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production written by scholars, it has been assumed that they are well established; Bible teachers have been made to feel that these conclusions are final.

It was therefore not without some intrepidity that in 1907, after setting forth the generally accepted view as regards the origin of the creation story in a book entitled “Light on the Old Testament from Babel,” I expressed myself in these words: "and yet it is also quite within the range of possibility and reasonableness to conceive the idea that both stories have a common origin among the Semites who entered Babylonia, prior to their amalgamation with the Sumerians, and who may have also carried their traditions into Palestine.” And again: "Taking these things into consideration it is not impossible that the idea of a conflict with this primaeval power of darkness, which perhaps is echoed in the New Testament doctrine of evil angels, was brought into Shinar or Babylonia as well as into Palestine by the Semites themselves; in which case it would have found its way into Canaan, millenniums prior to the time this story assumed the form in which it is preserved in the Old Testament."1

At the time, there seemed to be little known that could be used to make such a view appear plausible. To prove that these stories were indigenous in Syria, as I believed they were, it was necessary to show first that civilization actually existed in that land in the centuries prior to Abraham. In the absence of excavations, the only light that could be thrown upon the subject had to come from the Egyptian and Babylonian inscriptions. Fortunately the first ray was at hand.

One day in working on the business documents of the "Murasha Sons of Nippur," I discovered that the name of a god written ideographically KUR-GAL in cuneiform, was scratched in Aramaic characters, reading 'wr. That is, for this ideogram, which meant

1 Light on the Old Testament p. 75.

"great mountain,” the equivalent in Aramaic was 'wr (the characters that compose the name Ur of the Chaldees), which I proposed to read 'Ur, and held that it was the same as Amur(ru), for in many cases the Babylonians used m, where the Aramaeans used w. This was the opening wedge for the thesis.

In texts published shortly afterwards by Professor Peiser of Königsberg, the correctness of my reading was fully established; for in them he found that the name Amurru was written with the ideograms KUR-GAL and Mar-Tu. In other words, the Aramaic writing showed that Amurru was also read Urru or Uru. This at the time seemed to me to be a discovery of far-reaching importance; and subsequent developments have proved that this supposition was not incorrect.

On the same documents I discovered also that the name of the god written ideographically Nin-IB was scratched on the clay tablet in Aramaic characters 'nwšt; and this name I read EnMashtu = En-Martu, and regarded it as Amorite. But what I proposed, Assyriologists did not accept About a dozen different explanations, by as many scholars, were promptly offered;5 none of which agreed with my own; and about a dozen more have since been published in explanation of this Aramaic name.6 Some even tried to read the characters differently. However, Professor Montgomery, a year or two later, in working on an Aramaic ostracon from Nippur, fortunately found the same name written no less than five times, showing that my reading of the characters was correct.

A few years later, it was my good fortune to discover the reading of the second element of the ideogram of this name, Nin-IB, on the

* Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pa. X p. 7 f. 3 Urkunden aus der Zeit der dritten babylonischen Dynastie, p. vüi. Babylonian Expedition X 8 f., and xviii f. • See Clay, Amurru p. 196, note. See Clay, Empire of the Amorites p. 73. Others have since been published.


Yale Syllabary, namely Urta,? which proved that my understanding that the name referred to Martu was correct; for Martu or Wartu became 'Urtu. The prefixed element Nin, “lady,” had come to

' be read En or In, “Lord”; for the deity, who had been originally feminine in its native land, was regarded as both masculine and feminine in Babylonia. In short, the new reading proved conclusively that the god, whose name is written ideographically Nin-IB, and which was read En-Urta, was originally the consort of the Amorite Uru, who in time, just as I had proposed, became masculinized. This occurred, as is well known, with other deities. But let us return to the story.

Following the discovery of these two names written in Aramaic, I endeavored to show that the Nisin dynasty (2357–2154 B. C.) was Amorite. I said that "the name of the kings of the Nisin dynasty seem to show West Semitic influence, and that the capital was doubtless a stronghold of this people.". This conjecture was

.9 based on the fact that the name of the founder of the dynasty was compounded with Uru, namely Ishbi-Urra, and that other Amorite names occurred in the list: Urra-imitti, Idin-Dagan, UR-EnUrta, etc. Further I proposed, on the basis of a study of the nomenclature, that the Akkad dynasty (2847–2665? B. C.) was also West Semitic; and, in short, conjectured that for two millenniums prior to the time of Hammurabi, Western Semites at times were able to conquer Babylonia. This being true, I maintained it ought to follow that a civilization existed in Amurru, which could have produced myths and legends. In 1909, I published a monograph entitled Amurru, the Home of

Ι the Northern Semites, in which I boldly attacked the prevailing view concerning the origin of the creation story, the sabbath, the

? Miscellaneous Inscriptions 53:288.
• See Clay, Jour. Am. Or. Soc. 28, 139 f.
Clay, Ibidem.

antediluvian patriarchs, the deluge story, as well as concerning the historicity of Abram, Isaac, and Jacob. The reception that the thesis received was gratifying, especially on the part of Semitic scholars who had not published their views on the subject; but naturally, the Assyriologists who had developed Babylonism, and those scholars who had popularized its theories by their publications, were not disposed to hurriedly acknowledge that their position was no longer tenable; nor were the hosts of Biblical instructors, who, having accepted the verdict of the world's great Assyriologists, and for years having taught their conclusions, disposed to change their views, because a lone voice had proposed a reversal of them.

I had not long to wait for confirmation of an important part of the thesis. A few years later Professor Barton published an inscription which substantiated my view that the Nîsin dynasty was Amorite, for it showed that Ishbi-Urra, the founder of the dynasty, had come from Mari, which city is in Amurru.10 Professor Poebel a little later discovered dynastic legends and lists which showed contact with Amurru in a very early period.11 Many other facts also came to light, which confirmed my view that the Amorite civilization synchronized with the earliest in Egypt and Babylonia.12

Since the appearance of the monograph Amurru, I have systematically fortified the thesis it contained by presenting one fact after another in articles, and in other publications. In 1919, The Ew.pire of the Amorites appeared, and in it I attempted to reconstruct two or more millenniums of history for the land, prior to 2000 B. C., and more recently, in A Hebrew Deluge Story in Cuneiform and other Epic Fragments in the Pierpont Morgan Library, I have presented data of a crucial character in support of the entire thesis.

10 Babylonian Inscriptions 9:4, 22. u Historical Texts (UMBS IV 1) 13 ff. 12 Clay, Jour. Amer. Orien. Soc. 41, 241 ff.

The question now is, what is the situation to-day? What do we know about the two or more millenniums of history of Syria prior to Hammurabi, which was almost a perfect blank when these investigations were begun?

We have pierced the wall of silence and darkness at certain points, and the views we get by peering through these small and large apertures are most illuminating. In order to review fully what is seen, with all its bearings upon contemporary history, it would be necessary to reproduce here The Empire of the Amorites and A Hebrew Deluge Story in Cuneiform. However, a bare outline of the vistas that we get will suffice for our purpose.

We have already referred to the discovery that the Amorites founded the Nisin dynasty (2357–2154 B. C.). Quite recently letters of Ibi-Sin, the last king of the previous dynasty have been published, in which he complains that Ishbi-Urra, the Amorite, is making trouble in the land.13 As we have already mentioned, this "man from Mari” succeeded in overthrowing the Ur dynasty, when two Amorite dynasties, Nisin and Larsa, were established, and a little later a third, that of the city of Babylon.

A breach in the wall of darkness gives us a view of Amurru a thousand years earlier, at about 3300 B. C., when we ascertain that the capital of Western Asia was then in Amurru at Mari, on the Euphrates; which city was powerful enough to rule Babylonia during the reigns of several kings. About a thousand years prior to this period we were able to make another breach; and this time the aperture is so large that we get a scene covering the reigns of three Babylonian kings, when we become acquainted also with three kings who ruled in the Lebanon region. We find that Zu, designated the “storm bird,” who lived in Syria, had humiliated Enlil, the chief god of Babylonia, and had robbed him of his prerogatives as “lord of land," when a shepherd named Marad, prob

13 Legrain, Historical Fragments (UMBS XIII) 3, 6 and 9; see pp. 28 ff.

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