Kings Proclamations

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  • 1. KINGS’ PROCLAMATIONS The Cyrus Cylinder and Beyond
  • 2. The Cyrus Seal or Cylinder
    • Written in Akkadian, 538 BCE
  • 3. Masqah Gate, Nineveh
  • 4. Nineveh contains many remains from different time periods and rulers
  • 5. RIGHTS GRANTED JERUSALEM BY CYRUS
    • The return of exiles
    • The rebuilding of the Temple
    • The restoring of Temple vessels
    Tomb of Cyrus
  • 6. Darius and Artaxerxes proclaim
    • The granting of money for building the Temple from the king’s property
    • The distribution of cattle and sheep, or money to buy them, for sacrificial purposes in the Temple
    • The exemption of the Temple staff from taxes
    • The application of “ancestral laws”
    • Assistance in bringing wood from Lebanon
  • 7. ESARHADDON RESTORES BABYLON
    • At top, sacred tree and horned crown on an altar. Below, a Babylonian plow with seed drill.
    • Inscribed with an account of Esarhaddon’s restoration of Babylon
  • 8. ESAGILA: THE BABYLONIAN TEMPLE COMPLEX Esagila was dedicated to the god Marduk
  • 9. Esarhaddon is mentioned in Ezra 4
    • (1) When the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to God, (2) they approached Zerubbabel and the chiefs of clans and said to them, “Let us build with you, since we too worship your God, having offered sacrifices to Him since the time of Esarhaddon of Assyria, who brought us here.”
  • 10. Assurbanipal Conquers Susa 646 BCE
  • 11.
    • Sandstone stele
    • Commemorates Assurbanipal’s rebuilding of Esagila, ca. 672 BCE
    • The king carries materials for ritual molding of first brick
  • 12. Conclusions
    • Temples were constantly being destroyed and restored, depending on who was in power.
    • Why?
    • Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal are two of the last great Assyrian kings. What do you think Cyrus learned from them?
  • 13. EXAMPLE OF ANOTHER KING’S PROCLAMATIONS
    • Hatushili I, a Hittite king (mid-16 th century BCE), says that after he conquered the city of Hahum, he freed slaves or all kinds of prisoners and dedicated them to the sun goddess.
  • 14. TREATMENT OF HOLY CITIES
    • The Hittites used a pole or tree shown by the gate of a city or a building to represent the freedom rights of the place.
    • In Hittite laws, the building of a pole or tree was found in connection with the freedom rights granted to the people of three holy cities: Nerik, Arinna, and Ziplanta.
    • Upon return from exile, cultures like the Hittite one often showed freedom and liberation by having altars rebuilt, returning sheep and cattle to their herds, and having mothers caring for their sons, and cows, for their calves.
  • 15. SOLON, GREEK KING 594-593 BCE
    • Released slaves
    • Cancelled debts
    • Cancelled liens on property
  • 16. THE FAMOUS ROSETTA STONE
    • In the Rosetta Stone, King Ptolemy V of Epiphanes is thanked for the liberation he proclaimed in 197 BCE when he was crowned ptolemy.
    • Among his proclamations: grants to temples, cancellation of taxes owed to the king, freeing of prisoners, cancellation of debts owed to the king by the temples, pardon for exiled rebels, remission of debts owed by priests to the king, restoration of temples
  • 17.  
  • 18. Elephantine, Egypt Colony of Jews lived here in the 5 th century BCE
  • 19. The Passover Letter!