Map of Genesis' Eden in which God planted His Garden
Part 2
Please click here for Part 1

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M. A. Ed.

05 November 2006
Updates and Revisions through 04 September 2015

Radau (1911) apparently understood that the Sumerians subdivided the underworld (netherworld) into a "upper" and "lower" edin called an-edin and ki-edin:

"...the Sumerian netherworld, which, like its terrestial prototype, was...divided into an "upper" and a "lower" edin (an-edinki-edin)..."

(p. 25. Hugo Radau. Sumerian Hymns and Prayers to God Dumu-zi or Babylonian Lenten Songs From the Library of Nippur. Volume XXX. Munich, Germany. Rudolf Merkel of Erlangen. 1911)

Perhaps the an-edin was a high-plain while the ki-edin was a low-plain?

Do Mesopotamian myths understand that man _after_ death_ will spend eternity in a location called eden/edin with a God (noting here that Jew, Christian and Moslem understand that _after_death_ the righteous dead will spend eternity in a paradise called Eden, with a God)?

Yes. The Sumerians sometimes euphemistically called the Underworld edin. They understood all men (good and evil) upon death would spend eternity in edin-the-underworld with its resident god and goddess (Nergal being the ruling god and his wife Erishkigal being the ruling goddess ). The only "man" who was allowed a resurrection back to life to roam the earth's surface and feel the heat of the sun on him was Dumuzi, the king of Uruk. Dumu-zid, "the righteous son" was slain in the edin at his sheepstall under the great apple tree near Uruk by demons at his wife Inanna's instigation to be her surrogate in Hell, securing her release from the netherworld's edin. Dumuzi, a shepherd and a king once upon a time, then, dwelt in two edins: (1) the edin at Uruk and (2) the underworld edin. In myths, once a year he ascends (is resurrected) from the Underworld's edin to dwell for six months in the earthly edin at Uruk, being the "life-force" in the edin's plants: grasses, herbs, fruit-trees and grain. So, Dumuzi who bore the epithet ushumgal, "great serpent" or "dragon" offered man (Adapa) immortality with the "food of life" and "water of life" but another ushumgal, Ea/Enki, conned man (Adapa) into falsely believing it was the food of death and forbidden to him in order to deny man immortality because he did not want to lose man as his slave and have to toil in the edin's city-gardens for his own food and thus give up his eternal sabbath rest from earthly toil.

Leick on edin being a euphemism for the underworld:

"In Mesopotamia the underworld was known by various euphemisms, such as Sumerian kur, 'mountainous country', or 'abroad', ki-gal, 'the great place', edin, 'the steppe', -'land of no return', which have their equivalents in Akkadian."

(p. 159. "Underworld." Gwendolyn Leick. A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology. London & New York. Routledge. 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998)

It is my understanding that Judaism, Christianity and Islam's notion that _after_ death_ man will spend an eternity in a paradise called eden with a God is a recast of earlier Sumerian myths regarding man being made by the gods to toil in their gardens of edin/eden in Sumer, and _after_ death, man's dwelling for all of eternity with the gods in the edin/eden known as the Underworld. Dumuzi's resurrection to the earthly edin/eden was recast under Christianity and Islam into a resurrection from the Underworld to dwell in an edenic paradise free of toil after the faithfuls' deaths.

Although I have suggested that Mari on the Euphrates is the most likely location for Genesis' Garden of Eden because it is watered by a single stream that later becomes four streams, this site does _not_ possess all the motifs associated with Yahweh's Garden. These motifs are associated in Mesopotamian myths with "other" sites, which are enumerated below:

(1) Eridu, (2) Nippur, (3) A watering hole in the edin near Uruk where Enkidu (Adam's prototype) met Shamhat (Eve's prototype) in the Epic of Gilgamesh, (4) Uruk, (5) Dilmun, (6) Mari, (7) Ur of the Chaldees, (8) Sippar, (9) Anu's Heavenly abode, (10) Lebanese Cedar Mountain. 

(1) Eridu 
Eridu is ranked "first" as it has several important motifs associated with Genesis' Garden in Eden account. Man is created here of its clay at the instigation of the Sumerian god Enki (Akkadian: Ea) because the Igigi gods are in revolt over their hard work building irrigation ditches for his city-garden and man replaces them as garden laborers (recast as Adam as a gardener rebelling against God and being removed from God's garden). It is here that Ea/Enki warns a man (Adapa) "not to eat" the "bread of death" or he will die, presaging God's warning to Adam "not to eat" of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or he will die. Eridu's god warns one man (variously called Ziusudra, Atrahasis or Utnapishtim of Shuruppak in Sumer) to build a boat to save the seed of man and animalkind because a flood is to be sent by the gods to destroy all life, this presages God's warning to Noah. Eridu's god changes the one language of the world into a babel of many tongues to spite his brother-god Enlil of Nippur, this presages God's changing one language of the world into many tongues with the tower of Babel episode. The god of Eridu plants a garden and it is famed for two fabulous trees a kiskanu and mes tree (presaging Eden's two fabulous trees). This god bears the Sumerian epithet ushumgal, meaning "great serpent" also rendered by some scholars as "dragon," so he has the power of human speech and legs to walk with. He seeks to deny man immortal life via lies and half-truths (Ea/Enki the ushumgal or "great serpent" being recast as Eden's Serpent as well as Eden's God, Yahweh-Elohim).

(2) Nippur
Man is created of Nippur's clay to replace the Igigi gods who rebel against the burdensome toil digging irrigation ditches for Enlil's city-garden. The motif of gardeners (the Igigi) rebelling against their god (Enlil) appears here (as well as at Eridu against Enki/Ea), they are removed from the city-garden for this act of rebellion (recast as Adam the gardener rebelling against his God and being removed from his God's garden, like the Igigi). A clay tablet found at Nippur mentions a city gate called abul edin-na "edin gate" and Genesis suggests the Garden in Eden has an "entrance" (a gate?) guarded by Cherubim. Some gardens were within the city walls at Nippur and thus would be accessed via a gate or entrance in the city wall (perhaps Nippur's abul edin-na was recast as the "entrance" to the Garden in Eden?). Enlil of Nippur is identified as the chief instigator behind the decision to send a flood to destroy mankind for violating his rest with their clamor (recast as God sending Noah's Flood to destroy mankind). On the seventh day of the Flood all mankind has been destroyed except a few on a boat built by Ziusudra of Shuruppak. The silence prevailing on the earth on the seventh day "allows _all_ the gods to rest" for man's clamor or noise is gone now (recast as God _resting on the seventh day_ after "creating" a world instead of "destroying" a world as done by Enlil with the Flood). Eden's serpent in Christian myths seeks man's destruction. Enlil sought the destruction of all of mankind with the Flood and he bore the Sumerian epithet ushumgal, "great serpent" alternately rendered by some schoilars as "dragon." So, like Enki (Ea) of Eridu, he too is associated with man's creation and his death. That is to say two Sumerian gods Enlil (Akkadian/Babylonian: Ellil) and Enki (Akkadian/Babylonian: Ea) have been fused together to become not only the God Yahweh-Elohim in the Garden of Eden but also Eden's Serpent (Enlil and Enki _both_ bore the Sumerian epithet ushumgal, "great serpent").

(3) Watering hole in the edin 
At this location, a three days journey into the edin wilderness from Uruk, Shamhat meets Enkidu (both are prototypes of Eve and Adam). Naked Enkidu is separated from his herbivore animal companions (gazelles and wild cattle) when he espies a naked Shamhat and has sex with her (recast as a naked Eve supplanting naked Adam's herbivore animal companions). He learns it is wrong to be naked when she shares her clothes with him and clothed they both leave edin's watering hole (recast as Adam and Eve discovering they are naked and clothing themselves before leaving Eden). We are told the watering hole's water was Enkidu's and the animals "heart's DELIGHT." I understand this motif was recast as Hebrew `eden meaning "delight." Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh when he appears at the watering hole is called "the man of edin," the Sumerian logogram (EDIN/EDEN) being used by the Akkadian scribe in _lieu of_ the Akkadian word seru for steppe. Shamhat urges Enkidu to eat food he balks at initially offered him in the edin by shepherds, he submits to her will and eats it (recast as Eve urging Adam to eat forbidden food in Eden). Enkidu later curses Shamhat, blaming her for his misfortunes (recast as God cursing Eve). Enkidu and Shamhat eventually die being mortals after having left the edin to dwell at Uruk (recast as Adam and Eve dying after their having left Eden).

(4) Uruk
The Sumerian goddess Inanna (Akkadian/Babylonian: Ishtar) the patron goddess of whores and prostitutes and Shamhat dwells at Uruk. She is called in Sumerian nin edin-na, "the lady of edin." She eats of cedar/pine tree (consuming its cedar/pine nuts) to acquire "knowledge" to enable her to have sex with her husband Dumuzi (recast as Eve and Adam eating of tree to acquire knowledge, then Adam's "knowing" Eve, having "sex" with her). She has her husband Dumuzi (biblical: Tammuz) slain under a "great apple tree" in the edin of Kulaba (Uruk) and carried off to Hell by demons as her surrogate. He is briefly changed by Utu into a snake to escape his bonds, his hands and feet having been tied to sticks with ropes. Utu (his brother-in-law and a sun god) hears his plea and changes his hands into "snake hands" and feet into "snake feet" allowing him to slither out of his bonds. Dumuzi also bore the Sumerian epithet ushumgal meaning "great serpent" or "dragon" (actually his and Inanna's Sumerian epithet is ama-ushumgal-anna, "the mother is a great serpent/ dragon of heaven") so he has the power to walk and talk in human and serpent form while under the great apple tree of the edin of Kulaba near Uruk. This has probably been recast as Eden's serpent losing its feet. Dumuzi in the Adapa and the Southwind myth offered Adapa the "bread of life" which would have given him immortality and Eden's serpent told Eve she would not die. So Dumuzi the ushumgal the "great serpent-dragon" offered _contra_ Ea's orders, food to Adapa (mankind) giving him immortality instead of death. That is to say Dumuzi of Uruk's edin is another pre-biblical prototype of the Garden of Eden's Serpent. Dumuzi who is a shepherd of the edin and associated with an apple-tree garden of edin is also another pre-biblical prototype of Adam along with Enkidu and Adapa. Enkidu was created of clay by the goddess Aruru and placed in the Sumerian edin _near_ Uruk to confront Gilgamesh. I am in agreement with scholars (Jastrow, Skinner, Graves and Patai) that Enkidu has been recast as Adam and Shamaht of Uruk has been recast as Eve. Why is Adam made of "dust" when Enkidu was made of clay? I note that cuneiform letters from various princes in Canaan directed to Pharaoh Akhenaton in Egypt (circa 1350-1334 B.C.) address him as the Sun-god and compare themselves self-effacingly as his humble servants or slaves, "_the _DUST_ under his sandals." I suspect that the Hebrews assimilated to some degree Canaanite concepts and figures of speech via their intermarriages with the Canaanites (cf. Judges 3:5-6) and thus the notion that man _is nothing but dust_ under Pharaoh's sandals became Adam being made of dust (Ge 3:19) contra the Mesopotamian notion he (Enkidu) was made of clay (However, Isaiah 64:8 speaks of man being clay, not dust, formed by God the potter: "Yet O Lord, thou art our Father; and we are the clay, and thou art our potter...")

As noted earlier (above) Enkidu and Shamhat eventually leave the edin to meet Gilgamesh at Uruk . Of interest here is a transliteration revealing that the plain or edin (edin-na) apparently _abuts the walls of Uruk_ (Sumerian: Unug), rendered below by Langdon (Professor of Assyriology, Oxford) as biblical "Erech" appearing in Genesis (Ge 10:10):

"...bad Unug-ga gu-gu-na-dim edin-na ge-ni-lalal..."
"may the wall of Erech be loftily built, and the (nether) plain may it join upon..."

(vol. 1. p. 5. Line 14. Stephen Herbert Langdon. The H. Weld-Blundel Collection in the Ashmolean Museum. Volume One, Sumerian and Semitic Religious and Historical Texts. Oxford. United Kingdom. 1923)

(5) Dilmun (Umm Daleimin by Qurnah?)
Considered by some as a possible Sumerian prototype of the Garden of Eden. It is generally associated today with the islands of Bahrain and Failaka in the Arabian Gulf (Persian Gulf). I understand Dilmun "might" be preserved at the village of Umm Daleimin E of Qurnah on the E side of the Shatt al Arab river. Professor Potts has noted that the term "sea" can also mean a "marshland" in the ancient texts. Thus the "sea" Ur and Eridu were near was proabably the mat tamti, "sea land," the marshes east of Ur and Eridu. A man and wife enjoy immortality in Dilmun according to the myths (Adam and Eve were to enjoy immortality too). Please click here for why Dilmun cannot be the islands of Bahrain and Failaka. Dilmun according to ancient texts lay "at the mouth of the rivers" and some scholars understand that the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is at Qurnah; Umm Daleimin (Dilmun?) lies just E of these two rivers' mouths. Please click here for a map showing Umm Daliemin by Qurnah.

Professor Sayce (1887) on the mouth of the Euphrates being at Eridu (not today's Qurnah or Kornah):

"Along with this culture went the worship of Ea, the god of Eridu...the city stood at the mouth of the Euphrates and on the edge of the Persian Gulf." 

(p. 135. "The Gods of Babylonia." A. H. Sayce. The Hibbert Lectures, 1887, Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as illustrated by the religion of the Ancient Babylonians. London & Oxford. Williams & Norgate. 1887, 1897, fourth edition. Reprint by Kessinger Publishers of Whitefish, Montana) 

(6) Mari
A city on the Euphrates. A wall mural in its palace shows two sacred trees guarded by fabulous winged beasts, perhaps prototypes of the Cherubim? Deities hold water pots with four streams pouring forth perhaps recalling the four rivers of Eden? Ishtar (Sumerian: Inanna, Akkadian: Ishtar) invests Mari's king with rule in a scene. At Mari were found clay tablets mentioning people bearing the name yawi as a possible theophoric, perhaps recalling Yahweh-Elohim who planted Eden's Garden? Beyond Mari the "river of edin," the Euphrates, becomes three or four streams (depending on various scholars' maps) upon entering the Lower Mesopotamian Flood plain near Sippar. Near Sippar the Tigris/Hiddekel joined these three streams during the 5th through 2nd millenniums B.C. according to some scholars. Thus we have Eden's four streams arising from one river. Please click here for the details and maps of the Tigris/Hiddekel being a part of the Euphrates river system.

(7) Ur
Ur of the Chaldees (Tell al Muqayyar, Mugheir, Mughayir) is where Abraham dwelt before moving to Haran and eventually to Canaan. Ur is famed for its clay tablets preserving a literature going back to Sumerian times. Perhaps Abraham as a polytheist at Ur was acquainted with this literature and later repudiated this system of belief with what he regarded as a revelation from God that there was only one deity? Many of Genesis' motifs may ultimately be traced to Abraham and Ur as inversions and recastings of Sumerian concepts and motifs. According to Sandars the Epic of Gilgamesh has been found at Ur:

"Important recent additions to the Gilgamesh material include a tablet from Ur, perhaps of the early eleventh century B.C., which contains another version of, and additions to, part of Tablet VII of the Ninevite recension describing the encounter between Shamash and Enkidu on the latter's deathbed." 

(pp. 55-56. "Introduction." Nancy K. Sandars. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England. Penguin Books. 1960, 1969)

In 1963 Professors Robert Graves and Raphael Patai proposed that Genesis' Adam and Eve were in part, recasts of Enkidu and Shamhat from thEpic of Gilgamesh (cf. pp. 78-79 & 81. Robert Graves & Raphael Patai. Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis. New York. Doubleday & Co. 1963, 1964; Reprinted 1983 by Greenwich House). My research supports their proposal. Perhaps Abraham while at Ur became acquainted with the Epic of Gilgamesh while he was a polytheist, and recast Enkidu and Shamhat into Adam and Eve after breaking with polythesim and embracing monotheism?

(8) Sippar
Near this site the Tigris is believed to have merged with the Euphrates in the 6th-2nd millenniums B.C. The Euphrates subdivided generally into three (or four?) streams in antiquity, the merging of the Tigris at Sippar would give us the four streams from a river rising in Eden/Edin (the Euphrates). 


"Sippar lies some 20 kilometres south of Baghdad, where the courses of the Euphrates and Tigris come closest together...According to geo-archaeological surveys the rivers actually connected when the site was first inhabitated during the Uruk period...The city was situated along the Euphrates. The high content of sediment had the gradual effect of burying the older Tigris channels, pushing that river further to the east. At the same time, the raising of the river bed caused a shift of the Euphrates further westwards, which resulted in a steady separation of the twin rivers, leaving an area of land which could be cultivated...Sippar had access to both major streams and their side-arms." (p.167. "Sippar, a tale of two cities." Gwendolyn Leick. Mesopotamia, the Invention of the City. London, United Kingdom. Penguin Books. 2001, 2002)

(9) Anu's heavenly abode 
where man (Adapa, a prototype of Adam) lost out on a chance to obtain immortality for himself and mankind by not eating the food which confer such a boon (reformatted as Adam failing to eat of the tree of life); Anu, Ningishzida and Dumuzi urge Adapa to eat the "bread of life" _contra_ the orders given Adapa by Ea/Enki, thus they play the role of Eden's serpent who urged Eve (and indirectly thereby Adam) to eat forbidden fruit. 

(10) A Lebanese mountain 
whose cedar trees were denied access to man in the Epic of Gilgamesh (the trees' guardian Huwawa being reformatted as the Cherubim).

My research suggests that "paradoxically" there are THREE EDENS and THREE NODS:

Eden 1:
Edin is the land of Sumer, the 'uncultivated land" about Sumer's cities and their city-gardens (circa the 5th-4th millenniums B.C.). To the degree that Mesopotamian myths have primeval man a naked wanderer of animal trails in the edin before the goddess Nintur has him build cities for the gods to dwell in, the Land of Nod, "the land of wanderers," is also the edin of Sumer.

Eden 2:
The late 4th millennium B.C. witnesses Sumerian trade colonies of the Late Uruk IV Period (circa 3300-3100 B.C.) being established at Habuba Kabira and Jebel Aruda near the Euphrates in Syria, so edin as a term _by extension_ from Sumer now embraces both Upper and Lower Mesopotamia. Because edin has been extended as a concept to Upper Mesopotamia via Sumerian colonies the "uncultivated" land about Habuba Kabira and Jebel Aruda would have been called in Sumerian the "edin." The edin in Mesopotamian myths is where naked man _wanders_ with wild animals for companions before being taken by the goddess Nintur to build the world's first city at Eridu. Ergo, the Upper Mesopotamian edin is also "the land of Nod," the "land of wanderers," by extension. Some scholars suggest Abraham is a contemporary of Hammurabi of Babylonia (Genesis' King Amraphel of Shinar) who reigned in the 18th century B.C. That is to say in Abraham's day edin embraced Upper and Lower Mesopotamia since the late 4th millennium B.C. Abraham dwells in "both edins" as a shepherd (1) at Ur of Chaldees in Lower Mesopotamia (formerly ancient Sumer) and at (2) Haran in Upper Mesopotamia (Mari is destroyed by Hammurabi).

Eden 3:
Genesis' Eden (composed 560 B.C. in the Exile) possesses a garden which is watered by one stream. After leaving the garden, this stream subdivides into four streams (according to Professors Abraham Yahuda [1934] and Umberto Cassuto [1944]). To "the east of Eden" (east of the Garden in Eden) lies the "land of Nod." That is to say Genesis' Eden's eastern border is the Land of Nod. I have identified Mari on the Euphrates as being watered by one stream that subdivides into four streams in the Lower Mesopotamian floodplain (where lay ancient Sumer, Akkad and Babylonia). Enoch, Genesis' first city in the land of Nod is apparently modeled in part after Sumer's first city, Eridug/Eridu (and perhaps fused with Unug/Uruk). So the "biblical" Eden and its garden is in Upper Mesopotamia (Mari) and the "land of Nod" lies in Lower Mesopotamia: ancient Sumer and its "first city," Eridu, probably fused with Unug, for it is this location that Enkidu and Shamhat (prototypes of Adam and Eve) head for upon leaving the edin, just as Genesis has man leaving Eden to dwell in the land of Nod at the world's first city Enoch.

Strong on Eden's meaning (James Strong. Strong's Exhuastive Concordance. "Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary." Waco, Texas. Word Books. 1977):

5731 `Eden, the same as 5730 the region of Adam's home.
5730 `eden, `ednah from 5727 pleasure, delicate, delight.
5729 `Eden pleasure, a place in Mesopotamia: Eden.
5727 `adan to be soft or pleasant, to live voluptuously, delight oneself.

Professor George understands Enkidu's name means "Lord of the Pleasant Place." (cf. p. 223.  "Enkidu." "Glossary of Proper Nouns." Andrew George. The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian. London. Penguin Books. 1999). If George is correct, I note that Eden is associated with "pleasure" (Strong 5730/5729) and the word "pleasant" (Strong 5727). Most Christians, Jews and Moslems would understand that Eden _is_ a "Pleasant Place." In 1898 Professor Jastrow proposed that Adam was in part modeled after Enkidu (cf. p. 476. Morris Jastrow, Jr. The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. Boston. Ginn & Company. 1898) whom he called then Eabani, "made in the image of Ea" and in 1963 Professors Graves and Patai also proposed that Adam was modeled in part after Enkidu (cf. pp. 67, 78-79, 80-81. Robert Graves & Raphael Patai. Hebrew Myths, The Book of Genesis. Greenwich House. 1983 reprint of 1963, 1964 editions by Doubleday). Professor George's proposal that Enkidu means "Lord of the Pleasant Place" does align nicely with Eden being a "pleasant" place or a place of "pleasure" or place of "delight."

Hamilton on Eden meaning "delight" and "pleasure" (emphasis mine):

"Etymologically Hebrew `eden is often connected with Sumerian-Akkadian edinu, "plain, flatland, wilderness, prairie," a term used as a geographical designation for the plain between the Tigris and Euphrates in southern Mesopotamia...In 3:23 LXX paradeisou tes tryphes, "paradise of delight," seems to relate Hebrew `eden to the verb `adan, which occurs only once, and in the Hithpael stem- "to delight oneself" (Neh. 9:25), and to the related words `edna, "pleasure" (Gen. 18:12), and `adina, "pleasure seeker" (Isa. 47:8). There are other expressions throughout the OT for the garden of Eden, namely, "the garden of Yahweh" (Gen. 13:10; Isa. 51:3) and the "garden of God" (Ezek. 28:13; 31:9)."

(p. 161. Victor P. Hamilton. The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-17Vol. 1. William B. Eerdmans. 1990)

Note the _"delights"_ concept associated with Enkidu, the beasts and water, as well the "delights" offered by Shamhat to Enkidu (`eden can mean "delight" according to some scholars):

Professor George on the Hunter and Shamhat waiting for Enkidu's arrival to the watering-hole in the midst of the eden/edin (the steppe, or the wild); note also that Enkidu is said to possess reason and understanding after his exposure to the naked woman of eden/iedin, just as a naked Adam acquired reason and knowledge after his exposure to a naked Eve in Eden. I suspect the notion of a naked man and his wild animal companions "delighting" in water  in eden/edin was recast by the Hebrews as a naked Adam and animal companions in a garden of Eden, "a garden of delights":

"...they waited by the water-hole,
then the herd came down to drink the water.
The game arrived, their hearts delighting in water,
and Enkidu also, born in the uplands.

With the gazelles he grazed on grasses,
joining the throng with the game at the water-hole,
his heart delighting with the beasts in the water:
then Shamhat saw him, the child of nature,
the savage man from the midst of the wild.

...she spread her clothing and he lay upon her.
...his passion caressed and embraced her.
For six days and seven nights
Enkidu was erect, as he coupled with Shamhat.

When with her delights he was fully sated,
he turned his gaze to his herd.
The gazelles saw Enkidu, they started to run,
the beasts of the field shied away from his presence.

Enkidu had defiled his body so pure,
his legs stood still, though his herd was in motion.
Enkidu was weakened, could not run as before,
but now he had reason, and wide understanding."

(pp. 7-8. Andrew George. The Epic of Gilgamesh. London. Penguin Books. 1999, 2000, 2003)

Please click here for maps of the Garden of Eden by Professor Friedrich Delitzsch (1881), William Willcocks (1919), and Manfred Dietrich (2002).

Pease click here for the pre-biblical origins of Eden's Serpent. Please click here for pictures of the Serpent.

Please click here for the pre-biblical origins of Eden's Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.

Please click here for Why Adam was left naked by God in Eden. Please click here for pictures of Naked Adam.

Please click here for pictures of Adam and Eve as Enkidu and Shamhat and Dumuzi and Inanna.

Please click here for pictures of Inanna and Dumuzi and the famous so-called "Adam, Eve, and Serpent Cylinder Seal."

Please click here for a picture of Adapa as a Merman (Fish-man) and Christ as Jonah in the Fish ("Whale").

Please click here for pictures of the deities that would later become the Cherubim guarding the Tree of Life.

Please click here for the Parallels between Enkidu and Adam in a "two column" side-by-side format.

Please click here for the Parallels between Shamhat and Eve in a "two column" side-by-side format.


This research on the pre-biblical origins of Eden and its garden has noted that professional scholars are in disagreement with each other. Some have suggested Genesis' Eden is ultimately derived from Sumerian Edin, others object. The reason for their objection is primarily three reasons: 

(1) Genesis' Eden has an ayin accent or phoneme /`/: `eden whereas Sumerian edin does not.

(2) Biblical Eden appears to be derived from `dn, a root meaning "delight, enjoy, lushness, or a place well-watered" whereas Sumerian edin means "back" and refers to the "backland" or uncultivated steppe, sometimes rendered as the wilderness, the wilds, desert, or fertile plain depending on the scholar.

(3) The argument has been made that the Akkadian (Babylonian) word edinu appears only _once_ in a syllabary and hence its survival down through the ages to become the biblical `eden is rejected by some scholars. Please click here for A. R. Millard's article on the "Etymology of Eden" (1984) and why some scholars reject Sumerian edin or Akkadian edinu being what `eden was derived from.

Professor Sayce on Eden (1898), note: today Zeru is rendered variously as SeruSeriTseruCe:ru by modern Assyriologists:

"Eden means delight in Hebrew...The cuneiform inscriptions have, however, cleared up the geography of the garden of Eden. The Sumerian name of the 'plain' of Babylonia was Edin, which was adopted by the Semites under the form of Edinu. Its Assyrian equivalent was Zeru, corresponding to the Arabic Zor, the name still applied to the 'depression' between the Tigris and Euphrates."

(p. 643. Vol. 1. A. H. Sayce. "Eden." in James Hastings, editor, A Dictionary of the Bible, Dealing with its Language, Literature, and Contents Including the Biblical Theology. Edinburgh, Scotland. T. & T. Clark. 1898. Reprinted 1988 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts)

Professor Millard (1984) on Eden's contested etymology (Emphasis mine):

"Current scholarship offers two explanations for "Eden"...One seeks the origin of the name in an Akkadian word borrowed from Sumerian, the other in the Semitic stem `dn, "abundant, lush". A reconsideration of the arguments and some newly available evidence presented here, strongly favouring the latter explanation over the former.

1. Eden an Akkadian word

The derivation of Eden from a Babylonian source arose after the recovery of part of a cuneiform tablet from Nineveh. This tablet contains a list of Sumerian word-signs in its central column, phoenetic renderings in the left hand column, and Akkadian equivalents in the right column, The list, known to-day as syllabary b, was apparently compiled late in the second millennium B.C., or early in the first. One entry (line 104) reads e-di-inedine-di-nu, the next e-di-inedinse-e-ru. There is abundant evidence to show that edin was the normal Sumerian word for "steppe, plain", and for the second Akkadian equivalent, seru, in the same meaning. Friedrich Delitzsch, who knew of the text before its official publication, claimed the first Akkadian equivalent was identical with the Hebrew name. In his Wo lag das Paradies? Leipzig, 1881, pp. 4, 6, 79 f., he asserted that Hebrew `eden was not connected with words for "delight" from the base `dn, nor with the Aramean place-name Bit-Adini, but with this Sumero-Akkadian term...this example was widely accepted...A. H. Sayce wrote "The cuneiform inscriptions have, however, cleared up the greography of the garden of Eden. The Sumerian name of the plain of Babylonia was Edin, which was adopted by the Semites under the form Edinu." ...Some authorities were cautious about the relationship...E.A. Spieser wrote "Eden. Hebrew `eden, Akkadian edinu, based on Sumerian eden 'plain, steppe'...this word is rare in Akkadian but exceedingly common in Sumerian thus certifying the ultimate source as very ancient indeed (Genesis [Garden City, 1964], pp. 16, 19).

Attractive as this derivation seems, it faces major objections. One, restated by Claus Westermann, deserves attention. The Sumerian word begins with a simple /e/. That language has no /`/, and there is no ground for supposing one stood as the initial of the word in Akkadian, as it does in Hebrew.

The second objection arises from the history of the word in Babylonia. Speiser rightly observes that it is exceedingly common" in Sumerian. In Akkadian, on the other hand, its occurrence is limited to the single entry in Syllabary b cited above. Wherever "steppe" is to be expressed in Akkadian, and wherever there are Akkadian renderings of Sumerian compositions using edin the word normally found is seruedinu never appears. This could be an accident, Akkadian texts containing edinu having escaped recovery. Yet given that seru so often translates edin, and that there are several known synonyms of seru in Akkadian, it seems safe to conclude that edinu was not a word current in Akkadian, but simply a learned scribal transcription of the Sumerian word-sign in the Syllabary. Again, a learned Hebrew scribe might have borrowed an extremely rare word from Babylonian because it could allow a popular etymology, but it can hardly be considered very likely, and is not the case with other Akkadian loan-words in Biblical Hebrew. The number of ancient readers who could have understood such ingenuity would not have been large.

Both the problem of the initial phoneme and the absence of edinu from any Akkadian text except one lexical list militate against the derivation of Hebrew `eden from an East Semitic and ultimately Sumerian word.

2. Eden a West Semitic word

Biblical Hebrew knows several words with `dn as their base and the common idea of "pleasure, luxury". Traditionally, Eden is linked with them...Those who prefer the Babylonian explanation assume with Speiser that the foreign word "came to be associated, naturally enough, with the homonymous but unrelated noun for 'enjoyment' ", while Skinner affirmed "There is no probability that the proper name was actually coined in this sense."...

(pp. 104-105. A. R. Millard. "The Etymology of Eden." in Vetus Testamentum. Vol. 34. Fasc. 1. Jan. 1984. pp. 103-106)

A note of caution: I have noted at a number of internet websites the Sumerian word edin being rendered as e.din. I sent an e-mail to Professor Andrew George a trained Assyriologist and asked him about this rendering. He informed me that it is _not_ a correct rendering. The dot or period after the e. would suggest to an Assyriologist that _two_ signs existed one for e and another sign for din and that this is not the case, edin is a single logogram or sign _not_ two logograms or signs.

My vote has been cast with those scholars advocating edin is what is behind Genesis' Eden. I have given my reasons in this article:

(1) I understand that Eden (`eden) is a _deliberate misspelling_ of edin, intended to thereby _refute, deny and challenge_ the Mesopotamian presentation of man's origins and his relationship with his creator(s). Eden (`eden) meaning "delight" is an echo or reflection of  naked Enkidu's and his herbivore animal companions' _delight_ in the water at the watering hole where he meets and is "undone" by a naked woman, Shamhat.

(2) I understand that motifs associated with the edin such as man's (Enkidu's) being naked, unaware it is wrong to be naked, wandering the edin with herbivore gazelles, he eating grass, have been recast as Adam and his animal companions in Eden being herbivores.

(3) I understand that  the motif of a "fall" for Adam and his giving up animal companionship for a naked woman, Eve, in Eden is met with Enkidu's encounter with Shamhat in the edin.

(4) I understand that Eve's persuading Adam to eat forbidden food is a recast of Shamhat persuading Enkidu to eat bread at the shepherd's camp in the edin. After eating he is presented a robe to put on (recast as Adam eating then clothing himself).

(5) I understand that Enkidu's blaming Shamhat for his loss of innocence and impending death and cursing her  were recast as Yahweh-Elohim cursing Eve for persuading Adam to eat the forbidden fruit.

(6) I understand that motifs of a lost chance for man (Adam) to obtain immortality in Eden, appears to be reflected in Enkidu and Gilgamesh who both lived for a time in the edin, who both sought unsuccessfully to avoid the lot of all men: death.

(7) Genesis' Eden is presented as the name of physical location or region that God's garden is located within. After making his garden, man is placed in it to care for it. Sumerian edin is a term applied to uncultivated land. The gods created cities and city-gardens to provide food for themselves _before_ man's creation. Later, man is created to care for their gardens. The Gods' city-gardens are surrounded by uncultivated land called the edin. That is to say the gods' city gardens are _in_ the midst of the edin. So, Yahweh plants a garden _in_ 'eden and places man in it to care for it, whereas the Mesopotamian myths have the gods creating city-gardens _in_ the midst of the edin (uncultivated land).

Professor Kitchen made an important observation regarding Eden and its garden, that Eden is a region in which lies God's garden, it is better to say a "garden _in_ Eden" rather than a "garden _of_ Eden":

"Then, in 2:38, we enter the ever intriquing "Garden of Eden." Very strictly, it is not "the garden of Eden' at all, but "a garden in Eden." It has to be grasped very clearly that the garden was simply a limited area within a larger area "Eden," and two are not identical, or of equal area. A realization of this simple but much neglected facts opens the way to a proper understanding of the geography of Eden and its environment. Thus, out of "greater Eden," a river flowed into the garden (2:10), "to water the garden"; and at that point ("there" in Hebrew, sham) it was divided into four "heads."

(p. 428. "In Eden." K. A. Kitchen. On the Reliability of the Old TestamentGrand Rapids, Michigan & Cambridge, United Kingdom. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 2003)

(8) Some scholars' objection to edin becoming `eden is that in its Akkadian form of edinu it appears only _once_ in a syllabary suggesting to them that it is a "rare" word which would not survive a transmission down through the ages to become the biblical `eden through borrowing. _CONTRA_ this argument, I have come to understand from two professional scholars and trained Assyriologists, Robert M. Whiting PhD of Helsinki, Finland and Professor Andrew George of London, England, that EDIN was preserved as a Sumerian logogram which was _commonly_ used in place of the Akkadian word seriserutseru in all kinds of compositions.

EDIN survived _not_ as a "rare" Akkadian _edinu_ but as the Sumerian logogram EDIN which according to Professor Andrew George is _very commonly_ encountered as a 'mechanical' substitute for seri, seru, tseru in numerous Akkadian texts down through the ages. 

I want to point out here to the reader _A CONTRADICTION_, Millard (above) argues that Sumerian EDIN _is _replaced_ in Akkadian by the Akkadian word SERU_, but Professor George has informed me that it was quite common for Akkadian scribes _TO REPLACE AKKADIAN SERU WITH THE SUMERIAN LOGOGRAM EDIN_, just the opposite of Millard's argument! 

It is true that when modern Assyriologists see the Sumerian logogram EDIN in an Akkadian composition they "read" it as seru

Millard _is_ a competently trained Assyriologist, so I have no doubt that at times Sumerian edin _is_ replaced by Akkadian seru in some translations. But, had Millard noted in his article that the Sumerian logogram (EDIN) at times _is used in lieu of_ Akkadian seru, the "mystery" of how Hebrew `eden came to be derived from EDIN and _not_ edinu_, would have been "cleared up" long ago!

My "modest contribution" here to the above insights of these Professors is to note that Genesis' Adam and Eve not only appear to be _recasts_ of Enkidu and Shamhat (as noted by Jastrow in 1898 and Graves and Patai in 1963), but that the very word Eden (Hebrew `eden) appears to have been preserved in the Epic of of Gilgamesh as the Sumerian Logogram EDEN (EDIN) it being used at times in _lieu_ of the Akkadian word seriseru or tseru.

Kramer (1986) on Sumerian logograms being used by Assyrian men of letters:

"The ancient Assyrian men of letters, when inscribing their various compendia such as omens or incantations, would often utilize Sumerian logograms to represent Assyrian words, just as, for example, we write etc. (the Latin et cetera) but usually pronounce it as "and so forth." It was my task to go through the transliterations and translations of these documents prepared by senior scholars from America and abroad, to examine carefully their renderings of the Sumerian logograms into Assyrian, and to note on these cards, making sure of their consistency and accuracy before they were utilized in any passage quoted in the dictionary."

(p. 36. "Arno Poebel and Sumerian Grammar." Samuel Noah Kramer. In the World of Sumer, An Autobiography. Detroit. Wayne State University Press. 1986)

The issue is, did the Akkadian scribe "read" the Sumerian logogram as eden/edin or did he read it as seru? Was he "unaware" that the Sumerian logogram edin was not to be read as eden but as seru? How did a Jew at Jerusalem come to know of this "esoteric scribal information," that a Sumerian logogram eden was being used instead of writing out seru in cuneiform? Were Jews able to read Akkadian and the Sumerian logograms that that script used? 

The answer to the foregoing questions may lie with the Bible's statement that the Jebusites of Jerusalem intermarried with Jews (cf. Judges 3:5). King David is portrayed capturing Jerusalem and later buying a threshing floor of a Jebusite for the Temple to be erected by Solomon, so it is possible that literate Jebusites existed in David's days to pass this esoteric information on. The Amarna letters from Jerusalem to Pharaoh Akhenaton reveal that some of Jerusalem's residents were literate men trained in cuneiform Akkadian words. I suspect the marriages between Jebusites and Jews at Jerusalem may have made possible the knowledge of a naked man who was undone by a naked woman in eden/edin (Enkidu and Shamhat). In other words this eden/edin logogram may have been orally presented by a literate Jebusite grandparent perhaps as a children's bedtime story (?) to his Jewish grandchildren (perhaps in David's days?) and these children (or perhaps Jewish sons-in-law of Jebusite fathers-in-law or Jewish daughters-in-law of Jebusite fathers-in-law?) hearing the word eden/edin associated it with the Hebrew `eden. In other words, perhaps the Sumerian eden/edin came by homonymic or homophonic confusion to be equated with Hebrew `eden, "a place of delight," or "a place well watered and lush."

Judges 3:5 RSV

"So the people of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the JEBUSITES; and they took their daughters to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons; and they served their gods."

David's capture of "Jebusite" Jerusalem:

2 Samuel 5:6 RSV

"And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, "You will not come in here, bcause the blind and the lame will ward you off" thinking, "David cannot come in here." Nevertheless David took the stronghold of zion, that is, the city of David."

Professor Millard in his study on the etymological origins of Eden (Hebrew `eden) noted in passing that those scholars who thought it was descended from the "rare" Akkadian edinu, that the basis of this relationship was that two words although not spelled identically (there being no ayin phoneme /`/ for edin or edinu as in Hebrew `eden), they did appear to superficially look somewhat similar but had different meanings in the two languages. This "similar" word appearance is technically called a homonym. It has been suggested that a Hebrew or Jew may have heard eden/edin and equated it with Hebrew `eden via either assonance or a homonymic or possibly a homophonic basis. I have no problem with this suggestion, it seems plausible.

Webster on assonance:

"assonance. a noun. resemblance in spoken sound."

(p. 41. "assonance." Albert & Loy Morehead, editors. Webster Handy College Dictionary. 1981. New American Library. A Signet Book. New York)

Webster's dictionary defines a homonym:

"hom'o.nym. a noun. a word like another in sound and (often) spelling, but different in meaning, as in bear (carry) and bear (a mammal)."

(p. 260. "homonym." Albert & Loy Morehead, editors. Webster Handy College Dictionary. 1981. New American Library. A Signet Book. New York)

Webster's dictionary on homophones (Please Note: English eden in Hebrew is spelled `eden, ayin /`/ does not appear in the Sumerian word edin/eden, hence the reason some scholars object to `eden being derived from edin/eden because of these two words are different in meaning and spelling):

"hom' a word pronounced like another but different in meaning and spelling, as too and two." 

(p. 260. "homophone." Albert & Loy Morehead. Editors. The New Webster Handy College DictionaryNew York. A Signet Book. New American Library. 1981)

Professor Millard (1984):

"Biblical Hebrew knows several words with `dn as their base and the common idea of "pleasure, luxury". Traditionally, Eden is linked with them...Those who prefer the Babylonian explanation assume with Speiser that the foreign word "came to be associated, naturally enough, with the homonymous but unrelated noun for 'enjoyment' ..."

(p. 105. A. R. Millard. "The Etymology of Eden." in Vetus Testamentum. Vol. 34. Fasc. 1. Jan. 1984. pp. 103-106)

I have noticed that some modern scholars render Sumerian edin alternately as eden, which would make the "homonym association" even closer: eden and `eden (cf. below, Halloran's rendering of edineden). Note: Sumerian eden/edin means "back," as in a person's "back" and it is by analogy applied to the uncultivated and unirrigated land "backing" the irrigated land surrounding the Sumerian city-gardens or fields. That is to say, eden/edin is in a sense the "backlands," the "wilds," where roam wild animals and shepherds with their flocks. The Mesopotamian gods' city-gardens or irrigated fields then lie _in_ the eden/edin, or are surrounded by the eden/edin and receive their water from eden's (edin's) two streams, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Halloran on Sumerian logograms:

"A logogram is a reading of a cuneiform sign which represents a word in the spoken language. Sumerian scribes invented the practice of writing in cuneiform on clay tablets sometime around 3400 B.C. in the Uruk/Warka region of southern Iraq. The language that they spoke, Sumerian, is known to us through a large body of texts and through bilingual cuneiform dictionaries of Sumerian and Akkadian, the language of their Semitic successors, to which Sumerian is not related. These bilingual dictionaries date from the Old Babylonian period (1800-1600 B.C.), by which time Sumerian had ceased to be spoken, except by the scribes. The earliest and most important words in Sumerian had their own cuneiform sign, whose origins were pictographic, making an initial repertoire of about a thousand signs or logograms." (John A. Halloran. Sumerian Lexicon. Version 3.0)

Halloran on Sumerian logogram edin or eden:

edineden: noun: steppe, plain; grazing land between the two long rivers.

an-edin: high plain (high + steppe)

bar-edin-na: edge of the desert (side + steppe + genitival a (k) )

Professor E. A. Spieser (1964) rendered Sumerian edin as eden in his book on Genesis as noted by Professor Millard:

"E. A. Spieser wrote "Eden. Hebrew `eden, Akkadian edinu, based on Sumerian eden 'plain, steppe'...this word is rare in Akkadian but exceedingly common in Sumerian thus certifying the ultimate source as very ancient indeed (Genesis [Garden City, 1964], pp. 16, 19)."

(cf. A. R. Millard. "The Etymology of Eden." in Vetus Testamentum. Vol. 34. Fasc. 1. Jan. 1984. pp. 103-106)

Wallace, in passing, also renders Sumerian edin as eden too:

"However, several objections have been raised. First, Genesis 2-3 refers to Eden in terms of a fertile garden or oasis. The transference to this meaning from a Sumerian word for "plain" or "steppe" is obscure. Secondly, while the word eden is common in Sumerian, the Akkadian equivalent edinu is attested only once...The usual Akkadian equivalent to Sumerian eden is seru. From available evidence it seems that edinu was an extremely rare word in Akkadian and it is not a likely candidate for further borrowing into biblical Hebrew. The craft of a narrator or scribe in adopting such a word would be lost to nearly all hearers or readers." 

(p. 281. Vol. 2. Howard N. Wallace. "Eden, Garden of." David Noel Freedman. Editor. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York. Doubleday. 1992)

If you "want to see" the Sumerian logogram _EDIN_ (Spieser, Millard and Wallace's Sumerian _EDEN_) in the Epic of Gilgamesh you will have to access Professor George's on-line transliteration mentioned above (cf. also below, a few examples of EDIN/EDEN):

Andrew George is a Professor of Babylonian at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, England. He is the author of: The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic, Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts. Oxford University Press. Published 2003.  1176 pages with drawings and photos. 

Further correspondence with Professor George reveals that the Akkadian scribe did not exclusively use the Sumerian logogram edin in _lieu_ of seri, he uses _both_ seri and edin interchangeably in different verses. So BOTH seri and edin are found in the Epic of Gilgamesh. 

A  modern example of a logogram used in English may help here. The number three can be spelled out using vowels and consonants but as a logogram it can also be written as a number: "3."  I, myself, in various articles at this website frequently use numbers instead of spelling out the numbers with consonants and vowels as a "shorthand" system just like the Akkadian scribe, as for example: 250 instead of two-hundred-and-fifty.

A few examples of EDIN as a Sumerian logogram being used _in lieu of_ Akkadian seri, seru, tseru, meaning "steppe" or "plain" or "the wild" in the 12 clay tablets making up the Epic of Gilgamesh:

The below transliterations are by Professor Andrew George at

EDIN occurs 18 times on Tablet One of the Epic of Gilgamesh by R. A. George:

Nos. 102, 103, 132, 145, 159, 160, 166, 179, 186, 187, 193, 196, 198, 208, 210, 253, 262, 281.

UNUG (Akkadian Uruk, Genesis' Erech) appears 6 times on Tablet One:

Nos. 81, 87, 98, 135, 138, 209

Tablet 1:

102 P ii 36b fli-fla ik-ta-ri-i◊ it-ta-di ina EDI[N]

103 P ii 37a [ina EDI]N den-ki-dù ib-ta-ni qu-ra-du :

h ii 42 ina EDIN den-k[i-

132 P iii 11 [u·-te-li ina q®t¬-ia] bu-lam nam-ma·-·á-a ·á ED[IN]

133 P iii 12 [ul i-nam-din-a]n-ni a-na e-pe· ED[IN]

136 P iii 15 [ ]x e-lu EDIN-·u

145 B2 iii 44 i-nak-kir-·u bu-ul-·u [·á ir-bu-ú ]

P iii 24 [UGU E]DIN-·u

159 B2 iv 11 «u·»-te-li ina ∞U.MIN-ia bu-li nam-ma·-·[á-a ]

P iii 38 u·-[ ·á EDI]N

cc iv 2' u·-t[e- ]

160 B2 iv 12 [u]l i-nam-din-an-ni a-na e-pe-[e· ]

F2 iii 1' [ -·]i [EDIN]

P iii 39 ul [i-na]m-«din-na-an»-[ ] EDIN

166 F2 iii 7' [ -b]u-ú UGU EDIN-·u

P iii 45 i-nak-kir-·ú bu-ul-·ú ·[á i]r-bu-ú UGU EDIN-·u

179 B1 iv 31 [ ] E[DIN]

P iv 7 GURU∞ ·ag-ga-«·á»-a ·á qá-bal-ti EDIN

186 B1 iv 38 i-nak-kir-·ú bul-·ú ·á ir-bu-ú ina EDIN-·ú

F1 iv 17 i-nak-kir-·[u ]

P iv 14 i-nak-kir-·ú bu-ul-·ú ·[á i]r-bu-ú ina EDIN-·ú

x iv 15' da-du-ka «li¿»-bu-bu «e»-[l]i EDIN-·ú

187 B1 iv 39a da-du-·ú i-¿ab-bu-bu UGU EDIN-ki :

F1 iv 18 «da»-d[u- ]

P iv 15 da-du-·ú i-¿ab-b[u-b]u UGU EDIN-ki

x iv 16' i-nak-kir-·ú bu-[ú-l]u ·á «ir»-[bu]-ú ina EDIN-·ú

193 B1 iv 44 da-du-·ú i¿-bu-bu UGU EDIN-·á

F1 iv 23 «da»-du-·u [ ]

P iv 20 da-d[u- -b]u UGU EDIN-[ ]

x iv 22' da-«du»-[·ú] i¿-bu-bu «UGU» E[DIN-·ú]

196 B1 iv 46b pa-ni-·ú i·-ta-kan ina EDIN bu-li-·ú

F1 iv 26 pa-ni-·u i·-ta-ka[n ]

P iv 23 [ ] a-na EDIN bu-li-·[u]

n iv 3' [i]·-ta-kan a-na EDIN bu-lì-[·ú]

198 B1 iv 48 bu-ul EDIN it-te-si ina ZU-·u

F1 iv 28 bu-ul «EDIN» it-ti-si [ ]

P iv 25 [ -s]i ina SU-·ú

n iv 5' [EDI]N it-te-si ina zu-mur-i-[·ú]

208 B2 v 8 [ -·]e-e ta-rap-pu-da EDIN

P iv 35 [a]m-me-ni it-ti nam-ma·-·[e]-e ta-rap-pu-ud EDIN

cc v 1' [ ]x x[ ]-pu-ud [EDIN]

223 B1 v 23 [·á i-n]a «EDIN» i’-al-du [

248 B1 v 47 GIM ki-i◊-ru ·a da-«nim» im-ta-naq-qu-tú e-lu EDIN-ia

262 B1 vi 11 [ i]m-ta-qu-ut e-lu [ ]

F1 v 35 [ U]GU EDIN-ka

P v 42 [ -n]im {·á} ∞UB.ME∞ UGU EDIN-ka

281 B1 vi 28 [ um-ma]-nu UGU EDIN-·ú

h vi 20b i-te-ep-«pir» [〈umm®nu〉 UG]U EDIN-·ú

Tablet 2:

29 bb i 4' am-mi-ni KI n[am-ma·-·e-e ta-rap-pu-ud EDIN]

105 X2 ii 7' i-tep-pi-ir um-man-ni U[GU EDIN-·u]

177 X2 iv ina EDIN a-lid-ma mam-ma [ ]

237 X2 v 12 [EDI]N

Tablet 3:

10 M3 i 10 [ -r]a-a-ta pa-gar-·u lib-la

BB2 i 10 a-na EDIN ¿i-ra-a-ti pa-gar-·ú lib-la

66 M2 ii 5' bu-lì EDIN x[

225 BB2 vi 3' «a»-na EDIN ¿i-ra-a-tu[m pa-gar-·ú lib-la]

Tablet 4:

107 Y2 iii 21 [x-’-al-d]am-ma ina EDIN mit-lu-ka ni-le-«’»-[i]

Tablet 5:

(***No EDIN***)

Tablet 6:

(***No EDIN***)

Tablet 7:

131 E3 iii 6' u ia-a-a-·i KÙ [tu-·am-flin-ni ]

L1 iii 3' [ ]-ni ina EDIN-ia

147 L1 iii 19' [il-tab-bi-i]· ma·-ki lab-bi-im-ma i-rap-pu-ud E[DIN]

204 Z1 iv 21' [dbe-let-E]DIN flup!(UM)-·ar-ra-at KI-tim ma-¿ar-·á kám-sa-at

Tablet 8:

6 R i 6 [ -t]i

V2 i 6 [ k]a-lu me-er-e-ti

V3 i 6 u bu-u[l EDIN

17 V2 i 17 [ r]i-«mu a»-a-lu tu-ra-¿u bu-lum u [nam-ma]·-·u-ú ·á EDIN

e 10-11 UR.MAø AM.ME∞ a-a-lim [ ] / bu-ul nam-ma·-e EDIN

50 R ii 8 [ -d]a-ni «fla-rid ak-kan-nu ·á KUR-i» nim-ru ·á EDIN

91 R iii 7 al-tab-bi·-ma KU∞ l[a-ab-bi-im-ma ]

m1 ii 2' [ a-rap]-pu-ud EDIN

Tablet 9:

2 D i 2 ◊ar-pi· i-bak-ki-ma i-rap-pu-ud EDIN

V2 ii 1 [ ]

e 30-1 ib-ri ku-dan-nu flar-du a-[ ] / nam-mar ·á EDIN

5 D i 5 mu-ta ap-là¿-ma a-rap-pu-ud EDIN

191 D vi 15 G[IM x-r]e-e u la-li-[x (x) x ]x-ú EDI[N?]

Tablet 10:

24 K1 i 24 [E]DIN

b i 6' [ in]a EDIN

45 b i 27' [u pa-an lab-bi ·ak-na-ta-m]a ta-rap-pu-ud EDI[N]

52 [u pa-an lab-bi la ·ak-na-ku-ma la a-rap-pu-ud EDIN]

53 (K ii 1) [ib-ri ku-da-nu flar-du ak-kan-nu ·á KUR nim-ru ·á EDIN]

62 K1 ii 10a [mu-ta ap-la¿-ma a-rap-pu-ud EDIN] :

64 K1 ii 11a [ur-¿u ru-qa-tu a-rap-pu-ud EDI]N :

66 K1 ii 12 [¿ar-ra-nu ru-qa-tu] || a-rap-pu-ud [EDIN]

77 K1 ii 21 ·um-ma la na-flu-ma || EDIN lu-ur-pu-ud

z i 12b'-13a' ·úm-«ma la» na-flu-u / [ ]

b ii 10' [ l]a na-flú-ú EDIN lu-ur-[p]u-u[d]

125 K2 iii 14 [u pa-an lab-bi la ·ak-na] -«ku-ma || la» [a-rap-pu-ud EDIN]

126 [ib-ri ku-da-nu flar-du ak-kan-nu ·á KUR nim-ru ·á EDIN]

139 K1 iii 26b [mu-ta ap-la¿-ma a-rap-pu-ud EDIN]

141 K1 iii 28a u[r-¿u ru]-qa-tu a-[rap-pu-ud EDIN :]

143 K1 iii 29 [¿ar-r]a-nu ru-q[a-tu a-rap-pu-ud EDIN]

201 z ii 6' pi-qa-ma-a EDIN x[

218 z ii 23' u pa-an la-be ·a-ak-na-t[a-ma ta-ra(p)-pu-ud EDIN]

225 K1 v 5 [ la a-r]ap-pu-ud EDIN

z ii 30' u [p]a-an la-be la ·á-ak-na-[ku-ma ]

226 K1 v 6 [ ak-kan-nu ·á KU]R nim-ru ·á EDIN

z ii 31-32a' ib-ri «ku»-da-ni fla-ri-[du ] / nim!-ri ·a EDIN

239 K1 v 17b mu-ta ap-l[a¿-ma a-rap-pu-ud E]DIN

241 K1 v 18b ur-¿a ru-qa-t[u a-rap-pu-ud EDI]N

260 K1 v 31b a-a-la tu-ra-¿a bu-la u «nam-ma·-·á-a ·á EDIN»

Tablet 11:

86 J1 ii 29' [ ME]∞ um-ma-a-ni ka-li-·ú-nu ú-·e-li

T1 ii 19 [ ] «ú»-·e-li

W1 ii 23 bu-ul EDI[N] «ú»-ma-am EDIN «DUMU.ME∞ um»-ma-nu «ka-li-·u»-

Tablet 12:

150 G1 vi 6–7 ·á ·á-lam-ta-·ú ina ED[IN] na-d[a-at] / ta-mur a-ta-ma[r]

N vi 7 ·á ·á-lam-ta-·ú ina EDIN na-da-a[t


Update of 07 December 2007:

The above transliterations are in part from clay tablets excavated from the royal library of the Assyrian King Asshurbanipal who reigned circa 669-633 B.C.  Of interest here is that some scholars have suggested that parts of the Primary History (Genesis-2 Kings) may have been composed during the reign of the Judaean King Josiah who reigned circa 640-609 B.C. That is to say Asshurbanipal and Josiah were "near-contemporaries" of each other.

The Epic of Gilgamesh in Josiah's and Asshurbanipal's days was apparently _still _using_the Sumerian logogram EDIN (EDEN) _in lieu of_ of the Akkadian word seru or tseru (seri) as revealed on Asshurbanipal's copies of the Epic, thus it is possible that the Hebrews (Jews) of the 9th-6th centuries B.C. could have "known" of stories of a naked Enkidu and Shamhat abandoning EDIN/EDEN and companionship with its wild animals and transformed this EDIN/EDEN logogram into Hebrew `eden via a homonym or homophone confusion or morphing. 

All this is to say that Sumerian logogram EDIN/EDEN _used in lieu_ of seru  "survived" right down to the days of King Josiah in whom's reign was allegedly found the Torah written by Moses while renovating the Temple of Solomon (2 Kings 22:1-20; 23:1-3).

A fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh from the Neo-Babylonian period has Akkadian Uruk rendered by the Sumerian logogram (UNUG). I would imagine that the Sumerian logogram (EDIN) would be preserved on this tablet as well as (UNUG). The Neo-Babylonian period is dated circa  625-539 B.C. It is my understanding that Genesis in its present format was composed circa 560 B.C. in the Exile, in Babylonia as its last dated marker is the mention of the Babylonian King Evil-Merodach (Babylonian Amel Marduk) who reigned circa 562-560 B.C (2 Kings 25:27). All this is to say that the presence of Sumerian logograms _in lieu of_ Akkadian words in the Epic of Gilgamesh apparently survived down to the very time of the Primary History's (Genesis-2 Kings) composition and the Jews could have known of stories of a naked man and woman in eden/edin who left eden/edin clothed (Enkidu and Shamhat) and recast them as Adam and Eve leaving `eden.

Heidel's (1952) transliteration of the Neo-Babylonian inscription reveals in the days of the Babylonian Exile the Epic of Gilgamesh was still using Suemrian logograms _in_lieu_of_ Akkadian (Babylonian) words, Sumerian Unug being used in lieu of Uruk:

"Not does Enkidu know To eat bread, (And) to drink strong drink He has not ... lines 188-91: si-bu-tum sa uruk (UNUG) ki ri-bi-tim zi-ik-ra u-te-er-ru a-na ..."

(Alexander Heidel. "A Neo-Babylonian Gilgamesh Fragment." Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Apr., 1952), pp. 140-143)


Personal reflections upon all of the above:

Any "thoughtful" person studying and meditating upon the panoply of daily life cannot help but realize this world is not only wonderous, awesome, beautiful and fearfully made, but also full of  violence and dangers. 

A daily struggle for life exists on this planet. The living must feed upon the living. Something gives up its life to enable another life to continue, be it invisible bacteria and viruses or meat-eating predators in the seas, land or in the air. Even the plants must struggle against each other to survive, seeking access to life-giving sunshine for photo-synthesis and nutrients in the soil. 

Millions of life forms are born each day and millions die daily, millions are killed and consumed daily by all kinds of predators. 

Ancient "thoughtful," "reflective" men must have been appalled by all this violence (predators killing in order to eat) and believing a god or goddess had created all this, speculated something must have gone wrong. If God was "love," why the violence, the killing for food by man and beast? Apparently ancient man hatched up the notion that once upon a time the world had originally been without violence, without predators and the shedding of blood, then something transpired to change all this, jealousy and sin lifted its ugly head and the idyllic world was replaced with one of violence. 

In other words Genesis' description of God being sorry he ever made man _and_ animal-kind is perhaps a Hebrew account for "why" the brutal "dog-eat-dog" world exists on this planet. 

Genesis 1:29-30 RSV

"And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breadth of life, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good."

Genesis 6:7, 13 RSV

"So the Lord said, "I will blot out man...and beast and creeping things, and birds of the air for I am sorry that I have made them...And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth."

God apparently intended man and animals to feed off plants. Animals shed blood just like man, they devour men and other animals; according to Genesis the animals have "corrupted" God's way, they should feed off plants not other animals and man. So because they have corrupted God's way, filling the earth with "violence," apparently a metaphor for man and beast killing each other, shedding each other's blood, God is outraged.

God's solution for all this shedding of blood by man and animal? God washes his hands of the whole mess and decides to start all over with a Flood which will destroy man and beasts, for they all are shedders of blood. The Flood of course did _not_ solve the problem, the beasts and man are _still_ shedding each other's blood after the Flood. Why couldn't God have just waved his magic wand and made man and beasts back into herbivores? This is _not_ an option for the Hebrews, they _need_ a reason for why blood is still being shed by man and beasts in today's world. The present world situation of "dog-eat-dog" has to be accounted for, it just will not do to have God magically ending the bloodshed and making all into herbivores again. The shedding of blood by beast and man will end when the Messiah comes according to Isaiah (Isa 11:6).

Evolutionary biology reveals that carnivores were never plant eaters who later had a "change of nature" and became blood-shedding flesh-eating predators as portrayed in Genesis' mythical Garden of Eden account. They possess flesh-tearing sharp canine teeth and razor-like claws to grip their prey with; had they begun life as herbivores they would have had no canine teeth and hooves instead of claws, as well as stomachs to breakdown and digest plant matter (like cattle). 

The Bible's portrayal of an idyllic Eden where man has no fear of predators is apparently a later Hebrew recast of Mesopotamian notions regarding primal man's life in the edin, man at first being portrayed without fear of edin's carnivores because they didn't exist "yet," then being in fear of them after their "later" creation (Genesis has modified this concept having _all_ creatures, including carnivores, being eaters of "green plants" at first, then later, becoming flesheaters, cf. Ge 1:30). 

I have argued that Eden and its garden are a Hebrew myth, a recasting of Sumerian motifs and concepts of the 4th-3rd milllenniums B.C. There never was a "fall" of man from grace and consequently a world filled with violence among man and animalkind as portrayed in Genesis, God declaring he is "sorry he ever created man and the animals" (Ge 6:7) for they have corrupted his way upon the earth filling it with bloodshed. If Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden are myths, then there is no need for Jesus the Christ to be born to save man from sin and restore man to Eden's Garden and God's good graces.

The Garden of Eden myth then, like its earlier Sumerian counterparts, is an example of man's attempt to comprehend and account for the relentlessly brutal, violence-filled world in which he lives. Surely a loving caring Creator did not intend such a "dog-eat-dog" world, but a mindless mutating evolutionary Nature explains the situation quite nicely, Darwin's "survival of the fittest."

Evolutionary biology understands man began life as a beast, without any concept of right or wrong. Daily survival was what mattered. The Mesopotamian myths regarding primeval man portray him (Enkidu of the Epic of Gilgamesh and primal man in the Eridu Genesis myth) in beginning as a beast, he eats grass, wanders the animal-made trails of the edin with herbivores (gazelles) and does not know it is wrong to be naked. As noted by the Eridu Genesis myth, naked man was at first _abandoned_ by the gods, he roamed the edin with other beasts, eating grass and lapping water at watering holes in the edin (edin meaning 'uncultivated' steppeland or plain). The Eridu Genesis myth reveals that gods did not make man inorder to have someone to fellowship with, or love and care about, as later portrayed by the Hebrews, Christianity and Islam.

Amazingly, the archaic 4th-3rd millenniums B.C. Mesopotamian notions about man in the beginning being a beast, having _no knowledge of good and evil_ (not knowing it is wrong to be naked) align quite remarkably with modern 21st century evolutionary biology's understanding of man beginning life as a beast 100,000 years ago, who would, over thousands of years, 'evolve' into civilized man wearing clothing, creating cities, art, literature and laws to regulate society. Man would also come to create imaginary gods and godesses in his own image, projecting on to them his fears, hatreds, lusts and  longings, and invoke them as the source of what constitutes 'right' and 'wrong' or "good and evil," to control man's behavior.

Although Nature reveals a "struggle of the fittest to survive," it also reveals among some beasts nurturing, tenderness, caring, compassion, and thoughtfulness. Many adult animals usually care for their young, provide sustenance and protection from predators. Mankind exhibits similar behaviors, he too nutures his young, provides for them, protects them, acts in unison with his own kind for protection against enemies just like the beasts. So Nature reveals a world not only of dog-eat-dog ruthless brutality and the shedding of much blood by predators (man and beast), but also a world filled with _love, tenderness and caring_ by these same predators (man and beast).

In conclusion then, I am reminded of a song called "Alfie" sung by Barbara Streisand and in particular a statement she makes to her "boyfriend" Alfie: 

"What's it all about
Is it just for the moment we live
What's it all about
When you sort it out
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind
Then I guess
It is wise to be cruel
And if life belongs
Only to the strong
What will you lend on
An old golden rule
As sure as I believe
There's a heaven above
I know there's something much more
Something even non-believers
Can believe in
I believe in love
Without true love you just exist
Until you find the love you've missed
You're nothing
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day..."

I guess I am a "slow-learner," at the ripe old age of 65 years (born 1943) I realize now that religion to some degree is an expression of mankind's _abhorrence_ of the "dog-eat-dog" world he lives in and witnesses daily.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) said if you want to know God don't waste your time studying the Bible which is a spurious book, study Nature and you will know God. How right he was.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) correctly observed life is about the struggle of the species, the fittest survives. There is no right, no wrong, in the animal and plant kingdoms as each organism contends with others to survive and reproduce itself. Millions of life forms are born each day, plant and animal, and millions are killed and devoured by other life forms. The living can live only by consuming another living organism. Nature reveals a brutal world without any concept of right or wrong. Down through the ages caring, reflective men and women have been appalled by this and have sought an escape from this reality by creating a "fantasy-world" that never existed, a world where man lives without fear of his fellow man or wild animals killing and devouring him. 

The Garden of Eden was then the Hebrew's "fantasy-world," itself a recasting of earlier Mesopotamian myths of a naked man wandering edin the steppe with herbivore animals and having no fear, a world which as revealed by Nature never, ever, existed except in one's imagination. 

Religion provides a means for a mental "escape" from Nature's reality and its brutality, wistfully hoping for what can never be: a world without bloodshed, fear and danger, a world filled only with love, caring and tenderness for man and beast.

Update of 27 January 2008:

I am a "fan" of Police Detective TV shows like C.S.I. Miami, The Forensic Files, Cold Case Files, etc. 

I am constantly taking "notes" on the various procedures used by the Detectives to determine "The Truth," such as When was the crime comitted, How, Who did it, Why did they do it? 

As I watch these shows I am struck by a repeating observation made over and over again by the Detectives: that they are forever being amazed by _"all the unexpected and surprising twists and turns"_ that crop up in the course of their investigations as they follow the trail of clues to solving the crime.

This website's research in seeking answers for the pre-biblical origins of the Bible has repeatedly turned up time after time, _"unexpected surprising twists and turns"_  I never dreamed of or envisioned as I followed the trail of clues to solve the mystery of Who done it? Why? When? Where? and How? 

The Detectives repeatedly state: "Follow the evidence wherever it leads it you." Another Detective noted: "People lie, forensic evidence doesn't." In other words, Detectives have learned from bitter experience that people's statements are often misleading, perhaps via confusion or perhaps via deliberate lying. While it is important to take statements these statements are regarded with suspicion and are not accepted as "gospel truth" until they have been first compared to the physical evidence. Only after the physical evidence has corroborated statements/accounts are they then accepted as true.

This Police Detective methodology can be applied (with modifications) to the Holy Bible and its statements or accounts.

Nothing in the Bible should be accepted as true until its statements have been corroborated by the physical evidence. If the physical evidence _contradicts_ the biblical statements or accounts then the Bible's testimony has to be regarded as unreliable and un-trustworthy.

Sadly, Christian Apologists do_not_ follow Police Detective methodologies. Contra the Detectives who are "wary of" _all_ statements and accounts, Apologists _assume automatically as a matter of faith_ that the Bible is the word of God and it is not to be questioned or held in suspicion regarding its statements or accounts. Therefore Apologists reject any and all findings that _contradict_ or _challenge_ the Bible's accounts. They claim that the physical evidence is being _misinterpreted_ by Scientists if the Scientists' findings challenge Holy Writ's account.

After some 30+ years of research I now realize that the Bible is _not_ the word of God. The physical evidence does _not_ corroborate Genesis' account of when the earth and universe were created, how life began and evolved (the Bible's internal chronology suggests for some the Universe was created in 5199 B.C. or 4004 B.C. vs. Science's understanding the earth is 4 billion years old and the Universe is 16 billion years old) and there is no physical evidence of Noah's worldwide flood which the Bible's internal choronolgy dates to the 3rd millennium B.C. 

I began this research in 1970 as a Bible-believer thinking I could find corroborating physical evidence via the study of archaeology and geology that the Bible was true. I ended up realizing it could not be true because the biblical statements or accounts were _contradicted_ by the physical evidence from the fields of Astrophysics, Geology, Biology, Hydrology, Archaeology as well as the literary discipline of Textual Criticism.

Just like the Police Detectives I too encountered time after time unexpected and surprising twists and turns in persuing the trail of clues to uncover "the Truth."

My methodology "in a nutshell," was to identify motifs, concepts and scenarios appearing in Genesis and see if they existed in earlier Mesopotamian myths. I discovered that they did exist but in an altered or transformed manner. These altered forms I came to realize did not all exist in one myth or account (as for example like Genesis), they exist in a multitude of myths and hymns. So I understand Genesis' motifs are drawing from _a wide spectrum_ of Mesopotamian sources and not _one_ literary source or account. Many Mesopotamian literary protagonists have been fused together into one character in Genesis. That is to say events and motifs associated with the actions of several gods and goddesses in Mesopotamian myths have been subsumed under _one_ God, Yahweh-Elohim. Events and motifs associated with several literary characters in Mesopotamian myths like Enkidu, Adapa, and Utu have been fused together and subsumed under one literary character: Adam. The gods' gardens associated with Edin's cities: Eridu, Nippur, and Uruk have been fused together and transformed into _one_ location: a garden in Eden.

Here are some of the unexpected "bizarre twists and turns" I have uncovered (or were uncovered by others):

Bizarre Twist 1:
Eden, Hebrew `eden, meaning "delight" or a place "well-watered" is perhaps a homonym or homophone confusion of Sumerian eden/edin, meaning "back" and applied to the uncultivated land surrounding Mesopotamia's cities and their city gardens of the gods. Adam and Eve's clothing of their nakedness before leaving Eden is a twist on Enkidu and Shamhat clothing their nakedness before leaving the eden/edin (eden/edin being a Sumerian logogram used at times by the Epic of Gilgamesh's  Akkadian scribe in _lieu_ of the Akkadian word seru meaning "steppe") to dwell at Uruk and meet Gilgamesh.

Bizarre Twist 2:
Motifs and events associated with Adam and Eve and God are recasts of earlier Mesopotamian stories: Adam is a conflation and fusing of  Enkidu, Adapa and Primeval Naked Man who wanders eden/edin near Uruk and Eridu; Eve is Shamhat the harlot-priestess and Inanna her goddess. God is a recast of Anu, Enlil and Enki as well as Enkidu.

Bizarre Twist 3:
Adam and Eve's expulsion is a "twist" of (1) Adapa's removal from Anu's heavenly abode after failing to consume the food that would have given him and mankind immortality; (2) Enkidu and Shamhat's leaving the watering hole in eden/edin in the Epic of Gilgamesh, clothing their nakedness before leaving; (3) the removal of the Igigi from the gods' city-gardens at Eridu and Nippur for rebellion against Enki and Enlil, their removal for rebellion being recast as Adam and Eve's rebellion and removal.

Bizarre Twist 4:
Eden's Serpent held responsible for conning man into eating forbidden fruit and thus causing man to be cursed with death is a "twist" or recast of gods associated with serpents, they bearing the Sumerian epithet ushumgal meaning "great serpent-dragon" such as Anu, Enlil, Enki, Dumuzi, and Inanna. Adapa was offered immortality by Anu, Dumuzi and Ningishzida presenting him the bread of life to eat, he refuses it because his lying god Ea (Enki) told him it was the bread of death and he would die if he ate of it. So deities associated with serpents via their epithets, offered man immortality and a deity (Ea/Enki) bearing a serpent epithet conned man (Adapa) out of chance to obtain immortality.

Bizarre Twist 5:
Eve's being _blamed_ for encouraging Adam to disobey God and eat forbidden fruit in Eden is a recast or twist of Shamhat's urging Enkidu to eat the bread offered him by shepherds at their camp in the eden/edin, his initial balking or refusal to eat this food being overcome when he subjects his will to her will. The notion that Eve ate _first_ of the forbidden fruit, then later Adam is a twist on Shamhat as a city-dweller having had eaten bread _first_ long before Enkidu did so, she encouraging him to eat this food when presented to him. The Epic of Gilgamesh has the sun-god Shamash stating to Enkidu that Shamhat _caused_ Enkidu to eat food fit for the gods when Enkidu curses the Harlot-Priestess, blaming her for his loss of innocence and impending death (recast as God cursing Eve for causing Adam to sin and eat forbidden fruit).

Bizarre Twist 6:
The Mesopotamians had no account of  a primal man and woman "falling from a state of innocence" via an illegal acquisition of knowledge by eating of a forbidden fruit. There was _no_ "fall from innocence" because man was made in the image of the gods some of whom are portrayed as slaying each other in various conflicts, murdering their fathers and mothers, engaging in incest with their children, being unfaithful to their spouses by having extramarital sex with others, and even propositioning humans for illicit sex too, as well as being sponsors or patrons of  cultic acts of prostitution with male and female prostitutes in temples. In other words all the nefarious activities of humankind were, _before man's creation_ , engaged in by the gods, so there could be _no_ "fall from innocence" for primal man and woman for man cannot be "better" than his _immoral_creators_ in whose image he was made! That is to say in Mesopotamian myth man's immorality is because he was made in the image of immoral gods and goddesses. For all the sordid details please click here.

Bizarre Twist 7:
The Cherubim who guard the tree of life are twists or recasts of (1) Huwawa (Humbaba) of the Epic of Gilgamesh who guards the sacred Cedars; (2) Winged Syrian Sphinxes guarding sacred trees on a wall mural at Mari circa 1700 B.C. (3) Canaanite winged Sphinxes of the Late Bronze found at Megiddo and Phoenician Byblos, they in turn being derived from (4) Egyptian winged sphinxes; and (5) human dieties with animal faces found with sacred trees in Neo-Assyrian art forms of the 9th-7th centuries B.C.

Bizarre Twist 8:
The Tree of Knowledge (which also brought death to Adam) is a recast of the cedar tree Inanna eats of to acquire knowledge (Inanna bore the epithet nin edin, "lady of edin"). The Tree of Knowledge and of death is also a recast of the "bread of death" which the god Enki warned Adapa not to eat or he would die.

Bizarre Twist 9:
The Tree of Life is a recast of the "bread of life" offered Adapa, who had been mislead by his god Ea (Enki) of Eridu into thinking it was the "bread of death." 

Bizarre Twist 10:
The gods created man to be their slave so they would no longer have to toil in the city-gardens of eden/edin for their food, vs. the biblical notion God created man to fellowship with, providing the garden's fruits for man's sustenance, not God's sustenance.

Bizarre Twist 11:
The gods slew each other _before_ man's creation. The Igigi gods _rebelled_ against the toil enforced upon them by the Anunnaki gods in eden's/edin's city gardens. Man is made in the image of the gods so he can be no better than his creators who shed their fellow god's blood, thus man like his creators, is a shedder of human blood too vs. the biblical notion there is only one God who therefore does not shed his fellow gods' blood and who is outraged that man "made in his image," is a shedder of human blood and a rebel to his Creator.

Bizarre Twist 12:
The flood is sent by the gods to destroy man's noise which disturbs the god Enlil's rest. Man's noise was because he was protesting the grievous labor he endured toiling in the gods' city-gardens in eden/edin. This clamor was "bestowed upon man" at his creation it being transferred from the clamoring Igigi gods who had earlier protested their grievous toil in eden's/edin's city gardens. The biblical account makes man a shedder of human blood and filling the world with violence against God's wishes. That is to say man is a victim of unrighteous gods in the Mesopotamian flood myth vs. God being the righteous victim who exterminates mankind for his evil ways with a flood.

Bizarre Twist 13:
Enlil of Nippur, the god who instigated the flood, is portrayed as having a sexual appetite, he rapes his future wife Ninlil. Enki of Eridu, the god who warned one man to build a great boat to save the seed of mankind and animalkind from the flood, raped his daughter, grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter at Dilmun. Both of these gods who possessed sexual appetites and who were sexual predators were fused together and transformed by the Hebrews into Yahweh-Elohim who sent a flood and who warned one man (Noah) to build a boat and save the seed of man and animalkind. Yahweh was made into a God who has no sexual urges or sexual appetite, who consequently does not engage in sex with goddeses or mortal women like the other gods.

Bizarre Twist 14:
Enkidu and Shamhat (a John and his Whore) as well as Inanna and Dumuzi (a Whore and her John) were transformed into Adam and Eve in the recasting of the Mesopotamian myths and their motifs.

Bizarre Twist 15:
I realize that the Bible-believing public will never accept that God, Adam and Eve were in the beginning literary protagonists who were driven by sexual needs and lusts, and that the Hebrews suppressed all this and recast them as being free of sexual urges and needs.

Bizarre Twist 16:
All the gods rest on the 7th day of the 2900 B.C. Shuruppak flood because man has been annihilated, his clamor or noise is no more, the stillness or silence thus allows the gods a rest. In other words by DESTROYING A WORLD and man the gods came to rest on a SEVENTH DAY vs. God resting on a SEVENTH day after _CREATING A WORLD and man. An inversion or twist has occurred to explain how a deity came to rest on a seventh day (cf. the Atra-Khasis myth for details).

Bizarre Twist 17:
The gods would _never_ expell man from their city gardens in the midst of the edin because they would then have to till the earth themselves for their food, a task they dreaded hence the reason why they made man, vs. the biblical notion that there is no greivous toil for Adam in God's garden, agricultural toil becomes grievous only after his expulsion.

Bizarre Twist 18:
The gods must eat twice a day via temple sacrifices earthly food grown in their city gardens in the midst of the edin or they will starve to death. In myths the gods can be slain and wind up in the underworld after their deaths. But even in the underworld they still must eat and drink to nourish their bodies vs. the biblical notion that God demands twice a day to be fed by Israel at Mount Sinai and later at the Jerusalem Temple, giving Israel a detailed list of foods and drinks acceptable to him. If a God is immortal he/they should _not_ need to eat and drink as this activity's purpose is to _sustain_ mortal life. So the fact that the Hebrew God must eat and drink daily reveals he really is not immortal.

Bizarre Twist 19:
Despite the "debunking" of the Bible as being God's word by the findings of Scientists over the past 200 years who have noted that the physical evidence does _not_ corroborate the biblical accounts but _contradicts_ them, the public still adamantly refuses to believe the Scientist's findings and desperately clings to the belief that the Bible is God's Holy Word.
Because of this false belief, that the Bible is the Word of God, Moslem, Christian and Jew are engaged in slaughtering each other in today's world. The Jews claim Israel was given them by their God because Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac. Islam denies this claiming Abraham was willing to sacrifice Ishmael and thus God gave the Promised Land to Ishmael's descendants, the Moslems. Thus the existence today of the state of Israel is an affront to Allah and Islam, it must be destroyed. Christianity, The West, supports the existence of Israel and arms her and acts as her ally. Islam's motto: "Today Saturday, Tomorrow: Sunday!" That is to say "first we destroy the Saturday Sabbath observing Jews and the state of Israel, then we attack and destroy the Sunday observing Christian world, the allies of Israel and the enemies of Islam. Already millions of Moslems are settling in the West and seeking its overthrow via acts of terror (bombings in the USA, Britain, Spain) while the West's Government Heads of State feed their people news release lies about Islam not seeking the overthrow and destruction of Christianity and Democracy, replacing all this with Islam and Shar'ia Law.

Bizarre Twist 20:
I realize that of the billions of people now alive and walking this earth, probably not more than a few thousand, at best, will ever come across this website and read its contents and become aware that the Bible is not the word of God and come to realize that the murderous hatred between Moslem, Jew and Christian is all predicated upon recast Mesopotamian myths. The slaughter, sadly, will continue for centuries yet to come. The Hebrew God is an intolerant God, there can be no religious freedom for mankind, all must bend the knee and worship Him or else they will be violently and ruthlessly destroyed by His followers, Moslems, Christians and Jews. Jesus' last act as a ruthless intolerant God is to destroy all who dwell upon the earth who have refused to worship him at the battle of Armageddon according to the Book of Revelation (Rev 16:16). Islam understands its mission is to convert all the world to the worship of Allah via fire and sword. The future does _not_ look bright for mankind _or_for_religious_freedom_on_planet_earth_, more slaughter awaits man from an Intolerant God's followers, be this God called Yahweh, Jesus or Allah.

Bizarre Twist 21:
The Mesopotamian gods created man in order to obtain their release from grievous agricultural toil in the gardens of eden/edin. In other words the gods wanted the equivalent of the Hebrew Shabbat, "a ceasing of toil," and "rest from toil." Man was created to be their agricultural slave, he would make possible "THEIR SHABBAT," "their ceasing of toil and obtainment of rest." The worldwide flood sent by the gods to destroy mankind was because man was denying the gods "THEIR REST," his noisely clamor objecting to the back-breaking toil in the gods' gardens of eden prevented the gods from resting in silence and peace so the gods obtained their rest, THEIR SHABBAT, by annihilating man with the flood. I am reminded of an old adage: "Be careful what you wish for, you might get your wish (and come to regret it)." Man's clamor or noise in the gardens of eden/edin was because he wanted a SHABBAT, a "ceasing" of toil and "rest." In a sense, the gods gave him what he clamored for. They annihilated all of mankind and with this annihilation man achieved a cessation and rest from toil eternally. The rest from toil was "the rest" which befalls all human beings when they die. American tombstones sometimes have engraved on their surfaces R.I.P. meaning "Rest In Peace." Man "got" his eternal rest from toil from the gods via the flood. This of course was not the kind of rest or cessation from toil that man had clamored for, he wanted to live forever like a god and do no toil like a god, but this was not to be. If man was released from agricultural toil in the gods' gardens in eden/edin the gods would have to care for their gardens themselves, an onerous task that they dreaded. So they had no choice, man must remain an agricultural slave and be denied immortality and god-hood. 

All this is to say in the Mesopotamian belief system: "IF THERE WAS NO MAN TO DO THE GODS' BACK-BREAKING WORK IN THE GARDENS OF EDEN/EDIN THERE COULD BE NO REST FROM EARTHLY TOIL FOR THE GODS. Man's creation was absolutely necessary to provide the gods their Shabbat/Sabbath rest from toil.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam took these Mesopotamian motifs and transformed them in such a way as to refute, challenge and deny them. Man was _not_ made to be an agricultural slave of the gods, to provide the gods a rest from toil, he was made to fellowship with God and he is to look forward, AFTER DEATH, to a return to Eden's garden and fellowshipping once again with God as was the case with Adam and Eve before their expulsion. The gods gave man a rest from toil by annihilating him, the rest from toil that accompanies death whereas in ChrIstian doctrine, man _again_, AFTER DEATH, will enjoy a rest from toil in a Garden of Eden in God's presence. In both instances, Mesopotamian and Christian, it is AFTER DEATH that man comes to enter into an eternal rest from toil, an eternal Shabbat or Sabbath if you will.

Just think dear reader, you enjoy your weekly rest from toil, be it a Friday (Moslems), Saturday (Jews) or Sunday (Christians) because of a Mesopotamian myth about gods resting on a seventh day after destroying man and the world in a flood in order to obtain their rest (THEIR SHABBAT OR SABBATH).

If the ancient Sumerians could be brought back to life today and be told how millions of Jews, Christians and Moslems are eager to spend eternity in the Garden of Eden they would shake their heads in disbelief!

The Sumerians' response would probably be as follows:

"What? You want to be allowed into the Garden of Eden? Are you crazy? The Igigi gods HATED and PROTESTED their life in the Gardens of Edin, the toil was grievous, there was no rest for them! The gods created man to work in their place in Edin's gardens. Under _NO_ circumstances would anyone, god or man, want to ever "return" to the Gardens in Edin and the back-breaking toil there, excavating irrigation ditches to provide water for the crops, hoeing out weeds and brambles in the hot sun, and laboriously harvesting the produce to feed to the Anunnaki and Igigi gods who regarded man as their agricultural slave to ruthlessly expoit!

A final sobering thought:

In today's world, the 21st century, we have among us people who are willing to kill in order to get into the Garden of Eden, most specifically Moslem "marytyrs" (both men and women) who have been taught by their Mullahs that if they die in Holy Jihad (war) fighting non-believers or infidels their sins were be forgiven and they will be admitted to Paradise. The Christian West (Europe and the America's) has witnessed since the 1960's a mass migration of milions of devout Moslems and among these people are fanatics willing to kill their non-Moslem hosts (Christians) to get into Paradise and the heavenly Garden of Eden. That is to say the desire to get into the Garden of Eden has meant for some Christians, their slaughter and early deaths at the hands of Moslems allowed to emigrate and live in Christian countries. The Garden of Eden myth then is a dangerous myth, responsible for the deaths of thousands of Christians (3,000 Christians meeting an early death in the destruction of the two World Trade Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001). Had these Moslem marytyrs realized the Garden of Eden was a myth perhaps they would not have been willing to die and take the lives others?  In an earlier age, the Crusades, Christian martyrs in their thousands were willing to die and kill thousands of Moslems in an attempt to "liberate" Jerusalem, being told their sins would be forgiven and they would be admitted to Paradise if they died while waging a Holy War or "Crusade" against the infidels or "non-believers."

Think about it, What can _you_ "do" to alert the world that the Garden of Eden or Paradise is a myth, and it is not worth killing anyone for, Moslem or Christian?


John Ashton & Tom Whyte. The Quest For Paradise, Visions of Heaven and Eternity in the World's Myths and Religions. HarperSanFrancisco. 2001[originally published by Quarto Publishing of London, the United Kingdom. 2001].

Jeremy Black, Graham Cunningham, Eleanor Robson & Gabor Zolyomi. The Literature of Ancient Sumer. New York & Oxford. Oxford University Press. 2004.

Joseph Blenkinsopp. The Pentateuch, An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible. New York. Doubleday. 1992.

Joseph Campbell. The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology. Arkana. New York. Viking Penguin Books. 1964, 1991.

Eric H. Cline. p. 4. "The Garden of Eden." From Eden to Exile, Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible. Washington, D.C. National Geographic. 2007.

Harriet Crawford. p. 12. "Pastoralists and farmers." Sumer and the Sumerians. Cambridge, United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press. 1991, 2004.

Jean Delumeau. History of Paradise, The Garden of Eden in Myth and Tradition. New York. The Continuum Publishing Company. 1995. translated from the French edition: Une Historie du Parais: Le Jardin des delices. Librarie Artheme Fayard. 1992.

Jack Finegan. Handbook of Biblical Chronology. Principles of Time Reckoning in the Ancient World and Problems of Chronology in the Bible. Peabody, Massachusetts. Hendrickson Publishers. Revised edition of 1998; 1st edition: 1964 Princeton University Press.

Benjamin R. Foster. The Epic of Gilgamesh. New York & London. W. W. Norton & Company. 2001. [A Norton Critical Edition].

Tikva Frymer-Kensky. In the Wake of the Goddesses, Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. Ballantine Books. 1993. First Edition by Freepress 1992.

Andrew George. The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian. London. Penguin Books. 1999. 2000. 2003.

Robert Graves & Raphael Patai. Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis. New York. Doubleday & Company. 1963, 1964. Reprint of 1983 by Greenwich House, a division of Arlington House, Inc.

Victor P. Hamilton. The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-17. Vol. 1. William B. Eerdmans. 1990.

Alexander Heidel. cf. p. 233. Seru represented by the Sumerian logogram (EDIN). "A Special Usage of the Akkadian Term Sadu." pp. 233-235. The Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Vol. 8. No. 3. July 1949.

Thorkild Jacobsen. The Harps That Once...Sumerian Poetry in Translation. New Haven & London. Yale University Press. 1987.

Morris Jastrow, Jr. The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. Boston. Ginn & Company. 1898.

Samuel Noah Kramer. "The Babel of Tongues: A Sumerian Version." pp. 278-282 in Richard S. Hess & David Toshio Tsumura. Editors. "I Studied Inscriptions from before the Flood." Ancient Near Eastern, Literary, and Linguisitc Approaches to Genesis 1-11. Winona Lake, Indiana. Eisenbrauns. 1994.

Samuel Noah Kramer. The Sumerians, Their History, Culture, and Character. Chicago. University of Chicago Press. 1963.

Stephen Herbert Langdon. The H. Weld-Blundel Collection in the Ashmolean Museum. Volume One, Sumerian and Semitic Religious and Historical Texts. Oxford. United Kingdom. 1923.

David Leeming. Jealous Gods and Chosen People, the Mythology of the Middle East, A new perspective on the ancient myths of modern-day Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Yemen, the Gulf States, and Saudi Arabia. New York. Oxford University Press. 2004.

Gwendolyn Leick. p. 91. "Inanna and Utu."  A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology. London. Routledge. 1991.

Gwendolyn Leick. p. 164. "Liminal Sexuality." Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature. London & New York. Routledge.. 1994, 2003

Charles Keith Maisels. The Emergence of Civilization, From hunting and gathering to agriculture, cities, and the state in the Near East. London & New York. Routledge. 1990 & 1993.

A. R. Millard. "The Etymology of Eden." in Vetus Testamentum, Vol. 34, Fasc. 1. Jan. 1984. pp. 103-106.

Patrick D. Miller, Jr. "Eridu, Dunnu and Babel: A Study in Comparitive Mythology." pp. 143-168. Richard S. Hess & David Toshio Tsumura. Editors. I Studied Inscriptions From Before the Flood, Ancient Near Eastern, Literary, and Linguistic Approaches to Genesis 1-11. Winona Lake, Indiana. Eisenbrauns. 1994.

Magnus Ottoson [Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden], "Eden and the Land of Promise." pp. 177-188, in John Adney Emerton, Editor, Congress Volume 40. Papers read at the Congress of the International Organization for the study of the Old Testament held August 24-29, 1986 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Published by Brill in the Netherlands. 1988.

James B. Pritchard. Editor. p. 44. "The Epic of Gilgamesh." The Ancient Near East, An Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press. 1958.

Hugo Radau. Sumerian Hymns and Prayers to God Dumu-zi or Babylonian Lenten Songs From the Library of Nippur. Volume XXX. Munich, Germany. Rudolf Merkel of Erlangen. 1911.

H.W.F. Saggs. Civilization Before Greece and Rome. New Haven, Connecticut. Yale University Press. 1989.

N. K. Sandars. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England. Penguin Books. 1960, reprint of 1969.

Professor Sayce, John Jackson, L. W. King, F. R. Maunseh & William Willcocks. "The Garden of Eden and its Restoration: Discussion." The Geographical Journal. Vol. 40. No. 2 (August 1912). pp. 145-148.

Alessandro Scafi. Mapping Paradise, A History of Heaven on Earth. The University of Chicago Press & The British Library, London. 2006.

Ephraim A. Spieser. Genesis. Garden City, New York. Doubleday-Anchor. 1964. 

TANAKH, The Holy Scriptures. Philadelphia & New York. The Jewish Publication Society. 1958. Year of the Creation: 

The Times Atlas of the World. Plate 34. "Syria, Jordan and Iraq." London & New York. 10th Edition. 1999.

H. L. J. Vanstiphout. p. 52. "A Note on the Series "Travel in the Desert." (Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Jan. 1977), pp. 52-56.

Howard N. Wallace. "Eden, Garden of." p. 281. Vol. 2. David Noel Freedman. Editor. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York. Doubleday. 1992

Robert M. Whiting, PhD. of Helsinki, Finland, a professional Assyriologist and Managing Editor of the world-renown Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, The Assyrian State Archives Series, who noted (EDIN) being a Sumerian logogram for Akkadian seru in the Epic of Gilgamesh and Shamhat's encounter with Enkidu at the wateringhole.

Diane Wolkenstein & Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns From Sumer
San Francisco. Harper & Row, Publishers. 1983.

Elizabeth Wyse & Barry Winkleman, et. al. Past Worlds, Atlas of Archaeology. Ann Arbor, Michigan. Borders Press in association with HarperCollins. [1989] 1999.

Abul Edin-na "edin gate" (at Nippur)

Sphinx Gate at Alacahoyuk, Turkey

lines 123-129. "The debate between Sheep and Grain: Translation."

"A shir-namshub to Utu" [Utu F], The Electronic Texts Corpus of Sumerian Literature, Oxford University, England;

Gilgamesh and Huwawa (Version A) ETCSL translation: t.
Line 56: giskiri gi-edin-na giri3-ni bi2-in-gub

John A. Halloran. Sumerian Lexicon. "edin, eden." Version 3.0)

Professor Andrew George. The English transliteration of the Akkadian written Epic of Gilgamesh, showing the Sumerian logogram EDIN which is "read" by professional Assyriologists as seriserutseru, meaning uncultivated steppe or wilderness (where roam wild animals like gazelles, leopards, lions, bears and a naked man in the form of Enkidu):

A. R. Millard. "The Etymology of Eden." Vetus Testamentum. Vol. 34. Fasc. 1 (Jan. 1984). pp. 103-106. Who noted the scholarly objections to Akkadian edinu being related to the Hebrew `eden (English: Eden).

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