Describe the Mesopotamian concept of divination.
In ancient Mesopotamia, divination involved the divinely appointed king sitting in submission to listen to and obey the gods, usually in the form of an idol (a "god of giddiness"), during listening sessions in order to learn how to best steer the king's nation.
Who is the ancient Mesopotamian god Utu?
Utu was the god of the sun and the god of the law/order/righteousness.
Who was the ancient Mesopotamian goddess Inana?
Inana was the goddess of extra-marital sex and of war.
Who was the ancient Mesopotamian god Enki?
Enki was the god of sweet, fresh waters and the friend of humans.
Who was the ancient Mesopotamian god Enlil?
The ancient Mesopotamian god Enlil was the Chief god known as "the bull."
What was the ancient Mesopotamian flood narrative?
Ziusudra listened to Enki saying that Enlil wants to join Inana in destroying humanity via a worldwide flood. Enki explains that Ziusudra should build a boat and fill it with two of every animal, which Ziusudra does. After the rain stops, Ziusudra sacrifices to Utu the sun god, who dries up the rain. The point of the story is to explain how Ziusudra was deified as part of his kingship.
What is the significance of the character of Noah in the flood narrative in Genesis?
1. The flood story says very little about Noah as compared with Utnapishtim in the epic of Gilgamesh or Ziusudra in the Mesopotamian flood narrative.
2. The flood narrative of Genesis reveals more about God than it does about Noah. Scripture tells us in Genesis 6 that Noah was righteous, blameless in his generation, and that he walked with God.
What strong scientific evidence do we have for a worldwide or even regional flood as described in the flood narrative of Genesis?
How do the source texts of J and P fit together in the flood narrative, as opposed to how they fit together as part of the creation narrative?
Whereas Genesis 1:1-2:4a is clearly dominated by the P source and Gen 2:4b-25 is clearly dominated by the J source, the flood narratives in Gen 6-9 move back and forth among J and P much more frequently.
What is the difference between the rationale for the flood in J vs. in P?
In J, Gen 6:5-8, 7:1-15 shows God is deeply troubled by human wickedness. In P, Gen 6:9-22 shows the rationale involves all of creation being wicked and the world needing to return to a chaotic state.
How many animals were commanded to be part of Noah's ark in the P text, and how many animals were commanded to be part of Noah's ark in the J text?
P text - two of every kind
J text- seven pairs of every clean animal and one pair of every unclean animal.
Why would the J account of the flood involve so many pairs of animals on the ark?
To include animals for sacrificing to God after making it safely to land