Historical Genesis

From Adam To Abraham

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Chapter 17 - Parallel Verses

Common words and phrases used in Genesis and parallel accounts such as heart, flood, ark, cubits, seed, beast, pitch, seven days, fountain(s) of the deep, opened the window, raven, dove, sweet savor, remember, etc., make a compelling case for common sources and a common event for all the narratives.

In Noah’s Ark and the Ziusudra Epic, author Robert Best stated:

Distinctive story elements and phrases that are common to two or more of these six stories indicate a common origin. Parallel quotations make it obvious that these six flood stories did not originate independently.

The flood texts in order of origination are from Ziusudra in Sumerian, Atrahasis in Akkadian, the eleventh tablet of Gilgamesh written in four Semitic languages, Genesis 6-9, Berossus, and a version from Moses of Khoren.

"Side-wall ... pay attention" Ziusudra iv, 155
"Wall, listen to me." Atrahasis III, i, 20
"Wall, pay attention" Gilgamesh XI, 22

"when their heart led the great gods to produce the flood." Gilgamesh XI, 14
"the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" Genesis 6:5

"the decision that mankind is to be destroyed" Ziusudra iv, 157-158
"The gods commanded total destruction" Atrahasis II, viii, 34
"I will destroy them with the earth" Genesis 6:13

"Enki...over the capitals the storm will sweep" Ziusudra iv, 156
"He flood" Atrahasis III, i, 37
"And God said onto Noah ... I, even I, do bring a flood" Genesis 6:13, 17
"Kronos...said ...mankind would be destroyed by a flood" Berossus

"the huge boat" Ziusudra v, 207
"That ship shall be an ark" Atrahasis x, 9
"Build a ship" Gilgamesh XI, 24
"Make thee an ark" Genesis 6:14
"build a boat" Berossus

"pitch I poured into the inside" Gilgamesh XI, 66
"pitch it within and without with pitch" Genesis 6:14
"some people scrape pitch off the boat" Berossus

"Draw a design of it on the ground" Atrahasis C, 14
"The ship that thou shalt build" Gilgamesh XI, 28
"And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of" Genesis 6:15

"Ten dozen cubits the height of each of her walls" Gilgamesh XI, 57
"and the height of it thirty cubits" Genesis 6:15

"he sent his family on board" Atrahasis III, ii, 42
"into the ship all my family and relatives" Gilgamesh XI, 84
"Come thou and all thy house into the ark" Genesis 7:1
"he sent his wife and children and friends on board" Berossus

"who protected the seed of mankind" Ziusudra vi, 259
"Bring into the ship the seed of all life" Gilgamesh XI, 27
"to keep seed alive" Genesis 7:3

"animals which emerge from the earth" Ziusudra vi, 253
"all the wild creatures of the steppe" Atrahasis DT, 42(w), 9
"The cattle of the field, the beast of the plain" Gilgamesh XI, 85
"Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee" Genesis 7:8
"and put both birds and animals on board" Berossus

"the storm had swept ... for seven days and seven nights" Ziusudra
"For seven days and seven nights came the storm" Atrahasis III, iv, 24
"Six days and seven nights the wind and storm" Gilgamesh XI, 127
"after seven days the waters of the flood came" - Genesis 7:10

"Enter the boat and close the boat's door" Atrahasis DT, 42(w), 6
"Pitch was brought for him to close his door" Atrahasis III, ii, 51
"I entered the boat and closed the door' Gilgamesh XI, 93
"and the LORD shut him in" Genesis 7:16

"consigned the peoples to destruction" Atrahasis III, iii, 54
"All mankind was turned to clay" Gilgamesh XI, 133
"And all flesh died … and every man" Genesis 7:21

"Below the fountain of the deep was stopped" Atrahasis D, ii, 30
"The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped" Genesis 8:2

"On Mount Nisir the boat grounded" Gilgamesh XI, 140
"And the ark rested … upon the mountains of Ararat" Genesis 8:4
"the boat had grounded upon a mountain" Berossus
"After Khsisuthros...landed ...a long mountain" Moses of Khoren

"Ziusudra made an opening in the large boat" Ziusudra vi, 207
"I opened the window" Gilgamesh XI, 135
"Noah opened the window of the ark" Genesis 8:6
"he pried open a portion of the boat" Berossus

"Then I sent forth and set free a raven" Gilgamesh XI, 152
"And he sent forth a raven" Genesis 8:7

"The dove went out and returned" Gilgamesh XI, 147
"Also he sent forth a dove … and she returned " Genesis 8:10
"let out the birds and they again returned to the ship" Berossus

"The king slaughtered ... bulls and sheep" Ziusudra vi, 211
"He offered "And offered a sacrifice" Gilgamesh XI, 155
"And Noah … offered burnt offerings on the altar" Genesis 8:20
"built an altar and sacrificed to the gods" Berossus

"smelled] the savor' Atrahasis III, v, 34
"The gods smelled the sweet savor" Gilgamesh XI, 160
"And the Lord smelled a sweet savor..." Genesis 8:21

""On the criminal impose his crimes" Gilgamesh XI, 180
"Who so sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" Genesis 9:6

"he touched our foreheads to bless us" Gilgamesh XI, 192
"And God blessed Noah" Genesis 9:1

"elevated him to eternal life, like a god" Ziusudra vi, 257
"they shall be like gods to us" Gilgamesh XI, 194

"I lived in the temple of Ea, my lord" Atrahasis RS 22.421, 7
"go down to dwell with my lord Ea" Gilgamesh XI, 42
"Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:9
"he had gone to dwell with the gods" Berossus

"That I may remember it "I shall remember these days and never forget" Gilgamesh XI, 165
"I shall remember my covenant ...I may remember" Genesis 9:15-16

On the basis of substantial historical evidence, coupled with many parallel words and phrases, what reasonable conclusions could we make? Here are just three:

1. There is a likelihood that a flood event actually happened. Why would the Akkadians, Sumerians, and Hebrews invent such a story unless there was some historical basis?

2. Considering the parallel accounts are describing a historical event in the region of southern Mesopotamia about 2900 BC, then Genesis also is describing the same historical, regional flood, and not a global deluge.

3. A regional flood would have brought judgment to those in the region. Judgment would have been specific to the sinful Adamite population, those answerable to God, rather than a universal pronouncement upon all mankind everywhere.