The Great Flood and the Great Deluge are two distinct, but connected, events. By way of definition, a flood is an inundation, an overflowing or influx of water beyond its normal confines, as in covering what is normally dry land. A deluge, on the other hand, is a heavy fall of rain. Both events occurred as described in the ancient texts.
“And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.” “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” “And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”
-- Genesis 7:10-12 [emphasis added]
The ancient Sumerian texts describe two separate events: first a tidal wave style flood rushing over the civilized -- and supposedly uncivilized -- lands. This sudden influx of water then resulted in a massive contribution to the hydrologic cycle, and it began raining for what seemed to be a very long time (day and night for either seven or forty days, depending whether it is the Sumerian or Genesis version).
In the Sumerian version, first the “waters of the flood were upon the earth.” Then, “the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up.” Then, “the windows of heaven were opened,” and it rained! Sequentially, the Genesis version is the same: a rush of flood waters upon the earth, followed by the fountains of the great deep (water rising up via the hydrologic cycle), and then rain -- i.e. a flood, evaporation, and rain.
Based on the Sumerian texts, it is surmised that an astronomical event occurred (possibly the relatively near approach of another planet such as Nibiru), which resulted in a massive Antarctica ice cap suddenly shifting and crashing into the sea. Inasmuch as the approach of another planet could have been easily predicted by the Anunnaki, it is clear that they would have had ample warning of some impending catastrophe and were simply off planet as observers when the event took place. This gave them ring-side seats to observe the destruction -- a fact which is also recorded in the ancient Sumerian texts. (Nin-khursag, in particular, was horrified at the destruction, and vowed that it would never happen again!)
This also explains that aspect of the Enki and Enlil conflict, whereby Enlil was in favor of letting the humans be destroyed, while Enki -- the father of Homo sapiens -- was the one who insisted upon saving the humans (even if he had to do so by subterfuge). Enlil could see it coming -- possibly even be able to predict that a celestial close encounter would result in the ice laden, top heavy, South Pole of the earth, suddenly coming unglued and causing a massive tidal wave. (It is even conceivable that the Anunnaki had the means to initiate the ice cap collapse -- and would want to do so as a means of releasing the massive amounts of fresh water held in ice, and thereby reinvigorating the hydrologic cycle.)
This latter is because during the time of Noah, the earth was having a massive, world-wide drought. Things were in pretty dire straights. Even the Anunnaki were being effected. The problem was that most of the fresh water was in the form of ice at the poles, (i.e. the Antarctica ice cap was much larger than it is today). What was needed was a massive infusion into the water cycle. Noah’s name, in fact, means “respite”, as in respite from the drought. (All of this is in the Sumerian texts, albeit with Noah being called “Zi-u-sudra”.)
When the Antarctica ice cap did crash into the sea, the result was the mother of all tidal waves, one which went crashing across the face of the Earth. In particular, civilized lands (predominantly at the lower elevations) were undoubtedly flooded suddenly and with a vengeance. (The Sumerians had the habit of referring to the civilized portions of the Earth as the world -- i.e. if you didn’t live in a civilized location, you really didn’t count at all. Thus any Sumerian reference to the “world” may actually refer to the civilized parts only.)
Then, once the flood/tidal wave had done its work, massive amounts of new water were added to the water cycle, and it began to rain. And rain, and rain...
The descriptions of a great flood and/or deluge are fundamental to virtually all societies with links to ancient times. The part of Noah was played by such characters as the Sumerian Zi-u-sudra, Babylonian Atrahasis, Akkadian Uptnashtim, Chaldean Xisuthrus, and Zoroastrian Yima. One site once flooded with myths, but now apparently underwater  contained some sixty one (61) flood myths from different cultures is. These include flood myths of the: Algonquin, Assyrian, Australian, Babylonian, Bakongo (Zaire), Basonge, Batak (Sumatria), Cameroon, Chaldean, Cheyenne, China, Chorote (Eastern Paraguay), Fiji, German, Hebrew, Hindu, Huichol, Ifugaos (Philippines), Ipurina (Upper Amazon), Jivaran Indian (South America), Kabadi (New Guinea), Kammu (northern Thailand), Kikuyu, Kootenay (southeast British Columbia), Kwaya (Lake Victoria), Lake Tyras (Victoria), Makiritare (Venezuela), Mandingo (Ivory Coast)... Well, you get the idea.
Examples include the Flood Story of the Babylonians:
“The gods were distressed by the disturbance from human overpopulation. The gods dealt with the problem first by plague, then by famine. Both times, the god Enki advised men to bribe the god causing the problem. The third time, Enlil advised the gods to destroy all humans with a flood, but Enki had Atrahasis build an ark and so escape. Also on the boat were cattle, wild animals and birds, and Atrahasis' family. After the flood, the gods regretted their action, and Enki established barren women and stillbirth to avoid the problem in the future.” [emphasis added]
The Chaldean Flood Myth:
“The god Chronos warned Xisuthrus of a coming flood, ordered him to write a history, and told him to build a vessel (5 stadia by 2 stadia) for himself, his friends and relations, and all kinds of animals, all of which he did. After the flood had come and abated somewhat, he sent out some birds, which returned. Later, he tried again, and the birds returned with mud on their feet. On the third trial, the birds didn't return. He disembarked and, with his wife, daughter, and pilot, offered sacrifices to the gods. Those four were translated to live with the gods.”
and the Zoroastrian Flood Myth:
"After Ahura Mazda had warned Yima that destruction in the form of winter, frost, and floods, subsequent to the melting of the snow, are threatening the sinful world, he proceeds to instruct him to build a vara, 'fortress or estate,' in which specimens of small and large cattle, human beings, dogs, birds, red flaming fires, plants and foodstuffs will have to be deposited in pairs."
Keep in mind that the Great Flood and Deluge occurred at the earliest times of recorded history. Depending on the different views of such scholars as Immanuel Velikovsky, Laurence Gardner, and Zecharia Sitchin (and others), the dating of the events are between 6,000 and 13,000 years ago. Accordingly, accurate information is scant at best, and any number of interpretations can be logically derived. A particularly intriguing concept is Velikovsky’s <http://www.varchive.org/itb/satdel.htm>.
A really excellent site, <http://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/specex/ur/ur-flood.htm>, is dedicated to the Mesopotamian tradition of the Flood. Included are several relevant ideas:
z The Sumerian King List, from the early second millennium BC, separates antediluvian dynasties (all of whose kings had reigns of fantastic lengths -- similar to the patriarchs from Adam through Noah), from the later dynasties by the intervention of a great flood.
z In the epic of Atrahasis, Enlil was continually plotting to reduce the number of humans, “whose noisy vitality was such that Enlil could not sleep.” Enlil tried various plagues as a means of wiping out the human race, only to be thwarted by Enki, who kept the humans up to date on survival techniques (i.e. which other gods to bribe). When Enlil decides on a flood, Enki betrays Enlil's plan to Atrahasis, the king -- who is then able to ride out the flood with his family, possessions, and livestock. After the fact, Enlil is furious, but the mother goddess has condemned the chief gods Anu and Enlil for attempted homo-sapiens-cide, and Enlil has to give way. He eventually permits the human race to continue, but only under the condition that Enki and the mother goddess organize them better, “probably to spare him the noise.” [emphasis added]
z Most of the heroes of the flood are granted eternal life by the gods. (Noah, however, received only a Covenant, and possibly, a “done that, been there” T-shirt.)
z In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the hero of the flood is Utnapishtim, who is warned by Ea (the Akkadian name of Enki) and told to load “all his possessions, including silver and gold, his family, domesticated and wild animals, and craftsmen onto the boat.” [Why silver and gold?] “The storm comes; the gods cower and weep at its destructive force. The storm rages for six days and six nights; on the seventh day it subsides.”
z The Biblical flood story (Genesis 5:28-9:17) was likely derived, directly or indirectly, from the Gilgamesh version. The story of the flood was then carried down in later Jewish, Christian, and even Muslim traditions [where it occurs in the Koran (Sura 11: 25-48)].
z Sir Leonard Woolley is generally credited with discovering evidence of the Flood, based on his excavations at Ur. But earlier work at Kish may have been his inspiration (and thereafter he may have went looking for evidence at his own digs). Woolley did win the media race in announcing the idea to the public. Later Stephen Langdon of the Kish expedition, pointed out that Woolley had visited the Kish site and been shown the alluvial deposits, before Woolley returned to Ur, and made his own alluvial deposit discovery.
z Later, Woolley’s assistant at Ur, Max Mallowan, found similar deposits at Fara (ancient Shuruppak), which Max argued was the true Flood evidence (doubting the earlier versions). However, most so-called experts now officially doubt that “the Ur, Kish, or even Fara floods could be the source of the Mesopotamian flood narratives, and prefer to take them merely as evidence for the endemic hazard posed by floods in the flat alluvial plain of southern Mesopotamia.”
Finally, in the Story of Atrahasis...
Enki made his voice heard...
Dismantle the house, build a boat
Reject possessions, and save living things.
-- Akkadian, ca. 1640 BC
An interesting piece of Enki-style advice.
 Was formerly located at <http://www.neopage.com/know/flood_myths.htm>
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