Where Did Abraham Live?

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Where did Abraham live before the journey that ultimately led him to Canaan?

The city of Ur, where Abraham first lived, is one of the first places on earth where humans established a settlement. Modern archeological dating of the city to around 3,800 B.C. means humanity began to dwell in this area less than two hundred years after the creation of Adam! The city's name comes from a Hebrew word that means a flame, fire or light (Strong's Concordance #H217).

Ur (also called Ur of the Chaldees, see Genesis 11:28), after the great flood, was resettled by Noah's son Shem and his descendants. This birthplace of Abraham was located in ancient Mesopotamia next to the mighty (and prophetic) Euphrates River.

A Seaport City?

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the Euphrates and Tigris rivers originally entered into the Persian Gulf by separate channels. The Gulf, at that time of Abraham, extended up as far as Ur which made the city a seaport. Since the time of Abraham, however, sediment from these rivers has filled up the head of the Persian Gulf for nearly 100 miles (161 kilometers). Wikipedia confirms this fact by stating the following.

Map showing where Abraham grew up!
Location of Ur of the Chaldees

"Although Ur was once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, the coastline has shifted and the city is now well inland . . . " (Wikipedia article on Ur).

Famous Home

Ur was known for its Great Ziggurat, a pyramid shaped building several stories high that was tiered. The structure was completed by King Shulgi less than 50 years prior to the birth of Abraham (Abram). The city was also known as a major seat of lunar (moon) worship (Jewish Encyclopedia). It is therefore not surprising that Abram's father, Terah, was named after the moon deity worshiped at Ur (Complete Book of Who's Who in Bible).

The "father of the faithful" (Romans 4:16) is born in Ur in 1960 B.C. He lives in the city until the age of seventy when his father Terah, after the death of his oldest son Haran, decides to take his remaining family to a place that will later be named after his dead son (Genesis 11:31).

God, several years after Abraham left Ur, reveals that it was He who moved Terah to leave the pagan city. Genesis 15:7 states, "'I am the Lord, who led you out of Ur (fire) in Babylonia (Chaldeans), to give you this land as your own.'" God's calling saved him from the lies or "fire" of his hometown so that he not only could be blessed but able to bless the entire world through his obedience!

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