In Genesis of the Old Testament the account of the Flood approximates the account recorded on Tablet 11of the Sumero-Babylonian version of the epic of Gilgamesh, discovered in the 1800’s by British archaeologists in Assyria.
N.K. Sandars in the Introduction to his book, The Epic of Gilgamesh, sums up the involvement by the pagan gods in the Sumero-Babylonian Flood narrative:
In the Gilgamesh flood Ishtar and Enlil are as usual the advocates of destruction. Ishtar speaks, perhaps in her capacity as goddess of war, but Enlil prevails with his weapon of the storm. Only Ea, in superior wisdom, either was not present, or being present was silent, and with his usual cunning saw to it that at least one of the race of men should survive. (41)
Column 1 on Tablet 11 begins the Sumero-Babylonian Flood narrative (Gardner 226). The sage Utnapishtim from Shurippak (100 miles south of Babylon), says:
The great gods stirred their hearts to make the Flood.
[. . .] Build an ark.
[. . .] Load the seed of every living thing into your ark,
the boat that you will build.
Let her measure be measured;
let her breadth and length be equal.
Cover it with a roof as the abyss is covered. (Gardner 226)
There is no reason given by Utnapishtim for the deluge. On the contrary, the Judaic version of the Flood in Genesis states in 6:5-8 a very clear, explicit reason for the Flood:
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that very imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the L...
... middle of paper ...
... and the creatures; then he builds an altar to the Lord and offers burnt sacrifice. The Lord is pleased so that he tells Noah and his family to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” God promises that “never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” The offering of sacrifice, and its acceptance by God – these are repeated in both accounts of the Flood.
Gardner, John and John Maier. Gilgamesh: Translated from the Sin-leqi-unninni version. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.
Harris, Stephen L. “Gilgamesh.” The Humanist Tradition in World Literature. Ed. Stephen Harris. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co., 1970.
Ignatius Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1966.
Sandars. N. K. The Epic of Gilgamesh. New York: Penguin Books, 1972.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A Comparison of the Flood of Gilgamesh and the Bible People grow up listening to the story of Noah and the flood. They remember the length of the flood, the dove, and the rainbow very vividly. However, most people do not realize that the story is told throughout many different cultures and with accounts older than Genesis¹s version in the Bible. Although each of the accounts tells of the flood, there are many variations to the story. One such story can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Although the Epic of Gilgamesh is similar to the Genesis version, there are some differences in the days leading to, during, and after the flood.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh Essays]
805 words (2.3 pages)
- The Flood of the Bible and the Flood of Gilgamesh The story of Noah’s Ark, as told in the old testament, tells how God punished the world because it had become corrupt. God accomplished this by flooding the world, and annihilating all the creatures upon it, except for Noah and his family and a pair of each type of creature on the earth. Each decade, more insight is gained into the origin of the flood story. Based on the information available at the present time, one could argue that the story of Noah’s Ark was based on the Epic of Gilgamesh.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
574 words (1.6 pages)
- “Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time- Richard Dawkins”. We all know the breath taking story of the Genesis flood, but have we ever noticed how similar it is to the Epic of Gilgamesh. Genesis is the story of how one God created mankind, along with everything else on Earth, and what punishments he put upon them when they acted wrong .Genesis is a chapter in the Holy Bible, which was written in the 18th century B.C.... [tags: Creation Stories, Ancient History]
1129 words (3.2 pages)
- A Textual Analysis of Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh The stories of the floods found in both Gilgamesh and Genesis contain many striking similarities that are inevitably beyond mere coincidence. One could surmise that both of these stories might have a basis in common historical occurrence. However, despite the fact that both of these works discuss a common topic, the portrayal of this event is quite different. Like identical twins raised in different cultures, the expressions of these works are products of their environment.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Holy Bible]
1051 words (3 pages)
- 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 famil... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh Essays]
883 words (2.5 pages)
- The Holy Bible is Fact, Not Fiction The Hebrew word used for "day" is the word yom. Every other time the word is used in the Old Testament in conjunction with a number, a literal, 24-hour period of time is being described; what we know as a day. The word is never used metaphorically in the Bible. The verses most commonly used to say that the word day in Genesis could mean more than a 24 hour period are Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3, which quotes Psalm 90:4. Psalm 90:4 - For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.... [tags: Holy Bible Essays]
1379 words (3.9 pages)
- Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis History tells us that since we have been able to write, our human race has had the habit of recording historical tales, or stories. Most of the first stories were tales of heroic men, scouring their land in search of some noble prize. These stories are known as epics, and they give us an excellent idea of the lifestyles and basic thought processes of early humans. Along the lines of these epics are the accounts told in the Bible, especially those in the Old Testament.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
993 words (2.8 pages)
- The Flood of Gilgamesh Perhaps the most popular comparison with Noah's Flood is that of an ancient Babylonian story of a similar flood. A quick look at the text does show some key similarities between them however there are also some pointed differences. I will show you both and let you decide whether there is or is not a connection. First let us look at the similarities: *It is set in the Iraqi/Turkey area.....similar to the Biblical Flood. *A man is warned by a god to build a ship so he could survive a coming flood, sent by the divine powers.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
1107 words (3.2 pages)
- The Flood of Gilgamesh and Genesis The Epic of Gilgamesh records a story of a world-wide flood and pre-dates Genesis. So some claim that this invalidates the Genesis record. But P.J. Wiseman presents an interesting theory in this regard in his book Ancient Records and the Structure of Genesis (New York: Thomas Nelson, 1985). He believes that Moses did not write Genesis but rather translated it from ancient stone tablets written in Cuneiform script. The tablets each would have been originally written by eye-witnesses of the particular events, or those who received their information from eye-witnesses.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
724 words (2.1 pages)
- The Authorship of Genesis Is the book of Genesis real or fiction. This is an age-old question. There are many thousands of Christians, who believe that Genesis is the absolute word of God. Many of these people believe that Moses wrote the book of Genesis, and believe that God himself told him what to write. Those who believe Moses wrote it really believe that God created the heaven and earth as well as all living things including man. Then there are those who believe Genesis is nothing more than fiction.... [tags: Holy Bible Genesis Essays]
981 words (2.8 pages)