From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jabru was a god who according to Mesopotamian god lists was worshiped in Elam. However, he is not attested in any Elamite sources.

Mesopotamian attestations[edit]

While Jabru is described as an Elamite god, he is known exclusively from Mesopotamian texts,[1] and attestations of him are infrequent.[2] An Elamite town named Jabru did exist,[1] but according to the Assyrian Takultu text its tutelary deity was a goddess named Jabrītu.[3] It was located close to the border of Elam and Babylonia, and appears in an inscription of Amar-Sin mentioning it was destroyed alongside Huhnur,[4] presumed to be the cult center of Ruhurater.[5]

According to a Šurpu commentary, Jabru was the Elamite equivalent of the Mesopotamian sky god Anu.[1] However, according to the god list An = Anum, a god bearing the name Yabnu (dia-ab-na) was the Enlil of Elam.[6] Wilfred G. Lambert concludes that both of them are spellings of the same name.[1]

In an Assyrian text known as The underworld Vision of an Assyrian Prince (VAT 10057), he is mentioned as one of the three gods guarding the corpse of a king, the other two being Humban and Napirisha.[2] Alexandre Lokotionov notes that this sequence of gods mirrors the reference to Jabru in Šurpu, and that its inclusion possibly indicates that to the Assyrians the underworld "could have simply been a repository for the exotic and the unusual."[2]

Speculative identification[edit]

Due to his presumed similarity to Anu, Heidemarie Koch speculates that Jabru was the father of Humban, who was sometimes equated by Mesopotamians with Enlil, much like Anu could be viewed as Enlil's father.[7] However, in at least one source Jabru was equated with Enlil rather than Anu.[1]

Koch also proposed that the Elamite word tepti (lord; sometimes written with the divine determinative[8]) might be a title or taboo name of Jabru used as a theophoric element of names.[7] However, the theory about some Elamite gods being merely taboo names for others (Kiririsha for Pinikir, Napirisha for Humban) is generally rejected in recent scholarship,[9] and Wouter Henkelman in a more recent publication refers to Koch's assumption as speculative.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lambert 1980, p. 229.
  2. ^ a b c Loktionov 2016, p. 51.
  3. ^ Lambert 1980a, p. 230.
  4. ^ Edzard 1983, p. 230.
  5. ^ Henkelman 2011, p. 449.
  6. ^ Feliu 2006, p. 245.
  7. ^ a b Koch 1995, p. 1961.
  8. ^ Zadok 1984, p. 49.
  9. ^ Henkelman 2008, p. 354.
  10. ^ Henkelman 2008, p. 328.


  • Edzard, Dietz-Otto (1980), "Jabru (Stadt)", Reallexikon der Assyriologie, retrieved 2022-03-25
  • Feliu, Lluís (2006). "Concerning the Etymology of Enlil: the An=Anum Approach". Šapal tibnim mû illakū: studies presented to Joaquín Sanmartín on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Barcelona: Editorial AUSA. ISBN 84-88810-71-7. OCLC 157130833.
  • Henkelman, Wouter F. M. (2008). The other gods who are: studies in Elamite-Iranian acculturation based on the Persepolis fortification texts. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten. ISBN 978-90-6258-414-7.
  • Henkelman, Wouter F. M. (2011), "Ruhurater", Reallexikon der Assyriologie, retrieved 2022-03-25
  • Koch, Heidemarie (1995). "Theology and worship in Elam and Achaemenid Iran". Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. 3: 1959–1969.
  • Lambert, Wilfred G. (1980), "Jabnu", Reallexikon der Assyriologie, retrieved 2022-03-25
  • Lambert, Wilfred G. (1980a), "Jabrītu", Reallexikon der Assyriologie, retrieved 2022-03-25
  • Loktionov, Alexandre Alexandrovich (2016). "An "Egyptianising" Underworld Judging an Assyrian Prince? New Perspectives on VAT 10057" (PDF). Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History. Walter de Gruyter GmbH. 3 (1): 39–55. doi:10.1515/janeh-2016-0012. ISSN 2328-9554.
  • Zadok, Ran (1984). The Elamite Onomasticon (PDF). Retrieved 2022-03-25.