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The Tablet of the Serpent

The Tablet of the Serpent tells the tale of the War in Heaven. When the Ancient Ones rallied together with Queen Tiamat to do battle against the Elder Gods in order to avenge the death of Apsu. It tells the tale of the hero of the Elder Gods, Marduk and his battle against the Goddess Dragon of Chaos. It tells of the creation of the World and of the creation of primitive man.

The Tablet of the Serpent

('Enuma Elish' pt.2)

In the fullness of time, Enki, Lord of the Abzu, and Damgalnunna, his consort begat their powerful children. Adapa and Marduk were the names of their sons. In the Chamber of Fates, hidden deep within the Hall of Destinies, Adapa, cleverest of the clever, divine sage of the gods was begat. In the heart of Abzu, Marduk was conceived, engendered with all the wisdom and power of the gods. Enki, his creator, and Damgalnunna who bore him made sure that he would be greatest among the gods.

From early in life, it was obvious that Marduk was superior to all the gods in every way. Even though he was born as an adult, his goddess nursemaids fed him special milk from the day of his birth, which ensured Marduk's awesome stature. Great was his size, and great were his limbs. Marduk was a natural leader. Enki had double crowned Marduk with godhead, making him surpass all others. Fierce and striking was his appearance, with four shining eyes affixed in his head, Marduk was able to see in all directions, and four great ears allowed him to hear all things. When Marduk spoke, fire blazed forth from his lips. When Enki saw him, he declared to Damgalnunna,

'Our son Marduk is the Sun of Heaven!'

For indeed, Marduk had been crowned with the halos of ten gods, making his brightness awesome to behold. The mighty visage of Marduk inspired fear as well as majesty in all who beheld him.

During this time, An, King of the Sky created and stationed the watchtowers of the four winds and caused them to blow incessantly, creating a great storm. The Wind of the North, the Wind of the South, the Wind of the East and the Wind of the West. The constant blowing of the storm-winds disturbed Tiamat and the children of the gods, causing them to lose sleep and to toss about restlessly day and night.

As time passed, some of the older children of the gods, called the Ancient Ones, became angry and plotted evil once again. The Ancient Ones, in malice, contributed to the storm that blew day and night and further disturbed Queen Tiamat. The Ancient Ones felt betrayed by their Queen, due to her inaction to avenge the death of her husband Apsu, they were also envious of An and Enki and they coveted the kingship of heaven for themselves. In secret, they met together and plotted the overthrow of King An and Lord Enki.

When the Ancient Ones had devised a devious plan, they went before the throne of Queen Tiamat and presented their insidious plot. Kingu, son of Tiamat and leader of the Ancient Ones approached the dais of Tiamat and called out to her,

'Great Mother Tiamat, Queen of all Gods, hear the pleas of your children, calling for justice and vengeance. When An and Enki slew Apsu, your consort, you did not even go to his aid, but rather sat mute. Now An has created the four fearful winds to ravage your waters and disturb the slumber of the gods. We simply can find no rest! Let Apsu, your consort, be in your mind! Is he not in your heart? And Mummu, the vizier who was vanquished and captured, is he not still in your heart as well? They are gone and you are left alone. Nevertheless, are you not a mother? Our Mother? You heave about restlessly day and night, but what about us, who cannot rest? Do you not love us? Our eyes are weary and sunken with lack of sleep; we can find no peace at all. Apparently, you do not love us, for you do absolutely nothing! We beseech you to remove this yoke from about our necks. Let us have rest! Remember Apsu and Mummu, set up a battle cry and avenge them! Conquer the enemy and reduce them to dust! We shall support you in this endeavor.'

Queen Tiamat sat back in her basalt throne and considered all that she had heard. After a few moments of deep thought, Tiamat addressed the assemblage of the Ancient Ones standing before her, saying to them,

'Your offer of support pleases me, Kingu. Let us act now, as you were advising me. Now is the time to prepare for battle against the gods who adopted evil against the gods who bore them.'

Upon hearing this, the Assembly of the Ancient Ones cheered. They crowded round and rallied to the side of Tiamat. The rebellious gods now felt free to express the fullness of their wrath. They growled, raged, and formed a council to prepare for War. Day and night, they gathered in order to plot their revolt.

The Ancient Ones were fearful of An and Enki's great power, so they beseeched Queen Tiamat to create for them mighty weapons and strong beasts which they might employ against their enemy. Tiamat summoned forth her creatrix aspect, Mother Hubur, she who fashions all things, and together they set about creating monsters and matchless weaponry for their unholy war.

Tiamat-Hubur bore monster serpents, sharp of tooth and unsparing of fang. She filled their bodies with poisonous venom instead of blood. She fashioned many terrifying dragons called the mushussu, and crowned them with halos as if they were gods. All who gazed upon them would perish from fright. Once the serpents reared upright, none would be able to turn them back or repel them. She created the Viper, the Dragon, the Sphinx, the Great-Lion, the Mad-Dog, and the Scorpion-Man, mighty Lion-Demons, the Dragonfly and the Centaur. To all of them she gave matchless weapons, which spare not, they were fearless in battle. In total, eleven races of monsters Tiamat-Hubur bore forth in order to wage war in heaven.

From among the number of the Ancient Ones, Tiamat chose her first-born son, Kingu, who created the Assembly of the Ancient Ones, and made him chief among them. She appointed Kingu as commander-in-chief over her army of monsters and rebellious gods.

'I have cast my spell upon you,' Tiamat said unto Kingu,

'Exalting you in the Assembly of the Ancient Ones.'

She continued, 'I have bestowed upon you the power to counsel all the gods in the Assembly. You now rule supreme among them all. You are my only consort and companion now. Your utterances shall prevail over all the Anukki, my children. Your command will be everlasting, and your words shall be utterly unchangeable. All of your commands shall become as law throughout the universe.'

Upon proclaiming Kingu's new status, Tiamat then seated Kingu upon a basalt throne and fastened to his breastplate the Talisman of Power known as the Tablet of Destinies, which conferred the An-Power to him, making Kingu the new unlawful ruler of heaven.

As soon as Kingu was elevated in stature, and possessed of the An-Power, he proclaimed to the Assembly of Ancient Ones and the gathered monster armies of Tiamat,

'I am your King; your destinies are set by me alone. I decree your fate. You, my sons and daughters, are now empowered by me. Your words shall cause the Eternal Flame to wither and die, you shall make the fires of life subside. Your accumulated venom shall paralyze the powerful. Together we shall humble the Power-Weapon of the gods, and make impotent the mighty sweep of its destruction. We shall overthrow the kingdom of heaven.'

When Tiamat had finished lending her import to the proceedings, she retired to prepare herself for battle against the gods, her offspring. To avenge her husband Apsu, Tiamat wrought great evils throughout the universe.

Meanwhile, in Abzu, news of Tiamat's rebellious army reached the ears of Lord Enki. As soon as Enki heard of the approaching armies, he became enraged and lapsed into a dark and brooding silence and sat right still. Then, on further thought, his anger subsided. Directly, he departed for Anduruna in order to consult with Grandfather Anshar.

When Enki came before his Grandfather, he related all of Tiamat's plots to him.

'Anshar, my Grandfather, Father of the Gods, Tiamat who bore us, now detests us all. She has set up the Assembly of the Ancient Ones and is furious with rage. All the Ancient Ones have rallied to her side. Even those whom you have brought forth now throng together and march at her side. Enraged, they plot without ceasing day and night. They are set for combat, growling and raging. They have formed a Council to prepare for war. Tiamat as Mother Hubur has created matchless weapons and raised an army of monsters to do battle with us. She has created mighty serpents, mushussu dragons, and ugallu-demons of all sorts. She has crowned them all with halos as if they were gods. From among her number, she has taken Kingu, her first-born son, as her consort and companion. Tiamat has elevated Kingu to chieftainship over the Assembly of Ancient Ones, and placed upon him the Tablet of Destinies conferring to him the An-Power. Now they have all thronged together in the outer arm of the Great Spiral and they are marching toward Anduruna to do battle with the Gods of Heaven.'

When Anshar heard all this, he became sorely troubled. He smote his loins, twisted his fingers and bit his lip, gloomy was his heart, and restless his mood. He covered his mouth so none except Enki would hear his decree.

'You must be the one who declares war! Take up the weapon which you fashioned to dispatch Apsu, and bear it now! You are the hero of the gods. You, who slew Apsu and conquered Mummu, must now be the one to slay Kingu, who marches at the head of Tiamat's army!'

Enki, having heard this, declared,

'O Anshar, you are the unfathomable fixer of the fates! The Power to create and destroy is yours! That which you have commanded, I will now fulfill!'

Anshar listened and was pleased. He answered,

'Enki, you are the most courageous of the gods. Go now and repel the forces of the evil ones. Slay Kingu, the leader of the rebellion, and rise up against Tiamat!'

With this command, Enki departed Anduruna for the outer arm of the Great Spiral in order to do battle with the armies of Queen Tiamat.

After the passage of much time, Enki finally drew near to the place where Tiamat's armies were encamped. By this time, her forces had grown to a massive size. So great was the number of Tiamat's monster armies, that they stretched beyond the horizon of the stars. Many worlds had they conquered and plundered, casting entire regions of the universe into utter darkness and despair.

As Enki approached the enclave of Tiamat, he saw how great was her power. He spied upon her armies from a distance and measured their strength. Enki realized he could not face Tiamat and her armies alone and survive. So, saddened and ashamed, Enki returned to the abode of Anduruna and told Grandfather Anshar that he could not fulfill his destiny.

Anshar became saddened by Enki's words. Could none prevail against Tiamat? Anshar, in his wisdom, summoned his son An before him. Anshar addressed his son saying,

'My son, take this weapon, it is the Kasusu weapon of warriors. Its strength is mighty, its attack unfaceable. Go against Tiamat and stand your ground with her! Let her anger diminish and abate, let her fury be quelled. If she will not listen to your words, then speak the words of the gods to her, that she may be pacified.'

An listened to the words of his father Anshar, and he took the road to her and made his way straight to Tiamat.

After some time, An returned to his father in Anduruna. He entered into the presence of his father, and bowed his head in shame, An addressed his father Anshar saying,

'I went forth into the presence of Tiamat and there delivered the message of my fathers, the gods. She bade me to silence and placed her hand atop my head, freezing the words in my mouth. I could not utter a word. Tiamat then showed me the strength of her army, its power overwhelms me, and she is too great for me. I could not defeat her, so I have returned to Anduruna to bear witness to this fact before the Assembly of Gods.'

When Anshar heard this, he became speechless and shook his head in despair. The gathered Anunnaki sat for a while in tight-lipped silence, and then they asked,

'Will no other god come forward? Is fate fixed for us? Will no one go out to face Tiamat?'

However, there was no answer in the assembly.

Meanwhile, in the Abzu, Enki formulated a plan and called his son, Lord Marduk before him. He spoke to Marduk and told him his plan, his innermost design he revealed to Marduk, saying,

'O Marduk, heed well my advice, listen to your father! You are the son who sets Anshar's heart to rest! Go before Anshar, drawing near to him, and make your voice heard, stand your ground with him; Anshar will be calmed by the sight of you.'

The Lord Marduk rejoiced at his father's words, he departed for Anduruna right away and approached the royal court of Anshar. Marduk stood before Anshar, and Anshar looked upon him, and his very heart was filled with joy, he kissed Marduk on the lips and put away his trepidation.

Then Marduk addressed Anshar, saying,

'O Father Anshar, don't remain in silence, open wide your lips, allow me to go, and let me fulfill your heart's desire.'

Anshar replied to Marduk,

'What kind of man has ordered you into his battle? My son, do you not know that it is Queen Tiamat, the Great Dragon, who will advance her armies upon you and make war?

Marduk answered,

'Father Anshar, my creator, rejoice and let your heart be filled with gladness! For you shall soon set your foot upon the neck of a defeated Tiamat!'

Anshar replied,

'Then Go, my son, knowing all wisdom! Destroy Tiamat with your pure magick and spells! Set forth immediately in the storm-chariot; let its fury not be driven out, but turn the power of the enemy back!'

The Lord Marduk rejoiced at Anshar's words, his heart was glad as he addressed his creator, putting into motion the plan of his father Enki. Marduk spoke to Anshar,

'Lord of the Gods, Fate of the Great Gods, if indeed I am to be your champion, if I am to be the one to defeat Tiamat and her armies, if I am to be the one who saves your lives, then convene the Grand Council and decree for me a special fate. Call the Gods together, call your ancestors together, and let them feast at a banquet in the halls of Ubshu-Ukinakku, let them decree this fate for me: My own utterance shall fix the fates instead of you! Whatever I create shall never be changed or altered! The decree of my lips shall never be revoked; my word shall never be overturned! Whatever I create can never be changed!'

Anshar spoke up and made his voice heard, he addressed his speech to Kakka, his loyal vizier,

'O Kakka, my vizier who pleases me much! I shall send you to Lahmu and Lahamu. You know how to probe; you are skillful in the ways of speech. Have the Gods my fathers brought before me, let all the gods be brought before me. Let there be talk and conversation, let them feast at a banquet, let them eat fine food and drink fine wine and beer. And then let them decree a destiny for Marduk their champion. Set off, Kakka, go and stand before the Gods my fathers, and everything that I am about to tell you, repeat to them.'

Anshar then told Kakka what Marduk had requested and he sent him off to the gather the gods to the Grand Council.

After Kakka had presented his information to Lahmu and Lahamu and the gathered Anunnaki, he awaited their answer. Lahmu and Lahamu were stunned by the news of Tiamat's forces rallying against Anduruna; they spoke to Kakka, saying,

'How terrible! Until Anshar decided to send us this report, we had no idea what Tiamat was doing.'

The ancient gods tarried for a while, then decided to depart for Anduruna to attend the Grand Council of Anshar.

All the Great Gods entered into Anshar's presence and were filled with gladness and joy. They kissed each other in the assembly. They banqueted together, they ate fine food, they drank fine wine and beer through their drinking straws, and their bodies swelled with the liquor, they became carefree and merry. They decreed a new destiny for Marduk their champion. They founded a princely throne for him. Marduk took up residence as ruler before the gods his fathers, who proclaimed before him,

'O Marduk, You are honored among the great gods. Your destiny has no equal, your word has the power of An! You possess the An-Power! From this day forward, your command shall not be altered. Yours is the power to create and destroy. Yours is the power to exalt and debase. May your word be law, your utterances never changed. None of the gods shall transgress your limitations. O Marduk, you are our champion! We have granted you Kingship over the entire universe, when you sit in the assembly, your word shall be supreme. Your weapons will not fail you; they shall smash all your foes! O Great Lord Marduk, spare the life of him who trusts in you, but pour out the life of the god who seized evil!'

The gods then set up a test for Marduk. They set up in their midst a constellation of stars, and they addressed Marduk, saying,

'Lord, truly your decree is first among the gods, may your decree, O Lord, impress the gods! Say but to wreck or to create, and let it be so! Speak and let the constellation vanish from our sight! Speak to it again and let the stars reappear!'

Marduk spoke, and at his command the constellation of stars vanished. He spoke once again, and the constellation was recreated. When the gods had seen what Marduk could do, they were joyful and glad. They rejoiced, they proclaimed,

'Marduk is King!'

They invested him with the scepter, throne and staff of Kingship. They gave him a mighty weapon to crush his foes.

'Go, and cut off the life of Tiamat! May the winds bear her blood to places undisclosed, may the winds bear her blood to us as good news!'

The Lord Marduk's destiny thus fixed by the gods, they caused him to go the way of success and attainment. Marduk gathered his weapons, and fashioned mighty new weapons to use against his foe. He covered his body with shining armor, and rigged his storm-chariot for battle. Then he set his face towards the encampment of Tiamat. Marduk departed with his battle force of loyal gods marching before and behind him.

When Marduk approached Tiamat's camp, he placed an enchanted red paste upon his lips to ward off Tiamat's magick; he carried healing plants to combat her poison in his hand. As Marduk neared Tiamat's encampment, he scanned the area searching for Tiamat's lover, Kingu, in hopes of learning the battle plan. As he approached, Tiamat cast a spell and his thoughts and intentions became muddled and unclear, Tiamat spoke to Marduk with false flattery,

'My Great Lord, are you now the omnipotent one? Is your station now unassailable by the gods? My, how well we have done for ourselves! My little King! Is it in their halls that the assembly now gathers, or is it within yours?'

Marduk rebuked Tiamat, and answered her blandishments with his words,

'You have risen mightily, you have exalted yourself haughtily, you have set your station above that of Heaven. You have charged your own heart to stir up troubles; you have conspired to muster a battle force against the gods, your children. You named Kingu as your lover; you gave him the Tablet of Destinies, making him the unrightful king. You sought out evil for Anshar, King of the Gods, against the gods my fathers you have sought out wickedness! Let your armies stand ready, let them gird their weapons, but first, let us, you and I, meet in single combat!'

When Tiamat heard this, she was like one possessed; she took leave of her senses, she lost her temper. In fury, Tiamat cried out aloud. Her anger was so great, even her legs trembled beneath her. She recited her spell and spoke her incantations while her battle horde sharpened their weapons. Face to face they came, Tiamat and Marduk, the gods joined issue. They swayed together in single combat, locked in battle, the Lord spread out his net and encircled Tiamat. Marduk called upon the Evil Wind and dispatched it into the face of Tiamat. When Tiamat opened her mouth to consume him, Marduk drove the Evil Wind into her gaping maw, such that she was unable to close her mouth. With Tiamat's mouth held open, Marduk continued to drive the fierce winds into her body, distending her belly. Marduk released an arrow, which struck Tiamat in the belly; it cut through her insides, splitting the heart. Having subdued Tiamat, he then extinguished her life. He cast down her carcass and stood triumphantly on top of it.

After Marduk had slain Tiamat, the leader, he shattered her band of followers, her troops he scattered. The gods which were Tiamat's helpers, who had marched at her side, began to tremble in terror; they turned their backs and fled from Marduk. In order to spare their lives, Marduk surrounded them with his net, they could not escape. He made them captives, he smashed their weapons. Thrown into the net, they found themselves ensnared; placed in cells, they gnashed their teeth and were filled with wailing; bearing his wrath, they were all imprisoned beyond the gateways of the stars. As for the eleven creatures which Tiamat had charged with awe, the band of demons that marched before her, Marduk cast them in fetters, their hands he bound with chains, for all their resistance, he trampled them underfoot. And Kingu, who had once been their leader, he defeated him and counted him amongst the number of dead gods. He wrested from him the Tablet of Destinies, not rightfully his, sealed it with a magickal seal and fastened it on his own breastplate.

After Marduk had vanquished and subdued his enemies, he wholly established Anshar's triumph over his foes with a mighty victory cry. He turned to the body of fallen Tiamat whom he had bound and slain. Marduk trod upon her legs and trampled her lower regions, with his unsparing mace, he crushed her skull, and he severed her arteries so that the blood would flow out. The North Wind bore the blood of Tiamat and carried it off to Anduruna as good news of Marduk's triumph. The Gods of Anduruna saw the blood and were jubilant; they rejoiced and arranged to meet the Lord Marduk with presents and greeting gifts upon his return from battle. Then the Lord Marduk rested, and inspected the carcass of fallen Tiamat, that he might divide the monster and do artful works.

Marduk split the body of Tiamat in two parts like a fish: Half of her he set up and ceiled it as the sky, bolted it into place and set a guard upon it, charging never to allow her waters to be released. Marduk crossed the heavens and surveyed its regions. He ventured into the Abzu, there measuring and squaring its size, he then took these measurements and went to the second half of Tiamat, he fashioned the firmament from the remains, he fashioned the Great Abode, the Esharra from the remains of the slain Tiamat. He arranged for An, Enlil, and Enki to occupy their new stations, he founded cult-centers for the great gods. He constructed special stations for the gods, fixing their astral likenesses as constellations. He determined the measuring of the year by designating their zones; he set up three constellations for each of the twelve months. After defining the days of the year by means of heavenly figures, he founded the station of Nebiru to determine the heavenly bands, that none might transgress or fall short. In her belly, he established the zenith. The Moon he caused to shine, the night to him entrusting. He appointed him a creature of the night to signify the days of the months by his rising and falling. By the luminous horns of his changing crown would the days be signified. From the spittle of Tiamat, Marduk put it into groups and made the clouds that bear the rains, from her poison he fashioned the billowing fog. He placed her head upon the ground and heaped up a mound of earth over it, he opened up springs and water gushed forth, from her eyes, he fashioned the Tigris and Euphrates. He piled up mountains from her underbelly. Marduk laid her tail across the sky, bound it fast as the cosmic bond. Marduk created the heavens and the earth from the body of fallen Tiamat, he established the cult-centers and the holy rites, and when he had done this, he gave control of them over to Enki his father. He gathered together his prisoners of war, and led them chained and bound into the presence of the Gods his fathers in the hall of Anduruna. As for the eleven creatures that Tiamat had made, he smashed their weapons and tied them at his feet. He made images of them and set them at the gateway of Abzu proclaiming,

'From this day forth, let this be a sign to all that will never in the future be forgotten!'

The gods looked at what Marduk had done and their hearts were full of joy and gladness. Lahmu and Lahamu and all his forefathers embraced him, and Anshar the King of Heaven proclaimed a reception banquet in his honor.

The gathered gods feasted and banqueted in Marduk's honor, the gods brought him many presents and bestowed upon Marduk many gifts and Royal Titles. After the feast, the gods gathered together in the sacred hall, the gods made their voices heard and spoke to the assembly,

'Previously Marduk was just our beloved son but now he is your King. Take heed of his command. He is the Holy King of the Gods of Heaven and Earth, put your trust and confidence in him!'

When the gods bestowed Kingship upon Marduk, they spoke an oration of blessing and obeisance for him.

'Henceforth, O Lord, you shall be the provider of shrines for us. Whatever command is issued by your mouth, we shall perform ourselves. Now, O Lord, that you have set us free, what favors of us do you ask? We would like to construct a shrine with its own name. We would like our night's resting place to be within your private quarters, let us found a shrine there, let us found a sanctuary - that when we arrive there, we may find rest within.'

Marduk spoke up and made his voice heard, he addressed his words to the gods his fathers,

'Over the Abzu, the sea-green dwelling of father Enki, in front of the Esharra which I have built, whose ground I have strengthened for a shrine, I shall construct a mighty house for my dwelling place. I shall found the cult-center of Enki within its walls, and I shall establish my private residence and confirm my Kingship. Whenever you come up from the Abzu for an assembly, your night's resting place shall be within its walls. Whenever you come down from the Sky for an assembly, your night's resting place shall be within its luxurious halls, receiving you all. I hereby pronounce its holy name as Babylon, home of the great gods. We shall make it the center of all religion. Go therefore, and create mighty Babylon, whose construction you requested! Let its bricks be molded and build high the shrine! Let the brickwork be laid for the place which you will call "Sanctuary".'

The Anunnaki took to the task, heaping the mounds of earth, forming the bricks of mud. For one whole year, they molded bricks. When the second year arrived, they had raised high the head of Esagila; they had built a high ziggurat, as high as the Abzu is deep. They set up a grand residence for Lord Marduk and within Esagila they founded dwellings for An, Enlil, and Enki likewise. Marduk then crowned his temple with glory, its horns facing the Esharra. After the Anunnaki had achieved the building of Esagila, they themselves set about erecting their own shrines and temples throughout the land.

Marduk summoned the gods together within the halls of Esagila. All of them who had built his holy dwelling. The gods his fathers, he seated at his banquet table. Marduk spoke and made his voice heard, addressing his words to the assembly of the gods,

'This is Babylon, the place that is your home! Make merry in its precincts, occupy its broad expanses!'

The great gods took their seats; they set up festive drinking, and sat down to a banquet feast. After the feast, the gods spoke up to Marduk, complaining that the work of building was getting too hard for them. The gods sought respite from their labor; they beseeched Marduk for a remedy. When Marduk heard the words of the gods, his heart prompted him to fashion artful works. Marduk spoke with his father Enki, conferred to him the plan which he had formed in his heart,

'Blood I will mass and cause bones to be. I will establish a savage - "Man" shall be his name. Verily, savage-man I will create. He shall be charged with the service of the gods that they might be at ease! The ways of the gods I will artfully alter. Though alike revered, into two groups they shall be divided.'

Enki answered his son, speaking a word to him, to relate unto him a scheme for the relief of the gods,

'Let one who is hostile to them be surrendered up, He alone shall perish that mankind may be fashioned. Let the great gods assemble, let the guilty one be given up, let the gods convict him, let the enemy be handed over so that they may endure.'

Marduk summoned the great gods to assembly; presiding graciously, he issued instructions. The gods paid heed to his utterances. The King addressed his words to the Anunnaki,

'Do now the truth on oath by me declare! Who was it that contrived the uprising, and made Tiamat rebel and join battle with the Gods? Let the guilty one be named! Let the guilty one be handed over! Let the one who started the War in Heaven be given up to me. His guilt I will make him bear that you may dwell in peace! He shall bear the penalty for his crime!'

The Anunnaki answered him,

'It was Kingu who contrived the uprising against Heaven, it was he who incited Tiamat to rebel against Anduruna.'

The Anunnaki retrieved Kingu from his hidden place of imprisonment; they bound him, and brought him before Marduk and Enki in the assembly. They brought Kingu bound and gagged before Enki, they pronounced judgment upon him. They imposed on him his guilt and severed his blood vessels. From his blood Enki fashioned mankind, he imposed the toil of the gods upon man and released the gods from their labors. After Enki, the wise, had created mankind, had imposed upon it the service of the gods - the work beyond comprehension; as was artfully planned by Marduk, did Enki expertly create it.

Marduk, the King of the Gods, then divided all of the Igigi and Anunnaki, above and below. He assigned his decrees to be safeguarded by An; he established three hundred Anunnaki to guard the skies; he did the same for the design of earth, and made six hundred dwell in both heaven and earth. After Marduk had ordered the instructions of division, to the Anunnaki of heaven and earth he allotted their portions, he cast the lots and determined the stations of the realms of the gods.

The Anunnaki made their voices heard and rejoiced at the wisdom of their King. The great gods assembled and made Marduk's destiny the highest among the gods, they themselves bowed in obedience to him. They swore an oath, they swore on oil and water, they touched their throats, and they made Marduk supreme. Thus, they confirmed his Kingship over the gods of heaven and earth. An King of Heaven rose and made his decree, addressing his words to all assembled,

'Verily, most exalted is the son of Enki, his sovereignty surpasses all. May he shepherd the humans to the end of days, without forgetting them, they shall proclaim his name over the whole earth. May he establish for his fathers, the gods, the great food-offerings; the support of the gods shall the people furnish, they shall tend the sanctuaries. May he cause sweet incense and aromas to be smelled, may he answer their prayers, may he lend power to their spells, thus causing a likeness on earth of what he has wrought in heaven. May he order the people to revere him, may the subjects ever bear in mind their god and may they at his word pay heed to the goddess. May food-offerings be borne to their gods and goddesses, without forgetting, let them support their gods! Their lands let them improve, build their shrines, let the people of the land wait on the gods. As for us, by however many names we call him, Marduk is our supreme god!'

With that, the Assembly of Gods bestowed ultimate Kingship upon Marduk, and proclaimed for him the fifty names and titles of power, to justify his sovereign rule.

Thus Concludes the Tablet of the Serpent.

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