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Hymn to Sin (the moon god)

    This page used to be on the now either defunct or lost site “Grimoire”.

    A bilingual, Sumerian and Akkadian, text portraying the attributes and aspects of Sin, the god of the moon. Following the part of the text here translated there was a prayer; but this part of the text is so poorly preserved that it has not been thought worth-while to give the fragmentary translation. The tablet was found at the site of ancient Nineveh. The writing of the text may be dated to the reign of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, 668-633 BC. The tablet states that it was copied from an older tablet; but the date of the original composition cannot be determined.

    Notes:

    • Nanna is the Sumerian name of the moon-god, Sin is his Akkadian counterpart,
    • Anshar is a primitive father of the gods mentioned in the Babylonian Creation Epic, and Anu is the god of heaven and chief of all the gods.
    • Egishshirgal is the name of the temple of the moon-god in Ur.

    O Lord, hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,
    Father Nanna, lord Anshar, hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,
    Father Nanna, great lord Anu, hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,
    Father Nanna, lord Sin, hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,
    Father Nanna, lord of Ur, hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,
    Father Nanna, lord of Egishshirgal, hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,
    Father Nanna, lord of the shining crown, hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,
    Father Nanna, who is grandly perfected in kingship, hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,
    Father Nanna, who solemnly advances in garments of princeliness,
         hero of the gods,
        who in heaven and earth is exalted in his uniqueness,

    Ferocious bull, whose horn is thick, whose legs are perfected,
         who is bearded in lapis, and filled with luxury and abundance,
    Offspring which is self-created, fullgrown in form,
         pleasant to the sight, whose exuberance is unrestrained,
    Womb that gives birth to everything,
         which dwells in a holy habitation with living creatures,
    Begetter, merciful (and forgiving) in his disposing,
         who holds in his hand the life of the whole land,
    O Lord, thy divinity fills the wide sea with awe,
        as well as the distant heavens.
    O progenitor of the land, who has founded temples,
        thou likewise dost give 1them names.
    O father begetter of gods and men,
        who founds shrines and establishes offerings,
    Namer of kingships, giver of the scepter,
        thou dost determine destiny unto distant days.
    O mighty prince
         whose deep heart no one of the gods comprehends,
    Swift colt whose knees do not tire,
        who opens the way for his brother gods,
    Whose light goes from the base of heaven to the zenith,
        who opens the door of heaven and gives light to all people,
    Father begetter,
         who looks favorably upon all living creatures ….
    O Lord, decider of the destinies of heaven and earth,
        whose word no one alters,
    Who controls water and fire, leader of living creatures,
        what god is like thee?

    In heaven who is exalted?
        Thou! Thou alone art exalted.
    On earth who is exalted?
        Thou! Thou alone art exalted.
    Thou! When thy word is pronounced in heaven
        the Igigi prostrate themselves.
    Thou! When thy word is pronounced on earth
        the Anunnaki kiss the ground.
    Thou! When thy word drifts along in heaven
        like the wind it makes rich the
             feeding and drinking of the land.
    Thou! When thy word settles down on the earth
        green vegetation is produced.
    Thou! Thy word makes fat the sheepfold and the stall;
        it makes living creatures widespread.
    Thou! Thy word causes truth and justice to be,
        so that the people speak the truth.
    Thou! Thy word which is far away in heaven,
        which is hidden in the earth is something no one sees.
    Thou! Who can comprehend thy word,
        who can equal it?
    O Lord, in heaven as to domination,
        on earth as to valor,
        among the gods thy brothers,
        thou hast not a rival.

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