Genesis and Enuma Elish creation myth comparisons

One of the two Bible creation myths was probably derived from the much older Mesopotamian creation myth "Enuma Elish".

The six days of creation in the Genesis myth parallel the six generations of gods in the Enuma Elish myth in type of god in Enuma Elish that is created (i.e. god of the earth) to what is created or happens on the corresponding day in Genesis (i.e. the waters are gathered together to expose dry land).

Marduk the sixth generation god makes man as a slave so the other gods can rest.

God (Elohim) makes man on the sixth day and he himself rests.

The Enuma Elish six generations of gods:


Tiamat and Apsu (1rst generation) who created

Lahamu (2nd generation) who created

Kishar (3rd generation) who created

Anu (4rth generation) who created

Ea (5th generation) who created

Marduk (6th generation).

To read the entire Enuma Elish Creation myth click here: Entire Enuma Elish Creation Myth


Simularities Between Enuma Elish and Genesis

1rst generation of gods and 1rst day of Genesis creation:

(From start of Enuma Elish)

When on high the heaven had not been named, Firm ground below had not been called by name, Naught but primordial Apsu, their begetter, And Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all, Their waters commingling as a single body;

Apsu is the god of water.

Tiamat is the god of primeval chaos and bearer of the sky and the earth.

(Gen 1:1-2 NRSV) In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep (or watery chaos), (Tehowm) while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. ...

(Gen 1:5 NRSV) ...And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.


2nd and 3rd generation of gods and 2nd and 3rd day of Genesis creation:

... Lahmu and Lahamu were brought forth, by name they were called. ... Anshar and Kishar were formed, surpassing the others. ...

(Lahamu was the god of muddy silt and Kishar was the god of the Earth)

(Gen 1:6-7 NRSV) And God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

(Here God (Elohim) slices the waters into two with a sky dome to make the sky and the oceans, in Enuma Elish this also parallels Marduk slicing Tiamat (Tehowm in the bible) into two to make the land and sky.)

(Gen 1:8 NRSV) ...evening and there was morning, the second day.

(Gen 1:9-10 NRSV) And God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. ...

(Gen 1:13 NRSV) ...evening and there was morning, the third day.


4rth generation of gods and 4rth day of Genesis creation:

Anu was their heir... (Anu was the god of the sky) ...

(Gen 1:16 NRSV) God made the two great lights--the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night-- and the stars. ... (and set them in the sky dome)

(Gen 1:19 NRSV) ...evening and there was morning, the fourth day.


5th generation of gods and 5th day of Genesis creation:

He who begot him (Marduk) was Ea, (Ea was the god of all things of the Earth and also of cantations, when he speaks things are made (God (Elohim) makes things by speaking))

(Gen 1:21 NRSV) So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. ...

(Gen 1:23 NRSV) evening and there was morning, the fifth day.


6th generation of gods and 6th day of Genesis creation:

In the heart of holy Apsu was Marduk created. He who begot him was Ea, his father;

(Marduk became king of the Gods and creator of man) "Blood I will mass and cause bones to be.

I will establish a savage, `man' shall be his name. truly, savage-man I will create. He shall be charged with the service of the gods That they might be at ease! (Parallel this with God (Elohim) resting after creating man)

(Gen 1:26 NRSV) Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image,

(Gen 1:31 NRSV) ...evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

(Gen 2:2 NRSV) And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.

So Marduk made man a slave so the gods could rest. After God (Elohim) makes man he rests on the seventh day: