A Brief Comparison of Enuma Elish and The Genesis Creation Account

Topics: God, Deity, Universe Pages: 4 (1098 words) Published: September 30, 2013
Often much is made of the so-called parallels between the Genesis account of creation and various Ancient Near Eastern texts. This is an attempt to consider a few things concerning the Enuma Elish and the Genesis account of creation. When on high the heaven had not been named,

Firm ground below had not been called by name,
Naught but primordial Apsu, their begetter,
(And) Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all,
Their waters commingling as a single body;1
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. ” (Genesis 1:1)

The Enuma Elish opens with the heavens and the earth, while Genesis opens with God. The gods of Enuma Elish are not so much creators and distinct from the universe as they are begetters. Apsu begat the heavens and the firm ground, we are told. Mummu-Tiamat "bore them all." On the other hand, the Genesis account tells us that first there was God, and He created the heavens and the earth. Instead of the world that we see being a part of God, it is made by Him. It is not derived from His substance, but was created ex nihilo.

Enuma Elish also speaks of multiple gods which had a beginning. Genesis presents to us one God who existed before space, time, and matter.
In the chamber of fates, the abode of destinies,
A god was engendered, most able and wisest of gods. (80)
In the heart of Apsu was Marduk30 created,
In the heart of holy Apsu was Marduk created.
He who begot him was Ea, his father;
She who bore him was Damkina, his mother.2
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. ” (Genesis 1:1)

Marduk, the god of the Babylonians, was considered to be both created and begotten. The God of Genesis, however, is seen as creating, yet not created. He is before time, space, and matter.
O Marduk, thou art indeed our avenger.
We have granted thee kingship over the universe entire.
When in Assembly thou sittest, thy word shall be supreme.3
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. ” (Genesis 1:1)...
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