[b-hebrew] Terakh

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Thu Jun 3 10:02:15 EDT 2010


Karl:
 
1.  You wrote:  “Where was Ur of the Chaldeans?”
 
The text says Kasdim/K%DYM, not Chaldeans.  [The Chaldeans are 1st 
millennium BCE people who lived long after the Patriarchal Age.]  That’s Ur of the 
Kassites.  Though Ur in that time period was no longer the capital of 
southern Mesopotamia, it was still (i) the best place in the world to take a 
caravan/)RX to buy lapis lazuli at wholesale, and (ii) along with Harran was the 
most prominent center of moon god/YRX worship.  The name TRX recalls 
caravan/)RX and moon god/YRX, strengthening the view that this is indeed the 
world-famous Ur of the Kassites in southern Mesopotamia.
 
2.  You wrote:  “What is pretty certain is that it is not the same as Ur of 
the Sumarians.”
 
It’s the same physical place, but in a later time period.
 
3.  You wrote:  “What language was spoken in Ur of the Chaldeans?”
 
Ur of the Kasdim is Ur of the Kassites.  The language spoken there at that 
time was Kassite, a non-Semitic language.
 
4.  You wrote:  “The territory of Mesopotamia stretches as far north and 
west as to include parts of what is now south eastern Turkey, so it is 
possible that Abram grew up speaking a west Semitic language spoken in Mesopotamia.”
 
(a)  The language spoken in northwest Mesopotamia (for example at Harran) 
at the time was the non-Semitic language of Hurrian.
 
(b)  Abraham, however, grew up in Canaan, speaking a virgin pure west 
Semitic language that could be called pre-Hebrew or early Hebrew.  One reason we 
know that is because his name at birth, before he met YHWH, is )BRM, which 
is a virgin pure west Semitic name if there ever was one.  HRN and TRX are 
also west Semitic names.  [On the other hand, the name NXWR is based on 
Hurrian words, which lets us know that Nahor “went native” after moving to Harran 
in the Hurrian land of NHRYM.  Nahor in effect got into bed with the 
Hurrian goddesses, as it were, with N-XW in Hurrian meaning “bed (of the Hurrian 
goddesses)”.  TRX, by contrast, remained loyal to the old Canaanite gods, 
including the moon god YRX that is prominent at Ugarit.]  If we focus on the 
names, we will see that the Patriarchal narratives are historically accurate 
in portraying the Hebrews as being indigenous to west Semitic-speaking Canaan.
 

5.  You wrote:  “As far as Ugarit, when was its literature written that has 
survived?”
 
There are several Amarna Letters from Ugarit, so the time period is the 
Late Bronze Age, including the mid-14th century BCE.  TRX is a verb in Ugaritic 
which can mean “to pay the brideprice”.  That is the key role played by 
Terakh/TRX in the Patriarchal narratives.  Terakh/TRX “pays the brideprice” 
for Sarah in a unique way (which we can explore in a subsequent post) that 
requires that only Sarah’s son(s) can be Abraham’s heirs (unlike Jacob’s many 
sons by four different wives).  The key clue in this regard is precisely 
the name of Abraham’s father, TRX, which in Ugaritic can mean “pay the 
brideprice”.  If we pay close attention to the names, we can discern the amazing 
historical accuracy of the ancient Patriarchal narratives.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois



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