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Democratizing the Image of God
I thought I had a brilliant insight, but it turned out that it was nothing new. Still, it may be worth sharing.
I was attending a lecture by Peter Machinist, the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages at Harvard, when the idea occurred to me. Peter was giving a paper on “Kingship and Divinity in Imperial Assyria” at a scholarly colloquium at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Judaic Studies, to which I had been graciously invited. A handout contained 13 cuneiform inscriptions that reflected the nature of the king’s relationship to the divine.
In several of the examples, the ruler was described as divine and as the son of divine parents. Here is Ashurbanipal proclaiming his divinity: “I Ashurbanipal…Great seed of Baltil, [bo]rn at Nineveh, formed in the [Emashmash]…I knew neither human father nor mother.”

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