Sunday, 15 July 2007

Who is Nabu-sharrussu-ukin?

Michael Jursa has found a receipt for gold on a Babylonian tablet. The tablet reads
1.5 minas of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
The claim is Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, chief eunuch may be Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard who is mentioned in Kings and Jeremiah.

He is mentioned in 2 Kings 25:8,11,20; Jeremiah 39:9,10,11,13; 40:1; 41:10; 43:6; 52:12,15,16,26,30.

Nebuzaradan was the officer who burned Jerusalem
In the 5th month, on the 10th day of the month—that was the 19th year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. And he burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poorest of the people and the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the artisans. But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen. (Jeremiah 52:12-16)
I withhold judgment currently. I am not a linguist so my opinions on the similarity of the name is of minor consequence. I am not convinced about other commonly accepted identifications such as Ahab and Jehu in Assyrian documents. It would be interesting if this proves correct and thus a reminder of the veracity of the Bible.

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