Creation In The Hebraic And Babylonian Traditions

915 words - 4 pages

Keeping Wellhousen's Documentary Hypothesis in mind, it seems clear that although the Hebraic understanding of the cosmology of creation was very similar to that of other Ancient Near East societies, they had very different theories about the theological and anthropological significance of that creation. The creation accounts in Genesis were compiled at very important periods in Jewish history. This account reflects prevailing sentiments of unity, and a personal relationship between God and humanity, as reflected in the intimacy of creation.
The first difference between the creation accounts of the Enuma Elish and Genesis is the creation of the world as stemming from Chaos, rather than ...view middle of the document...

The third major difference between Genesis and the Enuma has to do with the difference in the two accounts of the creation and purpose of mankind, which has significant anthropological implications for the Jewish people. In the Enuma Elish, man is formed from the blood and bones of a defeated god who is slaughtered by Marduk for the purpose of providing this structure of man's body. Man is intended as a tool for the gods, as something they can toy with, something to entertain them; he is not independent and can hardly be considered intelligent. The God of Genesis, however, creates man in His own image and blesses him with fertility, thereby also allowing him to participate in creation. The man of Genesis has dominion over the rest of creation, so therefore, he also has a responsibility to be a good caretaker and ruler. The Enuma Elish presents an anthropological view of man as another animal, whereas Genesis presents him as the pinnacle and perfection of creation, made in the image and likeness of the Creator himself.
A significant similarity between Genesis and the Enuma Elish is apparent at the opening of both stories. In the beginning, there is nothing but the waters of Chaos, which eventually move both above and below the firmament of the sky. A second parallel is that in both accounts, there is a single, primary creator, who either speaks (Genesis) or molds (Enuma) the world into existence. But perhaps the closest similarity is the order in which the world comes to be: light on the first day, the sky dome or firmament on the second, dry land on the third, heavenly lights on the fourth, the creation of man on the sixth, and the Creator resting on the seventh (Boadt 93).
The Enuma...

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