Alasdair Livingston, 101, calls attention to the following lines from a hymn to Ninurta,
Your teeth are Sibitti, who fells the evil ones.
The area of your cheek, lord, is the appearance of the stars of [. . .
Your ears are Ea and Damkina, the sages of wisdom [. . .
Your head is Adad who [. .] heaven and underworld like an artisan.
Your forhead is Šala, the beloved spouse who makes rejoice [. . .
Your neck is Marduk, judge of heaven and earth, the flood [. . .
The text is from KAR 102 and STT 118 II:19-24. I follow Livingston’s translation. Of this text Livingston says,
Works such as this which equate parts of one god’s body with other gods must be understood in the context of theology which could synthesize diverse gods into single gods, or explain gods in terms of other gods. In the hymn quoted it is clear that characteristics of Ninurta are being expounded and praised. Not only are parts of Ninirta’s body equated with other gods, but the particular characteristic of the god in question which is being attributed to Ninurta is explained. According to the hymnographer Ninurta embraced the warlike character of Sibitti, the apperarence of the stars, the wisdom of Ea and his spouse, the role of Marduk as judge, and other attributes . . . The hymn also has a syncretistic aspect in endeavoring to see the various gods mentioned as parts of one single god.
I wonder of the extent to which at one time YHWY’s body parts might have been thought of as like those of Ba’al, Shamash and others. In other words, was YHWY every, even in part, conceived as a synthesis of other gods in terms of some perceived physical characteristics? We do hear of YHWH’s eyes, ears, face (all in Psalm 34:16-17[15-16]), mouth (e.g. Deuteronomy 8:3), and nostrils (Psalm 18:16) plus a few other parts. In context all of these read as figures of speech. But, from a somewhat different perspective, so do the references to body parts in the Nimurta hymn. I don’t know of any convening evidence pointing in the direction of a tradition that equated YHWYs body parts with those of other gods. But this is my blog and the rules allow me to wonder about abnormal things.