Enuma Elish, E.A.Speiser, Babylonian Creation Epic, Tablet IV

Tablet IV

They erected for him a princely throne.

Facing his fathers, he sat down, presiding."

"Thou art the most honored of the great gods,

Thy decree is unrivaled, thy command is Anu."

Thou, Marduk, art the most honored of the great gods,

Thy decree is unrivaled, thy word is Anu.

From this day unchangeable shall be thy pronouncement.

To raise or bring low-these shall be (in) thy hand.

Thy utterance shall be true, thy command shall be unimpeachable.

No one among the gods shall transgress

thy bounds! (Io)

Adornment being wanted for the seats of the gods,

Let the place of their shrines ever be in thy place.

0 Marduk, thou art indeed our avenger.

We have granted thee kingship over the universe entire. When in Assembly thou sittest, thy word shall be supreme.

Thy weapons shall not fail; they shall smash thy foes! 0 lord, spare the life of him who trusts thee,

But pour out the life of the god who seized evil."

Having placed in their midst a piece of cloth,

They addressed themselves to Marduk, their

first-born: (20)

"Lord, truly thy decree is first among gods.

Say but to wreck or create; it shall be.

Open thy mouth: the cloth will vanish!

Speak again, and the cloth shall be whole!"

At the word of his mouth the cloth vanished.

He spoke again, and the cloth was restored. 65

When the gods, his fathers, saw the fruit of his word,

joyfully they did homage: "Marduk is king!"


They conferred on him scepter, throne, and vestment;

They gave him matchless weapons that ward off

the foes: (30)

"Go and cut off the life of Tiamat.

May the winds bear her blood to places undisclosed."

Bel's destiny thus fixed, the gods, his fathers,

Caused him to go the way of success and attainment.

He constructed a bow, marked it as his weapon,

Attached thereto the arrow, fixed its bow-cord.

He raised the mace, made his right hand grasp it;

Bow and quiver he hung at his side.

In front of him he set the lightning,


62 The term r,#um "tube, pipe" refers here obviously to the drinking-tubes

Which are pictured commonly in representations of banquets.

63 Lit. "for advising."


64 i.e. it has the authority of the sky-god Anu.

65 Lit. "outcome of his mouth."


With a blazing flame he filled his body. (40)

He then made a net to enfold Tiamat therein.

The four winds he stationed that nothing of her might escape,

The South Wind, the North Wind, the East Wind, the West Wind.

Close to his side he held the net, the gift of his father, Anu.

He brought forth Imhullu "the Evil Wind," the Whirlwind, the Hurricane,

The Fourfold Wind, the Sevenfold Wind, the Cyclone, the Matchless Wind;

Then he sent forth the winds he had brought forth, the

seven of them.

To stir up the inside of Tiamat they rose up behind him. Then the lord raised up the flood-storm, his mighty weapon.

He mounted the storm-chariot irresistible

land] terrifying. (50)

He harnessed (and) yoked to it a team-of-four,

The Killer, the Relentless, the Trampler, the Swift.

Sharp were their teeth, hearing poison.

They were versed in ravage, in destruction skilled. On his right he posted the Smiter, fearsome in battle, On the left the Combat, which repels all the zealous." For a cloak he was wrapped in an armor of terror;" With his fearsome halo his head was turbaned. The lord went forth and followed his course, Towards the raging Tiamat he set his face. (6o) in his lips he held a spell;"

A plant to put out poison was grasped in his hand.

Then they milled about him, the gods milled about him, The gods, his fathers, milled about him, the gods milled about him.

The lord approached to scan the inside of Tiamat, (And) of Kingu, her consort, the scheme to perceive. As he looks on, his course becomes upset,

His will is distracted and his doings are confused.

And when the gods, his helpers, who marched at his side,

Saw the valiant hero, blurred became

their vision. (70)

Tiamat emitted [a cry]," without turning her neck, Framing" savage" defiance in her lips:"

"Too [implortant art thou [for]" the lord of the gods to rise up against thee!


66 These two lines, hitherto obscured by breaks, havc been filled out and clarified by the fragment transliterated in 4natolian Studies, ii (1952), 27; cf. LK,4, 6.

61 The assonance of the original, viz. nablapti aplubti pulhdti halipma, cannot be readily reproduced; for the passagc cf. LK,4, 6.

68 Sce now 4natolian Studies, ii, 28.


69 cf. E. Weidner, AIO, iii (1926), 123 for the reading [rigmla, although [tdlla "her incantation" is not impossible. For lines 64-83 see the fragment published by Weidncr, ibid., 122-24.


TO For a close semantic parallel cf. judg. i2:6.


71 To give lullfi the same sense as in Tablet VI, 6-7, and Gilg. 1, iv 7.

72 Tiamat's taunt, as rccorded in the next two lines, is not transparently




73 Reading (kalb-ta-tta a?-nla la, cf. CT, xiii, x7; the third sign does not appear to be adequately reproduced in Deimel, Enuma Eli!, 17, and the fifth sign cannot be read Iii (for fnla) as is done by Labat, PBC, I28.



Is it in their place that they have gathered, (or) in thy


Thereupon the lord, having [raised) the flood-storm, his

mighty weapon,

[TO] enraged [Tiamat] he sent word as follows: "Why art thou risen," art haughtily exalted, Thou hast charged thine own heart to stir up conflict, ... sons reject their own fathers,

Whilst thou who hast born them,

hast foresworn love! (8o)

Thou hast appointed Kingu as thy consort,

Conferring upon him the rank of Anu, not rightfully his."

Against Anshar, king of the gods, thou seekest evil; [Against] the gods, my fathers, thou hast confirmed thy wickedness.

[Though] drawn up be thy forces, girded on thy


Stand thou up, that I and thou meet in single combat!"

When Tiamat heard this

She was like one possessed; she took leave of her senses. In fury Tiamat cried out aloud.

To the roots her legs shook both together." (90)

She recites a charm, keeps casting her spell,

While the gods of battle sharpen their weapons.

Then joined issue Tiamat and Marduk, wisest of gods.

They strove" in single combat, locked in battle.

The lord spread out his net to enfold her,

The Evil Wind, which followed behind, he let loose in

her face.


When Tiamat opened her mouth to consume him,

He drove in the Evil Wind that she close not her lips.

As the fierce winds charged her belly,

Her body was distended" and her mouth

was wide open.

He released the arrow, it tore her belly,

It cut through her insides, splitting the heart.

Having thus subdued her, he extinguished her life.

He cast down her carcass to stand upon it.

After he had slain Tiamat, the leader,

Her band was shattered, her troupe broken up;

And the gods, her helpers who marched at her side,

Trembling with terror, turned their backs about,

In order to save and preserve their lives.

Tightly encircled, they could not escape.

He made them captives and he smashed their weapons.

Thrown into the net, they found themselves ensnared;

Placed in cells, they were filled with wailing;

Bearing his wrath, they were held imprisoned.


74 For line' 76-83 cf. now Anatolian StudieS, 11, 28 as wcll as the Wcidner fragment cited in n. 69. The first (Gurncy fragment) Supplies the part, which were missing in the Weidner fragment@orrecting some of the guesses of modern interpreters.

11 The correction of -ya to -lu, which I proposed in the first edition of ,4NET, is borne out by the Gurney fragment.

16 For malmaiii cf. J. Lewy, Qrientalia, xi (1942), 336, n.i; H. G.

Giiterbock, AIO, xiii (1939), 48-- 1

77 Reading id-lu-bu, with Heidel, BG, 3o, n-84, but translating the verb in the scnse established in ICS, v (zg5z), 64 ff.

78 cf. Heidel, BG, 3o, n.85.


And the eleven creatures which she had charged with awe,

The band of demons that marched before her, He cast into fetters, their hands f...

For all their resistance, he trampled @them) underfoot. And Kingu, who had been made chief among them, He bound and accounted him to Uggae.7" (120) He took from him the Tablets of Fate, not rightfully his,

Sealed (them) with a seal" and fastened (them) on his


When he had vanquished and subdued his adversaries, Had . . . the vainglorious foe,

Had wholly established Anshar's triumph over the foe,

Nudimmud's desire had achieved, valiant Marduk

Strengthened his hold on the vanquished gods,

And turned back to Tiamat whom he had bound.

The lord trod on the legs of Tiamat,

With his unsparing mace he crushed her skull. (130)

When the arteries of her blood he had severed,

The North Wind bore (it) to places undisclosed.

On seeing this, his fathers were jovful and jubilant,

They brought gifts of homage, they to him.

Then the lord paused to view her dead body,

That he might divide the monster and do artful works.

He split her like a shellfish into two parts:

Half of her he set up and ceiled it as sky,

Pulled down the bar and posted guards.

He bade them to allow not her waters

to escape. (140)

He crossed the heavens and surveyed the regions.

He squared Apsu's quarter,"' the abode of Nudimmud, As the lord measured the dimensions of Apsu.

The Great Abode, its likeness, he fixed as Esharra,

The Great Abode, Esharra, which he made as the firmament.

Anu, Enlil, and Ea he made occupy their places.



Other Indexes on This Site

Awakening, First, Second, Cane Ridge, Witchcraft


Babylon Near East

Change Agents

Books to Fit These Topics

Church - Doctrine


E-Mail Questions and Answers

Holy Spirit

Jubilee - Messianism - Wineskins


Musical Worship

Restoration Movement