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Lahmu, meaning parent star or constellation, is the name of a protective and beneficent deity, the first-born son of Abzu and Tiamat. He and his sister Laḫamu are the parents of Anshar and Kishar, the sky father and earth mother, who birthed the gods of the Mesopotamian Pantheon. Laḫmu is depicted as a bearded man with a red sash – usually with three strands – and four to six curls on his head and they are also depicted as monsters, which each encompasses a specific constellation. He is often associated with the Kusarikku or "Bull-Man". In Sumerian times Laḫmu may have meant "the muddy one". Lahmu guarded the gates of the Abzu temple of Enki at Eridu. He and his sister Laḫamu are primordial deities in the Babylonian Epic of Creation Enuma Elis and Lahmu may be related to or identical with "Lahamu", one of Tiamat's creatures in that epic.
Some scholars, such as William F. Albright, have speculated that the name of Bethlehem ("house of lehem") originally referred to a Canaanite fertility deity cognate with Laḫmu and Laḫamu, rather than to the Canaanite word lehem, "bread". See Bethlehem.
- Michael Jordan, Encyclopedia of Gods, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2002
- Black, Jeremy and Green, Anthony. Gods Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia University of Texas Press, Austin, 2003.
- Hewitt, J.F. History and Chronology of the Myth-Making Age. p. 85.
- W. King, Leonard. Enuma Elish Vol 1 & 2: The Seven Tablets of Creation; The Babylonian and Assyrian Legends Concerning the Creation of the World and of Mankind. p. 78.
- "The name", Sanctuary Bethlehem, © Gerusalemme San Salvatore Convento Francescano St. Saviour's Monastery. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
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