ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Meaning: sacred land or high land
The name “Ararat” is mentioned four times in the Bible’s original manuscripts (Gen. 8:4; 2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38; Jer. 51:27). This was the name of a country. On one of its mountains Noah’s ark rested after the Flood subsided (Gen. 8:4). Most researchers believe that the “mountains” mentioned were probably the Kurdish range of South Armenia in Turkey. In the King James Bible, 2 Kings 19:37 and Isa. 37:38 translate the word “Ararat” as “Armenia.” However, other versions, including the New King James Version, simply say “land of Ararat.”
In this area of modern Turkey, near the Russian and Iranian borders, there is a large mountain named Mount Ararat. It is made entirely of volcanic rock and is an extinct volcano that rose during Noah’s flood. The highest point is almost 17,000 feet above sea level, and the mountain consists of two peaks, Great Ararat and Little Ararat. It rises a majestic 14,000 feet from the plain of Aras (Araxes). The higher peak is perpetually covered in snow.
The mountain is called Kuh-i-nuh, i.e., “Noah’s mountain”, by the Persians. Many modern researchers have climbed Mt. Ararat in search of the remains of Noah’s Ark.
It is believed that the land of “Ararat” is the Hebrew equivalent of Urardhu, or Urartu, which was the Assyrian-Babylonian name of the Vannic or Chaldean kingdom (between the Aras River and the Tigris River). This part of Armenia was inhabited by a people who spoke a language unlike any other now known, though it may have been related to the modern Georgian. About B.C., 900 they borrowed the cuneiform characters of Nineveh, and from this time we have inscriptions of a line of kings who at times contended with Assyria. At the close of the seventh century B.C. the kingdom of Ararat came to an end, and the country was occupied by a people who are ancestors of the Armenians of the present day.