Tablet III

Anshar opened his mouth and
Addressed a word to Gaga, his vizier:
“O Gaga, my vizier, who gladdens my spirit,
I will dispatch you to Lahmu and Lahamu.
You know discernment, you are adept at fine talk;
The gods, your fathers, produce you before me!
Let all the gods proceed here,
Let them hold converse, sit down to a banquet,
Let them eat festive bread, poured wine;
For Marduk, their avenger, let them fix the decrees.
Be on your way, Gaga, take the stand before them,
And that which I shall tell you repeat to them:

`Anshar, your son, has sent me here,
Charging me to give voice to the dictates of his heart,
Saying : “Tiamat, she who bore us, detests us.
She has set up the Assembly and is furious with rage.
All the gods have rallied to her;
Even those whom you brought forth march at her side.
They throng and march at the side of Tiamat.
Enraged, they plot without cease night and day. (20)
They are set for combat, growling, raging,
They have formed a council to prepare for the fight.
Mother Hubur, she who fashions all things,
Has added matchless weapons, has born monster-serpents,
Sharp of tooth, unsparing of fang.
With venom for blood she has filled their bodies.
Roaring dragons she has clothed with terror,
Has crowned them with haloes, making them like gods,
So that he who beholds them shall perish abjectly,
And that, with their bodies reared up, none might turn them back. (30)
She has set up the Viper, the Dragon, and the Sphinx,
The Great-Lion, the Mad-Dog, and the Scorpion-Man,
Mighty lion-demons, the Dragon-Fly, the Centaur–
Bearing weapons that spare not, fearless in battle.
Her decrees are firm, they are past withstanding.
Withal eleven of this kind she has brought forth.
From among the gods, her first-born, who formed her Assembly,
She has elevated Kingu, has made him chief among them.
The leading of the ranks, command of the Assembly,
The raising of weapons for the encounter, advancing to combat, (40)
In battle the command-in-chief–
These to his hands she entrusted as she seated him in the Council:
`I have cast the spell for you, exalting you in the Assembly of the gods.
To counsel all the gods I have given you full power.
truly, you are supreme, you are my only consort!
Your utterance shall prevail over all the Anunnaki!’
She has given him the Tablet of Destinies, fastened on his breast:
`As for you, your command shall be unchangeable, your word shall endure!’
As soon as Kingu was elevated, possessed of the rank of Anu,
For the gods, her sons, they decreed the fate: (50)
`Your word shall make the fire subside,
Shall humble the “Power-Weapon,” so potent in its sweep!’
I sent forth Anu; he could not face her.
Nudimmud was afraid and turned back.
Forth came Marduk, the wisest of gods, your son,
His heart having prompted him to set out to face Tiamat.
He opened his mouth, saying unto me:
`If I indeed, as your avenger,
Am to vanquish Tiamat and save your lives,
Set up the Assembly, proclaim supreme my destiny! (60)
When jointly in Ubshukinna you have sat down rejoicing,
Let my word, instead of you, determine the fates.
Unalterable shall be what I may bring into being;
Neither recalled nor changed shall be the command of my lips!’
Now hasten here and promptly fix for him your decrees,
That he may go forth to face your mighty foe!” ‘ “

Gaga departed, proceeding on his way.
Before Lahmu and Lahamu, the gods, his fathers,
He made obeisance, kissing the ground at their feet.
He bowed low as he took his place to address them: (70)

“It was Anshar, your son, who has sent me hither,
Charging me to give voice to the dictates of his heart,
Saying: `Tiamat, she who bore us, detests us.
She has set up the Assembly and is furious with rage.
All the gods have rallied to her,
Even those whom you brought forth march at her side.
They throng and march at the side of Tiamat.
Enraged, they plot without cease night and day.
They are set for combat, growling, raging,
They have formed a council to prepare for the fight. (80)
Mother Hubur, she who fashions all things,
Has added matchless weapons, has born monster-serpents,
Sharp of tooth, unsparing of fang.
With venom for blood she has filled their bodies,
Roaring dragons she has clothed with terror,
Has crowned them with haloes, making them like gods,
So that he who beholds them shall perish abjectly,
And that, with their bodies reared up, none might turn them back.
She has set up vipers, dragons, and sphlinxes,
Great-lions, mad-dogs, and scorpion-men, (90)
Mighty lion-demons, dragon-flies, and centaurs–
Bearing weapons that spare not, fearless in battle.
Firm are decrees, past withstanding are they.
Withal eleven of this kind she has brought forth.
From among the gods, her first-born, who formed her Assembly,
She has elevated Kingu, has made him chief among them.
The leading of the ranks, command of the Assembly,
The raising of weapons for the encounter, advancing to combat,
In battle the command-in-chief–
These to his hands she has entrusted as she seated him in the Council: (100)
`I have cast the spell for you, exalting you in the Assembly of the gods.
To counsel all the gods I have given you full power.
Truly, you are supreme, you are my only consort!
Your utterance shall prevail over all the Anunnaki!’
She has given him the Tablet of Destinies, fastened on his breast:
`As for you, your command shall be unchangeable, your word shall endure!’
As soon as Kingu was elevated, possessed of the rank of Anu,
For the gods, her sons, they decreed the fate:
`Your word shall make the fire subside,
Shall humble the “Power-Weapon,” so potent in its sweep!’
I sent forth Anu; he could not face her.
Nudimmud was afraid and turned back.
Forth came Marduk, the wisest of gods, your son,
His heart having prompted him to set out to face Tiamat.
He opened his mouth, saying unto me:
`If I indeed, as your avenger,
Am to vanquish Tiamat and save your lives,
Set up the Assembly, proclaim supreme my destiny!
When in Ubshukinna jointly you sit down rejoicing,
Let my word, instead of you, determine the fates. (120)
Unalterable shall be what I may bring into being;
Neither recalled nor changed shall be the command of my lips!’
Now hasten here and promptly fix for him your decrees,
That he may go forth to face your mighty foe!”

When Lahmu and Lahamu heard this, they cried out aloud,
All the Igigi wailed in distress:

“How strange that they should have made this decision!
We cannot fathom the doings of Tiamat!”

They made ready to leave on their journey,
All the great gods who decree the fates. (130)
They entered before Anshar, filling Ubshukinna.
They kissed one another in the Assembly.
They held converse as they sat down to the banquet.
They ate festive bread, poured the wine,
They wetted their drinking-tubes with sweet intoxicant.
As they drank the strong drink, their bodies swelled.
They became very languid as their spirits rose.
For Marduk, their avenger, they fixed the decrees.

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