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Enuma Elish: the Babylonian Creation Epic

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Enuma Elish: the Babylonian Creation Epic

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  • March 2013
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ENUMA ELISH: THE BABYLONIAN CREATION EPIC

Introduction
Enuma Elish is a major seven tablet Babylonian myth relating the beginning of gods, the rise of the god Marduk, the battle of between Marduk and Tiamat, and the creation of the universe and of humankind. It was one of the earliest mesapotamian literary creations discovered and found during the excavation at Nineveh(1848-76). In this paper, we shall highlight the account of this myth with its possible interpretation. We shall also compare it with the Bible for the similarities.

Account of Enuma Elish:
The meaning of ‘Enuma Elish’ according to Tyndale Bible Dictionary ‘when on high’ and the first two words of the epic, introducing the reader to a time when the heavens had not been named and the earth did not yet exist. The account is often known as the creation epic but it is more of the exaltation of Marduk.The text can be interpreted on several levels and from different perspectives. But the first and probably the most important is the political level. It is a political document describing the rise of Marduk to Kingship of the gods but also sees the cosmos as a political organization.

According to Enuma Elish, man is created by the interplay between Ea (the traditional Sumerio-Babylonian creator), and Marduk (who replaced the mother goddess of tradition). The particular version of creation used is that of the Atra-hasis epic, in which Ea and the mother goddess make men from clay mixed with the blood of a slain god. In the Mesopotamian myth Enuma Elish a tension developed between the first creator and their offspring. This tension led to a rapture in the initial creation, and a struggle between its god and their offspring. In the ensuing battle, the foundation is established for human existence. In the Enuma Elish, the god Marduk was the leader of the offspring who fight Tiamat, the mother who was slain in the battle.

After his military victory, marduk turned back to crush Tiamat and creates...