The Babylonian Epic Essay

1589 Words Sep 14th, 2016 7 Pages
Genesis 1, the first chapter in the bible, is easily the most well known creation story to come out of the Ancient Near East. However, that does not mean that it was the only story being told during that period. The Babylonian epic, the Enuma Elish was another creation story that sprung up in the Ancient Near East. It is in essence a history of the Babylonian gods, and in particular, one god, Marduk. It was ultimately written to justify his rise to power as the head of the Babylonian pantheon of gods. It is a mythical account of the foundation of Babylon. This was done in order to “support Babylon’s claim to pre-eminence above all the other cities in the country” (Citation?). The two texts are starkly different even though they emerged from the same period. The former portrays a monotheistic God who operates within the parameters of organisation and peace, while the latter describes a polytheistic hierarchy of gods who operate within the parameters of war and violence. The differences between the Enuma Elish and Genesis 1 are so vast and endless that there is not much reason to talk about their literary dependence or mythological similarities (EOR, p. 2811). Instead the Enuma Elish is better enlisted as a tool of comparison in order to highlight the starkly different and radical nature of the ancient Israelite religion as compared to other religions in the Near East. While there are many comparisons that one could draw attention to when examining the two texts, for the…

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