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The Stele I of Sfire (KAI 222)

(translation of J. A. Fitzmyer)

I. The Title, Introducing the Contracting Parties


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The treaty of Bir-Gayh, king of KTK, with Mat -il, the son of Attarsumki, the king [of Arpad ;
and the trea]ty 2of the sons of Bir-Gayh with the sons of Mat - il; and the treaty of the grandsons of
Bir-Ga[yh and] his [offspring] 3with the offspring of Mat-il, the son of Attarsumki, the king of
Arpad; and the treaty of KTK with [the treaty of] 4Arpad; and the treaty of the lords of KTK with the
treaty of the lords of Arpad; and the treaty of a[bur]u 5with all Aram and with Mus r and with his sons
who will come after [him], and [with the kings of] 6all Upper-Aram and Lower-Aram and with all
who enter the royal palace.

II. The Gods Who Are Witnesses to This Treaty


And the st[ele with t]his [inscription] 7they have set up (as) this treaty. Now (it is) this treaty which
Bir-Ga[yh] has concluded [in the presence of Asshur] 8and Mullesh, in the presence of Marduk
and Zarpanit, in the presence of Nabu and T[ashmet, in the presence of Ir and Nus]k, 9in the presence of
Nergal and Ls , in the presence of Shamash and Nur, in the presence of S[in and Nikkal, in the pre]sence
of 10Nikkar and Kadiah, in the presence of all the gods of Rah bah and Adam [...in the presence of adad
of A]leppo, 11in the presence of Sibitti, in the presence of II and Ilyn, in the presence of Hea[ven
and Earth, in the presence of (the) A]byss 12and (the) Springs, and in the presence of Day and Night
all the god[s of KTK and the gods of Ar]pad (are) witnesses (to it). 13open your eyes, (O gods!), to
gaze upon the treaty of Bir-Gayh [with Mat-il, the king of 14Arpad].

III. Curses against Mat-il, if He Violates the Treaty


Now if Mat-il, the son of Attarsumki, the kin[g of Arpad,] should prove unfaithful [to Bir-
Gayh, the 15king of KTK, and i]f the offspring of Mat-il should prove unfaithful [to the offspring of
Bir-Gayh... ] 16[ and if the Ben-]Gush should be unfaithful.........................] 20[... ]from YM[...............]
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[........and should seven rams cover] a ewe, may she not conceive; and should seven nurses] anoint
[their breasts and] 22nurse a young boy, may he not have his fill; and should seven mares suckle a
colt, may it not be sa[ted; and should seven] 23cows give suck to a calf, may it not have its fill; and
should seven ewes suckle a lamb, [may it not be salted; 24and should seven hens go looking for food,
may then not kill (anything)! And if Mat[-il] should be unfaithful <to Bir-Ga yh> [and to] 25his son
and to his offspring, may his kingdom become like a kingdom of sand, a kingdom of sand, as long as
Asshur rules! (And) [may Ha]dad [pour (over it) 26every sort of evil (which exists) on earth and in
heaven and every sort of trouble; and may he shower upon Arpad [ha]il-[stones]! 27For seven years
may the locust devour (Arpad), and for seven years may the worm eat, and for seven [years may]
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TWY come up upon the face of its land! May the grass not come forth so that no green may be seen;
and may its 29vegetation not be [seen]! Nor may the sound of the lyre be heard in Arpad; but among
its people (let there rather be) the din of affliction and the noi[se of cry]ing 30and lamentation! May
the gods send every sort of devourer against Arpad and against its people! [May the mou]th 31of
a snake [eat], the mouth of a scorpion, the mouth of a bear, the mouth of a panther. And may a moth and a
louse and a [... become] 32to it a serpent's throat! May its vegetation be destroyed unto desolation! And
may Arpad become a mound to [house the desert animal] 33the gazelle and the fox and the hare and the
wild-cat and the owl and the [ ] and the magpie! May [this] ci[ty] not be mentioned (any more), [nor]
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MDR nor MRB nor MZ nor MNL nor Sharon nor Tuim nor Bt- il nor BYNN nor [... nor
Ar]neh 35nor azaz nor Adam!

IV. Curses (against Mat-il) with Accompanying Rites


Just as this wax is burned by fire, so may Arpad be burned and [her gr]eat [daughter-cities]! 36May
Hadad sow in them salt and weeds, and may it not be mentioned (again)! This GNB and [ ] 37(are)
Mat-il; it is his person. Just as this wax is burned by fire, so may Mat [- il be burned by fi]re! 38Just as
(this) bow and these arrows are broken, so may Inurta and Hadad break [the bow of Mat - il],
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and the bow of his nobles! And just as the man of wax is blinded, so may Mat[-il] be blinded! [Just
as] 40this calf is cut in two, so may Mat -il be cut in two, and may his nobles be cut in two! [And
just as] 41a [har]lot is stripped naked], so may the wives of Mat - il be stripped naked, and the wives of
his offspring, and the wives of [his] no[bles! And just as 42this wax woman is taken] and one strikes her
on the face, so may the [wives of Mat- il] be taken [and ]

FaceB
V. The Sacred Character ofthe Treaty
[The treaty of Bir-Gayh, king of KTK, with Mat- il, son of Attarsumki, 1the king of Ar]pad; and
the treaty of the son of Bir-Gayh with the sons of Mat - il; and the treaty of the [grandsons of
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Bir-]Gayh with the offspring of Mat-il and with the offspring of any king who 3[will come up and
role] in his place, and with the Ben-Gush and with Bt-S LL and with 4[all] Ar[am; and the trea]ty of
KTK with the treaty of Arpad; and the treaty of the lords of KTK with the trea[ty sof the lords of Ar]pad
and with its people. The treaty of the gods of KTK with the treaty of the g[ods 6of Arpad]. This is the
treaty of gods, which gods have concluded. Blessed forever be the reign of 7[Bir-Gayh], a great
king, and from this happy treaty [ ] and heaven. 8[And all the gods] shall guard [this] treaty. Let not
one of the words of thi[s] inscription be silent, 9[but let them be heard from] Arqu to Yad[i and] BZ,
from Lebanon to Yabrud, 10from Damascu]s to Aru and M..W, [and fr]om the Valley to KTK 11[...in B]t-
Gush and its people with their sanctuary, this treaty 12[ ......]YT K.W.. in MS R and MRB 13[......]
D....TM to Mat-il, son [of Attarsumki...] ( A few letters are legible on 14-15;lines 16-20 are missing.)

VI. The Stipulations of the Treaty


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[....] to your house. And (if) Mat- il will not obey [and (if) his sons will not obey, and (if) his people
will not o]bey, 22and (it) all the kings who will rule in Arpad [will not obey] the .[ ] 23[ ].
.LMNYN, you will have been unfaithful to all the gods of the treaty whi[ch is in this inscription. But if]
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[you obey and car]ry out this treaty and say, [I] am an ally, [I shall not be able 25to raise a hand]
against you; nor will my son be able to raise a hand against [your] son, or my offspring against
[your] off[spring. And if] 26one of (the) kings [should speak a word] against me or one of my enemies
(should so speak) and you say to any king, What are you [going to do? and he 27should raise a hand
against] my son and kill him and raise his hand to take some of my land or some of my possessions, you
will have been unfaith[ful to 28the trea]ty which is in this inscription. If one of (the) kings comes and
surrounds <me>, [your] ar[my] must come 29[to me with] every arch[er] and every sort [of
weapon], and you must surround those who surround me and you must draw for me [ .... 30.... ] (lines
31-45 in fragments repeat the same ideas of the stipulation.)

Face C
VII. Conclusion (Confirmation by Mat- il)
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Thus have we spoken [and thus have we writ]ten. What 2I, [Mat]-il, have written (is to serve) as a
reminder 3for my son [and] my [grand]son who 4will come a[fter] me. May they 5make good
relations [beneath] the sun 6[for (the sake of) my] ro[yal hou]se that no ev[il may 7be done against] the
house of Mat[-il 8and his son and] his [grand]son for 9[ever].

VIII. Blessings
............... 15may (the) gods keep [all evils] away from his day.16and from his house.

IX. Curses (General)


Whoever 17will not observe the words of the inscription which is on this stele 18or will say, I shall
efface some of its words, 19or I shall upset the good treaty-relations and turn (them) 20[to] evil, on any
day on which he will d[o] 21so, may the gods overturn 22th[at m]an and his house and all that (is) in
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it. May they make its lower part 24its upper part! May his sci[on] inherit no name!

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