In those days, in the days when heaven and earth were created; in those nights,
in the nights when heaven and earth were created; in those years, in the years
when the fates were determined; when the Anuna gods were born; when the goddesses
were taken in marriage; when the goddesses were distributed in heaven and earth;
when the goddesses ...... became pregnant and gave birth; when the gods were
obliged (?) ...... their food ...... for their meals; the senior gods
oversaw the work, while the minor gods were bearing the toil. The gods were
digging the canals and piling up the silt in Harali. The gods, dredging the
clay, began complaining about this life.
At that time, the one of great wisdom, the creator of all the senior gods, Enki,
lay on his bed, not waking up from his sleep, in the deep engur, in the flowing
water, the place the inside of which no other god knows. The gods said, weeping:
"He is the cause of the lamenting!" Namma, the primeval
mother who gave birth to the senior gods, took the tears of the gods to the
one who lay sleeping, to the one who did not wake up from his bed, to her son:
"Are you really lying there asleep, and ...... not awake? The gods, your creatures,
are smashing their ....... My son, wake up from your bed! Please apply the skill
deriving from your wisdom and create a substitute (?) for the gods so
that they can be freed from their toil!"
At the word of his mother Namma, Enki
rose up from his bed. In Hal-an-kug, his room for pondering, he slapped his
thigh in annoyance. The wise and intelligent one, the prudent, ...... of skills,
the fashioner of the design of everything brought to life birth-goddesses (?).
Enki reached out his arm over them and turned his attention
to them. And after Enki, the fashioner of designs by
himself, had pondered the matter, he said to his mother Namma:
"My mother, the creature you planned will really come into existence. Impose
on him the work of carrying baskets. You should knead clay from the top of the
abzu; the birth-goddesses (?) will nip off the clay and you shall bring
the form into existence. Let Ninmah act as your assistant;
and let Ninimma, Cu-zi-ana,
Ninmada, Ninbarag, Ninmug,
...... and Ninguna stand by as you give birth. My mother,
after you have decreed his fate, let Ninmah impose on
him the work of carrying baskets."
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Enki ...... brought joy to their heart. He set a feast
for his mother Namma and for Ninmah.
All the princely birth-goddesses (?) ...... ate delicate reed (?)
and bread. An, Enlil, and the
lord Nudimmud roasted holy kids. All the senior gods
praised him: "O lord of wide understanding, who is as wise as you? Enki,
the great lord, who can equal your actions? Like a corporeal father, you are
the one who has the me of deciding destinies, in fact you are the me."
Enki and Ninmah drank beer,
their hearts became elated, and then Ninmah said to
Enki: "Man's body can be either good or bad and whether
I make a fate good or bad depends on my will."
Enki answered Ninmah: "I will
counterbalance whatever fate -- good or bad -- you happen to decide." Ninmah
took clay from the top of the abzu in her hand and she fashioned from it first
a man who could not bend his outstretched weak hands. Enki
looked at the man who could not bend his outstretched weak hands, and decreed
his fate: he appointed him as a servant of the king.
Second, she fashioned one who turned back (?) the light, a man with constantly
opened eyes (?). Enki looked at the one who turned
back (?) the light, the man with constantly opened eyes (?), and
decreed his fate allotting to it the musical arts, making him as the chief ......
in the king's presence.
Third, she fashioned one with both feet broken, one with paralysed
feet. Enki looked at the one with both feet broken,
the one with paralysed feet and ...... him for the work of ...... and the silversmith
and ....... ( 1 ms. has instead: She fashioned one, a third one,
born as an idiot. Enki looked at this one, the one born
as an idiot, and decreed his fate: he appointed him as a servant of the king.)
Fourth, she fashioned one who could not hold back his urine. Enki
looked at the one who could not hold back his urine and bathed him in enchanted
water and drove out the namtar demon from his body.
Fifth, she fashioned a woman who could not give birth. Enki
looked at the woman who could not give birth, and decreed
her fate: he made (?) her belong to the queen's household. ( 1 ms.
has instead: ...... as a weaver, fashioned her to belong to the queen's
Sixth, she fashioned one with neither penis nor vagina on its body. Enki
looked at the one with neither penis nor vagina on its body and give it the
name "Nibru eunuch (?)", and decreed as its fate
to stand before the king.
Ninmah threw the pinched-off clay from her hand on the
ground and a great silence fell. The great lord Enki
said to Ninmah: "I have decreed the fates of your creatures
and given them their daily bread. Come, now I will fashion somebody for you,
and you must decree the fate of the newborn one!"
Enki devised a shape with head, ...... and mouth in
its middle, and said to Ninmah: "Pour ejaculated semen
into a woman's womb, and the woman will give birth to the semen of her womb."
Ninmah stood by for the newborn ....... and the woman
brought forth ...... in the midst ....... In return (?), this was Umul:
its head was afflicted, its place of ...... was afflicted, its eyes were afflicted,
its neck was afflicted. It could hardly breathe, its ribs were shaky, its lungs
were afflicted, its heart was afflicted, its bowels were afflicted. With its
hand and its lolling head it could not not put bread into its mouth; its spine
and head were dislocated. The weak hips and the shaky feet could not carry (?)
it on the field -- Enki fashioned it in this way.
Enki said to Ninmah: "For your
creatures I have decreed a fate, I have given them their daily bread. Now, you
should decree a fate for my creature, give him his daily bread too." Ninmah
looked at Umul and turned to him. She went nearer to Umul asked him questions
but he could not speak. She offered him bread to eat but he could not reach
out for it. He could not lie on ......., he could not ....... Standing up he
could not sit down, could not lie down, he could not ...... a house, he could
not eat bread. Ninmah answered Enki:
"The man you have fashioned is neither alive nor dead. He cannot support himself
Enki answered Ninmah: "I decreed
a fate for the first man with the weak hands, I gave him bread. I decreed a
fate for the man who turned back (?) the light, I gave him bread. I decreed
a fate for the man with broken, paralysed feet, I gave him bread. I decreed
a fate for the man who could not hold back his urine, I gave him bread. I decreed
a fate for the woman who could not give birth, I gave her bread. I decreed the
fate for the one with neither penis nor vagina on its body, I gave it bread.
My sister, ......." 2 lines fragmentary
Ninmah answered Enki:
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( Ninmah's answer continues) "You (?) entered
....... Look, you do not dwell in heaven, you do not dwell on earth, you do
not come out to look at the Land. Where you do not dwell but where my house
is built, your words cannot be heard. Where you do not live but where my city
is built, I myself am silenced (?). My city is ruined, my house is destroyed,
my child has been taken captive. I am a fugitive who has had to leave the
E-kur, even I myself could not escape from your hand."
Enki replied to Ninmah: "Who
could change the words that left your mouth? Remove Umul from your lap .......
Ninmah, may your work be ......, you ...... for me what
is imperfect; who can oppose (?) this? The man whom I shaped ...... after
you ......, let him pray! Today let my penis be praised, may your wisdom be
confirmed (?)! May the enkum and ninkum ...... proclaim your glory .......
My sister, the heroic strength ....... The song ...... the writing (?)
....... The gods who heard ...... let Umul build (?) my house ......."
Ninmah could not rival the great lord Enki.
Father Enki, your praise is sweet!