Comparing Gilgamesh And Genesis

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The epic of Gilgamesh, written somewhere between 1200 B.C.E and 2100 B.C.E, has many similarities to the bible, particularly Genesis. Genesis six through nine is the story of God’s disappointment with humankind and his fondness of Noah. The main synopsis of the Genesis story is the flood God unleashes on the Earth. At the end of Gilgamesh, Tablet XI, Utanapishtim tells Gilgamesh the heroic story of the flood he survived sent down by the Gods. While the two tales of a flood are strikingly similar, the way the stories are portrayed makes them different. The authors of Gilgamesh and the authors of Genesis content and style, along with tone and diction, distinguish the two interestingly similar flood stories. In Genesis, God tells exactly why he wants to have a flood to destroy humankind where as in Gilgamesh, Enlil gives no valid reason for having the flood. Genesis says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every…show more content…
In Genesis, God himself ends the flood, “And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.” Noah’s ark lands upon the mountain of Ararat. Noah lets out a dove but it returns for it has no place to go. On the third attempt the dove returns with an olive leaf in its beak. The boat in Gilgamesh has landed on Mount Nimush. He sets a dove free from the boat, but the bird comes back because it has no place to land. He then decides to set a swallow free, but once again the bird returns having no place to land. At last he sets a raven free and it does not return. Enlil decides to take Utanapishtim and his wife and make both of them gods, thus making them immortal. In Genesis God does not promise Noah eternal life. He promises him something less superficial. God says, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you.” (Genesis
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