The Sumerian King List

 

     This 4,000 year old cuneiform tablet was discovered in the early 1900s by Hermann Hilprecht.  What this German American scholar discovered at the ancient site of Nippur, was a list of kings recorded in the Sumerian language.  The interesting thing is that this list of kings pauses to specifically mention "the flood that swept over the earth..."  Mention of a flood seems unnecessary in a list of kings.  The Sumerian Kings List also records eight kings that reigned before the flood.  This is in harmony with Genesis, as Genesis records 8 generations between Adam and Noah (Genesis 5).  This is a great argument in favor of a worldwide flood.

 

     Pictured above is an 8-inch high block with two columns on each side.  Some believe that there was originally a wooden spindle going through the center so it could be rotated and easily read.  This artifact lists rulers form the antediluvian world (pre-flood world) through the fourteenth ruler of the Isin dynasty circa 1763BC - 1753BC.

 

     Sumeria is the site of the earliest known civilization located in the southernmost part of Mesopotamia, located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.  This area later became known as Babylonia and is now southern Iraq. 

 

     The kingship listed on the artifact begins with a kingship from heaven, which is seen as divine, the tablet states:  "the kingship had descended from heaven".  Some aspects of this list seem to be somewhat mythical.  For example the earliest rulers are presented as living for extremely long periods of time, for example it reads:

         

     "After the kinship descended from heaven, the kingship was Eridug.  In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28,800 years.  Alaljar ruled for 36,000 years.  2 kings; they ruled for 64,800years."

 

     The long periods of reign may be symbolic of the life those rulers lived.  For example, in ancient Egypt, the phrase "he died aged 110" referred to someone who lived life to the fullest and who offered an important contribution to society.  In the same way these long years may simply imply the importance of the person mentioned.

 

     Another astounding similarity with Genesis is the reduction in lifespan after the flood.  Before the flood the average lifespan was 912 twelve years (Genesis 5).  After the flood the lifespan was reduced greatly due to changes in environment and diet.  In just eleven generations the lifespan went from 950 years (Noah) to 175 years (Abraham).  This lends more evidence to the quality and trustworthiness of this archaeological find not to mention its coroboration of the Bible.

 

     There have been several lists of the Sumerian Kings List that have been discovered since the early 1900's.  Although they do not all match up precisely, it is likely that they all have a common origin in a single document that other lists were copied from.

 

     The Sumerian King List was written as far back as 2017BC, discovered in the early 1900's, published in 1906, and you are reading about it now.  God in His infinite wisdom has certainly preserved documentation that, yet again, proves the Biblical record.  Although there a still many unanswered questions regarding this piece, it proves to be of invaluable information to us today.