CCP 3.5.49 - Ālu 49

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 92683
DT 37
CT 41 30-31

Labat, 1933R. Labat, Commentaires assyro-babyloniens sur les présages. Imprimerie-Librairie de l’Université, 1933.: 56-65

DivinationTerrestrial omens (Šumma Ālu)

ṣâtu 3b

Base text: 
Ālu 49
Tablet information
Complete tablet
obv 18, rev 19
8,57 × 10,47 cm
Neo/Late Babylonian, specifics unknown
Nabû-balāssu-iqbi s. Marduk-zēru-ibni d. Egibatila
Nabû-šumu-līšir (his son)

de Zorzi, 2016bN. de Zorzi, Of Pigs and Workers: A Note on Lugal-e and a Late Babylonian Commentary on Šumma ālu 49, N.A.B.U. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, vol. 2016/79, 2016.
[On line 3b-4: On the quotation from Lugale]

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 51, 63-64, 66, 172, 194, 199, 308

Frahm, 2018bE. Frahm, The Perils of Omnisignificance: Language and Reason in Mesopotamian Hermeneutics, Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History, pp. 87-105, 2018.
[On line 16-18]
: 114

Freedman, 1998S. M. Freedman, If a City is set on a Height. The Akkadian omen series šumma ālu ina mēlê šakin. Volume 1: Tablets 1-21. The University of Pennsylvania Museum, 1998.: 336

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 64 (33, 34, 35), 74 (5, 10, 20, 23, 25), 129 (29), 131 (15), 203 (1), 149–150 (r 9)

Genty, 2010aT. Genty, Les commentaires dans les textes cunéiformes assyro-babyloniens. MA thesis, 2010.
: 423-424

George, 1991bA. R. George, Babylonian Texts from the folios of Sidney Smith. Part Two: Prognostic and Diagnostic Omens, Tablet I, Revue d'Assyriologie, vol. 85, pp. 137-167, 1991.
[On line 21]
: 155

Hunger, 1968H. Hunger, Babylonische und assyrische Kolophone. Neukirchener Verlag, 1968.
: 120 no. 410

Jiménez, 2013aE. Jiménez, La imagen de los vientos en la literatura babilónica. PhD thesis, 2013.
[On line 12: Quotation from Maqlû I 24]
: 65 fn. 105

Labat, 1933R. Labat, Commentaires assyro-babyloniens sur les présages. Imprimerie-Librairie de l’Université, 1933.
: 56-65

Lambert, 1978aW. G. Lambert, Nabû Hymns on Cylinders, in Festschrift Lubor Matouš, B. Hruška and Komoróczy, G. , Eds. 1978, pp. 75-111.
[Other tablet by the same author?]
: 98-99

Oelsner, 2002J. Oelsner, "Sie ist gefallen, sie ist gefallen, Babylon, die große Stadt". Vom Ende einer Kultur. Hirzel, 2002.
[Nabû-balāssu-iqbi s. Marduk-zēru-ibni d. Egibatila]
: 12 fn. 27

Freedman, 03/2016 (Electronic transliteration)
Jiménez, 06/2016 (Transliteration)
Jiménez, 06/2016 (Translation)
Jiménez, 06/2016 (Collations)
Jiménez, 06/2016 (Annotation)
Jiménez, 06/2016 (Introduction)
Frazer & Frahm, 06/2016 (Revision)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
Y. Cohen, 06/2017 (Correction [l. 8: šin-nu, not -ni])
By Enrique Jiménez | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Jiménez, E., 2016, “Commentary on Ālu 49 (CCP 3.5.49),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed July 18, 2024, at DOI: 10079/stqjqfb
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This tablet preserves one of the latest datable commentaries. According to its colophon, the tablet was copied by Nabû-šumu-līšir son of Nabû-balāssu-iqbi, grandson of Marduk-zēru-ibni, of the Egibatila family. This same scribe is attested in two other commentaries: one of them, DT 36 (CCP 3.5.48), which is very similar to the present tablet in both format and contents, is commentary on the immediately preceding chapter of Šumma Ālu, Šumma Ālu 48. The other, DT 35 (CCP 3.8.2.B), a commentary on the series of calendrical divination Iqqur īpuš, is dated to 9 November 104 BCE, and represents the latest dated commentary tablet. It is likely that the present tablet was produced around the same time.

The present tablet, which comes from the city of Babylon, was copied from an “old one-column tablet whose original was from Borsippa” (l. 37). The Vorlage of the present tablet was ostensibly badly damaged: the last three lines of the text contain ḫepi-glosses marking a broken section at the beginning of the line. In l. 33 the ḫepi-gloss is written over an erasure: the scribe probably tried to copy a damaged passage, but then desisted and wrote “broken.”1


The main concerns of this commentary are two. First, it aims to provide philological glosses for difficult logograms or words: thus, in l. 11 the logogram gi.gilim is explained first by means of its Akkadian equivalent, kilimbu; a further gloss is then added to explain the relatively rare kilimbu as riksu ša qanê, “bundle of reeds.” Secondly, the present commentary occupies itself with demonstrating the internal consistency of its base text: it sets out to prove that the apodoses of the omens can be “deduced” from their protases. This double concern of the commentary is visible in the way in which the main text is quoted: when the purpose is simply to explain difficult words or phrases by means of more common ones, only the words in questions (the explananda) are cited. However, when the goal is to demonstrate the relationship between protasis and apodosis, the whole omen is cited: thus in ll. 2-3, 12, 16-17, and 30-31 (?).2

The internal coherence of the omen is usually demonstrated by proving that a word from the protasis is in some way related to a word from the apodosis. Thus, the omen “If a pig repeatedly opens its mouth in front of a man, the man’s wife will repeatedly have (illicit) sex” (šumma šaḫû ana pān amēli / pâšu iptenette aššat amēli ittanayyak) is proved to be “logical” by stating that the words “mouth” (from the protasis) and “anus” and “female genitalia” (both semantically related to the verb in the apodosis, nâku, “to have intercourse”) are equated in lexical lists with one and the same Sumerain word, múrub (ll. 16-18).

Several quotations from literary texts, most of them previously unidentified, are preserved in this commentary. The quotations are often intended to underline the relationship between protasis and apodosis: thus, the omen “If a pig carries a palm from, wind will rise” is proven to be coherent by means of a line from the witchcraft series Maqlû (“May the date palm receive it, (the tree) that receives every wind!”) in which “date palm” and “wind” co-occur in the same line (l. 12). The present commentary also quotes from Lugale (l. 3), Iqqur īpuš (l. 15), and perhaps also the epic Anzû (l. 19).

The following technical terms are attested in this text: aššu to provide the semantic field of an explanation (l. 27), libbū for contextualizing explanations (ll. 15, 29) and šanîš for adducing alternative interpretations (ll. 5, 10, 20, 25).


The edition below has benefited from an electronic transliteration and translation kindly made available by S. M. Freedman. Collations from the original were made by E. Jiménez, who also identified the previously unidentified quotations.

  • 1. An erasure with a ḫepi eššu-note written on top can also be found in the commentary BM 40745 r 2 (CCP 6.1.17). See M. Civil, Green, M. W. , and Lambert, W. G. , Ea A = nâqu, Aa A = nâqu, with their Forerunners and Related Texts. Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1979. P. 331 ad 23.
  • 2. There is, however, at least one exception: ll. 21-22 quote only the apodosis, but the explanation also demonstrates the relationship between protasis and apodosis.

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CT 41, pl. 30-31[via ccpo]


ina a-mat dEN u dGAŠAN-ía liš-lim

(0) By the word of Bēl and Bēltīya, may it be perfect.


    ŠAḪ-MEŠ it-ta-na-da-ru : ša -[še-gu]-ú : na-ad-ri : še-gu-[ú (...)]

(1) (If) pigs persistently rage” (= Šumma Ālu 49 1) (refers to pigs) that go w[il]d, (since) “raging” means “wil[d” (...)]


ṣa-a-du : la-mu-ú : * ŠAḪ-MEŠ ina SILA.DAGAL.LA il-ta-na-su-ú ZIut [IM]

(2) “To prowl” (= Šumma Ālu 49 2) means “to circle.” “If pigs persistently squeal in the city square rise of [a storm] or uprising of spade and hod (laborers) (= Šumma Ālu 49 4) (the relationship between protasis and apodosis is demonstrated by the expression) “to lie down like a pig,” (which appears in the line) “You, (O Stone,) while (they) work on you, lie like a pig!” (quotation from Lugale 484).


šum₄-ma ZIut gišMAR u GI.DUSU : ṣa-la-lu ki ŠAḪ : at- ana e-pe-ši-ka ki-[i ŠAḪ lu-u] ṣal-lat1


KUN-MEŠ-šú-nu ta-ru-ú : šá ana e-la-nu tur-ru : ta-ru-ú : na-šu-ú : ana IGI NA [in-niš-ru]

(4) “Their tails are turned back” (= Šumma Ālu 49 5) (refers to tails) that are turned back upward, (since) “to turn back” means “to raise.” “Will approach the man” (= Šumma Ālu 49 15-16), “to approach” means “to go”; alternatively, “to approach” means “to draw near.”


a-šá-ri : a-la-ku : šá-niš a-šá-ri : sa-na-qu : i-gar-ru-ru : ga-ra-ar : pa-la-[ḫu]2

(5) (Pigs) are rolling” (= Šumma Ālu 49 17), “to roll” means “to fe[ar].”


gišTUKUL-MEŠ-šú-nu i-še-el-lu : šá šin-na-šú-nu i-mar-<ra>-qu : gu-ukKA. : kak*-ku* [ka?-na?-ku?] šin?-ni3

(6) (The pigs) are sharpening their weapons” (cf. Šumma Ālu 49 13) (refers to pigs) that grind their teeth, (since) KA.DÙ, pronounced /guk/, means “weapon,” “to seal,” and “tooth” (= citation from Diri Ug I 69-71 (?)), (since) , pronounced /zu/, means “tooth,” and , pronounced /du/, means “to seal” (and) alternatively “to kiss.” ZÚ.SA.SA means šelû, said of a marsh boar,” (in the word ZÚ.SA.SA), means “tooth of a marsh boar” and SA means “to sharpen, said of weapons.”


zu : šin-ni : du : ka-na-ku* : MIN : na-šá-qu : .SA.SA še-lu-ú šá ŠAḪ gišGI4


! : šin-nu šá ŠAḪ a-pi : SA : še-e-lu šá kak-ku : ZI URU ZI KU₆-MEŠ u MUŠEN ina KUR GÁLši UN-MEŠ

(8) “There will be an uprising of a city, uprising of fish and birds in the land” (cf. Šumma Ālu 49 43′) means “the people will rise up together, it is favorable.”


ana ?-te?-en i-te-eb-bu-ú SIG₅ : GI.GÌRgi-ir : a-lit-tu₄ : Ú qa--e : GI.Ú.GÌR : a-[da]-at-tu₄5

(9) GI.GÌR (cf. Šumma Ālu 49 53′-55′), (GÌR) read /gir/, means “fertile,” (it refers to) the “reed-plant”; GI.Ú.GÌR means adattu, i.e., the base of the reed.


SUḪUŠ šá GI : GI.TUR : zi-ri : šam-mu qa--e : šá-niš GI.TUR : ze-er-ze!-ri!? [(...)]6

(10) GI.TUR (= Šumma Ālu 49 unknown) means zīru-reed, i.e., “reed plant”; alternatively, GI.TUR means zirzirru-reed. [(...)]


GI.GILIM : ki-li-im-bi : ri-ik-su šá GI : Ú.A.GUG₄ : el-pe- : me-e-bur-[ki x x] x

(11) GI.GILIM (= Šumma Ālu 49 47′ and 52′-55′) means “reed bundle,” (i.e.,) a bundle of reeds. Ú.A.GUG₄ (= Šumma Ālu 49 50′) means “alfalfa-grass,” (i.e.,) “alfa gr[ass” ...] ... (means) “alfalfa-grass.”


el-pe-tu₄ : * ŠAḪ gišPA GIŠIMMAR na-ši IM ZI : gišGIŠIMMAR lim-ḫur-an-ni ma-ḫi-ir kal šá-a-[ri]

(12) “If a pig carries a palm frond, wind will rise” (= Šumma Ālu 49 48′) (the relationship between protasis and apodosis is demonstrated by the line) “May the date palm receive it, (the tree) that receives every wind!” (quotation from Maqlû I 22).


SÍG la-ḫi-im MU₄mu-mu.MU₄ : la-ba-šú : MU₄mu-mu.MU₄ : la-ḫa-mu : SÍG.ÙZ ma-le-e [(x x x)]

(13) (A pig) is covered (laḫim) with hair” (= Šumma Ālu 49 24) MU₄.MU₄, (pronounced) /mu-mu/, means “to be clothed” (labāšu), MU₄.MU₄, pronounced /mu-mu/, means “to be covered” (laḫāmu), (it refers to) unkempt hair [(...)].


LUGAL ŠÚ : LUGAL ŠÚ : LUGAL a-ḫu-ú : ŠÚ : kiš-šá-tu₄ : ŠÚ : a-ḫu-ú : URU-MEŠ ár-bu-ta₅ DU!(KU-)MEŠ* [x x] x GAR-x [(x x)]7

(14) LUGAL ŠÚ (= Šumma Ālu 49 24) means “king of the universe” (LUGAL ŠÚ), (alternatively, it means) “foreign king,” (since) ŠÚ means “universe” and ŠÚ means “foreigner.” “Cities will be laid waste” (= Šumma Ālu 49 24) means ... [...].


ILLAT* NU ZU ana EN-šú TEam : lìb-bu-ú : ab-bu-ut ŠEŠ-MEŠ la šu-a-ti ip-pu-8

(15) “A support he did not know of will approach his owner” (= Šumma Ālu 49 28′) is as in “he will intercede for brothers that are not his” (= quotation from Iqqur īpuš §31 Elūlu). KI.ÙR (= Šumma Ālu 49 unknown) means to pillage, (since) KI means “place” and ÙR means “to pass by, in the sense ‘to cross’.”


KI.ÙR : ma-la-lu* : KI : áš-ri : ÙR : ba-ʾ-ú šá e-te-qu : * ŠAḪ ana IGI NA9

(16) “If a pig repeatedly opens its mouth in front of a man, the man’s wife will repeatedly have (illicit) sex” (= Šumma Ālu 49 34′) (the relationship between protasis and apodosis is demonstrated by the fact that) MÚRUB means “mouth,” MÚRUB means “anus,” and MÚRUB means “female genitalia.”


KA-šú BAD*.BAD*te DAM it-ta-na-a-a-ak : MÚRUBmu-ru-ub pu-ú : MÚRUB : šu-uḫ-ḫu


MÚRUB : ú-ri šá MUNUS : i-ʾi-ir : a-ri : a-lak : i-ši-ir : a-šá-[ru : a-la-ku]

(18) (A pig) advances (iʾir) (= Šumma Ālu 49 35′) stems from “to advance,” which means “to go,“ i.e., “he approaches,” (since) to appr[oach means to go].


ana IGI EN-šú ig-gu-[] : ig-gu- : il-lik : ip-làḫ-ma ig-gu- šá-da-a-šú i-li10

(19) (A pig) leaves towards his owner” (cp. Šumma Ālu 49 38′), “leaves” means “goes,” (as in) “he was afraid and left and disappeared (lit. “went up to his mountain”) (= quotation from Anzû?). ...


i-li x [x] x-ad-me : im-ši-id : im-ḫa-aṣ šá-niš im-ši-id : is-pu-un11

(20) “He hit” (= Šumma Ālu 49 38′) means “he struck,” alternatively, “he struck” means “he flattened,” (since) ÙR means “to strike” and ÙR means “to flatten.”


ÙR* :* ma*-šá*-du* : ÙR : sa-pa-nu : e-se-et-tu₄ ana É EN-šú KU₄ : -reb : a-sìr12

(21) “A captive woman will enter the house of his master” (= Šumma Ālu 49 41′), “center” (from the protasis, written qé-reb [i.e., KI.KAL]), means “center,” (and hence) “captive” (lit., “enclosed”); KI.KAL means “hardship.”


KI.KAL : dan-na-tu₄ : nam-<<zi>>-mi-ru- -ḫi- <<ru->> i-te--ep-pu-13

(22) “It calmly performs the function of the herald (namgirūtu) (= Šumma Ālu 49 42′) (refers to the pig) that sings calmly; alternatively, namgirūtu means nagirūtu (i.e., “function of the herald”). “A sick person [will die] in ad[versity] (= Šumma Ālu 49 42′), TE means “to calm down,” TE means “to cool down.”


šá* *-ḫi*-* i-za-am-mu-ru : šá-niš nam-gi₆gi-ru- : na-gi-ru- : GIG ina aḫ-[ḫi?-ti? UG₇]


[TE] : na*-a-ḫu : TE : pa*-šá-ḫu : i-se-er : se-e-ri : sa-pa-nu : BI <<:>> ina URU ú-[ba-ru KU₄]14

(24) “It smears” (= Šumma Ālu 49 64′) (stems from) “to smear,” (which) means “to flatten.” “That man, the en[emy will enter] the city” (= Šumma Ālu 49 unknown, cf. 57′) means “a foreigner will enter his house” “foreigner” means “enemy.” Alternatively, it means “he will turn into a stranger in his (own) city” [(...)].


[ú]-ba*-ri ana É-šú ir-ru-ub : ú-ba-ri : nak-ri : šá-niš ina URU-šú ana a-ḫi-i i-ta-ri [(x x x)]15


[*] ŠAḪ la šu-ú id-da-ri-ir-ma : ana É NA KU₄ : na-ad-ri : še-gu-ú : -li

(26) [If a pi]g that is not his own goes on the rampage and enters a man’s house” (= Šumma Ālu 49 68′), “on the rampage” means “raging.” (A pig) tears a man to pieces” (= Šumma Ālu 49 72′), “to tear to pieces” means “to shred.”


[šá-lu]-ú : ša-ra-ṭu : É ú-na-ap-pilpi-il : A it-bu-uk : áš-šú ši-na-a-

(27) In “turns the house upside down (ú-na-ap-NE) (= Šumma Ālu 49 72′), (NE should be read as) /pil/. (A pig) spills water” (= Šumma Ālu 49 75′) it refers to urine.


[ŠÈ]ze-e il-mu-um : la-ma-mu : a-ka-lu : NA mu-lem-mìn INIMa-mat TUKUši

(28) (If a pig) chews human excrement” (= Šumma Ālu 49 77′), “to chew” means “to eat.” “The man will have a slanderer” (= Šumma Ālu 49 77′) means he will see ...


x x IGImar? : NA -ta-ga-lit : lìb*-bu-ú <<:>> ṣal-tu₄ : INIMa-mat pi-qa TUKUši16

(29) (If a pig) terrifies a man” (= Šumma Ālu 49 78′) (is) as in “a combat.” “He will have a word of constraint (= Šumma Ālu 49 80′) means he will have a [...] word.


x INIMa-mat TUKUši : * ŠAḪ ana É NA KU₄-ma ZI-ma KIMIN É BI Á.TUKU TUKUši

(30) “If a pig enters a man’s house, stands up and ditto (scil., “vomits,” ipru), that house will acquire profit” (= Šumma Ālu 49 81′) ... means ...


x-bi :? ru?-tu₄? : ḫa-mi : ḫu-ṣa-bi : ḫa-mi Ú : ḫu-ṣa-bi : šá mim-ma la šu-a-tu₄17

(31) “Chaff” (= Šumma Ālu 49 82′) means “twig,” because the chaff of a plant is a twig. “Of what it is not his” (= Šumma Ālu 49 unknown) means “all he achieves.”


ma-la KURád : lu-ḫu-ma-a ip-šu- : lu-ḫu-ma-a pu--šú šá u₄-mu-us-su pu--šú

(32) “Smears with mud” (= Šumma Ālu 49 unknown) “smeared with mud” (refers to a pig) that is smeared daily, (new break) you smear. “Debi<lity>” (literally, luʾ-(break)) means “disease.”


ḫe- -šú ta-pa-áš-šá-šu! : lu-ʾ-ḫe- : mur-ṣu : * ana É NA MUNUS.ŠAḪ ḫi-i na-šat-ma KU₄18

(33) “If a sow carrying ḫiʾu enters a man’s house” (= Šumma Ālu 49 85′), (new break) either a saw or a pig; ḫiʾu means “reed fence (made of) adattu-reed,” (i.e.,) ḫīlu of a reed,” (which) means (new break) “reed plant.”


ḫe- -šú MUNUS.ŠAḪ lu ŠAḪ : ḫi-i : GI.SIG a-da-at-tu : ḫi-lu šá qa--e19


ḫe- -šú šam-mu qa--e


ṣa-a- ù šu-ut KA šá * ŠAḪ-MEŠ it-ta-na-ad-da-ru * URU <ina> SUKUDe GARin

(36) Lemmata and oral explanations from (If) pigs persistently rage” (= Šumma Ālu 49), from “If a City is Set on a Height.”


LIBIR?.RA?-šu? TA muḫ-ḫi im-ṭa SUMUN GABA.RI bar-sipki SAR-ma IGI.TAB20

(37) Copied and collated from an old one-column tablet, whose original was from Borsippa.


im-ṭa dAG-DIN-su-E A šá mdAMAR.UTU-MU- A mdegi-ba-ti-la ŠU-MIN mdAG-MU-SI. DUMU-šú

(38) One-column tablet of Nabû-balāssu-iqbi son of Marduk-zēru-ibni descendant of Egibatila. Handwriting of Nabû-šumu-līšir, his son.

1Quotation from Lugale 484. The explanation probably tries to demonstrate the internal consistency of the omen by proving that the protasis (“pigs”) is related to the apodosis (“uprising”) because “lying down” (the opposite of “uprising”) is often said of pigs.

2The emendation of the last signs as NIGIN, proposed inter alii by CAD G 47b, is epigraphically unlikely. The restoration adopted at the end follows SpTU 2 39 o 3 (CCP 4.1.34).

3Compare KA.dù = kanāku in Antagal C 106 (MSL 17 198) and ku-ku-kaKA.KAK = kakku, kanāku, šinnu in Diri Ugarit I 69-71 (MSL 15 69).

4The fourth word is ka-na-ku* (collated). The correct parsing of ZÚ.SA.SA escapes us, the last equation seems to be taken from an unknown lexical source.

5The restoration and interpretation at the end follows CAD A/1 110a, note that it would also be possible to reconstruct a-[ba]-at-tu₄.

6The emendation of the one but last word in zi-ri-ru!, suggested in CAD Z 136b, is unlikely.

7On the various interpretations of LUGAL ŠÚ in commentaries, see Frahm GMTR 5 p. 63 fn. 297.

8The second part of the line contains a quotation, introduced by the technical term libbū, from Iqqur īpuš §31 Elūlu.

9The second word may also be ba-la-lu.

10The verse cited at the end of the line may represent a quotation from Anzû II 29 = 147, igrur irtaʾub šadûssu igguš, “(Ninurta) became afraid, trembled, and disappeared (lit., “he left to his mountain”).” The different wording of the line in the present commentary may be due to the fact that the commentator was citing from memory.

11It does not seem possible to read at the beginning of the line bīn šar dadmē, i.e., the incipit of Anzû (see note on the preceding line).

12The base text reads a-si-ir-tu₄, “captive woman,” instead of e-si-ir-tu₄. The present commentarial entry links the word qereb, “center,” in the protasis (which reads [DIŠ ŠAḪ ana] -reb ur-ši KU₄, “if a pig enters the center of a bedroom”) with the mention of a “captive woman” in the apodosis.

13KI.KAL at the beginning of the line refers still to -reb (note that both are written with the same signs). The sign after NAM is a clear ZI (the word **namzirūtu is thus probably related to zamāru, “to sing,” in the commentator’s mind), but one might consider an emendation nam-gigi₆-ru-.

14The reading of the first half of the line follows CAD P 229a. The equation of nâḫu and pašāḫu seems to be intended to demonstrate the relationship between the protasis of the omen (which contains the word nēḫiš) and its apodosis, although the gist of the equation escapes us.

15The line commented upon does not seem to be preserved, but compare Šumma Ālu 49 57′: ina URU u-bar È, “a foreigner will go out of the city.”

16The gist of the first explanation of the line is unclear.

17Since both the protasis and the apodosis of the omen are cited in the previous line, one would expect that the first few damaged signs of this line contain a commentarial entry justifying the pairing of the protasis and the apodosis. The interpretation of the signs, however, escapes us.

18According to CAD P 251b, the first word would be <>-ta-pa-áš-šá-aṭ, “you make ... efface ...,” but the interpretation offered here seems more likely. In the word lu--ḫe-, the ḫe--note seems to have been written over an erasure. The equation was originally lu-ʾ-tu₄ : mur-ṣu, an equation well attested elsewhere.

19ḫi-lu šá qa--e could also be part of a new entry.

20The reading of the first signs as LIBIR.RA-šu, proposed inter alii by Hunger AOAT 2 p. 120 no. 410, is epigraphically uncertain, and would result in awkward syntax.

Photos by E. Jiménez and © Trustees of the BM

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum