Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations
Part 5 out of 5
[Bring to the feast] the gods, all of them,
[let them sit down and] satisfy themselves with food,
[let them eat bread], let them drink wine,
[let them ascend to their seats?] and determine the future.
[Go now,] Gaga, approach before them,
deliver unto them [the message I entrust to] thee:
'Ansar, your son, has sent me,
the wish of his heart he has caused me to know.
Tiamat, our mother, has risen up against us,
gathering her forces, madly raging.
The gods, all of them, have united themselves unto her,
even those who created you march at her side.
Banning the day they have followed Tiamat,
wrathful, devising mischief, untiring(?) day and night,
prepared for the conflict, fiercely raging,
they have gathered themselves together and begin the battle.
The mother of the deep(?), the creatress of them all,
has given them victorious weapons, creating monstrous serpents,
with sharp fangs, unsparing in their attack.
With poison for blood she has filled their bodies.
Horrible adders she has clothed with terror,
she has decked them with fear, and raised high their....
'May their appearance,' (she has said)....
'Let their bodies grow huge so that none may stand before them!'
She has created the adder, the horrible serpent, the Lakh-amu,
the great monster, the raging dog, the scorpion-man,
the dog-days, the fish-man and the ram,
who carry weapons that spare not, who fear not the fight,
insolent of heart, unconquerable by the enemy.
Moreover that she may have eleven such monsters,
among the gods, her sons, whom she has summoned together,
she has raised up Kingu and magnified him among them.
'To march before the host, be that thy duty!
Order the weapons to be uplifted and the onset of battle!'
That he may be the first in the conflict, the leader in victory,
she has taken his hand and set him on a throne:
'I have uttered the spell for thee,' (she has said); 'exalt thyself
among the gods,
assume dominion over all the gods!
Highly shalt thou be exalted, thou that art alone my husband;
thy name shall be magnified over [all the world]!'
Thereupon she has given him the tablets of destiny, and laid them on
'Let thy command be obeyed, let the word of thy mouth be established!'
When Kingu had exalted himself and made himself like Anu
she fixed for the gods, her sons, their destiny
'The opening of your mouth shall quench the fire;
the exalted of Kidmuri shall dissolve its flame.'
I sent forth Anu, but he would not meet her;
Ea was terrified and turned back.
Then I sent forth Merodach, the counsellor of the gods, your son;
to attack Tiamat his heart urged him.
He opened his mouth and said unto me:
'If I indeed am your avenger,
Tiamat to overpower and you to rescue,
make ready an assembly, prepare a banquet (?).
Enter joyfully into Ubsugina all together.
With my mouth like you will I pronounce the oracle.
What I create shall never be changed,
the word of my lip shall never go back or be unfulfilled!'
Hasten therefore and determine for him at once his destiny,
that he may go forward and meet your powerful foe!'
Then went Gaga and completed his journey
unto Lakhmu and Lakhamu the gods, his fathers,
he prostrated himself and kissed the ground at their feet,
he bowed himself and stood up and spake unto them:
... clothed with fear;
with lustre and terror he covered his head.
He directed also his way, he made his path descend,
to the place where Tiamat [stood] he turned his countenance;
with his lip he kept back ...
his finger holds the....
On that day they extolled him, the gods extolled him,
the gods, his fathers, extolled him, the gods extolled him.
Then Bel drew near, eager for the struggle with Tiamat,
looking for victory over Kingu her husband.
When she beheld him, her resolution was destroyed,
her understanding was overthrown, her plans confounded.
And the gods, his helpers, who marched beside him
beheld (how Merodach) the prince amazes their eyes.
He laid judgment on Tiamat, yet she turned not her neck;
with her hostile lips she uttered defiance:
'Let the gods, O Bel, enter on battle behind thee,
[behold,] they are gathered together to where thou art.'
Bel [launched] the Deluge, his mighty weapon;
against Tiamat, who had raised herself (?), thus he sent it.
'Thou wert mighty [below,' he cries,] 'exalted above,
yet thy heart [has urged thee] to begin the strife,
[to lead the gods from] their fathers to [thy side];
[thou hast gathered them around thee] and raisest thyself [against us],
[thou hast made] Kingu thy husband
[and hast bestowed on] him divine power.
... thou hast devised evil,
[against the] gods, my fathers, hast thou directed thy enmity.
[May] thy host be fettered, thy weapons be restrained!
Stand up, and I and thou will fight together.'
When Tiamat heard this,
she uttered her former spells, she repeated her command.
Tiamat also cried out vehemently with a loud voice.
From her roots she rocked herself completely.
She uttered an incantation, she cast a spell,
and the gods of battle demand for themselves their arms.
Then Tiamat attacked Merodach the counsellor of the gods;
in combat they joined; they engaged in battle.
Then Bel opened his net and enclosed her;
the evil wind that seizes behind he sent before him.
Tiamat opened her mouth to swallow it;
he made the evil wind to enter so that she could not close her lips.
The violence of the winds tortured her stomach, and
her heart was prostrated, and her mouth was torn open.
He swung the club; he shattered her stomach;
he cut out her entrails; he divided her heart;
he overpowered her and ended her life;
he threw down her corpse; he stood upon it.
When Tiamat who marched before them was conquered,
he dispersed her forces, her host was overthrown,
and the gods her allies who marched beside her
trembled and feared and turned their backs.
They fled away to save their lives;
they clung to one another, fleeing helplessly.
He followed them and broke their arms;
he flung his net and they are caught in the snare.
Then filled they the world with their lamentations;
they bear their sin and are shut up in prison,
and the elevenfold creatures are troubled with fear.
The host of spirits (?) who marched beside them (?)
he throws into fetters and [binds] their hands,
and [tramples] their opposition under him.
And the god Kingu who [had been made leader over] them,
he bound him also and did to him as to the [other] gods.
And he took from him the tablets of destiny [that were on] his breast;
he sealed them with his pen and hung them from his own breast.
From the time he had bound and overmastered his foes
he led the illustrious foe captive like an ox,
bringing to full completion the victory of Ansar over his antagonists.
The warrior Merodach (thus) performed the purpose of Ea.
Over the gods in bondage he strengthened his watch, and
he turned backwards Tiamat whom he had overpowered.
Then Bel trampled on the body of Tiamat;
with his club that spares not he smote her skull,
he broke it and caused her blood to flow;
the north wind bore it away to secret places.
Then his fathers beheld, they rejoiced and were glad;
they bade peace-offerings to be brought to him.
And Bel rested; his body he fed;
he strengthened his mind (?), he formed a clever plan,
and he stripped her like a fish of her skin in two halves;
one half he took and with it overshadowed the heavens;
he stretched out the skin, he appointed watchers
bidding them that her waters should not issue forth;
he lit up the sky, the sanctuary rejoiced,
and he set it over against the deep, the seat of Ea.
Then Bel measured the form of the deep;
as a palace like unto it he made E-Sarra (the upper firmament).
The palace of the upper firmament, which he created as heaven,
he caused Anu, Bel and Ea to inhabit as their stronghold.
He made the stations of the great gods;
he fixed the stars, even the twin-stars, to correspond with them;
he ordained the year, appointing the signs of the Zodiac over it;
for each of the twelve months he fixed three stars,
from the day when the year issues forth to its close.
He established the station of Jupiter that they might know their bounds,
that they might not err, that they might not go astray in any way.
He established the station of Bel and Ea along with himself.
He opened also the gates on either side,
the bolts he strengthened on the left hand and on the right,
and in their midst he set the zenith.
He illuminated the Moon-god that he might watch over the night,
and ordained him for a guardian of the night that the time might be known,
(saying): 'Month by month, without break, make full thine orb;
at the beginning of the month, when the night begins,
shine with thy horns that the heaven may know.
On the seventh day, halve thy disk;
stand upright on the Sabbath with the [first] half.
At the going down of the sun [rise] on the horizon;
stand opposite it [on the fourteenth day] in full splendour (?).
[On the 15th] draw near to the path of the sun;
[on the 21st] stand upright against it for the second time."
* * * * *
TABLET VI. (?)
The gods in their assembly created [the beasts],
they made perfect the mighty [monsters];
they caused the living creatures of the [field] to come forth,
the cattle of the field, the wild beasts of the field, and the creeping
things of the [field];
[they fixed their habitations] for the living creatures [of the field]
[and] adorned [the dwelling-places] of the cattle and creeping things of
[they created] the multitude of creeping things, all the offspring [of
A SUMERIAN ACCOUNT OF THE CREATION FROM THE CITY OF ERIDU
The glorious temple, the temple of the gods, in the holy place (of
Eridu) had not yet been made;
no reed had been brought forth, no tree had been created;
no brick had been made, no roof had been formed;
no house had been built, no city had been constructed;
no city had been made, no dwelling-place prepared.
Nippur had not been built, E-kur (the temple of Nippur) had not been
Erech had not been built, E-Ana (the temple of Erech) had not been
The deep had not been created, Eridu had not been constructed.
The glorious temple, the temple of the gods, its seat had not been made.
All lands were sea.
When within the sea there arose a movement,
on that day Eridu was built, E-Sagila was constructed,
E-Sagila where the god Lugal-du-azaga dwells within the deep.
Babylon was built, E-Sagila was completed.
The gods and the spirits of the earth were created all together.
The holy city (Eridu), the seat of the joy of their hearts, they
Merodach bound together a reed-bed on the waters;
dust he made, and he poured it out on the reed-bed.
That the gods might dwell in a seat of the joy of their hearts,
he formed mankind.
The goddess Aruru created the seed of mankind along with him.
He made the beasts of the field and the living creatures of the desert
He made the Tigris and Euphrates and set them in their place;
he declared their names to be good.
The _ussu_-plant, the _dittu_-plant of the marshland, the reed and the
forest he created.
He created the verdure of the plain,
the lands, the marshes, and the greensward also,
oxen, and calves, the wild ox and its young, the sheep and the lamb,
meadows and forests also.
The he-goat and the gazelle brought forth (?) to him.
Then Merodach heaped up an embankment at the edge of the sea;
... as it had not before been made,
... he caused it to exist.
[Bricks] he made in their place,
... roofs he constructed;
[houses he built], cities he constructed;
[cities he made], dwelling-places he prepared;
[Nippur he built], E-kur he constructed;
[Erech he built], E-Ana he constructed.
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