[b-hebrew] Terah

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Thu Jun 3 12:40:58 EDT 2010

As I've mentioned before on this list my personal research has led me to
favour Urfa as the Ur from which Abram left for Canaan. He is from 'over the
river' not 'over the river and across a massive desert' or 'over the river
and right round the fertile crescent until you've almost pretty much reached
the ocean'.

James Christian

On 3 June 2010 18:25, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:

> I'm not sure why, but I'll have a go at it.
> Jim, in answer to Karl:
> 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.
> As usual, Jim, you are partially correct, and totally wrong. Yes, the
> Hebrew
> text says "Kasdim", not "Chaldeans". But all "Chaldeans" is is the Greek
> rendering of "Kasdim", which was adopted by most English translations as
> well. The Bible uses "Kasdim" for the 1st millennium Babylonians in books
> like Kings, Jeremiah and Daniel, because at that time, the Neo-Babylonian
> Empire was in fact ruled by a "Kasdi/Chaldean" dynasty (this includes the
> infamous Nebuchadnezzar). And yes, during the Amarna Period (that is, what
> in Canaan we call the Late Bronze Age), Babylon was ruled by the
> non-Semitic
> "Kassites". But the fact is, that Genesis calls Abraham's birthplace "Ur
> Kasdim", NOT "Ur Kassim". As far as I know, the Kassites are not mentioned
> in the Bible at all. Now IF "Ur Kasdim" is the famous southern Ur, then
> calling it Ur Kasdim in Genesis is an anachronism - which I personally have
> no problem with. On the other hand, the reference COULD be to a more
> northern Ur (such as the long-standing tradition of identifying Abraham's
> birthplace at Urfa), in the Kasdi homeland in northern Syria, nearer to
> Haran (which makes a lot of sense anyway), precisely in order to
> distinguish
> it from the southern Ur. The main thing that leaves me undecided is the
> fact, which Jim pointed out, that both Haran and (southern) Ur were known
> centers of the cult of Sin, the moon-god, and I do think that the names
> Terah, Laban ("Whitey"), Milkah and Sarah (both referring to the Queen of
> Heaven) hint that Terah's family were moon-worshippers. But that's not
> really proof of anything.
> Jim, you are correct in saying that the Terah family's names are all
> Western-Semitic. Which is one more reason to think that their home was in
> Syria, not southern Iraq. But even in the "Kassite" period, most people in
> southern Mesopotamia spoke and wrote Akkadian. The (non-Semitic) Kassite
> language was used mostly by the ruling class of Kassite invaders.
> Yigal Levin
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