The Melqart Stele


Temple of Melqart in Tyre
Language: Aramaic
Medium: basalt stele
Length: 4 lines
Approximate Date: 9th-8th cent. BCE
Genre: votive
Place of Discovery: Bredsh, a village north of
Aleppo, Syria
Date of Discovery: c. 1939
Current Location: National Museum
Aleppo, Syria
Inscription number: KAI 201

(Albright 1942:23-29)

(Adapted from Black 1958:239)

1 The monument which Bar-Hadad, son of Tab-Rimmon,

2 son of Hadyan, king of Aram, set up for

3 his lord, Melqart. He vowed (this) to him,

4 and he listened to his voice.


1. What is the importance of vows in the ancient Mediterranean World? (see Parker )

2. What issues does Bar-Hadad's name raise in terms of ancient Israel's chronology? (See 1 Kings 15:18; 20:1; 2 Kings 13:24)
3. With what Greek hero was the god Melqart associated? (see Ribichini )
4. With what Mesopotamian god of the underworld was Melqart perhaps associated?

Ahlström, Gösta. The History of Ancient Palestine. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.
Albright, W. F. "A Votive Stele Erected by Ben-Hadad I of Damascus to the God Melcharth." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 87 (1942) 23-29.
Biran, Avraham. "Sacred Spaces: Of Standing Stones, High Places and Cult Objects at Tel Dan." Biblical Archaeology Review 24.5 (1998) 38-45 + 70.
Black, Matthew. "The Milqart Stele." In Documents from Old Testament Times. Edited by D. W. Thomas, 239-41. London: Thomas Nelson, 1958.
Cross, Frank Moore. "The Stele Dedicated to Melcarth by Ben-Hadad." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 205 (1972) 36-42.
Dearman, Andrew J. and J. Maxwell Miller. "The Melqart Stele and the Ben-Hadads of Damscus: Two Studies." Palestine Exploration Quarterly 115 (1983) 95-101.
de Vaux, Roland. "The Prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel." In The Bible and the Ancient Near East, 138-51. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1971.
Dunand, M. "Stèle Araméenne Dédiée á Melqart." Bulletin du Musée de Beyrouth 3 (1941) 65-76.
Katzenstein, Hannah J. "Phoenician Deities Worshipped in Israel and Judah during the Time of the First Temple." In Phoenicia and the Bible. Edited by E. Lipinski, 187-91. Studia Phoenicia 11. Leuven: Peeters, 1991.
Morgenstern, Julius. "The King-God among the Western Semites and the Meaning of Epiphanies." Vetus Testamentum 10 (1960) 138-97.
Parker, Simon B. "The Vow in Ugaritic and Israelite Narrative Literature." Ugarit Forschungen 11 (1979) 693-700.
Peckham, Brian. "Israel and Phoenicia." In Magnalia Dei: The Mighty Acts of God. Essays on the Bible and Archaeology in Memory of G. Ernest Wright. Edited by F. M. Cross et al., 224-48. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976.
Peckham, Brian. "Phoenicia and the Religion of Israel: The Epigraphic Evidence." In Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross. Edited by P. D. Miller Jr. et al., 79-99. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987.
Pitard, Wayne T. "Ben-Hadad." In Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by D. N. Freedman, 1.663-65. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Ribichini, Sergio. "Melqart." In Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. Edited by K. van der Toorn et al., 563-55. 2nd ed. Leiden: Brill, 1999.
Rosenthal, Franz. "Canaanite and Aramaic Inscriptions." In Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament . Edited by J. B. Pritchard, 653-62. 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1969.

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Last Modified: 15 May 2002