"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."
When we think of Mount Ararat, we usually think of the search for Noah's Ark. While the Ark has not been definitely located in modern times, the mountain has many other discovered mysteries. What is very likely the world's oldest city sits in ruins on the southern slopes of Mount Ararat. Tradition and evidence seem to support the idea that this was the first city built after the flood.
According to tradition, after the flood, Ham built a city called Naeltamauk. The ruins on Mount Ararat are all that remain of what were clearly buildings and streets. The great stone blocks of the city are cut in the ancient Urartu design. Could Noah have walked the still discernible streets of this city? Could this be the setting for the events recorded in Genesis 9? Might one of these buildings have been Noah's house?
Like so many of the caves and other sites on Mount Ararat, the city is wrapped in mystery and legend. The local people take the Old Testament biblical history very seriously. They seem to have little doubt that the mountain is the landing place of the Ark, Noah's home after the flood and the burial place of Noah and his wife. Strangely enough, the ruins of the city have never been systematically investigated. Imagine what we might learn, especially if this is indeed the city that Ham built!
We never need doubt that the Bible's accounts of the earliest events of man's history are true. Those who live with the strange monuments on Ararat have no doubt about Genesis.
Painting: Depiction of Noah's ark landing on the mountains of Ararat, from the North French Hebrew Miscellany (13th century).
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