Akkadian Prayer of the Righteous Sufferer Holy Marduk! Lord Of Wisdom
I will praise the lord of wisdom, solicitous god Furious in the night, calming in the daylight Holy Marduk! Lord of wisdom, solicitous god, Furious in the night, calming in the daylight; whose anger engulfs like a tempest, whose breeze is sweet as the breath of morn In his fury not to be withstood, his rage the deluge, Merciful in his feelings, his emotions relenting The skies cannot sustain the weight of his hand, His gentle palm rescues the moribund. Holy Marduk! the skies cannot sustain the weight of his hand His gentle palm rescues the moribund when he is angry, graves are dug, His mercy raises the fallen from disaster When he glowers, protective spirits take flight, He has regard for and turns to one who has been forsaken Harsh is his punishment, he ———in battles When moved to mercy, he quickly feels pain like a mother in labour He is bull-headed in love of mercy Like a cow with a calf, e keeps turning around watchfully His scourge is barbed and punctures the body, His bandages are soothing, they heal the doomed He speaks and makes one incur many sins, On the day of his justice, sin and guilt are dispelled He is the one who makes shivering and trembling Through his sacral spell, chills and shivering are relieved who raises the flood of Adad, the blow of Era, who reconciles the wrathful The lord divines the inmost thoughts But no one understands its behaviour Holy Marduk divines the inmost thoughts But no one understands its behaviour! As heavy his hand, so compassionate its heart As brutal his weapons,— life-sustaining his feelings Without his consent, who could cure his blow? Against his will, who could sin and escape? I will proclaim his anger, which now runs deep, like a fish, He punished me abruptly, then granted life I will teach the people, I will instruct the land to fear
To be mindful of him is propitious for - - - - After the Lord changed day into night And the holy Marduk became furious with me, My own ego threw me over and disappeared, my - - - - broke rank and vanished He cut off the benevolent angel who walked besides me My protecting spirit was frightened off, my cover leaped away Terrifying signs beset me I was forced out of my house, I wondered outside My omens were confused, they were abnormal everyday
The prognostication of diviner and dream interpreter could not explain what I was undergoing What was said in the street portended ill for me, When I lay down at nights, my dream was terrifying The King, incarnation, - -- His heart was enraged with me and appeasing him was impossible Courtiers were plotting hostile against me, They gathered themselves to instigate base deeds: If the first “I will make him end his life” Says the second “I ousted him from his command” So likewise the third “I will get my hands on his post” “I will force his house!” vows the fourth As the fifth pants to speak Sixth and Seventh follow in his train The clique of seven have missed their forces, Merciless as fiends, equal to demons So one is their body, united in purpose Their heart fulminate against me, ablaze like fire. Slander and lies they try to lend credence against me My mouth once proud was muzzled like a _ - - - - My lips, which used to discourse, became those of a dead man. My resounding call stuck dumb. My proud head bent earthward, My stout heart turned feeble for terror, My broad breast brushed aside by a novice, My far-reaching arms pinned down by flimsy matting I, who walked proudly, learned slinking I, so grand, became servile, To my vast family, I became a loner, As I went through the streets, ears were pricked up at me, My city was glowering at me like an enemy, Belligerent and hostile would seem my land! My brother became y foe, My friend became a malignant demon, My comrade would denounce me savagely, My colleague was constantly keeping the taint to his weapons, My best friend would pinch off my life, My slave cursed me openly in the assembly of gentlefolk, My slave girl defamed me from the rubble An acquaintance would see me and make himself scarce, My family disowned me, A pit awaited anyone speaking well of me, while he was uttering defamation of me forged ahead, One who relayed base things about me had lot his help For the one who said “What a pity about him!” death came early The one of no help, his life became charmed, I had no one to go at my side, nor saw I a champion They parcelled my possessions among the riffraff, The sources of my watercourses they blocked with muck, They chased the harvest song from my fields, They left my community deathly still, like that of a ravaged foe, They let another assume my duties, They appointed an outsider to my prerogatives. By day sighing, by night lamentation, Monthly, trepidation, despair the year, I moaned like a dove all my days I let out groans as my song, My eyes are forced to look through constant crying, My eyelids are smarting through the tears My face is darkened from the apprehension of my heart Terror and pain have jaundiced my face The —of my heart is quaking in ceaseless apprehension—like a burning fire, Like the bursting of a flame falsehood beset me, —lamentation, my imploring! The speech of lips was senseless, like a moron’s When I tried to talk, my conversation was gibberish I watch, that in daylight good will come upon me! The moon will change, the sun will shine!
One whole year of the next! The normal time passed As I turned around, it was more and more terrible, My ill luck was on the increase, I could find no good fortune I called holy Marduk, I could not see its face I prayed to holy Marduk, it did not raise head The diviner with his inspection did not get the bottom of it, Nor did the dream interpreter with his incense clear up my case I beseeched a dream spirit, but it did not enlighten me, The exorcist with his ritual did did not appease divine wrath What bizarre actions everywhere! I looked behind, persecution, harassment! Like one who had not made libations to the God, Nor invoked the God— with a food offering, Who was not wont to prostrate, nor seen to bow down, From whose mouth supplication and prayer were wanting, Who skipped holy days, despised festivals, who was neglectful, omitted the religious rites, who had not taught his people reverence and worship, who did not invoke—, but ate his food offering who snubbed God, made no flour offering Like one possessed, who forgot his lord, Who casually swore a solemn oath; I indeed seemed such a one!
I, for my part, was mindful of supplication and prayer, Prayer to me was the natural recourse, sacrifice my rule The day of reverencing the holy Marduk was a source of satisfaction to me, the religious procession was my profit and return, Praying for the King, that was my joy, His sennet was if for my own good omen, I instructed my land to observe the religious rites, The God name did I drill my people to esteem I made my praises of the King And taught the populace reverence for the Palace I wish I knew that these things were pleasing to the holy Marduk What seems good to one’s self could be an offence to the God, What in one’s own heart seems abominable, could be good to the God! Who could learn the reasoning of the God in heaven? Who could grasp the intentions of the God of the depths? Where might the human beings (Human Babylonians) have learned the ways of the God? He who lived by his brawn died in confinement Suddenly one is downcast, in a trice full of cheer, One moment he sings in exaltation, In a trice he roans like a professional mourner People’s motivations change in a twinkling! Starving, they become like corpses, Full, they would ry to rival God In good times, they speak of scaling heaven, When it goes badly, they complain of going down to hell I have pondered these things; I have made no sense of them But as for me, in despair a whirlwind is driving me! Debilitating disease is let loose upon me An evil vapour has blown against me from the ends of the earth, Head pain has surged upon me from the breast of hell, A malignant spectre has come forth from its hidden depth, A relentless ghost came out of its dwelling place A demon came down from the mountain, Ague set forth with the flood and sea, Debility broke through the ground with the plants They assembled their host, together they came upon me They stuck my head, they closed around my pate, My features were gloomy, my eyes ran a flood, They wrenched my muscles, made my neck limp. They whacked my chest, pounded my breast, They affected my flesh, threw me into convulsion, They kindled a fire in my epigastrium, They churned up my bowels, they twisted my entrails Coughing and hacking infected my lungs, They infected my limbs, made my flesh pasty, My lofty stature they toppled like a wall, My robust figure they flattened like a bulrush, I was dropped like a dried fig, I was tossed on my face A demon has clothed itself in my body for a garment Drowsiness smothers me like a net, My eyes stare, they cannot see, My ears prick up, they cannot hear, Numbness has spread over my whole body, paralysis has fallen upon my flesh Stiffness has seized my arms, Debility has fallen upon my loins, My feet forgot how to move A stroke has overcome me, I can’t respond to the enquirer ’Alas’ they weep, I have lost consciousness, A snare is laid on my mouth, And a bolt bars my lips, My way in is barred, my point of slaking blocked, My hunger is chronic, I choke it down like stinkweed, Beer, the sustenance of mankind, is sickening to me Indeed, the malady drags on! For lack of food my features are unrecognisable, My flesh is waste, my blood has run dry, My bones are loose, covered only with skin, My tissues are inflamed, afflicted with gangrene; I took to bed, confined, going out was exhaustion, My house turned into my prison. My flesh was a shackle, my arms being useless. My person was a fetter, my feet having given way, My afflictions were grievous, the blow was severe! A scourge full of barbs thrashed me. A crop lacerated me, cruel with thorns, All day long tormentor would torment me, Not a night would he let me breathe freely a moment From writhing, my joints were separated, My limbs were splayed and thrust apart.
I spent the night in my dung like an ox I wallowed in my excrement like a sheep. The exorcist recoiled from my symptoms, While my omens have perplexed the diviner. The exorcist did not clarify the nature of my complaint, While the diviner put no time limit on my illness. No one came to the rescue, nor lent me a hand. No lady took pity on me, nor went at my side. My grave was open, my funerary goods ready, Before I had died, lamentation for me was done. All my country said, “How wretched he was!” When my ill wisher heard, his face lit up, When the tidings reached her, my ill-wisher, her mood became radiant, The day grew dim for my whole family For those who knew me, their sun grew dark
Heavy was his hand upon me, I could not bear it! Dread of him was oppressive, it ……….me His fierce punishment ……the deluge, His stride was ……, it Harsh, severe illness does not…..my person, I lost sight of alertness,…..make my mind stray I groan day and night alike, Dreaming and waking, I am equally wretched. A remarkable young man of extraordinary physique, Magnificent in body, clothed in new garments, Because I was only half awake, his features lacked form. He was clad in splendour, robed in dread He came in upon me, he stood over me, When I saw him my flesh grew numb. “The lady has sent me,…” I tried to tell my people (family) “sent for me” They were silent and did not speak, They heard me in silence and did not answer A second time I saw a dream In the dream I saw at night A remarkable purifier Holding in his hand a tamarisk rod of purification Laluralimma (an academic Sumerian name= a sage), resident of Nippur Has sent me to cleanse you” He was carrying water, he poured it over me, He pronounced the resuscitating incantation, He massaged my body. A third time I saw a dream, In my dream I saw at nigh; A remarkable young woman in shining countenance, clothed like a person, being like a queen, A queen among peoples, She entered upon me and sat down… She ordered my deliverance “Fear not” she said, “I will…. “Whatever one sees of a dream…. She ordered my deliverance, “Most wretched indeed is he, “Whoever he might be, … the one who saw the vision at night” In the vision was Ur-Nintinugga, a Babylonian.. A bearded young man wearing a tiara, He was an exorcist, carrying a tablet, “Holy Marduk has sent me! “To Shubshi-Meshre-Sakkam (the sufferer) I have brought swathe, “From his pure hands I have brought swathe.” He has entrusted me into the hands of my ministrant. In waking hours he sent a message, He revealed his favourite sign to my people. I was awake in my sickness, a healing serpent slithered by [ the symbol of ealing] My illness was quickly over, my fetters were broken After my lord’s heart had quieted, And the feelings of the merciful holy Marduk were appeased, And he had accepted my prayers, His sweet relenting… He ordered my deliverance: “He is greatly tried” …to extol ….to worship and … …my guilt.. …my iniquity.. …my transgression.. He made the wind tar away my offences.
“He applied to me his spell which binds debilitating disease He drove back the evil vapour to the ends of the earth, He bore off the head pain to the breast of hell, He sent down the malignant spectre to its hidden depth The relentless ghost he returned to its dwelling He overthrew the demon, sending it off to a mountain He replaced the ague in flood and sea He eradicated debility like a plat, uneasy sleep, excessive drowsiness, He dissipated like smoke filling the sky. The turning towards people with “Woe!” and “Alas” he drove away like a cloud, earth.. The tenacious disease in the head, which was heavy as a millstone, He raised like a claw of night, he removed it from me My beclouded eyes, which were wrapped in the shroud of death, He drove the cloud a thousand leagues away, He brightened my vision. My ears, which were stopped and clogged like a deaf man’s He removed their blockage, he opened my hearing My nose, whose breathing was choked by symptoms of fever, He soothed its affliction. So I could breathe freely My babbling lips, which had taken on a hard crust, He wiped away their distress and undid their deformation. My mouth, which was muffled, so that proper speech was difficult He scoured like copper and removed its filth My teeth, which were clenched and locked together firmly. He opened their fastening, freed the jaws. My tongue, which was tied and could not converse, He wiped off its coating and its speech became fluent. My windpipe, which was tight and choking, as though on a gobbet, He made well and let its songs like a flute. My gullet, which was swollen so it could not take food, Its swelling went down and he opened its blockage My…which ….above… …which was darkened like
The Lord….me The lord took hold of me, The lord set me on my feet, The lord revived me, He rescued me from the pit He summoned me from destruction ….he pulled me from the river of death, …he took my hand He who smote me, Holy Marduk restored me! It was holy Marduk who made him drop his weapon He…the attack of my foe’ It was holy Marduk who.. At the place of the river ordeal, where people’s fate are decided, I was stuck on the forehead, my slave-marks removed…
Which in my prayers with prostration and supplication, I who went down to the grave has returned to the Gate of Sunrise, In the Gate of Prosperity, prosperity was given me, In the Gateway of the Guardian Spirit, a guardian spirit drew nigh to me In the Gate of Wellbeing, I beheld wellbeing In the Gate of Life, I was granted Life In the Gate of Sunrise, I was received among the living In the Gate of splendid wonder my signs were plain to see In the Gate of Release from Guilt, I was released from my band In the Gate of petition, my mouth made inquiry In the Gate of pure water, I was sprinkled with purifying water In the Gate of conciliation, I appeared with (before) holy Marduk In the Gate of Jury, I was granted Justice I was assiduous in supplication and prayer before them I placed fragrant incense before them, An offering, a gift, donations I presented, many fatted oxen I slaughtered, butchered many.. Honey sweet beer and pure wine I repeatedly made libations The protecting genius, the guardian spirit, divine attendants I made them exultant with lavish meals. To the threshold, the bolt socket, the bolt, the door I offered oil, butterfat and choicest grain, the rites of the Ziggurat ……………………. ………………. …………
I proceeded along Kunush-Kadru street in a state of redemption, He who has done wrong …., let him learn from me It was holy Marduk who put a muzzle on the mouth of the Lion that was devouring me Holy Marduk took away the sling of my pursuer and deflected the sling-stone
..golden grain.. He anointed himself with sweet cedar perfume, A feast for the Babylonians … His tomb he had made was set up for a feast The Babylonians saw how the holy Marduk can restore life And all mouth proclaimed the greatness of holy Marduk “Who would have said he would see his sun?” “Who would have imagined that we would pass through his treat?” “ Who but holy Marduk revived him as he was dying?” Holy Marduk can restore to life from the grave, “Where ever earth is founded, heavens are stretched wide” “Where ever sun shines, fire blazes,” “Where ever water runs, wind blows,” Those endowed with life, who walk upright, “Teeming mankind as many they be, give praise to holy Marduk!”
..those who can speak ..may he rule all the peoples ..shepherd of all habitations ….floods from the deep .. the God .. the extent of heaven and netherworld
….. was getting darker and darker for him” the holy Marduk!