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Genesis and Gilgamesh Essay Sample

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Genesis and Gilgamesh Essay Sample

After reading the flood story of Gilgamesh and the flood story in Genesis it is obvious that there is a relationship between the two. If someone were to tell you a summary of one, they would ultimately be telling you a summary of the other. But just because the overviews are the same does not mean that they are not different. The Epic of Gilgamesh and the story of Genesis have very minor differences, but these differences make each story distinct.

When God made human beings he did so because he was lonely, but not so long after the creation of mankind God regretted what he had made. We were terrible neighbors. So God sent a flood as a punishment for all mankind. In both Gilgamesh and Genesis God announces the flood to one ‘savior’ of mankind, but in each story he does it in a different way. In Gilgamesh God comes in a dream while in Genesis God just tells Noah face to face. Despite the channel of communication both saviors take head to God’s warning and build a boat. They each take all different types of animals with them to repopulate the earth, but when it comes to the humans they chose to take Utnapishtim and Noah chose differently.

Utnapishtim chooses to take his family along with a pilot for the boat and some craftsman, people that are necessary to rebuild a civilization. On the other hand you have Noah who only takes his family. The duration that each hero would embark on is also very different. Utnapishtim’s flood lasts for six days. While Noah’s flood lasts an astounding forty days. Another thing that makes these two stories extremely different is the final destination of the boats. While they both end up in the same region, the Middle East to be exact, Mt. Ararat and Mt. Nisir were maybe 500 miles away from each other. You can’t end up in two different places in one story. Lastly, the final blessings received from God at the end of each of the two journeys were also very different. Utnapishtim was granted eternal life for his good deeds while Noah was told to multiply and fill the earth to someday die with his family. But on the bright side for Noah he was also given dominion over animals and Utnapishtim was not.

The flood story of Gilgamesh and the flood story in Genesis overlap in some ways but there are many differences that make each story unique. Ultimately, each story has its own protagonist, challenges, and ending making each story as individual as the cultures they belong to.

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