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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Ur of the Chaldees

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UR OF THE CHALDEES , whence Abraham set out upon his journey to Canaan ( Genesis 11:28-31; Genesis 15:7 , Nehemiah 9:7 ), is usually identified with the well-known city of Uru in southern Babylonia, the site of which is marked by the mounds of Muqayyar. This city was in existence in the earliest period of Babylonian history, and was the seat of a dynasty of early kings before the foundation of the Bab. [Note: Babylonian.] monarchy; it was always the centre of the worship of the moon-god in Southern Babylonia.

The identification has not been universally accepted, since from the narrative in Genesis 11:1-32 it would appear that Harran was passed on the journey from Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan; hence, too, the traditional identification of the place with Urfa , the Gr. Edessa. The difficulty may perhaps be explained by the supposition that the narrative incorporates variant traditions with regard to Abraham’s origin; the fact that Uru and Harran were both of them centres of moon-worship is possibly significant.

L. W. King.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Ur of the Chaldees'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/u/ur-of-the-chaldees.html. 1909.

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