SV: Gilgamesh (Jonathan)

Niels Peter Lemche npl at
Thu Jan 20 04:28:14 EST 2000

Tracing ghost here?

Try to look at the passage Gen 11:27-32, in the Hebrew text. Land of birth
of Abraham and his family: Ur kasdim (Gen 11:27). Haran dies there, but
Haran is not the city of Harran (written with a cheth, not a he like the
deceased son of Terach). Then Gen 11:28: Terach takes his family, all of
them, in order to move to the land of Canaan. In Gen 11:30 he reaches as far
as ('ad-) Harran, and settles there and dies there. What is meant by the
sentence, wayyabo'u 'ad charran? That he went from one city to the next, or
that he reached as far as ... before he settled down?

On the other hand, what use of this, in the following session Abram moves
out of Harran with his belongings in 12:5 to get to the Land of Canaan, and
in the next sentence he enters Canaan. Not a word about the travel,  he goes
out and he moves in. Distance is not the concern of the author. 

The question is, then, is the author rally interested in geography. Can we
create a geography of, say Northern Mesopotamia on the basis of information
like this. Is the point of the narrative not to bring the herp from one
place to another place, ignoring the immaterial matters of a real travel?


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Stephen C. Carlson [SMTP:scarlson at]
> Sent:	Thursday, 20 January, 2000 03:35
> To:	Biblical Hebrew
> Subject:	Re: Re[2]: SV: Gilgamesh (Jonathan)
> At 12:52 AM 1/20/00 -0500, Peter Kirk wrote:
> >Jonathan, you don't need to use that tone. You have failed to deal 
> >with Ian's point (which he may have got from me) that Genesis 11:31 
> >indicates that Haran is a long way from Ur Kasdim, not just that both 
> >are a long way from Canaan.
> I've looked at Gen. 11:31 several times tonight, and I can't find
> any indication that Haran is a long way from Ur Kasdim.  It merely
> says that Abraham left Ur Kasdim to go to Canaan, but stopped in
> Haran (which is actually on the way in the northern scenario).  How
> do you understand the verse?
> Stephen Carlson
> --
> Stephen C. Carlson                        mailto:scarlson at
> Synoptic Problem Home Page
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