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Comparing and Contrasting the “flood” stories found in Genesis and Gilgamesh – Essay Example


At first glance the stories found in Genesis and Gligamesh appear almost identical, however on closer inspection differences are soon discovered. In this essay I look to highlight the fundamental differences and similarities between both accounts.

Both accounts depict an epic catastrophe in the form of a flood. Higher powers or a God had become tired of mankind and wished to have them drowned. However the God(s) took favor on one man who was deemed to be ¨righteous¨. He was commanded to build a wooden boat to save only a few creatures and with reluctance he accepted. Once built and sealed,water poured down as prophesied which wiped out all remaining organisms. A variety of birds were sent to find dry land and on the third endeavor the bird never returned indicating the flood had ended. To give praise to God the man offered up a sacrifice and was blessed in return.

In contrast, distinctions are found in the writing of the two accounts. Firstly ¨the flood¨is taken from a well known written book of possibly based on genuine events where as the other is a mythological poem. Genesis conveys an omniscient and omnipotent single deity, reflecting Christian ideals whereas Gligamesh presents a collection of Gods lucidly derived from mythology. Both accounts also differ in the reason for the flood. Genesis states that God wanted to rid sinfulness and the wicked ways of mankind and to regenerate a more virtuous creation on the other hand, Gligamesh indicates reasons of overpopulation andnoise. Throughout there are multiple differences in details relating to the height, shape and size of the boat, the number of species of animals on and people on board and also how long the flood lasted.

In conclusion it is obvious that the two accounts have resemblances however it is in the details that we see differences generating totally distinctive ideologies.