NOTE: Certain areas of the world have low resolution
images making it almost impossible to see the object. Jerusalem is also a low
NOTE: In Genesis we read of the selection of Abram (Abraham) to be the
father of the chosen people, and we discover that he is living in Ur of the
Chaldees (called “Urfa” today), which is within 100 miles of Babel.
Given the call to go to Canaan, he and his family set out, stopping in Haran
(Harran) about 35 miles south of Ur, where Terah dies. There is another Ur south
of Baghdad but we believe Urfa is the biblical one.
The evidence shows conclusively that Abraham’s family settled in the region a
little south of the Babel site, in the area of the Euphrates “loop” and the tributary, the Balikh River.
Sarugi (Serug, Abraham’s great grandfather’s name), is located halfway
between the Euphrates and Haran. A town called Nahuru located in the Balikh
Valley below Haran (Nahor, the name of Abraham’s grandfather as well as a
brother, which was Rebekah’s home (Gen. 24:10) which Abraham sent his servant
to bring her for his son Isaac’s wife) is known from both the Cappadocian
tablets and the Mari tablets (discovered in 1935 and belonging to the eighteenth
century BC) to be in the same region.
In the region of Haran there is unmistakable evidence of the extended Hebrew
residence in the vicinity of the Balikh and Habur Rivers, two tributaries of the
Euphrates east of the great bend south of ancient Carchemish.
The town of Haran (Genesis 11:31; 12:5) is still in existence on the Balikh
River sixty miles west of Tell Halaf. It was flourishing in the nineteenth and
eighteenth centuries BC, as is known from in its cuneiform sources. The name
appears in Assyrian documents as Harranu (“road”) because of
the trade route (Damascus-Nineveh-Carchemish).
The name of Abraham’s father, Terah, is preserved at Til-sa-Turah, the
“ruin of Terah” in the Balikh Valley. What is remarkable is that all
these geographical names are found in the district of Harran- according to the
Biblical traditions it is precisely in this region that Abraham’s family stayed.
Others listed in Genesis 11:10-30 have left traces in this territory, called
Paddan-Aram (Aramaic paddana, “field or plain” of Aram) in
Genesis (25:20; 26:6, 7; etc.). Reu corresponds to later names of towns in the
Middle-Euphrates valley. Peleg recalls later Paliga on the Euphrates just
above the mouth of the Habur.
Near the eastern end
of the Mount Ararat valley on the Aras River is a town called Nakhichevan (just
east of the Iranian border in Azerbaijan.) Numerous Armenian traditions ascribe
the founding of the city of Nakhichevan to Noah.