Early Civilization Essay, Research Paper
History has shown us that no two civilizations are the same. The Hebrew society and the Mesopotamian society were two completely different societies. They did have some common ground between them though. If you take the book of Job from the Hebrews and the Mesopotamian Wisdom Literature you can find some common points between them. You can also find several major differences.
Both books are talking about mans misfortune and how to please their Gods. In the book of Job God makes a deal with Satan to test Jobs faith. So Satan takes away everything and makes Jobs life miserable. When Jobs faith is proved God gives back everything. In the Mesopotamian book of Wisdom a man is trying to figure out why his life was falling apart because he thought he had done everything his god had wanted him to do. In this, we find a major difference between the two cultures. In the Hebrew book God was testing Job to make sure he wasn’t just a fair weather worshiper, and when he proved himself God gave him everything back. In the Mesopotamian book the man couldn’t please his god, because he didn’t know what the god wanted. He felt his god was punishing him because he had offended his god. When he had reached the end of his life his god never came back to forgive him.
There are several common themes in both books that give the impression that both cultures pondered the same problems. In the book of Job God finally appears to Job and says that he Job didn’t need to know why God let him suffer because he is God and his reasons are above mere mortals. While the man in the Mesopotamian book was pondering his problems, he couldn’t figure out why he was being punished by his god. His reason for why he was being punished was, a god’s reasons are his own, and when has a man ever known the thoughts of a god. He reasoned that what is good for oneself may be offensive to ones god? Who can know the will of the gods of heaven? Where have humans learned the way of a god? Both civilizations had numerous differences, but they also had many things in common. The Mesopotamian culture had a very pessimistic view on life and it showed in everything they did. Their gods were capricious and playful, their literature had a negative undertone to it, and they struggled to make it from day to day. The Hebrew culture was a nomadic tribe that struggled for most of its history to find itself. It was always being taken over and it never had a city of its own. The one thing that kept them going to this day was their faith in their religion. If I had to choose which civilization I would like to live in, it would is the Hebrew culture because they were not a pessimistic society. That would only be if I was forced to choose, otherwise I wouldn’t want to live in either.