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The balance of the legend is poorly preserved, and not very well understood. Some lines are suggestive of its having been used, like so many of the legends, for incantation purposes:

And what evil he imposed upon the people,
(And] the disease which in the body of men he imposed,
That will the goddess Ninkarrak allay.
Let illness depart; let sickness turn aside.
(Upon) that (man) let his terror fall;

he shall not rest in good sleep.

The significance of these lines is not understood. The balance of the text is missing.

Certain scholars have made extensive comparisons between Genesis and this legend. It seems to me that there is but one clear thought that this legend has in common with the Old Testament, and that is that the gift of immortality was connected with the eating of the food of life; although even this thought is not parallel, for Adam through disobedience ate of the food in order to become like God, and Adapa through obedience to his deity's counsel, refused it. Perhaps the lone thought that Genesis and the Adapa legend have in common is that man forfeited immortality by his own act.

As is well known, many ancient legends have already been recovered concerning men seeking immortality. Naturally it is reasonable to believe that this thought was uppermost in the mind of man in ancient times, as it is at present.

It is interesting, however, to note that Sir James G. Frazer was not sufficiently impressed by this contention even to mention the Legend of Adapa as a parallel to the story of the fall, in his Folklore in the Old Testament. He records some stories where men missed the gift of immortality because of disobedience or accidents,

See for example, Barton, Archaeology and the Bible 260 ff. • Frazer, Belief in Immortality I, 59 ff.

and that serpents and other animals had obtained it, for whose subtlety they were hated; but the Adapa Legend is not even referred to. Among others he includes the Gilgamesh story of how the existence of the magic plant of immortality was revealed; and how the serpent had stolen it while he was bathing. Another immortality story is to be seen in the Etana Legend.' Doubtless many others will be found as investigations proceed.

Adapa was a priest of Eridu, and "a sage among men.” The reference in the legend to the two kings who had disappeared and had become demi-gods, would show that he lived at a time subsequent to them. According to the recently discovered dynastic lists they ruled about 4200 B. C. There is no indication in the poem that it belongs to the beginning of man's history-in fact, everything in it points to an advanced state of civilization. In this connection I cannot agree, therefore, with those who, believing that Adapa was the ancestor of the human race, do not think "it wise to test mythological and poetic statements by the strictures of logic.”10 Moreover, if in the light of facts contained in this discussion, especially concerning the migration of religious ideas, there are those who can still satisfy themselves that this legend has furnished the idea for the writer of the Old Testament story of Adam and the fall, nothing that I can add will cause them to change their views.

A few years ago Professor Langdon of Oxford published a Sumerian tablet which was announced as containing the origin of the Hebrew story of Paradise, and as showing that the geographical description of the Genesis story was "obviously derived from Sumero-babylonian cosmology.” In the same tablet he also found the origin of the story of the Fall of Man, which he said “is a masterly combination of the Eridu doctrine known to us in

See A Hebrew Deluge Story 34 f.
10 Langdon, Sumerian Epic of Paradise p. 40, note 3.

the Semitic legend of Adapa, and the doctrine of our Nippur tablet.” It was held that the tablet also contained the story of the flood.11

A verdict was promptly given on these conclusions by a number of scholars, which was that the proper interpretation of the text excluded the suggested Biblical parallels.12 It is now generally thought that the tablet is a mythical account of the origin of a city, and the beginnings of agriculture.

Still more recently another announcement has been made of what is claimed to be the discovery of "the clearest and most complete account of the Sumerian story of the Fall of Man, as known to the priestly writers of Nippur."'13 Like the statements of George Smith and others, this has been echoed and re-echoed everywhere in the daily press. I regret to say that I cannot follow the writer; I do not believe that the text has any bearing whatsoever upon the story of the Garden of Eden or the Fall of Man.

The contentions of Professor Chiera rest largely on the meanings of several words, which he holds show the mythological character of the tablet, and which make his Biblical parallel possible. Chief among these are kin-gub, which he translates "garden” or “land," and two new words which he regards as representing “two legendary trees of the garden," namely, gish-gi-tug-gi, which he translates tree which establishes (the use) of clothing," seeing in the word that which “brings into more prominent light the story of the fig tree out of the leaves of which the first wearing apparel was made";

11 Langdon, Sumerian Epic of Paradise, the Flood, and the Fall of Man. See also Proc. Soc. Bib. Arch. 36, 188 ff and 253 ff., Jour. Amer. Or. Soc. 36, 140 ff., and Amer. Jour. Sem. Lang. 33, 245 ff.

13 See Sayce, Expository Times 1915 88 ff., Jastrow, Amer. Jour. Sem. Lang. 33, 91 ff., Jour. Amer. Or. Soc. 36, 122 ff., and 274 ff., Barton, Amer. Jour. Theol. 1917, 571 ff., and Archaeology and the Bible 282 ff., Prince, Jour. Amer. Or. Soc. 36, 90 ff., Witzel, Keilinschriftliche Studien I 51 ff., Albright, Amer. Jour. Sem. Lang. 35, 161 ff., Mercer, Jour. Soc. Bibl. Res. 1818, 51 ff., King, Schweich Lectures 1918, p. 126.

13 Chiera, Amer. Jour. Sem. Lang. 39, 40 ff.

and gi-úsh-, which he translates, “the reed which frees from death,” which he holds is “a very good name for the tree of life.”

The last two mentioned Sumerian words, in the absence of an explanatory list or a context which throws light on their meaning, can be translated in many different ways, since they are both composed of three separate signs or words which have many different meanings. It is possible to select from the more than one hundred values of these signs, without these helps, such combinations having meanings that would fit into almost any explanation, even to making the one group mean “tree of life.” Some day an explanatory list will probably be found, when the exact meaning of these words will become known.

The Sumerian word kin-gub, as proposed, probably means "garden"; but the context shows it was a vegetable garden, and not as Chiera proposes, "the garden harboring the tree of life.” The legend, even on the basis of his own translation, it seems to me, refers to “sons of menials” being sent away from the estate, probably for stealing; who shall not return to lead the ox, to irrigate and till the field, and to cultivate the garden. Others shall do this; and their parents shall eat of the food. Then follows what appears to be the citing of a penalty of “ten measures of barley," apparently referring to the overt act of the "sons of the menials.”

This is what has been declared to be “the clearest and most complete account of the Sumerian story of the Fall of Man." It

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14 Let us look at the second, namely, the word gi-úsh-du, which Chiera translates "the reed which frees from death," which he says is a “very good name for the tree of life.” It is composed of three signs or words. The first can be read gi "reed, land," etc., gin "establish, oppress.” etc. The second sign can be read ŭsh "blood, death,” etc., til "live, complete," etc., bad "remove, open," as well as many other values. The third sign of this group can be read “break, cook, open,” etc., gab "cut through,” tukh “open,” etc. All three signs or words have many values and meanings, leaving it absolutely impossible to know what the group does mean until it is found in an explanatory list, or in an inscription where the reading becomes clear from the context.

is from this "myth” and the Biblical account, we are told, that “we gather the idea that the god never intended man to be immortal.”

It is not impossible that parallels of the Biblical story of Eden and the Fall of Man will be found, for if the Amorites brought other legends to Babylonia, it is reasonable to suppose that they may have also brought these. It seems to me, however, that the search will have to be continued among the Babylonian and Sumerian legends, not only for the origin of these stories, but even for parallels.

In the light of the excavations conducted in Babylonia, and our present knowledge of its physical geography, it is absolutely clear that civilization could not have had its origin in the lower TigroEuphrates valley or delta. We know that it required engineering works on a very large scale before it was possible to make the country habitable;15 and this involved extensive coöperation and a willingness on the part of many people to be amenable to regulations. Great embankments had to be constructed, to keep the rivers within reasonable channels in flood season; and great basins had to be provided, to retain water so that when the floods receded, it could be used for irrigation purposes. Prior to his entrance into the alluvium, man lived further up the rivers, where apparently his engineering science had developed. Eridu by the sea, it seems, was the first permanent habitation, because it was possible for man to live there with the least amount of effort owing to the fact that the inundating waters could readily escape into the gulf.

Above Hit, where the alluvium begins, there are natural agricultural districts close to the rivers, extending over a wide area. Sir William Willcocks was so very much impressed with the agricultural possibilities of this part of Western Asia, that he has proposed to locate the Garden of Eden in this region. Five or six thousand years ago, he tells us, before "the degradation of the

16 See Sayce, Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions p. 76; Willcocks, The Near East, September 29, 1916, p. 521; Clay, Jour. Amer. Or. Soc. 41, 261 ff. etc.

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