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|Size:|| cm long
|Length:||50 lines of writing|
(the mayor of Gubla)
|Recipient||Pharaoh of Egypt
(probably Amenophis III)
|Date:||14th cent. BCE|
|Place of Discovery:||Tel el-Amarna, Egypt
|Date of Discovery:||1887
|Current Location:||Cairo Museum|
|Inventory Number:||C 4757 (12191)|
|Tablet Number:||EA 75
(from Mercer 1939:1:276, 278)
(adapted from Mercer 1939:1:277, 279
and Moran 1992:145-46)
|mRi-ib-Ad-da iq-bi||1||Rib-Hadda spoke|
|a-na bêli-Šú Šàr mâtâti||2||to his lord, the "King of Lands":|
|ilatBêlit Šá alGub-la||3||May the Mistress of Gubla|
|ti-din dunna a-na bêli-ia||4||grant power to my lord.|
|a-na Šêpê bêli-ia dŠamŠi-ia||5||At the feet of my lord, my sun,|
|7-tam 7-a-an am-ku-ut||6||I fall down seven times and seven times.|
|i-di Šarru bêlili i-nu-ma||7||Let the king, my lord, know that|
|Šal-ma-at alGub-la amtu-ka||8||Gubla, your handmaid from ancient times,|
|eŠ-iŠ da-ri-it ûmê||9||is well.|
|Šá-ni-tu dannat nunukurtu Šá sâbê GAZ.MEŠ||10||However, the war of the 'Apiru|
|muhhi-ia ga-am-ru mârê amêlitmârâtu||11||against me is severe. (Our) sons (and) daughters are gone,|
|isê bîtâti i-na na-da-ni||12||(as well as) the furnishings of the houses, because they have been sold|
|i-na mâtYa-ri-mu-ta i-na||13||in Yarimuta|
|i-na ba-la-at napiŠtiti-nu||14||to keep us alive.|
|eqli-ia aŠŠata Šá la mu-ta||15||My field is "a wife without a husband,"|
|ma-Ši-el áŠ- Šum ba-li||16||lacking|
|i-ri-Ši-im áŠ -ta-pa-ar ù||17||in cultivation. I have repeatedly|
|áŠ-ta-ni a-na êkalli á Š-Šum mur-zi-i muhhi-ia||18||written to the palace regarding the distress afflicting me,|
|. . . Šá i-da-gal a-wa-te Šá-a||19||. . . but no one has paid attention to the words|
|ia-nu ti-ikŠu-du-na li-eŠ-mi||20||that keep arriving. Let the king heed|
|Šarru a-na a-wa-temeŠ ardi-Šúa||21||the words of his servant.|
|. . . . . .||22||. . . . . .|
|. . . . . .||23||. . . . . .|
|. . . bu-ni ka-li||24||They . . . all|
|mâtât Šarriri bêli-ia mA-du-na||25||the lands of the king, my lord. Aduna,|
amêlût Šîmi ù ia-nu
|26-27||the king of Irqata, mercenaries have killed, and there is no one who|
|Šá aq-bi mi-im-ma a-na||28||has said anything to|
|mAbdi-AŠi-ir-ta ù ti-íl-ma-tu||29||Abdi-Ashirta, although you knew about it.|
|mMi-ya amêl alA-ra-áŠ-ni||30||Miya, the ruler of Arashni,|
|is-sa-bat alAr-da-ta||31||has taken Ardata;|
|ù an-nu-uŠ i-na-an-na||32||and behold now|
|amêlût alAm-mi-i ti-du-ku||33||the people of Ammiya have killed|
|bêla-Šú pa-al-ha-ti a-na-ku||34||their lord; so I am frightened.|
|li-el-ma-ad Šarru be-li||35||Let the king, my lord, know|
|i-nu-ma is-sa-bat Šàr ha-ti||36||that the king of Hatti has overcome|
|ka-li mâtâti ku-ti-ti||37||all the lands that belonged to|
|ŠàrmâtMi-it-ta Šum-ma||38||the king of Mittani or|
|Šàr mâtNa-ah-ma||39||the king of Nahma —|
|mât Šarrâni ra-bu-ti||40||the land of the great kings.|
|mAbdi-AŠi-ir-ta ardu||41||Abdi-Ashirta, the slave,|
|kalbu yi-il-lik it-ti-Šú||42||the dog, has gone with him.|
|uŠ-Ši-ra sâbê bi-ta-ti||43||Send archers.|
|dannat muhhi||44||The hostility toward me is great.|
|. . . ma . . .||45||. . . . . .|
|. . . ma . . .||46||. . . . . .|
|. . . ta . . .||47||. . . . . .|
|a ti eŠ||48||. . . . . .|
|ù uŠ-Ši-ra amêla a-na al. . .||49||and send a man to the city of . . .|
|. . .-Šá-ra a-na-ku a-wa-te-Šú||50||I will . . . his words.|
Rib-Hadda was the mayor of Gubla. In the Amarna correspondence, Rib-Hadda is the sender of EA 68-71, 73-79, 81-96, 102-114, 116-119, 121-126, 129-130, 132, 136-138, 362. He is also mentioned in twelve other letters.
Seven times is a common Semitic expression for "repeatedly." Note some biblical examples: Psalm 12:6; 119:164; Proverbs 24:16; Matthew 18:21-22; Luke 17:4.
Gubla is biblical Gebel, later called Byblos, on the Phoenician coast (in modern Lebanon).
Yarimuta is the name of a Phoenician coastal town, probably south of Beirut.
Irqata (biblical Arkite, modern Tell Arqa) is a Phoenician town northeast of Tripoli.
Arashni is an unknown location.
Ardata is a Phoenician town southeast of Tripoli.
Ammiya is probably modern Amyun, near Tripoli.
Hatti was the Hittite kingdom in eastern Asia Minor (modern Turkey).
Mitanni was the Hurrian kingdom between the Upper Euphrates and the Upper Tigris rivers (in northern modern Iraq and Syria).
Nahma (or Naharima) was the Egyptian name for Mitanni.
Great King was the ancient Semitic phrase describing an emperor (for biblical examples, see: 2 Kings 18:19; Psalm 48:2; 95:3; Isaiah 36:4; Jeremiah 27:7; Matthew 5:35).
Dog was a common Semitic metaphor of either derision or self-deprecation (for biblical examples, see: 1 Samuel 17:43; 2 Samuel 9:8; 16:9; 2 Kings 8:13).
1. What is Rib-Hadda's relationship to the recipient of the letter, the Pharaoh of Egypt? Why would Rib-Addi describe himself as bowing 7 times and 7 times before the Pharaoh?
2. Why is Rib-Hadda frightened? What catastrophes have already happened by the time he wrote this letter?
3. Who are the 'Apiru (see Astour 1976, Buccellati 1977, Gottwald 1979:401-26, Greenberg 1955, Hallock 1939, Lemche 1992, and Moran 1967? What role do they possibly play here?
4. Who is the Lady (Bêlit) of Gubla? What is her role in this letter?
|Albright, W. F. "The Amarna Letters from Palestine."
In Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. II.2:
History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region 1380-1000 B.C., 98-116.
3d edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975.
Aldred, Cyril. "Egypt: The Amarna Period and the End of the Eighteenth Dynasty." In Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. II.2: History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region 1380-1000 B.C., 49-97. 3d edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975.
Astour, Michael C. "Habiru." In Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Supplementary Volume, edited by Keith Crim, 382-85. Nashville: Abingdon, 1976.
Bezold, Carl and E. A. Wallis Budge. The Tell-el Amarna Tablets in the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1892.
Campbell, Edward A. "The Amarna Letters and the Amarna Period." In Biblical Archaeologist Reader vol. 3, 54-75. New York: Doubleday, 1970.
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Hallock, F. H. "The Habiru and the SA.GAZ in the Tell El-Amarna Tablets." In Mercer 1939:2:838-45.
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Rogers, Robert William. Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament. New York: Eaton & Mains, 1912. Reprinted with new Foreword and Bibliography by K. C. Hanson. Ancient Texts and Translations. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005.
Winckler, Hugo. The Tell-el-Amarna Letters. Translated by J. Metcalf. New York: Lemcke & Buechner, 1896.