Gilgamesh Flood Story Vs. Biblical Flood Story


Gilgamesh Flood Story Vs. Biblical Flood Story Essay, Research Paper

?The Flood Stories?

The amazing stories of the great flood that are described in, The Epic of Gilgamesh which is translated by N.K. Sandars and ?The Story of the Flood? which is the King James version, both stories similarly. Many of the events of each story are very similar in ways and very different in some of them. From reading both stories I concluded that there was a huge flood that took place in that area of the world. Even though the way both stories describe the flood; The Epic of Gilgamesh is more imaginable. I say that because it is more realistic to have rain for six days, six nights than for forty days, forty nights. Both flood stories have a major similarity and difference though.

Both stories described the same flood but they did it in different ways. One difference that backs it up is in The Epic of Gilgamesh the rains that cause the floods only last six days, six nights and in ?The Flood Story in Genesis? the rains last forty days, forty nights. A quote that tells about the flood is when Utnapishtim said, ?For six days and six nights the wind blew, torrent and tempest and flood overwhelmed the world, tempest and flood raged together like warring hosts (pg. 25).? This quote by Utnapishtim describes how bad the weather, rains, and wind were during the six days and six nights of the storm. On the other hand in ?The Story of the Flood? it rained for forty days, forty nights. While God was talking to Noah he said, ?For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth (pg. 48 line 4).? This quote describes how long God will have the rain go for. It also says that he is doing it to destroy all of mankind. After reading the two stories I concluded that forty days and forty nights was too long for it to rain without stopping; that is why the flood in Gilgamesh is more realistic. The length of the rains in the flood story in The Epic of Gilgamesh is easier for someone to believe than the length of the rains in Genesis.

Even though the stories were different there was many similarities in the stories. In The Epic of Gilgamesh after the rains had stopped Utnapishtim?s arc landed on top of, Mt. Nisir, a mountain. It was the only place above the floodwaters that you could see. Utnapishtim said, ? I looked for land in vain, but fourteen leagues distant there appeared a mountain, and the boat grounded; on the mountain of Nisir the boat held fast, she held fast and did not budge (pg. 25).? This quote describes how Utnapishtim was looking for land while stranded out in the floodwater and the only place he could see was Mount Nisir. Correspondingly, in ?The Story of the Flood? basically the similar thing happened. After the forty days and forty nights of rain Noah landed on Mount Ararat which is geographically three hundred miles away from Mount Nasir. This is another way to prove that the flood was probably real and not just a story to tell children so they would be scared to cause chaos. The two stories are both similar for the way described in the above paragraph.

The major similarity between the two stories is that the god or gods sent the flood because the people of the world because they were causing chaos and were corrupt. In The Epic of Gilgamesh Enlil and the other gods were mad about how the people were taking too much control and that is why the gods sent the flood. Ea told Utnapishtim in a dream to build an arc because the gods were going to send a flood that was going to wipe out all of mankind. ? O man of Shurrupak, son of Ubara-Tutu; tear down your house and build a boat, abandon possessions and look for life, despise worldly goods and save your soul alive. Tear down your house, I say, and build a boat. These are the measurements of the baroque as you shall build her: let her beam equal her length, let her deck be roofed like the vault that covers the abyss; then take up into the boat the seed of all living creatures (pg. 23-24).? In addition ?The Story of the Flood? for about the same reasons God did the same thing. God said, ?The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth(pg. 47 line 13).? Finally, he told Noah to build an arc while walking and talking to him. He told him to build an arc because he was going to have a flood fueled by forty days and forty nights of rain. Therefore the two stories are both similar in the reason why the god or gods sent it.

In conclusion the flood stories in The Epic of Gilgamesh and the flood story of Genesis are the same in ways and different in some. You can conclude this from the reasons given above. These stories relate to the world and people today because people look to the flood stories for religious reasons. When people look at these stories they feel that if they start to become corrupt and chaotic that a god might make a natural disaster to wipe out mankind. That is the importance that the flood stories have on all of mankind.

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