QDŠ As Reconciler(?)

At the last SBL session I attended in San Francisco, Pierre Bordreuil presented two as yet unpublished Ugaritic tablets, RS 94.2965 and RS 94.2391. His handout provides the Ugaritic text of both tablets. I’ve been working my way through them. Between my not taking notes and the thickness of Bordreuil’s accent, this process has all the problems of an uninformed first reading.
Several things in these texts are abnormally interesting. None more so than RS 94:2391:16’. The tablet is a letter from one cazni to the king. On my reading, cazni reports on a meeting where he pays (makes whole) someone and expects to be paid (made whole) in return. I’ll report on who that someone is as soon as I’m sure I know who it is. Near the end of the letter, under a scribe line demarking the beginning of a new section, line 16’ reads, w. ank . qdšh. The next line begins with the verb mǵt, which I take to mean “I/she arrived” and is paired with tbc, “he left,” in line 18’. So I think w . ank . qdšh must be understood as a self-contained nominal sentence. But what can it mean? (By the way, I could be wrong about this.)
When I see anything based on √qdš, I generally think in terms of some cultic usage: as a verb “to be consecrated;” as a noun or adjective, “holy” or some kind of priest or priestly function or the like. But in the context of this letter I don’t think anything in the usual semantic range of these options works all that well. “I am his holiness” or “I am his priest” just don’t seem to fit. But an Akkadian text from Ugarit, RS 17.22+17.87 (Ug. V, 8-9), may hold a clue. Lines 20-23 read,
É :: ku-na-ḫi
ša dINANNA
ù qa-di-iš a-n[a Msup>dINANNA (?)]
ù ṣa-mi-id/t [a-na . ?. d] INANNA
The house, i.e. the kunaḫi,
belonging to Ištar (?)
and is claim free (qadiš) fo[r Ištar?]
and is transferred [to .?.] Ištar
CAD Q, 46, tentatively suggests “is free of claims” as an Ugarit unique usage of the stative of qadāšu. Nougayrol (Ug. V, 9) rendered, qadiš, “elle est consacrée.” In the next line Nougayrol rendered ṣamid, “liée” but if we read ṣamit, the stative of ṣamātu as does CAD Ṣ, 93-5, we find another(?) unique usage at Ugarit. Ṣamit designates the transfer of real estate. So, despite the fact that property is transferred to a goddess in RS 17.22+, the context is a real estate transaction. So it is reasonable to assume that qadiš would also have a not specifically cultic meaning in this context.
I wonder if this usage of the root of Akkadian qadāšu might be reflected in the Ugaritic noun qdš. In which case, a qdš, in the context the new Ugaritic letter, might be someone who facilitates the process by which one becomes free of claims. In which case, I would translate w . ank . qdšh, “and I am his reconciler (or even his agent).” If correct, qdš may not always have specifically cultic connotations. However, such an understanding does have considerable commonality with cultic usage.
I am open to other understandings. I’ve toyed with several myself. If you, abnormal reader, have any ideas please let me know. Note: I don’t recall how Bordreuil understood RS 94:2391:16’. If you do, I’d like to know that too.

2 thoughts on “QDŠ As Reconciler(?)”

  1. I suppose, that the phrase in line 16’ w. ank . qdšh should be read together with the verbal form mǵt at the beginning of the next line. The lexeme qdšh can be interpreted as a place name with the directional enclictic-h, which is well attested in Ugaritic. Consequently, it can be translated as: “And I arrived to Qadesh”.

  2. Yes, that is certainly very possible. But my suggestion works somewhat, but only somewhat, better with my overall understanding of what is going one here both grammatically and otherwise. At some point I may post the whole text with translation and interpretation. But not just yet.

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