Enuma Elish IVThe Seven Tablets of Creation
Had fulfilled the desire of Nudimmud, He strengthened his hold on the Bound Gods, And returned to Tia-mat, whom he had bound. Be-l placed his feet on the lower parts of Tia-mat And with his merciless club smashed her skull. He severed her arteries And let the North wind bear up (her blood) to give the news. His fathers saw it and were glad and exulted; They brought gifts and presents to him. Be-l rested, surveying the corpse, In order to divide the lump by a clever scheme. He split her into two like a dried fish: One half of her he set up and stretched out as the heavens. He stretched the skin and appointed a watch With the instruction not to let her waters escape. He crossed over the heavens, surveyed the celestial parts, And adjusted them to match the Apsû, Nudimmud's abode. Be-l measured the shape of the Apsû And set up Ešarra, a replica of Ešgalla. In Ešgalla, Ešarra which he had built, and the heavens, He settled in their shrines Anu, Enlil, and Ea.
1 Praise the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are magnificent. You are robed in splendor and majesty. 2 He covers himself with light as if it were a garment. He stretches out the skies like a tent curtain 3 and lays the beams on water in his upper rooms3. He makes the clouds his chariot and travels on the wings of the wind. 4 He makes the winds his messengers and the flaming fire his attendant. 5 He established the earth on its foundations; it will never be moved.
Notes and References
"... Explicit statements that the heavens are made of water are found in Babylonian texts. Examples include Ee IV 137-46, where Marduk builds the heavens out of part of the watery corpse of Tiamat, and Inamgišuranki, where the Akkadian name for heaven, samê, is explained as ša me 'of water' (Livingstone 32:6; see p. 224). In Ee IV 139-40, Marduk stretches out a skin and assigns guards to keep the waters of heaven from draining downward onto lower regions of the universe. These traditions may be compared with Genesis 1, where the primeval waters are divided in two, with the upper waters positioned above the firmament (Tr), and Psalms 104:3 and 148:4, which speak of waters above the heavens ..."
Horowitzh, Wayne Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography (p. 262) Eisenbrauns, 1998
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