Two Men, Two Floods, One Goal: Survival

Submitted By KC135600
Words: 1089
Pages: 5

Two Men, Two Floods, One Goal: Survival The largest flood ever recorded happened in China in 1931 and killed between 1,000,000 and 4,000,000 people. Even though this deluge was destructive beyond belief, it was nothing compared to the floods experienced by two men named Noah and Utnapishtim. In the face of adversity, these men and their families had to collaborate to build a boat big enough to house every kind of animal on the earth. This task seemed impossible, but with perseverance and pure faith they managed to accomplish it before the raging waters swallowed the world. Although Noah and Utnapishtim came from completely different backgrounds, their stories of harsh survival were eerily similar.
“Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age; Noah walked with God.” – Genesis 6:9. Noah was specifically chosen by God to build an ark to house two of every species of animal, along with Noah and his family, and to repopulate the earth after the flood. This man was chosen by God because of his many honorable traits, such as righteousness and wisdom. Noah also valued respect and this was shown when he blessed two of his sons for honoring him, even when he was at his worst. The ark that he was instructed to build was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits tall. This structure had to be large and very sturdy because it had to hold two of every animal on the earth and house Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives. The one that had the most influence on the story is God himself who played a major role in the flood. God decided to flood the earth because the men inhabiting it were sinning too much and it upset him greatly. “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with lawlessness because of them…” – Genesis 6:13. God sent a huge storm that went on for 40 days and 40 nights and swallowed the world with its raging waves of destruction. All signs of life were obliterated except Noah and his ark of rebirth. When the waters finally subsided, God placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his covenant, saying that he will never again flood the earth. “So long as the world endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease.” – Genesis 8:22.
“I will reveal to you a mystery, I will tell you a secret of the gods.” – Sandars 145. The man told about in the Mesopotamian flood story, Utnapishtim, was greatly favored by the god Ea. This advantage helped him later because Ea came and warned Utnapishtim about the flood. Utnapishtim was also a very faithful man and this showed when he built that boat that Ea instructed him to without questioning Ea. It also showed when he sent up burnt offerings to the gods even after what he was put through. Utnapishtim later becomes immortal when he and his wife are blessed by Ea. “…had my wife kneel down at my side. He stepped into our midst, touched our foreheads and blessed us.” – Wallbank 20-21. The vessel that Utnapishtim was told to build was a square structure using the wood from his house. The boat had to be big enough to hold Utnapishtim, his entire family, workers, and living creatures of all kinds. The two gods that had the most prevalence in the story were Ea, who warned Utnapishtim of the food, and Enlil, who brought the floodwaters upon mankind. Enlil decided to flood the world because men were too loud and he was sick of it. “‘…the uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible by reason of the babel.’ So the gods agreed to exterminate mankind.” – Sandars 146. When Ea heard that is was Enlil who brought the flood, he was enraged. “‘…would that a lion had ravaged mankind rather than the flood, would that a wolf had ravaged mankind rather that the flood, would that famine had wasted the world rather than the flood, would that pestilence has wasted mankind rather than the flood.” – Sandars 148.
Noah and Utnapishtim had a lot in common, despite their vastly different backgrounds. The