The name Ziusudu may be rendered "He who lengthened the day of life" or "He who made life long of days", which in the Semitic form is abbreviated by the omission of the verb. The reference is probably to the immortality bestowed upon Ziusudu at the close of the story, and not to the prolongation of mankind's existence in which he was instrumental.
Poebel. In that passage the niggilma appears to be given by Ziusudu the name "Preserver of the Seed of Mankind", which we have already compared to the title bestowed on Uta-napishtim's ship, "Preserver of Life". Like the ship, it must have played an important part in man's preservation, which would account not only for the honorific title but for the special record of its creation.
But the form of Ut-napishtim's vessel was no doubt traditional, and we may picture that of Ziusudu as also of the kuffah type, though smaller and without its successor's elaborate internal structure.
It is true that Ziusudu sacrifices to the Sun-god; but the episode is inherent in the story, the appearance of the Sun after the storm following the natural sequence of events and furnishing assurance to the king of his eventual survival. To identify the worshipper with his god and to transfer Ziusudu's material craft to the heavens is surely without justification from the simple narrative.
Against the latter alternative it is to be noted that the god is addressing more than one person; and, further, at Ziusudu is evidently already pardoned, for, so far from following the deity's advice, he immediately prostrates himself before Anu and Enlil and receives immortality.
As in the Gilgamesh Epic and in Berossus, here too the god's warning is conveyed in a dream; and the accompanying reference to conjuring by the Name of Heaven and Earth probably represents the means by which Ziusudu was enabled to verify its apparent meaning.
Ziusudu, the king, prostrates himself before Anu and Enlil, who bestow immortality upon him and cause him to dwell in a land, or mountain, the name of which may perhaps be read as Dilmun.
It is an interesting fact that Ziusudu should be described simply as "the king", without any indication of the city or area he ruled; and in three of the five other passages in the text in which his name is mentioned it is followed by the same title without qualification.
The assurance which Gudea obtained through the priest of Ninâ and the sign, the priest-king Ziusudu secured by his own act, in virtue of his piety and practice of divination. And his employment of the particular class of incantation referred to, that which conjures by the Name of Heaven and Earth, is singularly appropriate to the context.
In the first line of the column, after a reference to "the gods", a building seems to be mentioned, and Ziusudu, standing beside it, apparently hears a voice, which bids him take his stand beside a wall and then conveys to him the warning of the coming flood.