The Pre-biblical Protagonists Behind Genesis' Eve: Shamhat and Inanna (Ishtar) of the Epic of Gilgamesh 

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

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Please click here for a map of Eden and its garden.

11 August 2007 

Revisions through 24 June 2010

In a Nutshell Summary:

I understand Eden's Eve is a fictional character, a fusion of at least six different characters appearing in earlier Mesopotamian myths: (1) Shamhat/Ukhat of the Epic of Gilgamesh; (2) Inanna/Ishtar of the Dumuzi Myths; (3) Nin-Ti of Dilmun; (4) Gishzida, (5) Dumuzi, and (6) Adapa of the Adapa and the Southwind Myth. The focus here is Shamhat and Inanna. 

Please click on my below YouTube videos (A, B,  & C) explaining why Eve is a recast of:

A. Shamhat, Inanna, and Nin-Ti

B. Nin-gish-zida and Dumuzi/Dumuzid/Tammuz

C. Adapa

For over a hundred years various professional Liberal scholars with PhDs in the fields of Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Studies have proposed that Adam and Eve are recasts of Enkidu and Shamhat from the Epic of Gilgamesh. In 1898 Professor Jastrow (1861-1921) of the University of Pennsylvania made such a proposal and similar conclusions were reached as well by Professor Skinner (died 1925) in 1910 of  Westminster College, Cambridge, England. More recently, in 1963, Professors Robert Graves (1895-1985) and Raphael Patai (1910-1996) also identified Adam and Eve as being later Hebrew recasts of Enkidu and Shamhat as well as Adapa of the Adapa and the Southwind myth. I understand that these professors are correct and this article goes into greater depth in expanding their somewhat brief and cursory observations. 

The great British Orientalist Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (1810-1895) had suggested that some of Genesis' accounts might be of Babylonian origin as noted by Thompson (1930), a notion I am in agreement with:

"The discovery of the Epic and the first arrangement and translation of its material was due to the genius of George Smith, although attention had early been drawn by Sir Henry Rawlinson to the probability that the accounts in Genesis had a Babylonian origin, and that Gilgamesh was a solar hero."

(p. 5. "Introduction." R. Campbell Thompson. The Epic of Gilgamesh, Text, Transliteration, and Notes. Oxford University Press. 1930)

Professor Clay (1923) noted that most Assyriologists understood that Genesis' stories had been borrowed from Babylonia and altered:

"As has already been noted, the versions found in Babylonia have much in common with the Hebrew stories. This fact has given rise to the conclusion, which has been many times restated, that either the Biblical stories are derived from the Babylonian, or the Babylonian is derived from the Biblical, or that they have a common origin.

Assyriologists, as far as I know, have generally dismissed as an impossibility the idea that there was a common Semitic tradition, which developed in Israel in one way, and in Babylonia in another. They have unreservedly declared that the Biblical stories have been borrowed from Babylonia, in which land they were indigenous."

(pp. 149-150. "The Deluge Story." Albert T. Clay. The Origin of Biblical Traditions, Hebrew Legends in Babylonia and Israel. New Haven. Yale University Press. 1923)

It causes one to to pause and wonder how different life would be today had the Epic of Gilgamesh never been composed, Adam and Eve being recasts of Enkidu and Shamhat. That is to say Adam and Eve are fictious characters, based themselves on earlier fictional characters, Enkidu and Shamhat and fictional events such as Shamhat's supplanting Enkidu's animal companions at the watering hole in the Sumerian edin and her teaching the naked man of edin, _in edin_, that it is wrong to be naked. In other words it is my understanding that the Epic of Gilgamesh is responsible, in part, for the birth of today's three great monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

At the turn of the century (1876-1910) Enkidu was known to scholars like Jastrow and Skinner as Eabani and Shamhat as Ukhat or Uhat while Gilgamesh was being rendered as Izdubar.

Jastrow (1898) on Eabani (Enkidu) "mating with" the wild animals of the steppe (Sumerian "steppe" being rendered as edin) before his being aware of the existence of womankind:

"It would appear from these lines that previous to the coming of Ukhat, Eabani had satisfied his desire on the beasts. In Ukhat, however, he found a worthier mate, and he accordingly abandons his former associates to cling to her.

"He yields and obeys her command.
In the wisdom of his heart he
recognized a companion..."

(p. 478. Morris Jastrow, Jr. The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. Boston. Ginn & Company. 1898. pp. xvi + 780)

"The creation of Eabani recalls the Biblical tradition of the formation of the first man, and Ukhat appears to be the Babylonian equivalent to the Biblical Eve, who through her charms entices Eabani away from the gazelles and cattle and brings him to Uruk, the symbol of civilized existence. It is significant that in the Biblical narrative, the sexual instinct and the beginnings of culture as symbolized by the tree of knowledge are closely associated. According to rabbinical traditions, the serpent is the symbol of the sexual passion. Eve obtains control of Adam with the aid of this passion. In the episode of Eabani, Ukhat, and the hunter - who, be it noted, plays the part of the tempter- we seem to have an ancient legend forming part of some tradition regarding the beginnings of man’s history, and which has been brought into connection with the Gilgamesh epic,-when and how, it is impossible, of course, to say."

(p. 476. Morris Jastrow, Jr. The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. Boston. Ginn & Company. 1898)

Skinner (died: 1925), a Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at Westminster College, Cambridge, England had, by 1910, also noted the parallels between Eabani (Enkidu) and the Harlot (Shamhat) in the Epic of Gilgamesh and Adam's forsaking his animal companions for Eve:

"The legend of Eabani, embedded in the Gilgamesh Epic...seems to present us...with a type of primitive man. Eabani, created as a rival to Gilgamesh by the goddess Aruru from a lump of clay, is a being of gigantic strength who is found associating with the wild animals, living their life, and foiling all the devices of the huntsman. Eager to capture him, Gilgamesh sends with the huntsman a harlot, by whose attractions he hopes to lure Eabani from his savagery. Eabani yields to her charms, and is led, a willing captive, to the life of civilisation:

When she speaks to him, her speech pleases him,
One who knows his heart he seeks, a friend.

But later in the epic, the harlot appears as the cause of his sorrows, and Eabani curses her with all his heart. Apart from its present setting, and considered as an independent bit of folklore, it cannot be denied that the story has a certain resemblance to Genesis 2:18-24. Only, we may be sure that if the idea of sexual intercourse with the beasts be implied in the picture of Eabani, the moral purity of the Hebrew writer never stooped so low...Far more instructive affinities with the inner motive of the story of the Fall are found in the myth of Adapa and the South-wind, discovered amongst the Tel-Amarna tablets, and therefore known in Palestine in the 15th century B.C." 

(pp. 91-92. "The Origin and Significance of the Paradise Legend." John Skinner. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis. Edinburgh, Scotland. T. & T. Clark. 1910. Revised edition 1930. Reprint 1994)

Professor Blenkinsopp of Notre Dame University on Atrahasis and Gilgamesh motifs in Genesis:

"...just as Genesis 1-11 as a whole corresponds to the structure of the Atrahasis myth, so the garden of Eden story has incorporated many of the themes of the great Gilgamesh poem." 

(pp. 65-66. "Human Origins, Genesis 1:1-11:26."  Joseph Blenkinsopp. The Pentateuch, An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible. New York. Doubleday. 1992. ISBN 0-385-41207-X)

In 1963 the two late professors Robert Graves (1895-1985) and Raphael Patai (1910-1996) teamed up to write a book on Genesis which identified Eve with Shamhat from the Epic of Gilgamesh and Adam as being drawn from Enkidu in that same epic (Robert Graves and Raphael Patai. Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis. New York. Doubleday & Company. 1963, 1964. Reprinted 1983 by Greenwich House a division of Arlington House Inc.). 

Graves and Patai (1963) on the "priestess" (Shamhat the harlot-priestess of Uruk) being recast as Eve:

"Some elements of the Fall of Man myth in Genesis are of great antiquity; but the composition is late...The Gilgamesh Epic, the earliest version of which can be dated about 2000 B.C., descibes how the Sumerian Love-goddess Aruru created from clay a noble savage named Enkidu, who grazed among gazelles, slaked his thirst beside wild cattle...until a priestess sent to him by Gilgamesh initiated him into the mysteries of love. Though wise as a god, he was now shunned by the wild creatures; and the priestess therefore covered his nakedness, using part of her own garment, and brought him to the city of Uruk...Another source of the Genesis Fall of Man myth is the Akkadian myth of Adapa, found on a tablet at Tell Amarna, Pharaoh Akhenaten's capital...This myth supplies the theme of the Serpent's warning to Eve: that God had deceived her about the properties of the forbidden fruit." 

(pp. 78-79. "The Fall of Man." Robert Graves and Raphael Patai. Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis. New York. Doubleday & Company. 1963, 1964. Reprinted 1983 by Greenwich House a division of Arlington House Inc.)
"Eden as a peaceful rural retreat, where man lives at his ease among wild animals, the story of Enkidu...The fervent love between Enkidu and the priestess, though omitted from the Genesis story, has been preserved by a Talmudic scholiast who makes Adam wish for death rather than be parted from Eve. Yet the myth of the Fall licences man to blame woman for all his ills, make her labour for him, exclude her from religious office and refuse her advice on moral problems." 

(pp. 80- 81. "The Fall of Man." Robert Graves and Raphael Patai. Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis. New York. Doubleday & Company. 1963, 1964. Reprinted 1983 by Greenwich House a division of Arlington House Inc.). 

Professor Clifford (1994) on Enkidu's sexual encounter with Shamhat "the prostitute" being recast in Genesis as the sexual attraction between Adam and Eve being the cause for the institution of marriage:

"Another example comes from Gilgamesh I: the naked and animal-like Enkidu acquires wisdom from his seven-day dalliance with a prostitute. Afterward she clothes him and leads him to the city of Uruk and its king Gilgamesh. Genesis rearranges the same traditions to describe the institution of marriage!" 

(pp. 148-149. "Genesis 1-11." Richard J. Clifford. Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible. Washington, D. C. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series 26. The Catholic Biblical Association of America. 1994)

The Epic of Gilgamesh is written in Akkadian or Babylonian but scholars have determined that certain parts of it existed in Sumerian as a number of short stories about Enkidu and Gilgamesh that were later patched together and expanded into a great epic. The steppe Enkidu grows up in Sumerian is called edin, in Akkadian it was called seru.

The Sumerian word for uncultivated steppeland is edin. The Epic of Gilgamesh although written in Akkadian which renders "steppe" as seru or seri, states unequivocally that Shamhat saw Enkidu at the watering hole as a wild man of "edin" (the steppe). How is it that the watering hole is described as being in _the edin_ instead of being in _the seru_? Akkadian scribes were trained in both Sumerian and Akkadian, they frequently used Sumerian LOGOGRAMS (cuneiform signs) as "substitutes" for Akkadian words. Hence Enkidu "the wild man of the steppe" was written using the Sumerian logogram (EDIN)! The scribe knew upon seeing this logogram that it was synonymous with the Akkadian word seru or seri, meaning "steppe." Professor Andrew George has advised me that both tse-ri (seri, seru) and edin are used interchangeably throughout the Epic of Gilgamesh. That is to say edin is _not_ exclusively the sole rendering for tse-ri, sometimes tse-ri appears instead of edin.

I understand that Enkidu's animal companions, the gazelles (and wild cattle?), who rejected his companionship after his having mated with Shamhat for six days and seven nights, became in the Hebrew recasting Adam possessing only animal companions who were _not_ a fit helpmeet or companion until God introduced a naked Eve to him. That is to say the Hunter (Sadu) who brought Shamhat to the watering hole, having her disrobe and enticing Enkidu with her voluptuous naked body, has been recast as Yahweh-Elohim who brought a naked Eve to Adam. 

Why was Genesis' Adam drawn from Enkidu? Adam is presented as "primal man," he has NO father or mother, he is a CREATED being. Enkidu is a type of "primal man," like Adam, he too, has NO father or mother; he was CREATED like Adam by a deity, the goddess Aruru making him of a pinch of clay which she then cast upon edin/seru the steppe to roam with wild animals for companions.  Enkidu is "created" and placed _in the edin_ to roam naked with wild animals for companions and Adam is "created" and placed _in Eden_ to roam naked with wild animals.That is to say a GODDESS created naked primal man, NOT a god; the Hebrews have reversed/inverted the myth! For further details please click here

Nancy K. Sandars on Enkidu's curse of the Harlot-priestess and the Hunter who brought her to entrap him, comparing Enkidu's fall for the naked Harlot to Christianty's notion of the "Fall" of Adam for a naked Eve, but in "reverse":

"...Enkidu, the 'natural man', reared with wild animals, and as swift as a gazelle. In time Enkidu was seduced by a harlot from the city, and with the loss of innocence an irrevocable step was taken towards taming the wild man. The animals now rejected him, and he was led on by stages learning to wear clothes, eat human food, herd sheep, and make war on the wolf and the lion, until at length he reached the great civilized city of Uruk. He does not look back again to his old free life until he lies on his death bed, when a pang of regret catches hold of him and he curses all the educators. This is the 'Fall' in reverse, a felix culpa shorn of tragic development; but it is also an allegory of the stages by which mankind reaches civilization, going from savagery to pastoralism and at last to the life of the city." 

(p. 30. "Introduction." N. K. Sandars. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England. Penguin Books. 1960, reprint of 1969)

The Epic of Gilgamesh tells us Enkidu was made by the goddess Aruru of a pinch of clay in the image of Anu, and cast upon the steppe (Sumerian: edin) to roam with its wild animals like a naked beast. Like Adam he is a vegetarian, he eats grass with gazelles (and wild cattle) who offer him no physical harm as they are herbivores. I understand Adam is drawn in part from Enkidu, but recast. Both are created beings, without father or mother, created of earth by a deity and Adam lives in a location called Eden and Enkidu lives in a location called in Sumerian edin; both are naked, and both have herbivore, non-flesh-eating wild animals for companions. Adam is made in the image of God and Enkidu is made in the image of Anu, who is considered the supreme god.

Genesis portrays the animals as unfit companions for Adam, so God causes him to fall asleep and create of his side or rib Eve. When Adam awakes he finds before him a naked woman to supplant his animal companions. For me this is a recast of the Hunter (Sadu) bringing Shamhat the harlot-priestess of Uruk to the watering hole in the edin to have sex with Enkidu in order to separate him from his animal companions and supplant them as his companion. The Hunter, a male, has been recast into another "male," Yahweh-Elohim, who presented Adam with a naked Eve. God tells the naked couple to be "fruitful and multiply," which I understand is a recast of Enkidu's mating with Shamhat; the Hunter had brought her to mate with Enkidu, telling her to disrobe and that when Enkidu beheld her volumptuous naked body he would be drawn to her in sexual passion and mate with her. She obeyed and disrobed and Enkidu's lust caused him to leave his gazelle and cattle companions at the watering hole and sleep with her (mating) for 6 days and 7 nights, recast as Adam "sleeping" in Eden. The Hebrews have inverted or reversed the storyline: naked Adam _after_ sleeping in Eden is introduced to naked Eve vs. a naked Enkidu being fully awake when introduced to a naked Shamhat _then_ sleeping (with her). My research suggests that inversions and reversals of events and motifs are "legion" in the Hebrews' recasting of the Mesopotamian myths.

When Enkidu had slaked his sexual lust, he rose from the side of the Harlot-priestess to rejoin his animal companions the gazelles and wild cattle. They turn and flee from him. He attempts to run after them but he falters, he is weaker, he doesn't have the stamina he had earlier to keep up with them (apparently the 7 nights and 6 days of sexual abandon have physically drained his body of the energy and stamina to run with the beasts?). He comes to realize that his companions have rejected him and he returns to the Harlot. She tells him he is like a god, why roam with the animals of edin-the-steppe? She encourages him to leave edin's watering hole and come to ramparted Uruk to meet Gilgamesh. He agrees and she shares her garments with him, covering their nakedness, and both now clothed, leave the watering hole. This has been recast in Genesis as God expelling Adam and Eve from his garden in Eden for trangressing his commandment, he realizing this because they have covered their nakedness. Adam and Eve leave Eden clothed like Enkidu and Shamhat, but the latter left edin of their own free will, not because a God was enraged with them over their learning they were naked and clothing themselves.

The Hunter (Sadu) was upset that the naked Enkidu was tearing up his traps set for edin's wild animals. Because Enkidu was of such great strength the Hunter feared to physically confront him. When at Uruk the Hunter asked Gilgamesh what to do and was told to take a Harlot-priestess from the temple to have sex with the savage. His animal companions will reject him after sex with the woman and then he will no longer be their companion, the woman will supplant them. Enkidu will become a "civilized" man, he will cease tearing up the Hunter's traps and cease protecting the animals of edin.

Eve is made of Adam's side or rib, Hebrew teslah, which can mean, "a rib," "a side," or "stumbling." Eve caused Adam to "stumble" having him disobey God. Shamhat caused Enkidu to "stumble" too, he his not able to maintain the pace of his animal companions that flee from him and he "falls" for the Harlot's wiles in having sex with her and comes under her persuasive powers as she convinces him to leave the watering hole in the edin.

Enroute to Uruk, and still in the edin, Enkidu and the Harlot encounter a shepherds' camp, they are offered food and drink as an act of courtesy. Enkidu has eaten only grass and drunk water with the gazelles and wild cattle, he knows not the eating of bread or the drinking of alcoholic beverages (apparently wine or beer being offered) so he _balks_ at consuming these items. Shamhat intercedes and tells Enkidu he _must_ consume these items it is the "custom" of the land (a guest should not be rude to his hosts in other words). He subjects his will to hers and consumes the items. Upon this act of consumption he is declared to be "a human," in other words he is like a beast no more, eating grass and drinking water, for he is consuming the items of civilized clothes-wearing men who dwell in cities with the gods as their servants. He is given a new change of garments, probably more befitting a man as earlier he wore one of Shamhat's garments. I understand this has been recast as Eve offering the forbidden fruit to Adam and his eating of it then their covering their nakedness. Shepherds grazed their sheep in the edin, so the formerly naked Enkidu and Shamhat ate in the edin, and in the edin a naked man, Enkidu, learned it was wrong to be naked when the Harlot gave him clothing to cover his nakedness. Like Adam, Enkidu did not know it was wrong to be naked until _after_ his exposure to a naked woman in the edin. That is to say that _after_ Adam is exposed to Eve, he _then_ comes to learn it is wrong to be naked just as naked Enkidu _after_ coming into contact with a naked Shamhat learns too it is wrong to be naked.

The wild animals of edin were _not_ allowed to forage in the city-gardens or fields of the gods tilled and cared for by civilized man. Some gardens were within city walls and others outside the walls. They consisted of fruit trees (apple, date palm, pomengranate, fig), vegetables, herbs, and fields of grain for bread and beer. To the degree that the shepherds in the edin offered Enkidu bread and alcoholic drink it could be argued that he consumed "forbidden food." Why? He originally ate grass with the gazelles and wild cattle in edin. The grain fields would be "forbidden food" for the gazelles and cattle. Bread is a grain product, beer, an alcoholic drink is another grain product, so the food and drink offered Enkidu were "forbidden food" items to the wild animals of edin the steppe. So the formerly naked man of edin who roamed with his herbivore companions the gazelles and wild cattle did consume in a sense "forbidden food" like Adam and Eve (Shamhat as a prototype of Eve and being a city-dweller, consumes these "forbidden products" too, and being a city-dweller she would, like Eve, have consumed this "forbidden food" _first_ before it being "later" proffered to the naked man of edin, Enkidu). In other words Genesis' notion that Eve ate of forbidden food _before_ Adam did is recalling the fact that Shamhat as a city-dweller would have eaten forbidden food: "bread and alcoholic drink" _before_  later encouraging Enkidu to do so too.

In agreement with other scholars I understand that Adam and Eve are recasts of not only Enkidu and Shamhat but other characters in other Mesopotamian myths. Adam is a recast of Adapa and Enkidu (as noted earlier by Jastrow, Skinner, Barton, Graves, Patai and others). 

Adapa was told by his god Ea (Sumerian Enki) in Eridu _not to eat_ the BREAD of death or drink the water of death to be offered him in heaven by the gods Anu, Gishzida (Nin-Gish-Zida) and Dumuzi (Tammuz) or he would surely die. This has been recast by the Hebrews as God telling Adam not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or he will die. Adapa was told _not to eat_ the BREAD of death, Enkidu at first balked or refused to eat the BREAD set before him and he refused to drink the alcoholic drink, just as Adapa refused to drink the water of death offered him. Adam after his expulsion from the Garden in Eden IS TO EAT BREAD in the sweat of his face. I understand that Genesis' notion of Adam eating bread is an echo of the Adapa and Enkidu episodes where BREAD was initially denied to man, it being recast as a fruit by the Hebrews. The notion of a water of death being water of life as presented by Anu becomes in the Book of Revelation Christ offering the water of life to the resurrected righteous who will also be allowed to eat of the tree of life at Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1-2). Christ's body as the bread man must eat and blood as wine man must drink (the Host or Eucharist rite observed by Catholicism), are echos of the bread and alcoholic drink set before Enkidu in the edin who was a created being of clay, without father or mother like Adam. That is to say the motifs about a "First Adam" (as first man) and Christ as a "Second Adam" and of food and drink bestowing immortality are nothing more than recasts and echos of earlier Mesopotamian concepts appearing in the Adapa and the Southwind myth as well as the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The gods' city-gardens were planted by the gods _before_ man was created. The gods in the myths built cities for themselves to live in in the midst of the edin (the great uncultivated plain or steppe through whch coursed the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) and the city-gardens were planted to provide their sustenance. Only after tiring of all this work do they decide to "later" create man to be their agricultural slave. Man will provide life's basics for the gods: food, shelter and clothing, giving the gods an eternal rest from physical toil upon the earth. Genesis of course denies all this in its recasting of these motifs.

The below translations of the Epic of Gilgamesh suggest the Harlot "fed" Enkidu, if this be correct then perhaps this notion was recast as Eve "giving" food to Adam?

Genesis 3:6,12 RSV

"...she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate...The man said, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, SHE GAVE ME the fruit of the tree, and I ate."

Thompson's translation (1930), If I am understanding him rightly, suggests that Shamhat set the bread before Enkidu for him to eat (apparently on behalf of the shepherds?). This act of  the formerly naked woman of edin's watering hole "giving bread" to a formerly naked Enkidu may have been recast as a naked Eve "giving a forbidden fruit" to a naked Adam in Eden.

Thompson speaking of Enkidu staring at the bread set before him by Shamhat at the shepherds' camp in the steppe (Sumerian edin, Akkadian seru):

"bread which she set before him he scanned..." 

(p. 73. Line 26 Column V. R. Campbell Thompson. The Epic of Gilgamesh, Text, Transliteration, and Notes. Oxford University Press. 1930)

"bread which she put..."

(p. 75. Col. III.3. R. Campbell Thompson. The Epic of Gilgamesh, Text, Transliteration, and Notes. Oxford University Press. 1930)

The sun-god Shamash reminded Enkidu that the Harlot "fed" him food fit for a god (I understand that "bread" or "food" has been recast as a "fruit" being given to Adam by Eve):

"O Enkidu, why curse Shamhat the harlot,
WHO FED YOU bread that was fit for a god..."

(p. 58. Andrew George. The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian. London. Penguin Books. 1999)

Gardner and Maier:

"Why, Enkidu, do you curse the love-priestess, the woman
WHO WOULD FEED YOU with the food of the gods...?"

(p. 173. John Gardner & John Maier. Gilgamesh Translated From the Sin-Leqi-Unninni Version. New York. Vintage Books. 1985. 1984 Alfred A. Knopf)


"Why, O Enkidu, cursest thou the harlot-lass,
WHO MADE THEE EAT food fit for divinity...?"

(p. 57. "The Epic of Gilgamesh." James B. Pritchard. Editor. The Ancient Near East, An Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton UNiversity Press. 1958. paperback)


"O Enkidu, why curse Shamhat the harlot,
WHO FED YOU bread, fit for a god...?"

(p. 56. Benjamin R. Foster. The Epic of Gilgamesh. New York & London. W.W. Norton & Company. 2001)


"Why, O Enkidu, dost thou curse the courtesan, the 
WHO TAUGHT THEE TO EAT bread fit for divinity...?"

(p. 59. "The Epic of Gilgamesh." Alexander Heidel. The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels. Chicago, Illinois. University of Chicago Press. 1946, 1949. Reprint 1993)


"Enkidu, why are you cursing my harlot Shamhat,
WHO FED YOU on food fit for gods...?"

(p. 87. "Epic of Gilgamesh." Stephanie Dalley. Myths From Mesopotamia, Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh And Others. Oxford & New York. Oxford Unversity Press. 1989, 1991)

Adam is portrayed as "listening to his wife's voice," suggesting she urged him to eat. This appears to be a recast of Enkidu listening to the voice of Shamhat who urges him to eat the bread set before him by the shepherds in the edin which he earlier balked at:

Genesis 3:17 RSV

"And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, "You shall not eat, cursed is the ground because of you."

Adam' s eating involved the acquistion thereby of "knowledge" (the knowledge of good and evil). I understand that this Hebraic motif of acquiring knowledge via an act of eating is in part derived (having been recast and transformed) from Enkidu's eating the bread set before him. It is stressed that Enkidu DOES NOT KNOW the eating of bread, he DOES NOT KNOW the drinking of alcoholic beverages (wine or beer?). AFTER CONSUMING THESE ITEMS HE NOW "KNOWS" THEM. He has acquired knowledge by eating and drinking with Shamhat's urging. Had she not been present he would _not have acquired the knowledge_ of eating bread and drinking alcoholic drink. I understand that his motif of Enkidu's acquisition of knowledge via eating because of Shamhat's urging has been recast as Eve urging Adam to eat and thereby acquiring knowledge (of good and evil). Put another way, one acquires the knowledge of what a food item tastes like after eating it. One also acquires knowledge of what wine or beer tastes like having consumed it and one comes "to know" its effects on the body as "drunkeness." One also "knows how" to eat a particular food item: bread is torn by hand or cut with a knife, or bitten off in mouthfuls. So the act of eating does involve "the acquiston of knowledge" in various forms to some degree.

"Enkidu did not know to eat bread,
Nor had he ever learned to drink beer!
The harlot made ready to speak, saying to Enkidu:

"Eat the bread, Enkidu, the staff of life,
Drink the beer, the custom of the land."

Enkidu ate the bread until he was sated.
He drank seven juglets of the beer...
He...turned into a man...
He put on clothing..."

(p. 14. Benjamin R. Foster. The Epic of Gilgamesh. New York & London. W.W. Norton & Company. 2001)

"They set bread before him,
He gagged, he gaped at it,
Enkidu had not known about the eating of cooked food,
About drinking strong wine
no one had taught him.
The love-priestess opened her mouth,
said to Enkidu:
"Eat the food, Enkidu,
as life requires.
Drink the wine, as is the custom of the land."
Enkidu ate the food
till he was full.
He drank the wine,
seven goblets.
His brain became loose, he became childish:
his heart became light...
he became a man...
He put on clothes;
he was like a groom.

(pp. 92-94. John Gardner & John Maier. Gilgamesh, Translated from the Sin-Leqi-Unninni Version. New York. Vintage Books, A Division of Random House. 1984, 1985)

The eating of "forbidden food" (bread and beer derived from the "off-limits" [off-limits to edin's wild animals] grain fields or city-gardens of the gods tilled by man) by Enkidu did not give him knowledge of good and evil. The myth stresses that after consuming the bread and alcoholic drink a "transformation takes place," Enkidu is declared to now be "like a human" (others translate "like a man") implying he was earlier an ignorant naked hairy beast eating grass and drinking water with the animals of edin the steppe. I understand Enkidu's consumption of food and his thereupon being given a new robe by the shepherds has not only made him into a civilized human he is also now "like a god"! For gods consume bread and alcoholic drink, wear clothes, live in cities, and have gardens. This life-style was not available earlier to Enkidu. That is to say Enkidu "_becomes like a god_" in that he now _lives like a god_:"knowing it is wrong to be naked" he wears clothes like a god, he eats bread like a god, he drinks alcoholic beverages like a god, and he dwells in a city like a god. In other words Enkidu was in the beginning "living like a wild animal," a "beast," and the food grown in the gods' gardens was off-limits to the beasts of edin, including wild naked-man-the-beast. All this has been recast in Genesis as Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit, becoming like God, "knowing good and evil," and clothing themselves in shame. Enkidu and Shamhat's leaving the watering hole of edin to live in the city of Uruk has been recast in Genesis as man after having been expelled from Eden by an enraged God eventually settling in cities (Cain being expelled from Eden and creating the city of Enoch in the land of Nod).

I understand that motifs associated with the Garden in Eden are being drawn from several different Mesopotamian myths, they are not all exclusively drawn from the Epic of Gilgamesh and Shamhat's encounter with Enkidu. 

Does there exist a  Mesopotamian account that has a woman saying to a man "let us eat" of a a tree to acquire knowledge"? Yes, it is a Sumerian myth regarding Shamhat's goddess Inanna (Akkadian: Ishtar) who speaks similar words to her brother the sun-god Utu. So perhaps the notion that a woman ate of a tree to acquire knowledge and encouraged a man accompanying her to do so too is a recasting of this Sumerian motif? Inanna in Sumerian hymns at Nippur bore two epithets, nin edin "lady of edin" and Inanna edin "Inanna of edin," her husband Dumuzi, the shepherd king of Urug was called mulu edin "the lord of edin." The "lady of edin" (Inanna/Ishtar) _did_ eat of a tree growing upon the earth in the midst of the Sumerian edin to acquire "forbidden knowledge" and she encouraged her male companion to do likewise, just as another lady of Eden, Eve, encouraged Adam. What was the "forbidden knowledge" Inanna acquired by eating of a tree? It was apparently "sexual knowledge." Inanna is portrayed as a virtuous naive maiden who has never engaged in sex when wooed by her future husband Dumuzi. Even today most parents fear their teenaged daughters acquiring "sexual knowledge" because they fear their daughters will then engage in sex with their boyfriends. So, Inanna ate of a tree on the earth's surface to acquire "forbidden knowledge." After acquiring this "forbidden knowledge" she then engages in sex with her bridegroom Dumuzi, just as Eve, after acquiring "forbidden knowledge" by eating of a tree on the earth's surface, later engages in sex with her husband, Adam.

I understand that Adam is a recast of Enkidu, Adapa and Dumuzi. Eve is a recast of Shamhat and Inanna of Uruk. Inanna bears the Sumerian epithet nin edin "lady of edin" and Inanna edin "Inanna of edin," her husband Dumuzi bears the epithet mulu edin "lord of edin." Genesis has a man and wife dwelling in Eden, both dying. Christians understand a forbidden tree fruit is consumed by them, AN APPLE. Inanna (one of Eve's prototypes) however did _not_ eat of an Apple or Fig Tree, she "ate of" Cedar trees on the earth _to acquire knowledge_ with her brother Utu the sun-god (she wanted to "KNOW" how to have sex with her new bridegroom husband, Dumuzi). Genesis does _not_ say what the fruit was that Adam and Eve consumed. Some scholars suggest a fig because after eating, they cover their nakedness with fig leaves (cf. Ge 3:6-7), others suggest pomegranates, grapes, apples, etc.

Inanna, speaking to her brother, Utu the sun-god, to the effect that she has no knowledge about love and sex, requests that he accompany her in a descent to the earth, to the mountains, where she will eat the various plants there. It is only after having eaten these assorted, un-named herbs including, apparently, of cedar/pine Trees, that Inanna now possesses knowledge about love and sex in order to perform her wifely functions (in hymns she is "the bride" of Dumuzi and the goddess of Love and of Sex).

Some readers may be wondering just what is it that Inanna is "eating" associated with a Cedar Tree? The answer: Pine Nuts or more correctly "Cedar Nuts"! In Middle Eastern cuisine, Pine Nuts/Cedar Nuts are at times sauteed in olive oil and served as a complement or garnish to a number of different dishes in Israel, Syria, and the Lebanon. Note: You will not find much on "Cedar Nuts" on the internet as a food item, but under their alternate name, "pine nuts," one will find numerous ways of their being prepared in Middle Eastern dishes.

Dalley has sounded a note of caution regarding the Akkadian/Babylonian word erenu which is usually translated by scholars as a cedar (tree), she suggests that it is a pine (tree) instead. If she is right then Inanna who bore at Nippur the Sumerian epithet nin edin "the lady of edin," ate pine nuts rather than cedar nuts to obtain knowledge:

"The usual translation of erenu as 'cedar' is almost certainly wrong. The main grounds for a translation 'pine' are: that roof-beams thus named in texts have been excavated and analysed invariably as pine, and that the wood was obtained in antiquity not only from the Lebanon mountains, but also from the Zagros and Amanus ranges, where cedars do not grow. The Akkadian word may have covered a different and wider range of trees than the English word 'pine'." 

(pp. 126-127. Note 20 to the Epic of Gilgamesh. Stephanie Dalley. Myths From Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh and Others. Oxford & New York. Oxford University Press. 1989, 1991)

Inanna speaking to Utu (emphasis mine):

"I am unfamiliar with womanly matters...I am unfamiliar with womanly matters, with sexual intercourse...kissing...Whatever exists in the mountains, LET US EAT THAT. Whatever exists in the hills, LET US EAT THAT. In the mountains of herbs, in the mountains of CEDARS, the mountains of cypresses, whatever exists in the mountains, LET US EAT THAT. After the herbs have been eaten, _AFTER _THE CEDARS_ HAVE_BEEN _EATEN_, put your hand in my hand, and then escort me to my house...Escort me to my mother-in-law, to Ninsumun..." ("A shir-namshub to Utu" [Utu F], The Electronic Texts Corpus of Sumerian Literature, Oxford University, England;

Leick understands_ that Genesis' motif of knowledge being obtained by eating a fruit is indebted to earlier Sumerian myths. Note: kur can be translated as earth, region, country, underworld and mountain (emphasis mine) whence the reason the preceeding (above) verse rendered kur as "mountains" but a kur "land" is just as possible (apparently Inanna is consuming cedar nuts/pine nuts which are still today a popular garnish for many Middle Eastern dishes) (emphasis mine):

"Inanna and Utu is a mythical incident in a Sumerian hymn (BM 23631), which explains how Inanna came to be the goddess of sexual love. The goddess asks her brother Utu to help her go down to the kur  where various plants and trees are growing. She wants to EAT THEM IN ORDER TO KNOW the secrets of sexuality of which she is yet deprived: 'What concerns women, (namely) man, I do not know. What concerns women: love-making I do not know.' Utu seems to comply and Inanna tastes of the fruit (the same motif is also employed in Enki and Ninhursag and of course in Genesis I) which brings her knowledge." 

(p. 91. "Inanna and Utu."  Gwendolyn Leick. A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology. London. Routledge. 1991 [Leick has a Doctorate in Assyriology from the University of Graz in Austria, and lectures at Richmond College and the University of Glamorgan, United Kingdom])

Professor Leeming (Emertius Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut) likening Inanna's eating of trees to acquire knowledge to Eve's eating of a tree's fruit (emphasis mine):

"One day Inanna asks her twin brother, the sun god Utu (Shamash), son of the moon god Nanna, to go with her to earth (kur), where she will eat various plants and trees that will cause her to understand the mysteries of sex. Like Eve in the Garden of Eden, Inanna tastes the fruit and gains knowledge." 

(pp. 46-47. "The Mythology of Mesopotamia." 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. ISBN 10:0-19-514789-8)

Leeming on Inanna's "searching for knowledge" which recalls for me Eve's "knowledge quest," recalling that the Nippur hymns call Inanna nin edin-na, "the lady of edin.":

"A queen of the above, Inanna, always in search of knowledge, longs to know the below of her sister Ereshkigal..."

(p. 48. "The Mythology of Mesopotamia." 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. ISBN 10:0-19-514789-8)

Ishtar (Sumerian Inanna, who bore the epithet nin edin "lady of edin" at Nippur) is associated with possessing wisdom and Eve, a lady of Eden, is associated with the acquisition of wisdom:

"An Akkadian list describes Siduri as 'Ishtar of wisdom'." 

(p. 132. Note 106. "Notes to Gilgamesh." Stephanie Dalley. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, And Others. Oxford & New York. Oxford University Press. 1991)

Genesis 3:6 TANAKH

"When the woman saw the tree was good for eating and a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom, she took of its fruit and ate."

(TANAKH, The Holy Scriptures. Philadelphia & New York. The Jewish Publication Society. 1988. Year of Creation: 5748)

Inanna (Akkadian Ishtar), who bore the epithet nin edin "lady of edin" receives "wisdom" from a drunken Enki, the god of wisdom and knowledge at Eridug when in a stupor he gives her the sacred me (the totality of knowledge, "the divine powers of heaven and earth") which he suppossed to guard and keep from mankind's acquisition (she will take the me to Uruk for mankind's benefit):

"I will give them to holy Inana...Inana received wisdom...decision-making...Inana ... gathered up the divine powers and embarked..."

(Inana and Enki: c.1.3.1.)

"Lord...who establishes understanding...whoknows everything! Enki, of broad wisdom...Your father, An the king, the lord who caused human seed to come forth and who placed all mankind on the earth, has laid upon you the guarding of the divine powers of heaven and earth...An has instructed make orchards ripe with syrup and vines grow as tall as forests."

(A tigi to Enki for Ur-Ninurta (Ur-Ninurta B): c.

We see now, that eating of a tree growing upon the earth in the midst of the edin does impart knowledge in the Sumerian texts. Note: Edin refers to uncultivated land which surrounds the cities of Sumer in which the gods live. They created man to work in their gardens which are _in_ the edin, that is tosay these gardens are surrounded by the uncultivated edin through which courses two streams associated with Eden, the Tigris and Euphrates.

Enkidu learns in a dream that he is to die for offending the gods in the slaying of the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba (Huwawa) the guardian of the gods' cedar forest atop a mountain in the Lebanon.

Adam is to die for disobeying God's command not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but Enkidu is to die for slaying a bull and a demi-god called Humbaba or Huwawa who guarded the cedar forest in the Lebanon. The supreme god Anu declared either Gilgamesh or Enkidu must die for killing Humbaba and Enlil argues that it should be Enkidu who is to die. The Sun god Shamash attempts to defend Enkidu claiming the slayings were done with Shamash's approval. In other words Enkidu's death sentence is an unjust one, he is not deserving of the sentence. Anu's and Enlil's wills triumph and Enkidu dies. Enkidu was modeled in the image of Anu and it is Anu who announced that either Enkidu or Gilgamesh must die for the slayings, so the god Anu that Enkidu was "created in the image of" also "decreed his death," just as Adam, created in the image of God, is given a death sentence by his God as well. It is worth noting here that Enlil who argues for Enkidu's death, in other myths is associated with creating man at Nippur to work in his garden and in yet another myth he sends a flood to destroy all of mankind. I understand Enlil is but one of several gods who was transformed in Yahweh-Elohim who condemened a naked man of Eden to death, created man to serve in his garden in Eden and who sent a Flood to destroy mankind.

Feeling sorry for himself, knowing he is to soon die, Enkidu curses the Harlot, blaming her for robbing him of his innocence at the watering hole in edin the steppe, and thereby setting off a chain reaction of events leading to his meeting Gilgamesh and slaying the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba. This has been recast in Genesis as God cursing Eve for encouraging Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit. Enkidu's curse is that Shamhat will be abused by men in her role as a harlot and will never know a family life with a husband, home and children. This has been recast as Eve becoming a wife and mother, but subject to a man's control.

Thompson on Enkidu's "loss of innocence" at the hands of Shamhat:

"he had lost the purity of his body...For the loss of innocence, see Loisy, Mythes 124..."

(p. 73. Column IV. 6, 26. R. Campbell Thompson. The Epic of Gilgamish, Text, Transliteration, and Notes. Oxford University Press. 1930)

Perhaps Enkidu's "loss of innocence" has been recast as Adam and Eve "losing their innocence" (not knowing it is wrong to be naked) in the Garden of Eden?

Shamash defended the Harlot and refused to carryout Enkidu's curse. He reminded Enkidu the Harlot had done him good, introducing him to fine food and drink, causing him to cover his nakedness with a fine robe and introduced him to Gilgamesh his comrade in arms. A chastened Enkidu then pronounces a blessing for the Harlot. This has been recast in Genesis as God cursing the naked woman of Eden, whereas in the original story the naked woman of edin (Shamhat) was _defended_ by her god, it being an "ingrate formerly naked man of edin" (Enkidu) who _unjustly_ cursed her; she is then a "victim" of an _unjust curse_ but unlike Eve her god came to her defense instead of cursing her!

Enkidu's sexual _desire_ for the naked woman at edin's watering hole was his "undoing." This has been recast in Genesis as Eve's "desire for her husband" to be her "undoing," she will be under his control. This a reversal or inversion of motifs in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Instead of man (Enkidu) being undone by his own sexual desire and thereby falling under a woman's powers of persuasion it will be a woman (Eve) who will be undone by her sexual desire and her powers of persuasion over her mate will be taken away from her by God and she will be subject to man's control instead of she controlling man.

The naked woman's (Shamhat's) persuasive power over the naked man of edin (Enkidu), causing him to eat food he initially balked at, persuading him to leave the watering hole in edin, persuading him to cover his nakedness has been recast in Genesis as Man (Adam) taking power over womankind, she will obey him and be under his power, no more will she have power of persuasion over man (another inversion of motifs in the Epic of Gilgamesh).

Eve is portrayed offering to Adam a forbidden fruit. Shamhat is told to unrobe and expose her naked breasts to Enkidu causing him to lust after her and thus mate with her. Could her breasts be the "fruit" offered Enkidu, forbidden  because God doesn't condone mating with harlots? The Song of Solomon praises a maiden's breasts as fruit for her lover to enjoy. That is to say perhaps Shamhat's breasts were recast as forbidden fruit for the naked man of edin?

Song of Solomon 7:1-14 RSV

"...O queenly maiden...You are stately as a PALMTREE, and YOUR BREASTS ARE LIKE ITS CLUSTERS. I say I will climb the PALM TREE and lay hold of its branches. O may YOUR BREASTS BE LIKE CLUSTERS OF THE VINE, and the scent of your breath like APPLES, and your kisses like the best WINE...let us go into the the vinyards...see whether the vines have budded, whether GRAPE BLOSSOMS have opened and the POMENGRANATES are in bloom. There I will give you my love...I would give you spiced WINE to drink, the juice of MY POMENGRANATES...Under the APPLE TREE I AWAKENED YOU...O you who dwell in the gardens...Make haste my beloved and be like a gazelle or young stag upon the MOUNTAINS OF SPICES."

Ishtar (Shamhat's patron goddess) propositions Gilgamesh for sex asking for the "fruit" of his body:

"Glorious Ishtar raised an eye at the beauty of Gilgamesh:
"Come, Gilgamesh, be thou (my) lover!
Do but grant me of thy fruit,
Thou shalt be my husband and I will be thy wife."

(p. 51. James B. Pritchard. Editor. The Ancient Near East, An Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press. 1958)

Could Enkidu's mating with Shamhat be seen as he partaking of her "fruit" (a euphemism for having sex)? Notice that after having had sated himself on her "ripeness" he is told he now possesses wisdom and is wise like a god, echoing Adam's partaking of Eve's forbidden fruit and thereby acquring wisdom, the knowledge of good and evil. What Enkidu has acquired is carnal knowledge of a woman. After sex, she compliments him for his returning to her instead of fruitlessly chasing after the gazelles who have fled from him. She tells him he is handsome and wise like a god, he should give up life with the beasts, a better life awaits him with civilized man in Uruk. Her compliments, congratulating him on his new-found "wisdom" in returning to her, is enhanced when he excercises this wisdom and agrees to abandon his beasts and accompany her to Uruk, whereupon he is given some of her clothing, realizing then that it wrong to be naked. I suspect the "fruit" offered Adam by Eve is a "veiled" sexual innuendo of the "fruit" or "ripeness" Shamhat presented to Enkidu, sex (or her breasts).

"The lass beheld him, the savage-man,
The barbarous fellow from the depths of the steppe:
There he is, O lass!  Free thy breasts,
Bare thy bosom that he may possess thy ripeness!
Be not bashful! Welcome his ardor!...
The lass freed her breasts, bared her bosom,
And he possessed her ripeness.
She was not bashful as she welcomed his ardor...
[The harlot] says to him, to Enkidu:
Thou art [wi]se, Enkidu, art become like a god!
Why with the wild creatures dost thou roam over the steppe?"

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

Foster (Professor of Assyriology at Yale University) on erotic talk between two lovers, Nabu and Tashmetu, using sexual innuendos alluding to gardens and the plucking of  fruit:
"These lines are lover's talk between Nabu and Tashmetu on the occasion of their marriage rite."

""Why, why are you so adorned, [my] Tashmetu?"
'So I can [go] to the garden with you, my Nabu.'
"Let me go to the garden...
"Let me go again to the exquisite garden...
I would see with my own eyes the plucking of your fruit...
Bind your nights to the garden and to the Lord,
Bind your nights to the exquisite garden,
Let my Tashmetu come with me to the garden...
May she see with her own eyes the plucking of my fruit..."

(p. 345. "Love Lyrics of Nabu and Tashmetu." Banjamin R. Foster. From Distant Days, Myths, Tales, and Poetry of Ancient Mesopotamia. Bethesda, Maryland. CDL Press. 1995)

The Hebrews, apparently, somewhat similarly to the above Mesopotamian verses, suggest Fruitfulness is associated with Adam and Eve having sex and progeny:

Genesis 1:27-28

"So God created man in his own image...and said to them "be FRUITFUL and multiply, and fill the earth..."

Genesis 1: 29

"And God said, "Behold, I have given you EVERY PLANT yielding seed which is upon the face of the earth, and EVERY TREE with seed in its FRUIT; you shall have them for food..."

Micah speaks of a child as a "fruit":

Micah 6:6-8 RSV

"With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on HIgh ? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old ? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil ? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the FRUIT of my body for the sin of my soul ? He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

I understand that Adam and Eve are recasts of Enkidu and Shamhat. I suspect the Genesis account is alluding in veiled sexual innuendos to the sexual mating of Enkidu with Shamhat. We are told Adam and Eve acquire "knowledge" of good and evil after eating of the fruit, later Adam "KNOWS" Eve, his wife and she bears him a son called Cain. According to Professor Tigay, the Hebrew word "know" can also have sexual connotations, meaning to "have sex with." The Hebrews were fond of word punnings and innuendoes, words with double meanings for those in the audience who possessed a mastery of the language and the many different "veiled" meanings of words.

Enkidu and Shamhat eventually die _after_ leaving edin whereas Adam and Eve eventually die _after_ leaving `eden (Eden).

Shamash the sun-god, a patron of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, defends Enkidu from the death sentence pronounced by the god Anu and remonstrates against Enlil's choice of Enkidu as being the one who must die. Shamash defends Enkidu declaring him _innocent_ in killing the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba the guardian the gods' cedar forest, for Shamash encouraged them and was their protector or patron. Enlil is infuriated and accuses Shamash as being their constant companion and defender.

Shamhat the Harlot-priestess was "used" by men to their own ends, she was a pawn. Enkidu's "undoing" or "fall" was because of his own sexual desire which Gilgamesh and the Hunter, being men subject to sexual desires, understood all too well and exploited. Enkidu did _not_ deserve to die according to the sun-god Shamash. Shamhat did _not_ deserve Enkidu's curse, as noted again by Shamash; she had done great good for the naked savage of edin feeding him food fit for a god and giving him a fine robe to cover his nakedness and improving his life in civilized Uruk causing him to live like a god instead of roaming edin the steppe with wild animals as a naked ignorant savage unaware it is wrong to be naked. So to a degree, Enkidu and Shamhat were "victims" of forces more powerful than themselves.

Genesis' Serpent in the Garden of Eden tells Eve she will become like a god, possessing knowledge if she eats of the forbidden fruit. I suspect these words were originally spoken in somewhat different context by Shamhat to Enkidu, who apparently praises Enkidu for the reason, wisdom and understanding he has acquired after his exposure to her, likening him to being like a god. That is to say, Enkidu was naked and unaware it was wrong to be naked until he came into contact with Shamhat, who had disrobed to entice him to have sex with her and thereby separate him from the companionship of his wild animals the gazelles.

After exposure to the naked woman at edin's wateringhole the naked man of edin is described as "now" having reason, wide understanding, possessing wisdom like a god, motifs that I understand were recast by the Hebrews and assimilated to the encounter between Adam, Eve and the Serpent in Eden's Garden. 

After acquring knowledge, a naked Adam and Eve clothe themselves and are expelled from Eden. After acquiring knowledge, reason and wide understanding the naked Enkidu and Shamhat clothe themselves and leave the Sumerian edin. 

Please note: According to Professor Andrew George the Akkadian word for steppe, plain, open country or wild is serutseru, but _sometimes_ in the Epic of Gilgamesh the scribe uses the Sumerian logogram edin _in lieu_ of seru

So it is my understanding that Genesis' notion of a naked Adam and Eve in a Garden _in_ Eden is recalling the naked Enkidu and Shamhat at the watering hole in edin. 

Please also note that some scholars alternately render Sumerian edin as eden. 

Some scholars have suggested that because Sumerian eden (edin) bears a resemblance to Hebrew `eden that perhaps Genesis' Eden is derived from this Sumerian word. In otherwords eden (edin) and `eden are understood to be _homonyms_, similar sounding and somewhat similarly spelled words, but with different meanings. Eden/Edin means "back" and by analogy refers to the uncultivated land that "backs" the irrigated lands about Mesopotamian cities. So the edin/eden is in a sense the "back-lands," the "open-copuntry," the "wilds." It is my understanding that Genesis' Garden _in_ Eden is recollecting the eden/edin where Enkidu (Adam's prototype) and Shamhat (Eve's prototype) mated in the nude with each other, and clothing themselves eventually left eden/edin for Uruk. In otherwords, Genesis' Eden is a recasting of motifs and concepts from the Epic of Gilgamesh and the encounter between Enkidu and Shamhat. Hebrew `eden means "delight, joy, or lushness," a place "well-watered" according to various scholars. Two different words, Sumerian eden/edin and Hebrew `eden each are applied to a geographical area in their respective texts, the Epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis and both of these regions are associated with a story of how a naked man falls for a naked woman, coming under her power as she succeeds in separating him from his animal companions, introducing him to new found knowledge, that it is wrong to be naked and clothed, they both leave edin/eden the Hebrew `eden.

So what's new here?

Although numerous scholars have suggested motifs associated with Enkidu and Shamhat have been apparently recast and assimilated to Adam and Eve, I am _unaware_ of any scholar making the association of Eden with the eden/edin logogram used _in lieu_ of the Akkadian word seru or tseru appearing in the Epic of Gilgamesh, where the naked man and naked woman engage in sex and clothe themselves before leaving eden/edin

If someone in the professionally published literature ( Journals, Manuscripts, Monographs, or Books) has already remarked on the appearance of the Sumerian logogram eden/edin in the Epic of Gilgamesh being what is behind Eden's appearance in Genesis I would appreciate hearing from you dear reader "to set the record straight" and "give credit where credit is due." Please provide the author's name, publication, date of publication, place of publication and I will be pleased to post this information on this website.

Genesis 3:4-5 RSV

"But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil...the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons."

Perhaps the notion that Adam "takes a fall" because of Eve recalls Enkidu's "kneeling or sitting at the feet" of Shamhat after being rejected by his animal companions (cf. the words in red below). Eve is created of Adam's side, Hebrew tselah which can mean "rib, side, or stumble" perhaps Enkidu's inability to run with his animals after sex is such an allusion, he stumbles, unable to maintain their pace, the sex has drained him of the energy to run with the beasts?

Heidel (1946):

"But he had intelligence, wide was his understanding.
He returned and sat at the feet of the courtesan,
Looking at the courtesan,
And his ears listening as the courtesan speaks,
The courtesan saying to him, to Enkidu:
"Wise art thou, O Enkidu, like a god art thou;
Why dost thou run around with the animals on the steppe?
come, I will lead thee to Uruk, the enclosure...
The place where Gilgamesh is..."

(p. 22.Alexander Heidel. The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels. Chicago & London. The University of Chicago Press. 1946, 1949, 1993)

Sandars paraphrase (1960):

"So he returned and sat down at the woman's feet, and listened intently to what she said. 'You are wise, Enkidu, and now you have become like a god. Why do you want to run wild with the beasts in the hills? Come with me. I will take you to strong-walled Uruk...there Gilgamesh lives..."

(p. 63. N. K. Sandars. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England. Penquin Books. 1960, 1969)

Gardner and Maier (1984):

"Yet he had knowledge, wider mind.
Turned around, Enkidu knelt at the knees of the prostitute.
He looked up at her face,
and as the woman spoke, his ears heard.
The woman said to him, to Enkidu:
"You have become wise, like a god, Enkidu,
Why do you range the wilderness with animals?
Come, let me lead you to the heart of Uruk...
where Gilgamesh lives..."

(p. 78. John Gardner & John MaierGilgamesh Translated From the Sin-Leqiunnunnu Version. New York. Vintage Books. A Division of Random House. 1984. 1985)

Dalley (1989):

"Yet he had acquired judgement (?), had become wiser.
He turned back (?) he sat at the harlot's feet.
The harlot was looking at his expression,
And he listened attentively to what the harlot said.
The harlot spoke to him, to Enkidu,
'You have become [profound] Enkidu, you have become like a god.
Why should you roam open country with wild beasts?
Come, let me take you into Uruk the Sheepfold...
Where Gilgamesh is..."

(p. 56. "Epic of Gilgamesh." Stephanie Dalley. Myths From Mesopotamia, Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh And Others. Oxford & New York. Oxford University Press. 1989, 1991) 

George (1999):

"...but now he had reason, and wide understanding.
He came back and sat at the feet of the harlot,
watching the harlot, observing her features.
Then to the harlot's words he listened intently,
[as Shamhat] talked to him, to Enkidu:

'You are handsome, Enkidu, you are just like a god!
Why with the beasts do you wander the wild?
Come, I will take you to Uruk-the Sheepfold...
where Gilgamesh is..."

(p. 8. "The Standard Version" Andrew George. The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian. London. Penguin Books. 1999)

George (1999) "The Pennsylvania tablet, Babylonian text of the Early Second Millennium B.C":

"While the two of them were together making love,
he forgot the wild where he was born.
For seven days and seven nights
Enkidu was erect and coupled with Shamkatum.
The harlot opened her mouth,
saying to Enkidu:
'As I look at you, Enkidu, you are like a god,
why with the beasts do you wander the wild?
Come, I will lead you to Uruk-the-Town-Square..."

(p. 103. "The Pennsylvania Tablet." Andrew George. The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian. London. Penguin Books. 1999)

Foster (2001):

"But he had gained [reason] and expanded his understanding.
He returned, he sat at the harlot's feet,
The harlot gazed upon his face,
While he listened to what the harlot was saying.
The harlot said to him, to Enkidu:

You are handsome, Enkidu, you are become like a god.
Why roam the steppe with wild beasts?
Come, let me lead you to ramparted Uruk...
The place of Gilgamesh..."

(p. 9. Benjamin R. Foster. The Epic of Gilgamesh. New York & London. W. W. Norton & Company. [A Norton Critical Edition]. 2001)

Please note here that _after_ the naked man of edin (Enkidu) encounters _in edin_ a naked woman (Shamhat), the above verses state he has acquired reason, knowledge, understanding and then after having acquired these traits he is told he is "like a god." He has partaken of her "ripeness" an allusion to ripe fruit's equation with sex, recast as Adam eating of Eve's fruit offering (her body in sex, God telling her to have sex, be fruitful and multiply, just as Shamhat was told by te hunter to have sex with Enkdu letting him possess her ripeness). In other words Eden's forbidden fruit is a recast of Shamhat's ripeness and sex partaken of by Enkidu.

Genesis has the Serpent telling Eve "you will become like God, possessing knowledge of good and evil" when you eat of the forbidden fruit. That is to say reason, knowledge and understanding are associated with being like a god, pretty much similar traits as acquired by Enkidu the naked man of edin. I suspect Genesis' narrator has taken these motifs or statements appearing in the Epic of Gilgamesh and applied to Enkidu (his acquiring knowledge and understanding and being described as being like a god following this event) and given a "new twist" to the scenario, having knowledge of good and evil (acquiring knowledge that it is wrong to be naked) making the naked man and woman of Eden (Adam and Eve) like a God.

Whence the notion Eve is made from Adam's rib? I suspect that again, the Hebrews are putting "new twists" to old myths.
How so? Some myths have man being created in part from the body of a male that can be slain and die! How so? The gods can be slain in the myths and wind up after their deaths in the underworld. The _male_ gods Weila (at Nippur) and Kingu (at Babylon) are slain and their bodies (flesh and blood) are ground into the clay that is man! That is to say a _male's_ body has been used to create man from. The "new twist"? The Hebrews deny Man originates from another male's body parts (the flesh and blood of Weila and Kingu), but they have no problem with having a lowly subordinate woman being created from a male's body parts (Eve from Adam's rib or side). So I suspect Eve's being made of male body parts of a male who can be slain and die, is an allusion to the male gods (Weila and Kingu) who possessed bodies of flesh and blood, who were slain, and their bodies used to create mankind from! The Hebrews appear to be employing "inversions" as they recast the Mesopotamian concepts: In place of a man being created of a male god's body parts they have instead a woman made of a human male's body part. They deny a male god's body parts were use to create Adam (mankind). In so doing they takeaway from man the fact that he is semi-divine in that a god's spirit animates him via the god's fleh and blood that animates an originally lifeless clay.

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 /`/ `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, or desert," 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. Please click here for A.R. Millard's article on the "Etymology of Eden" (1984) and why some scholars reject Akkadian edinu being what `eden was derived from.

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

(1) Eden (`eden) is  either 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), or perhaps a homonym or homophone confusion and morphing. 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) Motifs associated with the edin such as man'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) The motifs of a "fall" and Adam giving up animal companionship for a naked woman, Eve, in Eden is met with Enkidu's encounter with Shamhat in the edin.

(4) 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) Enkidu blamed Shamhat for his loss of innocence and impending death and cursed her (recast as Yahweh-Elohim cursing Eve for persuading Adam to eat the forbidden fruit).

(6) The 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).

((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.

Hence I would argue that the objection made by some scholars that Akkadian "edinu" being a "rare" word and therefore it did not survive in Akkadian literature to become Hebrew `eden is a "flawed methodology." 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.


                                              Parallels and Contrasts between Shamhat and Eve:
Shamhat as Eve's Prototype:                                             Genesis' new twists: recastings, inversions, 
Shamhat is instructed to have sex with Enkidu.                     Recast as God telling Eve "be fruitful and multiply"
                                                                                         (have sex with Adam).
Shamhat is brought by the Hunter to mate with Enkidu.         Recast as God bringing Eve to "mate with" Adam.
Shamhat's duty is to ensnare and undo Enkidu,                    Recast as Eve supplanting Adam's animal companions.
separating him from his animal companions.
Enkidu is a "created" being, made of a pinch of clay               Recast as God creating Adam of dust and placing him in 
by the goddess Aruru. He has no mother or father,                  `eden. Adam, like Enkidu, is a "created" being. Like 
and roams naked the steppe (edin) with herbivore                   Enkidu he is not a flesheater and no danger to `eden's 
gazelles for companions. He eats grass with them so            animals. His animal companions, like Enkidu's, are 
neither are a danger to each other.                                       herbivores and offer him no harm.
A naked Enkidu mates with a naked Shamhat.                     Recast as Adam and Eve mating and having Abel and Cain.
Enkidu is forsaken by his animal companions                       Recast as Adam forsaking his animal companions for Eve.
because he has had sex with Shamhat.
Enkidu is called the wild man of the steppe                           Recast as Adam meeting Eve in a location called `eden.
The Akkadian scribe uses the Sumerian logogram                 Note: seri, seru, tse-ri and edin both appear in the
_edin_ for steppe instead of the Akkadian word _seru_           Epic of Gilgamesh and are used interchangeably by the
when Shamhat beholds him at the wateringhole                     Akkadian author or scribe.
according to Alexander Heidel's Akkadian
transcription (1949) and Professor Andrew George's
above transliterations rendering "steppe" or 
"the wild" as the Sumerian logogram EDIN which was
_commonly_ and 'mechanically' used in lieu of the
Akkadian word seri, seru, tseru in various compositions
according to Professor George.
Edin means uncutivated steppe or plain in Sumerian.             Recast as `eden meaning DELIGHT or 'place well-watered'
At Edin's watering hole Enkidu's "heart's DELIGHT"               according to Professor Umberto Cassuto (cf. his 
is the WATER according to Professor E.A. Spieser's             commentary on Genesis. Vol. 1. Magness Press. Hebrew 
translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh.                                     University, Jerusalem. 1944 in Hebrew. English versions: 
Shamhat obeying the Hunter disrobes and the sight of           Recast as Adam and Eve being naked in 'eden and having 
of her naked body causes Enkidu to mate with her                 _no shame_, they have been instructed by God to have 
_neither is ashamed of each other's nakedness_ as they        sex: "be fruitful and multiply." Adam "knows" Eve (has .
have sex with each other for 6 days and 7 nights in edin.        "sex" with her).
Enkidu sleeps (has sex) with the Harlot, to satisfy                 Recast as: "Therefore a man leaves his father and mother 
his sexual urge to procreate.                                                and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Enkidu realizes the woman is someone he can share            Recast as the animals not being a fit helpmeet or 
his heart and emotions with, the beasts cannot                      companion for Adam (someone to share his thoughts and 
fulfill this human need. Shamhat is "one who knows his          emotions with).
heart, a friend."
After sleeping with (having sex with) Shamhat for                   Recast as Adam "sleeping" in `eden then being presented 
6 days and 7 nights Enkidu rises from her side to                  Eve who is taken from his rib or side.
rejoin the gazelles.
Enkidu possesses Shamhat's "ripeness" and breasts,           Recast as Eve offering "forbidden fruit" to Adam.
which she has been instructed to offer him.
Enkidu comes to realize his beasts have forsaken him          Recast as Eve having persuasive power over Adam.
and he _decides to return_ to the Harlot. She
compliments him on his _decision to return_ to her
telling him he is "_wise like a god_." She flatters him           The "fruit" that was good to behold and make one wise like a 
by telling him he could lead a better life in Uruk                    god recalls the forbidden fruit of Shamhat's naked body. 
over roaming the edin with beasts. He agrees to 
accompany her to Uruk.        
She thereupon shares her clothes with him, causing            After partaking of "forbidden fruit" Adam and Eve clothe        
him to realize it is wrong to be naked.                                 themselves, realizing they are naked.

The naked man (Enkidu) of edin learns _after_ his                Recast as Adam _after_ being exposed to Eve, learning 
exposure to the naked woman at edin's wateringhole            it is wrong to be naked in `eden.
it is wrong to be naked.
After naked Enkidu's exposure to a naked Shamhat            Recast as the Serpent telling Eve she will aquire wisdom and
he is described as now having "reason," "knowledge,"         knowledge about good and evil, becoming like God if she eats
"wide understanding," and following his acquisition of          the forbidden fruit. God declares of Adam and Eve, "Behold, 
these traits he is declared to be "like a god."                      the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil..." 
                                                                                      (Ge 3:22)
Enkidu is persuaded to leave edin with Shamhat                   Recast as Adam and Eve clothing themselves in `eden 
she covering his nakedness with her clothes.                        before their departure from `eden's garden.
Enkidu is presented in the edin _a change of clothes_,          Recast as God providing _a change of clothes_ for Adam 
by the shepherds, he receives a robe fit for a king                  and Eve in `eden before their leaving `eden's garden.
to replace Shamhat's clothes which he wears.
Enkidu balks at the bread and alcoholic drink offered            Recast as God telling Adam _not to eat_ of the Tree of 
him in the edin by the shepherds for he knows only              Knowledge of Good and Evil in `eden.
the eating of grass and drinking of water with his 
animal companions the gazelles.
Shamhat urges Enkidu to eat the bread and drink the            Recast as Eve urging Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit.
alcoholic drink (it is rude of a guest to refuse his                    Adam says: "The woman _gave me_ the fruit and I ate."
host's act of courtesy). Enkidu consumes the items.
Shamash the sun-god says that the Harlot "_fed_"
Enkidu bread fit for a god. Because the Harlot is a                Recast as Eve being the _"first"_ to eat  forbidden fruit, _then_ 
city-dweller she had consumed bread and alcoholic              Adam follows her example and urging.
drink "first" _long before_ encouraging Enkidu to do so.

Enkidu does _not_know_ the eating of bread or the              Recast as Adam acquiring "forbidden knowledge" _after_ 
drinking of alcoholic beverages. He balks and it is                 contact with a naked woman in Eden. After contact with Eve 
the formerly naked woman of edin who is                             Adam "knows" the eating of forbidden fruit and that it is 
"_responsible" for his acquistion of knowledge_,                   wrong to be naked and wears clothing. Adam's eating of 
causing him to "know" the eating of bread and drinking         bread _sequentially follows_ his "exposure" to Eden's naked 
of alcoholic beverages, items consumed by the gods           woman, and Enkidu's eating of bread, like Adam, 
who are clothed and civilized man who serves the gods        _sequentially follows_ his exposure to edin's formerly naked 
in the cities in the midst of the edin. The naked man of        woman, Shamhat. So, in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in 
edin _does not know_ the wearing of clothes or the             Genesis, a naked man comes to eat bread _after_ being in 
eating of bread and drinking of alcohol.                               contact in the Edin/Eden with a naked woman.
Upon consuming the bread and alcoholic beverages              Recast as Adam consuming the forbidden fruit and 
Enkidu is declared to be "like a human." His days as a          thereupon "becoming like a god" knowing good and evil, 
beast are over, he has become human by eating food            desiring like a God to wear clothing and not be naked (We 
beasts do not consume. The gods eat bread, drink                are not told that God wanders about in `eden's garden in a 
alcoholic beverages and wear clothes, none of these             state of nakedness like Adam).
activities are done by beasts. So Enkidu has become 
"like a human/man" in that he lives like a civilized city
man, who "lives like a god," wearing clothing like a god,
knowing like a god it is wrong to be naked; eating bread 
like a god, drinking alcohol like a god, working in 
irrigated city-gardens like a god.
Enkidu and Shamhat leave the shepherd's camp in                Recast as Adam and Eve being expelled by an outraged 
the edin to dwell in the city of Uruk, rendered by                    God from the garden _in_ `eden to eventually settle in cities 
by the Sumerian logoram Unug.                                            built by man (Cain's city of Enoch in the land of Nod east of 
Enkidu slays Huwawa the guardian of the Lebanese              Recast as Adam accessing a forbidden tree for its fruit and 
Cedar Mountain who's trees are denied to man with a            being punished by his being expelled. The guardian 
sword. It is possible for man to slay a demi-god appointed     Cherubim with a  flaming sword bar entry into the garden to 
to guard a god's sacred trees and access the trees.              deny access to a tree. God's tree guardian (a Cherub) 
                                                                                          _cannot_ be slain and access had   to forbidden trees by                                                                                               man. (An inversion has occurred)
Enkidu _blames_ Shamhat for his loss of innocence and        Recast as Adam _blaming_ Eve for his transgression when 
impending death sentence announced by Anu whose             God in whose image he was made confronts him with a 
image he was created in.                                                     death sentence: "you will return to dust" (cf. Ge 3:12, 19)
Enkidu learns he is to die and curses Shamhat for                Recast as God cursing Eve for her complicity in persuading 
robbing him of his innocence in edin.                                    Adam in `eden to eat the forbidden fruit.
Shamhat is to be abused by men in her role as a harlot,        Recast as God cursing Eve with painful childbirth as Adam's 
subject to their lusts. She will never be a mother and wife.      wife.
Enkidu's "undoing" was his lust or desire for the                   Recast as Eve's undoing will be her "desire" for her mate,
beautiful naked harlot. He fell under her power, she               no more will she have power of persuasion over a man. He 
persuaded him to abandon his animal companions,               will rule over her. An inversion has occurred: Man's sexual 
leave edin, wear clothes, eat food forbidden to the                 desire which caused him "to fall" under a woman's power will 
animals of edin to consume (food reserved for the                  now be reversed by God: A woman's desire for her man will 
gods' table: bread and alcoholic beverages).                          make her subordinate.
Shamash the sun-god refuses to curse Shamhat, he             God does not defend Eve, he curses her. God is outraged 
upbraids Enkidu telling him she has done him only good:       when upon seeing a clothed Eve and Adam he realizes they 
she _fed_ him food fit for a god, gave him a robe fit for a         now know it is wrong to be naked and that they have eaten 
king to cover his nakedness, gave him Gilgamesh as a           of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Contra Shamash 
companion. A chastened Enkidu gives the Harlot a                who looked with favor on the naked man's being clothed in 
blessing.                                                                            edin, Yahweh-Elohim in a rage expells the clothed man from
                                                                                         his garden in the `eden. 
Enkidu curses the Hunter who brought Shamhat to             Recast as the earth being cursed, on Adam's behalf by 
ensnare him and accomplish 'his fall'. The Hunter's             God; the earth will not easily yield her bounty anymore to 
profits are _to be diminshed_ his hard work will be              Adam's efforts, his profits will _be diminished_. Brambles 
be in vain, animals will escape his snares and traps.          and thorns will grow in the place of wheat.
Enkidu's _eating of bread_ caused a transformation,          Recast as a curse on Adam, who will in the sweat of his face
he is now "like a god" in that _gods eat bread_,                 "_eat bread_" after being expelled from `eden. Like Enkidu, 
drink alcolholic beverages, are clothed, know it                  Adam becomes "like a god" too, in that he now knows it is       is wrong to be naked, and live in cities. The                       wrong to be naked just like God who knew it was wrong to be 
naked beasts of edin know none of this.                            naked (God not being portrayed as being naked in `eden's     
It is assumed that as Shamhat is portrayed as being an       Recast as Adam and Eve eventually dying after leaving 
ordinary woman eventually she will die. Enkidu's death         `eden's garden.
is mentioned. They left the edin (Sumerian: 
'uncultivated' steppeland/plain) to live in Uruk. So their
deaths occurred _after_ having left edin.
The gods' gardens are city-gardens. They are not called        Recast as a God's garden _in_ `eden. It is not a city-garden.
edin. They lie in the midst of the edin, the                            The first city is made by Cain not God. Genesis is denying
uncultivated steppe/plain abuts them. The gods                    The Mesopotamian notion that gods' gardens are city-
created their city-gardens and cities to live in                        gardens. Genesis denies "many" gods' gardens exist in the 
before they created man to care for their gardens.                 edin, there is only "one" God and only "one" God's garden in
The gods tire of building cities and maintaining their              Recast as a "denial" of Mesopotamian notions: God did not 
city-gardens, the work is burdensome and grievous,              create a city to live in and a city-garden to provide food for 
so they make man to be their slave, he will toil in                  himself. He did not make man to bear greivous burdensome 
their gardens and present the produce for them to eat            agricultural toil in his garden. Burdensome toil is after man's 
that they might have an eternal rest from toil.                        being expelled from God's garden, denying Mesopotamian 
                                                                                         beliefs that from the very firstmoment of being placed in a 
                                                                                         god's city-garden the toil was grievous for man.
In the Mesopotamian myths the gods achieve                      Recast as God _resting_ after having created man (Ge 1:26; their _rest_ from grievous toil _after_ creating                        2:2-3). 
Man will  till the ground making up the gods'                         Recast as Adam being tasked by God with tilling the ground
city-gardens and fields giving rest to the gods.                      in his garden of Eden (Ge 2:5, 15).

Mesopotamian cylinderseals show naked man                      A naked Adam tills God's garden.
tilling the gods' garden with an ox-drawn plow,                       
other scenes show naked man serving beverages                  Adam is portrayed as God's naked servant.
to clothed gods.
The gods would _never_ expell man from their                      Recast as Yahweh-Elohim expelling man from his garden. 
city-gardens, they need him to bear the grievous                  He does not need man to feed him. He did not make man to 
toil they themselves once bore.                                           bear grievous toil in his garden in order to achieve "his rest."
Inanna (Ishtar) fused with Shamhat (cf. above)               Genesis' new twists: recastings, inversions, 
Inanna has the Sumerian epithet nin edin meaning               Eve might be construed as Eden's "lady."
the 'lady of edin."
Inanna eats of cedar/pine Tree (consuming its                     Eve acquires knowledge by eating of a fruit tree. She has 
cedar/pine  nuts?) to acquire knowledge about how to          been commanded by God to be fruitful and multiply, have sex 
make love and have sex with her bridegroom.                       with Adam.
Inanna is the bride of Dumuzi, who bears the                       Adam and Eve are understood to be a man and wife in eden.
Sumerian epithet mulu edin "lord of edin".
Inanna says to her brother Utu the sun-god                          Eve encourages Adam to eat with her fruit bestowing 
"let us eat", "I do not know how to have sex."                       knowledge.
Inanna is held responsible for her husband's death                Eve is held as responsible for her husband's future death in 
in the edin.                                                                        Eden.
Inanna and Dumuzi both die.                                               Eve and Adam both die.
Inanna and Dumuzi both are brought back to life                    Christianity understands mankind as man and woman will 
and once again live in the edin.                                             be brought back to life by Christ and live again in Eden, if 
Inanna possesses a garden in the edin with                          Eve and Adam are associated with a garden in Eden.
her husband Dumuzi, near Uruk.
Inanna is restored to fleshly life after 3 days and                   Christ after 3 days and 3 nights is to be resurrected and be 
3 nights in the underworld to the edin at Uruk.                       "lord" of an earthly eden at Jerusalem.
Dumuzi, mulu edin, "the lord of edin" is                                Christ is the "lord of Eden" and he to is resurrected to life.
restored to life after his resurrection from the                         Like Dumuzi, Christ is referred to as a Good Shepherd who
underworld. He returns to his sheepfold in edin.                     offers his 'sheep' a life in eden after their death and resurrection.
Inanna and Dumuzi are a part of the so-called                      Israel and Judah's prophets rail against the Queen of Heaven 
Queen of Heaven" Cult in Lower Mesopotamia.                     Cult observed at Solomon's Temple up until Jerusalem's fall 
                                                                                         to Babylon.
Inanna is the patroness of whores, prostitutes,                    Israel and Judah's prophets rail against prostitution (male and 
homosexuals (male and female) who sell their                     female) in Solomon's Temple and declare God will not accept 
services to raise revenue for Uruk's temple.                         as an offering or revenue source for the Temple the wages of 
                                                                                       these prostitutes.
Inanna is the "Queen of Heaven."Catholic Christians make Jesus' mother, Mary
                                                                                      the "Queen of Heaven."
Inanna is the patroness of temple eunuchs as well             Jesus tell his followers that some may want to become  
as prostitutes. She also causes men to act like                 eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. Catholic Priests  
women and women to act like men (trans-sexuals?).          become spiritual eunuchs taking vows of celibacy. Neither God 
                                                                                      the Father or Christ ever engage in sex nor have sexual urges 
                                                                                      (like eunuchs).
Dumuzi against his will gives up his life to be a                  Christ willingly lays down his life to become the surrogate in 
surrogate in the underwolrd for his bride                             Hell for his "bride" the Church.
Inanna, efecting her resurrection and return to edin.

The Queen of Heaven cult continues into Roman               Christianity's emphasis on being a "eunuch" for the Kingdom of
times in Mesopotamia and perhaps among Jews               Heaven's sake suggests for me, it has recast certain motifs
in Egypt (cf. Jeremiah); Egyptian Jews visited Jerusalem    from the Queen of Heaven cult found at Jerusalem's Temple in 
in Roman times perhaps keeping alive the Queen of           a series of inversions: Inanna's 3 days and nights and 
Heaven Cult at Jerusalem into Christian times?                 resurrection fused with that of Dumuzi's resurrection becomes  
                                                                                     recast as Jesus' death and resurrection.

How did motifs originally associated with the Sumerian goddess Inanna, "the lady of heaven" come to be combined with motifs associated with Shamhat and later assimilated to Eve?

Some scholars understand that there once existed in Sumer a holy ritual celebrating Inanna's marriage to Dumuzi who was a king of Uruk. This marriage was "acted out" before the people by Uruk's king assuming the role of Dumuzi and one of Inanna's harlot-priestesses assuming the role of Inanna. They were "married" and a bed was prepared for the two actors to have sex upon in Inanna's temple. This "act of sex" assured Inanna's blessings upon her people. She would bless them with abundant harvests, numerous healthy children and protection from their national enemies (She was in addition to being a goddess of procreation a goddess of war).

So, Inanna's harlot-priestesses at times did assume the role of their goddess in the sacred marriage ceremony; that is to say the harlot-priestess 'became' Inanna (Akkadian: Ishtar). Here, I suspect, we have a possible explanation for how motifs originally associated with Inanna/Ishtar: (1) her Sumerian epithet nin edin ("Lady of Edin"), (2) her eating of a tree in the edin to acquire knowledge, (3) her husband (Dumuzi) living in the edin being slain because she chooses him to be her surrogate in the underworld, handing him over the demons, came to be transferred to her harlot-priestesses who assumed her role in the Sacred Marriage (Which some scholars render into Greek as the Hieros Gamos). So motifs associated with Shamhat: (1) her nakedness in edin at the watering hole, (2) her bringing about "the fall" of a naked man (Enkidu) in edin via sex and persuasion, (3) her leaving edin with him, both being clothed, were merged with Inanna's motifs to be eventually recast as Eve eating forbidden fruit from a tree in Eden and bringing about a naked Adam's "Fall" via her powers of persuasion. That is to say, the Bible's notion that Adam and Eve are a "husband and wife" in Eden is recalling Dumuzi and Inanna as "husband and wife" in the edin near Uruk. They have sex, and this act of sex assures "abundant fruitfullness" for Uruk's crops and people, whence perhaps the biblical statement: "Be Fruitful and Multiply." So, Shamhat "became" Inanna/Ishtar when she played the role of Dumuzi's wife at Uruk, assimilating in that role _all_ of the Sumerian and Akkadian motifs associated with the Queen of Heaven who was called at Nippur nin edin "the lady of edin," who ate of a tree growing on the earth to acquire knowledge. Of interest here, is that the Queen of Heaven Cult and its bridegroom of edin Dumuzi, rendered in the Bible as Tammuz was observed by Israel and Judah at the Temple of Solomon right up and into the Babylonian Exile of 587 B.C. (cf. Jeremiah 44:15-26; Ezekiel 8:14).

The kings at Ur also participated in the sacred Hieros Gamos and we are told that Abram (Abraham) dwelt at Ur of the Chaldees before taking up residence later at Haran. Perhaps it is Abram/Abraham who recast the motifs originally associated with Inanna/Ishtar assimilating them to Shamhat to create a new story repudiating, denying and challenging the Mesopotamian explanations regarding the origin of man and his purpose in life and how he came to serve gods in their city-gardens in the edin of Sumer? That is to say Abraham who once was a polytheist at Ur of the Chaldees who worshipped the many gods and goddesses of the edin, later repudiated them and embraced only _one_  God, Yahweh-Elohim of the Garden in Eden.

Please click here for additional parallels between Adam and Enkidu and Shamhat and Eve.

Please click here and scroll down for a map showing the watering hole in the edin where I believe that Enkidu and Shamhat met each other.

Please click here for Adapa of the Adapa and the Southwind myth being fused with Enkidu into Adam.

A Police Detective tries to establish a "motive" for the "crime scene." In this case the "crime scene" and its "motive" is WHY DID THE HEBREWS DO THIS? WHY DID THEY SEEK TO REFUTE, CHALLENGE AND DENY the Mesopotamian concepts about primeval man's appearance in the edin (Eden) and his relationship with his creators? 

THE ANSWER: The city-dwellers of Lower Mesopotamia (Nippur, Uruk, Eridu and Ur in Sumer) had concocted these myths, they DESPISED and FEARED the nomads of edin, so the nomads of edin (Terah, Nahor and Abraham) took these myths and turned them upside down and on their ear via a series of _inversions_ or _reversals_ IN DEFENSE OF THEIR WAY OF LIFE. Tent-dwelling shepherds and nomads were not murderers and despised by God, the descendants of Cain the first muderer and founder of cities were! God did not build a city to dwell in and plant a city-garden for himself and put man in it, his garden was in the eden (edin) "uncultivated steppe." God was a God of the Wilderness (edin/eden). His 'first home" would not be a temple in a city, it would be a humble shepherd's tent, the Holy Tabernacle at Mount Horeb in the midst of the great and terrible wilderness of Sinai where he earlier had revealed himself to Moses while he herded Jethro's sheep! 

I understand that Israel's "origins mythology" is that of NOMADIC HERDERS who have recast the "origins" myths of the city-dwellers of Sumer in order to glorify their way of life as shepherds of the edin. We are told that Israel's fathers were originally polytheists, but through a revelation to Abraham, formerly a resident of Ur of the Chaldees (originally a Sumerian city-state), a new concept emerged about God and his relationship with Man. It is my understanding that Terah, Nahor and Abraham while living in Ur, came to reject the Mesopotamian notions because these urbanites despised and mocked their nomadic herdsman way of life in the edin steppelands.

I understand that the Hebrews' ancestors as "shepherds and tent-dwellers of edin the steppe" (Abraham wanders edin the steppe with sheep, goats and cattle from Ur to Haran, Damascus and Canaan) took the creation of man myths concocted by Mesopotamia's city-dwellers and recast them in order to refute, deny and challenge them. Why? The City-dwellers portrayed the edin steppelands as a place of desolation, fit only for wild animals, and tent-dwelling thieves, brigands and cut-throats. They despised and feared the nomadic tent-dwellers and regarded them as a threat to their way of life. In defense of their way of life (grazing their flocks in the edin steppelands) the Hebrews probably recast the city-dwellers' myths, having a place of desolation (Enkidu's watering hole) become a God's lush garden _in_ the edin, and having the world's first murderer, Cain, founding the first city thereby mocking city life as depraved, cities being full of murderers and thieves. God's heart's delight was not a city-garden it was the remote edin where roamed the wild animals and naked man (Enkidu).

Professor Crawford on the animosity between nomadic herders and settled urbanites or agriculturalists (Emphasis mine):

"However, in essence the population can be divided into those people in permanent settlements, who relied primarily on agriculture and stock rearing for their subsistence, and those who wandered between settlements with their herds of sheep and goats...conflicts arose between the groups, and THE URBAN DWELLERS TENDED TO DESPISE THE NOMADS AS UNCOUTH BARBARIANS."

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

Professor Frymer-Kensky on Israel's religion being indebted to Mesopotamian concepts, and its challenging via "counterpoints" some of its notions:

"Many Israelite ideas about justice, society, and even religion developed from and in counterpoint to Mesopotamian ideas." 

(p. 83. 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)

The _contradicting_ Sumerian myths have man being created at Eridug (Eridu) and at Nibru (Nippur) and the chief gods at these locations are Enlil (Elil) and Enki (Ea). Enlil sends a flood to destroy mankind but is foiled by his brother-god Enki who warns one man (Ziusudra) to build a boat and save the seed of man and animalkind for a new beginning. In Genesis man is created by Yahweh-Elohim and this God sends a universal flood to destroy mankind, but he warns one man to build a boat and save the seed of man and beast for a new beginning. Quite clearly _for me_, Enlil and Enki have been recast as Yahweh-Elohim and their cities, Nippur and Eridu (which lie in the midst of the Sumerian uncultivated steppe or plain called the edin) where man was first created to replace the rebelling Igigi gods, were recast into Genesis' garden _in_ `eden (Ge 2:8). The watering hole Enkidu (Adam) met Shamhat (Eve) three day's journey into the an edin "high plain/steppe" south of Uruk has been fused to the walled city-gardens at Eridu and Nippur to create Genesis' garden _in_ `Eden.

I have proposed that only a person "intimately familiar with" the Mesopotamian myths and their motifs and concepts regarding primal man and his animal companions of the edin could have "cherry-picked" all these motifs and concepts and brought all this together in a series of inversions, refuting, challenging, and denying these myths originally conceived by the city-dwellers of Lower Mesopotamia (Ur of the Chaldees, modern tell Muqayyar and Nippur, Eridu, Uruk), and that individual is most likely Abraham (circa 2100-1800 B.C.?) who was _originally_ a polytheist and thus well-acquainted with Mesopotamian notions about primal man's beginnings, who later repudiated these notions, substituting them with a belief in one God. According to the Bible Abraham was called by God at the age of 75 years to leave Haran for Canaan. Beyond "the river" (the Euphrates) Israel's patriarchs are portrayed as polythesists. Certainly 75 years as a polytheist would give Abraham ample time to be intimately familiar with the Mesopotamian gods and their stories about how man came into being and how a naked primal man without father of mother (Enkidu) was "undone" by a naked woman in the edin (Shamhat) and separated from his animal companions, and in edin he learned it was wrong to be naked, clothing himself before leaving at the woman's urging.

Joshua 24:14 RSV

"...put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve the Lord..."

If the proposals made here "are on the mark," that Adam and Eve are recasts of Enkidu and Shamhat as proposed back in 1963 by Professors Robert Graves and Raphael Patai, and Jastrow back in 1898, what a shame that the world does not know the truth, that the Genesis story about the Garden of Eden is a myth and a later recast of motifs appearing in a much earlier composition, the Epic of Gilgamesh (and the Adapa and the Southwind myth).

What an unjust burden of guilt has afflicted man and womankind over the past 6000 years for the believers in the myth of the Garden of Eden: Jew, Christian, and Moslem. 

What a shame that today Jews, Christians and Moslems are killing each other because of these myths and what a shame that womankind has been marginalized and tyrannized by this Adam and Eve nonsense not only in the past but the present and most likely for hundreds of years yet to come, if the present universal public ignorance of the past 100 years of research is any indicator.

I realize that millions, better yet, billions, now alive will _never_ visit this website or be aware of the published research since 1898 on Adam and Eve being fictional recasts of Enkidu/Adapa and Shamhat/Inanna. But even if the world did know I doubt it would make any difference. I know of several professional scholars who are well-aware of all this information and yet they continue to abide in the faith and beliefs of their ancestors be they Jewish, Christian or Moslem. Why? Probably several reasons. (1) Fear of ostracization, ridicule and acts of violence against themselves and their families by zealous fundamentalists or self-appointed "defenders of the faith"; (2) A desire to be "at peace" with the greater bible-believing society they dwell in: "Let sleeping dogs lie." Don't "stir-up trouble." Live and let live.

10 November 2007 Update:

It has just dawned on me that the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments are reactions to and modifications of the Mesopotamian "Queen of Heaven Cult" which existed at the Temple of Jerusalem up and into the Babylonian Exile of circa 587 B.C.

Inanna in Sumerian means "lady of heaven," the Babylonians knew her as Ishtar and she was identified with the planet Venus, the brighest of the evening stars. She was not only a goddess of procreation and sex but of war as well. 

Shamhat, a Harlot-priestess and devotee of the "Queen of Heaven" brought down the naked man of edin, Enkidu, all this being recast as Adam and Eve and the "fall of man" into sin in Christian belief. 

I have proposed that Dumuzi and his wife Inanna, "the Queen of Heaven are also behind Adam and Eve. They lived in the edin of Kulabba near Uruk. Male and female prostitutes served in Inanna/Ishtar's temple at Uruk raising funds for the temple's upkeep by their having sex with paying Johns.

Christ in the New Testament is presented as a Second Adam. He willing lays down his life for his bride, the Church and his death and time in the Underworld and resurrection promises the same resurrection for his followers. In the Queen of Heaven Cult Dumuzi becomes the _unwilling_ surrogate for his wife, Inanna. He is captured by demons at Inanna's instigtation and taken off to the Underworld as her surrogate. He is allowed a yearly resurrection for six months because his sister Geshtinanna ("lady of the vine"), agrees to be his surrogate in the Underworld for that period of time.

Throughout the Old Testament the Prophets rail at Israel and Judah as unfaithful harlot-wives of Yahweh, worshipping other gods and goddesses, among them the "Queen of Heaven" and her consort Dumuzi, known in the Bible as Tammuz (cf. Jeremiah 7:8, 44:15-25 & Ezekiel 8:14). The Prophets rail at the male and female prostitutes found at the Jersualem Temple and declare that money earned by them for their sexual services are not acceptable to Yahweh for the maintenace of the Temple.

Inanna/Ishtar upon her resurrection from the Underworld (where she remained as a slain goddess for 3 days and 3 nights like Christ) eventually proceeds to the edin of Kulabba (Uruk) where she finds Dumuzi sitting under an apple tree not mourning her death. In anger she gives him up to the demons who accompany her as her surrogate and he is seized and carried off. That is to say Inanna, who bore the epithet nin edin "the lady of edin" who ate of a tree on the earth to acquire knowledge (eating pine/cedar nuts to acquire sexual knowledge) is the "Queen of Heaven" too. So Adam and Eve are recasts of Enkidu and Dumuzi and Eve is a recast of Shamhat and Inanna. 

N. K. Sandars has noted another goddess who bore the Sumerian epithet nin edin, "lady of edin," Geshtinanna, who's name means "Lady of the Vine," or "Vine of Heaven" (cf. p. 180. "Geshtianna" under "Glossary of Names." N. K. Sandars. Poems of Heaven and Hell From Ancient Mesopotamia. London. Penguin Books. 1971). Geshtinanna was the sister of Dumuzi the mulu edin, "lord of edin," and she was his annual surrogate in the Underworld for six months allowing his resurrection to the earth's surface and return to the edin where he roamed once as a shepherd and had an apple-tree garden. He was envisioned as the life-force in plants growing in the edin. Sandars renders edin as meaning "the desert, the waste land, the underworld" (cf. p. 179. "Edin" under "Glossary of Names." N. K. Sandars. Poems of Heaven and Hell From Ancient Mesopotamia. London. Penguin Books. 1971). We have two goddesses who bear the epithet nin edin, "lady of edin," Inanna the wife of Dumuzi and his sister Geshtinanna. Both women "die" and spend time in the Underworld, and both women achieve a resurrection back to life and the earth's surface to reappear again in the edin. Geshtinanna was the wife of Ningishzida, "the lord of the tree of life" (cf. N. K. Sandars, "Gizzida/Ningizzida," p. 180). In the Adapa and the Southwind myth Ningishzida and Dumuzi offer Adapa at Anu's heavenly abode the "bread and water of life" which if consumed will confer immortality on Adapa and consequently all mankind. He turns down the offer having been forwarded by the god he serves on the earth at Eridu called Ea (Sumerian Enki) that it is the "bread and water of death" and he will die if he consumes these items. This myth explains why man does not have immortality, Adapa's god _conned_ him into not eating the food that would give man immortality. I agree with Professors Jastrow, Skinner, Langdon, Graves and Patai that motifs associated with Adapa and Enkidu have been transformed and assimilated to Adam in the Garden of Eden myth.

For Catholic Christians the title "Queen of Heaven" will be awarded to Mary the mother of Christ, who conceived her son out of wedlock, she being pregnant when espoused to her future husband Joseph (cf. Matthew 1:18-19). In other words the "Harlot-wife," Inanna (wife of Dumuzi, and famed for her harlotries with men and animals) has been recast as a Harlot-wife named Mary. Under Mosaic Law Mary would have been stoned to death by her fellow villagers for "playing the harlot," being pregnant with child before being espoused to Joseph, hence the reason he was going to "quietly" put her away (divorce her), realizing she could possibly be stoned to death (cf. De 22:20-22). 

All this is to say that some motifs and events associated with the Queen of Heaven Cult are apparently being _reacted to_ by the Bible's authors via a series of "veiled" or "masked" recastings, transformations and reinterpretions in both the Old and New Testaments. 

Christ the bridegroom becomes a 'second" Adam in Eden who is turn Dumuzi, the mulu edin "lord of edin," the bridegroom of the "Queen of Heaven," Inanna, who was called nin edin "the lady of edin," who "ate of a tree to acquire knowledge." Christ declares he is the "True Vine" (John 15:1) and he goes through a resurrection from the dead as a surrogate for his bride the Church just as Geshtinanna "the Heavenly Vine" was a surrogate for Dumuzi, she too being resurrected from the Underworld and returned back back to the edin on the earth's surface.

 Put another way, all this (the Old and new Testaments), in "veiled terms" (or "masks") is a counter-reaction to one of the most powerful forces existing in Nature, the celebration of the urge to procreate or have sex, in biblical terms: "Be fruitful and multiply," which is what the "Queen of Heaven" Cult was all about. Whereas the Queen of Heaven epitomized the sex urge, Yahweh is her exact opposite, he has no sexual urges and is intolerant of the celebration of the sex urge via Temple activities (prostitution to garner income for the Temple). In the New Testament Christ (who is also portrayed as having no sexual urges) will magnify celibacy over procreation telling his followers some may want to consider being eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt 19:12).

Jeremiah 44:15-25 RSV

"Then all the men who knew that their wives had offered incense to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who dwelt in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: "As for the word which you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, burn incense to the queen of heaven, and pour out libations to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no evil. But since we left off burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine...Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, "Hear the word of the Lord, all of you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying.'We will surely perform our vows that we have made to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out libations to her.' Then confirm your vows and perform your vows!"

If Judah in Exile in Egypt remained loyal to the Queen of Heaven, why not too Judah in Babylonia? Perhaps some of the Jews returning to Judah circa 539 B.C. with Cyrus the Persian's blessings still honored the Queen of Heaven? Perhaps some Jews remaining in Egypt and Babylonia down to Christian times also still honored the Queen of Heaven? Alternately, it may be that the Jews left in Judah to care for the vineyards by the Babylonians kept alive the worship of the Queen of Heaven (cf. 2 Kings 25:12, 22). This would suggest that the parallels in Christianity vis-a-vis the Queen of Heaven cult are Jewish notions that survived the Babylonian Capitivity and survived in Judah right down to New Testament times and were recast and assimilated to Jesus in his role as the Christ and Messiah.

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