ul imutta


It is not easy to say where the idea of the celestial origin of iron was born (Johnson & Tyldesley, et. al. 2013; Thilo & Tams, et. al. 2013). It is found in the Egyptian myth of the phoenix. On the Metternich stele, which dates to the 30th dynasty (Nectanebo II, 360-343 B.C.), Isis addresses these words to Osiris: "You will not die from the heat (t3w) of the poison. You are the great heron (bnw) who was born on the top of a willow (ṯr.t) in the house of the Great Magistrate in Heliopolis" (Borghouts 1978: 70; Belluccio 1993: 23). There is an on-going discussion about the origin of the so-called benben stone in Heliopolis (Meltzer 2002). For my purpose: to show that Eve and the beginning of Biblical history are dependent on an Anatolian milieu, I will focus on a recurring formula in the Babylonian legal language: ul imutta,"they will not die", that would be thus paraphrased: a AN.BAR (parzilli) u-nu "they are iron" (Levine, 2011: 77); (Vidal-Naquet 2006: 220). It is a common expression in Nabonedo's times (555-539 B.C.) (Alparslan & Doğan-Alparslan 2011) and it matches the promise of the serpent to the first couple: "You shall by no means die"; (lōʾ mt temūtn, Gn 3:4b) against the warning previosuly given by God: "You will surely die" (mt tamt) (Gn 2:17)