Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Leave them hanging

It is clear from the tone of these lines that the ritual is not an end in and of itself. The final appeasement of the angered deities is still pending. The use of the precative (line 112, liškunū; 121, liššakin) and the prohibitive (line 113, ayy iršû) underscores the petitionary character of these lines and looks for future action by the heavenly realm. They are blessings. They seek divine beneficence at the expense of the dissolution of the malediction. Therefore, these blessings are indirect curses directed against curses. They await divine intervention. In fact, if Reiner’s restoration of line 113 reflects the original, then only the command of the highest ranking deities, Ea/ Enki and Marduk, can assuage the wrath of the heavenly realm. Subsequently the incantation leaves the offender still waiting for forgiveness.— Cursed Are You!, page 340

<idle musing>
And the incantation ends with them hanging in suspense. Will they manage to get the deities to endorse their plea? Or will they suffer under the hands of the curse deities?

I could mouth some simple platitudes here about the superiority of the Judaeo-Christian view, but I've been reading Job lately, so they would sound empty. Funny how scripture does that, isn't it? You want a nice, tightly reasoned, airtight, take-it-to-the-bank answer, and God puts Job in there. Drat!

They should rename the Bible. It should be The Book with No Easy Answers. But, maybe that's the purpose. Maybe, just maybe, the Bible wasn't meant to be an instruction book. Maybe, just maybe, it was meant to point beyond itself. Maybe, just maybe, it was designed to show us that we need to listen to the Holy Spirit. Maybe...

But that isn't easy! I want easy answers! I want surety! I want to know that I'm right! Did you catch the pronouns there? I, I, I, I... Hmmm...what did that blasted Bible say? Death to self? Ouch!

Just an
</idle musing>

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