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A comparison of Hebrew Flood Story, Babylonian and Summarian Flood Story - Research Paper Example

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The various flood stories written in the first and second millennium BC reflecting separate traditions and approaches tell us how the gods of different people tried to eliminate mankind and land animals using a flood…
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A comparison of Hebrew Flood Story, Babylonian and Summarian Flood Story
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"A comparison of Hebrew Flood Story, Babylonian and Summarian Flood Story"

Download file to see previous pages Only one man and his family were saved in each case. The Hebrew flood story, which is sometimes called the Genesis flood story, tells of a man called Noah, who was the only righteous man in his time. Noah was commanded by God to build an ark and gather a pair of all species of life; a male and a female, into it. These animals joined Noah and his family in the ark when the floods came. In a sense, Noah was the second Adam. He was destined to be the new progenitor of the human race. Those of his generation were destroyed because of their evil ways. The Babylon flood story was the first one to be discovered, and talks of Utnapishtim who is like the Biblical Noah who was used by the gods, to build a ship and save mankind. The Summarian flood story is a myth that talks of a Summarian hero called Gilgamesh who transverse the world to deceive death that is; he wanted to be immortal, and he came across an old man Utnapishtim who told him of the past incidents of the flood in Babylon that made him immortal. The flood story is copied from Babylonian Gilgamesh era, and it is one of the versions of Babylonian flood stories. Although it is not clear if Hebrew flood story was derived from an earlier Babylonian flood story, or the Summarian flood story was the one copied from an earlier Hebrew flood story, or that both of them were imitation of the same source that gives an earlier date for both of them. Similarities between the Hebrew flood story, Babylonian and Summarian flood story The stories shows how mankind had become intolerable to God and the gods and were guilty of sin thus were punished. In Hebrews story, mankind had become so immoral and evil; and in Babylonian story, they had become too many and raucous to god. The Summarian man kind was too noisy for the gods. The floods marked the turning point in the relationship between gods and man kind and he decided to use the floods to punish them for their sins. The Hebrew Flood story talks of Noah’s duty to safeguard mankind after God had punished them. In all the stories, there was a relationship between gods and the hero’s, this shows the cultural and moral perspective of the stories as floods are also used in each story, to show the common origin (Boadt 189). The stories show that there exists a Supreme Being that saw the human beings in the world as wicked and thus they should be punished and hence he destroyed the world by flood. The gods used one person in all cases to build an ark that will withstand the flood when he destroys the world. It is the same person that the gods use to create a new generation. In Hebrew flood story, he used Noah, one man who was his favorite to save his family and the representatives of all living creatures. In Babylonia flood story Ea the god of wisdom used Utnapishtim who was his favourite righteous man and he is the one who was warned and informed of the destruction through a dream. The meanings of the names although differ as Noah means “rest” while Utnapishtim means “finder of life”. None of the people used was faultless but, the gods considered them righteous compared to the people around them. In Summarian flood story, Gilgamesh was a domineering ruler to his subjects and they in turn, called upon the gods, to send him nemesis. It is the same persons that the gods ordered to build arks, which were to have many compartments, and it is the same boats that would eventually escape the floods. The human kind was to escape the floods by boarding the ark. At the same time, the people at that time did not have the technological know how to build such things as vehicles, or airplanes thus the ark was constructed. The gods further used these same individuals to warn the rest of the coming ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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