THE EARTHLY INHERITANCE SERIES of BIBLE SUBJECTS
Various Bible study guides in subjects pertaining to New Earth prophecy,
as taught by Paul Phelps.
For evildoers shall be cut off:
but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. Psalm 37:9
THE MOUNTAIN OF NOAH
The Bible speaks about Noah landing his ship on Mount Ararat
but the identity of the original Mount Ararat remains a mystery.
A Bible study project by Paul Phelps.
After several years of study this writing was completed in 2000.
All Bible quotations are from the New King James Version
except for my own translations, or as otherwise indicated.
The Bible talks about Noah
leaving his ship on Mount Ararat but the identity
of Mount Ararat has for long been a mystery. The mountain in eastern Turkey,
named Ararat, is thought by some to be the Biblical mountain of Noah, but that
tradition may not be true. In this study guide we give reasons to believe that
the original Mount Ararat is Mount Everest in the Himalayan mountain range,
between the Indian subcontinent and Tibet. Rising up 8850 m, Mount Everest
is the tallest mountain on earth.
The journey from the ark
must have begun far away from Babylon for it took
more than a century for people to arrive at Shinar (Gen. 11). Mount Everest is
far eastward of Shinar, the ancient land of Babylon. The Flood survivors would
have needed to journey toward the land of Shinar from the east… as it is told in
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east,
that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.
“from the east”
of MI-KÈDEM in
and the Hebrew word meaning is important. MI is ‘from’ or ‘coming from,’ and
can not be translated otherwise. KÈDEM is ‘the front of the east’ or ‘the orient.’
Gen. 11:2 is saying that the Flood survivors came from someplace in the orient
before finally arriving in Babylon. A look at a map confirms that the mountain
known today as Mount Ararat can not fit the Bible account, for it is not east but
straight north of ancient Babylon.
The name Ararat is from
Bible languages, all of which began in Babylon more than four millennia ago.
“Ararat” is a word better understood for its meaning than its language form; it
is not Hebrew but is regarded as an adaptation of the Assyrian word “Urartu,”
meaning highest land. Save for one Assyrian inscription, “Ararat” is unknown
to ancient geographers. Armenia was called “Ararat” in the Bible (2 Kg. 19:37;
Is. 37:38; Jer. 51:27) but that name was given after the Flood. As for tradition,
there are at least six other mountains in west Asia thought to have been Noah’s
mountain. But there are much taller mountains farther east, in the orient.
The Flood of Noah’s day
erased all the geographic place names, but people
migrating out of Babylon gave old names to new places, in memory of the old
world. The mountain of eastern Turkey, called Ararat, is the tallest in Armenia
and is near Babylon, so it is reasonable that it was named for Noah’s mountain.
The name “Ararat” was likely given by Japhethites as they migrated northward
through Armenia. Babylon’s language confusion certainly limited the study of
pre-Flood records, so all knowledge of place names from the pre-Flood world
would have been confused and lost with the passing of time.
The pre-Flood world was
entirely unlike this world except for renewed life,
in so far as Noah was able to renew it. There is no reason to believe that Noah
had ever been in Babylon or that pre-Flood humanity was centered at Babylon.
It is true that after the Flood humanity did in fact spread outward from Babylon,
but that is a reality of this world; we can not assume it for the old world. There
is no basis to think that the Garden of Eden was in Babylon. It was more likely
somewhere in the orient because Genesis 2:8 says the garden was “eastward,”
or ‘from the orient’ (Heb. MI-KÈDEM). In time, people dwelt even farther east
from the Garden of Eden, in regions farther east. There is more on this subject
in the study guide entitled, “The Garden of Eden.”
Noah’s ark is described in
Genesis, 6:14—9:18. It was a large wooden ship,
well designed to stay afloat in open seas and strong winds, but it had no sail.
It was designed only to drift, as the waves would carry it. The waves normally
move in a westerly direction due to the earth’s eastward rotation; therefore the
ark was drifting towards the west from a place farther east. This westerly drift
may have been even swifter during the Flood than now, for there was then no
continental landmass at sea level to restrain the waves. It was a world ocean.
We can surely expect
ships were floating in the Flood,
not just Noah’s.
People will always try every effort to survive a life-threatening danger, and the
Flood was a life-threatening danger of the first magnitude! Every ship, boat or
raft would have been afloat at that time. Even the most primitive tribes make
boats of some kind; so everyone had boats. The building instructions given to
Noah presuppose shipbuilding skills (Gen. 6:14-16). The old world had rivers,
for the Garden of Eden had rivers (ref. Gen. 2:10-14). There were oceans also,
(Gen. 1:9-10; Ps. 104:5-6; Prov. 8:26-30; Jer. 5:22), and with rivers and oceans
A large wooden ship of
some kind has been seen on Mount Ararat, at some
distance down from the summit, buried in ice. It is difficult of access and has
not been examined enough to confirm it Noah’s ark; but if it is not Noah’s ark
then it surely is a ship that belonged to someone else of that time. Many tall
mountains throughout Asia and the world could have ships near their summits,
buried under ice. It may be an idea for archaeology in future; but exploration
in the Himalayan mountains will be difficult, if not impossible, for the ice cover
is thick. All wooden ships might be crushed under the weight of ice.
Speaking of ice,
we must remember that
the world Flood
the ice cover on all mountain peaks for they were submerged beneath water.
Briny and salty waters melt ice. Any mountain peak on which Noah grounded
would likely have had temperate or tropical climate. It would then have been
an island in the ocean. But as the water level dropped, the temperature would
have dropped in the end to freezing. All tall mountains at last formed ice caps,
as now exist. But while the world-ocean was in Flood rise all exposed summits
would have had temperate or tropical climate.
7:11-12 says that—
“all the fountains of
the great deep
and the windows (ARUBÒT, floodgates) of heaven were opened. And the rain
was on the earth forty days and forty nights.” This gives us reason to think that
earth was hit by swarms of ice meteors that became rain as they fell to earth.
but the oceans offer the best explanation where most of the floodwater now is.
There is reason to think that the present oceans are deeper than the pre-Flood
oceans; Gen. 7:11 says that all the fountains of the great deep were broken up.
With broken foundations, the ocean floors would soon have dropped under the
weight of Floodwater—in response to the sudden world-wide increase in the
quantity of water.
The quantity of water that
came on the earth
enough to cover
all the dry land, and all the mountains. Gen. 7:19-20,
The waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills
under the whole heavens were covered. The waters prevailed
fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.
(fifteen cubits equal 6.42 metres)
means that in the
(in Noah’s time)
all of the
earth was one vast ocean,
with no land visible anywhere. Even the ‘highest land’ was covered. Evidently
the pre-Flood name Ararat meant ‘highest land’—and was a direct reference to
the last mountains covered by the Flood. As a region, Ararat is the Himalayan
mountain range, and Mount Everest in particular. The mention of fifteen cubits
over the top obviously refers only to the tallest mountaintop, Mount Everest.
Of necessity the great
Flood of Noah’s day was world-wide, for the purpose
was world-wide: to destroy all life everywhere on earth, especially human life.
And all flesh
died that moved on the earth: birds and, cattle and beasts
and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man.
All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was
on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were
on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and
bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and
those who were with him in the ark remained alive.
For God’s purpose to be
achieved it was necessary that the deluge overflow
all the tallest mountain peaks—for otherwise there would have been survivors
outside the ark. In such a life-threatening deluge as was then, the highest land
is certainly the place that men went to for refuge. It is equally certain that the
ark’s family would seek the tallest mountain top as the most likely and logical
place to alight, not knowing how long the flood would continue nor wanting to
needlessly prolong the voyage, ‘midst wind and waves. That however was not
Noah’s skill but God’s, for God alone guided the ark.
The Bible says the ark was
built thirty cubits high; Gen. 6:15. The draught of
a loaded cargo vessel is usually the same as the height above water; therefore
Noah’s ark had fifteen cubits draught. That was the same depth below the sea
as was the peak of Mount Everest at flood crest and it allowed the ark to gently
come to rest on top of Mount Everest; Gen. 7:24; 8:3-4,
7:24, And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.
8:3-4, And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of
the one hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark
rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month,
on the mountains of Ararat.
The Biblical details for the
duration of the Flood lend credibility to the story.
The Bible even gives an indication of the date. Using the short system of Bible
chronology Archbishop James Ussher said the Flood was in 2348 BCE. Months
were longer before the Flood than now, measured in days. Biblically, a month
is a lunar cycle, new moon till new moon (Gen. 1:14), which now is 291/2 days.
But at the time of the Flood lunar months were thirty days in length. This was
discovered from the dating in Genesis 7:11,24, and 8:3,4,
7:11, In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life,
in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day ...
7:24, And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.
8:3, ... At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.
8:4, Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day ...
In Noah’s time therefore,
proving that lunar months were then thirty days in length. The difference from
the present may be due to a slowing of Earth’s rotation after the Flood. This is
reasonable since an increase in ocean size would also increase the drag effect
of the tides; that would lengthen the day. A twenty-four minute increase in day
length would account for the different lunar month values; that however would
not affect the lunar month length in real time, in respect to the year. The only
real time change was the length of day. Months were then thirty days long, but
years were then 3711/4 days, since days were then twenty-four minutes shorter.
Longevity declined rapidly
after the Flood and other changes came as well.
The altered length of day may have had long-term effects on living organisms
that have not so far been recognised.
The waters continually
increased during the first hundred and fifty days, but
then began to subside. Something made the Flood to recede. The Bible says it
like this: Gen. 8:1-3,
... And God made a wind to pass over the earth,
and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the
windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven
was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth.
The ark rested on the
highest mountain after the hundred and fifty days, but
the nearby mountain peaks did not become visible till seventy-four days later.
We have this information in Gen. 8:5,
And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month.
In the tenth month, on the first day of the month,
the tops of the mountains were seen.
Thus the Flood waters
receded, slowly at first, but steadily decreasing until
a year had passed, at which time the Flood was gone; Gen. 8:13,14,
v 13, And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year,
in the first month, the first day of the month,
that the waters were dried up from the earth ...
v 14, And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month,
the earth was dried.
The Hebrew calendar system used
by East Asians and Jews has a nineteen-
year cycle in which twelve of the years have 12 lunar months, and seven years
have 13 lunar months. The Bible does not describe the calendar in use before
the Flood but pre-Flood standards should not have been different from those
given Israel. That is particularly true of calendar keeping for it is based on an
observance of heavenly bodies. To us it is reasonable to believe that the pre-
Flood world also used a nineteen-year lunar cycle. There are two possibilities
of Flood duration, a year of twelve months, or thirteen months. The difference
is thirty days. If the year of the Flood was twelve months, then (in Genesis 8),
verse 13 has 344 days, and verse 14 has 400 days. But if the year of the Flood
was thirteen months, then verse 13 has 374 days, and verse 14 has 430 days.
The mention of nearby
mountains visible from the ark is highly significant.
The horizon of visibility at sea is sixteen kilometres… beyond which nothing
can be seen due to the earth’s curvature. We should therefore expect to find
other tall mountains within sixteen kilometres of the grounded ark. But there
are no tall mountains anywhere near Mount Ararat of Armenia. The closest
tall mountains are 240 km to the south, and 325 km to the north. Mount Ararat
of Armenia is a single peak, not part of a range. But in the Himalayan range
several tall mountains are within the sixteen-kilometre radius of Mount Everest
and this strongly confirms Mount Everest to be the mountain of Noah.
Mount Ararat of Armenia is
5137 metres tall, much less than the Himalayan
mountains and also less than other areas of Tibet and central Asia. Therefore
Noah’s ark could not have landed in or near the Caucasus range—nor indeed
anywhere except in the Himalayas; for to land the ark on Mt. Ararat of Armenia
would require waiting at least four months after the first hundred and fifty days
for the water to drop enough. But the ark landed at flood crest.
The evidence of the birds
be considered. Whatever
in the Bible is important to God, or it wouldn’t have been recorded. Nothing is
said without cause, there is always a cause. “All things shall be confirmed by
two or three witnesses” —and a raven and a dove were God’s eyewitnesses!
Genesis 8:6-7 says that
Noah sent a raven to spy the world. It went out and
returned to and from the ark, till it discovered land. A dove also was sent and
also went out and returned to and from the ark, and only on the third flight did
not return (see vv 8-12). This was intended as evidence to prove that the ark
was then resting upon the tallest mountaintop in the world, with no land visible
anywhere on earth. The evidence of the birds also was intended to prove that
all life on the earth had died, and that the waters had submerged everything
If the ark had been on
Mount Ararat of Armenia both birds would have had
plenty of places to go because the entire highlands of central Asia would have
been above water and within a bird’s flying range. And in western Asia, both
Mount El’brus of the Caucasus and Mount Damavand of Iran are taller than is
Mount Ararat of Armenia, the one being 5642 metres elevation, and the other
5671 metres elevation. But it is clear that, if the ark were atop Mount Everest at
flood crest there would have been nowhere that the birds could put their feet,
just as the Bible says.
There is no doubt that the ship
ruin seen in eastern Turkey on the slopes of
Mt. Ararat is the remains of a pre-Flood ship, but we think it is not Noah’s ark.
Those remains are somewhat larger than Genesis 6:15 describes. Moses wrote
the Torah. Evidences show that Moses consistently used the 42.8 cm ‘former’
Israeli cubit (ref. 2 Chron. 3.3) in all the Torah Books. As example: the details
of the Tabernacle’s design, in the Book of Exodus. There is no reason to think
that Moses used Egyptian cubits or any unit other than the ‘former’ Israeli cubit
when describing Noah’s ark.
Excavation at Jerusalem’s
Temple Mount has established the ‘former’ Israeli
cubit was 42.8 cm. Thus the ark was 128.4 metres long, 21.4 metres wide, and
12.84 metres high according to the cubit measures of Gen. 6:15. From all this
we see that Noah’s ark was smaller than the ship seen in eastern Turkey though
both ships might have been similar in other respects. (Other cubits were used
after Israel’s return from captivity; the ‘small’ cubit of 43.7 cm was used for the
Second Temple and a ‘large’ cubit of about 44.65 cm was also in common use.)
Noah’s ark was probably
close to the maximum-size limit for wooden ships.
God’s instructions in Genesis 6:14, were that it must be made of resinous wood
(Gopherwood). In the Hebrew Bible, this word GOPHÈR is found only once, in
this single instance. No tree of west Asia was ever identified by this name, but
the word Gopher relates to sulphurising, or vulcanising. Iron is not mentioned
in the ark’s construction. Iron and steel might have been materials in use then,
(we do not doubt it), but for some reason God did not want Noah to use metal.
The ship ruin on Mount Ararat of Armenia has steel support beams built into it
and for us this is evidence that it could not have been the ship built by Noah.
Noah’s ark was made in an unusual way for reasons known only to God.
The ship ruin in Armenia
correlates to another situation, even more curious.
The Bible says, “all flesh died that moved on the earth” (Gen. 7:21-23) but then
speaks about ancient “giants” in the land of Canaan that somehow must have
survived the Flood. They are not in Noah’s genealogies. It is also interesting
that God wanted them destroyed. Their names were variously called: Anakìm,
Emìm, Rephaìm, Zamzummìm, and Zuzìm, and were collectively referred to as
“Kadmonìm” (prehistoric men; Gen. 15:19). They are described as giant sized
and dreadful. The Bible does not give any explanation of them. We can only
regard them as survivors of the old world, “the mighty men who were of old,
men of renown,” the Nephilìm (Titans, giant aliens), the unnatural offspring of
renegade angels and earth girls (Gen. 6:1-4; 2 Pet. 2:4-5; Jude 1:6). We do not
doubt that Satan did what he could to rescue some Nephilìm giants in an ark,
(similar to Noah’s), and transfer them into this world in a continuing attempt to
abort God’s plan. That is why giants were in Canaan after the Flood, and how a
counterfeit ark is on a counterfeit Mount Ararat near to the land of Canaan. That
is the kind of scheme that Satan always tries, a counterfeit of God’s plan.
Satan’s plot to bring
Nephilìm into the post-Flood world was an endeavour
to subvert this world, as he had the former world. Satan wanted a control base
in the land of Canaan before any of God’s people arrived: so the first to arrive
in Canaan were the Nephilìm. They succeeded to bring the Canaanites into the
very culture that God wanted destroyed in the Flood, which is why they in turn
came later under judgment.
The world population is not
evenly distributed as compared to the land area
of the planet. Two-thirds of the world’s population is now in Asia and evidently
always was. Asia is thus the centre of earth’s population. Earth’s population is
spread equally eastward, westward, northward and southward from a locale in
Tibet not far from Mount Everest, which is reasonable if mankind was scattered
outward from Tibet in Noah’s day.
The knowledge that Mount
Everest of the Himalayas was Noah’s mountain
highlights the Asian characteristic of the Bible, both in history and in prophecy.
It accentuates the fact that the majority of Noah’s descendants are distributed in
lands surrounding Mount Everest—in south Asia, in southeast Asia, in east Asia
and all lands near the Himalayas. God took Noah’s family to continue humanity
and this ordained renewal of population has been fulfilled mainly in Asia.
It’s an error to think
that all of Noah’s descendants went to Babylon or that all
nationalities began in Babylon. We know that many Asian nations did not have
their beginnings in Babylon. The first populated centres of south and east Asia
have histories as ancient as Babylon’s. It’s true that, in the Bible, more attention
is given nations of Babylonish origin surrounding Israel, but that does not mean
that all nations originated at Babylon.
Except Israel most nations
in the Bible lands are Hamitic (descended of Ham)
and have the most exposure in Scripture—such as Canaan, Babylon and Egypt.
Many historians say Africans are of Ham, and that Aryans and Caucasians are of
Japheth (Gen. 10:2-5). The Hamites, Japhethites, and the Western Semites may
be Babylonish in origin but Eastern Semitic nations are not Babylonish in origin;
(see the study guide, “Oriental Origins in the Bible”).
The Bible focuses on the
Semitic branch that led up to Abraham (Gen. 11),
through whom the Bible narrative came to us. The western branch of Semites
was used for the Bible narrative, maybe because they were in closer contact to
the rest of humanity. But this does not mean that the entire Semitic world is only
in western Asia. The majority of Semites has always been farther east in Asia,
for that is where two-thirds of humanity has been from the beginning.
According to the Bible the
centre of geography is Jerusalem. “Lift your eyes
now and look from the place where you are, northward, southward, eastward,
and westward” (Genesis 13:3-4,14). But Jerusalem was never a centre of world
population. Jerusalem of ancient time in fact marked the farthest west extent of
the Semitic world and was very nearly the western extent of human settlement.
The westward peopling of lands beyond Egypt and Greece came later and was
primarily by Hamitic and Japhetic races. The Semites stayed in Asia, with some
going towards eastern Asia. Peleg went west to Babylon (Gen. 10:25; 11:8-9,18)
but his brother Joktan was among those that went east (Gen. 10:26-30).
Elam, Ashur and Aram are
Semitic West Asians that settled near Babylon, but
the Elamites and Assyrians returned east when their empires fell, as did the ten
northern Israeli tribes and the Diaspora of Persian Jews. It is noteworthy that
throughout history the tribes of Israel that went east were well received (unlike
nearly everywhere else) and the likely reason is that like Jews, most Asians are
themselves also Semitic.
East Asian peoples are in the
lineage of Joktan, son of Eber; (see our writing
entitled “Oriental Origins in the Bible”). Although Orientals are purely Semitic,
the west, central and south Asian groups have mixed ancestry. The Medes and
Persians took the Iran plateau and together with central Asian Aryans extended
Japhetic settlement into the Indus River valley and north India; they assimilated
with the indigenous descendants of Himalayan Semites from Mount Everest and
the descendants of Chaldean immigrants from Babylon. The Babylonians were
descendants of Ham through Cush; Gen. 10:8-12. Thus the Indian peoples have
ancestry of Himalayan and west Asian Semites, Babylonian Hamites and Aryan
Japhethites. South Asians now have their descent from all three sons of Noah.
East Asia has had tall
mountain walls as protection from the chaos of empires
and wars farther west. Later, when migrating armies attacked eastward, China
built the Great Wall; thus east Asia was saved from most Babylonish influences.
days it’s advisable that
everyone cut ties
This is the key to our Lord’s analogy about “the days of Noah” in the end times.
v 37... For as the days of Noah, so shall be the coming presence of the
Son of man. For as they were in those days before the flood, eating
and drinking, marrying and getting married, until the day Noah
entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and removed
them all, so also shall be the coming presence of the Son of man.
v 40, Then shall be two in the field: one is accepted and one is rejected,
v 41, two grinding: one will be accepted, and the other rejected.
The original text
not say who
gender, but it means people are either like Noah, or like the wicked society of
his day that was destroyed. Therefore the world Flood of Noah’s day pictures
this present world epoch as it comes to an end—leading into the new world era
prepared of God, and it pictures those that survive into it, and those that don’t.
The accepted one represents God’s people of the end time, elected to survive
to the new world like Noah. The rejected one represents Babylonish people of
the last days, elected not to survive to the new world, like those that drowned.
This prophecy can fulfil
in different ways. Here we give special attention to
the meaning of Babylon to explain the ‘Noah’s-flood analogy’ in these last days.
Babylon is, quite simply, everything that’s involved in the Babylonish influence.
But God’s people are them that “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in
her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Jer. 50:8; 51:45,50; Rev. 18:2-4).
This applies individually and it also applies nationally. Those nations that resist
assimilation into Babylon do not share her plagues. Such nations are like Noah
and family—safe in the ark during the end times—surviving into the new world
because they are not part of Babylon. But the Babylonish world is perishing.
In the end-time scenario
prophetic events the
the new world kingdom of God, towards which all of God’s people are sailing.
It therefore typifies the new world Kingdom, prophetically called Mount Zion.
It’s fitting that Noah’s mountain is the greatest mountain for it can symbolise the
kingdom of God, which is like a great mountain. Daniel 2:35, (see vv 44-45)
... became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
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