Evolution Of Divine Relationships In Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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QUESTION ONE: EVOLUTION OF DIVINE RELATIONSHIPS IN ANCIENT
NEAR EASTERN TEXTS
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The second and first millennia B.C.E. were pivotal eras in human history, marked by
the emergence of complex societies and the development of written literature. During this
time, various cultures in the ancient Near East produced religious texts that provide insights
into how they understood their relationship with the divine or spiritual world.1 In this paper,
we will explore the concept of divine relationships as depicted in four significant texts from
this era: the Enuma Elish, the Great Hymn of Aten, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Old
Testament. Through a comparative analysis of these texts, we will examine how the ancient
Near Eastern peoples perceived their connection with the divine, focusing on both the
differences across cultures and the changes in belief systems, religious practices, and the
nature of gods/God over time.
Enuma Elish: Babylonian Cosmology and Divine Hierarchy
The Enuma Elish, a Babylonian creation myth, provides a vivid picture of how
ancient Mesopotamians understood their relationship with the divine. In this narrative, the
god Marduk emerges as the supreme deity, defeating the chaos monster Tiamat and
establishing order in the cosmos.2 The Enuma Elish reflects the ancient Mesopotamian belief
that the gods were powerful but capricious beings who shaped the world through violence
and conflict. Their relationship with humanity was one of subservience …
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