December 06, 2006

The more things change...

The following is taken from The Mesha Stone discovered intact in 1868 (subsequently broken by Arabs and in 1873) then taken to the Louvre. Bolding is mine.

According to Pritchard: "The date of the Mesha Stone is roughly fixed by the reference to Mesha, king of Moab, in II Kings 3:4, after 849 B.C. However, since the contents of the stela point to a date toward the end of the king’s reign, it seems probable that it should be placed
between 840 and 820, perhaps about 830 B.C. in round numbers."

The Ancient Near East - Volume I [ed. James B. Pritchard]

I (am) Mesha, son of Chemosh-[ ... ], king of Moab, the Dibonite—my father (had) reigned over Moab thirty years, and I reigned after my father,—(who) made this high place for Chemosh in Qarhoh [ . . .] because he saved me from all the kings and caused me to triumph over all my adversaries.

As for Omri, king of Israel, he humbled Moab many years (lit., days), for Chemosh was angry at his land. And his son followed him and he also said, “I will humble Moab.” In my time he spoke (thus), but I have triumphed over him and over his house, while Israel hath perished for ever! (Now) Omri had occupied the land of Medeba, and (Israel) had dwelt there in his time and half the time of his son (Ahab), forty years; but Chemosh dwelt there in my time.
And I built Baal-meon, making a reservoir in it, and I built Qaryaten. Now the men of Gad had always dwelt in the land of Ataroth, and the king of Israel had built Ataroth for them, but I fought against the town and took it and slew all the people of the town as satiation (intoxication) for Chemosh and Moab.

And I brought back from there Arel (or Oriel), its chieftain, dragging him before Chemosh in Kerioth, and I settled there men of Sharon and men of Maharith. And Chemosh said to me, “Go, take Nebo from Israel!” So I went by night and fought against it from the break of dawn until noon, taking it and slaying all, seven thousand men, boys, women, girls and maid-servants, for I had devoted them to destruction for (the god) Ashtar-Chemosh.

And I took from there the [...] of Y-H-V-H, dragging them before Chemosh.

And the king of Israel had built Jahaz, and he dwelt there while he was fighting against me, but Chemosh drove him out before me. And I took from Moab two hundred men, all first class (warriors), and set them against Jahaz and took it in order to attach it to (the district of) Dibon.

Me: Calls for Israel's destruction. Intoxicated by blood lust and killing. Calling Israel "occupiers." Killing for god. Murdering innocent women and children. Destruction of Jewish religious places.

Whew. Glad we don't live in that kooky era!


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yaak said...

Very interesting.

I wonder if the facts depicted on the stone were accurate or were just an arrogant king showing off his prowess for future generations of Moabites to be proud of.
If it's the latter, then that would be another similarity to our days: anti-Israeli propaganda.

yitz.. said...

are there other artifacts similar to this?? anyone have any links?