Note: The earliest versions of the Utnapishtim flood narrative were included in the Epic of Gilgamesh, written in about 2100-2000 BCE. Later versions of the tale were recorded during the Akkadian Empire in the 17th century BCE. In the later versions, Utnapishtim was named Atrahasis.
Read a summary of this narrative HERE
From the Epic of Gilgamesh:
Gilgamesh said: "When I regard you now, my god-like man,
it's like seeing my own face on calm water
where I dare to study myself.
Like me, you are first of all a fighter who prefers to war-no-more.
How could one like you, so human, all-too-human,
ever try to be compared with the gods?"
Utnapishtim said to him in swift reply:
"Only one as bold as you would dare expect
such knowledge. But I shall tell you what
no person has ever been told.
High up the constant Euphrates
there rests a place you call Shuruppak
where gods and goddesses recline.
Then came the flood, sent by gods' intent.
Mama, Anu, and Enlil were at Shuruppak.
So too was their coachman, Ninurta,
and one who watches over precious infants,
the ever vigilant Ea.
And Ea told me what the gods spoke of,
giving this advice to me:
'Arise! Arise! Oh wall-like reeds.
Arise and hear my words:
Citizen of Shurtippak, child of Ubaratutu,
abandon your home and build a boat.
Reject the corpse-like stench of wealth.
Choose to live and choose to love;
choose to rise above and give back
what you yourself were given.
Be careful as you flee for survival
in a boat that has no place for riches.
Take the seed of all you need aboard
with you and carefully weigh anchor
after securing a roof that will let in no water.'
"Then I said back in reverent prayer:
'I understand, great Ea.
I shall do just as you say to honor god,
but for myself
I'll have to find a reason to give the people.'
"Then Ea voiced a fair reply:
'Tell those who'll need to know
that the god Enlil hates you.
Say: "I must flee the city now
and go by sea to where Enlil waits to take my life.
I will descend to the brink of Hell
to be with Ea, god,
who will send riches to you like the rain:
Bring all manner of birds;
and the rarest of rare fish.
The land will fill with crops full grown at break of day.
Ea will begin to shower
gifts of life upon you all"."'
Then Utnapishtim continued, saying words like these:
"By week's end I engineered designs
for the ark we built
so that its walls rose straight toward heaven;
with decks all round did I design its space;
120 cubits measured its deck.
With division of six and of seven
I patterned its squares and stairs;
left space for portals too,
secured its beams and stockpiled
all that ever could be used.
Pitch for the hull I poured into the kiln
and ordered three full volumes of oil
to start with and two times three more yet.
For what is security?
Each day I sacrificed the holy bulls
and chosen sheep for the people
and pushed the laborers to great fatigue
I set up an ointment box
and cleaned my fingers with its cream.
After one week, the ark was done,
though launching was more work than fun
since hull boards caught and snapped
until the water burst most of its great ton.
I supplied the craft with all I owned
of silver, gold, and seed.
My clan brought on the food they'd eat
and all the things we thought we'd need.
At last, it was my turn just then
to shepherd beasts and birds and
babies wet and loud.
It was the god Shamash who ordained the time, saying:
'Prepare the way for your whole boat
and set to sail when the storm
begins to threaten you.'
The gods too then cried for the humans.
The gods themselves, finally suffering, sat up
and let their first tears flow down
cheeks and over lips pressed closed.
"For the whole next week
the sky screamed and storms wrecked the earth
and finally broke the war
which groaned as one in labor's throes.
Even goddess Ishtar then mourned the
fates of her sad people.
Then I see a dawn so still;
all humans beaten to dirt
and earth itself like some vast roof.
I peeked through the portal into a morning sun
then turned, knelt and cried.
Tears flooded down my face.
"Then I searched high and low for the shoreline,
finally spotting an island near and dear.
Our boat stuck fast beside Mount Nimush.
We stayed there for one week.
I released the watch-bird, to soar in search of land.
The bird came back within a day
I then released a swallow, to soar in search of land,
The bird came back within a day
I then released a raven, to soar in search of land.
The bird took flight above more shallow seas,
found food and found release and found no
need to fly on back to me.
These birds I then released to earth's four corners
and offered sacrifices to the god.
I offered the gods their favorite foods,
and when the gods smelled the sweet perfume of sacrifice,
they gathered in flight all above, appearing like ghosts.