Studies began: Gilgamesh

admin accad, babylon, flood, Gilgamesh, literature, shumer

Here I really have to think it through. Gilgamesh. An old Babylonian myth. Or epic. How on earth does it carry in itself the story about the flood? I think that some people had to carry over the news about that from Lot’s descendants. That’s my fresh take on that. I didn’t google it up yet. This man, whoever he was, had to find it hard to live in half-human half-calf way. He looks to me more like Nebuchadnezzar punished by God for his pride and arrogance.

So here we go.

Tablet #1:

My observations:
1-25 What a great city Uruk is

26-60 How great and glorious and beautiful is Gilgamesh half-bull, half man

The problem of Gilgamesh – too powerful, to proud, too strong, “…trampling its (Uruk’s) citizens like a wild bull, he is king, he does whatever he wants, takes the son from his father and crushes him, takes the girl from her mother and uses her, the warrior’s daughter, the young man’s bride, he uses her noone dares to oppose him…” – from this account I see that Gilgamesh (whatever I will learn of him later) has got unrestrained sexual lust in him, I would dare to think that he is sexually compulsive demonized person.

86-110 – creation of Enkidu by Aruru out of caly in the steppe.

One young man got afraid of strong and shaggy Enkidu, whomhe found at the well.

131-145 Advice of boy’s father to use snare of Shamhat(priestess) the harlot to separate Enkidu from wild beasts. (? and conquer him)

146-165 Basically, the Gilgamesh advised the same thing to the boy.

166-200 Enkidu lies with harlot

201-224 He is prompted top go to Uruk to see and admire Gilgamesh and Enkidu agrees. At Shamhat’s invitation Enkidu says that he will scream to kings face, so that he would see his power. He says:

“I myself will challenge him. I will speak out boldly. I will raise a cry in Uruk: I am the mighty one!”

225-245 Shamhat tells to Enkidu that Gilgamesh has got lots more power and virility than Enkidu has.

245-300 Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu are drawn to each other in the dreams. Gilgameshe’s mother (Ninsun) explains Gilgameshe’s dream to him.

247 – Difference in reading – according to one copy it is a star that fell to Gilgamesh’s feet, according to another – “…like the force of heaven, something kept falling upon me.” Anyway – that meant that there will be a mighty friend, who in any danger will stand at Gilgamesh’s side.
( This translation id by BEnjamin R. Foster, and I know that there are others: Stephanie Dalley’s for instance)
That’s the end of tablet one.

Tablet #2:

I bring a quote (intro to T2) from B.R. Foresters rendition of the “Epic of Gilgamesh”:

“Shamhat begins the process of civilizing Enkidu. She takes him to an encampment of shepherds, where he learns how to eat, drink, dress, and groom himself to human standards. Whereas Gilgamesh keeps his subjects awake at night with his roistering (предаваться разгулу, шумно веселиться), Enkidu stays up all night to protect the flocks. Most of this tablet is known from older versions, combined here with later ones.”

1-50 Time with Shamnat. Humanization so to speak.

51-74 News about Gilgamesh’s custom to take brides on the first wedding nights and then leave them to theirwedded husbands. (This seems to me like what Claigula and Nero did hundreds of years later in Rome)

75-115 First meeting and fight of Enkidu with Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh pins Enkidu over his shoulders whil keeping one foot and another knee on the ground.

116-191 – As foretold by hi mother Gilgamesh becomes friends with Enkidu. Gilgamesh suggests to earn glory for his name and to slay Humbaba (the forest monster put there by Enlil to safeguard the forest) by using the cedar of Lebanon. Enkidu being a man of the steppe knows that is a hard task indeed and is hesitant.

192-202 – Gilgamesh wants to establish his name, and even if he dies he wants to be known as:

“…Gilgamesh, who joined battle with fierce Humbaba”

That vain glory I suppose run in the veins of most men. If we are to glorify God and to bring our crowns to the feet of Christ, It think that no human accomplishment will ever make us as glorious as the Son of God, who became flesh in order to save us from our sins. Now, when Christ overcame, He can look upon us with joy and pride:

“…He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isa. 53:11

To bring glory to God to His name and to enjoy Him forever – that is our calling I beleive (Westminster Catechism of Faith), and not to “establish” a name for ourselves as people at Babylon wanted.

203-240 Gilgamesh persists. He makes 180 pound Axes, 120 pound daggers and makes his speech. asking Uruk’s people for a blessing.

241-274 Elder’s of Uruk plead with Gilgamesh to stop this quest.

275-277 Gilgamesh challenges Enkidu once again:

“…Now then my friend, [do you say the same]:
I am afraid [to die]?” I think this play on men’s virility (masculinity) or wahtever inner pride is many times been the case for people snare and destruction in both battles and other stories.

And that is ht e end of Tablet #2.