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THE ENUMA ELISH AND GENESIS A COMPARATIVE STUDY. The Enuma Elish Area of Origin: Babylonian, from the fertile cresant region. Language of text: Akkadian.

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Presentation on theme: "THE ENUMA ELISH AND GENESIS A COMPARATIVE STUDY. The Enuma Elish Area of Origin: Babylonian, from the fertile cresant region. Language of text: Akkadian."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE ENUMA ELISH AND GENESIS A COMPARATIVE STUDY

2 The Enuma Elish Area of Origin: Babylonian, from the fertile cresant region. Language of text: Akkadian Cuneiform, written on clay tablets. Timeframe: Text composition likely dates to bronze age, or between the 1700s and 1500s BCE. Some scholars put this date later, from the 1100s BCE. Theme: Centers on The supremacy of Marduk and the creation of Humankind to be servants of the gods. Polytheistic

3 Genesis Area of Origin: Palestine, Modern Day Israel Language of text: Classical Hebrew Timeframe: As early as 1200 BCE Theme: Two separate stories (7 day creation story in Genesis 1, and similar re-telling in Genesis 2) that tell of the creation of the world by one all powerful creator. Monotheistic

4 What do they have in Common? GenesisEnuma Elish God creates all matter, but is independent of it Earth is in darkness and chaos over the deep (Tehom). The Divine Spirits and cosmic matters coexist and are coeternal. There is a primeval chaos in which the gods war against the deep (Tiamat). 1st day the creation of lightLight emanates from the gods 2nd day the dome of the sky is created creation of the firmament (dome 3rd day creation of dry landcreation of dry land

5 What do they have in Common (Continued)? GenesisEnuma Elish 4th day creation of heavenly lights creation of heavenly lights 5th day creation of animalsNo equivalent 6th day creation of mancreation of man God rests and sanctifies the Sabbath the gods rest and celebrate with a banquet

6 Start from Nothing Genesis(NRSV)Genesis(JKV)Enuma Elish 1:1-2 In the beginning when God created * the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. When in the height heaven was not named, And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name, And the primeval Apsu, who begat them, And chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both Their waters were mingled together, And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen; When of the gods none had been called into being, And none bore a name, and no destinies were ordained; Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven,

7 Light Genesis(NRSV)Genesis(JKV)Enuma Elish 1:3-5 Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. Apsu harkened unto him and his countenance grew bright…Thou commandest the horns to determine six days, And on the seventh day to divide the crown. On the fourteenth day thou shalt stand opposite, the half.... When the Sun-god on the foundation of heaven...thee, The... thou shalt cause to..., and thou shalt make his unto the path of the Sun- god shalt thou cause to draw nigh, And on the... day thou shalt stand opposite, and the Sun- god shall to traverse her way.

8 Sky Genesis(NRSV)Genesis(JKV)Enuma Elish 1:6-8 And God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. He[Marduk] split her [Tiamat] up like a flat fish into two halves; One half of her he established as a covering for heaven…And the lord measured the structure of the Deep, And he founded E-sara, a mansion like unto it. The mansion E-sara which he created as heaven, He caused Anu, Bel, and Ea in their districts to inhabit. The stars, their images, as the stars of the Zodiac, he fixed. He ordained the year and into sections he divided it; For the twelve months he fixed three stars. After he had... the days of the year... Images, He founded the station of Nibir [the planet Jupiter] to determine their bounds;

9 Plants Genesis(NRSV)Genesis(JKV)Enuma Elish 1:10-12 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good. O Asari, [Marduk] "Bestower of planting," "Founder of sowing" "Creator of grain and plants," "who caused the green herb to spring up!"

10 Animals Genesis(NRSV)Genesis(JKV)Enuma Elish 1:24-25 And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good. she spawned monster- serpents, Sharp of tooth, and merciless of fang;…Fierce monster-vipers she clothed with terror…Their bodies reared up and none could withstand their attack. She set up vipers and dragons, and the monster Lahamu, And hurricanes, and raging hounds, and scorpion-men, And mighty tempests, and fish-men, and rams;

11 Man Genesis(NRSV)Genesis(JKV)Enuma Elish Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind * in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, * and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ 27 So God created humankind * in his image, in the image of God he created them; * male and female he created them. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. "My blood will I take and bone will I fashion I will make man, that man may I will create man who shall inhabit the earth, That the service of the gods may be established, and that their shrines may be built.

12 Theories of Connection Did The Enuma Elish serve as primary source Material for Genesis? Did Genesis Serve as primary source material for Enuma Elish? Was Genesis written down to repudiate claims that Marduk was an all powerful god? Was Enuma Elish written down to repudiate claims that the God of Israel was the only and all powerful God? Could the two accounts have been written independently of others? What conclusions can we draw about the two societies/cultures that produced them?


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