From The Sumerians, by Samuel Noah Kramer

I have included this delightfully inspiring myth to compare and contrast with the Enuma Elish. Both are creation myths, but each has a different focus. Whereas the Enuma Elish tells of the creation of the universe, Enki and the World Order gives function, form and purpose to an already created Earth. The thing that I enjoy most about this myth is its peaceful content and lyrical composition. All the ancient tales were originally set to music, and if read aloud, you can still evoke the emotion of song within the work. The other thing about this myth that will be of interest to religious scholars is the mention and assignation of the lesser deities to their various stations and functions. In my opinion, I feel that either creation myth can be used during the reenactment of the Babylonian New Year Festivals; one myth expresses natural order, while the other focuses on civil order. I hope that you enjoy this tale as much as we did....

(Omitting, however, the first fifty lines, which are fragmentary and obscure.)

When father Enki comes out into the seeded Land, it brings forth fecund seed,
When Nudimmud comes out to my fecund ewe, it gives birth to the lamb,
When he comes out to my "seeded" cow, it gives birth to the fecund calf,
When he comes out to my fecund goat, it gives birth to the fecund kid,
When you have gone out to the field, to the cultivated field,
You pile up heaps and mounds on the high plain,
[You] . . . the . . . of the parched (?) earth.
Enki, the king of the Abzu, overpowering (?) in his majesty, speaks up with authority:
"My father, the king of the universe,
Brought me into existence in the universe,
My ancestor, the king of all the lands,
Gathered together all the me's, placed the me's in my hand.
From the Ekur, the house of Enlil,
I brought craftsmanship to my Abzu of Eridu.
I am the fecund seed, engendered by the great wild ox, I am the first born son of An
I am the ‘great storm' who goes forth out of the ‘great below', I am the lord of the Land,
I am the GUGAL of the chieftans, I am the father of all the lands,
I am the ‘big brother' of the gods, I am he who brings full prosperity,
I am the record keeper of heaven and earth,
I am the ear and the mind (?) of all the lands,
I am he who directs justice with the king An on An's dais,
I am he who decrees the fates with Enlil in the ‘mountain of wisdom,'
He placed in my hand the decreeing of the fates of the ‘place where the sun rises,'
I am he to whom Nintu pays due homage,
I am he who has been called a good name by Ninhursag,
I am the leader of the Anunnaki,
I am he who has been born as the first son of the holy An."

After the lord had uttered (?) (his) exaltedness,
After the great prince had himself pronounced (his) praise,
The Anunnaki came before him in prayer and supplication:
"Lord who directs craftsmanship,
Who makes decision, the glorified; Enki, praise!"

For a second time, because of (his) great joy,
Enki, the king of the Abzu, in his majesty, speaks up with authority:
"I am the lord, I am one whose command is unquestioned, I am the foremost in all things,
At my command the stalls have been built, the sheepfolds have been enclosed,
When I approached heaven a rain of prosperity poured down from heaven,
When I approached the earth, there was a high flood,
When I approached its green meadows,
The heaps and mounds were pi[led] up at my word.
I built my [house], a shrine, in a pure place, I called it with a good name,
I built my Abzu, a shrine, in a . . , I decreed a good fate for it.
My house - its shade stre[tches] over the ‘snake'-marsh,
My house, its . . wears a beard among (?) the ‘honey'-plants (?),,
The ca[rps] wave the tail to him in (?) The sm[all gizi-reeds],
The sparrows chirp in their . . . . ,
The weapon carrying . . . . ,
Came into my, Enki's,
The abgal's,
. . [into my] . . . . . . . ,
The enkum (and) [ninkum] . . . ,
Sacred songs and spells filled my Abzu.
My magur-boat, the crown, the ‘ibex of the Abzu' -
In its midst there is a great rejoicing.
The lofty marshland, my favorite spot,
Stretches out its arms to me, bends (?) its neck to me.
The kara's drew (?) on (?) the oars in unison,
Sing sweet songs, cause the river to rejoice,
Nimgirsig, the ensi of my ma[gur-boat],
He[ld] the gold scepter [for me],
I, Enki, [. . . d] the boat ‘ibex of the Abzu,'
I, the lord . . . .,
I, Enki, . . . . .

(Approximately five lines missing)

. . . . I would watch over its green cedars (?).
The l[ands] of Magan and Dilmun
Looked up at me, En[ki],
Moored (?) The Dilmun-boat to the ground (?),
Loaded the Magan-boat sky high;
The magilum-boat of Meluhha
Transports gold and silver,
Brings them to Nippur for Enlil, the [king] of all the lands."

To him, who has no city, to him who has no horse,
The Martu-Enki pre[sen]ted cattle as a gift,

To the [great] prince who came forth in his [land],
The Anunnaki pay due homage:
"Lord who rides the great me's the pure me's,
Who has charge of the universe, the widespread,
Who received the lofty ‘sun-disk' in Eridu, the pure place, the mo[st prec]ious place,
Enki, lord of the universe, praise!"
For the great prince who comes forth in his land,
All the lords, all the chieftains,
The incantation priests of Eridu,
The "linen-wearers" of Sumer,
Perform the incantation rites of the Abzu,
To (?) father Enki in (?) the holy place . . . they direct (their) step,
In the sleeping chamber, the princely house, they . . . . ,
In the stations they call [his] name,
In (?) the lofty shrine, the Abzu [they] . . . . ,

(About thirty-six lines destroyed in large part)

Nimgirsig, the ensi of the magur-boat,
He[ld] the holy scepter for the lord,
The lahama's of the sea, the fifty, did ho[mage to him],
The kara's . . d like a . . -bird of heaven.
For the king standing proudly, father Enki - in the Land -
The great prince who came forth in his Land,
Prosperity prevailed in the universe.

Enki decrees (the) fate:
"Sumer, ‘great mountain,' ‘country of the universe,'
Filled with enduring light, dispensing from sunrise to sunset the me's to (?) the people,
Your me's are lofty me's, unreachable.
Your heart is profound, unfathomable.
The enduring . . , your place where gods give birth, is untouchable like heaven.
The born king, who dons the enduring diadem -
The born lord, who puts crown on head -
Your lord (is) an honored lord, he sits with the king An on An's dais,
Your king - the ‘great mountain,' Father Enlil,
Has . . d him for you by (?) the . . . like a cedar - the father of all the lands.
The Anunnaki, the great gods,
Have taken up (their) dwelling place in your midst,
Eat (their) food in your tree-planted giguna.
House, Sumer, may your many stalls be built, may your cows multiply,
May your many sheepfolds be erected, may your sheep be myriad,
May your giguna reach skyward,
May your enduring . . lift hand to heaven.
May the Anunnaki decree the fates in your midst."
He proceeded to the shrine Ur,
Enki, the king of the Abzu decrees (its) fate:
"City possessing all that is appropriate, water-washed, firm-standing ox,
Dais of abundance of the highland, knees open, green like a mountain,
Hashur-grove, wide of shade - he who is lordly because of his might (?)
Has directed your perfect me's,
Enlil, the ‘great mountain,' has pronounced your lofty name in the universe.
City whose fate has been decreed by Enlil,
Shrine Ur, may you rise heaven high."

He procee[ded] to the land Meluhha,
Enki, the king of the Abzu, [decrees] (its) fate:
"Black land, may your trees be large trees, [may they be ‘highland']-trees,
[May] their thrones [fill] the royal palace,
May your reeds be large reeds, [may they be ‘highland']-reeds,
May the heroes in the place of battle [wield their] weapons,
May your bulls be large bulls, [may they be] ‘highland' bulls,
[May] their cry [be] the cry [of ‘highland'] wild bulls,
May the great me's of the gods be per[fected for you],
[May all dar-birds of the highland [wear carneli]an beards,
[May] your bird be the Haia-bird,
[M]ay its calls fill the royal palace,
May your silver be gold,
May your copper be tin (and) bronze,
Land, may everything you have, [increase],
May your people [multiply],
May your . . go forth like a bull to his . . . ."

. . . the city of . .
He treated (?) like . . . . ,
He cleansed, purified the [land Di]lmun,
Placed Ninsikilla in charge of it,
He gave . . as . . , he eats its . . -fish,
He gave . . as a cultivated field (?), he eats [its da]tes.

. . . . Elam and Marhashi . . . .
Were (destined) to be devoured like . . -fish;
The king (presumably Enki) upon whom Enlil had bestowed might,
Destroyed their houses, destroyed their walls.
Their (precious) metal (and) lapis lazuli (and the contents of) their storehouses,
He brought to Nippur for Enlil - the king of all the lands.
To him who builds no city, builds no [house] -
The Martu - Enki presented cattle as a gift.

After he had cast his eye from that spot,
After father Enki had lifted it over the Euphrates,
He stood up proudly like a rampant bull.
He lifts the penis, ejaculates,
Filled the Tigris with sparkling water.
The wild cow mooing for its young in the pastures, the scorpion (infested) stall,
[The Tigr]is surre[ndered] to him, as (to) a rampant bull.
He lifted the penis, brought the bridal gift,
Brought joy to the Tigris, like a big wild bull [rejoiced (?)] in its giving birth.
The water he brought is sparkling water, its "wine" tastes sweet,
The grain he brought, its checkered grain, the people eat it,
He fi[lled] the Ekur, the house of Enlil, with possessions,
With Enki, Enlil rejoices, Nipper [is delighted].

The lord don[ned] the diadem for lordship,
[Put on] the enduring tiara for kingship,
Trod the ground on his left side,
Prosperity came forth out of the earth for him.
After he had placed the scepter in his right hand,
In order to make the Tigris and Euphrates "eat together,"
He who utters the . . word in accordance with his . . ,
Who carries off like fat the "princely knee" from the palace,
The lord who decrees the fate, Enki the king of the Abzu,
Enbilulu, the inspector of canals,
[Enki] placed in charge of them.

He called the marshland], placed in it carp (and) . . -fish,
He cal[led the canebrake], placed in it . . -reeds (and) green reeds,

(Two lines missing)

[He issued] a challenge . . . . ].
He whose net] no fish escapes,
Whose trap no . . escapes,
Whose snare no bird escapes,
. . . . the son of . . . .
. . (a god) who loves fish,
Enki placed in charge of them.
The lord erected a shrine (?), a holy shrine - its heart is profound,
Erected a shrine (?) in the sea, a holy shrine - its heart is profound,
The shrine - its midst is a . . . , known to no one,
The [shrine] - its station is the . . iku constellation,
The lofty [shrine], above (?) - its station stands (?) by the "chariot"-constellation,
The . . . from the trembling . . . . its Elam's . . ,
The Anunnaki came with [pray]er and supplication,
For Enki in the E-[engurra they set up] a lofty dais.
For the lord . . . . ,
The great prince . . , bor[n . . . .]
The u-bird . . . . ,

(Approximately three lines missing)

Her who is the great inundation of the deep,
Who . . s the izi-bird and the lil-fish, who . . . . ,
Who comes out from the zipag, who . . . . ,
The Lady of Sirar[a, Mother Nansh]e,
Of the sea, of its . . . . places,
Enki placed in charge.

He called the "two" rains, the water of the heaven,
Aligned them like floating clouds,
Drives (?) their (?) breath (of life) toward the horizon,
Turns (?) the hilly ground into fields.
Him who rides the great storm, who attacks with lightning (?),
Who closes the holy bolt in the "heart" of heaven,
The son of An, the GUGAL of the universe,
Ishkur . . , the son of An,
Enki placed in charge of them.

He directed the plow and the . . yoke,
The great prince Enki put the "horned oxen" in the . . . ,
Opened the holy furrows,
Made grow the grain in the cultivated field.
The lord who dons the diadem, the ornament of the high plain,
The robust, the farmer of Enlil,
Enkimdu, the man of the ditch and dike,
Enki placed in charge of them.

The lord called the cultivated field, put there the checkered grain,
Heaped up its . . grain, the checkered grain, the innuba-grain into piles,
Enki multiplied the heaps and mounds,
With Enlil he spread wide the abundance in the Land,
Her whose head and side are dappled, whose face is honey-covered,
The Lady, the procreatress, the vigor of the Land, the "life" of the black-heads,
Ashnan, the nourishing bread, the bread of all,
Enki placed in charge of them.

The great prince put the "net" upon the pickax, then directed the mold,
Fertilized the agarin, like good butter,
Him whose crushing pickax-tooth is a snake devouring the corpses, . . . . ,
Whose . . mold directs . . . . ,
Kulla, the brick-maker (?) of the Land,
Enki placed in charge of them.

He built stalls directed the purification rites,
Erected sheepfolds, put there the best fat and milk,
Brought joy to the dining halls of the gods,
In the vegetation-like plain he made prosperity prevail.
The trustworthy provider of Eanna, the "friend of An,"
The beloved son-in-law of the valiant Sin, the husband of holy Inanna,
The Lady, the queen of all the great me's,
Who time and again, commands the procreation of the . . . of Kullab,
Dumuzi, the divine "ushumgal of heaven," the "friend of An,"
Enki placed in [charge] of them.

He filled the Ekur, the house of Enlil, with possessions,
Enlil rejoiced with Enki, Nipper was joyous,
He fixed the borders, demarcated them with boundary stones,
Enki, for the Anunnaki,
Erected dwelling places in the cities,
Set up fields for them in the countryside,
The hero, the bull who comes forth out of the hashur (forest), who roars lion-(like),
The valiant Utu, the bull who stands secure, who proudly displays (his) power,
The father of the great city, the place where the sun rises, the gr[eat hera]ld of holy An,
The judge, the decision-maker of the gods,
Who wears a lapis lazuli beard, who comes forth from the holy heaven, the . . . . heaven,
Utu, the son born of [Ninga]l,
Enki placed in charge of the entire universe.

He wove the mug-cloth, directed the temenos,
Enki perfected greatly that which is woman's task,
For Enki, the people [. . d] the . . . -garment,
The tiara (?) of the palace, the jewel of the king,
Uttu, the trustworthy woman, the joyous (?),
Enki placed in charge of them.

Then all by her[self], having abandoned the royal scepter,
The woman, . . . . , the maid Inanna having abandoned the royal scepter
Inanna, to [her father] Enki,
Ente[rs] the house, (and) [humb]ly weeping, utters a plaint (?):
"The Anunnaki, the great gods - their fate
Enlil placed firmly in your [hand],
Me, the woman, [wh]y did you treat differently?
I, the holy Inanna, - where are [my prerogat]ives?
Aruru, [Enlil's sist]er,
Nintu, the queen [of the] moun[tain],
H[as taken for herself] her holy . . . . of lordship,
Has carried off for herself her holy, pure ala-vessel,
She has become the midwife of the Land,
In her hand you have placed the born king, the born lord.
That sister of mine, the holy Ninisinna,
Has taken for herself the bright unu, has become the heirodule of An.
Has stationed herself near (?) An, utters the word which fills (?) heaven,
That sister of mine, the holy Ninmug,
Has taken for herself the gold chisel (and) the silver hammer (?),
Has become the met[alwor]ker (?) of the Land,
The [born] king, who dons the enduring diadem,
The born lord who puts crown of head, you have placed [in her hand].
That sister of mine, the holy Nidaba,
Has taken for herself the measuring rod,
Has fastened the lapis lazuli line (?) on her arm,
Proclaims all the great me's,
Fixes the borders, marks off the boundaries - has become the scribe of the Land,
In her hands you have placed the food of the gods.
Nanshe, the lady, the lord - the holy . . . fell at her feet,
She has become the fishery inspector of the se[a] (?), Fish, tasty, (and) . . . . ,
She presents to her [father] Enlil.
Me, the [woman], why did you treat differently?
I, holy Inanna, where are my prerogatives?"

(Approximately three lines missing)

. . . . his . . . . ,
"[E]nlil (?) . . . . ,
Has adorned (?) for you . . . . ,
You wear there the garment (?) ‘might of the young lad,'
You have established the words spoken by the ‘young lad,'
You have taken charge of the crook, staff, and wand of shepherdship,
Maid Inanna, what, what more shall we add to you?
Battles (and) onslaughts - of their oracles (?) you give the answer,
In their midst, you who are not an arabu-bird, give (?) an unfavorable answer (?),
You twist the straight thread,
Maid Inanna, you straighten the twi[sted] thread,
You have fashioned garments, you wear garments,
You have woven mug-cloth, you have threaded the spindle,
In your . . . you have dyed (?) the many-colored . . thread.
Inanna, you have . . . . ,
Inanna, you have destroyed the indestructible, you have made perish the imperishable,
You have silenced (?) The . . with the ‘timbrel (?) of lament,'
Maid Inanna, you have returned the tigi- and adab-hymns to their house.
You whose admirers do not grow weary to look at,
Maid Inanna, you who know not the distant wells, the fastening ropes (?);
Lo, the inundation has come, the Land is restored,
The inundation of Enlil has come, the Land is restored."

(Remaining nineteen lines destroyed)