A Comparison Of Death In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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The Epic of Gilgamesh has been of interest to Christians ever since its discovery in the mid-nineteenth century in the ruins of the great library at Nineveh, with its account of a universal flood with significant parallels to the Flood of Noah's day (Keller 32). The theme in The Epic of Gilgamesh is death and mortality. The Epic was composed in the form of a poem. The main figure is Gilgamesh, who may have been a historical person. The Sumerian King List shows Gilgamesh in the first dynasty of Uruk reigning for 126 years (Heidel 13).

There are many similarities between the Gilgamesh flood account and the biblical flood account (The Holy Bible-Genesis 6-8), beginning most importantly with God choosing a righteous man to build an ark because of an impending great flood. In both accounts, samples from all species of animals were to be on the ark, and birds were used after the rains to determine if flood waters had subsided anywhere to reveal dry land (Sandars). Another distinctive similarity that is shown in both accounts is that after the flood, sacrifices were offered in both accounts and God and the gods were pleased by the sacrifices. Utnapishtim and Noah both received blessings. While Utnapishtim’s was eternal life, Noah’s was to populate the earth and have dominion over all animals (Sandars).

The story in the Bible about the Garden of Eden in Genesis and the description of Enkindu’s transition from living in nature to culture and civilization has many similarities. In
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