According to ancient tradition, Noah’s Ark rested on Mount Ararat in the Armenian Mountain Range. Armenia’s coat of arms has Mount Ararat with Noah’s Ark on top. Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi (410-490 AD) recounted the tradition that Noah’s son Japheth had a descendant named Hayk who shot an arrow in a battle near Lake Van c. 2,500 B.C. killing Nimrod, builder of the Tower of Babel – the first tyrant of the ancient world. Hayk is the origin of “Hayastan,” the Armenian name for Armenia. Ancient Armenians may have had some relations with the Hittites and Hurrians, who inhabited that area known as Anatolia in the second millenium B.C.
Armenia’s major city of Yerevan, founded in 782 B.C. in the shadow of Mount Ararat, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Armenia was mentioned in the Book of Isaiah (37:38), when King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah around 701 B.C. King Hezekiah and the Prophet Isaiah prayed and Judah was spared. Sennacherib returned to Assyria: “And it came to pass, as Sennacherib was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia.”