Many of the same old past stories can be found in different cultures. Each story differs in some views but the general themes and the main idea these stories want to transmit to their people who believe in their own God can have striking similarities.That why the Epic of Gilgamesh compares to the Bible in many different ways and the epic also has an extraordinarily different perspective than the Bible does. Yet the Bible and Gilgamesh, story or truth, myth or religion, these are questions that are applied to the ancient epic of Gilgamesh. Interestingly, these same questions apply to another major? They were written many years ago, both with many different versions, and in different languages work, the Bible.
While the Sumerians wrote Gilgamesh as early as 3000 B.C., there is much controversy surrounding the time the Bible, mainly the Old Testament was written (Loery). Strangely, these two books have similar accounts of very meaningful events and symbols in today’s society, yet one is a myth and the other is the basis of many different religions.The similarities between parallel stories in Gilgamesh and The Bible make it hard to believe that one work did not influence the other.
The way in which these two books begin is creation. This is the first similarity that we can state. But in the Bible it was the creation of Adam and in Gilgamesh the creation of Enkidu. There are actually two different stories in the Bible in which Adam is created while there is just only one story of Enkidu’s formation.
A major parallel that can be seen is between Adam, and Gilgamesh and Enkidu. God created Adam in his own image, and ordained man to dominate over all other living things.Gilgamesh is the same, with only a few slight differences. Instead of Gilgamesh being created in the image of the gods, he was created 1/3 man and 2/3 god. Also instead of being dominating over all things he was unequaled in human attributes.
Even with these differences a parallel can be identified. Adam not only parallels Gilgamesh, but he also parallels Enkidu. Enkidu and Adam were both made from the earth. Enkidu was made from clay and Adam from dust. Both men were well aquatinted with the animals and nature that surrounded them, until women came into their lives. The way in which these topics begin is creation.
This is the first similarity that we can submit.Combining the two Biblical accounts, however, gives many parallels to Gilgamesh. In Genesis, Adam is the first man, who created out of clay by God, out of the earth but the Adam feel so lonely so he told God to make him a friend and from that God created the woman out of the bones of man, “Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken” (Gen. 2:23).
Similarly, when Aruru, the mother goddess forms Enkidu, she throws clay into the wilderness where she gives birth to Enkidu. Enkidu was the keeper of the forest and also the brother to Gilgamesh. In Gilgamesh it seems like Enkidu wasn’t given much care or time when he was created compared to in Genesis it makes it seems like God was very careful in creating Adam and Eve which is the start of human afterwards. “When Aruru heard this, she formed an image of Anu in her heart.Aruru washed her hands, pinched off clay and threw it into the wilderness: (68). The thing that caught attention is that Aruru threw the clay into the forest, yes that all Aruru did to created a human.
This shows carelessness and rashness in contrast to Genesis where God spent time and really cared about his creating of humans while Enkidu does not. But Adam and Enkidu are portrayed as one with nature, an idea that cannot be original to both accounts. In Genesis, the writer gives a little more information on the creation of Adam. It is stated that God “formed man in His image,” (27). When creating an equal for Gilgamesh, Aruru “form[s] an image of Anu in her heart,” (Sin-Leqi-Unninni I, ii, 33).
Anu is the god of gods; he is the “highest of the pantheon” as John Gardner explains in his interpretation of the work (Sin-Leqi-Unninni 71). Enkidu is made in the image of Anu with one very important detail; he is mortal, which connects to Adam’s creation.Adam, made in the likeleness of God, is also mortal, though much like God. With the god-like image, both men are in tune with nature which could possibly be the ideal way of life for the writers of both works, explaining why both stories have these significant details.
Again, stressing harmony in nature, Enkidu grows up in the wilderness.He “fed with the gazelles on the grass/with the wild animals he drank at waterholes” There seems to be a link here with the creation of Adam; at first, Adam is given dominance over the animals in the Garden of Eden (Gen 1:30). It is only later that this is gift is taken away from him, when he gains knowledge. Enkidu also gains knowledge, in the form of a woman’s love.
After a courtesan lies with him, “the beasts of the wilderness fled from his body,” as if Enkidu is now too civilized and the animals sense it (Sin-Leqi-Unninni I, iv 25).Adam’s problem, stems from a woman: Eve tempts Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, which gives him knowledge, and as a punishment, God cast him out of Eden, separating him from nature (Genesis 3:17-24). While the use of a woman suggests evil rooting from females, as many myths and religions believe, the harmony with animals depicts how man came to dominate the earth.And we also see the difference of the two flood stories in Bible and in Gilgamesh.
These two stories are obvious parallels. The most talked about and obvious parallel in these two works is the depiction of a very large flood. In Gilgamesh flood is caused by the fickle nature of the gods We are told in 11.1 lines 14-17 that the gods who were reclining at Shuruppak, "up the constant Euphrates," sent the flood by "intent.
"The main character, Gilgamesh talks with Utnapishtim, the man who survived the flood. He tells Gilgamesh the story, revealing details strangely similar to those of Noah’s flood in the Bible. Utnapishtim was ordered to build an ark in a dream by one of the gods who had pity on mankind (Sin-Leqi-Unninni XI,I). In the Bible flood is sent by God to destroy his creation, which has become corrupt and evil The humans are so wicked and evil that "it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart" (Gen. 6:6).
He says,"I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth. . . " (Gen.
6:7) God told Noah to build an ark because he was “blameless in that age” and deserved salvation from total destruction (Genesis 6:9).Though God did not use a dream to notify Noah, both were instructed on what to take on the ark. “Load the seed of every living thing into your ark,” Ea says to Utnapishtim (Sin-Leqi-Unninni XI, I, 27). Likewise, God told Noah to take pairs of each type of animal with him to “keep their issue alive all over the earth,” (Genesis 7:2). Noah and Utnapishtim both took family members with them in the ark. Noah took take his wife and his sons and his sons wives (Genesis 7:18).
Utnapishtim took some friends with him, along with his family (Lorey).Overall, the frameworks of the descriptions are comparable from how the main character learns of the flood to the sacrifice that man makes after landing (Clough). Both men had seven days to complete the arks before it started raining, however, in the Biblical account, it rained for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7; 12), while, in the Gilgamesh according to Utnapishtim, the flood lasted six days and seven nights (Sin-Leqi-Unninni XI, ii, 127). That means the time raining in Bible longer than the time in Gilgamesh.
When the flood was over, the two boats proved to have landed in the same region of the Middle