THE MYTH OF ADAPA

It is not possible to understand the NEO-PAGANISM of modern ceremonial legalism with music, dance and drama without understanding ancient Mesopotamian myths. God had Moses write primarily to refute the stories of creation by and worship of the SERPENT which was the symbol of Babylonian clergy-led worship.

I and II From S. Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 184-87. For educational purposes only

 

I
Ea made broad understanding perfect in Adapa,
to disclose the design of the land.
To him he gave wisdom, but did not give eternal life.
 
At that time, in those years, he was a sage, son of Eridu.
Ea created him as a protecting spirit among humankind.
A sage-nobody rejects his word---
Clever, extra-wise, he was one of the Anunnaki,
Holy, pure of hands, the pashishu-priest who always tends the rites.
 
Does the baking with the bakers of Eridu,
He does the food and water of Eridu every day,
Sets up the offerings table with his pure hands,
Without him no offerings table is cleared away.
 
He takes the boat out and does the fishing for Eridu.
At that time Adapa, the son of Eridu,
When he had got the leader Ea out of bed,
Used to feed the bolt of Eridu every day.
 
At the holy quay Kar-usakar he embarked in a sailing boat
And without a rudder his boat would drift,
Without a steering-pole he would take his boat out
. . . into the broad sea.
. . . . . . .
 
II
 
South Wind . . .
Send him to live in the fishes home.
 
"South Wind, though you send your brothers against me
however many there are,
I shall break your wing!"
 
No sooner had he uttered these words
Than South Wind's wing was broken;
For seven days South Wind did not blow towards the land.
Anu called out to his vizier Ilabrat,
 
"Why hasn't South Wind blown towards the land for seven days?"
 
His vizier Ilabrat answered him,
 
"My lord, Adapa the son of Ea has broken South Wind's wing."
 
When Anu heard this word,
He cried "Heaven help him!", rose up from this throne
 
"Send for him to be brought here!"
 
Ea, aware of heaven's ways, touched him
And . . . made him wear his hair unkempt,
Clothed him in mourning garb,
Gave him instructions,
 
"Adapa, you are to go before king Anu.
You will go up to heaven,
And when you go up to heaven,
When you approach the Gate of Anu,
Dumuzi and Gizzida will be standing in the Gate of Anu,
Will see you, will keep asking you questions

'Young man, on whose behalf do you look like this?

On whose behalf do you wear mourning garb?'
 
(You must answer)
 
'Two gods have vanished from our country
And that is why I am behaving like this.'
 
(They will ask)
 
'Who are the two gods that have vanished from the country?'
 
(You must answer)
 
'They are Dumuzi and Gizzida.'
They will look at each other and laugh a lot
Will speak a word in your favor to Anu,
Will present you to Anu in a good mood.
When you stand before Anu
They will hold out for you bread of death, so you must not eat.
They will hold out for you water of death, so you must not drink.
 
They will hold out a garment for you: so put it on.
They will hold out oil for you: so anoint yourself.
You must not neglect the instructions I have given you:
Keep to the words that I have told you."
 
The envoy of Anu arrived.
 
"Send to me Adapa,
Who broke South Wind's wing." (This is the spirit)
 
He made him take the way of heaven
And Adapa went up to heaven.
When he came up to heaven,
When he approached the Gate of Anu,
Dumuzi and Gizzida were standing in the Gate of Anu.
They saw Adapa and cried "Heaven help him!
 
Young man, on whose behalf do you look like this?
Adapa, on whose behalf do you wear mourning garb?"
 
"Two gods have vanished from the country,
And that is why I am wearing mourning garb."
 
"Who are the two gods that have vanished from the country?"
 
"Dumuzi and Gizzida."
 
They looked at each other, and laugh a lot.
When Adapa drew near to the presence of King Anu,
Anu say him and shouted,
"Come here, Adapa! Why did you break South Wind's wing?"
 
Adapa answered Anu,
 
"My lord, I was catching fish in the middle of the sea
For the house of my lord, Ea.
But he inflated the sea into a storm
And South Wind blew and sank me!
I was forced to take up residence in the fishes' home.
In my fury I cursed South Wind"
 
Dumuzi and Gizzida responded from beside him,
Spoke a word in his favor to Anu.
His heart was appeased, he grew quiet.
 
"Why did Ea disclose to wretched humankind
The ways of heaven and earth,
Give them a heavy heart?
It was he who did it!
What can we do for him?
Fetch him the bread of eternal life and let him eat!"
 
They fetched him the bread of eternal life, but he would not eat.
They fetched him the water of eternal life, but he would not drink.

They fetched him a garment, and he put it on himself.

They fetched him oil, and he anointed himself.
Anu watched him and laughed at him.
 
"Come, Adapa, why didn't you eat? Why didn't you drink?
Didn't you want to be immortal? Alas for downtrodden people!"
 
"But Ea my lord told me: 'You must not eat! You must not drink!'"
 
"Take him and send him back to his earth."
 
III
  1. ..................................
  2. He commanded him and he....
  3. The garment, he commanded him and he clothed himself.
  4. .....Anu wondered greatly at the deed of Ea.
  5. The gods of heaven and earth, as many as their are: "Who is thous mighty (?)?
  6. His command is the command of Anu. Who can surpasss [him]?
  7. As now Adapa from the horizon to the zenity of the heavens
  8. ....looked, he saw his terror....(i.e., the terror he inspired)
  9. [Whic] Anu concerning Adapa upon him...had placed.
  10. [The service (?)] of Ea he made his satisfaction.
  11. Anu fixed as his lot his lordship in brilliance to the distant future.
  12. .....Adapa, the seed of mankind,
  13. [Who] victoriously broke the wing of the south wind,
  14. And to heaven he ascended. "Thus let it be!"
  15. ....That which he in evil ways imposed on the people,
  16. .....sickness which he placed in the bodies of people.
  17. ....Ninkarrak appeased.
  18. Sickness [Shall co]me, his disease be violent,
  19. ....destruction shall fall upon him,
  20. [In] good sleep he shall not rest,
  21. ....shall overturn(?) the joy of people's hearts.
  22.  
  23. (the remainder is brofken away.)
  24.  
 

Scanned from George Barton, Archaeology and the Bible, p. 314-315)

 
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