Gods and Demons Wiki
Advertisement


The Mesopotamian God of Storms and Winds. It's said that when humans became too noisy and overpopulated, it caused disturbance to his sleep, and the first thing he tried to do was to wipe them all out with a giant flood. Not really a kind or merciful example of a god right there.
Carl Black

Enlil was the Mesopotamian god of the wind, the air, the earth, and the storms.

Overview

Appearance

Personality

Powers and Abilities

History

Origin

Originally, there was only Nammu, the primeval sea. Then, Nammu gave birth to Anu, the sky, and Ki, the earth. Anu and Ki mated with each other, causing Ki to give birth to Enlil. Enlil separated Anu from Ki and carried off the earth as his domain, while Anu carried off the sky.

Ninlil's mother Nunbarshegunu instructs Ninlil to go bathe in the river. Ninlil goes to the river, where Enlil seduces her and impregnates her with their son, the moon-god Sin. Because of this, Enlil is banished to Kur, the Mesopotamian underworld. Ninlil follows Enlil to the underworld, where he impersonates the "man of the gate". Ninlil demands to know where Enlil has gone, but Enlil, still impersonating the gatekeeper, refuses to answer. He then seduces Ninlil and impregnates her with Nergal, the god of death. The same scenario repeats, only this time Enlil instead impersonates the "man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river"; once again, he seduces Ninlil and impregnates her with the god Ninazu. Finally, Enlil impersonates the "man of the boat"; once again, he seduces Ninlil and impregnates her with Enbilulu, the "inspector of the canals".

Flood

Enlil causes a flood seeking to annihilate every living thing on earth because the humans, who are vastly overpopulated, make too much noise and prevent him from sleeping.The hero is Utnapishtim, who is warned ahead of time by Enki that the flood is coming. The flood lasts for seven days; when it ends, Ishtar, who had mourned the destruction of humanity, promises Utnapishtim that Enlil will never cause a flood again. When Enlil sees that Utnapishtim and his family have survived, he is outraged, but his son Ninurta speaks up in favor of humanity, arguing that, instead of causing floods, Enlil should simply ensure that humans never become overpopulated by reducing their numbers using wild animals and famines. Enlil goes into the boat; Utnapishtim and his wife bow before him. Enlil, now appeased, grants Utnapishtim immortality as a reward for his loyalty to the gods.

Chief God and Arbitrator

Plucks at the roots, tears at the crown, the pickax spares the... plants; the pickax, its fate is decreed by father Enlil, the pickax is exalted.
Enlil's Invention of the Pickax

Enlil's invents the mattock, a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax, or digging tool of the Mesopotamians. Enlil conjures the mattock into existence and decrees its fate. The mattock is described as gloriously beautiful; it is made of pure gold and has a head carved from lapis lazuli. Enlil gives the tool over to the humans, who use it to build cities, subjugate their people, and pull up weeds. Enlil was believed to aid in the growth of plants.

It is described how Enlil, hoping "to establish abundance and prosperity", creates two gods Emesh and Enten, a shepherd and a farmer, respectively. The two gods argue and Emesh lays claim to Enten's position. They take the dispute before Enlil, who rules in favor of Enten; the two gods rejoice and reconcile.

Ninurta

Enlil gives advice to his son, the god Ninurta, advising him on a strategy to slay the demon Asag. This advice is relayed to Ninurta by way of Sharur, his enchanted talking mace, which had been sent by Ninurta to the realm of the gods to seek counsel from Enlil directly.

The Anzû, a giant, monstrous bird, betrays Enlil and steals the Tablet of Destinies, a sacred clay tablet belonging to Enlil that grants him his authority, while Enlil is preparing for a bath. The rivers dry up and the gods are stripped of their powers. The gods send Hadad, Gerra, and Shara to defeat the Anzû, but all of them fail. Finally, Enki proposes that the gods should send Ninurta, Enlil's son. Ninurta successfully defeats the Anzû and returns the Tablet of Destinies to his father. As a reward, Ninurta is a granted a prominent seat on the council of the gods.

War of the gods

Marduk lead his army of Anunnaki into the sacred city of Nippur and causing a disturbance. The disturbance causes a flood, which forces the resident gods of Nippur under the leadership of Enlil to take shelter in the Eshumesha temple to Ninurta. Enlil is enraged at Marduk's transgression and orders the gods of Eshumesha to take Marduk and the other Anunnaki as prisoners. The Anunnaki are captured, but Marduk appoints his front-runner Mushteshirhablim to lead a revolt against the gods of Eshumesha and sends his messenger Neretagmil to alert Nabu, the god of literacy. When the Eshumesha gods hear Nabu speak, they come out of their temple to search for him. Marduk defeats the Eshumesha gods and takes 360 of them as prisoners of war, including Enlil himself. Enlil protests that the Eshumesha gods are innocent, so Marduk puts them on trial before the Anunnaki. The text ends with a warning from Damkianna (another name for Ninhursag) to the gods and to humanity, pleading them not to repeat the war between the Anunnaki and the gods of Eshumesha.

Myths and Legends

Enlil's primary center of worship was the Ekur temple in the city of Nippur, which was believed to have been built by Enlil himself and was regarded as the "mooring-rope" of heaven and earth. He is also sometimes referred to in Sumerian texts as Nunamnir. According to one Sumerian hymn, Enlil himself was so holy that not even the other gods could look upon him. Enlil rose to prominence during the twenty-fourth century BC with the rise of Nippur. His cult fell into decline after Nippur was sacked by the Elamites in 1230 BC and he was eventually supplanted as the chief god of the Mesopotamian pantheon by the Babylonian national god Marduk. The Babylonian god Bel was a syncretic deity of Enlil, Marduk, and the shepherd deity Dumuzid.

Quotes

Gallery

Trivia

Advertisement