Prof. Jacob Klein


NAME: Jacob Klein

ADRESS: 13 Kaplansky Street, Givataim, 53 605, Israel

TELEPHONE: (03-)5318472 (office); (03-)5718329 (home)

FAX: (03-)5351233


BIRTH: Szarvas, Hungary, May 19, 1934

FAMILY: Married + 2 Children


Academic Background

1. Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel:

B.A. Degree in Bible and Talmud (Cum Laude) - 1960

M.A. Degree in Bible - 1961

2. The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel:

Graduate Work in Assyriology, 1961-1962

3. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Department of Oriental Studies:

Ph.D. Degree in Oriental Studies - 1968


Academic Positions

  1. Yale University Babylonian Collection: Research Collaborator, Summer 1968
  2. University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Babylonian Section: Research Fellow, 1968-1970
  3. Bar-Ilan University, Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Department of Bible: Senior Lecturer in Assyriology and Bible, 1970-1980; Associate Professor, 1980-1990; Professor 1990 - to the present
  4. Samuel Noah Kramer Institute of Assyriology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Director, 1983-1987;1989-1994; 1995-1997; 2000-2001
  5. Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Department of Assyriology: Visiting Senior Lecturer in Assyriology (part time), 1973-1975
  6. Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, Department of Bible and Archeology: Visiting Senior Lecturer (part time), 1974-1976; 1979-1980; Visiting Associate Professor, 1981-1990; Visiting Professor, 1990 - to the present
  7. University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Babylonian Section: Visiting Research Fellow on the Sumerian Dictionary Project, 1976-1979; 1987-1988
  8. Dropsie University, Philadelphia: Visiting Associate Professor in Semitic Linguistics (part time), 1977-1979
  9. Tel-Aviv University, Department of Comparative Literature: Visiting Senior Lecturer (part time), 1980
  10. Yale University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures: Visiting Lecturer, Fall Semester 1987
  11. Center for Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Fellow, 1997-1998
  12. Bar-Ilan University, Center for Basic Jewish Studies, Chairman, 1995-1997
  13. Bar-Ilan University, Department of Bible, Chairman, 1999-2001
  14. Barnard Revel Graduate School, Yeshiva University: Visiting Professor, Spring Semester 1998


Membership in Scholarly Societies

  1. American Oriental Society (1968-2001)
  2. World Union of Jewish Studies (1977-2001)
  3. The Israel Society of Assyriology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies (1996-2001)


Fellowships and Awards

  1. Fishman Award for Research in Jewish Studies (awarded by Bar-Ilan University), 1959
  2. Fels Dissertation Fellowship, 1966-1967
  3. Research Grant, Johnson Fund, American Philosophical Society, 1968
  4. Research Grant, Pennrose Fund, American Philosophical Society, 1970
  5. Research Grants, Bar-Ilan University Office of Research, 1970-1975
  6. Research Grant, The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1973-1975; 1980-1983; 1991-1994
  7. S.N. Kramer Fellowship in Assyriology (granted by the Department of Oriental Studies, University of Pennsylvania), 1976-1977
  8. Research Grant, Pennrose Fund, American Philosophical Society, 1976
  9. Milly and Samuel Noah Kramer Award for the Advancement of Assyriological Studies in Israel, 1982
  10. Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, 1987
  11. Fellow, Center for Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1997-1998
  12. Saul Tshernichowski Price for Translations 1999 (ט"נשת ,תפומ ימוגרתל יקסבוחינרשט סרפ) for "In Those Distant Days"


Academic Fields of Interest

Sumerology: Sumerian Language, Literature and History

Assyriology: Akkadian Language and Literature

Bible: Biblical Wisdom Literature, Lamentation Genre, Psalmody, Five Megilloth




1. Three Šulgi Hymns: Sumerian Royal Hymns Glorifying King Šulgi of Ur (Bar-Ilan Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Culture, Publications of the Bar-Ilan University Institute of Assyriology), Ramat Gan, 1981 (earned the Kramer Award, 1982; see above Fellowships, No. 10)

2. The Royal Hymns of Shulgi King of Ur: Man's Quest for Immortal Fame (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 71, part 7), Philadelphia, 1981

3. In Those Distant Days: Anthology of Ancient Near Eastern Poetry in Hebrew, Tel-Aviv 1996 (co-author: Sh. Shifra)


1. Co-editor and contributor: The Book of Genesis, World of the Bible Encyclopaedia (in Hebrew), Chief eds. M. Haran and M. Weinfeld, Jerusalem - Ramat-Gan, 1982 (in Hebrew)

2. Chief Editor and Contributor: Megilloth I-II, World of the Bible Encyclopaedia, Jerusalem - Ramat-Gan, 1987-1988; second edition Megilloth, World of the Bible, Tel-Aviv 1996)

3. Bar-Ilan Studies in Assyriology Dedicated to Pinhas Artzi (Bar-Ilan Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Culture, Publications of the Bar-Ilan University Institute of Assyriology), Ramat-Gan 1990 (co-editor: Aaron Skaist)

4. Chief Editor and Contributor: Job, World of the Bible, Tel-Aviv 1996



  1. "Sum. ga-raš = Akk. purussû," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 23 (1971), pp. 118-122
  2. Review of C. Wilcke, Das Lugalbandaepos, in Journal of American Oriental Society 91 (1971), pp. 295-299
  3. Review of Eretz-Israel 9 (1969), in Journal of Near Eastern Studies 32 (1973), pp. 270-272
  4. "Šulgi and Gilgameš: The Two Brother-Peers," Kramer Anniversary Volume (AOAT 25), 1976, pp. 271-292
  5. "Heb. knn in the Light of Akk. kanānu" (in Hebrew), Lešonenu 40 (1975-1976), pp. 95-116 (co-author M. Moreshet)
  6. "ŠEBER RA`BON (Gen. 42:19) in the Light of an Old Babylonian Parallel," The Proceedings of the Sixth World Congress of Jewish Studies I (1977), pp. 237-244
  7. "ū dākū - the Linguistic Issue" (appendix to A. Altman, "The Fate of Abdi-Ashirta), Ugarit-Forschung 9 (1977), 10-11
  8. "The Reading and Pronounciation of the Sumerian Word for Monkey," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 31 (1979), pp. 149-160
  9. "Some Rare Sumerian Words Gleaned from the Royal Hymns of Šulgi," Studies in Hebrew and Semitic Languages Dedicated to the Memory of E.Y. Kutscher, ed. G.B. Sarfatti et alii, 1980, pp. IX-XXVIII
  10. "The Theory of the 'Joined Proverbs' in Moshe Kimchi's Commentary on the Book of Proverbs," Studies in Bible and Exegesis Arie Toeg in Memoriam, edited by Uriel Simon and Moshe Goshen-Gottstein, Ramat-Gan, 1980, pp. 209-228
  11. "'Personal God' and Individual Prayer in Sumerian Religion," Archiv für Orientforschung, Beiheft 19, 1982 (=CRRAI XXVIII), pp. 295-306.
  12. "The Capture of Agga by Gilgameš (GA 81 and 99)," Journal of American Oriental Society 103 (Studies in Literature from the Ancient Near East... dedicated to Samuel Noah Kramer, ed. J.M. Sasson) 1983, pp. 201-204
  13. "Šulgi and Išmedagan: Runners in the Service of the Gods (SRT 13)," Beer-Sheva 2 (1985), pp. 7*-38*
  14. "On Writing Monumental Inscriptions in Ur III Scribal Curriculum," Revue d'Assyriologie 80 (1986), pp. 1-7.
  15. "The Birth of a Crownprince in the Temple: A Neo-Sumerian Literary Topos," La femme dans le Proche Orient Antique (CRRAI XXXIII), ed. J.- M. Durand, 1987, pp. 97-106
  16. "The Concept of 'Abomination' in Mesopotamian Literature and the Bible" (in Hebrew), Beer-Sheva 3 (Linguistic Studies in Memory of Moshe Held), 1988, pp. 131-148 (co-author Yitschak Sefati)
  17. "Šulgi and Išmedagan: Originality and Dependence in Sumerian Royal Hymnology," Bar-Ilan Studies in Assyriology Dedicated to Pinhas Artzi, 1990, ed. J. Klein and A. Skaist, pp. 65-136
  18. "Building and Dedication Hymns in Sumerian Literature," Acta Sumerologica 11 (1989) 27-67
  19. "From Gudea to Šulgi: Continuity and Change in Sumerian Literary Tradition," dumu-e2-dub-ba-a: Studies in Honor of וke W. Sjöberg, 1989, ed. H. Behrens, D. Loding, M. Roth, pp. 289-301
  20. "The Coronation and Consecration of Šulgi in the Ekur (Šulgi O)," Ah Assyria...: Studies in Assyrian History and Ancient Near Eastern Historiography, Presented to Hayim Tadmor (Scripta Hierosolymitana 33), ed. by M. Cogan and I. Ephal, 1991, pp. 292-313
  21. "Šeleppūtum - a Hitherto Unknown Ur III Princess," Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 80 (1990), pp. 20-39
  22. "Notes to Atram-H} asīs, Tablet II: (a) The Episode of the Famine according to the Assyrian Version; (b) The OlBabylonian Version of the 'Messengers' Motif," N.A.B.U. 1990 (n.3), 76-79 23.
  23. "The Bane of Humanity: A Lifespan of One Hundred Twenty Years," Acta Sumerologica 12 (1990), pp. 57-70
  24. "Akitu (New Year Festival)," Anchor Bible Dictionary, 1992, vol. 1, pp. 138-140; "Sacred Marriage," ibid., vol. 5, pp. 866-870
  25. "A New Nippur Duplicate of the Sumerian Kinglist in the Brockmon Collection, University of Haifa," Velles Paraules: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Miguel Civil (Aula Orientalis 9 [1991]) 123-129
  26. "Shulgi of Ur: King of a Neo-Sumerian Empire," Jack A. Sasson (ed.), Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, vol. 2, 1995, pp. 843-857
  27. "A Self-Laudatory Šulgi Hymn Fragment from Nippur," M.E. Cohen et alii (eds.), The Tablet and the Scroll: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of William W. Hallo (1993) 124-131
  28. "Raphael Kutscher (1938-1989), Archiv für Orientforschung 38-39 (1991/92) 265-267
  29. "The Contribution of Judaism to Human Spirituality in the Eyes of a Hungarian Historian" (review of G. Komoróczy, Bezárkozás a Nemzeti Hagyományba 1992), Jewish Studies 33 (1993) 53-62 (in Hebrew)
  30. Review of Jan van Dijk, Literarische Texte aus Babylon (VAS 24) 1987 (in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 89 [1994] 272-276)
  31. "Additional Notes to 'The Marriage of Martu," kinattūtu ša dārāti: Raphael Kutscher Memorial Volume (Tel Aviv, Occasional Publications, No. 1, 1993) 93-106
  32. Annotated translations of Sumerian literary compositons in W.W. Hallo (ed.), The Context of Scripture I, Leiden 1977: "Enki and Ninmah" (pp. 516-518), "Lamentation over the Destruction of Ur" (pp. 535-539), "The Birth of Shulgi in the Temple of Nippur" (pp. 552-553) and "Man and His God" (pp. 573-575)
  33. Editor of "Ancient Near Eastern Languages," Encyclopaedia Hebraica, Supplement Volume 3, 1995, Cols. 1012-1014 (author of the entry "Sumerian") (co-editor: Shlomo Izre’el)
  34. "The Marriage of Martu: The Urbanization of 'Barbaric Nomads'," Meir Malul (ed.), Mutual Influences of Peoples in the Ancient Near East (Michmanim 9 [1996]), pp. 83-96
  35. "The Origin and Development of Languages on Earth: The Sumerian versus the Biblical View," Tehillah le-Moshe: Biblical and Judaic Studies in Honor of Moshe Greenberg, ed. by Mordehcai Cogan, Barry L. Eichler and Jeffrey H. Tigay, Winona Lake 1997, pp. 77*-92* (in Hebrew)
  36. "'The Ballade about Early Rulers' in Eastern and Western Traditions," in K. van Lerberghe and G. Voet (eds.), Languages and Cultures in Contact: At the Crossroads of Civilizations in the Syro-Mesopotamian Realm (CRRAI 42. Orientalia Lovanensia Analecta 96) 2000, pp. 203-216
  37. "A New Look at the 'Oppression of Uruk' Episode in the Gilgameš Epic," Jacobsen Memorial Volume, ed. by Tzvi Abusch (in press)
  38. "The God Martu in Sumerian Literature," Sumerian Gods and Their Representations (Cuneiform Monographs 7), 1997, ed. by I.L. Finkel and M.J. Geller, pp. 99-116
  39. Annotated translations of Sumerian and Akkadian literary compositions to Hebrew (in cooperation with Sh. Shifra), published in various literary magazines and periodicals, during the years 1985-1993 (all included in the anthology In Those Distant Days; see Monographs 3)
  40. "One More šu-ba-ti Tablet from Umma," NABU 1995, p. 83
  41. "The Sumerian me as a Concrete Object," Altorientalische Forschungen 24 [H. Klengel FS] (1997) 211-218
  42. "The Sweet Chant of the Churn: A Revised Edition of Išmedagan J," M. Dietrich and O. Loretz (eds.), dub-sar anta-men. Studien zur Altorientalistik: Festschrift für Willem H.Ph. Römer, Münster 1998, pp. 205-222
  43. "Problems of Geography in the Gilgamesh Epics: The Journey to the 'Cedar Forest'," L. Milano et alii (eds.), Landscapes, Territories, Frontiers and Horizons in the Ancient Near East. Papers presented to the XLIV Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Venezia, 7-11 July 1977 III: Landscapes in Ideology, Religion, Literature and Art (History of the Ancient Near East/ Monographs III, 3, Padova 1999, pp. 63-73 (co-author Kathleen Abraham)
  44. "Two Sumerian Administrative Tablets From a Private Collection," co-author Kathleen Abraham, Festschrift Giovanni Pettinato (in press)
  45. "Sumerian Kingship and the Gods," Proceedings of the Colloquium on Text, Artifact, and Image: Revealing Ancient Israelite Religion (Philadelphia, April 27-29, 1998)
  46. "The Origin and Development of Languages on Earth: The Sumerian Versus the Biblical View," Luigi Cagni's Memorial Volume, edited by Simonetta Graziani (in press)
  47. "The Genealogy of Nanna-Suen and Its Historical Background," Proceedings of the 45e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Harvard, 8/6/1998 (in press)
  48. "The Independent Pronouns in the Šulgi Hymns," Workshop on diachronic and synchronic variations in the phonology, morphology, and syntax of Sumerian (Sumerian Grammar Discussion Group, 6th Meeting, Oxford, September 17-18, 1999); to appear in Acta Sumerologica 22 (2000) [FS Mamoru Yoshikawa]
  49. Entries in the Reallexikon der Assyriologie, vol. 9 (1998): "Namtar," pp. 142-145; "Niggina/Kittum," pp. 311-312; "Ninegalla" (in press); "Nippur: Sumerisch" (in press).
  50. "שמרח and לגמ in the Bible and their Parallels - Ugaritic h~r m t`t and Akkaddian niggallu," in Studies in Honor of Shmuel Ahituv (co-author Chaim Cohen) (in press)
  51. "Wordplay in Sumerian Literature," in Scott Noegel (ed.), Puns and Pundits: Word Play in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Literature, Bethesda 2000, pp. 23-61 (co-author Yitschak Sefati)
  52. "The Birth of Kingship: From Democracy to Monarchy in Sumer," Archaeology Odissey 4 (January-February 2001), pp. 17-25


Current Research Projects

  1. Preparation of a corpus of Sumerian royal hymns, Pertaining to king Shulgi of Ur (ca. 2094-2047 B.C.E.).
  2. Preparation of a revised edition of the Sumerian wisdom composition "Man and his God" (the Sumerian Job motif).
  3. Writing a commentary on the Biblical Book of Lamentations (to be published in the series Mikrah Leyisrael, ed. Shmuel Ahituv).
  4. Publication of the Brockmon Tablet Collection, University of Haifa.