The Berean Expositor
Volume 9 - Page 122 of 138
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#25. The Nineveh Gallery.--The Tablets of the Flood.
pp. 137 - 140
TABLE CASE A (Nos. 24-64).--Here are fragments of twelve tablets which give the
wanderings and adventures of a mythical hero Gilgamesh. He is called "A mighty one on
earth", and has the title among others of "The warrior perfect in strength". ArchŠologists
see in Gilgamesh, Nimrod, "the mighty rebel". His many titles are all applied to the sun
god, and the twelve tablets of the exploits of Gilgamesh are arranged upon an
astronomical principle, each book corresponding with one of the signs of the zodiac. The
eleventh tablet corresponds to the sign Aquarius, and to "the month of the curse of rain",
and here we find the story of the Deluge.
Gilgamesh sets out to find Tsit-napishtim, in order to learn from him the secret of
immortality. Tsit-napishtim relates to Gilgamesh "the story of his preservation", and
173 lines are occupied with the account of the Deluge and the preservation of
Tsit-napishtim. We will not quote the whole of the poem, but will give sufficient extracts
to show how closely the Chaldean epic follows the Scripture narrative.
"To make a deluge the great gods brought their hearts.
Destroy the house and build a ship.
For I will destroy the seed and the life.
Cause them to go up into the ship all seed that hath life.
The ship which thou shalt make. . . . cubits its length in measure.
. . . . . cubits the contents of its breadth and height.
. . . . . above the deep roof it over.
The building of the ship which thou commandest.
If it be made by me,
Then will laugh at me the children of the people, and the old men.
Ea opened his mouth and spake to me, his servant.
If they laugh at thee, thou shalt say unto them,
Every one who has turned from me
Shall be punished, for the protection of the gods is over me.
I will judge my judgment upon all above and below.
Close not the ship
Until the season, when I shall send the word (saying),
Enter the ship and close the door.
In the interior of it thy grain, thy furniture, thy goods,
Thy wealth, thy man servants and maid servants, and thy young men.
The cattle of the field and the animals of the field as many as I would preserve.
I will send thee, (then) make firm thy door.
The reverent and holy one opened his mouth and spoke to Ea, his Lord.
No one has made such a ship
. . . . on the ground. . . .
(The form of) the ship let me see.
On the fifth day two sides were raised,
In its enclosure (hull) fourteen ribs,
Also fourteen they numbered above.
I placed its roof and enclosed it.
Sixthly I made it firm, seventhly I divided its passages.
Eighthly its interior I examined.
Openings to the waters I stopped.