Enki (/ˈɛŋki/; Sumerian: dEN.KI(G)𒂗𒆠) is the Sumerian god of water, knowledge (gestú), mischief, crafts (gašam), and creation (nudimmud). He was later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians. He was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). Beginning around the second millennium BCE, he was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for "40", occasionally referred to as his "sacred number". The planet Mercury, associated with Babylonian Nabu (the son of Marduk) was, in Sumerian times, identified with Enki.
- From sunrise till sunset, may the name of Ezina be praised. People should submit to the yoke of Ezina. Whoever has silver, whoever has jewels, whoever has cattle, whoever has sheep shall take a seat at the gate of whoever has grain, and pass his time there.
Quotes about Enki
- Chant to him the holy song, the incantation sung in its chambers -- the incantation of Nudimmud: "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 ... -- 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.
Debate between Bird and Fish
- Debate between Bird and Fish (mid to late 3rd millennium BCE). English translation of the story, in the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature - University of Oxford.
- In those ancient days, when the good destinies had been decreed, and after An and Enlil had set up the divine rules of heaven and earth, then ... the lord of broad wisdom, Enki, the master of destinies, ... founded dwelling places; he took in his hand waters to encourage and create good seed; he laid out side by side the Tigris and the Euphrates, and caused them to bring water from the mountains; he scoured out the smaller streams, and positioned the other watercourses. ... Enki made spacious sheepfolds and cattle-pens, and provided shepherds and herdsmen; he founded cities and settlements throughout the earth, and made the black-headed multiply. He provided them with a king as shepherd, elevating him to sovereignty over them; the king rose as the daylight over the foreign countries.
- Enki knit together the marshlands, making young and old reeds grow there; he made birds and fish teem in the pools and lagoons; ... he filled the reed- beds and marshes with Fish and Bird, indicated to them their positions and instructed them in their divine rules.
- Father Enki be praised!