Two prophecy tablets


Old Babylonian period, Eshnunna dynasty, Ibalpiel II (c. 2200 B.C.E.)

These two tablets are letters addressed to King Ibalpiel, and are purportedly by the goddess Kititum herself. This form of address is highly unusual, as tablets in temple archives are usually addressed to or by the shangu, or lesser priest of the temple. Because of its fragmentary nature, not much can be said about FLP 2064. FLP 2064 is displayed because it is also addressed by the goddess to the king, and because it is from the same temple and the same archive in Ishchali.

The translation of FLP 1674 is as follows:

(1-2)            O King Ibalpiel! Thus the goddess Kititum:

(3-4)            The secrets of the gods are placed before me,

(5-7)            (and) because you ever have the words of my name in your mouth,

(7-8)            I continually open the secrets of the gods for you.

(9-13)                    At the advice of the gods, (and) by the command of Anu, the country is

given you to rule

(14-15)        You will loosen/ransom the X of the upper and lower country

(16-17)        (and) you will amass/ransom the riches of the upper and lower country

(18)             Your economy will not diminish.

(19-21)        Wherever in the land your hand has laid hold, the “food of peace” will

be secure [for you/for it] (or: will enjoy the “food of peace”).

(22-24)        (And) I, Kititum, will strengthen the foundations of your throne.

(24b-25)      I have established a protective spirit for you.

(26)             Be ready to hear me! (May your ear be available to me!)

–Translated by Maria deJong Ellis, 1986

The message was likely written down by someone close to the king who experienced the word of the goddess in a trance or dream within the temple. It is also likely that the message would have been written by someone whose occupation would have been to experience visions and prophecies from the gods.

FLP 1674, FLP 2064

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About freelibraryrbd

The Rare Book Department is in the Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
This entry was posted in Eshnunna dynasty, Ibalpiel II (c. 2200 B.C.E.), Old Babylonian Period (c. 2000-1600 B.C.E.), Prophecy. Bookmark the permalink.

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