Floods: A Historical Perspective Since Noah's Time - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1193 Words
Date:  2023-04-10


Floods refer to the overflow of large amounts of water beyond normal limits, and in most cases, this happens in the dry land (George, 2010). Floods have been seen to exist since the beginning of humankind, and this can be clearly illustrated by the floods that happened during the time of Noah. Noah's floods are a clear example of a historical story that demonstrates the existence of floods at the beginning of humankind (Gultom, 2019). Other floods have also been shown, and a clear example is a mythical story known as the "Epic of Gilgamesh." Despite them being different occurrences, they are in many ways, similar, and certain characteristics show this in detail. The main aim of this paper is to compare the Epic of Gilgamesh Flood myth with the Biblical account of Noah's Flood.

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In the story of the Floods of Noah, the main character is Noah, while in the mythical story of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Utnapishtim is the main character. The first similarity that is seen is the fact they are both told or commanded to build a boat. Noah is instructed to build a boat by God, and Utnapishtim is also told to tear down the house and built a boat (Gultom, 2019). This shows that their superiors give both of them instructions, and they follow them accordingly and without any questions. These boats that they were building were to be used to shelter different people and animals during the floods that were going to occur.

Another similarity is the use of common measurements when building the boats. An ancient measurement known as cubits was to be used when building both arks, and this shows that they were built in a very similar way or method (George, 2010). Measurements are vital in ensuring that the boats built were of specific sizes and could hold all the people or objects that they were required to hold during the floods.

During the floods, the boats were supposed to have a specific landing spot. The landing spot would show the place in which the boats would land or stay during the floods and before the floods were over. The similarity between Noah's floods and the Epic of Gilgamesh is the fact that both boats landed on mountains (Gultom, 2019). It is not clear whether there were other landing spots that both boats could have landed on, but they are both seen to land on the mountains, and it is estimated that the mountains were about 445 miles apart from each other.

Another similarity is the fact that both floods used birds to tell or show them whether the floods were over. Although they used different birds, the birds were used for the same purposes, and that was indicating whether the floods were over. The birds used during these floods were the dove and raven. Both birds were released and let to go outside the boats (George, 2010). If the birds came back, it was to signify that the floods were not over, while if the birds never came back showed that there was a place that was ready to be settled in the nearby environments. These birds were the ones that told those in the boats when to leave them and when the floods were over.

In both floods, the intention is very similar. Both floods were sent by God and the gods so that they could wipe out all humankind. Humankind was seen to have been involved in too much sin, and this did not please God as well as the gods of Utnapishtim (Lorey, 2007). Immorality was on the rise in both worlds, and this was why the floods were sent so that they could wipe out all humankind. However, this could be seen as a new beginning or the rebirth of humankind. New people would fill the world and multiply after the floods were over, and they could have a new or fresh start. Therefore, the rebirth of humankind was witnessed after these floods.

In both stories, the heroes were rewarded for their obedience. Having followed all the orders without questioning them, they were set to be rewarded for their courage and obedience. They were told to build the boats, and they did exactly that (Weeden, 2013). Even though the heroes in both stories were chosen differently, they both obeyed the orders that they were given. God chose Noah, and God came to him to give him instructions about the floods.

On the other hand, Utnapishtim was chosen out of the cleverness of Ea, and he swore to secrecy so that he could not break the oath (Weeden, 2013). After the floods, Noah was rewarded by being given control over the earth to multiply and rule over the animals. Utnapishtim has gifted the gift of eternal life, and it is clear that their obedience was rewarded heavily.

Other similarities that arose in both stories was that Noah and Utnapishtim completed both tasks for a moral purpose. They were both instructed to undertake this task for a moral purpose, and they accomplished it (Lorey, 2007). This shows how vital their legacies were, and the importance of one's survival is emphasized as they built the boats so that they could not be wiped away by the floods that were coming. The idea of supreme or higher beings was also shown as both characters receive their instructions from people who have more significant powers and control over them. These supreme beings represented God as well as the gods that Utnapishtim followed.

These stories are, however, different, and different factors characterize their differences. The main difference is based mainly on the context that both stories are written. The story of the Epic of Gilgamesh was written in Ancient Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamia, religion was extremely polytheistic (Weeden, 2013). On the other hand, the story of Noah's floods, which is found in the Hebrew Bible, was written with a monotheistic mind. Another visible difference is the number of gods that these religions worshipped. In Noah's floods, only one God was worshipped, whereas different gods were worshipped in the Epic of Gilgamesh.


The stories of the Epic of Gilgamesh and that of Noah's floods have been seen to be very similar in different ways. Despite the fact that one was biblical and the other was mythical, they had so many similarities. It can be seen that both characters were instructed to build a boat; both boats had a similar landing spot, and birds were used in both floods to show whether the floods were over. Both characters were also rewarded for their obedience to the course, and both floods intended to wipe out all humankind.


George, A. R. (2010). The Epic of Gilgamesh. The Cambridge Companion to the Epic, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1017/ccol9780521880947.001

Gultom, N. S. (2019). The Function of Myth within Noah's and Uta-napishtim's Stories: A Comparative Analysis of the Deluge in Genesis 6-9 and the Epic of Gilgamesh Tablet XI. Indonesian Journal of English Language Studies (IJELS), 5(1), 29-34.

Lorey, F. (2007). The Flood of Noah and the Flood of Gilgamesh. The Institute for Creation Research. https://www.icr.org/article/noah-flood-gilgamesh/

Weeden, M. (2013). Gilgamesh Epic. Encyclopedia of the Bible Online. https://doi.org/10.1515/ebr.gilgameshepic

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Floods: A Historical Perspective Since Noah's Time - Essay Sample. (2023, Apr 10). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/floods-a-historical-perspective-since-noahs-time-essay-sample

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