Eridu Genesis

The Sumerian Deluge
Ancient Near East

You here have sworn by the lifes breath of heaven, the lifes breath of earth that he verily is allied with you yourself; you there, An and Enlil, have sworn by the lifes breath of heaven, the lifes breath of earth, that he is allies with all of you. He will disembark the small animals that come up from the earth! Ziusudra, being king, stepped up before An and Enlil, kissing the ground, and An and Enlil after honoring him were granting life like a gods, were making lasting breath of life, like a gods, descend into him. That day they made Ziusudra, preserver, as king, of the small animals and the seed of mankind,

Genesis 2:7

Hebrew Bible

4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created—when the Lord God made the earth and heavens. 5 Now no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 Springs would well up from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7 The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 The Lord God planted an orchard in the east, in Eden; and there he placed the man he had formed.

 Notes and References

"... Genesis 2–3 is particularly distinguished by its potential links to specifically Mesopotamian traditions. To be sure, scholars have noted some possible links to Egyptian traditions as well. We have some Egyptian depictions of the god Khnum forming humans on a potter’s wheel, which are reminiscent of the picture in Genesis 2:7 of YHWH “forming” the first human. Similarly, YHWH’s breathing life into that human’s nostrils recalls Egyptian depictions of gods holding life to the noses of humans. Moreover, it is in Egypt, not Mesopotamia, that we find actual mention of a “tree of life,” and the Egyptian literature of the dead refers to the power of a grave goddess to give eternal life. Nevertheless, Genesis 2–3 has even stronger evident connections to Mesopotamian cosmogonic traditions. Numerous distinctive aspects of the story in Genesis 2– 3 seem to point to Mesopotamian antecedents: the reference to the underground דֵא (“water flow, underground stream”) watering the surface of the ground in Genesis 2:6, the specifically Babylonian elements of the garden evoked in Genesis 2:8–9, the four rivers tradition in Genesis 2:10–14, the idea of creation out of a “rib” and the use of both the word עלצ to refer to that rib and the root הנב to refer to that creation in Genesis 2:22, etc. More generally, a longstanding Sumero-Akkadian tradition, encompassing both relatively early and later texts, depicts the creation of humanity on the command of a high god in order to provide labor and thus relieve the burden put on lower gods who have become rebellious about doing the hard work of canal maintenance and farming ..."

Carr, David McLain The Formation of Genesis 1-11: Biblical and Other Precursors (pp. 32-33) Oxford University Press, 2020

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