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Judaism Extras

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  • Abram (born ~2000 B.C.) was a native of Ur, located in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). His father Terah moved the family from Ur to Haran, which would today be on the Syrian border with Turkey. This is described in Genesis: Terah took his son Abram [Abraham], his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. (Gen 11:31) There are several interesting things to note. I am sure you all know that eventually God changed the patriarch’s name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many) (Gen 17:5). You might be tempted to conclude that they named their new city Haran after Abraham’s dead brother (and Lot’s father), who died before the move, but they didn’t. It’s a different word. At first this initial migration, from Ur to Haran, appears to be “routine” in some sense. If this were all that scripture had to say about the more from Ur to Haran, you might conclude it was at the impetus of Terah, Abraham’s father. But nearly two thousand years later Stephen, when speaking to the Sanhedrin, tells them: 2To this he replied: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran. 3'Leave your country and your people,' God said, 'and go to the land I will show you.' 4"So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. (Acts 7:2-4) So even this first leg of the journey, from Ur (in Mesopotamia, the land of the Chaldeans) was at God's direct instruction to Abraham. Abraham's father Terah died in Haran. You know what happens next: 1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. 2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." 4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. (Gen 12:1-5) Abraham and his immediate descendants lived in the Promised Land, but they did so as aliens. Before his descendents could conquer and claim the land that God had set aside for them, they had to grow in number, witness God’s grace for His special people, and harden themselves for battle .
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    • 9. 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, 6 so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. Isaiah 45:5-6