I would suggest starting from the other end, from the “big picture” of the entire Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament) and then work inwards towards detailed questions.
The Hebrew Bible took shape over a long period of time. It is about the turbulent history of the Jewish people finding, but often ignoring, their identity in God and in the land God had promised them. Remember that they, at the time, didn’t have their Bible; this only emerged, and gradually so, through their history. (Recall, too, that while the contents of the Hebrew Bible and of our Old Testament are the same, the order of the books is different. Even that can be of significance.)
The latter part of that Jewish history is their catastrophic exile and forced removal away from their land and the thought that God was associated with this “Promised Land”. That land fell desolate; they were in exile in Babylon. Towards the end of the history of the Hebrew Bible, a remnant (but only a remnant) returns to the land and attempts to rebuild (Ezra-Nehemiah, etc;).
(“What has this got to do with Genesis creation; Adam&Eve; Noah?” I hear you asking…!)
In that violent uprooting into Babylon, they have to try to make sense of their history, the promises of God about the land and about their enforced removal from it. That included rethinking all that they thought they knew. It included fiercely maintaining their own sense of identity, within their new captors’ foreign culture, but without becoming assimilated into it.
Now… try reading the opening eleven chapters of Genesis as a strong political identity statement against that Babylonian culture. There are simultaneously, and in creative tension:
- a framework of that Babylonian culture with its “Enuma Elish” creation account and its Gilgamesh and Atrahasis flood accounts etc;
- a polemical counter-narrative against that culture.
The Genesis 1-11 accounts have strong resonances with those Babylonian accounts, yet are strongly subversive of it. Details such as Genesis talking about “two great lights” and (in contrast to the Babylonian myths) specifically not naming the sun and moon are important. The Israelite creator God simply speaks and creates, in contrast to the murderous, bloodthirsty regimes within the court of the Babylonian gods. Humankind is created in the supremely lofty position of “image (representative) of God” himself, in contrast to the Babylonian gods creating humans as their lowest-of-the-low slaves. The exalted state, then fall from grace of Adam and Eve, and expulsion from Eden is a foretaste of the history of Israel, fall from grace and expulsion from the promised land of the nation state of Israel.
Does that help?
In summary, we today fall into the trap of unwittingly divorcing the Hebrew Bible from its context. We need to try to recapture what it was like at the time.