Printer Friendly

Nabu and munabbiatu: two new Syrian religious personnel.

Recently published Akkadian texts from Mari and Emar include two previously unattested religious personel whose titles are derived from the verb nabu(m), "to name, call, lament."l The nouns nabu and munabbiatu (both plural) appear in the following sources:(2) []-bi-i, Emar 387:9 (text F, Msk 74286b];(3) [], AEM I.1 no. 216:7 (A.22090);(4) [mu.sub.x.sup.mi.mes]nab-bi-ia[ti], Emar 373:97 (Msk 74292a);(5) [mu.sub.x]-na-bi-a-ti, Emar 379:11-12 (Msk 74264);(6) [mu.sub.x.sup.mi.mes]-nab-b[i-(i)a-ti], Emar 383:10 (Msk 74226a).(7) [mu.sup.mi.mes]-na-bi-ia-ti, Emar 406:5 (Msk 74107az).(8)

The connection with biblical Hebrew nabi is clear, but not so the function of these individuals and the etymology of their titles. This paper treats first the two Emar titles, together with relevant evidence for the verb nabu and for Ishara, the mistress of both personnel at Emar. It will then review the Mari text and conclude by considering the etymological problem.


1. The []-bi-i of Emar 387

The archives of 13th-century Emar include a large collection of previously unattested rituals, which offer a view of religious practice in inland Syria to complement and contrast with the material from Ugarit.(9) These include a set of "kissu" festivals for the gods Dagan, [ERES.sup.d].KI.GAL, Ea, and Ishara (with [NIN.sup.d].URTA).(10) The festival for Ishara and [NlN.sup.d].URTA (Emar 387, in Arnaud) appears in two copies, kissu texts F and J.(11) The kissu festival appears to last two days, and its rites consist primarily of offerings to the designated deities. Emar 387 only indicates a location for the rites at the start of what seems to be the second day (line 9). In text J this site is the temple of Ishara, and the sacrifice which follows is for Ishara alone. Unfortunately the F text is broken, but it begins its description of the site with "the house (E) of the nabu." The relevant lines have been collated, but the reading offered here remains tentative:(12)

[Mathematical Expression Omitted]

While the "house of the nabu in F does replace the temple of Ishara, the traces indicate an elaboration not present in J. This might add the temple of [NIN.sup.d].URTA, thus letting the E []-bi-i stand in for Ishara's temple, or the bit nabi might define a specific location within the temple of Ishara, in grammatical apposition.

By either reading the []-bi-i are closely linked to Ishara, so much so that one scribe substitutes their house for her temple as the place of sacrifice to the goddess, in a ritual devoted to her veneration.

2. The munabbiatu of Emar

The munabbiatu of Emar appear four times, three times in the divine name Ishara (sa) munabbiati (373:97; 379:11-12, 383:10) and once as possessors of the Bu-uk-ku-ra-[tu.sub.4] in a small fragment (406:5).(13) In the last example, the diviner ([[].SU.GID.GID) appears in the line above (406:4) and the scribe ([].SAR) in the line below (406:6) in a context that might involve distribution of meat portions. As with the nabu, the function of the munnabbiatu is opaque, but the feminine title likewise defines a group (so, the plural) that is associated with the cult of Ishara.

3. The Verb nabu at Emar

Outside the titles already described, the verb nabu occurs at Emar in only one idiom: in legal documents designating a female heir, the woman is declared "male and female" (so, having the rights of a son?) and exhorted to "nabu" the gods and the dead(?) of the testator. The documents then go on to allocate the property in question. This pattern appears in full in two wills and in an adoption text, and it should probably be inferred in the will Emar 185.(14)

Huehnergard, Text 1:8

DINGIR.MES-ia u me-te-ia lu-u tu-na-bi

Huehnergard, Text 2:11-12

DINGIR.MES-ia u me-te-ia

lu-u tu-na-ab-bi

ME 121:6-7

DlNGlR-MES-ia [IS.sub.8.sup.d][ar.MES-ia]

lu-u ta-nab-bi-mi

Emar 185:2-3 (Msk 74300)

DINGIR.MES-ia u me-te-ia


The verbs appear to be separate G and D precatives (3f.s.), with the same meaning.(15) In the Huehnergard texts and ME 121 the female subject of the verbs is indicated by the t-prefix, and the context is complete. The top of Emar 185 is broken, but the remaining text makes the man's wife "mother and father" of his house (lines 4-6) and the ensuing text defines the rights of his daughters among potential male heirs. The form lu-u-na-ab-bi can have either masculine or feminine subject,(16) and 185:1 could be read, a-na [NITA u MI e-te-pus(-ma)], "I have made ([PN.sup.f]) male and female."(17)

In three of the texts, me-te-ia appears to represent an Assyrian form of mitiya, "my dead (ones),"(18) and the combination of "gods" and "dead" would parallel the Nuzi cult to family gods (ilanu) and spirits of the dead (etemmu).(19) One Nuzi will actually assigns the right to perform these rites for the dead, and, as at Emar, it involves a female heir:

ilani u etemmiya ipallahsu

(She) will give cult to my gods and my spirits.(20)

The alternative specification of "gods and goddesses" in ME 121 suggests instead of the dead the personal protective spirits (see CAD, s.v. istaru 2) that would govern a family's fortune. - ,

The verb nabu most commonly means "to name, call," occurring in the G stem with S causative and N passive, but a second verb nabu has the distinct meaning "to wail, lament," with no discernible nuance separating the G and D conjugations.(21) The Emar idiom follows the G = D pattern of "to lament," but the variant with gods and goddesses shows a verbal action that is not restricted to mourning the dead. The required cult serves the broader need to keep the family on good terms with its patron gods and spirits. The Nuzi idiom with palahu defines this requirement without language of mourning, and Emar nabu should mean, "to call on, to invoke," not "to lament." It is not surprising to find newly attested D stems in Syrian Akkadian texts.(22)

The Emar inheritance texts use the verb nabu (G = D) to describe invocation of divine beings in the context of family religion. It is private individuals, not professionals, who do this "calling," and no temple is said to be involved, but this evidence nevertheless provides a Syrian use of nabu from which the Syrian nouns may be explained.

4. Ishara at Emar

Ishara was first known as a Sumerian goddess, and her presence in the Hittite pantheon was once explained by Hurrian importation from Mesopotamia.(23) When she was found in the Ebla pantheon, this view was revised, and Ishara is now widely considered an old north Syrian goddess.(24) Ishara is one of the three most prominent goddesses at Emar, with Istar/Astart and [NIN.sub.d]KUR(=?).(25) She receives a kissu festival with [NIN.sup.d]URTA at the town of Satappi (Emar 387), she appears repeatedly in the independent offering lists (379:3; 380:14; 381:12; 382:15?; 383:10), her treasure (sukuttu) is recorded in a temple inventory (282:6), and she joins Dagan and the city god [NIN.sup.d].URTA in a curse on anyone who changes a recorded decision (125:38). Ishara is not invoked in many Emar personal names, but the name Abdi-Ishara belongs to several men of substance.(26)

As already mentioned, Ishara is often paired with the city god [NIN.sup.d].URTA,(27) and one of her manifestations is Ishara GASAN URU.KI, "the mistress of the city, (373:95). Although her importance may have declined in some quarters, this title appears to reflect an old association with [NIN.sup.d].URTA at the core of the Emar pantheon. The kissu festival for Dagan joins Ishara and [NlN.sup.d].URTA with Dagan in receiving special tables for offering, contrasted with two tables for the gods Alal and Amaza (385:8-9). Comparison with an equivalent arrangement in the NIN.DINGIR festival (369:24-25, cf. 80-81) shows that the last two tables were set apart for "the gods below" and "impure," over against the first two "pure" tables. Ishara is thus separated from gods specially identified with the underworld.

All the above evidence for Ishara at Emar offers little to establish her precise sphere of influence and the function of the personnel linked to her cult, but Ishara appears to be both native and prominent in Emar religion, and the nabdu and munabbiatu should be so as well.

MARI: AEM I/1 NO. 216

The new Mari appearance of the nabu occurs in a letter from Tebi-gerisu(28) to his lord Zimri-Lim.(29) Tebigerisu informs his lord that the day after he reached Asmad he assembled (D, paharum) the []bi-[i.sup.mes] sa Ha-[na.sup.mes] and had omens taken concerning the safety of the king. The body of the letter begins as follows:

5 [u.sup.4-]um a-na se-er As-ma-a[d]

6 ak-su-du i-na sa-ni-im [u.sup.4]-m[i-im]

7 na-bi-[i.sup.mes] sa Ha-[na.sup.mes] u-pa-h[i-ir]30

8 te-er-tam a-na sa-la-am be-li-i[a]

9 u-se-pi-is um-ma a-na-ku-ma

5, 6 On the day after I reached Asmad,(31) 7 [I.sup.32] assembled the nabu of the Haneans, 8, 9 and I had omens taken regarding my lord's safety. I (inquired) as follows: . . .

At the beginning of this letter, Tebi-gerisu describes how he both gathered the Hanean nabu (line 7, with paharum) and had omens taken (lines 8-9, tertam supusum) in order to inquire after his lord's safety. Apparently his inquiry took the form of a specific question regarding time the king would spend outside the security of the city, and Tebi-gerisu relates the precise inquiry to the king. The end of the question is lost in the break; Durand proposes that lines 1'-7' of the reverse be read as quotation of a prophetic message (so,

ummami in line 1'). There is no concrete indication that anyone other than Tebi-gerisu speaks, however, and the repeated use of "my lord" (lines 3', 5', and 9') is most simply explained as the voice of the same person as in the obverse, the sender of the letter. Perhaps the answer to the inquiry is lost in the eight-line break.(33)

Durand introduces this new instance of the noun nabu(m) at the beginning of this discussion of all the "prophetic" texts at Mari.(34) He concludes that the text must involve "de techniciens en presence de qui ou par qui, une investigation sur le futur est tentee."(35) Durand then observes that these figures play the exact same role as the barum and the apilum and suggests that Mari Akkadian may sometimes mask the western term (nabum) with the Babylonian (barum).

Although the Hanean nabu are gathered for a divinatory inquiry, it is not clear that they are the ones who take omens (tertam epesum). I am not aware of any Mari "prophetic" or oracular text where the full idiom, rather than tertum alone, has been demonstrated to indicate anything besides examination of animal entrails, or extispicy.(36) Durand has gathered the Mari letters that involve spoken "prophecy" (AEM I.1 nos. 191-223),(37) 37 and none of the various events and phenomena are referred to by tertam/teretim epesum/supusum.(38)

The expected haruspex in AEM I.1 no. 216 is the Mesopotamian barum, yet the letter states that the nabu of the Haneans, a West Semitic element in the population, are invited to participate in the inquiry.(39) Comparison with the Mari letter A.1121 suggests one possible explanation for the role of the nabu. In this much-studied text, Addu lord of Kallassu is found to be present and ready to bestow a message by means of extispicy, the craft of the barum, but the message itself is spoken through a group of apilu, "prophets" or oracular spokesmen.(40) The pertinent lines read:

13 i-na te-re-tim [sup.d IM] be-el Ka-al-la-as-[] 14 [iz-za]a-az um-ma-a-mi In omens Addu lord of Kallassu was showing himself present ("was standing"), (saying): . . . 29 an-ni tam [ a-pi-lu iq-bu-u u i-na te-re-tim] 30 it-ta-na-az-za-az This (is what) the apilu said , and he (Addu) would (repeatedly) show himself present ("stand") in omens . . .

The juxtaposition of terminology commonly associated with extispicy (teretim) and with "prophecy" (apilu) has provoked extensive comment. W. Moran translates ina teretim, "at (the inspection of) omens," which A. Malamat (against Moran?) suggests may be conducted by the apilu.(41) Similarly, M. Anbar proposes that one who wished to know the future could interrogate the god by mediation of the barum, and the god would "answer" (apalum) by the same extispicy of the barum; thus the apilum does perform extispicy.(42) Durand, however, emphasizes the vastly different spirit of the oracular and the hepatoscopic methods, given the scholarly reference system of the latter, and he insists that the most natural interpretation of teretim in this letter is as "interrogation hepatoscopique."(43) The oracle through the apilu would therefore occur once Addu has shown himself present through the technique of the barum. B. Lafont likewise makes the extispicy a prior condition for receiving the oracular message,(44) and M. de Jong-Ellis agrees with Durand, saying that the apilum discourse explains the hepatoscopic rite.(45)

Although no barum is mentioned in Mari A.1121, attribution of this technical expertise to another group (so, the apilu) would be surprising, and Durand's analysis of this text is persuasive. The same distinctions should be applied to AEM I.1 no. 216, in which case the nabu might play a role complementing that of the barum whose presence is assumed in the idiom tertam supusum. Omens are taken and a spoken inquiry is made, and perhaps the divine response is given by oracle (as with the apilu) or by some combination of methods.

Whatever the precise activity of the nabd in the Mari letter, they are surely involved in a divinatory inquiry, as Durand argues, and this constitutes the principal ground for associating the new personnel with prophecy and with the Hebrew word nabi.(46)



1. Durand and the Mari nabu

Durand analyzes the new Mari term as a passive participle of the verb nabu, so the noun describes one "named" by the gods as an emissary from the divine world. This interpretation is based primarily on one unpublished text from Mari, A.450.(47) In this letter, which Durand quotes in part, a servant of the king complains that his orders are too difficult for him:

5 be-li a-na te-er-tim GAL is-ku-na-an-ni 6 u-ul da-an-na-ku 7 ki-ma DlNGlR-lum a-wi-lu-tam i-na-ab-bu-u 8 i-na-an-na i-ia-ti tu-il-ta-am 9 sa li-ib-bi a-su-ri-im 10 be-li sa i-lu-ti-su su-uq-ti 11 il-pu-ut-ma a-na a-wi-le-e 12 u-te-er-ra-an-ni

5 My lord has assigned me an immense task, 6 (and) I am not strong enough (for it). 7 As a god names someone, 8 now me - (like) the picture 9 on the foundation-wall - (48) 10 my lord (out) of his divinity touched my chin 11, 12 and sent me back among ("to") men.

Although the verb nabu may mean "to name, appoint (to office)," this use is almost entirely restricted to royalty."(49) In A.450, however, the verb describes a royal administrator's appointment by the king, as if by a god, to his particular service. Durand concludes that the na-bi-[i.sup.mes] are understood to be "appointed" similarly to their mission in the human world. The touching of the chin is a delegation of authority from sovereign to vassal.(50)

Mari A.450 provides a vivid portrayal of divine naming, but it does not prove a passive etymology for the []na-bi-[i.sup.mes] as divinely "called" prophets. Even as a possible model for the proposed calling, the text does not offer an unambiguous comparison. The writer of A.450 expresses resistance to the command of his master through flattery. Far from being honored that the king, like a god, should "name" him to his task, the subordinate makes this the core of his complaint. The king may play the god in making the appointment, but he should see that his nominee is hopelessly inadequate. Perhaps the force of the image lies in the fact that the writer is no king, and it is kings whom the gods name and send back to humanity. "Touching the chin" may then belong to the imagery for divine election of kings, who are the regents of their sovereign gods.

2. The Mari and Emar Terms Together

The etymology and interpretation of the Mari []nabi-[], and the []na-bi-i and munabbiatu at Emar should be evaluated together. The G-stem nouns from Emar and Mari have the same syllabic spelling, with both the male personnel determinative LU and the plural marker MES, though this is placed after the noun in AEM I.1 no. 216. No temple or divine name is identified with the Mari []na-bi-[i.sup.mes], but their involvement in a divinatory inquiry offers no barrier to equation with Emar's []na-bi-i of Ishara. The Hana connection places the Mari group in a West Semitic cultural context that is oriented toward Emar.

The Akkadian verb nabu can mean both "to name, call" and "to wail, lament,"(51) and the nouns nabu and munabbiatu should derive from these actions. Before Emar, the D conjugation of nabu was only known to refer to wailing, and W. von Soden identifies the munabbiatu as lamentation priestesses.(52) The G masculine and D feminine nouns might simply originate in the separate "naming" and "wailing," without any direct relationship.

On the other hand, the nabu and munabbiatu are the only two religious personnel specifically associated with Ishara at Emar, and they are the only attested Emar nouns derived from the verb nabu. Both appear exclusively as groups, never individually. These shared characteristics suggest alternatively that they may be male and female counterparts. While paired male/female titles are expected to come from the same verbal stem,(53) the association of G masculine and D feminine nouns is not completely implausible. There are at least two cases where a D feminine participle matches or closely resembles a G masculine participle: neiru (and munaeru)/ munerru (murderer/murderess) and zaizanu/muzaiztu (distributor).(54) Both examples derive from verbs where the G and D stems are roughly equivalent, and both the G and D of the Emar verb nabu mean "to invoke" (see above).(55) The Mari context of divinatory inquiry should rule out lamentation for the noun nabu so if the G and D nouns are indeed etymologically related, they should be derived from the attested Emar verb, "to name."

I prefer this etymology of the nouns from the same verbal action, based on their shared place in Ishara's cult. Others, however, may consider the G/D variation in a male/female pair so unlikely that this similarity of titles in the one cult is better understood as a coincidence.

The second etymological question to be decided is whether the nouns are active or passive. Either is grammatically possible for the G na-bi-i: nabi ([.sup.*]parisu, passive) "those named," or nabi ([sup.*]parisu, active) "namers." The D participle munabbiatu, however, should be active, and these women are either "namers" or "wailers." If the two nouns are unrelated, the munabbiatu must be "wailers" and the G noun's definition remains unsettled. If the two are related, use of the verb nabu at Emar in the G and D stems for the family cult of ancestors and protective personal deities offers a plausible derivation for both nouns: the root action is invocation, naming and so calling on a divine being, to give cult or to seek aid. The nabu and munabbiatu would be male and female "invokers" or "invocation-specialists." The active interpretation is not prohibited by the spelling, as demonstrated by the noun baru ("seer, diviner") in Emar lexical texts, rendered ba-ru-u.(56) Comparison with the biblical Hebrew nabi ("prophet") does not settle the question, since the voice of that word remains equally debated.(57)

Analysis of the titles themselves does not decisively identify their activities, but the Mari letter AEM I.1 no. 216 demonstrates involvement of the nabu in divination and prophecy. Mesopotamian Ishara is known as a goddess of divination via her title belet biri, "mistress of divination," though this special role is not apparent at Emar.(58) Altogether, the new terms nabu and munabbiatu give further definition to the picture of prophecy in ancient Syria, and offer the first direct evidence for religious personnel etymologically related to the biblical Hebrew nabi.

(1) An earlier version of this paper, treating the Syrian evidence together with discussion of the Hebrew nabi, was given at the 1990 annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, in New Orleans.

The paper uses the following abbreviations, in addition to standard citations from the CAD:

AEM Archives epistolaires de Mari (= ARM XXVI) AfO Archiv fur Orientforschung AHw W. von Soden, Akkadisches Handworterbuch ANET J. B. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament AOAT Alter Orient und Altes Testament ARM(T) Archives Royales de Mari (Textes) AuOr Aula Orientalis BA Biblical Archaeologist CAD Chicago Assyrian Dictionary CBQ Catholic Biblical Quarterly GAG von Soden, Grundriss der akkadischen Grammatik (1969 edition) HALAT Hebraisches und aramaisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament HSS Harvard Semitic Studies monograph series JCS Journal of Cuneiform Studies N.A.B.U. Notes assynogiques breves et utllitaires RA Revue d'assyriologie RHA Revue hittite et asianique UF Ugant-Forschungen VT Vetus Testamentum. YOS Yale Oriental Series (2) When Giovanni Pettinato announced the most important textual finds from Ebla, he claimed that he had found the prophetic groups "mahhu" and "nabiutum," but the sources have not yet been published: G. Pettinato, "The royal archives of Tell Mardikh-Ebla," BA 39 (1976): 49; and "Relations entre les royaumes d'Ebla et de Mari au troisieme millenaire, d'apres les archives royales de Tell Mardikh-Ebla," Akkadica 2 (1977): 21. In The Archives of Ebla (Garden City, N Y: Doubleday. 1981), Pettinato identifies the text as TM 75.G454 (p. 253) and the spelling as na-br-u-tum (p. 119). (3) See the number system of Daniel Arnaud, Recherches au pays d'Astata, vol. Vl (Sumerian and Akkadian texts), nos. 1 and 2 (copy), 3 and 4 (transliteration and translation) (Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1985-1987). These Emar texts will be abbreviated, "Emar 369," etc., following Arnaud's numbered texts rather than page-numbers. For Emar 387, text F, see Recherches VI.2:597 for copy; VI.3:385-86 for transliteration and translation. (4) Jean-Marie Durand, Archives epistolaires de Mari I/1, ARM XXVI (Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1988), 444. (5) See Arnaud, Recherches, VI.2: 613 (copy); 3:353, 360 (transliteration and translation). The reading [mu.sub.x] for the A-sign is evident from the form [sup.mimes]mu-na-bi-ia-ti in Emar 406:5, and was first suggested by W. von Soden ("Kleine Bemerkungen zu Urkunden und Ritualen aus Emar," N.A.B.U. 1987: 25). Von Soden finds the same sign in another West Semitic expression, []wa-ra-a [mu.sub.x](A)-bal-li-la NU TUKU, "he has no designated(?) heir," see Emar 32:9-10; 128:7; and 213:6. The meaning "to assign a share of an inheritance," is listed by the CAD for the D stem of balalu "to mix," in only one text: PN [PN.sub.2] marsu x x E-S-U . . . ana mimmesuma bu-li-ilsu, "as to PN, his son [PN.sub.2] was assigned (the succession rights) with regard to(?) his estate (his fields, vineyards, olive trees), with regard to all his property" Alalah 87:7 (MB). The associated G stem appears likewise at MB Alalab only ("to have a share"): atti ina E ul ba-al-la-ti," you (my sister) are not entitled to a share (?) in the house" Alalah 7:5, cf. ballaku, line 8. Both the forms munabbiati and muballila would make good sense as D participles, while [sup.*]anabbiati and [sup.*]aballila are problematic for what appear to be well-established Semitic roots. Nevertheless it is odd to find the A-sign (vs. MU) used in six of seven attestations of the D participles, with no attestation (to my knowledge) of this value in any other Emar setting. These nouns do not appear to be Akkadian (so West Semitic?), and I am not aware of any (other) D participles at Emar on which to base comparison. The evidence for balalu was first observed by William L. Moran ("Emar Notes," N.A.B.U. 1988: 24-25). (6) See Arnaud, Recherches, VI.2:584 (copy); 3:375 (transliteration and translation). (7) See Arnaud, Recherches, VI.2:524 (copy); 3:377 (transliteration and translation). (8) See Arnaud, Recherches, VI.1:271, 278 (copy); 3:403 (transliteration and translation). Arnaud transliterates x a(so, [mu.sub.x])-nab-bi-[a-ti] after a personal name in a list of witnesses for a will, Emar 112:23 (Msk 7534, VI.3:118; copy, VI.2:742). The traces of his copy appear to read [ ] E(?) NAB AN(?) X [ ], and I have not included the reference in this study. (9) See Daniel Fleming, The Installation of Baal's High Priestess at Emar: A Window on Ancient Syrian Religion, HSS 42 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), esp. ch. 5, pp. 280-90. (10) See Fleming, The Installation, 255-63, on the kissu festivals. The translation "throne" (cf. Akkadian kussu, Hebrew kisse) may be preferable to "full moon" (cf. Hebrew keseh). (11) See Arnaud, Emar VI.3:385-86. Text F is Msk 74286b (left) and Msk 74303i (right), and Text J is Msk 731035 + 74316b. (12) The right half of text F (74303i) only completes lines 18, with one to two signs missing in the gap, and the fragment ends with poorly preserved traces for line 9, which would have finished the line with the []na-bi-i. My restorations are based on those traces and the shorter text of J. Collation was made possible by a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1991). (13) [ ]Bu-uK-Ku-ra-[tu.sub.4] sa [sup.mi.mes]mu-na-bi-ia-ti [ ]. (14) John Huehnergard, "Five Tablets from the Vicinity of Emar," RA 77 (1983): text 1:8 (p. 13) and text 2:11-12 (p. 17); Daniel Arnaud, "La Syrie du moyen-Euphrate sous le protectorat hittite: Contracts de droit prive," AuOr 5 (1987): 211-41, text 13 (ME 121, p. 233). (15) The ta-sign in ME 121 might be understood as a scribal mistake for the D preterite [sup.*]tunabbi, but there is ample evidence for alternative formation of the precative with the present/durative base in second-millennium Syria, and the equivalence of G and D stems would not be surprising (see below). Old and Neo-Babylonian dialects attest the precative with lu plus durative in 2m.s. ta-forms (see GAG, 106, par. 81e, CAD, s.v. Iu la4'b'). Most of the observed occurrences appear in second-millennium Syria. These include, among others, lu-u ta-na-di-na "may you give me" RS 17.116:28' (found at Ugarit, written in Amurru), li-dag-gal "may he look" EA 74: 10 (Byblos), li-na-sa-ru-su "let them protect him" Idrimi 100 (Alalah; durative, whether G or unexpected D), 104 li-ik-ta-na-ra-bu "may they always bless" line 104, li-it-ta-na-ba-lu "may they always bear (care for)," Huehnergard RA 77 text no. 1:13 and Emar 181:10 (both Emar). For discussion of the phenomenon, see Shlomo Izreel, Amurru Akkadian: A Linguistic Study (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991), 1: 144, 165-66; Huehnergard, RA 77 40; M. Dietrich and O. Loretz, "Die Inschrift der Statue des Konigs Idrimi von Alalah," UF 13 (1981): 229. (16) Emar 3f.s. verbs are written both with and without the t-prefix. For instances of the standard Akkadian wi-mout the t-see Emar 369:3 (it-tar-ra-as), 35A (i-tab-ba-ak), 51 (us-sab), 52 (u-se-el-la), and 74 (i-ma-as-si), all from the installation festival of mhe NIN.DlNGlR-priestess of the storm god. The form lu-u-na-ab-bi for a 3c.s. D precative is Assyrian and may occur at Ugarit; see Huehnergard, The Akkadian of Ugarit (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989), 162: Ug 5 4:5 lu-u-ma-[al-li] "he must p[ay]." Huehnergard (n. 298) allows for the possibility of asseverative lu, u-ma-[al-li/la], but this spelling seems unlikely at Emar, where the feminine verbs take the precative particle spelled lu-u (lu, necessary before the t-prefix). Karel van der Toorn ("The Nature of the Biblical teraphim in the Light of the Cuneiform Evidence," CBQ 52 [1990]: 221) interprets the form in Emar 185 as lu u-na-ab-bi (as above), and translates, "he is surely to invoke." (17) This restoration is based on ME 121:5-6. (18) Huehnergard (RA 77:28), vs. Babylonian mi-[ti.sup.7]-ia. ME.TE = simtu, "essence, what belongs, is appropriate" seems unlikely (n. 34). Note that the Emar form would make "an irregular or non-Akkadian" plural (for [sup.*]mitutiya). Van der Toorn (p. 221) follows Huehnergard's interpretation as "my dead" and adds one more text to tbe list, from M. Sigrist ("Miscellanea," JCS 34 [1982]: 243) (lines 25-27). This text uses the verb kunnu, "to take care of," instead of nabu. (19) H. Rouillard and J. Tropper ("Trpym, rituels de guerison et culte des ancetres d'apres 1 Samuel XIX 11-17 et les textes paralleles d'Assur et de Nuzi," VT 37 [1987]: 354, n. 386) identify the etemmu as the more immediate ancestors, the ilanu as the more remote. At Nuzi, an etemmu gains the more anonymous rank of family god (ilu) "a partir du moment ou, avec le temps, il a perdu son caractere personnel a l'interieur de la famille; autrement dit, quand la famille ne peut plus se rememorer la personnalite de ses membres decedes." This observation follows A. Tsukimoto (Untersuchungen zur Totenpflege (kispum) im alten Mesopotamien, AOAT 216 [NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener, 1985], 105). The same distinction would apply to the Emar ilanu and [sup.*]metd. (20) YBC 5142 v 30-31, in E. R. Lacheman and D. I. Owen, "Texts from Arrapha and from Nuzi in the Yale Babylonian Collection," in Studies on the Civilization and Culture of Nuzi and the Hurrians, vol. 1, ed. M. A. Morrison and D. I. Owen (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1981), 386. (21) CAD, s.v. nabd B, and AHw, s.v. nabd(m) D(-stem); von Soden does not recognize a G-stem equivalent. The separate definition is shown likely in the frequent pairing with baku, "to weep," in contexts which emphasize the outward, emotional expression of grief. For example, Gilgamesh is said to lament (nabu G) bitterly (sarpis) "like a wailing woman" (kima lallariti), Gilg VIII ii 3. (22) This was Huehnergard's preference (RA 77:27-28). In The Akkadian of Ugarit (pp. 173-74), he observes that Ugaritic Akkadian displays several examples of otherwise unattested D stems. Similarly at Emar, the following verbs show a meaning in the D stem which has not been found elsewhere: malaku D, "to put in office," Emar 369:29; 370:20, 41 (see Fleming, The Installation, 182-83); kabadu D, denominative of the noun kubadu, "to perform the kubadu(-rite)," Emar 446:56, 96; 448(A):16; 449:4 (see Fleming, 164); qadasu D, "to treat as holy" (with offerings, objects "the gods"), Emar 369:6, 22, and often in Emar ritual (see Fleming, 158-62). (23) See Emmanuel Laroche, Recherches sur les noms des dieux hittites (Paris: Librairie Orientale et Americaine, 1947), 131-32, cf. 47-48, 51. (24) See Laroche, Glossaire de la langue hourrite, RHA 34-35 (Paris: Editions Klincksieck, 1976-1977): 126; Gernot Wilhelm, Grundzuge der Geschichte und Kultur der Hurriter (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1982), 78. Thorkild Jacobsen ("The Gilgamesh Epic: Romantic and Tragic Vision," in Lingering Over Words (Moran Festschrift), ed. Tzvi Abusch et al. [Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990], 237 n. 9) suggests that the name Ishara is likely borrowed from West Semitic [sup.*]ar "barley," and notes the identification of Ishara with Sumerian Nisaba. (25) This prominence contrasts oddly with two god-lists which attempt a hierarchical ordering of the Emar pantheon, Emar 373:66-167 and Emar 378. These mention only manifestations of Ishara that are qualified by added titles, which are then relegated to the second tier of deities; see 373:95-97; 378:26-28. The first list belongs to the zukru festival and accounts for "all the gods of Emar" (line 65). (26) At least six separate Abdi-Ishara's appear in Emar legal documents as witnesses or involved directly in the transactions; see 4:32; 112:20; 159:28; 176:12; 257:20; 320:10; cf. 157: 11; 207:9, 11; 257: 19. A woman named [sup.fd]Ishara DINGIR li receives a grain allotment in 319:14. (27) See Fleming (The Installation, 248-52) on [sup.d]NlN.URTA as the city god of Emar. (28) Tebi-gerisu is not a well-known figure in the Mari archives. Two types of garments are received (maharum N) by the "house of Te-bi-gi-ri-su" and another person in the palace administrative text ARM XXII 130:3. (29) AEM 1.1 no. 216 (A.2209). The king is apparently ZimriLim, since the letter names Asmad, an official who had dealings with Asqudum, the prominent diviner from the reign of Zimri-Lim. See AEM 111, p. 147 (on Asmad) and pp. 73-75 (on Asqudum). (30) Durand suggests the verb paharum, which makes good sense. The text and restorations provided here are his. (31) Literally, "The day (when) I reached Asmad, on the next day . . . (32) The Ic.s. is suggested by umma anakdma in line 9. (33) The usual response to "taking omens" is not direct speech but rather an indication of whether the omens were "favorable" (e.g., s-alim/salma magir/magra) or "unfavorable" (e.g, lupput/lupputa). (34) Durand, AEM I.1:377-79. (35) Ibid., 378. (36) See W. L. Moran, "New evidence from Mari on the history of prophecy," Biblica 50 (1969): 22 and n. 1; cf. CAD s.v. epesu 2c (terta epesu), 2c and 5b4' (terta supusu); ARM XV 272 (tertum). Durand (AEM 1.1:24) observes that the G stem (epesum) is used when the diviner himself reports to the king, and the S stem (supusum) is used when some other person has omens taken. He further proposes (p. 46) that the singular tertam indicates sacrifice of a single lamb for the extispicy proper, while the plural teretim is used when an accompanying piqittum or "contre-epreuve" is performed, to give a final verdict. (37) In his comment, Durand refers also to AEM I.2, nos. 371 and 414, and the lener A.1121 + which has been republished by Bertrand Lafont ("Le roi de Mari et les prophetes du dieu Adad," RA 78 [1984]: 7-18) and will appear in AEM I.3. (38) We occasionally find the idiom tertam nadanum "to give a message," in connection with direct "prophetic" speech from the male and female "ecstatics" (mubum/muhhutum) and from the assinnum ("eunuch"?); see ARMT XXV 142:12-15 (quoted in AEM I.1 no. 200:5-7, the muhhutum); AEM I.1 no. 197 (ARM X 81):4-5, the assinnum. Durand (AEM I.1:12) also observes the administrative idiom tertam sakanum, "nommer a une fonction." (39) The Haneans (people of Hana) have long been identified as one of the nomadic groups that inhabited lands within Mari's sphere of influence; see J.-R. Kupper, Les nomades en Mesopotamie au temps des rois de Mari (Paris: Societe d'Edition "Les Belles Lettres," 1957), 1-12. Durand (AEM I.1:378 n. 9) now argues that "Hanean" = "Amorite." His full treatment of this issue will appear in the volume, Problemes concernant les Hourrites II.2. At least, the Hanean element in the Mari domain may have had cultural origins in the lands further west. (40) The plural supplies a striking parallel to the plural nabu since the various oracular speakers consistently appear as individuals. In the prophetic texts gathered by Durand, the plural appears only when Sibtu inquires of "male and female" in AEM I.1, no. 207 (ARM X 4):5-6, 9-10, 19. (41) W. L. Moran, in ANET, 625, and A. Malamat, "A Mari Prophecy and Nathan's Dynastic Oracle," in Prophecy: Essays Presented to Georg Fohrer, ed. J. A. Emerton (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1980), 71. This letter does not use the full idiom tertam epesum, but all agree that the phrase ina teretim should mean "by omens" (vs. "by instructions"??). (42) M. Anbar, "L'activite divinatoire de l'apilum, le `repondant,' d'apres une lettre de Mari," RA 75 (1981): 91. (43) J.-M. Durand, "In vino veritas," RA 76 (1982): 46. (44) Lafont, RA 78:12. (45) Maria de Jong-Ellis, "Observations on Mesopotamian Oracles and Prophetic Texts: Literary and Historiographic Considerations," JCS 41 (1989): 136 n. 36. (46) See D. Fleming, "The Etymological Origins of the Hebrew nabi: The One Who Invokes God," CBQ, forthcoming. (47) Durand, AEM I.1:378 n. 13; the text is to be published in AEM 1.3. (48) See AHw, s.v. tuil(t)u, Qatna and Nuzi, "ein Ggst. aus Gold." Durand identifies this as a bas-relief and translates the whole text as follows: "Mon Seigneur m'a installe a une (trop) grande tache; je n'(en) ai pas la force: (c'est) comme Dieu (qui) `appelle' un humain. Maintenant, il m'arrive la fable qui est sur le bas-relief: mon Seigneur m'a touche le menton, ce qui est le propre de sa divinite, et il m'a envoye chez les hommes." Durand does not explain the evidence for tu'iltum and asurrum as "fable" and "bas-relief," and my own translation remains tentative. (49) In almost all cases the reference is to kings (sarru[m]), though the exalted title sakkanakku "governor" occurs in one Assyrian text (KAR 68:18, CAD, s.v. nabu A 3b2'). Another Assyrian text from Sennacherib indicates that the "ruler" (western malku) is "named" to office (naba) while the high priest is "elevated" (nasu), OIP 2 78:2, CAD, s.v. nabu A 3a. Durand (AEM I.1:378 n. 5) observes this near-exclusive use of nabu for "naming" the destiny of rulers. (50) Durand, 379. He quotes AEM I.2, no. 423, which uses the same expression in lines 46-47 and 53 in discussion of the relative merits of alliance with Babylon and Mari, against alliance with Esnunna. The superior "touches the chin" of the subordinate king. (51) The CAD distinguishes two verbs: nabu A, "to name," etc., and nabu B, "to wail, lament." Von Soden combines them under AHw, s.v. nabu(m) II, "nennen, berufen." (52) Von Soden, N.A.B.U. 1987: 25. (53) Although not in this G and D combination, the most prominent Mari "prophets" are found in both male and female manifestations (apilum/apiltum and muhhum/muhhutum), and Israel knew both prophets (nabi and prophetesses (nebia, e.g., Deborah in Judg 4:4). For the Mesopotamian instances of male and female personnel involved in giving spoken oracles, see Herbert Huffmon, "The Origins of Prophecy," in Magnalia Dei: The Mighty Acts of God, ed. Frank Cross et al. (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976), 173, 175. The other Emar ritual players who appear in both male and female versions are the singers, zammaru and zammiratu; see Emar 369:8, and passim; 370:78, 109; 371:2; 388:40; 391:2; 394:23, 25; 431:4, for zammaru, and 370:59; 388:67; cf. 410:4, for zammiratu. (54) The noun munertu occurs only in a lexical text, according to the CAD entry: "sil.ta = tu-um-mu-mu = mu-ni-ir-t[um], Silbenvokabular A 75 in Studies Landsberger 23." A D-stem masculine participle mu-na-a-e-ra is also attested in Anzu I 13 (JCS 31:92). The noun muzaiztu ("distributor") is used of a deity and as a personal name, and zaizanu is based on a G participle and identifies a "supervisor in a case of division of fields and houses" at Nuzi (see CAD). The question of parallels was raised for me by Herbert Huffmon, and William Moran brought to my attention the Anzu text. (55) In his Amorite Personal Names in the Mari Texts (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1965), 236, Herbert Huffmon identifies the verbal root [sup.*]nb, "call, name, announce," and states that "G and D forms of this root appear to be found." The G "imperfect" (prefixed conjugation) occurs in names such as Ya-ab-bi-[sup.d]IM and Ya-ab-bi-[sup.d]Da-gan, while the "D imperfect?" or yaqattil form may be attested in the names Ya-na-ab-bi-AN and Ya-na-bi-im. (56) See Emar (VI.4) 537:290 (Syllabaire Sa) and Emar (VI.4) 542:167 (HAR.RA-huhullu II). (57) See D. Fleming, "The Etymological Origins." The qatil pattern may be used for both active and passive nouns derived from transitive verbs (like nb'): asir "prisoner" (sr, "to bind"), masiah "anointed" (msh, "to anoint"); vs. paqid "overseer" (pqd, "to attend to, visit"), paris "violent one, robber" (prs, "to breach"). Particularly relevant is the other noun derived from a root with final aleph: nasi "chief," from ns, "to lift, carry," which also has been analyzed both as active and as passive: HALAT (s.v. I nasi) presents interpretations as "der Geachtete" (passive, from "to lift the face") as the "Sprecher" (active, from "to lift the voice"). (58) See Douglas Van Buren, "The Scorpion in Mesapotamian Art and Religion," AfO 12 (1937-1939): 3 n. 31, referring to several texts, including CT 24 3:30;23:125a; and Genouillac, RA 20 (1923): 90. Note also YOS 11, 23:14, belet birim Ishara wasibat kummim (I. Starr, BM 12, 30 and commentary), in M. de Jong-Ellis, JCS 41:139.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Oriental Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Fleming, Daniel
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Date:Apr 1, 1993
Previous Article:International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, 4 vols.
Next Article:A medrese for the palace: Ottoman dynastic legitimation in the eighteenth century.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters