Donkeys and Horses Acting Badly

Truly abnormal readers might enjoy two equid omens from Assur. They comprise the first two readable lines of tablet VAT 10505 +, as publisjhed in Heessel’s, Divinatorische Texte I, # 6. Heessel, 27, reconstructed the tablet, including these two omens using (in part?) an unpublished duplicate (VAT 13102).
VAT 10505 + Rs IV:3’
DIŠ ANŠE ana G[U4 TE-ḫe BA]D4 ina KUR GÁL-ši ZÁḪ K[UR na-zaq KUR]
šumma imēru ana alpi iṭḫi dannatu ina mâti ibašši ḫakaq mâti nazaq mâti
If a donkey (sexually) approaches a bull, there will be famine in the land; loss in the land; grief in the land.
VAT 10505 + Rs IV:3’
DIŠ ANŠE.[K]UR.RA [ana GU4 T]E-ḫe ZÁḪ KUR na-zaq KUR
šumma sīsû ana alpi iṭḫi ḫakaq mâti nazaq mâti
If a horse (sexually) approaches a bull – loss in the land; grief in the land.
VAT 10505 + and its duplicate appear to be an omen excerpt collection with many omens having close associations but, with the except of Rs. IV:18’-26’, few direct parallels, with omens found in the extant portions of Šumma Ālu.
For comparison, from what is at least arguably Tablet 43 of Šumma Ālu 43 and likely not Tablet 41 as Nötscher, 13, speculated, we have CT 40/33 Ob.:7 and CT40/33 Rs:29.
CT 40/33 ob.:7a
šumma imēru ana alpi iṭḫi ḫalāq tarbaṣi
If a donkey (sexually) approaches a bull – ruin of the courtyard/pen;
CT 40/33 ob.:7b
KI.MIN dan-nu ina URU BI ZÁḪ-iq
ditto dannu ina āli šuāti iḫtaliq
ditto (ie, If a donkey [sexually] approaches a bull), a dignitary in that city will ruin.
Notice that in CT 40/33 ob.:7a and b we have two differing apodoses attached to the same protasis and that both differ from the three more closely associated apodoses of VAT 10505 + Rs IV:3’.
And then we have this from CT40/33 Rs:29
DIŠ ANŠE.KUR.RA ana GU4 TE na-zaq É LÚ
šumma sīsû ana alpi iṭḫi nazaq bēt amēli
If a horse (sexually) approaches a bull – vexation in the man’s house.
The protases of these two (or is it three?) omens from Nineveh are virtually identical to lines 2’ and 3’ of VAT 10505 + from Assur and its duplicate, but the apodoses are quite different in language even if they all point to very negative outcomes.
The omens from Nineveh and the two from Assur along with their duplicates are clearly part of a common tradition that at some time and under some circumstances diverged with regard to the details of their apodoses. How such things happened is unclear but should give all of us pause as we consider the development of written traditions in Akkadian, the Hebrew Bible and elsewhere. Of course, there are even better examples from within the Akkadian repertoire which the Biblical scholar should consider in this regard.
While it’s a priority two level activity now, I’m still working on the whole of the Šumma Ālu equid omens and hope post a working translation with notes sometime in the next week or two.

Gadd, C. J., Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets, &c., in the British Museum Part XL (London: University of Oxford Press, 1927) (CT)
Heessel, Nils, Divinatorische Texte I: terrestrische, teratologische, physiognomische und oneiromantische Omina (Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft in Assur, 1.; Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft, 116; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007)
Nötscher, Friedrich, “Die Omen-Serie šumma ālu ina mēlê šakin,” Orientalia, NS, 51-54 (1930)