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Strange word in NIDBA


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#1 Alistair

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 04:08 PM

Entry reads:

URUKAGINA ( rū kə gēnə). A king of Lagash* who ruled in the early dynastic period. He fell heir to a corrupt and oppressive social system which seems to have resulted from the aggressive policies of the dynasty founded at Lagash about 2500 B.C. by Ur-Nanshe. Eventually the imperialistic drive of the latter was halted, and by the time that Urukagina came to power the state had become vulnerable militarily and weak in structure and economy. All the evidence is, of course, archaeological.

Inspired by Ningirsu, the patron deity of Lagash, Urukagina promulgated an enlightened series of social reforms which restored freedom and justice to Lagash, protected helpless members of the community (cf. Deut 16:11; 24:17 et al.), and reduced bureaucracy. He terminated the fiscal interests which previous ensis had had in commercial and legal transactions, redistributed property which had been wrongly accumulated by palace authorities, and terminated the activities of oppressive tax* collectors. The exploitation of the poor by the rich (cf. Amos 2:67) was prohibited, and in general his reforms demonstrated much the same social concerns as those evident in the Mosaic legislation.

I've only been able to identify "ensis" as a kind of mollusc. Can anyone shed some light on this, or are we to believe Lagash was served by a bureaucracy of bivalves?

#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 04:51 PM

I can only confirm that it is not a typo, the hard copy is the same.
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#3 jpkang

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 06:07 PM

I've only been able to identify "ensis" as a kind of mollusc. Can anyone shed some light on this, or are we to believe Lagash was served by a bureaucracy of bivalves?

It's a Sumerian word for "ruler" (ensi) pluralized with the English "s."
J. P. Kang, Ph.D. (Bible)

#4 Alistair

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:19 AM

Thanks JP, that explains it. I suspected my mollusc theory didn't have a leg to stand on. :)




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