Creation Myths of the Middle East

Babylonian
The “Epic of Creation”, also called the Enuma Elish, dates to the second millennium BC. The ocean goddess, Tiamat, planned an attack against the gods. The god Marduk is created to defend them, a task he will only take on if he becomes their leader, and remains their leader after the threat is gone. The gods agree, and Marduk challenges Tiamat to a battle.

During the battle, Marduk destroys Tiamat. He rips her corpse in two, creating the heavens and the earth. Marduk then organizes the movements of the planets, creates the first calendar, and regulates the weather and the movement of the sun and moon. He creates Babylon as the earthly equivalent of the home of the gods. Finally, he kills Tiamat’s husband, Kingu, and uses his blood to create the first people.

Baha’i
To the Baha’I, the universe and everything in it were created by God. People were created to serve God and his purposes.

Egyptian
The Egyptians had a treasure trove of Gods and goddesses. As such, it is no surprise that there are at least three different creation myths.

In the Ennead, the god Atum rose from the primordial waters. To relieve his loneliness, he masturbated. From his semen and breath, moisture and dryness were created. The earth (Geb) and sky (Nut) were born, and remained, in a state of perpetual copulation.

In the Ogdoad, Ra rose up, then created his wife, Hathor. Their son, Hor, married Isis. Anubis, also known as Anupu, was the lord of the dead.

The third group saw Ptah as an eternal god,. The rest of the universe and all the gods were spoken into existence by Ptah, much as the Christian God did.

Islam
At the beginning of time, the heavens and the earth were one. They were torn asunder, and over time assumed their present shape. In the Koran, this creation took six long time spans (contrast with the six literal days of the Bible). Muslim scholars draw parallels between the Koran and the evidence of the Big Bang theory.

God created the world and the heavens, and all the creatures within. He created the sun and moon and stars, placing them in the sky. He molded clay and water into the shape of a man, breathing life into it. Adam was created. God also created Eve, the first woman.

The couple resided in the garden of Paradise. There, they had all the food they could desire. They wanted for nothing. The Evil One tempted them into keeping forbidden fruit, and God subsequently cast them out.

Judeo-Christian
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Over six days, God creates the world and everything in it. This culminates with the creation of man on day six. God rested on the seventh day – the basis for our Sabbath.

God creates Adam and places him in the garden of Eden. Over time, Adam gets lonely, and God seeks a companion for him. Using one of Adam’s ribs, God creates Eve, the first woman. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden until they eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Before they can eat from the Tree of Life, becoming immortal, God throws them out of the Garden of Eden.