An ancient Assyrian spell to make a baby go to sleep!

This is an ancient spell to make a baby go to sleep! It is written on this clay tablet that was stored in the Assyrian library of the Assyrian King, Ashurbanipal. I took the pic in the British Museum today.spell for baby.jpg

You could try the spell tonight;) It reads, in Akkadian:
“Belch like a drunkard, snort like a baby gazelle, until your mother comes, strokes you, and picks you up.”

Ashurbanipal (668BC-627) was king of the great empire of Assyria in the twilight years of Judah, the Southern Kingdom of ancient Israel. Jerusalem fell in 586BC.

I wonder whether Ashurbanipal had better sleep than we do in the early hours of the morning?



About Mark Glanville

Mark Glanville is a pastor-scholar who ministers in a missional urban community, Grandview Church, Vancouver. Mark is Professor of Old Testament and congregational studies at the Missional Training Center, Phoenix (, and he teaches at Regent College, Vancouver. Mark's research focusses upon the Pentateuch, biblical ethics, and mission. Mark has authored "Adopting the Stranger as Kindred" (SBL, 2018), "Reading Exodus: Society Reshaped by Kinship" (Lexham, forthcoming), numerous refereed articles (including in the Journal of Biblical Literature (2018), Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (2019), and Refuge Journal (2013)) and chapters on the Pentateuch, mission, and refugee related issues, as well as numerous popular articles. Mark is presently co-authoring a book, "Providing Refuge: A Missional and Political Theology." Mark is called upon to speak on in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. His previous career was as a jazz pianist in Sydney, Australia (Chick Corea and Wynton Kelly are his musical heroes).
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