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In the Babylonian text we know of many of whom it is said they were sons of deity, to whom the secrets of the gods were revealed, and who interpreted the will of the deities. Thousands of seers, doubtless, in Babylonian history claimed to be able to divine the will of the gods. In the Old and New Testaments, as well as in the apocryphal literature, we also learn of seers, of whom it is said, that, through visions or otherwise, they knew the mysteries of heaven and earth and the will of God, whereby they were enabled to prophesy for the people.
There was, however, a great difference in the methods pursued, at least in Biblical times, through which the will of the deity was revealed. In Babylonia, the seers observed the markings of a liver of an animal, or the positions of the stars of the heavens, or the effect produced by the pouring of water upon oil, as well as many other methods whereby they ascertained the will of the gods. There are indications that their libraries were filled with omen tablets and texts containing magical formulae. While we know that the Hittites, Etruscans, and even the Greeks also practiced divination, it especially flourished in Babylonia. Ezekiel tells us that Nebuchadnezzar, “king of Babylon, stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows to and fro, he consulted the teraphim; he looked in the liver” (21:21). In the late period, the magician, enchanter, sorcerer, and Chaldean, as is well known, were important factors in the life of Babylonia.
In the wide range of history and custom, as represented by the literature of the Old Testament, we have considerable diversity of law, teaching, and practice. We find that the services of the diviner Balaam were used; that dreams were interpreted; that the teraphim, the rod, and the lot, were consulted; nevertheless, we know that the religion of Yahweh was fundamentally opposed to divination. This is summed up in Deuteronomy: "there shall not
be found with thee anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, one that practiceth augury, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer" (18:10f). Situated as Israel was, the efforts to make the religion imageless and free from divination, were naturally never fully realized, in spite of the work of the prophets and the reformers. Nevertheless, the law and the prophets in spirit and in practice were against such.
In the light of what we know concerning Israel and divination, we are now asked to believe that the J. writer, and later the P. writer during the exile, having become acquainted with this Enmeduranki, king of Sippar, the supposed "mythological father of divination," whose name appeared as Euedorakhos, the seventh antediluvian Chaldean king of Babylon, and that, in spite of the fact that divination by astrology, by hepatoscopy, by oil, etc., were so antagonistic to the Hebrew religion, these Jewish writers in the palmy days of Israel created the character Enoch, by Hebraizing this Enmeduranki; and the Jews accepted this fraud. This, in the light of research and our knowledge of Hebrew civilization, as well as what is written above, certainly is not plausible.
Sumerists say that En-me-dur-an-ki is Sumerian. If that were true, it should be translated "lord of the decree of the connectinglink of heaven and earth.” This would not be a name, but a title. And if that were true, is it not strange that the gods of divination in whose service he was, should be the West Semitic Adad and Shamash? The identification with Euedorakhos of Berossus seems reasonable, and especially in view of the eighth name of the Ashmolean tablet, written En-me-dur-an-na, the last sign of which, namely na, as Langdon has correctly said, should be ki, and especially since na and ki are quite similar in this period. As Zimmern, who originally made the identification, said, Enmeduranki was pro
nounced Evvedoranki or Evedoranki ;36 and since Eved represents perfectly the Hebrew 'Ebhed or 'Eved, so commonly found in names, and Eued of the Greek Euedorakhos, in the absence of the digamma, also represents the same pronunciation, I have proposed, as already mentioned, that the name be read Eved-Urakh. This finds corroboration in the following.
In the P. list, the eighth name is written Methushelakh, which in the J. list is written Methusha'el or Methu-sha-El “Man of El.” In other words, Elakh takes the place of El, and it parallels the Urakh of Euedūrakhos, instead of the usual Ur. If we separate the akh from both, we will have in the one case Methu-sh-El akh, which leaves the name the same as Methu-sha-El; and in the other Eved-Ur akh, which would be similar to five other names in the list, namely those compounded with Ur. A possible explanation of akh “brother” that is of the one who preceded, follows.
In the P. list, or the “book of the generations of Adam,” the one thing in the entire chapter besides monotonous details of names and numbers, is the reference to Enoch having been taken by God. The years of his life are less than half of the shortest-lived of the other patriarchs. Probably in the original tradition, Methu-sha-El was not the son of Enoch, who was translated, but a “brother" who replaced him. In the Berossus list the only title added to any of the names is “shepherd,” to Daānos. Both Enoch and Daõnos immediately precede Methu-sh-El akh and Eved-Ur akh. What seems to substantiate this is found in the following.
The seventh of the Ashmolean list, which is unfortunately injured, appears thus: . . . . . . . sib-zi-an-na.
...síb-zi-an-na. There is sufficient room for the name before these words, so that they probably are an epithet. They can be translated, “true shepherd of heaven," and also "true shepherd of Anu,” or “El.” But zi can also be translated “to lift
SKAT: p. 532.
up, to take up,"37 and in view of the Biblical tradition which tells us that Enoch, the corresponding person in the list, was taken by God, it seems to me that this epithet can very properly be translated “the shepherd who was taken to heaven," or "who was taken by El (God).” As stated, both this king and Enoch stand seventh in the list, thus:
7 Eved-Ur, "brother" An-na, as already mentioned, is very probably a mistake for an-ki representing akh “brother." If this explanation of the epithet should prove correct, it will be the first connection that has been shown to exist between the so-called Chaldean lists and the Biblical, except that there are ten names ending with the hero of the deluge.
The fact that there are ten names, ending with the deluge-hero in the three lists, besides this probable explanation of the epithet, makes it reasonably certain that there is a common origin for the tradition, in spite of the fact that the Biblical lists give the "generations” of the first man created, and in the two Babylonian sources there is no thought of referring to primaevals or even aboriginals, but to ruling dynasties; in the case of Berossus to those of Babylon, Pantibiblos, and Larak; and in the other, which is written in
37 See sag-zi = rêsha nasht, shaqu sha rêshi, etc., Delitzsch, Sumerische Glossar p. 224. In addition to zi meaning nasha "to lift up," it is thought to have the value also "to take,” see Meissner SAI 1326. This is the same word used in the parallel passage in Genesis.
Sumerian, to Khabur, Larsa, Dur-Tibiri, Larak, Sippar, and Sukur-ru(Lam). The lone city referred to in the Biblical lists was built by Cain, and called Enoch.
There is absolutely nothing in any of the lists to show that the Biblical were derived from the so-called Chaldean or Sumerian lists, in spite of all that has been written on the subject. And it must be admitted that the reverse is also true. It seems to me, however, in view of all that has been said in these lectures on migrations of peoples and their traditions, that we can only decide that the common source of the legend was in Amurru. As we have seen there are two versions in the Old Testament. In the list said to have been handed down by Berossus, there are marks also of two distinct versions, which show that one probably had received a local coloring at the Amorite city Mari, where Uru was worshipped; and that the other came from the Amorite Khana or 'Ana, where the god Anu was worshipped. In this way we can account for the names with variant deities, like Amêl-Ur and Amêl-Anu; Megal-Ur and Megal-Anu, as well as such variations as ’Ardatās and Otiartās, etc. The Ashmolean, it seems to me, is another version of this Amorite tradition, which was written in Southern Babylonia, where in the early period the Sumerian language was used in practically all the cities.