Ur Kaśdim

Ur Kaśdim

Ur Kaśdim or Ur of the Chaldees (אור כשדים) is the town in the Hebrew Bible and related literature where Abraham( origin. Abram "Gen. 17.5)" was said to have been born. The traditional site of Abraham's birth is in the vicinity of Edessa although Ur Kaśdim has been popularly identified since 1927 by Sir Charles Woolley with the Sumerian city of Ur, in southern Mesopotamia, which was under the rule of the Chaldeans — although Josephus, Islamic tradition, and Jewish authorities like Maimonides all concur that Ur Kaśdim was in Northern Mesopotamia — now southeastern Turkey (identified with Urkesh, Urartu, Urfa, and Kutha respectively).

References to Ur Kaśdim in Jewish texts

Ur Kaśdim is mentioned four times in the Tanakh or Old Testament, with the distinction "Kaśdim" traditionally rendered in English as "of the Chaldees", referring to the Chaldeans. In "Genesis", the name is found in 11:28, 11:31 and 15:7. In "Nehemiah" 9:7, a single passage mentioning Ur Kaśdim is a paraphrase of "Genesis."

Although not explicitly stated in the Tanakh it is generally understood to be the place where Abraham was born. (Genesis 11:27-31 names it as the birthplace of Abraham's brother Haran, and the point of departure of Abraham's family.)

The "Book of Jubilees" states that Ur Kaśdim was founded in 1687 "Anno Mundi" (year of the world) by 'Ur son of Keśed, presumably the offspring of Arphaxad, adding that in this same year, wars began on Earth. Although Arphaxad himself is recorded to have been born 2 years after Noah's flood of 1656 AM and so aged just 29 in 1687.

:"And 'Ur, the son of Keśed, built the city of 'Ara of the Chaldees, and called its name after his own name and the name of his father. (ie, "Ur Kaśdim = Ur of the Keśeds")" ("Jubilees" 11:3)

It also represents Abraham's immediate ancestors as dwelling in Ur Kaśdim beginning with his great-grandfather, Serug.

Identification of Ur Kaśdim

Jewish sources say very little about the location of Ur Kaśdim. In Genesis 12:1, after Abraham and his father Terah have left Ur Kaśdim for the city of Haran (spelled differently in the Hebrew text than the name of Abraham's brother) in Aram-Naharaim, God instructs him to leave his land, his "moladet", and his father's house. The traditional Jewish understanding of the word "moladet" is "birthplace". (See for example the [http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=8176 Judaica Press translation] .) In Genesis 24:4-10, similarly, Abraham instructs his servant to bring a wife for Isaac from his land and "moladet", and the servant departs for Aram Naharaim. The general Jewish understanding is thus that the birthplace lay in Aram Naharaim. This view was noted in particular by Nachmanides (Ramban). (See [http://www.jewishgates.com/file.asp?File_ID=1350 Ramban on "Lech Lecha"] .) This understanding of the term "moladet" as "birthplace" is not universally agreed; most translations, from the Septuagint to modern English versions, typically render it as "kindred" or "family". However, a further reference in Genesis 24 to the area of Aram Naharaim as being the "eretz moladet", i.e. "land of nativity" of Abraham from which a wife is to be found for Isaac, appears to corroborate the traditional Jewish understanding.

The Talmud ("Yoma" 10a) identifies the Biblical city of Erech with a place called "Urichus". (See [http://dafyomi.shemayisrael.co.il/yoma/backgrnd/yo-in-10.htm background on Yoma 10] .) T. G. Pinches in "The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records and Legends of Assyria and Babylonia" (see [http://www.bibleorigins.net/UrofChaldeesurfaurie.html extract] ) and A. T. Clay writing in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia article " [http://www.searchgodsword.org/enc/isb/view.cgi?number=T9007 Ur of the Chaldees] ", understood this as an identification of Uruk (modern Warka) or Biblical Erech with Ur Kaśdim. However no tradition exists equating Ur Kaśdim with Urichus and the latter is understood by modern scholars as a reference to Uruk which is indeed identified with Erech.

The traditional site of Abraham's birth according to Islamic tradition is a cave in the vicinity of the ancient Seleucid city of Edessa. Today the cave lies near the centre of the modern city of Sanli Urfa and is the site of a mosque called the Mosque of Abraham. The Turkish name "Urfa" for the city is derived from earlier Syriac ܐܘܪܗܝ, Orhāy and Greek _el. Ορρα, Orrha. The tradition connecting Ur Kaśdim with the site is not exclusively Islamic, the 18th century anthropologist Richard Pococke noted in his "Description of the East", that it was the universal opinion of the Jews that Urfa was Ur Kaśdim.

Scholars are skeptical of the identification of Ur Kaśdim with Urfa. Although the origin of the Greek and Syriac names of the city are uncertain, they appear to be based on a native form, "Osroe", the name of a legendary founder, the Armenian form of the Persian name Khosrau (Chosroes). Similarity with "Ur" would thus be accidental.

Ammianus Marcellinus in his "Rerum Gestarum Libri" ( [http://www.intratext.com/IXT/LAT0121/_P1V.HTM#NL chapter VIII] ) mentions a castle named Ur which lay between Hatra and Nisibis. A. T. Clay understood this as an identification of Ur Kaśdim although Marcellinus makes no explicit claim in this regard. In her "Travels" ( [http://www.intratext.com/IXT/LAT0719/_PK.HTM#MP chapter XX] ), Egeria mentions "Hur" lying five stations from Nisibis on the way to Persia, apparently the same location, and she does identify it with Ur Kaśdim. However, the castle in question was only founded during the time of the second Persian Empire.

Eusebius in his "Preparation for the Gospel" ( [http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_09_book9.htm chapter XVII] ) preserves a fragment of the work "Concerning the Jews" by the first century BCE historian Alexander Polyhistor which in turn quotes a passage in "Concerning the Jews of Assyria" by the second century BCE historian Eupolemus which claimed that Abraham was born in the Babylonian city Camarina which it notes was also called "Uria". (Such indirect quotations of Eupolemus via Polyhistor are referred to as "Pseudo-Eupolemus".) This site is identified with the Sumerian city of Ur located at Tell el-Mukayyar which in ancient texts was named "Uriwa" or "Urima".

Ur was the sacred city of the moon god and the name "Camarina" is thought to be related to the Arabic word for moon "qamar", although Camarina is in fact the name of an ancient city in Sicily. The identification with Ur Kaśdim accords with the view that Abraham's ancestors may have been moon-worshippers, an idea based on the possibility that the name of Abraham's father Terah is related to the Hebrew root for moon ("y-r-h"). Jewish tradition relates however that Terah worshipped many gods and the argument along this line remains weak.

Ur lay on the boundary of the region called "Kaldu" (Chaldea, corresponding to Hebrew "Kaśdim") in the first millennium BCE and the site remains the most popular identification of Ur Kaśdim amongst scholarsFact|date=August 2007.

ee also

*Ur

References and External links

* [http://fontes.lstc.edu/~rklein/Documents/Ur.htm Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 2001: Where Was Abraham's Ur?] by Allan R. Millard
* [http://www.bibleorigins.net/UrofChaldeesurfaurie.html Locating Ur of the Chaldees (Hebrew: Ur Kasdim)] on www.BibleOrigens.net
* [http://www.searchgodsword.org/enc/isb/view.cgi?number=T9007 Ur of the Chaldees] in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
* [http://www.sanliurfa.gov.tr/index.php?go=4,3,59 Prophet Abraham and Sanliurfa] Islamic traditions connecting Abraham's early life and Sanli Urfa.
*Cyrus H. Gordon, "Abraham and the Merchants of Ura", Journal of Near Eastern Studies 17 (1958), pp. 28-31.
* [http://home.att.net/~kmpope/Ur.html Ur of the Chaldees] by Kyle M. Pope


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kasdîm — Kasdîm, soviel wie Chaldäer, s. Chaldäa …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kasdim — Kasdim,   hebräischer Name der Chaldäer …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Chaldea — For the asteroid, see 313 Chaldaea. For other uses, see Chaldean (disambiguation). Ancient Mesopotamia Euphrates · Tigris Sumer Eridu · …   Wikipedia

  • Abraham — /ay breuh ham , heuhm/, n. 1. the first of the great Biblical patriarchs, father of Isaac, and traditional founder of the ancient Hebrew nation: considered by Muslims an ancestor of the Arab peoples through his son Ishmael. 2. a male given name:… …   Universalium

  • Haran — For the biblical place, Haran (Charan), see Haran (biblical place). For the ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia and presently a village in Şanlıurfa, Turkey, see Harran. For the village in Azerbaijan, see Haran, Azerbaijan. Haran or Aran (Hebrew:… …   Wikipedia

  • Messie aux portes de Rome — Midrashim célèbres Le midrash (littéralement, recherche ) est un procédé exégétique de la Bible Hébraïque, tant pour définir les lois à partir du Texte que pour éclairer sinon le sens immédiat du verset, son esprit, sans y chercher d implication… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Midrashim Célèbres — Le midrash (littéralement, recherche ) est un procédé exégétique de la Bible Hébraïque, tant pour définir les lois à partir du Texte que pour éclairer sinon le sens immédiat du verset, son esprit, sans y chercher d implication normative. Il est à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Midrashim celebres — Midrashim célèbres Le midrash (littéralement, recherche ) est un procédé exégétique de la Bible Hébraïque, tant pour définir les lois à partir du Texte que pour éclairer sinon le sens immédiat du verset, son esprit, sans y chercher d implication… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Midrashim célèbres — Le midrash (littéralement, recherche ) est un procédé exégétique de la Bible Hébraïque, tant pour définir les lois à partir du Texte que pour éclairer sinon le sens immédiat du verset, son esprit, sans y chercher d implication normative. Il est à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chaldea —    The southern portion of Babylonia, Lower Mesopotamia, lying chiefly on the right bank of the Euphrates, but commonly used of the whole of the Mesopotamian plain. The Hebrew name is Kasdim, which is usually rendered Chaldeans (Jer. 50:10; 51:24 …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”