Old Testament Gateway - An academic site for the Old Testament

   Ancient Near East

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Biblical Training - FRee Bible Classes to Help You Grow SpirituallyMy current study resources – Free sign up allows access to all classes to degree level.

Torah Class    Old Testament Bible Study for a New Testament Understanding Torah is the Hebrew word for the first 5 books of the Bible and it is the foundation of the Old Testament just as the Old Testament is the foundation of the New. The Old Testament (Tanach) is the Holy Scripture that Jesus (Yeshua, in Hebrew) taught from, and His Disciples referred to, since there was no New Testament until well after the time of the Apostles that succeeded Him. The Old and New Testaments are inseparable and only when used together do we have a complete, unified, divinely-inspired Bible. Torah Class cross-references the Torah and Old Testament passages with New Testament passages to reveal their seamless continuity.

Some excellent teaching from a Hebrew perspective  Video Messages  

The Old Testament and the Ancient Near East  Ralph W. Klein

TimeMaps of the Ancient World

Ancient and Lost Civilisations Extensive listing of civilisations that include Ancient Near Eastern.

Ancient Near East Site Maps from the Oriental Institute Map Series. Seven Site Maps covering the Ancient Near East.

Ancient Near East – The Ancient History Sourcebook An extensive scholarly resource.

Ancient Near East Law Codes      

Code of Hammurabi   –   Middle Assyrian Law Code   –   Code of Nesilim   –   Code of Ur-Nammu

Ancient Near East Myths and Stories

Ancient Near East Treaties

Ancient Near East Prayers Hymns Psalms and Laments

Ancient Near East Propehsies and Predicitons

Ancient Near East Marriage and Divorce Contracts

Ancient Near East Historical texts Ancient Near East – University of Chicago Collection  

Ritual Rhetoric in Ancient Near Eastern Texts    James W Watts

A Cross-Cultural Strategy of Ancient Persuasion     James W Watts

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ABZU – Guide to resources for the study of the Ancient Near East available on theInternet

Annals of the Kings of Assyria Edited by E.A. Wallis Budge and L.W. King, and published in 1902

The Land Gerald A. Larue explains how Palestine served as an inter-continental cultural link, and when great nations developed and expanded, it became a buffer state, a cushion, between the people of the Nile and those of Asia Minor or Mesopotamia.

Bible Places Todd Bolen presents a helpful resource for those interested in Bible geography and archaeology. This is a graphics intense site and may require a little patience with a dial up connection.

Historical Tables of The Ancient Near East and Israel  Ralph W. Klein

2000-1200BCE in the Ancient Near East  Ralph W. Klein

Israel Tribal Period through United Kingdom 1200 – 930 BCE  Ralph W. Klein

The Divided Kingdom to the Fall of the North 931 – 845 BCE Ralph W. Klein

The Last Days of Judah and the Babylonian Exile (Hezekiah 726-697/6 [continued] to the beginning of Josiah 640-609) Ralph W. Klein

Yehud (Post Exilic Jewish Community) From Alexander to the Transfer of Power from the Ptolemies to the Seleucids p331-201 BCE Ralph W. Klein

Western Control of Syria-Palestine: Alexander to the Second Revolt   Ralph W. Klein

Timelines Ralph W. Klein

Third Millennium in the Ancient Near East 2000-1550 BCE in the Ancient Near East

1550-1200 BCE in the Ancient Near East Ancient History Source Book

A History of Ancient Babylon History of Babylon

Another History of Babylon Amarna letters

Letter of Ashuruballit Letter from Abdu-Heba of Jerusalem; Bible: 2 Samuel 6-7; 2 Kings 18-20; 24-25; Nehemiah 1, 3, 6-7;

Ancient Scripts of the World Ancient

Medieval and Renaissance Documents

Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Egyptian Papyrii

Cultural Chronology of Ancient Egypt

Hammurabi’s Law

1550-1200 in the Ancient Near East


Tribal Period through United Kingdom 1200-931 BCE

The Divided Kingdom (Rehoboam to Jehoshaphat in Judah//Jeroboam to Ahab in Israel  931-845 BCE

The Divided Kingdom (Jehoram to the beginning of Hezekiah in Judah//Ahaziah to Hoshea in Israel) 852-late 8c BCE

Judah (Hezekiah 726-697/6 [continued] to the beginning of Josiah 640-609 BCE

Josiah [continued] and his successors; Judah during the Neo-Babylonian Empire–Israel’s exile 627-540 BCE

Yehud (Post-Exilic Jewish Community) and the Persian empire   539-329 BCE

From Alexander to the Transfer of Power from the Ptolemies to the Seleucids  333-201 BCE

From the Seleucids [continued] to the Coming of Rome 201-63 BCE

Roman Rule of Palestine–63 BCE to 135 CE 

Light on the Old Testament from the Ancient Near East   Martin Luther King an examination of some of the extra biblical matter for Old Testament study.

Rise of Mesopotamia  prepared by Washington State University.

On-Line Primary Literature  Related to ancient Near Eastern religions, Hellenistic Mediterranian religions and Biblical Study

The Motif of the Sleeping Divinity A. Mrozek and S. Votto compare common points in the Mesopotamian and Biblical texts.

The Birth of Kingship: from democracy to monarchy in Sumer Jacob Klein explains a somewhat obscure, historical development of how monarchy came to Sumer.

The Code of Hammurabi – Babylonian Law The Avalon Project of Yale University

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When the King Crosses the Line: Royal Deviance and Restitution in Levantine Ideologies K.C. Hanson Plagues and famines were recurring problems for people of the ancient Levant (eastern Mediterranean); and since these phenomena were perceived to be the actions of the gods, they required interpretation by authorized prophets and diviners. The seven passages discussed here all articulate a common behavioral pattern (with a king identified as the culpable deviant) and character-set with regard to these catastrophes. The motifs manifested are: breach of the sacred, divine punishment in the form of plague or famine, prophetic interpretation, restitution, and blood-sacrifice. The character-set is: the deity, the king/s, the prophet/s, and the suffering population.

 The Akkadian Language – Babylonian and Assyrian Cuniform Texts    Akkadian is one of the great cultural languages of world history. Akkadian (or Babylonian-Assyrian) is the collective name for the spoken languages of the culture in the three millennia BCE in Mesopotamia, the area between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, approx. covering modern Irak

The Sumerian King List – Translation Sumerian Literature – Oxford University A History of the Ancient World James H. Breasted

Early Assyria and her Rivals  James H. Breasted

The Assyrian Empire James H. Breasted

The Chaldean Empire – The last semitic empire – James H. Breasted

The Thrones and Palaces of Babylon and Nineveh – From Sea to Sea – A Thousand Miles on horseback John F. Newman

Hodayot (1QHa The Thanksgiving Hymns) A scroll of prayers and hymns discovered in Cave 1 at Qumran, unlike the biblical Psalms in form, expressing the religious aspirations of people at that time.

Discoveries at Ninevah Austen Henry Layard

Babylon and Ninevah, Second Expedition Austen Henry Layard

The Calculated Frightfulness of Ashur Nasir Apal A.T. Olmstead

Philistines The subject of ultimate Philistine origins is introduced in the table of nations (Genesis10:13-14) by linking them to the Egyptians (Mizraim).

The Ugaritic Myth of Baal The Baal Epic Danel’s Need for a Son Osiris Cult  Bible: Isaiah 24-25 Old Testament Gateway - ydyc.org


Ancient Jerusalem Maps of the Middle East in Ancient Times  The Perry-Castaneda Library’s collection of ancient maps of places in the Middle east

Time Map of World History Bible Land Maps Maps of the Ancient Near East

Other Creation Epics

Creation Stories of the Ancient Near East David Livingston

An overlooked message: the critique of kings and affirmation of equality in the primeval history Robert K. Gnuse  The Primeval History in Genesis 2-11 contains symbolic polyvalent narratives with diverse levels of interpretive possibility. One meaningful level of interpretation is to see how the accounts contain a strident critique of kingship, especially the social economic abuses perpetrated by kings. Kings who receive the strident barbs of the author include not only Mesopotamian rulers, but also, by implication, the rulers of Israel and Judah, who likewise abused their powers. This exilic critique of kings is also, in turn, part of the great biblical message affirming human equality and dignity, and it speaks a powerful egalitarian word to any age.      

Enuma Elish When on High The Mesopotamian/Babylonian Creation Story Dennis R. Bratcher explains that this epic recounts the struggle between cosmic order and chaos – a myth of the cycle of seasons. 

Enuma Elish Babylonian Creation Myth  The Epic of Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh an historical king of Uruk in Babylonia.

Gilgamesh     Wikipedia

Gilgamesh Study Guide One of the oldest recorded histories.

Sabbath Origins and the Epic of Gilgamesh  Walter Mattfeld

The Sabbath/Shabbat as an Eternal Memorial and its Derivation from the Lunar Shupattu Memorial  Walter Mattfeld  

Other Flood Stories

Flood Stories from Around the World Mark Isaak explores extensive and varied flood stories from ancient folklore.   


A History of the Ancient World – Egypt and it’s earliest inhabitants James Henry Breasted

The Adventures of Sinuhit Genesis’ Genesis,

The Hebrew Transformation of the Ancient Near Eastern Myths and Their Motifs Walter Mattfeld

The Garden of Eden and Its Mesopotamian Prototypes, Including the Serpent who Offered Immortality to Man  Walter Mattfeld

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (The Ancient Near Eastern Motifs behind)  Walter Mattfeld

The Pre-Biblical Origins of Cherubim (And The Mercy Seat Atop the Ark of the Covenant)  Walter Mattfeld

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