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Emperors Mursilis and Nabopolassar

Published June 27, 2019 by amaic
Image result for mursilis

“Nebuchednezzar Syndrome”:

dreams, illness-madness, Egyptophobia

 

Part Five:

Emperors Mursilis and Nabopolassar

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“Inside my mouth the word became scarce, and the word came out somewhat stumbling. And the years came and went and this condition began to play a part in my dreams. And god’s hand struck me in the time of a dream, and the ability of speech I lost entirely”. 

Mursilis

 

Lately, in the course of this series, I arrived at the conclusion that the Babylonian king, Nabopolassar (c. 626 – 605 BC, conventional dating), thought to have been the father of Nebuchednezzar ‘the Great’ (c. 605 BC – c. 562 BC, conventional dating), needed to be listed amongst the other “Nebuchednezzar Syndrome” types, indeed as Nebuchednezzar himself.

Now, I had completely forgotten over the years that Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky had proposed, in his controversial book Ramses II and His Time (1978), to identify this Nabopolassar with Mursilis – though logically this had to be the case, given Dr. Velikovsky’s thesis that Nabopolassar’s presumed son, Nebuchednezzar, was Hattusilis, the presumed son of Mursilis.

 

Most interestingly now, I find, from re-reading Velikovsky (and others) on this subject, that Mursilis, too – {and Nabopolassar} – had suffered a shocking Nebuchednezzar-like illness.

 

Velikovsky begins proceedings by bravely attempting to connect, linguistically, the seemingly (at face value, anyway) different names, “Nabopolassar” and “Mursilis” (p. 107):

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=EClaAtUb2TAC&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=mursilis+and+nabopolassar+sickness&source=bl&ots=oc2Gtdp-

 

…. cuneiform can be read both ideographically and syllabically, and thus “Nergil” (Nergal) could become “Muwatallis.”—  For these reasons it is not surprising that Greek authors called Nabopolassar “Belesys” (Diodorus, II, 24) and “Bussalossor” (Abydenus), and that in the Boghazkoi texts he is called “Mursilis” and “Bijasili”, in Egyptian Merosar”, in Babylonian “Bel-shum-ishkun” and “Nabopolassar”. As was brought out in preceding pages, Hattusilis was a Chaldean name of the king who is variously named Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuchadrezzar in the Scriptures, the name he himself preferred upon having achieved great fame as the builder of Babylon, under the aegis of Nebo, the protector god of his father and of the city the father conquered and the on built. ….

 

But it is what then follows that I find to be most intriguing in the context of this present series on “Nebuchednezzar Syndrome”.

Velikovsky – here following a very late source, “Berosus” (var. Berossus), it should be noted – writes (pp. 107-108):

 

Nabopolassar Becomes an Invalid  Berosus, the Babylonian historian, writing in Greek about events three and four centuries earlier, recorded the succession of the kings of the Neo-Babylonian Empire and described how Nabopolassar became sick, and “being himself unequal to the fatigues of a campaign, committed part of his army to his son Nebuchadnezzar,” and how Nebuchadnezzar subdued the rebellious provinces.— “Meanwhile, as it happened, his father Nabopolassar sickened and died in the city of Babylon, after a reign of twenty-one years.”  Nabopolassar, the indefatigable warrior, when he first became stricken by illness, had to relinquish his post at the head of his army; later the state of his health worsened for a second time and he died.  The archives of Boghazkoi have preserved the authentic story of the illness of Mursilis, father of Hattusilis.  1 was on the road to Til-Kunnu. Stormy weather broke loose, the god of Storm did thunder dreadfully. Inside my mouth the word became scarce, and the word came out somewhat stumbling. And the years came and went and this condition began to play a part in my dreams. And god’s hand struck me in the time of a dream, and the ability of speech I lost entirely.—  The king was crippled by the first paralytic stroke; unable to endure the hardships of military life, he retired as military chief. A few years later he became gravely ill, when he lost the power of speech; soon afterward he died. Judging by his annals – those found in Boghazkoi, and those discovered in the storeroom of the British Museum – Nabopolassar-Mursilis was an indomitable man of battle and an honest annalist without equal. The annals up to the tenth year, from the tenth year to the seventeenth, and from the nineteenth to the beginning of the twenty-second are masterpieces of veracity, relating victories and reverses alike, and are very different from the annals of Assyria, or those of any other king of the great empires of the ancient world. ….

 

Dream, illness, Divine punishment, alienation, the passing of years … all reminiscent of “Nebuchednezzar Syndrome”.

 

Ashurbanipal, another of my “Nebuchednezzar Syndrome” rulers, is referred to by Velikovsky in the context of another comparison that he makes between Nabopolassar and Mursilis – this time in connection with a war fought in Syria (The Assyrian Conquest, p. 65):

 

The war in the valley of the Euphrates is described by Seti, king of Egypt, by Assurbanipal, king of Assyria, by Nabopolassar, king of Babylonia,222 and by Greek authors.223 But there is still another description of this war. We have documentary sources in the so-called Hittite annals. The Annals of Mursilis describe the very same conflict as the Chronicle of Nabopolassar, Nabopolassar and Mursilis being the same person. However, I leave the narration of this last phase of Seti’s long campaign for the volume Ramses II and His Time. ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Were pharaoh Ramses II and Esarhaddon contemporaries?

Published June 25, 2019 by amaic
Image result for nahr el kalb esarhaddon ramses II

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“The first march of Necho-Ramses II toward the Euphrates is related on the obelisk

of Tanis and on the rock inscription of Nahr el Kalb near Beirut, written in his second year. The rock inscriptions of Ramses II are not as old as that of Essarhadon on the same rock”.

Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky

 

 

Thus wrote Dr. Velikovsky in # 211 of his: https://www.varchive.org/ce/theses.htm

 

THESES FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION
OF ANCIENT HISTORY

 

He, retaining the potent king Esarhaddon in his conventional place following Sennacherib, but dramatically lowering the mighty Ramses II of Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty by some 700 years, from his conventional date of c. 1280 BC down to the time of Nebuchednezzar (so-called II), conventionally c. 580 BC, now saw Ramses II as being “not as old as … Essarhadon”.

 

This was in stark contrast to the conventional structure of things which has Ramses II (1280) ante-dating Esarhaddon (c. 680 BC) by some 600 years:

https://www.livius.org/articles/place/lykos-nahr-al-kalb/

 

In the thirteenth century BCE, the Egyptian king Ramesses II left three reliefs on the south bank of the Nahr al-Kalb, north of Berytus, which commemorated the northern campaigns that culminated in the battle of Kadesh (1274 BCE). Several centuries later, the Assyrian king Esarhaddon, having forced cities like Tyre into submission, conquered Egypt, and chose to put a memorial of his own opposite the relief of Ramesses. Ever since, armies have left inscription at the Nahr al-Kalb, a custom that was known to the Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus (more).

[End of quote]

 

In Ramses II and his Time (1978), Velikovsky would develop his connection between pharaoh Ramses II and Nebuchednezzar by identifying the latter as the Hittite emperor, Hattsulis, who famously engaged in a treaty with Ramses II.

 

What to say about all of this?

 

I had come to reject it completely, due to Dr. Velikovsky’s archaeologically highly dubious separation of Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty away from the Eighteenth in order for Ramses II and his dynasty now to be equated with Egypt’s Twenty-Sixth (Saïte) Dynasty at the approximate time of Nebuchednezzar king of Babylon.

But that earlier estimation of mine must needs be amended, at least to some degree, owing to my more recent identification of Esarhaddon with Nebuchednezzar himself in articles such as:

 

Esarhaddon a tolerable fit for King Nebuchednezzar

https://www.academia.edu/38017900/Esarhaddon_a_tolerable_fit_for_King_Nebuchednezzar

 

Esarhaddon a tolerable fit for King Nebuchednezzar. Part Two: Another writer has picked up this possible connection

 

https://www.academia.edu/37525605/Esarhaddon_a_tolerable_fit_for_King_Nebuchednezzar._Part_Two_Another_writer_has_picked_up_this_possible_connection

and again:

Aligning Neo-Babylonia with Book of Daniel. Part Two: Merging late neo-Assyrians with Chaldeans

https://www.academia.edu/38330399/Aligning_Neo-Babylonia_with_Book_of_Daniel._Part_Two_Merging_late_neo-Assyrians_with_Chaldeans

 

That big turnaround on my part would now lead me to conclude that the reason for the juxtaposition of Ramses II and Esarhaddon on the same rock inscription of Nahr el Kalb was because these two mighty men were contemporaneous.

 

It would also mean that Dr. Velikovsky was right after all in synchronising Ramses II with Nebuchednezzar.

Whether or not the latter was also the emperor Hattusilis, and Ramses II was also Necho II, are other considerations.

 

It does not mean however, I still think, that the Nineteenth Dynasty can be dragged right away from the Eighteenth. The necessary crunching in time comes from dragging backwards, so to speak, Nebuchednezzar, to slot into time as Esarhaddon.

 

In Ramses II and his Time (Chapter 2 Ramses II and Nebuchadnezzar in War and Peace), Velikovsky wrote (with his Nebuchednezzar as Hattusilis):

 

Treaty Between Ramses II and Nebuchadnezzar

 

Two giants, Egypt under Ramses II and Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar, fought nineteen years for domination over the Middle East. Judea was the victim in this deadly struggle. She was devastated by the troops first of one despot and then of the other, but the lands of the contestants were spared the horrors of the prolonged war.

To secure victory over rebellious Judea, Nebuchadnezzar finally proposed a peace treaty to the pharaoh. Historians take it for granted that during the last siege of Jerusalem a treaty was negotiated between Babylonia and Egypt.22 The pharaoh was glad to insure the integrity of his own country and sacrificed Judea, his ally.

Jerusalem suffered an eighteen months’ siege, followed by destruction. The war between Babylonia and Egypt had terminated, and Egypt did not come to the aid of the besieged. More than this, Egypt and Babylonia pledged loyalty to each other and obligated themselves to extradite political refugees.

The peace treaty is preserved in the Egyptian language, carved on the wall of the Karnak temple of Amon. A text in the Babylonian (Akkadian) language, written on clay in cuneiform and found at the beginning of this century at Boghazkoi, a village of eastern Anatolia, is a draft of the same document. The original of the treaty was written on a silver tablet not extant today. The original language of the treaty was Babylonian, and the Egyptian text is a translation, as some expressions reveal.

The treaty was signed by Usermare Setepnere, son of Menmare, grandson of Menpehtire (the royal name of Ramses II, son of Seti, grandson of Ramses I), and by Khetasar, son of Merosar, grandson of Seplel. The treaty in the Akkadian language was signed by Hattusilis, son of Mursilis, grandson of Subbiluliumas.23

The man whose name was read Khetasar in the Egyptian and Hattusilis in the Boghazkoi text must have been the king whom we know as Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar. More than fifty times in the Scriptures his name is spelled Nebuchadrezzar; more than thirty times he is called Nebuchadnezzar.24

The adversary of Ramses II is called in the treaty the king of Hatti. Hatti, as can be learned from many cuneiform texts, was a broad ethnographical or territorial designation. In a Babylonian building inscription Nebuchadnezzar wrote: “The princes of the land of Hatti beyond the Euphrates to the westward, over whom I exercised lordship.”25

The treaty has an “oath and curse” clause. Gods of many places were invoked to keep vigilance over the treaty and to punish the one who should violate it. In the list of the gods and goddesses, the goddess of Tyre is followed by the “goddess of Dan.” But in the days before the conquest of Dan by the Danites, in the time of the Judges, that place was called Laish (Judges 18:29), and it was Jeroboam who built there a temple. The name of a place called Dan in a treaty of Ramses II, presumably of the first half of the thirteenth century, sounds like an anachronism.

The purpose of the treaty was to bring about the cessation of hostilities between the two lands. It is obvious from its text that Syria and Palestine no longer belonged to the domain of Egypt.

This is in agreement with the biblical data. The major part of the treaty is given over to the problem of political refugees. The paragraphs are written in a reciprocal manner; it is apparent that it was the great king of Hatti who was interested in the provisions for extradition of the political enemies of the Chaldeans. A special paragraph in the treaty deals with Syrian (Palestinian) fugitives:

 

Now if subjects of the great chief of Kheta transgress against him … I will come after their punishment to Ramses-Meriamon, the great ruler of Egypt … to cause that Usermare-Setepnere, the great ruler of Egypt, shall be silent … and he shall turn [them] back again to the great chief of Kheta.26

[End of quotes]

 

 

Nabonidus repaired the head of a statue of Sargon of Akkad  

Published June 23, 2019 by amaic

Image result for nabonidus

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“[Nabonidus] saw in this sacred enclosure [Ebabbar] a statue of Sargon …

half of its head was missing …. Given his reverence for the gods and  

his respect for kingship, he … restored the head of

this statue, and put back its face”.

 

 

According to a late chronographic document concerning Babylon emanating from either the Seleucid or Parthian age, King Nabonidus had found a damaged statue of Sargon of Akkad the head of which he had carefully restored by his artisans.

In this particular document, Sargon of Akkad is distinguished from his “son”, Naram-Sin – though I believe, and have written to the effect (e.g. article below), that Sargon and Naram-Sin were one and the same powerful king.

We read from this late document: https://www.livius.org/sources/content/mesopotamian-chronicles-content/cm-53-chronographic-document-concerning-nabonidus/

 

…. [3] in the month of Ululu, […] of this same year, in the Ebabbar, the temple of  Šamaš, which is in Sippar, and in which kings among his predecessors had searched in vain for ancient foundation – the ancient dwelling place […] of his kingship that would make his heart glad – he revealed to him, to his humble servant who worshiped him, who was constantly in search of his holy places, the sacred enclosure of Naram-Sin, Sargon’s son, and, in this same year, in a propitious month, on a favorable day, he laid the foundations of the Ebabbar, the temple of  Šamaš, above the sacred enclosure of Naram-Sin, Sargon’s son, without exceeding or shrinking a finger’s breadth.

He saw Naram-Sin’s inscription and, without changing its place, restored it and appended his own inscription there.

 

[4] He saw in this sacred enclosure a statue of Sargon, the father of Naram-Sin: half of its head was missing, and it had deteriorated so as to make its face hardly recognizable. Given his reverence for the gods and his respect for kingship, he summoned expert artisans, restored the head of this statue, and put back its face. He did not change its place but installed it in the Ebabbar and initiated an oblation for it. ….

[End of quote]

 

Now, King Nabonidus of Babylon was none other than Nebuchednezzar ‘the Great’ according to my revision. And Sargon of Akkad, the ancient ‘Humpty Dumpty’, whose head the eccentric Babylonian king was, however, able to ‘put back together again’, was the biblical Nimrod himself, perhaps the world’s first dictator-emperor.

 

 

See e.g. my article:

 

                                        Nimrod a “mighty man”       

 

https://www.academia.edu/39638349/Nimrod_a_mighty_man_?email_work_card=view-paper

Nimrod and Nebuchednezzar, though well separated in time the one from the other, do compare well to the extent of they both being great builders of a “Babel”, of a Babylon, who regarded themselves as gods, who defied the One God, and who were punished – perhaps even while their lips were bespeaking their own praises (cf. Genesis 11:6-7; Daniel 4:31).

 

https://blowthetrumpet.com.au/bow-the-knee-or-burn-daniel-chapter-three/

 

King Nebuchadnezzar was a despot who would tolerate no rivals or equals, a man who had deified himself and demanded to be worshipped as a god.

He was a ruler who manifested the character of Nimrod himself who originally founded Babylon [sic] and Assyria and built the Tower of Babel.

Babylon in fact had its roots in Nimrod’s ancient empire. In Babylon you could have any religion you liked, and there were many religions, provided the god you worshipped was not greater than the King himself.

 

Nebuchadnezzar was the head of the pantheon of gods in Babylon. In his estimation of himself there was no other god higher than himself. Nebuchadnezzar, like many other rulers in the Bible and in history, was a major type of the Antichrist ….

[End of quote]

 

In “Nimrod a “mighty man”” I argued that, just as the biblico-historical Nebuchednezzar requires a handful of mighty kings, his alter egos, in fact, to complete the awesome potentate, so, too, does biblical Nimrod require to be united to his various ‘parts’ (‘faces’) comprising some of the most famous names from early dynastic history (Sargon, Naram-Sin, Shulgi, etc.). Thus I wrote:

 

The biblical Nimrod has, at least as it seems to me, multi historical personae, just as I have found to have been the case with the much later (Chaldean) king, Nebuchednezzar.

The historical Nebuchednezzar – as he is currently portrayed to us – needs his other ‘face’, Nabonidus of Babylon, for example, to complete him as the biblical “King Nebuchadnezzar” (or “Nebuchadrezzar”); Nabonidus being mad, superstitious, given to dreams and omens, statue-worshipping, praising the god of gods (ilani sa ilani); having a son called “Belshazzar”.

The biblico-historical Nebuchednezzar also needs Ashurbanipal to fill out in detail his 43 years of reign, to smash utterly the nation of Egypt – Ashurbanipal also having a fiery furnace in which he burned people.

But Nebuchednezzar also needs Esarhaddon (conquering Egypt again) whose mysterious and long-lasting illness is so perfectly reminiscent of that of Nebuchednezzar in the Book of Daniel; Esarhaddon especially being renowned for his having built Babylon.

Nebuchednezzar has other ‘faces’ as well, he being Nabopolassar, the careful archaeologist (like Nabonidus), fussing over the proper alignment of temples and other buildings, and as the so-called Persian king, Cambyses, also named “Nebuchednezzar”, again quite mad, and being a known conqueror of Egypt. And we need to dip into Persia again, actually the city of Susa, to find Nebuchednezzar now in the Book of Nehemiah as the “Artaxerxes king of Babylon” reigning in his 20th to 32nd years (cf. Nehemiah 2:1 and 13:6).

Extending matters yet still further, our necessary revisionist folding of ‘Neo’ Babylonia with ‘Middle Kingdom’ Babylonia has likely yielded us the powerful (so-called) Middle Babylonian king Nebuchednezzar I as being another ‘face’ of the ‘Neo’ Babylonian king whom we number as Nebuchednezzar II.

 

In similar fashion, apparently, has our conventional biblico-history sliced and diced into various pieces, Nimrod the mighty hunter king.

 

[End of quote]

 

 

Nimrod a “mighty man”

Published June 21, 2019 by amaic

Image result for mesopotamian king

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“After surveying previous attempts to identify an “historical” Nimrod, the author then suggests that the biblical figure is modeled after the combined traditions 

about Sargon of Akkad and his grandson, Naram-Sin”.

Dr. Yigal Levin

 

Part One:

Hunting him amongst the Akkadians

 

 

Yigal Levin, when referring to “… “The Table of Nations” recorded in Genesis x”, has described as “arguably the most fascinating passage in the Table – the Nimrod story recounted in verses 8-12” (Nimrod the Mighty, King of Kish, King of Sumer and Akkad“Nimrod the Mighty, King of Kish, King of Sumer and Akkad”, VT, Vol. 52, Fasc. 3, July 2002, p. 350). Vol. 52, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 2002),

Vol. 52, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 2002), pp. 350-366 (17 pages)

 

 

Reasonable historical candidates who have been proposed for the imposing character of biblical Nimrod are Enmerkar (Uruk, c. 4500 BC); Gilgamesh (Early Dynastic, Uruk, c. 2900 BC); Sargon of Akkad (c. 2330 BC) and Naram-Sin of Akkad (c. 2250 BC).

 

Enmerkar (Enmer “the hunter”) was David Rohl’s choice; whilst Dr. David Livingston favours the semi-legendary Gilgamesh for Nimrod.

Despite the one and a half millennia time gap between these two kings by conventional reckoning (which is mostly wrong), the fact that Enmerkar was, Gilgamesh was, a mighty man of renown, a hunter, and, more specifically, a builder of the walls of Uruk (in Enmerkar’s case, ‘a wall to protect Uruk’), it may be worthwhile (at some later stage) to test whether we are dealing here with just the one mighty king – and, possibly, with Nimrod himself.

 

David Rohl has also linked the famous Narmer, perhaps of non-Egyptian origins, with Nimrod – a connection I, too, would seriously consider being a possibility.

 

Sargon of Akkad is Dr. Douglas Petrovich’s (amongst others) choice for Nimrod; whilst, regarding Naram-Sin, Dr. Yigal Levin has – as I, too, have recently favoured in:

 

Assyrian King Sargon II, otherwise known as Sennacherib. Part Three: Akkadian King Sargon I, otherwise known as Naram-Sin?

 

https://www.academia.edu/39616195/Assyrian_King_Sargon_II_otherwise_known_as_Sennacherib._Part_Three_Akkadian_King_Sargon_I_otherwise_known_as_Naram-Sin

 

– identified Nimrod with a combined Sargon/Naram-Sin, though, in Levin’s case (not in mine), Sargon and Naram-Sin remain separate historical entities. Thus he has written:

 

After surveying previous attempts to identify an “historical” Nimrod, the author then suggests that the biblical figure is modeled after the combined traditions about Sargon of Akkad and his grandson, Naram-Sin. Nimrod is the son of “Cush”; Sargon began his royal career at Kish right after the flood. The SargonNaramSin traditions reached the Levant during the second millennium BCE, being combined by time and distance into a composite personality.

[End of quote]

 

Or, perhaps “time and distance” have caused to be split in twain he who was originally just the one Akkadian potentate.

From a combination of data such as Dr. John Osgood’s archaeology for Abram (Abraham); the tradition of Abram’s having been a contemporary of Menes of Egypt; Dr. W. F. Albright’s argument for this same Menes having been conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad; Narmer (possibly = Naram-Sin) being archaeologically attested in Palestine at this time; Albright’s and Anne Habermehl’s location of Akkad (in Shinar) in NE Syria; biblical Amraphel of Shinar a contemporary of Abram’s; and the tradition of Nimrod’s having accompanied Chedorlaomer of Elam against Syro-Palestine at the time of Abram, then I can ultimately arrive at only this one conclusion:

 

Sargon of Akkad (in Shinar) = Naram-Sin (= Nimrod) must be

the biblical “Amraphel … king of Shinar” (Genesis 14:1).

 

The name “Amraphel” may, or may not, be a Hebrew name equating to a Shinarian one.

Abarim Publications appears to have trouble nailing it:

http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Amraphel.html#.XQmBvuQ8R9A

Meaning

Unclear, but perhaps: One That Darkens Counsel, or The Commandment Which Went Forth

Etymology

Unclear, but perhaps from (1) the verb אמר (amar), to talk or command, and (2) the verb אפל (‘pl), to be dark.

 

Before concluding: “The name Amraphel can mean One That Darkens Counsel, or in the words of Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names): One That Speaks Of Dark Things”.

 

 

There may be needed at least one further Akkadian addition to my equation: Sargon of Akkad = Naram-Sin = Nimrod, and that relates to my earlier hint of an identification between:

 

Sargon and Shar-Kali-Sharri

 

https://www.academia.edu/39473281/Sargon_and_Shar-Kali-Sharri

 

given the same apparent meaning of these two names, but more especially that the name “Sargon” (Shar-Gani) is actually included in a presumed version of the name, Shar-kali-sharri.

 

E.g. compare this: https://dinromerohistory.wordpress.com/tag/sargon

“Sargon of Akkad (also known as Sargon the Great, SharGaniSharri, and Sarru-Kan, meaning “True King” or “Legitimate King”) …”.

 

with this: https://nl.qwerty.wiki/wiki/Shar-Kali-Sharri

“Shar-Kali- Sharri (sharGaniSharri ; rc 2217-2193 BC …”.

 

Part Two:

Hunting him amongst the Sumerians

 

 

The biblical Nimrod has, at least as it seems to me, multi historical personae, just as I have found to have been the case with the much later (Chaldean) king, Nebuchednezzar.

The historical Nebuchednezzar – as he is currently portrayed to us – needs his other ‘face’, Nabonidus of Babylon, for example, to complete him as the biblical “King Nebuchadnezzar” (or “Nebuchadrezzar”); Nabonidus being mad, superstitious, given to dreams and omens, statue-worshipping, praising the god of gods (ilani sa ilani); having a son called “Belshazzar”.

The biblico-historical Nebuchednezzar also needs Ashurbanipal to fill out in detail his 43 years of reign, to smash utterly the nation of Egypt – Ashurbanipal also having a fiery furnace in which he burned people.

But Nebuchednezzar also needs Esarhaddon (conquering Egypt again) whose mysterious and long-lasting illness is so perfectly reminiscent of that of Nebuchednezzar in the Book of Daniel; Esarhaddon especially being renowned for his having built Babylon.

Nebuchednezzar has other ‘faces’ as well, he being Nabopolassar, the careful archaeologist (like Nabonidus), fussing over the proper alignment of temples and other buildings, and as the so-called Persian king, Cambyses, also named “Nebuchednezzar”, again quite mad, and being a known conqueror of Egypt. And we need to dip into Persia again, actually the city of Susa, to find Nebuchednezzar now in the Book of Nehemiah as the “Artaxerxes king of Babylon” reigning in his 20th to 32nd years (cf. Nehemiah 2:1 and 13:6).

Extending matters yet still further, our necessary revisionist folding of ‘Neo’ Babylonia with ‘Middle Kingdom’ Babylonia has likely yielded us the powerful (so-called) Middle Babylonian king Nebuchednezzar I as being another ‘face’ of the ‘Neo’ Babylonian king whom we number as Nebuchednezzar II.

 

In similar fashion, apparently, has our conventional biblico-history sliced and diced into various pieces, Nimrod the mighty hunter king.

I have already ventured to re-attach Nimrod to his Akkadian personae as (i) Sargon of Akkad; (ii) the deified Naram-Sin; and (iii) Shar-kali-sharri.

And to the biblical “Amraphel … king of Shinar” (Genesis 14:1).

Other possibilities being Narmer, and those semi-legendary names, Enmerkar and Gilgamesh.

 

Now here, in Part Two, I shall be looking to test whether Nimrod can ‘boast’ of having further identification amongst one, or more, of those mighty Sumerian kings of the dynasty of Ur III, who claimed to have ruled both “Sumer and Akkad”.

 

In my recent article:

 

Assyrian King Sargon II, otherwise known as Sennacherib. Part Three: Akkadian King Sargon I, otherwise known as Naram-Sin?

 

https://www.academia.edu/39616195/Assyrian_King_Sargon_II_otherwise_known_as_Sennacherib._Part_Three_Akkadian_King_Sargon_I_otherwise_known_as_Naram-Sin

 

I wrote, regarding my thesis identification of Sargon II with Sennacherib:

 

“Other factors seemingly in favour of the standard view that Sargon II and Sennacherib were two distinct kings may be, I suggest, put down to being ‘two sides of the same coin’.” And I went on to liken that situation to Sargon of Akkad and Naram-Sin, two sides of the same coin.

Now here, when considering the so-called Ur III dynasty in relation to the Akkadian dynasty, but also, when considering Ur III’s Ur-Nammu in relation to Shulgi, I think that the “coin” maxim may continue to apply.

 

Taking, firstly, the supposedly two dynasties, we find that the Akkadian one, very rich in legend, is quite poor in documentation. But might that surprising lack be supplied by the super-abundant documentation to be found with Ur III, as M. Van de Mieroop tells (A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000 – 323 BC, p. 72):

 

Virtually no period of ancient Near Eastern history presents the historian with such an abundance and variety of documentation [as does Ur III]. Indeed, even in all of the ancient histories of Greece and Rome, there are few periods where a similar profusion of textual material is found.

[End of quote]

 

On the other hand, whilst the Akkadian kings were greatly celebrated down through the centuries (ibid., p. 68): “There was no doubt in the public imagination that Sargon and Naram-Sin had been the greatest kings who ever ruled. They became the paradigms of powerful rulers and were the subjects of numerous detailed stories, created and preserved for almost two millennia”, this was by no means the case with the Ur III names (ibid., p. 72): “Remarkable is the lack of interest in this period by later Mesopotamians when compared to how the Akkadian kings were remembered. …. In later centuries, only a handful of references to the Ur III kings are found”.

 

And this, despite the massive volume of Ur III documentation!

 

On p. 73, Van de Mieroop will make a further distinction between Akkadian and Ur III: “The Ur III state was indeed of a different character than its predecessor: geographically more restricted in size, but internally more centrally organized”.

 

However, the full extent of the geography of Akkadian, of Ur III, has not been properly grasped, I would suggest, with Akkadian being incorrectly centred in Sumer, and Ur III ruling, not only Sumer, but Akkad as well. (Van de Mieroop, p. 71): “Ur-Namma … he could claim … a new title, “King of Sumer and Akkad”.”

 

Despite the apparent differences, there are also plenty of similarities.

(Van de Mieroop, p. 60): “A new system of taxation was developed …. In the reign of Naram-Sin, a standardization of accounting is visible in certain levels of administration in order to facilitate central control”. [Recall Ur III: “… internally more centrally organized”].

(P. 73): “The central administration [Recall Akkadian: “… administration in order to facilitate central control”] established a system of taxation that collected a substantial part of the provinces’ resources”.

 

Also Akkadian, Ur III, military and trade expansions were widespread.

(Van de Mieroop, p. 60): “[Sargon] claimed that he captured “fifty governors and the city of Uruk”.” P. 63: “The Akkadian kings focused their military attention on the regions of western Iran and northern Syria … east … Elam, Parahshum and Simurrum. In the north … Tuttul … Mari and Ebla”.

(P. 74): “In the Persian Gulf, Ur maintained the trade contacts that had existed since [sic] the Old Akkadian period. P. 76: “In the Ur III sources … we find references to people from the Syrian cities of Tuttul, Ebla and Urushu …”.

 

(Van de Mieroop, p. 63): “Ships from overseas areas, such as Dilmun … Magan … Meluhha … are said to have moored in Akkad’s harbor …”.

(p. 76): “Already Ur-Namma claimed to have restored trade with Magan …”.

 

(Van de Mieroop, p. 61): “[Akkadian] introduction of an annual dating system …”.

(p. 74): “… Shulgi may have attempted to introduce a standard calendar throughout the land”.

 

(Van de Mieroop, p. 64): “[Naram-Sin] After crushing a major rebellion … took the unprecedented step … of making himself a god”.

(P. 76): “Before his twentieth year of rule Shulgi was deified”.

 

(Van de Mieroop, p. 64): “[An Inscription in Iraq refers to] “Naram-Sin, the strong one …”.

(Brit. Museum cylinder seal, no: 89131): “Shulgi, the strong man … [shul-gi nita kala-ga]”.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=368840&partId=1

This description of Naram-Sin, of Shulgi, could easily remind one of the biblical Nimrod (גִּבֹּ֖ר), gibbor, “a mighty one”, “a strong one” (Genesis 10:8).

 

Now, as in the case of the Akkadians with Sargon, and deified Naram-Sin, and Shar-kali-sharri, at least, all having been merged into the one king – different sides of the same coin, as I said – so may it possibly be with the Ur III dynasty, Ur-Nammu, and deified Shulgi, and Amar-Sin, to be merged together, but also, now to be interlaced with the Akkadians.

 

In other words, our composite biblical Nimrod-Amraphel now to become, all at once:

 

Sargon = Naram-Sin = Shar-kali-sharri = Ur-Nammu = Shulgi = Amar-Sin

 

 

Already mentioned has been “Remarkable … [the] lack of interest in this period [Ur III] by later Mesopotamians …”.

And I have read somewhere that later generations tended to focus their attention (when they did actually refer back to the Ur III kingship) upon Shulgi to the exclusion of the other names.

There is perhaps no ancient king who so resembles the Nimrod of the Bible and traditions in his strength and heroic deeds as does the long-reigning Shulgi. To give just this one description:

http://www.ancientpages.com/2019/03/22/divine-shulgi-of-ur-influential-long-ruling-king-conqueror-and-native-akkadian-speaker-in-five-languages/

….

Shulgi Boasted Much About His Abilities And With Good Reason

 

As the most influential ruler of Ur III king, Shulgi was native Akkadian speaker who was fluent in five languages like Elamite, Sumerian, Hurrian, Amorite and even Meluhhan (Dravidian). He was trained as a scribe and organized schools for scribes. He was a self-confident ruler who declared himself a divinity and established a tradition of royal praise for himself in many hymns.

 

….

“Shulgi boasts that he hunts lions and serpents in steppe…. without the aid of a net or enclosure… He claims to be so fast on his feet he can catch a gazelle on the run..” (Kramer N. S.)

….

Usually people wrote hymns for the gods, but Shulgi wrote a hymn to honor himself.

In “The Sumerian World,” Harriet Crawford writes that “by some accounts, in 2088 BC, during what is known as the King’s Run, documents show that Shulgi claimed that during a celebration of eshesh, he ran the distance of the parade (200 miles round-trip) from Nippur to Ur and back.

“That my name be established until distant days and that it leave not the mouth of men, that my praise be spread  wide in the land; I, the runner  rose in my strength… and from Nippur to Ur I resolved to travel…”

“My black-headed people marveled at me” he wrote.

The problem is that Nippur was at the distance of 100 miles from Ur. Shulgi claimed that he run 100 miles and then he run back home again. All that happened in one day and during a storm. Did Shulgi really run 200 miles in the stormy weather or was it only a way to glorify himself? ….

[End of quote]

 

Works begun by Ur-Nammu, such as the great ziggurat of Ur (a replica of the Tower of Babel?), are thought to have been completed by Shulgi.

Ur-Nammu’s Law Code is attributed by some to Shulgi instead.

Two sides of the same coin?

 

And, just to include briefly (and to conclude with) Amar-Sin, I have previously written:

 

….

Normally one will find that, prior to, say, the C8th BC approximately, the conventional history is well out of kilter with the biblical history. In the case of the Ur III dynasty, however, which some consider to be contemporaneous with Abraham, the unusual situation may actually be that these two histories are in fact closely synchronous. Revisionist scholar, David Rohl – presumably following Herb Storck (see below) – has accepted this syncretism between the two and has proceeded to identify Abraham’s contemporary, Amraphel of Shinar, with Ur III’s Amar-Sin (c. 1980 BC, conventional dating).

Despite the likes of Kenneth Kitchen arguing that the Genesis 14 coalition of kings would have to have occurred at a time in Mesopotamian history when, in the words of McClellan “no individual dynasty had complete control over the region” (Kitchen wrote on this):

 

However, by contrast with the Levant, this kind of alliance of eastern states was only possible at certain periods. Before the Akkadian Empire, Mesopotamia was divided between the Sumerian city-states, but this is far too early for our narrative (pre-2300). After an interval of Gutian interference, Mesopotamia was then dominated by the Third Dynasty of Ur, whose influence reached in some form as far west as north Syria and Byblos. After its fall, circa 2000, Mesopotamia was divided between a series of kingdoms, Isin, Larsa, Eshnunna, Assyria, etc., with Mari and various local powers in lands farther north and west. This situation lasted until the eighteenth century, when Hammurabi of Babylon eliminated most of his rivals. From circa 1600/1500 onward, Assyria and Babylon (now under Kassite rule) dominated Mesopotamia, sharing with none except briefly Mitanni (ca. 1500 to mid-thirteenth century) within the Euphrates’ west bend, and the marginal Khana and Sea-land princedoms were eliminated in due course. Thus, from circa 2000 to 1750 (1650 at the extreme), we have the one and only period during which extensive power alliances were common in Mesopotamia and with its neighbors (Kitchen 2003, p. 320) [,]

 

I think it is quite possible that this coalition could have consisted of two dominant rulers,

Amraphel and Chedorlaomer of Elam, and two of their governors.

 

Did not the neo-Assyrian kings later boast that their ‘governors were all kings’?

 

Thus the two other coalitional kings listed in Genesis 14:1, “Arioch king of Ellasar”, and “Tidal king of Goyim”, were likely of secondary status by comparison with Amraphel and Chedorlaomer, and may thus have been only local rulers, e.g., ensi-governors.

Herb Storck has made some potentially important observations regarding these two characters, Erioch and Tidal, in his article, “The Early Assyrian King List, The Genealogy of the Hammurapi Dynasty, and the ‘Greater Amorite’ Tradition” (C and AH Proceedings 3, 1986).

 

Here I reproduce a summary I made of the relevant parts of this article back in 2002:

 

Storck’s identification of the name 16 [in Assyrian King List: AKL], Ushpia (Ishbak), with the “Ushpia … known to have built at Ashur, according to a later tradition by Shalmaneser”, and his dating of this Ushpia “as a later contemporary of Abraham … [to] the later part of Ur III dynasty” now encourages me to try to identify members of the Mesopotamian coalition of Genesis 14 during Ur III, at the time of Abraham. Since Storck has already dealt with these four kings in part, I shall begin where he does, with Arioch of Ellasar [p. 45. Storck had already noted, with reference to Poebel, that the name Azarah might be composed of a Western Semitic (WS) form, “to come forth” and WHR “moon” (month)]:

A certain Arioch of Ellasar, furthermore, is cited as one of the four kings against five. This Arioch may provisionally be identified with Azarah if “WRH” moon (month) is closer to the original etymology. Ellasar has received various treatments over the years: Larsa al sarri or “city of the King”, Til Assuri, “the country of Assyria” and/or “the city of Assur ….The connection between Ellasar is explained as a derived form of A LA-SAR, an ideogram denoting the city of Assyria” …. That “Assur” is meant here may receive further support if the connection with Arioch-Azarah is defensible. However, to the best of our knowledge A LA SAR is not an attested reading for Assur. We therefore suggest that it was heard as “alu Assur” and “Ellasar” is an attempt to render this, based on oral transmission.

 

Now in the later part of the Ur III dynasty era – the era for Abraham according to Storck’s view – at the time of Amar-Sin of Ur (c. 2046-2038 BC, conventional dating), we read of an official of Ashur who may well be this Arioch/Azarah. He is Zariqum. I quote regarding him from the Cambridge Ancient History [Vol. I, pt. 2 (3rd ed.), p. 602]:

 

“From Ashur itself comes a stone tablet dedicated by Zariqum, calling himself governor of Ashur, ‘for the life of Amar-Sin the mighty, king of Ur, king of the four regions’, whereby it is certain that Ashur was a vassal-city of Ur under its next king”.

 

The name Zariqum contains the main elements of both Arioch (ariq) and Azarah (zari), thus supporting Storck’s view that these are the same names, and further linking the king lists and the Bible. But this quotation may tell us more with regard to the coalition. It in fact gives us the name of the Sumerian ruler whom Zariqum served: Amar-Sin (var. Amar-Su’en).

[End of quotes]

 

I think that there is an excellent possibility that Amar-Sin – with whom in this article I have merged Akkadian as well as other of the Ur III king names – was likewise the biblical Nimrod-Amraphel (in league with Arioch-Zariqum).

 

Akkadian King Sargon I, otherwise known as Naram-Sin?

Published June 19, 2019 by amaic
Image result for the story of sargon of akkad

Assyrian King Sargon II, otherwise known

as Sennacherib

Part Three: Akkadian King Sargon I,

otherwise known as Naram-Sin?

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“However, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a particular accomplishment

was actually Sargon’s work; in some cases the textual and material evidence suggests

that some of the accomplishments of Sargon actually belong to Naram-Sin”.

 Caleb Chow

  

 

There may be enough similarities between dynastic founder, Sargon (I) of Akkad, and his presumed son, or grandson, Naram-Sin, to suggest that Sargon was, otherwise, Naram-Sin, thereby suggesting a parallel case with the second Sargon (II), with whom, in this series, I have identified Sennacherib.

 

In the latter part of my recent article:

 

Naram-Sin cramped for battleaxe swinging space

https://www.academia.edu/39602370/Naram-Sin_cramped_for_battleaxe_swinging_space

I had pointed to certain similarities between Sargon and Naram-Sin, such as the conquest of Subartu (Shubartu); defiance of the gods with famine being a punishment; and a major revolt.

And I asked with respect to the latter:

 

The coalitional assault against Naram-Sin is known as “The Great Revolt”.

Now, Sargon of Akkad also faced, and overcame a “revolt”.

Therefore I must now ask:

Were these the same revolt?

And was Sargon of Akkad, Naram-Sin?

 

Prior to this, I had toyed with the idea of connecting:

Sargon and Naram-Sin

https://www.academia.edu/39473024/Sargon_and_Naram-Sin

along the lines of Sargon II and Sennacherib, having written in this article:

 

Sometimes – but not always – these “either … or” efforts at determining historical identifications can arise from the fact that there is actually only one person involved, but going by different names.

That I have argued, for instance, regarding the second king by the name Sargon (II):

Assyrian King Sargon II, Otherwise Known As Sennacherib

https://www.academia.edu/6708474/Assyrian_King_Sargon_II_Otherwise_Known_As_Sennacherib

Anyway, the thought recently occurred to me that the stand-out kings of the Akkadian dynasty, Sargon [I], Naram-Sin, may likewise be the same person.

I checked the Internet to see if anyone had picked up some comparisons, and I came across this one by Caleb Chow, likening (but not identifying) Sargon and Naram-Sin ….

 

[End of quote]

 

As with Sargon II and Sennacherib, so too with Sargon I and Naram-Sin, one can sometimes get the overall impression of this being just the one, two-sided coin.

I had written of this in my university thesis in the case of Sargon II and Sennacherib:

 

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah and its Background

AMAIC_Final_Thesis_2009.pdf

 

(Volume One, pp. 141-142):

 

Other factors seemingly in favour of the standard view that Sargon II and Sennacherib were two distinct kings may be, I suggest, put down to being ‘two sides of the same coin’. For example, one might ask the question, in regard to Russell’s statement: “… Nineveh, where there is little evidence of Sargon’s activities”:

 

– Why would so proud and mighty a king as Sargon II virtually neglect one of Assyria’s most pre-eminent cities, Nineveh?

 

– Conversely, why did Sennacherib seemingly avoid Sargon’s brand new city of Dur-Sharrukin?

 

– Again, why did Sennacherib record only campaigns, and not his regnal years?

 

[End of quote]

 

Even the Akkadian succession seems to be rather uncertain, as also does: Who conquered what?

Thus Caleb Chow writes in that same article, “The Legacies of Sargon and Joshua: An Archaeological and Historiographical Comparison” (p. 74):

 

Sargon and Naram-Sin

 

The most significant feature of discussion of Sargon’s legacy in comparison with Joshua son of Nun, however, lies in the fact that Sargon is credited not only with feats and exploits far beyond Mesopotamian confines, but also with the accomplishments of other individuals. As mentioned above the Chronicle of Early Kings actually ignores the reigns of Rimuš and Maništušu, mentioning only Sargon and Naram-Sin ….

 

As a result, it is likely that both figures were regarded as legendary, larger-than-life figures. However, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a particular accomplishment was actually Sargon’s work; in some cases the textual and material evidence suggests that some of the accomplishments of Sargon actually belong to Naram-Sin. First, based on Sargon’s inscriptions it is clear that he did not reach beyond Tuttul on the Middle Euphrates and only had minor contacts with lands further north-west while archaeological and textual evidence suggests that Naram-Sin was in actuality the one who expanded in that direction. Nonetheless, in “King of Battle, “Sargon is the one who attacked the Anatolian city of Purushhanda rather than Naram-Sin. While it is possible that Sargon simply did not leave any archeological material or that Naram-Sin ignored Sargon’s accomplishments, it is more likely that Sargon is regarded by “King of Battle” as a “model to be imitated.”

 

A similar case is seen in the city of Ebla; as already discussed above there are texts saying that Sargon took the city. This conquest was at first thought to be confirmed by the discovery of a burnt palace in Tell Mardikh in western Syria, but there was once again no archaeological material to suggest Sargon’s involvement while Naram-Sin also says he conquered Ebla. ….

[End of quote]

 

Here we find Sargon’s legends claiming success for Naram-Sin’s accomplishments, and vice versa. That reads like a classic case of only the one king, but two names.

 

Again, we find Naram-Sin having to double-up on Sargon’s supposedly earlier conquests.

Thus M. Van de Mieroop writes (A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000 – 323 BC, Blackwell, 2004), “Naram-Sin had to repeat many of his grandfather’s campaigns” (p. 63):

 

Military matters dominate the contents of these inscriptions. We no longer have the statues themselves, but scribes in the early second millennium copied out the texts inscribed there, and some of the copies have been preserved. In these texts, the first five Akkadian kings make extensive coasts about their military exploits. The statements of Sargon and Naram-Sin stand out, however, because of their wide geographical range: these were certainly the greatest military men of their time. Yet, as Naram-Sin had to repeat many of his grandfather’s campaigns, it seems these often amounted to no more than raids. ….

[End of quote]

More likely, these were just the same raids, not repeats.

Notice, too, the dearth of primary documentation.

The statues that recorded the Akkadian military campaigns, as Van de Mieroop tells (p. 62): “set up in the courtyard of the temple of Nippur”, “we no longer have”.

Copies thought to date to the early second millennium, presumably the work of Hammurabi’s Old Babylonian Dynasty, must in reality be dated much later than this, on the basis of a necessary massive lowering of Hammurabi on the time table:

“Amraphel King of Shinar” was not King Hammurabi. Part Two: Amraphel can be Nimrod, not Hammurabi

https://www.academia.edu/39558034/_Amraphel_King_of_Shinar_was_not_King_Hammurabi._Part_Two_Amraphel_can_be_Nimrod_not_Hammurabi?email_work_card=view-paper

I leave the last word to Caleb Chow (op. cit., ibid.):

 

All things considered, Naram-Sin’s actual accomplishments more than likely rivaled those of Sargon of Akkad, but in these legends he is instead regarded as the reason for the end of the idyllic age despite the older omens of Naram-Sin depicting a far more favorable picture.

 

 

Sargon and Naram-Sin

Published June 17, 2019 by amaic
Image result for naram-sin and famine

Naram-Sin cramped for

battleaxe swinging space

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

   

The coalitional assault against Naram-Sin is known as “The Great Revolt”.

 Now, Sargon of Akkad also faced, and overcame, a “revolt”.

 

 

Van de Mieroop tells of a great battle fought by Naram-Sin (A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000 – 323 BC, Blackwell, 2004, p. 66):

 

The most elaborate description of an uprising derives from the reign of Naram-Sin. He was confronted by two coalitions of Babylonian cities: a northern one under Iphur-Kish, king of Kish, and a southern one under Amar-grid, king of Uruk.

That even the region near the capital participated in the opposition to Akkad is a sign that the idea of centralized rule was intolerable everywhere. The number of rebel cities was great, not a single major city was absent. ….

 

The battles are described as taking place in the open field and between two well-organized armies with numerous men.

…. Naram-Sin claimed victory in a quick succession of battles, and it was probably after this that he proclaimed himself a god.

[End of quote]

 

Here we have seemingly – in conventional terms – a war involving three large Babylonian coalitional entities: (i) Akkad against (ii) Kish and (iii) Uruk.

 

That does not leave King Naram-Sin much geographical room to swing his mighty battle-axe.

 

Van de Mieroop seems to express some surprise: “That even the region near the capital participated in the opposition to Akkad …”.

 

But was Naram-Sin’s capital city of Akkad (or Agade) really situated closely adjacent to his “opposition”, as Van de Mieroop thinks?

The essential problem is that the city of Akkad has never been found in Babylonia.

So historians may need to stop referring to the Akkadians as “Babylonians”.

 

The coalitional assault against Naram-Sin is known as “The Great Revolt”.

Now, Sargon of Akkad also faced, and overcame a “revolt”.

Therefore I must now ask: Were these the same revolt? And was Sargon of Akkad, Naram-Sin?

 

We read about the revolt against Sargon at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargon_of_Akkad

 

The Chronicle of Early Kings reports that revolts broke out throughout the area under the last years of his overlordship:

 

Afterward in his [Sargon’s] old age all the lands revolted against him, and they besieged him in Akkad; and Sargon went onward to battle and defeated them; he accomplished their overthrow, and their widespreading host he destroyed. Afterward he attacked the land of Subartu in his might, and they submitted to his arms, and Sargon settled that revolt, and defeated them; he accomplished their overthrow, and their widespreading host he destroyed, and he brought their possessions into Akkad. The soil from the trenches of Babylon [sic] he removed, and the boundaries of Akkad he made like those of Babylon. But because of the evil which he had committed, the great lord Marduk was angry, and he destroyed his people by famine. From the rising of the sun unto the setting of the sun they opposed him and gave him no rest.[45]

[End of quotes]

 

Naram-Sin, too, like Sargon, (i) defeated Subartu: “In the year in which Naram-Sin was victorious against Subartu …”: https://cdli.ucla.edu/tools/yearnames/html/t2k3.htm and, like Sargon, (ii) incurred the wrath of the gods, and he, like Sargon, (iii) suffered famine: https://www.ancient.eu/article/748/the-curse-of-agade-naram-sins-battle-with-the-gods/

The Curse of Agade is a story dated to the Ur III Period of Mesopotamia (2047-1750 BCE) though thought to be somewhat older in origin. It tells the story of the Akkadian king Naram-Sin (reigned 2261-2224 BCE) and his confrontation with the gods, particularly the god Enlil. … There is widespread famine ….

Amraphel can be Nimrod, not Hammurabi

Published June 14, 2019 by amaic
Image result for amraphel of shinar

“Amraphel King of Shinar” was not King Hammurabi

 

Part Two:

Amraphel can be Nimrod, not Hammurabi

 

 by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

“Thus, scholars identify Hammurabi with Amraphel, and the sages identify

Amraphel with Nimrod. This leads us to the conclusion that, based on midrashic tradition, Amraphel, Nimrod and Hammurabi are all the same person”.

 David S. Farkas

 

 

King Hammurabi of Babylon (c. 1810 – c. 1750 BC, conventional dating), whose memorable Law Code – or however historians would choose to describe the document – is thought to have influenced Mosaïc Law itself, is the sort of king for whom historians go searching in the Bible.

Thus David S. Farkas has written just such a paper:

https://jbqnew.jewishbible.org/assets/Uploads/393/jbq_393_Hammurabi.pdf

 

IN SEARCH OF THE BIBLICAL HAMMURABI

 

The problem with an effort like Farkas’ is that, with King Hammurabi so seriously mis-dated, as he has been, a historian will always be looking at a biblical phase almost a millennium of centuries too early for King Hammurabi of Babylon.

I have often quoted Dr. Donovan Courville’s wonderful description of the conventional Hammurabi, as “floating about in a liquid chronology of Chaldea”. See e.g. my article:

Problematical King “Jabin”

https://www.academia.edu/people/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=damien+f.+mackey+problematical+king+%22jabin%22

 

“Mention of “Jabin of Hazor” in one of the Mari letters has led even some astute revisionists, such as Drs. Courville and Osgood, seeking more solid ground for the Hammurabic era, to bind Hammurabi and Zimri-Lim to the era of Joshua and his foe, Jabin of Hazor”.

 

 

While David S. Farkas may be right on track when linking Amraphel with Nimrod, his further push for a trifecta (Amraphel = Nimrod = Hammurabi) is a chronological ‘bridge too far’.

Farkas has written, adhering to the old view that biblical “Shinar” was Sumer:

 

AND IT CAME TO PASS IN THE DAYS OF AMRAPHEL KING OF SHINAR, ARIOCH KING

OF ELLASAR, CHEDORLAOMER KING OF ELAM…

 

In Genesis we learn of a major battle that took place near the Dead Sea.

 

The first of the kings mentioned is Amraphel, king of Shinar. Who exactly was this king? Ever since the days of the famed Assyriologist, Eberhard Schrader (1836-1908), scholars have identified this king with none other than Hammurabi. Many points have been observed in support of this. The assonance of names, for example, is striking. According to many scholars the two names are extremely close phonetically, if not actually identical.4 The connection between the two names becomes clearer when we consider that the familiar English spellings of the names as we know them are really approximations of Ammi-rabi or Ammurapi or Hammum-rabi, some of which are close to Amraphel. Moreover, Amraphel’s kingdom, Shinar, has long been identified with the Sumerian/Babylonian Empire where Hammurabi held sway.5 Thus, there is some degree of evidence that enables us to identify one with the other.6

 

This alone, then, might appear to have resolved our question. Hammurabi is mentioned in the Bible, only he is mentioned by the name of Amraphel. Yet this answer, by itself, is unsatisfying. For we know Hammurabi to have been a famous potentate, one of the first great rulers of recorded civilization.

 

Amraphel, by contrast, is barely known today outside of the Bible, if at all.

It seems very unusual that the great and mighty Hammurabi should be identified

with so anonymous a figure as Amraphel.

 

Here is where the rabbinic sages enter the picture. According to our sages, as shown below, Amraphel is none other than the famous Nimrod. Nimrod, of course, was hardly a run-of-the-mill ruler. Genesis describes him as the first man to amass power.7 There are many extant rabbinical legends and traditions concerning Nimrod. Perhaps the most famous speaks of him having Abraham thrown into a fiery furnace in Ur Kasdim.8 Another legend holds that Nimrod came into possession of Adam’s hunting garments (which gave him control over the wild beasts) until it was forcefully wrested away from him by Esau.9 The description of him as a “powerful” ruler, and the legends that sprang up around him, show that he was seen already in ancient times as an important figure.

 

These legends are critically important to our investigation. Nimrod, our sages say, is named such because he brought “rebellion” to the world against God, a play on the word mered which forms the root of the name Nimrod.10

 

Nimrod is identified with Amraphel, because he told (amar) Abraham to fall ([na]fal) into the furnace, in the above-mentioned legendary incident in Ur Kasdim.11 Still another midrash holds that Nimrod is also called Amraphel because his words caused “darkness”, a notarikon-type play on the words amarah (“statement”) and afelah (“darkness”).12

 

Thus, scholars identify Hammurabi with Amraphel, and the sages identify Amraphel with Nimrod. This leads us to the conclusion that, based on midrashic tradition, Amraphel, Nimrod and Hammurabi are all the same person. Indeed, the name Hammurabi might actually mean “Ham the Great”, for Nimrod was the grandson of Ham, son of Noah. Thus, Hammurabi is indeed mentioned in the Torah. The same man portrayed in the Bible as the mighty king Nimrod is known today to the world at large as the mighty king Hammurabi.

 

While the Midrash is not an historical source, this identification fits both the biblical narrative and what we know of the history of the ancient Near East in the relevant time frame. For in the epic Dead Sea battle described in the Bible, Amraphel is portrayed as subservient to the neighboring Elamite king, Chedorlaomer. The “five kings” of ancient Canaan rebelled against this Elamite king after twelve years of subservience, causing Chedorlaomer to take up arms to quell the rebellion. This description accords with what we know of Hammurabi’s exploits against the Elamite enemies of Babylon.13

 

Yet something still nags at the reader. Why would Hammurabi, if our hypothesis is correct, be described in Genesis 10:9 as “a mighty hunter before the Lord”? This seems like a strange description for a king. Moreover, Nimrod was depicted by the sages as someone who caused the world to rebel against God. Nimrod brought “darkness” to the world. Hammurabi, on the other hand, is known to the world as a great king, as one who introduced the rule of law into an uncivilized society through his civil code. So who was he – a despotic tyrant – or a wise leader devoted to the rule of law? Can these two diametrically opposing viewpoints be reconciled?14

 

Jewish tradition holds that the ideal law is God’s law, as expressed in His Torah. Man might be obligated to establish legal codes for temporal life, codes with which man is expected to abide. But no man-made legal system could ever supplant God’s Torah as the ideal legal system. The very suggestion of it is ludicrous, in the eyes of tradition, for no mere mortal could ever match the divine wisdom contained in the Torah.

 

With the emergence of Hammurabi/Nimrod, though, we can imagine that men began to look at things differently. No longer was God the final arbiter on what was right or wrong. Instead, man was. The Torah had yet to be given in Nimrod’s time, but according to rabbinic tradition, the Noahide laws were already known. With the enactment and acceptance of Hammurabi’s Code, man began to emerge from his complete dependence upon God as the source of all law. Hammurabi’s Code gave mankind the gift of self-government. Although Hammurabi pays lip service to the god of justice as the originator of the Code, and on the top of the stone stele is a carved relief of Hammurabi receiving the law from the sun god Shamash,15 in the preamble and epilogue he himself claims to be the wise author of the laws.16 This code taught man that God alone was no longer the source of the law. Rather, the law was to come from man, using the human faculties endowed within him. ….

[End of quote]

 

The tortuous chronology of King Hammurabi of Babylon, of which Dr. Courville had written, is further considered by Anne Habermehl, in “Where in the World Is the Tower of Babel?” (2011), “it is possible that no other ancient king has been assigned such widely varying dates in history”:

https://answersingenesis.org/tower-of-babel/where-in-the-world-is-the-tower-of-babel/

 

A theory that enjoyed a long period of popularity was that Amraphel of Genesis 14 was the same person as Hammurabi, sixth king of the first dynasty of the Old Babylonian Kingdom (see Pinches 2010, for example). Those who accepted that these two men were the same person could therefore say that, because Amraphel was king of Shinar, therefore Shinar had to be Babylon. (They do not question why the Bible would say “king of Shinar” rather than “king of Babylon.) However, there were persistent problems with this identification. Albright (1924) argued that, although both Amraphel and Hammurabi were names that clearly were of Amorite origin, attempts to make the two names equivalent required linguistic manipulation that was not really possible. Another difficulty was inherent in attempts to work out the necessary chronology that could put these two men in the same time frame. According to the biblical narrative, Amraphel lived in the time of Abraham; the events of Genesis 14 would therefore have taken place around 1900 BC by the biblical timeline of Jones (2007, p. 24) (this was some time after Abraham’s migration into Canaan). Determining when Hammurabi reigned has been the subject of considerable disagreement among scholars, and it is possible that no other ancient king has been assigned such widely varying dates in history. Goodspeed (1902, p. 109) gave Hammurabi a date of about 2300 BC for the beginning of his reign, but that has been reduced; most scholars currently put him somewhere around 1700–1900 BC (Oates 1979, p. 24). However, these dates are based on the inflated standard Egyptian chronology (the subject of revision of this Egyptian timeline will be discussed further on in this paper). Velikovsky (1999) makes a good case for putting Hammurabi somewhere in the sixteenth century BC; this is supported by archaeological finds in Crete that place Hammurabi in the time of the twelfth dynasty (Nilsson 1928, p. 385; Pendlebury 1930, p. 4).5 Hammurabi therefore would have reigned about 350 years after Amraphel. ….

[End of quote]

 

Unfortunately, Habermehl will dismiss as “rather unlikely” the very revised era of the Babylonian king (Dean Hickman’s) that makes the most sense (at least in my opinion), the era of David and Solomon. Se e.g. my multi-part series:

 

Davidic Influence on King Hammurabi

beginning with:

https://www.academia.edu/people/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=damien+f.+mackey+davidic+influence+on+king+hammurabi

Far from Hammurabi influencing Moses, the great King of Babylon was heavily influenced by the culture and writings of David and Solomon (Ecclesiastes, for instance, shaping the Epilogue to the pagan Law Code). I have previously written on this:

 

There are also some interesting speculations showing some parallels between the Bible and the life and laws of Hammurabi. One theme concept in both the Levitical law and the Code of Hammurabi that repeat … again and again are, namely: “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise”. (Exodus 21:24-25). Although Hammurabi did not know it, the principles in his laws reflected the Biblical principle of sowing and reaping as found in Galatians 6:78 and Proverbs 22:8: “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”.  (Galatians 6:7) [200].

 

“He who sows wickedness reaps trouble”. (Proverbs 22:8a).

 

Likewise we read in the Book of Ecclesiastes of king Solomon (12:9-14):

 

Epilogue

 

Besides being wise, the Teacher [Qoheleth] also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. [255] The Teacher sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly. The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd. Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter: all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. ….

 

Now Hammurabi’s Code too, just like Solomon’s Ecclesiastes, starts with a Preface (similarly the Book of Proverbs has a Prologue) and ends with an Epilogue, in which we find an echo of many of Solomon’s above sentiments, and others, beginning with Hammurabi as wise, as a teacher, and as a protecting shepherd king. Let us consider firstly Hammurabi’s Epilogue, in relation to Solomon’s (Ecclesiastes’) Epilogue above (buzz words given in italics):

 

HAMMURABI’S CODE OF LAWS

 

Translated by L. W. King

 

THE EPILOGUE

 

LAWS of justice which Hammurabi, the wise king, established. A righteous law, and pious statute did he teach the land. Hammurabi, the protecting king am I. I have not withdrawn myself from the men, whom Bel gave to me, the rule over whom Marduk gave to me, I was not negligent, but I made them a peaceful abiding-place. I expounded all great difficulties, I made the light shine upon them. … I am the salvation-bearing shepherd .. . .

 

Wisdom 1:1: “Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth …”.

Ecclesiastes 9:1: “ … how the righteous and the wise … are in the hand of God”.

1 Kings 4:29: “God gave Solomon very great wisdom, discernment, and breadth of understanding, as vast as the sand on the seashore”.

 

As we are going to find, Solomon was not shy about broadcasting his wisdom and the fact that he had exceeded all others in it.

 

For example (Ecclesiastes 1:16): “I said to myself, ‘I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has great experience of wisdom and knowledge’.”

 

Similarly, Knight writes of Hammurabi: “The conclusion of the inscription sounds like a hymn of high-keyed self-praise”. Indeed, that Hammurabi had no doubt in his own mind that he was the wisest of all is evident from this next statement (Epilogue): “… there is no wisdom like unto mine …”.

 

However, just as Solomon, in his ‘Prayer for Wisdom’ (Book of Wisdom 7:15-17), had attributed his wisdom to God:

 

“May God grant me to speak with judgment, and to have thoughts worthy of what I have received; for He is the guide even of wisdom and the corrector of the wise. For both we and our words are in His hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts. For it is He who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists …”.

 

So did the by now polytheistic Hammurabi attribute his wisdom to the Babylonian gods (Epilogue):

 

“… with the keen vision with which Ea endowed me, with the wisdom that Marduk gave me, I have … subdued the earth, brought prosperity to the land, guaranteed security to the inhabitants in their homes; a disturber was not permitted. The great gods have called me …”.

 

“I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem applied my mind to seek and search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven …”. Eccl. 1:12.

“I turned my mind to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the sum of things, and to know that wickedness is folly and that foolishness is madness”. Eccl. 7:25.

 

Solomon too, like Hammurabi, exhorted other kings and officials to follow his way. Compare for instance Wisdom 6:1-9:

 

Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations. For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High; he will search out your works and inquire into your plans. Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly, or keep the law, or walk according to the purpose of God, he will come upon you terribly and swiftly, because severe judgment falls on those in high places. For the lowliest may be pardoned in mercy, but the mighty will be mightily tested. For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of anyone, or show deference to greatness; because he himself made both small and great, and he takes thought for all alike. But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty. To you then, O monarchs, my words are directed, so that you may learn wisdom and not transgress.

 

with these parts of Hammurabi’s Epilogue:

 

In future time, through all coming generations, let the king, who may be in the land, observe the words of righteousness which I have written on my monument; let him not alter the law of the land which I have given, the edicts which I have enacted; my monument let him not mar. If such a ruler have wisdom, and be able to keep his land in order, he shall observe the words which I have written in this inscription; the rule, statute, and law of the land which I have given; the decisions which I have made will this inscription show him; let him rule his subjects accordingly, speak justice to them, give right decisions, root out the miscreants and criminals from this land, and grant prosperity to his subjects.

 

And, more threateningly:

 

If a succeeding ruler considers my words, which I have written in this my inscription, if he do not annul my law, nor corrupt my words, nor change my monument, then may Shamash lengthen that king’s reign, as he has that of me, the king of righteousness, that he may reign in righteousness over his subjects. If this ruler do not esteem my words, which I have written in my inscription, if he despise my curses, and fear not the curse of God, if he destroy the law which I have given, corrupt my words, change my monument, efface my name, write his name there, or on account of the curses commission another so to do, that man, whether king or ruler, patesi, or commoner, no matter what he be, may the great God (Anu), the Father of the gods, who has ordered my rule, withdraw from him the glory of royalty, break his scepter, curse his destiny. May Bel, the lord, who fixeth destiny, whose command cannot be altered, who has made my kingdom great, order a rebellion which his hand cannot control; may he let the wind of the overthrow of his habitation blow, may he ordain the years of his rule in groaning, years of scarcity, years of famine, darkness without light, death with seeing eyes be fated to him; may he (Bel) order with his potent mouth the destruction of his city, the dispersion of his subjects, the cutting off of his rule, the removal of his name and memory from the land. May Belit, the great Mother, whose command is potent in E-Kur (the Babylonian Olympus), the Mistress, who harkens graciously to my petitions, in the seat of judgment and decision (where Bel fixes destiny), turn his affairs evil before Bel, and put the devastation of his land, the destruction of his subjects, the pouring out of his life like water into the mouth of King Bel.

 

And in the same fashion Hammurabi goes on and on, before similarly concluding:

 

May he lament the loss of his life-power, and may the great gods of heaven and earth, the Anunaki, altogether inflict a curse and evil upon the confines of the temple, the walls of this E-barra (the Sun temple of Sippara), upon his dominion, his land, his warriors, his subjects, and his troops. May Bel curse him with the potent curses of his mouth that cannot be altered, and may they come upon him forthwith.

[End of quotes]

 

But, according to Habermehl:

 

There are some who have attempted to bring Hammurabi all the way down to the tenth century BC to make him contemporary with David and Solomon (as argued by Hickman 1986), but this author considers this drastic reduction rather unlikely. In any case, the conclusion is that there is little likelihood that Amraphel could have lived at the same time as Hammurabi.

 

Some early voices had dissented from the idea that Shinar was in the south. Fraser (1834, pp. 216–217) opined that putting the Tower of Babel in the same place as Babylon (Fraser refers to Beke 1834, pp. 24–26) was a novel idea and “an erroneous notion” because then Ararat would have been north of Babel and not east of it.

 

Later on, Albright (1924) wrote a paper to show that Shinar was basically the ancient kingdom of Hanna, a territory in Northern Syria, bordered by the Euphrates on the west. Gemser (1968, pp. 35–36) thought that “Sanhara . . . seems to have been one of the four major powers in Northern Syria after the fall of the state of Mari.” We will further discuss locating Shinar in this northern area later on in this paper. ….

[End of quote]

 

One finds, when building upon Dean Hickman’s marvellous foundational work in his article, “The Dating of Hammurabi” (Proceedings of the 3rd Seminar of Catastrophism and Ancient History, Uni. of Toronto, 1985), there arise irresistible biblico-historical correspondences.