Enuma Elish, the Babylonian Creation Epic Tablet II

Kenneth Sublett, Piney.com, Hohenwald, Tennessee

Tiamat assembled her creatures
And collected battle-units against the gods her offspring.
Tiamat did even more evil for posterity than Apsu.
It was reported to Ea that she had prepared for war.
Ea listened to that report,
And was dumbfounded and sat in silence.
When he had pondered and his fury subsided,
He made his way to Anshar his father;
Came before Anshar, the father who begot him
And began to repeat to him everything that Tiamat had planned.
Father, Tiamat who bore us is rejecting us!
She has convened an assembly and is raging out of control.
The gods have turned to her, all of them,
Even those whom you begot have gone over to her side,
Have crowded round and rallied beside Tiamat.
Fierce, scheming restlessly night and day,
Working up to war, growling and raging,
They have convened a council and created conflict.
Mother Hubur, who fashions all things,
Contributed an unfaceable weapon: she bore giant snakes,
Sharp of tooth and unsparing of fang(?).
She filled their bodies with venom instead of blood.
She cloaked ferocious dragons with fearsome rays
And made them bear mantles of radiance, made them godlike,
(chanting this imprecation)
"Whoever looks upon them shall collapse in utter terror!
Their bodies shall rear up continually and never turn away!"
She stationed a horned serpent, a mushussu-dragon, and a lahmu-hero,
An ugallu-demon, a rabid dog, and a scorpion-man,
Aggressive umu-demons, a fish-man, and a bull-man
Bearing merciless weapons, fearless in battle.
Her orders were so powerful, they could not be disobeyed.
In addition she created eleven more likewise.
Over the gods her offspring who had convened a council for her
She promoted Qingu and made him greatest among them,
Conferred upon him leadership of the army, command of the assembly,
Raising the weapon to signal engagement, mustering combat-troops,
Overall command of the whole battle force.
And she set him upon a throne.
"I have cast the spell for you and made you greatest in the gods' assembly!
I have put into your power rule over all the gods!
You shall be the greatest, for you are my only lover!
Your commands shall always prevail over all the Anukki!"
Then she gave him the Tablet of Destinies and made him clasp it to his breast.
"Your utterance shall never be altered! Your word shall be law!"
When Qingu was promoted and had received the Anu-power
And had decreed destinies for the gods his sons, (he said),
"What issues forth from your mouths shall quench Fire!
Your accumulated venom (?) shall paralyze the powerful!"'---
Anshar listened, and the report was very disturbing.
[He twisted his fingers (?)] and bit his lip;
[His liver was inflamed (?)], his belly would not rest.
His roar to Ea his son was quite weak.
You must be the one who declares war!
Keep brandishing what you have made (as arms) for yourself!
[You are the hero, (?)], you slew Apsu.
Where else (will we find) someone to face Tiamat when she rages uncontrollably?'
[ ] good sense
[ of the]gods Nudimmud
[............................ ]
Ea made his voice heard,
You are the unfathomable fixer of fates!
The power to create and to destroy is yours!
O Anshar, you are the unfathomable fixer of fates!
The power to create and to destroy is yours!
[The ]which you order immediately [ ]
(5 lines very fragmentary)
Anshar listened and the speech pleased him.
His heart prompted him to speak to Ea,
Your courage like a god [ ]
[ ] ... [ ]
Rise up against Tiamat!'
(gap of up to 25 lines)
He (Anshar) addressed Anu his son saying,
This . . . is the kasusu-weapon of warriors.
Its strength is mighty, its attack unfaceable.
Go against Tiamat and stand your ground!
Let her anger abate, let her fury be quelled.
If she will not listen to your word,
Speak our words(?) to her, that she may be calmed.'
He listened to the speech of his father Anshar,
And took the road to her and made his way straight to her.
Anu set out. He was trying to find out the strategy of Tiamat.
[ and] he turned back.
[He entered the presence of] Anshar the father who begot him
[ ] he addressed him,
[ ] too great for me.
(short gap)
She laid(?) the . . . of her hand on top of me.'
Anshar was speechless, and stared at the ground;
He gnashed his teeth (?) And shook his head (in despair) at Ea.
Now, the Igigi assembled, all the Anukki.
They sat silently (for a while), tight-lipped.
(Finally they spoke)
Will no (other) god come forward? Is [fate] fixed?
Will no one go out to face Tiamat with [ ]?'
Then Ea from his secret dwelling called
[The perfect] one (?) of Anshar, father of the great gods,
Whose heart is perfect like a fellow-citizen or countryman (?),
The mighty heir who was to be his father's champion,
Who rushes (fearlessly) into battle: Marduk the Hero!
===== begin 20 lines
He (Ea) told him his innermost design, saying,
O Marduk, take my advice, listen to your father!
You are the son who sets his heart at rest!
Approach Anshar, drawing near to him,
And make your voice heard, stand your ground: he will be calmed by the sight of you.'
The Lord rejoiced at the word of his father,
And he approached and stood before Anshar.
Anshar looked at him, and his heart was filled with joy.
He kissed him on the lips, put away his trepidation.
(Then Marduk addressed him, saying)
Father, don't stay so silent, open your lips,
Let me go, and let me fulfil your heart's desire.
Anshar, don't stay so silent, open your lips,
Let me go, and let me fulfil your heart's desire.'
(Anshar replied)
What kind of man has ordered you out (to) his war?
My son, (don't you realize that) it is Tiamat, of womankind, who will advance against you with arms?'
(Marduk answered)
Father, my creator, rejoice and be glad!
You shall soon set your foot upon the back of Tiamat!
Anshar, my creator, rejoice and be glad,
You shall soon set your foot upon the neck of Tiamat.'
(Anshar replied)
Then go, son, knowing all wisdom!
Quell Tiamat with your pure spell!
Set forth immediately (in) the storm chariot;
Let its [ ] be not driven out, but turn (them?) back!'
The Lord rejoiced at the word of his father;
His heart was glad and he addressed his father,
Lord of the gods, fate of the great gods,
If indeed I am to be your champion,
If I am to defeat Tiamat and save your lives,
Convene the council, name a special fate,
Sit joyfully together in Ubshu-ukkinakku:
My own utterance shall fix fate instead of you!
Whatever I create shall never be altered!
The decree of my lips shall never be revoked, never changed!'
[ [Written] according to [ ] [ ] a copy from Assur.]

Enuma Elish 1--2--3--4--5--6--7


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