I think we all have heard about Noah's Ark. It seems hard to believe that a flood of that magnitude really happened, but would it mean something if I told you that completely different cultures wrote similar stories?
On the past blog, I mentioned how different civilizations and cultures had really similar characteristics even when it was highly improbable that they had ever met each other. Another example of this, is the repeated pattern of a Great Flood when different cultures try to explain the Creation and Gods' relation to humans. In this case, Mesopotamian people, Jews, Greeks and Hindus agree that there was a great flood to exterminate most of human beings and living things. The stories are found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of Noah and the Ark in Genesis, the myth on Deucalion and the Myth of Vishnu and Manu, respectively.
|Utnapishtim and the Flood|
|Decaulion and the Flood|
|Noah and the Universal Flood|
In all of these stories, they speak about how a god wanted to reduce or eliminate humans and all living things, but a special person got his attention in a way that made him want to save them. A fact that surprised me is the repetition of number "7" in the different stories, since "7" was usually a number attributed to God. In all of these stories, the Hero gets a deadline and instructions to save the world. When the deadline is completed, a great storm comes and stays for a long time, flooding the entire world. The instructions in most stories consisted in building a gigantic boat and saving at least two of each kind of living things,a male and a female, so they could reproduce and repopulate Earth after the Flood. In the stories with one God, He is mad at the humans and wants to destroy them, but there is someone who is loyal to him, so he saves him and gives him the task of saving the animals. In the ones with several gods, there's usually a god that wants to destroy all beings, and one that warns that special man to save himself and the whole world. But, specifically, what did Utnapishtim, Noah, Deucalion, and Manu did to deserve survival? They main reason is that they were close to the gods and lived under their guidance, but they were also smart and knew how to survive. Another common pattern in some of the stories is the use of birds to check if Earth was habitable again, usually doves.
|The place in Mount Ararat where they believe Noah's Ark rested after the flood.|
Is it a coincidence that all of these stories speak about the same thing? I really don't think so. Something must have happened that inspired all of these cultures to say the same thing in different ways. Was this great flood real? It is highly possible. Still, I don't really think it was worldwide, we need to remember that in those times, the "world" was only the parts which they had explored, and that wasn't much. Still, there is even evidence that they have possibly found the place where Noah's Ark rested in Mount Ararat, Turkey. As I also said in the blog before, we will never know the truth, unless we are able to create a window through which we can see, or even better, travel to the past.