Amarna Tablet 367
Letter from Pharaoh to Endaruta of Akshapa


DESCRIPTION

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Language: Akkadian
Medium: clay tablet
Length: 25 lines of writing
Genre: Letter
Sender: Pharoah of Egypt
(perhaps Amenophis III)
Recipient: Endaruta of Akshapa
Date: 14th cent. BCE
Place of Discovery: Tel el-Amarna, Egypt
(ancient Akhetaten)
Date of Discovery: c. 1920?
Discoverer: ?
Current Location: Louvre Museum
(Paris, France)
Tablet Number: EA 367
Inventory Number: AO 7095
Original Publication: Revue d'assyriologie et d'archéologie orientale 19 (1922) 105




TEXT
TRANSLITERATION
(from Mercer 1939:2:612, 614)

TRANSLATION
(adapted from Mercer 1939:2:613, 615
Albright 1969:484;
and Moran 1992:365)
a-namEn-dar-ú-ta amêlu al Ak-Šá-pa 1 To Endaruta, the ruler of Akshapa,
ki-bi-ma um-ma Šarru-ma 2 say: Thus says the king:
a-nu-ma tup-pa an-na-a uŠ-te-bi-la-ku ga-bi-e 3 He sends this tablet to you, saying
a-na ka-a-Šá ù us -sur lu-ú na-sa-ra-ta 4 to you, Be on your guard; guard the place
áŠ-ru Šarri Šá it-ti-ka 5 of the king where you are.
a-nu-um-ma Šarruumte-e Š-se-ra-ku 6 Behold, the king sends you
mHa-an-ni mârmMa-i-ri-ia 7 Hanni, the son of Maireya,
amêlrabisŠá Šarri i-na mâtu Ki-na-ah- h i 8 the deputy of the king in Canaan.
ù Šá i-qab-pa-ku Š i-ma-áŠ-Š ú 9 Pay close attention to what he tells you
damqi-iŠ dan-niŠ la-a i-kaŠ-Šá-dak-ku
Šarru ar-na a-wa-ta gab-pa
10-11 so that the king does not find fault in you. Everything
Šá i-qab-pa-ku Š i-ma-áŠ-Šú damqi-i Š dan-niŠ 12 he tells you, pay careful attention
ù e-pu-uŠ damqi-i Š dan-iŠ 13 and carefully carry it out.
ù us-sur us-sur la-a da-mi-ik-ki 14 And be on guard! Be on guard! Do not be negligent.
ù lu-ú Šú- Šú-ra-da a-na pa-ni 15 And prepare
Šêpê bi-da-ti Š arri akâlu ma-a-ad 16 for the archers a great deal of food,
karânu gab-bu mi-im-ma ma-a-ad 17 and wine, and a great deal of everything else.
a-nu-um-ma i-kaŠ-Š á-dak-ku 18 Indeed, he will reach you
ar-hi-iŠ ar-hi-i Š 19 very quickly,
ù i-na-ak-ki-iŠ qaqqad 20 and he will behead
a-ia-bi-e Šá Š arri 21 the enemies of the king.
ù lu-ú ti-i-ti i-nu-ma 22 And know that
Šá-lim Šarru ki-ma dŠamaŠá Š 23 the king is strong like the sun
i-naansa-me-e Šêpê- Šúisnarkabâti- Š ú 24 in the sky. For his soldiers and his chariots
ma-a-du danniŠŠ ul-mu 25 are numerous and in good condition.

NOTES

Endaruta wrote EA 223 to Pharaoh, and that may be an answer to this letter. He is also mentioned in EA 366 as one of the rulers who, along with the rulers of Acco and Jerusalem, came to the aid of Shuwardata of Qiltu.
Akshapa is biblical Achshaph, near Acco, in western Galilee. Some identify it with modern Tel Keisan. It is mentioned in Joshua 11:1 as one of the city-states that joined Jabin's coalition against Joshua's troops.
Hanni is mentioned in four other Amarna letters: 142, 161, 162, and 227.
Deputy: Moran reads this as "stable overseer" (akil tarba si).
The king finding fault/no fault is a motif found in the Bible at 1 Samuel 29:3 and 2 Samuel 3:8 (see also Daniel 6:4).
Archers played a key role in ancient Near Eastern warfare. For biblical examples, see Genesis 49:23; 1 Samuel 31:3; 2 Samuel 11:24; 2 Chronicles 35:23; Jeremiah 50:29; 1 Maccabees 9:11.
Beheading is found in the Bible at: 2 Samuel 4:7; Mark 6:27; Revelation 20:4; as well as the Septuagint Psalm 151:7.
Sun: In the Bible, Yahweh is compared to the sun in Psalm 84:11.




DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What is Pharaoh's intention in writing this letter?

2. Why do the Amarna letters single out the importance of archers?
3. What is the symbolic function of beheading as a means of execution? What other forms of capital punishment were used in the ancient Mediterranean world?
4. How were chariots used in ancient Mediterranean warfare?
5. What were the advantages and disadvantages of writing on clay tablets?
 




SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
Albright, W. F. "Akkadian Letters." In Ancient Near Eastern Text Relating to the Old Testament, edited by J. B. Pritchard, 482-90. 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1969.
Benjamin, Paul. "Achshaph." In Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by D. N. Freedman, 1.57. New York: Doubleday, 1991.
Campbell, Edward A. "The Amarna Letters and the Amarna Period." In Biblical Archaeologist Reader vol. 3, 54-75. New York: Doubleday, 1970.
Liverani, Mario. "Political Lexicon and Political Ideologies in the Amarna Letters." Berytus 31 (1982) 42.
Mercer, Samuel A. B. The Tell El-Amarna Tablets. 2 vols. Toronto: Macmillan, 1939.
Miller, R., E. McEwen, and C. Bergman. "Experimental Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Archery." World Archaeology 18 (1986) 178-95.
Moran, Willam L. The Amarna Letters. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1992.
Na'aman, Nadav. "Amarna Letters." In Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by D. N. Freedman, 1.174-81. New York: Doubleday, 1992.


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Last Modified: 29 June 2004