CLAIM: Critics argue that the story of Moses being put into the Nile River as a baby was stolen from the Akkadian “Legend of Sargon.” In this ancient account, the author states, “[My mother] set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose not (over) me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water lifted me out as he dipped his e[w]er. Akki, the drawer of water, [took me] as his son (and) reared me.” Does this demonstrate that the biblical account was plagiarized?
RESPONSE: There are several key differences in these accounts:
First, many ancient texts describe child exposure in general. In fact, this has been a tragic reality all throughout history—even today. Hoffmeier writes, “the reason for the multitude of stories from across the Near East and Mediterranean of casting a child into the waters is that it may reflect the ancient practice of committing an unwanted child, or one needing protection, into the hands of providence. A modern parallel would be leaving a baby on the steps of an orphanage or at the door of a church.”
Second, the story of Moses’ birth doesn’t fit this conventional pattern, because Moses wasn’t left to die by his mother. As we argued elsewhere, he wasn’t thrown into the Nile River. He was set among the reeds in an “ark” to protect him.
Third, the language fits with Egyptian and Hebrew parallels—not Akkadian language.
 James Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (Oxford University Press, 1997), 138.
 James Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (Oxford University Press, 1997), 136-140.