Eridu Genesis

Eridu Genesis

The translation of the Eridu Genesis offered here is adapted from a translation by Thorkild Jacobson. It starts after a long lacuna, in which the creation of man must have been described.

The Eridu Genesis describes the creation of the perception of the self in mankind after the creation of Earth; The divine construct. Large parts of the texts are missing.

The understanding that creation was based upon the dynamics of child birth and the world is like an egg inside of its mother, becoming is the basis of the Genesis. Earth as a divine construct has mind, heart, and soul, playing throughout with the thought that mankind is to be given perception.
Nintur was paying attention:
Let me bethink myself of my humankind,
all forgotten as they are;
and mindful of mine,
Nintur’s creatures let me bring them back
let me lead the people back from their trails.

May they come and build cities and cult places,
that I may cool myself in their shade;
may they lay the bricks for the cult cities in pure spots
and may they found places for divination in pure spots!

She gave directions for purification and cries for clemency,
the things that cool divine wrath,
perfected the divine service and the august offices,
said to the surrounding regions: “Let me institute peace there!”
When An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursaga
fashioned the dark-headed people
they had made the small animals that come up from out of the earth,
come from the earth in abundance
and had let there be, as it befits it, gazelles
wild donkeys, and four-footed beasts in the desert.

…and let me have him advise;
let me have him oversee their labor,
and let him teach the nation to follow along
unerringly like cattle!

When the royal scepter was coming down from heaven,
the august crown and the royal throne being already
down from heaven,
he (the king) regularly performed to perfection
the august divine services and offices,
laid the bricks of those cities in pure spots.
They were named by name and allotted half-bushel baskets.

The firstling of those cities, Eridu,
she gave to the leader Nudimmud,
the second, Bad-Tibira, she gave to the prince and the sacred one,
the third, Larak, she gave to Pabilsag,
the fourth, Sippar, she gave to the gallant Utu.
The fifth, Shuruppak, she gave to Ansud.

These cities, which had been named by names,
and had been allotted half-bushel baskets,
dredged the canals, which were blocked with purplish
wind-borne clay, and they carried water.
Their cleaning of the smaller canals
established abundant growth.

[lost account of the antediluvian rulers, and how human noise vexed the chief god Enlil so much that he persuaded the divine assembly to vote the destruction of man by the deluge] …
That day Nintur wept over her creatures
and holy Inanna was full of grief over their people;
but Enki took counsel with his own heart.
An, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursaga
had the gods of heaven and earth swear
by the names of An and Enlil.

At that time, Ziusudra was king
and lustration priest.
He fashioned, being a seer, the god of giddiness
and stood in awe beside it, wording his wishes humbly.

As he stood there regularly day after day
something that was not a dream was appearing:
conversation
a swearing of oaths by heaven and earth,
a touching of throats
and the gods bringing their thwarts up to Kiur.

And as Ziusudra stood there beside it, he went on hearing:
Step up to the wall to my left and listen!
Let me speak a word to you at the wall
and may you grasp what I say,
may you heed my advice!
By our hand a flood will sweep over
the cities of the half-bushel baskets, and the country;
the decision, that mankind is to be destroyed
has been made.
A verdict, a command of the assembly cannot be revoked,
an order of An and Enlil is not known
ever to have been countermanded,
their kingship, their term, has been uprooted
they must bethink themselves of that.
Now…
What I have to say to you…

[lost account of Enki’s advice to build a boat and load it with pairs of living things, and Ziusudra’s compliance]
“The ‘Eridu Genesis’…described the creation of man by the four great gods [the Anunnaki]: An [‘Sky’, the source of rain and most powerful of the gods], Enlil [‘Lord Wind’, the power in ‘Growing Weather’, creator of the hoe], Ninhursaga [‘Lady of the Stony Ground’, mother of wildlife], and Enki [rival of Ninhursaga]. After Nintur [Ninhursaga] had decided to turn man from his primitive nomadic camping grounds toward city life the period began when animals flourished on earth and kingship came down from heaven. The earliest cities were built, were named, had the measuring cups, emblems of a redistributional economic system, allotted to them, and were divided between the gods. Irrigation agriculture was developed and man thrived and multiplied. However, the noise made by man in his teeming settlements began to vex Enlil sorely, and, driven beyond endurance, he persuaded the other gods to wipe out man in an great flood. Enki, thinking quickly, found a way to warn his favorite, one Ziusudra. He told him to build a boat in which to survive the flood with his family and representatives of the animals.” – Thorkild Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness

“Tear down the house, build a ship!
Give up possessions, seek thou life!
Forswear belongings, keep soul alive!
Aboard ship take thou the seed of all living things.
That ship thou shalt build;
Her dimensions shall be to measure.”
– Sumerian Text
“Ziusudra wisely followed Enki’s instructions and after the flood had abated Enki was able to persuade the other gods not only to spare Ziusudra but to give him eternal life as a reward for having saved all living things from destruction.”

Enki “persuades, tricks, or evades to gain his ends. He is the cleverest of the gods, the one who can plan and organize and think of ways out when no one else can. He is the counselor and adviser, the expert and the trouble-shooter, or manipulator, of the ruler; not the ruler himself. He organizes and runs the world, but at the behest of An and Enlil, not for himself; he save mankind and the animals from extinction in the flood, but does not challenge Anlil’s continued rule. His aim is a workable compromise, avoiding extremes.” Thorkild Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness
All the evil winds, all stormy winds gathered into one
and with them, then, the flood was sweeping over the cities of
the half-bushel baskets
for seven days and seven nights.
After the flood had swept over the country,
after the evil wind had tossed the big boat
about on the great waters,
the sun came out spreading light
over heaven and earth.

Ziusudra then drilled an opening in the big boat.
And the gallant Utu sent his light
into the interior of the big boat.
Ziusudra, being king,
stepped up before Utu kissing the ground
before him.
The king was butchering oxen,
was being lavish with the sheep
Barley cakes, crescents together with…
…he was crumbling for him
juniper, the pure plant of the
mountains, he filled on the fire
and with a …clasped to
the breast he…

[lost account of Enlil’s wrath at finding survivor’s and his mollification by Enki]
You here have sworn
by the life’s breath of heaven
the life’s breath of earth
that he verily is allied with yourself;
you there, An and Enlil,
have sworn by the life’s breath of heaven,
the life’s breath of earth.
that he is allied with all of you.
He will disembark the small animals
that come up from the earth!

Ziusudra, being king,
stepped up before An and Enlil
kissing the ground.
And An and Enlil after honoring him
were granting him life like a god’s,
were making lasting breath of life, like a god’s,
descend into him.
That day they made Ziusudra,
preserver, as king, of the name of the small
animals and the seed of mankind,
live toward the east over the mountains
in mount Dilmun.

Terminology

The names of the gods all relate to perceived Divine functions of measurement and projection between ‘mother’ the goddess, and her son; the Earth, to oversee the reasoning of perception in mankind. This is perceived by humanity through the word and the measuring and reasoning of such.

ERIDU means ‘the soul to see over the self in the dream of the jar’

NINTUR means ‘the other and the self of the other balanced in the jar to see over’.

AN means ‘highest point of the other.’

ENLIL means ‘the soul of the other measured, the self measured.’
ENKI means ‘the soul of the other, polarised self’

NINHURSAGA  means ‘the other and the self of the other bridged in the jar to see over the movement at its highest point to a gate at its highest point’

Cities relate to projections of the self.

NUDIMMUD means ‘the others jar in the dream, the self of mother, mothers jar in the dream’

BAD-TIBIRIA means ‘the heart at its highest point in the dream – the balance of the self in the heart, the self to see over the self at its highest point’

LARAK means ‘the measurement at the highest point to see over the highest point of polarity’

PAHILSAG means ‘the upper at its highest point to a bridge of the self measured, the movement at the highest point to a gate’

SURUPPAK  means ‘the movement of the jar to see over the jar in upper, the upper at its highest point of polarity’

ANSUD means ‘the highest point of the other, the movement of the jar in the dream’

INNANA means ‘the self between one and another, the highest point of the other at its highest point.’

ZIUSUDRA means ‘the material construction of the self in the jar, the movement of the jar in the dream to se over at its highest point’

KIUR means ‘the polarity of the self in the jar to see over’

EVIL means ‘the soul divided by the self in measurement’

UTU means ‘the jar balanced by the jar’

DILMUN means ‘the dream of the self of mother in the jar of the other’

East is in relation to reason.

Eridu Genesis

(The Creator Goddess thinks about humankind)

Nintur was paying attention:
“Let me bethink myself of my humankind, all forgotten as they are;
and mindful of mine, Nintur’s, creatures let me bring them back,
let me lead the people back from their trails.
Let they come and build cities and cult places,
that I may cool myself in their shade;
may they lay the bricks for the cult cities in pure spots,
and may they found places for divination in pure spots!”

She gave directions for purification, and cries for clemency,
the things that cool divine wrath,

perfected the divine service and the august offices,

said to the surrounding regions: “Let me institute peace there!”

When An, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursaga
fashioned the dark-headed people,
they had made the small animals that came up from out of the earth
come from the earth in abundance and had let there be, as befits it,
gazelles, wild donkeys, and four-footed beasts in the desert.

large part of script lost

 

Creation of kingship

… “and let me have him advise;
let me have him oversee their labor,
and let him teach the nation to follow like unerringly like cattle!”

When the royal scepter was coming down from heaven,
the august crown and the royal throne being already down from heaven,
the king regularly performed to perfection
the august divine services and offices,
and laid the bricks of those cities in pure spots.
They were named by name and allotted half-bushel baskets.

The first cities

The firstling of the cities, Eridu, she gave to the leader Nudimmud,
the second, Bad-Tibira, she gave to the Prince and the Sacred One,
the third, Larak, she gave to Pahilsag,
the fourth, Sippar, she gave to the gallant Utu,
the fifth, Šuruppak, she gave to Ansud.note
These cities, which had been named by names,
and had been alloted half-bushel baskets,
dredged the canals, which were blocked with purplish
wind-borne clay, and they carried water,
Their cleaning of the canals established abundant growth

 

Large part of script lost.

Working in the canals and on the fields, they produced so much noise, that the supreme god Enlil persuaded the other gods to destroy humankind.

That day, Nintur wept over her creatures
and holy Inanna was fill of grief over her people;
but Enki took counsel with his own heart.
An, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursaga
had the gods of heaven and earth swear by the names of An and Enlil.

Ziusudra’s Vision

At that time Ziusudra was king and lustration priest.

He fashioned, being a seer, the god of giddiness

and stood in awe beside it, wording his wishes humbly.

As he stood there regularly day after day

something that was not a dream was appearing: conversation,

a swearing of oaths by heaven and earth, a touching of throats,

and the gods bringing their thwarts up to Kiur.

Enki’s advice

And as Ziusudra stood there beside it, he went on hearing:
“Step up to the wall to my left and listen!
Let me speak a word to you at the wall and may you grasp what I say,
may you heed my advice! By our hand a flood will sweep over
the cities of the half-bushel baskets, and the country;
the decision, that mankind is to be destroyed, has been made.
A verdict, a command of the assembly, can not be revoked,

no order of An and Enlil is known to have been countermanded,
their kingship, their term, has been uprooted; they must bethink themselves …
Now …
What I have to say to you …”

[Lacuna; Enki orders Ziusudra to build the ark and load it with pairs of animals.]

The Flood

All the evil winds, all stormy winds gathered into

one and with them, them, the Flood was sweeping over the cities of the half-bushel baskets,

for seven days and seven nights.

After the flood had swept over the country,

after the evil wind had tossed the big boat about on the great waters,

the sun came out spreading light over heaven and earth.

Ziusudra’s sacrifice

Ziusudra then drilled an opening in the big boat
and the gallant Utu sent his light into the interior of the big boat.

Ziusudra, being the king,
stepped up before Utu kissing the ground before him.
The king was butchering oxen, was being lavish with the sheep,
barley cakes, crescents together with …
… he was crumbling for him

juniper, the pure plant of the mountains he filled on the fire
and with a … clasped to
the breast he …

[Lacuna; Enlil is angry at finding survivors, but Enki explains himself]

End of Enki’s speech

“You here have sworn by the life’s breath of heaven, the life’s breath of earth that he verily is allied with you yourself;
you there, An and Enlil, have sworn by the life’s breath of heaven, the life’s breath of earth, that he is allies with all of you.
He will disembark the small animals that come up from the earth!”

Reward of Ziusudra

Ziusudra, being king, stepped up before An and Enlil, kissing the ground,
and An and Enlil after honoring him

were granting life like a god’s,
were making lasting breath of life, like a god’s, descend into him.
That day they made Ziusudra, preserver, as king,
of the small animals and the seed of mankind,
live toward the east over the mountains of Dilmun

 

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