Gilgamesh Prologue

Kramer's Translation

Kenneth Sublett,, Hohenwald, Tennessee

Discovery of the tomb:

After heaven and earth had been separated
and mankind had been created,
after An, Enlil and Ereskigal had taken posesssion
of heaven, earth and the underworld;
after Enki had set sail for the underworld
and the sea ebbed and flowed in honor of its lord;
on this day, a huluppu tree
which had been planted on the banks of the Euphrates
and nourished by its waters
was uprooted by the south wind
and carried away by the Euphrates.
A goddess who was wandering among the banks
siezed the swaying tree
And -- at the behest of Anu and Enlil --
brought it to Inanna's garden in Uruk.
Inanna tended the tree carefully and lovingly
she hoped to have a throne and a bed
made for herself from its wood.
After ten years, the tree had matured.
But in the meantime, she found to her dismay
that her hopes could not be fulfilled.
because during that time
a dragon had built its nest at the foot of the tree
the Zu-bird was raising its young in the crown,
and the demon Lilith had built her house in the middle.
Wolkstein translates this passage as:
..a serpent who could not be charmed
made its nest in the roots of the tree,
he Anzu bird set his young in the branches of the tree,
And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk.
If a snake bites before it is charmed, there is no profit for the charmer. Ec.10:11

See, I will send venomous snakes among you, vipers that cannot be charmed, and they will bite you," declares the LORD. Je.8:17

But Gilgamesh, who had heard of Inanna's plight,
came to her rescue.
He took his heavy shield
killed the dragon with his heavy bronze axe,
which weighed seven talents and seven minas.
Then the Zu-bird flew into the mountains
with its young,
while Lilith, petrified with fear,
tore down her house and fled into the wilderness

Lilith: female demon of Jewish folklore; her name and personality are derived from the class of Mesopotamian demons called lilĂ» (feminine: lilitu). In rabbinic literature Lilith is variously depicted as the mother of Adam's demonic offspring following his separation from Eve or as his first wife, who left him because of their incompatibility. Three angels tried in vain to force her return; the evil she threatened, especially against children, was said to be counteracted by the wearing of an amulet bearing the names of the angels. A cult associated with Lilith survived among some Jews as late as the 7th century AD.

Tablet Gilgamesh I, Gilgamesh II, Gilgamesh III, Gilgamesh IV, Gilgamesh V, Gilgamesh VI, Gilgamesh VII, Gilgamesh VIII, Gilgamesh IX, Gilgamesh X, Gilgamesh XI, Gilgamesh XII


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