An extraordinarily well-preserved short papyrus of only two lines was published by Bordreuil and Pardee (1990), and discussed by Cross (1996). On palaeographic grounds it is dated to the seventh century BCE. Although its provenance is unknown, it might be a Transjordanian document, as it is very similar linguistically, to the Mesha Stela and the Balaam Inscription from Tell Deir ʿAlla. The papyrus reads: Thus said the god(s) to Geraʾ: The marzeaḥ and the millstones and the house are yours. As for Yišʿaʾ, he should keep away from them. And Malkaʾ is the depositary. The paper argues that the papyrus is a divine verdict concerning a dispute between Geraʾ and Yišʿaʾ over the office of head of the marzeaḥ-fraternity (Ugaritic rb mrzḥ, Palmyrene rbnwt mrzhwtʾ) the house of the marzeaḥ fraternity and its millstones. The name of the depositary and his title kt[b] = scribe, appear on the bulla which was used to seal the folded papyrus. The papyrus is a unique document, not only as regards its date, but because it constitutes the sole evidence for the practice of divine verdict in the West Semitic milieu. Furthermore, it attests to the vitality of judicial terms existing in Hebrew legal terminology today.
|Translated title of the contribution||A Divine Verdict: A Judicial Papyrus of the Seventh Century BCE|
|Journal||ארץ ישראל: מחקרים בידיעת הארץ ועתיקותיה|
|State||Published - 1999|