Gershon Galil, «A New Look at the Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III», Vol. 81 (2000) 511-520
The first part of the article re-examines the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, mainly Summary inscriptions 4, 9, 10 and Ann. 18, 23, 24. The author proposes a new reading to line 6 of Summ. 4 by adding a verb (abil or aks$ud) at the end of this line, and separating lines 5-6 from lines 7-8. In the author’s opinion Ann. 18 and 24 are indeed parallel versions depicting the events of 732, yet, Ann. 18 describes the conquest of Galilee, while Ann. 24 deals with the conquest of Damascus. The second part of the article examines the relations between Assyria and the West in the days of Tiglath-pileser III in light of the new proposals offered in the first part of the article.
would still need to ask whether it meant the city, or whether the city stood for an entire region named after it, as, for example, in 1 Kgs 22. In any event, judging by these definitions regions in the Bashan and the Golan were evidently controlled by Aram, perhaps the areas of Geshur and Ashtaroth, and the border apparently passed down the Yarmuk, from Edrei to the west. Nevertheless, the other side of the Bashan was known as ‘the Argob region’ (perhaps east of the Bashan and the area of Kenath) was in the hands of the Israelites.
2. The connection between Annals 18, 23, and 24
Layard’s copies (MS A, fol. 115-116), which are the only sources for inscriptions 23 and 24, indicate that both inscriptions were written on one slab6. In Tadmor’s opinion the slab upon which these inscriptions were written is divided into two columns: inscription 23 was written in column I, whereas inscription 24 was written in column II7. This proposal is in fact most reasonable because it is difficult to see in inscription 24 ‘the ends of the lines’ of inscription 23.
We now examine the link between inscription 18 and 24. Smith joined these two inscriptions, and other scholars approved of this8. Tadmor rejected Smith’s suggestion and assumed that these inscriptions were parallel editions of one text. He completed one according to the other, and read line 3' in both inscriptions as ‘the 16 districts of Beth-Omri’. He also argued that the initial part of these inscriptions describes the conquest of the Galilee by Tiglath-pileser III9. In my opinion these two inscriptions are indeed parallel versions depicting the events of 732, although the arrangement of the accounts differ. They describe not one but two different events. In the second part of the inscriptions the kingdom of Ashkelon is mentioned, but in the first part other matters are covered. In inscription 18 the conquest of the Galilee, which was ruled by the kingdom of Israel, is apparently described10. Yet it should not be assumed that the beginning of inscription 24 depicts the subjugation of the Galilee. On the contrary, it is safe to assume that it deals with the conquest of the kingdom of Aram-Damascus. The name of no known settlement is preserved in inscription 24, and the only way to determine the subject matter in lines 1'-11' is through the reference ‘16 districts’. Since the 16 districts of the kingdom of Damascus are specifically mentioned in inscription 23 (line 17'), and since there is no evidence that the kingdom of Israel was divided at that time to 16 districts, the only logical conclusion is that the first part of inscription 24 concerns the conquest of Damascus and not of Israel.
Moreover, inscription 23 depicts the subjection of 591 cities of Damascus, and not the 16 districts of Damascus; it is quite clear that Damascus was not yet conquered, so the passage may safely be said to cover the events of 733. We may accordingly assume that a complete description of the conquest of Damascus appears later in the original inscription. In my opinion this description is found in inscription 24. Moreover, the assumption that 13,520