Gilgamesh Vs. Noah In The Old Testament

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The History of Culture, the Arts & Ideas: A Survey Critique of Gilgamesh Flood narrative and The Old Testament. The two stories of Noah, and the flood narrative contained within the Epic of Gilgamesh, are stories that share several similarities, and numerous differences. Although the more commonly known story is that of Noah and his ark, the flood narrative within the Epic of Gilgamesh bears a remarkable resemblance to that of Noah’s tale from the Old Testament, especially upon initial reading. Upon closer critique, it becomes clear that although there do exist clear similarities between the two ancient texts, there also exists subtle, and distinct, differences that separate the two. The Mesopotamian text the Epic of Gilgamesh tells the account of an ancient King, Gilgamesh. Two-thirds god and one-third man, Gilgamesh was the central figure in the Epic, which chronicled his adventures and experiences as ruler of his land. The flood narrative however, does not revolve around Gilgamesh. Instead, it revolves around a man named Utnapishtim, who lived in a far away land. Gilgamesh traveled to see this man and hear his story, and it is his story that forms the flood narrative component within the Epic of Gilgamesh. On the surface, the two texts do share numerous similarities, the most obvious of which concerns the fact that both stories feature a catastrophic flood that destroys mankind. In the book of Genesis, God says to Noah, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the Earth” (Genesis, 6:4, pg. 14, verse 7), as well as further saying, “I am going to put an end to all people” (Genesis, 6:4, pg. 14, verse 13). Similar to this, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, it states, “the gods agreed to exterminate mankind” (Epic of Gilgamesh, Chp. 5, pg. 108), thus the clear link between the two can be seen in how there is a decision made by a higher power(s)

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