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Reference: Ararat


ARARAT (Ge 8:4; 2Ki 19:37 [|| Isa 37:38], Jer 51:27) is the Hebrew form of the Assyrian Urartu, which on the monuments from the 9th cent. downwards designates a kingdom in the N. of the later Armenia. The extension of the name naturally varied with the political limits of this State; but properly it seems to have denoted a small district on the middle Araxes, of which the native name Ayrarat is thought to be preserved in the Alarodioi of Herodotus (iii. 94, vii. 79). Jerome describes it as 'a level region of Armenia, through which the Araxes flows, of incredible fertility, at the foot of the Taurus range, which extends thus far.' The Araxes (or Aras), on its way to the Caspian Sea, forms a great elbow to the S.; and at the upper part of this, on the right (or S.W.) bank of the river, the lofty snowclad summit of Massis (called by the Persians the 'mountain of Noah') rises to a height of nearly 17,000 ft. above sea-level. This is the traditional landing-place of the ark; and, through a misunderstanding of Ge 8:4 ('in [one of] the mountains of Ararat'), the name was transferred from the surrounding district to the two peaks of this mountain, Great Ararat and Little Ararat,

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