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THE ASSYRO- BABYLONIAN ''■"«i TU.biti. 
By a. H. Godbey, 

The University of Chicago. 

Johns, ADD. II, p. 106, in discussing this officer, inclines to 
the view that he is not a temple official of any kind, but merely 
an occupant of temple lands, charged with certain dues to the 
temple. This opinion he would support by reference to royal 
endowments of the temples, in which connection the '""*'TU.biti 
is sometimes mentioned. But this is inconclusive. Such con- 
nection with temple -endowments may imply nothing more than 
the modern pastor's connection with the manse and glebe, or 
parsonage, or parish house. There is further the objection that 
in the Cultustafel of Sippara, also mentioned by Johns, the most 
important provisions for the reorganization of the temple services 
are made kl pi '""*iTU.biti, "according to the instructions of 
the TU.biti." Further, instead of being taxed for the main- 
tenance of the temple, provision is made for his support. He 
receives five shares of the daily receipts as against two shares 
received by the nas patri. In H. 167, K. 582, rv. 17, sqq., we 
may compare the daily allotment for a masmasu, four shares, 
and for a pir^inu, two shares. There is also an '""*^TU.biti 
II-u in the Cultustafel, a species of classification improbable in 
the case of mere tenants or taxpayers. We also find '^'"^iTU.blti 
who do not appear to be connected with the temple, and are 
probably palace officials. In various places we find them spoken 
of in a way that suggests high rank. I do not see how to recon- 
cile the various data, except upon the theory that the TU.biti 
was a great official. Accepting the reading erebu for TU as 
the key to the solution, we may find him to be the *™^^a pftni 
ni-ri-bi, as written syllabically in H. 875, Bu. 89-4-26, 71, 
obv. 7. This may be preferable to the reading erib blti cited 
by Johns. That nirib rather than erib is used in reference to 
the entrance of a structure of any kind, is shown by numerous 
passages; of. HWB., p. 127. That we must understand the officer 
in question to be something more than a mere porter or janitor, 
at least much more than is expressed by our modern conceptions 

45 



46 Hebeaica 

of, and associations with these terms, will appear from the 
following data. 

In H. 512, K. 528, we have a letter that is suggestive. The 
writer does not state his office, but, though addressing the mayor 
of the palace, he does not call him "my lord." Such mode of 
address clearly indicates that he is of higher rank than the 
recipient of the letter. 

Order of Nabfl-z6r-lisir to the mayor of the palace: (Admit) 
mNabft-sarhft-ikisa; mZer-Istar, a chief repairer(?) (HWB., 527, 
Johns, ADD. II, p. 174; Van Gelderen, BAS. IV, p. 532); mUbba (one 
Arabian)(?) apalace employee (son of the palace); ■» Mil sur a (one Egyp- 
tian) (?) a palace employee; the wife of the rab-mftti (mayor of the 
palace); three sons of ™Nabtl-z6r-lisir; the wife of ""Nabfl-sarhfi- 
ikisa; two daughters of ™Nabu-zer-llsir, (and) his daughter-in-law. 

The 8th day of Tammuz. 

""Nabti-zer-lisir to (any) son of the palace. 

Total, fourteen persons admitted. 

It would seem that we here have an ancient pass ticket. The 
writer furnishes an order of admission to various persons who wish 
to enter the palace enclosure. Addressed primarily to the mayor 
of the palace, it is countersigned at the bottom, authorizing 
admission by any "son of the palace" who may be on duty at the 
gate when the ticket is presented. The note was written rapidly, 
the determinative amelu being omitted in some places; and 
hence there is uncertainty about the third and fourth names in 
the list. The plural sign is omitted throughout, and there is an 
error of two in the total as the letter stands in Harper's text. It 
is to be noticed that six of the persons mentioned are members of 
the writer's family, and one is the wife of the mayor of the palace 
to whom the order is addressed.' Two persons are palace officials 
of some type. It would appear, then, that even persons prominent 
in the social circle of the palace required, if they had been outside 
its precincts, a special order for their re-admission, and that 
there was a person authorized to issue such tickets; perhaps an 
amei gg pani niribi. 

In H. 511, K. 654, we have a letter from a man of the same 
name, Nabu-zer-llsir, written, however, in the Babylonian 
script. He reports a number of things — garments, gold, silver, 
horses, sheep, etc. — for Abu-erba "of the king's seed" and his 

1 The cases cited by Johns, ^Z>i>, II, p. 157, make it appear that rab mati and rab 
6k alii are equivalent titles. 



The Assyeo-Babylonian ''"^^TU.biti 47 

wife, all of whicli seem to be consigned to his charge in the palace 
(dib-bu na-as-ru-ti sa "Nabft-zer-lisir ina ekalli du- 
bu-ub). If this person is the writer of H. 512, we should have 
some further suggestion as to the rigid supervision he would 
exercise over everything entering the palace. 

H. 475, 83-1-18, 3, is a short but suggestive letter, probably 
from Ibassi-ilu, written in the Babylonian character: 

To the king, my lord, thy servant (Ibassi-ilu). May Nabft and 
Marduk be gracious to the king, my lord. Referring to Iddin-ahfl, 
and Ina-klbi-Bel, his brother, the TU.biti: According as the letter 
of the king my lord gave orders to me , viz., send them those carpenters 
— now I will send them unto the king my lord. 

Apparently the two officers named have made a requisition for 
carpenters for some purpose, and the king has sent word to 
Ibassi-ilu to supply the needed men. The inference is natural 
that alterations or repairs of the temple may have been under the 
supervision of the TU.biti, and this inference we shall find sup- 
ported by other data to be cited. The two officers named also 
appear in another important rSle; cf. infra H. 496. In the 
meantime we may compare the change in organization made by 
Joash, 2 Kings 12:4 sqq. It is to be observed there that so long 
as the chief priests, those officiating about the altar, handled the 
temple receipts, the house of Yahweh was in bad repair, and there 
were no available funds. Only when the matter was taken out of 
their hands and placed in charge of "the priests, the keepers of 
the threshold," was the house put in proper condition. The 
system adopted, the subdivision and distribution of priestly func- 
tions, is an interesting parallel to the Assyrian method. Modern 
critical views upon the relative importance and the chronological 
priority of priest and Levite may require a slight modification. 
Some such assignment to special duty would be necessary in the 
nature of the case, even though all alike were called "the priests, 
the Levites." 1 Chron. 9:17-29, will be reflected in the further 
study of the TU.biti. 

It would seem that the ""^i TU.biti was prone to make 
alterations in the temple interior without consulting anyone. The 
letter H. 493, 83-1-18, 13, is from Asur-rlstia, a priest of 
Ninib, who is not pleased with what has been done. The purport 
of this broken letter is clear enough. During the reign of the 
king's father the TU.biti of Ninib had altered the golden orna- 



48 Hebbaioa 

ments of the head of Ninib. At the time of writing, a company 
of workmen are employed in cutting strips of silver from the 
walls. The priest begs that the king will stop the work, and 
remarks that he himself has not been consulted, though he thinks 
himself "their brother" in such matters. With this we may 
compare H. 468, Rm. 217. Some Babylonians complain to the 
king that 5ulala, a TU.blti of Samas, has come down and 
carried off "a sky^ of gold" from fisagila. What action the 
priests took with reference to the matter is illegible. Some of 
the people are incensed, and say that they are no longer safe; 
that they will be made like the city of Grana. Such stripping 
of costly decorations from temples, to beautify Assyria, may have 
been one of the causes of Babylonian revolts from Assyrian 
domination. 

To these evidences of the authority of the TU.blti in the 
matter of repairing or altering the temples, we may add Rm. 
Ill, 105, a broken cylinder, published by Winckler, AOF. I, pp. 
256 sqq. It comes from the period of civil war in Babylonia, 
near the middle of the eighth century B. C. The inscription is 
of one Nabu-sum-imbi, who tells us that he is a nisakku and 
a TU.biti of Nabu, as well as saku (Winckler, NIN.ku) of 
Borsippa. He records his restoration of the temple, which was 
damaged during the civil war. Nabtisumiddina, a son of Daini- 
Nabu, and a TU.biti of Nabii, had made a night attack upon 
the temple in Borsippa, which Nabusumimbi was holding with an 
armed force. The pious Nabusumimbi prayed to Nabu until 
sunrise, and as a result the enemy were beaten off. The success- 
ful combatant expresses his gratitude to Nabu by repairing the 
temple. 

Passing from this relation of the TU.biti to the repairs or 
alterations of the temple, we find another interesting feature of 
his office. Iddinahu and Ina-kIbi-B6l, two officials already men- 
tioned in H. 475, appear in this important function in H. 496, 
K. 474. Ibassi-ilu writes to notify the king that the third of 
Elul is the day for the arraying of B6l, and that the opening of 
the great gate of the temple takes place upon the fourth. 

2AN. E., the usual mode of writing 8am6 in the letters. I doubt its being a plural of 
" God," as this would not be in accord with the epistolary usage. Moreover, Esagila is the 
residence of Marduk, and we should hardly expect miscellaneous idols therein, judging 
from the complaint against Nabonidus in the Cyrus cylinder. Further, would an official of 
the SamaS cult have use for images from the Marduk temple 1 He would, of course, have 
use for the gold. 



The Assyeo-Babylonian ^"^'TU.biti 49 

Iddinabu and Ina-kibi-B§l, the TU.biti are, as the king knows, 
the persons properly in charge of those ceremonies. The writer 
asks that they be sent, and that they may stand with him on the 
day of the opening of the gate. It is probable, then, that they 
were expected to pass upon the dress of the worshipers as well 
as that of Bgl, when they stood with Ibassi-ilu. The position of 
Ibassi-ilu himself I do not know. In other letters of this group, 
HH. 496-501, we find him reporting that the king's orders for 
beds, coronets for Anti, and other temple fittings, have been 
filled. Since the data already given show the TU.biti to be 
connected with such matters, and since in the letter under con- 
sideration Ibassi-ilu wishes two well-known threshold-keepers to 
stand with him on the great day of the opening of the gate of 
Bfil, he may have been such an official himself. He may also be 
identifiable with one of two men of his name prominent in 
Thompson's EM A. 

These suggestions concerning the functions of this official 
recall the Cultustafel. Col. V, 26 sqq., specifies, "and furni- 
ture of the interior' according to the instruction of the two 
^■°«iTU.blti-MES." The king's share of the daily expense 
(c/. 2 Chron. 31:3) is the food for the priests, and "two shares 
according to the instructions of the two """*' TU.biti ;" then 
follows the list of clothing provided. Special garments are 
required for the seventh of Nisan, the tenth of lyyar, the third 
of Elul, the seventh of Tisrit, the fifteenth of Marchesvan, and 
the fifteenth of Adar : altogether six festal robes each year given 
by the king. The interesting features in these details are the 
evident authority of the TU.biti, and the fact that the third of 
Elul requires a special festal garment for the servitor of Samas, 
as it does in the letter last quoted for the servitor of B6l. In H. 
338, 82-5-22, 98 Mar-Istar also discusses ceremonies for Bel 
and Marduk upon the third of Elul, and the opening of the gate 
is mentioned (c/. Van Gelderen, BAS. IV, p. 533). We may 
compare with these specifications for particular garments upon 
occasions of unusual significance, Jehu's order: "Bring forth 
vestments for the priests of Baal" (2 Kings 10:22). In the 
twenty -third verse is an order for special scrutiny of the 
assembly, that only duly qualified worshipers may be within. 

3U-na-at lib-bi is not translated by Jeremias, B^IS. I, p. 275; c/. u-na-a-te hurftsi 
kaspi sipirri parzilli isS uabnS SpuS, from an ASurbftnipal inscription, cited 
by R. F. Harper, Hebraica, X (1894), 198. 



50 Hebeaica 

This may be parallel to the request of Ibassi-ilu that the two 
wardens may assist him in the great gate upon the festal day. 
In Ezekiel's code we observe that the priests must leave their 
vestments in the side chambers, not being allowed to come among 
the laity wearing their official apparel (Ezek. 42:13, 14; 44:19). 
The Levitical code (Exod. 38:4) will readily suggest itself ; 
but till we know precisely what the Babylonian or Assyrian robes 
were, we cannot undertake a comparative study of Jewish and 
Mesopotamian priestly apparel. But it seems clear from the 
cuneiform data so far that the great guardian of the threshold 
was responsible for the proper preparation of every one who 
would enter the temple. Only thus could the perfection of each 
rite be guaranteed (observe the conditions and reservations in 
the oracles of the Sun-god) ; and only thus could the temple be 
kept free from defilement. The post was no sinecure, and we 
shall see that the warden needed to know all that occurred within 
the temple as well as what was approaching from without. 

Our data also allow the conclusion that the average temple had 
two chief officers of this type; and this may imply two gates of 
the temple in daily use, besides the great gate opened upon spe- 
cial occasions when the presence of the king was expected. We 
observe that there are two threshold keepers in the Cultustafel; 
two are called for by Ibassi-ilu ; in the narrative of Nabusumimbi 
two rival threshold keepers are warring for the possession of the 
temple; in the Cultustafel one of the two officers is an *™^' 
TU.biti II- u. We may venture the suggestion, then, that Ezek. 
44:1-4; 46:1-3, 8-12, give us some idea of the arrangement 
of a Babylonian temple (c/. also 1 Chron. 31 : 14 for "the porter 
toward the east") and of the movement of the throng upon a 
festal occasion, under the supervision of the TU.biti. Further 
questions concerning the arrangement of the Babylonian temple 
will be considered in a separate paper. For the modification of 
Ezekiel's plan see Josephus, Ant., XV, II, 5, and 1 Chron. 9: 17-28. 

As showing the familiarity of the TU.biti with all that 
occurred within the temple, the letters of Akkullanu are pecu- 
liarly interesting. This writer is shown in H. 539, K. 17, rv. 14, 
15, to be a TU.biti of the temple of Asur. In H. 16, K. 428, in a 
brief report to the king, too broken to be intelligible, he is asso- 
ciated with Adadsumusur, Arad-fia, and Istarsum6res. This 
places his activity in Esarhaddon's reign, a fact further supported 



The Assyro-Babilonian ^"^'TU.biti 51 

by H. 43, K. 122. His prominence will be more clearly realized 
when that of his associates is remembered. Their activity is 
noticeable in the excursus upon the Esarhaddon succession. 
The letters of Akkullanu, HH. 42-50, 429, 678-681, suggest 
that he is the proper person to address for information upon 
almost any matter connected with the temple, or its service. 

H. 42, K. 14, has been translated by Van Gelderen, BAS. IV, 
p. 518. Akkullanu reports that on the third of the month (Elul 
again?), Asur and Bfelit went forth in peace and returned in 
peace. Goblets and drink for the king have been duly prepared, 
and rites which had ceased through neglect have been re-estab- 
lished; but the suraru-wine for the month Tisrit has not been 
provided for Asur. The chief vintner, his deputy, and his 
secretary have alike neglected the matter. 

The next letter, H. 43, K. 122, is the most interesting of all. 
Van Gelderen, BAS. IV, p. 518, has given a translation, and 
Johns gives a general view of it, ADD. II, p. 105, and a com- 
plete translation ABLCL., p. 377, changing his former view 
slightly. In both he differs somewhat from Van Gelderen. I am 
not sure that the reverse of the letter is perfectly understood. 
But the bearing upon the duties of the TU.biti is in no wise 
affected. In the first part of the letter, he replies to an inquiry of 
the king informing him of the governors, cities, and provinces that 
have neglected to send the regular offerings to Asur. Nineteen 
are named; and as several of these are certainly provinces out- 
side of Assyria itself, we may have a sidelight upon the unwil- 
lingness of the Hebrew prophet to see his king maintain either 
hostile or dependent relations with Assyria.* 

The reverse of the tablet reports the facts concerning two 
priests (Van Gelderen, "scribes"), who had been consecrated 
by Sennacherib, but had lost their positions through some cere- 
monial mishaps, "not great sins." One is "priest of the bake- 
room,"^ shaved when he was young. The other is chief of the 
larder, or almost a "head-waiter" for the temple tables. Each 
seems to have been deposed for some inattention to proper shaving 

1 Compare the frequent complaints concerning rebels In the cuneiform historical 
inscriptions. "They had had not sent to inquire after my peace — they scorned the 
solemn oaths by the great gods." 

5 With this priest of the bake-house, compare the little cooking chambers flanking 
Ezekiel's temple (after Babylonian models (?)), 46 : 19-24, and the chambers and those in 
charge of things baked in pans, 1 Chron. 9 : 31 ; 23 : 28, 29 ; Lev. 2:5-7; 6 : 21 ; 7:9. 



52 Hebraica 

(ina la sa^-sa-su-te la gal-lu-ub)." Thus apart from the 
information the letter gives concerning the TU.biti, it is of 
interest as suggesting some exacting ritual of the Assyrian 
priesthood. Apparently, cuttings of the "corners of the head 
and beard" were seriously regarded. As for the TU.biti, he 
is evidently expected to know the past history of the temple 
as well as current events. One woiild infer his familiarity with 
the temple library, or record room. The record of the neglect 
of stated sacrifices by certain governors recalls the frequent com- 
plaints of the Hebrew narratives, and the list of nobles bringing 
offerings,' in Numb. 7. 

H. 185, K. 1396 is interesting after this report concerning 
delinquent governors. Nabubelsunu tells Asurmudammik that he 
has been wronged by AkkuUanu. The latter has obtained twelve 
or thirteen mana of silver from Asurmudammik, for the breaches 
of the shrines of Asur and Belit. Nabubelsunu tells his friend to 
make a memorandum of it, and to plan for its recovery. It 
would seem that Akkullanu, when charged with repairing the 
temple, was inclined to somewhat vigorous measures for securing 
the necessary funds. 

H. 44, K. 604 gives us no information. Akkullanu asks the 
king for a reply to a previous letter. In H. 45, K. 691 he 
announces that he will "bring to Dilbat"(?) an axe,^ pilakku 
that has been called for. It is probable that some sacred symbol, 

6 For shaving the head as part of the ceremony of consecration to the priesthood, com- 
pare ASurbftnipal, L' 12, 13. Observe the many cylinder-seals and reliefs in which a shaved 
person is brought before a god, e. g., the DeClercq collection. The appendix to Curtiss, 
PSB., 268, by Wm. Hayes Ward, gives a number of illustrations. Notable are figures 3, 7, 10, 
17, 19. A fully appareled priest wears a queue, sometimes plaited, sometimes turned up 
behind, or decorated. As an unclean person must keep from the altar in general Semitic 
usage, we must regard these scenes as illustrating consecration or purification. Some of 
the figures may represent females, but some are certainly shaved males. Compare the 
shaving of the Levites when consecrated. Numb. 8:7; the shaving of the head of the 
Nazarite as a mode of cleansing. Numb. 6 : 9, 18 ; cf . Acts, 18 : 18 ; 21 : 24 ; shaving of a leper 
for cleansing, Lev. 1-1:8, 9; 13:33; Egyptian shaving of one coming to court, Gen. 41:14; 
the shaving of Egyptian priests mentioned by Herodotus, the prohibition in the case of 
Hebrew priests. Lev. 19:27; 21:. 5; Deut. 21:12; Ezek. 44:20. On general subjects see 
A. E. S. Kennedy, DB. I, p. 536; Carslaw, DB. Ill, p. 478. 

' These duties of Akkullanu suggest the inventory clerk, and Ezekiel's familiarity with 
all costly merchandise (Ezekiel 27:1-2.5). Was Ezekiel a priestly threshold keeper, becoming 
in consequence, familiar with all kinds of articles likely to be brought before a god ? 

8 We may think of the double axe, Greek ireAenu? as contrasted with the ^/xiireAeitKoi', 
now familiar from excavations of the Cretan Labyrinth, which bears traces of Semitic 
influence; the double axe (or mace) in the hand of I§tar(?) on some seals (Ward, appendix 
G, to Curtiss, PSiS., fig. 7); the lance, as emblem of Ninib, as evidenced by kakkab§ukudu, 
kakkab tarta^u, and the upright lance upon his (?) altar, DeClercq, 308,371,373; the 
double trident (thunderbolt (?)) In the hand of Marduk when assailing Tiftmat in various 
reliefs and seals; the bow of A§ur in reliefs and historical inscriptions and O. T. reference 
to worship of military emblems, Hab. 1 : 16. 



The Assyeo-Babylonian ^^^'TU.biti 53 

or piece of temple furniture, is here referred to. Both letters 
have been translated by S. A. Smith, AL., and Delitzsch, BAS. I, 
p. 222; II, p. 30. 

In H. 429, Rm. 69, translated by Van Gelderen, BAS. IV, 
p. 530, Akkullanu is again concerned with the decorations of 
the temple. A golden tablet, a peace offering from the king, 
is missing. Akkullanu reports that it has been seen in the 
possession of a jeweller (?), and that he will institute a rigid 
examination of the man before a scribe. That the ornament 
came safely to the temple from the king's messenger is doubted, 
and this person should be questioned. Perhaps the same subject 
is discussed in the badly broken H. 592, K. 1116. Of the four- 
teen original lines, not one is left entire. We can recognize 
some reference to a golden tablet and a jeweller. 

In H. 47, K. 979 Akkullanu announces libations and royal 
sacriiices at Tarbisi, and asks the king if he should attend them 
(c/. RFHarper, Hebbaica, X, 1894, p. 196), adding that the 
king cannot complain this time of not being duly notified. In 
H. 48, K. 1019, and H. 49, K. 1168, the breaks are too serious 
to allow any connected narrative ; both, however, may refer to 
the same subject. In H. 48, Akkullanu says: "Regarding the 
priests of the city of Assur(?), about whom the king sent to me, 
I will myself inquire of some priest . . . ." H. 49 is much longer, 
and begins, after greetings, "As to that priest about whom the 
king, my lord, sent to me, he made complaint from his heart three 
times on that day." The next twenty lines are too fragmentary 
to yield any connected sense. About the middle of the reverse 
we find instructions for ritual on certain days; on the tenth day 
at noon a censer; on the eleventh and twelfth, great sacrifices 
(nik6). There follows a report concerning a complaint made by 
the priest of the Temple of Seven at Nineveh, about whom he had 
sent word to his lord the king. The son of some priest of the 
Temple of Samas has been asked for; his name, Akkullanu says, 
is Zari, son of Nadinapal. 

The next letter of this group, H. 50, K. 1242, broken also, 
refers to sacrifices before which Akkullanu stands. Sumerian 
ritual titles are discernible, and tamarti of Sin and Samas are 
mentioned. HH. 678, 680, 681, are too fragmentary to be of 
value, but H. 679, 83-1-18, 61 is interesting as being a purely 
astrological report. Star movements are discussed at some 



54 Hebraica 

length, though nearly half the letter is broken away. We may 
question if the writer is the same Akkullanu as above. Bezold 
thinks there are two. Yet knowing the dominance of astrology 
in Assyrian thought and ritual, it would seem that all the learned 
classes and priestly authorities should have some general knowl- 
edge of the subject, as it would be impossible otherwise for them 
properly to perform their daily functions. This is supported by 
Thompson's Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers. Nos. 
81, 259 are from a rab dup-sar; Nos. 109, 266, from a rab 
A. BA. ; No. 160 from a dup-sar; No. 58 from the rab A.ZU; 
No. 83, 115F, 183, 243, from a mas-mas. There is a fair pre- 
sumption then, in favor of some astrological knowledge upon the 
part of the TU. biti. It is practically confirmed by H. 401, 83-1- 
18, 30, in which the king writes to Zeru'a and the TU.MES.blti 
of Dur-ilu, that the month Adar has an excess, and that they must 
adjust its calendar. The various astrological reports from Akkul- 
lanu in Thompson's collection, and the two other similar reports in 
HABL, need not then be assigned to some other than our 
temple warden, as Bezold conjectures. 

Whatever we may conclude as to the warden Akkullanu's con- 
nection with astrology, the passages cited indicate that the 
TU.biti was a very powerful official. That his position was one 
of great honor may be fairly inferred from the case of Nabusum- 
imbi, previously cited. A nisakku, and sftku of Borsippa, he 
would have us know that he is also a TU.biti of Nabu. Per- 
haps it is for the purpose of maintaining his right to this position 
that he battles with Nabubelsunu. Akkullanu's activities and 
associations suggest high honors. We may add from Nergl. 18, 
"Nabusumukm, the TU.biti of Nabu and satammu" of fizida, 
spoke to the king Neriglissar thus: Grive me Gigltum, your 
virgin daughter to wife." 

Some further texts must be noticed. In the large inscription 
of Merodach-baladan II one Ina-kibi-B6l is mentioned as a 
hazftnu. Is this the person above mentioned as a TU.biti by 
Ibassi-ilu in HH. 475, 496? For bazftnu is a term sometimes 

aThe Satammu kept the sutummu or "storehouse," to which the TU.biti con- 
signed valuable property, and from which the k6pu drew the supplies which he loaned out 
when handling the temple revenues. Compare the sd-tam bit u-na-ti on Boundary 
stone 103, col. IV, 9, with the u-na-a-ti of the temple in Note 3, supra, and the aniftl 
s4-tamofthe i™*lTU.bltiof Marduk in VA. 4->l (KB. TV, p. 172). The term seems 
Babylonian rather than Assyrian. In Strassmaier's contracts we sometimes find the 
satammu furnishing grain and money from the temple stores. He is occasionally men- 
tioned in connection with the k6pu. 



The Assyro-Babylonian ^""^itU.biti 55 

applied to the TU.biti. In H. 65, K. 629 (JEL., p. 153.), Nabii- 
sumiddin writes to the mftr-sarru. The functions shown in the 
letter are those we have already observed. The writer announces 
that the temple of Nabu will be opened on the third of lyyar. 
The couch of the god will be consecrated (for this ceremony 
see K. 164, BAS. II, p. 635) ; the god will return on the 
fourth ; sacrifices are announced, and the route of the sacred pro- 
cession is given. All may enter the temple who bring one ka of 
food. The writer calls himself the hazftnu of the temple of 
Nabu. In H. 366, 82-5-22, Nergal-sarrftni writes of a like 
event ; the temple opening on the third of the month and the god 
returning on the fourth to the couch. The hazftnu's connection 
with the ceremonies is noted. In H. 419, 83-1-18, 24, we have 
a joint letter from the sangu II-u and the hazftnu. In H. 49, 
83-1-18, 13, the hazanu of the temple is expected to aid in stop- 
ping certain alterations. The other hazftnu passages in the 
RFHarper letters refer generally to city officials. Such may be 
obsei'ved in the historical inscriptions and in the Tell el Amarna 
letters (c/. Zimmern, ZA. VI, 248). Winckler, AOF., 246, 
argues that the title was originally that of the prefect of a village 
or petty district . But the ideogram for hazftnu, NU.BANDA, 
is common in early cattle accounts in the E. A. Hoffman collec- 
tion (Radau, EBH.). The hazftnu there is only a common herds- 
man. In early Boundary stones, II R. 43, III R. 41, the hazftnu 
is a household officer. The inference is that the word hazftnu has 
no restricted technical sense; that it is merely "overseer" {ZA. 
VI, p. 349), and can in consequence be applied to various func- 
tionaries. The inference finds support in the Jewish use of the 
borrowed term. Four hazans are distinguished in Jewish literature ; 
(1) the hazan, or mayor, of a city; (2) the hazan, or sheriff of a 
court of justice; (3) the hazan of the temple (the "porter" of 
1 Chron. 10:26-29) who had charge of the robes, treasures, and 
utensils and who aided the priests in robing and disrobing (c/. 
the Arabic hazin, "treasure-keeper"); and (4) the hazan of the 
synagogue, whose functions may be regarded as a survival of 
those of the temple hazan. (For particulars see, Jewish Ency- 
clopcedia, VI, pp. 284 sqq.) 

Considering the very definite character of the reports we have 
examined, coming from the TU.biti or hazftnu, we may fairly 
conjecture, when we find such reports of the order of services 



56 Hebkaioa 

coming from one who does not mention his office, that the writer 
is the official under consideration. Thus we may conclude that 
Nabtlpasir who writes H. 134, K. 1234, and Nabukudurusur, writer 
of H. 858, K. 822, are such officers. 

Compare with the data so far given the account given by 
Curtiss, [PSR., chap. XII) of the sacred classes in modern 
Syria. "In addition to the care that the minister takes of the 
shrine he is repository of such legends as may exist with respect 
to the origin of the shrine, and the life of the saint whose names 
and deeds are celebrated." This suggests the Cultustafel. 

In S^ 77, 4, we read of an akll kisalluhi, or "vakeel of 
the anointed ground." Perhaps this is the early equivalent of 
TU.blti. 

The passages cited inevitably raise the question. What was 
the relation of this officer to the sangu ? For we have found a 
sangu complaining of alterations made by a TU.biti. Akkul- 
lanu gives us nearly all the information derivable from the letters 
concerning the sangu. The latter appears the less conspicuous 
personage because the matters treated do not fall within the 
range of his official activity. He may have been influential in 
popular intrigues, as he is mentioned in two or three reports of 
governors and military officers, and it was deemed advisable to 
place two sons of Esarhaddon in the most powerful priestly 
offices of the empire. While the TU.biti clearly super- 
vises the general procedure within the temple, we must not 
conclude that the sangu had no field of his own in which he 
was final authority. We must regard him as the personage 
who officiated at the great altar upon the solemn occasions when 
the keen-eyed and fully-appareled TU.biti stood in the great 
gate and carefully inspected the incoming worshipers. The reli- 
gious texts published suggest the domain of the sangu. 

From the evolutionary standpoint both officials are certainly 
descended from the primitive custodian of the sacred shrine, 
the Arabian kahinu, the Hebrew cohen. The cuneiform litera- 
ture affords some data for the history of their development. 
Neither is known so far in the older inscriptions. We have in 
them the term patesi, sometimes translated "priest -king," and 
comparable with the Semitic sheikh of a petty district, who may 
also be the custodian of its sanctuary. This translation has been 
fairly questioned. Budge and King {AKA. I, p. xvii; cf. Jensen, 



The Assyro-Babylonian ^""^^TU.biti 57 

KB. Ill, 1, 66) would interpret its use by early Assyrian kings 
as indicating their subjection to Babylonian secular domina- 
tion. It may as plausibly be construed as showing that there 
was then little religious differentiation from Babylonia; and 
Lehmann (BAS. II, p. 614) has shown that the early rulers of 
Shirpurla use it regularly, whether they were independent or 
vassals. Moreover, in Assyria they are patesis of gods, not of 
other princes. In the Ilammurabi period the patesis are clearly 
a sacred class. In LIH., 42, we read of one man libbi mftrS 
bars, and four libbi mare patesi; in LIH., 17, we have two 
men libbi mftre patesi and one libbi mftrS bare. This pair- 
ing "the sons of the seers" with "the sons of the patesis" 
recalls the seers or "sons of the prophets" and "the priests 
the Levites" of the O.T. In LIH., 43, we learn of a sharp 
protest made at the drafting of a patesi for corv6e service. 
The recipient of the letter is given to understand that the 
patesis are exempt from such service. We must understand 
this exemption to be upon religious grounds; we cannot 
suppose that one secular governor had seized his confrere for 
corvee service. Compare Ezra, 7:24. In LIH., 21 a sangti 
of Anunit is included as one of the patesis of Anunit. This form 
of statement makes us think that the sangfi is appearing as a 
subdivision of the patesis. In LIH., 38, a patesi in the service 
of one ofBcer wishes to be transferred to the employ of another. 
The king directs that an exchange be effected and that the 
employer see that the pate si's field is properly cultivated for 
him (c/. Neh. 13: 10-18). This is extremely interesting, as sug- 
gesting that the patesi class was not yet concentrated at a few 
great temples, but that many were household priests like Micah's 
Levite in Judges 17. It would also appear that ^ammurabi is 
endeavoring to control the distribution of the patesis; the LIH. 
letters show also that he looked after the temple revenues. The 
grouping of patesis with seers, bftrftti, by ^ammurabi, should 
recall the references to visions and a seer-goddess by the patesi 
Gudea, Cylinder A. 

This same distribution of the patesi class is shown us a thou- 
sand years later. Boundary stone No. 105, III R. 41, records the 
sale of a piece of land. In the list of curses we find one that 
is unique: an imprecation upon him who shall ignore this deed of 
sale and present the land to any god, or king, or patesi of a king, 



58 Hebeaica 

or patesi of a saknu, or patesi of a bit tSmi. Remembering 
how frequently we find the kings seizing lands and setting them 
aside for various temple servitors, we may suspect that patesis, in 
the days of Marduk-nadinahi, B. C. 1115, were not universally 
admired, and that they were to some extent household priests, as 
the data above would suggest: and that the term in the boundary 
stone is still a general one for shrine functionaries of any kind. 
Furthermore, we find documents of the later periods showing 
sacred personalities holding two or three leading offices : as Nabu- 
sumimbi, already cited, is both nisakku and TU.biti. And the 
ability of a man to establish his household shrine and priest is 
shown by documents like BW. 88-5-18, 704, cited by Johns, 
ABLCL., p. 223, in which Nur-ilisu dedicates to a god one SAR 
of land, and decrees that Pi-sa-Samas shall be its priest, Ntirilisu 
himself laying no claim to the priesthood. This is an excellent 
parallel to the case of Micah (c/. Nbd. 773). One or two passages 
in the religious texts may support this view of the patesi as a 
religious functionary instead of a secular "deputy." Marduk is 
the well-known masmas ilftni: the incantations of the masmas 
ilftni are sometimes called for: in his name evil is adjured to 
leave. But in DBS., p. 168, "E" 41, Ea tells Marduk, "perform 
for him the incantation of "« pa-te-si-MA^." In DES., p. 34, 
"By "" Pa-te-si-GAL.ZU.AB be thou exorcised." Is the 
"Great Purifier," Marduk, the PATESI. MAS? The second 
reference seems to be to Ea. 

In Babylonia the title patesi persists to the end, the title 
TU.biti appearing as early as the time of the Cultustafel. But 
since the restoration described there is "according to the instruc- 
tions of the two TU.biti," and since this office tended, as we 
shall see, to be hereditary, we may fairly conclude that the office 
existed, and that its functions were fixed before the destruction of 
the temple by the Suteans, several centuries earlier. It may even 
date back to the days of Hammurabi, since we have found the 
sangu known at that time. The TU.biti appears in other 
familiar documents of the time of Nabupaliddin, to be mentioned 
presently in connection with the hereditary character of the office. 

But in Assyria the title patesi soon disappears. It is claimed 
by Irisum, B. C. 2000, who is called centuries later a sangu of 
Asur (Scheil, Rec. Trav., XXI, 1900) ; by Samsi-Adad and Isme- 
Dagan, B. C. 1850-1800. Tiglathpileser I. accords these two the 



The Assyro-Babylonian '""^itU.biti 59 

same title, VIII, 2, 3. Pudft-ilu, B. C. 1350, calls himself 
issakku of Asur, the equivalent of patesi. Adad-nirari, his 
son, calls himself issakku of Asur in one inscription, and sangu 
slru of Bel on a stone tablet; he is in this inscription the son of 
Puduilu the saknu of B6l, issakku of Asur; grandson of Bel- 
nirftri the sangu of Asur, great-grandson of Asur-uballit, whose 
sangu tu was glorious. Can this varied terminology mean that 
the chief priests of different divinities originally bore different 
titles, arising from the different rites prominent in the cults? 
Sangti is, up to this point, reserved for the servitor of Asur or 
Istar. Asur-r6s-isi, 1140 B. C, is sangu of Asur, and gives the 
same title to Mutakkil-Nusku and Asurdan, his predecessors. 
Tiglathpileser I. claims the office. Asurnasirpal, in his various 
inscriptions, is sangu of different gods; Asur, Istar, Bel, Ninib, 
and Nergal. (See AKA., pp. 182, 189, 198, 205, 209; Annals I, 
25.) In K. 868 he is isipu n&'du nibit Ninib. Evidently 
he has become "commander of the faithful" of all the more 
prominent cults. The Sargonids emphasize their sangutu of 
Istar. But Sargon himself, evidently a religious reactionary, 
revives the phraseology of Pudu-ilu 600 years before. In the 
Nimrud inscription he is saknu of Bel, issakku of Asur: he 
repeats this on numerous bricks. This is certainly irreconcilable 
with the theory that patesi or issakku, when used by an Assyrian 
king, implies his subjection to Babylon. In some of these brick 
inscriptions we have his title more fully: s akan 'i" Bel, issakki 
^^"Asur sakkanak ^^"Nabu u ''"Marduk. This supports 
the suggestion that the chief priests of certain gods may have had 
distinctive religious titles. The sakkanakku of Babylon would 
appear to have been the vicegerent of Nabu and Marduk. 

We may wonder if these royal claims indicate functional 
activity, or mere honorary headship. We do not hear of an 
Assyrian king claiming for himself the honor of TU.biti. He 
would think of himself as officiating at the altar instead of " keep- 
ing the charge of the house." But Neriglissar, placed on the 
throne by priestly intrigue, tells us that he is the son of Belsum- 
iskun, the wise prince, the perfect hero, n&sir massarti 
fisaggil u TIN.TIR.KI. (Budge, P-SB^., 1888, cylinder; 
col. I, 11-13.) Is the king boasting of his descent from a 
TU.biti ? In Assyria, did the temple officials, who, in their let- 
ters, frequently used the phrase: "We keep the charge of the 



60 Hebraica 

king our lord,"" think of the king as a sangu whom they 
assisted? Esarhaddon's favorite oracle, we know, was that of 
Istar of Arbela, sometimes spoken of as Bfelit parsi. He 
declares that Istar of Arbela is a goddess, ra'imat sangutia. 
In opening salutations Adadsumusnr (and occasionally others) 
frequently writes, after greeting the king, a-na pi-kit-te sa 
Bglit parsi sul-mu a-dan-nis. Does he think of the king 
as the great sangli of Istar, and therefore include in such salu- 
tations " those who kept the charge of the hoiise " of Istar ? Ques- 
tions like these are natural in connection with the subject, but 
answers just now would be premature. 

Reference has been made to the efforts of various kings to 
guarantee the maintenance of certain temple officials by freeing 
certain lands or persons from royal taxation, the revenues being 
instead devoted to the temple service, and the produce of the 
lands going into the temple stores, when it was more than could 
be immediately consumed. The term zakku, "dedicate," secures 
this exemption from secular demands. The chronicler may be 
copying this scheme in 2 Chron. 31 : 13-19. Exemptions for 
sacred classes are specified in Ezra 7:24. But the records of 
such royal grants raise the question of heredity, the land so con- 
•secrated being sometimes spoken of as previously consecrated by 
a former king, and later reverting to the royal domain. An 
example may be cited in K. 4467, published by Johns, ADD., I, 
714. Meissner, MVAG., 1903, III, p. 6 sqq., collates it with K. 
1989, and 88-1-18, 425, and Bu. 91-5-9, 193. Sargon narrates 
in this deed his restoration of land originally set aside by Adad- 
nirari to supply the granaries of Asur. Ninety-five imSru of 
land in the fields of the city of the TU.blti, in the campus of 
Nineveh, are reconsecrated. The land is given in charge of the 
sons of former temple servitors. Fifteen imSru of ground are 
set aside for the rab akale, "like the field of the city of the 
TU.blti — with the field of the governor of Dtir-Sarrukin I 
counted it — fifteen I thus consecrated." This placing of the lands 
of the temple servitors upon the same footing as the land of the 
governor should be compared with Ezekiel's land system, 45:1-8, 
and endowed state offices in the JJarran census. 

Since the benefice is given to the descendants of former bene- 
ficiaries, and the TU.blti are spoken of as though owning or 

9 The frequency of the similar expression in the Old Testament should be noticed : Gen. 
26:5; Exod.6:I3; Numb. 9:19; 27:23; lChron.9:27; 2Chron.8:14. 



The Assyro-Babylonian «™«'TU.BiTi 61 

dwelling in a city, or definite territory, and since Akkullanu, in 
H. 43, speaking of a deposed priest, then dead, recommends his 
son for the vacancy, the fact of heredity in sacred offices, and 
the existence of Levitical cities, is clearly shown.'" In this con- 
nection we have some interesting matter. VA. 208 of the Berlin 
Museum {KB. IV, p. 94) is from the 22d year of Nabtipaliddin. 
In it B6liddin,son of Nabu-z6r-iddin, the TU.biti of 'i" La-ga- 
ma-al and saku of Dilbat deeds to his second son his right to 
the entrance fees of flesh of different kinds. In another docu- 
ment, much damaged, from the 20th year of Nabtipaliddin, 
we find Nabtipaliddin, son of Abuft, grandson or Akar-Nabii, 
the TU.biti, complaining that he has received but part of 
the land held by his fathers. His petition in the case is 
granted [KB. IV, p. 92). A very interesting case of transfer 
appears centuries later. It suggests that the hereditary line 
of temple wardens may have been threatened with extinction. 
A TU.biti adopts a son, and transfers to him a right to 6 ka 
of food and 6 ka of drink, a fourth interest (zittu) in the 
flesh of offered oxen, and an interest in the table of the god 
(zitti passuri). This document is dated in the first year of 
Barzia (VA. Th. 123, 124; KB. IV, p. 296). We should not 
infer that the entire TU.bit-u-tu is transferred by this docu- 
ment, for we have another, showing partial sale. It comes from 
Uruk, from the time of the Seleucidae, {KB. IV p. 313). The 
seller holds the TU.bit-u-tu of BSl, or at least a one-sixth 
interest in it. He sells for one mina five shekels of silver "one- 
sixth of the day" upon the 16th, 17th, and 18th days, forever, 
with all right to the purchaser to do as the seller would have done, 
with the receipts of the "sixth of the day." As the document is 
dated the 27th of Nisan, and no month is named in connection 
with "the 16th, 17th, and 18th days," we may infer that those days 
of each month are implied. Comparing this with the announce- 
ment of Nabiisumiddin, already noticed, H. 65, K. 629 that the 
entrance fee upon the festal day will be one ka of food, we may 
perceive how very profitable the wardenship of a large temple 
might be. The document just cited is one of the earliest cases 
of simony or speculating in pew-rents on record. But though 
heredity in sacred offices is shown by the documents cited, they 
also show that it was subject to modifications, as in Palestine. 

lOThis question of the city I discuss in "The Semitic City of Refuge," Monisf^ October 
1905. 



62 Hebeaica 

The above transfers of TU. bit-u-tu may be compared with trans- 
fers of other sacred offices. Thus, in the fourteenth year of 
Nabuna'id, 84^2-11, 61, ABB. II, p. 20, Nabubalatsuikbi 
bequeaths to one son the "dagger-bearership" (GIR. L AL-u-tu) 
or position of official slaughterer in the terople of Esarra, and to 
another son the income of the shrine of Papsukal in the temple of 
Bfelit-same-ersiti. In MAP. 41, we find in the days of Eim-Sim 
a suit involving the right to five days in the year in the temple of 
Nannar, sixteen in the temple of Bfelit, and eight in the shrine 
of Gula. In Bu. 91-5-9, 2175 A is discussed the right to act as 
satammu, for six days in the month, in the temple of Samas. 
And such priestly offices could be held by women, or transferred 
to them: the "dagger-bearership" above mentioned Nabu-balatsu- 
ikbi states he had formerly assigned to his mother. We may 
conjecture that during her tenure of the benefice a hireling per- 
formed the work. Such rights to temple receipts on certain days 
may lie behind the rotation service of the Levites in the Chroni- 
cler's scheme.