I’ve just come up with an exciting find. The story of Hurmanetar told in Gleanings 5-10 is a version of the great epic of Gilgamesh. Hurmanetar is GILGAMESH! Yadol is ENKIDU, Hesurta is SHAMHAT, the goddess Nintursu is NINSUN and the cedar forest guardian Hubabwara is Humbaba! Eraka, the city from which Hurmanetar/Gilgamesh comes, is Uruch, (it is called Erech in Genesis 10:10).
I compared the standard Akkadian version of the Gilgamesh text from Nineveh plus old Babylonian versions and Sumerian poems which contain bits of the story with the story in Gleanings. The Gleanings version has no less than 8 major motifs which also occur in the standard version of Gilgamesh. They are:
Hurmanetar the Lightbringer/Gilgamesh is a mighty superhero, a mountain and forest-dweller, and Yadol/Enkidu is a vegetarian wild man who lives side by side with wild animals. There is strong brotherly love, â€˜joyous companionshipâ€™ between them.
Crucial to the plot is a harlot who tempts Enkidu away from the wild in the Akkadian version, and Hurmanetar in the Gleanings version.
The barbaric practice of droit de seigneur - carried out by Gilgamesh in the standard version, by the king in Gleanings - is challenged, and the perpetrator overcome.
Gilgamesh/Hurmanetar goes to stay with his mother and she takes in Enkidu/Yadol as if he were her own.
A â€˜Bull from heavenâ€™ motif both in action and dreams appears strongly in both versions.
A great cedar forest with the ogre Humbaba as its guardian features in both stories.
Hurmanetar/Gilgamesh is attacked by lions, kills them and wears their skins.
Hurmanetar/Gilgamesh is keen to investigate what happens in the afterlifeh and he braves the Underworld to try and find Yadol/Enkidu after his death.
There are of course some differences between the two versions, but anyone reading them side by side can see that they are the same story.
At the end of the Gleanings version (Gleanings: 10), the scribe Frastonis writes:
[i]These things concerning Hurmanetar have been rewritten many times, but the copies have always been true. That which follows has been added on, but when made and by whom it is possible to discover.
Hurmanetar is buried in the land of Philistia. Is this Okichia?
The father of Hurmanetar was Nimrod of the Twin Bows. This, I doubt, and it is not stated.
The stone of Makilim is at Bethgal even now. The words on the tomb of Yadol are: ‘He died because he was not as other men’. I, Frastonis, have seen it.
Could this be when eighty generations have passed? Men of this race are unsound witnesses. The Samarites say Yadol was not mortal man.
This we know in truth: the deeds of Hurmanetar and Yadol are more fully told in The Tales of the Hithites.[/i]
All the above sounds just like a modern scholar trying to guess what very old text could mean. Clearly the scribe Frastonis (and we don’t know when he was writing this) doesnâ€™t know what to make of it, because the story is so old.
Gleanings 3 (The Flood of Atuma) mentions the plain of Shinara (called Shinar in Genesis 10:10, which is known to Sumerian scholars. The story of the Deluge in Gleanings 4 is the oldest Sumerian version. If the Flood of Atuma and the Deluge are both Sumerian, then perhaps the Hurmanetar story comes from the same source.
I can’t quite believe that Gilgamesh is here in the Kolbrin, and that he is portrayed as a man carrying the metaphysical key of knowledge!