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Document Details :

Title: Suffering Ambiguity in Ludlul bēl nēmeqi
Subtitle: On Erudition, Ideology, and Technology in Tablet I
Author(s): NOEGEL, Scott B.
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 73    Issue: 5-6   Date: 2016   
Pages: 613-636
DOI: 10.2143/BIOR.73.5.3206636

Abstract :
In this study, I examine several cases of ambiguity in Ludlul bēl nēmeqi that force one to probe the nature and character of Marduk and the cause of human sin and suffering. When understood within the context of a profession that promoted secrecy and that hermeneutically exploited textual ambiguity to ascertain divine secrets, the cases of ambiguity demonstrate theological principles associated with the Marduk cult, including the incomprehensibility of his godhead and his subsumption of gods, demons, and the powers of sorcerers. The essay concludes by looking at the poem’s ambiguities as representative of the divinatory institution’s critical inquiry into the cult’s syncretistic theology and the dilemmas it naturally poses concerning the ultimate cause of sin and suffering.

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