Flood in Epic of Gilgamish and Book of Genesis of the Holy Bible
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The Flood in The Epic of Gilgamish and The Bible
The story of the great flood is probably the most popular story that has survived for thousands of years and is still being retold today. It is most commonly related within the context of Judeo-Christian tradition. In the Holy Bible, the book of Genesis uses the flood as a symbol of God's wrath as well as His hope that the human race can maintain peace and achieve everlasting salvation. The tale of Noah's Ark begins with God's expression of dismay as to the degenerate state of the human race at the time. People were behaving wickedly and sinfully and God decided that a genetic cleansing was necessary. He spared only Noah and his family, along with two of every type of animal; one male and one female. The other most popular flood story is found in the Epic of Gilgamish. In this text, the gods have decided to destroy everything on earth by creating a great flood. The only survivor is a man named Utnapishtim, spared because he is the god Ea's favorite human.
The Babylonian God Ea had decided to eliminate humans and other land animals with a great flood, which was to become "the end of all flesh". He selected Utnapishtim, to build an ark to save a few humans, and some of other animals, much like Noah. In comparing and contrasting the Babylonian text and the biblical story of Noah's Ark, there are many similarities between the two stories and one would conclude that they are essentially identical. The Genesis story describes how mankind had become corrupt and how the earth was filled with violence. In the ...
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...in it, leaving only a chosen few to remain on earth to start all over again.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Budge, E. A. Babylonian Story of the Deluge and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Montana, USA: Kessinger Publishing Co., n.d.
Gardner, John and John Maier. Gilgamesh: Translated from the Sin-leqi-unninni version. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.
Heidel, Alexander. The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949.
Ignatius Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996.
Web Sites Consulted:
The "Epic of Gilgamesh": An Outline. Online. 15 Feb. 2002. http://www.hist.unt.edu/ane-09.htm
Sumerian Mythology FAQ. Online. 15 Feb. 2002. http://webster.unh.edu/%7Ecbsiren/sumer-faq.html