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En-men-dur-ana (also Emmeduranki) of Zimbir (the city now known as Sippar) was an ancient Sumerian king, whose name appears in the Sumerian King List as the seventh pre-dynastic king of Sumer. He was said to have reigned for 21,000 years.[1]


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").[2]


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.[3]


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, Emmeduranki 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.[4][5][6][7][8][9]

En-men-dur-ana, held significance among the Pre-Sumerians as he was the ancestor from whom all priests of the Sun God had to be able to trace descent.[10]

Enmeduranki is sometimes considered a Meospotamian model for the biblical patriarch Enoch.[11] Enmeduranki appears as the seventh name on the Sumerian King List, whereas Enoch is the seventh figure in the list of patriarchs in Genesis. Both of them were also said to have been taken up into heaven. Sippar, the city of which Enmeduranki is king of, is associated with sun worship, while the 365 years that Enoch is stated to have lived may be linked to the number of days in the solar calendar.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Sumerian king list: translation". etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2021-07-04.
  2. ^ A. R. George. Babylonian topographical texts. p 261.
  3. ^ James B. Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3rd ed. pp 43, 164, 265, 270, 271.
  4. ^ Robert Alter. Genesis. p. 24
  5. ^ John W. Rogerson and Philip R. Davies, The Old Testament World. p 203
  6. ^ Wilfred G. Lambert. Babylonian oracle questions. p 4.
  7. ^ Wilfred G. Lambert, Enmeduranki and Related Material. Journal of Cuneiform Studies. Vol. 21, Special Volume Honoring Professor Albrecht Goetze (1967), pp. 126-138
  8. ^ J. J. Collins. The apocalyptic imagination: an introduction to Jewish apocalyptic literature. pp 44-47
  9. ^ I. Tzvi Abusch, K. van der Toorn. Mesopotamian magic: textual, historical, and interpretative perspectives. p24.
  10. ^ Isidore Singer, Cyrus Adler. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History , Volume 5 p. 179.,
  11. ^ Victor P. Hamilton. The Book of Genesis. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1990. pp 257-258.
  12. ^ R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2 volumes., tr J. McHugh (New York: McGraw-Hill, repr, 1965), 1:188.
Preceded by 7th King of Sumer
Succeeded by
Unknown Ensi of Sippar