Epic of Gilgamesh XI

Ancient Near East

When a seventh day arrived I sent forth a dove and released it. The dove went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a swallow and released it. The swallow went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a raven and released it. The raven went off, and saw the waters slither back. It eats, it scratches, it bobs, but does not circle back to me. Then I sent out everything in all directions and sacrificed (a sheep). I offered incense in front of the mountain-ziggurat. Seven and seven cult vessels I put in place, and (into the fire) underneath (or: into their bowls) I poured reeds, cedar, and myrtle. The gods smelled the savor, the gods smelled the sweet savor, and collected like flies over a (sheep) sacrifice. Just then Beletili arrived. She lifted up the large flies (beads) which Anu had made for his enjoyment: You gods, as surely as I shall not forget this lapis lazuli around my neck, may I be mindful of these days, and never forget them! The gods may come to the incense offering, but Enlil may not come to the incense offering, because without considering he brought about the Flood and consigned my people to annihilation.

Genesis 8:21

Hebrew Bible

19 Every living creature, every creeping thing, every bird, and everything that moves on the earth went out of the ark in their groups. 20 Noah built an altar to the Lord. He then took some of every kind of clean animal and clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the Lord smelled the soothing aroma and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, even though the inclination of their minds is evil from childhood on. I will never again destroy everything that lives, as I have just done. 22 “While the earth continues to exist, planting time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”

 Notes and References

"... Genesis 6–9 preserves every constituent unit of the myth bundle present in its Mesopotamian antecedents: theophany, hero, flood, boat and primal mound, with the obvious exception of the reed-hut Urheiligtum. This is not to say, however, that the temple is absent per se. On the contrary, the ark in itself functions repeatedly as a type of the temple. At the divine instruction to build an ark, other than echoing the earlier Gilgamesh and Atraḫasīs versions, the biblical details pertaining to its construction (Genesis 6:15–16) create an immediate parallel with the description of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:2-10). Exact measurements in cubits are specified for the length, width and height of both structures. Both structures conform to the tripartite structure typical of Late Bronze and Iron Age temples of the region, a three part division evinced even in the tent of meeting (Exodus 26:33–27:19) which, along with the ark of Genesis 6:14–16, is the only other construction commanded by Yahweh. Further, it is at the moment of leaving the ark, after the retreat of the waters, that the ark becomes the place of ritual sacrifice (Genesis 8:20–21). (In sacrificing the clean animals Noah is presented as a priest of Yahweh. This priestly function is a characteristic of the flood-hero in the Mesopotamian traditions. Atraḫasīs intercedes on behalf of the peopleduring periods of draught and famine and at an outbreak of šuruppu-disease (Atraḫasīs I.7–8). He carries the “maššakku-offering along the river pasture” and performs evening sacrifices (Atraḫasīs II.3). Similarly Gilgamesh slaughters oxen and offers daily ovine sacrifice; Gilgamesh XI.2) Taken as a whole, these points leave little doubt that the ark was intended to be understood as a type of the temple ..."

McCann, Jason Michael "'Woven Of Reeds': Genesis 6:14b As Evidence For The Preservation Of The Reed-Hut Urheiligtum In The Biblical Flood Narrative" in Silverman, Jason M. (ed.) Opening Heaven’s Floodgates: The Genesis Flood Narrative, Its Context, and Reception (pp. 113-139) Gorgias Press, 2013

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