Are we created from violence or by peaceful means?

“From dust you came, and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19)

When we die, will we return to violence of to eternal peace? The creation stories of the Bible and the ancient Babylonians differ greatly, from the  peaceful creation in 7 days, to the war between the gods that lasted years.

In the Babylonian story, the two first gods (salt and fresh water gods) created silt, which became land. Out of this land came three other gods, and one of them went on to create wind gods. These wind gods annoyed the first two gods, so they decided to punish them. One of the wind gods finds out and destroys the saltwater god. Two wind gods then  have a child who is the sun god. The sun god then plans to rule the gods, and after assuming a warrior form (much like Zeus) subdues the last of the first two gods, and rips her in half to form heaven and earth.  He then orders gods to make humans to serve them.

— In short, a very violent and drawn out creation

In contrast to the Babylonian version of creation, the genesis in the Bible talks about an all loving god who created the world in 7 days, and gave humans domain over all creatures. The humans then proceeded to break the one rule that God had laid down and were expelled from paradise.

These stories, a few thousand years apart but written in the same area are greatly different. From the war of the gods to the creation by only ONE God, from a violent fight and creation of humans to serve, to a peaceful creations of humans to rule over animals and love God. If we return to that from which we came, these two different stories may be an even older, and much less simple version of heaven and hell.

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One Response to Are we created from violence or by peaceful means?

  1. cburell says:

    Really interesting final speculation. Not sure I’m sold on Judaism’s peacefulness, in light of Gen. 2, the Flood, the Mosaic Laws (esp. Deuteronomy), and Yahweh’s role in the (brutal) conquest of Canaan. But there’s no denying the validity of your point.

    Of course, since the primordial sea (did you notice on close reading that Genesis doesn’t say that God created that, but that it already existed?) is not a (female) divinity, but a de-sanctified bit of dumb nature, there’s nothing for the Sky God to fight with.

    And on the puzzle flows.

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