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Word Count: 447
The two accounts of the great flood as they appear in Gilgamesh and later in the Bible show two different versions of what appear to be the same story and at the same time speak very differently about each cultures respective values The first difference mentioned is the reason each storys God or gods decided to flood the earth In Gilgamesh the god Enlil was aroused by the clamour of the people of Earth and decided to end the existence of mankind simply because of their nuisance 41 This paints a picture of a system of gods that is very arbitrary in their punishments but this does not make their punishments less harsh This suggests that those inhabiting the Middle East at the time of Gilgameshs writing were probably a people that were very afraid of their gods and goddesses and did all they could to appease them and not incur their seemingly random punishments The justification of the flood as given by the Christian God is a different one entirely In Genesis God is described as seeing that the wickedness of man was great in the earth but this was not cited as his reason for the flood 55 The Bible states that God was not so much angry at the wickedness of man but that it grieved him at his heart that his creations turned out in such a way 55 On face value this seems to imply a more caring compassionate and ultimately superior God in the Christian culture but this is not necessarily so Perhaps this God is just as arbitrary if not more so than the gods of Gilgamesh for being so willing to give up on what he thought was his greatest creation and just start over If anything the length and severity of the storm would point to the more ancient gods as being less volatile and ill-tempered than the Christian God While the flood in Gilgamesh lasted
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