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Amarna tablets: Letter from Abdu-Heba of Jerusalem
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A Letter from Abdu-Heba of Jerusalem

EA 286

 

    To the king, my Lord, thus speaks Abdu-Heba, your servant. At the feet of the king, my Lord, seven times and seven times I prostrate myself. What have I done to the king, my Lord? They blame me before the king, my Lord, saying: "Abdu-Heba has rebelled against the king, my Lord."
    I am here, as far as I am concerned, it was not my father, nor my mother, who put me in this position; the arm of the powerful king lead me to the house of my father! Why would I commit a transgression against the king, my Lord?
    While the king, my Lord, lives, I will say to the commissioner of the king, my Lord: "Why do you favour the Hapiru [2] and are opposed to the rulers?"
    And thus I am accused before the king, my Lord. Because it is said: "Lost are the territories of the king, my Lord."
    Thus am I calumniated before the king, my Lord! But may the king, my Lord know, that, when the king sent a garrison, Yanhamu [1] seized everything, and ///// the land of Egypt /////
    Oh king, my Lord, there are no garrison troops here! (Therefore), the king takes care of his land! May the king take care of his land! All the territories of the king have rebelled; Ilimilku caused the loss of all the territories of the king. May the king take care of his land!
    I repeat: Allow me to enter the presence of the king, my Lord, and let me look into both eyes of the king, my Lord. But the hostility against me is strong, and I cannot enter the presence of the king, my Lord. May the king send garrison troops, in order that I may enter and look into the eyes of the king, my Lord. So certain as the king, my Lord, lives, when the commissioners come, I will say: "Lost are the territories of the king. Do you not hear to me? All the rulers are lost; the king, my Lord, does not have a single ruler left."
    May the king direct his attention to the archers, and may the king, my Lord, send troops of archers, the king has no more lands. The Hapiru sack the territories of the king. If there are archers (here) this year, all the territories of the king will remain (intact); but if there are no archers, the territories of the king, my Lord, will be lost!
    To the king, my Lord thus writes Abdu-Heba, your servant. He conveys eloquent words to the king, my Lord. All the territories of the king, my Lord, are lost.


[1]     Yanhamu: The Egyptian commissioner in Palestine
[2]     Hapiru: Nomadic or semi-nomadic people associated with robbery.
 
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