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 7:3

Hebrew Bible

1 The Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, for I consider you godly among this generation. 2 You must take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, the male and its mate, two of every kind of unclean animal, the male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird in the sky, male and female, to preserve their offspring on the face of the entire earth. 4 For in seven days I will cause it to rain on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights, and I will wipe from the face of the ground every living thing that I have made.” 5 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

 Notes and References

"... This whole biblical description of a world-destroying flood represents a foreign element in Israelite tradition. The Levantine highlands in which Israel was situated are relatively arid and do not experience sustained, overwhelming floods. Rather, such floods are more typical of the river plains in Mesopotamia, especially in the wake of snowmelts in the mountain headlands of the Tigris and Euphrates in Turkey and Iran. It was in this Mesopotamian context, during the gradual collapse of the UR III order, that we see the development of several Mesopotamian narratives about the flood and the increasingly frequent use of the flood as the narrative backdrop for cosmological etiologies of Mesopotamian civilization. The three main Mesopotamian literary texts with narratives about the flood are the Atrahasis epic, the Sumerian Flood narrative (aka “Eridu Genesis,”), and the adaptation of a version of Atrahasis in the eleventh tablet of the standard edition of the Gilgamesh epic ... These stories, especially the versions of the Atrahasis flood story (including the Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh), share an overall framework. The non-P flood narrative features a number of connections to these Mesopotamian flood stories, even as it diverges in crucial respects as well. To be sure, the non- P flood story is no longer a drama of interaction between gods, and there is no evidence that it ever featured several significant features of the Mesopotamian tradition, such as the address to the elders, convening of the people to construct the ark, or a correlate to the goddess memorializing the days of the flood. Nevertheless, the non- P flood story does follow a similar trajectory of movement in the Mesopotamian flood narratives ..."

Carr, David McLain The Formation of Genesis 1-11: Biblical and Other Precursors (pp. 153-154) Oxford University Press, 2020

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