Abraham in context

Just watched video from http://brucegore.com/VideoPlay2.aspx

Was interesting but not as good as the videos on Enuma Elish and The Epic of Gilgamesh.

Some interesting points.

When looking on map I saw the main cities along the fertile crescent: Allepo, Damascus, Haran, Ninevah, Babylon.

In ancient covenants each party would walk between animals that had been cut in two. They were saying that the gods could do this to them if they broke there covenant. In Genesis 15 the LORD makes a torch pass between the animals that have been cut in two. So here God is making a one-way promise. (Abraham did not go through the pieces.)

Old great dyansties:

Sumer (ends about 2316 bc)
Akkadian (ends about 2193 bc)
Ur (ends about 2004 bc)
Isin (ends about 1924 bc) – no centralised authority
Old Babylon (ends about  1595) – Hamurabi famous king with law. Comes at least 200 years before Moses.

2 mountains at Shechem Gerizim and Ebal. Priests stand on Gerizim and call out blessings. Then priests stand on Ebal and call out curses if disobedience. Deuteronomy 11:29  When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses.

Epic of Gilgamesh

In a recent post we looked at the similarities between the creation account found in Genesis 1 and the Akkadian legend of Enuma Elish. We saw that there were similarities in the way physical things are described but great differences in the way that God or gods are described. Here we look at similarities and differences between the flood account in Genesis 6-8 and the flood account in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

In the epic of Gilgamesh a brilliant king Gilgamesh is seeking immortality and goes to seek Utnapishtim for help. Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh of his adventures. He has built an ark, brought animals onto it. The waters flooded everywhere. When the waters went down he landed on a mountain. He sent out a dove a raven and one did not come back. So there are lots of similarities with the account of Noah.

Differences. The gods are not in control. Some of them are scared of getting drowned by the flood. The flood itself was caused because the gods were angry that human beings were too noisy on earth. The gods are immoral and fight.

Genesis 3 and 4


Similarities between Genesis 3 and 4.

1. God has warned Caan as he warned Adam and Eve.

2. God confronts Caan as he did Adam.

3. A curse is pronounced.

4. There is a sending away. Caan is sent away from farming to being a restless wanderer.

5. There is mercy even in judgement. God tells Caan he will protect him.

The Fall and relationships


I have not really considered how the fall affected marriage. So according to Genesis 3 the woman now is desperate for the love of a man. The man wants to dominate over the woman rather than protect and love her. Also the man now has to work harder to survive and the woman has pain in childbearing.

Also in Genesis 3

The identity of the serpent. There is no reference in this passage to the serpent being the devil, however in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 the devil is called “that ancient serpent”. We are told here that he was a wild creature, created by God, more crafty than anything else in creation. Also he can speak. Later in this passage we are told that he is under a curse. He will strike the heal of man, but in the end will be crushed by man.Watch movie online Rings (2017)

Sin. There is no explicit reference to sin in this passage. What we do learn however is that you cannot sit down and calculate what is right or what is wrong. Doing what God says is right; doing what forbids is wrong.

God. From Genesis 3 we see God’s firm judgement – for example cursing the serpent and the earth, and making life more difficult for the man and the woman. However, we also see mercy in the midst of God’s judgement: he creates clothes for the man and woman to cover their nakedness.


Genesis and Enuma Elish


If you have time watch this!

Genesis and 1 and 2 obviously are not the only early accounts of the creation of the world and of mankind. All people have wondered at where they came from. In this post I look at Enuma Elish – another early creation account and then look at similarities and differences between this account and that of Genesis.

Enuma Elish (This can be read http://king-of-heroes.co.uk/enuma-elish/)
This is an old Akkadian (an extinct language from ancient Mesopotamia) tale. According to this account at the beginning there was nothing but raging dark waters that were the personification of two deities: Apsu and Tiamat. They in turn produced other deities, each with a role connected with the universe. Then there is a big fight and the original two gods are killed and Marduk becomes the new leader of the gods. He creates the heavens and earth from the corpse of Tiamet and creates man. The other gods pay him homage by proclaiming 50 of his names. Men are also meant to do this.

There are some similarities with the Genesis account. There are dark waters at the beginning and there are many references to “the heavens and the earth”. Also similar to 7 days in Genesis there are 7 tablets on which the tale is told, with 7 different acts so to speak. The idea of a dome is similar.

The first major difference is the number of gods: one vs lots. Also the leader of the gods according to Enuma Elish is the grandson of the original gods. So he is created, not uncreated. The gods in the tale are quite malevolent having lots of quarrels and also seek revenge. The heavens and the earth are made from a god – Tiamet – whereas in Genesis God creates the heavens and the earth out of nothing. Also in Genesis man is made in God’s image – something that does not come across in the Akkadian tale. In the Enuma Elish men are created to be slaves to serve the God’s, there is no sense of dignity. Also the gods struggle in creating the world, whereas in Genesis God just speaks “and it was so”.

Drane, John Introducing the Old Testament

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