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From the Flood to Babel. Dr K. Southwood. Flood stories. The Gilgamesh Epic. Flood stories. T he Atrahasis epic. Flood Stories. Sumerian flood story A ccount of Berossus (late, but may illustrate mesopotamian flood story was known in antiquity?). Similarities.

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flood stories
Flood stories
  • The Gilgamesh Epic
flood stories1
Flood stories
  • The Atrahasis epic.
flood stories2
Flood Stories
  • Sumerian flood story
  • Account of Berossus (late, but may illustrate mesopotamian flood story was known in antiquity?)
similarities
Similarities
  • Boat, flood; general outline (G/A/S/B)
  • Sacrifice – sweet odour to the god/s (A/G)
  • Sending out the birds (G)
  • Setting – beginning of the world (A)
  • Announcement of flood (A)
  • Precise starting date (B)
  • Ark lands on Ararat (G/B)
  • Pitch (A/G)
  • Number system? (G)
differences
Differences
  • Monotheism
  • Ethical concerns
  • No sympathy for those dying on Yahweh’s part
  • Immortality of flood hero; Noah is not immortal
  • Noah is not a hero, but is obedient.
post flood recreation
Post flood recreation.
  • In this new world, humankind has new rights and new responsibilities.
  • There is an increasing dissociation between the actions of humanity and of the created world.
  • Human responsibility is grounded in God’s covenant which is universal and ecological (the rainbow); this covenant is established with Noah, his descendants and the earth.
  • The story of the flood demonstrates the new role of humanity in this world and its new relationship with nature and society.
  • The Noachic covenant predicates the hope of human and non-human creation on the unconditional commitment of the Creator to humankind, to non-human creatures, and to the order and regularity of nature.
noah and the booze
Noah and the booze
  • Text contains no criticism of Noah
  • Other parts of the HB are positive about alcoholic drink
  • Noah is not immortal, but human
table of nations
Table of nations
  • All humanity is descended from Noah’s three sons.
  • Inconstancies
  • Strange juxtaposition with the Babel story.
babel
Babel
  • Babylon in the rest of the HB.
  • Reflects ziggurat at Babylon?
  • Nabopolassar’s description:

At that time my lord Marduk told me in regard to Etemenanki, the ziggurat ofBabylon, which before my day was (already) very weak and badly buckled, to groundits bottom on the breast of the netherworld, to make its top vie with the heavens … Ihad them shape mud bricks without number and mould baked bricks like countlessraindrops. I had the river Arahtu bear asphalt and bitumen like a mighty flood.

language
Language
  • בלל‘Babble’
  • Hubris?
  • Aetiology: why people speak different languages.