Tablet IV

They erected for him a princely throne.
Facing his fathers, he sat down, presiding.

“You are the most honored of the great gods,
Your decree is unrivaled, you command is Anu.
You, Marduk, are the most honored of the great gods,
Your decree is unrivaled, your word is Anu.
From this day your pronouncement shall be unchangeable.
To raise or bring low–these shall be in your hand.
Your utterance shall be true, your command shall be unimpeachable.
No one among the gods shall transgress your bounds!
Adornment being wanted for the seats of the gods,
Let the place of their shrines ever be in your place.
O Marduk, you are indeed our avenger.
We have granted you kingship over the universe entire.
When you sit in Assembly your word shall be supreme.
Your weapons shall not fail; they shall smash your foes!
O lord, spare the life of him who trusts you,
But pour out the life of the god who seized evil.”

Having placed in their midst the Images,
They addressed themselves to Marduk, their first-born: (20)

“Lord, truly your decree is first among gods.
Say but to wreck or create; it shall be.
Open your mouth: the Images will vanish!
Speak again, and the Images shall be whole!”

At the word of his mouth the Images vanished.
He spoke again, and the Images were restored.
When the gods, his fathers, saw the fruit of his word,
Joyfully they did homage: “Marduk is king!”
They conferred on him scepter, throne, and vestment;
They gave him matchless weapons that ward off the foes: (30)
“Go and cut off the life of Tiamat.
May the winds bear her blood to places undisclosed.”
Bel’s destiny thus fixed, the gods, his fathers,
Caused him to go the way of success and attainment.
He constructed a bow, marked it as his weapon,
Attached thereto the arrow, fixed its bow-cord.
He raised the mace, made his right hand grasp it;
Bow and quiver he hung at his side.
In front of him he set the lightning,
With a blazing flame he filled his body. (40)
He then made a net to enfold Tiamat therein.
The four winds he stationed that nothing of her might escape,
The South Wind, the North Wind, the East Wind, the West Wind.
Close to his side he held the net, the gift of his father, Anu.
He brought forth Imhullu “the Evil Wind,” the Whirl-wind, the Hurricane,
The Fourfold Wind, the Sevenfold Wind, the Cyclone, the Matchless Wind;
Then he sent forth the winds he had brought forth, the seven of them.
To stir up the inside of Tiamat they rose up behind him.
Then the lord raised up the flood-storm, his mighty weapon.
He mounted the storm-chariot irresistible and terrifying. (50)
He harnessed and yoked to it a team-of-four,
The Killer, the Relentless, the Trampler, the Swift.
Their lips were parted, their teeth bore poison.
They were tireless and skilled in destruction.
On his right he posted the Smiter, fearsome in battle,
On the left the Combat, which repels all the zealous.
For a cloak he was wrapped in an armor of terror;
With his fearsome halo his head was turbaned.
The lord went forth and followed his course,
Towards the raging Tiamat he set his face. (60)
In his lips he held a spell;
A plant to put out poison was grasped in his hand.
Then they milled about him, the gods milled about him,
The gods, his fathers, milled about him, the gods milled about him.
The lord approached to scan the inside of Tiamat,
And of Kingu, her consort, the scheme to perceive.
As he looks on, his course becomes upset,
His will is distracted and his doings are confused.
And when the gods, his helpers, who marched at his side,
Saw the valiant hero, their vision became blurred. (70)
Tiamat emitted a cry, without turning her neck,
Framing savage defiance in her lips:

“You are too important for the lord of the gods to rise up against you!
Is it in their place that they have gathered, or in your place?”

Thereupon the lord, having raised the flood-storm, his mighty weapon,
To enraged Tiamat he sent word as follows:

“Why are you risen, haughtily exalted,
You have charged your own heart to stir up conflict, . . . sons reject their own fathers,
While you, who have born them, have foresworn love! (80)
You have appointed Kingu as your consort,
Conferring upon him the rank of Anu, not rightfully his.
Against Anshar, king of the gods, you seek evil;
Against the gods, my fathers, you have confirmed your wickedness.
Though your forces are drawn up, your weapons girded on,
Stand up, that I and you might meet in single combat!”

When Tiamat heard this,
She was like one possessed; she took leave of her senses.
In fury Tiamat cried out aloud.
To the roots her legs shook both together. (90)
She recites a charm, keeps casting her spell,
While the gods of battle sharpen their weapons.
Then Tiamat and Marduk joined issue , wisest of gods.
They strove in single combat, locked in battle.
The lord spread out his net to enfold her,
The Evil Wind, which followed behind, he let loose in her face.
When Tiamat opened her mouth to consume him,
He drove in the Evil Wind that she close not her lips.
As the fierce winds charged her belly,
Her body was distended and her mouth was wide open. (100)
He released the arrow, it tore her belly,
It cut through her insides, splitting the heart.
Having thus subdued her, he extinguished her life.
He cast down her carcass to stand upon it.
After he had slain Tiamat, the leader,
Her band was shattered, her troupe broken up;
And the gods, her helpers who marched at her side,
Trembling with terror, turned their backs about,
In order to save and preserve their lives.
Tightly encircled, they could not escape.
He made them captives and he smashed their weapons.
Thrown into the net, they found themselves ensnared;
Placed in cells, they were filled with wailing;
Bearing his wrath, they were held imprisoned.
And the eleven creatures which she had charged with awe,
The whole band of demons that marched on her right,
He cast into fetters, their hands he bound.
For all their resistance, he trampled them underfoot.
And Kingu, who had been made chief among them,
He bound and accounted him to Uggae. (120)
He took from him the Tablet of Destinies, not rightfully his,
Sealed them with a seal and fastened them on his breast.
When he had vanquished and subdued his adversaries,
Had . . . the vainglorious foe,
Had wholly established Anshar’s triumph over the foe,
Had achieved Nudimmud’s desire, valiant Marduk
Strengthened his hold on the vanquished gods,
And turned back to Tiamat whom he had bound.
The lord trod on the legs of Tiamat,
With his unsparing mace he crushed her skull. (130)
When the arteries of her blood he had severed,
The North Wind bore it to places undisclosed.

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On seeing this, his fathers were joyful and jubilant,
They brought gifts of homage, they to him.
Then the lord paused to view her dead body,
That he might divide the monster and do artful works.
He split her like a shellfish into two parts:
Half of her he set up and ceiled it as sky,
Pulled down the bar and posted guards.
He bade them to allow not her waters to escape. (140)
He crossed the heavens and surveyed the regions.
He squared Apsu’s quarter, the abode of Nudimmud,
As the lord measured the dimensions of Apsu.
The Great Abode, its likeness, he fixed as Esharra,
The Great Abode, Esharra, which he made as the firmament.
Anu, Enlil, and Ea he made occupy their places.

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