Young Abraham

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

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11 Responses to Young Abraham

  1. Man of Roma says:

    My head is spinning with all this blog changing, migrating. There’s also a problem of bookmarks and blog readers to set. In any case I enjoy this series on the Bible very much and I’ll be there commenting (when the dizziness from spinning will pass) 🙂

    Pace e bene.

  2. Christopher says:

    MoR – If you can start another blog, why can’t I?!!

    I do understand, though, that change is upsetting and confusing. We are all creatures of habit.

    I’ll visit Manius again in a little while, to see how he’s getting on in Britannia.

  3. Man of Roma says:

    I didn’t mean to criticize Christopher. On the contrary, I quite like what you are doing. As for Manius I’m a bit overwhelmed by my effort to reconstruct a bit the historical context, ancient Britannia, but also terribly excited by it. Absolutely fantastic.

  4. Christopher says:

    I can understand your enthusiasm about reconstructing Britannia, because you are learning something new. In a few weeks you will be quite an authority on that period of British history.

    I’ve had to go into Google to research stuff for my postings on the Bible (I’ve spent a good portion of today looking up information for my next posting). In the process I’m learning stuff I didn’t know before. It’s exciting, for I’ve always been a compulsive learner.

  5. Man of Roma says:

    As for myself – everyone is different Lord be thanked – I get my kicks both by getting deeper into things I already know a bit – like in a vertical line – and by learning totally new stuff – the horizontal line. I am for example reading ancient Irish and Welsh folk tales, all I can about the Angli, Pelagius etc.
    In both – the vertical and the horizontal – I discover new things and I confess in both I am a compulsive learner like you. This – compulsive learning – makes my life happier and possibly shorter.

    But, as our Duce used to say, “meglio un giorno da leoni che cento da pecora” although he ended up in his last days as a pecora. But he was much better than Hitler. Meagre consolation for having had a man who meant disaster for our country, and not only for ours, since he invented Fascism. Now the job to be done in Egypt and Tunisia is that of dispersing the secret police.

    I have been random, but it is always a pleasure sitting at your coffee shop, Christopher.

  6. Well that is settled, we are learners, compulsive or not. The day we stop learning, we die. Those folks had so very many things to get acquainted with they did not have time to die.
    Nowadays, so many believe they know everything that they stop inquiring and die.
    Keep inquiring.

  7. Man of Roma says:

    Paul, I think all of us – I’m referring to our small slice of blogosphere – will never stop inquiring and having fun in it. That is why we met. That is why we will hold.

  8. Christopher says:

    @MoR – Did not Il Duce famously make the trains run on time? Meagre consolation, as you say, for all the disasters he brought about.

    Sheep, though, are such gentle creatures, and don’t go around ripping other animals to shreds as lions do. The more sheep, and the less lions, the more I like it.

    @Paul – Nowadays, so many believe they know everything that they stop inquiring

    When we’re young, and perhaps up to our mid-forties, we think we know everything. Or it was with me.

    Now, the older I get, the less I realise I know. Soon, I’ll realise that I know nothing.

  9. When you realize you know nothing, Christopher, that is when you are on your way to really know something.

  10. Christopher says:

    ……When you realize you know nothing………that is when you are on your way to really know something………

    Un paradoxe, sans aucun doute.

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