Friday, June 17, 2011

Prayer for the Shades of the Dead, the Rapiuma

Day 16 [Gapnu] (month), Shanatu 84 (year)

Rapiuma is a term which refers to the shades, the spirits of the dead. These can be your ancestors, the ancestors of Canaan, the ancestors who lived and died in your locale, or all three. It is said that they can come visit the living by navigating their chariots through a grain-threshing floor. In meditation today, this is the prayer I gave for the forgotten, ancient Rapiuma of Canaan:

“Hear me, ancient ones, you who have dwelt in this place for the ages. You are blessed among the assembled. You are remembered. You have reached the time of the returning, of the in-dwelling. May your hearts be lightened, may your livers be joyous. The remembering comes. Eat dust no longer, venerated ones, but join us at our tables. Eat with us. Lend us your wisdom. Let us be one people again. May we find restoration together. Let it be done.”

These are a few of the historic kings of Ugarit:

c. 1850 BCE Niqmaddu I (?)
c. 1825 BCE Yaqarum I (?)
[These two kings's names may be reversed.]
We know the names of the earliest kings of Ugarit from one poorly preserved tablet, KTU 1.113.
c. 1360 BCE 'Ammishtamru I
1360-1330 BCE Niqmaddu II
1330-1324 BCE 'Arhalbu
1324-1274 BCE Niqmepa
1274-1240 BCE 'Amistamru II
1240-? BCE 'Ibiranu
?-1225 BCE Niqmaddu III
1225-1180 BCE 'Ammurapi

Another important name to remember is Ilimilku, the scribe who wrote and signed the Ugaritic tablets.

Ditanu (or Didan, Ditan, or Didanu) is a legendary figure who may be the primary ancestor of all Ugaritic kings, and perhaps all Canaanite kings. His name is mentioned in Canaanite and Mesopotamian ritual texts and king lists. Ditanu is an Amorite name.

Photo Credits: This image comes from the Providence Lithograph Company and was first printed in 1896. It is public domain.  It depicts the biblical King Solomon (who had Canaanite ancestry).


  1. "Let us be one people again. May we find restoration together. Let it be done" <<love that!! So be it!

  2. The Rapiuma are also attested in phoenician as the gods/creatures of the underworld "Rapiym" (old phoenician) and
    (late phoenician /punic)"Rofiim", also in the bible in hebrew as Rephaim. The ugaritians were surely amorites, their names sound very amoritic to me, I think these names are also attested as the names of the so called "amorites", it is also very interesting to mention that the canaanites could emerge out of the amoritic culture or were once an amorite tribe or a similar group, the hebrews could be an late offshot of the last amorites before the aarameans came, the israelites were definitly canaanites of the phoenician type who just got dominated by hebrews , possibly hebrewized, but till the time of the muslims there were still canaanite polytheists in the parts of the land canaan, beside the large jewish community and the christian sects. "ashtart and Ba"l were worshipped very long in canaan, Baal and 'eshmun were also worshipped in north africa by the canaanite-berbers at least till 700 ad, punic people, berbers who got phoenicianized.