Biblical Archaeology Review 6:5, September/October 1980

Are the Ebla Tablets Relevant to Biblical Research?

By Mitchell Dahood

At a November 1979 gathering of science writers in Palo Alto, California, sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, Robert Biggs, Professor of Assyriology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, is reported as having said: “In my opinion, parallels with the Bible are quite out of the question at this stage … The initial proposal to associate it [Eblaite] with Hebrew should not be accepted. All the more so when you consider that the two languages are separated by more than 1,000 years. Why should they be similar?”1 More recently Biggs concluded an article on “The Ebla Tablets: An Interim Perspective” with this assessment: “Ebla has indeed opened up whole new vistas. I would stress again, however, that in my opinion the Ebla tablets will have no special [his italics] relevance for our understanding of the Old Testament.”2

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