Comparing the Great Flood in Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark

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Comparing the Great Flood in Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark

Many of the same ancient stories can be found in different cultures. Each story differs in a small way, but the general idea remains synonymous. One story that is paralleled in several cultures is the legend of a great flood. The epic of Gilgamesh resembles the Bible’s story of Noah’s Ark, but specific details differ in several aspects. The story of Gilgamesh originates from twelve fire-hardened, mud tablets, written in cuneiform, in the Mesopotamian culture from around 2500 B.C.E. It has been passed down through generations for centuries, teaching obedience to gods. The story of Noah’s Ark, found in the Christian Bible, seems to do the
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Gilgamesh brought his family on the boat as well, but he also brought all the craftsmen that helped to build it, (relg-studies). This is a huge difference between the stories. The craftsmen were an added group that reproduced and passed on their skills. Noah only took his family, relying on God to provide them with the necessary items that they could not produce. There were not any other people on board. Therefore, the corruption of this world is thought to come from one of Noah’s sons, descending down through him. If Gilgamesh brought craftsmen on the boat, this is a new place to lay the blame for today’s violence. The next discrepancy lies in the amount of time it rained. Noah’s story emphasized rain for forty days and forty nights. The number forty also appears in several other biblical stories. Gilgamesh’s rainfall lasts for just six days and nights. However, the numerical system of the Mesopotamians is based on the numbers six, ten, and sixty. So the story directly relates to the numerical system of the time, (Lecture, 9/13/1999). Perhaps this number was adopted because of its wide use. Upon the arrival on the mountain top, each man sent out a dove, which returned because it found no place to land. Then, Gilgamesh sent out a swallow, which also returned. When Gilgamesh sent out a raven, it did not return. He knew the raven had found a place to land and food to live off of. So the

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