The Chaldean Account of Genesis

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THE CHALDEAN ACCOUNT
OF GENESIS.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR.


ASSYRIAN EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES.

By GEORGE SMITH,
Of the Oriental Department of the British Museum.

One vol., 8vo, cloth, with numerous illustrations, maps, photographs, plans, etc., $4.00.

Sent, post-paid, on receipt of price by the Publishers,

SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG & CO.,
743 & 745 Broadway, New York.

THE

CHALDEAN ACCOUNT OF GENESIS,

CONTAINING
THE DESCRIPTION OF THE CREATION, THE FALL OF MAN,
THE DELUGE, THE TOWER OF BABEL, THE
TIMES OF THE PATRIARCHS,
AND NIMROD:
BABYLONIAN FABLES, AND LEGENDS OF THE GODS;
FROM THE CUNEIFORM INSCRIPTIONS.

BY GEORGE SMITH,

OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ORIENTAL ANTIQUITIES, BRITISH MUSEUM,
AUTHOR OF "HISTORY OF ASSURBANIPAL,"
"ASSYRIAN DISCOVERIES,"
ETC., ETC.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.

NEW YORK:
SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG & CO.
1876.

TO

SIR HENRY CRESWICKE RAWLINSON,

K.C.B., D.C.L., ETC. ETC. ETC.,

MY TEACHER AND PEEDECESSOR IN MY PRESENT

LINE OF RESEARCH,

IN REMEMBRANCE OF MANY FAVOURS,

THIS WORK IS

Dedicated.

INTRODUCTION.

SOME explanation is necessary in introducing my present work. Little time has elapsed since I discovered the most important of these inscriptions, and in the intervening period I have had, amidst other work, to collect the various fragments of the legends, copy, compare, and translate, altering my matter from time to time, as new fragments turned up. Even now I have gone to press with one of the fragments of the last tablet of the Izdubar series omitted.

The present condition of the legends and their recent discovery alike forbid me to call this anything more than a provisional work; but there was so general a desire to see the translations that I have published them, hoping my readers will take them with the same reserve with which I have given them.

I have avoided some of the most important comparisons and conclusions with respect to Genesis, as my desire was first to obtain the recognition of the evidence without prejudice.

The chronological notes in the book are one of its weak points, but I may safely say that I have placed the various dates as low as I fairly could, considering the evidence, and I have aimed to do this rather than to establish any system of chronology.

I believe that time will show the Babylonian traditions of Genesis to be invaluable for the light they will throw on the Pentateuch, but at present there are so many blanks in the evidence that positive conclusions on several points are impossible. I may add in conclusion that my present work is intended as a popular account, and I have introduced only so much explanation as seems necessary for the proper understanding of the subject. I have added translations of some parts of the legends which I avoided in my last work, desiring here to satisfy the wish to see them as perfect as possible; there still remain however some passages which I have omitted, but these are of small extent and obscure.

October 26, 1875.


CONTENTS.

Chapter I.—The Discovery of the Genesis Legends.
Cosmogony of Berosus.—Discovery of Cuneiform Inscriptions.—Historical Texts.—Babylonian origin of Assyrian literature.—Mythological tablets.—Discovery of Deluge texts.—Izdubar, his exploits.—Mutilated condition of tablets.—Lecture on Deluge tablets.—"Daily Telegraph" offer.—Expedition to Assyria.—Fragments of Creation tablets.—Solar Myth.—Second journey to Assyria.—Tower of Babel.—Clay records.—Account of creation in "Telegraph."—"Daily Telegraph" collection.—Interest of Creation legends.—The Fall.—New fragments.—List of texts
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Chapter II.—Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.
Babylonian literature.—Kouyunjik library.—Fragmentary condition.—Arrangement of tablets.—Subjects.—Dates.—Babylonian source of literature.—Literary period.—Babylonian Chronology.—Akkad.—Sumir.—Urukh, king of Ur.—Hammurabi.—Babylonian astrology.—War of Gods.—Izdubar legends.—Creation and fall.—Syllabaries and bilingual tablets.—Assyrian copies.—Difficulties as to date.—Mutilated condition.—Babylonian library.—Assyrian empire.—City of Assur.—Library at Calah.—Sargon of Assyria.—Sennacherib.—Removal of Library to Nineveh.—Assurbanipal or Sardanapalus.—His additions to library.—Description of contents.—Later Babylonian libraries
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Chapter III.—Chaldean Legends transmitted through Berostus and other Ancient Authors.
Berosus and his copyists.—Cory's translation.—Alexander Polyhistor.—Babylonia.—Cannes, his teaching.—Creation.—Belus.—Chaldean kings.—Xisuthrus.—Deluge.—The Ark.—Return to Babylon.—Apollodorus.—Pantibiblon.—Larancha.—Abydenus.—Alorus, first king.—Ten kings.—Sisithrus.—Deluge.—Armenia.—Tower of Babel.—Cronos and Titan.—Nicolaus Damascenus.—Dispersion from Hestiaeus.—Babylonian colonies.—Tower of Babel.—The Sibyl.—Titan and Prometheus.—Damascius.—Tauthe.—Moymis.—Kissare and Assorus.—Triad.—Bel
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37
Chapter IV.—Babylonian Mythology.
Greek accounts.—Mythology local in origin.—Antiquity.—Conquests.—Colonies.—Three great gods.—Twelve great gods.—Angels.—Spirits.—Anu.—Anatu.—Vul.—Ishtar.—Equivalent to Venus.—Ilea.—Cannes.—Merodach.—Bel or Jupiter.—Ziratbanit, Succoth Benoth.—Elu.—Sin the moon god.—Ninip.—Shamas.—Nergal.—Anunit.—Table of gods
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51
Chapter V.—Babylonian Legend of the Creation.
Mutilated condition of tablets.—List of subjects.—Description of chaos. — Tiamat.—Generation of gods.—Damascius.—Comparison with Genesis.—Three great gods.—Doubtful fragments.—Fifth tablet.—Stars.—Planets.—Moon.—Sun.—Abyss or chaos.—Creation of moon.—Creation of animals.—Man.—His duties.—Dragon of sea.—Fall.—Curse for disobedience.—Discussion.—Sacred tree—Dragon or serpent.—War with Tiamat.—Weapons.—Merodach.—Destruction of Tiamat.—Mutilation of documents.—Parallel Biblical account.—Age of story
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61
Chapter VI.—Other Babylonian Accounts of the Creation.
Cuneiform accounts originally traditions.—Variations.—Account of Berosus.—Tablet from Cutha.—Translation.—Composite animals.—Eagle-headed men.—Seven brothers.—Destruction of men.—Seven wicked spirits.—War in heaven.—Variations of story.—Poetical account of Creation
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101
Chapter VII.—The Sin of the God Zu.
God Zu.—Obscurity of legend.—Translation.—Sin of Zu.—
Anger of the gods.—Speeches of Anu to Vul.—Vul's answer.—Speech of Anu to Nebo.—Answer of Nebo.—Sarturda.—Changes to a bird.—The Zu bird.—Bird of prey.—Sarturda lord of Amarda
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Chapter VIII.—The Exploits of Lubara.
Lubara.—God of Pestilence.—Itak.—The Plague.—Seven warrior gods.—Destruction of people.—Anu.—Goddess of Karrak.—Speech of Elu.—Sin and destruction of Babylonians.—Shamas.—Sin and destruction of Erech.—Ishtar.—The great god and Duran.—Cutha.—Internal wars.—Itak goes to Syria.—Power and glory of Lubara.—Song of Lubara.—Blessings on his worship.—God Ner.—Prayer to arrest the Plague
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Chapter IX.—Babylonian Fables.
Fables.—Common in the East.—Description.—Power of speech in animals.—Story of the eagle.—Serpent.—Shamas.—The eagle caught.—Eats the serpent.—Anger of birds.—Etana.—Seven gods.—Third tablet.—Speech of eagle.—Story of the fox.—His cunning.—Judgment of Shamas.—His show of sorrow.—His punishment.—Speech of fox.—Fable of the horse and ox.—They consort together.—Speech of the ox.—His good fortune.—Contrast with the horse.—Hunting the ox.—Speech of the horse.—Offers to recount story.—Story of Ishtar.—Further tablets
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Chapter X.—Fragments of Miscellaneous Texts.
Atarpi.—Sin of the world.—Mother and daughter quarrel.—Zamu.—Punishment of world.—Hea.—Calls his sons.—Orders drought.—Famine.—Building.—Nusku.—Riddle of wise man.—Nature and universal presence of air.—Gods.—Sinuri.—Divining by fracture of reed.—Incantation.—Dream.—Tower of Babel.—Obscurity of legend.—Not noticed by Berosus.—Fragmentary tablet.—Destruction of Tower.—Dispersion.—Locality of Babylon.—Birs Nimrud.—Babil.—Assyiian representations
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Chapter XI.—The Izdubar Legends.
Account of Deluge.—Nimrod.—Izdubar.—Age of Legends.—Babylonian cylinders.—Notices of Izdubar.—Surippak.—Ark City.
—Twelve tablets.—Extent of Legends.—Description.—Introduction.—Meeting of Heabani and Izdubar.—Destruction of tyrant Humbaba.—Adventures of Ishtar.—Illness and wanderings of Izdubar.—Description of Deluge and conclusion.—First Tablet.—Kingdom of Nimrod.—Traditions.—Identifications.—Translation.—Elamite Conquest.—Dates
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Chapter XII.—Meeting of Heabani and Izdubar.
Dream of Izdubar.—Heabani.—His wisdom.—His solitary life.—Izdubar's petition.—Zaidu.—Harimtu and Sambat.—Tempt Heabani.—Might and fame of Izdubar.—Speech of Heabani.—His journey to Erech.—The midannu or tiger.—Festival at Erech.—Dream of Izdubar.—Friendship with Heabani
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Chapter XIII.—Destruction of the Tyrant Humbaba.
Elamite dominion.—Forest region.—Humbaba.—Conversation.—Petition to Shamas.—Journey to forest.—Dwelling of Humbaba.—Entrance to forest.—Meeting with Humbaba.—Death of Humbaba.—Izdubar king
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Chapter XIV.—The Adventures of Ishtar.
Triumph of Izdubar.—Ishtar's love.—Her offer of marriage.—Her promises.—Izdubar's answer.—Tammuz.—Amours of Ishtar.—His refusal.—Ishtar's anger.—Ascends to Heaven.—The bull.—Slain by Izdubar.—Ishtar's curse.—Izdubar's triumph.—The feast.—Ishtar's despair.—Her descent to Hades.—Description.—The seven gates.—The curses.—Uddusunamir.—Sphinx.—Release of Ishtar.—Lament for Tammuz
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Chapter XV.—Illness and Wanderings of Izdubar.
Heabani and the trees.—Illness of Izdubar.—Death of Heabani.—Journey of Izdubar.—His dream.—Scorpion men.—The Desert of Mas.—The paradise.—Siduri and Sabitu.—Urhamsi.—Water of death.—Ragmu.—The conversation.—Hasisadra
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Chapter XVI.—The Story of the Flood and Conclusion.
Eleventh tablet.—The gods.—Sin of the world.—Command to build the ark.—Its contents.—The building.—The Flood.—Destruction of people.—Fear of the gods.—End of Deluge.—Nizir.—
Resting of Ark.—The birds.—The descent from the ark.—The sacrifice.—Speeches of gods.—Translation of Hasisadra.—Cure of Izdubar.—His return.—Lament over Heabani.—Resurrection of Heabani.—Burial of warrior.—Comparison with Genesis.—Syrian nation.—Connection of legends.—Points of contact.—Duration of deluge.—Mount of descent.—Ten generations.—Early cities.—Age of Izdubar
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Chapter XVII.—Conclusion.
Notices of Genesis.—Correspondence of names.—Abram.—Ur of Chaldees.—Ishmael.—Sargon.—His birth.—Concealed in ark.—Age of Nimrod.—Doubtful theories.—Creation.—Garden Eden.—Oannes.—Berosus.—Izdubar legends.—Urukh of Ur.—Babylonian seals.—Egyptian names.—Assyrian sculptures
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

FRONTISPIECE, Photograph. Izdubar (Nimrod) in conflict with a lion, from an early Babylonian cylinder.

2. Reverse of inscribed terra cotta tablet, containing the account of the Deluge, showing the various fragments of which it is composed, 10.

3. Oannes and other Babylonian mythological figures, from cylinder, 39.

4. Composite animals, from cylinder, 41.

5. Fight between Merodach (Bel) and the dragon, to face p. 62.

6. Sacred tree or grove, with attendant cherubim, from Assyrian cylinder, 89.

7. Sacred tree, seated figure on each side and serpent in background, from an early Babylonian cylinder, 91.

8. Bel encountering the dragon, from Babylonian cylinder, 95.

9. Merodach or Bel armed for the conflict with the dragon, from Assyrian cylinder, 99.

10. Fight between Bel and the dragon, from Babylonian cylinder, 102.

11. Eagle-headed men, from Nimroud sculpture, to face p. 102.

12. Sacred tree, attendant figures and eagle-headed men, from the seal of a Syrian chief, ninth century B.C., 106.

13. Men engaged in building, from Babylonian cylinder, 158.

14 and 15. Men engaged in building, from Babylonian cylinders, 159.

16. View of Birs Nimrud, the supposed site of the Tower of Babel, 162.

17. View of the Babil mound at Babylon, the site of the temple of Bel, 163.

18. Tower in stages, from an Assyrian bas-relief, 164.

19. Izdubar strangling a lion, from Khorsabad sculpture, to face p. 174.

20. Migration of Eastern tribe, from early Babylonian cylinder, 188.

21. Bowareyeh Mound at Warka (Erech), site of the temple of Ishtar, 237.

22. Izdubar and Heabani in conflict with the lion and bull, 239.

23. Izdubar, composite figures, and Hasisadra (Noah) in the ark, from early Babylonian cylinder, 257.

24. Composite figures (scorpion men), from an Assyrian cylinder, 262.

25. Hasisadra, or Noah, and Izdubar, from an early Babylonian cylinder, 283.

26. Mugheir, the site of Ur of the Chaldees, 297.

27. Oannes, from Nimroud sculpture, to face p. 306.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.