The Inscription on the Sarcophagus of the Phoenician King Eshmunazar
In the month of Bul, in the fourteenth year of the royalty of King ESHMUNAZAR, 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, 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: "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, 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 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, 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).
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.
May in future the Lords of the Kings give us Dora 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.
 "Sarcophagus of King Esmunazar," translated by Julius Oppert, in in Records of the Past, being English Translations of the Assyrian and Egyptian Monuments, vol. 9 (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1877), pp. 111-115.z
 The eighth month of the Phoenician year which was identical with the Judaic. Unfortunately we know only the co-relative names of the 1st, and, 7th, and 8th months from the Biblical texts, and the names of two or three other months from the Phcenician texts alone; but the position of these months in this year is unknown.
 King Eshmunazar must have lived in the fourth century B.C., this is generally admitted on account of the form of the sarcophagus, which was certainly Egyptian; there are even in the middle of it traces of hieroglyphs which have been erased. The King Tabnit may be the Tennes of Greek authors.
 This is the thirteeth or fourtieth translation of this passage, each author having proposed a version differing from all his predecessors. I do not pretend to have said the last word about this question, but it seems to me that this difficult passage is by no means a speech merely personal to Eshmunazar. On the contrary it is a quotation of a hymn or of a funeral chant, otherwise it would not have been repeated. If it were a historical account referring to Eshmunazar's life-time, it would have been sufficient to state the fact once. This is the capital point, the misunderstanding of which misled all the former translators.
 The formula "O thou," is also to be found frequently in Greek epitaphs; and it refers to the second person, which appears in the following lines. The usual interpretation is: "My imprecation is aaainst all royal races and all men;".but besides the awkward sense, it cannot stand on account of the aforesaid omission of the second et, which would be indispensable.
 The word Rephaïm is to be found here, like in Psalm 88. ii, with the sense of "deceased," not "shadows of dead;" the passage seems to exclude the notion of immortality. The same thing may be put forth on account of the passage in the Psalms; here, as in the Phoenician passage, the word seems to be purely a synonymous one for "dead."
 The sentence of " non-existence." which intervenes here a second time with the same words, shows clearly that it is not personal to the buried king.
 The seaside Sidon' Sidon eres yam, seems to be one of the two Sidons, the other may have been the Sidon of the mountain. Sennacherib speaks also of the two Sidons, the great and the little one.
 All former translations of this passage, inconsistent with the real text of the document, must, I think, be abandoned.
 There is no mystical hypostasis of the Baal whatever, as some authors sugg·ested. All Phoenician gods were Baal , and all goddesses Astarte (Compare Jud. x. 6). As there existed a Baal of Sidon, there was also an Astarte of Sidon, bearing the same name. That seems to be the real and very simple meaning of the words
 The "Lords of the Kings" seem not to be the Kings of Persia, but an epithet applicable to a divine king.
 Dora and Japhia (Joppe) are both situated at the shore on the plain of Saron.
 we see herein a threat against anyone attempting to deface the inscription engraved on this sarcophagus.