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Utnapishtim appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh as one of the two human survivors of a great flood. The other survivor was his wife. Although the gods had agreed to kill everything on Earth, Utnapishtim was secretly informed of the plan and constructed a boat to save himself and representatives of each species of animal. He and his wife were granted immortality after the flood.

This legend is similar to the legend of Noah's ark. It is assumed that the author of this part of the Bible has had knowledge of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

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