Is Gilgamesh In The Bible

When we think of the Bible, most of us immediately think of Jesus. The Bible is the foundation of Christianity and tells the story of God’s relationship to his people. But did you know that the Bible also includes stories that pre-date the time of Jesus? One of these is the epic of Gilgamesh, which is often considered to be one of the oldest stories ever recorded. What’s interesting is that the tale of Gilgamesh is mentioned in the Bible – although it has been largely forgotten by modern scholars.

The Gilgamesh epic was first written down in the Ancient Near East during the 18th century BCE. It is an ancient Mesopotamian poem about a legendary king who went on a quest for immortality and encountered all sorts of monsters and gods. The poem itself is filled with symbolism, metaphors, and themes that are familiar to readers of the Bible.

So how does he feature in the Bible? In the book of Genesis, there is a story that talks about a great flood that is sent by God to wipe out civilization, except for one man, Noah. It is interesting to note that this is almost identical to the story of the Flood in the Gilgamesh epic. In both stories, God is angry with humankind, so he sends an immense flood to wipe them out. In both stories, the god then chooses one man, Gilgamesh or Noah, to spare, and charges them with the task of building a great ark to protect them and their families during the floods.

This similarity in these stories begs the question: Is the Bible an adaptation of the Gilgamesh epic? Many scholars have suggested that it is, and that the authors of the Bible borrowed heavily from the Gilgamesh epic when constructing their own narrative. They point to the similarities between the two stories: the flood, the ark, the animals, the idea of divine vengeance, and the ultimate survival of just one man.

However, there are differences between the two stories as well. For example, the Gilgamesh epic does not include the story of Noah’s ark landing on a mountain or the rainbow as a symbol of God’s promise. Similarly, the biblical narrative of Noah doesn’t contain the battle with the monsters that Gilgamesh encountered in his quest for immortality. It is possible that these stories were simply adapted by the authors of the Bible, or that the two stories are entirely unrelated. Whatever the case, it is interesting to examine how two ancient stories can be so similar yet so different.

Biblical Sources of the Gilgamesh Epic

When looking at the Bible, it is clear that there are references to the Gilgamesh epic in its pages. Scholars have pointed to verses in the Psalms and the Book of Isaiah that seem to echo the themes of the epic. Psalm 29 mentions a “great storm” that is similar to the great flood in the Gilgamesh epic, and Isaiah 17 mentions a “mighty flood” that could refer to the same event. It is possible that the authors of these books drew on the Gilgamesh epic when writing these verses, and they may be evidence of the influence of the epic on the Bible.

What’s more, many scholars argue that the story of Noah in the Bible is, in some ways, an interpretation of the Gilgamesh epic. They point out that the biblical authors took key elements from the epic – such as the flood, the ark, and the divine punishment – and adapted them to propound their own religious beliefs. For instance, in the Bible, the Flood serves as a divine punishment for human sin, unlike in the Gilgamesh epic where it is a reminder of humanity’s mortality.

The Bible uses the story of Gilgamesh in this way to create a moral lesson: While Gilgamesh sought to conquer death and defy the gods, Noah and his family obeyed God and were delivered from the Flood. In this way, the Bible takes the elements of the Gilgamesh epic and uses them to teach a lesson about obedience and faith to its readers.

Gilgamesh’s Impact on Modern Society.

Though it is now largely forgotten, the Gilgamesh epic had a great influence on Ancient Near Eastern culture, and even on the Biblical narrative. Its influence can still be seen in literature and art today, as the story of Gilgamesh and his quest for immortality continues to inspire modern authors and artists. The themes of the epic – death, mortality, and the quest for power – are still relevant today, and many authors have sought to explore and expand on them.

The Gilgamesh epic also serves as a reminder of the power of storytelling. Even though the story is thousands of years old, its themes still resonate with modern audiences, and its influence can be seen in both the Bible and in popular culture. As we continue to explore the power of story and the relevance of ancient texts, the Gilgamesh epic will continue to live on.

Gilgamesh and its Influence on Archaeology

The Gilgamesh epic has also played a role in archaeological investigations. Since the epic is one of the oldest written texts in the world, scholars have often used it as a source of information when trying to reconstruct the history of the Ancient Near East. For instance, the epic describes many landmarks, monuments, and sites that have been discovered by archaeologists, lending an invaluable window into the history and culture of the Ancient Near East. In this way, the Gilgamesh epic has served as an invaluable historical source for archaeologists and historians, and its influence can still be felt in modern research.

The epic has also had a great impact on our understanding of Ancient Near Eastern religions. Through the epic, we can learn about the gods, rituals, and beliefs of the Ancient Near East, and how they were intertwined with everyday life. This information has been invaluable for scholars who seek to understand the ancient Near East, and the concepts described in the Gilgamesh epic still shape our understanding of this period of history.


The story of Gilgamesh is an ancient tale that has had a lasting impact on modern culture. Its influence can be seen in the Bible, where the story of Noah and the Flood seem to be influenced by the Gilgamesh epic. Moreover, the epic continues to inspire modern authors and is an invaluable source of information for scholars who seek to understand the Ancient Near East. As we continue to explore and appreciate this ancient story, we are reminded of the power of storytelling and the influence of ancient texts.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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