Gilgamesh

Niels Peter Lemche npl at teol.ku.dk
Sun Jan 16 15:39:58 EST 2000





	Walter Mattfeld wrote:

	snip

	My own research suggests that the ancient Hebrews creatively drew
from the

	> creation myths of the ANE world, and reinterpreting them with a
"new twist,"
	> invented a loving, caring, God in contrdiction to the fickle,
quarreling,
	> and un-caring gods of the source-myths.

	Two points:

	1.  How do you determine which is the chicken and which is the egg?
That is, how do
	you know that the borrowing went from the Babylonians to the Hebrews
(or their
	ancestor people groups)?
	2.  I'd suggest that Genesis 1 is not a reinterpretation with a new
twist, but a
	deliberate anti-myth tractate that uses the form deliberately to
counteract a
	defective view of origins. The Genesis account, while similar in
some ways in form to
	other accounts, is RADICALLY different in content:
	a.  There's no mating between gods
	b.  The earth is made from nothing, not divine seed or part of a god
or anything else
	like that.
	c.  chaos is not a monster to overcome, but just a spatial anomaly.
	d.  There's no conflict among gods.
	e.  There isn't even more than one god.
	There are others, as a close reading will show.

	Ken Litwak

	[Niels Peter Lemche]  Well, Genesis 1 OK  [Niels Peter Lemche]  but
not a creation from nothing, that's Christian dictrine, not the content of
the Hebrew chapter one. The primary thing God creates is light, otherwise
creation of the basic elements is done by separating, havdil, light  [Niels
Peter Lemche]  from darkness, the dry land from the ocean, the upper ocean
from the lower ocean.

	Gen 2 is much more in line with oriental thinking, and partly 3. The
when not yet parts can easily be compared to the opening lines of Enuma
Elish, the formation of man from dust, blended with a divine element, later
(Gen 9) identified as the blood--cf. again Enuma Elish the formation of
human beings here, from Kingu's blood and dust. Again the ed that commes up
from the earth (Akkadian idu, "river"), the name of paradise gan Eden, and
Akkadian idinnu.

	And in flood, mabul and the Akkadian forms of w/mabalu, meaning
canal or the like. And what to do with the forlorn raven in Gen 8:7?
remember, the raven is the bird in Gilgamesh' version that does not return.

	So of course a case can be made for dependency, and the question of
chickens and eggs decided.

	NPL





More information about the b-hebrew mailing list