Records of the Past, 2nd series, Vol. II, ed. by A. H. Sayce, , at sacred-texts.com
1. I, Mesha son of Chemosh-melech 1 King of Moab the Di-
2. Bonite. 2 My father reigned over Moab thirty years 3 and I reig-
3. ned after my father. I made this monument to Chemosh at Korkhah. 4 A monument of Sal-
4. vation, for he saved me from all invaders, 5 and let me see my desire upon all my enemies. Omr-
5. i [was] King of Israel, and he oppressed Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with his
6. land. His son followed him, and he also said: I shall oppress Moab. In my days Chemosh 6 said,
7. I will see my desire on him and his house. And Israel surely perished for ever. Omri took the land 7 of
8. Medeba, 1 and [Israel] dwelt in it during his days and half of the days of his son, altogether forty years. 2 But there dwelt in it 3
9. Chemosh in my days. I built Baal-meon 4 and made therein the ditches: 5 I built
10. Kirjathain: 6 the men of Gad dwelled in the land of Ataroth 7 from of old, and built there the King of
11. Israel Ataroth; and I made war against the town and seized it. And I slew all the [people of]
12. the town, for the pleasure of Chemosh and Moab: I captured from there the Arel 8 of Doda 9 and tore
13. him before Chemosh in Kerioth: 10 And I placed therein the men of Srn 11 and the men
14. of Mkhrth. 1 And Chemosh said to me, Go seize Nebo 2 upon Israel: and
15. I went in the night and fought against it from the break of dawn till noon: and I took
16. it, and slew all, 7000 men, [boys?], 3 women, [girls], 3
17. and female slaves, for to Ashtar-Chemosh 4 I devoted them. And I took from it the Arels 5 of Jahveh and tore them before Chemosh. And the King of Israel built
18. Jahaz, 6 and dwelt in it, whilst he waged war against me; Chemosh drove him out before me. And
19. I took from Moab 200 men, all chiefs, and transported them to Jahaz, which I took
20. to add to it Dibon. I built Korkhah, the wall of the forests and the wall
21. of the citadel: I built its gates and I built its towers. And
22. I built the house of Moloch, and I made sluices of the water ditches 7 in the middle
23. of the town. And there was no cistern in the middle of the town of Korkhah, and I said to all the people, Make for
24. yourselves every man a cistern in his house. And I dug the canals 8 for Korkhah by means of the prisoners
25. of Israel. I built Aroer 9 and I made the road in [the province of] the Arnon. 10 [And]
26. I built Beth-Bamoth, 1 for it was destroyed. I built Bezer, 2 for in ruins
27. [it was. And all the chiefs] 3 of Dibon were 50, for all Dibon is subject; and I placed 4
28. one hundred [chiefs] 5 in the towns which I added to the land: I built
29. Beth-Medeba 6 and Beth-Diblathain 7 and Beth-baal-meon 8 and transported thereto the [shepherds (?) …
30. and the pastors] 9 of the flocks of the land. And at Horonaim 10 dwelt there 11
31. … And Chemosh said to me, Go down, make war upon Horonaim. I went down [and made war]
32. … And Chemosh dwelt 12 in it during my days. I went up from thence …
33. … And I …
200:1 The letter m is doubtful according to M. Clermont-Ganneau, but no other is possible. Chemosh-melech is a compound analogous to Elimelech.
200:2 Dibon is said to have been built by Gad (Numb. xxxii. 34).
200:3 Probably a round number like 40 in l. 8.
200:4 Most likely a district of Dibon, perhaps alluded to in Isaiah xv. 2.
200:5 Smend-Socin read המלכן "the Kings," which would presuppose an allied force, of which there is no further question in the inscription, nor does the Bible mention that Mesha was assisted in his revolt by allies. The מ is according to M. Clermont-Ganneau doubtful. The following restorations are possible: 1st, השלכן "freebooters." Comp. שלך, Lev. xi. 18, A.V. "pelican," or identical with השלחן, "swordsmen." 2d, החלכן "the misfortunes" or "misery," Comp. Ps. x. 8.
200:6 The reading כדבר by S.S. is not idiomatic; כזה would do better. According to M. C.-G. there seems to be the trace of a מ following the כ. I propose therefore the word [מש]כ.
200:7 According to M. C.-G.: S. S. read "all the land;" of the word all there is no trace in the inscription.
201:1 A city in Reuben (Numbers xxi. 30); later belonging to Moab (Isaiah xv. 2).
201:2 A round number, nearer to 40 than to 30.
201:3 S. S. translate: "and Chemosh gave it back;" בה[שב]וי gives a better sense. Comp. line 33.
201:4 Also Beth-baal-meon, a city in Reuben, Josh. xiii. 17.
201:5 אשוח is perhaps an Arabic plural form of שוהח.
201:6 Kirjathaim, a city in Reuben (Numb. xxxii. 37).
201:7 A city in Gad (Numb. xxxii. 3).
201:8 Arel or Ariel in 2 Sam. xxiii. 20 means no doubt heroes where the A.V. has "he slew two lionlike men of Moab;" and the R.V., "he slew the two sons of Ariel of Moab." Perhaps it was a dialectic word peculiar to the trans-Jordanic country; we find a son of Gad with the name of Areli (Gen. xlvi. x6; Numb. xxvi. 57). It is used also in Isaiah xxxiii. 7, A.V. and R.V., "their valiant ones" (the Hebrew being Erelam, perhaps better Erelim, "valiant ones," parallel to the following expression, "the messengers of peace," or "messengers of Shalem," i.e. Jerusalem). Possibly the word אריה (Isaiah xv. 9; LXX., καὶ Ἀριὴλ; A.V. "lions upon him;" R.V. "a lion upon him"—Isaiah xxi. 8; LXX. Οὐρίαν; A.V. "And he cried, A lion;" R.V. "and he cried as a lion;" better "the hero" or "watchman called out") should be read Aryah, a compound of Ar and yah, analogous to Ar-el. And so perhaps in 2 Sam. xxiii. 20. Ariel is also the name of the stronghold (Zion) of David (Isaiah xxix. 1, 2), and later of a part (? the Holy of Holies) of the Temple (Ezekiel xliii. 15, 16; LXX. ἀριὴλ; A.V. and R.V. altar).
201:9 Or Dodo, perhaps connected with the Carthaginian Dido. The persons named Dodo in the Bible are usually heroes (2 Sam. xxiii. 9, 24); thus we have Dodavahu (2 Chr. xx. 37) and Dodai (1 Chr. xxvii. 4), where Dodo is compounded with Yahu. In our inscription Dodo is parallel with Yahveh (line 17).
201:10 A city in Moab (Jer. xlviii. 24; Amos ii. 2).
201:11 Perhaps to be pronounced Sharon.
202:1 Perhaps Me-Hereth; comp. in 1 Sam. xxii. 5, the name of a forest in Moab and the prefix Me in Me-deba (Numb. xxi. 30).
202:2 Most probably a city near Mount Nebo in Moab.
202:3 M. Clermont-Ganneau contests the reading of Smend and Socin. In his restoration only מרן and מרת could give a sense, viz. "Men and masters, women, mistresses" (where מרת would have to be derived from the form מרה).
202:4 The male divinity of Ashtoreth, which is to be found in Himyaritic inscriptions, compounded with Chemosh.
202:5 The parallelism of line 12 requires אראלי here. M. Clermont-Ganneau makes too many objections to this reading here and elsewhere.
202:6 City in Moab (Isaiah xv. 4).
202:7 See above, line 9.
202:8 Literally "the cuttings."
202:9 City in Moab (Deut. ii. 36).
202:10 A torrent in Moab (Numb. xxi. 13 sqq.)
203:1 Most likely Bamoth (Numb. xxi. 19 and Isaiah xv. 2, where the right reading is perhaps עלה בית הבמות ודיבן למכי) Perhaps identical with Bamoth Baal (Joshua xiii. 17).
203:2 City in Reuben (Deut. iv. 43).
203:3 I supply ש[הא וכל ר].
203:5 מאת [רש].
203:6 City in Reuben (Numb. xxi. 30), afterwards belonging to Moab (Isaiah xv. 2). I read בת מידבא for מד מדהבא of Smend and Socin.
203:7 Beth-Diblathaim, a city in Moab (Jer. xlviii. 22).
203:8 A town of Reuben, later belonging to Moab (Josh. xiii. 17; Jer. xlviii. 23).
203:10 A city in Moab (Isaiah xv. 5; Jer. xlviii. 3, 5, 34).
203:11 The reading of Smend and Socin is here too doubtful.
203:12 See the same expression in line 8.