Ararat described in Genesis 10 names

by Pam Elder

In light of the recent symposium held last month in Sirnak, Turkey, which dismisses the claim that Mount Ararat (also known as Agri Dagh) as being the landing place of Noah’s Ark, I am writing this article. I’m not going to address their claims, because when ‘bank tellers continually deal with real money, they can spot counterfeits easily’. So… rather than pointing out the errors, I’ll talk about the Hebrew Text, and the information that the Creator stashed away in the names of people in Genesis 10 for such a time as the one in which we live. His wisdom and foreknowledge and consequent preparations are astounding! Thank You LORD God for the most amazing things that You have stashed away in Your Word!!

Hebrew as first language

The late Dr. Henry Morris Sr. was of the opinion that Hebrew may have been the original language. I also became convinced of this in the process of translating Genesis chapters 1-9 from the Hebrew Text. When I began translating Genesis 10, I approached it with the notion that if Hebrew was the original language, then each one of those names had a clear Hebrew meaning and were not of foreign origin, despite what most of the commentaries asserted. My Hebrew Teacher also exhorted us to ‘let the words say what they say, instead of trying to manipulate them into saying what we thought they should say.’ It took me a while, because we’re of the notion that Biblical names have to do with spiritual things, and not geological events. When I got to the 2nd generation born after the Flood, after translating several names, I began to see that they were describing volcanic activity, and then I couldn’t translate the rest of the names fast enough! Then, after doing the translation work, I put the names of each set of cousins in columns according to birth order and then placed those columns side by side. (There’s seven lists given for the 2nd generation.) Afterwards, when the columns were read across, they gave an order of events. Each listed son was named according to the ‘headline events’ at the time of his birth. Generally, there are at least 2 different kids named after each event (God’s principle of 2 witnesses) and some times, more than 2. In presenting this, I’m going to start with the first generation, and afterwards the second, because together they describe the location of Mount Ararat and the surrounding area, including the formation of Lesser Mount Ararat, which is a cone volcano. I’ve been working on this for several years now, and this is what I have come up with so far. I will summarize the research here, and if you want to see the details of the Hebrew Translation, it can be found at .

First Generation on Ararat

Apparently the wives waddled off the Ark on the Armenian side of Mount Ararat and gave birth shortly afterwards… Shem named his 1st born ‘Elam’ (‘to ascend’, describing the smoke from the burnt offerings in Genesis 8:20). Japheth named his 1st born ‘Gomer’ (‘to bring to an end’ or ‘to complete’ in reference to the Flood.) & Ham named his 1st born ‘Cush’ (‘burnt (scorched) there is!’) I’m convinced that it’s a reference to the pillow lava found on Mt Ararat. Before the Flood, there wasn’t volcanic activity, and neither were there rocks strewn everywhere. It could also be that before the Flood, rocks were a commodity because they would have only been located around mining sites.

Shem’s next 2 sons are named ‘Asshur’ (which means ‘to go in a straight line’ as in walking an upright life before the Lord) and ‘Arphaxad’ (Pronounced ‘Ar-pac-shad’, in Hebrew and it means ‘to be set free from your enemies to the point that you can totally relax!’). They were born 2 years after the Flood, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they were twins because their names go together. Shem was saying that because he obeyed God, he had been totally set free from his enemies!

Apparently, when they first got off the Ark, there were two separate lakes below Mount Ararat. One was on the Armenian side, and the other was on the Turkey side. The Armenian valley below them at that time was a lake instead of a dry valley. It was draining just below Naxcivan (which is now approximately 60 miles downriver). Apparently the logs and debris left over from the Flood floated around the lake and then began accumulating where the lake was draining out. In the process, a logjam dam formed and blocked the drainfield, so the water level in the lake actually went up (increased), presumably during the next spring runoff. So… Japheth named his next boy ‘Magog’ (‘out-of to-increase & to-increase’. It’s the idea of the roof of something rising.) and Ham named his next son ‘Mizraim’ (to be ‘dry and high’). This would be in keeping with an ancient local Armenian legend that says that Noah planted his vine yard near the mouth of the Ahora Gorge…It’s up high and not on the valley floor. And because the earth was still rolling at that time, it would have been facing the West instead of the North, so the weather was different. [& the reason why Ron Wyatt’s Ark site doesn’t work is that that area was also a post-flood lake, probably until the days of Eber. The name Mizraim also attests to this, because of there being a patach under the third Hebrew letter from the end, so it actually means to be high & dry above 2 bodies of water.]

Then apparently Ham’s wife gave birth to twins (I’m assuming this because their names go together). Maybe they were born pre-mature and thus weak and feeble, because Ham named them ‘Phut’ (‘Afflicted’) and ‘Canaan’ (‘Humble’). Then the wine incident happened and Japheth named his next 2 boys (probably twins) ‘Madai’ (‘From what is sufficient’ i.e. enough grapes to make wine) & ‘Javan’ (‘wine effervesce’ … ‘effervesce’ is the gas that develops as the grapes ferment.).

After the wine incident, apparently Ham moved his family away from his brothers into what is now the area between Lesser and Greater Ararat. (At that time Lesser Ararat hadn’t been formed yet, and apparently the lava flow wasn’t there either.)

In the following NASA satellite photo (from Mt Ararat is snowcapped & Armenia is at the bottom of the page & Turkey is at the top of the page. Lesser Ararat is the other volcano (left side). Notice that there is a seven mile fault line between the two Ararats. (It’s that straight line that goes from one volcano to the other.) Also notice that in-between the 2 mountains on the Armenian side there is a little flat top mountain that looks like a mole or a button, or a knob. The names are going to be describing those features.

Mount Ararat, by satellite. Photo courtesy NASA.

After these events apparently the logjam dam broke loose and all the water drained out and in the process of draining, because of the volume of water, it cut enough of the drainfield away that there was no longer a lake but a river instead (The Araxas River). In the following Google Earth map the green area between the lake & the white writing is Naxcivan. Just past Naxcivan are the scars for this event. Notice how everything funnels out into the Araxes river gorge.

Ararat Greater and Lesser, and Araxes River and Naxcivan.

A dry lake bed blooms

Japheth then named his next son ‘Tubal’ (‘to increase and flow as a mighty river’). Within a year or two everything dried out and all the seeds left on the floor of the dried-up lake bed started growing and thus turning the whole valley into green meadows. Then Japheth named his next son ‘Meshech’ (It means ‘acquisition in the process of scattering seeds and those seeds taking root, and then multiplying and spreading’). Afterwards, the ground where they lived began to crack and a terrifying fracture formed (probably because of the water table being lowered after the lake drained out). So then Japheth named his next son ‘Teras’ (‘terrifying fracture’). Apparently this motivated them to move down off of the side of the mountain and into the valley below. (My best guess is somewhere between Avshar & the city of Ararat. There’s a high spot there, and it’s just below the place where the Armenians say that Noah planted the vineyard.)

Apparently Ham stayed up on the higher ground somewhere near the fault line between the two Ararats. Then Shem had 2 more sons (possibly twins) that he named ‘Lud’ (‘If only I could fly!’) and ‘Aram’ (‘to be high’). It’s a wonderful description of looking up at Mount Ararat from the valley below. [When a person lives in the mountains, as one looks up towards the inaccessible heights, there is a tendency to wish for the ability of flight. I’ve been there!]

A new settlement

Then, apparently about 36 years after the Flood they gathered everybody together for a family council meeting and the decision was made to send out ten of Noah’s grandsons & their wives to start a new settlement. This would be in keeping with God’s command in Genesis 9:1 to re-populate the earth. Apparently keeping that command was the goal of Noah & his sons, & they were making plans & preparations to achieve it. Right after this event Javan named his son ‘Elishah’ (‘God is firm’, & ‘God owns’ & ‘God is’). Canaan named his son ‘Sidon’ (‘to furnish with provisions’). Aram named his son ‘Uz’ (‘to consult, take counsel’) Mizraim, who must have been the dreamer of the bunch, named his son ‘Lud’ (‘If only I could fly!’). Those 5 sons plus Cush stayed up in Ararat at that time, and apparently the rest of the 1st generation left, including Arphaxad, who named his son ‘Shelach’ (‘to send’). Out of Ham’s 4 sons, the only one who apparently left was ‘Phut’ (Afflicted).

And then what happened next is amazing! They must have had their parents’ confidence that God would protect them, and they must not have been familiar with volcanic activity, because they stayed around to see what would happen next while their wives gave birth several times, instead of fleeing…

Volcanic activity

Apparently, one day 2 fountains of lava and flames began to shoot out of the ground, and then they began to be pelted with pumice mixed with fire. They ran for cover into the building as Lesser Mt Ararat began to form. Mizraim then named his sons (twins?) ‘Anam’ (‘2 fountains’) and ‘Lehab’ (‘to burn, flame’). Canaan named his son ‘Heth’ (‘terror!’). Gomer named his son ‘Ashkenaz’ (‘sprinkled with fire’), and Aram named his son ‘Hul’ (‘to be hurled’ & it has to do with something that causes pain & fear). Cush named his son ‘Seba’ (‘surrounds entrance’). Javan named his son ‘Tarshish-Kittim’. (In the Hebrew Text there’s no ‘and’ between the two names. Also if you count 70 nations, making Tarshish Kittim 2 people would make it 71 nations. ) ‘Tarshish’ is ‘a destruction that breaks into pieces of white, i.e. ‘white volcanic ash rock or pumice’ and ‘Kittim’ means ‘violent peltings’. Then Canaan’s 3rd son is named ‘Jebus’ (‘to tread underfoot’) and Cush’s 2nd son is named ‘Havilah’ (‘circular’, as in a cone shaped volcano!).

Then, apparently the 7 mile long fault between the 2 Ararats began to open up. Mizraim then named his 4th son ‘Naphtuh’ (‘to open’). It continued to widen, so then Mizraim named son #5 ‘Pathrus’ (enlarged fracture). Then as the magma deep inside the ground began to rise, fissures began to appear on the sides of Ararat and lesser Ararat as the ground swelled, and so Cush named his 3rd son ‘Sabtah’ (‘surrounded by clefts/fissures’).

Then there was a series of intense earthquakes which cause them to finally leave the area… Cush named son #4 ‘Raamah’ (‘to tremble, quake’). Gomer named his 2nd son ‘Riphath’ (‘poundings, shakings’). Canaan named his 4th son ‘Amar’ (probably because he had it in his mind that God was saying, “It’s time to leave, NOW!” Amar means ‘to say, declare, command’.)

Then, according to the birth order of the names, the next thing that happened was that lava began to flow out of the ‘7 miles long’ fault between the two Ararats, flowing down both sides of the valley at the same time. Notice how the lava flowed out of the fault down both sides of the valley in the NASA Satellite photo.

Then Gomer named his next son ‘Togarmah’ (‘To be poured out everywhere’). And then Canaan’s #5 son was born and named ‘Gir-gash’ (‘to drag, draw away, to impel, drive, approach’. It’s sounds like a slow moving lava flow.). They must have been praying, because on the Armenian side, the lava flow stops and then that knob/mole thing begins to develop. But on the other side of the valley, towards ‘Turkey’ the lava kept flowing.

Apparently after the lava cooled, Cush went back to survey the damage and then named his next son ‘Sabtechan’ (‘surrounded by what is laid down’). Apparently he and Gomer then move down to the new settlement and Cush named the next mentioned son ‘Nimrod’ (‘let us rebel’) He wasn’t going to stay in Ararat, even if he was the first born son!

After this event, apparently both Mt Ararat and Lesser Mt Ararat erupt at the same time. Javan then named his 4th son ‘Dodanim’ (‘two breast judgments’ or ‘two cauldron judgments’). It must have entailed a large amount of volcanic ash because Canaan named son #6 ‘Chivi’ (‘to breathe, to live’) and Mizraim named his #6 son ‘Caslu-hi’ (‘hope to live’), and then he named son #7 ‘Caphtor’ (‘a round or spherical knob’) and then apparently, he and Javan left for the new settlement. The next photo is of Lesser & Greater Ararat with the ‘Caphtor’ between the two on the Armenian side. [ The photo is courtesy of Souren Topchian] The ‘Caphtor’ can also be seen very distinctly in the NASA Satellite photo above. (On the other side of the two Ararats there are several knobs & not just one.) At the time of Dodanim’s birth, Greater Ararat didn’t have an ‘Ahora Gorge’, so the visual from the Armenian valley would have reminded them of breasts. [Of all the volcanoes in the area, there is no other location that fits this description! Each volcano has its own uniqueness. If you look on Google Earth, you’ll see that there’s at least 14 volcanoes in the general area. As far as I can tell, this is the only place where the ‘Dodanim’ description would fit. If you view the two mountains from the Turkey side, the Dodanim description is even more pronounced.]

Greater and Lesser Ararat.

The two cousins that remained in Ararat were Canaan and Aram. Both of them were the youngest among their brothers, and both of them continued to keep the original language after the Babel incident (Keep that in mind for what happens next).

Hot mud flow

Apparently during the ‘Dodanim’ a vat shaped volcanic lake formed, so Aram named his #3 son ‘Gether’ (‘a full vat’).. It could have been caused from the lava, or debris from the blast, or something else. (Big Mt Ararat is a shield volcano.) I’m not sure about the exact location of the lake, but at this time I am of the notion that it was somewhere between the ‘Caphtor’ and Greater Ararat.

After this, the next set of names are describing escaping from a mud flow. Canaan named his next two sons (probably twins) ‘Ark’ (‘to flee’) and ‘Sin’ (‘mire’), and Aram’s 4th son is named ‘Mash’ (‘to move, withdraw, depart, escape’). If you look on Google Earth, the draw/gulch directly in front of the Caphtor, across the Araxes River looks like it was hit by mud flows in the past from Mt Ararat (where Vedi & Gorovan are located).

Apparently, after the mud flow, Canaan and Aram wandered around for a while instead of joining their brothers at the new settlement (which at that time may have been around Lake Van). Canaan named his next son ‘Arvad’ (‘a wandering’). (They obviously knew which way the new settlement was, but choose not to go that way. Maybe it was because they were both the youngest and they didn’t want to serve their older brothers, or they didn’t want their kids to serve them. (This might be the answer as to how they both ended-up keeping the original language.) It could also be that the mud flow was intense for a long time.

Then Canaan had 2 more sons. The next one he named ‘Zemar’ (‘wool’), probably because he was born during shearing time. And the last one he named ‘Hamath’ (‘to surround with a wall’). Maybe by then their sheep were being attacked by predators, which would fit in with Nimrod being a mighty hunter.

As you can see, the description given in the names in Genesis 10, in the 1st 2 generations is specific to Mt Ararat & it’s daughter on the Armenian side.

Does the Ark still rest on Ararat?

In the scriptures facts are to be established by 2 or more witnesses. Did you know that there are over 40 separate accounts of the Ark still existing up on Mount Ararat? The following link by Rex Geissler contains a summary of them The eyewitness account given by George Hagopian concerning what he saw as a boy & years later described to Elfred Lee who painted a record of it

Noah's Ark on Ararat, as described by George Hagopian. Painting: Lee Elfred.

fits what the Hebrew Text says about it being a ‘Tāvăh’, which is a chest. Later during the 1940s another guy named Ed Davis also saw the Ark, & Elfred Lee also painted a record of his description:

Ark breaking up on Ararat. Painting: Lee Elfred.

At that point in time the Ark had apparently been rolled by the glacier & broken into pieces. The problem was that Ed couldn’t remember exactly where the Ark was located. (Mt Ararat is one of the biggest land mass mountains in the world, & it’s approximate 500 square miles in area & just under 17,000 feet high!) In recent years some of the researchers have located the grandson of the guy who took Ed to see the Ark, & he helped them find the place. The valley it’s in is now covered with 90 feet of ice in the center. The last I heard, they think they have located one of the halves using sonar, but due to the elevation, there is only a small window of time each summer when the investigation can be done. The research is ongoing, and we’re waiting to hear more.

Reprint of this post in Creation News


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