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Abram, whose name later became Abraham, “Father of a Multitude”, Nahor, Haran, and Sarai (later Sarah) are children of Terah. Abram, born ca. 1950 BCE, at the dawn of the Middle Bronze Period, married his half-sister Sarai (Genesis 20:12). His father Terah, a pagan, made his home in Ur in southern Mesopotamia near the Euphrates River (Genesis 11:26-28; cf. Acts 7:2-8). There Haran died, likely falling in battle in the presence of his father, leaving a son Lot, and daughters Milcah and Iscah (Genesis 11:27). Later Milcah married her uncle Nahor and gave birth to Bethuel the father of Laben and Rebekah (Genesis 25:15-47).

Presumably to avoid more military conflict and loss of life Terah, intending to relocate to Canaan, removed his family including his grandson Lot, Abram, and Sarai, from Ur to the Amorite walled city of Haran, where he had kin (Genesis 11:31). The route along The Fertile Cresent would have taken his party thru Erech, Babylon, and Mari. The city of Haran was a prosperous settlement along the caravan route from Babylon to the Mediterranean in northwestern Mesopotamia. There Terah settled with his family and where he later died.

At Haran, ca. 1873 BCE, Yahweh appeared to Abram and covenanted with him necessitating that he abandon his relatives at Haran and relocate to Canaan (Genesis 12:1-3). Abram, Sarah, and Lot left Terah and their kin and moved on to Canaan, traveling thru Carchemish, Aleppo, Aleppo, Qatna, Damascus, and then crossed the Jordan River into Canaan. They settled as immigrants into a nomadic lifestyle in the hill country west of the Jordan Valley. He passed thru Shechem, Beth-el, Ai, Salem (Jerusalem), Hebron, and Beer-sheba. Later he briefly visited Tanis (Avaris or Zoan) in Egypt to avoid a famine in Canaan.

Exiting Egypt he settled in Beer-sheba with his nephew Lot. Later Lot settled at Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham fathered Ishmael, patriarch of the twelve Arabic tribes, by his wife’s Egyptian handmaid Hagar, Isaac by his half-sister wife Sarai (whose name later became Sarah), and after Sarah’s death six sons, patriarchs of desert tribes, by his second wife Keturah (Genesis 25:1-4, 12-18). Isaac had two sons—Esau, patriarch of Edom, and Jacob, the patriarch of the Israel. While Ishmael took an Egyptian wife Isaac married Lea and Rebekah daughters of Laban. Lot was the patriarch of Ammon and Moab (Genesis 19:36-38).

Abraham’s sons Ishmael and Isaac entombed him at Shechem in Hebron with Sarah in The Cave of Machpelah which he had purchased from Ephron the Hittite (Genesis 23:19, Acts 7:16). Entombed at The Cave of The Machpelah are Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Lea. The burial of Rachel, who died giving birth to Benjamin, was at Bethlehem.


Page last edited: 04/06/06 09:18 PM


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