Enlil (Sumerian:𒀭𒂗𒆤 dEN.LÍL, "Lord Storm") was the ancient Mesopotamian god of wind, air, earth, and storms. He is first attested as the chief deity of the Sumerian pantheon and plays a vital role in the Sumerian creation myth, but he was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians. He is also sometimes referred to in Sumerian texts as Nunamnir.
- Hoe, do not start getting so mightily angry!
Do not be so mightily scornful!
Is not Nisaba the Hoe's inspector?
Is not Nisaba its overseer?
The scribe will register your work.
- Enten is controller of the life-giving waters of all the lands -- the farmer of the gods produces everything. Emesh, my son, how can you compare yourself to your brother Enten?
Quotes about Enlil
- Enlil has perfected for you your great and noble filial status and lordship. 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.
O Nanna, your crescent moon is called "the crescent moon of the seventh day". Enlil has made known throughout heaven and earth your name, which is a sacred name. Princely son, he has made your greatness manifest throughout heaven and earth. The majestic assembly has bestowed on you his status as Enlil.
- Father Enlil, lord of all the lands.
- I am the prince who decides the destiny of rolling rivers. I keep on the straight and narrow path the righteous who follow Enlil's counsel. My father Enlil brought me here. He let me bar the entrance to the mountains as if with a great door. If I fix a fate, who shall alter it? If I but say the word, who shall change it?
- The shepherd adorns the plain with his ewes and lambs. After the heavens had been turned upside down, after bitter lament had been imposed on Sumer, after, as houses were overwhelmed by the rivers and Enlil frowned in anger upon the land, Enlil had flooded the harvest, after Enlil had acted mightily thus, Enlil did not abandon us.
- I am the Plough, fashioned by great strength, assembled by great hands, the mighty registrar of father Enlil. ... I pile up stacks and mounds for Enlil. I amass emmer and wheat for him.
- An lifted his head in pride and brought forth a good day. ... Enlil set his foot upon the earth like a great bull. Enlil, the king of all lands, set his mind to increasing the good day of abundance, to making the night resplendent in celebration, to making flax grow, to making barley proliferate, to guaranteeing the spring floods at the quay, to making lengthen their days in abundance, to making Emesh (Summer) close the sluices of heaven, and to making Enten (Winter) guarantee plentiful water at the quay.
- The harvest, the great festival of Enlil, rose heavenward.
- I am father Enlil's great comptroller.
- Enlil, your verdict is highly valued, your holy word is an exalted word. The verdict you pronounce is one which cannot be altered -- who can change it? There was quarrelling of brother with brother but now there is harmony. For as long as you are occupying the palace, the people will express awe. When it is your season, far be it from me to humiliate you -- in fact I shall praise you.
- On that day when there is no snake, when there is no scorpion, when there is no hyena, when there is no lion, when there is neither dog nor wolf, when there is thus neither fear nor trembling, man has no rival! At such a time, may the lands of Šubur and Ḫamazi, the many-tongued, and Sumer, the great mountain of the me of magnificence, and Akkad, the land possessing all that is befitting, and the Martu land, resting in security -- the whole universe, the well-guarded people -- may they all address Enlil together in a single language! For at that time, for the ambitious lords, for the ambitious princes, for the ambitious kings, ... -- Enki, the lord of abundance and of steadfast decisions, the wise and knowing lord of the Land, the expert of the gods, chosen for wisdom, the lord of Eridug, shall change the speech in their mouths, as many as he had placed there, and so the speech of mankind is truly one.
- Nunamnir, the Great Mountain, the lord who embraces heaven and earth. [...] My king, the shepherd of the black-headed people already in the womb.
- Say to Puzur-Culgi, the governor of Kazallu: this is what Ibbi-Suen, your lord, says: [...] Today Enlil loathes Sumer and has elevated to the shepherdship of the Land an ape which has descended from those mountain lands. Now Enlil has given kingship to an idiot, a seller of asafoetida -- to Icbi-Erra, who is not of Sumerian origin. [...] See, the assembly where the gods are and Sumer itself have been dispersed! Father Enlil, whose words prevail, said: "Until the enemy has been expelled from Urim, Icbi-Erra, the man from Mari, will tear out Urim's foundations. He will indeed measure out Sumer like grain." He has spoken just so.
- Enlil, [...] first-born child of holy An, whose divine powers are untouchable
- August Nibru! No deity excels like your lord and lady!
They are powerful princes; they are brilliantly revealed deities.
No deity excels like Enlil or Ninlil!
They are powerful princes; they are lords who can decide destinies.
In your midst they have given divine powers to king Enki.
- Lord Nunamnir; who perfects the divine powers of E-kur
- Not only did the lord make the world appear in its correct form, the lord who never changes the destinies which he determines – Enlil – who will make the human seed of the Land come forth from the earth – and not only did he hasten to separate heaven from earth, and hasten to separate earth from heaven, but, in order to make it possible for humans to grow in "where flesh came forth" (𒍜𒌓𒁺𒀀) [the name of a cosmic location], he first raised the axis of the world at Dur-an-ki. He did this with the help of the hoe -- and so daylight broke forth. By distributing the shares of duty he established daily tasks, and for the hoe and the carrying-basket wages were even established. Then Enlil praised his hoe, his hoe wrought in gold, its top inlaid with lapis lazuli, his hoe whose blade was tied on with a cord, which was adorned with silver and gold. ... The lord evaluated the hoe, determined its future destiny and placed a holy crown on its head. [...] Here, in 'Where Flesh Came Forth', he set this very hoe to work; he had it place the first model of mankind in the brick mould. His Land started to break through the soil towards Enlil. He looked with favour at his black-headed people. Now the Anuna gods stepped forward to him, and did obeisance to him. They calmed Enlil with a prayer, for they wanted to demand the black-headed people from him. Ninmena, the lady who had given birth to the ruler, who had given birth to the king, now set human reproduction going.
- Enlil's temple is a summation of accounts. The temple manager is its overseer.
- Enlil's greatest punishment is hunger.
- You shouldn't give a lame man a staff. Enlil is his helper.
- Oh Gilgamec! Enlil, the Great Mountain, the father of gods, has made kingship your destiny, but not eternal life.
- My king, lord Acimbabbar, you are on your throne because of Enlil. Youthful Suen, lord Acimbabbar, you are on your throne because of Enlil. I, the king, whose fate was already decreed in the true womb, who raises his head in authority, Ur-Namma, the youth who caught the eyes of the Great Mountain, Enlil, was chosen by Nunamnir in Sumer and Akkad. He decreed my fate in Nibru, in the mountain of life. He beamed at me approvingly and bestowed the kingship on me. In Urim, in the E-mud-kura, he made the foundation of my throne firm.
- Variant from Ur: I, the king, whose fate was already decreed in the true womb, who raises his head in authority, Ur-Namma, the youth who caught the eyes of the Great Mountain, Enlil, was chosen by Nunamnir in Sumer and Akkad. He decreed my fate in Nibru, in the mountain of life. In Urim, in the E-mud-kura, he made the foundation of my throne firm. He placed the awesome crown, the adornment of kingship, on my head. He put the holy staff to guide the numerous people in my hand. [...] The shepherd's crook into my hand, and the nose-rope to lead the living.
- Ur-Nammu, Ur-Namma the canal-digger (late 3rd millennium BCE to early 2nd millennium BCE), at The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature.
- Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses: Enlil/Ellil (god)
- Gateway to Babylon: "Enlil and Ninlil", trans. Thorkild Jacobsen.
- Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature: "Enlil and Ninlil" (original Sumerian) and English translation
- Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature: Sumerian Flood myth (original Sumerian) and English translation