Biblical Flood Based Upon the Flood of Gilgamesh
In the middle of the nineteenth century, archaeologists unearthed twelve clay tablets. Around the turn of the twentieth century, archaeologists finally managed to decipher the tablets written in Akkadian, the language of ancient royalty and diplomacy. The tablets tell of the story of Gilgamesh. (1)
The eleventh tablet tells that Gilgamesh, in his quest for immortality set out on a long journey to look for his ancestor, Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim was already bestowed with eternal life by the gods. Upon reaching the island of Utnapishtim's abode, Gilgamesh was told a story by his ancestor of a great flood that once swept the world. (2) The similarity between this story and that of Genesis is astounding. The table below gives a comparison of both these stories.
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Book of Genesis
(Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh that he was a true worshipper of the god Ea. When the gods decided to destroy mankind by a flood, Ea warned his devotee and told him): “O man of Shurrupak, son of Ubar-Tutu, tear down your house and built a ship; abandon wealth seek after life; scorn possessions save your life. Bring up the seed of all kinds of living things into the ship; the ship which you shall built. Let its dimensions be well measured.”
And God said to Noah “I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them...Make yourself an ark...”
Genesis 6: 17-19
“For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh...but...you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and you sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of each sort into the ark to keep them alive with you, they shall be male and female.”
(In accordance with the command of the god Ea, Utnapishtim builds the ship and says):
“On the fifth day, I decided upon its plan. The floor was 200 feet square. The walls were 200 feet high. I gave it six stories and divided the breadth seven times. Its interior I divided into nine. Six sar of bitumen I poured into the kiln.”
(Utnapishtim then proceeded to built his ship. he continues his story):
‘All that I had I loaded, of the seed of all living things. I brought into the ship my whole family and kinsfolk. The cattle of the field, the beasts of the field, all craftsmen-I made them go up into it. I went into the ship and closed my door.”
“Make room in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it; the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits and height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side; make it with the lower, second and third decks.”
On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them...