MemberJune 29, 2021 at 8:15 am
Cyrus Gordon demonstrated from the Ebla tablets that Sanliurfa was the city known at the time as Ur Kasdim, quite close to Haran. Urkesh is in the Khabur Triangle area.
In the conventional chronology Zimri Lim was MBII and contemporary with Hammurabi around 1800 BC, who destroyed the kingdom of Mari after Zimri Lim had ruled about 23 years. Remember, Deborah, that chart you sent me? The late Middle Bronze II was the United Kingdom era of Israel.
Evidence that Zimri Lim was contemporary with Solomon includes the following:
1. David fought two campaigns against Hadadezer son of Rekob whose capital was Zobah, and who was king of the Syrians across the River. || Shamshi Adad the Amorite (Syrian) son of Irikabkab conquered the city of Ashur, but he built a new capital in the Khabur Triangle called Shobat-Enlil, which the Bible appears to call “Zobah”. One of his main enemies, which he fought in two of his eponym years, was the tribe which he called Ben Yaminah, which is to say Benjamin.
2. After David defeated Hadadezer, Toi of Hamath sent his son Jehoram with tribute. || Sumu Epuh was the first king of Yamhad whose son and successor was Yarim Lim. Sumu Epuh had been subjected to tribute by Shamshi Adad, but later got free of him.
3. Rezon son of Eliada, who fled from his master Hadadezer was king in Damascus and was a thorn in Solomon’s side || Zimri Lim the son of Yadun Lim fled from Shamshi Adad to Yarim Lim of Yamhad/Alleppo for about 15 years, after Shamshi Adad killed his father Yadun Lim and put his own son Yasmah Adad on the throne. Zimri Lim also fought against Ben Yaminah. Under his rule Mari attempted to subject Yamhad and Ben Yaminah to the South. While originally allied with Hammurabi, eventually Hammurabi conquered Mari and destroyed it. The kingdom of Qatna, which included Damascus, was allied with Zimri Lim against both Hamath and the kingdoms to the South.
4. Solomon in his twentieth year went up against “Hamath-Zobah” and defeated them. || The successor of Yarim Lim of Yamhad was his son Hammurabi I of Yamhad. The territory of Hammurabi I included both Yamhad/hamath and Shobat-Enlil which fell into his hands after the destruction of Mari. It seems likely that Solomon and Hammurabi were allied in the 20th year campaign to destroy Mari. Solomon probably placed Yamhad and Shobat-Enlil under the rule of the son of his ally Yarim Lim, whom some identify as Hiram of Tyre.
I propose that similar to the way the Assyrians called Israel “Bit Khumry” or House of Omri, because Omri was the first Israelite king they had diplomatic contact with, it seems likely that Shamshi Adad and Zimri Lim called Israel “Ben Yaminah” because the first king of Israel their predecessors had contact with was King Saul of Benjamin. Thus Ben Yaminah in the Mari texts probably means Israel, not merely the tribe of Benjamin.
The drama that unfolds in the Mari texts shows Shamshi Adad conquered Mari, killed the king, and put his own son on the throne. Zimri Lim, the heir fled to his cousin Yarim Lim in Yamhad and remained in exile until Shamshi Adad died. As soon as he died, he led a force and retook Mari. Then he built Mari into the richest kingdom in the Middle East, and had a palace with 251 rooms. However he turned the kingdom of Qatna against his former ally Yarim Lim, and also appears to have made Yarim Lim his vassal shortly before his demise.
Zimri Lim’s ally Hammurabi eventually turned against him and destroyed Mari. Zimri Lim dissappears from history at that point, and was probably dead.
In my study I suggest that Qatna or Kadana was Ka “the city” of Dan. In the Bible we see Kiriath Arba contracted to the name Hebron or Kabron. Other cities in the middle east with the prefix Ka- or Kar-, meaning city, include Karchamish, Kartan, Karkor, Karnaim, Ekallatum, etc.
Several of the Bible’s territorial descriptions of the promised land of Israel is that it stretched from the Great River (Euphrates) to the River of Egypt (wadi El Arish). The same descriptions give the northern border as being near the border of Hamath, the modern city of Homs, which I interpret as the same name as the kingdom of Yamhad, whose capital was Aleppo.
Qatna was the kingdom immediately south of Yamhad, which included Damascus and Tadmoor. The Bible informs us that Rezon son of Eliada controlled Damascus from which he sent raids against Solomon. Thus for the first part of Solomon’s reign the kingdom of Dan, or Qatna, was controlled by his enemy Rezon. The year 20 campaign brought Qatna back under Solomon’s control, and placed Hamath-Zobah or Yamhad to Shobat Enlil under the control of his vassal Hammurabi I of Yamhad.
This entire complex of people and events has numerous matching names, relationships, and actions to the Bible account of David and Solomon.
Yarim Lim of Yamhad = Jehoram of Hamath = Hiram of Tyre (the closest city he controlled to Jerusalem)
Iadun-Lim of Mari, father of Zimri Lim = El-iada father of Rezon/Hezion
Qatna = Ka Dan, the city of Dan
Ben Yaminah = Benjamin
Shamshi Adad of Shobat-Enlil = Hadad-ezer of Zobah
Iri-kabkab father of Shamshi-Adad = Rekob father of Hadadezer
Hamath-Zobah = Yamhad – Shobat-Enlil
I have yet to find Shobach commander of Shamshi-Adad’s forces in the Mari texts, but I’m still looking for him…