The role of god in the ancient world

1747 Words7 Pages
The questions about the existence of life and the creation of the world are always mind-boggling and fascinating, however, the real answer to these questions may never surface. All there is to rely on are the myths, stories and legends passed on from generation to generation by ancestors and the clues they have left. This essay will try to uncover the ancient Mesopotamian and Hebrew views on existence and creation by looking at sources like the Genesis and other ancient Mesopotamian texts and poems. Mesopotamians and Hebrews had contrasting views on how they explained the events in their lives, and through analysis of ancient sources, those differences will be outlined. In such populated and booming areas, human conflict was inevitable and some of the law codes that were placed in effect to establish order within the society will be examined. Throughout it all, god and religion played a central role in these ancient civilizations.

People of the ancient world often had questions about their existence and how life and people came to be on earth. Most ancient people answered these questions through religion. The Sumerians were the first important group of people to inhabit Mesopotamia and they were known to practice a form of worship called polytheism, which is the worship of several gods. Mesopotamians associated different gods with natural events, emotions, and other occurrences. Their main deities included An (the god of the heavens), Enlil (Lord Storm), Enki (god of wisdom), and Nihursaga (the mother of all living things)(p.22). The Mesopotamians believed that the gods controlled all of the events and occurrences in life. An ancient text called “Creation of Man by the Mother Goddess” (p.34) helps us understand how the M...

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...f the divine world but the kings were in charge of vocalizing god’s wishes on earth. The most famous of these law codes was Hammurabi’s law code. The Hebrews tried to establish order by using Yahweh’s Ten Commandments and the Torah. Mesopotamian deities were hard to please and easily angered. The Mesopotamians constantly felt they were letting their gods down and usually didn’t even know the reason behind it. Hebrews had a much more forgiving god. Through texts like “The Book of Job”, it is apparent that Yahweh was a tough god but always forgiving and fair in the end. He had few demands of his people and all of them were ethical and easy to adhere to. As long as his devotees followed Yahweh’s laws, they were all capable of receiving his blessings. Through it all, it seemed that God and religion was at the center of every aspect of life in the ancient civilization.
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