What is the relationship of Enuma Elish tablets with the Hebrew Bible?

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Scholars detect many similarities between the Babylonian creation story in the Enuma Elish tablets and the first creation story in Genesis 1:1-2:4a. They say that Babylonian creation myth must have been added to the Book of Genesis by the Priestly Source during the Babylonian Exile.
In both Enuma Elish and Genesis the primordial world prior to creation was formless and empty, with just a watery abyss (Tiamat in the Enuma Elish, tehom, the "deep", a linguistic cognate of tiamat, in Genesis 1:2). The sequence of creation is identical: light, then firmament, dry land, luminaries, and man. In both, the firmament, conceived as a solid inverted bowl, is created in the midst of the waters to separate the heavens from the earth (Genesis 1:6-7, Enuma Elish 4:137-40). Day and night preceded the creation of the luminous bodies, whose function is to yield light and regulate time. In Enuma Elish, the gods consulted before creating man, while Genesis has: "Let us make man in our image..." In both accounts, the creation of man was followed by divine rest.


A key difference between the stories is that Enuma Elish is a tale of military conquest that elevates Babylon's patron deity to supreme rulership in the council of the gods. This is a nationalistic tale that provides theological support for Babylonian international supremacy. The story in Genesis one, by contrast, is told without a single reference to bloodshed, battle, city or temple. This makes perfect sense if it was told by Jewish exiles in Babylon after their city and temple had been violently destroyed by a Babylonian army.
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