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The Epic Of Gilgamesh And The Bible: Comparing The Flood Stories Essay, Research Paper

In both The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible, a flood takes place. The flood in both stories destroys most of mankind. These floods are a symbol. They represent rebirth and a new beginning for mankind, as well as the gods or God’s wrath. In the epic of Gilgamesh the gods decided to destroy mankind by flooding earth for six days and nights. Utnapishtim was chosen to build a boat in order to restart mankind after the flood. In The Bible, God decided that there was too much evil in the world and decided to flood Earth for forty days and nights. God Chose Noah to build an ark to save 2 of each animal and restart mankind after the flood. In both The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Bible, a story of a great flood occurs these stories compare and contrast in several significant ways. In both stories mankind was exterminated because things were getting to chaotic. In Gilgamesh the god Enlil’s reason for wanting to destroy man was “the uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible” The other gods agreed with this. In the Bible, God also saw how the wickedness of man had taken over earth.Utnapishtim was chosen to survive the great flood because he was a true worshipper of the god Ea, who came to warn Utnapishtim about the flood. Noah was the only man on earth who found grace in the eyes of God, and was really good. Because of this, God came to warn him about the flood and told him to build the ark. They each approached their Journey by building a large boat, and bringing his family and two of every flesh being onto the boat. Utnapishtim’s boat was two hundred feet tall, with six stories. Noah’s ark was thirty cubits high, and three stories. They each survived by staying in the boat during the whole flood, until it was over. From the god Ea, Utnapishtim was rewarded life eternal. Noah was blessed by God and was rewarded all earth’s flesh as meat for him and his family. The differences between Hebrew and Babylonian cultures that these stories suggest is that what people want as a reward is different. In Babylon culture, immortality is considered a gift. In Hebrew culture, rewards of food and blessings is what Noah wanted. If I had to Choose between being Noah, or Utnapishtim, I would be tempted to have eternal life, like Utnapishtim, but I would probably choose to be Noah, because I would be blessed. Also, Noah is more recognized today than Utnapishtim.


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