God of the Month: Nabu, Babylonian Patron of Writing

 

nbmarduknabu

Nabu is on the left.

 

Originally the Scribe and First Minister of Marduk, Nabu eventually became his son. As the Divine Scribe, Nabu is the God of Wisdom and Knowledge. He is also the Announcer of People’s Destinies. During the Babylonian New Year’s Festival, Nabu informed the king and the people of their fates for the coming year.

Because of Nabu’s provenance over writing and divination, He was worshipped long after the Gods of Sumner were forgotten. First adopted by the Assyrians, Nabu was later known to the Greeks and Romans. They regarded Him to be aspects of Apollo and Mercury. Today, Nabu encourages writers in their efforts.

Praises to Nabu 

“O Hero, Prince, First-born of Marduk!

O Prudent Ruler, Offspring of Zarpanitu!

O Nabu, Bearer of the Tablet of the Destiny of the Gods,

Darling of Ia (Ea), Giver of Life!

Prince of Babylon, Protector of the Living!

God of the Hill of Dwelling, the Fortress of the Nations,

The Lord of Temples!

O Son of the Mighty Prince Marduk, in thy mouth is justice!”

(Translated by Leonard King, “Babylonian Magic and Sorcery”)

 

Some of Nabu’s Epithets 

Lord of the Written Word

Holder of the Reed Stylus

The Inspired Voice

The Announcer

Divine Scribe

Opener of the Wells

Far Traveler

Lord of Divination

Wielder of the Wand of Divination

First Minister of Marduk

Chief Priest of Rites

Avenger of His Father

Hope for Balance Restored in the Land

Heavenly Crown Prince of Babylon

Lover of Justice

Light of the Gods

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