Ludlul bēl nēmeqi

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Ludlul bel nemeqi, I Will Praise the Lord of Wisdom, is a Mesopotamian poem (ANET, pp. 434–437) written in Akkadian that concerns itself with the problem of the unjust suffering of an afflicted man, named Shubshi-meshre-Shakkan. The author is tormented, but he doesn't know why. He has been faithful in all of his duties to the gods. He speculates that perhaps what is good to man is evil to the gods and vice versa. He is ultimately delivered from his sufferings.[1]

The poem was written on four tablets in its canonical form and consisted of 480 lines. Alternate names for the poem include the Poem of the Righteous Sufferer or the Babylonian Job.[2] According to William Moran, the work is a hymn of thanksgiving to Marduk for recovery from illness.[3]

The first (but now out-dated) edition of the poem was published by W. G. Lambert in 1960 (reprinted in 1996).[4] Amar Annus and Alan Lenzi have now prepared a new edition of the poem for the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. This volume was published as State Archive of Assyria Cuneiform Text 7 (SAACT 7).[5] The new edition includes tablets published by Wiseman,[6] George and Al-Rawi,[7] Horowitz and Lambert,[8] and several other unpublished tablets from the British Museum.[9]

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