The other day I wrote a short post on the Ugaritic phrase w . hndt . yṯb . lmspr that is on the left edge of KTU 1.19. My question was, to what does hndt refer. Well, I’ve spent some time with the literature. Going back to at least Gibson, several scholars have suggested that the hndt refers to either IV:6-23, as Gibson himself suggested, or a little further down as others have suggested, or from some point in that neighborhood to the end of the last column of the tablet. In other words, someone or other should repeat either lines 6-23 or from the neighborhood of line 23 to the end of the tablet. Gibson made this suggestion based of the proximity of the phrase on the edge of the tablet to the running text in column VI. Actually, Driver had a similar idea in 1956. Driver translated the phrase, “And he shall go back to the passage (beginning): Lo! A house.” But this was based on a faulty reading of the first part of the phrase. In the same tradition, in 1987, de Moor translated the line “The recitation of this (passage) should be repeated,” and noted the proximity of the phrase to the text of IV 23-25. I should also point out that there is inline language in other texts that reinforces such an interpretation.
Still, I’m not really buying this. But it will take more than just saying so to be convincing. Beyond my “update” in the earlier post, its going to take me a while to sort out the details. The phrase appears to run from mid IV:24 to mid IV:10. But I need a better image to be sure. For some reason I can’t access the Inscriptifact server. So right now I only have a couple of very low resolution pictures of the this tablet and KTU 1.17 to work from. Among other things, I want to confirm in detail the placement of the writing on the left edge of both these tablets. There are also several grammatical and lexical issues that need addressing and I need to complete my review of an abnormally interesting set of colophons published by Hunger. And then there are the 30 or so Ugaritic tablets that have some kind of text running along all or part of their left edges. In each of these cases it will be necessary to look at the physical placement of the text as well as the text itself. While the works cited in this post do not exhaust all those that take the phrase to indicate that some part of the text should be repeated, they do not represent the only approach that scholars have taken. More on that later too.
For those of you keeping score at home: Gibson translated the phrase, “This he shall recite again.” He also used a line numbering scheme that is no longer commonly use.
G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, Old Testament Studies, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1956, 66-7
Gibson, John C., Canaanite Myths and Legends (Edinburgh: T & T Clark International, 1977), 122 and 122 n. 3 (this is a major revision of Driver’s work)
Hunger, Hermann, Babylonische und assyrische Kolophone, Alter Orient und Altes Testament, 2, Kevelaer: Butzon und Bercker, 1968.