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story by the phrase, “six days and nights the wind drives, the flood-tempest overwhelms the land; when the seventh day arrives the flood-tempest subsides in the onslaught.” Both versions also refer to "the wall," when the hero was apprised of the impending deluge. The title which Atra-khasis received from the gods, namely, Um-napishtim-rûqu, meaning, “the day of life is extended," is reproduced in the Sumerian version, as Zi-u(d)-suddu, which means the same (see infra). These two versions have other details in common, as the opening of the hatch, the offering of a sacrifice, etc. It is perfectly clear, however, as others have pointed out, that the Sumerian story is only an epitomized narrative, for not a few details found in the other versions are wanting in it.

There are also striking differences between the Sumerian and the Gilgamesh versions, among which is the place where the hero lived after his apotheosis. In the Sumerian version he was caused to dwell in the land or mountain, which some scholars have called Dilmun; though the reading of the name is by no means certain. If it should prove correct that Dilmun is referred to, the version then very probably places the hero, after he received the gift of immortality, on an island to the south, outside of Babylonia.

In the Gilgamesh story, the hero was caused to dwell at the mouth of rivers; but in going there Gilgamesh traversed seas, and crossed over mountains to a place where a cedar tree was being felled, and where he was advised to cut a hundred and twenty trees in the forest to construct a boat. There can be little doubt from these and other facts mentioned in the story that the Gilgamesh Epic places "the waters of death” beyond the Mediterranean shore. This fact, it must be admitted, peculiarly identifies the legend with the West. If the mountain in the Sumerian version is Dilmun, and this, as is held, was on an island to the south of Babylonia, doubtless we have in this a coloring which is due to other influences.

The story of the Sumerian recension of the deluge is interrupted at the beginning of column six by an incantation formula, after which the story is continued. Whether other incantation formulae were found in the missing portions, of course, cannot be determined. This reminds us of the use to which the sorcerer put other myths and legends.

This is the only Sumerian version or story of the flood that is at present known. Professor Langdon has claimed to have another, which he published under the title “Sumerian Epic of Paradise, the Flood and the Fall of Man.” As far as I can ascertain all scholars agree that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the deluge. In his original publication the crucial line bearing on the supposed deluge was not translated. In his French translation of the work, he read it: “O Ninkharsag, I will destroy the fields with a deluge." Prince translated this: "The fields of Ninkharsag I will inundate"; but Witzel, followed by Mercer, translates: “Ninkharsag was made pregnant." There can be no question but that the context fully

. bears out the last mentioned. In short, there can be no doubt, as stated above, that the poem has nothing to do with the deluge.

As is generally recognized, the Old Testament contains two different and originally independent accounts of the deluge which are combined into one, but which scholars feel, as in the case of the creation stories, can be definitely separated into what have been called the Jehovist and the Priestly versions. As already stated, most scholars hold that the former was written in the ninth or eighth century, and the latter in the fifth; others, however, hold that both stories are more ancient, which view, it seems to me,

,

is very probably correct.

As has already been noted, the versions found in Babylonia have much in common with the Hebrew stories. This fact has given rise

· Langdon, Poème Sumérien du Paradis, du Déluge et de la Chute de l'Homme. • See Mercer, Jour. of the Soc. of Biblical Research IV 51 ff.

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VII

THE DELUGE STORY

Ever since George Smith of the British Museum, in 1875, published the well-known story of the deluge, as found in the Gilgamesh epic, which had been discovered in the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, most Assyriologists have held that this epic furnished Israel with its story. And following the discovery of a version, written close to 2000 B. C., Biblical scholars everywhere seem to have been convinced that "the Hebrew narrative must be derived from the Babylonian.” Moreover, the clearest proof for the claim that Israel borrowed much of its religion and culture from Babylonia, it is asserted, is to be found in the deluge story or stories as handed down by the people of that land.

It is needless here to review the resemblances and the differences of the Biblical and the Gilgamesh stories of the deluge, for this has been done many times. Suffice it to say that there must be a common origin as shown by such details, as are found in both the Biblical and the Babylonian, as the divine decision to send the flood, the advice to construct an ark or ship, the use of asphalt to make it water-tight, the destruction of mankind, except the hero and those with him, the grounding of the ship on the mountain, the sending forth of birds, the smelling of the sweet savor; etc. These and other details of the two stories leave no doubt as to their being related. The version of the deluge in the Gilgamesh Epic, was written in the seventh century B. C.

The early version, referred to above, is preserved, in the Pierpont Morgan Library Collection, in a fragment of a large tablet which

1 For the translation and transliteration of all the deluge versions, see Appendix to Clay, A Hebrew Deluge Story in Cuneiform.

had been inscribed on the 28th day of Shebet, in the 11th year of Ammi-zaduga; which, according to our present understanding, was about 1966 B. C. This version, antedating Moses by several centuries, has given the Babylonists one of the two chief arguments advanced for the claim that the narrative was borrowed by Israel.

A recent study of this early version shows that it not only refers to the deluge, but to a dire famine which preceded; and what is very important, that it is an early version of a well-known inscription from Nineveh, written thirteen centuries later, known as the Ea and Atra-khasis legend. The latter, however, only referred to the famine. The early recension of the famine and deluge is of the greatest importance in this connection, in that many Amorite words of the original version are still to be recognized in it.

Besides these versions of the deluge story, others have been found. In the British Museum there is a fragment of one written also about the time of Ashurbanipal. It furnishes us with the conversation of the god Ea with the hero Atra-khasis concerning the construction of the ship, and with what it should be loaded. There is also a small fragment in the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania of thirteen partially preserved lines, written probably in the Cassite period, about 1400 B. C. To these must be added the version written in Greek, as handed down by Berossus, who lived about 250 B. C., in which the hero's name is given as Xisuthros, representing the transposition of the elements of the name, Atrakhasis.

A few years ago Professor Poebel, now of the University of Rostock, published a Sumerian version of the flood which had been found at Nippur. It is an epitomized story of the deluge, which Poebel holds was written some time between 2300 and 1300 B. C. This version has several points in common with the Gilgamesh story. The phrase, “when for seven days and seven nights the storm-flood overwhelmed the land,” is paralleled in the Gilgamesh

story by the phrase, “six days and nights the wind drives, the flood-tempest overwhelms the land; when the seventh day arrives the flood-tempest subsides in the onslaught.” Both versions also refer to "the wall,” when the hero was apprised of the impending deluge. The title which Atra-khasis received from the gods, namely, Um-napishtim-rûqu, meaning, “the day of life is extended," is reproduced in the Sumerian version, as Zi-a(d)-suddu, which means the same (see infra). These two versions have other details in common, as the opening of the hatch, the offering of a sacrifice, etc. It is perfectly clear, however, as others have pointed out, that the Sumerian story is only an epitomized narrative, for not a few details found in the other versions are wanting in it.

There are also striking differences between the Sumerian and the Gilgamesh versions, among which is the place where the hero lived after his apotheosis. In the Sumerian version he was caused to dwell in the land or mountain, which some scholars have called Dilmun; though the reading of the name is by no means certain. If it should prove correct that Dilmun is referred to, the version then very probably places the hero, after he received the gift of immortality, on an island to the south, outside of Babylonia.

In the Gilgamesh story, the hero was caused to dwell at the mouth of rivers; but in going there Gilgamesh traversed seas, and crossed over mountains to a place where a cedar tree was being felled, and where he was advised to cut a hundred and twenty trees in the forest to construct a boat. There can be little doubt from these and other facts mentioned in the story that the Gilgamesh Epic places "the waters of death” beyond the Mediterranean shore. This fact, it must be admitted, peculiarly identifies the legend with the West. If the mountain in the Sumerian version is Dilmun, and this, as is held, was on an island to the south of Babylonia, doubtless we have in this a coloring which is due to other influences.

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