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--. 1982. Eschatological Symbol and Existence in Habakkuk.

CBQ 44: 394-414.

Jeremias, J. 1955. Theophanie: Die Geschichte einer alttestamentlichen Gattung. WMANT 10. Neukirchen-Vluyn,

--. 1970. Kultprophetie und Gerichtsverkundigung in der spiiten.

Kiinigszeit Israels. WMANT 35. Neukirchen.

[ocken, P. 1977. War Habakuk ein Kultprophet? Pp. 319-32 in Bausteine Biblischer Theologie, ed. H.-J. Fabry. BBB 50. Bonn.

Johnson, M. D. 1985. The Paralysis of Tonih in Habakkuk I 4. VT 35: 257-56.

Keller, C. A .. 1973. Die Eigenart der Prophetie Habakuks. ZAW 85: 155-67.

Lachmann, J. 1932. Das Buch Habbakuk: Eine Textkritische Studie.

. Aussig.

Margulis, B. 1970. The Psalm of Habakkuk. ZAW 82: 409-42.) Mowinckel, M. 1921-24. Psalmenstudien. 6 vols. Kristiana.

Nielsen, E. 1953. The Righteous and the Wicked in Habaqquq. ST 6: 54-78.

Otto, E. 1977. Die Stellung der Wehe-Worte inder Verkundigung

des Propheten Habakuk. ZAW 89: 73-107.

--. -. 1985. Die Theologie des Buches Habakuk .. VT 35: 274-95. Peckham, B. 1986 .. The Vision of Habakkuk. CBQ 48: 617~35. Peshitta Institute. 1980. The OT in Syriac According to the Peshitta

Wirsion. Vol. 3/4. Leiden.

Sanders, J. A. 1959. Habakkuk in Qumran, Paul, and the OT. JR 39: 232-43 ..

--. 1979. Te~t'aiid'Canon: Concepts and Method.JBL 98: 5--:-

29. .

Schreiner, S. 1974. Erwagungen zum Text von Hab 2,4-5. ZAW 86: 538-42.

Scott, J. M. 1985. A New Approach to Habakkuk II 4-5A. VT 35: 330-40.

Seux, M.-J. 1981. Siggayon = sigU? Pp. 419-38 ir:Melanges bibliques et orientaux en l'honneur de M, Henri Cazelles, ed. A. Caquot and M. De1cor. AOAT 212. Kevelaer and Neukirchen-Vluyn.

Sperber, A. 1962. The Latter Prophets according to Targum Jonathan.

Vol. 3 of The Bible in Aramaic. Leiden.

Stade, B. 1884. Habakuk. ZAW 4: 154-59.

Strobel, A. 1954. Untersuchungen zum eschatologischen Wirziigerungsproblem auf Grund der spajudisch-urchristlichen Geschichte von Habakuk 2,2ff NovTSup 2. Leiden.

Sweeney, M. A. fc. Structure, Genre, and Intent in the Book of Habakkuk. VT 41.

Torrey, C. C. 1935. The Prophecy of Habakkuk. Pp. 565-82 in Jewish Studies in Memory of George A. Kohut, ed. S. Baron and A. Marx. New York.

Trever, J. 1972. Scrolls from Qp,mran Cave 1. Jerusalem. Uffenheimer, B. 1987. Habakkuk from Shutter to Step: Observations on Habakkuk 1-2. Pp. 69-92 in Studies in Bible Dedicated to the Memory of 0. Cassuto, ed. S. Loewenstamm. Jerusalem (in Hebrew).

Wal, A. van der. 1988. Nahum, Habakkuk: A ·e-Ziissijied Bibliography.


Weber, R. 1975. Biblia sacra iuxta Vulgatam versionem. Rev. ed.

Stuttgart. .

Weis, R. D. 1986. A Definition of the Genre MaSsii? in the Hebrew Bible.

Ph.D. diss., Claremont, CA.

Wellhausen, J. 1892. Die Kleinen Propheten. Berlin. Repr. 1953. Woude, A. S. van der. 1966. Der Gerechte Wird Durch Seine Treue Leben: Erwagungen zu Habakuk 2:4-5. Pp. 367-75 in Studia Biblica et Semitica Theodoro Christiano Vriezen. Wageningen.

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--.1970. Habakuk 2,4. ZAW 82: 281-82. Ziegler, J. 1943. Duodecim prophetae. Gottingen.


HABAZZINIAH (PERSON) [Heb /:tiibOJ~inyah]. The grandfather of the Rechabites who were tested by Jeremiah (Jer 35:3). Habazziniah's grandson Jaazaniah and his household are taken by Jeremiah to the Jerusalem temple. They are offered wine but citing the command of their ancestor Jonadab (2 Kgs 10:10-15) refuse to drink it (Jer 35:6-7). While the narrative in Jeremiah 35 concerns Habazziniah's grandson's generation, Habazziniah is likely included to underscore the continuity of the Rechabite tradition and family. In Jeremiah 35 the faithfulness of the Rechabites to Yahweh for many generations is contrasted with King. Jehoiakim's failure to heed Yahweh's word in Jeremiah 36. Thus the Rechabites are promised descendants (Jer 35: 18) while Jehoiakim is warned "he shall have none to sit upon the throne of David" (Jer 36:30). The Rechabites were noted for their zealous devotion to Yahweh, and this is perhaps reflected in the yah endings of the three names in Jer 35:3-Jaazaniah, Jeremiah, and Habazziniah (Orelli 1889: 264). A variety of connections have been suggested between Habazziniah and the Akk (lab~u ('the Lord has made me abundant') , though how this bears upon the text is' not clear: Alternatively, it may mean "Yahweh has made mejoyful" (TPNAH,

96, 178). .


Orelli, C. von. 1889. The Prophecies of Jeremiah. Trans. J. E. Banks.



ijABIRU, J;:;IAPIRU. Often considered to be the Akkadian equivalent of.Heb 'ibrf. See HEBREW

·A. The Identity of the babiru1bapiru

Ever since this Akkadian expression was first recognized in A.D. 1888, viz., in the Amarna Letters written by AbdiHepa of Jerusalem around 1375 B.C. (EA 286-90; Greenberg 1955: 47-49) scholars have discussed the significance of the lj.abirull.Japiru for the origin of the Israelites. In this discussion the etymology of the word has played.a significant part since it was soon recognized that a W Semitic word must lie behind the Akkadian expression. In Akkadian cuneiform writing the consonant l.J represents at least three different W Semitic gutturals (notably (I, l.J, and C), and it was therefore proposed that the lj.abiru mentioned in Abdi-Hepa's letters were Israelite tribesmen who were then forcing their way into Palestine in the course of the Israelite conquest. The fact that these lj.abirullj.apiru (or 'abirul'apiru) were only mentioned by the king of Jerusalem was, however, considered a serious obstacle to this identification, because-according to the OT-Jerusalem was not attacked by the Israelites until the early days of King David, ca. 1000 B.C.

Only when the German orientalist Hugo Winckler succeeded in A.D. 1895 in identifying the lj.abirull.Japiru of Abdi-hepa's letters with the SA.GAZ people, who figure far

more frequently in the Amarna Letters, did scholars in general incline to accept the identification of the l.Jabiru with the Hebrews (Loretz 1984: 60). This seemingly obvious identification was soon challenged by other discoveries which showed that the l.Jabirull.Japiru were present in sources from allover the ANE in the 2d millennium B.C. Especially when they appeared in the Hittite archives from Boghazkoy (Hattusas) it became doubtful whether they could in fact be identical with the early Israelites. Evidently the expression covered an ethnic entity which could not be equated with the forefathers of the Israelites in a simple way. The confirmation that it was necessary to disassociate the problem of the l.Jabiru from the early history of the Israelites first became apparent in Egyptian sources and later in Ugaritic documents, which made it clear that the second consonant should most properly be read p instead of b; the same also proved that the first consonant actually was an C'(in Eg 'Pr.w, in Ug Cpr). Doubt also arose as to the ethnic content of the expression, especially because of theGerman Egyptologist Wilhelm Spiegelberg (1907: 618- 20), 'who believed that the term designated a social group of some sort. According to Spiegelberg the term was most properly applied to nomads who lived on the fringe of the Syrian desert (including the Proto-Israelites).

Today the mainly social content of the expression is only occasionally disputed (e.g., by de Vaux 1968), but the interpretation of its social content has changed, most notably thanks to ::Benno Landsberger, who showed that the expression l.Jabi~/l.JaPiru should actually be translated "fugitives" or even "refugees" (in Bottero 1954: 160-61). That such an understanding lies near at hand is confirmed by the Sumerian equivalent of &abirull.Japiru, SA.GAZ (variant spellings SAG.GAZ, or simply GAZ), as this Sumerogram is' in fact merely a transcription of the Akk saggaSum, "murderer." Moreover, SAG.GAZ is occasionally, in the Akkadian lexicographical lists translated as l.Jabbatum "brigand." Today most orientalists consider that the expression l.JabirullJ,apiru encompassed fugitives who had left their own states either to live as refugees in other parts of the Near East or outlaws who subsisted as brigands out of reach of the authorities of the states (Bottero 1980).

B. The Etymology of lJabirulbapiru ,

The etymology of the expression has never been fully explained; nor has the discussion 'about the correct spelling of the word ever ceased. The Semitic root on which the expression is based may be either 'br or cpr depending on the correct reading of the second consonant. If the term should actually be read lJ,abiru then the most obvious etymological explanation must be that it is a derivation from the verbal root cbr meaning "to pass by," "trespass" (e.g., a border, a river, or the likej.a meaning which would suit the notion of the !Jabiru as fugitives/refugees excellently. If the correct rendering of the Akkadian cuneiform is lJ,apiru, a derivation from the noun cpr meaning "dust" or "clay" would be likely; and capiru might then have been a popular way of designating people of low social standing. Both Egyptian and Ugaritic evidence seems to favor a rendering of the cuneiform syllabic writing (l.Ja-bilpi-ru) by capiru. However, as several scholars have maintained, none of these sources is conclusive. The Egyptian writers in particular were inconsistent as to the, rendering of the


Semitic labials band p, and also the Ugaritic writers seem to have been uncertain how to render the same labials (Weippert 1971: 76-79). The evidence in favor of the rendering !Jabiru proposed by Jean Bottero (RLA 4/1 :22) is perhaps more rewarding. Some of it dates from the Middle Babylonian period and includes a series of occurrences where the word is spelled !Ja-bir-a-a (lJ,abirayu, cf. Greenberg 1955: 78; cf., however, also Borger 1958: 126). Another part comes from the Hittite archives where the cuneiform sign bi always seems to represent a bi and never a pi (according to Bottero RLA 4/1 :22). Whether Bottero's conclusions are fully justifiable is, however, still under debate. Therefore, although the rendering of the cuneiform writing as l.Jabiru seems most likely at the moment, we cannot exclude the reading l.Japiru.

c. The Sources for the lJabirullJapiru

The total number of occurrences of the word habirul !Japiru in the ANE documents is today just above 250 (total listing until ca. A.D. 1970 in RLA 4/1: 15-21, supplemented and corrected by Bottero 1980: 211 [no. 2]; English translation of most passages in Greenberg 1955). Practically all examples belong to the 2d millennium B.C. although there are certain indications that the expression was not totally unknown before that date. The latest' occurrences are from Egyptian sources (from the reign of Rameses IV, ca. 1166-1160 B.C.) although a few literary texts from the 1st millennium mention the l.Jabirul!Japiru (Bottero 1954: 136- 43; Greenberg 1955: 54-55). As a social and political force the !Jabiru have disappeared just before the end of the 2d millennium B.C. The geographic distribution of the l.Jabirull.Japiru covers most of the Near East, from Anatolia in the N, Egypt in the S, and W Iran (Susa) to the E. The !Jabirull.Japiru were found all along the Fertile Crescent, from Palestineto Sumer.

The oldest sources which for practical reasons tell us anything about the status of thel.Jabirull.Japiru come from Kanis, the Assyrian trading station in Anatolia (19th century B.C.) and from the Sumerian area during the NeoSumerian epoch. Whereas doubt may be cast over the last mentioned examples (the Sumerogram SA.GAZ is always used, although the spelling may differ), the evidence from -Anatolia at the beginning of the 2d millennium B.C. is more promising. The information we gain from this is, however, not totally in accordance with later sources, because the persons named !Jabirull.Japiru here may at the same lime be called awilu, that is "Sir," "Mr." The derogatory content of the expression is conspicuous because the persons called l.Jabirull.Japiru are at that time in jail, although in possession of sufficient funds to pay for their own release. Finally, these persons were members of the staff of the palace. More important is, on the other hand, that so far it has not been possible to decide whether they were foreigners in this Old Assyrian society or belonged to the local population.

During the following era, the Old Babylonian period, the !Jabirul!Japiru are mentioned more often. There is some indication of these people being, employed as mercenaries in the pay of the state administration, whereas in the archival reports from the royal palace of Mari we are confronted with the first known examples of !Jabirull.Japiru as outlaws or brigands. One document mentions that they


had even conquered a city belonging to the kingdom of Mari and caused serious trouble there (Greenberg 1955: 18). The documents from Mari and elsewhere also show that the lJabirullJapiru were considered a highly mobile population element.

The evidence of the presence of the lJabirullJapiru becomes far more extensive in the LB Age, during the second half of the 2d millennium B.C. The centers of gravity of this documentation are Nuzi, in NE Mesopotamia (15th century B.C.); Alalakh (15th century B.C.) and Ugarit, two coastal states in N Syria; Hattusas (Boghazkoy) in Anatolia; and Palestine and Lebanon as documented by the Amarna Letters (beginning of the 14th century B.C.). Most evidence originates in official state archives; only at Nuzi are private references to the lJabirullJapiru frequent. At Nuzi the lJabirullJapiru are most often mentioned in private contracts according to which persons called lJabirul lJapiru bind themselves to the service of Nuzi citizens. The documents in question show that the lJabirullJapiru were not themselves citizens of Nuzi but foreigners without any juridical rights at Nuzi. By binding themselves through these service contracts they obtained a sort of social security so long as they remained in the service of a citizen of Nuzi. The analogy between these contracts and the OT law of the Hebrew slave (Exod 21:2-11) seems obvious (see HEBREW).

In Alalakh the lJabirullJapiru are normally mentioned in administrative documents listing persons of foreign origin. These foreigners seem to have been kept apart from the ordinary population of this state, maybe as servants of the royal palace administration (Greenberg 1955: 19-22). One inscription from Alalakh, however, shows that the lJabirul lJapiru also operated as bands of brigands or outlaws outside the control of the state. In the autobiography of King Idrimi we are told how the young Idrimi during his exile lived for seven years among lJabirullJapiru out of reach of the authorities from whom he had escaped (ANET, 557- 58). The same distinction between lJabirullJapiru as foreigners in the service of the state and lJabirullJapiru as outlaws is apparent in the sources from Ugarit and Hattusas. Most important is, however, a passage in a treaty between the king of Ugarit and his overlord, the Hittite king, according to which the two monarchs promise to extradite citizens who have deserted their own state to seek refuge in territories known as lJabirullJapiru land. Such entries in the political treaties become quite frequent in this period; the phenomenon testifies to a growing concern because of the increasing number of persons who chose to live as lJabirul lJapiru (Liverani 1965; cf. also, for the connection between lJabirullJapiru and the fugitives in Akk munnabtu, Buccellati 1977).

Most important, however, are the testimonies as to the activities of the lJabirullJapiru in the Amarna Letters, although the evaluation of the content of the expression lJabirullJapiru is subject to discussion. Generally two different hypotheses as to the content of the expression in the Amarna Letters prevail. The first (and more popular) maintains that their situation was not much different from their situation elsewhere in the ANE. The second argues that the mentioning of the lJabirullJapiru in the Amarna Letters does not normally indicate a sociological phenomenon, but that it is just as often used in an exclusively

8 • III

pejorative sense to denote opponents of the official community, that is, the Egyptian suzerainty (thus Mendenhall 1973: 122-35; Liverani 1979). In favor of the first option is the fact that the occurrence of the term lJabirulbapiru is unevenly distributed over the Palestinian/Lebanese area. It is seemingly concentrated in areas in or close to the mountains, the most obvious lJabirullJapiru territory (cf. below), whereas the number of sources mentioning the lJabirul lJapiru becomes more restricted in other places. This distribution indicates that the expression was not just a derogatory term in the Amarna age but reflected a real social problem of the Palestinian and Lebanese societies. In favor of the second option is the fact that persons styled lJabirul lJapiru in the Amarna Letters are in general neither foreigners nor fugitives, but heads of states or citizens of states. When a king of one of the Palestinian petty states calls his neighbor king a lJabirullJapiru, it is certainly not because this other king has left his country to become a lJabirullJapiru but because he is considered by his fellow king to be a public enemy. When we hear that the citizens of a certain city have joined the lJabirullJapiru and given their city over to them, this does not necessarily mean that they themselves have become lJabiru or that they have in a physical sense left their city at the mercy of the lJabirul lJapiru. It simply means that the rulers or the citizens of the neighboring city-states look upon them as enemies. That we cannot exclude the second possibility is proven by an Amarna Letter in which even the Egyptian governor residing at Hazor is accused of making alliances with the lJabirullJapiru. On the other hand, although this second hypothesis about the content of the expression in the Amarna Letters certainly limits the amount of actual references to the activities of the lJabirullJapiru people properly speaking, the derogatory use may be considered indirect evidence of the importance of the lJabirullJapiru phenomenon as such. If there had not been a considerable element of these people, the derogatory use of the expression itself would have been meaningless.

. Perhaps the Amarna Letters cannot be taken to prove that gangs of lJabirullJapiru as well as lJabirullJapiru fugitives roamed Palestine proper. Their presence is, however, proved by an Egyptian inscription from the end of the -l 4th century B.C., which mentions an Egyptian campaign against some lJabirullJapiru living in the mountainous area around Beth-shan in Palestine (translation ANET, 255; cf. Albright 1952). In the Egyptian sources the lJapirulljapiru from Syria/Palestine are, however, mentioned as early as during the reign of Amenophis II (ca. 1440 B.C.), .when they appear alongside. the lJurri people (i.e., the settled population of Asia) and the sasu. nomads in a list counting the prisoners of a Palestinian campaign led by this pharaoh (ANET, 247). According to Egyptian documents mentioning the presence of lJabirullJapiru in Egypt proper, they seem to have been employed by the Egyptians as an unskilled labor force, used among other things for work on public building projects.

D. Factors Behind the babiru1bapiru Movement

Although it is impossible to present a detailed history of the lJabirullJapiru, it should, nevertheless, be possible to delineate some of the conditions which contributed to the development of the phenomenon during the 2d millen-

III • 9

nium and to indicate some general reasons both for the seemingly increasing importance of the phenomenon especially in the LB Age and for its disappearance at the beginning of the Iron Age.

The etymology of the word is W Semitic and points toward an origin among the W Semitic- or Amorite-speaking population of the ANE, although the phenomenon as such was in no way confined to the areas inhabited by this population. Nor would it be correct to think that the lJabirul lJapiru were generally ofW Semitic origin. To the contrary, the available evidence shows that a variety of ethnic groups could be listed under this heading in any society of that time, as was the case at Alalakh, where the lJabiru/~aPiru groups encompassed foreigners bearing W Semitic as well as Hurrian names. Accordingly, the expression must already at an early date have been separated from any specific ethnic background and become a purely social designation. Since the lJabirullJapiru whose names are preserved in the source material are always considered foreigners in the societies where they lived and where they were excluded from normal civil rights, they were obviously intruders who had arrived from some other parts of the region. Though their presence was noted, their status in the society was invariably low; they were almost slaves, as at Nuzi, or else they were employed by the state as unskilled laborers or ordinary mercenaries. Finally, their affinity to groups of outlaws outside the control of the political centers of that period is evident from the fact that they shared their name or designation with the brigands'. Therefore both the lJabirullJapiru livirig in state societies and lJabirullJapiru living on their own as outlaws must be seen as representatives of one and the same general social phenomenon, that is, they were refugees OT fugitives who had left their own country to find a way of survival in other parts of the Near East.

The reasons for this wave of fugitives, which: according to the available sources, seems to have increased in force during the MB' and especially the LB, may have varied, and it may be futile to attempt any easy explanation. However, such a factor as debt-resulting in regular debt slavery-may have induced many impoverished peasants of the ancient states to find a living out of reach of the authorities who were going to enslave them as debtors. The actual extent of such conditions which led to the enslavement of presumably a considerable part of (especially) the rural populace may only be surmised. On the other hand, the practice, common in the Old Babylonian period, of issuing at regular intervals royal grants which annulled debt as well as debt slavery and which released mortgages on landed property (see esp. Kraus 1958; Finkelstein 1961), demonstrates that the problem was very real. Such measures, however, may not have continued beyond the period of the Amorite dynasty in Babylonia proper; and edicts of that kind may not have been issued in other places, at least not to the same extent as in Mesopotamia proper (Lemche 1979). The burden of debt may have increased because of the growing centralization of the state administration, especially in the LB, when the so-called "palatinate" type of states developed into a despotic system with ever-diminishing rights of the ordinary population (on this system Liverani 1974 and 1975). It may be an indication of the juridical organization of this


type of state that no law codices have survived from those regions of W Asia where, seemingly, the lJabirullJapiru movement grew to unprecedented dimensions in the LB Age, because all juridical power was vested in the centralized state authorities' symbolized by the person of the king residing in his palace.

Two additional factors contributed to the development of the lJabirullJapiru movement. First of all, the region was subdivided into numerous petty states which .evidently facilitated the possibility of escaping the authorities in one's own state. Second, and more important for the refugees who decided to live as outlaws, was the extent of territories especially suitable for the life of such brigands, that is, territories which could in no way be controlled by the tiny forces of the petty states of the area. Such territories were normally to be found in the mountains or in the steppes between the desert and the cultivated areas (on this see Rowton 1965: 375-87 and 1967; cf. also Rowton 1976). The extent of the movement and the problems which it caused transpire. from a series of international treaties trying to regulate the traffic of the refugees by impeding their freedom in states other than their own. The reciprocity of the extradition of the lJabirullJapiru between states testifies to a deeply felt concern because of the movement of the refugees. The acme of these endeavours on the part of the communities is the paragraphs included in the great international treaty between Egypt and Hatti at the beginning of the 13th century B.C. (ANET, 199-203; cf. Liverani 1965).

Irrespective of whether this sketch of the development of the lJabirullJapiru movement is true or not, the movement lost its impetus after the breakdown of the palatinate system at the end of the LB; and although the problem of refugees and fugitives has always been endemic to the Near East, the lJabirullJapiru disappeared. One may only guess at the specific reasons, but the possibility exists that the ideological foundation of the new states which arose

. during the Iron Age, not least in W Asia, promoted a better understanding of social responsibility among the leading class,since many of the states were founded on the basis of former tribal societies. It may be that the egalitarian ideology of these tribal societies lived on, although it cannot be assumed that debt slavery disappeared in the Iron Age. To the contrary, debt slavery was very much in evidence; but it was perhaps softened by an ideology which proclaimed brotherhood among all members of the new states (on the egalitarianism of the Iron Age using Israel as an example see Gottwald 1979; cf., however, also Lemche 1985: 202-44, including criticisms of Gottwald for not distinguishing between ideology and real life).

. In conclusion it must be maintained that after lOOO B.C. no reference to the activities of the lJabirullJapiru is known. References tolJabiru in later sources are literary reflections of the past.


Albright, W. F. 1952. The Smaller Beth-Shan Stela of Sethos I (1309-1290 B.C.). BASOR 125: 24-32.

Borger, R. 1958. Das Problem der capiru ("J:Iabiru"). ZDPV 74: 121-32.


Bottero, J. 1954. Le problems des lJabiru a la 4e rencontre assyriologique internationale. Cahiers de la Societe asiatique 12. Paris.

--. 1980. Entre nomades et sedentaires: Les Habiru. Dialogues

d'histoire ancienne 6: 201-13. •

Buccellati, G. 1977. <apiril and Munnabtutu-the Stateless of the First Cosmopolitan Age.jNES 36: 145-47.

Finkelstein, J. J. 1961. Ammisaduqa's Edict and the Babylonian

"Law Codes".jCS 15: 91-104.

Gottwald, N. K. 1979. The Tribes of Yahweh. Maryknoll, NY. . Greenberg, M. 1955. The lJablpiru. AOS 39. New Haven.

Kraus, F. R. 1958. Ein Edikt des Konigs Ammi-Saduqa von BalJylon.

Studia et Documenta ad Iura Orientis Antiqui Pertinentia 5. Leiden.

Lemche, N. P. 1979. Andurarum and MiSarum: Comments on the Problems of Social Edicts and their Application in the ANE. jNES 38: 11-22.

--. 1985. Early Israel: Anthropological and Historical Studies on the

Israelite Society Before the Monarchy. SVT 37. Leiden. .

Liverani, M. 1965. II fuoruscitismo in Siria nella Tarda Eta del Bronzo. Rivista Storica Italiana 55: 315-36.

--. 1974. La royaute syrienne de l'age du bronze recent. Pp. 329-56 in Le palais et la royauU. 1ge Rencontre assyriologique internationale, ed. P. Garelli. Paris.

--.1975. Communautes de villages et palais royal dans la Syrie du Heme milJenaire.jESHO 18: 146-64.

--. 1979. Farsi Habiru. Vicino Oriente 2: 65-77.

Loretz, O. 1984. Habiru-Hebrder. Eine sozio-linguistische Studie iiber die Herkunft des Gentiliziums <ibrf vom Appellativum lJabiru: BZAW 160. Berlin.

Mendenhall, G. E. 1973. The Tenth Generation. Baltimore.

Rowton, M. B. 1965. The Topological Factor in the lJapiru Problem.

AS 16: 375-87.

--.1967. The Woodlands of Ancient Western Asia.jNES 26: 261-77.

--. 1976. Dimorphic Structure and the Problem of the <apiru<Ibrim. jNES 35: 13-20.

Spiegelberg, W. 1907. Der Name der Hebraer, OLZ 10: 618-20. Vaux, R. de. 1968. Le problerne des Hapiru apres quinze annees. jNES 27: 221-28.

Weippert, M. 1971. The Settlement of the Israelite Tribes. SBT 2d ser. 21. London.


HABOR (PLACE) [Heb b,ab8r]. A river along which the Assyrians resettled some of the N Israelites after they had captured Samaria in 721 B.C. (2 Kgs 17:6; 18:11; cf. 1 Chr 5:26). The Habor was a tributary of the Euphrates river, attested in Assyrian sources as lJabur; today it still retains the name al- Khabur. The biblical designation of the Habor as "the river of Cozan" was apparently unique to the Israelites. Assyrian documents recovered at Cozan (Akk Guzana, modern Tell Halaf on the Khabur at the TurkishSyrian border) contain some Israelite personal names which undoubtedly belonged to some of the exiles deported there from Samaria (see Cogan and Tadmor 2 Kings AB, 197).

The "upper Habor" originates E of the Euphrates in the mountainous. region of SE Turkey and flows SE into Syria. This "upper Habor" region (above Al-Hasakah [36°29'N; 40054'E]) is within the lO-inch rainfall line; the agricultural fertility of this region (as well as its cultural vitality) is

10 • III

attested by the plethora of still-unexcavated mounds. Below Al-Hasakah the Habor flows due S where it joins the Euphrates at Busayrah (35°09'N; 40026'E), about 60 miles upriver from Mari. This "lower Habor" region is within the 4-inch rainfall line, meaning that it was better suited for sustaining pastoral.rather than agricultural activities. In the Old Babylonian period (esp. ca. 1900-1700 B.C.) numerous tribal groups considered the steppe-land bounded by the Habor, Balikh, and Euphrates rivers to be their territory. The Bene Sim'al tribes apparently pastured their flocks more along the upper Habor; the Yaminite tribes, which were actually quite wide-ranging, apparently centered their pastoral activities more to the S (along the Balikh and Euphrates rivers); the tribes of Khana (centered around Terqa) seem to have pastured their flocks more along the lower Habor as far SE as Mari (CAH3 2/1: 24-27).


HACALIAH (PERSON) [Heb M,kalyah]. The father of Nehemiah (Neh 1: 1), Hacaliah is mentioned only here and in Neh 10:2-Eng 10: 1. It is often suggested that the name means "Wait for Yahweh," but the use of an imperative form runs counter to the way in which Hebrew proper names are usually formed (Brockington Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther NCBC, 124; Cohen !DB 2: 507; TPNAH, 125-26), and the root b-kl has no attested verbal form in biblical Hebrew (TPNAH, 125). Apart from a brief reference to family sepulchers (Neh 2:3, 5), which may suggest a certain measure of wealth or social standing, nothing else is known about Nehemiah's father or his family (Brockington, 124).


HACHILAH· (PLACE) [Heb M,kfld]. A hill in the Judean hill country where David found refuge from Saul (1 Sam 23:19; 26:1) and on which Saul encamped in his pursuit of David (1 Sam 26:3). Located on the hill of Hachilah (1 Sam 23:19) was HORESH, a site in the Wilderness of Ziph (1 Sam 23:15), and its strongholds. While the hill of Hachilah remains unidentified, the association of Horesh with Khirbet Khoreisa (IDB 2: 644) perhaps provides a clue. Accounts in the OT locate it "south of [eshimon" (1 Sam 23:19), "east of Jeshimon" (1 Sam 26:1), and "beside the road on the east of Jeshimon" (1 Sam 26:3).


HACHMONI (PERSON) [Heb b,akm8nf]. HACHMONITE. Since this name ends with i, which frequently occurs as a formal element indicating a gentilic name, it is possible in both passages in which the name occurs to read either a personal name, "Hachmoni," or a gentilic name, "a Hachmonite."

1. The father or ancestor of Jashobeam, one of David's champions (1 Chr 11:10-47, v 11; = 2 Sam 23:8-39, see v 8, where the variant Tahchemonite occurs). Here the name has generally been read as a gentilic designation with reference to some unidentified place or people: "son of a Hachmonite" or simply, "a Hachmonite" (Noth lPN, 232). If "Tahchernonite" is a corruption for "the Hach-

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to a parent. The ambiguity is, however, compounded in subsequent verses, for offspring are listed for Beriah'(14- 16), Elpaal (17-18, where Heber is listed), and Shimei (= Shema, 19-21). On this basis some commentators (see Williamson, 1-2 Chronicles NCBC, 84-85) would insert Elpaal in v 13 between the references to Beriah and Shema, thus assuming that Elpaal named one of his sons Elpaal and that the total number of sons was six. In short, Heber's grandfather is not known clearly.


HEBREW [Heb 'ibn]. In English, generally synonymous with "Jew," but in the Hebrew Bible it mostly designates members of the Israelite nation.

The use of this expression is confined to certain parts of the OT, the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), the history of Israel in Egypt (Exodus 1-15), and 1 Samuel. Apart from' these major narrative compositions the Hebrews are mentioned in a few other passages, notably in Gen 14:13,

. where Abraham is called a Hebrew; in the Book of the Covenant, Exod 21:2-11, which regulates the service of Hebrews who had been enslaved; and in texts dependent on this law (Deut 15:12; Jer 34:8-20; see Lemche 1976: 43-45,51-53). Finally, in Jonah 1:9 the prophet describes himself as a Hebrew who has run away from his country. The last mentioned example is the only one where a person describes himself as a Hebrew, in all other instances they are described as such by other peoples, in the story of Joseph and in Exodus by 'the Egyptians, in 1 Samuel by the Philistines.

The etymology of the expression is not yet totally clear (see proposals in Loretz 1984: 235-48) and the possible derivation from the Akkadian expression lJabirullJ,apiru, thought to mean a' population element of fugitives and outlaws, remains a subject of discussion. See HABIRU, HAPIRU. This discussion about the connection between Hebrews and lJabirulbapiru is, however, fundamental for understanding the ethnic term "Hebrew" in the OT. If this' derivation is correct, it would hardly be reasonable to deny the significance of the more general habiru/hapiru-movement in the ANE in the 2d millennium B.C. for the population processes in Palestine and adjacent areas which led to the formation of the Israelite society in the early Iron Age, just before 1000 B.C. (against Loretz 1984; cf. already Mendenhall 1962, and 1973: 122-41). Therefore the rise of the Israelite nation cannot be separated from the social upheavals during the Late Bronze Age, of which the babiru/bapiru-movement is evidence. According to this view we shall have to reckon with a considerable element of habiru/hapiru in Late Bronze Age Palestinian society as one of the single major factors behind the emergence of Israel.

Since the expression lJabirullJ,apiru evidently covers a social phenomenon, whereas Hebrew in the OT, with perhaps one exception (Exod21:2-11, the law concerning Hebrew slaves), always stands for members of the Israelite people, a certain shift of meaning has taken place. It is, however, interesting to note how some aspects of the former social meaning of the expression have survived almost everywhere in the OT where the expression is used (Lemche 1979; see also Na''aman 1986). Thus in the story


of Joseph and in Exodus, the word "Hebrew" is always used to refer to the Israelite refugees in Egypt, in contradistinction to the local population or authorities, and in 1 Samuel only the Philistines speak about Hebrews, normally in a derogatory sense, to indicate runaway slaves or renegades (David, who is considered to have deserted his own master, King Saul, is thus styled by his Philistine superiors in 1 Sam 29:3). Even in such late texts as Gen 14:23 and Jonah 1:9, relicts of the former sociological meaning of the expression may be supposed to be behind the present usage.

Irrespective of the relative age of those texts in the OT which mention the Hebrews, it is therefore true to maintain that the OT usage is based on an old and historical tradition. On the other hand, it is hardly possible to argue that all instances are postexilic, or that the use of the expression also derives from such a late period as maintained by O. Loretz (1984: 271-75). First and foremost, in the postexilic and pre-Hellenistic periods, "Hebrew" was never understood as a general term denoting ordinary Israelites or Jews. Moreover, in Exod 21:2-11 we have a testimony of the survival in Israel of an age-long societal connection; here two distinct terms are used which in the Late Bronze Age indicated two different though interrelated social categories (the babiru/bapiru and the hupsu [Heb ~opsf] respectively, i.e., "peasants" according to general opinion [a variant interpretation is mentioned by Lemche 1975: 139-42, "copyholders," or simply "elients"]). These distinctions disappear completely from Near Eastern. .documents after the collapse of the Bronze Age social system.

Only in the Greco-Roman tradition did Gk Ebraios become the ordinary way of indicating Jews, and thereafter this tradition was taken over by the Christian Church and became a general way of designing members of the Jewish people. The three passages using the term Hebrew in the NT (2 Cor 11:22; Phil 3:5; Acts 6:1) do not enlarge the meaning of the expression. In 2 Corinthians and Philippians, Paul calls himself a Hebrew, thus indicating that he is a Hebrew-speaking Jew in contrast to those Jews whose language is Greek, or perhaps he wanted to distinguish between himself as a Jew and, the Gentiles. In Acts the expression is applied to characterize the so-called Jewish Christian congregation.


Lemche, N. P. 1975. The "Hebrew Slave." Comments on the Slave Law Ex. xxi 2-11. VT25: 129-44.

--. 1976. The Manumission of Slaves-the Fallow Year-the Sabbatical Year-the Jobel Year. VT 26: 38-59.

--. 1979. "Hebrew" as a National Name for Israel. ST 33: 1- 23.

Loretz, O. 1984. Habiru-Hebriier. Eine sozio-linguistische Studie fiber die Herkunft des Gentiliziums 'ilm vom Appellativum habiru. BZAW 160. Berlin.

Mendenhall, G. E. 1962. The Hebrew Conquest of Palestine. BA ~5: 66-87.

--. 1973. The Tenth Generation. Baltimore.

Na)aman, N. 1986. Habiru and Hebrews: The Transfer of a Social Term to the Literary Sphere.JNES 45: 271-88.