Mesopotamian texts /
Article with explanations
When Marduk heard the speech of the gods,
He made up his mind to perform miracles.
He spoke his utterance to Ea,
And communicated to him the plan that he was considering.
‘Let me put blood together, and make bones too.
Let me set up primeval man: Man shall be his name.
Let me create a primeval man.
The work of the gods shall be imposed (on him), and so they shall be at leisure.
Let me change the ways of the gods miraculously,
So they are gathered as one yet divided in two.'
Ea answered him and spoke a word to him,
Told him his plan for the leisure of the gods.
‘Let one who is hostile to them be surrendered (up),
Let him be destroyed, and let people be created (from him).
Let the great gods assemble,
Let the culprit be given up, and let them convict him.'
Marduk assembled the great gods,
Gave (them) instructions pleasantly, gave orders.
The gods paid attention to what he said.
The king addressed his words to the Anunnaki,
‘Your election of me shall be firm and foremost.
I shall declare the laws, the edicts within my power.
Whosoever started the war,
And incited Tiamat, and gathered an army,
Let the one who started the war be given up to me,
And he shall bear the penalty for his crime, that you may dwell in peace.'
The Igigi, the great gods, answered him,
Their lord Lugal-dimmer-ankia, counsellor of the gods,
‘It was Qingu who started the war,
He who incited Tiamat and gathered an army!'
They bound him and held him in front of Ea,
Imposed the penalty on him and cut off his blood.
He created mankind from his blood,
Imposed the toil of the gods (on man) and released the gods from it.
When Ea the wise had created mankind,
Had imposed the toil of the gods on them -
That deed is impossible to describe,
For Nudimmud performed it with the miracles of Marduk -
Then Marduk the king divided the gods,
The Anunnaki, all of them, above and below.
He assigned his decrees to Anu to guard,
Established three hundred as a guard in the sky;
Did the same again when he designed the conventions of earth,
And made the six hundred dwell in both heaven and earth.
When he had directed all the decrees,
Had divided lots for the Anunnaki, of heaven and of earth,
The Anunnaki made their voices heard
And addressed Marduk their lord,
‘Now, O Lord, that you have set us free,
What are our favours from you?
We would like to make a shrine with its own name.
We would like our night's resting place to be in your private quarters, and to rest there.
Let us found a shrine, a sanctuary there.
Whenever we arrive, let us rest within it.'
When Marduk heard this,
His face lit up greatly, like daylight.
‘Create Babylon, whose construction you requested!
Let its mud bricks be moulded, and build high the shrine!'
The Anunnaki began shovelling.
For a whole year they made bricks for it.
When the second year arrived,
They had raised the top of Esagila in front of (?) the Apsu;
They had built a high ziggurat for the Apsu.
They founded a dwelling for Anu, Ellil, and Ea likewise.
In ascendancy he settled himself in front of them,
And his ‘horns' look down at the base of Esharra.
When they had done the work on Esagila,
(And) the Anunnaki, all of them, had fashioned their individual shrines,
The three hundred Igigi of heaven and the Anunnaki of the Apsu assembled.
The Lord invited the gods his fathers to attend a banquet
In the great sanctuary which he and created as his dwelling.
‘Indeed, Bab-ili (is) your home too!
Sing for joy there, dwell in happiness!'
The great gods sat down there,
And set out the beer mugs; they attended the banquet.
When they had made merry within,
They themselves made a taqribtu-offering in splendid Esagila.
All the decrees (and) designs were fixed.
All the gods divided the stations of heaven and earth.
The fifty great gods were present, and
The gods fixed the seven destinies for the cult.
The Lord received the bow, and set his weapon down in front of them.
The gods his fathers looked at the net which he had made,
Looked at the bow, how miraculous her construction,
And his fathers praised the deeds that he had done.
Anu raised (the bow) and spoke in the assembly of gods,
He kissed the bow. ‘May she go far!'
He gave to the bow her names, saying,
‘May Long and Far be the first, and Victorious the second;
Her third name shall be Bowstar, for she shall shine in the sky.'
He fixed her position among the gods her companions.
When Anu had decreed the destiny of the bow,
He set down her royal throne. ‘You are highest of the gods!'
And Anu made her sit in the assembly of gods.
The great gods assembled
And made Marduk's destiny highest; they themselves did obeisance.
They swore an oath for themselves,
And swore on water and oil, touched their throats.
Thus they granted that he should exercise the kingship of the gods
And confirmed for him mastery of the gods of heaven and earth.
Anshar gave him another name: ASARLUHI.
‘At the mention of his name we shall bow down!
The gods are to pay heed to what he says:
His command is to have priority above and below.
The son who avenged us shall be the highest!
His rule shall have priority; let him have no rival!
Let him act as shepherd over the black-headed people, his creation.
Let his way be proclaimed in future days, never forgotten.
He shall establish great nindabu-offerings for his fathers.
He shall take care of them, he shall look after their shrines.
He shall let them smell the qutrinnu-offering, and make their chant joyful.
Let him breathe on earth as freely as he always does in heaven.
Let him designate the black-headed people to revere him,
That mankind may be mindful of him, and name him as their god.
Let their (interceding) goddess pay attention when he opens his mouth.
Let nindabu-offerings be brought [to] their god (and) their goddess.
Let them never be forgotten! Let them cleave to their god.
Let them keep their country preeminent, and always build shrines.
Though the black-headed people share out the gods,
As for us, no matter by which name we call him, he shall be our god.
Come, let us call him by his fifty names!
His ways shall be proclaimed, and his deeds likewise!
Whose father Anu designated him at the moment of his birth,
To be in charge of pasturage and watering places, to enrich their stalls,
Who overwhelmed the riotous ones with his flood-weapon?
And saved the gods his fathers from hardship.
Let THE SON, MAJESTY OF THE GODS be his name!
In his bright light may they walk forever more:
The people whom he created, the form of life that breathes.
He imposed the work of the gods (on them) so that they might rest.
Creation and abolition, forgiveness and punishment -
Such are at his disposal, so let them look to him.
MARUKKA---he is the god who created them.
He pleases the Anunnaki and gives rest to the Igigi
MARUTUKKU---he is the help of country, city, and his people.
Him shall the people revere forever.
MERSHAKUSHU---fierce yet considerate, furious yet merciful.
Generous is his heart, controlled are his emotions.
LUGAL-DIMMER-ANKIA---his name which we gave him in our assembly.
We made his command higher than the gods his fathers'.
He is indeed BEL of the gods of heaven and earth, all of them,
The king at whose instruction the gods are awed above and below.
NARI-LUGAL-DIMMER-ANKIA is a name that we have given him as director of the gods,
Who founded our dwellings in heaven and earth out of difficulties,
And who shared out the stations for the Igigi and Anunnaki.
At his names may the gods tremble and quake in (their) dwellings.
ASARLUHI (first) is his name which his father Anu gave him,
He shall be the light of the gods, strong leader,
Who like his name is the protecting spirit of god and country.
He spared our dwellings in the great battle despite difficulties.
Second, they called him Asarluhi as NAMTILA, the god who gives life,
Who restored all the damaged gods as if they were his own creation.
Bel, who revives dead gods with his pure incantation,
Who destroys those who oppose him but . . . s the enemy.
Asarluhi third as NAMRU, whose name was given (thus),
The pure god who purifies our path.'
Anshar, Lahmu, and Lahamu called his three names;
They pronounced them to the gods their sons,
'We have given him each of these three names.
Now you, pronounce his names as we did!'
The gods rejoiced, and obeyed their command.
In Ubshu-ukkinakku they deliberated their counsel.
‘Let us elevate the name of the son, the warrior,
Our champion who looks after us!'
They sat in their assembly and began to call out the destinies,
Pronounced his name in all their rites.