With An, Enlil, and Enki, one of the chief Sumerian deities. The highest authority of all was An, the father of the gods; next in rank came Enlil, his son, commanding the respect and obedience due to the older brother in the family. With him ranks Ninhursaga as older sister. Enki, a late comer, was regarded as a younger brother. He also loved Ninhursaga in paradisal Dilmun, though their romance was not without strife.
Ninhursaga represented productivity, the goodness reaped from the soil, even stony ground. For this reason Enlil, the god of the earth and the air, is her mate. Her domain extends over wildlife, especially that of the foothills, the cycle of birth, and the institution of kingship. ‘Giving birth to kings, giving birth to lords, is truly in her hand.’