The flood stories in “Epic of Gilgamesh”
Compare the flood stories in “Epic of Gilgamesh” and “Creating, Destroying, and Renewing the World: Genesis Chapter 1-8”
Epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis Chapter 1-8
The Epic of Gilgamesh, considered as one of the oldest written story, is a historical tale about a demigod who was the king of the Sumerian city in the land of Uruk in early Mesopotamia. Despite its structural and ideological difference to the biblical story, The Epic of Gilgamesh has exhibited significant parallels to Noah’s story of floods in the book of Genesis. Christians have studied the ideas of creation and the afterlife presented in the Epic, and in comparison, with the book of Genesis in the Bible, various profound similarities have been demonstrated between the two books. Such similarities include the creation and destruction of humankind, and renewing of the world through floods. Therefore, this paper explicates and expounds on various similarities revealed in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the book of Genesis.
As evident in the literature, the Epic of Gilgamesh and the book of Genesis (1-8) generally evolves around the creation as well as the disaster of “The Great Flood” that devastated humankind. In both stories, there is a universal flood that wiped all humanity as a penalty for their wickedness and sinful nature. In Genesis, the Great Flood was sent by Yahweh while in Gilgamesh, the flood was posted by the Assembly of Gods, who were the supreme beings. These tales have several similarities since they are based on the fact that the world is flooded because the God in Genesis and gods in Gilgamesh understand that their people have lost their virtues, and they made a decision that starting from a clean slate can assist in solving the situation.
Additionally, Utnapishtim (the hero in Gilgamesh) shows similar morality as Noah in Genesis. Furthermore, in both stories, Noah and Utnapishtim were requested by their respective gods to build a big boat, a request to which both characters obliged. They built one with several compartments and with at least one window and door. Furthermore, during the floods, both the characters sent birds to find land for docking. Noah freed three doves and ravens, while Utnapishtim released a swallow, a dove and a raven.
In conclusion, both the accounts exhibit several similarities; hence there is an evident relationship. While one or both of the tales might be fictional, they share similar details and bits on the story of floods. In a brief explanation, the flood’s essence was to destroy humanity, which is similar in both cases, as has been substantially explicated.