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The Iraq Connection
"Iraq" has a number of possible original meanings. Some believe that it was named after the city of Uruk, known in the Bible as Erech, which was one of the cities of Nimrod's kingdom i.e. "10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom [see When Nimrod Ruled The World] was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar" (Genesis 10:10 KJV). Other linguists and etymologists variously believe the word means river bank (in referring to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers), lowland or fertile. One or more of the possibilities may be correct.
One fact is certain however. Humanity was created in what is known today as Iraq. The Garden of Eden was there.
"2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
"Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee"
While all humans can ultimately trace their ancestry back to what is known today as Iraq (whether through Adam and Eve, or through Noah and His family who also were born and lived in Iraq), the key ancestor of all Israelites was also a native of Iraq. Abraham the Iraqi was sent by the LORD to found a new nation that would be named after Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel."
"12:1 Now the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'] had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:
Centuries later, after Israel divided into two kingdoms (see The Division Of Israel), the LORD had both of the corrupt kingdoms conquered and taken into exile in what is known today as Iraq (see Ancient Empires - Assyria and Ancient Empires - Babylon).
The people of The Northern Kingdom of Israel, the so-called "lost ten tribes of Israel" never returned (yet - see The Gathering of Israel and Judah), but the people of The Southern Kingdom of Judah, known today as "Jews" (which is an abbreviation of Judah, one of the sons of Israel) did return after the prescribed seventy years exile there (see Jeremiah's Field). The generation that was taken away didn't return, but their children and grandchildren, who were born in Iraq during those seventy years, did return to become the Jews of today.
Fact Finder: Who were the leaders of Judah at the time of their return from Iraq?