The Abzu or Apsu, also called engur, is the name for fresh water from underground aquifers which was given a religious fertilising quality in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology. Lakes, springs, rivers, wells, and other sources of fresh water were thought to draw their water from the abzu. In this respect, in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology it referred to the primeval sea below the void space of the underworld (Kur) and the earth (Ma) above.
- O angry great butting bull! O torch! O great bull of Enki, standing aggressively, coming forth from the abzu, the pure place! O Gibil the god of fire, [...] bringing forth the great torch from the abzu, lifting his head with the noble divine powers! [...] Destiny, prosperity -- the wood of destiny, wood of prosperity, and the reeds of destiny, reeds of prosperity, adorn the holy cattle-pen. Through the wool from a fair lamb and the wool from a fair kid, Gibil, the foremost, the right arm, lifting his head to heaven receives water from the holy teats of heaven. This water consecrates the heavens, it purifies the earth. It purifies the cattle in their pen. It purifies the sheep in their fold. It purifies Utu at the horizon. It purifies Nanna at the zenith of heaven. Thus may it cleanse.
- In the abzu, the great crown of Eridug, where sanctuaries are apportioned [...] -- when Enki, the great princely farmer of the awe-inspiring temple, the carpenter of Eridug, the master of purification rites, the lord of the great en priest's precinct, occupies E-engur, and when he builds up the abzu of Eridug.
- Princely son, you are radiant as you come forth from the sacred bathing chamber, [...] the mountain of pure divine powers, the abzu shrine. [...] Bringing terrifying radiance from the marshes.
- Enlil has made majestic divinity manifest for you. Determining a destiny for your flowing waters, the majestic lower waters, Enki from within the sacred bathing chamber has placed the good earth, the good mother, at your feet. Enlil has sired you in majesty and lordship. [...] King of heaven and earth who adorns heaven and earth, from the majestic abzu, the place of the sanctuary Eridug, he has declared your great lordship and your greatness.
- Enki purifies the dwelling for you, he makes the dwelling shine for you. He consecrates the heavens for you, he makes the earth shine for you. He makes the E-kic-nu-jal, the house of the cedar forests, tower straight upward for you. He makes your majestic residence into a sacred place for you, the foundation of heaven and earth.
He puts your ritual plans and majestic lustration rituals in order for you. [...] He makes the offering table resplendent for you in the sacred place. [...] He puts in order for you [...] your evening meals and morning meals. [...] He consecrates the lustration rituals and makes them shine for you. [...] Enki sets up for you the lustration rituals created in his abzu; Kusu establishes the lustration rituals created in their specific house -- the oven for oxen, sheep and bread beside the interior of the bathing chamber, those sacred lustration rituals beside the shrine!
Kusu purifies the oil for the house. It is placed in readiness [...] to ensure the sacred lustration rituals are not neglected, from the majestic marshes, the vast, sacred bathing chamber, this destiny emerges: the E-kic-nu-jal, with its majestic, sacred dais, perfects the great, majestic divine powers of heaven and earth. You bathe on the majestic banks by the sacred bathing chamber; you put mountain oil on your sacred body; O Nanna, you are placed upon your majestic dais -- wrapped in majestic linen, with raised head, shining horns and the pectoral of lordship!
With the majestic oil of the sacred body, the oil of lordship, oil from your great treasury, lord Ningublaga consecrates the hands on his lapis-lazuli quay, the majestic quay, the sacred quay. But from Eridug the stag of the abzu Enki purifies the oil for those hands. So that you should place sacred hands upon your offering table in the banqueting hall, the great place, your steward Kusu -- she who purifies hands and cleanses hands -- consecrates the hands. But from Eridug the stag of the abzu purifies the oil for those hands.
- The abzu has flourished, the abzu is beautiful.
The abzu shall establish the lord as its lord.