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Haran

Haran was the name of a man (see also Bible History), and a place (see also Bible Places), related to Abraham. Haran, the man, was the son of Terah, brother of Abraham and Nahor, and father of Lot. Haran, the place, was a city in northwestern Mesopotamia (today Iraq) where Abraham lived after leaving his birthplace, Ur Of The Chaldees (today, southern Iraq), prior to entering what was to become the land of Israel (Abraham's grandson Jacob was renamed Israel, by God).

Mesopotamia

Haran, The Man

Haran was born, and died, in Ur of the Chaldees:

"When Terah had lived seventy years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Now these are the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans." (Genesis 11:26-28 RSV)

Haran, The Place

The family group first traveled from Ur to Haran. Terah died there, while Abraham's family later continued, by God's command for them to do so, to what became the land of Israel:

"Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai [i.e. Sarah] his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran."

"Now The Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you [see On His Own Two Feet]. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves."

"So Abram went, as The Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions which they had gathered, and the persons that they had gotten in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan." (Genesis 11:31-12:5 RSV)

Rebekah was from the area of Haran; when her sons Esau and Jacob/Israel struggled over the family blessing from their father Isaac, she had Jacob flee to her brother Laban in Haran:

"Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob." But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah; so she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, "Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran" (Genesis 27:41-43 RSV)

Fact Finder: What happened during the years that Jacob/Israel spent in Haran with his uncle Laban?
See Jacob and Laban


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