Term Paper: Gilgamesh and Isaiah - Views on Life

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Gilgamesh and Isaiah - Views on Life

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, written circa 1700 B.C.E. And discovered in the ruins of Nineveh in 1853, the view on life is basically centered on civilization itself, meaning that man, through "temperance, wisdom and piety... learns to rule himself and therefore his people" (Mitchell, 2004, p. 7). Gilgamesh, the main character in this epic, sees the world around him as a very mysterious place filled with much danger and personal challenges. His journey, composed of various adventures with the goal being to defeat the forces of evil in the world, leads to "a spiritual transformation, a sense of gratitude, humility and deepened trust in the intelligence of the universe" (Mitchell, 2004, pps. 51-52). Thus, life is replete with the unknown and is invariably controlled by destiny and fate.

Conversely, Isaiah views life as one of universal redemption filled with faith and hope. As one of the major prophets of Israel, Isaiah preaches the power of righteous suffering and the role of Israel as witness and mediator between God (Yahweh) and the other nations of the world. Thus, in contrast to the view held by Gilgamesh, Isaiah sees life as being under the control and dominance of God and understands that man must obey the divine plan set forth by God which will allow all humankind to live in peace and harmony. However, Isaiah would surely have agreed with the basic message contained in the Epic of Gilgamesh, namely, the man should live his life with temperance, wisdom and piety.

The Hebrews, Egyptians and Mesopotamians:

The Nature of God:

For the Hebrews, the nature of God was One all-powerful, a God that created the world and set man in it to be governed by God's laws and commandments as handed down by Moses. Similarly, the Mesopotamians were under the protection of the God of the city (En-lil), yet they also believed that the Gods could be benevolent and malevolent while personifying… [END OF PREVIEW]

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