Ur of the Chaldeans
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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