Epic Of Gilgamesh Vs. Book Of Genesis

952 words - 4 pages

In analyzing both The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Book of Genesis, there are passages describing a flood. These floods are explained very similarly. Many comparisons are recognized throughout these passages; however, there are also contrasting notions which help distinguish between the two stories. The meaning and the value of The Book of Genesis are treasured by the religious faith and The Epic of Gilgamesh, which may not be as universally known, is valued in the literary world. People look at these stories as a basis for their everyday lives. The power of God or other gods is out of our hands and it is up to us to try and decipher many stories and take use of the morals in them. Some of the similarities in these passages are very striking, while others are very general.Both Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim, the characters in the stories, were called to create an ark before a flood came. Neither was perfect, but both were considered righteous and relatively faultless compared to those around them. The Lord said to Noah, "I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation" (Genesis Handout 7 Line 1). The God Ea had appeared to Utnapishtim to forewarn him of this flood, which shows his righteousness to Ea because he had come to him above anyone else. The blessings that each hero received after the flood were also quite different. Utnapishtim was granted eternal life, while Noah was to multiply and fill the earth and have dominion over the animals. People can base their way of life on being determined to becoming righteous so that they too can become righteous in the eyes of God or other gods.Strikingly similar, both heroes were asked to build a boat, or an ark, to support only certain things and in Noah's case also "seven pairs of all clean animails" (Handout 7 Line 2) and tragically all flesh that remained moving on earth would be destroyed by the flood; however, Noah received his instructions directly from God and Utnapishtim received them indirectly from one of the gods in a dream. Utnapishtim also took "all that I had of gold and of living things, my family, my kin, the beast of the field both wild and tame, and all the craftsmen" (Gilgamesh 109).Noah, however, with his animals and "his sons and his wife and his sons' wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood" (Genesis Handout 7 Line 7). In both situations, the hero initially consented to their God or gods to build the ark. Neither hero overly questioned a reason for doing so and followed the proclamation from their God or gods. The ark in both passages were several stories high. Both arks consisted of one door. Both of the arks landed in...

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