Records of the Past, 2nd series, Vol. I

Masonic, Occult and Esoteric Online Library

Records of the Past, 2nd series, Vol. I

By A. H. Sayce

Fourth Tablet


1. So he established for him (i.e. Merodach) the shrine of the mighty;
2. before (?) his fathers for a kingdom did he found (it). 1
3. Yea, thou art glorious among the great gods;
4. thy destiny is unrivalled; thy gift-day 2 is (that of) Anu.
5. O Merodach, thou art glorious among the great gods;
6. thy destiny is unrivalled; thy gift-day is (that of) Anu.
7. Since that day unchanged is thy command.
8. High and low entreat thy hand:
9. may the word that goes forth from thy mouth be established; untroubled is thy gift-day.
10. None among the gods has surpassed thy power
11. at the time when (thy hand) founded the shrine of the god of the sky. 3
12. May the place of their gathering (?) become thy home!
13. "O Merodach, thou art he who avenges us;
14. we give thee the sovereignty, (we) the hosts of all the universe!
15. Thou possessest (it), and in the assembly (of the gods) mayest thou exalt thy word!
16. Never may thy weapons be broken; 4 may thine enemies tremble!
17. O lord, be gracious to the soul of him who putteth his trust in thee,

18. and destroy 1 the soul of the god who has hold of evil."
19. Then they set in their midst his saying unique; 2
20. to Merodach their first-born they spake:
21. "May thy destiny, O lord, go before the god of heaven;
22. may he confirm (?) the destruction and creation of all that is said.
23. Set thy mouth; let it destroy his word:
24. turn, speak unto it, and let him lift up his word (again)." 3
25. He spake and with his mouth destroyed his word;
26. he turned, he spake unto it and his word was re-created.
27. Like (the word) that issues from his mouth the gods his fathers saw it:
28. they rejoiced, they approached Merodach the king.
29. They bestowed upon him the sceptre (and) throne and reign;
30. they gave him a weapon unsurpassed, consuming the hostile.
31. "Go" (they said), "and cut off the life of Tiamat;
32. let the winds carry her blood to secret places."
33. The gods his fathers also hear the report of Ea:
34. "A path of peace and obedience is the road I have caused (him) to take."
35. There was too the bow, as his weapon he prepared (it);
36. he made the club swing, he fixed its seat;
37. and he lifted up the sacred weapon 4 which he bade his right hand hold.
38. The bow and the quiver he hung at his side;

39. he set the lightning before him;
40. with a glance of swiftness he filled his body.
41. He made also a snare to enclose the dragon of the sea.
42. He seized the four winds that they might not issue forth, any one of them,
43. the south wind, the north wind, the east wind (and) the west wind.
44. His hand brought the snare near the bow 1 of his father Anu.
45. He created the evil wind, the hostile wind, the storm, the tempest,
46. the four winds, the seven winds, the whirlwind, the unending wind;
47. and he caused the winds which he had created to issue forth, the seven of them,
48. confounding the dragon Tiamat, as they swept after him.
49. Then the lord lifted up the deluge, his mighty weapon.
50. He rode in the chariot of destiny that retreats without a rival. 2
51. He stood firm and hung the four reins at its side.
52. (He held the weapon?) unsparing, that overfloods her panoply.
53. ……… their teeth carry poison.
54. …… they sweep away the learned.
55. …… might and battle.
56. On the left they open their ……
57. …… fear ……
58. With the lightning-flash and … he crowned his head.
59. He directed also (his way), he made his path descend, and
60. humbly he set the … before him.
61. By (his) command he kept back the …
62. His finger holds the …

63. On that day they exalted him, the gods exalted him,
64. the gods his fathers exalted him, the gods exalted him.
65. Then the lord approached; he catches Tiamat by her waist;
66. she seeks the huge bulk (?) of Kingu her husband,
67. she looks also for his counsel.
68. Then the rebellious one (Tiamat) appointed 1 him the overthrower of the command of Bel.
69. But the gods his helpers who marched beside him
70. beheld (how Merodach) the first-born held their yoke.
71. He laid judgment on Tiamat (but) she turned not her neck.
72. With her hostile lip(s) she announced opposition.
73. (Then) the gods (came) to the help of the lord, sweeping after thee:
74. they gathered their (forces) together to where thou vast.
75. (And) the lord (launched) the deluge, his mighty weapon;
76. (against) Tiamat, whom he requited, he sent it with these words:
77. "(War) on high thou hast excited.
78. (Strengthen?) thy heart and muster (thy troops) against the god(s).
79. …… their fathers beside (thee).
80. …… thou hast opposed
81. …… to (thy) husband.
82. ……… lordship (?)
83. …………thou seekest.


1. (Against) the gods my fathers thou has directed thy hostility.
2. Thou harnesser of thy companions, may thy weapons reach their bodie(s).
3. Stand up, and I and thou will fight together."
4. When Tiamat heard this,

5. she uttered her former spells, she repeated her command.
6. Tiamat also cried out vehemently with a loud voice.
7. From its roots she strengthened (her) seat completely.
8. She recites an incantation, she casts a spell,
9. and the gods of battle demand for themselves their arms.
10. Then Tiamat attacked Merodach the chief prophet of the gods;
11. in combat they joined; they met in battle.
12. And the lord outspread his snare (and) enclosed her.
13. He sent before him the evil wind to seize (her) from behind.
14. And Tiamat opened her mouth to swallow it.
15. He made the evil wind enter so that she could not close her lips.
16. The violence of the winds tortured her stomach, and
17. her heart was prostrated and her mouth was twisted.
18. He swung the club, he shattered her stomach;
19. he cut out her entrails; he overmastered (her) heart;
20. he bound her and ended her life.
21. He threw down her corpse; he stood upon it.
22. When Tiamat who marched before (them) was conquered,
23. he dispersed her forces, her host was overthrown,
24. and the gods her allies who marched beside her
25. trembled (and) feared (and) turned their backs.
26. They escaped and saved their lives.
2 7. They clung to one another fleeing helplessly.
28. He followed them and shattered their weapons.
29. He cast his snare and they are caught in his net.
30. Knowing (?) the regions they are filled with grief.
31. They bear their sin, they are kept in bondage,
32. and the elevenfold offspring are troubled through fear.
33. The spirits as they march perceived (?) the glory (of Merodach).
34. His hand lays blindness (on their eyes).
35. At the same time their opposition (is broken) from under them;

36. and the god Kingu who had (marshalled) their (forces)
37. he bound him also along with the god of the tablets (of destiny in) his right hand.
38. And he took from him the tablets of destiny (that were) upon him.
39. With the string of the stylus he sealed (them) and held the … of the tablet.
40. From the time when he had bound (and) laid the yoke on his foes
41. he led the illustrious enemy captive like an ox,
42. he established fully the victory of An-sar 1 over the foe;
43. Merodach overcame the lamentation of (Ea) the lord of the world.
44. Over the gods in bondage he strengthened his watch, and
45. Tiamat whom he had bound he turned head backwards;
46. then the lord trampled on the underpart of Tiamat.
47. With his club unbound he smote (her) skull;
48. he broke (it) and caused her blood to flow;
49. the north wind bore (it) away to secret places. 2
50. Then his father (Ea) beheld (and) rejoiced at the savour;
51. he caused the spirits (?) to bring a peace-offering to himself.

52. So the lord rested; his body he feeds.
53. He strengthens (his) mind (?), he forms a clever plan,
54. and he stripped her of (her) skin like a fish, according to his plan;
55. he described her likeness and (with it) overshadowed the heavens;
56. he stretched out the skin, he kept a watch,
57. he urged on her waters that were not issuing forth;
58. he lit up the sky; the sanctuary (of heaven) rejoiced, and
59. he presented himself before the deep, the seat of Ea.
60. Then the lord measured (Tiamat) the offspring of the deep;
61. the chief prophet made of her 1 image the house of the Firmament. 2
62. Ê-sarra which he had created (to be) the heavens
63. the chief prophet caused Anu, Bel and Ea to inhabit as their stronghold.


64. [First line of the next tablet:] He prepared the mansions of the great gods.
65. [Colophon.] One hundred and forty-six lines of the 4th tablet (of the series beginning:) "When on high unproclaimed."
66. According to the papyri of the tablet whose writing had been injured.
67. Copied for Nebo his lord by Nahid-Merodach, the son of the irrigator, for the preservation of his life
68. and the life of all his house. He wrote and placed (it) in Ê-zida. 3

136:1 These are the last two lines of the Third Tablet.

136:2 ’Sigar. In W.A.I., v. I, 12, we read that the 12th of Iyyar was the ’sigar or "festival" of the goddess Gula.

136:3 Literally "the covering of heaven" (nalbas same).

136:4 Literally "may they open."

137:1 Literally "pour out."

137:2 The "saying," or "Word," is regarded as having a real existence which could be created, destroyed, and re-created by Merodach. The "Word" is similarly personified in Zech. ix. 1.

137:3 We have here the same idea as in the "burden" of the Hebrew prophets, the Assyrian verb "to lift up" being nasu, the Hebrew nasâ, whence massâ, "a burden" or "oracle."

137:4 The badhdhu was the name of the weapon sacred to Merodach. From the sculptures it would appear to have been a kind of boomerang.

138:1 Here we have a curiously weakened form, kisti instead of qasti.

138:2 Or if we correct the text and read makhri la galidta, "that fears not a rival."

139:1 Read ip-qid.

141:1 The primæval god of the Firmament.

141:2 The meaning of the blood of Tiamat is shown by the two contradictory Babylonian legends of the creation which Berôssos, the Chaldean historian, has amalgamated together:—"Bêlos (Merodach) came and cut the woman (Tiamat) asunder, and of one half of her he formed the earth, and of the other half the heavens, and at the same time destroyed the animals within her (in the abyss). All this was an allegorical description of nature. For, the whole universe consisting of moisture, and animals being continually generated therein, the deity above mentioned (Bêlos) cut off his own head; upon which the other gods mixed the blood, as it gushed out, with the earth, and from thence men were formed. On this account it is that they are rational and partake of divine knowledge." Similarly, according to Philon Byblios, Phœnician cosmology declared that the blood of Uranos or Baal-samaim, when mutilated by his son Kronos near the rivers and fountains, flowed into them and fertilised the earth.

142:1 "Its" in the original.

142:2 Ê-Sarra.

142:3 Ê-Zida, "the constituted house," was the great temple of Nebo in Borsippa, now represented by the Birs-i-Nimrud. The copy of the text deposited in it by Nahid-Merodach was probably made in the Persian age.



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