Genesis 1-2 Parallels #1: Creation

Parallels

Creation

enumaelishEnuma Elish

It may surprise some to learn that Genesis is not the oldest recorded creation account; prior to the Israelite people and the writing of Genesis were other cultures in the ancient near east with their own cosmological narratives concerning the origin of the universe. Take the Babylonian myth Enuma Elish. What’s fascinating about this creation account is that despite predating Genesis by at least 1000 years, it contains many similar mythical elements – showing that the authors of Genesis were directly or indirectly influenced by it. This should come as no surprise as the Israelites were exiled to Babylon (597-538 BC) and would have undoubtedly been exposed to their religious traditions.

Below are four of the major similarities between the two cosmologies. Citations to Enuma Elish are used in accordance with this translation (which I’ve added highlights to). [1]

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