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Comparing The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Book of Job Essay

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Centuries ago, two books were written with similar and different ideas. The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Book of Job have different settings although they both discuss friendship, death and mortality, pain and suffering, and characters, but individually the book of Job examines where human beings stand in the world.

The Epic of Gilgameshis thought to have been orally recited in the late third millennium B.C.E in Sumer. Gilgameshis a semi historical, two- thirds god and one-third man, ruler of the city of Uruk in Sumer in the region of Mesopotamia approximately in 2800 B.C.E (19). The book of job takes place in Uz around the 530’s B.C.E (34).

The Epic of Gilgamesh and the book of job both have similar and different characters. They both have important gods although in the book of job there is only one god. In the book of job the only god is Yahweh. He is the all knowing and the creator of the universe. In the Epic of Gilgamesh there are many gods and goddesses including the most mentioned one; Ishtar. Ishtar is the goddess of love, fertility, and war. Job is the main character in the book of job, he questions god, and he creates the plot by obeying and then disobeying god. The friend of job come to show sympathy for job and Enkidu is the reason for the change of man in Gilgamesh. Both stories have a villain, in the book of Job it is Satan and in the Epic of Gilgamesh, it is Ishtar in the beginning for killing Enkidu and then it is the serpent for taking the plants away from Gilgamesh.

Both the Epic of Gilgamesh and the book of job have friendship in common. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu and Gilgamesh have a very strong and unbreakable friendship. Gilgamesh turns away from the affection of the Goddess Ishtar for his platoni...


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...n the world. Job questions what god is really doing for him. Then god talks to job in question form about the creation of the earth. This shows that jobs is very small compared to god, so small that he cannot even being to understand some of the the things god is telling him. Chapter 38 proves to job that humans are far below the power of god then in chapter 42 job quickly shames himself for the previous things he said.

The Epic of Gilgamesh and the book of job are similar because they both share themes characters and setting. These two books differ because the book of job because it has a major theme that discusses where humans stand in the world.




Works Cited

Fiero, Gloria K. The Humanistic Tradition. 6th ed. Bk. 1. Boston: McGraw, 2011. Print.
“From the Epic of Gilgamesh.” Fiero 19-23.
“From the Hebrew Bible: The Book of Job.” Fiero 34-36.




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