Ur of the Chaldeans
Genesis 11:31

Ur was Abraham’s native city in southern Mesopotamia. During Abraham’s time of approximately 2000 BC, it does not appear that Chaldeans were present at Ur.

The first documented evidence of Chaldeans in that area is found in the annals of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (who reigned 884/883-859 BC), and Chaldeans did not contend for Babylonia until the middle of the eighth century BC.

Thus the reference to "Ur of the Chaldeans" in Genesis 11:28, 31 may represent a scribal updating to distinguish Abraham’s Ur from other cities that may share the same name. (1)

Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. (Gen 11:28)

Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. (Gen 11:31)


1. Arnold BT, "Babylonians" in Peoples of the Old Testament World (ed. Hoerth A, Mattingly G, and Yamauchi E), Grand Rapids: Baker (1994), p.57.

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