Comparing The Epic Of Gilgamesh And Genesis

1427 words - 6 pages

The Epic of Gilgamesh has many similarities to the Bible, especially in Genesis and it’s not just that the both begin with the letter “g”’! One major similarity being the flood story that is told in both works. The two stories are very similar but also very different. Another being the use of serpents in both works and how they represent the same thing. A third similarity being the power of God or gods and the influence they have on the people of the stories. Within these similarities there are also differences that need to be pointed out as well.
The flood story that is told in The Epic of Gilgamesh has the same principle as the story of Noah told in the book of Genesis in the Bible, but there are some major differences. In the epic, Utnapishtim is immortal and, although Noah was extremely old when he died, he wasn’t immortal. Utnapishtim was a human, but because he saved mankind, Enlil said, “Hitherto Utnapishtim has been a human, now Utnapishtim and his wife shall become like us gods.” (Gilgamesh 11.206-207) In the Biblical story, God told Noah that he was going to send a flood and asked him specifically to make the ark in order to save mankind. In Genesis 6:13-22, God tells Noah why he’s flooding the earth and exact instructions to build the ark. “13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress[a] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.[b] 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit[c] high all around.[d] Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” This was God’s command to Noah, unlike Utnapishtim who was told the secret of the flood by one of the gods.
Serpents also play a big role in both the epic and in Genesis. It says in Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the...

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