Skip to main content

Murashu's Sons

MURASHU'S SONS

MURASHU'S SONS , prominent banking and commercial family in the Babylonian city of Nippur, active during the reigns of Artaxerxes i and Darius ii. In 1893 an expedition from the University of Pennsylvania uncovered 730 clay tablets from the family archive dating from 455 to 403 b.c.e. The texts deal with diverse undertakings such as payment of taxes on behalf of others, land management, and the granting of loans to be repaid at a high rate of interest. Some 50 of the 730 tablets contain names which were thought to be Jewish, and this led some to deduce that the Murashu family itself was Jewish. However, the conclusion is unfounded. Apart from the purely indigenous name of the firm (muraššû – means "wildcat" in Akkadian), caution must be exercised in deciding which of the names of the clients or witnesses are characteristically Jewish and which are merely of West Semitic origin. The fact that names like Ḫanana (חנן, Hanan), Minaḫḫimmu (מנחם, Menahem), Miniamini (מנימין, Minyamin), or names compounded with īlī (אֵל, El) are attested elsewhere in Jewish contexts does not necessarily mean that their bearers at Nippur were Jews. They may have been Arameans or members of some other West Semitic group living in Babylonia. Undisputed evidence for the presence of Jews is furnished by such names as Aḫiyama (אחיה, Ahijah, Aiyyah), Yaḫulakim (יהולכם, Yeholakhem), Yaḫulunu (יהולינו, Yeholanu), and Yaḫunatanu (יהונתן, Jonathan, Yehonatan), which are compounded with the Tetragrammaton or some combining form of it and by such names as Shabbetai son of Haggai. The picture of the Jewish exiles in Mesopotamia which emerges after an examination of these names is one of a people engaged in a wide range of activities: they act as witnesses in documents dealing with taxes, as tenants cultivating the land of others, and as landowners on whose behalf taxes are paid. Some seem to be highly placed royal officials.

bibliography:

G. Cardascia, Les archives des Murašû (1951), incl. bibl.

[David B. Weisberg]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Murashu's Sons." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Murashu's Sons." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/murashus-sons

"Murashu's Sons." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved September 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/murashus-sons

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.