Enlil

Sep 2015
310
ireland
#1
Would it be right to assume that awareness of deities such as Enlil would have been lost for millennia until we started to translate Summerian tablets in more recent times? Would someone have been aware of him in 300 AD for example?
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#2
Enlil is the king of the gods in 'The Epic of Gilgamesh' .Discovered in 1853. First modern translation in the early 1870's:


Enlil is the king of the gods and the one who grants immortality to the Utanapishtims.


As you might expect for a king of the gods, Enlil is a little hard to figure out. In Tablet 2, when Gilgamesh tells Enkidu about his brilliant idea to go kill Humbaba, the guardian of the Cedar Forest, Enkidu tells him, "Uh-uh, big no-no: Enlil put Humbaba in the Cedar Forest on purpose to protect it."

Assuming Enkidu is right (and it looks like he is), it's reasonable to ask: Why did Enlil make Humbaba the defender of the Cedar Forest? As so often when it comes to the gods, the answer seems to be "just because." Perhaps it is to actually protect the trees from people who would like to chop them down for sport. (Ahem … Gilgamesh.)

Enlil in The Epic of Gilgamesh
 
Likes: bedb
Sep 2015
310
ireland
#3
Thanks bboomer. It seems that some awareness of Gilgamesh survived through time to antiquity. Aelian wrote an otherwise unrecorded account of his birth in 200 AD.
 
Nov 2016
430
Munich
#4
deities such as Enli
Here are passages about god Enlil from the book "The Invention of the Gods" (2009) by recently deceased Dr. G. Bott, the leading German patriarchy critic, whom I cooperated with for some years. Text provisionally translated by me from German:

As we often encounter in the history of religion, warrior peoples have storm and thunder gods. Thus, among the Sumerians, EN.LIL ascends to the "King of the gods", in whose shadow EN.KI always remains. In later, Akkadian and post-Akkadian (Babylonian) myths, Enlil is attributed a very significant initiative, which reveals the patriarchal change of the pantheon: Enlil, as king of the gods, demands that the UNIVERSE, AN.KI, "Heaven and Earth", previously considered as a unity and "mothered" by the Great Goddess Ninhursag/Namu (or MAMI-NIN-TU-NINMAH) and dominated by the "Goddess of the Great Above", Inanna, henceforth be taken away from the goddess and be divided as follows: Enlil himself, who separates heaven and earth (Kramer 1, p. 401), takes over the dominion of the earth, KI, while he transfers heaven to a new heavenly god called AN, i. e."heaven". Thus, as the original goddess of AN.KI, Inanna is patriarchally completely expropriated. It is remarkable that around 2,500 BCE first of all Enlil took over the rule over the earth and transferred it, in a later myth around 2,200 BCE at the earliest, to EN.KI, who is according to his name the "Lord of the earth". In any case, Enlil is the king of the gods, who commissions AN to rule the heavens and, later, ENKI to rule the earth. So the undisputed pantheon boss is EN.LIL.

(...)

If there had been a male "god of heaven and earth" in addition to the "goddess of heaven and earth" documented since 3,200 BCE, mythological traces of such a remarkable rivalry or competition would surely have remained. So it all points to the fact that later mythographers invented and instituted such a heavenly god only after Enlil, about 2,500 BCE, had Inanna deprived her of power, took the earth from her and also the heaven, which he gave to a male heavenly god who was named ANU by the Akkadians.

This strange "AN" is too obviously a "deus ex machina", which saw the light of day only many centuries after Inanna and therefore always remains in the shadow of his patron Enlil. Only by the Semites this AN will continuously be upgraded as "ANU", promoted by mythography and finally, after the demise of the Sumerians, elevated to pantheon chief. The Semitic conqueror peoples of Mesopotamia, first the Akkadians, then the Amorites and finally the Aramians, mythograph a pantheon into which they--changing their values--take up the old gods found by them, also those with Sumerian names. They genealogize this new pantheon, fitting in their social order, according to pairing families and "god couples".

Such a "genealogical family tree" was also--regrettably-- published by S. N. Kramer in 1983 (in Wolkstein/Kramer, p. IXf):

There is an amalgam of Sumerian, Akkadian, Amoritic, Aramaic and late Babylonian-Chaldean myths and theologies, without any indication of time, without naming their historical origin. Such a mixture, which should reflect the "family tree" of Inanna, looks like this: the primal goddess NAMMU is goddess of heaven and earth. Her son ANU, who has no father, is the Great Heavenly God and the pantheon chief (at which time remains unsaid). With his mother Nammu he procreates the water god EA/ENKI. With his matrilinear sister (who also has no father), the earth goddess KI, he procreates the wind god EN.LIL, whose father and "mother-brother" he is at the same time. As soon as his son, Enlil, is grown up, father and son, Anu and Enlil, share the "universe", the AN.KI. Enlil receives the earth from his father AN. In this myth-mix it is no longer Enlil who transfers heavenly dominion to AN, but AN who entrusts the Enlil with the earth dominion. Somehow, Enlil first inherits the earth from his mother, the earth goddess KI, but soon EN.KI, the "Lord of the Earth", takes over the earth from his matrilinear sister KI, i.e. her brother accepts her inheritance and not her son Enlil.

We are facing here a rather confused and complicated theological construct, compared with the clarity and simplicity of the early Sumerian times.

In this new pantheon, which is patriarchalized and sorted by pairing families, EN.LIL also receives a newly invented wife NIN.LIL and procreates with her the moon god NANNA. This one is married with NIN.GAL, the Great Mistress (who we met already in section 1), and who has now sunk to a daughter of EA/ENKI. Henceforth, the children of the moon god and of Ningal are sun god UTU and his sister ISHTAR/INANNA, who is by now only the goddess of love and goddess of war and has descended from her former rank as goddess of heaven and earth to the lowest level of the pantheon. After the "Kramer family tree", which we are looking at here, Inanna as Ishtar is now a great granddaughter of the pantheon boss ANU, and EN.LIL is her patrilinear grandfather while ENKI is her matrilinear grandfather.

(...)
 
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Apr 2017
636
Lemuria
#5
Would it be right to assume that awareness of deities such as Enlil would have been lost for millennia until we started to translate Summerian tablets in more recent times? Would someone have been aware of him in 300 AD for example?
Yahweh is literally a trinity: Anu, Enki and Enlil (father and two sons the reason why the character seems to have multiple personality disorder). Enki may have two forms as well. It's complicated. People still know about them but in a distorted way. You always know who Enki is by the trident. Poseidon, Shiva, Quetzalcoatl, Osiris etc are basically the same character. You can see him wielding a double trident against a daemon (similar to the one in the Exorcist, Pazuzu). Enki is also a title. His real name would be Ea Enki (Ea Lord of Earth). Ea Enki is also appropriate because it matches the trident theme. Enlil would be Zeus, Vishnu,Thor.
 
Nov 2016
430
Munich
#6
Yahweh is literally a trinity: Anu, Enki and Enli
In Yahveh a multitude of divine aspects from non-Jewish mythologies are integrated, you can´t just pick out three of them and say, this "is" Yahveh.

Enlil would be Zeus, Vishnu,Thor.
This sounds again quite amateurish since Enlil "is" (or "would be") not Zeus, Vishnu, Thor. You should describe the (possible) contexts more exactly instead of just saying "is" or "would be".

As to Enki:

The creation myth of the Torah has to a great degree been influenced by former myths from Mesopotamia and Egypt. As is widely accepted in the science of religion, the Genesis and the other books of ´Moses´ (whose historicity is clearly to deny) was drafted during the Babylonian exile by Jewish priests who produced the Torah as a new Jewish identity matrix, thus compensating the loss of the central Jewish religious symbol, the First Temple.

In Babylonia, the authors of the Torah got to know the Babylonian myths, e.g. the Atrahasis myth which describes the creation of mankind as follows: The minor gods start a revolt because of the laborious work on Earth, imposed on them by the major gods. So one of the major gods, Enki, proposes the creation of humans as earthly servants of the gods. The others agree and charge the mother goddess Nintu with the fashioning of a prototype (Lullu). Since she cannot produce one out of nothing, she needs the help of Enki: He is to supply the clay which the goddess mixes with the blood of an ´evil´ god (or demon) called Kingu to form a human. Of course, the clay is a metaphor for male semen. By the way, this myth is the first known appearance of the idea of an ´original sin´ (the blood of an ´evil´ god as an intrinsic element of humans).

The Egyptian equivalent to the creation pair Nintu/Enki is the god Khnum whose temple was in Esna and who - in Khnum-related myths - has fashioned gods and humans from clay on his potter´s wheel and has given them breath to make them live. Furthermore, he is connected to the biological birth process insofar as he forms the fetus in the womb. In the temple of Deir el Bahari, where the birth of female Pharaoh Hatshepsut is depicted by wall carvings, Khnum is shown forming the fetus of Hatshepsut on his wheel after chief god Amun has impregnated her queen mother Iahmes with his divine semen.

Of course, Egyptian myths were largely known in Israel which had been under Egyptian influence for centuries. So it´s not surprising that Khnum´s creational skills were taken over by Jahwe, as can be seen in the book of Job 10:8-11 ("... remember that you fashioned me like clay...") and in Ps 139:13 ("... you knit me together in my mother’s womb..."). As to the creational mode in Gen 2, the authors were inspired by the Babylonian myth on creation out of ´bloody´ clay, what corresponds to the ´red earth´ (adamah) from which Adam is shaped.

The anecdote of the "Babylonian confusion of languages", like so much in "Genesis", has been inspired by older Sumerian myths, in this case by the myth "Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta", which dates back to 2000 BC, that is, one and a half thousand years before the exile, was written in the time of the Ur III dynasty, which boasted of its descent from the dynasties of Ur (before 2500 BC) and proved to the then King Enmerkar by the myth reference. This myth reads (verses 147-155):

At that time, until Enki, the Lord of Abundance, the True, the Wise Lord, who observed the land of Sumer, the leader of the Gods, called to wisdom, the Lord of Eridu, had put strange languages into their mouths, the language of mankind had been one.


It follows from this that the Sumerian fertility god Enki had created the confusion of languages (i.e. the diversity of languages in Sumer) in order to avoid (as can be seen from the wider context) his rival, the God Enlil, because until then people prayed to Enlil in a single language. In "Genesis", Enkis' behavior is adopted 1to1 by Yahweh, albeit for other motives. Through the introduction of Scripture, initiated by Enmerkar (of course only in the "Enmerkar" myth, because Scripture was invented centuries before Enmerkar), people again arrive at a uniform language.

The sense of the Genesis-Babel story is of course to put the political-religious opponents of the Israelites (the polytheistic rest of mankind) in a negative light. A one-dimensional interpretation is hardly possible, the processed motifs are too complex (tower, linguistic diversity, dispersion). One can understand the episode as the myth of origin of multilingualism, as a reminder against human ambition to reach the divine ("a tower to heaven") and last but not least as a tip against polytheism, the symbol of which was the Zikkurate ("Heavenly mountain").

Admittedly, the Israelites also practiced the concept of the mountain of the gods with the veneration of Zion, the "holy mountain" in Jerusalem, from which Yahweh rules the world, similar to God Marduk of the Zikkurat of Babylon.

As for the Enki context of Chinese goddess Nugua:

With some certainty she was originally an independent deity and was only rewritten in the later mythologization to Fu Xi's sister wife. Fu Xi himself also has shamanic features as some depictions show. The similarity of Fu Xi and Nugua to the Sumerian gods Enki and Ninki aka Ninhursag is striking. Like the two Sumerians, Fu Xi and Nugua also create humans from clay. Similar to Enki in the epic of Atraharsis, the Chinese couple saves mankind after the obligatory Great Flood by recreating it, while Enki warns man of Atraharsis and causes him to build a ship (model of the Noah myth). Similar to Enki and Ninki, Fu Xi and Nugua are also associated with snakes, the latter even described as physically half human, half snake, which emphasizes their shamanism in Fux Xi and Nugua. Another parallel, of course, is the incestuous relationship practised by both couples.

It has been speculated whether the Fu Xi / Nugua myth was partly derived from Enki-Ninhursag myths transmitted to China by Sumerian traders, just as other connections between Sumer and China can at least hypothetically be established. It is possible that Sumer had a decisive influence on Chinese culture at the time of the Xia Dynasty through trade contacts with China from the middle of the 3rd century BCE.
 
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Mar 2014
23
Brazil
#7
I think Enlil was mostly forgotten by late Babylonian times.Since Hammurabi's time all his attributes and role in the semitic pantheon switched to Marduk (Ea/Enki's son).

Maybe he was fused with Marduk (like Amon and Ra in the Egyptian pantheon) as in later times the chief god named Bel had attributes from Enil + Marduk.

In Assyria his role was occupied by Assur in later times as well.

But who knows when people stopped believing in him?We do not know how or when sumerian/babylonian politheism died in parthian/sassanid times.

Enviado de meu E6603 usando o Tapatalk
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#8
I read that YHWH . started out as a Sumerian storm god named el, and that he had a wife called Asheroth. Thousands of statues of a female god have been found in Israel, dating from after the time Israel was officially monotheistic.

Asheroth devolved into a red headed demon, found in Jewish apocrypha. There remains folk belief in Judaism that red headed women are bad luck.

OR is the singularity of YHWH a much later development than the trinity described?


Reference "Did God have a wife?;Archaeology And folk religion In Ancient Israel"" . William G Dever

Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel, (Eerdmans, ISBN 0-8028-2852-3, 2005),[1] is a book by Syro-Palestinian archaeologist William G. Dever, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Archeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Did God Have a Wife? was intended as a popular work making available to the general public the evidence long known to archaeologists regarding ancient Israelite religion: namely that the Israelite god of antiquity (before 600 BCE), Yahweh, had a consort, that her name was Asherah, and that she was part of the Canaanite pantheon.

Did God Have a Wife? - Wikipedia
 
Nov 2016
430
Munich
#9
I made a new thread on "Some aspects of the origin of Jewish religion" in order to clear the total confusion about the origin of Yahveh which some articles in this thread here are strikingly displaying.

One example:

I read that YHWH . started out as a Sumerian storm god named el, and that he had a wife called Asheroth
Three errors in one sentence :)

+ Yahveh didn´t start as El but only later became merged with El.

+ El was no "Sumerian storm god" but a Phoenician father god.

+ Sumerian storm gods were Enlil and Iskur. Iskur was the model for the Akkadian storm god Adad which was the model for the Phoenician storm god Hadad which was the model for the Canaanite storm god Baal which was in his storm aspect a model for Yahveh (see my new thread).
 
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Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#10
I made a new thread on "Some aspects of the origin of Jewish religion" in order to clear the total confusion about the origin of Yahveh which some articles in this thread here are strikingly displaying.

One example:



Three errors in one sentence :)

+ Yahveh didn´t start as El but only later became merged with El.

+ El was no "Sumerian storm god" but a Phoenician father god.

+ Sumerian storm gods were Enlil and Iskur. Iskur was the model for the Akkadian storm god Adad which was the model for the Phoenician storm god Hadad which was the model for the Canaanite storm god Baal which was in his storm aspect a model for Yahveh (see my new thread).

WOW! That's a record for me so far. Either my source is not as good as I thought, or I have misremembered.(more likely) In any case, thank you for providing the correct information.

I'm actually very interested in this topic, but seem to have become a bit muddled.

Would you mind either giving a brief rundown of the evolution of YHWH, or perhaps a link that I can read for myself?
 
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