The Legend of Sargon of Agade

The birth story of Moses (Exod. 2:1-10), probably recorded during the tenth century B.C., reflects the pattern found in the birth account of King Sargon of Agade who lived near the end of the third millennium B.C. It would seem practicle to hide a child and allow it to be found by the rich to prevent its destruction. The Sargon account reads:

  1. Sargon, the mighty king of Agade, am I.
  2. My mother was a lowley; my father I knew not.
  3. The brothers of my father loved the mountain.
  4. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the bank of the Euphrates.
  5. My lowley mother conceived me, in secret she brought me fort.
  6. She placed me in a basked of reeds, she closed my entrance with bitumen,
  7. She case me upon the river, which did not overflow me.
  8. The river carried me, it brought me to Akki, the irrigator.
  9. Akki, the irrigator, in the goodness of his heart lifted me up;
  10. Akki, the irrigator, as his own son....brought me up;
  11. Akki, the irrigator, as his gardener appointed me.
  12. When I was a gardener the goddess Ishtar loved me,
  13. And for four years I ruled the kingdom.
  14. The blacked-headed peoples I ruled, I goverened;
  15. Mighty mountains with axes of bronze I destroyed.
  16. I ascended the upper mountains/
  17. I burst through the lower mountains.
  18. The country of the sea I besieged three times;
  19. Dilmun I captured.
  20. Unto the great Dur-ilu I went up, I....
  21. .......I altered....
  22. Whatsoever king shall be exalted after me,
  23. .......
  24. Let him rule, let him govern the black-headed peoples;
  25. Mighty mountains with axes of bronze let him destroy;
  26. Let him ascend the upper mountains,
  27. Let him break through the lower mountains;
  28. The country of the sea let him besiege three times;
  29. Dilmun let him capture;
  30. To great Dur-ilu let him go up.

The rest of the text is broken.

From George A. Barton, Archaeology and the Bible, 7th edition, p[. 375]


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