Judean Marriage Contract

Judean marriage contract from Elephantine, Egypt (near modern Aswan), written in Aramaic. July 3, 449 B.C.E. Ink on papyrus, Brooklyn Museum, New York.

Discovered in the late 19th century, this marriage contract is part of a store of papyrus documents from the island of Elephantine, in the Nile River near modern-day Aswan.  The document is written in Aramaic, the everyday language of ancient Judaism. The scribe, Nathan ben Ananiah, was a priest of Yahweh, the God of Israel.  The arrangement is for a marriage between Ananiah and Tamut, the daughter of Meshullam. The military garrison at Elephantine, under the control of the Persian Empire in the fifth century B.C.E., was the site of a thriving Jewish community that included an ancient temple to Yahweh.

Juden marriage contract from Elephantine, Egytp (near modern Aswan), written in Aramaic. Dated August 9, 449 B.C.E.

Relating to or associated with people living in the territory of the southern kingdom of Judah during the divided monarchy, or what later became the larger province of Judah under imperial control. According to the Bible, the area originally received its name as the tribal territory allotted to Judah, the fourth son of Jacob.

An island in the Nile River that housed a Judean military garrison in the Persian period.

A broad, diverse group of nations ruled by the government of a single nation.

A number of troops stationed in a particular location.

The religion and culture of Jews. It emerged as the descendant of ancient Israelite Religion, and is characterized by monotheism and an adherence to the laws present in the Written Torah (the Bible) and the Oral Torah (Talmudic/Rabbinic tradition).

A hypothetical source of sayings about Jesus conceived to explain common materials in Matthew and Luke.

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