STUDY . Flood Legends in different cultures . By Fabian Massa

Translated from Spanish to English with Google Translator.


A study conducted by Adrian Pablos & Fabian Massa.

a. introduction
There are over five hundred myths of the Flood . In this post we present a few, but in the book " From Eden to religion " ( which this post was removed) have included legends of the Americas and Oceania.
It is important to pay special attention to the stories of the following cultures : Sumerian , Chaldean , Babylonian and Greek , because then we'll do a comparative study of their respective worldviews related to the biblical account of the Flood :

Interpretation of Judeo - Christian 

Bible that the only survivors of the flood were Noah, his family and a number of pairs of animals , sailing in a gigantic ark . The flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights , in which the waters covered everything and the fountains of the deep were opened . The total duration of the event since it began until Noah and the Ark passengers were allowed to disembark , was 370 days. In the weeks before the landing , Noah released a dove and a raven and only come to land ( On Mount Ararat ) after the dove did not return from his third flight .

Interpretation of the Sumerian tradition : 

The Mesopotamian tablets are a source of valuable information about the flood . According to the Sumerian inscriptions , survivors were Khisustros family (or Khasistrata ) , friends , pets and birds , on board a ship in a cube of 5 stages [1 ] long and 5 meters wide ( ie a cube 870 meters on a side) . " A terrible jet of water rose to the sky , the ocean broke the bank and the river , its banks " ( a direct reference to groundwater emerging at high pressure : The breaking of the "sources of the Abyss " ) . Gordyene Mountains of Armenia were the refuge of the survivors [ 2], which again Sippara to unearth memories of their destroyed civilization.
Chaldean tradition Interpretation : Among the Chaldeans , the name of the survivor is Xisuthrus . He was the god Cronos ( Known in Moab later under the name of Chemosh and Palestine as Móloc ) who warned of what would happen and ordered him to build a ship, five stages for two , which was home to his family , his friends and two of each animal species. The method to find out if he could get out is the same : release birds on until one came back, he found evidence that land . Then made ​​the appropriate sacrifices to the gods , understanding that the danger had passed .

Interpretation of the Assyrian tradition - Babylonian : 

The legend of Utnapishtim [ 3], the " Noah " Babylonian , is included in the " Epic of Gilgamesh [4 ]" who was the 5th King of Erech [5 ] to the 2700/2800 BC However, some scholars believe was a real character / historical reigned in the former location of Uruk (now under the Euphrates River ) around 1800 . C. [6] . In this story, the flood was long before cataclysm in which Utnapishtim and his wife received from the gods immortality . The oldest version that now has this poem is 12 clay tablets belonging to the library of Nineveh 's last Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (reigned between 669 a. C and 627 a.) Named in the book of Ezra ( 4.10) Osnappar ( RV60 , 95 , NIV ) and the New Jerusalem Bible (1976 ) "Grand Ashurbanipal . "

Interpretation of the Sumerian tradition of the myth of Utnapishtim : 

This legend says that the god Enlil [7 ] , tired of the noise that caused the inhabitants of the land , decides to eliminate the human race through a flood. Another god named Enki [8 ] , takes pity on humans and warns Utnapishtim (Sumerian Ziusudra , [9 ] King of Shuruppak ) the coming disaster . He advised that manufactures a boat and keep it a pair of every animal species on earth. Utnapishtim follow his advice and thus save humanity and animals.


Assyrian tradition Interpretation A: 

According to the Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions , Ubaratutu or Khasisatra , accompanied by his family, servants , livestock , and wild animals . They raffled waters on board a ship of 600 cubits long ( 270m ) , and 60 cubits ( 27 m ) tall and wide. The tragedy lasted six days and six nights , in which there were " tidal waves and water jets ... " Again a direct allusion to the emergence of groundwater. The bodies of the drowned floating like seaweed , while the survivors remained on Mount Nizar . The dove which , unlike the raven, did not return , was also the emissary of good news . At the end of the story , and his family Khasisatra became gods .


Assyrian tradition Interpretation B: 

A variant of the above , is found in the Babylonian inscriptions of Ashurbanipal . It reads that " a ship with the seed of life on board " survived a flood that lasted six days and six nights . " On the seventh day , Ut. - Napishstim [10 ]" " looked out and saw that all was quiet . The humanity had returned to mud " (ie , had died ) . The ship ran aground on Mount Nizar . After a while, Utnapishtim sent out a dove, a crow and a sparrow . The crow was eating the corpses and the other birds did not return. After disembarking and dialogue with the gods , was granted immortality.


Interpretation of the Indian tradition A: 

The legend speaks of a man named Manu , who saved a tiny fish teeth of a big one. The small fish , grateful, Manu told : " If I take care to make it big one day save you from the terrible things that are to come." Manu asked what would happen and he would reply, " is about a great flood that will sweep everything on earth " . As the fish grew, Manu it was changing to a larger tank until it became a " Gasha " , the biggest fish on the face of the earth. When the rain started , Manu tied a rope from the boat to fish, and it guided him through the water while the rain fell , leading to a mountain, where it ran aground . We can narrow this legend mentions the survival of aquatic animals.


Interpretation of the Indian tradition B : 

In another India, the Puranas [11 ] ( "wise " ) speak of a ship led by divine fish that saved Satyaurata ( THE Indian Noah ), the flood lasted seven days ( in which the three sources were submerged ) until the fish took the boat ashore. Satyaurata had three children the eldest of whom was called Jyapeti ( Iapetus - Japheth ? ) . The other two were called C'harma Sharma (Shem and Ham ? ) . When the flood was over and they could return to settle on land , Earth Satyaurata divided among his three sons :
1. A Jyapeti assigned all regions north of the Himalayas ( This agrees with the territory that extended Japheth )
Two . A Sharma (Shem ) gave the southern country .
Three . But C'harma cursed because when on one occasion when the old monarch was accidentally intoxicated with liquor , made ​​from fermented rice strong , C'harma had laughed at him. Is the Biblical account with the appropriate names phonetically to their culture !


· Interpretation of the Greek tradition : 

For the Greek tradition , the Flood is a fact that did not affect everyone , but only to the mythical Atlantis [12 ] ( According to the myth destroyed by an earthquake and then submerged in the ocean waters , in what could have been a tsunami ) . According to Plato , Atlantis disappeared 12,000 years ago as punishment for the wickedness of man. The people of Atlantis had been " victims of the worst vices." These people , once immensely prosperous , lost favor with Zeus for "practicing most brutal indecency " and people became "totally obnoxious , full of boundless greed and drunk with power . " Then Zeus decided to punish them . Thanks to the intercession of Prometheus [ 13 ] were able to survive the catastrophe the right Decalión , his wife Pyrrha , your children and pets pigs , horses, etc. . and further including wild animals such as lions and snakes , etc .... His shelter was a large chest in which sailed for nine days and nine nights "with the water coming out of the earth and the sea over" , another direct reference to water from the " Abyss " . According to the stories , the chest stranded on Mount Parnassus or Olympus. By opening a crack in Earth, water was drained by it. The earth will swallow the water, a return to their underground tanks , what we now know as ground water [ 14 ] . Decalion and Pyrrha threw stones which became men and women depending on who pitched. Some scientists believe that the eruption of the Santorini Island [ 15 ] ( in the Aegean 1627 /8 BC - that wiped out much of the present island ) , is linked to the myth of Atlantis. The eruption could have been the cause of the tsunami which caused a serious crisis to the culture of Crete on the same date . According to Egyptian records of the time, the volcanic cloud produced nine days of " shadow " in Egypt .
· Interpretation of Quranic tradition : The Qur'anic version is very similar to the Bible . Speaking of Noah and his family and a flood that covered the earth , which survived in the ark. The catastrophe described in the following terms : " the surface of the earth boiled (The Book of Enoch also refers to the emergence of high temperature hot springs ) ... The ark moved through the waves like mountains." The tragedy ended when Allah commanded the earth to swallow the water (This should be understood that a portion of the waters returned to their underground tanks ) and Heaven rains stop . Finally, the ark landed on Mount Djudi [ 16 ] .
Persian tradition Interpretation : A Persian legend speaks of the survivors were Yilma , thousand couples , animals and birds. Instead of the usual ark, took shelter in a shelter or underground fortress made ​​of mud , a " long horse race " , provided with food , fruits , plants and animals , but not bad people , or people or uneven teeth lepers. They were the survivors of that wave of earthquakes, floods and fires that destroyed the world .

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[1 ] Stage Greek logitud measure pattern taken as the length of the stage of Olympia , equivalent to 174.125 m .
[2 ] Mountains of Kurdistan, Ararat Mountains .

[3 ] There are numerous parallels and similarities between Utnapishtim and Noah.
[4 ] It may have been a king Gilgamesh late Second Period Early Dynastic ( XXVII century about a.) Http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poema_de_Gilgamesh .
[5 ] The name Erech, Uruk may have evolved and now Iraq .
[6 ] With either of the two dates ( 2800 or 1800 a.) The date of writing the poem would be prior to the writings of Moses . So that the dispute which copy history . It makes sense to think that they are two different versions of the same story , the oral origin is lost in time.
[7 ] In Sumerian En = Lord, lil = wind ( spirit ) Lord of Spirits .
[8 ] Lord of the Earth .
[9 ] Zizudra means "life of long days " and belongs to the document Eridu Genesis . BIBLE COMMENTARY HISPANOAMERICANO , page 176.

[10 ] Utnapistin means " find life " in a reference to eternity , because in the Epic of Gilgamesh the gods grant immortality. BIBLE COMMENTARY HISPANOAMERICANO , page 176
[11 ] The Puranas are Hindu religious writings .

[12 ] See Appendix . All mythical and historical elements that occurred 12,000 BC Plato , merge into a story that exalts Athens , the home of the philosopher. It was the custom of the Ancients " Enlarge " things to gain prestige : All Patriarchs were sons of gods , which obviously adds shine to be the son of ordinary people. Similarly , more prestigious to win a battle demigods , beginning the story with the phrase : " A long, long time , in a faraway place beyond the Pillars of Hercules , our hero and his brave Mengano Athenians defeated the gods of Atlantis " . Needless to say that Athens did not exist until recently as 1600 . C .... In this type of " Fantastic Stories " makes no difference that makes 900 , 9,000 or 20,000 years.
[ 13 ] Titan in Greek mythology , friend of men , whom they eloped gift of the gods.
[ 14 ] The water table (or water table , ground layer , water table , water table , water table) is the level by which the water flows underground. In their cycle , some of the water is filtered and fed to the water table , also called aquifer. The aquifer can be confined when materials are waterproof ground up , creating both a floor and a ceiling that keeps the liquid at the same levels underground ( like a pipe) . However, the aquifer can also be free when they wrap materials are permeable , so water has no floor or ceiling and can emerge on the surface ( as happens in the Ibera Marshes ) . The water tables are found throughout the world , with the difference that in some locations is present to a significant depth , while others are close to the surface (or on it) . In short, the whole basin aquifer is underground water, while the water table is the limit and level at which water is found beneath the surface. http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manto_fre % C3 % A1tico .
[ 15 ] In the part that was left of the island, stood a city that today is a tourist place visited.

[ 16 ] Finally the ark touched down in Chudi , but there are different views on whether this refers to Mount Cudi (or Judi ) , located in Turkey, or simply to " a high place " . ( Quran 11:44) And he said, "Swallow , land, your water! Escampa , honey! " And the water was absorbed , the order was fulfilled and settled in Chudi . And he said, "Back the unjust people "

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