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. 39
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`
˜˜
2 This word is actually found on the reverse: See Otto Schroeder, “Zur Amarnatafel VAT 1704,”

Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 18 (1915), col. 175.
3 This reconstruction follows William L. Moran, The Amarna Letters (Baltimore: The Johns

Hopkins University Press, 1992), 17, n. 5.
180 HOMICIDE IN THE BIBLICAL WORLD


KUR-ka hu-um-mu-sa-ku su-ni-iq-[ˇ u-ni-ti-ma] 27 KUG.BABBAR sa ˇ
s
.
˜u-ul-l[i-im-ˇ u] 28 u LU.MES sa IR.MES-ia i-[du-uk-k]u
´ ˇˇ ` ˇ
ˇ `
it-ba-lu s s
´ ˇ
29
du-uk-ˇ u-nu-ti-ma da!-mi-[ˇ u-n]u te-e-er 30 u sum-ma LU.MES an-

s s
nu-ti ul ta-ad-du-uk 31 i-tu-ur-ru-ma lu-u KASKAL at-tu-u-a 32 u lu
´ ´ `
ˇ i-du-ku-u-ma 33 i-na bi-ri-ni DUMU si-ip-ri ip-pa-
´
lu.meˇ s
´
DUMU.MES
´
ar-ra-as u sum!-ma i-na-ak-ki-ru-ka 35 1 LU at-tu-u-a I su-um-ad-da
34
`ˇ ´ ˇ
36 ` ˇ su ki-i u-na-ak-ki-su 37 i-tu-ˇ u ik-ta-la-ˇ u 38 u LU sa-na-
` ´ˇ
´
GIR.MES-ˇ s s
a I su-ta-at-na ak-ka-a-a-u 39 i-na re-ˇ i ki-i ul-zi-iz-zu 40 a-na pa-ni-
ˇ ´ s
´ ˇ sa-ˇ u-nu 41 l[i-i]l-[k]u-ni-ik-ku-um-ma a-mu-ur-
su is-sa-bat LU.MES ˇ s
ˇ ..
ma 42 k[i mi-t]u4 sa-al-ma lu ti-i-di 43 [a-na su-ul-m]a-ni 1 MA.NA
ˇ ˇ
`
´
za 44
ˇ
ZA.GIN uˇ -te-bi-la-ak-ku
s [DUMU si-ip-]ri-ia ha-mu-ut-ta ku-
˜
ˇ S-ia lu i-d[i-ma] 46 [DUMU] si-ip-ri-ia
ˇ
45
ˇ ˇ
[uˇ -ˇ id-ˇ ]u [te-e]-ma sa SE
ss s .
47
la ta-ka-a[l-la-ˇ u] [h]a-mu-ut-ta li-it-ta-a[l-ka]
s
˜
1“7
Say to Naphu™rureya, the king of Egypt, my brother: Thus Burna-
Buriyash, the king of Karaduniyash, your brother. For me all goes
well. For you, your country, your household, your wives, your sons,
your magnates, your horses, your chariots, may all go very well.
8“12
My brother and I made a mutual declaration of friendship, and
we said this: “Just as our fathers were friends with one another, so will
we be friends with one another.” 13“21 Now, my merchants who were
on their way with Ahu-tabu were detained in Canaan on business
matters. After Ahu-tabu went on to my brother, in Hinnatuna of
Canaan, Shum-adda, son of Balumme, and Shutatna, son of Sharatum
of Akka, having sent their men, killed my merchants and took away
their money. 22“27 I send Azzu to you posthaste. Inquire from him
so that he can inform you. Canaan is your country, and its kings
are your servants. In your country I have been despoiled. Bring them
to account and make compensation for the money they took away.
28“29
Execute the men who put my servants to death, and so return
their blood. 30“33 If you do not execute these men, they are going to kill
again, whether a caravan of mine or your own messengers, and then
messengers between us will be cut off. 34“42 If they try to deny this to
you, Shum-adda, having blocked off passage [lit. cut off the feet] to a
man of mine, retained him in his company, and another man, having
been forced into service by Shutatna of Akka, is still serving him.
These men should be brought to you so you can investigate, inquire
whether they are dead, and become informed. 43“47 As a greeting gift, I
send you 1 mina of lapis lazuli. Send off my messenger immediately so
that I may know my brother™s decision. Do not detain my messenger.
Let him be off to me immediately.

4 This reconstruction follows Moran, The Amarna Letters, 17, n. 11.
181
THE HOMICIDE OF A FOREIGN CITIZEN


In the case of citizens sent on royal business, the king intervenes to avenge
their deaths and protect his interests. Since the homicides took place outside
the realm of Babylonia, the king, not the victims™ families, must take the
active role in avenging the homicide. The king of Babylonia contacts his
counterpart, the king of Egypt. Although the killing occurred in Canaan,
the duly authorized authority is the king of Egypt since the kings of Canaan
are his vassals and he is their overlord. Therefore, Burnaburiyash holds the
king of Egypt responsible. At the level of international diplomacy, the par-
ties involved must be of the equivalent political status.5 A king cannot hold
negotiations with a vassal/dependent of another territory™s dominant ruler
without speaking to the overlord himself. In other words, contact can only
take place between two overlords or lesser rulers, but not between an over-
lord and a lesser ruler not under his aegis. Therefore, the king must assume
the initiative because he is the only one possessing the status high enough to
contact the appropriate person in the foreign territory. As we will see, this
contrasts with the Ugaritic documents, from a territory under Hittite over-
lordship, where responsibility is assumed by the citizens of each country or
locality as a collective body. In a sense, the locations under Hittite hegemony
share a concept of corporate responsibility not recognized between the land
of Babylonia and the land of Egypt. In contrast, the case in EA 8 is between
two realms, two sovereign states.
Indeed, the claim made by Burnaburiyash II in EA 8 is predicated upon
the alliance already established between the kings personally. Each dominant
regional power exercises jurisdiction over its territory. If a wrong occurs to its
citizens in a foreign territory, a regional power can only contact the dominant
power in its region and ask for satisfaction, based on alliance, not on a
general sense of what is just. Burnaburiyash II must cajole Naphu™rureya into
acting by recounting the positive relations between them. Beyond that, he
appeals to Naphu™rureya™s own interests by emphasizing the consequences to
Naphu™rereya™s own men.6 Burnaburiyash II warns that if the killers are not
killed, they will strike again and are as equally likely to kill Naphu™rureya™s
own men as his own. Burnaburiyash also sends a gift, one mina of lapis
lazuli, to reinforce friendly relations.
Burnaburiyash II demands two actions from Naphu™rureya, compensa-
tion for the money stolen and the execution of the men responsible. Com-
pensation for the missing money is reasonable, but why does the Babylonian
king demand that the killers be executed? Would he not bene¬t more from
compensation? When Burnaburiyash II demands the execution of the killers,
he provides two reasons: ¬rst, that the blood of the victims be returned, and
second, that if the killers are not executed, they will surely strike again.

5 Mario Liverani, Prestige and Interest: International Relations in the Near East ca. 1600“1100
B.C. (History of the Ancient Near East/Studies I; Padua: Sargon, 1990), 97.
6 Liverani, Prestige and Interest, 98.
182 HOMICIDE IN THE BIBLICAL WORLD


The second reason originates in practical concerns: Burnaburiyash II must
protect his merchants if he wants to preserve his country™s international
trade.7 Moreover, political considerations underlie this second reason “ the
king of Egypt may be more likely to act if his own interests are at stake.
The ¬rst reason is elusive and dif¬cult to understand. It may be akin to an
Israelite concept, which holds that the blood of the victim is lost and needs
to be returned: This concept is re¬‚ected in the usage of the word te-er (line
29).8 Whatever the conceptual underpinning, Burnaburiyash™s ¬rst demand
implies that death is the only appropriate penalty, but the personal stake
Naphu™rureya has in protecting his own men is the most effective motive
Burnaburiyash can provide to Naphu™rureya for the execution of those who
killed his men.
CTH 172 is instructive in regard to the appropriate punishment for homi-
cide. In this letter, Hattusili III, the Hittite emperor, tells Kadashman-Enlil
II, the king of Babylonia, that there is a distinction between the penalty for
homicide in his land and in the neighboring land of the Assyrians (called
here Subareans).9 No capital punishment, not even for l` se-majest´ , is ever
e e
used in the Hittite realm:
rev.
` ˇ
[ . . . ] a-ka-an-na ta-aˇ -pu-ra um-ma-a lu DAM.GAR.MES-ia i-na
´
15
s
a-mur-ri kur u-ga-ri-it 16 [u i-na kur . . . i-du]-uk-ku i-na kur ha-at-
kur
´ `
˜
ti na-pu-ul-ta u-ul i-du-uk-ku 17 [ˇ um-ma i-na kur ha-at-ti na]-pu-
´ s
ul-ta i-du-uk-ku sum-ma LUGAL i-ˇ i-im- me a-na ˜ a-ma-ti sa-a-ˇ i
ˇ´ ˇ
s s
ˇ S.MES sa
ˇ ˇˇ
[ . . . d]a-i-ka-na sa na-pu-ul-ti i-sa-ab-ba-tu4 -ma a-na SE
18
ˇ .
ˇˇ ˇ s´
di-ki [ . . . KUG.BABBAR a-na] mu-ul-le-e sa lu di-ki SES.MES-ˇ u
ˇ´
19
ˇ ` s´
i-le-eq-qu-u u lu da-i-ka-na 20 [ . . . aˇ ]-ra sa na-pu-ul-tu4 i-na SA-ˇ u di-
´`´ ˇ
s
ˇˇ ˇ s´
ku ul-la-lu u sum-ma SES.MES-ˇ u 21 [KUG.BABBAR mu-ul-le]-e u-ul
` ˇ´ ´
´ sa
i-mah-ha-ru da-i-ka-na sa na-pu-ul-ti [ . . . l]i-pu-ˇ u sum-ma LU ˇ
22
ˇ s ˇ´
˜a-na LUGAL i-ha-tu a-na KUR-ti sa-na-ti- ma 23 [ . . . ] u a-na da-
˜
´ ˇ `
hi-ta .
˜ ˜u-ia sa-™a-al-ma liq-bu-ni-ik-ku 24 [ . . . a]-ka-an-
.ˇˇ
a-ki u-ul par-su SES- `
´ ˇ
` ´
na sa EN h´ -ti-i la-a i-du-uk-ku lu DAM.GAR i-du-uk-ku 25 [ . . . L]U
´
ˇ e.
˜ ˇˇ ˇ
´ ˇ´
su-ba-ri-i a-i-ka-a i-di sum-ma i-du-uk-ku-ma i-na-an-na SES.MES
` ˇ
DAM.GAR.MES di-ku-ti 26 [ˇ up-ra]-am-ma di-in-su-nu lu-mur ´
s
15“17
Since you wrote to me as follows: “My merchants are being
killed in the land of Amurru, the land of Ugarit, [and the land of . . . ].”
They do not kill [as punishment] in Hatti . . . they kill. 17“18 If the king

7 The vassal kings Shum-adda and Shutatna, who killed the merchants of Burnaburiyash, do
not appear to have killed them themselves. Shum-adda and Shutatna sent their own men to kill
Burnaburiyash™s merchants.
8 Burnaburiyash does not demand the return of his servants forced into the service of Shum-adda

and Shutatna.
9 On the identi¬cation of the Subareans, see Ignace J. Gelb, Hurrians and Subareans (Studies in

Ancient Oriental Civilizations 22; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944), 44, 49, 85.
183
THE HOMICIDE OF A FOREIGN CITIZEN


hears about it, [they investigate] that matter. They arrest the killer and
deliver him to the brothers of the slain man. 19 If his brothers accept
the silver as compensatory payment, [they allow] the killer [to go free].
20
The place in which the homicide occurred is puri¬ed. 20“22 If his
brothers do not accept the silver as the compensatory payment, they
may make the killer [their slave]. 22“24 If a man who has committed
an offense against the king escapes to another land, killing him is not
permitted. Inquire, my brother, and they shall tell you thus. Now,
if they do not kill an offender [against the king], would they kill a
merchant? 25“26 [But in regard to] the Subareans, how am I to know
if they are killing people? Now send me the brothers of the dead
merchants so that I can investigate their lawsuit.

Different countries have different sanctions. There is no single remedy
used throughout the ancient Near East.10 Although the Babylonian king
has demanded that the killers be executed, the Hittite emperor cannot and
will not execute them. The Hittite laws are in agreement with the Hittite
emperor™s claim: The penalty is compensation, albeit very high in the case of
a merchant in statute 5, 100 minas in contrast to 3 minas in the documents
from Ugarit:
HL 1
[If] anyone kills [a man] or a woman in a [quarr]el, he shall [bring him]
[for burial] and give 4 persons (lit. heads), male or female respectively,
and he shall look [to his house for it.]

HL 2
[If] anyone kills [a male] or female slave in a quarrel, he shall bring
him [for burial] [and] shall give [2] persons [lit. heads], male or female
respectively, and he shall look to his house for it.

HL 3
[If] anyone strikes a free [man] or woman so that he dies, with only his
hand at fault, he shall bring him [for burial] and shall give 2 persons
[lit. heads], and he shall look to his house for it.

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