Search for the Ark continues (1).
Mount Ararat, the site mentioned in the Holy Bible as the place where Noah's ark landed after the universal flood is a mountain in western Asia. The place is now part of Eastern Turkey. To the Turks the mountain is called Aghri Dagh, meaning "the painful mountain." To the Hebrews, the place is called "the mountain of descent." To the Persians, Mount Ararat is "Kuhl-nuh" or the mountain of Noah or Saad Dagh, "the blessed mountain." The Armenians' call the place Masis which means "mother of the world." However, the ancient Armenians' name was Masis Leusar meaning "the mountain of the ark." What is very intriguing is that almost all the names attributed to Mount Ararat and even the towns surrounding it relate the place to the history of Noah's ark. A town at the foot of the Ahora Gorge, the most rugged area of Mount Ararat is called Arghuri or Ahora which means "the planting of the vine." This name is believed to have been inspired by the Biblical account that after the flood, Noah planted his vineyard. There is also a town in the region called Sharmakh which means "Village of Noah." Another village by the name of Tabriz or Ta Baris means "the ship."
An incident that greatly stimulated adventurers to pursue the search for the Biblical Noah's ark was the strong earthquake that rocked and shook Mount Ararat on June 20, 1840. Unbelievably, this catastrophic event unveiled the inner core of Mount Ararat and gradually melted the glacier which had been in deep freeze for ages. . . and lo! an ark said to resemble the Biblical description of the Noah's ark was reportedly sighted amidst a slowly melting glacier.
Many of us are familiar with the Biblical story of Noah's ark and the universal flood. Even our Muslim brothers know about the story. I need not repeat the Biblical story here. But let me share with you some interesting and incredible tidbits about the biblical story of Noah's ark to refresh our memory:
* Do you know that the Biblical story of Noah's ark happened about 5,000 years ago?
* Do you know that Noah was 480 years old when he was instructed by God to make the ark?
* Do you know that it took 120 years for Noah to make the wooden ark?
* Do you know that God gave specific instructions to Noah in making the ark -- In other words, the ark was supernaturally designed by God?
* Do you know that the size of the three-story ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high - as instructed by God Himself. The space is even more than the total area of 20 modern-day standard basketball courts;
* Do you know that only eight persons (Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives) were the human beings inside the ark? And, of course, a pair of all living creatures on earth. In short, there was not even one human stowaway in the ark. God made sure there was no stowaway because he was the one who personally shut/closed the ark before it sailed.
* Do you know that the Holy Bible says that Noah was instructed by the Lord "to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of animals and of every kind of creatures that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive" (Genesis 6:19-20)? The Word of God says that the ark was big enough to accommodate the animals;
* Do you know that Noah was 600 years old when the flood waters came on earth. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights?
* Do you know that the waters flooded the earth for a 150 days? And all the time Noah and his family and the other living creatures were safe inside the ark;
* Do you know that the floodwaters receded/subsided only when God sent a "wind" over the earth; and
* Do you know that at the end of the one hundred and fifty days the water subsided and THE ARK CAME TO REST ON THE MOUNTAINS OF ARARAT (Genesis 8:4-6);
* Do you know that the Ararat Mountain is actually a huge inactive volcano and the largest mountain in the eastern Turkish region. The mountain has two great peaks. The area between the 2 peaks covers 17 to 22 square miles and the snow and ice can build up to 200 feet thick. (To be continued)
This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving! (Comments may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte's email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)