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Atrahasis and Human Creation

Atrahasis and Human Creation

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Published by: res49293 on Sep 15, 2009
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Atrahasis and Human Creation
When the Gods did the work they grew weary and decided to create man. This concept appearsin all legalism.This later Akkadian version of the flood story and the creation of humanity and fits betweenthe Sumerian version and the Babylonian version in the Epic of Gilgamesh. This followingoutline is from "
The Treasures of Darkness" 
by
Thorkild Jacobsen
, Yale University. Press, 1967).It begins:When ILU (that is ENLIL) was the boss they (the gods) were burdened with toil, lugged the workbasket; the god's work basket . . . was big, so that the toil was heavy, great the straits.ENLIL, having charge of the earth put the other gods to work digging the Euphrates and Tigrisrivers. Tired of their condition and at the instigation of one of the gods they burned their toolsone night and surrounded ENLIL's house. ENLIL was alarmed and sent for AN and ENKI. After thestriking gods told them that the work was killing them and that they would not continued ENLILburst into tears and offered his resignation. ENKI then proposed a compromise. They wouldcreate man to bear the burden to that the gods would be free.With the birth goddess, NINTUR, ENKI used the flesh and blood of the strike's ringleader (killedby the other gods) to fashion clay into 7 male and 7 female embryos in the "house of destiny".After 9 months humanity was born and put to work.After 1,200 years the
noise
of the growing human population kept ENLIL awake nights. So ENLILand the gods sent a plague which was ended when ENKI told the human Atrahasis to
shift allofferings to the god of the plague
, NAMTAR who became to abashed to harm the peoplefurther.The story of 
define how the second thousand years began. As with alltraditions of instrumental music and choir to manipulate other people, Satan is always thesource.After another 1,200 years the noise was back so ENLIL and the gods sent a drought. ENKIadvised Atrahasis to shift all offering to ADAD, the god causing the drought, and the droughtstopped.Soon the noise returned so the gods ceased to perform their duties so all of natures bountydisappeared. This was only ended when ENKI let large quantities of fish into the rivers(accidentally, he maintained).ENLIL, by now enraged, bound his fellow gods by an oath to
annihilate
 
humanity by a flood
.ENKI got around this oath and managed to warn Atrahasis by speaking not to him but to thereed hut in which he was lying. Atrahasis built a large boat explaining to the town elders thathe was leaving because of the bad blood between his personal god, ENKI, and ENLIL in whosedomain his town of Shuruppak lay. After having loaded the boat with all kinds of animals andhis family the flood came.The gods were horrified at the destruction of the flood which lasted 7 days and nights. Inaddition they became hungry as no offerings were made to sustain them. When Atrahasis leftthe ship he prepared a sacrifice around which the hungry gods gathered like flies.ENLIL was the exception. He was enraged and ENKI had to defend himself. He blamed ENLIL forpunishing the innocent and guilty alike. Eventually a compromise was reached to keep thehuman population from getting to large. The gods introduced a type of barren woman, createda demon, PASHITTU, who kills children at birth, and established several categories of priestesses for whom childbearing was taboo.The following excerpt is taken from "Myths From Mesopotamia: Gilgamesh, The Flood, andOthers" Translated by Stephanie Dalley. It is related here for educational purposes only.
 
When the gods instead of manDid the work, bore the loads,The gods' load was too great,The work too hard, the trouble too much,The great
Anunnaki
made the
Igigi
 Carry the workload sevenfold.Anu their father was king,Their counselor warrior Ellil,Their Chamberlain was Ninurta,Their canal-controller Ennugi.They took the box of lotsCast the lots; the gods made the division.Anu went up to the sky,And Ellil took the earth for his people.The bolt which bars the seaWas assigned to far-sighted Enki.When Anu had gone up to the sky,And the gods of the Apsu had gone below,The Annunaki of the skyMade the Igigi bear the workload.The gods had to dig out canals,Had to clear channels, the lifelines of the land.The gods dug out the Tigris riverAnd then dug out the Euphrates....in the deep...they set up...the Apsu...of the land...inside it...raised its top...of all the mountainsThey were counting the years of loads...the great marsh,They were counting the years of loads.For 3,600 years they bore the excess,Hard work, night and day.They groaned and blamed each other,Grumbled over the masses of excavated soil:Let us confront our ChamberlainAnd get him to relieve us of our hard work!Come, let us carry the LordThe counselor of the gods, the warrior from his dwelling.Then...made his voice heardAnd spoke to the gods, his brothers:Come, let us carryThe counselor of the gods, the warrior, from his dwelling.Come, let us carry Ellil,The counselor of the gods, the warrior, from his dwelling.Now, cry battle!Let us mix fight with battle!The gods listened to his speech,Set fire to their tools,Put aside their spades for fire,
 
Their loads for the fire-god.They flared up.When they reached the gate of warrior Ellil's dwelling,It was night, the middle watch,The house was surrounded, the god had not realized.When they reached the gate of warrior Ellil's dwelling,It was night, the middle watch,Ekur was surrounded, Ellil had not realized.Yet Kalkal was attentive, and had it closed,He held the lock and watched the gate.Kalkal roused Nusku.They listened to the noise of the Igigi.Then Nusku roused his master,Made him get out of bed:My lord, your house is surrounded,A rabble is running around your door!Ellil, your house is surrounded,A rabble is running around your door!Ellil had weapons brought to his dwelling.Ellil made his voice heardAnd spoke to the vizier Nusku,Nusku, bar your door,Take up your weapons and stand in front of me.Nusku barred his doorTook up his weapons and stood in front of Ellil.Nusku made his voice heardAnd spoke to the warrior Ellil,'O my lord, your face is sallow as Tamarisk!Why do you fear your own sons?'O Ellil, you face is sallow as Tamarisk!Why do you fear your own sons?Send for Anu to be brought down to youHave Enki fetched into your presence.He sent for Anu to be brought down to him,Enki was fetched into his presence,Anu, king of the sky was present,Enki, king of the Apsu attended.The great Anunnaki were present.Ellil got up and the case was put.Ellil made his voice heardAnd spoke to the great gods:Is it against me that they have risen?Shall I do battle...?What did I see with my own eyes?A rabble was running around my door!Anu made his voice heardAnd spoke to the warrior EllilLet Nusku go outAnd find out the word of the IgigiWho have surrounded your door.A command...

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