Ninurta, also known as Ninĝirsu, was the Mesopotamian god of farming, healing, hunting, law, scribes, and war.
Anzû and the Tablet of Destinies
In the myth Anzû and the Tablet of Destinies, Ninurta pursues the monstrous Anzû-bird, a former servant of the head-god Enlil, steals the powerful Tablets of Destiny, the head of the Sumerian pantheon, which causes chaos in the world: the rivers dry up and the gods themselves loose their powers.
Several gods are sent to retrieve the tablets, among them Adad, the god of the storms, Gerra, the god fire and Shara, a minor god of war, but all of them fail. Ea eventually decides that Ninurta should be sent to battle the Anzû-bird.
The Anzû-bird managed to originally avoid Ninurta's attacks. Using the Tablets of Destiny, the monster managed to turn time back and undo the weapons of the god: shafts turned back into canebrake, the feathers back into living birds, the arrowheads returned to the quarry, bow returned to the forest and the wool bowstring turned into a living sheep.
Eventually Ninurta managed to kill the Anzû-bird by ripping it's wings of with the help of the South Wind and slitting it's throat. Ninurta, now possessing the Tablets of Destiny, returns to court of the gods and is rewarded with a higher position within the pantheon.
- Some believe there to be a mythological connection between Ninurta and the Biblical figure of Nimrod.