| Quote #7
When Gilgamesh heard this
The text of the tablet is broken in a few places here, and scholars don't know how to translate one of the words ("zikru"). (Sissoo trees, however, are actually a thing.) Still, the general idea seems to be that Gilgamesh is making an offering to Shamash before setting out on his journey to find Utanapishtim. If your personal god is a dude like Shamash, that's a relationship you want to keep up.
| Quote #8
"Then I sent out everything in all directions and sacrificed (a sheep).
Here, Utanapishtim explains what he did after the Flood. At first glance, this looks like a straightforward picture of the "you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours" relationship that is typical between mortals and gods in ancient mythology. Utanapishtim gets the sacrifices in order, and the gods gratefully cluster round. But, um, didn't the gods just try to kill everyone?
| Quote #9
"How alike are the sleeping(?) and the dead.
Here, Utanapishtim tries to show Gilgamesh that death is a sacred limitation ordained by gods.When Gilgamesh finally backs down from his quest, are his reasons religious? If not, what are they?