The Epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis are ancient texts that were widely read and are continually examined today. Although both stories discuss global floods enforced by the gods, there are both similarities and differences of time, historical background and context, the way the stories are told, and the animals and people on board the arks. These two stories have similar plots that involve the lessons that teach one to embrace the reality of their mortality, to do right, and stay on the straight and narrow which will lead to reward. In modern day life, these morals are still enforced and can lead to success, good fortune, and honor. The two floods incorporate long, treacherous processes to gain lengthened life. Utnapishtim from The Epic of Gilgamesh and Noah from the Bible portray the benefits of sacrifices made.
The Epic of Gilgamesh was written around 2000 B.C., while the oldest parts of the Old Testament of the Bible were written around 1000 B.C. This suggests that “The Story of the Flood,” from Genesis, was based off the original “Story of the Flood” from The Epic of Gilgamesh. In correspondence with time, the duration of the flood was a precise period of time in both texts. However, in The Epic of Gilgamesh, “For 6 days and 6 nights, the winds blew, torrents and tempests and the flood overwhelmed the world,” and in Genesis, “…the rain was upon the earth for 40 days and 40 nights,” (7:12). The time it took to build the ark was approximately seven days for Utnapishtim and up to one hundred years for Noah. The time period that these two renowned pieces of literature were written are important parts of information that affect the historical background and context.
The historical contexts of the two works are similar in the sense that both stories took place in the Middle East. However, after the flood, the ark was grounded on Mount Nisir in The Epic of Gilgamesh while it was grounded on Mount Ararat in Genesis. The Epic of Gilgamesh specifically... [continues]
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