Essay: Gilgamesh the Biblical Flood and the Epic

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Gilgamesh

The Biblical Flood and the Epic of Gilgamesh

Most civilizations have legends which most individuals find hard to believe, and, some of the myths are similar, in spite of the fact that they belong to different civilizations. Some people have reasons to believe that a lot of elements from the Biblical Flood have correspondents in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Moreover, the fact that the Epic of Gilgamesh is older than the Biblical Flood has lead skeptics in believing that the account from the Bible has been inspired from the story of Gilgamesh.

The story of Noah is more complex, and it involves no supernatural powers being attributed to human beings, while that of Utnapishtim involves a great deal of unexplainable occurrences, with no human being able to perform certain actions performed by the main character. Some might claim that this is because the Bible has been written over a long period of time, and, because it has been written at a time when people had already accumulated vast knowledge concerning writing methods. Also, the people having written the Bible would have had time to carefully analyze Utnapishtim's story and to expand it in order to make it more enjoyable to those reading it. A reasonable motive for the similarity between the two accounts might also be that they have both been based on an event that has happened in the past. It is also possible for the Babylonian report to have been based on an earlier Hebrew document.

Because of the fact that the Bible appears to have more truthful events present in it, and Sumerian accounts seem to be simple myths, one could be inclined to believe that there is no actual resemblance between the Biblical Flood and the Epic of Gilgamesh. There are a great number of similarities between the two accounts, and, any superficial reader might tend to believe that there is no doubt about the two documents being related to each other. However, when looking closer at the stories, one can see that a main reason for the resemblance is that the two contain a lot of occurrences which are perfectly normal during a flood. A reason for the fact that both accounts occur in Mesopotamia is that both the Sumerian culture and the Hebrew one had lived in the Middle East.

Both Noah and Utnapishtim have been advised by the Gods to build boats with the help of which they would be able to help their people. Instead of being directly told by his Gods to act accordingly, as is the case of Noah, Utnapishtim receives his instructions during a dream. It is not surprising that the two main characters had built large boats in order to escape the flood, since the only method to escape a flood at the time had been by boat. The boat in the Biblical Flood and the boat… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Gilgamesh the Biblical Flood and the Epic.  (2009, July 11).  Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gilgamesh-biblical-flood-epic/7032

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"Gilgamesh the Biblical Flood and the Epic."  Essaytown.com.  July 11, 2009.  Accessed May 19, 2019.
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