SV: Gilgamesh (John)

John Ronning ronning at
Thu Jan 27 00:00:45 EST 2000

Peter Kirk wrote:
> Dear John,
> You seem to be equating Abraham's homeland, Ur Kasdim with the place
> where Laban lives in Genesis 29:4.

Abraham himself made the equation, which is why I went to
the trouble of quoting the verses. Once again,

Gen 24:4 go to ***my country*** and to my relatives, and
take a
wife for my son Isaac.

Where Abraham sent his servant is where Laban was living, in

24:5 The servant asked him, "What if the woman is unwilling
to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your
son back to ***the country you came from***?"

24:7 "The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my
father's household and ***my native land*** ['erets
He will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife
for my son ***from there***.[i.e. from my native land] =

Compare 11:28 "Ur-Kasdim, the land of his birth" ['erets
mowladto] (Abram's brother Haran).

Very confusing directions and answers if Abraham came from
600 miles away from where he sent his servant.

> That verse strongly suggests that
> Laban lives in Haran or its immediate vicinity, so close that
> shepherds from Haran knew him and watered their sheep in the same
> place. 

Which is no doubt why Rebekah said to Jacob, "Flee to my
brother Laban in Haran" (Gen 27:43).

> Unfortunately for your theory, any suggestion that Ur was close
> to Haran makes a complete nonsense of 11:31. 

I suppose you are assuming there would be no need to
"settle" [yashab, which I'm sure you'll agree can be a stay
of a few hours] just down the road from where they set out. 
But Gen 12:5 suggests the reason for stopping in Haran - to
acquire goods and servants for the trip.  From which I would
infer Ur-kasdim was a small city where they couldn't get
what they needed, so they went to the big city, where they
spent a bit of time trading before proceding on to their

It's proper procedure to interpret the unclear by the clear,
not the other way around, and nothing could be clearer than
that Abram's native land is Ur-kasdim, which in turn is
clearly indicated to be near Haran, in Northern Mesopotamia.


John Ronning

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