Mount Judi
The mountain range, as seen from Şırnak in the north
Highest point
Elevation2,089 m (6,854 ft)
Coordinates37°22′10″N 42°20′39″E / 37.36944°N 42.34417°E / 37.36944; 42.34417Coordinates: 37°22′10″N 42°20′39″E / 37.36944°N 42.34417°E / 37.36944; 42.34417
Mount Judi is located in Turkey
Mount Judi
Mount Judi
Location in Anatolia
Mount Judi is located in Near East
Mount Judi
Mount Judi
Location in the Near East
Mount Judi is located in Asia
Mount Judi
Mount Judi
Location in Asia
LocationŞırnak Province, Turkey
Parent rangeZagros

Mount Judi (Turkish: Cudi, Arabic: ٱلْجُودِيّ[1] al-Jūdiyy, Kurdish: Cûdî), also known as Qardū (Aramaic: קרדו, Classical Syriac: ܩܪܕܘ),[2] is Noah's apobaterion or "Place of Descent", the location where the Ark came to rest after the Great Flood, according to very Early Christian and Islamic tradition (based on the Quran, 11:44).[1] The Quranic tradition is similar to the Judeo-Christian legend. The identification of Mount Judi as the landing site of the ark persisted in Syriac and Armenian tradition throughout Late Antiquity, but was abandoned for the tradition equating the biblical location with the highest mountain of the region, that is Mount Ararat near Armenia.

Etymology and geography

See also: Thamanin

Jewish Babylonian, Syriac, Islamic, and early Christian traditions identify Mount Judi or Qardu as a peak near or northeast of the town of Jazirat ibn 'Umar (modern Cizre in south-east Turkey), at the headwaters of the Tigris River, near the modern border with Syria, and that of Iraq. Arab historian Al-Masudi[3] (d. 956), reported that the spot where the ark came to rest could be seen in his time, and that it was located at 80 parasangs (approximately 32 mi (51 km)) from the Tigris. The mountain was historically located in the province of Corduene, south of Lake Van.

The Arabic word al-Jūdiyy (ٱلْجُودِيّ), originates from the Syriac word Gudo (ܓܘܕܐ) meaning "Mounds" or "Elevations".[4] The relation of some of the spellings is clear. The origin of Judi is less clear. It is usually interpreted as a corrupted version of the same name, via Al-Gurdi (Reynolds 2004). The proposal that the two names are ultimately the same was first advanced by the English Orientalist George Sale in his translation of the Qur'an published in 1734. Sale's footnote reads:[5]

This mountain [al-Judi] is one of those that divide Armenia on the south, from Mesopotamia, and that part of Assyria which is inhabited by the Kurds, from whom the mountains took the name Cardu, or Gardu, by the Greeks turned into Gordyae, and other names. ... Mount Al-Judi (which seems to be a corruption, though it be constantly so written by the Arabs, for Jordi, or Giordi) is also called Thamanin (Geogr. Nub. p. 202), probably from a town at the foot of it.

— George Sale, 1734; p. 214-215

Sale goes on to say that there was once a famous Christian monastery on the mountain,[5] but that this was destroyed by lightning in the year 776 A.D., following which:

the credit of this tradition hath declined, and given place to another, which obtains at present, and according to which the ark rested on Mount Masis, in Armenia, called by the Turks Agri Dagi.

— Sale, 1734; p. 214-215

A number of sources (including Islamic and Christian) speak of there being at least two settlements near the mountain, one being the ancient ruins of Thamanin (located to the south of the mountain),[6] and the other being the city of Nesbin (near the border with Syria), from where people had come to visit the ark.[5] Thamanin (meaning "Eighty" in Arabic) is thought to have been founded by Noah and the survivors of the flood, who were thought to number around 80, and a tel that was thought to be the ruin of Thamanin is located east of Cizre[6] (one of the places that is thought to have the tomb of Noah).[7]

Religious traditions

Further information: Cizre § Classical and early medieval period, and Sennacherib § Resolving the Babylonian problem

Cast of a rock relief of Sennacherib from the foot of the mountain, near Cizre
Cast of a rock relief of Sennacherib from the foot of the mountain, near Cizre


Further information: Armenian Highlands and Mountains of Ararat

Depiction of Noah's ark landing on the mountain top, from the North French Hebrew Miscellany (13th century)
Depiction of Noah's ark landing on the mountain top, from the North French Hebrew Miscellany (13th century)

The Assyrians of the eastern part of the Tigris River had a legend of the ark resting on the Djûdi mountain in the land of Kard. This legend may in origin have been independent of the Genesis' account of Noah's flood, rooted in the more general Near Eastern flood legends, but following Christianization of the Syrians, from about the second century A.D., it became associated with the Mountains of Ararat where Noah landed according to Genesis, and from Syria also, this legend also spread to the Armenians. The Armenians did not traditionally associate Noah's landing site with Mount Ararat, known natively as Masis, but until the 11th century continued to associate Noah's ark with Mount Judi.[8]

The biblical Ararat is thought be a variation of Urartu, an ancient term for the region north of ancient Assyria which encompasses the Armenian plateau. According to Josephus, the Armenians in the first century showed the remains of Noah's ark at a place called αποβατηριον "Place of Descent" (Armenian: Նախիջեւան, Nakhichevan, Ptolemy's Ναξουανα), about 60 miles (97 km) southeast of the summit of Mount Ararat (c. 39°04′N 45°05′E / 39.07°N 45.08°E / 39.07; 45.08).[9] The "mountains of Ararat" in Genesis have become identified in later (medieval) Christian tradition with the peak now known as Mount Ararat itself, a volcanic massif in Turkey and known in Turkish as "Agri Dagh" (Ağrı Dağı).


See also: Noah in Islam

According to the Qur'an (11:44),[1] the final resting place of the vessel was called "Judi", without the word "mountain".

Then the word went forth: "O earth! swallow up thy water, and O sky! Withhold (thy rain)!" and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Al-Judi, and the word went forth: "Away with those who do wrong!

— Quran, 11:44[1]

The ninth century Arab geographer Ibn Khordadbeh identified the location of mount Judi as being in the land of Kurds (Al-Akrad), and the Abbasid historian Al-Mas'udi (c. 896–956) recorded that the spot where it came to rest could be seen in his time. Al-Mas'udi also said that the Ark began its voyage at Kufa in central Iraq, and sailed to Mecca, where it circled the Kaaba, before finally travelling to Judi. Yaqut al-Hamawi, also known as Al-Rumi, placed the mountain "above Jazirat ibn Umar, to the east of the Tigris," and mentioned a mosque built by Noah that could be seen in his day, and the traveller Ibn Battuta passed by the mountain in the 14th century.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Quran 11:44 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)
  2. ^ McAuliffe, Jane Dammen (2001). Encyclopaedia Of The Quran. Vol. 1. Brill. pp. 146–147. ISBN 978-90-04-11465-4.
  3. ^ a b Lewis, J. P. (December 1984), Noah and the Flood: In Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Tradition, The Biblical Archaeologist, p. 237
  4. ^ Sawma, Gabriel (2006). The Qur'an, Misinterpreted, Mistranslated, and Misread: The Aramaic Language of the Qur'an. Gabriel Sawma. ISBN 978-0-9778606-9-2.
  5. ^ a b c Spencer, Lee; Lienard, Jean Luc (2009). "The Search For Noah's Ark". Southwestern Adventist University. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  6. ^ a b Compton, S. C. (2021). "Locating The City Of Thamanin (Thamanin Şehrının Konumu)". Academia: 1–13. Retrieved 2021-07-15. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "Tomb of Noah". Madain Project. Archived from the original on 14 April 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  8. ^ Conybeare, F. C. (April 1901) [1900]. "Review of Friedrich Murat, Ararat und Masis, Studien zur armenischen Altertumskunde und Litteratur" (in German). 5 (2). Heidelberg, Germany: The American Journal of Theology, The University of Chicago Press: 335–337. JSTOR 3152410. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Conybeare (1901)