After the LORD struck down 185,000 of the Assyrians who were camped outside Jerusalem, Sennacherib returned home and lived at Nineveh. In the final verse of this chapter we are told that his sons killed him and fled to the land of Ararat.
Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of Ararat, Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place. (Isaiah 37:37-38 ESV; see also 2 Kings 19:37)
The Biblical land of Ararat (Urartu) is located in modern eastern Turkey. We might think of the land of Urartu being centered in Lake Van. From Nineveh to Van is an air distance of about 150 miles. The map below is from the Wikipedia entry on the Urartu-Assyria War. Click the map to enlarge. Lake Van is 5737 feet above sea level.
Map of the Urartu-Assyrian war in 743 B.C. Wikimedia Commons.
The entirety of the land of Urartu is mountainous. Our photo below shows the region between Van and Batman in Turkey. Note the snow-covered slopes in the distance.
A house in Turkey between Van and Batman. In ancient times the area was known as Urartu (Biblical Ararat). Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Use our search box to look for more entries dealing with Urartu. Remember that the ark built by Noah came to rest on the “mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).
The photo below was taken in the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara, Turkey. It shows (the metal legs of) some Urartian furniture. In the left bottom corner you should see some of the ivory pieces that decorated walls and furniture.
Urartian furniture displayed in the Anatolian Civilization Museum. Photo: F. Jenkins.
Posted in Bible Lands, Bible Places, Bible Study, Israel, Old Testament, Photography, Travel, Turkey
Tagged Ararat, Assyrian Empire, Hezekiah, Isaiah
Lake Van in eastern Turkey is a large inland body of water of about 1400 square miles at an elevation of 5737 feet. The lake is fed by a number of rivers and is highly alkaline. It is said that folks sometimes wash their clothes in the lake. Along the south side of the lake the elevation reaches 7324 feet at one point.
Sunset on Lake Van. Photo made June 5, 2007 by Ferrell Jenkins.
In Assyrian records this area was called Urartu. In the Bible it is called Ararat. The English term Ararat is a transliteration of the Hebrew term. The four references where the term appears are Genesis 8:4, 2 Kings 19:37 = Isaiah 37:38, and Jeremiah 51:27. The King James version uses the term Armenia in 2 Kings 19:37 and Isaiah 37:38 because that is what the territory was later called. The Septuagint uses Armenia only in Isaiah 37:38.
The ark of Noah is said to have “rested upon the mountains of Ararat” (Gen. 8:4). Note that it does not say “Mount Ararat” but the “mountains of Ararat.” The assassins of Sennacherib, after killing the king of Assyria at Nineveh in 681 B.C., escaped into “the land of Ararat” (2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38). Jeremiah called upon the kingdom of Ararat to fight against Babylon (Jeremiah 51:27).
Note: This post is a repeat from October 26, 2011.