[b-hebrew] Re: Eden's Four Rivers (article)

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed May 11 23:39:09 EDT 2005

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> On 11/05/2005 23:41, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > Would you have been happier had I written, “The only text that 
> > mentions Abraham rules out that he was from Sumer”?
> >
> >
> >
> No, I wouldn't, because nothing rules out Abraham being from 
> Sumer. What text are you talking about, anyway? There are many 
> texts mentioning Abraham. If you are talking about Genesis 11:31, 
> this rules out nothing. After all, Haran was only a short 
> distance off the only practical route from the southern Ur to 
> Canaan, assuming that Terah and his family, and perhaps their 
> sheep, didn't want to die of thirst in the desert on the way. If 
> I meet someone in Seattle who says they come from Moscow, I might 
> well assume that they are from Moscow in Russia, not Moscow, 
> Idaho, even though the latter is much nearer.
> -- Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
Oh? Which texts besides the Bible mention Abraham? Are there some 
from Sumer? Akkad? Any other cities? Unless you can come up with 
records of Abraham in Sumer, you can’t place him there. There is no 

And the reason I mentioned the different cities with the same names 
is to show that just because one city had a certain name, that does 
not rule out that another had the same name. Even in ancient times.

(There was a humerous local story about city names: a teacher in 
front of his class complained that there were too many immigrants 
in his class, which was hurting his ability to teach, as many of 
the immigrant kids couldn’t speak English well. There are many 
children from immigrants here in San Francisco. So he turned to one 
Chinese looking kid and asked where he was born, whereupon the 
student answered “Canton”. The teacher used this example to extend 
his tirade, thinking the student was from Canton, China, until the 
student completed his statement with, “I was born in Canton, Ohio.” 
The whole class laughed.)

The Bible mentions only Ur of the Chaldeas. Seeing as this is a 
place connected to the Chaldeas, a Semitic speaking people, that 
rules out Ur of the Sumerians, whose language was unrelated 
to Chaldean. Or the ancient pronunciation could have been Ora, very 
similar to a town far from Ur of the Sumerians. Whether you agree 
with the Bible or not, the text as it presently stands indicates 
that Abraham did not come from Ur of the Sumerians, but from a 
locale connected with Semitic language speaking Chaldeans. 
Therefore, the only text mentioning Abraham as it stands rules out 
Ur of the Sumerians.

Karl W. Randolph.

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