His name means "chief of the powers of Dur-an-ki", while "Dur-an-ki" in turn means "the meeting-place of heaven and earth" (literally "bond of above and below").
En-men-dur-ana's city Sippar was associated with the worship of the sun-god Utu, later called Shamash in the Semitic language. Sumerian and Babylonian literature attributed the founding of Sippar to Utu.
A myth written in a Semitic language tells of Emmeduranki, subsequently being taken to heaven by the gods Shamash and Adad, and taught the secrets of heaven and of earth. In particular, Enmedurank was taught arts of divination, such as how to inspect oil on water and how to discern messages in the liver of animals and several other divine secrets.
En-men-dur-ana was extremely significant to the Sumerians, as he was the ancestor from whom all priests of the sun God had to be able to trace descent.
He is sometimes linked to the Biblical patriarch, Enoch due to cultural associations between Enoch in the Genesis genealogies and En-men-dur-ana in the Sumerian King List. Both people are the 7th name in a list of ante-deluvian patriarchs with long lifespans. En-men-dur-ana is associated with Sippar (which was associated with sun worship) while Enoch's lifespan is 365 years which is parallel to the number of days in a solar year (365 days).
- A. R. George. Babylonian topographical texts. p 261.
- James Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3rd ed. pp 43, 164, 265, 270, 271.
- Robert Alter. Genesis. p. 24
- John Rogerson and Philip Davies, The Old Testament World. p 203
- Wilfred G. Lambert. Babylonian oracle questions. p 4.
- Wilfred G. Lambert, Enmeduranki and Related Material. Journal of Cuneiform Studies. Vol. 21, Special Volume Honoring Professor Albrecht Goetze (1967), pp. 126-138
- J. J. Collins. The apocalyptic imagination: an introduction to Jewish apocalyptic literature. pp 44-47
- I. Tzvi Abusch, K. van der Toorn. Mesopotamian magic: textual, historical, and interpretative perspectives. p24.
- Hamilton, Victor. The Book of Genesis. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1990. pp 257-258.
- R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2 volumes., tr J. McHugh (New York: McGraw-Hill, repr, 1965), 1:188.
En-sipad-zid-ana of Larsa
|7th King of Sumer
before ca. 2900 BC or legendary
Ubara-Tutu of Shuruppak
|Unknown||Ensi of Sippar
before ca. 2900 BC or legendary
|Ante-Diluvian kings||Alulim · Dumuzid the Shepherd · Ziusudra||3rd Dynasty of Kish||Kubaba|
|1st Dynasty of Kish||Etana · Enmebaragesi||3rd Dynasty of Uruk||Lugal-zage-si|
|1st Dynasty of Uruk||Enmerkar · Lugalbanda · Dumuzid, the Fisherman · Gilgamesh||Dynasty of Akkad||Sargon · Tashlultum · Enheduanna · Rimush · Manishtushu ·
Naram-Sin · Shar-Kali-Sharri · Dudu · Shu-turul
|1st Dynasty of Ur||Meskalamdug · Mesannepada · Puabi|
|2nd Dynasty of Uruk||Enshakushanna||2nd Dynasty of Lagash||Puzer-Mama · Gudea|
|1st Dynasty of Lagash||Ur-Nanshe · Eannatum · En-anna-tum I · Entemena · Urukagina||5th Dynasty of Uruk||Utu-hengal|
|Dynasty of Adab||Lugal-Anne-Mundu||3rd dynasty of Ur||Ur-Nammu · Shulgi · Amar-Sin · Shu-Sin · Ibbi-Sin|