Psalm 8 – Reign of the Son of Man &The Creation of Humans in the Sumerian Myth of Enkgs

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.

1 2921 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.

2 2926 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

God is wonderful in His works, especially in mankind, singularly exalted by the incarnation of Christ.  Christ as the Son of Man to carry out God’s purpose of image and dominion.

The Creation of Humans in
the Sumerian Myth of Enkgs

3. Nammu is the Sumerian Goddess
Nammu is the Sumerian Goddess of the primordial sea, creator of all things.
She gave birth to An (heaven) and Ki (earth), as well as Enki, the master shaper of the world.

She instructed Enki on how to create man, and helped him to form them from clay.

Her name is also seen as Namma, and epithets for her include “Mother of Everything“, “Mother who gave birth to Heaven and Earth“, and “Primordial Mother“.

The Sumerian myth of Enki and Ninmah describes the creation of humankind and a subsequent contest between these two deities regarding the value and occupation of disabled individuals.

The myth begins when the earth was newly created and the lesser gods were charged with drudge work in service to the greater gods.  Consigned to digging irrigation canals and providing their superiors with food, their toil became so wearisome that they rebelled against the high god Enki. 

The mother goddess, Nammu, encouraged Enki to relieve the gods’ lab or by forming a creature who could do the work for them.  Enki accordingly devised the form of  humanity and commissioned Nammu to create man and woman, using a pinch of clay (cf Gen 2:7).

Afterward Nammu boasted that she could make a person in any form she wished, the Enki replied that he could find compensation for any deformity.

Nammu deliberately fashioned a series of individuals with various disabilities, including a blind man, a cripple, a barren woman and a eunuch.

Enki proceeded to find an honorable occupation for each of these persons in which their handicaps proved no obstacle.  The text ends by praising the superiority of Enki.

4. Enki
Enki, with the Tigris and Euphrates, which spring from his shoulders.
The goat as his symbolic animal at his feet.

Enki is the name of the Sumerian wisdom of God and ruler of the ocean freshwater Abzu .

He is also considered the god of craftsmen, artists and magicians.

His special achievement was the creation of human beings. Enki is with the rivers Euphrates and Tigris shows which spring from his shoulders.

In his hand he holds a vessel swells out of the water.

Him to accompany his symbolic animals like the goat fish (sometimes just a goat or a fish only) and the tortoise.

The boat and a bar with ram’s head are his utensils.

The Biblical presentation of humanity’s creation is quite different from the Sumerian myth.  In the Bible men and women are not an afterthought but the pinnacle of God’s creation, crowned with glory (Ps 8:5). 

Work itself (tending God’s creation and caring for his creatures) is a God-given vocation (Gen 1:26, 28; 2:15), not a form drudgery to relieve God’s burden but a means for participation in his creative work and an opportunity to act as his representatives on Earth.

Human sickness and malformation, far from being the result of some divine game, are a product of humanity’s fallen condition and, in God’s sovereign plan, vehicles through whcih God can display his greatness in the lives of individuals (Jn 9:2-3).

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