The Mountains of Ararat

Gen 8:4 – And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat

The world before the flood was different than the world we live in today as far as its topagraphy is concerned. The antediluvian world more than likely consisted of one super land mass (Gen. 1:9,10). Science agrees with this and a quick look at the contours of the continents of the modern globe will easily convince most people that the continents were once connected. It is also possible that there was some kind of vapor canopy covering the globe, making the world a more tropical zone worldwide (Gen. 1:6,7). Though in recent years some have questioned that model, others still maintain the canopy model and it seems to fit the scriptures best.

Also, before the Flood, the Bible described the earth as possessing high hills (Gen. 7:19). It is interesting that the KJV translators chose to translate “har” as “hills” instead of “mountains”, when later they translate the word as mountains. Many creation scientists believe that the earth was less geographically diverse then and that the high mountains we now see were largely a result of the hydrolic forces of the waters covering the earth during and after the flood and tectonic movement. These high hills were covered with the flood water by fifteen cubits or something like 22 feet of water above the highest hills over all the globe.

Certain creation scientists now believe that mount Ararat, the largest of the mountains of Ararat, and the place generally believed to be the resting place of the ark, was formed after the flood because sedimentary layers that were produced by the flood are found under the formations producing the mountain. There is geologic evidence that later localized sediments were layed down between the valcanic flows that make up the plataue on which it sits. But geology is subject to various interpreatations depending, as in all of science, upon the assumptions made.

Yet, the Bible plainly says that the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:4). Observe that Moses uses the plural, mountains. It is not known exactly where in this range of mountains the ark came to rest, but we believe the Bible to be accurate. Could the ark still be there somewhere? It is certainly possible. But Noah and his family may also have repurposed the wood that made up the ark to build dwellings and other structures. But it is also possible it still remains somewhere on the mountains of Ararat waiting to be found.

Many claims have been made that the ark has been found in various parts of the mountain. Somr have claimed they have brought wood back from the ark. Another sight nearby, the Drupinar sight, is also claimed to be the spot where the ark came to eventally rest.

The ancient Jewish historian Flavius Josephus mentions the ark in his Histories of the Jews as still being visible in the first century. He says of the place where Noah and his family came out of the ark, which is what the Armenians call “(Apobaterion) The Place of Descent; for the ark being saved in that place, its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day” (Antiquities I:3:5). He writes that other ancient historians describe how visitors to the ark would take pieces of bitumen away to make amulets. Among those who wrote of the ark was Berosus the Chaldean, “Hieronymus the Egyptian also, who wrote the Phoenician Antiquities, and Mnaseas, and a great many more, make mention of the same” and also “Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a particular relation about them” (Antiquities I:3:6). And so secular history affirms that the ark was in the region and many saw it.

The word translated Ararat is found four times in the Bible. Twice it is translated Ararat and twice it is translated Armenia. In II Kings we are told that while Sennecherib, king of Assyria, was worshiping his god Nisroch, that a man, Adrammalech, and his son, Sharezer, assasinated him with a sword. These two men then escaped into the “land of Armenia” (II Kings 19:37). “Armenia” is the same word translated Ararat in Genesis. Isaiah relates the same story (Is. 37:38). Jeremiah connects Ararat (Armenia) with Minni and Ashchenaz (Jer. 51:27) . Minni is taken to be lesser Ararat (Armenia) and Ashchenaz “is a province in the neighbourhood of Armenia. For Asken is an Armenian proper name, and az an Armenian termination” (Keil and Deliitsch).

So somewhere in this region on a mountain on the border between Turkey and Armenia the ark of Noah came to rest. The ark was not built as a sea-going vessel, but a container to rideout the turbulent waters of the flood. So most likely it didn’t travel very far. In a similar manner, the church will ride out the turbulent waters of this volatile life and we will end up in a much better place than we started.

Eric L. Padgett