Ancient Near Eastern texts – Part 3

Ra and the Serpent
Date: 2400 B.C. Egypt
From comparing this online translation to others, I am not quite sure how accurate it is but it does get the general idea across. In this story, Ra, the god of the son, was the first thing in all creation. They believed that Ra created everything by speaking it into existence. It starts with a similar line to what God tells Moses at the burning bush – “I am” which Matthews and Benjamin translate “I am who am.” Ra creates creatures and then puts the creatures into a deep sleep until Ra can find a place to stand (sounds pretty weak to me). Ra creates Egypt as the center of the universe and brought out beings from the sea. The creation of man has much more sexual overtones than in the biblical account.

What can we learn from this? They believed they were chosen as the center of the universe while the Hebrews were not chosen because they were the greatest but because they were the least. A story created by man would be one that would tend to make man the center of it all. Not so in the Bible. The Egyptian description of creating man resembles procreation, not so in scripture where God creates man from the dust of the ground and the breath (or spirit) of life. Our God does not need a place to stand. Our God did not “appear” as Ra appeared.

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