ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN PROPHECY
ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN PROPHECY
One of the most exciting changes in the study of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible in the last thirty years is the realization that other ancient Near Eastern cultures also knew prophecy, just as there were prophets in Israel. Not only do they know of people who occasionally were inspired to speak in a deity’s name, but also there were “professional” prophets, people recognized as regularly speaking in the name of a deity. This article focuses on those individuals in the ancient Near East who were “professional” prophets and, therefore, whose social and religious role is directly comparable to that of the Israelite nābîʾ.
Most texts come from two large archives: the royal archive from Old Babylonian Mari (eighteenth century bc) and the Neo-Assyrian state archives (seventh century bc). Some of the texts preserve oracles transmitted in letters by governors and priests to their king; other texts are administrative documents that attest to the existence of prophets even when we do not have oracular material. In addition, there are some Aramaic inscriptions from Transjordan. Prophecy as such is usually not identified in Egyptian, Ugaritic and Hittite sources, but a number of recent studies have challenged this consensus. Recent English translations of virtually all ancient Near Eastern prophetic texts can be found in Nissinen 2003c. Some, but not all, of the texts are also available in ANET 449–55, 604–7.
1.1. Old Babylonian/Mari. The royal archives from Mari were found in excavations of Tell Hariri on the Euphrates in Eastern Syria close to the Syrian-Iraqi border in the first half of the twentieth century. There are about fifty administrative letters containing reports of prophetic oracles written by high officials such as governors and addressed to the king, most of them to King Zimri-Lim, but a few also to Yasmaḫ-Addu, his predecessor. The first text was published in 1950, but most texts have recently been edited by J.-M. Durand and D. Charpin. There are also other administrative texts, such as lists of expenses, which show that prophets were provided for by the royal administration. Most oracles contained in the letters are concerned with cultic provisions for various temples and military matters, and they include some criticism of the king’s behavior. There are also one to two texts each from Ishchali (Ellis 1987), Uruk (van Dijk) and Kish (Dalley).
1.2. Neo-Assyrian State Archives. The Neo-Assyrian state archives have been known for over a century, and the so-called Sammeltafeln (tablets collecting several oracles) were first published in 1889 by A. Delattre. Despite the obvious similarities between these texts and some biblical passages, few Hebrew Bible scholars took note of them until their reedition in 1997 by S. Parpola. In addition to the two Sammeltafeln, there is one adê (“covenant”)-tablet, several tablets containing a single oracle, a few letters containing quoted oracles, and administrative documents attesting to prophets, most of which are published in Nissinen 1998b.
1.3. Aramaic Inscriptions. There are three *Aramaic inscriptions with prophetic content: the Deir ʿAlla inscription (750–650 bc), the Zakkur inscription (805–775 bc) and the Amman citadel inscription (late ninth century bc).
1.3.1. Deir ʿAlla. The Deir ʿAlla inscription contains an oracle of doom by Balaam bar Beor, the ḥ[z]h ʾlhn (“seer of the gods”). This inscription recently has been interpreted as an indication that not all ancient Near Eastern prophecy was positive for the king (Blum; Williamson). There can be little doubt that the archival nature of ancient Near Eastern evidence for prophecy has a bias toward supportive messages, and that negative oracles were not preserved; however, they did presumably occur, as indicated by SAA 16 59, a letter to the king in which it is reported that a female slave prophesied in support of a rival pretender to the throne. The oracle preserved in the Deir ʿAlla inscription is a literary narrative creation, and in its depiction of an apocalyptic future it is more akin to Egyptian literary predictive texts such as the so-called Prophecy of Neferti than prophetic oracles preserved in Akkadian texts or in the Hebrew Bible. It also shows that the genre “predictive text” was known in Transjordan, close to Israel, in the early eighth century bc.
1.3.2. Zakkur. The Zakkur inscription is a royal inscription by King Zakkur of Hamath. In the text he thanks his god Baʿal-Šamen for rescuing him from Bar Hadad II, who had laid siege to Zakkur. According to the inscription, Baʿal-Šamen answered [b]yd ḥzyn wbyd ʿddn (“through seers and messengers”) and it contains the classical “fear not” formula of salvation oracles from Neo-Assyrian and biblical texts (Nissinen 2003b). The term ʿddn, plural of ʿdd, comparable to biblical Hebrew ʿdd in 2 Chronicles 15:1; 28:9, is difficult to translate (Barstad 2003).
1.3.3. Amman Citadel. The Amman Citadel inscription is difficult to decipher, and so it is unclear whether it is intended as recording an oracle from Milkom or as a narrative about the beneficiary deeds of that deity. Despite the argument that if these words are Milkom’s, they must be prophecy (Sasson), it is unclear whether this oracle is prophetic or was gained by more technical means (see 2.4 below the question of technical versus intuitive divination).
1.4.1. Egypt. For most of the twentieth century, there has been a consensus that the socioreligious phenomenon “prophecy” did not exist in Egypt. Instead, there are several texts that could be regarded as falling into the category “literary predictive texts” (Ellis 1989): the Prophecy of Neferti and the Admonitions of Ipu-Wer. There is also the story of Wenamun, the Egyptian official sent to Byblos to buy wood who, during his adventures, encounters prophets (Schipper). Apart from the travelogue told by Wenamun, none of these texts explicitly includes a human intermediary from a deity to a human addressee, which is one of the requirements according to the standard definition of prophecy (Weippert, 289–90; Nissinen 2004). Either, like in Neferti, the human is portrayed as a wise man who knows the future or, like in the Memphis and Karnak stelae, the deity speaks directly to the royal addressee. This led N. Shupak to come forward with her interpretation of these religious specialists as wise men (Shupak 1990; 2006, #3063).
More recently, two approaches have reassessed the use of the Egyptian texts for the study of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible and in ancient Israel. J. Hilber (2012; forthcoming) has attempted to find evidence for prophetic activity in victory inscriptions. As with Mesopotamian inscriptions, it is always possible that words ascribed to deities in inscriptions result from prophetic activity, but any other form of *divination can also be their source. The other approach regards Egyptian literary texts as appropriate comparative material to prophecy in the Hebrew Bible precisely because they are literary productions; Egyptian and biblical texts are, to a large extent, representatives of the genre “literary predictive texts” (Grabbe, 86–87; Scurlock; Weeks).
The only Egyptian text that may go back to the socioreligious phenomenon “prophecy” is Wenamun, the story of an Egyptian official on a rather adventurous journey to Byblos to acquire timber for the Amun-Re temple at Karnak. Everything that could go wrong on his journey does go wrong: his money is stolen, and he is even arrested. Wenamun’s fortunes change only when a person referred to as ʿḏd ʿꜣ appears and, while in trance, announces a divine decree to let Wenamun go. The term ʿḏd ʿꜣ is extremely rare (only here and in P. Berlin 10494) and is now mostly translated as “ecstatic” because of the similarities with Aramaic ʿdd. Whether or not this text is fictitious, the person who goes into ecstasy is not Egyptian, but Phoenician. Thus, if this Egyptian text is read as an example of prophecy, it should be taken not as Egyptian prophecy but rather as Levantine prophecy.
1.4.2. Ugarit. Recently, N. Wyatt suggested that an episode in the Keret epic (KTU 1.15 ii 17-iii 19) should be understood as a prophetic oracle. However, in that text El talks directly to Keret rather than going through an intermediary, rather like in many ancient Near Eastern dreams.
1.4.3. Hittites. It is unclear whether the Hittite term LÚ DINGIRlim-ni-an-za-ma (“ecstatic man of god”) should be translated as prophet as suggested by R. Beal. The most promising context for finding out its significance is in the Second Plague Prayer by Muršili II: “Let me either see it in a dream, or let it be established through an oracle, or let an ‘ecstatic man of god’ declare it.” G. Beckman points to 1 Samuel 28:6, where the same order (dreams, oracles, prophets) occurs, and therefore he translates the Hittite term as “prophet.” This may well be justified, but the data does not provide any further information as to how these “prophets” operated, and “unfortunately no examples of their utterances survive” (Beal, 381). Additionally, the term “man of the Storm-god” occurs in Middle Hittite rituals denoting a priest who introduces the king to the deity but who does not seem to perform any divinatory functions (Taggar-Cohen, 248–70).
1.4.4. Ebla. In 1976 G. Pettinato claimed that he had found two classes of prophets in texts from twenty-fourth century bc Ebla, the maḫḫû and the nabiʾutum. In 1977 Pettinato modified this to nabî and maḫḫû, citing TM.75 G.428 and 1860. The second of the two texts was already well known to the scholarly public, as Pettinato previously had claimed that it contained reference to Sodom and Gomorrah. Pettinato later admitted that this tablet is a metallurgical text and does not contain references to Sodom and Gomorrah or prophets (Archi, 151–52). Despite this, references to prophecy at Ebla can still be found in modern scholarly literature. While it is impossible to prove that prophecy did not exist in Ebla, we can confidently say that no evidence of it, textual or otherwise, has reached us today.
1.4.5. Emar. The textual evidence for the existence of prophecy at Emar is somewhat stronger but by no means conclusive. The root nbʾ is attested in two professional titles, *nabû and *munabbiātu, in the following four texts: Emar 373:97’, 379:11–12, 383:10’ and 406:5’ (Arnaud 1986; 1987). D. Fleming (1993a; 1993b; 1993c) adduced these titles, and the isolated occurrence of the nabī ša Ḫanameš in a text from Mari (ARM 26 216), arguing for an active etymology of Hebrew nābîʾ, for which he was criticized by J. Huehnergard (for Fleming’s response, see Fleming 2004). Because the Mari text is often understood as referring to prophecy, Fleming and others regard the Emar occurrence as referring to prophecy too. However, it is by no means certain that this Mari text refers to prophecy; the context and the language of ARM 26 216 suggest technical divination but do not rule out the possibility of intuitive divination/prophecy. The usage of the verb nbʾ in Emar suggests the invocation of deities/ancestors, and it is therefore likely that the two related nominal forms nabī and *munabbiātu are also related to ancestor worship (Stökl forthcoming b). As in the case of Ebla, it is impossible to prove that prophecy did not exist in Emar, but no evidence for its potential existence survived.
Much research has focused on understanding the professional titles used in prophetic texts from Mari and the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The title muḫḫûm/maḫḫû (fem. muḫḫūtum/maḫḫūtu) is used in both corpora. The term āpilum (fem. āpiltum) occurs only in the Mari texts, while raggimu (fem. raggintu) is used exclusively in Neo-Assyrian texts. Prophecy is one of the few religious professions in the ancient Near East that is performed by men and women and for whom the same terms are used (albeit in masculine and feminine forms). Unlike in most other religious professions, there do not appear to be any differences between male and female prophets (Stökl 2010).
2.1. muḫḫûm/maḫḫû. The muḫḫûm (“ecstatic”; Neo-Assyrian maḫḫû), an ecstatic cult official, is attested throughout Mesopotamian history, mostly unrelated to prophecy. Because at Mari they mostly occur in letters in which they transmit divine messages, most scholars believe that the muḫḫûm is a professional “prophet.” However, it is unclear whether this is in fact the case. It is possible that the term refers to a specific kind of cult ecstatic, similar to, for example, the zabbu, close to whom the muḫḫûm appears in lexical lists. This in turn raises the question of what we mean when we use the term prophet: is it the socioreligious role or the technical term for a profession? If we mean the former, then some individual muḫḫûms are prophets; but the term is not a technical one for a professional prophet.
2.2. The āpilum and the raggimu. The āpilum is the technical term for a prophet in the Old Babylonian period. It used to be translated as “answerer,” but the better translation “spokesperson” is gaining ground (Merlo; van der Toorn 1998, 60). The Neo-Assyrian equivalent of the Old Babylonian āpilum is the raggimu (“shouter”). While it is generally assumed that they are employed in temples, it is significantly less clear than normally assumed. They are the “spokespeople” of a deity, and in the case of Mari prophecy, they often, but by no means always, speak in temples. But, as ARM 26 199 shows, royal officials send the āpilum Lupaḫum to a number of different temples, implying that he is working for the royal administration. It seems that some prophets, maybe even many prophets, had some form of an association with a temple, but that they were not required to have such a connection. Significantly, the same is also true for other professional diviners in the ancient Near East.
2.3. Prophecy and Gender. There is a debate on the involvement of people with third-gender in prophecy in the ancient Near East. Here, “gender” is used to describe the social role performed by people—that is, the question is whether they behave like men or women, rather than their biological sex. At Mari three religious professionals called assinnu are reported to be involved in prophecy. Elsewhere, particularly in texts from the first millennium, assinnu are described as men whom the goddess (Ishtar) had turned into women (Henshaw). The assinnu were cult performers who were ecstatic and danced, as did other cult “ecstatics,” such as the zabbu and probably the muḫḫûm. It is argued that because the assinnu performed an ambiguous gender role, ambiguous gender performance is common in prophetic people, particularly in the Neo-Assyrian period (Parpola; Huffmon; Nissinen forthcoming). There is ample evidence for assinnu in the Neo-Assyrian period; however, they never prophesy. The Neo-Assyrian evidence for gender ambiguity consists of three peculiar spellings in SAA 9 1 (texts 1, 4, 5) that leave open the possibility that the writer may have been attempting to write ambiguous gender performance of three prophets. This is, however, extremely unclear. In my view, it is difficult to defend the thesis that gender ambiguity is well established on the basis of one tablet, which can be interpreted in various ways. While it is impossible to disprove that people with ambiguous gender were involved in prophecy, there is equally little to suggest that prophecy was a particularly prominent occupation with ambiguous gender (Stökl forthcoming a; Zsolnay).
2.4. Divination and Prophecy. Deuteronomy 13; 18 condemn divination. The study of prophecy in Mesopotamia, however, has shown that far from being opposed to technical forms of divination, prophecy is an integral part of the system of divination there; it is one of the ways in which the human king (and others) has access to information from the divine sphere (Nissinen 2000). It is therefore better to classify prophecy as one of the many forms of divination, where “divination” refers to all manner of communication with the divine with the aim of finding out the will of a deity. With this terminology, prophecy is an “intuitive” form of divination, while the reading of entrails, for example, is one of the technical forms of divination. This terminology has the benefit of explaining the similarities between various forms of divination while still allowing for differences between them (Nissinen 2010b; Grabbe, 150–51; Pongratz-Leisten).
3.1. Criticism of the King. One of the major features of biblical prophecy is the radically critical encounter of prophecy and king. There is no direct evidence for such meetings from anywhere in the nonbiblical material. Some of this absence can be explained by the nature of the sources: the nonbiblical sources come mostly from royal archives and royal inscriptions, while the biblical text could be classified, at least in parts, as protest literature. Royal archives are unlikely to preserve messages critical of a king in particular and human kingship in general. Some criticism of the king’s actions in particular instances can be found in the Mari letters. Additionally, in a Neo-Assyrian letter (SAA 16 59) an incident is quoted in which a female slave prophesied in favor of a pretender to the throne. Though not critical toward kingship in general, this letter shows that prophecies against the king were delivered. It is only through the accident of preservation that they do not survive (Nissinen 1998a; 2003a).
3.2. Prophecies of Doom, Salvation Oracles and the Function of Prophecy/Divination. Most ancient Near Eastern prophecy is in support of the king, with a significant focus on legitimizing the rule of a new king (Dalley). One common form of oracle is the promise of support against enemies both without and within, similar to, for example, Isaianic promises of divine support for Judah. On the basis of such similarities, some scholars recently have argued that Israelite prophecy, as seen in Isaiah, presumably followed the same model: they mostly gave salvation oracles in favor of the king. It is true that most preserved oracles from nonbiblical sources are positive for the king and can very well be compared to salvation and victory oracles (van der Toorn 1987). However, they also knew more critical forms of oracles. E. Blum and H. Williamson have pointed to the Deir ʿAlla inscription to show that ancient Near Eastern prophets were capable of pronouncing oracles of doom as well as salvation oracles. It certainly is to be expected that prophets, just like other diviners, occasionally pronounced oracles of doom. These should not, however, be understood as oracles of unconditional doom, but rather as oracles that attempt to cause a change of behavior by warning the king that otherwise the announced catastrophe will take place (Tiemeyer). This may indicate that biblical oracles of doom should be understood as conditional as well. Interpreted in that way, Amos does not announce the destruction of the northern kingdom, but rather that it will be destroyed unless the ruling classes mend their ways. Mesopotamian omen literature is full of omens that announce the destruction of the capital, the state, the death of the king and other such catastrophes. Their purpose was to warn the addressee of the outcome if nothing was done to change the conditions. When oracles occurred that supported a rival king, as in the example given above (SAA 16 59), it appears that they could be taken as “false prophecy” (Nissinen 1996).
3.3. Cultic Prophecy. Ever since S. Mowinckel’s magisterial study on Psalms, there has been the consensus that cultic prophecy existed in Israel, and most scholars find it in the ancient Near Eastern sources as well (Hilber 2005) (see Liturgy and Cult). With regard to the ancient Near Eastern texts, many oracles occur in temples, and the muḫḫû/maḫḫû (pl.) are active participants of the temple cult. Currently, the consensus view is that there was cultic prophecy in the ancient Near East. Many oracles are said to have occurred within the temple. However, if by “cultic prophecy” we mean prophecy that occurred within the temple cult, the evidence base consists of the Eštar-ritual texts from Old Babylonian Mari (FM 3 2 and 3), and even that is far from clear (Durand and Guichard 1997). One of the two texts stipulates that if the muḫḫû “go into trance” (immaḫû), the musicians will play a certain melody. The verb māḫû (“to rave”) is translated there by supporters of cultic prophecy as “to prophesy” rather than with its normal meaning. The evidence for professional prophecy within the cult in the ancient Near East is very slim indeed and depends on how one translates the verb māḫû, either with its normal meaning or with a special meaning for this text. It appears instead that the Old Babylonian muḫḫû and his Neo-Assyrian counterpart fall within another class of cult ecstatics within Mesopotamian religion.
Another issue that comes up in these two texts (FM 3 2 and 3) is the connection between prophecy and music. Although the OT Prophetic Books are silent on the matter, 2 Kings 3:15 shows a clear link between prophecy and music. The question, however, is not only whether music and prophecy occur in the same text, but also whether there is some form of functional link between them. Although 2 Kings 3:15 is fairly clear on the issue, in the two texts from Mari this link is less clear. In FM 3 3 the musicians are supposed to play a ritual lament when the cult ecstatics do not go into trance. In FM 3 2 it appears that the opposite is the case: the musicians play the lament only if the ecstatic has gone into trance. Both texts breaks off immediately afterwards. This indicates that while there is temporal connection between ecstasy and music in Mari, there is no proof that music is used to induce prophetic trance.
3.4. The Literary Production of Literary Predictive and Prophetic Texts. M. de Jong argued that the Neo-Assyrian Sammeltafeln present us with something of an intermediate stage between the individual oracle by a prophet and literary predictive texts as found in Egypt and Mesopotamia (de Jong, 395–442). Further, since it is not always clear whether a divine utterance that is cited in Neo-Assyrian royal inscriptions and elsewhere is the result of prophecy or more technical forms of divination—that is, from a form-critical perspective they can look identical—the literary reflexes of various forms of divination become very difficult to distinguish.
At Mari the following procedure appears to have been at work: a prophet pronounces an oracle in front of a governor or an important priest, or it is reported to them and they include it in their regular report to the king. A. Schart identified Mari letters in which a governor reports two oracles to the king as an early stage in the production of literary prophetic texts. It is true that some reports combine several oracles in a larger text, but administrative letters often report several events. The Neo-Assyrian Sammeltafeln are a better example of the early stages adding several prophetic oracles in one physically continuous text. From the Neo-Assyrian Empire, we can see that if the oracle was deemed useful to preserve, they kept it on an individual tablet in the archive. At some point, several oracles were combined and written down on a Sammeltafel. It is likely that these Sammeltafeln were then used as source material in the composition of royal inscriptions. Indeed, the letters reporting an individual oracle are themselves already literary products and should be read as such. This does not mean that the oracles that they contain are fabricated; to the contrary, it simply means that they were written down after the fact. It is likely that similar processes took place in Israel and Judah as well (see Writing and Prophecy).
3.5. General Assessment. Research on ancient Near Eastern prophecy has proven to be very influential for the study of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, particularly in providing paradigms of how prophecy was integrated into society. Prophecy was common in the ancient Near East, and therefore prophecy should no longer be regarded as confined to Israel. At the same time, there is no evidence that ancient Near Eastern prophecy ever fundamentally questioned the monarchy. Some social criticism can be found (Nissinen 2003a). Much of the difference can be explained by pointing out that the evidence for ancient Near Eastern prophecy that we have comes from royal archives, whereas in the Hebrew Bible we find also the evidence of circles that were critical of the establishment. The longer time period that the OT Prophetic Books could grow explains the lack of genres such as the prophetic novel. The similarity of the underlying socioreligious phenomenon can also be seen in the use of the expression “thus say DN” in both corpora (Nissinen 2010a). Through studying nonbiblical ancient Near Eastern prophetic texts we gain a control in our (re)constructions of prophecy in ancient Israel and Judah, and they enable modern readers to better appreciate ancient societies’ views on communication with the divine (Barstad 2000).
See also Divination, Magic; Liturgy and Cult; Prophecy, History of; Prophecy and Society; Social-Scientific Approaches; Writing and Prophecy.
A. Archi, “Further Concerning Ebla and the Bible,” BA 44 (1981) 145–54.
D. Arnaud, Recherches au pays d’Aštata: Emar VI, 3: Textes sumériens et accadiens: Texte (Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les civilisations, 1986); idem, Recherches au pays d’Aštata: Emar VI, 4: Textes sumériens et accadiens: Texte (Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les civilisations, 1987). H. M. Barstad, “Comparare necesse est? Ancient Israelite and Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy in a Comparative Perspective,” in Prophecy in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context: Mesopotamian, Biblical, and Arabian Perspectives, ed. M. Nissinen (SBLSymS 13; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000) 3–11; idem, “The Prophet Oded and the Zakkur Inscription: A Case of Obscuriore Obscurum?” in Reading from Right to Left: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of David J. A. Clines, ed. J. C. Exum and H. G. M. Williamson (JSOTSup 373; London: Sheffield Academic, 2003) 25–37.
R. H. Beal, “Divination and Prophecy. Anatolia,” in Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide, ed. S. I. Johnston et al. (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2004) 381–82.
G. M. Beckman, “Plague Prayers of Muršili II (1.60),” in Context of Scripture, 1: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World, ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997) 156–60.
E. Blum, “Israels Prophetie im altorientalischen Kontext: Anmerkungen zu neueren religionsgeschichtlichen Thesen,” in “From Ebla to Stellenbosch”: Syro-Palestinian Religions and the Hebrew Bible, ed. I. Cornelius and L. Jonker (ADPV 37; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz in Kommission, 2008) 81–115.
S. Dalley, “Old Babylonian Prophecies at Uruk and Kish,” in Opening the Tablet Box: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Benjamin R. Foster, eds. S. C. Melville and A. L. Slotsky (CHANE 42; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2010) 85–97.
M. J. de Jong, Isaiah among the Ancient Near Eastern Prophets: A Comparative Study of the Earliest Stages of the Isaiah Tradition and the Neo-Assyrian Prophecies (VTSup 117; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2007).
A. Delattre, “The Oracles Given in Favour of Esarhaddon,” BOR 3 (1889) 25–31.
J.-M. Durand and D. Charpin, Archives épistolaires de Mari (ARM 26; Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les civilisations, 1988).
J.-M. Durand and M. Guichard, “Les rituels de Mari,” in Florilegium marianum III: Recueil d’études à la mémoire de Marie-Thérèse Barrelet, ed. D. Charpin and J.-M. Durand (Mémoires de N.A.B.U. 4; Paris: Société pour l’étude du Proche-Orient ancien, 1997) 19–78.
M. Ellis, “The Archive of the Old Babylonian Kititum Temple and Other Texts from Ishchali,” JAOS 106 (1987) 757–86; idem, “Observations on Mesopotamian Oracles and Prophetic Texts: Literary and Historiographic Considerations,” JCS 41 (1989) 127–86.
D. E. Fleming, “The Etymological Origins of the Hebrew nābîʾ: The One Who Invokes God,” CBQ 55 (1993a) 217–24; idem, “LÚ and MEŠ in lúna-bi-imeš and Its Mari Brethren,” NABU (1993b) §4; idem, “Nābû and Munabbiātu: Two New Syrian Religious Personnel,” JAOS 113 (1993c) 175–83; idem, “Prophets and Temple Personnel in the Mari Archives,” in The Priests in the Prophets: The Portrayal of Priests, Prophets, and Other Religious Specialists in the Latter Prophets, ed. L. L. Grabbe and A. O. Bellis (JSOTSup 408, London: T & T Clark, 2004) 44–64.
L. L. Grabbe, Priests, Prophets, Diviners, Sages: A Socio-Historical Study of Religious Specialists in Ancient Israel (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1995).
R. A. Henshaw, Female and Male: The Cultic Personnel; The Bible and the Rest of the Ancient Near East (PTMS 31; Allison Park, PA: Pickwick, 1994).
J. W. Hilber, Cultic Prophecy in the Psalms (BZAW 352; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2005); idem, “Prophetic Speech in the Egyptian Royal Cult,” in On Stone and Scroll: Essays in Honour of Prof. Graham Ivor Davies, ed. J. Aitken, K. Dell and B. Mastin (BZAW 420; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011); idem, “Royal Cultic Prophecy in Assyria, Judah, and Egypt,” in “Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela”: Prophecy in Israel, Assyria and Egypt in the Neo-Assyrian Period, ed. R. P. Gordon and H. M. Barstad (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, forthcoming).
J. Huehnergard, “On the Etymology and Meaning of Hebrew NĀBÎʾ,” EI 26 (1999) 88*-93*.
H. B. Huffmon, “The Assinnum as Prophet: Shamans at Mari?” in Amurru 3: Nomades et sédentaires dans le Proche-Orient ancien; Compte rendu de la XLVIe Rencontre assyriologique internationale, Paris, 10–13 juillet 2000, ed. C. Nicolle (Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les civilisations, 2004) 241–47.
P. Merlo, “āpilum of Mari: A Reappraisal,” UF 36 (2004) 323–32.
M. Nissinen, “Falsche Prophetie in neuassyrischer und deuteronomistischer Darstellung,” in Das Deuteronomium und seine Querbeziehungen, ed. T. Veijola (PFES 62; Helsinki: Finnische Exegetische Gesellschaft; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996) 172–95; idem, “Prophecy against the King in Neo-Assyrian Sources,” in “Lasset uns Brücken bauen . . .”: Collected Communications to the XVth Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament, Cambridge 1995, ed. K.-D. Schunck and M. Augustin (BEATAJ 42; New York: Lang, 1998a) 157–70; idem, References to Prophecy in Neo-Assyrian Sources (SAAS 7; Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1998b); idem, “The Socioreligious Role of the Neo-Assyrian Prophets,” in Prophecy in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context: Mesopotamian, Biblical, and Arabian Perspectives, ed. M. Nissinen (SBLSymS 13; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000) 89–114; idem, “Das kritische Potential in der altorientalischen Prophetie,” in Propheten in Mari, Assyrien und Israel, ed. M. Köckert and M. Nissinen (FRLANT 201; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003a) 1–33; idem, “Fear Not: A Study on an Ancient Near Eastern Phrase,” in The Changing Face of Form Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, ed. M. Sweeney and E. Ben Zvi (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003b) 122–61; idem, Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East (SBLWAW 12; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003c); idem, “What Is Prophecy? An Ancient Near Eastern Perspective,” in Inspired Speech: Prophecy in the Ancient Near East; Essays in Honour of Herbert B. Huffmon, ed. J. Kaltner and L. Stulman (JSOTSup 378; London: T & T Clark International, 2004) 17–37; idem, “Comparing Prophetic Sources: Principles and a Text Case,” in Prophecy and Prophets in Ancient Israel: Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar, ed. J. Day (LHBOTS 531; London: T & T Clark, 2010a) 3–24; idem, “Prophecy and Omen Divination: Two Sides of the Same Coin,” in Divination and Interpretation of Signs in the Ancient World, ed. A. Annus (OIS 6; Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2010b) 341–51; idem, “Gender and Prophetic Agency in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean,” in Prophets Male and Female: Gender and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Ancient Near East, ed. C. L. Carvalho and J. Stökl (Atlanta: Society for Biblical Literature, forthcoming).
S. Parpola, Assyrian Prophecies (SAA 9; Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1997).
G. Pettinato, “The Royal Archives of Tell Mardikh-Ebla,” BA 39 (1976) 44–52; idem, “Relation entre les royaumes d’Ebla et de Mari au III millenaire, d’après les archives royales de Tell Mardikh-Ebla,” Akkadica 2 (1977) 20–28.
B. Pongratz-Leisten, Herrschaftswissen in Mesopotamien: Formen der Kommunikation zwischen Gott und König im 2. und 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr (SAAS 10; Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1999).
V. Sasson, “The ʿAmmān Citadel Inscription as an Oracle Promising Divine Protection: Philological and Literary Comments,” PEQ 111 (1979) 117–25.
A. Schart, “Combining Prophetic Oracles in Mari Letters and Jeremiah 36,” JANESCU 23 (1995) 75–93.
B. U. Schipper, Die Erzählung des Wenamun: Ein Literaturwerk im Spannungsfeld von Politik, Geschichte und Religion (OBO 209; Fribourg: Academic Press; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005).
J. Scurlock, “Prophecy as a Form of Divination, Divination as a Form of Prophecy,” in Divination and Interpretation of Signs in the Ancient World, ed. A. Annus (OIS 6; Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2010) 277–316.
N. Shupak, “Did the Phenomenon of Biblical Prophecy Exist in Ancient Egypt?” [in Hebrew], in Proceedings of the Tenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, August 16–24, 1989: Division A, The Bible and Its World, ed. D. Assaf (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1990) 59*-64*; idem, “The Egyptian ‘Prophecy’: A Reconsideration,” in “Von reichlich ägyptischem Verstande”: Festschrift für Waltraud Guglielmi zum 65. Geburtstag, (eds.) K. Zibelius-Chen and H.-W. Fischer-Elfert (Philippika 11, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006), 133–44.
J. Stökl, “Female Prophets in the Ancient Near East,” in Prophecy and Prophets in Ancient Israel: Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar, ed. J. Day (LHBOTS 531; London: T & T Clark, 2010) 47–61; idem, “Gender Ambiguity in Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy? A Re-Assessment of the Data Behind a Popular Theory,” in Prophets Male and Female: Gender and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Ancient Near East, ed. C. L. Carvalho and J. Stökl (Atlanta: Society for Biblical Literature, forthcoming a); idem, “The מתנבאות of Ezekiel 13 Re-Considered,” JBL (forthcoming b).
A. Taggar-Cohen, Hittite Priesthood (TH 26; Heidelberg: Winter, 2006).
L.-S. Tiemeyer, “Prophecy as a Way of Cancelling Prophecy—the Strategic Uses of Foreknowledge,” ZAW 117 (2005) 329–50.
K. van der Toorn, “L’oracle de victoire comme expression prophétique au Proche-Orient ancien,” RB 94 (1987) 63–97; idem, “Old Babylonian Prophecy between the Oral and the Written,” JNSL 24 (1998) 55–70.
J. van Dijk, “Die Tontafeln aus dem Palast des Sînkāšid,” in XVIII. vorläufiger Bericht über die von dem Deutschen Archäologischen Institut und der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft aus Mitteln der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft unternommenen Ausgrabungen in Uruk-Warka, Winter 1959/60, ed. H. Lenzen (ADOG 7; Berlin: Mann, 1962) 61–62.
S. Weeks, “Predictive and Prophetic Literature: Can Neferti Help Us Read the Bible?” in Prophecy and Prophets in Ancient Israel: Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar, ed. J. Day (LHBOTS 531; London: T & T Clark, 2010) 25–46.
M. Weippert, “Aspekte israelitischer Prophetie im Lichte verwandter Erscheinungen des Alten Orients,” in Ad bene et fideliter seminandum: Festgabe für Karlheinz Deller zum 21. Februar 1987, ed. U. Magen and G. Mauer (AOAT 220; Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1988) 287–319.
H. G. M. Williamson, “Isaiah: Prophet of Weal or Woe?” in “Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela”: Prophecy in Israel, Assyria and Egypt in the Neo-Assyrian Period, ed. R. P. Gordon and H. M. Barstad (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, forthcoming).
N. Wyatt, “Word of Tree and Whisper of Stone: El’s Oracle to King Keret (Kirta), and the Problem of the Mechanics of Its Utterance,” VT 57 (2007) 483–510.
I. Zsolnay, “The Misconstrued Role of the assinnû in Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy,” in Prophets Male and Female: Gender and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Ancient Near East, ed. C. L. Carvalho and J. Stökl (Atlanta: Society for Biblical Literature, forthcoming). J. Stökl.