Water has the ability to take life in many forms; hurricanes, tsunamis that can wash away entire civilizations, and raining too much, such as when God flooded the earth and wipe away everything except for Noah’s ark and its passengers. In the last line of the poem the speaker states, “Elegantly destroy.” As that is the last line of the 12 lined poem, the poet leaves off with such a strong image of water. This quote shows us that water is a force not to be reckoned with. Even though water can destroy anything in its path, it destroys with
Just about everyone has heard a story about the Great Flood. Where you live and your religious beliefs impacts which myth you’ve heard. They all have the same basis; mankind is going to be destroyed because of their sins, a man is told to build an Ark, which he does, sacrifices to birds searching for dry land and ends up saving mankind and gaining immortality. Although the basis of every story is the same, they have their differences. I will be comparing three versions of the Great Flood, the Sumerian flood myth, the Babylonian flood myth and the version told in the Bible.
We have fragments of versions dating as much as a thousand years earlier, and we possess also portions of a Summerian archetype. In the Mesopotamian version: the gods apparently displeased with the evils of mankind decided to destroy it by means of a great flood. Ea, the god of wisdom and subtlety, was privy to their council and warned Utnapishtim, the Babylonian Noah, of the coming disaster. Utnapishtim was told to build a ship thirty cubits long and thirty cubits wide. Provision it and put in it specimens of every living thing.
Essentially, the flood is brought upon by a god and can take different forms, but its purpose is the same: to wipe out or bring death to the world. Throughout many of these myths that follow, the flood comes in the form of a woman. Three different versions of the flood are in the form of Sekhmet in Egyptian mythology, Pandora's box in Greek mythology, and Kali in Hinduism. Firstly, in Egyptian mythology, Ra, the sun god, created and released Sekhmet into the world as punishment to humanity for ridiculing him due to his aging. Sekhmet goes on a raging killing spree slaughtering many until Ra decides to save the rest of humanity and orders the priest of his temple to dye 7,000 jars of beer the color red.
Noah heard the voice of God and was told that the Earth is in turmoil. God told him that he would end all life by causing a flood to cover the land. Noah was told to build an ark out of gopher wood, with very specific dimensions to house his family. He was then told to bring with him upon the ark, seven pairs of every clean species of animal and only one pair of unclean animals. Noah built the ark and soon the flood was upon the Earth.
God reacts by increasing the suffering of his people in a series of ten plagues brought upon the Egyptians (Exodus 7:14-11:10). Finally, Moses threatened the Pharaoh with the death of all first-born sons of Egypt. Lamb’s blood was painted on the doors of the Hebrew homes and God spread death over the land, passing over Hebrew houses with blood-painted doors. This is known as Passover. The Pharaoh was so terrified that, only after the death of the Egyptian’s first-born does he release the Israelites, ordering the Hebrews to get out of Egypt.
The Lord decides, he "will destroy human beings I made on earth. And I will destroy every animal and everything that crawls on the earth. I will also destroy the birds of the air." (Genesis 6:7) After God makes his decision to create a great flood he chooses Noah to build an ark to save his family and a number of each animal to live on after the flood so they can start a new and better life on Earth. The Epic of Gilgamesh relays to readers a story very similar to Noah's flood story.
The two stories are obviously based on the same thing, but one must wonder which one is true or which came first. The story of Utnapishnem in the Gilgamesh Epic starts with a dream that warns Utnapishnem of the coming flood. The gods are angry and want to rid the world of mankind. Utnapishnem built a boat large enough to carry his family, personal belongings, and “the seed of all other living creatures.” After Utnapishnem finished, the rain fell for six days and six nights, and it was so bad that the gods climbed into heaven for safety. After the rain stopped, the boat came to rest on Mount Nisir, and Utnapishnem released a dove and a swallow.
Only Noah and his family escape the waters of the flood (Genesis 7:7). Not only did the flood waters obliterate nearly all humankind, but also virtually all forms of animal life excluding the mated animal companions sheltered within the refuge of the ark (Genesis 7:21-23). Employed as a tool to dispense God’s judgment, water becomes the medium by which God transforms from a creator of life to an eliminator of life. Once again, when God delivers punishment to a disobedient people, water is found to play a significant role. As God releases plagues upon Egypt because of Pharaoh’s refusal to let God’s people go, the plagues source of origin... ... middle of paper ... ... promised to make a great nation of, can satiate their thirst (Exodus 21:18-19).
The origin of Gilgamesh’s flood points to the deluge of rain caused by Adad and the god’s thunderstorm. The Genesis account alludes to both rain and water from the ground as being the source of the flood. “All the wellsprings of the great deep burst and the casements of the heavens were opened.” “For in seven days’ time I will make it rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe out from the face of the earth all existing things that I have made.” (164). Both stories speak of all living things upon the earth perishing except for the animals and human beings aboard the ark at the time of the