New Defender's Study Bible Notes
8:4 seventeenth day of the month. This “resting” of the ark, after its labor of protecting its precious cargo against the terrible cataclysm for five long months, occurred exactly 150 days after the Flood began. It may be significant that, on the anniversary of this date many years later, Jesus Christ rose from the dead! That is, the seventh month of the civil year used by the Jews (almost certainly the calendar used in the Flood narrative) was later set as the first month of their religious year. The Passover was on the fourteenth day of the first month, and Christ rose three days after the Passover. Thus, He “rested” in Joseph’s tomb and then rose from the dead on the seventeenth day of the seventh month of the civil calendar.
8:4 mountains of Ararat. “Ararat” in the Bible is the same as “Armenia.” The “mountains of Ararat” could apply to the entire region; however, the present Mount Ararat, 17,000 feet high, is the only logical site for the ark to rest. The ark landed the very day the waters began to assuage, and it was another 2½ months until the tops of nearby mountains could even be seen. Furthermore, there have been many reported sightings of the ark, seemingly still preserved on an almost inaccessible ledge, most of the time encased in the stationary ice cap near its summit. Though none of these reports are sufficiently documented to constitute proof, the very number and variety of them is at least intriguing evidence that the ark has been divinely preserved, awaiting God’s timing for its confirmed discovery and manifestation. Mount Ararat is a volcanic mountain, formed evidently during the early months of the Flood year (there were no volcanoes before the Flood). There is also considerable geological evidence that it was further uplifted sometime after the Flood, so that it may well have been much lower and easier of access during the years immediately following the Flood. That even the summit of Ararat was at one time under water, however, is evident both from the marine fossils that have been found there and the extensive pillow lavas (lavas formed under high hydrostatic pressure) which exist there.