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Hebrew Bible and

Ancient Israel
 Interpreting the Interpreters:
Hermeneutics in Ancient Israel
Volume  and Mesopotamia

Eckart Frahm
Editorial –
Bruce Wells
The Interpretation of Legal Traditions
in Ancient Israel –
Jonathan Stökl
Prophetic Hermeneutics in the Hebrew Bible
and Mesopotamia –
Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez
Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation. The Commentary
on Enūma eliš I–VII and a Commentary on Elamite
Month Names –
Uri Gabbay
Specification as a Hermeneutical Technique
in Babylonian and Assyrian Commentaries –

Mohr Siebeck
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e-offprint of the author with publisher‘s permission.


Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez1

Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation


The Commentary on Enūma eliš I–VII and a Commentary on Elamite Month
Names

Ever since its rediscovery, the Babylonian Epic of Creation (Enūma eliš) has intrigued
modern scholars, not least because of its parallels with the Primeval History in Gen‑
esis 1–11. Ancient audiences were fascinated by the epic as well. During the 1st mil‑
lennium b.c.e., the epic played a central role in the ancient Near East, in education,
politics, and religion. This article explores the Babylonian and Assyrian discourses
related to Enūma eliš by providing, for the first time, full editions of an important
commentary on the epic and a learned treatise that associates mythological motifs
from it with the Elamite calendar.

1. Introduction

The mythological poem Enūma eliš, also known as the “Babylonian Epic
of Creation,” is a seven tablet composition written in cuneiform in a delib-
erately elevated, archaizing language. It describes how the world came
into being and how one deity, Marduk, whose cult center was at Babylon,
achieved supremacy among his peers after defeating the primeval goddess
Tiamat, a dragon-like embodiment of the sea, and a host of monsters she
engendered.2 It is no exaggeration to claim that the epic was the most impor-
tant cultural text in Mesopotamia for much of the first millennium b.c.e.
The epic’s celebration of autocratic power fascinated the rulers of the impe-
rial states of the age, who often quoted from or alluded to the text in their

1 Parts 1 and 2 of this article were written by E. Frahm, with substantive feedback pro-
vided by E. Jiménez. Part 3 is the work of E. Jiménez, who is also responsible for the
autograph of BM 47554. We are grateful to Uri Gabbay for sharing with us some obser-
vations on the commentary on Enūma eliš I–VII.
2 For the most recent attempt to analyze and interpret the epic in and of itself, see
G. Gabriel, enūma eliš – Weg zu einer globalen Weltordnung: Pragmatik, Struktur und
Semantik des babylonischen “Lieds auf Marduk” (ORA 12; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck,
2014).

HeBAI 4 (2015), 293–343 DOI 10.1628/219222715X14507102280856


ISSN 2192‑2276 © 2015 Mohr Siebeck

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294 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

royal inscriptions.3 Students in Babylonia copied no other text more faith-


fully than Enūma eliš,4 much in the spirit of the text’s closing request that a
father teach its essence to his son (Enūma eliš VII 147). And several cultic
rituals celebrated in Babylon, most importantly the famous Akītu festival
held at the beginning of the New Year, included recitations of the epic in its
entirety and reenactments of certain elements of the story it told.5
The epic’s impact was not limited to Babylonia alone. Assyrian scholars
studied it intensively and created an Assyrian version in which the god Aššur
took the place of Marduk and the city of Aššur replaced Babylon. A bas-relief
from the Bēl temple in Palmyra indicates that the epic had a strong influence
on Syrian religion that continued into the Roman period. The text was also
known further west. Hundreds of years after the last cuneiform sign had been
impressed on a clay tablet, the Neo-Platonic philosopher Damascius (c. 458–
after 538) was still able to paraphrase in his treatise on the “First Principles”
the cosmology outlined in the first tablet of the epic. Finally, Enūma eliš also
seems to have had a significant impact on the Hebrew Bible, especially the first
creation account (Gen 1:1–2:3) and the Tower of Babel story (Gen 11:1–9).6
Comparisons of Enūma eliš with the Bible are, obviously, not without
problems  – the epic lacks, after all, any engagement with human history
and questions related to the law. But with regard to the discourses stimu-
lated by the two texts, there are some profound similarities. Like the bibli-
cal texts, Enūma eliš was the centerpiece of intense political and religious

3 See, for example, E. Weissert, “Creating a Political Climate: Literary Allusions to Enūma
Eliš in Sennacherib’s Account of the Battle of Halule,” in Assyrien im Wandel der Zeiten
(ed. H. Waetzoldt and H. Hauptmann; HSAO 6; Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag,
1997), 191–202.
4 P. D.  Gesche, Schulunterricht in Babylonien im ersten Jahrtausend v. Chr. (AOAT 275;
Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2001), 177–178, 808.
5 Major recent studies of the Akītu festival and related ceremonies include B. Pongratz-
Leisten, Ina šulmi īrub. Die kulttopographische und ideologische Progammatik der akītu-
Prozession in Babylonien und Assyrien im 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr. (BaFo 16; Mainz: Von
Zabern, 1994); J. Bidmead, The Akitu Festival: Religious Continuity and Royal Legitima-
tion in Mesopotamia (Piscataway: Gorgias, 2002); M. J. H. Linssen, The Cults of Uruk
and Babylon: The Temple Ritual Texts as Evidence for Hellenistic Cult Practises (CM 25;
Leiden: Brill, 2004); and A. Zgoll, “Königslauf und Götterrat. Struktur und Deutung
des babylonischen Neujahrsfestes,” in Festtraditionen in Israel und im Alten Orient (ed.
E. Blum and R. Lux; WWGTh 28; Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlaghaus, 2006), 11–80.
6 For some discussion of the “reception history” of Enūma eliš and references to impor-
tant studies of the topic, see E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries.
Origins of Interpretation (GMTR 5; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2011), 345–368. For a more
skeptical assessment of the relationship between Gen 1:1–2:3 and Enūma eliš, see most
recently J. C. Gertz, “Antibabylonische Polemik im priesterlichen Schöpfungsbericht?,”
ZThK 106 (2009): 137–155.

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 295

debates, which produced significant numbers of adaptations, counter-texts,


and commentaries. A prominent example is the highly ‘orthodox’ theologi-
cal commentary on the ceremonial names Marduk receives in Enūma eliš
VII.7 Using paronomasia and etymography, the commentary seeks to dem-
onstrate that these names are all intimately linked to the epithets following
them. For instance, the line Tutu bān tēdištišunu šūma, “Tutu (a name of
Marduk) is he, who accomplishes their (sc. the gods’ and their statues’) reno-
vation” (Ee VII 9) is interpreted as follows: tu = ba-nu-u, tu = e-de-šú, da =
šu-ú “tu (means) ‘to accomplish’; tu (means) ‘to be new’; da (derived from
tu through phonological association) (means) ‘he.’” On the other end of the
spectrum, the so-called “Marduk Ordeal,” a polemical cultic commentary in
Assyrian language, reinterprets ritual acts performed during the Akītu festi-
val in Babylon (and on other occasions) as pertaining, not to Marduk’s rise
to power, but to his downfall and imprisonment.8
In this article, we will provide annotated editions of two additional
ancient treatises concerned with the epic. One of them interprets individual
lines from all seven tablets of Enūma eliš, often through references to spe-
cific cultic acts. The other explains, in somewhat complementary fashion, a
set of month names used in the Elamite calendar through references to the
epic and related mythological and ritual data. We hope that our presentation
will help readers, many of them Hebrew Bible scholars, to gain a better idea
of the similarities and differences between Mesopotamian hermeneutics on
one hand, and biblical interpretation on the other.9

2. The Commentary on Enūma eliš I–VII

There could hardly be a better time to engage in renewed efforts to study


Enūma eliš. Two excellent scholarly editions of the epic have recently

7 J. Bottéro, “Les noms de Marduk, l’écriture et la ‘logique’ en Mésopotamie ancienne,”


in Essays on the Ancient Near East in memory of Jacob Joel Finkelstein (ed. M. De Jong
Ellis; Hamden: Archon, 1977), 5–28.
8 A. Livingstone, Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea (SAA 3; Helsinki: Helsinki Uni-
versity Press, 1989) (henceforth: SAA 3), no. 34 and 35. The text states, among other
things, that “Enūma eliš, which is recited and chanted before Bēl in Nisannu, concerns
his imprisonment” (no. 34: 34).
9 Recent essays by various scholars on the interactions between scholarly traditions and
communities in ancient Western Asia are found in U. Gabbay and S. Secunda (ed.),
Encounters by the Rivers of Babylon: Scholarly Conversations Between Jews, Iranians
and Babylonians in Antiquity (TSAJ 160; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014). For a general
introduction to Mesopotamian textual hermeneutics, see Frahm, Text Commentaries
(see n. 6).

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296 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

appeared, one by Kämmerer and Metzler and the other by Lambert, that pro-
vide us with a consolidated text and much additional information.10 Conse-
quently, both works also enable a better understanding of the commentaries
that ancient scholars wrote on the epic.
The commentary studied in the following pages covers more than seventy
of the epic’s 1096 lines, from all seven tablets. It is known from nine manu-
scripts, all of them badly damaged. Even though the manuscripts show a
number of differences with regard to the lines commented and the explana-
tions provided, it is obvious that, with the exception of the very small frag-
ment labeled below as MS x, they all derive from the same tradition.
Although three fragments of the commentary, BM 54228, Rm 395, and
Sm 747, were published in cuneiform more than 100 years ago (see below),
the commentary has received little attention in modern scholarship, not least
because for a long time the joins made to Sm 747 remained unpublished.11
With the appearance of the studies by Kämmerer/Metzler and Lambert,
this situation has now changed, and for the first time, photos and/or copies
of all the manuscripts belonging to the commentary have become available.
But the two aforementioned books do not provide full editions of the com-
mentary manuscripts. They limit themselves to transliterating the relevant
entries in notes that accompany the lines commented on and (in the case of
Lambert’s volume) in short sections at the end of each tablet.12 This makes it
impossible to gain an idea of the commentary’s overall scope and a satisfac-
tory understanding of its individual explanations. The edition provided in
this article seeks to make the commentary fully accessible for the first time.
***

10 T. R.  Kämmerer and K. A.  Metzler, Das babylonische Weltschöpfungsepos Enūma elîš
(AOAT 375; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2012); W. G. Lambert, Babylonian Creation Myths
(MC 16; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013). Kämmerer’s and Metzler’s volume has the
advantage of providing the reader with a score transliteration of the epic, while Lambert
publishes many additional manuscripts and offers rich notes especially on theological
issues.
11 (Partial) editions of Sm 747 that appeared before 2012 include C. Wilcke, “Die Anfänge
der akkadischen Epen,” ZA 67 (1977): 153–216, here 163–168, and E. Matsushima,
“Quelques notes sur l’épisode des ‘cinquante noms de Marduk’,” in Et il y eut un esprit
dans l’Homme: Jean Bottéro et la Mésopotamie (ed. X. Faivre, B. Lion, and C. Michel;
Paris: De Boccard, 2009), 55–64, here 59–63.
12 It should be stressed, however, that Lambert’s transliterations in particular have sub-
stantially advanced the understanding of the commentary manuscripts.

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 297

Using the sigla assigned by Lambert (Creation Myths, 135–136 [see n. 10]),
plus the siglum Ω for K 13866, the following manuscripts can now be taken
into consideration for the reconstruction of the commentary:13
X K 8585, copy in Lambert, Creation Myths, pl. 36 (see n. 10) (Assyrian script); CCP
1.1.A.e
Y Rm 395, copy in King, Seven Tablets, pl. LXII (see n. 104) (Assyrian script); CCP
1.1.A.g
Z K 4657 + K 7038 + K 9427 + K 9911 + K 10008 + K 12102 + K 16818 + Sm 747
(joins by W. G. Lambert), copies in King, Seven Tablets, 189 (see n. 104) (K 10008),
CT 13, 32 (Sm 747), and Lambert, Creation Myths, pl. 35 (see n. 10). Photographs
in Kämmerer and Metzler, Weltschöpfungsepos, Tf. XLIV–XLV (see n. 10) (Assyr-
ian script); CCP 1.1.A.d
Ω K 13866, copy in Lambert, Creation Myths, pl. 38 (see n. 10)14 (Assyrian script);
CCP 1.6
V VAT 10616 (+) VAT 11616, copy in Lambert, Creation Myths, pl. 36 (see n. 10)
(Assyrian script); CCP 1.1.A.h
W Rm 2, 538, copy in King, Seven Tablets, 176 (see n. 104) (Assyrian script); CCP
1.1.A.f
x BM 69594 (82–9–18, 9591), copy in Lambert, Creation Myths, pl. 36 (see n. 10)
(Babylonian script); CCP 1.1.A.c15
y BM 66606 + BM 72033 (82–9–18, 6599+12037), copy in Lambert, Creation Myths,
pl. 37 (see n. 10); photographs in Kämmerer and Metzler, Weltschöpfungsepos, Tf.
XXX (see n. 10) (Babylonian script); CCP 1.1.A.b
z BM 54228 (82–5–22, 379), copy in King, Seven Tablets, pl. LXIII (see n. 104) (Bab-
ylonian script); CCP 1.1.A.a

Photos of the various manuscripts, together with bibliographical informa-


tion, are also available on the Cuneiform Commentaries Project website cre-
ated by the authors of this article, at http://ccp.yale.edu/catalogue?genre=10.
The record for each tablet can be accessed using the CCP numbers given
above as the URL path, e. g., http://ccp.yale.edu/1.1.A.a for CCP 1.1.A.a
(MS z).
***
13 The small commentary fragment BM 43528 (81–7–1,1292) cites Enūma eliš V 20 ([ina
simti šutakṣib]am-ma bini ark[āniš], “‘Diminish in the proper stages and shine back-
wards!’”) in its first intelligible line, and mentions Marduk in l. 4′. It is, however, unclear
whether this is a commentary on Enūma eliš or rather a commentary on a different text
that happens to quote a line from the epic. An edition of the piece is available at http://
c​c​p​.yale.edu/P461215.
14 Lambert, Creation Myths, 485 (see n. 10) describes K 13866 as “a small fragment com-
menting on an unknown text,” not as a MS of “Commentary I.” Because of the small size
of the fragment and the lack of overlap with the other MSS presented here, there remains
some uncertainty, but it seems to us that lines 4′–10′ comment on (in this sequence)
Enūma eliš VII 41, VI 89, VII 1, 2, 9, 35, and 53 (the other lines cannot yet be placed).
15 The preserved portions of the reverse of the fragment are uninscribed.

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298 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

Based on their contents, size, and findspots, the manuscripts can be divided
into a number of groups. MSS X, Y, and Z, all from Assurbanipal’s library in
Nineveh, have long lines, may well cover the same entries from Enūma eliš,
and might derive from the same large, one-column tablet, even though this
cannot be proven as yet. MS Ω, likewise from Nineveh, has long lines too,
but the entries receiving comment in them seem to deviate slightly from
those in X and Y.
MS W is from Assurbanipal’s library as well but has shorter lines and
leaves out a few entries attested in MSS X, Y, and Z. In both regards, it resem-
bles MS V, which comes from Assur (the exact findspot is unknown), and
MS z, which was apparently found at Abu Habba (Sippar).16 The three frag-
ments may belong to the same tradition, but their poor state of preservation
leaves some uncertainty.
With regard to their format, MSS V, W, Y, and z belong to the so-called
indentation type: there is an empty space before the second and every addi-
tional line of an entry that has more than one line.17 The other fragments
mentioned in the preceding paragraphs may well have had the same format,
but their right hand sides are not preserved.
MSS y and x, both apparently from Sippar, are somewhat different from
the other commentary manuscripts. MS y is a fairly small tablet that seems
to provide a limited number of selected entries from the commentary rep-
resented by MS Z (and its partial duplicates), plus comments on a few addi-
tional lines. MS x is the only manuscript that does not quote full lines from
the epic. The tiny fragment belongs to the “cola type”: it includes short lem-
mata from the base text plus explanations, with separating cola serving as a
help for the reader to find his way through the text.18
The manuscripts from Nineveh and Aššur can be dated to the seventh
century b.c.e. The Sippar fragments were probably written at some point
between the seventh and the early fifth centuries b.c.e. Since none of them
has a colophon, nothing more precise can be said about their chronologi-
cal placement.
The following edition provides a score transliteration that uses MS Z, the
largest piece, as the main text for the sections preserved in it. MSS X and
Y follow MS Z, since it is possible that they derive from the same tablet.
Our (somewhat artificial) line numbering is based on these three pieces as

16 See E. Leichty, Catalogue of the Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum. Volume VI:
Tablets from Sippar 1 (London: British Museum Publications, 1986), xxxiii–xxxiv and
xxxvii.
17 See Frahm, Text Commentaries, 35–36 (see n. 6).
18 Ibid., 36–37 (see n. 6).

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 299

well, with lines definitely not included in either of them receiving numbers
combined with letters (“33a,” etc.). Our English translation of Enūma eliš is
indebted to the translations provided by W. G. Lambert and B. R. Foster.19
Since the number of signs per line can vary substantially in one and the
same manuscript, it is often difficult to establish how many signs are miss-
ing; the number of x’s in the transliteration is therefore to be taken with a
grain of salt.
It is hoped that the full edition provided here will help other scholars to
eventually discover additional commentary fragments, especially of the right
hand portions of the manuscripts, which include most of the explanations.
***

1. (Enūma eliš I 1, 3)
Z o. 1. [enūma eliš lā nabû šamāmu (?) (:) enūma ina ūme (:) (?) apsû-m]a
reš-tu-u za-ru-šu-un : za-ru-u [abu(?)]
x o. 1. e-nu-ma : i-na u[4-me …]
x o. 2. me : u4-mu šá-niš i[š?-tu? …]
a“[When on high the heavens had not been named”a (a–a only Z) (Ee I 1)]:
“when” means “on the day [that]”; b[(…)] “me” means “day”; secondly, (it
means) “after” [(…)]b (b–b only x).
c
“There was primeval [Apsû], their progenitor” (Ee I 3): “progenitor”
(means) [“father”]c (c–c only Z).

2. (Enūma eliš I 4)
Z o. 2 [mummu Tiamat mu-al-li]-da-at gim-r[i-šu-un mummu (?) (:)] nab-
⸢ni⸣-t[u(4)?]
x o. 3 ⸢mu-um-mu :?⸣ x x x [ ]
remainder of x obverse lost

z o. 1′ x x x [ ]
z o. 2′   mu-⸢um⸣-[mu ]
“[(And) Tiamat, (imbued with) creative energy (mummu)], was she who
bore [them] all” (Ee I 4): a[“creative energy” (mummu) (?) (means)] “pro-
ductivity/creation” (nabnītu)a (a–athus Z; x and z: “creative energy (means)
… […]”).

19 Lambert, Creation Myths, 50–133 (see n. 10), and B. R. Foster, Before the Muses. An
Anthology of Akkadian Literature (3rd ed.; Bethesda: CDL Press, 2005), 436–486.

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300 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

3. (Enūma eliš I 6)
Z o. 3 [gipāru lā kiṣṣuru ṣuṣû l]a še-ʾu-ú gi6-pa-r[u(m) /r[i x x x x er?-ṣe?-t]i?
ṣu-ṣu-ú ap!(nap)-p[a-ru(m)]
z o. 3′ gi-pa-ri [lā kiṣṣuru ṣuṣû lā šeʾû]
z o. 4′   gi6-pa?-ri [ ]
z o. 5′   er-ṣe-t[u4 ]
“[No] meadow-land [had yet been fabricated], no [reed-bed] was to be
found” (Ee I 4): “meadow-land” [(means) … (and also means)] “earth”;
“reed-bed” (means) “marsh.”

4. (Enūma eliš I 33, 36(?))


Z o. 4 [illikūma qudmiš Tâmāti ú-š]i-bu qud-mu maḫ-ru : [ana tiamat
elletam(ma) izakkarši (?) e]l-le-tam ra-ʾi-is x-(x)
z o. 5′ ⸢il?-li?-ku?-ma? qu?⸣-[ud?-miš? Tâmāti ušibū (?)]
remainder of z obverse lost

“They went and sat in front of (qudmiš) [Tiamat]” (Ee I 33): “front” (qudmu)
(means) “front side” (maḫru).
“[He (Apsû) addressed Tiamat in a loud voice]” (Ee I 36): “in a loud voice”
(means) “….”

5. (Enūma eliš I 36 (cont.)?)


Z o. 5 [x x x x x] x x x [x] x agubbû(⸢dug⸣a.gúb.ba) ki-i x [x x x x x x x x x x x
x mu]d? / ] x ḫi? dé-a ki-i qabû(dug4.ga)
[…] … the holy water (vessel) (agubbû), as/when … [……] … (the god)
Ea – this is what it means (kī qabû).

6. (Enūma eliš I 76)


Z o. 6 [im-bi-šum-m]a apsû(zu.ab) ú-ad-du-ú eš-re-⸢e⸣-[ti x x x x x x x x x x
x x] x i-šak-ka-nu
“[He (Ea) called it (the realm of subterranean sweet-water)] ‘Apsû,’ (that is),
‘they recognize sanctuaries’” (Ee I 76): [……] they place […].

7. (Enūma eliš I 86)


Z o. 7 [tārītu i]t-tar-ru-šu pul-ha-ti uš-ma-al-l[i (x x x x x) tārītu(?) (…:)
Ištar ša / Bēlet]–ni-nú-aki

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 301

“[The nurse who] raised him (Marduk) endowed him with terrifying splen-
dor (pulḫātu)” (Ee I 86): [(…) “the nurse (who raised him)” (refers to the
goddess) Ištar of] Nineveh (or: “[the divine Lady-of]-Nineveh”).

8. (Enūma eliš I 103)


Z o. 8 [labiš] mé-lam-mi eš-ret ilī(dingirmeš) šá-qiš et-p[ur x x x x ir-rak]-
⸢ka⸣-su ⸢za ri⸣ [x x x x] x (erasure) Bēl(d+en)
y o. 1 [labiš me-l]am eš-ret ilī(dingirmeš) šá-q[iš (or: q[í-iš) etpur   ]
y o. 2 [x x x n]i /i]r?-tu4 šá šarru(lugal) ir-rak-ka-su : z[a?? ]
“[He (Marduk) was clothed with] the fearsome radiance (melammu) of the
ten gods, [was decked with it high (on his head)” (Ee I 103): [(because of) …]
… with which the king is girt (or: “[because] he is girt with the … of a king”)
… […] … (the god) Bēl.

9. (Enūma eliš I 121)


Z o. 9 [amra s]ar-ma-aʾ-ni hum-mu-ra e-na-tu-ni sar-ma-⸢ʾu⸣ [nīru(?) (:) he-
me-r]u še-bé-ru [(:) e-na-t]u4 ki-šá-du
“[Think of] our burden, our eyes are pinched (ḫummurā)” (Ee I 121): “bur-
den” [(means) “yoke”]; to pinch (ḫemēru) (means) “to break”; “eyes” (means)
“neck.”

10. (Enūma eliš I 122, 139)


Z o. 10 [ḫu-uṣ]-bi ab-šá-na la sa-ki-pa i ni-iṣ-lal ni-nu ab-šá-nu ni-i-ru [(:)
āmiršunu šar-b]a-ba liš-har-miṭ šar-ba-bu š[u?-ḫar?-mu?-ṭu?] ḫu bu
u šu
“Break the unremitting yoke (abšānu) that we may sleep!” (Ee I 122): “yoke”
(abšānu) (means) “yoke” (nīru).
[“Whoever sees them] shall dissolve in weakness (šarbāba)” (Ee I 139): “to
(be) dissolve(d) in weakness” (means) ….

11. (Enūma eliš I 159)


Z o. 11 [in-na]-nu dqin-gu šu-uš-qu-ú le-qu-ú ⸢e⸣-[nu-ti (:)] in-na-n[u ø?
i]š-tu4
“Now that Qingu was elevated and had taken lordly supremacy” (Ee I 159):
“now that” [(means)] “after.”

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302 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

12. (Enūma eliš II 1)


Z o. 12 [ú-kap-pi]t-ma ti-wa-wa-ti pi-tiq-šá kurlagab k[ub / p-b / p]u-tu4
[(lagab) pu-u]ḫ-ḫu-⸢ru⸣
“Tiamat gathered together her creation” (Ee II 1): lagab, (with the reading)
“kur(4),” (means) “to gather together,” [(lagab also) (means)] “to assemble.”

13. (Enūma eliš II 130)


Z o. 13 [ka-inim]-⸢ma⸣-ak lìb-bi-šu i-ta-mi-šu li-li-su ⸢ša⸣ [ina u4.n.ká]m? ša
Addari(itiše) maḫar(igi) dé-⸢a⸣ [šaknu/iššakkanu(?)] x x
“He (Ea) spoke to him (Marduk) of his secret plan (kaʾinimmak libbišu)” (Ee
II 130): (This refers to) the lilissu-kettledrum, which is [placed] before (the
god) Ea [on the … nth day] of the month of Addaru (XII) …

14. (Enūma eliš III 53)


Z o. 14 [áš-pur-ma] ⸢d⸣a-nam ul i-le-ʾi-⸢i ma⸣-har-ša Madānu(ddi.[kud]) ša
a-na hur-sag-kalam-[maki? x x] x [(x)]
“[I (Anšar) sent] Anu, but he could not face her (Tiamat)” (Ee III 53): (the
divine judge) Madānu, who […] … to Ḫursagkalama.

15. (Enūma eliš III 54)


Z o. 15 [dnu-dím]-mud i-dúr-ma i-t[u-ra] ⸢ar⸣-kiš narkabtu(gišgigir) š[a ina
Addari(iti]še) ir-ru-bu ⸢ù?⸣ [uṣṣû(?)] / a[r-kiš iturru]
“Nudimmud (= Ea) took fright and turned back” (Ee III 54): the chariot that
enters and leaves (or: “turns back”) in the month of Addaru.

16. (Enūma eliš III 55)


Z o. 16 [iʾir dMarduk(amar].⸢utu⸣) apkal(nun.me) ilī(dingirmeš) ⸢ma⸣-[ru-
ku]-⸢un⸣ Bēl(d+⸢en⸣) š[a ina u4.n].kám? [x x x x]
“Marduk [came forward], the sage of the gods, your (pl.) son” (Ee III 55):
(the god) Bēl, who [… on the n]th [day].

17. (Enūma eliš III 134)


Z o. 17 [ašnan i-ku]-⸢lu⸣ ip-ti-qu ku-r[u-un-nu (x x)] ⸢dedé/múru pa-ta⸣-qu
ded[é / mú[ru x x x]

“They (the gods) ate [produce of the field], imbibed kurunnu-beer”: [(…)]
dé (or: múru?), (with the reading) “de(2),” (means) “to imbibe,” and dé (or:
múru?), (with the same reading) “de(2),” (means) [“…].”

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 303

18. (Enūma eliš III 135)


Z o. 18 [šīrīsu(or: arsu?) matqu] ⸢ú⸣-sa-an-ni-nu ra-[ṭi-šu-un (ø?) ši]-ri-su
(or: a]r-su?) mer-⸢su⸣ sa-na-nu ma-lu-ú [rāṭu libbu (?)]
“They (the gods) poured [the sweet liquor] down [their] gullets” (Ee III 135):
“liquor” (actually means) “mersu-cake”; “to pour down” (means) “to fill”;
[“gullet” (means) “insides].”

19. (Enūma eliš IV, 46, 47)


Z o. 19 [im.límmu.ba im.imin.bi im.sù]h im.si.a.nu.si.a [(x x x x :)] ⸢ú⸣-še-
ṣa-am-ma šārī(immeš) šá ib-nu-ú [sebettīšun (x x x)]
“[The Four-ways Wind, the Seven-ways Wind], the Chaos-spreading Wind,
the Wind that Turns Order into Disarray” (Ee IV 46) [(: …)].
“He released the winds that he had fashioned, [the seven of them]” (Ee IV
47) [(: …)].

20. (Enūma eliš IV 62)


Z o. 20 [šammi imta] bul-li-i t[a-me-eh rit]-tuš-šu [x x x x x x]
“He grasped [a plant] to counter [poison] in his hand” (Ee IV 62): […].

21. (Enūma eliš IV 113, 114)


Z o. 21 [endū túb-qa-a-t]i ma-lu-⸢ú⸣ du-ma-mi [(:) šēressu na-š]u-ú ka-lu-ú
ki-suk-⸢ki⸣ abul(abul) šarru(lugal) šá ina? b[ad? x x x x x]
y o. 3 [endū t]ub-qa-a-ti ma-lu-ú du-ma-m[u : ]
y o. 4 [x x] x(Lambert: d) šarru(lugal) šá ina? bad?-⸢e?⸣ x [x] (x) x x [ ]
“[Leaning against] corners, they (Tiamat’s monsters) were filled with grief ”
(Ee IV 113). “They were bearing [his punishment], confined to prison” (Ee
IV 114): the Gate of the King, which … in … […].

22. (Enūma eliš IV 124)


Z o. 22 [ayyābu muttaʾdu] ⸢ú-šá⸣-[p]u-ú šu-r[i-šam (:) mut]-ta-du dan-nu
šu-pu-ú pa [x x x x x x x]
“(Marduk), having … the dreaded enemy …” (Ee IV 124): “dreaded” (means)
“strong”; “to …” (šu-pu-ú) … […].

23. (Enūma eliš IV 131, 132)


Z o. 23 [uparriʾma ušlāt dāmī-š]á šá-a-ru il-ta-⸢a⸣-[nu ana bu]-⸢us-ra⸣-a-ti
uš-ta-bil li-is-mu šá u4.4.kám m[a? x x x x x x]

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304 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

y o. 5 [ú-par-r]i-iʾ-ma uš?-l[a?-tú?] dāmī(úšmeš)-šá šāru(im) iltānu(imsi.sá)


ana b[u-us-ra-ti ]
y o. 6 [(x x) im (:) (?) š]a-ru aššu(m[u) l]i-is-mu šá ina Kislīmi(⸢itigan⸣)
u4.4.kám [ ]
“He cut through the arteries of her blood” (Ee IV 131). “He let the North
Wind bear it (the blood) away as glad tidings (ana busrati)” (Ee IV 132):
a[(…) IM (means)] wind – because of the cultic race (lismu) that […] on the

fourth day of the month Kislīmu [(…)]a (a–athus y; Z: “the cultic race that
[…] on the fourth day [of the month of Kislīmu (…)]”).

24. (Enūma eliš IV 131–32 cont. (?), 140)


Z o. 24 [(x x) aššu kilīlu ša raksu kappīšu ša š]ak?-nu sa-a-ma šá lab-šú uš x
[(x :) mêša lā šūṣê(u]d.⸢du⸣-e) šu-nu-tú um-ta-ʾe-er x x [x x x x x x
x]
y o. 7 [(x x) aššu(?) k]i!-⸢li⸣-li šá ra[k-s]u! kap-pi-šú [ša šaknu sāmā (?) ]
[(The blood is mentioned) because] the wreath he wears and his wings with
which he is equipped are red, (and) what he dons … […].
“He (Marduk) instructed them [not] to let [her (Tiamat’s) waters] escape”
(Ee IV 140): … […] (only Z).

25. (Enūma eliš IV 144)


Z o. 25 [Ešgalla tamšīlašu ukīn é]-šár-ra bītu(é) šá kīma(gim) mé-e[ḫ-ret
apsî eli (?) erṣeti(k]i?-ti) (erasure) na-du-ú [x x x x x x x x]
“[As for Ešgalla (the Great Sanctuary), he (Marduk) founded] Ešarra, [its
equal]” (Ee IV 144): The house that is placed [upon] the earth like a coun-
terpart [of the Apsû …].

26–27. (Enūma eliš V 21, 22)


Z o. 26 [ūmu bubbulu ana harrān Šamaš š]u-taq-rib-ma : ⸢i?⸣-[na? u4.30.
kám] lu šu-tam-hu-r[at Šamaš(dutu) lu šá-na-at ø?]
Z o. 27 [x x x x x x x x x]-⸢ú⸣ u4.3[0?.kám? ø?] sîn(d30) itti(⸢ki⸣) [Šamaš (?) x
x x x x x x]
“[On the day of (your) disappearance, (o moon)], draw near [to the path of
(the sun-god) Šamaš]” (Ee V 21). “On [the 30th day], you shall stand in con-
junction with and rival Šamaš]” (Ee V 22): […] … the 30th day [(…)] Sîn
together with [Šamaš …].

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 305

28–29. (Enūma eliš V 24, 25)


Z o. 28 [za x x (x) šu-taq-ri]-⸢ba⸣-ma di-na di-n[a (:) lib x x x] Šamaš(dutu)
tum4-ma-tú d[a-a-ka(?) habāla (x x x)]
Z o. 29 [x x x x x x x x x] x ⸢tu ub⸣ [x x x x x x] x Marduk?(⸢d?mes?⸣) [x x x x
x x x x x]
modest traces of one more line, remainder of Z obverse lost

Y o. 2′ Šamaš(du[tu)? ]
“[…] draw near and give judgment” (Ee V 24). “[…] Šamaš … murder [and
violence]” (Ee V 25). [(…)] Šamaš […] … […] Marduk (dmes) […].

30. (Enūma eliš V 33)


Y o. 3′ a-a ib-ba-ši ⸢ma an⸣ [ ]
“Let there be no … […]” (Ee V 33): [……].

31. (Enūma eliš V 55)


Y o. 4′ ip-te-ma ina īnī(igimin)-šá íd[Purattu (u) Idiqlat ]
“In her (Tiamat’s) eyes, he (Marduk) opened (the sources of) the rivers
[Euphrates and Tigris]” (Ee V 55): [……].

32. (Enūma eliš V 59)


Y o. 5′ e-gir zib-bat-sa dur-ma-ḫ[i-iš urakkisma ]
“He (Marduk) twisted her tail [and tied it together into] the Great Bond
(Durmaḫu)” (Ee V 59): [……].

32a. (Enūma eliš V 64)


y o. 8 [ušparrir sa-pa-ra]-⸢šu? /šú?⸣ kal-⸢la?⸣ uš-t[e-ṣi ]
Y om.?
“[He spread] his [net] and let it right out (or: “and let all (within) out”)” (Ee
V 64): [……].

33. (Enūma eliš V 70)


Y o. 6′ re-eš ta-mar-ti it-b[a-la ana Ani(?) iqtīša ]
y o. 9 [rēš tāmarti (?) it-b]a-la a-na é-[a ] d

y o. 10 [x x x x x x x x] x-šu a-na dé-⸢a⸣ [ ]

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306 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

“He (Marduk) took it (the tablet of destinies) away as a foremost gift [and
gave it] to Ea (Y: [Anu(?)]) [as a present]” (Ee V 70): […] his … to Ea […].

33a (Enūma eliš V 83)


y o. 11 [ana Usmî ša ta-mar-ta]-⸢ka⸣ ana bu-us-ra-ti ub-l[a ]
Y om.
“[To Usmû, who brought] your (mistake for: “her,” i. e. Damkina’s?) gift as
the glad tidings” (Ee V 83): [……].

33b (Enūma eliš V 84)


y o. 12 [iqīpšuma(?) sukkalūt Apsî pa]-⸢qa⸣-du eš-re-e-tú u4.18.kám š[á ]
y o. 13 [x x x x x illakū(d]u-ku)-ma ši-kin išāti(izi) i-⸢šak⸣-x-[ ]
Y om.
“[He entrusted the ministry of the Apsû and] the care of the sanctuaries”
(Ee V 84): (On) the 18th day of [the month ……] go(es) and put(s) on a fire
[……].

34. (Enūma eliš V 90?)


Y o. 7′ iš-mé-ma Bēl(d+en) ka šu [(…) ubbuḫu turbuʾ šašmi (?) ]
“Bēl heard … [(…) being girded with the dust of battle]” (Ee V 90?): [……].

35. (Enūma eliš V 95)


Y o. 8′ iš-ši-ma miṭ-ṭa ⸢im⸣-[na-šú ušāḫiz ]
“He took up his mace and [held it] in [his] right hand” (Ee V 95): [……].

36. (Enūma eliš V 101 (or 115?))


Y o. 9′ iš-tu [melamme(?) ]
modest traces of one more line, remainder of Y obverse lost

“After [… the fearsome radiance …” (Ee V 101 or 115): [……].


gap

37′.20 (Enūma eliš V ?)


z r. 1′ [x x] x ḫa k[a / i[š ]

20 Consistency would require to assign to this line, the first after the gap, the number 1′.
But in order to avoid confusion with the lines from the preceding portion of the text,

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 307

z r. 2′ [x] Ea(d40) ib [ ]
[…] … [……] Ea (d40) … [……].

38′. (Enūma eliš V 157?)


z r. 3′ li-pu-uš iṣ-r[e-ti ]
“Let him conceive plans […]” (Ee V 157?): [……].

38′a. (Enūma eliš VII 41?)


Ω (r.) 4′ [Šazu Zisi mušebbi tēbî šanîš littaʾʾidū (?) (x x x x x) dzi-si(?) z]i
na-piš-tú si Enlil(dbad)
The three previous lines of Ω (1′ [……] ⸢ma?⸣ x [x (x)], 2′) [……] ḫa ⸢an⸣/ t[i] [x], 3′)
[……] di kur [x]) cannot be placed.

z om.
“[(As) Šazu-Zisi, secondly, the one who silences the insurgents, they shall
praise him” (Ee VII 41) (?): … Zisi]: ZI (means) “life”; SI (means) “Enlil”
(or: “Bēl”).

39′. (Enūma eliš VI 89)


X (r.) 1′ [ ] x be za x [ ]
ms X is assumed to belong here because the traces might correspond to y r. 3.

Ω (r.) 5′ [iṣu arik lū ištēnumma šanû lū kāšid (?) ] x ra-sib tukul gíd
y r. 1 [iṣu arik lū ištēnumma] ⸢šá-nu-ú⸣ lu-ú ka-ši-id [ ]
y r. 2 [x x x x x x x x x s]á ka-šá-du sá x [ ]
y r. 3 [x x x x x x x x x] x za ri x x (empty) [ ]
z r. 4′ giš a-rik iš-ten-nu-[um-ma šanû lū kāšid]
z r. 5′  giš.gíd.da a-rik-t[ú? ]
“‘Longwood’ shall be the first name (of the bow), ‘May it hit the mark’ the
second” (Ee VI 89): agiš.gíd.da (means) “long (weapon)”a (a–athus z) [(…)];
b
sá (means) “to hit the mark”, sá(?) (also means) …  b (b–bthus y) c[…] … […]
c (c–cthus X, y) […] dsmiting, long weapond (d–dthus Ω).

40′. (Enūma eliš VI 94)


X (r.) 2′ [Anu ina puḫur ilī šá-a-š]i uš-te-ši[b-ši ]

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308 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

Ω om.
“[Anu] placed it (the bow?) there in the assembly of the gods” (Ee VI 94):
[……].

41′. (Enūma eliš VI 132)


X (r.) 3′ [lū bašima nannussu lū nap-lu-s]u šu-nu šá-a-šu [ ]
Y r. 2′ [  ] ⸢na-an-nu-us⸣-s[u ]
Ω om.
“[This shall occur] at his command; they [shall] gaze upon him” (Ee VI
132): [……].

41′a. (Enūma eliš VII 1)


X, Y: The line was either omitted or included in the preceding entry.
Ω (r.) 6′ [ bá]ra? / a]g? is-ra-tu4 ta-mir-tú
W (r.) 1′ d[asar-ri šārik mērešti ša israta ukinnu]
W (r.) 2′   is-[ra-tu4] eqlu(a.š[à?) ]
z r. 6′ dasar-ri šá-rik me-[reš-ti ša israta ukinnu]
z r. 7′  is-ra-tu4 eqlu(a.š[à?) ]
y r. 4 [Asari ša-ri-k]i? mé-reš-tu4 šá is-ra-tu4 ú-kin-nu : [ ]
y r. 5 [ ] (empty) is-ra-tu4 t[a-mir-tu4 ]
“Asari, who gives arable land, who establishes plough-land (isratu)” (Ee VII
1): “Plough-land” (means) field […] …, “plough-land” (means) “cultivated
environs.”

42′. (Enūma eliš VII 2)


X (r.) 4′ [banû šeʾi u qê mu-še-ṣ]u-ú ur-qe-t[i ]
Y r. 3′ [ še]-im ù qê(gu-e) [ ]
[ ] an kibtu(šegig)
Ω (r.) 7′
W (r.) 3′ b[a-nu]-⸢ú⸣ še-im u qê(g[u-e) ]
W (r.) 4′   qû([g]u-um) ṣi-ḫir-t[u ]
z r. 8′ ba-nu-ú še-im u qê(gu-e) [mušēṣû urqēti]
z r. 9′  qû(⸢gu?-ú⸣) ṣi-ḫir-t[u ]
“The creator of grain and flax, who causes vegetation to sprout” (Ee VII 2):
“flax” (means) “minor crop” (ṣeḫḫertu) […] … wheat (kibtu).

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 309

43′. (Enūma eliš VII 9)


X (r.) 5′ [Tutu bān tēdištišunu šu-ú-m]a? aššu(mu) ilī(dingirmeš) šá ma-⸢ḫa⸣-
[zi ]
Y r. 4′ [ b]a-ni te-diš-ti-šú-nu [ ]
[ kī qabû(d]ug4.ga-ú)
Ω (r.) 8′
W (r.) 5′ dt[u]-tu ba-an te-diš-[ti-šú-nu šū(‑ma) ]
W (r.) 6′   šá ina Bābili(ká.dingir.raki) [ ]
z r. 10′ dtu-tu ba-an te-[diš-ti-šú-nu šū(‑ma) ø? ]
z r. 11′   aššu(mu) ilī(dingirmeš) šá ma-ḫa-zi [ ]
y r. 6 [Tutu bān te-di-i]š-ti-šú-nu šu-ú : aššu(mu) ilī(dingirmeš) ma-ḫa-
[zi ]
y r. 7 [   ] (empty) it-ta-r[a‑ ]
“Tutu is he, who accomplishes their (the gods’ and their statues’) renovation”
(Ee VII 9): because of the gods of the cultic centers [(…)], who/which … in
Babylon [… – this is what] it means (kī qabû).

44′. (Enūma eliš VII 35)


X (r.) 6′ [Šazu mūdê libbi ilī ša] ⸢i⸣-bar-ru-ú k[ar-šu ]
Y r. 5′ dšà-⸢zu⸣ mu-de-e lìb-bi ilī(dingirmeš) [ša ]
Ω (r.) 9′ [ šà libbu (?)] máš bi-i-ru
W (r.) 7′ dšà-zu mu-de-e lìb-bi [ ]
W (r.) 8′   ba-ru-ú lìb-bi [ ]
z r. 12′ dšà-zu mu-de-e lìb-bi ilī(din[girmeš) ]
z r. 13′   dšà-mášsic ba-ru-ú lìb-bi [ ]
“Šazu, who knows the heart of the gods, who examines the insides” (Ee VII
35): [(…)] (the god) Šamaš (dšà-máš!), who examines the heart [(…); šà (?)
means “heart”]; máš means “examination / divination.”

45′. (Enūma eliš VII 53)


X (r.) 7′ [ša napḫar ilī munnabtī ušēribu eš-r]e-taš aššu(m[u) ]
remainder of X (reverse) lost
Y r. 6′ ⸢šá⸣ nap-ḫar ilī(⸢dingirmeš⸣) mun-nab-ti ⸢ú⸣-[še-ri-bu ]
Y r. 7′ [x] x [x] x Nisanni(itibára) i-na x [ ]
Ω (r.) 10′ [ ] x ⸢ša?⸣ Bābili(ká.dingir.ra[ki])
modest traces of one more line, remainder of Ω (reverse) lost

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310 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

W and z om.
“Who brought all the fugitive gods into the sanctuaries” (Ee VII 53): because
(of) […] … in the month of Nisannu (I) in … […] … of Babylon.

46′. (Enūma eliš VII 57, 67)


Y r. 8′ [Enbilulu be]-lu ⸢mu-deš-šú-šú⸣-n[u šūma ]
W (r.) 9′ [den-bi]-⸢lu-lu⸣ be-lu4 mu-deš-[šú-šú-nu šūma ]
W (r.) 10′ [nādin šu-ʾ]i-i mu-š[ab-šu-ú ašnan ]
modest traces of one more line, remainder of W (reverse) lost

z r. 14′ den-bi-lu-lu be-lu4 mu-deš-še?-šú-n[u šūma ]


z r. 15′   na-din šu-ʾu-ú mu-šab-šu-[ú ašnan ]
“Enbilulu [is he], the lord who supplies them abundantly” (Ee VII 57):
[……].
“Who gives chick-peas and brings [grain] into being” (Ee VII 67): [……].

47′. (Enūma eliš VII 70)


Y r. 9′ [Sirsir šāpik] šadî(⸢kur⸣-i) e-le-⸢nu⸣-[uš Tiamat ]
V r. 1′ [Sirsir šāpik šadî elēnuš (?)] ⸣-[amat ]⸢ti? ?

V r. 2′ [ ] pa t[um?]
z r. 16′ dsirsir šá-pi-«ti»-ik šadî(⸢kur⸣-i) ⸢e?⸣-[le-nu-uš/-niš Tiamat]
z r. 17′   dsirsir Marduk(damar.utu) tam-tu4 x [ ]
y r. 8 [Sirsir šāpik šadî] ⸢e-le⸣-niš ti-amat : dsirsir [ ]
y r. 9 [ ] (empty) [ ]
“Sirsir, who heaped up the mountain(s) above Tiamat” (Ee VII 70): Sirsir
(refers to) Marduk … the sea […] ….

48′. (Enūma eliš VII 77)


Z. r. 1′ [Tiāmat rukūbšuma šū malāḫša (?) x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x ša
libbi (?)] ṭup-[pi? šanîmma (?)]
Y r. 10′ [ ] ⸢šu-ú⸣ má-la[ḫ4-ša ]
V r. 3′ [ luḫšû(u]h.me.u) kī(gim) qabû(dug4-⸢u⸣)
z r. 18′ ti-amat ru-kub-šu-ma ⸢šu⸣-[ú malāḫša ]
“Tiamat is his boat, and he is her sailor” (Ee VII 77): [“her sailor” (malāḫša)]:
a luḫšû-priest – this is what it means (kī qabû); […… according to another]
tablet.

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 311

49′. (Enūma eliš VII 92)


Z r. 2′ [ša ina rēši u arkati duruššu kunnu (:) Nabû ina parak šīmāte
u4.6.kám maḫar Bēl (?) u4.11.kám] arki(⸢egir?⸣) Bēl(den) [uššab(?)]
Y r. 11′ [ ] ⸢ar⸣-ka-a-t[i duruššu kunnu ]
V r. 4′ [ du-ru-uš-š]ú kun-n[u]
V r. 5′ [ u]4.11.kám arki(egir) Bēl(d+en) [ø?]
z r. 19′ šá ina re-e-ši u ar-ka-[a-ti duruššu kunnu   ]
z r. 20′ Nabû(d+ag) ina parak(bára) šīmāti(nammeš) u4.6.k[ám   ]
“(Lugal-áb-dúbur), whose foundation is firm in front and rear” (Ee VII 92):
(the god) Nabû sits (V om.?) [in front of Bēl] on the dais of destinies on the
sixth day and behind Bēl on the eleventh day.

50′. (Enūma eliš VII 97)


Z r. 3′ [Aranunna mālik Ea bān ilī abbēšu (:) dšu 40 dninnu(50)(?)]-⸢urta-a.
an?⸣ x x [x x x x x] nun dé-a 40 ⸢d⸣[é-a]
Y r. 12′ [ ma]-⸢lik⸣ dé-a b[a-an ]
remainder of Y reverse lost

V r. 6′ [ ilī(dingir]meš) abbē(admeš)-šú [0]


V r. 7′ [   a.rá ṭ]è-e-mu 40 dé-a [0]
z r. 21′ da-rá-nun-na ma-⸢lik d⸣[é-a bān ilī abbēšu]
z r. 22′ dšu 40 dninnu(50)-urta-a?.an? [ ]
“Aranunna, counselor of (the god) [Ea, creator of] his divine (fore)fathers”
(Ee VII 97): that very name (Aranunna?) (is associated with the numeral)
40 (the divine number of Ea) (in analogy with the divine name) Ninnu(50)-
urta (which includes the numeral 50, the divine number of Enlil) … […;
a.rá (means)] “advice”; anun (means) “Ea”a (a–a only Z); “40” (corresponds
to) “Ea.”

51′. (Enūma eliš VII 98)


Z r. 4′ [ša ana alakti rubûtišu lā umaššalu ilu a]-⸢a⸣-⸢ú⸣-[ma? d?]Nabû(ag)
šá ṣilli(giš.mi) annî(šeš) qabû(⸢dug4.ga?⸣) [(:) ša itti Bēl ina (?)
t]a-lu-ki-šú la un-da-an-du/ṭù-[u]
V r. 8′ ⸢šá a-na a⸣-[lak-ti rubûtišu lā ú-maš-šá-l]u ilu(dingir) a-a-um-ma
[0]
V r. 9′   ša itti(ki) Bēl(d+e[n?) (x x x x) ina(?) ta-lu-ki-š]ú la un-da-an-
du/ṭù-⸢u⸣ [0]

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312 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

V r. 10′   munusùru (or šal-šiš?) diš 30 ta / ta x [x x x x x x x x] ru ḫab-ra-tú


ina šur-ru
z r. 23′ [ša ana] a-lak-ti ru-b[u-ti-šú lā umaššalu ilu ayyumma]
z r. 24′ [Nabû (?)] ⸢šá?⸣ ṣilli(giš.m[i) ]
modest traces of one more line, remainder of z reverse lost

“Whose noble ways (alaktu) [no] god can equal” (Ee VII 98): a[(with regard
to the god)] Nabû, who is called the “shadow” of this one (i. e., Marduk?),
[who] was not assigned [together with (the god) Bēl in] his (Bēl’s) course/pro-
cession (tāluku)a (a–athus Z and possibly z; V instead: “who [(…)] together
with (the god) Bēl and was not assigned [in] his (Bēl’s) [course/procession
(tāluku)]; a secret (or: “thirdly”) if the moon … […] … the clamorous (peo-
ple) in the beginning.

52′. (Enūma eliš VII 108)


Z r. 5′ [ša ana šumešu ilī kīma meḫê išubbū pa]l-ḫiš ⸢aššu(mu) li⸣-[i]s-mu šá
dMār(a)-bīti(é) šá èš-nunki ki-i qabû(dug .ga-⸢ú⸣)
4

V r. 11′ ša ana šu-me-šú ilū(dingirmeš) ⸢ki-ma⸣ [meḫê i-šub]-bu pal-ḫiš


V r. 12′   aššu(mu) li-is-me šá dMār(dumu)-bīti(é) [ša Ešnun kī(gi]m)
qabû(dug4-u)
“At whose name the gods tremble as [before a hurricane]” (Ee VII 108):
because of the (cultic) race of (the god) Mār-bīti of Ešnun(na) – this is what
it means (kī qabû).

53′–54′. (Enūma eliš VII 109, 110)


Z r. 6′ [dingir-é-siskur šaqîš ina bīt ikribi līšibma (x x x x :)] ilū(dingirmeš)
mah-ri-šú ⸢li⸣-še-ri-bu kàd-ra-šú-un qí-šá-a-tú šá ina Nisanni(itibára)
ultu(ta) u4.6.kám adi(en) u4.12.kám nadnā(sum-na) aššu(mu)
dza-ba -ba ki-i qabû(dug .ga)
4 4 4
Z r. 7′ [x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x] x Bēl(den) šá ina a-ki-ti u4.8.kám uš-šá-bu
kàd-ru-u ṭa-aʾ-tu šá libbi(šà) ṭup-pi šá-nim-ma
V r. 13′ dingir-é-sískur šá-qiš ina bīti(é) ⸢ik⸣-[ri-bi li]-šib-ma
V r. 14′ ilū(dingir.dingir) mah-ra-šú li-še-r[i-bu kàd-r]a-šú-un
V r. 15′   qí-šá-a-ti šá ul-tu u4.6.kám adi(e[n) u4.12.kám nadnā aššu
dz]a-ba -ba kī(gim) qabû(dug -u)
4 4 4

“(As) Dingir-Esiskur may he dwell aloft in the house of prayer” (Ee VII 109).
“Let the gods bring their presents before him” (Ee VII 110): the gifts that are
given in the month of Nisannu from the sixth day to the twelfth day; because

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 313

of Zababa – this is what it means (kī qabû). a[……] … Bēl, who sits in the
Akītu (house) (on) the eighth day, presents and (divine) baksheesh, accord-
ing to another tableta (a–aonly Z).

55′. (Enūma eliš VII 113(?))


Z r. 8′ [erba ṣalmāt qaqqadi (?) bi?-na?-tuš?-š]u? (or: (x x x)] x) su-ur-tu4 ša
bārûti(lúhal-ti)
V om.
“[The four (regions?) of black-heads are] his [creation]” (Ee VII 113): [(…)]
(refers to) the magic circle of divination.

56′. (Enūma eliš VII 114)


Z r. 9′ [ela šāšu ṭēmi ūmīšina lā] ⸢i⸣-lam-ma-ad ilu(dingir) ma-am-man šá
ma-am-man a-na libbi(šà) puḫādi(udugá×sarsic) bārûti(lúhal-ti) la
ú-sar-rù
V om.
“[Apart from him no] god knows (in advance) [the news of their (human
beings) days]” (Ee VII 114): (refers to the magic circle), which nobody (else)
draws into / sets up in the exta of the lamb destined for divination.

57′. (Enūma eliš VII 135, 121)


Z r. 10′ [aššu ašru ibnâ iptiqa dan-n]i-na aš-ru šá-mu-ú dan-ni-na er-ṣe-tu4
: mu-um-mu er-pe-e-tú liš-tak-ṣi-ba-am-ma mu-um-mu rig-mu
V r. 16′ ⸢mu⸣-[um-mu er]-⸢pe-e-tú⸣ [liš]-⸢tak-ṣi⸣-[ba-am-ma mummu] rig-mu
a
“[Since he created the firmament and fashioned] the ground” (Ee VII 135):
“firmament” (means) “heaven”; “ground” (means) “earth”a (only Z).
“May (his) mummu (creative power?) reduce the burden of the clouds (by
making them rain?)”: mummu (means) “noise.”

58′. (Enūma eliš VII 127)


Z r. 11′ [lū ṣabit kunsaggî šunu šāšu lū p]al-su-šú kun-sag-gu-ú re-e-šú ar-ka-
tu kir4.šu.gál ba:la-ṣu (text: la-ba-ṣu) kir4.šu.gál la-ban ap-pi
V r. 17′ [lū ṣabit kunsaggî šunu šāšu lū pa]l-su-šú
V r. 18′ [ l]a-ban ap-pi
“[May he (Marduk as Jupiter) reach the apogee (of his course) that they
may] gaze (palāsu) at him” (Ee VII 127): “apogee” (refers to) beginning and

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314 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

end; kir4.šu.gál (means) “to stare” (balāṣu) (text mistakenly: “Labāṣu” (a


demon)); kir4.šu.gál (also means) “to pray” (lit., “to touch the nose”).

59′. (Enūma eliš VII 139, 144)


Z r. 12′ [mā ša abbēšu ušarriḫū zi-k]ir-šú ma-a ma-a-ru ha-an-šá-a
šumāti(mum[e]š) im-bu-ú ú-šá-ti-ru al-kàt-su 50 ha-an-šá-a 50
Enlil(dbad)
V r. 19′ [mā ša abbēšu ušarriḫū zikiršu mā ma-a]-ri
V r. 20′ [hanšā šumāti imbû ušāterū alkassu (…) 50 ha-an-šá]-a (?)
remainder of V reverse lost

“[Indeed, he whose] name [his (fore)fathers have glorified]” (Ee VII 139):
Indeed (mā) (means) “son” (māru).
“They (the gods) called his fifty names and made his position supreme” (Ee
VII 144): (the numeral) 50 (corresponds to) “fifty”; (the numeral) 50 (also
corresponds to) “Enlil” (or: “Bēl”).

59′a. (Enūma eliš VII 147(?))


Z om.
y r. 10 [lišannima abu māru (?) li?-š]á?-ḫi?-iz (empty) [ ]
remainder of y reverse lost; space for three more lines

“[The father shall repeat (the names of Marduk)] and teach (them) [to his
son” (?) (Ee VII 147): ……].

60′) (catchline)
Z r. 13′ [x x x x x x x x x x x] x ni te-bi-ma dingir a-pa-tu4 dbe-let-ṣēri(edin)
īmur(igi.lal)-ma iṭeḫḫī(te)-ši arka(egir) dbe-let-ilī(dingir.din-
gir) iš-me-ma qí-na iškun(gar-un) áš-šum kin/qi-na-a-a-ti kī(gim)
qabû(dug4-u)
remainder of Z reverse uninscribed

“[……] … was raised …, he saw (the goddess) Bēlet-ṣēri and approached


her (with sexual intentions). Later, Bēlet-ilī heard (it) and became jealous:
because of the regular rites/offerings (kinayyātu) (or: “jealousy-related issues”
(qīnayātu)) – this is what it means (kī qabû).

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 315

Notes
The following notes focus on the comments. The Enūma eliš lines explained in the text
receive only minimal attention, even though many of them are difficult.
1. The equation enūma = ina ūme can be compared to innannu = ištu (“now that”
(means) “after”) in line 11. The restoration za-ru-u [abu], already suggested by Lambert,
is based on an entry in the synonym list Malku = šarru.21
2. In the comment in Z, one could also consider restoring [muʾallidatu] (“she who gave
birth”), but the occurrence of mummu in the comment sections of MSS x and z (where
collation reveals that the second sign must be ⸢um⸣) makes this less likely.22 As argued
elsewhere,23 the reference in Gen 1:2 to the “divine spirit/wind” (rûaḥ ʾĕlohîm) “hover-
ing” over the primeval waters may have been inspired by the phrase mummu Tiamat in
Enūma eliš I 4. mummu occurs a second time, with a different explanation, in line 57′
of our commentary.
3. For the equation gipāru = erṣetu, see Malku II 20. Other Akkadian words and expres-
sions associated with gipāru in Malku (which one could restore in the gap) include erṣetu
ša mērešti,24 rītu, tamertu, nagû, bītu, and šubtu (for references, see Hrůša, malku, 485
[see n. 21]). The equation ṣuṣû = appāru is attested in Malku II 74 (ibid., 56–57).
4. The equation qudmu = maḫru may derive from Malku III 72 (ibid., 78–79). At the end
of the line, Lambert reads ra-ʾi-is ⸢ka⸣, while Kämmerer and Metzler offer ra-ʾi-⸢iṣ-ka⸣(?).
The ka is not completely certain, however, and a reading x-⸢šú⸣ seems possible as well.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the meaning of elletamma is unclear. Käm-
merer and Metzler regard it as an attribute of Tiamat, to be translated as “rein” (“pure”),
Foster proposes “in a loud voice” (< elû), following AHw 202a,25 while Lambert leaves
the word untranslated. If Lambert’s reading ra-ʾi-is ⸢ka⸣ is correct, the comment would
say something like “striking with the mouth,” which would support understanding elle-
tamma as “in a loud voice,” but cf. the notes on the next line.
5. If this entry really continues the comments on Enūma eliš I 36,26 its reference to an
agubbû, a term for holy water and the vessel containing it, was most likely motivated by
an interpretation of elletamma as deriving from ellu “pure”: agubbû-vessels were regu-

21 Edited by I. Hrůša, Die akkadische Synonymenliste malku = šarru. Eine Textedition mit
Übersetzung und Kommentar (AOAT 50; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2010), 38–39 I 114.
22 Yet another possibility is to restore [(aššu) ištēnešret] nab-ni-t[i] “[(because of) the
eleven] creatures” and to assume that the entry provides a reference to the monsters
created by Tiamat – which are called iš-ten-eš-ret nab-nit-sa in Enūma eliš V 73 (see also
IV 115).
23 E. Frahm, “Creation and the Divine Spirit in Babel and Bible,” in Literature as Politics,
Politics as Literature: Essays on the Ancient Near East in Honor of Peter Machinist (ed.
D. S. Vanderhooft and A. Winitzer; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013), 97–116.
24 Instead of [x x x x er?-ṣe?-t]i?, one could, in fact, restore in Z: [erṣetu ša me-reš-t]i.
25 See also W. R. Mayer, “Zum Terminativ-Adverbialis im Akkadischen Die Modaladver-
bien auf ‑iš,” OrNS 64 (1995): 161–186, here 178; and R. Borger, Babylonisch-Assyrische
Lesestücke (3rd ed.; Roma: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2006), I 146.
26 One could, alternatively, speculate that the entry explains Enūma eliš I 63: imnušumma
ina mê ušapšiḫ “He (Ea) recited it (his pure incantation) and established tranquility in
the waters,” but the traces of the signs at the beginning do not seem to correspond to
this line.

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316 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

larly used in rituals aimed at purification (ullulu).27 Ea is probably mentioned by the


commentator because the subject of I 36 is Apsû, who was later transformed into Ea’s
abode. At the end, Wilcke reads dnu-dím-mu]d dé-a “Nudimmud (refers to) Ea,”28 which
is possible but not very likely given that Nudimmud is not mentioned in Enūma eliš in
any line between I 17 and II 58. The technical term kī qabû (or kī iqbû), which occurs
several times in the present commentary, follows explanations.29
6. As established by J.-M. Durand,30 Enūma eliš I 76 plays with the Sumerian meanings
of the signs zu and ab(= èš), used to write the word Apsû. The former is rendered as
uʾaddû “they recognize,” the latter as ešrēti “sanctuaries.” Because of the gap in the mid-
dle of the line one can only guess whether the commentary dealt with these philological
intricacies. The word išakkanū at the end suggests that it rather focused on something
else, presumably some ritual.
7. The commentary identifies the unnamed nurse who is said in the epic to have raised
Marduk and endowed him with splendor (puluḫtu) as Ištar of Nineveh, a powerful
Assyrian goddess also worshipped in Babylon.31 There she played a role in the course of
the Akītu festival in Nisannu (I), during the performance of the so-called “Love Lyrics”
in Duʾūzu (IV) and Abu (V), and during festivities in the month of Kislīmu (IX).32 The
“Marduk Ordeal” describes Ištar of Nineveh as Marduk’s nurse too (see SAA 3, no. 34:
33), but apparently, unlike our text, with polemical intent.
8. The reading et-pur follows AHw 57b (s. v. apāru Gt), where the word is analyzed as
an alternative form of atpur. Lambert reads instead it-bur and translates “so exalted was
his strength.” Several entries in ancient commentaries on the exorcistic composition
“Marduk’s Address to the Demons” confirm that the ancient theologians were deeply
fascinated by the phenomenon of Marduk’s fearsome radiance. Thus one commentary
explains the statement that Marduk “was clothed with an aura (namrīru) and full of ter-
rifying splendor (pulḫātu)” by referring to the exorcist “donning a garment made (from
the skin) of a red head cow.”33 Another commentary explains the same passage as related

27 See CAD E, 49–51, s. v. egubbû and S. M. Maul, Zukunftsbewältigung. Eine Untersuchung
altorientalischen Denkens anhand der babylonisch-assyrischen Löserituale (Namburbi)
(BaFo 18; Mainz: Von Zabern, 1994), 41–46.
28 Wilcke, “Anfänge,” 165 (see n. 11).
29 See the detailed discussion in U. Gabbay, “Actual Sense and Scriptural Intention: Literal
Meaning and Its Terminology in Akkadian and Hebrew Commentaries,” in Encounters
by the Rivers of Babylon: Scholarly Conversations Between Jews, Iranians and Babylonians
in Antiquity (ed. U. Gabbay and S. Secunda; TSAJ 160; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014),
335–370, here 355–359.
30 J.-M. Durand, “Enûma eliš I 76,” NABU 1994/100 (1994).
31 For further discussion, see R. Da Riva and E. Frahm, “Šamaš-šumu-ukīn, die Her-
rin von Ninive und das babylonische Königssiegel,” Archiv für Orientforschung 46/47
(1999/2000): 156–182, here 173–175; and Frahm, Text Commentaries, 355 (see n. 6).
32 Da Riva and Frahm, “Šamaš-šumu-ukīn,” 169–182 (see n. 31) and A. R. George, “Four
Temple Rituals from Babylon,” in Wisdom, Gods and Literature. Studies in Assyriology
in Honour of W. G. Lambert (ed. A. George and I. L. Finkel; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns,
2000), 259–299, here 280–289. See also the note on line 60′, below.
33 See M. J.  Geller, Melothesia in Babylonia. Medicine, Magic, and Astrology in the Ancient
Near East (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014), 65 § 12. See also CCP 2.2.1.A.a. As pointed out
in Frahm, Text Commentaries, 82 (see n. 6), the entry brings to mind the famous “red
heifer” mentioned in Num 19:2. It cannot be excluded, however, that túg áb.sag sa5

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 317

to a garment (lubāru), and Marduk’s “fearsome tiara” from a similar line as a “headgear”
(šukūsu).34 These and other parallels suggest that the entry in the commentary under
discussion here may refer to some kind of headgear, jewelry, or belt, apparently associ-
ated with the king (see CAD R, 96–97).35 The word to be restored in MS y is perhaps
[ṣi-pi-i]r-tu4 “a girdle worn around the waist.”36 ⸢za ri⸣ in Z brings to mind the phrase
ṣarir nīš īnīšu “the glance of his (Marduk’s) eyes was dazzling” in Enūma eliš I 87, but
there is not enough space to accommodate it in its entirety.
9. In this entry, the commentator explains three rare words from the base text by provid-
ing more familiar ‘synonyms.’ Two of the equations may derive from Malku: sarmāʾu =
[nīru(?)] (Malku IV 168) and ḫemēru = šebēru (Malku VIII 90, see Hrůša, malku, 102–
103, 142–143 [see n. 21]).37 The equation of ēnātu “eyes” with kišādu “neck” seems to
be an ad hoc explanation aimed at converting the obscure image of a yoke causing those
carrying it “pinched eyes” into a statement that it “broke their neck.”
10. Somewhat surprisingly, the equation abšānu = nīru is apparently not attested in the
lexical tradition. The signs ḫu bu u šu at the end of the line remain obscure. Perhaps
they should be understood as a clumsy rendering of the word ḫubbušu “swollen up.”38
11. innan(nu) = ištu is attested in the synonym list An VIII 63 (see CAD I, 151a) and in
Malku III 123 (Hrůša, malku, 82–83 [see n. 21]).
12. This is the first explanation in the commentary not based on Akkadian synonym lists
but on (Sumero-Akkadian) bilingual lexical texts. (kur) | lagab | kubb /pputu is attested
in Aa I/2: 9 (see MSL 14, 208), and a similar equation with puḫḫuru may have occurred
in one of the broken lines at the beginning of this section. The goal of the entry is to
provide a well known synonym for the rare word kupputu.
13. This explanation is the first of several successive comments with a cultic background.
The reference in the epic to Ea divulging to Marduk his secret plan (lit., “the incantation
of his heart”) is associated with the use of a kettledrum (lilissu), one of the sacred instru-
ments of the kalû-priest, in a ritual performed before Ea on day [n] of Addaru (XII). As
observed by Gabbay, the connection between “heart” (libbu) and “kettledrum,” undoubt-
edly inspired by the analogy of the beating of the heart with the beating of a drum, is also
found in the mythological commentary SAA 3, no. 39, o. 11 (“the kettledrum is his (the
god’s) heart”). It motivates, moreover, the reference to the burning of the heart of a bull

is a misrepresentation of túg.dùl, and that what is at issue is actually the well attested
naḫlaptu-garment.
34 Geller, Melothesia, 61 § 63 (see n. 33). See also CCP 2.2.1.B.
35 K 3476, an Assyrian cultic commentary on the Akītu festival, claims that “the king who
wears his jewelery (dumāqū) is Marduk” (SAA 3, no. 37 o. 16′–17′), while the mytho-
logical commentary KAR 307 refers to the king’s “golden crown” (SAA 3, no. 39 r. 20).
Note, moreover, the letter SAA 10, no. 235, which states (o. 12–15): u4.22.kám | qa-ab-li
| ir-rak-ka-sa, “on the 22nd day, (the king) will be girt (again).”
36 On the meaning of the word ṣipirtu see J. N. Postgate, “Assyrian Uniforms,” in Veenhof
Anniversary Volume. Studies Presented to Klaas R. Veenhof on the Occasion of his Sixty-
Fifth Birthday (ed. W. H. van Soldt et al.; Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije
Oosten, 2001), 373–388, here 385. A restoration pe-e]r-tu4 šá šarri(lugal) is unlikely
because the word pērtu “hair” is nowhere else attested with kings or in connection with
rakāsu.
37 Cf. also ḫe-em-ret še-eb-ret in GCCI II 406 (CCP 4.1.13.B), a commentary on a diagnos-
tic text.
38 That they represent huppû (< ḫepû “to destroy”) + suff. 3rd sing. masc. seems unlikely.

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318 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

before a kettledrum in the ritual instructions guiding the covering of a lilissu with the
hide of that bull.39 We know otherwise nothing about the cultic activities that occurred
in Addaru in Babylon and Borsippa,40 possibly in preparation of the famous Akītu fes-
tival marking the new year in Nisannu (I), but a number of Assyrian texts about cultic
rituals celebrated in Aššur from the middle of Šabāṭu (XI) to the first days of Nisannu
give some hints, if we are allowed to assume that similar rituals were peformed during
this period in Babylon.41 One of the texts, K 2724+, indicates that on the first day of the
month of Addaru, the Balag lament Abzu pe-el-lá-àm was performed before Aššur.42
The real addressee of this Balag was the god Ea/ Enki, and it is possible, even though
highly speculative, that our commentary entry refers to a performance of it before Ea
that took place in Babylon(?) on Addaru 1st.
14. The entry compares Anu’s unsuccessful attempt of heading out and defeating
Tiamat to what seems to be a ritual journey of (the statue of) the god Madānu to
Ḫursagkalamma, a sister city of Kiš located some 15 kilometers east of Babylon. The
date of the journey is not specified, but since the previous and the following lines deal
with events in Addaru, it may have fallen into this month as well.43 Why the commenta-
tor associates Anu with Madānu is not entirely clear, but it is noteworthy that ddi.kud,
before becoming the usual spelling of Ma(n)dānu, was a writing of the name of the god
Ištarān of Dēr, a deity also known as Anu rabû “the great Anu.”44 Madānu had a shrine in
Kiš, mentioned in the topographical text VAT 13817, ii 10′ (George, Topographical Texts,
194–195 [see n. 69]), and it is possible that the commentary alludes to a procession that
brought Madānu from Kiš to Ḫursagkalamma to allow the god to enter the city’s impor-
tant Ištar temple. If this temple was indeed the final destination of Madānu’s travels, we
would have to assume that the commentator associated Ištar of Ḫursagkalamma with
Tiamat.45 That he was interested in the theology of Kiš / Ḫursagkalamma is confirmed
by the reference to Zababa in line 53′.46 Madānu may also have started his journey in
Babylon, however, with which he had close ties as well. As pointed out by Lambert (Crea-

39 See U. Gabbay, Pacifying the Hearts of the Gods. Sumerian Emesal Prayers of the First
Millennium BC (HES 1; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2014), 138. Gabbay restores our
passage li-li-su ⸢ša⸣ [pa-pa]ḫ? ša itiŠE “the lilissu (performance) of [the cel]la(?),” which
seems, altogether, less likely, not least for grammatical reasons.
40 Linssen, Cults (see n. 5) tersely notes in his section on the cultic calendar of Babylon
(pp. 90–91) that there is “no data” for the month of Addaru.
41 The pertinent texts were extensively discussed by S. M. Maul, “Die Frühjahrsfeierli-
chkeiten in Aššur,” in Wisdom, Gods and Literature. Studies in Assyriology in Honour
of W. G.  Lambert (ed. A. George and I. L. Finkel; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2000),
389–420.
42 Ibid., 405, 409 o 27′–28′, and 415–416. See also U. Gabbay et al., “Commentary on
Ritual Text (CCP no. 7.2.u103, http://ccp.yale.edu/P469985), accessed June 29, 2015,”
Cuneiform Commentaries Project (2015), here l. 5.
43 Note, however, that various gods traveled from Borsippa to Kiš on Šabāṭu (XI) 29; see
below, line 52′.
44 See M. Krebernik, “Richtergott(heiten),” RlA 11 (2006/2008): 354–361, here 355–356.
As pointed out by Krebernik, the writing is still used for Ištarān in the god list An =
Anum (V 288), to which the commentator certainly had access.
45 Tiamat is explicitly associated with Ištar of Nineveh in the cultic commentary KAR 307
(SAA 3, no. 39 o. 19).
46 See also the note on line 52′.

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 319

tion Myths, 138 [see n. 10]) and Krebernik (“Richtergott(heiten),” 356–357 [see n. 44]),
Madānu was considered a divine judge, jail guard, and guzalû-officical of Marduk (see
An = Anum II 253), had several shrines in the Esagil temple, and played a fairly impor-
tant role in the Akītu festival.47
15. Nudimmud-Ea’s failed mission to go out and defeat Tiamat is associated with the
departure and return of a chariot, apparently in the course of some other ritual in
Addaru. Whether this ritual was performed in Babylon or elsewhere remains unclear.
Chariots transporting deities played an important role in various festivals, including the
Akītu, as indicated by cultic texts and commentaries (e. g., KAR 307 = SAA 3, no. 39, o.
24–29; K 3476 = SAA 3, no. 37, o. 24′–26′; see also Lambert, Creation Myths, 138 [see
n. 10]). The restoration ⸢ù?⸣ [uṣṣû(?)] at the end of the line is Lambert’s; a[r-kiš iturru]
seems equally possible.
16. Lambert reads ]-i, but ].kám is possible as well. After the unsuccessful missions of
Anu and Ea examined in the two previous lines, it is now Marduk’s turn, and apparently
the commentator again provides links with some ritual act. As in the preceding entries,
this act may have occurred in the month of Addaru – note the reference in the calendri-
cal commentary Rm 2, 127, edited below, to Marduk “crushing his enemies and [taking]
kingship” in that very month (r. 9′–11′).
17. dé = patāqu is attested in Ea IV 177 (MSL 14, 362). Lambert’s restoration “[šaqû]” at
the end of the line is probably a typo for “[šatû]” – the equation patāqu = šatû “to drink”
occurs in Malku VIII 8 (Hrůša, malku, 138–139 [see n. 21]). The restoration makes
good sense but is uncertain, since dé also has a number of other equations. Even though
patāqu – with the meaning “to drink” – is very rare (see CAD P, 275b), the main issue
of this and the following commentary entry is probably not philological but cultic – the
goal is to establish what the gods consumed in the course of their ritual feeding. Oth-
erwise, patāqu should have been explained in connection with its first occurrence, in
Enūma eliš III 9, where a precative form, liptiqū, is found.
18. For some remarks on this entry, see Lambert, Creation Myths, 474 (see n. 10). Lam-
bert, following an earlier suggestion by Borger, argues that the line commented on refers
to the gods consuming arsu, which he considers a variant of arsānu / arzānu “barley
groats.” The dictionaries (AHw, 1050a s. v. sirāšu, CAD S, 306a s. v. siraš) and earlier
translators, in contrast, assumed that the gods drank šīrīsu (a variant of sīrāšu), “a kind of
beer.”48 Either way, the commentary seeks to make the point that what the gods actually
ingested was mersu, a dish made of cereals, butter, syrup, flour, and dates that played an
important role in the cult.49 Simplification is also the objective of the two other explana-

47 For references, see Krebernik, loc. cit. Two figurines representing inimical forces that
had been fashioned on the third day of Nisannu were under Madānu’s supervision until
they were destroyed on the sixth day (see Zgoll, “Königslauf,” 22–23, 28–29 [see n. 5],
with earlier literature). The cultic text K 8878 mentions, in addition, prostrations by the
king at the “Gate of the Entrance of Madānu” and before the [deities of] Ḫursagkalamma
(W. G. Lambert, “Processions to the Akītu House,” RA 91 (1997): 49–80, here 66–67: 13,
22).
48 In light of a reference to si-ri-š[u ku-ru]-un-nu šamnu(ì.giš) ù karānu(geštin) in
Gilgameš XI 73, the latter solution may be preferable; A. R. George, The Babylonian
Gilgamesh Epic. Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2003), 706–707 translates this line “beer, ale, oil and wine.”
49 For more information on mersu and how it was used as an offering to feed the gods, see
Maul, Zukunftsbewältigung, 51–52 and 58–59 (see n. 27). Note that the words šīrīsu /

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320 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

tions in the entry. The equation sanānu = malû provides a well known synonym for an
obscure word, and the equation of rāṭu with libbu, if correctly restored,50 transforms a
daring metaphor (rāṭu means literally “drain-pipe”) into plain language.
19. In two other instances, references in the epic to strong winds are associated by the
commentator with cultic races (see lines 23 and 52′), but there is probably not enough
space in this line to accommodate a comparable explanation.
21. The “Gate of the King” was the northern gate in the western wall of Babylon (see
the plan in George, Topographical Texts, 24 [see n. 69]). It is mentioned twice in the
topographical series Tintir (V 54 and 72), where it bears the ceremonial name “May its
Founder Flourish” (George, Topographical Texts, 66–69 and 342 [see n. 69]). Nothing
else is known about the gate, and it remains unclear what prompted the commentator to
mention it, even though one can speculate – in light of the Enūma eliš line commented
on – that the gate was a place where replicas of the monsters defeated and captured by
Marduk were displayed, to ward off potential intruders. In MS y, one could consider
a restoration šá ina BAD-⸢e-šú⸣ (“(the gate) that, when opened …”), but the traces are
very vague.
22. The second half of Enūma eliš IV 124 remains obscure, which makes it particularly
regrettable that the final segment of the commentary entry is lost. If ú-šá-pu-ú and
šu-pu-ú are forms of (w)apû Š “to display,”51 one could think of restoring pa.[è …] at
the end, since pa.è is occasionally equated with (w)apû Š (see CAD A/2, 201b, Erimḫuš
I 279). If the two lemmata are instead D stem forms of šapû III “to silence,”52 one could
consider the restoration šu-pu-ú pa-[šá-ḫu …] “‘to silence’ (means) ‘to calm down.’”
Both solutions are for various reasons problematic, but the latter may be preferable in
light of Enūma eliš VII 41 (see below 38′a), a line that calls Marduk Šazu Zisi mu-še-
e[b-b]i tēbî “Šazu Zisi, who silences the insurgents.” Here, mu-še-e[b-b]i, even though
written with /b/ and not with /p/, is most likely a form of šapû III. The word is part of
an epithet of Marduk that is clearly derived from the name Zisi, with tēbû representing
zi and mušebbi si – and si is attested as the Sumerian counterpart of Akkadian šu-up-pu-
ú-um in Proto-Ea (see CAD Š/1, 491a, s. v. šapû III).
23. In this entry, the commentator links a reference to a (swift) wind carrying Tiamat’s
blood as a sign of her defeat to a cultic race (lismu) that took place on the fourth day
of Kislīmu (IX).53 It is undoubtedly the same race that is mentioned in the “Marduk
Ordeal,” in a passage that reads as follows (SAA 3, no. 34: 57–60 (A(ssur)) and no. 35:
51–54 (N(ineveh)), collated):

arsu and mersu share the last two consonants, which may have contributed to the equa-
tion. If such word-play is behind the entry, it would work better with arsu than with
šīrīsu.
50 The restoration, originally suggested by Oppenheim (see Lambert, Creation Myths, 474
[see n. 10]), is based on the entry rāṭu = libbu in Malku V 7 (Hrůša, malku, 108–109 [see
n. 21]).
51 Thus, for example, Foster, who translates “Having shown the mighty(?) foe subservient”
(Muses, 461 [see n. 19]).
52 Thus Kämmerer and Metzler, Weltschöpfungsepos, 222 (see n. 10): “Er den achtsamen
Gegner zum Schweigen gebracht hatte nach der Art des Stieres.”
53 For other cultic races and some thoughts on their function and meaning, see Pongratz-
Leisten, Ina šulmi īrub, 100–101 (see n. 5) and Zgoll, “Königslauf,” 58–60 (see n. 5).

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 321

The cultic race (lismu) that in the month of Kislīmu enters into the presence of Bēl
and all the sanctuaries [is that of] Nabû. When Aššur (daš-šur) sent Ninurta to defeat
aAnzûa (a–a thus MS A : MS N: to defeat Anzû, Qingu, and Asakku), the god […] said

before Aššur: b“Anzû is defeated!”b (b–b thus MS A : MS N: “Anzû, Qingu and Asakku
are defeated!”). Aššur [then said] to the god […]: “Go, announce the news (passir) to
all the gods!” He announces the news to them (upassaršunu), and they rejoice about
[…] and go away.54
Both in our commentary and in the “Marduk Ordeal,” the Kislīmu race is associated with
a heroic warrior deity defeating a monster (Tiamat, Anzû, Qingu, Asakku)55 and the
subsequent efforts to spread the good news. Whether the commentary also linked the
race to the god Nabû, as the “Marduk Ordeal does,” remains unclear. The Neo-Assyrian
verb used in the “Marduk Ordeal” to express the broadcasting of the news, passuru (=
Bab. bussuru), is related to the phrase ana busrati, which occurs both in Enūma eliš IV
32 and 132 and in Anzû II 18, 114, 136, and III 22 (see below, line 24).
Somewhat surprisingly, the cultic race mentioned in the commentary and the “Mar-
duk Ordeal” is not referred to in two Late Babylonian cultic texts published by Çağirgan/
Lambert and George that describe in great detail the rituals performed in Babylon on the
third and fourth day of Kislīmu, during the celebration of an important palm festival.56
The texts’ silence on the race is either due to the fact that each of them outlines only
specific aspects of the jollifications,57 or to an abandonment of the race at some point in
time prior to the composition of the ritual texts. Interestingly enough, though, the text
published by Çağirgan and Lambert refers to a singer (nāru) who chants Enūma eliš on
the fourth day of Kislīmu in front of Bēl (lines 62–65).
24. Kämmerer and Metzler, Weltschöpfungsepos, 225 (see n. 10) assume that the first part
of the line comments on Enūma eliš IV 139 (išdud mašku maṣṣāru ušaṣbit “He stretched
the skin and appointed a watch”). Reading […] x pa-nu at the beginning, they suggest,
“vielleicht wird mašku ‘Haut’ durch pānu sāmu ‘rotes/braunes Gesicht (r./ b. Ober-
fläche)’ kommentiert.” U. Gabbay (pers. comm.) suggests that the first part of the line is
about Enūma eliš IV 134 (igisê šulmānu ušābilū šunu ana šāšu “They brought gifts and
presents to him”), reinterpreting igi.sá as *igi.sa5 and ‘translating’ it as “red face.” Both
these proposals, however, are at odds with the available space, especially in MS y, which

54 lismu ša ina kislīmi ina maḫar Bēl u māḫāzāni gabbī i-rub-[u-ni Nabû(da]g*) [šū]  / kī
Aššur Ninurta ina muḫḫi kašāde ša aAnzîa (a–a thus MS A : MS N: Anzî Qingu Asakki)
išpurūni dx [x x x x]  / ina maḫar Aššur iqṭibi mā bAnzû kašidb (b–b thus MS A : MS N
Anzû Qingu Asakku kaš[du]) Aššur ana ⸢d⸣[x x x x x x]  / mā alik ana ilāni gabbī passir
upassaršunu u šunu ina muḫḫi(ugu) k[i* x (x) i]ḫ-di-[ú] il-lu-[ku]. The collations of
the Aššur tablet are based on a photo kindly provided by S. M. Maul. For additional dis-
cussion, see E. Jiménez, La imagen de los vientos en la literatura babilónica (PhD Diss.:
Madrid, 2013), 357–360.
55 That there is a close literary connection between these various dragon-slaying stories is
well known – as pointed out in the note on the next line, the episode of the north wind
carrying away Tiamat’s blood is clearly modeled on the Anzû epic’s report about the
winds “bearing of (Anzû’s) wing feathers as glad tidings.”
56 G. Çağirgan and W. G. Lambert, “The Late Babylonian Kislimu Ritual for Esagil,” JCS 48
(1991): 89–106, here 89–106; George, “Temple Rituals,” 280–289 (see n. 32); and Cohen,
Festivals, 437–438 [see n. 71]. The texts do mention several processions.
57 As stressed by George, “Temple Rituals,” 281 (see n. 32).

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322 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

makes it almost inescapable to follow Lambert and assume that the beginning of the line
includes additional comments on Enūma eliš IV 131–32.58 If the readings proposed here
are correct, the entry would associate the winds carrying Tiamat’s blood with someone
wearing a red wreath or headband and red “wings,” probably in the course of a cultic
ritual (perhaps the race mentioned in the previous line). The reference to the wings is
of particular interest, since it creates an implicit but obvious link with the Anzû epic,
which states “that the wind (šāru) bore Anzû’s (bloody) wing feathers (kappī) as a sign
of his glad tidings (ana itti ša busratišu)”59 – an episode that formed the model for the
Enūma eliš passage under discussion here. Associations between cultic accessories with
a red color and analogous features in mythological contexts are also found elsewhere.
The “Marduk Ordeal,” for instance, links the red cloth under Marduk and the red wool
with which he is clothed, apparently during the Akītu festival, to the blood spilled when
the god is imprisoned (SAA 3, no. 34: 15).60
25. The tentative restoration follows Lambert but assumes that instead of e-le-nu, for
which there is not enough space, one has to restore ugu = eli.
26. Apart from our commentary, only one manuscript preserves the first sign of Enūma
eliš V 22 – and has šá instead of ⸢i?⸣-[na?.61
27. Based on a passage in the esoteric composition Inamgišḫurankia,62 U. Gabbay (pers.
comm.) considers, alternatively, a restoration u4-m[i i-lit-ti] d30 k[i-i qabû “(the day of
the moon’s disappearance is) the day [of the birth of] (the moon god) Sîn – this is what
[it means].” Even though space is a bit scarce, this is not impossible either.
28–29. The two lines explained here are both difficult. Kämmerer and Metzler read sà-
li[t šadê …] at the beginning of Enūma eliš V 24 (“Zerschneider [der Berge]”) and lip-
[li-il …] at the beginning of V 25 (“Šamaš möge Gericht halten über Kampf [tummātu
< tuqmātu], Mord, Gewalt”), readings that remain uncertain. Lambert does not provide
restorations and translates V 25: “.[….]. Šamaš, constrain [murder] and violence.” He
notes, moreover, that dutu tum4-ma-tú d[a‑ “need not be part of the Epic” (Creation
Myths, 477 [see n. 10]). Enūma eliš V 24 is also quoted in the calendrical commentary
edited below (MS A, o. 15), where it might be linked to the notion of a celestial gate being
opened for Šamaš. It is not entirely clear whether the first preserved entry of MS Y really
explains Enūma eliš V 24–25. The (indented) comment in Y o. 2′ may, alternatively, refer
to Enūma eliš V 29, which begins with du[tu.
31. Perhaps the commentary on this line referred to events on the fifth day of the Akītu
festival in Nisannu, when an exorcist sprinkled Marduk’s temple with water “from a well
of the Tigris and a well of the Euphrates.”63 See also KAR 307 (= SAA 3, no. 39), r. 3.
33. ana Ani is attested in only one manuscript of the epic.

58 But note that our understanding of the comments differs from Lambert’s, who reads
MS y, o. 7: [… mu-u]l-li-li šá sal [(x)] x kap-pi s[al ….”
59 A. Annus, The Standard Babylonian Epic of Anzu (SAACT 3; Helsinki: The Neo-Assyr-
ian Text Corpus Project, 2001), 27; Foster, Muses, 575 III 522–523 (see n. 19) (see also
II 18, 114, 136).
60 See also Lambert, Creation Myths, 138 (see n. 10) and the note on line 8, above.
61 Kämmerer and Metzler, Weltschöpfungsepos, 232 (see n. 10) restore šá-[pat-tu], as in V
18, but this seems rather doubtful.
62 A. Livingstone, Mystical and Mythological Explanatory Works of Assyrian and Babylo-
nian Scholars (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1986), 28 l. 31.
63 Linssen, Cults, 221, 230 ll. 338–342 (see n. 5). As pointed out by Zgoll, “Königslauf,”
26–27 (see n. 5), these wells were situated within the Esagil temple complex.

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 323

33a. According to one of the cultic texts about the Babylonian palm festival in Kislīmu
(see above, line 23), the recitation of this very line – in the morning of the fourth day of
the month – was a prompt for a dumuniglala-priest “to raise a palm frond and place it
on a silver tablet opposite Bēl.”64 It is not unfeasible that our commentary referred to this
ritual act,65 but note that the next entry is about the 18th day of an unknown month.66
33b. Fire played a role in several cultic rituals,67 but the expression šikin išāti šakānu is
unusual (cf. CAD Š/2, 438a).
34. The reconstruction of Enūma eliš V 90 is problematic. Lambert transliterates appašu
(i. e., kìri-šu) but translates “their utterance” (i. e., inim-šu(‑nu)). One could also con-
sider reading ka-šu-[šu (a divine weapon).
38′. The reconstruction of the last lines of Enūma eliš V is uncertain.
38′a. If Ω (r.) 4′ really comments on Enūma eliš VII 41, the line would be quoted out of
sequence, which seems strange but would not be entirely without parallel: MS Z, r. 10′
(line 57′) quotes and explains VII 135 before VII 121 and 127. The comments in the
entry at hand provide a (pseudo‑)etymological analysis of Marduk’s new name Zisi,
which is associated with Enlil and notions of life. While the equation between zi and
napištu “life” is extremely common, that between si and “Enlil” is quite learned; it may
go back to an entry in An = Anum I 151.68 In Late Assyrian texts, dbad was occasionally
also understood as Bēl, so that an Assyrian reader would have had no trouble in consid-
ering the name as appropriate for Marduk (see also below, line 59′).
39′. The equation giš.gíd.da = ariktu is attested in various lexical lists, see CAD A/2,
267b. For lexical attestations of sá.sá (not sá) = kašādu, see CAD K, 271b. The com-
ments seek to explain the key words of the line through references to bilingual lexical
texts.
41′a. This is the first of several comments on the new names Marduk receives in Enūma
eliš VII.69
42′. The equation qû = ṣeḫḫertu seems to be attested only here.
43′. The commentary explains that those to profit from Tutu’s renovation work are the
deities (or rather, their statues) of the various sanctuaries of Babylon.
44′. Apparently, the occurrence of the word ibarrû “(who) examines” in the second half
of Enūma eliš VII 35 prompted the commentator to associate the whole line with the art
of extispicy (bārûtu, bīru) and to explain Šazu as an avatar of Šamaš, one of the patron

64 Çağirgan and Lambert, “Kislimu Ritual,” 96 ll. 63–65 (see n. 56).


65 Note that both our commentary and the ritual text supplement tāmartu with a 2nd pers.
sing. pronoun (‑ka, ‑ki), and not, as expected, a 3rd pers. sing. pronoun.
66 An entry in the Prostration Hemerology (E. Jiménez and S. F. Adalı, “The ‘Prostra-
tion Hemerology’ Revisited. An Everyman’s Hemerology at the King’s Court,” ZA 105
[2015]: 154-191, here 169, 177, and 182: 31) states: “On the 16th day (of Kislīmu) he
should prostrate himself before Nergal and carry in his hand a palm-heart.”
67 The cultic commentary K 3476 mentions a fire representing the burning of Qingu and
another used by Marduk to light his arrows (see SAA 3, no. 37 o. 9′–15′), and several
procession omens refer to a fire lighted by the king for Marduk (see Pongratz-Leisten,
Ina šulmi īrub, 260–261, 264 ll. 248–265 [see n. 5]).
68 For this and other examples of si being used as a logogram for “Enlil” (probably because
the readings malû and mullû, which are common for si, brought to mind Enlil’s Emesal
name Mullil), see Frahm, Text Commentaries, 140 n. 692 (see n. 6).
69 For isratu, its meaning, and its synonyms, see A. R. George, Babylonian Topographical
Texts (OLA 40; Leuven: Peeters, 1992), 387.

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324 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

deities of this divinatory discipline. The name of the latter is rendered, quite unconven-
tionally, as dšà-máš, to mark both the connection with dšà-zu (lit., “who knows (zu) the
heart (šà)”) and that with extispicy, bīru, a word written with the logogram máš.70 The
lexical equations concluding the entry make these associations explicit.
45′. The comment seems to allude to the journey of gods from various cities to Babylon
during the Akītu festival in Nisannu.
46′. Note that MS z, r. 16′ is indented as if the line were a comment on the preceding one.
47′. V r. 1′–2′ could, theoretically, also quote and explain Enūma eliš VII 67, in which
case one would have to read: [nādin šuʾi mušabšû (?) áš?-na?]‑ ⸢an?⸣  / [……] pa t[um?].
48′. The restoration at the end of Z, r. 1′ follows a suggestion by U. Gabbay (pers. comm.)
and is based on a parallel in Z, r. 7′ (see below, line 18′). The commentarial reference
to a luḫšû(gudu4(uh.me).u)-priest, a rather obscure member of the temple personnel
concerned with the preparation of offerings, is probably motivated by the phonetic simi-
larity of that title with malāḫša “her sailor.” Using the hermeneutic technique of parono-
masia, the commentator thus adds a cultic dimension to the line.
49′. The commentary interprets the strange reference to the “front and back” of Marduk-
Lugal-áb-dúbur’s “foundation” as an allusion to the god Nabû (who is not mentioned in
the epic) [sitting] on the sixth day in front of his father Marduk on the Dais of Destinies
and on the eleventh day behind him. The entry deals, undoubtedly, with events in Baby-
lon that occurred in Nisannu, during the Akītu festival. As argued by Lambert, “Proces-
sions,” 57–61 (see n. 47), the background of the aforementioned actions may be provided
by the ritual text K 3446+, which refers in o. 16 to the Babylonian king passing the “dais
of destinies” “[while] Šiddukišarra (i. e., Nabû) was sitting in front” (dšid-dù-ki-šár-ra
ina sa[g? ina a-šá]-bi-šú). The commentary suggests that this happened on Nisannu 6
and then again, with Nabû sitting on the other side, on the eleventh day of the month.71
50′. The paradoxical line about Marduk-Aranunna being not only the counselor of
Ea but also the creator of his own (fore)fathers is particularly intriguing. It seeks to
eliminate the problem, polemically addressed in the “Marduk Ordeal” (SAA 3, no. 34:
54–55), that Marduk was actually a younger god, who could not claim superiority based
on genealogical grounds. If we understand the comments on the line, difficult as they
are, correctly, their point seems to be that Marduk’s name Aranunna includes the name
of Marduk’s father Ea (written with the numeral 40) in much the same way the name
Ninurta, when written dninnu(50)-urta instead of the usual dnin-urta, includes the name
of the god Enlil (= d50), Ninurta’s father. Both deities must therefore belong to the very
generation of gods from which they seemingly derive.72 To prove his point, the scribe
who composed MS Z points out that nun, one of the components of da-rá-nun-na, can
be read as “Ea,” an equation also attested in the entry provided for Enūma eliš VII 97

70 The writing dšà-máš is occasionally attested in colophons, for instance STT 1 71 l. 72,
STT 1 87 r. 17′, and SpTU 3 99 l. 49 (CCP 3.5.u2.a).
71 Note, however, that according to an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II, Marduk
sat on the Dais of Destinies on the eighth(!) and the eleventh day of Nisannu; see
Zgoll, “Königslauf,” 30–31 (see n. 5). On the present line of the commentary see also
M. E.  Cohen, The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East (Bethesda: CDL, 1993), 439
and id., Festivals and Calendars of the Ancient Near East (Bethesda: CDL, 2015), 401.
72 The writing dninnu(50)-urta is also attested in the healing ritual KAR 31 o. 10 (see W.
von Soden, “Review of Kaufman, The Akkadian Influences on Aramaic,” JSS 22 (1977):
81–86, here 86). The name is accompanied there by the epithet qarrād ilāni “hero of the
gods,” which nicely defines Ninurta’s role as a warrior, later usurped by Marduk.

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 325

in the commentary on Marduk’s names (Lambert, Creation Myths, 141 [see n. 10]),
from where he may have derived it. That the divine names mentioned in this entry are
rendered in gematria-like fashion with numerals may be motivated by the fact that the
element a.rá in the name Aranunna is a mathematical term meaning “times.” For lexi-
cal attestations of a.rá = ṭēmu “advice” (e. g., Nabnītu III (= A) 177), see CAD Ṭ, 85b.
51′. The explanations provided in this line are among the most enigmatic found in the
commentary. One could read the first comment as [d?]ag gar giš.mi lú? :? and assume
that it identifies Nabû as the god “who bestowes protection (lit., “shadow”) upon human
beings,” but that would have little to do with the line commented on. Perhaps some light
is shed on the comment by a proverbial expression quoted in a letter sent by the Assyr-
ian scholar Adad-šumu-uṣur to King Esarhaddon (Parpola, SAA 10, no. 207, r. 9–13):
Now as to that saying, “Man is a shadow of god (giš.mi dingir a-me-lu), [and] man
is a shadow of man” – (that man, i. e., the one of whom man is a shadow) is the king,
(for) he is the perfect likeness of god ([a]-me-lu : lugal : šu-ú  / [k]al mu-uš-šu-li šá
dingir).73
Like the commentary entry, the saying quoted in the letter provides a discussion of
power rivaled and unrivaled, juxtaposing the terms ṣillu “shadow” – used in the Platonic
sense – and muššulu “to equal” to establish a hierarchical order. We very tentatively sug-
gest that our comment seeks to make the point that Nabû, however important he may
be, is but a “shadow” of his father Marduk.
The second comment in the entry at hand focuses on the word alaktu “way.” It talks
about a “course” (tāluku, derived from the same root) on which some god(s)(?), per-
haps again Nabû, “did not ….” The problem here is the correct interpretation of un-da-
an-du / ṭù-u. A similar form, un-de-eṭ-ṭu, occurs together with tāluku in an astrological
report from Nineveh, which claims that the planet Mars(?) ⸢ina?⸣ ta-lu-ki-šú un-de-eṭ-ṭu
(Hunger, SAA 8, no. 312, o. 3). Hunger, following CAD M/1, 434b, translates this expres-
sion as “slowed down in its course,” with the verb interpreted as a Dt form of maṭû “to
be reduced to less.”74 In our entry, however, an analogous translation would make little
sense. For that reason, CAD I/J, 33a and CAD T, 106b analyze un-da-an-du / ṭù-u as a
Dt of idû/ (w)adû and translate the passage: “the […] of whose ways with DN cannot
be known.” This translation seems odd, but deriving the verbal form in the entry from
idû / (w)adû does make some sense. If correct, the commentator, at least in Z, might
have wished to point out that Nabû(?) was not “assigned” to some procession in which
Marduk played a central role, a “cultic” explanation for the claim in the epic that Mar-
duk’s “ways” (alaktu) had no eqal. The mythological text known as “Enmešarra’s Defeat”
mentions in r. vi 15–16 ilū(dingirmeš) ka-la-šu-nu ša itti(ki) Bēl(d+en) ana é-sískur
illakū(dumeš) “all the gods who go with Bēl to É-sískur (the Akītu house)” (Lambert,
Creation Myths, 296–297 [see n. 10]).75 One could speculate that our comment points
to this very procession, but it should be noted that Nabû seems to have participated in it.

73 For a thorough discussion of this difficult passage, see P. Machinist, “Kingship and
Divinity in Imperial Assyria,” in Assur – Gott, Stadt und Land (ed. J. Renger; CDOG 5;
Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011), 405–430, here 417–419.
74 One could also consider it a Dt form of eṭû “to be(come) darkened.”
75 In MS V r. 9′, there would, in fact, be space to restore: ša ki d+e[n lā illakū ina(?) ta-lu-
ki-š]ú la un-da-an-du/ṭù-⸢u⸣ and translate “(this concerns the god(s)) who [do(es) not
go with Bēl (and)] is/are not assigned to his [course].”

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326 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

MS V includes yet another explanation, which provides associations with the moon
but is otherwise obscure; the readings proposed here for the end of (r.) 10′ are very
uncertain.76
52′. As in line 23, a reference to a storm prompts associations with a cultic race (lismu),
in this case one linked to Mār-bīti, a deity whose main cult centers were in the cities
of Dēr and Malgium in the eastern Tigris region.77 Ešnunna was located not far from
Malgium, and Mār-bīti might have been worshipped there as well, even though this is
not yet confirmed by additional evidence. He also had shrines in Babylon and Borsippa,
however, where he belonged to the circle of Nabû. A cultic text, BM 41239, reports that
Mār-bīti spent the night of the 28th of Šabāṭu (XI) in the temple of Madānu, apparently
in Babylon (see above, line 14), before moving the next day with other deities from Bor-
sippa to the area of Kiš.78 There is a vague possibility that the commentary entry refers
to events accompanying these cultic activities.
53′–54′. That Marduk (and some of his divine companions) received presents during the
Akītu festival in Babylon is confirmed by several other sources; a Nabonidus inscription
specifies that such presents were distributed on the tenth day of Nisannu.79 What this
gift-giving had to do with the warrior god Zababa remains, however, unclear. Zababa’s
main sanctuary was in Kiš, where it seems that he had his own Akītu house.80 Together
with other deities, he participated in the procession to the Akītu house in Babylon,81
and under Sennacherib, he also received a place in the Akītu house in Aššur.82 None of
this fully explains, however, why the commentary singles him out in the entry at hand.
The second explanation, attested only in Z and ascribed to “another tablet,” is easier to
understand: É-sískur, the central element of Marduk’s name Dingir-Esiskur, which is
mentioned in Enūma eliš VII 109, was the name of the Akītu house in Babylon, the place
where Marduk received his presents.
55′. Lambert considered this entry a comment on Enūma eliš VII 112: mamman ina
bališu lā ibanni niklātu “No one but he creates artful things.” Our assumption that it
comments instead on Enūma eliš VII 113 follows a suggestion by U. Gabbay (pers.
comm.), who points out that the commentator may have associated the “four (regions)”
with the circle(?) of the bārû. A much better explanation for the reference to this rather
mysterious circle, attested in a few extispicy-related texts,83 is indeed not at hand, and
it is worth mentioning that the exorcistic text “Marduk’s Address to the Demons” calls
Marduk-Asalluḫi lúhal kib-ra-a-[ti] “diviner of the (four) quarters.”84 Perhaps the expla-
nation also had a cultic background. According to the ritual text TU 39, r. 1–3, priests of
the god Adad performed an extispicy on the ninth day of Tašrītu during the Akītu festi-

76 For other attestations of ina šurru, see CAD Š/3, 358a. Note that Lambert reads ina sur-
ru.
77 See M. Krebernik, “Mār-bīti,” RlA 7 (1987/1990): 355–356.
78 See George, Topographical Texts, 304 (see n. 69) and Pongratz-Leisten, Ina šulmi īrub,
255–256 (see n. 5).
79 For details, see Zgoll, “Königslauf,” 39–40 (see n. 5).
80 Pongratz-Leisten, Ina šulmi īrub, 72 (see n. 5).
81 Ibid., 133–134.
82 Ibid., 116–117 and 127.
83 See CAD S, 190–191, 414–415.
84 See M. J.  Geller, Evil Demons: Canonical Utukkū Lemnūtu Incantations (SAACT 5; Hel-
sinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2007), 155, 234, excerpt 3:5.

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 327

val in Uruk,85 and it cannot be excluded that something similar happened in Babylon on
the ninth day of Nisannu.86 An earlier reference to Marduk’s connection with extispicy
is found in line 44′ of our commentary.
56′. All available Enūma eliš manuscripts have iʾaddâ here instead of ilammad. The com-
ment, which seems to continue that of the previous line, matches nicely the epic’s praise
of Marduk’s abilities as a clairvoyant. The writing udugá×sar instead of udugá×sila4(pa)
is highly unusual.
57′. As already pointed out (see above line 38′a), Enūma eliš VII 135, discussed only
in MS Z, is quoted there out of sequence. The equations of the rare words ašru “firma-
ment” and danninu “ground” with šamāmū “heaven” and erṣetu “earth” are also attested
in the commentary on Marduk’s names (Lambert, Creation Myths, 142 [see n. 10]) and
may derive from there.87 For a more detailed discussion of Enūma eliš VII 121 and the
comment on this line, see Frahm, “Creation and the Divine Spirit,” 107–109 (see n. 23),
where it is argued that the equation of mummu with rigmu “noise” may have been moti-
vated by the occurrence of the word rigmu in the previous line, Enūma eliš VII 120, and
the entry mu7-mu7 = rigmu in the lexical series Diri (I 56). The equation may not reflect
the actual meaning mummu has in VII 121.
58′. The line commented on deals with Marduk’s planetary aspects. The commentary,
however, claims its true meaning is that Marduk is in charge of “the beginning and the
end,”88 and that the other gods all worship him. kunsaggû, a rare loanword from Sumer-
ian that includes the elements kun “tail” and sag “head,” is explained in etymologizing
fashion as re-e-šu ar-ka-tu (lit., “head and rear end”), an equation that is also attested
in the commentary on Marduk’s names (Lambert, Creation Myths, 142 [see n. 10]). To
establish that palāsu “to gaze” actually means “to worship,” the commentator engages in
some creative philology as well. He quotes a similar-sounding word, balāṣu “to stare”
(mistakenly rendered la-ba-ṣu), points out that it can be written kir4.šu.gál, and then
declares that the same logogram can also be read as labān appi “to pray.” The two equa-
tions may derive from the lexical series Nabnītu, where they occur in VII 173 and XVII
222, respectively (MSL 16, 110, 162).
59′. The equation of the exclamation(?) mā with māru “son” is also attested in the com-
mentary on Marduk’s names, in the entry on VII 128 (Lambert, Creation Myths, 142 [see
n. 10]). For a discussion of the meaning of the numeral 50 and of dbad (a writing also
attested in line 38′a), see Matsushima, “Cinquante noms,” 55–64 (see n. 11). The com-
ment explicitly acknowledges the link between Marduk, the numeral 50, and the god
Enlil, which is only implied in the epic.
59′a. MS y is the only manuscript commenting on Enūma eliš VII 147 – provided the
line is correctly restored. If we assume that this excerpt tablet had a didactic purpose, it
would be easy to understand why its last entry deals with the statement that a father was
required to teach Enūma eliš to his son.

85 Linssen, Cults, 187, 190 (see n. 5).


86 Thus Zgoll, “Königslauf,” 39 (see n. 5).
87 They are, however, also attested in the lexical tradition – ašru = šamû, for instance,
occurs in Malku II 104 (Hrůša, malku, 59–60 [see n. 21]). See the dictionaries s.vv.
88 The explanation brings to mind Rev 22:13: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and
the last, the beginning and the end” (ἐγὼ τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ, ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, ἡ
ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος).

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328 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

60′. MS Z ends with an intriguing catchline that seems to provide the incipit of a com-
mentary on yet another mythological text – apparently, our Enūma eliš commentary was
part of a commentary series that used the same hermeneutic terms (note kī qabû at the
end of the line) and methods throughout. Until now, the exact nature of the text com-
mented on in the catchline has remained obscure.89 However, several years ago Da Riva
and Frahm, “Šamaš-šumu-ukīn,” 181–182 (see n. 31) noted some similarities between
the catchline and the so-called “Love Lyrics,”90 an erotic ritual known from Late Assyr-
ian and Babylonian texts that centered around a ménage-à-trois between Marduk, his
wife Zarpanītu, and his mistress Ištar of Babylon, with Bēlet-Ninua playing some role as
well. The term kinayyātu/ qīnayātu, which occurs in the catchline to explain Bēlet-ilī’s
“jealousy” (qīnu),91 is also attested in the “Love Lyrics,” and like the latter, our catchline
seems to describe interactions between a male deity and two female ones, even though
the latter have different names. The instructions available for the “Love Lyrics” indicate
that they were ritually enacted in the month of Duʾūzu and at other times.92
New evidence for the identification of the text quoted and explained in the catchline
comes from an entry in OECT 11 69+70, an expository text on the cultic calendar of
Nippur. Here we read in i 40′–41′:
¶ ina simāni(itisig4) ultu(ta) u4.⸢15.kám⸣ adi(en) [u4.n.kám] x x na a x x x
(perhaps ⸢ki⸣-na-a-⸢a-ti⸣ (…)?)  / Bēlet-ilī(dingir.mah) a-na dšu!(ku)-zi-an-na
mārat(dumumunus) d+en-me-šár-ra ⸢iq-ni⸣
In Simanu (III), from the 15th day to [the n-th day] … kinayyātu / qīnayātu-rites(?)
…  / (it is because) Bēlet-ilī was jealous of Šuzianna, daughter of Enmešarra.
Most likely, the myth-and-ritual complex alluded to in this entry represents an early
Nippur version of the “Love Lyrics.” An unpublished esoteric calendar text exploring
myths and rituals associated with Babylon includes a section about an enactment of the

89 See Lambert, Creation Myths, 138 (see n. 10): “so far unidentified.”
90 For an edition of some of the relevant manuscripts, see W. G. Lambert, “The Problem of
the Love Lyrics,” in Unity and Diversity. Essays in the History, Literature, and Religion of
the Ancient Near East (ed. H. Goedicke and J. J. M. Roberts; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1975), 98–135, here 98–135. In the meantime, new manuscripts of the
“Love Lyrics” have been identified in the British Museum.
91 In view of the context, it seems preferable to read qí-nu instead of qinnu “nest / fam-
ily” (the latter reading is proposed in CAD Q, 258b, followed by Da Riva and Frahm,
“Šamaš-šumu-ukīn,” 181 [see n. 31]), even though one cannot exclude that the word
was meant to prompt associations with both meanings. For the word qīnu “jealousy,”
which the dictionaries ignore, see E. Frahm, “Warum die Brüder Böses planten. Über-
legungen zu einer alten Crux in Asarhaddons ‘Ninive A’-Inschrift,” in Philologisches und
Historisches zwischen Anatolien und Sokotra: Analecta Semitica in Memoriam Alexander
Sima (ed. W. Arnold et al.; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009), 27–49, here 34–41.
92 It is not impossible that a ritual of the “Love Lyrics” type also took place on the eleventh
day of Nisannu, when according to a calendar text from the Seleucid period a wedding
ceremony (ḫadaššūtu) between Marduk and Zarpanītu (?) was celebrated, probably in
the Esagil after the return from the Akītu house. See Linssen, Cults, 71, 84–85 (see n. 5);
Zgoll, “Königslauf,” 41 (see n. 5).

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 329

“Love Lyrics” in the month of Abu (V) that states explicitly that these rites went back to
similar ones performed in Nippur.93
The deities mentioned in OECT 11 69+70 are more closely related to the ones men-
tioned in our catchline than to those featured in the amorous rituals described in the
“Love Lyrics” published by Lambert. Bēlet-ilī appears as the jealous goddess both in
the catchline and the calendar text, and Bēlet-ṣēri, the goddess causing Bēlet-ilī’s jeal-
ous feelings in the text quoted in the catchline, may well be an Akkadianized form of
Šuzianna, perhaps via the identification of the latter with Geštinanna  – with whom
Bēlet-ṣēri was repeatedly equated.94 The philandering god involved in all these affairs
must have been Enlil. This is suggested by the god-list An = Anum, which mentions
Šuzianna as a concubine (dam-bàn-da) of Enlil (I 184), while presenting Bēlet-ilī (who
is identified with dSig4-za-gìn-na) as the god’s wife (I 186) – a role traditionally held by
Ninlil or Sud.95
An unsolvable problem, for the time being, is the correct interpretation of the sign
sequence dingir a-pa-tu4, which in the catchline precedes Bēlet-ṣēri’s name. Reyn-
olds, in her dissertation (Esoteric Babylonian Learning, 278–279 [see n. 93]), read it
as da-ḫat-tu4 and translated “and Aḫattum looked at Bēlet-ṣēri and approached her.”
Aḫattum, according to Reynolds, is Enlil’s divine sister (aḫātu) Bēlet-ilī. However, in our
view, this is unlikely. As already pointed out in Da Riva and Frahm, “Šamaš-šumu-ukīn,”
181 (see n. 31), BM 40090+, one of the manuscripts of the “Love Lyrics,” includes in iv
33, in broken context, the words dingirmeš a-pa-a-tú, shortly before a reference to ki-
na-a-a-tú. This must be the same lemma as our dingir a-pa-tu4, and the way it is writ-
ten precludes a reading aḫattu. What dingir a-pa-tu4 actually means remains obscure.
In sum, then, it seems that the mythological text referenced in our catchline deals with
the erotic tensions that existed between Bēlet-ilī, Bēlet-ṣēri/Šuzianna, and Enlil. Later,
in the “Love Lyrics,” these three were transformed into the main deities of Babylon. Enlil
became Marduk, Bēlet-ilī Zarpanītu, and Šuzianna Ištar of Babylon. That some Meso-
potamian theologians considered the two last goddesses as one and the same is dem-
onstrated by the explanatory god-list K 1451: 1 (CT 25, 49), which identifies Šuzianna
as Bēlet-Bābili, “the mistress of Babylon,” who is identical with Ištar of Babylon, the dea
meretrix of the “Love Lyrics.”96
An unpublished small fragment from Nineveh, K 13705, offers in line 2′ [… k]i/[q]í-na-
a-a-ti qa-bi, but whether it is an actual manuscript of the commentary whose incipit our
catchline provides remains doubtful.

93 See F. Reynolds, Esoteric Babylonian Learning: A First Millennium Calendar Text (PhD
Diss.: Birmingham, 1994), 22–25 (IV 21′–23′) and 266–271. Reynolds’s study has
become available to us only recently.
94 Note, moreover, that both Šuzianna, as the daughter of Enmešarra, and Bēlet-ṣēri were
associated with the netherworld.
95 See R. L.  Litke, A Reconstruction of the Assyro-Babylonian God-Lists. AN : da-nu-um and
AN : Anu šá amēli (TBC 3; New Haven: Yale Babylonian Collection, 1998), 41. Note,
moreover, that the aforementioned calendar text (OECT 11, 69+70) points to a festi-
val of Ištar in Ayyāru (II) during which Enlil and Šuzianna had sexual intercourse (I
12′–16′).
96 See M. Krebernik, “Šuzi-ana,” RlA 13 (2011/2012): 377–379.

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330 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

General Remarks on the Commentary

Our commentary explains lines from all seven tablets of the epic. The fol-
lowing overview shows which lines from the base text are explored in the
various commentary MSS:
Present Absent Broken Present Absent Broken
I1 [Z]x y XYΩWVz V 64 y Y? ZXΩWVxz
I3 Z xy XYΩWVz V 70 Yy ZXΩWVxz
I4 Zxz y XYΩWV V 83 y Y ZXΩWVxz
I6 Zz y XYΩWVx V 84 y Y ZXΩWVxz
I 33 Zz y XYΩWVx V 90? Y y ZXΩWVxz
I 36 Z y XYΩWVxz V 95 Y y ZXΩWVxz
I 76 Z y XYΩWVxz V 101 Y y ZXΩWVxz
I 86 Z y XYΩWVxz V… y ZXYΩWVxz
I 103 Zy XYΩWVxz V? Ω?z y ZXYWVx
I 121 Z y XYΩWVxz V 157 Ω?z y ZXYWVx
I 122 Z y XYΩWVxz VI 89 X?Ω?yz ZYWVx
I 139 Z y XYΩWVxz VI 94 X Ωyz ZYWVx
I 159 Z y XYΩWVxz VI 132 XY Ωyz ZWVx
II 1 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 1 [X?Y?]ΩWyz ZVx
II 130 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 2 XYΩWz y ZVx
III 53 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 9 XYΩWyz ZVx
III 54 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 35 XYΩWz y ZVx
III 55 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 41 Ω yz ZXYWVx
III 134 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 53 XYΩ Wyz ZVx
III 135 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 57 YWz y ZXΩVx
IV 46 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 67 [Y]Wz y ZXΩVx
IV 47 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 70 YVyz ZXΩWx
IV 62 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 77 [Z]YVz y XΩWx
IV 113 Zy XYΩWVxz VII 92 ZYVz y XΩW
IV 114 Z[y] XYΩWVxz VII 97 ZYVz y XΩWx
IV 124 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 98 ZVz y XYΩWx
IV 131 Zy XYΩWVxz VII 108 ZV y XYΩWxz
IV 132 Zy XYΩWVxz VII 109 ZV y XYΩWxz
IV 140 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 110 ZV y XYΩWxz
IV 144 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 113 Z Vy XYΩWxz
V 21 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 114 Z Vy XYΩWxz
V 22 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 121 ZV y XYΩWxz
V 24 Z y XYΩWVxz VII 127 ZV y XYΩWxz
V 25 ZY ? y XΩWVxz VII 135 Z Vy XYΩWxz
V 33 Y y ZXΩWVxz VII 139 ZV y XYΩWxz
V 55 Y y ZXΩWVxz VII 144 ZV y XYΩWxz
V 59 Y y ZXΩWVxz VII 147 y Z XYΩWVxz

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 331

Enūma eliš has a total of 1096 lines, of which the commentary explains 73+n
(= 6.7+n%).97 Some of the seven tablets of the epic receive significantly more
attention than others. Enūma eliš I has 162 lines, of which 13 (= 8 %) are
explained in the commentary. The ratios for the other tablets are: Ee II: 162/2
(= 1.2 %), Ee III: 138/5 (= 3.6 %), Ee IV: 146/10 (= 6.8 %), Ee V: 158/16+n (=
10.1+n%), Ee VI: 166/3 (= 1.8 %), Ee VII: 164/24 (= 14.6 %). These statis-
tics indicate that the commentator was less interested in exploring the story
told in Enūma eliš than in elucidating some of the epic’s more technical and
esoteric features, including the descriptions of cosmic geography in the first
lines of tablet I, in IV 144, and in tablet V, and the Sumerianizing names of
Marduk in tablet VII (which are the sole topic of the well-known commen-
tary on Marduk’s names).98
The thoroughly scholarly character of our commentary is also apparent
from the hermeneutic techniques it uses, which are those well known from
Babylonian and Assyrian commentaries on divinatory, medical, and lexical
texts.99 On the one hand, we find what can be dubbed “philological” expla-
nations. These are represented by either Akkadian synonyms for difficult
words, often quoted from synonym lists such as Malku (lines 1–4, 9–11, 18,
22, 41′a, 42′, 57′–59′), or more complex explorations of individual lemmata
drawn from Sumero-Akkadian lexical lists (lines 12, 17, 23(?), 38′a, 39′, 44′,
50′, 58′). Explanations based on “speculative philology” are found in line 18
(arsu/šīrīsu > mersu) and line 48′ (malāḫša > luḫšû).100 Gematria, the crea-
tive interpretation of numbers, is behind explanations in lines 37′(?), 50′,
and 59′. Many other explanations draw on “symbolic” associations – a case
in point are the entries that interpret references to the winds as pertaining
to cultic races (lines 23, 52′). Technical terms employed by the commentator
include aššu “because of ” (lines 23, 43′, 45′, 52′ 53′, 60′) and kī qabû “this is
what it means” (lines 5, 43′ 48′, 52′, 53′, 60′). Separating cola (“Glossenkeile”)
are used only sparingly but occur (in some manuscripts) in lines 1, 2, 4, 8,
26, 41′, 43′, 47′, 57′.
One of the main hermeneutic objectives pursued by the commenta-
tor is clarifying rare words or expressions, such as qudmu “front,” which is
explained as maḫru “front side” in line 4. Occasionally, for example in line

 97 The gap that exists between the comments on Enūma eliš V 101 and those on V 157
can hardly have included more than ten entries and was probably much smaller.
 98 Other recurring themes attracting commentarial attention include divine feasting
(lines 17–18, 42′, 46′), the winds (lines 19, 23, 52′), and gift-giving (lines 33, 33a and
b, 41′).
 99 For an overview, see Frahm, Text Commentaries, 59–85 (see n. 6).
100 See also the note on line 5.

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332 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

9, such equations are used to provide complex images with paraphrases in


plain language.
More intriguing are commentarial efforts aimed at creating additional
layers of meaning, often through symbolic association. In many cases,
these efforts seek to demonstrate, in the spirit of a “myth and ritual school”
approach, that individual verses from the epic refer to specific cultic acts,
some of which are associated with concrete dates. Lines 13–16 of the com-
mentary seem to refer to rituals performed in Addaru (XII): a lilissu-kettle-
drum is placed before Ea on the [nth] day of the month (line 13), the god
Madānu travels to Ḫursagkalama (line 14), a chariot goes back and forth
(line 15), and something happens with the god Bēl (line 16). Line 23 refers to
a cultic race on day 4 of Kislīmu (IX). There are also several references to the
month of Nisannu (I), when the Akītu festival was held. Line 45′ mentions
something that happens in Babylon in that month, line 49′ talks about Nabû
sitting on the Dais of Destinies on days 6 and 11, and lines 53′ and 54′ refer
to presents being given between day 6 and day 12, as well as Bēl’s entrance
into the Akītu (house) on day 8 of Nisannu.
Other commentary entries seem to reference specific cultic rituals as well
but are so broken that it is impossible to establish the details: line 33 men-
tions the god Ea, line 33b refers to a fire on day 18 of a month whose name
is lost, line 43′ deals with unnamed deities in Babylon, line 45′ with a pro-
cession of Marduk(?), line 52′ with a cultic race of Mār-bīti of Ešnunna, and
the catchline (60′) mentions kinayyātu /qīnayātu rites. We find, moreover,
references to cultic accoutrements like the agubbû-vessel (line 5), a royal
belt(?) (line 8), and a wreath (line 24?), to priestly professions (line 48′), and
to locations of cultic activities (line 21: abul šarri).
Some explanations seem to be theological in character, even though a cul-
tic background is again not excluded. Line 7 links a verse about Marduk’s
nurse to the goddess Bēlet-Ninua, line 47′ mentions Marduk and the sea,
line 51′ deals with Nabû and his relationship to Marduk, and line 53′ alludes
to the god Zababa of Kiš. A cosmological agenda is behind an explanation
in line 25 about the location of Ešarra (see also the explanations of gipāru
in line 3 and ašru and danninu in line 57′). Explanations with a “scientific”
background include line 27, on the position of the sun and the moon at the
end of the month, and line 44′, 55′, and 56′, which allude to the divinatory
discipline of extispicy.
The nature of the explanations suggests that the scholar who composed
the commentary had a priestly background and a deep knowledge of various
learned disciplines. He was familiar with the Mesopotamian lexical corpus,
the cultic calendars and religious traditions of several Mesopotamian cities,

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 333

and the crafts of the lamentation priest (see line 13), the astronomer, and
the diviner. It is feasible that he was an ummânu, as preeminent scholars in
first millennium b.c.e. Assyria and Babylonia were called. Yet exactly when
and where he lived and worked remains unclear. That he spent all his life in
Babylon seems unlikely, first because none of the manuscripts of the com-
mentary were found in Babylon, and second because of the references to
various deities associated with cities other than Babylon and Borsippa (Ištar
of Nineveh, Zababa of Kiš, Mār-bīti of Ešnunna). Perhaps the commentator
hailed from some cult center in the eastern Tigris region, possibly Nippur
(see the notes on lines 24 and 60′ of the commentary), was steeped in the
theology of Babylon, and composed the commentary in Assyria. All of this,
however, is very uncertain. It should be noted that the commentary does not
include any of the heterodox polemics that characterize the Assyrian “Mar-
duk Ordeal,” a deeply anti-Babylonian treatise, even though two of its entries
show conspicuous similarities with this text (see the notes on lines 7 and 23).
It is feasible that our main manuscript, Z, and possibly also X, Y (and Ω?),
belong to a slightly revised version of the original text of the commentary,
which may be represented by MSS W, from Nineveh, and z, from Sippar.101
This is suggested by the fact that Z attributes two of its explanations (which
are apparently not included in any other MS) to the authority of “another
tablet” (lines 48′(?) and 54′) and adds a comment on Enūma eliš VII 135
(which might have been drawn from the commentary on Marduk’s names)
in the wrong position (line 57′).102 However, due to the poor preservation of
all the pieces, and the problem that the dates of the Sippar fragments remain
unknown, no reliable stemma can be set up for the various manuscripts.
We can say, in conclusion, that the commentary edited and discussed in
the previous pages is a highly sophisticated scholarly treatise, with a particu-
lar focus on establishing links between Enūma eliš and a number of cultic
rituals. It is written in the spirit of the Mesopotamian koine and not from
the Babylon-centric perspective inherent in the epic itself. By prominently
featuring deities such as Ištar of Nineveh, Nabû, Madānu, and Zababa, the
commentary challenges the demythologizing tendencies of Enūma eliš, with
its insistence that Marduk alone is in charge, promoting instead a remy-
thologization of Mesopotamian religion. All this may help explain why the
commentary was studied in Nineveh, Aššur, and Sippar, but as far as we
know had no major, long-term impact on the religious and scholarly life of
Babylon.
101 MS V may belong to this earlier tradition as well, but adds a comment in line 51′.
102 This also happens in MS Ω, if correctly identified as an Enūma eliš commentary (see
line 38′a).

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334 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

3. A mytho-etymological treatise on the Elamite month names

The commentary on Enūma eliš I–VII edited above and the one on the sev-
enth tablet of the epic are the only known commentaries that analyze the
epic in a systematic fashion. However, many treatises are known that dis-
cuss the characters and explore the actions narrated in the epic in a more
general way, often doing so in the spirit of the above edited commentary by
relating them to ritual, astrological, or historical events. These treatises have
been termed “mystical,” “cultic,” “learned,” or “esoteric,” and their relation-
ship with Enūma eliš is much looser than that of the two text commentaries.
Although commentaries of this second type are usually concerned with the
spirit rather than letter of the epic, there are some striking cases of intertex-
tuality with the two text commentaries – sometimes they explain the same
passages by referring to the same cultic events. For instance, in both the
commentary on Ee I–VII and the so-called “Marduk Ordeal” references to
the wind as harbinger are associated with a particular type of cultic race.103
Moreover, the “mystical commentaries” occasionally quote lines from the
epic and relate them to the explananda by means of the same hermeneutic
techniques highlighted above. These techniques are used, for instance, in a
treatise that may be styled a “mythological almanac” – it groups heteroge-
neous mythological, historical, cultic, and astrological events according to
the months in which they occur.104 In that text – which contains quotations
from Enūma eliš, even though the epic is often cited in a rather vague or
inaccurate fashion – the line Ee IV 110 (mul-mul is-suk!(si)-ma i[ḫ-te-pi ka-
ras-sa], “he [sc. Marduk] shot an arrow that pierced her [sc. Tiamat’s] belly”)
is cited in the section corresponding to Ayyāru.105 The reason for this is the
103 See the note on line 23 above.
104 The text is known from four Babylonian manuscripts, all of them apparently dating to
the Hellenistic period: BM 35188+ (see Lambert, Creation Myths, 8–9 [see n. 10]), BM
35407+ (see ibid., 209), BM 45657 (known to us in a Strassmaier copy kindly made
available by C. B. F. Walker), and BM 55466+ (L. W. King, The Seven Tablets of Crea-
tion (London: Luzac, 1902), pl. lxvii–lxxii, see B. Landsberger, “Ein astralmythologis-
cher Kommentar aus der Spätzeit babylonischer Gelehrsamkeit,” AfK 1 (1923): 69–78;
and F. Reynolds, “Stellar Representations of Tiāmat and Qingu in a Learned Calendar
Text,” in Languages and Cultures in Contact. At the Crossroads of Civilizations in the
Syro-Mesopotamian Realm. Proceedings of the 42th RAI (ed. K. Van Lerberghe and
G. Voet; OLA 96; Leuven: Peeters, 1999), 369–378). See also J. Koch, “Ein astralmy-
thologischer Bericht aus der Zeit der Diadochenkämpfe,” JCS 56 (2004): 105–126;
J. Koch, “Neues vom astralmythologischen Bericht BM 55466+,” JCS 58 (2006): 123–
135; and Frahm, Text Commentaries, 116 (see n. 6). The text will be published in full
by F. Reynolds.
105 BM 55466+ o 1′ (STC 2 pl. lxvii–lxxii, photo in Koch, “Bericht,” 106 [see n. 104]), read
after Landsberger, “Kommentar,” 72–73 (see n. 104).

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 335

traditional association of that month with the Pleiades, a constellation whose


name (mul.mul) can be written with the same signs as the word mulmullu
“arrow.”106
In order to gain a fuller understanding of the ancient discourses stim-
ulated by the Epic of Creation, it is important to study not only the text
commentaries, but also the related “mystical” treatises. For this reason, an
edition of a “mystical” commentary is offered in the following pages, as a
counterpart to the commentary on Ee I–VIII. The text in question aims to
explain, primarily by means of etymological association, the Elamite names
of the months. To do so, it first equates them with their Babylonian coun-
terparts and then points to a cultic or mythological event that corroborates
the equation. The structure of each entry could thus be paraphrased as “x
(equals) y, (as demonstrated by) z,” where x stands for an Elamite month
name, y for a Babylonian one, and z for an explanation aiming to prove the
equivalence. The explanations appended to the equations, most of which
are introduced by means of the technical term aššu, “on account of,” refer
to mythological events that are said to have occurred in the month in ques-
tion and are somehow etymologically related to the Elamite name of the
month. For instance, the Elamite month name Tamḫīri is equated with the
Babylonian month name Ṭebētu (X), and this equation is justified “because
(aššu) in Ṭebētu [Dumuzi] rises and the people of the land [bring] offer-
ings (maḫḫuru) to him”: the “offerings” (maḫḫuru) in the explanation thus
provide a ‘mythological etymology’ for the similarly sounding month name
Tamḫīri.
The explanations make occasional use of quotations from literary texts,
which are intended to substantiate the equation of an Elamite with a Baby-
lonian month. The identifiable quotations come from Enūma eliš (A o 15)
and Lugale (A o 11 and B r 3′–4′, the latter mentions its source explicitly).
Mythologems outlined in both poems, as well as in other Mesopotamian
texts, also feature in the commentary’s explanations in a more general way.
For instance, Marduk’s capture of Tiamat and the rebel gods is referred to
in A o 4–5 and A o 7; his assumption of divine sovereignty is mentioned in
A o 3 and B r 11′.
The text is preserved in two manuscripts, one of which was previously
unidentified and is published here for the first time. The new tablet, MS A
(BM 47554), belongs to the 81–11–3 consignment, which stems from Ras-

106 On the association between the Pleiades and Ayyāru, see e. g. W. Horowitz, Mesopo-
tamian Cosmic Geography (MC 8; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1998), 160.

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336 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

sam’s excavations at Babylon and Borsippa.107 According to its badly dam-


aged colophon, it was copied by a scribe of the Ḫaṭṭu-ēreš family, whose
members were active mainly in Borsippa especially during the Neo-Babylo-
nian and Achaemenid periods.108
MS B, which was found at Kuyunjik, is one of the very few Babylonian tab-
lets that mention in their colophons an Assyrian Vorlage.109 The colophon
also mentions that the tablet was owned by a son of Ea-pattāni. A son of this
scribe, a certain Nabû-nāṣir, is in fact known as the scribe who wrote the
Vorlage of one of the few known tablet written by the scribe Nabû-zuqup-
kēnu in Babylonian script, K.75 (CCP 3.1.5.A). This fact suggests that some
members of the Ea-pattāni family may have been contemporaries of Nabû-
zuqup-kēnu.
Elamite month names appear frequently in first millennium astrologi-
cal texts110 and astrological reports alike,111 and astrological omens featur-
ing them are occasionally dealt with in Mesopotamian commentaries.112

107 See Reade apud Leichty, Sippar, xxxii (see n. 16). The tablet is known to us from a list
of potential commentary tablets kindly made available by Christopher Walker. In that
list the text was classified as “Rel Comm.”
108 See R. Zadok, “Notes on Borsippean Documentation of the 8th–5th Centuries BC,”
Israel Oriental Studies 18 (1998): 249–296, here 280; and C. Wunsch, “Babylonische
Familiennamen,” in Babylonien und seine Nachbarn in neu‑ und spätbabylonischer
Zeit. Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium aus Anlass des 75. Geburtstags von Joachim Oels-
ner (ed. M. Krebernik and H. Neumann; AOAT 369; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2014),
289–314, here 305. Note that the last line of the tablet is written in a somewhat differ-
ent, fainter script, and was probably added at a later stage, perhaps when it was incor-
porated into a library in Babylon.
109 A colophon with a similar wording can be found in another Babylonian tablet found
at Kuyunjik, the extispicy commentary K.9872 (CCP 3.4.8.O): ta šà gišle9-e gaba.ri
kur
aš-šurki zi-ma è, “copied and collated from a writing board whose original was from
Assyria.” See Frahm, Text Commentaries, 267 n. 1268 (see n. 6).
110 See E. Reiner, “Inscription from a Royal Elamite Tomb,” Archiv für Orientforschung 24
(1973): 87–102, here 97 and 100; H. Hunger and E. Reiner, “A scheme for intercalary
months from Babylonia,” Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 67 (1975):
21–28; and G. P. Basello, “Babylonia and Elam, the Evidence of the Calendars,” in Ide-
ologies as Intercultural Phenomena. Proceedings of the Third Annual Symposium of the
Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage Project (ed. A. Panaino and G. Pettinato;
Melammu Symposia 3; Milano: Università di Bologna & IsIao, 2002), 13–36, here 22.
111 See P. Villard, “Un rapport astrologique du Louvre,” in Marchands, Diplomates et
Empereurs. Études sur la Civilisation Mésopotamienne offertes à Paul Garelli (ed.
D. Charpin and F. Joannès; Paris: Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1991), 129–136, here
132–133; and H. Hunger, Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings (SAA 8; Helsinki: Hel-
sinki University Press, 1992), no. 112 and no. 298.
112 E. g. in K.2907+ §VII 7 (E. Reiner and D. Pingree, Babylonian Planetary Omens: Part
Three [CM 11; Groningen: Styx, 1998], 134–135, CCP 3.1.58.A.c), itila-lu-bé-e itidu6
itiše-bu-ti itiapin, “lalubû is Tašrītu (VII), šebūti is Araḫsamna (VIII).”

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 337

In addition, Elamite months appear occasionally in royal inscriptions of


Sennacherib as well as of Esarhaddon,113 perhaps as a conscious attempt to
avoid the use of the Babylonian calendar.114 In view of the popularity of the
Elamite calendar during these two kings’ reigns and, more importantly, of
the mention of an Assyrian Vorlage in Ea-pattāni’s colophon, it seems pos-
sible that the present treatise was an Assyrian creation that found its way
into Babylonia.115

***

Although it seems certain that both tablets contain different sections of one
and the same treatise, there is no definite overlapping between MS A and
MS B.116 Moreover, since the left-hand side of MS A is missing, not a single
Elamite month name is preserved in that manuscript. In view of these fac-
tors, the joint study of both tablets requires some caution. For this reason,
they are presented here consecutively, rather than combined in a score edi-
tion. MS A is published here for the first time, courtesy of the Trustees of
the British Museum. MS B was published by Reiner; the edition below fol-
lows Reiner’s closely but contains some new readings obtained by collation
(especially line B r. 9′).117

113 See E. Frahm, Einleitung in die Sanherib-Inschriften (Archiv für Orientforschung Bei-
heft 26; Wien: Institut für Orientalistik, 1997), 9.
114 As suggested by Cohen, Cultic Calendars, 299 (see n. 71); A. R. Millard, The Eponyms
of the Assyrian Empire 910–612 BC (SAAS 2; Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus
Project, 1994), 66; and A. Cavigneaux and V. Donbaz, “Le mythe du 7.VII. Les jours
fatidiques et le Kippour mésopotamiens,” OrNS 76 (2007): 293–335, here 318.
115 Note that line A o 16 might feature an Assyrianism (taš-ku-nu for 3 fs.). However, the
form could also be interpreted as an Aramaism: see Çağirgan and Lambert, “Kislimu
Ritual,” 90a (see n. 56), who take as Aramaisms the t‑ 3 fs verbal forms that appear in
BM 32206+, a text describing the rituals of Kislīmu.
116 The first words of the badly damaged portion of MS b fit well with section § 1 of MS
a. However, the poorly preserved last signs before the colophon in MS a do not seem
to correspond to the last section of MS b (the line division may have been different in
both MSS, perhaps r 2′ in MS a could be reconstructed as [… hul lem-n]u to fit MS
b).
117 The relationship of the treatise studied here with the unpublished tablet BM 66141+
remains to be studied. The latter is an Achaemenid tablet written by Nabû-kuṣuršu
s. Bēl-erība d. Ḫuṣābu, which according to its rubric would be the “first extract” (pir-
ṣisic maḫ-ru-ú) of a text whose incipit is itibára.sag.sag (i. e., the Elamite name of the
first month). It features Elamite month names as well as mythological events, and the
catchline reads ¶ itidu6.kù lul-lu-bé-e dlugal-du6-kù-ga itia-d[a-ri …].

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338 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

A BM 47554 (81–11–3, 259), copy on p. 342.


B Rm 2, 127, photograph in Reiner, “Inscription,” 101–102 (see n. 110),
edition ibid. and as CCP 3.9.1.

A
§ 1 A o. 1. [ bar.sag.sag nisannu( bára.zag].⸢gar⸣) ⸢bára⸣ lugal damar.
iti iti

utu sag re-e-šú


2. [ina re-eš šatti(mu.an.na) (?)] ⸢d⸣amar.utu ina lìb-bi
3. [o o o (o) šar-r]u?-ú-tu il-qu-ú
§ 1b 4. [itiša-ba-ṭi nisannu(itibá]ra) áš-šú damar.utu ilī(dingirmeš) la ma-gi-
ri-šú
5. [šá ina o o (o) i]z-zi-zu ik-me-šu-nu-ti-ma!(GIŠ)
6. [o o o o (o)]-ma a-na á-ki-ti il-li-ku
§ 2 7. [itia-da-ri (?) ayyāru(it]igu4) áš-šú tam-tim šá ik-mu-ú
8. [o o o o (o)] ki-i i-pu-šú
§ 3 9. [itiše-ri-ʾi-ebur simānu(it]isig4) áš-šú e-ṣe-di
10. [ebūru(ebur) ina simāni(itisig4)] in-ne-ṣi-du
11. [lìb-bu-ú (?) ki-šá-du la ma-gi-r]i ki-ma še-im i-ṣi-du
§ 4 12. [itipi-ti-ká duʾūzu(itišu) áš-š]ú ina duʾūzu(itišu) u4.13.kamv
13. […]-ú ù šamaš(dutu)
14. [… šamaš(dut]u) ippuḫa(kur-ḫa)
15. [… šu-ta]q-ri-ba-ma di-na di-i-na
§ 5 16. [itidingir.mah abu(itin]e) áš-šú dbe-let-ilī(dingirmeš)
17. [šá ina abi(itine) (?) …] ⸢ù⸣ bi-ki-tum taš-ku-nu
§ 6 18. [itia-bi elūlu(itikin(.dinnin.na)) …] sîn(d30)
19. […] diš-tar
20. [… d]⸢í⸣-gì-gì ki-i id-ku-⸢ú⸣
§ 7 21. [la-lu-bé-e tašrītu(itidu6) la-l]u-bé-e bi-k[i-tum (?)]
22. [… dluga]l-du6-kù-[ga]

(undetermined number of lines missing)

A r. 1′. […] x
2′. […-n]u
3′. […-t]i
4′. […-t]um
5′. […-n]u?
6′. […] sîn(⸢d⸣30)
7′. [… šaṭir-ma ba]-rì

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 339

8′. […] x mār(a) mḫaṭṭu(gišníg.gidru)-ēreš(kamv)


9′. […] bābilu(tin.tirki)

B
§ 1 B o. 1. itibar.sag.sag nisannu(itibára.zag.gar) [o o o o o o o (o)]
§ 1b 2. itiša-ba-ṭi nisannu(iti⸢bára.zag.gar⸣) [o o o o o o o (o)]
3. x x x x x [o o o o o o o o o o o (o)]
(at least ten lines missing)
§ 8 B l. 1. itiše-bu-ti itiapin.du8.a [o o o (o o)]
§ 9 B r. 2. itiab.sín-uru4-ši kislīmu(itigan.gan.[è]) áš-šú šerʾi(a[b.sín) (?) o
o o o]
3.  er-re-šu epinni(gišapin) elleti(kù-tim) šá tu-lu-[o o o (o o)]
4.  ša ina lìb-bi lugal.e ud me.lem4.bi nir.⸢gál⸣ [qa-bu-ú]
§ 10 5. ititam-ḫi-ri ṭebētu(itiab.ba.è) áš-šú ina ṭebēti(itiab.ba.è) [o o o (o
o)]
6.  i-lam-ma nišū(unmeš) māti(kur) maḫ-ḫu-ru ana pānī(igi)-šú
ú*-š[am?-ḫa-ru]
§ 11 7. itisi-li-li-ti šabāṭu(itizíz.a.an) si-li-⸢li-ti⸣ [o (o)]
8.  áš-šú ina šabāṭi(itizíz.a.an) ḫa-šá-da-nu šá ilī(dingirmeš)
[šaknū(gar-nu)]
§ 12 9. itihul.dúb.e addaru(itiše.kin.tar) hul* [lem-nu dúb na-pa-ṣu
(?)]
10.  áš-šú ina addari(itiše.kin.tar) marduk(damar.utu) lem-nu-
[ti-šú o o o]
11.  ú-nap-pi-ṣu šarrūta(lugal-ta) [il-qi]
12. ultu(ta) lìb-bi gišle-⸢u₅⸣-[um gaba.ri]
13. kura-šur4ki AN x [o o o o o (o)]
14. mār(amar) m.dé-a-pat-ta-[ni o o o (o)]

***

A
§ 1 [The (month name) barsagsag (means) Nisannu (I)]. bara (means)
(A o 1)

“king,” (i. e.), Marduk; sag means “head,” (A o 2) [(because) at the beginning of


the year] Marduk (A o 3) took kingship (A o 2) in the (A o 3) [Esagil].
§ 1b (A o 4) [The (month name) šabāṭi (?) (means) Nis]annu (I), on account of
Marduk, (who) captured the rebel gods (A o 5) [who] were in […], (A o 6) […]
and they went to the Akītu-house.

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340 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

§ 2 (A o 7) [The (month name) adaru (means) A]yyāru (II), on account of the
sea which he (sc. Marduk) captured. (A o 8) […] as he did.
§ 3 (A o 9) [The (month name) šerʾi-ebur (means)] Simānu (III), on account
of the harvesting, (A o 10) [since the barley] is harvested [in Simānu]. (A o 11)
[as in] “he harvests like barley [the necks of the insubordina]te” (quotation
from Lugale 6).
§ 4 (A o 12) [The (month name) piti-bābi (means) Duʾūzu (IV), beca]use on
the 13th of Duʾūzu (A o 13) [the gates of the sky are open]ed and the sun […]. (A
o 14) [… The s]un rises […], (A o 15) [… as in] “Draw near […] and give judg-

ment!” (quotation from Enūma eliš V 24).


§ 5 (A o 16) [The (month name) dingirmaḫ (means) Ab]u (V), on account of
Bēlet-ilī (i. e., dingir.maḫ), (A o 17) [who in Abu …] and performs a mourning-
ritual.
§ 6 (A o 18) [The (month name) abu (means) Elūlu (VI), on account of (?)] Sîn,
(A o 19)
[…] Ištar, (A o 20) […] the Igigi, as they rose.
§ 7 (A o 21) [The (month name) lalubê (means) Tašrītu (VII), lal]ubê means
mour[ning-ritual], (A o 22) [… Luga]lduku[ga (A o 23) …].
[…]
§ 12 (A r 2′–5′) …
(A r 6′) […] Sîn.
[Written and col]lated [according to its original]. (A r 8′) [Tablet of …,
(A r 7′)

son of ..]., descendant of Ḫaṭṭu-ēreš. (A r 9′) […] Babylon.

B
§ 1 (B o 1) The (month name) barsagsag (means) Nisannu (I), […].
§ 1b (B o 2) The (month name) šabāṭi (means) Nisannu (I), […], (B o 3) […].
[…]
§ 8 (B r 1) The (month name) šebûti (means) Araḫsamna (VIII), […].
§ 9 (B r 2) The (month name) šerʾi-erēši (wr. ab.sín-uru4-ši) (means) Kislīmu
(IX), on account of the “fu[rrow” (šerʾu) (?)], (B r 3) “the farmer (errēšu) of
the pure plow, who […],” (B r 4) which [is said] in Lugale ud melembi nergal
(quotation from Lugale).

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 341

§ 10 (B r 5) The (month name) tamḫīri (means) Ṭebētu (X), because in Ṭebētu
[…] (B r 6) rises and the people of the land br[ing] offerings (maḫḫuru) to
him.
§ 11 (B r 7) The (month name) sililīti means Šabāṭu (XI), sililīti means […], (B
because in Šabāṭu the betrothal of the gods [takes place].
r 8)

§ 12 (B r 9) The (month name) ḫuldubê means Addaru (XII), ḫul [means “evil”
and dub means “to crush”], (B r 10) because in Addaru Marduk (B r 11) crushed
(B r 10)
his enemies […] (B r 11) and [took] kingship.
(B r 12) From a writing board [whose original] (B r 13) was from Assyria. … [Tab-

let of …], (B r 14) son of Ea-pattāni, […].


***
§§ 1–1.2. First millennium lists give two different Elamite equivalents for
Nisannu: itibar.sag.sag and itiša-ba-ṭi (see e. g. Reiner, “Inscription,” 102a
[see n. 110]). The first two paragraphs of the text in MS A and the two first
lines in MS B118 probably comment on both designations.
§ 1 A o. 2. The beginning of the line is restored after BM 66141+ i 2: re-eš
mu.an.na (unpubl., see n. 117 above), which explains the Elamite month
name itibára.sag.sag (mentioned in BM 66141+ i 1).
§ 1b A o. 6. Elsewhere, the phrase ana akītu alāku seems to be attested only
in BM 32654+ vi 6 (Enmešarra’s Defeat, edited in Lambert, Creation Myths,
296 [see n. 10]).
§ 3 A o. 9. In view of the equation še-kin-kud : eṣēdu (e. g. in Ḫḫ I 148), it
cannot be excluded that one of the two older variants of the Elamite month
name šerʾi-ebur (itia.šà-dingir.ra-še.kin.kud and itizíz.kin.kud.a)119 is to
be restored in the first half of the line.
§ 3 A o. 10. The restoration follows ABL 815 r 11–12, which places the har-
vesting in Nisannu, however (ebur šá kururiki ina itibára in-né-eṣ-ṣi-d[u],
“the crop of Babylon is harvested in Nisannu”). Note that that text contains
the only other known occurrence of eṣēdu N.
§ 3 A o. 11. As in the quotation from Lugale in B r 3′–4′, the Sumerian coun-
terpart of the line (gú nu še-ga še-gin7 gur10 su-ub-bu) was probably not
cited.

118 Line B o 2 seems to be independent from B o 1, as indicated by the fact that it is not
indented.
119 See Reiner, “Inscription,” 97b (see n. 110).

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342 Eckart Frahm and Enrique Jiménez

BM 47554

§ 4. The explanation may allude to the opening of the gates of the sky, from
which the sun would emerge.120 The line quoted from Enūma eliš121 (which
is also quoted in l. 27 of the Enūma eliš commentary edited above) refers to
the moment in which Marduk, having opened two gates in the corpse of Tia-
mat to allow the heavenly bodies to emerge and set through them (Ee V 9),
appoints Sîn to be in conjunction with Šamaš:
[bu-ub-bu-l]um a-na ḫar-ra-an Šamaš(dutu) šu-taq-rib-ma
šá [o (o) u4.3]0.kám lu šu-tam-ḫu-rat Šamaš(dutu) lu šá-na-at
ú-[…] x ittu(giškim) ba-ʾ-i u-ru-uḫ-šá
za x [… š]u-taq-ri-ba-ma di-na di-n[a]
On the 29th day, draw near to the path of Šamaš,
. […] the 30th day, stand in conjunction and rival Šamaš.

120 L. 13 could perhaps be restored as [… ip-pet-tu]-ú.


121 Not considered in Lambert, Creation Myths, 106 (see n. 10).

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Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation 343

… […], the sign, follow its track,


Draw near … […] give judgment.
Enūma eliš V 21–24 (Lambert, Creation Myths, 98–99 [see n. 10])

The calendrical setting on the 13th of Duʾūzu refers perhaps to the fact that
only on days 13th–16th of each month was the simultaneous visibility of sun
and moon considered significant in Babylonian astrology.122
§ 5 A o. 17. The line could be a literary quotation, but the source would be
unknown.123 More likely it represents part of the explanation, perhaps refer-
ring to a ritual mourning for Dumuzi (note the Assyrianism or Aramaism
in the verbal form, as noted above in n. 115).
§ 7. The equation between [lal]ubê and bik[ītu] (if the readings are correct)
would be otherwise unattested. The explanation is probably based on the
fact that the name of Lugaldukuga contains the logogram for Tašrītu (du6):
see the catchline of BM 66141+, mentioned above in n. 117.
§ 9 B r. 3′–4′. These lines contain an explicit reference from an as yet unre-
covered passage from Lugale. Compare perhaps Lugale 704 (g̃ ešapin ḫé-g̃ál
pa bí-in-è-a-aš, “he made famous the plow of abundance,” the Akkadian
translation is missing).
§ 11. Compare SAA 13, no. 78 r 16–19: Bēl(d+en) Nabû(dag) ša ina
Šabāṭi(itizíz) | ḫa-šad-da šaknū(gar-nu-u)-ni | napšāte ša mār šarri | bēlīya
liṣṣurū, “may Bēl and Nabû, whose bethrotals take place in Šabāṭu, protect
the life of the crown prince, my lord!” (see also Cohen, Festivals, 444–445
[see n. 71]). The rationale of the explanations escapes us because of the small
lacuna at the end of B r 7′.124
§ 12 B r. 10′–11′. Compare šarru hulmeš-šú unappaṣ, “the king will crush his
enemies,” as an apodosis in K 3780 i 3 and parallels (CAD N/1 287–288).

Eckart Frahm / Enrique Jiménez


Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Yale University
PO Box 208236
New Haven, CT 06520-8236
USA
eckart.frahm@yale.edu, enrique.jimenez@yale.edu

122 See D. Schwemer, “Fighting Witchcraft before the Moon and Sun: a Therapeutic Rit-
ual from Neo-Babylonian Sippar,” OrNS 74 (2010): 480–504, here 498.
123 Note that the line read as Kēšuītu tabku ír-ti taš!-ku!-nu in CAD B 225a has been read
as Kēšuītu tabku a-ši-bat!(maš?) dul-ba-nu by W. G. Lambert, “A Neo-Babylonian
Tammuz Lament,” JAOS 103 (1983): 211–215, here 212 l. 219.
124 A restoration sililīti [ḫašādu] is tempting, but would be otherwise unattested.

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Hebrew Bible and
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