The gods complaining that mankind was out of control

The three flood myths, Mesopotamian, Greco-Roman, and Hebrew, looked at in this response are all different yet all quite similar. They all three discuss some sort of a higher power, mankind, the destruction and possible destruction of all mankind, their deliverance or rebirth, and a flood. The Mesopotamian god Enil, “their counsellor” (http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdf) went to the other gods complaining that mankind was out of control and was disturbing everybody’s sleep. Therefore, “the gods agreed to exterminate mankind” (http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdf). When looking at the Greco-Roman myth we are told that mankind was trouble. Jupiter says, ” ‘These men,” he said to his mighty company, “are nothing but a source of trouble. When they were good and happy, we felt afraid lest they should become greater than ourselves; and now they are so terribly wicked that we are in worse danger than before. There is only one thing to be done with them, and that is to destroy them every one” (“Old Greek Stories By James Baldwin.”). Again we see one of the gods telling the others that mankind needs to be destroyed, that they are intolerable and becoming too much to be handled. In the Hebrew myth, God tells Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth” (“Bible Gateway Passage: Genesis 6:9-9:17 – New International Version”). I show these three quotations to show the similarities in that mankind was bad and that a higher power decided they needed to be destroyed. The floods themselves are all quite different from the ways they originated, ended, how long they lasted, to how mankind was either saved or remade. While the gods had agreed to destroy mankind the flood that came across Mesopotamia was foretold to a man by Ea, one of the gods. In this myth and the two others, they were warned and told to build a boat. “The day is coming,” said Prometheus, “when Jupiter will send a flood to destroy mankind from the earth. Be sure that you are ready for it, my son”, (“Old Greek Stories By James Baldwin.”). Mesopotamias flood lasted one week, one week after the flood ended the gods came down and blessed the mortals and their new start. It is unknown how long the Greco-Roman flood lasted but we are told that at the end Mercury came to them asking if there was something Deucalion and Pyrrha wanted. Deucalion felt as tho the world was empty and lonely without any people. They are given instructions on how to restart their world with more people, which will be shown later in the response. The flood of the Hebrews is said to have lasted forty days but that the Earth remained flooded for 150 days. When the flood was over, God told Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it” (Bible Gateway Passage: Genesis 6:9-9:17). Noah was also given the promise that his God would never destroy all life by the waters of a flood nor would he flood the earth to destroy it.The Mesopotamians were blessed by their gods at the end of their flood and lived out their days at the mouth of the rivers. “He touched our foreheads to bless us saying, “In time past Utnapishtim was a mortal man; henceforth he and his wife shall live in the distance at the mouth of the rivers.” Thus it was that the gods took me and placed me here to live in the distance, at the mouth of the rivers” (http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdf).  We aren’t told for sure the significance of them being placed at the mouth of the rivers but one could infer that the mouth of the rivers signifies rebirthing, being cleansed, or a new start for mankind. The Greco-Romans Deucalion and Pyrrha were told by Mercury to, “Go on down the mountain,” said Mercury, “and as you go, cast the bones of your mother over your shoulders behind you;” and, with these words, he leaped into the air and was seen no more” (“Old Greek Stories By James Baldwin). Deucalion and Pyrrha relatively confused at first understandably but took stones from the Earth and began dropping them behind them. When they did this the stones began turning into grown men and women after Deucalion and Pyrrha. The significance of the bones of the mother being stones is that in most cultures we, as humans, are believed to have been “born” from the Earth in one way or another. The bones of the mother actually being stones of the Earth signifies the Greco-Romans rebirth after the flood as them being reborn from the Earth a second time just as they were born in mankind’s beginning and it’s formation/birth from the Earth with Earth as our mother. “But let us think a moment. Who is our mother, if it is not the Earth, from whom all living things have sprung” (“Old Greek Stories By James Baldwin.”)? Deucalion brought up the reference of being born of the Earth “…from whom all living things have sprung” to Pyrrha after Mercury told them to cast the bones of their mother. Now in the Hebrews flood at the end Noah was told by God to, “”Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth… Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything” (“Bible Gateway Passage: Genesis 6:9-9:17 – New International Version.”). This myth was also given the blessing by their god and allowed to continue living and to repopulate mankind. With all the accounts and stories of floods, and taking into account their similarities and differences, one can no doubt infer and believe that a flood did occur at some point in the Earth’s history. It could account for the significant amount of water on the planet, the many different cultures, belief systems, religions, and many different languages we have today. Whether only one happened, multiple happened or none of them happened, it is one possible explanation for why our Earth is the way that it is. Perhaps one day we will have an answer but until then these myths allow cultures and belief systems to still be active thousands of years later and to allow our minds and imaginations to run wild with what could have been.

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