[b-hebrew] Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Jul 14 18:27:20 EDT 2007

Since this tablet came to light, posters on this and other lists have 
commented that at very least, it gives us the proper reading of the list of 
names in the verse:

Nergal-Sharezer (the) Samgar, Nebo-Sarsechim (the) Rab-Saris, Nergalsharezer 
(the) Rab-mag.

The words "Samgar", "Rab-Saris" and "Rab-mag" are probably titles, hence the 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Newman" <rob at designceramics.co.uk>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2007 1:09 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament

> Thanks Shoshanna,
> The possible reference to this person is at Jeremiah 39:3.
> I notice some translations have the name as 'Sar-sekim' with the previous 
> names as 'Nergal-sar-ezer' and 'Samgar-nebu', others have it that 
> Nergal-sar-ezer is of Samgar and that the next name is Nebu-sar-sekim 
> (apparently the name on the tablet).
> Furthermore, some indicate that Sar-sekim/Nebu-sar-sekim is the Rab-saris 
> (the high official) others that the Rab-saris is another person just 
> refered to by his title.
> Reading on, if there is just one Rab-saris, does verse 13 indicate his 
> name was Nebu-shaz-ban? Or was 'Rab-saris' shared as a descriptive title? 
> Or are Nebu-shaz-ban and Rab-saris in vs 13 different persons?
> How much of this can we resolve?
> I'd be very much interested in what thoughts and insights list members 
> might have.
> Warm Regards
> Robert Newman
> Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament
> By Nigel Reynolds, Arts Correspondent
>  12/07/2007
> The sound of unbridled joy seldom breaks the quiet of the
> British Museum's great Arched Room, which holds its collection
> of 130,000 Assyrian cuneiform tablets, dating back 5,000 years.
> Photo:
> A fragment of cuneiform - Tiny tablet provides proof for Old
> Testament
> This fragment is a receipt for payment made by a figure in the
> Old Testament
> But Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, let out
> such a cry last Thursday. He had made what has been called the
> most important find in Biblical archaeology for 100 years, a
> discovery that supports the view that the historical books of
> the Old Testament are based on fact.
> Searching for Babylonian financial accounts among the tablets,
> Prof Jursa suddenly came across a name he half remembered -
> Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there in a hand 2,500 years old,
> as "the chief eunuch" of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.
> Prof Jursa, an Assyriologist, checked the Old Testament and
> there in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he found, spelled
> differently, the same name - Nebo-Sarsekim.
> Nebo-Sarsekim, according to Jeremiah, was Nebuchadnezzar II's
> "chief officer" and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in
> 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city.
> The small tablet, the size of "a packet of 10 cigarettes"
> according to Irving Finkel, a British Museum expert, is a bill
> of receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin's payment of 0.75
> kg of gold to a temple in Babylon.
> The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of
> Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of
> Jerusalem.
> Evidence from non-Biblical sources of people named in the Bible
> is not unknown, but Nabu-sharrussu-ukin would have been a
> relatively insignificant figure.
> "This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find," Dr Finkel
> said yesterday. "If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser
> figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the
> Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it
> means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a
> new kind of power."
> Cuneiform is the oldest known form of writing and was commonly
> used in the Middle East between 3,200 BC and the second century
> AD. It was created by pressing a wedge-shaped instrument,
> usually a cut reed, into moist clay.
> The full translation of the tablet reads: (Regarding) 1.5 minas
> (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the
> chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the
> temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In
> the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard,
> [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year
> 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
> http://tinyurl.com/3byayw
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