Ur of the Chaldees
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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Ur of the Chaldees


kal'-dez ('ur kasdim; he chora (ton) Chaldaion): For more than 2,000 years efforts have been made to identify the site of this city. The writers of the Septuagint, either being unfamiliar with the site, or not considering it a city, wrote chora, "land," instead of Ur. Eupolemus, who lived about 150 B.C., spoke of it as being a city of Babylonia called Camarina, which he said was called by some Ouria. Stephen (Acts 7:2, 4) regarded the place as being in Mesopotamia. The Talmud, however, as well as some later Arabic writers, regarded Erech (the Septuagint Orek) as the city. The cuneiform writing of this city, Urnki, would seem to support this view, but Erech is mentioned in Genesis. Ammianus Marcellinus identified the city with the castle of Ur in the desert between Hatra and Nisibis, but this was only founded in the time of the Persians. Owing to its nearness to Haran, and because Stephen placed it in Mesopotamia, Urfa or Oorfa, named Edessa by the Greeks, has also in modern times been identified as the city. But Seleucus is credited with having built this city.

The most generally-accepted theory at the present time is that Ur is to be identified with the modern Mugheir (or Mughayyar, "the pitchy") in Southern Babylonia, called Urumma, or Urima, and later Uru in the inscriptions. This borders on the district which in the 1st millennium B.C. was called Chaldea (Kaldu).

This, some hold, accords with the view of Eupolemus, because Camarina may be from the Arabic name of the moon qamar, which refers perhaps to the fact that the ancient city was dedicated to the worship of the moon-god. Another argument which has been advanced for this identification is that Haran, the city to which Terah migrated, was also a center of moon-god worship. This, however, is precarious, because Urumma or Urima in Abraham's day was a Sumerian center, and the seat of Nannar-worship, whereas Haran was Semitic, and was dedicated to Sin. Although these two deities in later centuries were identified with each other, still the argument seems to have little weight, as other deities were also prominently worshipped in those cities, particularly Haran, which fact reminds us also that the Talmud says Terah worshipped no less than 12 deities.

It should be stated that there are scholars who hold, with the Septuagint, that Ur means, not a city, but perhaps a land in which the patriarch pastured his flocks, as for instance, the land of Uri or Ura (Akkad). The designation "of the Chaldeans" was in this case intended to distinguish it from the land where they were not found.

Still another identification is the town Uru (Mar-tu) near Sippar, a place of prominence in the time of Abraham, but which was lost sight of in subsequent periods (compare Amurru, 167). This fact would account for the failure to identify the place in the late pre-Christian centuries, when Urima or Uru still flourished. Western Semites-for the name Abram is not Babylonian-lived in this city in large numbers in the age when the patriarch lived. The Babylonian contract literature from this, as well as other sites, is full of names from the western Semitic lands, Aram and Amurru. This fact makes it reasonable that the site should be found in Babylonia; but, as stated, although the arguments are by no means weighty, more scholars at the present favor Mugheir than any other site.

A. T. Clay


Abraham's Four Surrenders
... It was several years before this that God first told him to leave Ur of
the Chaldees. Then he came to Haran, which is about half ...
//christianbookshelf.org/moody/men of the bible/i abrahams four surrenders.htm

Entire Sanctification in Patriarchal Times.
... Abraham dwelt with his father, Terah, who was an idolater, in Ur of the Chaldees,
when he received the call of God to go entirely away from his kindred and his ...
/.../clark/the theology of holiness/chapter iii entire sanctification in.htm

From Abraham to Egypt.
... Ur of the Chaldees, the birth place and home of Abraham, was the seat of the great
temple of the moon-god, and this sanctuary became so famous that the moon ...
/.../tidwell/the bible period by period/chapter iv from abraham to.htm

The Israelites
... Israel traced its origin to Babylonia. It was from "Ur of the Chaldees" that Abraham
"the Hebrew" had come, the rock out of which it was hewn. ...
/.../sayce/early israel and the surrounding nations/chapter i the israelites.htm

The Faith of Abraham.
... stretch the cords on the morrow. His departure from Ur of the Chaldees was
a family migration. But the writer of this Epistle, like ...
/.../the expositors bible the epistle to the hebrews/chapter xi the faith of.htm

Chapter xv
... 7. And He said to Him: I am Yahweh who brought thee forth from Ur of the Chaldees
to give thee this land for a possession. The "vision" is not concluded. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/leupold/exposition of genesis volume 1/chapter xv.htm

Consecration to God --Illustrated by Abraham's Circumcision
... WE COMMENCED our exposition of the life of Abram with his calling, when he was brought
out of Ur of the Chaldees, and separated unto the Lord in Canaan. ...
/.../spurgeons sermons volume 14 1868/consecration to godillustrated by abrahams.htm

An Appeal to Children of Godly Parents
... opposed to godliness; yet here they are, they can themselves hardly tell you how,
brought out from the world as Abraham was brought from Ur of the Chaldees. ...
/.../spurgeon/sermons on proverbs/an appeal to children of.htm

Abraham's Guest
... ABRAHAM'S GUEST. You have all heard of Abraham, who went out from his home
in Ur of the Chaldees to find God. And you remember how ...
/.../chidley/fifty-two story talks to boys and girls/abrahams guest.htm

The Call of Abraham
... and the father of his chosen people upon earth, made Abraham leave the society of
his friends and relatives, and go out of Ur of the Chaldees, and journey away ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 5 1859/the call of abraham.htm

Who were the Chaldeans in the Bible? | GotQuestions.org

Who was Abraham in the Bible? | GotQuestions.org

Who was Haran in the Bible? | GotQuestions.org

Ur: Dictionary and Thesaurus | Clyx.com

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