Yesterday I mentioned that in addition to Dietrich and Loretz’ lengthy paper on the Tiryns alphabetic inscription in UF 42 Josef Tropper and Juan-Pablo Vita also have one on the same topic (“Die keilaplhabetische Inschrift aus Tiryns,” [(2010 published 2011)], 693-695). Tropper and Vita suggest three possible readings:
- mš‘l[(t) . . .], “wish, desire“
- mš‘ l[ . . .], mašša‘- loan or debt + preposition to/for;” “loan to PN . . . ]”
- mš‘ l[ . . .], maśśa‘ (I) – gift/donation + preposition to/for; “gift/donation to/for [PN or DN . . . ]” or maśśa‘ (II) – pronouncement + preposition to/for; “a pronouncement to [PN . . . ]”
They cite Hebrew cognates for all there (four) lexemes.
Tropper and Vita prefer their third option, mš‘ l[ . . .]; maśśa‘– + l, and suggest two understandings.
- „Gabe/Spende für [ . . . ]“; “gift/donation to/for [. . .]” The gift or donation is to either a ruler or a god.
- „(Orakel-)Ausspruch für [PN . . .]“; “(Oracle) pronouncement for [PN…]”
While Tropper and Vita’s first suggestion, mš‘l[(t) . . .], “wish, desire,“ is in the same neighborhood as Dietrich and Loretz‘ suggestion, Tropper and Vita don’t develop it as full as do Dietrich and Loretz. The second understanding of their third option, while seemingly similar to Dietrich and Loretz’ interpretation, is only superficially so.
Among the things that all this tells me is that there is still lots of room for alternative approaches. Neither set of scholars suggests that the inscription be read as a proper name (or fragment of a proper name). So, I think I’ll continue to think about this.