Epic of Gilgamesh tells Story of Great Flood

Published by Lois Clymer on


Drawing by Clara

Noah was 500 years old when he had a son named Japheth (Genesis 5:32). Around this time, God instructed Noah to make an ark: “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark, three hundred cubits (about 450 feet), it breadth fifty cubits (about 75 feet), and its height thirty cubits (about 45 feet). You shall make a window for the ark and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks” (Genesis 6:14-16).

One of the early cuneiform tablets we have found tell of the Great Flood. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the beginning lines brag that Gilgamesh has knowledge of all things and has handed down things known before the flood. In the epic, Gilgamesh is searching among his ancestors to learn how to regain immortality, which had been lost. He manages to cross the river of death to meet with Uta-Napishtim (Noah), who tells him about the flood. He relates that he was told in a dream to build a boat. He took animals and his family with him, released a dove and a raven, landed on Mount Nisir (which is near Mount Ararat) and sacrificed animals after the flood.

This is an excerpt from my book, Ancient History at a Glance, How the Bible Connects History. You can purchase a copy here.

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