The story of Genesis and the epic Gilgamesh have many similarities and differences. The human-god interactions convey how the people at the time understood god(s) or an all-knowing all-powerful ruler of their world. The gods in the stories want the best for all of their creation, but when disobeyed, can be harsh. Both stories reveal that gods will not hesitate to implement strict punishments if they feel that their subjects are out of line.
There are numerous similarities between the two stories. One that I find interesting is that a serpent is the reason immortality is lost in both stories. In Gilgamesh when the serpent steals the plant that restores life, and in Genesis when the serpent temps Eve to eat the fruit. The god-human interaction mimics a parent-child dynamic. God knew what would happen if Adam and Eve eat from the tree, and specifically told them not to. God loved them, as they were made in his image, and wanted them to procreate and enjoy the beautiful, sinless world he had just created, full of light, plants, and animals (cite). Like a child after they have disobeyed their parents, Adam and Eve immediately feel shame and regret after eating from the tree. God punishes them, harshly, with Eve getting painful childbirth and submission to her husband, and a life of hard work for Adam. A lot of the old testament seems to focus the on good and evil in the world and how God responded to it. As Genesis continues we see mankind becoming more evil and God plans to destroy everything he created.
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The decision to destroy mankind happens in both stories and is significant.
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