Ancient References to Armenia
Armenian legend has the great, great grandson of Noah defeating Bel in 2492BC (5) The country of Armenia is no doubt an ancient one. The country is mentioned in Persian records at Behistan 515BC by Hecateaous in 476 BC (3) and later by Xenophon (4) Here the Assyrian Queen Semiramis is said to have lingered after the death of Ara. Assyrian inscriptions describe the conquests of king Assur Natsir Pal (883-58 BC) conquering “the mountains of Arua and Aradhi” an indication that the land of Armenia was known in antiquity with the name of it’s most prominent mountain. This is the case also in scripture where the Mountains of Ararat are seen
as an equivalent to Armenia (8)
The Mountains of Ararat
The area of Armenia, a lofty plateau of mountains above 5000 feet above sea level located between the Caspian and Black seas, from which range the Euphrates and Tigris find their origins. It is noted for volcanic peaks, fast owing streams and few forests, and is subject to hot summers and cold winters. The lowest elevation in the country is 1260 feet above sea level! Mount Ararat proper is within the eastern region of modern Turkey as a result of the Tehran treaty of 1932, and is clearly visible from Armenia. The mountain is still considered the symbol of the national identity.
Mount Ararat is itself two stratovolcanic peaks covered by permanent snow and ice, the greater Ararat at 16,854 feet and the lesser Ararat at 12,782 feet are located in the eastern border of Turkey between Doğubayazıt and Iğdır, and 16km west of the border with Iran and 32 km south of Armenia. The Ararat plain runs along its northwest to western side.
The volcanic activity in the area appears to be ongoing, although dormant in the 20th century. An earthquake at Mt Ararat was reported on 20.6.1840. Volcanic eruption was reported on 17.5.1891 in “Mt Nimrod in the district of Van” in Paris newspapers.
The Resting Place of the Ark – A Place of Speculation
Numerous theories and speculations are wrapped around the biblical account of the final resting place of Noah’s ark. These include from the conservative Mt Ararat the highest mountain in the Armenian highlands to Judi Dagh a mount in Turkey near Cizre. Numerous people have claimed sightings over the years.
Occupied by various empires throughout it’s history. This included the Hittites, Mittani, and Hayasea-Azzi 1500-1200 BC It was then occupied by the Nairi people ca12c-9c BC to become the kingdom of Uratu 10-6c BC. Yerevan the modern capital was established in 782 BC by King Arghisti I. ca 6c BC the Orontid dynasty was formed which found it’s pinnacle between 95-60 BC under Tigrannes the great and considered one of the strongest countries in the region.
Armenia’s strategic location between two continents has subjected it to invasions by many peoples, including the Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, Persians, Ottoman Turks and Russians.
Christianity found it’s foothold early in Armenia, and was made a state religion at the same time as Constantine in AD 301 under King Tiridates III who ruled from 238–314 AD. The strength of this movement now memorialised in the Armenian quarter in Jerusalem, a monument to the vitality of the Armenian church.
The kingdom fell in 428 becoming a tributary of the Sassanid empire shortly after regaining independence in 451 with re-established Christianity and was ruled by the Bagratuni dynasty, and lasted until 1045 and included parts of Georgia.
Byzantine power controlled the area again from 1045 but was promptly disrupted by the Seljuk Turks who invaded in 1071. ca 11c AD again independence was gained by the Armenian territories and a great deal of freedom was given under the Ottoman rule. But when Christians called for further liberties, Sultan ‘Abdu’l-Hamid II from 1894 -1896, organised the Hamidian massacres, and became the infamous “Red Sultan” or “Bloody Sultan”. This was followed by distrust of the Turks of the Armenians during the first world war, as there was a contingent in the Russian army who invaded the Caucasus and Persia. The passing of the Tehcir law in 29 may 1915
led to a vast number of Armenians killed by the Turks during the following years. The number of deaths has been an issue of continuing debate. The consequent diaspora of Armenians has led to a world-wide distribution of the Armenians and their Armenian church.
Russia and Armenia
Russia will occupy the area of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia at the time of Armageddon. But this occupation will not be a new phase in history. Russia has had continuing interest in the control of the Caucaus. This is evident:
Russia annexed Armenia in the aftermath of the 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War.
Although the Russians controlled eastern Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan following the dissolution of Ottoman influence during WW1 however the area was lost due to the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and again Russian influence was interrupted in 1920 when Turkey invaded Armenia with the Turko-armenian war and occupied the old city of Alexandropol (present-day Gyumri). The violent conflict finally concluded with the Treaty of Alexandropol (December 2, 1920). The treaty forced Armenia to disarm most of its military forces, cede more than 50% of its pre-war territory, and to give up all the “Wilsonian Armenia” granted to it at the Sèvres treaty. Simultaneously, the Soviet Eleventh Army under the command of Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze, invaded Armenia at Karavansarai (present-day Ijevan) on November 29. By December 4, Ordzhonikidze’s forces entered Yerevan and the short-lived Armenian republic collapsed.
Bolshevist Russia annexed Armenia along with Georgia and Azerbaijan as part of the Transcaucasian SFSR (TSFSR) on March 4, 1922. These states were incorporated into the USSR. Interestingly, even the soviet coat of arms displays mount Ararat under the hammer and sickle.
1991 saw the re-establishment of independance of the republic of Armenia as the USSR broke up, but these were not happy times with internal struggles and conflict with neighbouring Azerbaijan. A Russian brokered peace was finalised in 1994.
The Kingdom of Minni Jer 51:27
Mini meaning division is a segment of Armenia, and is considered by some as a contraction of the word Armenia, literally Har-Minni, the mountains of Minni (7,7c) Josephus indicates dwelling near a mountain called Baris (1) The Minnai of Assyrian inscriptions were found near the lake Urumieh (2b)
The kingdom of Minni was to be involved in the destruction of Babylon Jer 51:27, a foretaste of a latter destruction when they will be found under the feet of Israel directed by Elijah an unfulfilled segment of the prophecy in Jer 51:19-24.
The Kingdom of Ashchenaz Jer 51:27
Togarmah Literally the “tribes of Armenia”
ref: (1) Jospehus Antiq i, 3, 6 (2) Smiths bible dictionary pg 69 (2b) pg 218 (3) Chahin, Mark (2001). The Kingdom of Armenia. London: Routledge. pp. fr. 203. (4) Xenophon. Anabasis. pp. IV.v.2–9 (5) Razmik Panossian, The Armenians: From Kings And Priests to Merchants And Commissars, Columbia University Press (2006), pg 106 (6) Thomson, pg 90-98 (7) Eastons bible dictionary pg 89 (7b) pg 95 (7c) pg 736 (8) Prof Sayee Records of the Past Vol 2 pg 140