Puru "The lot of Yahali" 9th Century B.C.E.
This cube is inscribed with the name and titles of Yahali and a prayer: "In his year assigned to him by lot (puru) may the harvest of the land of Assyria prosper and thrive, in front of the gods Assur and Adad may his lot (puru) fall." It dates from the reign of Salmaneser III (858-824 B.C.E.) and was used in the ceremonies appointing Yahali eponym, i.e. naming the Assyrian year after him (833 and 825 B.C.). It provides a prototype (the only one ever recovered) for the lots (purim) cast by Haman to fix a date for the destruction of the Jews of the Persian Empire, ostensibly in the fifth century B.C.E. (Esther 3:7; cf. 9:26).
Literature: W.W. Hallo, "The first Purim," Biblical Archaeologist
46/1(Winter 1983) 19-29.
Museum number: YBC 7058.
Place of publication: YOS 9:73.