Divine Mediation and the Rise of Civilization in Mesopotamian Literature and in Genesis 1–11

David P. Melvin

Abstract


An analysis of the portrayal of the origins of human civilization in Mesopotamian literature, in comparison with that of Genesis 1–11, reveals discontinuity with regard to the divine mediation of civilization. In Mesopotamian texts, civilization is of divine origin and is mediated to humans from the divine sphere, whereas in Genesis 1–11 civilization is of human origin and is associated with the downward spiral of humanity, resulting from the human acquisition of illicit divine “knowledge” in Genesis 3.

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