Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations eBook

Archibald Sayce
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 210 pages of information about Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations.

136.  I built an altar on the summit of the mountain.

137.  I set libation-vases seven by seven;

138. beneath them I piled up reeds, cedar-wood and herbs.

139.  The gods smelt the savour, the gods smelt the sweet savour;

140. the gods gathered like flies over the sacrificer.

141.  Already at the moment of her coming, the great goddess

142. lifted up the mighty bow which Anu had made according to his wish (?).

143.  ‘These gods,’ (she said), ’by my necklace, never will I forget!

144.  Those days, I will think of them and never will forget them.

145.  Let the gods come to my altar;

146. (but) let not Bel come to my altar,

147. since he did not take counsel but caused a flood and counted my men for judgment.’

148.  Already at the moment of his coming, Bel

149. saw the ship and stood still;

150. he was filled with wrath at the gods, the spirits of heaven, (saying): 

151.  ’Let no living soul come forth, let no man survive in the judgment!’

152.  Bir opened his mouth and says, he speaks to the warrior Bel: 

153.  ’Who except Ea can devise a speech?

154. for Ea understands all kinds of wisdom.’

155.  Ea opened his mouth and speaks, he says to the warrior Bel: 

156.  ’Thou art the seer of the gods, O warrior!

157.  Why, O why didst thou not take counsel, but didst cause a deluge?

158. (Let) the sinner bear his own sin, (let) the evil-doer bear his own evil-doing.

159.  Grant (?) that he be not cut off, be merciful that he be not [destroyed].

160.  Instead of causing a deluge, let lions come and minish mankind;

161. instead of causing a deluge, let hyaenas come and minish mankind;

162. instead of causing a deluge, let there be a famine and let it [devour] the land;

163. instead of causing a deluge, let the plague-god come and minish mankind!

164.  I did not reveal (to men) the oracle of the great gods,

165. but sent a dream to Adra-khasis and he heard the oracle of the gods.’

166.  Then Bel again took counsel and ascended into the ship.

167.  He took my hand and caused me, even me, to ascend,

168. he took up my wife (also, and) caused her to bow at my side;

169. he turned to us and stood between us; he blessed us (saying): 

170.  ’Hitherto Sisuthros has been mortal, but

171. henceforth Sisuthros and his wife shall be like unto the gods, even unto us, and

172.  Sisuthros shall dwell afar at the mouth of the rivers,’

173.  Then he took us afar, at the mouth of the rivers he made us dwell.

XII

THE BABYLONIAN EPIC OF THE CREATION

TABLET I.

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Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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