The Inscription on the Sarcophagus of the Phoenician King Eshmunazar[1]

In the month of Bul,[2] in the fourteenth year of the royalty of King ESHMUNAZAR,[3] King of the two Sidons, son of King TABNIT, King of the two Sidons, King ESHMUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons, said as follows:

I am carried away, the time of my non-existence has come,[4] my spirit has disappeared, like the day, from whence I am silent, since which I became mute.

And I am lying in this coffin, and in this tomb, in the place which I have built.

O thou (reader) remember this:[5] "May no royal race and no man open my funeral couch, and may they not seek after treasures, for no one has hidden treasures here, nor move the coffin out of my funeral couch, nor molest me in this funeral bed, by puttiiig another tomb over it.

Whatever a man may tell thee, do not listen to him:

For the punishment (of the violators) shall be : Every royal race and every man, who shall open the covering or this couch, or who shall carry away the coffin where I repose, or who shall molest me in this couch : they shall have no funeral couch with the Rephaïm,[6] nor shall be buried in graves, nor shall there be any son or offspring to succeed to them, and the sacred gods shall inflict extirpation on them.

Thou whoever (thou art who wilt) be King (hereafter), inspire those over whom thou wilt reign, that they may exterminate the members of the royal race (like those men) who will open the covering of this couch, or who will take away this coffin, and (exterminate) also the offspring of this royal race, or of these men of the crowd. There shall be to them no root below, nor fruit above, nor living form under the sun.

For graced by the gods, I am carried away, the time of my non-existence[7] has come, my spirit has disappeared, like the day, from whence I am silent, since which I became mute.

For I, ESHUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons, son of King TABNIT, King of the two Sidons (who was), the grandson of King ESMUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons,

And my mother AMASTARTE, the Priestess of ASTARTE, our mistress, the Queen, the daughter of King ESMUNAZAR, King of the two Sidons :

It is we who have built the temple of the gods, and the temple of ASTAR0TH, on the seaside Sidon,[8] and have placed there the image of the ASTAROTH, as we are sanctifiers (of the gods).

And it is we who have built the temple of ESMUN, and the sanctuary of the purpleshells River on the mountaln, and have placed there his image, as we are sanctifiers (of the gods).[9]

And it is we who have built the temples of the gods of the two Sidons, in the seaside Sidon, tile temple of BAAL-SIDON and the temple of ASTARTE who bears the name of this BAAL.[10]

May in future the Lords of the Kings[11] give us Dora[12] and Japhia, the fertile corn-lands, which are in tile plain of Saron, and may they annex it to the boundary of the land, that it may belong to the two Sidons for ever.

O thou, remember this: May no royal race and no man open my covering, nor deface (the inscriptions of) my covering, nor molest me in this funeral bed, nor carry away the coffin, where I repose. Otherwise, the sacred gods shall inflict extirpation on them and shall exterminate this royal race and this man of the crowd and their offspring for ever.[13]


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