Dier Alla Inscription

As the result of a ten year process, this currently is the best combination of fragments that renders the most discernible inscription. However, there are many fragments that cannot be placed in their proper sequence or missing; thus, the Deir’ Alla Inscription is only a partial recovery of the original. To aid in understanding the inscription, translators have added some headings which can be seen in bold text.


The misfortunes of the Book of Balaam, son of Beor. A divine seer was he.

The Theophany

The gods came to him at night.

And he beheld a vision in accordance with El's utterance.

They said to Balaam, son of Beor:

"So will it be done, with naught surviving.

No one has seen [the likes of] what you have heard!"

Balaam Reports his Vision to His Intimates

Balaam arose on the morrow;

He summoned the heads of the assembly to him,

And for two days he fasted, and wept bitterly.

Then his intimates entered into his presence,

and they said to Balaam, son of Beor,

"Why do you fast, and why do you weep?"

Then he said to them: "Be seated, and I will relate to you what the Shaddai gods have planned,

And go, see the acts of the god!"

Balaam Describes the Celestial Vision and Its Aftermath in the Land

"The gods have banded together;

The Shaddai gods have established a council,

And they have said to [the goddess] Shagar:

'Sew up, close up the heavens with dense cloud,

That darkness exist there, not brilliance;

Obscurity and not clarity;

So that you instill dread in dense darkness.

And - never utter a sound again!'

It shall be that the swift and crane will shriek insult to the eagle,

And a nest of vultures shall cry out in response.

The stork, the young of the falcon and the owl,

The chicks of the heron, sparrow and cluster of eagles;

Pigeons and birds, [and fowl in the s]ky.

And a rod [shall flay the cat]tle;

Where there are ewes, a staff shall be brought.

Hares - eat together!

Free[ly feed], oh beasts [of the field]!

And [freely] drink, asses and hyenas!"

Balaam Acts to Save the Goddess and the Land

Heed the admonition, adversaries of Sha[gar-and-Ištar]!

... skilled diviner.

To skilled diviners shall one take you, and to an oracle;

To a perfumer of myrrh and a priestess.

Who covers his body with oil,

And rubs himself with olive oil.

To one bearing an offering in a horn;

One augurer after another, and yet another.

As one augurer broke away from his colleagues,

The strikers departed ...

The Admonitions are Heeded; The Malevolent Gods are Punished, the Goddess Rescued, and the Land Saved

They heard incantations from afar


Then disease was unleashed

And all beheld acts of distress.

Shagar-and-Ištar did not ...

The piglet [drove out] the leopard

And the ... drove out the young of the ...

... double offerings

And he beheld ...

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