Egyptian, Babylonian, and Hebrew Religions
their religions. The importance is not in the similarities as much as it is in
light. He then separated the light from the darkness. He also created the land,
plants, and animals. He saw everything he created and, behold, it was good.
created from the dust of the ground. God gave him the breath of life and the
man became a living soul (Moses 1:1-2:7). With the background of that story,
one should look at the Egyptian interpretation of the beginning. At first there
was nothing but chaos that contained the seed of everything to come. In this
confusion the sun god dwelled. By an effort of his will he emerged from chaos
as Ra and gave birth to Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess moisture.
Shu and Tefnut gave birth to Geb and Nut, the earth god and sky goddess. Thus
passed and Ra grew frail, so the ungrateful race of men plotted against Ra.
mankind must be destroyed. Tens of thousands of men were killed until only a
few were left. Then Ra relented and man was spared. Nevertheless Ra was sick
interpretation of the beginning. All things came from the water. From the
mixture of sweet water, Aspu, with salt water, Tiamat, the gods arose. Aspu and
Tiamat gave birth to a pair of gigantic serpents, Lakhmu and Lakhamu. These two
serpents produced Anshar and Kishar, the heavens and the earth. Anshar and
Kishar then conceived Anu, Enlil, and Ea. Aspu and Tiamat grew angry because
the younger gods were noisy. So, they decided to destroy the new gods. Ea, the
all knowing, learned of this plan and used his magic to capture Apsu. Tiamat
others. Marduk was asked to stand against Tiamat and her army. Marduk promised
to defeat Tiamat if he was given supremacy over the gods. Marduk defeated
Tiamat and her army. While he was cutting up Tiamat’s body he used half her
body and created the dome of the heavens. With the other half he made the earth.
He then made rivers, plants, and animals completing creation. With these
stories’ background one can now analyze the likeness and differences among them.
The Egyptian and Babylonian stories show several gods in charge of creating the
the gods bestowing their powers upon him. The Egyptians do not actually raise
one god above another. The Hebrews have only one God, who created the earth.
The gods from each story created man from different items. The Egyptian and
Babylonian gods created man from tears and blood respectively. The Hebrew God
created man from dust, but in the image of himself. This seems to forge a
themselves, but with his image they have the ability to be godlike. The flood
stories of the cultures also show how they view their gods and the attitude the
had turned their backs on God and were no longer worshipping him. In short, one
is also shown in the Egyptian creation story when the people turned against Ra.
However, the Babylonian gods flooded the earth because it was so noisy that they
Babylonian gods were outraged when they realized Utnapishtim was delivered from
the catastrophe. The Egyptians do not have a flood story, is this because of
the regularity of the Nile’s flooding. The Egyptian saw balance and harmony
with the Nile’s example. The different cultures’ attitude toward their gods is
also shown in their literature. The Egyptians and Hebrews loved and worshipped
their gods.. This is shown in the Egyptian “The Hymn to the Aten” and the Hebrew
“Psalms.” Each of these works praises and exalts their respective god. The
Babylonians feared their god as they did their rivers that were unpredictable.
view of their gods. For nature was the only physical manifestation of their