Genesis 11:10-32
A Quest For The Historical Abraham: The Texts Of Genesis And Mari

Original English Sermon
Authored by Rev. Mike Furey, Georgetown, IN, USA

See also the companion message at

The Problem:  Actual History Or Just Holy History?

 There is still a "battle for the Bible" going on.  Many scholars today believe the events in the Bible never happened as written, but were made up stories or "pious fiction,"  formally known as Heilsgeschichte, that is, "a holy and theological history" but not true Historie.  So, theology and "real" science are kept in separate categories.  Many believe religion is mythical history and science knows what really happened from evolution to now.  It is commonly accepted among scholars that the Bible we hold in our hands was the product of some priest-politicians around 500-300 B.C.E. who were trying to legitimize their authority base.  I reject this view.  I do not reject it because of blind devotion to the Bible, but simply because it is not supportable by the facts as I have studied them since 1979.  If it were true that God used a group of fifth century priests to edit old fables and weave them together to unify a political state called Israel under Yahwism, that would be more miraculous than what I believe as an evangelical!  Liberals believe something more wild and strange than what evangelicals believe.  If the scriptures evolved out of conflicting houses of the priesthood and out of bits and pieces of ancient sagas of aggrandized personalities, then that would be more miraculous.   Even evolution is more miraculous than an instantaneous creation: many miracles in guiding history over one miracle.  The Bible did not emerge out of the work of priests who took stories from the past and puffed them up for the present.  It is making the Bible equivalent to how Americans took the stories of George Washington and the cherry tree, Paul Revere and his midnight ride, or Paul Bunyan and the logging camps and made them into larger than life legends.  We know these tales are rooted in history but have become legends, partially true to some degree, but we regard them as fictitious and fabulous.  These figures from American folk lore have become larger than life in their re-telling and by force of the human desire for heroes they have become "true" to many.  This same American process of legend making is not what took place in Israel with the Torah or any of its parts including the stories related to the patriarch Abraham.  The Jesus Seminar of this generation and the quest for the historical Jesus of this century have also reduced the biblical text to some Q text stripping away the deity of Christ and any miracles.  They believe the hard to explain discrepancies of the four gospels prove that the events in Jesus' life did not really happen since the gospel writers do not agree in many details (and they don't).  But, their conclusion is the gospels must not be historically accurate since their testimony contradicts itself.  But, my conclusion stems from faith: any witnesses to any event will have different stories and the details may be apparently self contradictory but if only one could see the whole picture the testimonies would be found true.  Police know witnesses are more likely to be true when the facts are not matching exactly.  When everyone has the same story it is more likely to be a fabrication.  Each eye and ear will experience the situation from a different perspective.  The gospels reflect this reality.  We do not have the luxury to go back in time and verify the details of each witness and we know the witnesses have harmony problems, but this does not mean the stories were therefore not historically accurate.  Ultimately, faith is the key to interpreting the text.  But, how much can we validate historically?   My purpose is to show how the milieu within the patriarchal narratives can be validated historically through secular parallels with an emphasis on parallels from the city of Mari, which was thriving at the time of Abraham.

 Since much of modern biblical scholarship takes as its premise that the Bible is historically inaccurate holy fiction, many scholars study the Bible on literary merits only and recognize it as a sacred text but not essentially different from the sutras of Buddhism or the suras of Islam, though maybe just a little higher up than the sonnets of Shakespeare.  In other words, modern biblical scholars such as seminary professors want to keep their jobs so in order to be academically respectable teaching an inaccurate book written by fighting priests they hide behind "the literary approach" especially since the dried up liberal version of the historical critical approach has run its course over a century and a half starting with Julius Wellhausen and has no specific concrete system defined and only conflicting hypotheses to offer their elite group.  This is not to downgrade the literary approach or the historical approach entirely; they are only tools which must be used properly.  (Refer to the companion message to this one at  Actually, applying the literary approach to the Bible is a valid endeavor, but not because it is a work of pious fiction.  As a text it is appropriate to apply literary techniques and to study "the whole cloth" and understand its rhetorical design, but this book sui generis we call the Bible is the Word of God.

 To be fair, not everything out of modern critical studies is of no value.  I have learned a great deal from "liberals" who have taught me to question everything, including them, too.  I have profited from liberals and hope to continue to learn from them as well as from conservatives.  The best gift I have received from the liberal perspective is to understand the nature of correctives.  Evangelicals like myself may tend to overbelieve and rush to "prove" everything in the Bible.  Historical criticism is a brake to evangelicalism's "eager beaver" zeal.  Historical criticism has raised many valid questions.  For instance, there is no doubt in my mind that Moses could not have been the only person to have laid his "pen" to the Pentateuch.  How could he have written about his own death and burial?  Someone said the Holy Spirit gave it to him in advance.  I believe that is a possibility, but not the reality.  How could he have used the names of cities  which went by different names during his time but show an anachronistically later name as in the cities of Luz (Bethel), Cariath Arbe (Hebron)?  How could he have used the names of people who had not yet settled in their respective lands at the time of Abraham such as the Chaldeans or the Philistines?  There are layers to the text and seams between pericopes.  If Moses was not the final hand on the text, whose hand was?  It's all guess work a.k.a. scholarship.  I am inclined to go with Gordon Wenham's view as outlined in the Word Biblical Commentary that the book of Genesis underwent its final "editing" during the monarchy period.[1]  For instance, Genesis 36:31 presupposes and refers to a kingdom in Israel, which is yet 500 years from Moses' time but the textual referent is as though it had already existed.  Thus, I believe the text had explanatory words layered on or added on up to David's time.  However, whatever process through which Torah came to us, it is both divinely inspired yet humanly written.  The text reminds me of the dual nature of Jesus Christ who was both 100% God and 100% man; likewise, the scripture text reflects evidence of a divinity and a humanity.  In other words, the Holy Spirit is the true author of Genesis even if he might have used a number of men's hands and hearts to write it beginning mostly with Moses and subsequently several editing scribes adding updated comments.

 When God used the hand and heart of Moses to write Genesis, Moses took old traditions he had heard and used them in his writing.  For instance, the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and the Flood were known to humankind before Moses inscripturated them.  They had lived from mouth to mouth, heart to heart.  Two hundred and fifty flood stories are extant through out the world since they were passed on from Babel in their own corrupted forms.  Moses wrote the "authorized" version.  So, these events were passed on in pre-literary forms before Moses and foreign versions were put in literary forms in other cultures.  Therefore, when Moses received these stories from different sources, they were already old and ancient stories even for him.  Genesis consists of historic traditions rooted in the remote primeval and patriarchal eras.  De Vaux says, "The Genesis narratives bear the imprint both of the age when they were written and of the age when the traditions which they relate were established."[2]  Perhaps, by means of historical investigation through the technique of archaeology a student of the patriarchal narratives might seek to understand the raw unearthed facts of the spade and apply those findings to the scriptures of Genesis to demonstrate their historicity.  By studying the results of archaeology, in particular by studying the Middle Bronze period of Mari, we may be able to validate some genuine but very generalized historical scenes in the patriarchal narratives.  In addition, one cannot use archaeology to pinpoint and prove the actual very life of Abraham the patriarch of Genesis.   For instance, how would we know it if we did run up against his very bones?  Would there be a sign saying this is Abram/Abraham, husband of Sarai/Sarah, father of Isaac?  All that archaeological discoveries such as Nuzi, Mari, Ebla, and Ugarit can do is provide a geographical, cultural, linguistic, and religious backdrop in which the age and the narratives of the Israeli fathers find parallel settings.[3]  In this message I will place my focus on the texts of Mari, the royal archives of the ancient Near Eastern city-state because of their contemporaneity with the patriarchs.

The Place:   A Description Of Mari

 What about Mari?  Mari or Tell Hariri is situated on the Euphrates River about fifteen miles north of the present Syria-Iraq border.[4]  It lies between the ancient biblical cities of Haran and Ur.  André Parrot, the chief archaeologist at Mari, conducted digging seasons from 1933-38 and 1951-56.[5]  In 1979 Jean Margueron re-excavated part of Mari and began to re-interpret some of Parrot's architectural findings.[6]  The finds make up two basic categories: texts and architecture.[7]  Over the twenty-three campaigns of digs, twenty thousand tablets and a number of inscriptions on objects have been unearthed.  The language of the texts is Akkadian and the period of the texts covers from 1800-1750 B.C.E.  This period encompasses the last three kings of Mari and ends when Hammurabi conquered the city in the thirty-fourth year of his reign.[8]  Their subject content crosses a wide range of topics, but three quarters of them are confined to the field of economics.  Only one quarter of the texts have been published.[9]  The published texts are catalogued in a thus far twenty-five volume set entitled in the French Archives Royales De Mari.  In 1989 the twenty-fifth volume was published, which pertains to the metallurgical texts of Mari.  As for the buildings, they surpass the texts in their wider chronological spread.  There have been a series of palaces superimposed on each other that span at least a thousand years from the early third millennium B.C.E. to the early second millennium B.C.E., that is, from the Pre-Sargonic to the Old Babylonian periods.[10]  Parrot saw eight periods of development within the stratigraphy of the city of Mari, which dated from the thirty-first to the sixth century before Christ.[11]  He interprets one level as contemporary with the third dynasty of Ur; the temples at that period were to Dagan and Ninharsug around 2250-2100 B.C.E.[12]  In the sixth century the Neo-Babylonians only had a small village there.[13]  The palace stretches over more than seven acres as a town within a town.  Temples pertaining to Ishtar, Dagan, and Ninharsug were found along with the ziggurat.  In short, the Marian findings and collected data are so numerous and uninvestigated since its inception over 60 years ago that a journal, started in 1982, is specifically devoted to such studies.  This Parisian journal is called Mari: Annales De Recherches Interdisciplinaires, (M.A.R.I.).[14]

The Parallels:  The Texts Of Genesis And Mari

 What parallels does Mari suggest for Genesis?  First, there are parallels in names.  Amorite personal names in the Mari texts are very similar to Hebrew names.  For instance, both Amorite and Hebrew names use sentence names built from an imperfect verb.[15]  One such name, "Ishmael," has been found twice in the Mari texts.[16]  Abraham had a son Ishmael by his concubine or slave wife Hagar.  The very use of such a biblical name can not prove the historicity of the biblical character, but it does offer a confirmation that such a name was possible in antiquity.  Thompson casts down the use of such parallelism because just to show that a certain personal name, like David, was used in nineteenth century England could not support the historicity of David Copperfield.  It only shows that Charles Dickens's hero bore a name that the author and his readers considered to be a real name.[17]  Thompson considers any attempt, like Albright's, to reconstruct the patriarchal age by using the findings of Mari or any other discovered places as fundamentalist.[18]  But the use of these Amorite-type Personennamen does have more significance than Thompson would allow.  These names formed by a verb in the imperfect form are very numerous and very typical of Amorite names found at Mari, but are very rare for Canaanite-Phoenician names.[19]  Thus, it is a type of evidence for extrapalestinian origins, especially as the migrations of the patriarchs were closely related to the movement of the Amorites.[20]  Whatever one might think of the common occurrence of Israelite and Amorite sentence names in the imperfect (and other forms), the occurrence of the personal place names of "Abraham's" relatives in the Amorite period and in the neighborhood of Haran provide a historical parallel.  The names "Serug," "Nahor," "Terah,"[21] "Haran,"[22] and "Laban"[23] occur at Mari.  Variations of "Abraham" and "Jacob" have been found at Mari, but no occurrence of "Isaac" has yet to turn up.[24]

 Westermann sees the use of the three names, "Serug," "Nahor," "Terah," as evidence of some rootedness in history, but serving primarily as transitional links to history, especially because no semi nomadic people were capable of founding a city.[25]  Westermann writes very positively on the patriarchality of the city of Nahor, which he found mentioned frequently in the Mari texts.[26]  The town Nahor/Nahuru near Haran does occur, for instance, in ARM IX, 124.8.  In addition, the city Haran is found in the Mari archives of the eighteenth century B.C.E., in the Cappadocian tablets of the twentieth and nineteenth centuries B.C.E., and in the early Babylonian itineraries.[27]  Moreover, the word "Haran/Harranu" means "road," or "caravan" in Akkadian.  The word "Padan/Padanu" in Assyrian also means "road," so some have been led to see a connection between Haran and Padan Aram, even as identical places.

 False name parallels have been proposed by some enthusiasts.  At first the name "Yahweh" was thought to be mentioned at Mari.[28]  F.M. Cross provides a list of Amorite examples of "Yahweh's" name from the Mari cuneiform texts.[29]  At one time Albright thought the name "Amraphel" in Genesis chapter fourteen was equivalent to "Amud-pi-el," ("Enduring is the word of El"), a king mentioned in the Mari tablets and a powerful figure in Babylonia in the century before Hammurabi.[30]  Also, the name "Arioch," king of Ellasar in Genesis chapter fourteen, was identified with "Arriwuk," a name appearing at Mari.[31]  No one accepts these as exact parallels for Genesis.  At first many thought the tribe of Benjamin was mentioned in the Mari texts because of name similarities and semi nomadic habits.  One of my professors in seminary, Dr. Thomas Smothers of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, first mistranslated the Akkadian-Marian logogram for "sons-brothers," that precedes the "Jaminite" name by the Semitic consonantal value "bn" or "Ben."[32]  Later, the proper pronunciation of the determinative was discovered to be Marû rather than Ben.  It was easy to misidentify these Marû Jaminites as Benjaminites because this tribe of people led a semi nomadic lifestyle according to the Mari texts.  ARM II, 102, 5-16 describes how this group of people left their towns at Sagaratum and went towards the highland.  Other Mari correspondences, which include the name of this people, also misled early translators with an image of the biblical Benjaminites.

 The next example of parallels deals with migration patterns.  Could Abraham really have made such a migration from Ur to Palestine?  One interesting footnote in history was the pact made between these "Benjaminites" and the kinglets in the temple of Sin at Haran.[33]  This temple was connected with moon worship, which was similar to the moon cult at Ur and has aided in migratory reconstructions.  It is generally recognized that Abraham's kinfolk were worshippers in the lunar cult.  J.C.L. Gibson treats the migratory pattern of Abraham according to his familial relationships and the locations of lunar temples.  Both Ur and Haran were centers of "the cult of the Sumero-Akkadian moon god Sin."[34]  He says the name "Laban" means "white" referring to the white moon, "Sarah-Sarai" means "princess" referring to the goddess Ningal which in Akkadian is arratu and who is identified as the spouse of the moon god Sin.  De Vaux writes with certainty that the cults of Sin and Ningal were introduced at Haran from Ur during the third dynasty basing his conclusion on Dossin's work on the "Benjaminites" in the Mari texts, but we know that was a mistranslation; nevertheless the migratory pattern holds true.[35]  As travelers went from Ur up the Euphrates, they stopped at Mari for supplies and to honor the moon god, then continued their journey to northern Haran.  Whatever Marian parallels we might draw, we know that a migration from Ur at the time of Abraham is feasible in accordance with the prevailing historical and geographical conditions attested by archaeology.[36]  Mari was along the way and Haran was an appointed stop.  Whether Abraham could have migrated further has surfaced in another tablet.

 There is some further paralleled possibility that Abraham could have traveled beyond Haran.  One tablet at Mari entailed a wagon contract.[37]  The contract stated that as a condition of rental the wagon must not be driven to the Mediterranean sea.  Other clues of contact between Mari and Palestine are extant in the scores of correspondences between the triangular relationship of the ruler of Assyria, ami-Addu, and his contacts at Mari and at Qatna.  At Mari, Ugarit, a Canaanite city on the Mediterranean coast, is twice mentioned.[38]  A statue at Ugarit has the name of the king of Mari, Zimrilim, inscribed on it.[39]  By piecing together the data from ARM, an alternate route from Mari to the coast was possible.  The trip across the desert from Mari to Qatna can be established with some certainty.  One would travel by caravan from Mari up to Terqa or thereabouts and cross the desert.  At Terqa one could restock with ten days worth of supplies, the time it took to cross the desert, (ARM I,7; I, 66; V,80; V,58, 1.10).[40]  In short, two possible caravan-migratory routes are known from the tablets.  Just the mere mention of the word "caravan" at Mari is helpful in propelling the possibility of any patriarchal migratory parallel.[41]  At one time the mention of the caravan animal "camel" in Genesis was believed to be historically invalid and anachronistic.  But, Parrot found a picture of the hindquarters of a camel on a jar at Mari and camel bones dating from the pre-Sargonic era.[42]

 De Vaux provides a survey of parallels.  In identifying the Hebrews and the Habiru, the Mari texts supply data about the 'Apïru.  Their times and places correspond to those given in the Old Testament in connection with the movement of Israel's ancestors.[43]  De Vaux provides the following word parallels.  Nahalah, patrimony, or "inheritance" was found in the texts of Mari.  It referred to land or property that must remain in the tribe or family.[44]  In another instance, the king grants land to a belligerent nomad chief to cause him to lead a settled life and to give up raiding, (ARM I, 91).[45]  In ARM VIII, 1, De Vaux found evidence of the legal practice of apportioning a double share of the inheritance to the oldest son.[46]  He found several words used for the nomadic tribal units of Upper Mesopotamia that have Hebrew cross references, which I paraphrase:[47]

 gäyum/gäwum:  given to a group of families with the same ethnic origin or geographical location.  Compare the Hebrew gôy.

 ummatum:  used to name the largest social group of nomads.  It occurs in the Bible as ummäh in Psalm 117:1, Numbers 25:15,18 and Genesis 25:13-16.  It refers to nomads; a gloss identifies it as the patriarchal house.

 hibrum:  used to denote a unit greater than a family, perhaps eight families.  Compare the Hebrew hebher in Judges 4:11, 17 and I Chronicles 7:31-32.

 De Vaux mentions the sacrifice of a young donkey as part of the ritual for concluding a treaty.[48]  The traditional language of "entering into a covenant" was "to kill a young ass" in the Mari texts, (ARM II, 37).  Parrot first observed this Marian covenantal language in his book Abraham And His Times.[49]  Another interesting phrase in the texts (ARM V, 20.16) is a-um ilim a a-bi-ia, "by the god of my father."  De Vaux notes this as the earliest expression of the faith and religion of the patriarchs.[50]  This confessional phrase found at Mari was written with respect to the king of Qatna.  The god has been identified as Shamash.[51]

 It is interesting that the word "Baal" was never used by the patriarchs,[52] even though this god was mentioned at Mari.[53]  Perhaps Baal, the son of El, had not ascended into power like he would in the fourteenth century where he was sung about in the poems of Ugarit.[54]  Il/El was a well known member of the third millennium Mesopotamian pantheon so the case for the patriarchs believing in El before they reached Canaan is strong.[55]  The non-worship of El's son by the patriarchs and the surprising occurrence of Baal at Mari might arouse interesting speculations, but nothing conclusive.

 Other possible parallels between Mari and the patriarchs are as follows.  The anointing of inanimate objects with oil as in Genesis 28:18  has a parallel in Mari.[56]  Studies have been done on water disputes.  I simply refer to Izak Cornelius' article on Genesis twenty-six and Mari and to M.B. Rowton's article on water rights and the state's concern about this very vital affair.[57]  Many studies have been done on the parallels between Hebrew and Mari prophecy and dreams, notably Ellermeier, Noort, Schmitt, Cazelles, Pardee, and above all, Malamat.[58]  In this area it is easy to become a "parallelogist" misusing parallelism.  For instance, the use of dreams in Mari prophecy or in any other city or age does not imply patriarchal parallels or authenticate their complete historicity.  However, it verifies that such a practice indeed is historical and not anachronistic.

 Future decades of research are sure to unveil other parallels for the patriarchal period.  I close with an intriguing but common ancient Near Eastern prayer made by the last king of Mari, Zimrilim, to his god named "River," which he calls "his Lord." This is my translation of the French translation of the Akkadian original:[59]

 To the god River, my Lord, tell these things:  Thus (speaks) Zimrilim, your servant: (5) Now this, I have caused a large golden vase (?) to be brought unto my Lord.  My Lord has revealed a sign;  (9-10) O that my Lord might perform the sign which he has revealed!  O that my Lord no longer be careless regarding the subject of the safeguarding of my life!  O that my Lord not turn himself elsewhere!  (15)  O that my Lord desire no one else but me![60] 

 This prayer gives witness to the universal ache for blessing and intimacy with God.  Such an existential inner witness provides the greatest parallel to the Abrahamic age and person.  And not only does an individual crave intimacy with a personal god but it is true that God really does desire us!

1.Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 1-15, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 1, (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987), p. xliv.

2.Roland de Vaux, The Early History Of Israel, trans. David Smith (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1978, p. 257.

3.Charles F. Pfeiffer, The Patriarchal Age (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1961), p. 13.

4.Howard F. Vos, Genesis And Archaeology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1985), p. 114.


6.Marie-Henriette Gate, "The Palace Of Zimri-Lim At Mari," Biblical Archaeologist, 47 (1984), p. 82.

7.Dennis Pardee and Jonathan T. Glass, "The Mari Archives: Literary Sources For The History Of Palestine And Syria," Biblical Archaeologist, 47 (1984), p. 88.

8.Herbert B. Huffmon, Amorite Personal Names In The Mari Texts: A Structural And Lexical Study (Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins Press, 1965), pp. 8-10.

9.Pardee, "The Mari Archives," p. 90.


11.André Parrot, Archéologie Mésopotamienne: Les Étapes, vol. 1 (Paris: Albin Michel, 1946), pp. 499-500.


13.Ibid., p. 513.

14.Pardee, "The Mari Archives," p. 89.

15.Huffmon, Names, p. 63. Vaux, Israel, p. 264.

17.Thomas L. Thompson, The Historicity Of The Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest For The Historical Abraham, (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1974), pp. 35-36.

18.Thompson, Historicity pp. 315-317. Vaux, Israel, p. 198. Vaux, Israel, p. 200.

21.Ibid. Vaux, Israel, p. 195.

23.Ignatius Hunt, The World Of The Patriarchs, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1967), p. 76.

24.J.C.L. Gibson, "Light From Mari On The Patriarchs," Journal Of Semitic Studies, 7 (1962), pp. 51-52.

25.Claus Westermann, Genesis 1-11: A Commentary, trans. John J. Scullion (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1984), pp. 563-565.

26.Ibid. Vaux, Israel, p. 195.

28.Gordon J. Wenham, "The Religion Of The Patriarchs," Essays, p. 188 in footnote #66: "Some discussions of the Ugaritic and Mari materials also suggested that Yahweh was mentioned in them, but this has now been generally rejected. See R. de Vaux, 'The Revelation Of The Divine Name YHWH,' in Proclamation And Presence, pp. 52-56."

29.Frank Moore Cross, "Yahweh And The God Of The Patriarchs," Harvard Theological Review, 55 (1962), p. 252.

30.Vos, Genesis, p. 65.


32.Thomas Smothers, "Private Papers And Translations Of The Mari Texts," (Louisville: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1989), ARMT I:6; II:92; II:102; III:12; V:27, etc. Vaux, Israel, p. 192.

34.J.C.L. Gibson, "Light," p. 54. Vaux, Israel, p. 192.


37.Joseph P. Free, Archaeology And Bible History, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press, 1950), p. 57.

38.Franco Michelini Tocci, "La Siria Nell'Età Di Mari," Studi Semitici vol. 13, (Roma: Università di Roma, 1960), p. 69.

39.Franco Michelini Tocci, "La Siria," p. 71.

40.Franco Michelini Tocci, "La Siria," pp. 74-75. Vaux, Israel, p. 227.

42.A.E. Day & R.K. Harrison, "Camel," ISBE, Vol. I, 1979, 84. as quoted by Robert I. Bradshaw, Christian Bookseller & Masters Student (Theology) 19 Bickerton Avenue, Bebington, Wirral, L63 5NA, UK Tel/Fax:+44 151 645 2883 Vaux, Israel, p. 214. Vaux, Israel, p. 253.


46.Ibid., p. 251.

47.Ibid., p. 239.

48.Ibid., pp. 227-228.

49.Parrot, Abraham, p. 118 in footnote 30. Vaux, Israel, p. 273. Vaux, Israel, pp. 270-271. Vaux, Israel, p. 278.

53.Huffmon, Names, pp. 100, 174. Vaux, Israel, p. 278.

55.Wenham, "The Religion Of The Patriarchs," in Essays, p. 171.

56.H.W.F. Saggs, review of Textes Économiques Et Administratifs: Archives Royales De Mari, VII, by J. Bottéro, Journal Of Semitic Studies, 5 (1960), p. 411.

57.Izak Cornelius, "Genesis XXVI And Mari: The Dispute Over Water And The Socio-Economic Way Of Life Of The Patriarchs," Journal Of Northwest Semitic Languages, 12 (1984), 53-61; M.B. Rowton, "Watercourses And Water Rights In The Official Correspondence From Larsa And Isin," Journal Of Cuneiform Studies, 21 (1967), 267-274.

58.Pardee, "The Mari Archives," p. 104.

59.Georges Dossin, "Les Archives Épistolaires Du Palais De Mari," Syria 19 (1938), pp. 125-126.

60.Ibid., p. 126.

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