In anticipation of the publication of the prayers that I contributed to the forthcoming Reading Akkadian Prayers volume coming out in the SBL Ancient Near East Monographs series I am going to release a series of short videos, each under a minute and a half, that introduce or discuss certain aspects of these prayers.
The first prayer is quite well known both within Assyriology and Old Testament studies, “A Prayer to Any God.” The prayer was included in ANET under the title, “Prayer to Every God,” but this was a misnomer since the prayer is not directed at every god, but rather, to the particular deity that the petitioner offended.
Here is the video–let me know what you think of it.
Here is a pre-publication draft of my translation of the prayer:
1. May the anger of the lord’s heart relent.
2. May the god who I do not know relent.
3. May the goddess who I do not know relent.
4. May whichever god relent.
5. May whichever goddess relent.
6. May the heart of my god relent.
7. May the heart of my goddess relent.
8. May (both) god and goddess relent.
9. May the god who is angry with me relent.
10. May the goddess who is angry with me relent.
Lines 11–16 are poorly preserved.
17. The food that I would find I did not eat by myself.
18. The water that I would find I did not drink by myself.
19. I broke my god’s taboo in ignorance.
20. I crossed my goddess’s bounds in ignorance.
21. O lord, my wrongs are many, great are my sins.
22. O my god, my wrongs are many, great are my sins.
23. O my goddess, my wrongs are many, great are my sins.
24. O whichever god, my wrongs are many, great are my sins.
25. O whichever goddess, my wrongs are many, great are my sins.
26. The wrong which I did, I do not know.
27. The sin which I committed, I do not know.
28. The taboo which I broke, I do not know.
29. The bounds I crossed, I do not know.
30. A lord glowered at me in the rage of his heart.
31. A god has made me confront the anger of his heart.
32. A goddess has become angry with me and has made me sick.
33. Whichever god has caused me to burn.
34. Whichever goddess has set down affliction (upon me).
35. I would constantly seek (for help) but no one would help me.
36. I cried but they (i.e., no one) did not approach me.
37. I would give a lament but no one would hear me.
38. I am distressed; I am alone; I cannot see.
39. I search constantly for my merciful god (and) I utter a petition.
40. I kiss the feet of my goddess, I keep crawling before you.
41. To whichever god, return to me, I implore you (lit., I speak a petition)!
42. To whichever goddess, return to me, I implore you!
43. O lord, return to me, I implore you!
44. O goddess, look at me, I implore you!
45. Whichever god, return to me, I implore you!
46. Whichever goddess, return to me, I implore you!
47. How long, my god,until your…heart…
48. How long, my goddess, until your . . . mood will rest?
49. How long, whichever god, until your . . . anger subsides?
50. How long, whichever goddess, until your estranged heart relents?
51. Humanity is deaf and does not know anything.
52. Humanity—by whatever name—what do they know?
53. Whether (a person) does wrong or good they are ignorant.
54. Lord, do not turn away your servant.
55. They are (lit. he is) lying in swamp water—help them (lit. him)!
56. The sin that I committed turn into good.
57. The wrong (that) I did let the wind carry away.
58. My many sins strip away like a garment.