Neo-Assyrian Archival Texts and the Bible

Peter Dubovský (Rome)


Neo-Assyrian administrative tablets found at Gezer were published in 1904. Since then, other Neo-Assyrian texts have been found in Israel (Tel Hadid, Samaria, etc.). The meaning of these, often fragmentary, documents can be assessed only after other Assyrian archives written in Akkadian and Aramaic have been excavated and fully published (Assur, Kalhu, Nineveh, Burmarina Guzana, Dur-Katlimmu, Sam’al, etc.). This paper will explore how the archival documents illuminate the Assyrian administration of peripheries, Israel included. Based on this study, I will suggest how the Assyrian archives may help rethink interpretations of some biblical passages dealing with the possession of land, slaves, and pledges that are mentioned in the cuneiform texts found in Israel and in the Bible.