Abram In The Ancient City Of Ur
By James Donahue
Was there really a man named Abraham that emerged
from the ancient land of the Chaldees to become the progenitor of the Hebrew and Palestinian people?
There is some evidence beyond the Old Testament that
such a man did exist, but he wasn’t exactly the person identified in the Book of Genesis.
From Genesis we are told that Abram, who later changed
his name to Abraham, was the fifth generation direct descendant of Peleg. Some scholars place his existence at about 2,000
BC. He was born in the ancient City of Ur. This territory was once part of the mighty Mesopotamian Empire.
The ruins of Ur are known to archaeologists. Unfortunately,
they are located in the heart of war-torn Iraq, not far from Baghdad.
From the pages of Genesis, we learn that Abram had
at least two brothers. They were Nahor and Haran, who also lived in Ur. Haran bore three recorded children, two sons, Lot
and Iscah, and a daughter, Milcah before he died a premature death. Haran’a mate is not recorded, nor is the cause of
his death. Both Abram and his brother Nahor, married their nieces, Sarai and Milcah, respectively, both daughters of their
third brother, Haran.
That the Jewish race emerged from an incest relationship
would appear to be blight on the Hebrew record. Yet Bible historians are not visibly shaken by this information, other than
the fact that Abram’s relationship to Sarai was somehow erased from the contemporary Genesis record. It can still be
found in the historical record of the Jewish people drafted by the Greek historian Josephus Flavious.
The argument that a lack of enough people after the
flood forced humans to mate with other family members fails to justify the inbreeding that went on. It stands to reason that
there had to have been adequate genetic diversity available for humanity to carry on. While it was allowed, inbreeding was
Abram and his brothers were sons of Terah, recorded
in Hebrew records as “a maker of idols.” The Hebrew text sets Abram’s birth at about 2000 BC, but other
estimates, based upon corresponding Egyptian historical data, set his existence back as far as 4000 years BC. Since there
has never been any archaeological evidence found in the ruins of Ur to prove that Abram or his family existed there, the only
proof comes from the ancient written text.
Also there is an esoteric “memory” of
the decision by Abram to leave Ur, although the “seers” who look back on this event do not see the move as a response
to a commandment by a godly voice from above. Abram and his family left Ur because the area was stripped of its trees and
natural resources, the once fertile land was no longer productive, and the people were starving. Abram was looking for greener
He could afford to do this. The family of Terah was
a notable one. They were prominent people of their day. That Terah was a maker of idols, or images of worship, suggests that
they supported the religious belief system that existed in that day.
Historian Jim Cornwell, in his book The Alpha and the Omega, notes that the divinity behind the construction of the Tower of Babel appears to have
been Nannar, a moon god. He wrote: “a whole quarter of the city of Ur was set apart for him, and he was called the Exalted
Lord, the Crown of Heaven and Earth, and the Beautiful Lord who shines in Heaven. On the terrace was the ziggurat, with twin
temples, the day houses of the moon god and his consort, the goddess Nin-Gal. Another temple was called The House of Great
Plenty. This was the secret ritual of a harem, of the moon god. It was evident that Ur was a city with an inseparable cult
in Abram’s day.”
As a notable, Abram enjoyed wealth and probably visited
the city of Babylon where stood the great Temple of Marduk, yet another god of the Chaldeans. Of course, Marduk is thought
to have been another name for the former ruler of the known world, a man we remember best as Nimrod.
Thus it is difficult to believe that Abram would have
been separated from this family and this environment to accept and worship a single deity. According to Genesis, that deity
was the angelic Jehovah, later worshipped by the Hebrews, the alleged descendants of Abram.
Abram was a businessman who promoted trade between
the Babylonians and the Hittites. He was wealthy enough to purchase land in Canaan, command his own private army, and even
defeat a coalition of kings. According to Josephus, after his arrival in Egypt, Abram and his wife were honored by the
Thus we have evidence that Abram did not spring from
a backward and simplistic society. A flourishing civilization existed in this place, the heart of the Golden Crescent, for
up to 4000 years. The Sumerians are believed to have invented the cuneiform system of writing. It is from the ancient clay
tablets found in this area that we acquired one of the oldest books in the world, The
Epic of Gilgamesh.