The Enûma Eliš: An Adaptation

Part one.

Part two.

Part three.

Part four.

Part five.

Part six.

Here begins Tablet VI…

Marduk set his decrees into motion and accomplished all he set his mind to. He spoke aloud: The newly-formed foundation of the world has been formed and my kindred are sore from toil tending the gardens watered by the rivers that issue from Tiamat’s eyes.

Marduk addressed his father: From the blood and bone of our kindred, I will bring forth Lullu: man. The toil of the gods shall be his, it will be his hands that tend the gardens of the gods so that they may rest.

Ea spoke aloud to his son: Let one of our kindred be brought up from the pit in which he has been cast. Let his body be broken so that Lullu may be brought forth. Let him be tried and found guilty of his crimes.

The assembly of the gods was brought to order — the Igigi gods took their places to Marduk’s left, the Anunnaki gods took their places to his right. Marduk addressed the holy assembly: Hear me, O gods: you who have pledged to serve and honor me as lord among the gods, who decrees the mandates of Heaven. Tell me, who has fomented the rebellion that ended with Tiamat’s ruin? Who among us instigated warfare? Who among us is responsible and must be brought into this hall for reckoning?

The Igigi spoke aloud in one accord: It is Qingu who must be brought before you for reckoning.

It is Qingu who you brought low, who once bore the Tablet of Destinies that you restored to Anshar, and cast into the pit.

It is Qingu who was proclaimed Tiamat’s champion and consort. It is Qingu who is guilty of betrayal.

Qingu was taken from his prison in the pit and bound by the gods. They solemnly led him into Marduk’s presence. To the left of Marduk, stood the Igigi gods. To the right of Marduk, stood the Anunnaki gods. They spoke in one accord as they found him guilty and decreed his fate. He was slain for his crime and from his blood and bones, Ea created Lullu, who was entrusted with the work of the gods.

Marduk assigned to the gods their holy stations upon the Earth, in the firmament of Heaven, and in Apsu. Three hundred were appointed to guard the decrees of Anu in Heaven. Under the Earth, within the Underworld, Marduk appointed three hundred. Within the heights of Heaven and the depths of the Underworld, Marduk gave domain to the gods. They addressed him in one accord: You have saved us from toil, no longer shall we till the earth for it has been given to Lullu. No longer shall we tend the gardens, for they have been given to Lullu. In your honor, we will build your shrine of great renown. We establish your halls and holy places. When we finish our task, we will take our rest within the walls of your holy dwelling.

Marduk was pleased to hear these words and shone as bright as the sun as he spoke: Do as you have said; build my holy dwelling and when you have finished, take your rest therein.

The gods fulfilled their task and in one year’s time raised the peak of the Esagila, the Lofty Temple. It resembled the Eapsu, the Temple of Apsu in every way; its roof reached to the base of Esharra, the holy Temple of Heaven. When it was completed, the gods themselves designed and fashioned their own shrines and holy places before taking their seats with the holy assembly in Esagila.

Marduk addressed them all aloud: Behold, Babylon! The dwelling place of the gods upon the earth. Now, after we have feasted and had our fill, let us divide the dominion of Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld: let the Seven Who Decree Fate take their seats among the holy tribunal of Heaven. Let the elected among you, the fifty whom I have appointed be gathered together.

Marduk was given his tools and weapons of war, each washed and restored after the heat of battle. The gods praised Marduk’s skill as each weapon was expertly forged – no imperfection could be found in each one among them. 

Anu lifted up Marduk’s bow as one would a child. He laughed and kissed the bow; he shouted aloud: I would treasure this as one would a beautiful daughter! I shall call this the far-reaching, may it always hit its mark, may it shine among the stars!

Having spoken those words, Anu cast the bow into the heavens among the stars as a constellation. He then prepared a throne for Marduk, in the midst of the great gods who gathered around him. They hailed him as their king and took the binding oath with oil and water, pouring it out as a witness to their deed. They held their hands to their throat affirming that their broken oath made their lives forfeit. They proclaimed his praises aloud: Hear us, O Marduk: into your hands have been given the right to rule. We proclaim you lord among the gods of Heaven and Earth and that which is beneath the Earth: the Underworld and the great Apsu!

Anshar proclaimed Marduk’s name aloud as said: To Marduk, our king, I give this name: Asaluhi. At the sound of his name, every knee shall bow. When he speaks, let his word be heeded among Heaven, Earth, and the Deep. His power and majesty; his lordship knows no rival. Into his hands is given the power over the People of the Earth: into his hands is given the duty to shepherd them. May they proclaim his praises throughout time; may his praise be ever on their lips.

Let him be the provider of his kindred: let him decree that offerings be given to the gods who put their trust in him. May he burn incense in their holy sanctuary. Let his will on Earth be that which is in Heaven. May he gather humanity to himself to worship him and to honor the gods and goddesses. May the people bring food offerings into the presence of the gods, and may they not forget those whom they worship and serve in the holy temple and holy shrine. Though they may worship another, Marduk shall be chief over all. Come! Let us bestow upon him the holy names; the fifty names of power. We shall crown him, the resplendent one!

We shall call him now by the holy name of MARDUK! Named by his grandfather, Anu, he is the god who supplies our needs according to his riches and glory. We shall dwell in his light. The power of life and death, mercy and judgment are in his hands so let all look upon him and remember…

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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