God creates order from Chaos
Many of the Jewish people in West Asia believed that at the beginning of time God created order out of Chaos. This is what is written in the beginning of the Bible, in the book called Genesis.
What is Chaos?
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West Asian religion
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Jewish creation and the Sumerians
Jewish ideas about the beginning of the world are similar to Sumerian beliefs. This is not surprising, because, at least according to the Bible, in these very early times the Jews lived in the Persian Gulf area (modern Iraq) with the Sumerians.
Who were the Sumerians?
The Enuma Elish
How long did God take for creation?
The Bible says that God created the world in seven days.
Day 1: Light and darkness
On the first day, God created the Heavens and the Earth: that is, He separated the light from the darkness (compare Zoroastrianism).
Monotheism and polytheism
History of astronomy
Day 2: The sky and the earth
On the second day, God separated the sky from the earth (compare the Greek version).
Greek story of Gaia
Day 3: The water and the land
On the third day, God divided the water from the land, and made the plants and the trees and flowers.
Day 4: The sun and the stars
Then on the fourth day, God created the sun and the stars.
Day 5: Animals
On the fifth day, God created animals, and fish and birds and snakes.
Day 6: People
On the sixth day, God created man, and (possibly a little later) woman.
Day 7: Rest
And on the seventh day He rested (this is why some Jews rest on Saturdays).
More about Adam and Eve
More about Cain and Abel
Bibliography and further reading about the history of Judaism:
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