Yet it is noteworthy that the traditions are usually reshaped, readjusted or reinterpreted, and are not replaced by entirely new ones.
The narratives of the monarchy which are preserved only in Chronicles, on the other hand, illustrate the manner in which tradition was reshaped and rewritten under the influence of a later religious standpoint.
In Babylonian myth a serpent, apparently in a well or pool, deprived Gilgamesh of the plant which rejuvenated old age, and if it was the rightful guardian of the wonderful gift, one is reminded of the Hebrew story, now reshaped in Gen.
It is impossible to trace a safe path through the complicated aetiological myths, the fragments of reshaped legend and tradition, or the adjustment of rival theologies.
Although the priestly source shows how the lore could be reshaped, and Jubilees represents later efforts along similar lines, it is evident that for ordinary readers the patriarchal traditions could not be presented in an entirely new form, and that to achieve their aims the writers could not be at direct variance with current thought.