THE SIXTH TABLET
Now that Marduk has heard what it is the gods are saying, he is moved with desire to create a work of consummate art. He told Ea the deep thought in his heart.
'Blood to blood I join,
blood to bone I join from an original thing,
its name is MAN, aboriginal man
is mine in making.
'All his occupations are faithful service,
the gods that fell have rest,
I will subtly alter their operations,
divided companies equally blest.'
Ea answered with carefully chosen words, completing the plan for the gods' comfort. He said to Marduk,
'Let one of the kindred be taken; only one need die for the new creation. Bring the gods together in the Great Assembly; there let the guilt die, so the rest may live.'
Marduk called the Great Gods to the Synod; he presided courteously, he gave instructions and all of them listened with grave attention.
The king speaks to the rebel gods,
'Declare on your oath if ever before you spoke the truth, who instigated rebellion? Who stirred up Tiamat? Who led the battle? Let the instigator of war be handed over; guilt and retribution are on him, and peace will be yours for ever.'
The great Gods answered the Lord of the Universe, the king and counselor of gods,
'It was Kingu who instigated rebellion, he stirred up that sea of bitterness and led the battle for her.'
They declared him guilty, they bound and held him down in front of Ea, they cut his arteries and from his blood they created man; and Ea imposed his servitude.
When it was done, when Ea in his wisdom had created man and man's burden, this thing was past comprehension, this marvel of subtlety conceived by Marduk and executed by Nudimmud.
Then Marduk, as king, divided the gods: one host below and another above, three hundred above for the watchers of heaven, watchers of the law of Anu; five times sixty for earth, six hundred gods between earth and heaven.
When universal law was set up and the gods allotted their calling, then the Annunnaki, the erstwhile fallen, opened their mouths to speak to Marduk:
'Now that you have freed us and remitted our labor how shall we make a return for this? Let us build a temple and call it
'There we will sleep at the season of the year, at the Great Festival when we from the Assembly; we will build alters for him, we will build the Parakku, the Sanctuary.'
When Marduk heard this his face shone like broad day:
'Tall Babel Tower, it shall be built as you desire; bricks shall be set in molds and you shall name it Parakku, the Sanctuary.'
The Anunnaki gods took up the tools, one whole year long they set bricks in molds; by the second year they had raised its head Esagila , it towered, the earthly temple, the symbol of infinite heaven.
Inside were lodgings for Marduk and Enlil and Ea. Majestically he took his seat in the presence of them all, where the head of the ziggurat looked down to the foot.
When that building was finished the Anunnaki built themselves chapels; then all came in together and Marduk set out the banquet.
'This is Babylon, "dear city of the gods", your beloved home!
The length and breadth are ours, posses it, enjoy it, it is your own.'
When all the gods sat down together there was wine and feasting and laughter; and after the banquet in beautiful Esagila they performed the liturgy from which the universe receives its structure, the occult is made plain, and through the universe gods are assigned their places.
When the Fifty Great Gods had sat down with the Seven who design the immutable nature of things, they raised up three hundred into heaven. It was then too that Enlil lifted the bow of Marduk and laid it in front of them.
He also lifted the net; they praised the workmanship now that they saw the intricacy of the net and the beauty of the bow.
Anu lifted the bow and kissed it, he said before all the gods,
'This is my daughter.'
And this was the naming of the bow-
'One is for Long-wood, two for the Rain-bow, three is for Starry-bow glittering above.' And Starry-bow was a god among gods.
When Anu had pronounced the bow's triple destiny he lifted up the king's throne and set Marduk above in the gods' Assembly.
Among themselves they uttered an execration, by oil and by water, pricking their throats, to abide its fate on pain of death.
They ratified his authority as King of Kings, Lord of the Lords of the Universe. Anshar praised him, he called him ASARLUHI, the name that is first, the highest name.
'We will wait and listen, we bend and worship his name!
His word is the last appeal, his writ will run from the zenith to the pit.
All glory to the son, our avenger!
His empire has no end, shepherd of men,
he made them his creatures to the last of time,
they must remember.
He shall command hecatombs, for the gods,
they shall commend food, for the fathers,
and cherish the sanctuary
where the odor of incense and whisper of liturgy
echo on earth the customs of heaven.
Black-headed men will adore him on earth,
the subjected shall remember their god,
at his word they shall worship the goddess.
Let offerings of food not fail
for god and goddess, at his command.
Let them serve the gods, at his command,
work their lands, build their houses.
Let black-headed men serve the gods on earth
without remission; while as for us,
in the multitude of his names
he is our god.
Let us hail him in his names,
let us hail him by his fifty names, one god.'
The Hymn of the Fifty Names of Marduk
MARDUK is One,
he is Son of the Sun,
he is the first, the sunburst.
Pasture and pool,
and the byres full,
torrents of rain that hammered the enemy.
Most shining one,
Son of the Sun,
the gods are walking always in the flame of his light.
He created man
a living thing
to labor for ever, and gods go free,
to make to break
to love and to save,
to Marduk all power and praise!
MARUKKA is Two
hammering out the whole creation
to ease the gods in tribulation.
MARUTUKKU is Three,
his praises are heard on every hand,
the armed child who shields the land.
BARASHAKUSHU is Fourth,
who stood at need to bridle earth,
his spirit stoops, his heart is love.
LUGALDIMMERANKIA is Five,
King of the Cosmos!
Over the universe he is acclaimed
by that Great Company his wrath had shamed
NARI is Six, the Deliverer,
he is our conscience, for once
in our trouble he brought us peace
and a safe haven;
Anunnaki, Igigi, from the pit
and in heaven,
hearing this name secretly quake.
ASARULUDU is Seven,
the Great Magician, this title came from Anu;
in time of peril, their good leader,
By the deadly duel he fetched them rest.
NAMTILLAKU is Eight,
in the shadow of death he discovered life;
it was as thought they were made
all new; conjured from death at his word until
the reckless rout submit to his will.
NAMRU is Nine, the gods go a-walking
in the furnace of his beauty.
Voices of older days have spoken; Lahmu, Lahamu, Anshar have spoken, each of them uttered three names; they said to the children,
'Three names he has from each of us, three names he needs from you.'
As once before in Synod in Ubshukinna, at the place of decision, the young gods eagerly talked together,
'He is the hero, our son, our avenger, we will praise the name of our defender.'
They sat down together to shape his destiny, and all of them chanted his names in the Sanctuary.