August 22, 2014
The Flood of Noah
God gave the people a last chance to change their evil ways when he first ordered Noah to build and ark. He told him to finish it in 120 years. God gave the people a period of grace and they did not repent. God told Noah and his family to go inside the Ark with his family and to let the animals He selected in. On the second month and the seventeenth day the gates broke loose in Heaven and the earth opened up sending raging water that swallowed all the things in its path. Rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights and it even covered the tallest mountains. All things that were living died and anything that was growing was also destroyed. The ship was tossed around fiercely though it all and floated for seven months before coming to a rest upon the mountains of Ararat. Noah sent out a raven and a dove from the ark to check the land and after a whole year in the Ark, God commanded them to leave. Noah built an altar and made an offering to God; He accepted and made a promise that He would never put a curse on the earth because of mankind (Issacs, 1948). God tells Noah and his sons “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Damrosch and Pike 36). Even though Noah died, he also achieved immortality; he was not forgotten and all of his descendants were held responsible for the replenishment of the earth.
The Great Flood of Gilgamesh
This “Epic” story was originally in poem form. It starts out with the hero Gilgamesh and his deeds. He was a person that had wisdom and much knowledge and he preserved the information of the days before the flood on tablets of stone. Gilgamesh built city walls of Uruk and a temple in Eanna. Because of his oppressive ruler-ship, his people cried out to Gods to form a nemesis that would indeed cause strife to Gilgamesh. That nemesis, Enkidu, eventually because friends with him and they set off on dangerous adventures to be famous. Enkidu dies on one of the adventures. Gilgamesh then decides to find immortality because of his fear of death after the passing of Enkidu. During the search, he meets a man by the name of Utnapishtim (he is most like Noah). Utnapishtim became immortal when he built a ship that weathered the Great Deluge and killed all mankind. He too brought relatives and animals on the vessel (ark). He released birds to discover land and the ship eventually landed upon the Mountain of Nisir. (Lorey, 1997).
The Great Flood in Giglamesh does not seem as great in comparison to the flood in Genesis in terms of the time. The Genesis Flood lasted for 40 days and 40 nights while the Giglamesh flood only lasted six days and seven nights. The amount of time it took for Noah to be able to open the ark and move to land shows the amount of time it took the water to recede while Utnapishtim only had to wait seven days to be able to release the birds. Lorey (1997) gave a perfect comparison chart of the two above mentioned floods to break down exactly how similar the two were and to show the