Noah and the Ark

See: Noah (film)

According to the Epic, a Babylonian named Utnapishtim was approached by Prince Ea, who opposed the decision to destroy his creation, Homo sapiens. Ea told Utnapishtim that the other "gods" planned to cause a deluge to wipe out the human race. Ea, who is described in other writings as a master shipbuilder and sailor, gave Utnapishtim instructions on how to build a boat which could survive the flood.
    Utnapishtim followed Ea's directions and, with the help of friends, completed the vessel before the flooding began. Utnapishtim then loaded the boat with his gold, family, and livestock, along with craftsmen and wild animals, and hoisted off to sea. Babylonian and Assyrian tablets relate that just prior to flooding the land, the Custodians scorched it with flame.
    Then they flooded the region by causing a long rainstorm and by breaking the intricate system of dams and dikes that had been built in Mesopotamia to control the erratic flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
    The Gilgamesh Epic relates that Utnapishtim and his crew survived the ordeal. When it was over, they sought out dry land by releasing a series of three birds; if a bird did not return to the boat, Utnapishtim would know that it had found dry land nearby on which to alight. Once back on solid ground, Utnapishtim was joined by several Custodians returning from out of the sky. Instead of destroying the survivors, a degree of leniency prevailed and the Custodians transported the surviving humans to another region to live.
    The tale of Utnapishtim should ring a bell with anyone who is familiar with the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark. That is because the tale of Noah, like many other stories in the Old Testament, is taken from older Mesopotamian writings. Biblical authors simply altered names and changed the many "gods" of the original writings into the one "God" or "Lord" of the Hebrew religion. The latter change was an unfortunate one because it caused a Supreme Being to be blamed for the brutal acts that earner writers had attributed to the very un-God-like Custodians.
     Early Mesopotamian writings gave us another famous Old Testament story: the tale of Adam and Eve. The Adam and Eve narrative is also derived from earlier Mesopotamian sources which described life under the Custodial "gods." The "God" or "Lord God" of the Bible's Adam and Eve story can therefore be translated to mean the Custodial rulers of Earth. The story of Adam and Eve is unique in that it is entirely symbolic, and through its symbols it provides an intriguing account of early human history. According to the Bible, Adam, who symbolizes first man, was created by "God" from the "dust of the ground." This idea reflects the older Mesopotamian belief that Homo sapiens was created partially from "clay." Adam's wife, Eve, was also created artificially. They both lived in an abundant paradise known as the Garden of Eden. Modern versions of the Bible place the Garden of Eden in the Tigris-Euphrates region of Mesopotamia. The Old Testament tells us that Adam (first man) was designed to be a servant. His function was to till the soil and to care for the lush gardens and crops owned by his "God." As long as Adam and Eve accepted their servient status and obeyed their ever-present masters, all of their physical needs would be met and they would be permitted to remain in their "paradise" indefinitely. There was, however, one unpardonable sin that they must never commit. They must never attempt to seek certain types of knowledge. Those forbidden forms of knowledge are symbolized in the story as two trees: the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" and the "tree of life." The first "tree" symbolizes an understanding of ethics and justice. The second "tree" symbolizes the knowledge of how to regain and retain one's spiritual identity and immortality [1989] Gods of Eden by William Bramley