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Eshmunazr’s Sarcophagus

By , May 12, 2009 12:03 pm

This is a description of the sarcophagus of Eshmunazar II and the inscription on it with translation.

The sarcophagus of Eshmunazar II, which is now in the Louvre, was unearthed in 1855 in a site near Sidon, and contains an inscription, in Phoenician Canaanite, inscribed using the Phoenician alphabet.

The text of the 22 line inscription, on the front side of the sarcophagus, follows, with one-to one transliteration into the Hebrew alphabet. The original text contains no word breaks; these are merely suggested; numbers appear in the original inscription in an Egyptian standard.

  1. בירח בל בשנת עסר וארבע 14 למלכי מלכ אשמנעזר מלכ צדנמ
  2. בנ מלכ תבנת מלכ צדנמ דבר מלכ אשמנעזר מלכ צדנמ לאמר נגזלת
  3. בל עתי בנ מסכ יממ אזרמ יתמ בנ אלמת ושכב אנכ בחלת ז ובקבר ז
  4. במקמ אש בנת קנמי את כל ממלכת וכל אדמ אל יפתח אית משכב ז ו
  5. אל יבקש בנ מנמ כ אי שמ בנ מנמ ואל ישא אית חלת משכבי ואל יעמ
  6. סנ במשכב ז עלת משכב שני אפ אמ אדממ ידברנכ אל תשמע בדנמ כ כל ממלכת ו
  7. כל אדמ אש יפתח עלת משכב ז אמ אש ישא אית חלת משכבי אמ אש יעמסנ במ
  8. שכב ז אל יכנ למ משכב את רפאמ ואל יקבר בקבר ואל יכנ למ בנ וזרע
  9. תחתנמ ויסגרנמ האלנמ הקדשמ את ממלכ(ת) אדר אש משל בנמ לק
  10. צתנמ אית ממלכת אמ אדמ הא אש יפתח עלת משכב ז אמ אש ישא אית
  11. חלת ז ואית זרע ממלת הא אמ אדממ המת אל יכנ למ שרש למט ו
  12. פר למעל ותאר בחימ תחת שמש כ אנכ נחנ נגזלת בל עתי בנ מס
  13. כ יממ אזרמ יתמ בנ אלמת אנכ כ אנכ אשמנעזר מלכ צדנמ בנ
  14. מלכ תבנת מלכ צדנמ ומי אמ עשתרת
  15. כהנת עשתרת רבתנ המלכת בת מלכ אשמנעזר מלכ צדנמ אמ בננ אית בת
  16. אלנמ אית (…)ת בצדנ ארצ ימ וישרנ אית עשתרת שממ אדרמ ואנחנ
  17. אש בננ בת לאשמנ (?)ר קדש ענידלל בהר וישבני שממ אדרמ ואנחנ אש בננ בתמ
  18. לאלנ צדנמ בצדנ ארצ ימ בת לבעל צדנ ובת לעשתרת שמ בעל ועד יתנ לנ אדנ מלכמ
  19. אית דאר ויפי ארצת דגנ האדרת אש בשד שרנ למדת עצמת אש פעלת ויספננמ
  20. עלת גבל ארצ לכננמ לצדנמ לעל(?) קנמי את כל ממלכת וכל אדמ אל יפתח עלתי
  21. ואל יער עלתי ואל יעמסנ במשכב ז ואל ישא אית חלת משכבי למ יסגרנמ
  22. אלנמ הקדשמ אל ויקצנ הממלכת הא והאדממ המת וזרעמ לעלמ

The language used in this inscription is a Canaanite dialect, mutually intelligible with Biblical Hebrew.

One Possible Translation:

In the month of Bul, in the fourteenth year of the royalty of King ESHMUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons, (I think this should be translated: King of the Sidonians, becasue SDNM has the Phoenician plural M as an ending) son of King TABNIT, King of the two Sidons,(Again) King ESHMUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons,(Again) said as follows:

I am carried away, the time of my non-existence has come, my spirit has disappeared, like the day, from whence I am silent, since which I became mute.

And I am lying in this coffin, and in this tomb, in the place which I have built.

O thou (reader) remember this: “May no royal race and no man open my funeral couch, and may they not seek after treasures, for no one has hidden treasures here, nor move the coffin out of my funeral couch, nor molest me in this funeral bed, by putting another tomb over it.

Whatever a man may tell thee, do not listen to him:

For the punishment (of the violators) shall be : Every royal race and every man, who shall open the covering or this couch, or who shall carry away the coffin where I repose, or who shall molest me in this couch : they shall have no funeral couch with the Rephaïm, nor shall be buried in graves, nor shall there be any son or offspring to succeed to them, and the sacred gods shall inflict extirpation on them.

Thou whoever (thou art who wilt) be King (hereafter), inspire those over whom thou wilt reign, that they may exterminate the members of the royal race (like those men) who will open the covering of this couch, or who will take away this coffin, and (exterminate) also the offspring of this royal race, or of these men of the crowd. There shall be to them no root below, nor fruit above, nor living form under the sun.

For graced by the gods, I am carried away, the time of my non-existence has come, my spirit has disappeared, like the day, from whence I am silent, since which I became mute.

For I, ESHUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons, son of King TABNIT, King of the two Sidons (who was), the grandson of King ESMUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons,

And my mother AMASTARTE, the Priestess of ASTARTE, our mistress, the Queen, the daughter of King ESMUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons :

It is we who have built the temple of the gods, and the temple of ASTAROTH, on the seaside Sidon, and have placed there the image of the ASTAROTH, as we are sanctifiers (of the gods).

And it is we who have built the temple of ESMUN, and the sanctuary of the purpleshells River on the mountaln, and have placed there his image, as we are sanctifiers (of the gods).

And it is we who have built the temples of the gods of the two Sidons, in the seaside Sidon, the temple of BAAL-SIDON and the temple of ASTARTE who bears the name of this BAAL.

May in future the Lords of the Kings give us Dora and Japhia, the fertile corn-lands, which are in tile plain of Saron, and may they annex it to the boundary of the land, that it may belong to the two Sidons for ever.

O thou, remember this: May no royal race and no man open my covering, nor deface (the inscriptions of) my covering, nor molest me in this funeral bed, nor carry away the coffin, where I repose. Otherwise, the sacred gods shall inflict extirpation on them and shall exterminate this royal race and this man of the crowd and their offspring for ever.

And Now for the first time in centuries, the Phoenician Text:



 

  1. 𐤁𐤉𐤓𐤇 𐤁𐤋 𐤁𐤔𐤍𐤕 𐤏𐤎𐤓 𐤄𐤀𐤓𐤁𐤏 14 𐤋𐤌𐤋𐤊𐤉 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤀𐤔𐤌𐤍𐤏𐤆𐤓 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤑𐤃𐤍𐤌
  2. 𐤁𐤍 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤕𐤁𐤍𐤕 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤑𐤃𐤍𐤌 𐤃𐤁𐤓 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤀𐤔𐤌𐤍𐤏𐤆𐤓 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤑𐤃𐤍𐤌 𐤋𐤀𐤌𐤓 𐤍𐤂𐤆𐤋𐤕
  3. 𐤁𐤋 𐤏𐤕𐤉 𐤁𐤍 𐤌𐤎𐤊 𐤉𐤌𐤌 𐤀𐤆𐤓𐤌 𐤉𐤕𐤌 𐤁𐤍 𐤀𐤋𐤌𐤕 𐤄𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤀𐤍𐤊 𐤁𐤇𐤋𐤕 𐤆 𐤄𐤁𐤒𐤁𐤓 𐤆
  4. 𐤁𐤌𐤒𐤌 𐤀𐤔 𐤁𐤍𐤕 𐤒𐤍𐤌𐤉 𐤀𐤕 𐤊𐤋 𐤌𐤌𐤋𐤊𐤕 𐤄𐤊𐤋 𐤀𐤃𐤌 𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤐𐤕𐤇 𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤆 𐤄
  5. 𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤁𐤒𐤔 𐤁𐤍 𐤌𐤍𐤌 𐤊 𐤀𐤉 𐤔𐤌 𐤁𐤍 𐤌𐤍𐤌 𐤄𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤔𐤀 𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤇𐤋𐤕 𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁𐤉 𐤄𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤏𐤌
  6. 𐤎𐤍 𐤁𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤆 𐤏𐤋𐤕 𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤔𐤍𐤉 𐤀𐤐 𐤀𐤌 𐤀𐤃𐤌𐤌 𐤉𐤃𐤁𐤓𐤍𐤊 𐤀𐤋 𐤕𐤔𐤌𐤏 𐤁𐤃𐤍𐤌 𐤊 𐤊𐤋 𐤌𐤌𐤋𐤊𐤕 𐤄
  7. 𐤊𐤋 𐤀𐤃𐤌 𐤀𐤔 𐤉𐤐𐤕𐤇 𐤏𐤋𐤕 𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤆 𐤀𐤌 𐤀𐤔 𐤉𐤔𐤀 𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤇𐤋𐤕 𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁𐤉 𐤀𐤌 𐤀𐤔 𐤉𐤏𐤌𐤎𐤍 𐤁𐤌
  8. 𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤆 𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤊𐤍 𐤋𐤌 𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤀𐤕 𐤓𐤐𐤀𐤌 𐤄𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤒𐤁𐤓 𐤁𐤒𐤁𐤓 𐤄𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤊𐤍 𐤋𐤌 𐤁𐤍 𐤄𐤆𐤓𐤏
  9. 𐤕𐤇𐤕𐤍𐤌 𐤄𐤉𐤎𐤂𐤓𐤍𐤌 𐤄𐤀𐤋𐤍𐤌 𐤄𐤒𐤃𐤔𐤌 𐤀𐤕 𐤌𐤌𐤋𐤊(𐤕) 𐤀𐤃𐤓 𐤀𐤔 𐤌𐤔𐤋 𐤁𐤍𐤌 𐤋𐤒
  10. 𐤑𐤕𐤍𐤌 𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤌𐤌𐤋𐤊𐤕 𐤀𐤌 𐤀𐤃𐤌 𐤄𐤀 𐤀𐤔 𐤉𐤐𐤕𐤇 𐤏𐤋𐤕 𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤆 𐤀𐤌 𐤀𐤔 𐤉𐤔𐤀 𐤀𐤉𐤕
  11. 𐤇𐤋𐤕 𐤆 𐤄𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤆𐤓𐤏 𐤌𐤌𐤋𐤕 𐤄𐤀 𐤀𐤌 𐤀𐤃𐤌𐤌 𐤄𐤌𐤕 𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤊𐤍 𐤋𐤌 𐤔𐤓𐤔 𐤋𐤌𐤈 𐤄
  12. 𐤐𐤓 𐤋𐤌𐤏𐤋 𐤄𐤕𐤀𐤓 𐤁𐤇𐤉𐤌 𐤕𐤇𐤕 𐤔𐤌𐤔 𐤊 𐤀𐤍𐤊 𐤍𐤇𐤍 𐤍𐤂𐤆𐤋𐤕 𐤁𐤋 𐤏𐤕𐤉 𐤁𐤍 𐤌𐤎
  13. 𐤊 𐤉𐤌𐤌 𐤀𐤆𐤓𐤌 𐤉𐤕𐤌 𐤁𐤍 𐤀𐤋𐤌𐤕 𐤀𐤍𐤊 𐤊 𐤀𐤍𐤊 𐤀𐤔𐤌𐤍𐤏𐤆𐤓 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤑𐤃𐤍𐤌 𐤁𐤍
  14. 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤕𐤁𐤍𐤕 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤑𐤃𐤍𐤌 𐤄𐤌𐤉 𐤀𐤌 𐤏𐤔𐤕𐤓𐤕
  15. 𐤊𐤄𐤍𐤕 𐤏𐤔𐤕𐤓𐤕 𐤓𐤁𐤕𐤍 𐤄𐤌𐤋𐤊𐤕 𐤁𐤕 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤀𐤔𐤌𐤍𐤏𐤆𐤓 𐤌𐤋𐤊 𐤑𐤃𐤍𐤌 𐤀𐤌 𐤁𐤍𐤍 𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤁𐤕
  16. 𐤀𐤋𐤍𐤌 𐤀𐤉𐤕 (…)𐤕 𐤁𐤑𐤃𐤍 𐤀𐤓𐤑 𐤉𐤌 𐤄𐤉𐤔𐤓𐤍 𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤏𐤔𐤕𐤓𐤕 𐤔𐤌𐤌 𐤀𐤃𐤓𐤌 𐤄𐤀𐤍𐤇𐤍
  17. 𐤀𐤔 𐤁𐤍𐤍 𐤁𐤕 𐤋𐤀𐤔𐤌𐤍 (?)𐤓 𐤒𐤃𐤔 𐤏𐤍𐤉𐤃𐤋𐤋 𐤁𐤄𐤓 𐤄𐤉𐤔𐤁𐤍𐤉 𐤔𐤌𐤌 𐤀𐤃𐤓𐤌 𐤄𐤀𐤍𐤇𐤍 𐤀𐤔 𐤁𐤍𐤍 𐤁𐤕𐤌
  18. 𐤋𐤀𐤋𐤍 𐤑𐤃𐤍𐤌 𐤁𐤑𐤃𐤍 𐤀𐤓𐤑 𐤉𐤌 𐤁𐤕 𐤋𐤁𐤏𐤋 𐤑𐤃𐤍 𐤄𐤁𐤕 𐤋𐤏𐤔𐤕𐤓𐤕 𐤔𐤌 𐤁𐤏𐤋 𐤄𐤏𐤃 𐤉𐤕𐤍 𐤋𐤍 𐤀𐤃𐤍 𐤌𐤋𐤊𐤌
  19. 𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤃𐤀𐤓 𐤄𐤉𐤐𐤉 𐤀𐤓𐤑𐤕 𐤃𐤂𐤍 𐤄𐤀𐤃𐤓𐤕 𐤀𐤔 𐤁𐤔𐤃 𐤔𐤓𐤍 𐤋𐤌𐤃𐤕 𐤏𐤑𐤌𐤕 𐤀𐤔 𐤐𐤏𐤋𐤕 𐤄𐤉𐤎𐤐𐤍𐤍𐤌
  20. 𐤏𐤋𐤕 𐤂𐤁𐤋 𐤀𐤓𐤑 𐤋𐤊𐤍𐤍𐤌 𐤋𐤑𐤃𐤍𐤌 𐤋𐤏𐤋(?) 𐤒𐤍𐤌𐤉 𐤀𐤕 𐤊𐤋 𐤌𐤌𐤋𐤊𐤕 𐤄𐤊𐤋 𐤀𐤃𐤌 𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤐𐤕𐤇 𐤏𐤋𐤕𐤉
  21. 𐤄𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤏𐤓 𐤏𐤋𐤕𐤉 𐤄𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤏𐤌𐤎𐤍 𐤁𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁 𐤆 𐤄𐤀𐤋 𐤉𐤔𐤀 𐤀𐤉𐤕 𐤇𐤋𐤕 𐤌𐤔𐤊𐤁𐤉 𐤋𐤌 𐤉𐤎𐤂𐤓𐤍𐤌
  22. 𐤀𐤋𐤍𐤌 𐤄𐤒𐤃𐤔𐤌 𐤀𐤋 𐤄𐤉𐤒𐤑𐤍 𐤄𐤌𐤌𐤋𐤊𐤕 𐤄𐤀 𐤄𐤄𐤀𐤃𐤌𐤌 𐤄𐤌𐤕 𐤄𐤆𐤓𐤏𐤌 𐤋𐤏𐤋𐤌

Transliterated by Maroun G. Kassab

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