Enuma Elish and Priestly Creation Story Analysis

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The Enuma Elish is a Babylonian creation epic that tells the story of the creation of the world and the battle between the gods. There are similarities between this epic and the creation story in Genesis 1. Both stories begin with chaos and darkness, and the light is created first. At the end of both stories, God rests. However, there are also differences between the two stories, such as the fact that in the Enuma Elish, the gods battle for power and Marduk becomes king of the worlds. Some scholars argue that the Genesis story borrowed from the Enuma Elish and other ancient Near Eastern myths. It is important to recognize that the Bible was not the only ancient text with creation stories, and that the Bible may have been influenced by earlier writings.

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Summarize the Babylonian creation epic, The Enuma Elish. Compare and contrast this epic with the Priestly writer’s creation story in Genesis 1. The Priestly biblical history and the Enuma Elish are written down in a similar way with some characteristics. In the Enuma Elish it is said that the earth was in complete chaos involve in darkness while in the priestly story it was desolate and waste covered in darkness; in both stories the light was first created.

And, at the very end of the story God rests and sanctify the Sabbath while in the Enuma Elish, God rest and celebrates to be the only God. People argue that the Bible Priestly was actually the real life what happened in that period of time, but we would never be able to know with exactitude what really happened. It is stated that you would know no more but what is written, that is a statement which manifests in this case. It is written down that God made us as “Our image” it is not stated who he is actually referring to “our” image.

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Barry Bandstra, an author from Hope College and Old Testament scholar argues, “One of the most striking features of Genesis that the Enuma Elish helps bring to light is the struggle between order and chaos that lies just under the surface of the Genesis text. Marduk’s battle with Tiamat reveals that the efforts to create the world took the form of a battle. The victory secured Marduk’s position as king of the worlds. The comparison may help to explain the claims of YHWH’s kingship over creation” (57).

Stating the similarity between the priestly and the Babylonian story, giving exact details of how God would be define as the Lord of the creation. Similarities that cannot be let pass by without notice. Walter Reinhold Warttig also argues the outstanding similarity of Genesis and the Enuma Elish by saying “”… is an attempt to briefly identify some of the Ancient Near Eastern Motifs and Myths from which the Hebrews apparently borrowed, adapted, and reworked in the Book of Genesis (more specifically Genesis 1-11)” (Religious).

The motifs which appear in the Enuma Elish and the Bible are so similar that is almost impossible to argue that the bible did not use some of its as a source indicating once more that the story of the Bible was actually taken out from years of mouth to mouth tells. There are many other stories that were written before the Hebrew Bible that have parallels, but the Enuma Elish has the some of the most striking similarities.

Not many persons know that writings predate the Bible; many people think that the Bible just fell from the sky how we know it now, and that was actually written down by God himself. Works Cited 1. W. G. Lambert, “A New Look at the Babylonian Background of Genesis,” [1965], in Richard S. Hess & David T. Tsumra, Eds. , “I Studied Inscriptions From Before the Flood,” Eisenbrauns, (1994), Page 107. 2. Burgess, William. “The epic of Gilgamesh and The Old Testament”. Villanueva University, 20 April 2004. Web. 25 Jan. 2010. http://www. magickalshadow. com/gilgamesh. html

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Enuma Elish and Priestly Creation Story Analysis. (2018, Mar 08). Retrieved from


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