Today’s posting will tell of the beginnings and early manhood of Abraham, who was several generations descended from Noah. Abraham’s father was Terah, who, at seventy, begot Abraham Nahor and Haran. If all three boys were born of the same mother, they were, likely, triplets. However, if they were born of different mothers, they would have been born a year or less of each other. So they wouldn’t have been triplets.
As to where Abraham and his brothers were born, was it in Ur of Chaldees (where southern Iraq now is)? The King James Bible says that “……Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees……..”. The New English Bible says that “…..Haran died in the presence of his father in the land of his birth, Ur of Chaldees……..”.
Whose “nativity” or “birth” was it, Haran’s or Terah’s? And, while it’s clear that Haran predeceased Terah, was Terah with him at his bedside when he died? Did “before” in the King James Bible mean “earlier than”, or did it mean “in the presence of”?
The Bible says that Abraham and Nahor married (or “took”) wives. But, it doesn’t say whom they were the wives of when they married Abraham and Nahor. Although it must have been lawful for a woman of that time and place to have at least two concurrent husbands, one wonders how husbands felt about it. How, for instance, did Sarai’s husband feel about it when she married Abraham? How did Milcah’s husband feel about it when she married Nahor?
We are told that Milcah, who Nahor married, was Haran’s daughter. Since Haran was Nahor’s brother, this means that Milcah, as the woman who Nahor married, was his niece. Just so we get the point that Milcah was Haran’s daughter, we are also told that Haran was the father of Milcah. No “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts” here.
Terah – shattered by Haran’s death, and in need of change – decided to take his son Abraham, grandson Lot, and daughter-in-law Sarai, away from Ur of the Chaldees (which, as previously mentioned, is where southern Iraq now is) to the Land of Canaan (where Israel/Palestine now are).
They got lost. So, instead of ending up in Canaan, they ended up in Haran (where the border between Syria and Turkey now is). This was an amazing coincidence because the name of the town, Haran, was the same as the name of Terah’s son who had died. Could this be why Terah decided that they should just all stay in Haran, instead of moving on and trying to find Canaan, at the risk of again getting lost?
So Terah, Lot, Abraham and Sarai, settled in Haran long enough for Terah to die there when he was two-hundred-and-five. This was relatively young, considering that most of his ancestors had lived to nine-hundred or thereabouts.
Source: Genesis 11, 26-32