The Enûma Eliš: An Adaptation

Part one.

Part two.

Part three.

Part four.

Here begins Tablet IV…

Lahmu and Lahamu took their seat in the holy assembly. To their left, the Igigi gods took their seats in the holy assembly; to their right, the Anunnaki gods took their seats in the holy assembly. Anshar, Anu, and Ea led Marduk to the feet of the holy mother and the holy father. They prepared a dais for him and presented him before the assembly of the Holy Ones to receive from them the right to rule.

Lahmu and Lahamu spoke before the assembly: You, O Marduk, are honored among the gods. You are without peer, your destiny is ordained: your command is like unto Anu’s. You, O Marduk, are honored among the gods: your command is like unto Anu’s.

Into your hands we give the right to rule: that which you decree shall be done.

Into your hands we give the right to rule: that which you ordain shall not be trod underfoot.

Into your hands we give the right to rule: none shall profane that which you declare holy.

Into your hands we give the right to rule: it is in your power to raise up and to cast down.

Into your hands we give the right to rule: may you be established in the sanctuaries of the gods; may your hand sow provisions for them.

Into your hands we give the right to rule: you, O Marduk, must take your seat in the holy assembly.

May your aim be true; may your weapons not fail you.

Spare the one who trusts in you; destroy the one who is intent upon doing evil.

Lahmu and Lahamu cast a portion of their light into the midst of the assembly and formed a constellation.

Speaking as one they addressed Marduk: You are destined to become greater than all of the gods present and the gods to come. Into your hands are given to power to give life and to take it away. Speak your word and snuff out the life of these stars; speak your word and restore them into being.

Marduk regarded the stars before him, each one shining as a precious gem. He spoke his secret spell and each star ceased to shine and faded into nothingness.

The Igigi and Anunnaki gods were astonished. They spoke aloud: Truly he is our champion! Lahmu and Lahamu, in one accord called for silence.

They spoke aloud in the stillness of the hall: That which you have blotted out from existence must now be restored.

Marduk looked upon the void before him and uttered his secret spell again, restoring the light of the stars.

The holy assembly rejoiced and shouted with joy: Surely, Marduk is fit to rule! Crown him now with many crowns! Bestow unto him the sacred rod and ring! Give unto him a holy throne and the royal mace!

The Igigi and Anunnaki sang the praises of Marduk, the anointed champion of the gods. They forged weapons and delivered them to him as Lahmu and Lahamu spoke in one accord: Go, O Marduk! Go now and bring an end to that which has been set into motion. Take with you the four winds given to you by Anshar – when the deed is done, when Tiamat has been subdued, let the winds announce your victory.

Marduk fashioned for himself a bow and took up his arrows. He took up his mace and gathered lightning and thunder to his left and to his right. He uttered his secret spell and drew fire into body. He wove a net to capture his foe and called the four winds bear the neat aloft. He fashioned seven storms and called them to him as his retinue. He called forth the raging deluge and mounted his thundering chariot.

His four terrible steeds, Destroyer, Merciless One, Spoiler, and Swift Feet, roared before him. Their lips parted, their mouths were full of venom; they knew nothing of weariness or need for rest.

Armed with power and clad in majesty, Marduk rode forth. The Igigi gods flanked his left and the Anunnaki gods flanked his right as their champion led them into battle. 

Marduk looked upon the army that gathered around the great mother, Tiamat, he lost all resolve. His strength failed him and his heart was filled with fear. He looked upon the great dragon that Tiamat, the Mother Hubur, had become as she rose up among her host of warriors. He looked with fear upon her consort Qingu and the power that was bestowed upon him.

Tiamat stood fast and taunted her foe aloud: Who are you that who draws near? Are these once mighty gods who now cower to your left and right hand?

Marduk uttered his secret spell and called forth his great flood and cast it against Tiamat.

His voice was as the sound of raging water as he spoke: Hear me, O Tiamat! Hear me, O Mother Hubur! My kindred may have outraged our great father, but you, mother, have done nothing to restore order. Now you strive to provoke battle and kindle the flames of war. You have raised up a champion and have appointed him to rule without the holy assembly’s word. I am Marduk! I have been chosen and anointed by the holy assembly. Gird yourself, let us battle, for here shall your proud waves be stayed.

Tiamat raged and uttered her spell aloud while the gods took up their weapons. She called up waves from the deep and unleashed the full power of her might as she advanced upon Marduk. 

Marduk called forth the winds and unleashed them against his foe. Tiamat raised herself up and spread her arms wide as she opened her mouth to utter her secret spell.

The winds that obeyed Marduk’s command entered into her open mouth and filled her body. She roared and bellowed as Marduk cast his net to bind her and let his arrow fly, piercing her belly. Tiamat was struck with a fatal blow and her body was cast down.

Tiamat’s host fled in terror as they saw her body thrown down by Marduk. Marduk uttered his secret spell and bound the gods who once rallied to Tiamat, he broke their weapons and cast them into a pit. He bound Tiamat’s eleven monsters and brought them to heel. 

He caught Qingu up and tore away the Tablet of Destinies. He stripped the crown from his head and took away his radiance. Having cast Qingu down among the fallen gods bound in a pit, Marduk affixed the tablet to his own chest and gathered all of the captive gods together to take before Anshar.

Marduk then turned to the bound body of Tiamat and crushed her head. He cast her blood upon the winds fashioned by Anshar and it rose into the air shining like jewels. Anshar, Anu, and Ea saw this sight from afar and rejoiced over Marduk’s victory. 

Marduk split Tiamat’s broken body, cleaving it in two.

He cast her flayed skin above him to become the expanse of Heaven. There he set watchmen to guard the four corners to prevent the consuming flood of Tiamat’s saltwater from escaping its appointed place.

Marduk inspected the suspended portion of Tiamat’s body and matched it to that of Apsu who formed the watery deep in which his father Ea had secured his holy dwelling. Marduk spoke his secret spell and brought the E-Sharra, the holy sanctuary of the gods in Heaven and within, the holy shrines of Anu, Enlil, and Ea into being.

One thought on “The Enûma Eliš: An Adaptation

  1. Pingback: The Enûma Eliš: An Adaptation | West of Eridu, East of Kur

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