People have been trying to explain the existence of humans and the origins of our world since ancient times. There are many different theories and myths that attempt to describe the earliest beginnings of our present world. In the Ancient Near East one of the most popular creation myths was the Babylonian creation myth also known as Enuma Elish. Hebrew nomads like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David lived in tents while traveling to different locations in search of water and pastures for their livestock. Nomads were constantly moving and searching for other places which would have allowed them to hear many different creation myths throughout the Ancient Near East. These nomads would have been surprised by the first chapter of Genesis because it was extremely different than any other creation story they had ever heard of, especially from the Babylonian epic of Enuma Elish. The way Genesis is written would be very attractive and inviting to the Hebrew nomads because it was more realistic and gave human life value more than any other creation myth they would have heard at that time.
Enuma Elish, the Babylonian epic, was inscribed on seven clay tablets. The story begins with the god of freshwater, Apsû, and the god of saltwater, Tiamat. Together, they birthed the god Ea and his godly brothers who lived in Tiamat's body. The brothers made so much noise that Apsû and Tiamat became annoyed with them. Apsû decided he would kill Ea and his brothers so they could sleep without interruption. Tiamat disagreed with Apsû’s decision to kill Ea, so she warned Ea and his brothers about Apsû’s plans. Ea, the most powerful god, used his magic to put Apsû into a coma and then killed him. Ea and Dam...
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...itional polytheistic creation myths would be how powerful people in the Ancient Near East thought the gods were. The nomads would have greatly depended on rain and weather to be able to keep their sheep and herds alive. By depending on the weather for the survival of their flocks, they would probably believe greatly in the gods. It would be hard to convince a Hebrew nomad to believe in something other than their polytheistic gods if there was a drought or hard time. They would probably still worship the idols and gods of rain and other things that directly affect them. It could be assumed that these nomads would not want to upset the gods who they think control almost every aspect of their lives. It would be hard to abandon gods that you had accepted all your life especially if you believed they had control over the wellbeing of their livestock and families.
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