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Essay/Term paper: Gilgamesh flood story vs. biblical flood story

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Religion

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The amazing stories of the great flood that are described
in, The Epic of Gilgamesh which is translated by N.K. Sandars and "The
Story of the Flood" which is the King James version, both stories similarly.
Many of the events of each story are very similar in ways and very different in
some of them. From reading both stories I concluded that there was a huge
flood that took place in that area of the world. Even though the way both
stories describe the flood; The Epic of Gilgamesh is more imaginable. I say
that because it is more realistic to have rain for six days, six nights than for
forty days, forty nights. Both flood stories have a major similarity and
difference though. Both stories described the same flood but they did it in
different ways. One difference that backs it up is in The Epic of Gilgamesh the
rains that cause the floods only last six days, six nights and in "The Flood
Story in Genesis" the rains last forty days, forty nights. A quote that tells about
the flood is when Utnapishtim said, "For six days and six nights the wind blew,
torrent and tempest and flood overwhelmed the world, tempest and flood
raged together like warring hosts (pg. 25)." This quote by Utnapishtim
describes how bad the weather, rains, and wind were during the six days and
six nights of the storm. On the other hand in "The Story of the Flood" it rained
for forty days, forty nights. While God was talking to Noah he said, "For yet
seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty
nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the
face of the earth (pg. 48 line 4)." This quote describes how long God will
have the rain go for. It also says that he is doing it to destroy all of mankind.
After reading the two stories I concluded that forty days and forty nights was
too long for it to rain without stopping; that is why the flood in Gilgamesh is
more realistic. The length of the rains in the flood story in The Epic of
Gilgamesh is easier for someone to believe than the length of the rains in
Genesis. Even though the stories were different there was many similarities in
the stories. In The Epic of Gilgamesh after the rains had stopped
Utnapishtim"s arc landed on top of, Mt. Nisir, a mountain. It was the only
place above the floodwaters that you could see. Utnapishtim said, " I looked
for land in vain, but fourteen leagues distant there appeared a mountain, and
the boat grounded; on the mountain of Nisir the boat held fast, she held fast
and did not budge (pg. 25)." This quote describes how Utnapishtim was
looking for land while stranded out in the floodwater and the only place he
could see was Mount Nisir. Correspondingly, in "The Story of the Flood"
basically the similar thing happened. After the forty days and forty nights of
rain Noah landed on Mount Ararat which is geographically three hundred
miles away from Mount Nasir. This is another way to prove that the flood was
probably real and not just a story to tell children so they would be scared to
cause chaos. The two stories are both similar for the way described in the
above paragraph. The major similarity between the two stories is that the god
or gods sent the flood because the people of the world because they were
causing chaos and were corrupt. In The Epic of Gilgamesh Enlil and the other
gods were mad about how the people were taking too much control and that
is why the gods sent the flood. Ea told Utnapishtim in a dream to build an arc
because the gods were going to send a flood that was going to wipe out all of
mankind. " O man of Shurrupak, son of Ubara-Tutu; tear down your house
and build a boat, abandon possessions and look for life, despise worldly
goods and save your soul alive. Tear down your house, I say, and build a
boat. These are the measurements of the baroque as you shall build her: let
her beam equal her length, let her deck be roofed like the vault that covers the
abyss; then take up into the boat the seed of all living creatures (pg. 23-24)."
In addition "The Story of the Flood" for about the same reasons God did the
same thing. God said, "The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is
filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the
earth(pg. 47 line 13)." Finally, he told Noah to build an arc while walking and
talking to him. He told him to build an arc because he was going to have a
flood fueled by forty days and forty nights of rain. Therefore the two stories
are both similar in the reason why the god or gods sent it. In conclusion the
flood stories in The Epic of Gilgamesh and the flood story of Genesis are the
same in ways and different in some. You can conclude this from the reasons
given above. These stories relate to the world and people today because
people look to the flood stories for religious reasons. When people look at
these stories they feel that if they start to become corrupt and chaotic that a
god might make a natural disaster to wipe out mankind. That is the importance
that the flood stories have on all of mankind.  

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