Essay about Comparing Enuma Elish and Genesis

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Comparing Enuma Elish and Genesis

Since the beginning of time, societies have created stories to explain the mystery of the origin of man and the universe. In the Babylonian text, Enuma Elish and the book of Genesis-which originated in the same part of the world-one finds two very different stories about the creation of man. These two creation stories contrast the two societies that created them: the chaotic lives of servitude of the Babylonians and the lives of the recently freed Jewish people.

The gods of Enuma Elish do not seem very "God-like" to a Western reader. These gods are continuously quarreling and feuding and do not seem to be omniscient. In addition, in Tablet 1 we see that the gods are not immortal: "Ea unfastened
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It is believed that the book of Genesis was written at the time of the Exodus. The book of Genesis seems consistent with writing a people recently released from servitude would produce. F for a people who were en route to create a new independent culture, a rational and forgiving God would be an excellent role model for his followers to try to emulate.

The Enuma Elish focuses almost completely on the god side of the story. Man's only mention comes in the final tablet:

"Let me put blood together, and make bones too.
Let me set up primeval man. Man shall me his name.
Let me create a primeval man.
The work of gods shall be imposed (on him), and so they shall be at leisure.
Let me change the ways of the gods miraculously,
So they are gathered as one yet divided in two." (Enuma Elish, 18)

When the Babylonian gods decided to create man, he was created solely to be a servant to the gods. This was an important concept to the Babylonian society because one class of society worked as servants to a royal class. A people who believed that men were originally created to be subordinate would be less likely to question the authority of kings.

In contrast the book of Genesis focuses much more the human side of the story where man is given dominion over the earth. In the book of Genesis, God gives his people dominion over
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