I started reading The Oxford History of the Biblical World tonight. Here’s an interesting quote from Michael Coogan found in the first chapter. He suggests that parallels between Biblical literature and the literature of the Ancient Near East are ubiquitous, though direct parallels are difficult to point out:
It is rarely possible to establish a direct link between a specific nonbiblical source and a part of the Bible, both because of the random nature of discovery and because of the complicated processes of composition, editing, and collection that finally produced the Bible. Still, the cumulative evidence shows that most biblical genres, motifs, and even institutions have ancient Near Eastern parallels.
Michael D. Coogan, ed., The Oxford History of the Biblical World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001) 21, Questia, 2 Sept. 2009 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=104292118>.