Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Studies in the Bible and Antiquity


This article explores the ancient Near Eastern rituals that endowed kings with this power, specifically the rites suggested by the Investiture Panel at the palace of Mari, with specific focus on the motifs of creation, sacred garden, and divine kingship. Because contemporary evidence at Mari relating to an interpretation of the panel and the functions of various rooms of the palace is limited, it will be necessary to rely in part on a careful comparative analysis of religious texts, images, and architecture throughout the ancient Near East, including the Old Testament. Comparative analysis not only has the benefit of increasing our understanding of ancient Mesopotamian religion but also can enrich our understanding of the Bible.