Another interesting question
is: Who were the Habiri who were invading Palestine when these letters
were written? The answer to this question is not certain. Four different
views have been held:

1. They have been thought to be the same as the clan Heber which was
afterward a part of the tribe of Asher, and which is also mentioned in
connection with Malkiel in Gen. 46:17; Num. 26:45, and 1 Chron. 7:31. The
objection to this view is that the Habiri seem far too powerful in these
letters to be simply the ancestors of such a clan.

2. It has been held that the Habiri were a branch of the Hittites. This
view is based upon the fact that among the tablets found by Winckler at
Boghaz Koi a list of Hittite gods was headed “gods of the Habiri.” This
is, however, not decisive, as the gods may have been Semitic gods, whom,
after the fashion of antiquity, the Hittite scribe had identified with the
deities of his own country.

3. It has been held that the Habiri were Hebrews, and that we have here
contemporary records of their wars of conquest.

4. Some scholars maintain that it is impossible to tell who the Habiri

The writer is inclined to hold that the Habiri were Hebrews, though this
view is not without difficulty. The indications of the book of Exodus
point to Ramses II as the Pharaoh of the oppression and to Merneptah as
the Pharaoh of the Exodus. These kings belonged to the nineteenth dynasty,
while Amenophis IV, to whom Ebed-Hepa wrote his letters, belonged to the
eighteenth. How then could Hebrews be already in Palestine struggling to
conquer it? The view has been held by a number of scholars that the Hebrew
conquest took place in two parts, one of which was under the eighteenth
and the other under the nineteenth dynasty. The view is not without its
difficulties, but it _may_ prove to be true. If the Habiri were Hebrews,
it seems necessary to suppose that it is true. Perhaps further discovery
will throw more light upon it.

The following letter, found in 1892 at Tell el-Hesy (Lachish) in
Palestine, belongs to the same period as the preceding letters.[487]

    To the chief officer speak, saying: Pabi--at thy feet I prostrate
    myself. Thou shouldst know that Shiptibaal and Zimrida are conspiring
    together and Shiptibaal has said to Zimrida: “My father of the city
    Yarami has written to me: ‘Give me six bows and three daggers and
    three swords. If I go out against the land of the king and thou wilt
    be the breath of life to me, then I shall surely (?) be superior to it
    and shall subdue it.’ He who makes this plan is Pabu, so send him to
    me.” Now I have sent thee Raphiel. He will bring to the chief officer
    news of this matter.

Another letter from Taanach belongs to the same general period. It is one
of four found by Sellin in 1903. It is as follows:[488]

    To Ishtarwashur speak, saying, Ahijah[489]--may the lord of the gods
    protect thy life! Thou art my brother and love is in thy bowels and in
    my heart. When I was detained in Gurra a workman gave to me two knives
    and a lance and two baskets (?) for nothing. As the lance was broken,
    he will repair it and send it by the hand of Buritpi. Again: is there
    lamentation over thy cities, or hast thou indeed put thyself in
    possession of them? Over my head is one who is over the cities. Now
    let us see whether he will do good to thee. If his countenance is
    favorable there will be great destruction. Further: let Ilurabi enter
    Rahab and either send my man to thy presence or give him protection.

This letter is chiefly interesting for the name _Aḫi-ya-mi_, which is
probably the Babylonian equivalent of Ahijah or Ahi-Yahweh. If this is so,
and, while not certain, there is considerable collateral evidence in its
favor,[490] the divine name, Yahweh (Jehovah), was already known in

Another phrase in this letter which has recalled to some a Biblical phrase
is “the lord of the gods.” This has been compared with Baal-berith (_i.
e._, lord of the covenant), Judges 9:4, who is later called El-berith (god
of the covenant), Judges 9:46. Such a comparison is, however, somewhat




The following vivid story of adventure dates from about 1100 B. C. and
throws a vivid light on the condition of the coast-lands of Palestine and
Phœnicia about the middle of the period of the Judges.

=1. Report of Wenamon.=[491]

    Year five, third month of the third season (eleventh month), day 16,
    day of departure of the “eldest of the hall,” of the house of Amon,
    the lord of the lands, Wenamon, to bring the timber for the great and
    august barge of Amon-Re, king of the gods, which is on the river
    .......... called: “Userhet” of Amon.

    On the day of my arrival at Tanis at the palace of Nesubenebded and
    Tentamon, I gave to them the writings of Amon-Re, king of the gods,
    which they caused to be read in their presence; and they said: “I will
    do it, I will do it according to that which Amon-Re, king of our gods,
    our lord, saith.” I abode until the fourth month of the third season,
    being in Tanis.

    Nesubenebded and Tentamon sent me with the ship-captain, Mengebet, and
    I descended into the great Syrian sea, in the fourth month of the
    third season, on the first day. I arrived at Dor, a city of Thekel [a
    people kindred to the Philistines], and Bedel, its king, caused to be
    brought for me much bread, a jar of wine, and a joint of beef.

    Then a man of my ship fled, having stolen:

        .. [vessels] of gold, [amounting to]  5 deben
        4 vessels of silver, amounting to    20 deben
        a sack of silver                     11 deben
        [Total of what] he [stole]            5 deben of gold.
                                             31 deben of silver.

    In the morning then I rose and went to the abode of the prince, and
    said to him: “I have been robbed in thy harbor. Since thou art the
    king of this land, thou art therefore its investigator, who should
    search for my money. For the money belongs to Amon-Re, king of the
    gods, lord of the lands; it belongs to Nesubenebded, and it belongs to
    Hrihor, my lord, and the other magnates of Egypt; it belongs also to
    Weret, and to Mekmel, and to Zakar-Baal, the prince of Byblos”
    [Gebal]. He said to me: “To thy honor and thy excellence! but, behold,
    I know nothing of this complaint which thou hast lodged with me. If
    the thief belonged to my land, he who went on board thy ship, that he
    might steal thy treasure, I would repay it to thee from my treasury
    till they find thy thief by name; but the thief who robbed thee
    belongs to thy ship. Tarry a few days here with me, and I will seek
    him.” When I had spent nine days moored in his harbor, I went to him
    and said to him: “Behold, thou hast not found my money, therefore let
    me depart with the ship-captain, and with those who go .......... the
    sea. He said to me: “Be silent ..............” .......... the harbor
    ................ [I arrived at] Tyre. I went forth from Tyre at early
    dawn .......... Zakar-Baal, the prince of Byblos [Gebal].

    .......... the .......... I found 30 deben of silver therein. I seized
    it, [saying to them: “I will take] your money, and it shall remain
    with me until ye find [my money. Was it not a man of Thekel] who stole
    it, and no thief [of ours]? I will take it .......... They went away,
    while I .................. [I] arrived .......... the harbor of Byblos
    [Gebal]. [I made a place of concealment, I hid] “Amon-the-way,” and I
    placed his things in it. The prince of Byblos sent to me, saying:
    “Betake thyself from my harbor.” I sent to him, saying,
    “................ if they sail, let them take me to Egypt.” ..........
    I spent nineteen days in his harbor and he continually sent to me
    daily, saying: “Betake thyself from my harbor.”

    Now, when he sacrificed to his gods ......., the god seized one of his
    noble youths, making him frenzied, so that he said: “Bring [the god]
    hither! Bring the messenger of Amon who hath him. Send him and let him

    Now, while the frenzied youth continued in frenzy during this night, I
    found a ship bound for Egypt, and I loaded all my belongings into it.
    I waited for the darkness, saying: “When it descends, I will embark
    the god also, in order that no other eye may see him.”

    The harbor-master came to me, saying: “Remain until morning by the
    prince.” I said to him: “Art not thou he who continually came to me
    daily, saying, ‘Betake thyself away from my harbor’? Dost thou not
    say, ‘Remain in the [land’], in order to let depart the ship that I
    have found? thou that mayest come and say again, ‘Away’? He went and
    told it to the prince, and the prince sent to the captain of the ship,
    saying: ‘Remain until morning by the king.’”

    When morning came he sent and had me brought up, when the divine
    offering occurred in the fortress where he was, on the shore of the
    sea. I found him sitting in his upper chamber, leaning his back
    against a window, while the waves of the great Syrian sea beat against
    the ........ behind him. I said to him: “Kindness of Amon!” He said to
    me: “How long is it until this day since thou camest away from the
    abode of Amon?” I said: “Five months and one day until now.”

    He said to me: “Behold thou art true, where is the writing of Amon,
    which is in thy hand? Where is the letter of the High Priest of Amon,
    which is in thy hand?” I said to him: “I gave them to Nesubenebded and
    Tentamon.” Then he was very wroth, and he said to me: “Now, behold,
    the writing and the letter are not in thy hand! Where is the ship of
    cedar which Nesubenebded gave to thee? Where is its Syrian crew? He
    would not deliver thy business to this ship-captain ........ to have
    thee killed, that they might cast thee into the sea. From whom would
    they have sought the god then? And thee, from whom would they have
    sought thee then?” So he spake to me. I said to him: “There are indeed
    Egyptian ships and Egyptian crews who sail under Nesubenebded, (but)
    he hath no Syrian crews.” He said to me: “There are surely twenty
    ships here in my harbor, which are in connection with Nesubenebded;
    and at Sidon, whither thou wouldst go, there are indeed 10,000 ships
    also which are in connection with Berket-el and sail to his house.”

    Then I was silent in this great hour. He answered and said to me: “On
    what business hast thou come hither?” I said to him: “I have come
    after the timber of the great and august barge of Amon-Re, king of
    gods. Thy father did it, thy grandfather did it, and thou wilt also do
    it.” So spake I to him.

    He said to me: “They did it, truly. If thou give me (something) for
    doing it, I will do it. Indeed my agents transacted the business; the
    Pharaoh, ...... sent six ships, laden with the products of Egypt, and
    they were unloaded in their storehouses. And thou also shalt bring
    something for me.” He had the journal of his fathers brought in, and
    he had them read it before me. They found 1,000 deben of every (kind
    of) silver, which was in his book.

    He said to me: “If the ruler of Egypt were the owner of my property,
    and I were also his servant, he would not send silver and gold,
    saying: ‘Do the command of Amon.’ It was not the payment of tribute
    which they exacted of my father. As for me, I am myself neither thy
    servant nor am I the servant of him that sent thee. If I cry out to
    the Lebanon, the heavens open, and the logs lie here on the shore of
    the sea.”

A long speech of Wenamon follows, in which he claims Egypt as the home of
civilization, and claims Lebanon for Amon. He then continues:

    “Let my scribe be brought to me, that I may send him to Nesubenebded
    and Tentamon, the rulers whom Amon hath given to the north of his
    land, and they will send all that of which I shall write unto them,
    saying: ‘Let it be brought,’ until I return to the south and send thee
    all thy trifles again.” So spake I to him.

    He gave my letter into the hand of his messenger. He loaded in the
    keel, the head of the bow and the head of the stern, with four other
    hewn timbers, together seven; and he had them taken to Egypt. His
    messenger went to Egypt, and returned to me, to Syria in the first
    month of the second season. Nesubenebded and Tentamon sent:

        Gold: 4 _Tb_-vessels, 1 _K’k-mn_-vessel;
        Silver: 5 _Tb_-vessels;
        Royal linen: 10 garments, 10 _ḥm-ḫrd_;
        Papyrus: 500 rolls;
        Ox-hides: 500;
        Rope: 500 (coils);
        Lentils: 20 measures;
        Fish: 30 measures;
        She[492] sent me:
        Linen 5 ......, 5 _ḥm-ḫrd_;
        Lentils: 1 measure;
        Fish: 5 measures.

    The prince rejoiced, and detailed 300 men and 300 oxen, placing
    overseers over them, to have the trees felled. They spent the second
    season therewith .... In the third month of the second season (seventh
    month) they dragged them [to] the shore of the sea. The prince came
    forth and stood by them.

    He sent to me, saying: “Come.” Now, when I had presented myself before
    him, the shadow of his sunshade fell upon me. Penamon, a butler, he
    stepped between us, saying: “The shadow of Pharaoh ........, thy lord,
    falls upon thee.” He was angry with him, saying: “Let him alone!” I
    presented myself before him, and he answered and said unto me: “Behold
    the command which my fathers formerly executed, I have executed,
    although thou for thy part hast not done for me that which thy fathers
    did for me. Behold there has arrived the last of thy timber, and there
    it lies. Do according to my desire and come to load it, for they will
    indeed give it to thee.”

    “Come not to contemplate the terror of the sea, (but) if thou dost
    contemplate the terror of the sea, thou shalt (also) contemplate mine
    own. Indeed I have not done to thee that which they did to the
    messengers of Khamwese, when they spent seventeen years in this land.
    They died in their place.” He said to his butler; “Take him, and let
    him see their tomb, wherein they sleep.”

    I said to him: “Let me not see it! As for Khamwese, (mere) people were
    the messengers whom he sent unto thee; but people ......... there was
    no [god among] his messengers. And yet thou sayest, ‘Go and see thy
    companions.’ Lo, art thou not glad? and dost thou not have made for
    thee a tablet, whereon thou sayest: ‘Amon-Re, king of gods, sent to me
    “Amon-the-way,” his [divine] messenger, and Wenamon, his human
    messenger, after the timber for the great and august barge of Amon-Re,
    king of gods? I felled it, I loaded it, I supplied him (with) my ships
    and my crews, I brought them to Egypt, to beseech for me 10,000 years
    of life from Amon, more than my ordained (life), and it came to pass.’
    Then in future days when a messenger comes from the land of Egypt, who
    is able to write, and reads thy name upon the stela, thou shalt
    receive water in the west, like the gods who are there.” He said to
    me: “It is a great testimony which thou tellest me.”

    I said to him: “As for the many things which thou hast said to me,
    when I reach the place of the abode of the High Priest of Amon, and he
    shall see thy command in thy command, [he] will have something
    delivered to thee.”

    I went to the shore of the sea, to the place where the timbers lay; I
    spied eleven ships, coming from the sea, belonging to the Thekel,
    saying: “Arrest him! Let not a ship of his pass to Egypt!” I sat down
    and began to weep. The letter-scribe of the prince came out to me, and
    said to me: “What is the matter with thee?” I said to him: “Surely
    thou seest these birds which twice descend upon Egypt. Behold them!
    They come to the pool, and how long shall I be here, forsaken? For
    thou seest surely those who come to arrest me again.”

    He went and told it to the prince. The prince began to weep at the
    evil words which they spoke to him. He sent out his letter-scribe to
    me and brought me two jars of wine and a ram. He sent to me Tento, an
    Egyptian singer (feminine), who was with him, saying: “Sing for him;
    let not his heart feel apprehension.” He sent to me, saying: “Eat,
    drink, and let not thy heart feel apprehension. Thou shalt hear all
    that I have to say unto thee in the morning.”

    Morning came, he had (the Thekel) called into his ......., he stood in
    their midst and said to the Thekel: “Why have ye come?” They said to
    him: “We have come after the stove-up ships which thou sendest to
    Egypt with our ...... comrades.” He said to them: “I cannot arrest the
    messenger of Amon in my land. Let me send him away, and ye shall
    pursue him, to arrest him.”

    He loaded me on board, he sent me away ..... to the harbor of the sea.
    The wind drove me to the land of Alasa [Cyprus]; those of the city
    came forth to me to slay me. I was brought among them to the abode of
    Heteb, the queen of the city. I found her as she was going forth from
    her houses and entering into her other [house]. I saluted her, I asked
    the people who stood about her: “There is surely one among you who
    understands Egyptian?” One among them said: “I understand (it).” I
    said to him: “Say to my mistress: ‘I have heard as far as Thebes, the
    abode of Amon, that in every city injustice is done, but that justice
    is done in the land of Alasa; (but), lo, injustice is done every day
    here.’” She said: “Indeed! what is this that thou sayest?” I said to
    her: “If the sea raged and the wind drove me to land where I am, thou
    wilt not let them take advantage of me to slay me, I being a messenger
    of Amon. I am one whom they will seek unceasingly. As for the crew of
    the prince of Byblos whom they sought to kill, their lord will surely
    find ten crews of thine, and he will slay them on his part.” She had
    the people called and stationed (before her); she said to me: “Pass
    the night ..........”

Here the papyrus, which contains this vivid personal narrative of travel,
is broken off and the rest of the story is lost. We may be sure that
Wenamon escaped from Cyprus and succeeded in reaching Egypt again, or the
story would never have been told.

=2. Its Illustration of Certain Points of Biblical History.=

The story illustrates well a number of points in Biblical history. This
adventure was approximately contemporary with the career of Deborah or of
Gideon. It shows that the city of Dor, which was situated on the coast
just south of Mount Carmel, was in the possession of a tribe kindred to
the Philistines, who soon afterward appear in Biblical history. We also
learn from it that Egyptian authority in Palestine and Phœnicia, which was
at the time of the El-Amarna letters so rapidly decaying, had entirely
disappeared. Zakar-Baal stoutly asserts his independence, while the king
of the Thekel is evidently quite independent of Egypt. The way in which
these petty kingdoms deal with one another is quite after the manner of
the international relations reflected in the book of Judges. The
expedition of Wenamon to the Lebanon for cedar wood illustrates the way
Solomon obtained cedar for the temple.

Lastly, the way one of the noble youths became frenzied and prophesied, is
quite parallel to the way in which Saul “stripped off his clothes and
prophesied ...... and lay down naked all that day and all that night” (1
Sam. 19:24). The heed which Zakar-Baal gave to this youth shows that at
Gebal, as in Israel, such ecstatic or frenzied utterances were thought to
be of divine origin. Later in Israel this sort of prophecy became a kind
of profession, or trade. The members of these prophetic guilds were called
“sons of the prophets.” The great literary prophets of Israel had nothing
to do with them. Amos is careful to say that he is not a “son of a
prophet” (Amos 7:14).

=3. Reference to the Philistines.=

Ramses III in his inscriptions makes the following statements:[493]

    “The northern countries are unquiet in their limbs, even the Peleset
    [Philistines], the Thekel, who devastate their land
    ................... O my august father [_i. e._, the god Amon] come to
    take them, being: the Peleset, the Denyen [Dardanians], and the
    Shekelesh [Sicilians] ............

    Utterance of the vanquished Peleset: “Give to us the breath for our
    nostrils, O king, son of Amon.”

The Peleset are undoubtedly the same people who appear in the Bible as the
Philistines. Ramses III, of the twentieth dynasty, from whose inscriptions
the above quotations are taken, reigned from 1198-1167 B. C. In his reign
the Philistines were coming over the sea and invading northern Egypt along
with other wanderers from different parts of the Mediterranean, the
Thekel, the Danaoi, and the Sicilians. Upon being repelled from Egypt by
Ramses, they passed on and invaded Palestine. As the report of Wenamon
shows, the Thekel were in possession of Dor by the year 1100, and no doubt
the Philistines had gained a foothold also in the cities farther to the
south, where we find them in the Biblical records (Judges 13-16; 1 Sam.
4-7; 13, 14; 17, 18, etc.).

Amos says the Philistines came from Caphtor (Amos 9:7). This has long been
supposed to be Crete. Eduard Meyer thinks that confirmation of this has
now been found. A disc inscribed in a peculiar writing, which has not yet
been deciphered, was found in July, 1908, at Phæstos in Crete in strata of
the third middle Minoan period, _i. e._, about 1600 B. C.[494] This
writing is pictographic, and although not yet translated, appears to be a
contract.[495] One of the frequently recurring signs represents a human
head surmounted by a shock of hair (see Fig. 38), almost exactly like the
hair of the Philistines as they are pictured by the artists of Ramses III
on the walls of his palace at Medinet Habu (see Fig. 36). This sign was
probably the determinative for man. This likeness would make the proof of
the Cretan origin of the Philistines complete, were it not that some
scholars think that the disc exhumed at Phæstos had been brought thither
from across the sea. This is possible, but does not seem very probable.
The doubt will, perhaps, be resolved when we learn to read the




=1. Gudea and Cedar-Wood for His Palace.=

Gudea, a ruler of Lagash in Babylonia (the modern Telloh; see p. 45), who
lived about 2450 B. C., rebuilt Eninnû, the temple of Ningirsu, at Lagash.
In his account of the work he makes the following statement:[496]

    From Amanus, the mountain of cedar, cedar wood, the length of which
    was 60 cubits, cedar-wood, the length of which was 50 cubits,
    _ukarinnu_-wood, the length of which was 25 cubits, for the dwelling
    he made; (from) their mountain they were brought.

The Amanus mountains lay along the Mediterranean to the north of the river
Orontes. They belong to the same general range as the Lebanons. Again, in
the same inscription, Gudea says:[497]

    From Umanu, the mountain of Menua, from Basalla, the mountain of the
    Amorites, great cut stones he brought; into pillars he made them and
    in the court of Eninnû he erected them. From Tidanu, the mountain of
    the Amorites, marble in fragments (?) he brought.

This passage shows that a ruler of Babylonia came to this region for
cedar-wood and stones for his temple, as Solomon is said to have done (1
Kings 5, especially vs. 6 and 17; 2 Chron. 2:8, ff.). That Egyptian rulers
did the same is clearly shown by the report of Wenamon. (See p. 352, ff.)

=2. The Eponym Canon.=

The Assyrians kept chronological lists called by scholars “Eponym Canons,”
which are of great importance in determining the chronology of Hebrew
history at a number of obscure points. A translation of them has not been
included in this work, since so few Biblical names occur in them that they
would be of little use except to experts. Any who wish to consult them
will find them translated in Rogers, _Cuneiform Parallels to the Old
Testament_, pp. 219-238.

=3. Jeroboam.=

During Schumacher’s excavation at Megiddo (see p. 96), a seal was found in
the palace; it is shown in Fig. 27. Its inscription reads:

    Belonging to Shema, servant of Jeroboam.

We have no means of knowing whether the Jeroboam referred to was Jeroboam
I (1 Kings 12:12, ff.), or Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:23, ff.).

=4. Shishak.=

Sheshonk I (954-924 B. C.), the founder of the twenty-second Egyptian
dynasty, the Shishak of the Bible (1 Kings 14:25-28), has left on the
walls of a pylon which he erected at the temple of Karnak a relief
picturing his victory. The pictures are of the conventional type, but they
are accompanied by a list of conquered Asiatic cities. Of these the names
of about one-hundred and twenty are legible, though it is possible to
identify but a small proportion of these with known localities. As it
would be of no interest to the general reader to place before him the
Egyptian spelling of unidentified place names, only those are here given
which have been identified or have some Biblical interest. The numbers
before each name designate its distance from the beginning of Sheshonk’s
list. Among his conquered towns, then, are the following:[498]

    11. _Gimty_ = Gath. 13. _Rub’ty_ = Rabbith (Josh. 19:20). 14. _T’‘nqy_
    = Taanach (Josh. 12:21; Judges 5:19). 15. _Sh’nm‘y_ = Shunem (Josh.
    19:18; 2 Kings 4:8). 16. _B’tysh’nry_ = Beth-shean (Josh. 17:11; 1
    Sam. 31:10; 1 Kings 4:12). 17. _Rwh’b’iy_ = Rehob (Judges 1:31). 18.
    _H’pwrwmy_ = Haphraim (Josh. 19:19). 22. _Myh’nm‘_ = Mahanaim (Gen.
    32:2; Josh. 13:26; 2 Sam. 2:8; 17:24). _Q-b’-‘’-n’_ = Gibeon (Josh.
    10:1, f.). 24. _B’tyhwr’rwn_ = Beth-horon (Josh. 10:10; 1 Sam. 13:18).
    26. _Iywrwn_ = Aijalon (Josh. 10:12; 19:42). 27. _Myqdyw_ = Megiddo
    (Josh. 12:21; Judges 1:27). 28. _Idyrw‘_ = Edrei (Num. 21:33; Deut.
    1:4; Josh. 12:4). 32. _‘’rin’_ = Elon (Josh. 19:43). 38. _Sh’wka_ =
    Soco (2 Chron. 11:7; 28:18). 39. _B’tylpwh_ = Beth-tapuah (Josh.
    15:53). 57. _Dymrwm_ = Zemaraim (Josh. 18:22). 58. [_M_]_gdrw_ =
    Madgala (Matt. 15:39 A. V.). 71, 72. _P’hwqrw’ ’b’r’m_ = The field of
    Abram. 100. _Iwdri’_ = Addar (?) (Josh. 15:3). 124. _B’ty‘nt_ =
    Beth-anoth (?) (Josh. 15:59).

According to 1 Kings 14:25, ff., Sheshonk’s campaign was directed against
Judah, and there is no hint that the northern kingdom suffered too. This
may be because the interest of the author of Kings in the house of David
and in Jerusalem was greater than his interest in the north. It is clear
from the list of places just quoted that Sheshonk conquered both kingdoms.
He either took or received tribute from Megiddo, Taanach, Shunem, and
Beth-shean, cities in the great plain of Jezreel, but crossed the Jordan
and captured Mahanaim and Edrei.

=5. Ashurnasirpal.=

Ashurnasirpal, King of Assyria, 884-860 B. C., in describing his
expedition to the Mediterranean lands, makes the following statement:[499]

    At that time I marched along Mount Lebanon, unto the great sea of the
    land of the Amorites I went up. In the great sea I cleansed my
    weapons. I made sacrifices to the gods. The tribute of the kings by
    the side of the sea, from the land of the Tyrian, the land of the
    Sidonian, the land of the Gebalite, the land of the Maḫallatite, the
    land of the Maisite, the land of the Kaisite, the land of the Amorite,
    and the city Arvad, which is in the midst of the sea; silver, gold,
    lead, copper, copper vessels, garments of bright colored stuffs,
    cloth, a great _pagutu_, a small _pagutu_, _ushu_-wood,
    _ukarinnu_-wood, teeth of a sperm-whale porpoise, a creature of the
    sea, as their tribute I received; they embraced my feet. To Mount
    Amanus I ascended; beams of cedar, cypress, juniper, pine, I cut.
    Sacrifices to my gods I offered. A pillar recording my warlike deeds I
    set up.

This inscription records the first approach of an Assyrian king to Hebrew
territory. He did not actually come into contact with the Israelites,
though he took tribute from their neighbors, the Tyrians and Sidonians.
The expedition of Ashurnasirpal was, however, the precursor of many others
which progressed further.

Ashurnasirpal, like Gudea and Hrihor, secured wood from this region for
his buildings, thus affording another parallel to Solomon’s procedure.

=6. Shalmaneser III.=

Shalmaneser III, the son and successor of Ashurnasirpal, reigned from 859
to 825 B. C. He not only approached more closely to Palestine, but claims
to have taken tribute from her kings. In the case of King Jehu the claim
is no doubt true. The following extracts give the accounts in
Shalmaneser’s own words.[500]

    In the eponym year of Dan-Ashur (_i. e._, 854 B. C.), month Aru, 14th
    day, I departed from the city of Nineveh; I crossed the river Tigris
    ....... to the city Qarqar I approached. Qarqar, his royal city, I
    destroyed, I devastated, I burned with fire. 1,200 chariots, 1,200
    horsemen, 20,000 men of Hadadidri (Benhadad) of Damascus; 700
    chariots, 700 horsemen, 10,000 men of Irhulina, the Hamathite; 2,000
    chariots, 10,000 men of Ahab, the Israelite; 500 men of the Quæan (_i.
    e._, Que, in Cilicia); 1,000 men of the Musræan; 10,000 chariots,
    10,000 men of the Irqantæan; 200 men of Matinu-ba’li, the Arvadite;
    200 men of the Usantæan; 30 chariots, 10,000 men of Adunu-ba’li, the
    Shianian; 1,000 camels of Gindibu, the Arabian; 1,000 (?) men of Basa,
    son of Ruhubi, the Ammonite--these 12 kings he took as his helpers and
    they came to make battle and war against me. With the exalted power
    which Ashur, the lord, had given me, with powerful weapons, which
    Nergal, who goes before me, had presented me, I fought with them; from
    Qarqar to Gilzan I accomplished their defeat. 14,000 of their troops I
    overthrew with arms, like Adad I poured out a flood upon them; I flung
    afar their corpses, I filled the plain with their mighty troops. With
    weapons I made their blood to flow .......... The field was too narrow
    for smiting (?) them, the broad plain (?) was used (?) for burying
    their bodies. With their corpses I dammed the Orontes as with a dam
    (?). In that battle their chariots, their horsemen, their horses,
    harnesses, and yokes I took.

It is of especial interest that Ahab and Benhadad, two kings well known
from the Bible, formed a part of the coalition that attempted to repel
this first Assyrian invasion. Shalmaneser’s claim of victory is probably
exaggerated, for he retired without further effort to subdue the country.
Had it been as sweeping a triumph as he would have us believe, he would
surely have pressed forward.

Another of his inscriptions describes the battle of Qarqar as

    In the 6th year of my reign from Nineveh I set out .......... unto
    Qarqar I approached. Hadadidri of Damascus, Irhulina, the Hamathite,
    together with twelve kings of the sea-coast, trusted in their own
    power and came to make war and fight with me. With them I fought.
    25,000 of their fighting men I destroyed with arms. Their chariots,
    their horses, their implements of war I took from them. They fled to
    save their lives. I embarked on a ship and went out to sea.

Four years later Shalmaneser records the subjugation of Carchemish, on the
Euphrates (cf. Isa. 10:9; Jer. 46:2). His account of it is brief and runs

    In the 10th year of my reign (850 B. C.), the river Euphrates I
    crossed for the eighth time. The cities of Sangar, the Carchemishite,
    I devastated, I destroyed I burned with fire. From the cities of
    Carchemish I departed and approached the cities of Arame.

The next year Shalmaneser again tried conclusions with the kings of the
west. His longer account of this runs as follows:[503]

    In the 11th year of my reign (849 B. C.) I set out from Nineveh. I
    crossed the river Euphrates at high water for the ninth time
    .......... At that time Hadadidri of Damascus, Irhulina the Hamathite,
    together with twelve kings of the sea-coast, trusted to their own
    power and to make war and battle with me they came. I fought with
    them, I accomplished their defeat. 10,000 of their fighting men I slew
    with arms. Their chariots, horsemen, and implements of war I took from

Shalmaneser’s third campaign against these kings is thus described:[504]

    In the 14th year of my reign I mustered the broad land without number.
    I crossed the Euphrates at high water with 120,000 troops. At that
    time Hadadidri of Damascus and Irhulina, the Hamathite, together with
    twelve kings of the sea-coast, upper and lower, mustered their
    numerous armies without number and into my presence came. I fought
    with them, I accomplished their defeat. I brought away their chariots
    and horses, their implements of war I took from them; they fled to
    save their lives.

A fourth campaign another inscription describes thus:[505]

    In the 18th year of my reign (842 B. C.), I crossed the river
    Euphrates for the sixteenth time. Hazael of Damascus (cf. 1 Kings
    19:15, 17; 2 Kings 8) trusted to the great numbers of his forces and
    mustered his troops in large numbers. Saniru (_i. e._, Hermon, see
    Deut. 3:9), a mountain-peak at the side of Mount Lebanon, he made his
    fortress. I fought with him, I accomplished his defeat. 16,000 of his
    fighting men I slew with arms. 1,121 of his chariots, 470 of his
    horses with his camp I took from him. He fled to save his life. I
    pursued him and in Damascus, his capital city, shut him up. I cut down
    his parks. I marched to the mountains of Hauran. Cities innumerable I
    destroyed, devastated, I burned with fire; their untold spoil I took
    as plunder. To the mountain of Bilirasi,[506] a mountain at the head
    of the sea, I marched. My royal portrait in it I set up. At that time
    the tribute of the Tyrian, the Sidonian, and of Jehu, son of Omri, I

The tribute of Jehu of Israel, mentioned in the last line of this
inscription, is pictured on Shalmaneser’s black obelisk; (see Figs. 295,
296). Above its various panels is the following inscription:[507]

    Tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: silver, gold, a bowl (?) of gold, a
    basin (?) of gold, cups of gold, pails (?) of gold, bars of lead,
    scepters (?) for the hand of the king and balsam wood I received from

A fifth expedition is thus briefly described:[508]

    In the 21st year of my reign (839 B. C.), the river Euphrates I
    crossed, against the cities of Hazael of Damascus I went. Four of his
    cities I captured. The tribute of the Tyrian, of the Sidonian, and of
    the Gebalite I received.

In still another inscription, which gives a summary of his wars,
Shalmaneser compresses the account of his various wars in the west as

    At that time Hadadidri of the land of Damascus, together with 12
    princes, his helpers,--their defeat I accomplished. 29,000 mighty
    warriors I prostrated like a simoom (?). The rest of his soldiers I
    cast into the river Orontes. They fled to save their lives. Hadadidri
    forsook his land. Hazael, son of a nobody, seized the throne. He
    summoned his numerous soldiers and came to make war and battle with
    me. With him I fought, I accomplished his defeat. The wall of his camp
    I seized. He fled to save his life. I pursued him to Damascus, his
    capital city.

=7. The Moabite Stone.=

This stone, which bears an inscription of Mesha, King of Moab, a
contemporary of King Ahab, was erected at Dibon (the modern Diban) on the
north shore of the Arnon, where it was found in the last century. The
upper portion of it was first seen by a Prussian clergyman, Rev. F. A.
Klein, in the year 1868. Reports of its existence had previously reached
the French scholar, Clermont-Ganneau, who was then in Jerusalem, and a
squeeze of it was afterward taken by an Arab for this French scholar. Both
the French and Prussian governments were desirous of obtaining it, and the
Arabs, conceiving that they could obtain more money for it by selling it
in parts, broke it up, thus greatly mutilating the inscription. Afterward
the French obtained it, putting the pieces together again, and it may now
be seen in the Louvre at Paris; (see Fig. 300). The inscription is as

    I am Mesha, son of Chemoshmelek, King of Moab, the Dibonite. My father
    ruled over Moab thirty years, and I ruled after my father. And I made
    this high place to Chemosh in Qarhah (?) because of the deliverance
    of Mesha, because he saved me from all the kings and because he caused
    me to see [my desire] upon all who hated me. Omri, king of Israel--he
    oppressed Moab many days, because Chemosh was angry with his land. And
    his son succeeded him, and he also said I will oppress Moab. In my day
    he spoke according to [this] word, but I saw [my desire] upon him and
    upon his house, and Israel utterly perished forever. Now Omri had
    possessed all the land of Medeba and dwelt in it his days and half the
    days of his son, forty years, but Chemosh restored it in my day. And I
    built Baal-meon and I made in it the reservoir (?), and I built
    Kiryathaim. And the men of Gad had dwelt in the land of Ataroth from
    of old and the king of Israel had built for himself Ataroth. And I
    fought against the city and took it, and I slew all the people of the
    city, a sight [pleasing] to Chemosh and to Moab. And I brought back
    from there the altar-hearth of Duda and I dragged it before Chemosh in
    Kiryoth. And I caused to dwell in it the men of Sharon (?) and the men
    of Meharoth (?). And Chemosh said to me: “Go take Nebo against
    Israel”; and I went by night and fought against it from break of dawn
    till noon, and I took it and slew all, seven thousand men, boys (?),
    and women, and girls, for I had devoted it to Ashtar-Chemosh. And I
    took from there the altar-hearths of Yahweh (Jehovah), and I dragged
    them before Chemosh. And the king of Israel built Jahaz and dwelt in
    it while he fought with me and Chemosh drove him out from before me.
    And I took from Moab two hundred men, all its chiefs, and I led them
    against Jahaz and took it to add unto Dibon. And I built Qarhah (?),
    the wall of the forests and the wall of the hill; and I built its
    gates and I built its towers, and I built the king’s house, and I made
    the sluices (?) for the reservoir of water in the midst of the city.
    And there was no cistern in the midst of the city, in Qarhah (?); and
    I said to all the people: “Make you each a cistern in his house;” and
    I cut the cuttings for Qarhah (?) with the help of the prisoners of
    Israel. I built Aroer and I made the highway by the Arnon. And I built
    Beth-bamoth, for it had been destroyed. And I built Bezer, for it was
    in ruins .......... [Chi]efs of Dibon were fifty, for all Dibon was
    obedient. And I ruled a hundred .........., in the cities which I had
    added to the land. And I built [Mede]ba and Beth-diblathan. And [as
    for] Beth-baal-meon, there I placed sheep-raisers ........... sheep of
    the land. And [as for] Horonaim there dwelt in it ...... and
    .......... Chemosh said unto me: “Go down, fight against Horonaim,”
    and I went down and ........... Chemosh in my day, and from there
    .................... and I ..........

The author of this inscription is the Mesha mentioned in 2 Kings 3:4. He
is there said to have been a “sheep-master” (Hebrew, _nōqēdh_). Mesha
appears to say in line 30 (the word is broken) that he placed _noqĕdhim_,
“sheep-raisers,” or, “sheep-masters,” in Beth-baal-meon. The _nōqēdh_ was
a raiser of a peculiar breed of sheep. Moab is excellent grazing land and
raised a great many.

In general the inscription supplements the Biblical narrative. It mentions
persons and places well known from the Bible, and gives us an account of a
series of events of which the Bible makes no mention. The Biblical account
says nothing of Mesha’s revolt, while Mesha in his turn says nothing of
the campaign described in 2 Kings 3. Neither document implies that the
events described in the other did not occur; the two are written from two
different points of view and their authors selected the events which
suited the purpose of the respective writers. In spite of this
consideration there are some differences of statement which are

Mesha says in substance that Omri conquered Medeba and occupied it during
his reign, half the reign of his son, a period of forty years, but Chemosh
restored it to Moab in his (Mesha’s) day. It is said in 2 Kings 3:5, on
the other hand, that “when Ahab was dead, the king of Moab rebelled
against the king of Israel.” According to 1 Kings 16:23-29, Omri reigned
twelve years and Ahab twenty-two years. All the reign of Omri, and half of
that of Ahab would, accordingly, be but twenty-three years. It is
possible, however, as has been suggested by several scholars, that Mesha
uses the word son to denote descendant, and that he refers to the war with
Israel in the reign of Jehoram, son of Ahab, described in 2 Kings 3:6-27.
Another suggestion, which seems more probable, is that the recapture of
Medeba, mentioned near the beginning of Mesha’s inscription, occurred
about the middle of the reign of Ahab, while the capture of Ataroth may
have belonged to the period of Jehoram, the whole time from Omri to
Jehoram being forty years. Some scholars have supposed that the Biblical
chronology is in error and that Omri and Ahab together ruled some fifty
years. This supposition can hardly be correct, since the general accuracy
of the chronology of this part of Kings is confirmed by the Assyrian

Mesha’s inscription mentions a number of places which the Bible also
names, the Arnon (Num. 21:13, etc.; Deut. 2:24; 3:16, etc.), Aroer (Josh.
13:16), Ataroth (Num. 32:34), Baal-meon or Beth-baal-meon (Josh. 13:17;
Num. 32:38), Beth-bamoth[511] (Josh. 13:17), Beth-diblathaim (Jer. 48:22),
Bezer (Josh. 20:8), Dibon (Num. 32:34; Josh. 13:17; Isa. 15:2), Horonaim
(Isa. 15:5), Jahaz (Josh. 13:18; Isa. 15:4), Kerioth (Jer. 48:24),
Kirathaim (Josh. 13:19; Jer. 48:23), Medeba (Josh. 13:16; Isa. 15:2), and
Nebo (Num. 32:38; Deut. 34:1; Isa. 15:2).

=8. Adadnirari IV.=

Adadnirari IV of Assyria (810-782 B. C.) has left an inscription which
mentions Syria and Palestine. It reads as follows:[512]

    Palace of Adadnirari, the great king, the mighty king, the king of the
    world, the king of Assyria, who conquered from the Euphrates, the
    Hittite country, the Amorite land in its entirety; Tyre, Sidon, the
    land of Omri, Edom, Palastu, to the coast of the great sea, where the
    sun sets, cast themselves at my feet; I imposed tribute and imposts
    upon them. To the land of Damascus I marched. Mari, King of Damascus,
    in Damascus his royal city I besieged. The fear of the luster of Ashur
    my lord overwhelmed him and he seized my feet and became subject.
    2,300 talents of silver, 20 talents of gold, 3,000 talents of copper,
    5,000 talents of iron, variegated garments, linen (?), an ivory bed,
    an ivory couch (?) with inlaid border, his goods without measure I
    received in the palace in his royal city Damascus.

“The land of Omri” was the kingdom of Israel. Omri had made such an
impression on the East that the Assyrians still so called it. “Palastu” is
Philistia. Edom is here mentioned for the first time as paying tribute to
an Assyrian king, but Judah is not mentioned; she was still free.
Adadnirari was a contemporary of Jehoahaz and Jehoash of Israel, and of
Joash and Amaziah of Judah.

=9. Tiglathpileser IV.=

Tiglathpileser IV, one of the greatest of Assyria’s kings, made several
campaigns into the west and had a profound influence upon the fortunes of
the Hebrew people. Unfortunately, his inscriptions have been greatly
mutilated. Esarhaddon, a later king, determined to remodel
Tiglathpileser’s palace for his own use. Apparently he intended to erase
Tiglathpileser’s inscriptions from the wall-tablets which adorned the
palace, in order to inscribe these tablets with his own. Esarhaddon died
before the work had progressed very far, so that the inscriptions were not
entirely ruined. The beginnings and ends of many lines are, however,
entirely destroyed, and at some points deplorable gaps exist in the body
of an inscription. Much that is of interest to the Biblical student can
still be made out, as the following translation will show:[513]

    1. ..............................

    2. [In] the progress of my expedition the tribute of ki[ngs]

    3. ...... Azariah, the Yaudæan, like ..........

    4. ...... Azariah of Yaudi in ..........

    5. ........ without number exalted to heaven ..........

    6. ...... in the eyes, when that which from heaven ..........

    7. ........ by the onset of infantry ..........

    8. [the advance] of my powerful [troops] they heard and [their hearts]
    feared ..........

    9. .......... I destroyed, devastated, burned with fire ..........

    10. ...... who had joined with Azariah and had strengthened him.

    11. ........... like vines ...........


    23. ........... Azariah, the Yaudæan .......... my royal palace

    24. ............... tribute like the [Assyrian I laid upon them.]


    30. ..................... the city Bumame,[514] 19 districts

    31. of the city of Hamath, together with the cities of their environs
    on the shore of the western sea, which sinfully and wrongfully they
    had seized for Azariah,

    32. unto the territory of Assyria I added. I set my officers over them
    as governors. 30,000 men [I carried away captive]

    33. ....... from their cities, in the city of Ku ...... I settled
    them. 1,223 people I settled in the province of Ullubu.


    50. ....... Tribute of Kushtashpi, the Kummukhite, Rezin, the
    Damascene, Menahem, the Samaritan,

    51. Hiram, the Tyrian, Sibitti-baal, the Gebalite, Urikke, the Queite,
    Pisiris of Carchemish, Eniel

    52. the Hamathite, Panammu, the Samalite, Tarhulara, the Gamgumalite,
    Sulumal, the Melidite, Dadilu,

    53. the Kaskite, Ussurmi, the Tabalite, Ushkitti, the Tunite, Urballa,
    the Tuhanite, Tuhammi, the Ishtundite,

    54. Urimme, the Hushimnite, Zabibe, Queen of Arabia, gold, silver,
    lead, iron, elephant-hide, ivory,

    55. variegated garments, linen cloths, purple and red wool,
    _ushu_-wood, _ukarinu_-wood, costly things, a royal treasure, fat
    sheep whose wool

    56. was dyed red, winged birds of heaven whose wings were dyed purple,
    horses, mules, oxen and sheep, camels,

    57. she-camels, together with their foals, I received.

This account relates to the campaign of 738 B. C. The Azariah referred to
has been thought to be King Uzziah of Judah, who is called Azariah in 2
Kings 14:21 and 15:1-27. It is probable that he was an Azariah of Yadi, of
northern Syria, mentioned in an inscription of Panammu, to whom
Tiglathpileser refers above, since the kings mentioned with him ruled in
the north. Manahem of Israel (2 Kings 15:14-23) yielded to Tiglathpileser,
as did Rezin, of Damascus (2 Kings 15:37 and 16:5-9), but for some reason
Azariah and Judah escaped.

This inscription, fragmentary though it is, tells us that Tiglathpileser
now practised upon others the system of deportation from which Israel
herself afterward suffered. He forcibly removed thousands from their homes
to distant parts of the empire. This was an administrative measure, to
prevent future rebellion. Persons who had been influential at home among
their own people would be powerless to foment trouble in the midst of
strange surroundings and neighbors of an unfriendly race.

The following relates to the campaign of 733-732:[515]

    1. ................... his warriors I captured .......... I overthrew
    with my weapons.

    2. ......................................... before him.

    3. the charioteers and .................... their weapons I broke.

    4. the[ir chariots and] horses I seized .......... his bowmen

    5. ............. who carried shields and spears my hands overthrew,
    their battle

    6. ............ to save his life he fled alone and

    7. .............. like a mouse (?) entered the gate of his city. His
    captains alive

    8. [my hands captured and on] stakes I hung them and exhibited them to
    his land. 45 people (?) from his camp

    9. ...... I brought together before his city, and I shut him in like a
    bird in a cage. His parks

    10. ........ his orchards, which were without number, I cut down and
    did not leave one.

    11. .......... Hadara, the home of the father of Rezin of Damascus,

    12. [the place where] he was born, I besieged, I captured. 800 people,
    together with their possessions,

    13. ...... their cattle, and sheep I took as spoil. 750 prisoners of
    the city Kurussa,

    14. ...... prisoners of the city Irma, 550 prisoners of the city
    Mituna, I captured. 591 cities ..........

    15. ...... of 16 districts of Damascus like a deluge heap I destroyed.


    19. .................... Hanno of Gaza[516]

    20. fled before my weapons and escaped to Egypt. The city, Gaza,

    21. [I captured. His goods], his possessions, his gods [I took as
    spoil] ...... my royal image

    22. .................... in the palace of [Hanno I set up].


    27. The country of the house of Omri .......... all its people,

    28. [and their possessions] I carried away unto Assyria. Pekah, their
    king, they had overthrown. Hoshea

    29. [as king] over them I placed. 10 talents of gold ...... talents of
    silver I received as tribute from them.


    57. Tribute[517] of Kushtashpi, the Kummuchite, Urikki, the Queite,
    Sibittibaal, the Gebalite, Pisiris, the Carchemishite,

    58. Eni-el, the Hamathite, Panammu, the Samalite, Tarhulara, the
    Gurgumite, Sulu[mal, the Melidite, Dadilu, the Kaskite],

    59. Ussurmi, the Tabalite, Urassurme, the Tabalite, Ushhitti, the
    Tunite, Urballa, the Turhanite, Tuhamm[e, the Ishtundite, Urimme, the

    60. Matanbaal, the Arvadite, Sanipu, the Beth-Ammonite, Salamanu, the
    Moabite, .............

    61. Mitinti, the Askelonite, Jehoahaz [Ahaz], the Judæan, Kaushmalaka,
    the Edomite, Mus ............

    62. Hanno, the Gazaite, gold, silver, lead, iron, tin, variegated
    garments, linen, red cloths of their lands,

    63. every costly thing, products of sea and dry land produced by their
    countries, royal treasures, horses, mules, harnesses ........ [I

The record of this campaign, fragmentary as it is, shows how completely
Tiglathpileser conquered the west. He accomplished the overthrow of
Damascus, which his predecessors had been trying in vain to do for more
than a hundred years. His invasion of northern Israel led to the overthrow
of Pekah, and the deportation as captives to other parts of the empire of
numerous Israelites. This confirms 2 Kings 15:29, 30. It was this conquest
of Damascus and Israel that fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy given in 735 B. C.
(Isa. 7:16). It was while Tiglathpileser was at Damascus, receiving the
tribute, that Ahaz, whose full name was Jehoahaz, went to Damascus to
carry his tribute,--an act which prevented the invasion of Judah by
Assyria at this time. While Ahaz was in Damascus, he saw the altar of
which a copy was made for the temple in Jerusalem (2 Kings 16:10, ff.).
The list of kings from whom Tiglathpileser received tribute contains many
Biblical names. Not only Israel and Judah, but the Philistine cities,
Edom, Moab, Ammon, Damascus, Hamath, the Phœnician cities of Gebal and
Arvad, Samal in the extreme north of Syria, Que in Cilicia, and Carchemish
on the Euphrates, were all drawn into his net.

=10. Sargon, 722-705 B. C.=

Tiglathpileser IV was succeeded by Shalmaneser V, who ruled, as the eponym
canon shows, from 727 to 722 B. C. On account of a rebellion of Hoshea,
King of Israel, Shalmaneser overran his kingdom and besieged Samaria for
three years, as recorded in 2 Kings 17:3-5. Before the city fell, however,
Shalmaneser had passed away and Sargon, the founder of a new dynasty, was
on the throne of Assyria. In Sargon’s first year Samaria fell into the
hands of the Assyrian army; Sargon counted this as his own victory and
tells of it in the following words:[518]

    At the beginning of my reign, in my first year ...... Samaria I
    besieged, I captured. 27,290 people from its midst I carried captive.
    50 chariots I took there as an addition to my royal force .......... I
    returned and made more than formerly to dwell. People from lands which
    my hands had captured I settled in the midst. My officers over them as
    governors I appointed. Tribute and taxes I imposed upon them after the
    Assyrian manner.

In another inscription the following summary account occurs:[519]

    From the beginning of my reign to my 15th year, the defeat of
    Humbanigash, the Elamite, in the environs of Durilu I accomplished.
    Samaria I besieged, I captured; I carried captive 27,290 people who
    dwelt in it; 50 chariots I took from them, and permitted the rest to
    keep their possessions (?), and placed my governor over them and
    imposed on them the tribute of the former king.

These statements confirm 2 Kings 17:6 and 24, ff. In one respect they
throw an interesting light upon the captivity of Israel. Only 27,290
people were transported at this time. True, Tiglath-pileser IV had
previously transported the inhabitants of several towns of Galilee. (See 2
Kings 15:29, and his inscriptions translated above.) When we put together
all those who were deported, however, they were but a fraction of the
population. As Sargon distinctly says, the others remained there. They
intermarried with the settlers whom he brought in and became the ancestors
of the sect of Samaritans. The “ten lost tribes” were not “lost,” as is
often popularly supposed to have been the case.

The first of the inscriptions quoted above contains also the following

    In the second year of my reign Ilubidi, the Hamathite ...... collected
    his numerous troops at Qarqar. The oath [of Ashur he despised]. Arpad,
    Simirra, Damascus, Samaria, he made rebellious against me
    ..................... Sib’u, his Tartan, he summoned to his aid, and
    to give fight and battle came into my presence. In the name of Ashur,
    my lord, I accomplished his defeat. Sib’u fled like a shepherd whose
    sheep are stolen and escaped. Hanno I caught in my hand and took him
    bound unto my city Ashur. The city Raphia I devastated, destroyed,
    burned with fire. I took captive 9,033 people, together with their
    numerous possessions.

The Sib’u of this inscription is probably the same as So, King of Egypt,
in 2 Kings 17:4. He cannot be identified with any known Egyptian king. He
was probably a prince of a nome of the Delta. The above is Sargon’s
description of the battle of Raphia, which occurred in the year 720 B. C.
This campaign was an aftermath of the fall of Samaria.

717 B. C.

    [Sargon],[521] the exalted prince, who came upon Hummanigash, the King
    of Elam, in the environs of Durilu and accomplished his overthrow, who
    reduced to submission Yaudi, the place of which was distant, who
    destroyed Hamath, whose hands captured Yaubidi.

This Yaudi has been taken by some scholars for Judah, but it was probably
the kingdom in northern Syria mentioned by Tiglathpileser IV and in the
inscription of Panammu, of Samal, the modern Zendjirli. We know of no
Assyrian invasion of Judah at this time.

    The tribute of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, of Samsi, the Queen of Arabia,
    Ithamara, the Sabæan, gold, the ...... of the mountain, horses, and
    camels, I received ............[522]

    Yaubidi, the Hamathite, a soldier (?), with no right to the throne, a
    bad Hittite, had set his heart on the kingdom of Hamath; he caused
    Arpad, Simirra, Damascus, and Samaria to rebel against me, made them
    of one intent and collected for battle. The whole army of Ashur I
    mustered and in Qarqar, his favorite city, I besieged him together
    with his soldiers. I captured Qarqar, I burned it with fire. His skin
    I flayed and the partakers of his sin I killed in their cities; I
    established peace. 200 chariots and 200 horsemen I collected from the
    people of Hamath, and added to my royal force.

This passage records the overthrow of Hamath and Arpad (Isa. 10:9), and
mentions the tribute of a king of Sheba, the account of the coming of
whose queen to Solomon is found in I Kings 10:1, ff.

711 B. C.

    Azuri, King of Ashdod, planned in his heart not to pay tribute, and
    among the kings of his neighborhood disseminated hatred of Assyria. On
    account of the evil he had done I cut off his lordship over the people
    of his land. I appointed Ahimiti, his younger (?) brother to the
    kingship over them. But the Hittites, planning evil, hated him and
    exalted over them Yamani, who had no claim to the throne, and who,
    like them, knew no fear of authority. In the anger of my heart the
    mass of my army I did not muster, I did not assemble my camp. With my
    usual bodyguard I marched against Ashdod. Yamani heard of the progress
    of my expedition from afar and fled to the borders of Egypt, which
    lies by the side of Melucha, and was seen no more. Ashdod, Gath,
    Ashdudimmu, I besieged, I conquered. I took as spoil his gods, his
    wife, his sons, his daughters, his possessions, the treasures of his
    palace, together with the people of his land. I seized those cities
    anew, and settled in them peoples of lands I had captured from among
    [the lands] of the east .......... With the people of Assyria I
    numbered them, and they bore my yoke. The king of Melucha, who among
    ...... an inaccessible place, a road ...... whose fathers from ancient
    days as far back as the moon-god, his father, had sent no messengers
    to my fathers to pay their respects, heard from afar of the might of
    Ashur, Nabu, and Marduk; the fear of the luster of my royalty covered
    him and fright was poured over him. He cast him [Yamani] into bonds,
    fetters of iron, and brought him before me into Assyria,--a long

Another fragmentary account runs thus:[524]

    In the 9th [error for 11th] year of my reign I marched .......... to
    the coast of the great sea ...... Azuri, King of Ashdod, ..........
    Ahimiti .......... his younger (?) brother .......... I exalted over
    them .......... tribute and taxes of my lordship ...... like those of
    ...... kings, I imposed upon them ...... The evil in .......... in
    order not to pay tribute .......... their princes .......... they
    drove him away .......... Yamani, a soldier, they appointed to
    kingship over them. Their city .......... in its environs a moat
    .......... cubits in depth they dug, they reached the water-level
    .......... To [punish] Philistia, Judah, Edom, Moab, who inhabit the
    sea-coast, payers of tribute, and taxes to Ashur, my lord. Planning
    rebellion and untold evil against me, they bore their pledges to
    Pharaoh, King of Egypt, a prince who could not help them, and sought
    his aid. I, Sargon, the faithful prince, who honors the oath of Nabu
    and Marduk, who guards the name of Ashur, caused my trusty troops to
    cross the Tigris and Euphrates at high water. As for him, Yamani,
    their king, who had trusted to his own power, and had not submitted to
    my lordship, he heard of the advance of my army. The fear of Ashur, my
    lord, cast him down, and to ...... which is on the bank of the river
    ...... waters ...... his land ...... far away ...... he fled ......
    Ashdod ......

The two passages just translated are Sargon’s accounts of the events
alluded to in Isa. 20:1. These events were the occasion of the prophecy
there recorded. Until the discovery of the palace of Sargon by Botta in
1845, this passage in Isaiah, was the only place in extant literature
where the name of Sargon had been preserved.

In the last of the passages just quoted, Sargon speaks as though he had
also punished Judah on this expedition. There is no direct allusion to
this in the Bible unless it be the vivid description in Isa. 10:28-32,
where an approach of an Assyrian army to Jerusalem from the north is
described. It is difficult to date those verses unless they also refer to
this expedition of 711 B. C. (_See Appendix._)

=11. Sennacherib, 705-681 B. C.=

Campaign of 701[525]

    In my third expedition I went to the land of the Hittites. The fear of
    my lordship overthrew Luli, King of Sidon, and he fled to a distance
    in the midst of the sea. His land I subdued. Great Sidon, little
    Sidon. Beth-zēt, Zareptah, Mahalliba, Ushu, Achzib, Accho, his
    strongholds, his fortresses, the places of his food and drink, the
    forts in which he trusted, the might of the weapons of Ashur, my lord,
    overthrew them and they submitted to my feet. I caused Tubal to sit on
    the royal throne over them, and imposed upon him the yearly payment of
    tribute as the tax of my lordship. Minhimmu, the Shamsimurunian,
    Tubalu, the Sidonian, Abdiliti, the Arvadite, Urumilke, the Gebalite,
    Mitinti, the Ashdodite, Puduilu, the Beth-Ammonite, Kammusunadbi, the
    Moabite, Milkirammu, the Edomite, kings of the Westland, all of them,
    an extensive district, brought their heavy tribute together with their
    possessions into my presence and kissed my feet.

    And Sidqa, the King of Askelon, who had not submitted to my yoke, the
    gods of the house of his father, himself, his wife, his sons, his
    daughters, his brothers, the seed of the house of his father I took
    away and brought him to Assyria. Sharruludari, the son of Rukibti,
    their former king, I placed over the people of Askelon, and imposed
    upon him the payment of tribute as an aid to my rule, and he bore my
    yoke. In the progress of my expedition Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Banabarka,
    Azuru, the cities of Sidqa, who had not with alacrity submitted to my
    feet, I besieged, I captured, I took their spoil. The governors,
    princes, and people of Ekron, who had cast into fetters of iron Padi,
    their king, my ally, bound by Ashur’s oath, and had delivered him to
    Hezekiah, the Judæan, who as an enemy imprisoned him,--their hearts
    feared. The kings of Egypt, the soldiers, bows, chariots, and horses
    of the king of Meluhu, an unnumbered force, they summoned, and they
    came to their aid. In the environs of Elteke the battle array was
    drawn up before me; they asked for their weapons. In the might of
    Ashur, my lord, I fought with them and accomplished their defeat. My
    hands took alive in the midst of the battle the commander of the
    chariots and the sons of the Egyptian king, together with the
    commander of the chariots of the king of Meluhu. Elteke [and] Timnath
    I besieged, captured and took their spoil. I approached Ekron. The
    governors and princes who had committed sin I killed and on stakes
    round about the city I hung their bodies. The citizens who had
    committed wickedness and rebellion I counted as spoil. I declared the
    righteousness of the rest of them, who had committed no sin and
    rebellion and in whom was no wickedness. I brought Padi, their king,
    out of the midst of Jerusalem, and on the throne of dominion over them
    I placed, and imposed the tribute of my over-lordship upon him.

    And as to Hezekiah, the Judæan, who had not submitted to my yoke, 46
    of his strongholds, fortified cities, and smaller cities of their
    environs without number, with the onset of battering rams and the
    attack of engines, mines, breaches, and axes (?), I besieged, I
    captured. 200,150 people, small and great, male and female, horses,
    mules, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep without number I brought out of
    their midst and counted as booty. He himself I shut up like a caged
    bird in Jerusalem, his capital city; I erected beleaguering works
    against him, and turned back by command every one who came out of his
    city gate. The cities, which I had captured, from his country I cut
    off and gave them to Mitinti, King of Ashdod, Padi, King of Ekron, and
    Sillibaal, King of Gaza, and diminished his land. In addition to the
    former tribute, their yearly tax, I added a tax as the impost of my
    over-lordship and laid it upon them. As to Hezekiah himself, the fear
    of the luster of my lordship overcame him and the Urbi and his
    favorite soldiers, whom he had brought in to strengthen Jerusalem, his
    capital city, deserted. With 30 talents of gold, 800 talents of
    silver, precious stones, rouge, _dakkasi_, lapis lazuli, great
    _angugmi_-stones, beds of ivory, stationary ivory thrones, elephants’
    hide, ivory, _ushu_-wood, _ukarinnu_-wood, all sorts of objects, a
    heavy treasure; also his daughters, the women of his palace, male and
    female musicians he sent after me to Nineveh, my capital city, and
    sent his messenger to present the gift and to do homage.

Inscription under Lachish-picture, 701 B. C.

    Sennacherib, king of the world, King of Assyria, sat on his throne,
    and the spoil of the city of Lachish passed before him;[526] (see Fig.

Expedition against Merodachbaladan, 703 B. C.

    In my first expedition I accomplished the defeat of Merodachbaladan,
    King of Babylon, together with the forces of Elam, his ally, in the
    environs of the city of Kish. In the midst of that battle he left his
    camp and fled alone; he saved his life. The chariots, horses, wagons,
    and mules, which at the onset of battle he had left, my hands
    captured. I entered joyfully into his palace which was in Babylon. I
    opened his treasure-house; gold, silver, gold and silver utensils,
    precious stones of all kinds, his untold treasured possessions, a
    great booty; the women of his palace, princes, his body-guards, male
    and female musicians, the rest of his troops as many as there were,
    and the servants of his palace I brought out and counted as

Campaign against Arabia (between 688 and 682)

    Telhunu, the Queen of Arabia, in the midst of the desert--from her I
    took ... camels. The [luster of] my [lordship] overthrew her and
    Hazael. They left their tents and fled to Adummatu, which is situated
    in the desert, ...... a thirsty place, where there is neither food nor

The material contained in the first two passages just quoted from
Sennacherib is parallel in a general way to 2 Kings 18, 19 and Isa. 36,
37. All Biblical students recognize that these two chapters in Isaiah are
practically identical with the two in Kings. In discussing the
parallelism, therefore, we shall refer to 2 Kings 18, 19 only. With
reference to the bearing of this Assyrian material upon the Biblical
narrative there are three different views which have been entertained by
three groups of scholars.

1. One view, which was first expressed by the late Prof. Schrader,[529] of
Berlin, is that the inscription of Sennacherib, while differing from the
Biblical account in some particulars, really confirms it at nearly every
point. Sennacherib, though he claims to have diminished Hezekiah’s
territory, and to have received from him a heavy tribute, does not claim
to have taken Jerusalem. According to 2 Kings 18:14, ff., Hezekiah
submitted to Sennacherib, sending his messenger to Lachish for the
purpose, and paid him a heavy tribute; according to 2 Kings 19:35, ff., a
great disaster so weakened Sennacherib’s army that he was obliged to
withdraw. Schrader called attention to the close correspondence between 2
Kings 18:14 and Sennacherib. Both state that Hezekiah paid 30 talents of
gold, though they differ as to the amount of silver, Kings making it 300
talents, while Sennacherib makes it 800. It was supposed that the numbers
in the case of the silver were really equivalent to one another, the
present divergence being due to textual corruption. Assyrian kings never
record their failures, but Sennacherib’s admission that he did not take
the city was held to be confirmation of 2 Kings 19:35, ff., which
describes a great destruction of the Assyrian army and a signal
deliverance of Jerusalem.

2. A second view, of which Prof. Meinhold,[530] of Bonn, may be taken as
the chief exponent, starts from the fact that there seem to be two
accounts in 2 Kings 18 and 19. In 18:13-16 there is a statement of how
Hezekiah sent to Sennacherib, while Sennacherib was besieging Lachish, and
admitted that he had done wrong and promised to bear whatever Sennacherib
might choose to put upon him. Sennacherib thereupon imposed a heavy
tribute upon him, which he paid. The whole transaction seems to be
concluded, when at v. 17 the Tartan, or Rabsaris (Rabshakeh), appears upon
the scene and taunts Hezekiah for his obstinacy and he submits again.
Possibly this might be considered the details of the transaction that was
described in mere outline in 18:13-16. When, however, it has all been
described again, and the Rabshakeh has returned to Sennacherib at Lachish,
Sennacherib again sends messengers (chapter 19:9), again demanding a
surrender. These messengers are said to have been sent when Sennacherib
heard that Tirhakah, King of Ethiopia, was marching against him. This
narrative goes on to tell how Hezekiah, acting under the advice of Isaiah,
delayed his surrender, and how the camp of the Assyrians was decimated by
the angel of the Lord, and Jerusalem escaped.

Meinhold and his followers hold that there are here two inconsistent
accounts. According to the first, Hezekiah surrendered; according to the
second, he did not. According to the first, Hezekiah paid tribute;
according to the second, Sennacherib’s army was destroyed. The first of
these accounts is confirmed by Sennacherib’s inscription; the second is,
so Meinhold holds, shown by it to be unhistorical: first, by the fact that
Sennacherib gives no hint that his army was harmed, and, secondly, by the
mention of Tirhakah, who did not come to the throne until 688 B. C., and
could not, therefore, have been a factor in the war of 701 B. C.

A third view was suggested by Winckler[531] and is held by Prašek,[532]
Fullerton,[533] and Rogers.[534] According to this view, Sennacherib made
two expeditions against Jerusalem, and 2 Kings 18:13-19:8 is an account of
the first of these (the expedition of 701), while 2 Kings 19:9-36 is the
account of the second,--an expedition which did not occur until after the
accession of Tirhakah, eight or ten years later. The inscription of
Sennacherib, already quoted, refers to the first of these expeditions
only. We have no inscription of Sennacherib referring to the later
disastrous campaign, but that is not surprising, for unless the account of
his expedition against the queen of Arabia, already quoted above, belongs
to this period, we have no inscriptions referring to the last eight years
of his reign. It is thought by the scholars who believe that there were
two expeditions, that Sennacherib would approach the queen of Arabia only
from the west, so that that inscription is regarded as an incidental
confirmation of this view. Of course, an Assyrian king would not record a

The account in 2 Kings 19:9-36 receives confirmation from an interesting
passage in Herodotus, the Greek “father of history.” He says (Book II,

    And after this the next king [of Egypt] was a priest of Hephaistos,
    called Sethôs. He held the warrior class of the Egyptians in contempt
    as though he had no need of them. He did them dishonor and deprived
    them of the arable lands which had been granted them by previous
    kings, twelve acres to each soldier. And afterward Sennacherib, King
    of the Arabians and Assyrians, marched a great army into Egypt. Then
    the soldiers of Egypt would not help him; whereupon the priest went
    into the inner sanctuary to the image of the god and bewailed the
    things which he was in danger of suffering. As he wept he fell asleep,
    and there appeared to him in a vision the god standing over him to
    encourage him, saying that, when he went forth to meet the Arabian
    army he would suffer no harm, for he himself would send him helpers.
    Trusting to this dream he collected those Egyptians who were willing
    to follow him and marched to Pelusium, where the entrance to his
    country was. None of the warriors followed him, but traders, artisans,
    and market men. There, as the two armies lay opposite to each other,
    there came in the night a multitude of field mice, which ate up all
    the quivers and bowstrings of the enemy, and the thongs of their
    shields. In consequence, on the next day they fled, and, being
    deprived of their arms, many of them fell. And there stands now in the
    temple of Hephaistos a stone statue of this king holding a mouse in
    his hand, bearing an inscription which says: “Let any who look on me
    reverence the gods.”

George Adam Smith[535] pointed out several years ago that, when this
passage is compared with 2 Kings 19:36, it points clearly to the
conclusion that Sennacherib’s army was attacked by bubonic plague. In
modern times this plague first attacks rats and mice, which in their
suffering swarm the dwellings of men and spread the disease. The Hebrews
regarded the attack of such a plague as a smiting by the angel of God.
This is shown by 2 Sam. 24:16, 17; Acts 12:23; 2 Kings 19:36. Such a
pestilence would render the Assyrian army helpless, and would be regarded
by the Hebrews as a divine intervention on their behalf. As it is
supported by both the book of Kings and Herodotus, it probably affords us
a clue to what really happened to Sennacherib’s army.

We hold, then, that the last of the three views concerning the campaigns
of Sennacherib to Palestine is probably correct.

The Elteke mentioned in the inscription of Sennacherib is the city
referred to in Josh. 19:44 and 21:23. The Merodachbaladan referred to is
mentioned in Isa. 39:1, where it is said that he sent to congratulate
Hezekiah upon his recovery from sickness. It is clear from what the
Assyrian accounts tell us that his real motive in sending to Hezekiah was
to induce him to rebel against Assyria.

=12. The Siloam Inscription.=

The following inscription was discovered in 1880 on the right wall of the
tunnel which connects the Virgin’s Well (Ain Sitti Maryam) at Jerusalem
with the Pool of Siloam (Birket Silwân).

    The boring through [is completed]. And this is the story of the boring
    through: while yet [they plied] the drill, each toward his fellow, and
    while yet there were three cubits to be bored through, there was heard
    the voice of one calling unto another, for there was a crevice in the
    rock on the right hand. And on the day of the boring through the
    stone-cutters struck, each to meet his fellow, drill upon drill; and
    the waters flowed from the source to the pool for a thousand and two
    hundred cubits, and a hundred cubits was the height of the rock above
    the heads of the stone-cutters;[536] (see Fig. 297).

This inscription, though not dated, is believed to come from the time of
Hezekiah. Hezekiah is said in 2 Kings 20:20 to have built a conduit and to
have brought the water into the city. This inscription was found in a
remarkable conduit which still runs under the hill at Jerusalem, cut
through the solid rock. It is about 1,700 feet long. It was cleared of
silt by the Parker expedition of 1909-1911, and the tunnel is about 6 feet
in height throughout its entire length. When it was cut the wall of
Jerusalem crossed the Tyropœon Valley just below it, so that, while the
Virgin’s Spring (the Biblical Gihon) lay outside the walls, this aqueduct
brought the water to a pool within the walls, so that the inhabitants of
the city could, in case of siege, fill their water-jars without exposing
themselves to the enemy.

The inscription is now in the Imperial Ottoman Museum at Constantinople.

=13. Esarhaddon, 681-668 B. C.=

    I overthrew the kings of the Hittite country and those beyond the sea;
    Baal, King of Tyre, Manassah, King of Judah, Kaushgabri, King of Edom,
    Musuri, King of Moab, Silbaal, King of Gaza, Mitinti, King of Askelon,
    Ikausu, King of Ekron, Milkiashapa, King of Gebal, Matanbaal, King of
    Arvad, Abibaal, King of Shamsimuruna, Puduel, King of Beth-Ammon,
    Ahi-milku, King of Ashdod, 12 kings of the sea-coast; Ekishtura, King
    of Idalion, Pilagura, King of Kiti, Kisu, King of Sillua, Ituander,
    King of Paphos, Erisu, King of Sillu, Damasu, King of Kuri, Atmizu,
    King of Tamesu, Damusi, King of Kartihadasti, Unasagusu, King of
    Lidir, Bususu, King of Nurenu; 10 kings of Cyprus in the midst of the
    sea--altogether 22 kings of the Hittite land, of the sea-coast and the
    midst of the sea--I sent to them and great cedar beams, etc. .........
    [they sent].[537]

Esarhaddon, the author of the inscription from which this extract is
taken, is mentioned in 2 Kings 19:37 and Isa. 37:38 as Sennacherib’s
successor, a statement which the inscriptions abundantly confirm. The
above quotation from his inscription shows that Manasseh, King of Judah, 2
Kings 20:21 and chapter 21, was a vassal of Esarhaddon. Esarhaddon is also
alluded to in Ezra 4:2.

=14. Ashurbanipal of Assyria, 668-626 B. C.=

    In my third campaign I marched against Baal, King of Tyre, who dwelt
    in the midst of the sea. Because he had not kept the word of my
    lordship nor heeded the utterance of my lips, I erected against him
    siege-works and cut off his exit both by land and sea; their lives I
    made narrow and straitened; I caused them to submit to my yoke. They
    brought the daughters that came forth from his loins and the daughters
    of his brothers into my presence to become concubines. Yahimilki, his
    son, who had never crossed the sea, they brought at the same time to
    do me service. His daughter and the daughters of his brothers with an
    abundant dowry I received from him. I granted him favor and returned
    to him the son that came forth from his loins.[538]

    Yakinlu, King of Arvad, who dwells in the midst of the sea, who had
    not submitted to the kings, my fathers, I brought under my yoke. He
    brought his daughter to Nineveh with an abundant dowry and kissed my
    feet ..........

    On my return I captured Ushu, which is situated on the coast of the
    sea. The inhabitants of Ushu, who had not been obedient to their
    governors, who had not paid their tribute, I killed as the tribute of
    their land. Among the rebellious peoples I set my staff. Their gods
    and their peoples I carried as booty to Assyria. The people of Accho
    who had not submitted I subdued. I hung their bodies on stakes around
    the city. The rest I took to Assyria; I preserved them and added them
    to the numerous army which Ashur had given unto me.[539]

These extracts from the inscriptions of Ashurbanipal show that during the
reign of Manasseh he was active in reducing the rebellions of Phœnician
cities, some of which, as Tyre and Accho, were at the doors of Palestine.
No doubt Manasseh continued to pay him tribute and so was not molested.
The name of Ashurbanipal is preserved in Ezra 4:10 in the corrupt form of

=15. Necho of Egypt, 609-593 B. C.=

    Year 16, fourth month of the first season, day 16, under the majesty
    of Horus: Wise-hearted; king of Upper and Lower Egypt; Favorite of the
    two goddesses: Triumphant; Golden Horus: Beloved-of-the-Gods;
    Uhemibre; Son of Ra, of his body, his beloved: Necho, living forever,
    beloved of Apis, son of Osiris.[540]

(An account of the interment of an Apis bull then follows.)

The above is the beginning of an inscription of Pharaoh Necho, whose
defeat of King Josiah, of Judah, is recorded in 2 Kings 23:29, f. He
became over-lord of Judah for four years and placed Jehoiakim on the
Judæan throne (2 Kings 23:34). Necho was himself defeated at Carchemish on
the Euphrates by Nebuchadrezzar, of Babylon, in 604 B. C., and as he
retreated to Egypt Nebuchadrezzar pursued him through Palestine. The book
of Jeremiah speaks of this defeat and vividly describes the pursuit which
followed. (Cf. Jer. 46:2, f.)

=16. Nebuchadrezzar II, 604-562 B. C.=

Many inscriptions of Nebuchadrezzar are known, but most of them relate to
buildings. The following extracts are those which best illustrate the

    In exalted trust in him (Marduk) distant countries, remote mountains
    from the upper sea (Mediterranean) to the lower sea (Persian Gulf),
    steep paths, blockaded roads, where the step is impeded, [where] was
    no footing, difficult roads, desert paths, I traversed, and the
    disobedient I destroyed; I captured the enemies, established justice
    in the lands; the people I exalted; the bad and evil I separated from
    the people.[541]

Reference to the Lebanon

    From the upper sea to the lower sea, .......... [which] Marduk, my
    lord, had entrusted to me, in [all] lands, the totality [of
    dwelling-places] I [exalted] the city of Babylon to the first place. I
    caused his name to be reverenced among the cities; the shrines of Nabu
    and Marduk, my lords, I made them recognize, continually .......... At
    that time the Lebanon mountain, the mountain [of cedar], the proud
    forest of Marduk, the odor of whose cedars is good .......... of
    another god ........... no other king had ........... my god, Marduk,
    the king to the palace of the princes .......... of heaven and earth
    shone as adornment .......... As a foreign enemy had taken possession
    of (the mountain) and seized its riches, its people had fled and taken
    refuge at a distance. In the power of Nabu and Marduk, my lords, I
    drew up [my soldiers, for battle] in mount Lebanon. Its enemy I
    dislodged above and below and made glad the heart of the land. I
    collected its scattered people and returned them to their place. I did
    what no former king had done; I cleft high mountains, stones of the
    mountain I quarried, I opened passes. I made a straight road for the
    cedars. Mighty cedars they were, tall and strong, of wonderful beauty,
    whose dark appearance was remarkable,--the mighty products of mount
    Lebanon .......... I made the people of mount Lebanon to lie down in
    abundance; I permitted no adversary to possess it. That none might do
    harm I set up my royal image forever.[542]

A Building Inscription

    Nebuchadrezzar, King of Babylon, the restorer of Esagila and Ezida,
    son of Nabopolassar am I. As a protection to Esagila, that no powerful
    enemy and destroyer might take Babylon, that the line of battle might
    not approach Imgur-Bel, the wall of Babylon, that which no former king
    had done [I did]; at the enclosure of Babylon I made an enclosure of a
    strong wall on the east side. I dug a moat, I reached the level of the
    water. I then saw that the wall which my father had prepared was too
    small in its construction. I built with bitumen and brick a mighty
    wall which, like a mountain, could not be moved and connected it with
    the wall of my father; I laid its foundations on the breast of the
    under-world; its top I raised up like a mountain. Along this wall to
    strengthen it I constructed a third and as the base of a protecting
    wall I laid a foundation of bricks and built it on the breast of the
    under-world and laid its foundation. The fortifications of Esagila and
    Babylon I strengthened and established the name of my reign forever.

    O Marduk, lord of the gods, my divine creator, may my deeds find favor
    before thee; may they endure forever! Eternal life, satisfied with
    posterity, a secure throne, and a long reign grant as thy gift. Thou
    art indeed my deliverer and my help, O Marduk, I by thy faithful word
    which does not change--may my weapons advance, be sharp and be
    stronger than the weapon of the foe![543]

Nebuchadrezzar was the king who destroyed Jerusalem and carried the more
prominent of the people of Judah captive. (See 2 Kings 24 and 25.) His
inscriptions give no account of these events. In the first of the
quotations made above he covers all his conquests by one general
reference. In the second quotation he gives a more detailed account of his
conquest of the Lebanon, because that inscription was carved on the rocks
at the side of one of the deep valleys of the Lebanon. The third
inscription, relating to the building of Babylon, has been strikingly
confirmed by Koldewey’s excavation of Babylon, by which the massive walls
and extensive temples were uncovered.[544] It also gives us a background
for Daniel 4:29, where Nebuchadrezzar is said to have walked upon[545]
the royal palace and said: “Is not this great Babylon which I have built?”

=17. Evil-Merodach, 562-560 B. C.=

Nebuchadrezzar was succeeded by his son, Amil-Marduk, whom the Bible (2
Kings 25:27) calls Evil-Merodach. The only inscription of his that has
been found is the following, inscribed on an alabaster vase found at Susa,
whither the Elamites had at some time carried it as booty:[546]

    Palace of Amil-Marduk, King of Babylon, son of Nebuchadrezzar, King of

This is the king who released Jehoiachin, King of Judah, from prison after
his thirty-six years in confinement and treated him kindly.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE ON THE LAND OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA.--This region, which lay in South
Arabia, was explored during the nineteenth century by a number of
travelers. Three of these, Thomas J. Arnaud in 1843, Joseph Halévy in
1869, and Eduard Glaser who made four expeditions between 1882 and 1894,
brought back from South Arabia many inscriptions, several of which were
made by rulers of Saba, the Biblical Sheba, whose queen is said to have
visited Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-13). As none of these relate to that queen,
it has not seemed fitting to include one of them. The inscriptions,
however, show that two important kingdoms existed there, Saba and Main.
Main is thought by some to be related to the Biblical Midianites. The
Greek version of Job makes Job’s friend, Zophar, king of Main. The kingdom
of Saba lasted until 115 B. C. It established strong colonies in Africa.
In 115 B. C. one colony overthrew the mother-country and established the
kingdom of Saba and Raidhan, which lasted till about 300 A. D. After that
Saba became apparently unimportant, but various Semitic kingdoms succeeded
one another in Africa, including the present-day Abyssinian kingdom. The
Abyssinian king claims descent from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.




=1. Inscriptions of Nabuna’id.=

Several inscriptions of this king, who ruled 555-538 B. C., are known, but
only a brief extract of one of them is given here, as the major part of
the material has no bearing on the Bible.

    Nabuna’id, King of Babylon, the restorer of Esagila and Ezida, the
    worshiper of the great gods am I .......... O Sin, lord of the gods of
    heaven and earth, god of the gods, .......... as for me, Nabuna’id,
    King of Babylon, save me from sinning against thy great divinity. A
    life of many days grant as thy gift. As for Belshazzar, the firstborn
    son, proceeding from my loins, place in his heart fear of thy great
    divinity; let him not turn to sinning; let him be satisfied with
    fulness of life![547]

Belshazzar is here said to be the son of Nabuna’id, whereas in Dan. 5:11,
18 Nebuchadrezzar is called his father. Nabuna’id, as the Babylonian
documents show, was not a descendant of Nebuchadrezzar, but a usurper of
another family. Some scholars hold that this shows the book of Daniel to
be in error, while others hold that “father” in Dan. 5:11, 18 is
equivalent to “ancestor,” and think Belshazzar may have been descended
from Nebuchadrezzar on his mother’s side.

The Nabuna’id-Cyrus Chronicle

This chronicle is known only from a tablet which is somewhat broken. The
following extract will show the nature of its contents:

    In the 9th year Nabuna’id was at Tema. The son of the king, the
    princes, and soldiers were in Akkad. The king did not come to Babylon
    in Nisan, Nebo did not go to Babylon. Bel did not go out. The festival
    sacrifice was omitted. They offered sacrifices in Esagila and Ezida on
    account of Babylon and Borsippa, that the land might prosper. On the
    5th of the month, Nisan the mother of the king, died in Dur-karashu
    on the bank of the Euphrates above Sippar. The son of the king and the
    soldiers mourned three days. In the month Sivan there was mourning for
    the king’s mother in Akkad.

    In the month Nisan Cyrus, King of Persia, mustered his soldiers, and
    crossed the Tigris below Arbela and in the month Iyyar went to the
    land of .......... its king he killed, he took his possessions. His
    own governor (?) he placed in it ......... afterward his governor (?)
    and a king (?) were there.[548]

=2. Bearing on Biblical Statements Regarding Belshazzar.=

Similar chronicles are given by the tablet for other years. It is stated
each time what Nabuna’id was doing; where the king’s son (Belshazzar) was,
and what Cyrus was doing. Cyrus, who overthrew the Median king in 553 B.
C., was occupied for several years in subjugating other lands before he
attacked Babylon. He overthrew Crœsus, King of Lydia, in 546. It would
seem that it was well known in Babylonia what he was doing each year.
Those scholars who believe that Isaiah 40-55 is the work of a prophet who
lived during the Babylonian Exile, claim that this chronicle explains how
that prophet could refer in Isa. 44:28; 45:1 to Cyrus as a well-known
figure. They see the exercise of the prophetic gift of the prophet in the
faith which he had that Cyrus would release Israel from captivity. Those
who believe that the whole of the book of Isaiah is the work of the son of
Amoz, see in these verses pure prediction of the rise of Cyrus as well as
of the release of the Jews.

=3. Account of the Capture of Babylon.=

From the chronicle just quoted we have the following statement for the
17th year of the reign of Nabuna’id:

    ...... Nebo to go forth from Borsippa .......... the king entered the
    temple of Edurkalama. In the month .......... in the lower sea a
    revolt ........ Bel came out; the feast of Akiti (Sept.-Oct.),
    according to the custom .......... the gods of Marad, Zagaga, and the
    gods of Kish, Bêltis, and the gods of Harsagkalama entered Babylon.
    Unto the end of Elul (Aug.-Sept.) the gods of Borsippa, Cutha, and
    Sippar did not enter. In the month Tammuz (June-July) Cyrus, when he
    made battle in Opis, on the banks of the river Zalzallat, with the
    soldiers of Akkad, conquered the inhabitants of Akkad. When they
    assembled the people were killed. On the 14th Sippar was taken without
    a battle. Nabuna’id fled. On the 16th Gobryas, governor of the land of
    Gutium, and the soldiers of Cyrus entered Babylon without a battle.
    Later Nabuna’id was captured because he remained in Babylon. To the
    end of the month the shield-bearers of the land of Gutium assembled at
    the gates of Esagila. No weapon of any kind was taken into Esagila or
    the temples; nor was the standard raised. On the third day of
    Marcheswan (Oct.-Nov.) Cyrus entered Babylon. The walls (?) were
    broken down before him. Cyrus proclaimed peace to all of Babylon. He
    appointed Gobryas his satrap, and also prefects in Babylon. From
    Kisleu (Nov.-Dec.) unto Adar (Feb.-March), the gods of Akkad, whom
    Nabuna’id had brought to Babylon, returned to their cities. In the
    month Marcheswan, on the night of the 11th, Gobryas unto ..........
    the son of the king was killed. From the 27th of Adar to the 3rd of
    Nisan there was lamentation in Akkad. All the people bowed their
    heads. On the 4th day Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, went to

=4. Bearing of This Account on the Book of Daniel.=

This interesting text here becomes too broken for connected translation.
It is clear that the document means to state that Nabuna’id was king of
Babylon when it was captured, and not Belshazzar, as stated in Daniel
5:30. It states, also, that Cyrus captured Babylon and not Darius the
Mede, as in Dan. 5:31. It is true that Gobryas took Babylon first, and
occupied it about two weeks before Cyrus arrived. He was, however, Cyrus’s
officer and was acting in his name. Critical scholars, who believe that
Daniel was written 168-165 B. C., find in these statements a confirmation
of their views. They think its author lived so far from the events that he
confused their exact order. Those who defend the traditional date of
Daniel think that Gobryas is meant by Darius the Mede, and see in the
exalted position which Belshazzar held, as crown prince and commander of
the army, sufficient ground for the Biblical statement that he was king.
By such interpretations they harmonize this chronicle with the Bible.

Dr. Theophilus G. Pinches has recently published[550] some extracts from
two tablets from Erech which are in the possession of an Englishman, Mr.
Harding Smith, which throw some additional light on these points. It was
customary for Babylonians in confirming a contract to swear by the name of
the reigning king, and one of these tablets contains a contract, dated in
the 12th year of Nabuna’id, in which a man bound himself by the oath of
Nabuna’id, King of Babylon, and of Belshazzar, the king’s son. As
Belshazzar is here associated with the king, he must have been but
slightly lower in rank and power than the king himself.

This is confirmed by a tablet at Yale, recently published by Prof.
Clay.[551] The text contains the interpretation of a dream for the King
Nabuna’id and for his son Belshazzar. It is dated in the seventh year of
the reign of Nabuna’id.

The other tablet quoted by Pinches shows that in the fourth year of
Cambyses (_i. e._, 524 B. C.), Gobryas was still governor of Babylon. If
he is the man who in Daniel is called Darius the Mede, he exercised the
powers of governor in Babylon for a considerable number of years.

=5. Inscription of Cyrus.=

The following is an inscription of Cyrus. The lines are much broken at the
beginning, but it reads as follows:[552]

    .......................... begat (?) him ..................... [the
    four] regions of the world ............. great coward was established
    as ruler over the land ............. a similar one he set over them;
    like Esagila he made .......... to Ur and the rest of the cities a
    rule not suitable for them ....... he planned daily and in enmity he
    caused the established sacrifice to cease. He appointed .......... he
    established within the city. The worship of Marduk, king of the gods
    ........... he wrought hostility against his city daily ...........
    his [people] all of them he destroyed through servitude, without rest.
    On account of their lamentation the lord of the gods was exceedingly
    angry and [left] their territory; the gods who dwelt among them left
    their dwellings. In anger because he brought [them] into Babylon,
    Marduk ........... to return to all the dwellings, their habitations,
    which were overthrown. The people of Sumer and Akkad, who were like
    corpses, he brought back and ............ granted them a return.
    Through all lands he made his way, he looked, he sought a righteous
    prince, a being whom he loved, whom he took by the hand. Cyrus, King
    of Anshan, he called by name and designated him to rule over all the
    lands. The land of Qutu, all the Scythian hordes, he made to submit to
    his feet. The black-headed people (_i. e._, the Babylonians), whom he
    caused his hand to capture, in faithfulness and righteousness he
    sought. Marduk, the great lord, looked joyfully upon the return of his
    people, his kindly deeds and upright heart. To his city, Babylon, he
    commanded him to go; he caused him to take the road to Babylon, going
    as a friend and companion at his side. His numerous army, the number
    of which was, like the waters of a river, unknown, marched at his side
    girded with their weapons. He caused him to enter Babylon without war
    or battle. He preserved his city, Babylon, from tribulation; he filled
    his (Cyrus’s) hand with Nabuna’id, the king who did not fear him. All
    the people of Babylon, all of Sumer and Akkad, the princes and
    governors, prostrated themselves under him and kissed his feet. They
    rejoiced in his sovereignty; their faces shone. The lord, who by his
    power makes the dead to live, who from destruction and injustice had
    saved them, altogether they blessed him in joy; they revered his name.

    I am Cyrus, king of the world, the great king, the mighty king, king
    of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters of the
    world, son of Cambyses, the great king, king of Anshan, grandson of
    Cyrus, the great king, king of Anshan, great-grandson of Teïspes, the
    great king, king of Anshan; an everlasting seed of royalty, whose
    government Bel and Nabu love, whose reign in the goodness of their
    hearts they desire. When I entered in peace into Babylon, with joy and
    rejoicing I took up my lordly dwelling in the royal palace, Marduk,
    the great lord, moved the understanding heart of the people of Babylon
    to me, while I daily sought his worship. My numerous troops dwelt
    peacefully in Babylon; in all Sumer and Akkad no terrorizer did I
    permit. In Babylon and all its cities in peace I looked about. The
    people of Babylon [I released] from an unsuitable yoke. Their
    dwellings--their decay I repaired; their ruins I cleared away. Marduk,
    the great lord, rejoiced at these deeds and graciously blessed me,
    Cyrus, the king who worships him, and Cambyses, my son, and all my
    troops, while we in peace joyfully praised before him his exalted
    divinity. All the kings who dwell in palaces, from all quarters of the
    world, from the upper sea to the lower sea, who live [in palaces], all
    the kings of the Westland who live in tents, brought me their heavy
    tribute in Babylon and kissed my feet. From .......... to Ashur and
    Susa, Agade, Eshnunak, Zamban, Meturnu, Deri, to the border of Gutium,
    the cities [beyond] the Tigris, whose sites had been founded of
    old,--the gods who dwelt in them I returned to their places, and
    caused them to settle in their eternal shrines. All their people I
    assembled and returned them to their dwellings. And the gods of Sumer
    and Akkad, whom Nabuna’id, to the anger of the lord of the gods, had
    brought into Babylon, at the command of Marduk, the great lord, I
    caused in peace to dwell in their abodes, the dwellings in which their
    hearts delighted. May all the gods, whom I have returned to their
    cities, pray before Marduk and Nabu for the prolonging of my days, may
    they speak a kind word for me and say to Marduk, lord of the gods,
    “May Cyrus the king, who fears thee, and Cambyses, his son, their
    .......... caused all to dwell in peace”

=6. Bearing on the Capture of Babylon and the Return of the Jews.=

This inscription confirms the statement of the chronicle already quoted
that Cyrus conquered the city of Babylon without a blow. The most
important feature of it for the student of the Bible is, however, its
revelation of the reversal of the Assyrian policy of transportation. That
policy had been inaugurated by Tiglathpileser IV more than two hundred
years before. In accordance with it the kingdom of Israel had first been
stripped of its more prominent inhabitants who had been carried captive to
distant lands, and then the kingdom of Judah. Cyrus determined to attach
his subjects to himself by gratitude instead of terror, so he permitted,
as he says here, those who had been transported to return to their several
countries and rebuild their temples. It was in consequence of this general
policy that the Jews were permitted to return from Babylonia and rebuild
the temple at Jerusalem. This is referred to in Ezra, chapter 1. It is
there implied that Cyrus made a special proclamation concerning the temple
at Jerusalem. Some scholars infer from the above inscription of Cyrus,
that the book of Ezra (chapter 1) has freely interpreted the general
policy of Cyrus as a special permission granted to the Jews. It may be,
however, as others have held, that a special edict was issued in favor of
each individual nation in order that this general policy might be carried
out without opposition.

In any event, the inscription confirms the statement of Ezra that Cyrus
permitted the Jews to return.




Numerous papyri found since 1895 at Elephantine, an island at the First
Cataract of the Nile, reveal the existence of a Jewish community there.
The documents are dated from the year 494 B. C. to the year 400 B. C. They
show that this Jewish community had at Elephantine a temple to Jehovah,
that they were soldiers, and that some of them were engaged in trade. One
document declares that when Cambyses conquered Egypt (525 B. C.) he then
found the temple of Jehovah in existence there, and that it had been built
under native Egyptian kings. How came such a community of Jews to be
established there? It is thought that they were a garrison placed there by
Psammetik II, King of Egypt, 593-588 B. C. This Psammetik endeavored to
conquer Nubia,[553] and according to a confused statement in Josephus
(Contra Apion, I, 26, 27) Rhampses (perhaps a corruption of Psammetik),
employed some Jews in an expedition to that country.[554] However, these
Jews came to dwell at this point, and whensoever the settlement was made,
the documents[555] are most interesting, and open to us a hitherto wholly
unknown vista in the history of the Jews.

=1. Temple Papyrus from Elephantine.=

    Unto our lord, Bagohi, governor of Judah, thy servants Jedoniah and
    his associates, the priests who are in Yeb, the fortress, health! May
    our Lord, the God of heaven, abundantly grant unto thee at all times,
    and for favors may he appoint thee before Darius, the king, and the
    princes of the palace more than at present a thousand times, and long
    life may he grant to thee, and joy and strength, at all times! Now
    thy servant, Jedoniah, and his associates thus speak: In the month
    Tammuz, year 14 of Darius, the king, when Arsames departed and went
    unto the king, the priests of the god Khnub, who were in Yeb, the
    fortress, made an agreement with Waidrang who was acting governor
    here; it was as follows: The temple of Yahu (Jehovah), the God, which
    is in Yeb, the fortress they would remove from there. Afterward this
    Waidrang wickedly sent a letter unto Nephayan, his son, who was
    commander of the army at Syene, the fortress, saying: “The temple
    which is in Yeb, the fortress they shall destroy.” Afterward Nephayan,
    mustering Egyptians with the other forces, came to the fortress Yeb
    with their quivers (?); they entered into this temple, they destroyed
    it to the ground, and the pillars of stone which were there they
    brake. Also it came to pass (that) five gates of stone, constructed of
    cut stone, which were in this temple, they destroyed, and their
    swinging doors and the bronze hinges of these doors. And the roof
    which was of cedar wood, all of it, together with the rest of the
    furnishings and the other things which were there, the whole they
    burned with fire. And the vessels of gold and silver and the things
    which were in this temple, the whole was taken, and they made it their

    Now from the days of the kings of Egypt, our fathers built this temple
    in Yeb, the fortress, and when Cambyses came to Egypt, this temple was
    found built, and the temples of the gods of Egypt were overthrown, but
    not a thing in this temple was harmed. And after they (_i. e._,
    Waidrang and the priests of Khnub) had done this, we and our wives and
    sons were clothed in sackcloth and were fasting and praying to Yahu,
    God of heaven, that he would show us this Waidrang, the cur, with the
    anklets torn from his feet, that all the goods which he possesses
    might perish, and all the men who desired the pollution of this
    temple--all might be killed, and we might see (our desire) upon them.
    Also formerly, at the time this shameful deed was done to us we sent a
    letter to our lord, and unto Jehohanan, the high priest, and his
    associates, the priests who are in Jerusalem, and unto Ostan, the
    brother of Anani and the elders of Judah, but a letter they have not
    sent unto us. Also from the month Tammuz of the 14th year of Darius
    the king even unto this day we have worn sackcloth and fasted, our
    wives have been made like widows, we have not anointed ourselves with
    oil, wine we have not drunk; also from then unto the 17th year of
    Darius the king a meal-offering and incense and a burnt-offering they
    have not offered in this temple. Now thy servants Jedoniah and his
    associates and the Jews, all who are citizens of Yeb, thus speak: If
    unto our lord it seems good to think on this temple to rebuild it,
    because they will not permit us to rebuild it, look upon those who
    share thy favor and kindnesses who are here in Egypt--let a letter be
    sent unto them concerning the temple of Yahu God, to build it in Yeb,
    the fortress, in the way it was built formerly, and meal-offerings and
    incense and burnt-offerings let them offer upon the altar of Yahu God
    in thy name, and we will pray for thee at all times, we and our wives
    and our sons and the Jews, all who are here. If thus they do until
    this temple is built, then merit (righteousness) shall be thine before
    Yahu, God of heaven, more than (that of) the man who offers to him
    burnt-offerings and sacrifices of the value of a thousand pieces of
    silver. And concerning gold for this we have sent information. Also
    the whole is told in a letter we sent in our name to Dalajah and
    Shelemjah, sons of Sanballat, governor of Samaria. Also concerning
    this which is done to us, all of it Arsames does not know.

    On the 20th of Marcheswan, year 17 of Darius the king.

To this letter Bagohi (Bagoas) sent the following reply:

    Memorandum of Bagohi and Dalajah. They spoke to me a memorandum for
    them: It shall be thine to say among the Egyptians before Arsames
    concerning the place of sacrifice of the god ...... of heaven, which
    was built in Yeb the fortress formerly before Cambyses, which this
    wicked Waidrang destroyed in the year fourteen of Darius the king, to
    build it in its place like as it was before, and meal-offerings and
    incense let them offer upon this altar in the manner it formerly was

The first of these documents is dated in the 17th year of Darius II, _i.
e._, the year 407 B. C. It states that the temple at Elephantine (Yeb) had
been destroyed by Waidrang and had lain in ruins for three years. The
community which worshiped in the temple had previously written to
Jehohanan, high priest at Jerusalem, probably to ask that he intercede
with the Persian governor Bagohi (Bagoses), but had written in vain. They
now write to Bagohi himself, and also to the two sons of Sanballat,
governor of Samaria (cf. Neh. 2:10, 19, etc.), with the result that the
request is granted, and authority is given to rebuild the temple.

The fact that there was a temple at Elephantine at all is new and
startling. Its significance is differently interpreted by different
scholars. More conservative scholars claim that it is opposed to the date
which the critical school assign to the date of Deuteronomy, viz.: 621 B.
C., because, if the law against more altars than one had been introduced
then, Jews would not have so soon violated it by building this shrine.
Critics, on the other hand, hold that it fits well with their views, since
they believe that Deuteronomy was accepted by Jews as a whole only
gradually, and after considerable struggle.

One thing is clear: at the time the temple at Elephantine was overthrown,
the Jews at Jerusalem looked upon it with disfavor.[556] They took no
steps to lay the matter before the Persian governor. It was not till the
aggrieved Egyptian Jews wrote to the heretical Samaritans, Dalajah and
Shelemjah, sons of Sanballat, who would naturally be glad to encourage
another rival to the temple at Jerusalem, that the matter was pushed and
permission given to rebuild the temple.

This appeal to Sanballat’s family throws interesting light on the progress
of the schism between the Jews and the Samaritans.[557] (Compare Nehemiah
4:1, ff; 6:1, ff.; and 13:28.)

The existence of this temple has an interesting bearing upon the date of
Isa. 19. Some scholars have held that that prophecy, which refers to a
temple of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, is late and must refer to the
temple built by Onias III, about 170 B. C. (Cf. Josephus, _Antiquities_,
xiii, 3:1, 6.) It is now possible to suppose that the reference may well
have been to this hitherto unsuspected temple at Elephantine.

=2. Hananiah’s Passover Letter.=

    To my brethren, Jedoniah and his associates, the Jewish garrison, your
    brother Hananiah. The peace of my brethren may God ...... And now this
    year, the year 5 of Darius the king, there was sent from the king unto
    Arsames .......... Now ye thus shall count fourteen .......... and
    from the 15th day unto the 21st day [of Nisan] .......... be ye clean
    and guard yourselves. Work ye shall not [do] .......... ye shall not
    drink, and all which is leavened ye shall n[ot eat] .......... from
    the going down of the sun unto the 21st day of Nisan .......... take
    into your rooms and seal between the days of ..........

This letter is from some Hananiah who seems to have stood high in
authority among Jewish communities. Several Hananiahs are mentioned in the
post-exilic literature. One of them was a military commander in Jerusalem
in the time of Nehemiah (Neh. 7:2), but as that was at least twenty-five
years before the date of our letter, it would be precarious to assert that
that Hananiah was the writer of this letter, though it is possible that he

From the letter it is clear that the writer is informing the Jewish
garrison at Elephantine concerning the details of the provisions for the
observance of the Jewish Passover, as they are laid down in Exod. 12 and
Lev. 23. It seems strange that these Jews at Elephantine who were faithful
enough to Jehovah to have a temple in his honor, should have needed to be
informed of such details, if they had copies of the Pentateuch. Adherents
of the modern school of criticism see in this fact a confirmation of their
view, that the Levitical law had been introduced into the Jewish community
at Jerusalem only in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, for, they urge, this
letter shows that it was unknown to the garrison at Elephantine until the
reign of Darius II. To this, conservative scholars reply that it was
customary among the Jews to make yearly proclamation of the approach of
the festival, and that this may be simply such a proclamation. They also
urge that ignorance of the law on the part of some Jews is no proof that
it did not exist.

=3. Letter Showing that the Jews of Egypt were Unpopular.=

    To my lords, Jedoniah, Uriah, and the priests of the God, Jehovah,
    Mattan, son of Joshibiah and Neriah son of ...... thy servant
    Mauziyah; the peace of my lords .......... and be favored before the
    God of heaven. And now, when Waidrang, the chief of the garrison, came
    to Abydos, he imprisoned me on account of a certain precious stone
    which they found stolen in the hands of the traders. At last Seha and
    Hor, who were known to Anani, exerted themselves with Waidrang and
    Hornufi, under the protection of the God of heaven, until they secured
    my release. Now behold they are coming thither to you. Do you attend
    to them whatever they may desire. And whatever thing Seha and Hor may
    desire of you, stand ye before them so that no cause of blame may they
    find in you. With you is the chastisement which without cause has
    rested upon us, from the time Hananiah was in Egypt until now. And
    whatever you do for Hor you do for yourselves. Hor is known to Anani.
    Do you sell cheaply from our houses any goods that are at hand;
    whether we lose or do not lose, is one to you. This is why I am
    sending to you: he said to me: “Send a letter before us.” Even if we
    should lose, credit will be established because of him in the house of
    Anani. What you do for him will not be hidden from Anani. To my lords,
    Jedoniah, Uriah, and the priests and the Jews.

This is a letter sent by a member of the Jewish colony of Elephantine to
his Jewish brethren there, highly recommending to them two men. He was
especially anxious to make a good impression upon these because they were
acquaintances of a certain Anani. This Anani apparently was a man of
influence at the Persian court. His name may be the same as Hanani,
Nehemiah’s brother (Neh. 7:2). It has been pointed out that the existence
of two men of the same name who could have influence at the Persian court
would be improbable. This letter shows that since Hananiah came to Egypt,
the Jews have been in affliction, and the writer of this letter is anxious
to make a good impression upon the friends of Anani, so that this
affliction may be removed.

Scholars of the critical school see in this letter a confirmation of their
view that the Levitical law had but just been introduced into the Egyptian
community. The reference to the “chastisement” or “affliction” which had
rested on the community is thought by them to be, probably, the friction
between Jews and Egyptians caused by the less friendly relations toward
foreigners, which the Levitical law imposed on its devotees. It is, of
course, possible that the “chastisement” may have been due to something
quite different. It should be said, too, that the papyrus is torn somewhat
just where the word rendered chastisement occurs, so that the word itself
is not certain.




=1. Babylonian Poem Relating to Affliction.=

The following Babylonian poem treats of a mysterious affliction which
overtook a righteous man of Babylonia, and has been compared with the book
of Job.[558]

   1. I advanced in life, I attained to the allotted span;
      Wherever I turned there was evil, evil--
      Oppression is increased, uprightness I see not.
      I cried unto god, but he showed not his face.
   5. I prayed to my goddess, but she raised not her head.
      The seer by his oracle did not discern the future;
      Nor did the enchanter with a libation illuminate my case;
      I consulted the necromancer, but he opened not my understanding.
      The conjurer with his charms did not remove my ban.
  10. How deeds are reversed in the world!
      I look behind, oppression encloses me
      Like one who the sacrifice to god did not bring,
      And at meal-time did not invoke the goddess,
      Did not bow down his face, his offering was not seen;
  15. (Like one) in whose mouth prayers and supplications were locked,
      (For whom) god’s day had ceased, a feast day become rare,
      (One who) has thrown down his fire-pan, gone away from their images,
      God’s fear and veneration has not taught his people,
      Who invoked not his god, when he ate god’s food;
  20. (Who) abandoned his goddess, and brought not what is prescribed,
      (Who) oppresses the weak, forgets his god,
      Who takes in vain the mighty name of his god; he says, I am like him.
      But I myself thought of prayers and supplications;
      Prayer was my wisdom, sacrifice, my dignity;
  25. The day of honoring the gods was the joy of my heart,
      The day of following the goddess was my acquisition of wealth;
      The prayer of the king,--that was my delight,
      And his music,--for my pleasure was its sound.
      I gave directions to my land to revere the names of god,
  30. To honor the name of the goddess I taught my people.
      Reverence for the king I greatly exalted,
      And respect for the palace I taught the people;
      For I knew that with god these things are in favor.
      What is innocent of itself, to god is evil!
  35. What in one’s heart is contemptible, to one’s god is good!
      Who can understand the thoughts of the gods in heaven?
      The counsel of god is full of destruction; who can understand?
      Where may human beings learn the ways of god?
      He who lives at evening is dead in the morning;
  40. Quickly he is troubled; all at once he is oppressed;
      At one moment he sings and plays;
      In the twinkling of an eye he howls like a funeral-mourner.
      Like sunshine and cloud[559] their thoughts change;
      They are hungry and like a corpse;
  45. They are filled and rival their god!
      In prosperity they speak of climbing to Heaven;
      Trouble overtakes them and they speak of going down to Sheol.

(At this point the tablet is broken. We do not know how many lines are
wanting before the narrative is resumed on the back of the tablet.)


      Into my prison my house is turned.
      Into the bonds of my flesh are my hands thrown;
      Into the fetters of myself my feet have stumbled.
   5. With a whip he has beaten me; there is no protection;
      With a staff he has transfixed me; the stench was terrible!
      All day long the pursuer pursues me,
      In the night watches he lets me breathe not a moment;
      Through torture my joints are torn asunder;
  10. My limbs are destroyed, loathing covers me;
      On my couch I welter like an ox,
      I am covered, like a sheep, with my excrement.
      My sickness baffled the conjurers,
      And the seer left dark my omens.
  15. The diviner has not improved the condition of my sickness;
      The duration of my illness the seer could not state;
      The god helped me not, my hand he took not;
      The goddess pitied me not, she came not to my side;
      The coffin yawned; they [the heirs] took my possessions;
  20. While I was not yet dead, the death wail was ready.
      My whole land cried out: “How is he destroyed!”
      My enemy heard; his face gladdened;
      They brought as good news the glad tidings, his heart rejoiced.
      But I knew the time of all my family,
  25. When among the protecting spirits their divinity is exalted.

The above is from a tablet called the “Second” of the series _Ludlul bêl
nimeqi_, _i. e._, “I will serve the lord of wisdom.” The “Third” tablet of
the series has been published by R. Campbell Thompson in the _Proceedings
of the Society of Biblical Archæology_, XXXII, p. 18, f. It is
considerably broken, but the parts which are legible are as follows:

      Let thy hand grasp the javelin
      Tabu-utul-Bêl, who lives at Nippur,
   5. Has sent me to consult thee,
      Has laid his .......... upon me.
      In life .......... has cast, he has found. [He says]:
      “[I lay down] and a dream I beheld;
      This is the dream which I saw by night:--
  10. [He who made woman] and created man,
      Marduk, has ordained (?) that he be encompassed with sickness (?).”
  15. And .......... in whatever ..........
      He said: “How long will he be in such great affliction and distress?
      What is it that he saw in his vision of the night?”
      “In the dream Ur-Bau ap[peared],
      A mighty hero wearing his crown,
  20. A conjurer, too, clad in strength,
      Marduk indeed sent me;
      Unto Shubshi-meshri-Nergal he brought abu[ndance];
      In his pure hands he brought abu[ndance].
      By my guardian-spirit (?) he st[opped] (?),”
  25. [By] the seer he sent a message:
      “A favorable omen I show to my people.”
      ...... he quickly finished; the ...... was broken
      ........ of my lord, his heart [was satisfied];
  30. .......... his spirit was appeased
      ............ my lamentation .................
      ................ good .... ..........


      ................ like ................
      He approached (?) and the spell which he had pronounced (?),
   5. He sent a storm wind to the horizon;
      To the breast of the earth it bore [a blast],
      Into the depth of his ocean the disembodied spirit vanished (?);
      Unnumbered spirits he sent back to the under-world.
      The ...... of the hag-demons he sent straight to the mountain.
  10. The sea-flood he spread with ice;
      The roots of the disease he tore out like a plant.
      The horrible slumber that settled on my rest
      Like smoke filled the sky ..........
      With the woe he had brought, unrepulsed and bitter, he filled the
            earth like a storm.
  15. The unrelieved headache which had overwhelmed the heavens
      He took away and sent down on me the evening dew.
      My eyelids, which he had veiled with the veil of night.
      He blew upon with a rushing wind and made clear their sight.
      My ears, which were stopped, were deaf as a deaf man’s--
  20. He removed their deafness and restored their hearing.
      My nose, whose nostril had been stopped from my mother’s womb--
      He eased its deformity so that I could breathe.
      My lips, which were closed--he had taken their strength--
      He removed their trembling and loosed their bond.
  25. My mouth, which was closed so that I could not be understood--
      He cleansed it like a dish, he healed its disease.
      My eyes, which had been attacked so that they rolled together--
      He loosed their bond and their balls were set right.
      The tongue, which had stiffened so that it could not be raised--
  30. [He relieved] its thickness, so its words could be understood.
      The gullet which was compressed, stopped as with a plug--
      He healed its contraction, it worked like a flute.
      My spittle which was stopped so that it was not secreted--
      He removed its fetter, he opened its lock.

=2. Comparison with the Book of Job.=

A commentary on this text, which has been preserved on a tablet, informs
us that Tabu-utul-Bêl was an official of Nippur in Babylonia.[560] This
story has some striking similarities to the book of Job. It presents also
some striking dissimilarities.

Tabu-utul-Bêl, like Job, had been a just man. He had been also a religious
man. (See lines 23, ff., p. 392.) The virtues which he claims are similar
to those of Job (see Job 29 and 31); there is, however, this difference:
Job’s virtues are social; those of Tabu-utul-Bêl consist of acts of
worship and loyalty. Tabu-utul-Bêl is smitten, like Job, with a sore
disease. To him, as to Job, the providence is inexplicable. He, like Job,
charges his god with inscrutable injustice. The chasm which often yawns
between experience and moral deserts was as keenly felt by the Babylonian
as by the Hebrew.

Here the parallelism with the book of Job ends. The two works belong to
widely different religious worlds. Job gains relief by a vision of God--an
experience which made him able to believe that, though he could not
understand the reason for the pain of life or its contradictions and
tragedy, God could, and Job now knew God. (See Job 42:4-6.) Tabu-utul-Bêl,
on the other hand, is said to have gained his relief through a magician.
We are apparently told by the fragmentary text that at last he found a
conjurer who brought a messenger from the god Marduk, who drove away the
evil spirits which caused the disease, and so Tabu-utul-Bêl was relieved.
This difference sets vividly before us the greater religious value and
inspiration of the book of Job. It treats the same problem that the
Babylonian poet took for his theme, but between the outlook of the poet
who composed Job and that of the Babylonian poet there is all the
difference between a real experience of God and faith in the black art.

=3. Another Similar Lament.=

Another fragment of a lament of a somewhat similar character, written in
the Sumerian language, comes to us on a tablet from Nippur, the very city
with which Tabu-utul-Bêl is said to have been connected. It reads as

_Column I_

   1. ..............................
   2. ..................................
   3. .................... he carried away,
   4. .................... he destroyed,
   5. .................. spoke to ..........
   6. .................. was destroyed,
   7. .......... completely from on high was destroyed.
   8. I, even I, am a man of destruction.
   9. With might from below he destroyed,
  10. I, even I, am a man of destruction.
  11. Nippur (?)--its temple verily is destroyed,
  12. My city verily is destroyed.
  13. O Enlil, from the height descend,
  14. May Ububul destroy them!

_Column II_

   1. ..............................
   2. ..............................
   3. .............. my food (?) is not,
   4. The ground grain is removed, with the hand he seized it;
   5. My eyes fail.
   6. The shrine of the mother which the silver-smith cast,
   7. To earth he has ground,
   8. Its contents on the earth verily he flung--
   9. I am a man of destruction!--
  10. Its contents on the earth verily he destroyed;
  11. I am a man of destruction!
  12. The man from above is wise;
  13. On earth he dwells.
  14. The man who went before,
  15. Hides in the rear.
  16. Namtar my maiden (he snatched away);
  17. Who shall bring the maiden back?

_Column III_

   1. Namtar verily is smitten, yea verily,
   2. Who shall bring back strength?
   3. The smiter has smitten,
   4. Who shall strike him down?
   5. The hero bearing the dagger
   6. He has cast down,
   7. Who shall drag him off?
   8. At the gate of my palace no protector stands,
   9. A man of desolation am I!
  10. The land is completely overthrown, I have no defender,
  11. A man of desolation am I!
  12. The flood fills not the marsh land;
  13. My eye thereon I lift not.
  14. To man’s plantations water reaches not,
  15. My hand stretches not out to it.
  16. To the marsh land which the flood filled
  17. Truly the foot walks upon it!

From this point on the tablet is too broken for connected translation. Dr.
Langdon calls this the lament of a Sumerian Job, but his woes, in so far
as this fragment recounts them, are due to the conquest of his land by an
enemy, and to famine due to a failure of the rivers to overflow. The
parallelism to Tabu-utul-Bêl and to Job might be closer, if we had the
whole tablet. As this tablet is in the script of the first dynasty of
Babylon, it is evident that this kind of lamentation was as early as 2000
B. C.




Both from Babylonia and from Egypt a large number of hymns and prayers
have been recovered. Some of these are beautiful on account of their form
of expression, the poetical nature of their thoughts, and the sense of sin
which they reveal. Most of them are clearly polytheistic, and it is rare
that they rise in the expression of religious emotion to the simple
sublimity of the Old Testament Psalms. Such likenesses to the Psalms as
they possess only serve to set off in greater relief the rich religious
heritage which we have in our Psalter.

A few examples only of the many known hymns are here given.

=1. A Babylonian Prayer to the Goddess Ishtar.=[562]

      O fulfiller of the commands of Bel ..........
      Mother of the gods, fulfiller of the commands of Bel,
      Thou bringer-forth of verdure, thou lady of mankind,--
   5. Begetress of all, who makest all offspring thrive,
      Mother Ishtar, whose might no god approaches,
      Majestic lady, whose commands are powerful,
      A request I will proffer, which--may it bring good to me!
      O lady, from my childhood I have been exceedingly hemmed in by
  10. Food I did not eat, I was bathed in tears!
      Water I did not quaff, tears were my drink!
      My heart is not glad, my soul is not cheerful;
      ....................... I do not walk like a man.


      ..................... painfully I wail!
      My sighs are many, my sickness is great!
      O my lady, teach me what to do, appoint me a resting-place!
      My sin forgive, lift up my countenance!
   5. My god, who is lord of prayer,--may he present my prayer to thee!
      My goddess, who is mistress of supplication,--may she present my
            prayer to thee!
      God of the deluge, lord of Harsaga,--may he present my prayer to
      The god of pity, the lord of the fields,--may he present my prayer
            to thee!
      God of heaven and earth, the lord of Eridu,--may he present my
            prayer to thee!
  10. The mother of the great water, the dwelling of Damkina,--may she
            present my prayer to thee!
      Marduk, lord of Babylon,--may he present my prayer to thee!
      His spouse, the exalted offspring (?) of heaven and earth,--may she
            present my prayer to thee!
      The exalted servant, the god who announces the good name,--may he
            present my prayer to thee!
  15. The bride, the firstborn of Ninib,--may she present my prayer to
      The lady who checks hostile speech,--may she present my prayer to
      The great, exalted one, my lady Nana,--may she present my prayer to

=2. A Babylonian Prayer to Ishtar.=[563]

      ........................... He raises to thee a wail;
      ........................... He raises to thee a wail;
      [On account of his face which] for tears is not raised, he raises to
            thee a wail;
      On account of his feet on which fetters are laid, he raises to thee
            a wail;
   5. On account of his hand, which is powerless through oppression, he
            raises to thee a wail;
      On account of his breast, which wheezes like a bellows, he raises to
            thee a wail;
      O lady, in sadness of heart I raise to thee my piteous cry, “How
      O lady, to thy servant--speak pardon to him, let thy heart be
      To thy servant who suffers pain--favor grant him!
  10. Turn thy gaze upon him, receive his entreaty!
      To thy servant with whom thou art angry--be favorable unto him!
      O lady, my hands are bound, I turn to thee!
      For the sake of the exalted warrior, Shamash, thy beloved husband,
            take away my bonds!
  15. Through a long life let me walk before thee!
      My god brings before thee a lamentation; let thy heart be appeased!
      My goddess utters to thee a prayer, let thy anger be quieted!
      The exalted warrior, Anu, thy beloved spouse,--may he present my
            prayer to thee!
      [Shamash], god of justice,--may he present my prayer to thee!
  20. .......... the exalted servant,--may he present my prayer to thee!
      .......... the mighty one of Ebarbar,--may he present my tears to
      [“Thine eye turn truly] to me,” may he say to thee!
      [“Thy face turn truly to] me,” may he say to thee!
      [“Let thy heart be at rest”], may he say to thee!
  25. [“Let thy anger be pacified”], may he say to thee!
      [Thy heart like the heart of a mother who has brought forth], may it
      [Like a father who has begotten a child], may it be glad!

=3. Comparison of These Prayers with the Psalter.=

The writers of these lamentations, like the Hebrew Psalmist (see Psa.
17:1; 18:6), cried unto a deity for help. They were both in great
distress, and naturally inferred that their deity was angry, as do Psalms
85:5; 90:7. There is, however, no great consciousness of sin in these
Babylonian complaints. They simply express distress. Unlike the Biblical
Psalms these are polytheistic and their authors call upon other deities to
intercede for them with the goddess, to whom the prayer is addressed and
whom, for the time being, they regard as supreme. The author of this last
penitential psalm asks “How long?” as does Psa. 6:3; 74:10; 90:13. The
idea seems to be that the suffering of the penitent will either atone for
sin or touch the heart of the deity so that the suffering shall be abated.

=4. A Babylonian Hymn to Sin, the Moon-god.=[564]

      O brilliant barque of the heavens, ruler in thy own right,
      Father Nannar, lord of Ur,
      Father Nannar, lord of Ekishshirgal,
      Father Nannar, lord of the brilliant rising,
   5. O lord, Nannar, firstborn son of Bel,
      Thou standest, thou standest
      Before thy father Bel. Thou art ruler,
      Father Nannar; thou art ruler, thou art guide.
      O barque, when standing in the midst of heaven, thou art ruler.
  10. Father Nannar, thou thyself ridest to the brilliant temple.
      Father Nannar, when, like a ship, thou goest in the midst of the
      Thou goest, thou goest, thou goest,
      Thou goest, thou shinest anew, thou goest,
      Thou shinest anew, thou livest again, thou goest.
  15. Father Nannar, the herd thou restorest.
      When thy father looketh on thee with joy, he commandeth thy waxing,
      Then with the glory of a king brilliantly thou risest.
      Bel a scepter for distant days for thy hands has completed.
      In Ur as the brilliant barque thou ridest,
  20. As the lord, Nudimmud, thou art established;
      In Ur as the brilliant boat thou ridest.


     The river of Bel (?) [Nannar] fills with water.
     The brilliant (?) river [Nannar] fills with water.
     The river Tigris [Nannar] fills with water.
  5. The brilliance of the Euphrates [Nannar] fills with water.
     The canal with its gate Lukhe, [Nannar] fills with water.
     The great marsh and the little marsh Nannar fills with water.

The preceding hymn is made up of a description of the movements and
changes of the moon, together with the expression of a superstition, which
is still widely prevalent, that the moon’s changes control the rainfall.
It is a fair example of a Babylonian nature-psalm. It lacks the inspired
and inspiring power of such Hebrew nature-psalms as Psalms 8, 19, 146,
147, and 148.

=5. A Babylonian Hymn to Bel.=[565]

      O lord of wisdom ................ ruler in thy own right,
      O Bel, lord of wisdom .......... ruler in thy own right,
      O father Bel, lord of the lands,
      O father Bel, lord of truthful speech,
   5. O father Bel, shepherd of the black-headed ones,[566]
      O father Bel, who thyself openest the eyes,
      O father Bel, the warrior, prince among soldiers,
      O father Bel, supreme power of the land,
      Bull of the corral, warrior who leadest captive all the land.
  10. O Bel, proprietor of the broad land,
      Lord of creation, thou art chief of the land,
      The lord whose shining oil is food for an extensive offspring,
      The lord whose edicts bind together the city,
      The edict of whose dwelling place strikes down the great prince
  15. From the land of the rising to the land of the setting sun.
      O mountain, lord of life, thou art indeed lord!
      O Bel of the lands, lord of life, thou thyself art lord of life.
      O mighty one, terrible one of heaven, thou art guardian indeed!
      O Bel, thou art lord of the gods indeed!
  20. Thou art father, Bel, who causest the plants of the gardens to grow!
      O Bel, thy great glory may they fear!
      The birds of heaven and the fish of the deep are filled with fear
            [of thee].
      O father Bel, in great strength thou goest, prince of life, shepherd
            of the stars!
      O lord, the secret of production thou openest, the feast of fatness
            establishest, to work thou callest!
  25. Father Bel, faithful prince, mighty prince, thou createst the
            strength of life!

A line at the end states that the hymn consisted of 25 lines.

It is a hymn to Bel of Nippur, whose Sumerian name was Enlil. It reveals
an exalted conception of Bel as supreme ruler, as a god who gives life, as
a god of justice whose rule holds society together, but it lacks both the
poetical sublimity and the religious depth and fire of the Hebrew psalms.

=6. An Egyptian Hymn to the Sun-god (about 1400 B. C.).=[567]

      Hail to thee, beautiful god of every day!
      Rising in the morning without ceasing,
      [Not] wearied in labor.
      When thy rays are visible,
   5. Gold is not considered,
      It is not like thy brilliance.
      Thou art a craftsman shaping thy own limbs;
      Fashioner without being fashioned;
      Unique in his qualities, traversing eternity;
  10. Over ways with millions under his guidance.
      Thy brilliance is like the brilliance of the sky,
      Thy colors gleam more than the hues of it.
      When thou sailest across the sky all men behold thee,
      (Though) thy going is hidden from their sight.
  15. When thou showest thyself at morning every day,
      ...... under thy majesty, though the day be brief,
      Thou traversest a journey of leagues,
      Even millions and hundred-thousands of time.
      Every day is under thee.
  20. When thy setting comes,
      The hours of the night hearken to thee likewise.
      When thou hast traversed it
      There comes no ending to thy labors.
      All men--they see by means of thee.
  25. Nor do they finish when thy majesty sets,
      For thou wakest to rise in the morning,
      And thy radiance, it opens the eyes (again).
      When thou settest in Manu,[568]
      Then they sleep like the dead.
  30. Hail to thee! O disc of day,
      Creator of all and giver of their sustenance,
      Great Falcon, brilliantly plumaged,
      Brought forth to raise himself on high of himself,
      Self-generator, without being born.
  35. Firstborn Falcon in the midst of the sky,
      To whom jubilation is made at the rising and the setting likewise.
      Fashioner of the produce of the soil,
      Taking possession of the Two Lands (Egypt), from great to small--
  40. A mother profitable to gods and men,
      A craftsman of experience, ..........
      Valiant herdsman who drives cattle,
      Their refuge and the giver of their sustenance,
      Who passes by, running the course of the sun-god,
  45. Who determines his own birth,
      Exalting his beauty in the body of Nut,
      Illuminating the Two Lands (Egypt) with his disc,
      The primordial being, who himself made himself;
      Who beholds that which he has made,
  50. Sole lord taking captive all lands every day,
      As one beholding them that walk therein;
      Shining in the sky a being as the sun.
      He makes the seasons by the months,
      Heat when he desires,
  55. Cold when he desires.
      He makes the limbs to languish
      When he enfolds them,
      Every land is in rejoicing
      At his rising every day, in order to praise him.

This hymn is, so far as its expressions go, monotheistic. One would not
dream from it that there was any god but the sun-god. Nevertheless, other
gods were worshiped. The monotheism here expressed was not of the
intolerant kind which prevailed in Israel, and which ultimately put down
the worship of all rival deities.

Such an intolerant monotheism was introduced into Egypt by Amenophis IV
(see Part I, p. 29), who took an old name for the sun disc, Aton, as the
name of the one god, and who tried to suppress the worship of all other
gods. The movement failed, but while it lasted it produced the following
beautiful hymn.

=7. An Egyptian Hymn in Praise of Aton.=[569]

       Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of the sky,
       O loving Aton, Beginning of life!
       When thou risest in the eastern horizon,
       Thou fillest every land with thy beauty.
    5. Thou art beautiful, great, glittering, high above every land,
       Thy rays, they encompass the lands, even all that thou hast made,
       Thou art Re,[570] and thou carriest them all away captive;
       Thou bindest them by thy love.
       Though thou art far away, thy rays are upon the earth;
   10. Though thou art on high, thy footprints are the day.

       When thou settest in the western horizon of the sky,
       The earth is in darkness like the dead;
       They sleep in their chambers,
       Their heads are wrapped up,
   15. Their nostrils are stopped,
       And none seeth the other,
       While all their things are stolen
       Which are under their heads,
       And they know it not.
   20. Every lion cometh forth from his den,
       All serpents, they sting.
       Darkness ................
       The world is in silence;
       He that made them resteth in his horizon.
   25. Bright is the earth when thou risest in the horizon.
       When thou shinest as Aton by day
       Thou drivest away the darkness.
       When thou sendest forth thy rays,
       The Two Lands (Egypt) are in daily festivity,
   30. Awake and standing upon their feet
       When thou hast raised them up.
       Their limbs bathed, they take their clothing,
       Their arms uplifted in adoration to thy dawning.
       (Then) in all the world they do their work.

   35. All cattle rest upon their pasturage,
       The trees and the plants flourish,
       The birds flutter in their marshes,
       Their wings uplifted in adoration to thee.
       All the sheep dance upon their feet,
   40. All wingèd things fly,
       They live when thou hast shone upon them.

       The barques sail upstream and downstream alike.
       Every highway is open because thou dawnest.
   45. The fish in the river leap up before thee.
       The rays are in the midst of the great green sea.

       Creator of the germ in woman,
       Maker of seed in man,
       Giving life to the son in the body of his mother,
   50. Soothing him that he may not weep,
       Nurse (even) in the womb,
       Giver of breath to animate every one that he maketh!
       When he cometh forth from the body ...... on the day of his birth,
       Thou openest his mouth in speech,
   55. Thou suppliest his necessities.

       When the fledgling in the egg chirps in the shell,
       Thou givest him breath therein to preserve him alive.
       When thou hast brought him together,
       To (the point of) bursting it in the egg,

   60. He cometh forth from the egg
       To chirp with all his might.
       He goeth about on his two feet
       When he hath come forth therefrom.

       How manifold are thy works![571]
   65. They are hidden from before (us),
       O sole God, whose powers no other possesseth.
       Thou didst create the earth according to thy heart
       While thou wast alone:
       Men, all cattle large and small,
   70. All that are upon the earth,
       That go about upon their feet;
       [All] that are on high,
       That fly with their wings.
       The foreign countries, Syria and Kush,
   75. The land of Egypt;
       Thou settest every man into his place,
       Thou suppliest their necessities.
       Every one has his possessions,
       And his days are reckoned.
   80. The tongues are divers in speech,
       Their forms likewise and their skins are distinguished.
       (For) thou makest different the strangers.

       Thou makest the Nile in the Nether World,
       Thou bringest it as thou desirest,
   85. To preserve alive the people.
       For thou hast made them for thyself,
       The lord of them all, resting among them;
       Thou lord of every land, who risest for them,
       Thou Sun of day, great in majesty.
   90. All the distant countries,
       Thou makest (also) their life,
       Thou hast set a Nile in the sky;
       When it falleth for them,
   95. It maketh waves upon the mountains,
       Like the great green sea,
       Watering their fields in their towns.

       How excellent are thy designs, O lord of eternity!
       There is a Nile in the sky for the strangers
  100. And for the cattle of every country that go upon their feet.
       (But) the Nile, it cometh from the Nether World for Egypt.

       Thy rays nourish every garden;
       When thou risest they live,
       They grow by thee.
  105. Thou makest the seasons
       In order to create all thy work:
       Winter to bring them coolness,
       And heat that they may taste thee.
       Thou didst make the distant sky to rise therein,
  110. In order to behold all that thou hast made,
       Thou alone, shining in thy form as living Aton,
       Dawning, glittering, going afar and returning.
       Thou makest millions of forms
       Through thyself alone;
  115. Cities, towns, and tribes, highways and rivers.
       All eyes see before them,
       For thou art Aton of the day over the earth.
       Thou art in my heart,
  120. There is no other that knoweth thee
       Save thy son Ikhnaton.[572]
       Thou hast made him wise
       In thy designs and in thy might.
       The world is in thy hand,
  125. Even as thou hast made them.
       When thou hast risen they live,
       When thou settest they die;
       For thou art length of life of thyself,
       Men live through thee,
  130. While (their) eyes are upon thy beauty
       Until thou settest.
       All labor is put away
       When thou settest in the west.
  135. Thou didst establish the world,
       And raise them, up for thy son,
       Who came forth from thy limbs,
       The king of Upper and Lower Egypt,
       Living in Truth, Lord of the Two Lands,
  140. Nefer-khepru-Re, Wan-Re (Ikhnaton),
       Son of Re, living in Truth, lord of diadems,
       Ikhnaton, whose life is long;
       And for the chief royal wife, his beloved,
       Mistress of the Two Lands, Nefer-nefru-Aton, Nofretete,
  145. Living and flourishing for ever and ever.

=8. Comparison with the Psalter.=

This long hymn contains many beautiful passages, and, in addition to the
line “How manifold are thy works!” often reminds one of Psa. 104, though
in religious feeling it falls well below that psalm. Ikhnaton speaks of
himself toward the end of his hymn as the one “whose life is long,” but
the poor fellow died before he was thirty years old.[573] His mummy was
found a few years ago, and it is that of a young man. Vain were his hopes,
unless his words refer to the immortal life.

These Egyptian hymns, like the Babylonian, exhibit a high degree of poetic
and intellectual power, and much deep religious feeling, but the men who
wrote them somehow lacked that deep religious insight and simple power of
emotional expression that were given to the Hebrews. Their compositions
but set in clearer relief the beauty, depth, and inspirational power of
the Hebrew Psalms.




Both Egypt and Babylon furnish parallels to the book of Proverbs. The
Biblical book of Proverbs contains a long connected discourse of advice
(Prov. 1-9) and various collections of disconnected proverbs (Prov.
10-29). Parallels to both are found in Egypt and in Babylonia. The library
of Ashurbanipal contained a collection of proverbs in two languages,
arranged as reading lessons for students. A few examples are here given.

=1. Some Babylonian Proverbs from the Library of Ashurbanipal.=[574]

    1. A hostile act thou shalt not perform, that fear of vengeance (?)
    shall not consume thee.

    2. Thou shalt not do evil, that life (?) eternal thou mayest obtain.

    3. Does a woman conceive when a virgin, or grow great without eating?

    4. If I put anything down it is snatched away; if I do more than is
    expected, who will repay me?

    5. He has dug a well where no water is; he has raised a husk without

    6. Does a marsh receive the price of its reeds, or fields the price of
    their vegetation?

    7. The strong live by their own wages; the weak by the wages of their

    8. He is altogether good, but he is clothed with darkness.

    9. The face of a toiling ox thou shalt not strike with a goad.

    10. My knees go, my feet are unwearied; but a fool has cut into my

    11. His ass I am; I am harnessed to a mule; a wagon I draw; to seek
    reeds and fodder I go forth.

    12. The life of day before yesterday has departed today.

    13. If the husk is not right, the kernel is not right; it will not
    produce seed.

    14. The tall grain thrives, but what do we understand of it? The
    meager grain thrives, but what do we understand of it?

    15. The city whose weapons are not strong--the enemy before its gates
    shall not be thrust through.

    16. If thou goest and takest the field of an enemy, the enemy will
    come and take thy field.

    17. Upon a glad heart oil is poured out of which no one knows.

    18. Friendship is for the day of trouble; posterity for the future.

    19. An ass in another city becomes its head.

The idea is similar to Matt. 13:57: “A prophet is not without honor, save
in his own country, and in his own house.”

    20. Writing is the mother of eloquence and the father of artists.

    21. Be gentle to thy enemy as to an old oven.[575]

    22. The gift of the king is the nobility of the exalted; the gift of
    the king is the favor of governors.

    23. Friendship in days of prosperity is servitude forever.

    24. There is strife where servants are; slander where anointers

    25. When thou seest the gain of the fear of god, exalt god and bless
    the king.[576]

=2. Precepts from the Library of Ashurbanipal.=[577]

  Thou shalt not slander, (but) speak kindly;
  Thou shalt not speak evil, (but) show mercy.
  Him who slanders (and) speaks evil,
  With its recompense will Shamash[578] visit (?) his head.

  Thou shalt not make large thy mouth, but guard thy lip;
  In the time of anger thou shalt not speak at once.
  If thou speakest quickly, thou wilt repent (?) afterward,
  And in silence wilt thou sadden thy mind.

  Daily present to thy god
  Offering and prayer, appropriate to incense.
  Before thy god mayest thou have a pure heart,
  For that is appropriate to deity.

  Prayer, petition, and prostration
  Early in the morning shalt thou render him; he will judge thy
        burdens (?),
  And with the help of God thou wilt be abundantly prosperous.

  In thy wisdom learn of the tablet;
  The fear (of God) begets favor,
  Offering enriches life,
  And prayer brings forgiveness of sins.

(The text of the rest is too broken for connected translation.)

=3. Comparison with the Bible.=

None of the sentiments expressed in these proverbs is identical with any
in the Bible. No. 21 is on the same subject as Prov. 24:17; No. 22 reminds
one slightly of the first clause of Prov. 14:35; No. 23 has the same
sentiment as Prov. 18:24: “He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own
destruction”; while No. 6 is somewhat similar to Prov. 24:21.

Among the “precepts,” that on guarding the lips recalls to one’s mind
Prov. 10:19; 13:3; 14:3; 17:28. Reference is made to the “gain of the fear
of God” and it is declared to “beget favor.” Job 28:28 declares “the fear
of the Lord, that is wisdom.”

=4. The Precepts of Ptahhotep.=

These precepts are attributed to a man who lived in the time of the fifth
Egyptian dynasty, about 2650 B. C., and are at least as old as 2000 B. C.
The text is very difficult. The examples given below are taken from
Breasted’s[579] condensation of the moral precepts which the treatise

    1. If thou findest a wise man in his time, a leader of understanding
    more excellent than thou, bend thy arms and bow thy back.

    2. If thou findest a wise man in his time, thy equal, .......... be
    not silent when he speaks evil. Great is the approval by those who
    hear, and thy name will be good in the knowledge of the princes.

    3. If thou findest a wise man in his time, a poor man and not thy
    equal, be not overbearing against him when he is unfortunate.

    4. If thou art a leader (or administrator) issuing ordinances for the
    multitude, seek for thee very excellent matter, that thy ordinance may
    endure without evil therein. Great is righteousness (truth, right,
    justice), enduring ..........; it has not been disturbed since the
    time of Osiris.

    5. Put no fear (of thee?) among the people .......... What the god
    commands is that which happens. Therefore live in the midst of quiet.
    What they (the gods?) give comes of itself.

    6. If thou art a man of those who sit by the seat of a man greater
    than thou, take what (food) he gives, ...... look at what is before
    thee, and bombard him not with many glances (don’t stare at him)
    ...... Speak not to him until he calls. One knows not what is
    unpleasant to (his) heart. Speak thou when he greets thee, and what
    thou sayest will be agreeable to (his) heart.

    7. If thou art a man of those who enter, whom (one) prince sends to
    (another) prince, ...... execute for him the commission according as
    he saith. Beware of altering a word which (one) prince speaks to
    (another) prince, by displaying the truth with the like of it.

    8. If thou plowest and there is growth in the field, the god gives it
    (as) increase in thy hand. Satisfy not thy own mouth beside thy kin.

    9. If thou art insignificant, follow an able man and all thy
    proceedings shall be good before the god.

    10. Follow thy desire as long as thou livest. Do not more than is told
    (thee). Shorten not the time of following desire. It is an abomination
    to encroach upon the time thereof. Take no care daily beyond the
    maintenance of thy house. When possessions come, follow desire, (for)
    possessions are not complete when he (the owner) is harassed.

    [Compare with this precept Eccles. 11:9 and 7:15-17.]

    11. If thou art an able man, (give attention to the conduct of thy


    16. If thou art a leader (or administrator), hear quietly the speech
    of the petitioner. He who is suffering wrong desires that his heart be
    cheered to do that on account of which he hath come ....... It is an
    ornament of the heart to hear kindly.

    17. If thou desirest to establish friendship in a house, into which
    thou enterest as lord, as brother, or as friend, wheresoever thou
    enterest in, beware of approaching the women ...... A thousand men are
    undone for the enjoyment of a brief moment like a dream. Men gain
    (only) death for knowing them.

    [Compare Prov. 5:3, f.]

    18. If thou desirest that thy procedure be good, withhold thee from
    all evil, beware of occasion of avarice ...... He who enters therein
    does not get on. It corrupts fathers, mothers, and mothers’ brothers.
    It divides wife and man; it is plunder (made up) of everything evil;
    it is a bundle of everything base. Established is the man whose
    standard is righteousness, who walks in its way. He is used to make
    his fortune thereby, (but) the avaricious is houseless.

    19. Be not avaricious in dividing ...... Be not avaricious towards thy
    kin. Greater is the fame of the gentle than (that of) the harsh.

    20. If thou art successful, establish thy house. Love thy wife in
    husbandly embrace, fill her body, clothe her back. The recipe for her
    limbs is ointment. Gladden her heart as long as thou livest. She is a
    profitable field for her lord.

    [Compare Eccles. 9:9.]

    21. Satisfy those who enter to thee (come into thy office) with that
    which thou hast.

    22. Repeat not a word of hearsay.

    23. If thou art an able man who sits in the council of his lord,
    summon thy understanding to excellent things. Be silent.

    24. If thou art a strong man, establish the respect of thee by wisdom
    and by quietness of speech.

    25. Approach not a prince in his time. [Apparently an idiom for some
    particular mood.]

    26. Instruct a prince (or official) in that which is profitable for

    27. If thou art the son of a man of the council, commissioned to
    content the multitude, ...... be not partial. Beware lest he (the man
    of the multitude?) say, “His plan is that of the princes. He utters
    the words in partiality.”


    29. If thou becomest great after thou wert little, and gettest
    possessions after thou wert formerly poor in the city, ...... be not
    proud-hearted because of thy wealth. It has come to thee as a gift of
    the god.

    30. Bend thy back to thy superior, thy overseer of the king’s house,
    and thy house shall endure because of his (or its) possessions and thy
    reward shall be in the place thereof. It is evil to show disobedience
    to a superior. One lives as long as he is gentle.

    31. Do not practise corruption of children.

    32. If thou searchest the character of a friend, ...... transact the
    matter with him when he is alone.

    33. Let thy face be bright as long as thou livest. As for what goes
    out of the storehouse, it comes not in again; and as for loaves
    (already) distributed, he who is concerned therefor has still an empty
    stomach. [“There is no use in crying over spilt milk.”]

    34. Know thy merchants when thy fortunes are evil.


    37. If thou hearkenest to these things which I have said to thee, all
    thy plans will progress. As for the matter of the righteousness
    thereof, it is their worth. The memory thereof shall circulate in the
    mouths of men, because of the beauty of their utterances. Every word
    will be carried on and not perish in this land forever ....... He who
    understands discretion is profitable in establishing that through
    which he succeeds on earth. A wise man is satisfied by reason of that
    which he knows. As for a prince of good qualities, they are in his
    heart and tongue. His lips are right when he speaks, his eyes see, and
    his ears together hear what is profitable for his son. Do right
    (righteousness, justice, truth), free from lying.

    38. Profitable is hearkening for a son that hearkens ...... How good
    is it when a son receives that which his father says. He shall reach
    advanced age thereby. A hearkener is one whom the god loves. Who
    hearkens not is one whom the god hates. It is the heart (=
    understanding) which makes its possessor a hearkener or one not
    hearkening. The life, health, and prosperity of a man is his heart.
    The hearkener is one who hears and speaks. He who does what is said is
    one who loves to hearken. How good it is when a son hearkens to his
    father! How happy is he to whom these things are said! ...... His
    memory is in the mouth of the living who are on the earth and those
    who shall be.

    39. If the son of a man receives what his father says, none of his
    plans will miscarry. Instruct as thy son one who hearkens, who shall
    be successful in the judgment of the princes, who directs his mouth
    according to that which is said to him ...... How many mishaps befall
    him who hearkens not! The wise man rises early to establish himself,
    while the fool is scourged.

    [With the first of this section compare Exod. 20:12; Deut. 5:16. With
    the end of it, Prov. 6:9-11; 10:26; 13:4.]

    40. As for the fool who hearkens not, he accomplishes nothing. He
    regards wisdom as ignorance, and what is profitable as diseased
    ....... His life is death thereby, ....... he dies, living every day.
    Men pass by (avoid?) his qualities, because of the multitude of evils
    upon him every day.

    41. A son who hearkens is a follower of Horus. He prospers after he
    hearkens. He reaches old age, he attains reverence. He speaks likewise
    to his (own) children, renewing the instruction of his father. Every
    man who instructs is like his sire. He speaks with his children; then
    they speak to their children. Attain character, ...... make
    righteousness to flourish and thy children shall live.

    42. .......... Let thy attention be steadfast as long as thou
    speakest, whither thou directest thy speech. May the princes who shall
    hear say, “How good is that which comes out of his mouth!”

    43. So do that thy lord shall say to thee, “How good is the
    instruction of his father from whose limbs he came forth! He has
    spoken to him; it is in (his) body throughout. Greater is that which
    he hath done than that which was said to him.” Behold, a good son,
    whom the god gives, renders more than his lord says to him. He does
    right (righteousness, etc.), his heart acts according to his way.
    According as thou attainest me (“what I have attained”), thy limbs
    shall be healthy, the king shall be satisfied with all that occurs,
    and thou shalt attain years of life not less than I have passed on the
    earth. I have attained one hundred and ten years of life [compare Gen.
    50:26], while the king gave to me praise above (that of) the ancestors
    (in the vizierial office) because I did righteousness for the king
    even unto the place of reverence (the grave).

=5. Comparison with the Bible.=

These precepts, which were written before 1800 B. C., like most of those
in the book of Proverbs, embody much worldly wisdom. They are based on
experience, and while, like Proverbs, they sometimes urge a religious
motive as a reason for right conduct, they frankly advocate it, as
Proverbs often does, on the ground of expediency. The points where the
text is closely parallel to that of Proverbs are few, and these have been
sufficiently pointed out. Some of the passages, as already noted, are
closely parallel to parts of the book of Ecclesiastes. The religious
appeal of the precepts is to Egyptian polytheism, while that of Proverbs
is to Hebrew monotheism.

=6. A Parallel to Ecclesiastes.=

The following striking parallel to a passage in Ecclesiastes is taken from
a tablet of the _Gilgamesh Epic_,[580] written in the script of the time
of Hammurapi, about 2000 B. C.

  Since the gods created man,[581]
  Death they ordained for man,
  Life in their hands they hold.
  Thou, O Gilgamesh, fill indeed thy belly,
  Day and night be thou joyful,
  Daily ordain gladness,
  Day and night rage and make merry,
  Let thy garments be bright,
  Thy head purify, wash with water,
  Desire thy children which thy hand possesses,
  A wife enjoy in thy bosom,
  Peaceably thy work (?) ..........

This is not only in sentiment strikingly like Eccles. 9:6-9, but in part
closely approaches its language.




For many centuries the Song of Songs has been interpreted allegorically,
but even those who give it an allegorical meaning must admit that its
sentiments are couched in the terms of earthly love. Love poems, which
sometimes express sentiments that remind us of the Song of Songs, have
been discovered on some Egyptian papyri and ostraca. The documents in
which they are written range in their dates from 2000 B. C. to about 1100
B. C. Selections from these follow:[582]


  Thy love has penetrated all within me
  Like [honey?] plunged into water,
  Like an odor which penetrates spices,
  As when one mixes juice in ..........

  [Nevertheless] thou runnest to seek thy sister,
  Like the steed upon the battlefield,
  As [the warrior rolls along] on the spokes of his wheels.

  For heaven makes thy love
  Like the advance of [flames in straw],
  And its [longing] like the downward swoop of a hawk.


  Disturbed is the condition (?) of [my] pool.
  [The mouth] of my sister is a rosebud.
  Her breast is a perfume.
  Her arm [is a ...... bough?]
  [Which offers] a delusive seat.
  Her forehead is a snare of _meryu_-wood.

  I am a wild goose, a hunted one (?),
  My gaze is at thy hair,
  At a bait under the trap
  That is to catch (?) me.

“Brother” and “sister” are terms frequently applied to lovers in these
poems. Perhaps it arose from an ancient custom of marriages between
brothers and sisters, which was perpetuated in the royal families of Egypt
down to Roman times.

The description of the physical attractions of the loved one reminds one
of Cant. 4:1-7.


  Is my heart not softened by thy love-longing for me?
  My dogfoot-(fruit) which excites thy passion,--
  Not will I allow it
  To depart from me.

  Although cudgeled even to the “Guard of the overflow,”[586]
  To Syria, with _shebôd_-rods and clubs,
  To Ethiopia, with palm-rods,
  To the highlands, with switches,
  To the lowlands, with twigs,

  Never will I listen to their counsel,
  To abandon longing.


  The voice of the wild goose cries,
  (Where) she has seized their bait,
  (But) thy love holds me back,
  I am unable to liberate her.

  I must, then, take home my net!
  What shall I say to my mother,
  To whom formerly I came each day
  Loaded down with fowls?

  I shall not set the snares today
  For thy love has caught me.

This is a vivid description of the power of the tender passion.


  The wild goose flies up and soars,
  She sinks down upon the net.

  The birds cry in flocks,
  But I hasten [homeward],
  Since I care for thy love alone.

  My heart yearns for thy breast,
  I cannot sunder myself from thy attractions.

This is a continuation of the preceding.


  Thou beautiful one! My heart’s desire is
  To procure for thee thy food as thy husband,
  My arm resting upon thy arm.[590]

  Thou hast changed me by thy love.
  Thus say I in my heart,
  In my soul, at my prayers:
  “I lack my commander tonight,
  I am as one dwelling in a tomb.”

  Be thou but in health and strength,[591]
  Then the nearness of thy countenance
  Sheds delight, by reason of thy well-being,
  Over a heart, which seeks thee (with longing).

This poem expresses on the part of the man a longing similar to that
expressed by the woman in Cant. 8:1-3.


  The voice of the dove calls,
  It says: “The earth is bright.”
  What have I to do outside?
  Stop, thou birdling! Thou chidest me!

  I have found my brother in his bed,
  My heart is glad beyond all measure.
  We each say:
  “I will not tear myself away.”

  My hand is in his hand.
  I wander together with him
  To every beautiful place.
  He makes me the first of maidens,
  Nor does he grieve my heart.

In this poem the loved woman speaks, as in Cant. 8:1-3.


  _Sa‘am_-plants are in it,
  In the presence of which one feels oneself uplifted!

  I am thy darling sister,
  I am to thee like a bit of land,
  With each shrub of grateful fragrance.

  Lovely is the water-conduit in it,
  Which thy hand has dug.
  While the north wind cooled us.
  A beautiful place to wander,

  Thy hand in my hand,
  My soul inspired,
  My heart in bliss,
  Because we go together.

  New wine it is, to hear thy voice;
  I live for hearing it.
  To see thee with each look,
  Is better than eating and drinking.

The figure of the garden, with which this poem begins, is also used in
Cant. 5:1 and 6:2, 3.


  _Ta-’a-ti_-plants are in it!
  I take thy garlands away,
  When thou comest home drunken,
  And when thou art lying in thy bed
  When I touch thy feet,
  (And) children are (?) in thy ..........
  [I rise up] rejoicing in the morning
  Thy nearness [means to me] health and strength.

In ancient as in modern times wives loved fondly, while husbands gave way
to drunkenness.

The poems as a whole make it clear that in Egypt love, which lies at the
basis of all home life, and is in the New Testament made a figure of the
relation of Christ to the Church (see John 3:29; Rev. 21:2, 9), was as
warmly felt as in Israel, and was likewise poetically and passionately




There is no other body of literature which closely corresponds to the
books of the Hebrew prophets. The depth of their social passion and the
power of their moral and religious insight form a unique combination.
Nevertheless, texts which have come from Babylonia and Egypt do show that
certain phases of prophetic thought were not without parallels elsewhere.
At times they also illustrate for us thoughts and practices which the
prophets abhorred. A few such texts are here transl