Ancient Babylonia - Babylonian Myth of the Flood

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BAB9.gif A recurring myth though out the whole of the Middle East is that is that of a great flood or deluge. Indeed the theme is discovered as far as Western Europe and India.

According to the Babylonian version the flood is caused by the great storm god Enlil to punish mankind. In a city called Shuruppak on the river Euphrates there lived a man called Uta-Napishtim. He was the favourite of Ea, the god of wisdom and was warned by the god. Uta-Napishtim built himself a great boat 120 cubits high and the same wide. He took inside it his family, many craftsmen and a great stock of food. The pilot was called Puzur-Bel.


For six days and six nights it rained. The sun was blocked out. Even the gods were frightened and all men except Uta-Napishtim were destroyed. The gods were distraught at man's destruction. The boat of Uta-Napishtim came to rest on Mount Nisir. On the seventh day of their resting on Mount Nisir he sent out a dove, which finding no place to land, returned and then he sent out a raven which did not return so he knew it was safe.

When he went out of his boat he made a sacrifice to the gods. The goddess Ishtar came and created a rainbow: her necklace. When Enlil discovered that Uta-Napishtim had escaped him he was furious and would have killed him. Ea persuaded Enlil that complete destruction of mankind was wrong. He said that only the men who had done wrong should be killed and not all mankind. Enlil was persuaded but still turned Uta-Napishtim into a god so that no man had escaped him.

The Mesopotamian stories contain many similarities to the biblical account. The flood marks a turning point in primeval history. It is brought on by divine decision as a punishment for man's sins against the gods. One man, the favorite of a god, is singled out for salvation. To save his family and representatives of all living creatures, he is to build a vessel caulked inside and out with pitch. The flood results with a rainstorm. After the devastation of the flood, the vessel comes to rest on a mountain peak. Birds are dispatched to discover whether dry land has appeared. When the hero leaves the boat he offers a sacrifice. The gods express their sorrow over what has happened. There are many other similarities that seem to resemble one another in certain general details but there are clear and unmistakable differences throughout. BAR1.gifBAR1.gif

Ancient Babylonia
Ancient Babylonia
by R. Russell

2 Kin 24:13-14 "And Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land."

Also see: Ancient Babylonia Map

Fall of Babylon Heart Message

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Glossary

Introduction

History of Babylonia

Old Babylonian Period (2000 - 1595 BC)

The Amorites, Isin and Larsa, Hammurapi of Babylon, Classical Period, The Language, Religion Law Science and the Arts, Babylon, The KassitesThe People of the Sealand, The Hittite Kingdom

Middle Babylonian Period (1595 - 1000 BC)

The Kassite Dynasty, Kadashman-Enlil I and Burnaburiash II, Kurigalzu II, Elam and Assyria, Dur Kurigalzu a New Capital, The Kudurru, Nebuchadnezzar I, The Aramaeans, The Culture

Neo Babylonian Period (1000 - 539 BC)

Assyria, Nabu-nasir, Tiglath pileser III, The Babylonian Chronicles, The Chaldeans, Sennacherib, Ashurbanipal, Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar II, The Fall of Babylon

Literature

Sumerian Origins, Schools of Scribes, Numbering Tablets, Aramaic and Greek, Poetry, Music, Myths, The Gilgamesh Epic, The Babylonian Flood Myth, Biblical Flood, Prayers and Hymns, Wisdom Literature, Prophecy, Cuneiform

Religion

Marduk and his son Nabu, Babylonian Gods, Temples and Rituals, Priests, Personal Idols, Divination, Astrology, Extispicy, The New Year's Festival, Morality, Prayers and Hymns, Prophecy

Law and Justice

Shamash the Sun God, Civil Law, Law Codes, Hammurapi and Retaliation, Code of Hammurapi Text, Legal Disputes, Labor, Criminal Law, Prisons Slaves and Women, Legal Documents

King and State

Monarchy, The King's Palace, The King's Harem, Communication, Roads, Scribes, Nebuchadnezzar II

Economy and Social Structure

Houses and Farms, Irrigation, Artisans, Manufacturing, Trade, Social Hierarchy, Family and Tribe, Domestic Relations, Schools

Science

Scientific Knowledge, Astronomy, The Calendar, Mathematics, Medicine, Nature

Archaeology

Gilgamesh Tablet, The Hammurapi Stele, Ancient Map, Clay Model of a Sheep's Liver, Mathematics Tablet, Sheeps Liver Cuneiform, Seal Impression, Israelite Seal to Pedaiah, Clay Cylinder of Nabopolassar, The Striding Lion, The Ishtar Gate, The Dragon of Marduk, Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon, The Babylonian Chronicles, Basalt Block Inscription, The Ziggurats, Nabonidus Stele, Cyrus Cylinder

Biblical History

David Anoints Solomon, Solomon's Choice, Solomon's Temple, God's Ideal King, The Divided Kingdom, The Northern Kingdom Israel, The Southern Kingdom Judah, Judah's Kings, Hezekiah, The Destruction of Jerusalem, The Babylonian Captivity, Daniel and the Prophets, Nebuchadnezzar, The Return from Babylon

Questions about Babylon Answered in the Bible

Maps

Timelines


© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)

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