Epic of Gilgamesh XI

Ancient Near East

One day and a second Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway. A third day, a fourth, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway. A fifth day, a sixth, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway. When a seventh day arrived I sent forth a dove and released it. The dove went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a swallow and released it. The swallow went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a raven and released it. The raven went off, and saw the waters slither back. It eats, it scratches, it bobs, but does not circle back to me. Then I sent out everything in all directions and sacrificed (a sheep). I offered incense in front of the mountain-ziggurat. Seven and seven cult vessels I put in place, and (into the fire) underneath (or: into their bowls) I poured reeds, cedar, and myrtle. The gods smelled the savor, the gods smelled the sweet savor, and collected like flies over a (sheep) sacrifice.

Genesis 8:7

Hebrew Bible

5 The waters kept on receding until the tenth month. On the first day of the tenth month, the tops of the mountains became visible. 6 At the end of 40 days, Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven; it kept flying back and forth until the waters had dried up on the earth. 8 Then Noah sent out a dove to see if the waters had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 The dove could not find a resting place for its feet because water still covered the surface of the entire earth, and so it returned to Noah in the ark. He stretched out his hand, took the dove, and brought it back into the ark.

 Notes and References

"... In the extensive flood story Genesis 6–9, only a brief kernel of the Yahwist’s version can be identified as pre-editorial text ... The editor has rendered the religiously significant scenes at the beginning and end in his own words. Where the Akkadian epics speak of the conflict among the gods, the Bible has the monologue of the god YHWH. The later elaboration of the flood account clearly also incorporates additional knowledge of the narrative tradition. This is evident especially in the birds scene 8:8–12, which has a parallel in Gilgamesh XI 145–54. External influence is also apparent in the version in the Priestly Writing, which has further details, such as the building of the ark ..."

Levin, Christoph "Genesis in Form and Tradition Criticism Today" in Arnold, Bill T. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Genesis (pp. 74-98) Cambridge University Press, 2022

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.