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Diurnal Prayers of Diviners (1.116)

(372 words)

Author(s): Foster, Benjamin R.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Hymns and Prayers Commentary As with the immediately preceding selection (above, Text COSB.1.115, note 1), divination (here again by means of the entrails) demanded and relied on a “truthful” answer from the deity. To secure such an answer, the divination priest invoked Shamash and Adad, patrons of divination, here in the company of other great deities. [WWH] Diurnal Prayers of Diviners (1.116) Subject: Exod 40:23; Lev 24:5f; 1 Sam 14:41 O Shamash, I hold up to you seven …

The Shamash Hymn (1.117)

(1,032 words)

Author(s): Foster, Benjamin R.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Hymns and Prayers Commentary This “preceptive hymn” is one of the “literary prayers” of the Babylonians which rise above the level of standard religious texts by their artful poetic construction and diction. Even the length of the composition (precisely 200 lines) seems carefully and deliberately contrived. The object of the poet’s attention is Shamash who, as the all-seeing eye in the daytime sky, plays the …

Prayer to Marduk (1.114)

(375 words)

Author(s): Foster, Benjamin R.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Hymns and Prayers Commentary The harmony and effectiveness of this composition set it apart as a masterpiece. Prayer to Marduk (1.114) ( 1) O warrior Marduk, whose anger is the deluge,Whose relenting is that of a merciful father,I am left anxious by speech unheeded,My hopes are deceived by outcry unanswered,( 5) Such as has sapped my courage,And hunched me over like an aged man.O great lord Marduk, merciful lord!Men, by whatever name,What can they understand by their own efforts?( 1…

Prayer to Gods of the Night (1.115)

(374 words)

Author(s): Foster, Benjamin R.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Hymns and Prayers Commentary The short prayers to the “gods of the night” (i.e., the stars) are among the less stereotypical and more creative liturgical poems of the Akkadian canon. Their individualized variations on a common theme may have been inspired by the setting: typically they were recited (and perhaps composed) at night while praying on the roof of the house and with the surrounding city or countryside asleep; see Oppenheim 1959. [WWH] Prayer to Gods of the Night (1.115) Su…