June 3rd, 2008 by sabrina

Nikkal (pronounced nee-KAL) is the Canaanite Goddess of orchards, fruit, and the harvest. She is the daughter of Khirkhib, God of summer, and wife of Yarikh, God of the moon. Nikkal’s father did not want her to marry Yarikh, and suggested to him that he marry one of Baal’s daughters instead. Yarikh would not give up, and after paying a brideprice of silver, gold, and necklaces of lapis lazuli, Khirkhib relented. It was a good match, as the dew that Yarikh brings each night waters Nikkal’s orchards, ensuring a bountiful harvest.

Nikkal is the subject of a hymn which may be the oldest known musical score. In the 1950s, archaeologists found a tablet from Ugarit, dated back to 1400 BCE, now called the Hurrian Hymn. Although there is not enough left of the tablet to give a satisfactory translation of the lyrics, the music has been interpreted.

Nikkal’s full name is Nikkal-wa-Ib, which means “Great Lady and Fruitful” or “Great Goddess of Fruit”.

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