Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Genesis contra Atra-Hasis

If this translation pans out, it will be another link to my suggestion that Genesis is directly interacting with the Atra-hasis ideology. The animals going in the "ark" two by two would only be found in Genesis and in the Atra-hasis tradition. In fact, this part might have been in the main text of the story that is now broken. In any case, as Finkel notes:

Another interesting matter: the Babylonian flood story in cuneiform is 1,000 years older than the Book of Genesis in Hebrew, but reading the two accounts together demonstrates their close, literary relationship. No firm explanation of how this might have really come about has previously been offered, but study of the circumstances in which the Judaeans exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar II found themselves answers many crucial questions. 

 Of course, I find no objection to the time and place when the author would have encountered the epic (if during the exile, that common answer makes sense just fine), but the account was like the ANE version of Star Wars, so it was unlikely that it was unknown to the Israelites before the exilic period. In any case, direct interaction with the story and its ideology is almost a given at this point.

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