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Monday, June 18 2012
A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan
Abram, who the LORD (see Appearances Of The LORD God and What Does Word of God Mean To You?) later renamed as Abraham, was a native of Ur, a major city of Mesopotamia (meaning between the rivers i.e. the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers). If Abraham lived today, he would be a natural-born citizen of Iraq (see A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram).
From Iraq, Abraham and his family moved to Haran, a city in what is today Syria, which was located on a major caravan route (see Camel Trains; also Damascus In History And Prophecy). Then, from Haran, Abraham journeyed south to "the land of Canaan" where he would remain for the rest of his life. Although he lived in the area that later became known as "Israel," Israel, and Judah ("Jew" is an abbreviation of Judah), as a people, or as a nation, did not yet exist in Abraham's time (see Where Jacob Became Israel and Who Were The First Jews?). Abraham never knew of "Israel," as a people, or as a place.
The move from Ur began under the family leadership of Abraham's father Terah. Abraham's brother Haran (who had the same name as the city in Syria that would become their first stop), the father of Lot, "died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees."
"11:26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
The family remained in Haran for a substantial time, until "Terah died in Haran."
"11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan [see also A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan]; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
The LORD then commanded Abraham (who was still known as Abram) to "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee." It was a journey with a Messianic purpose i.e. from that Iraqi would "all families of the earth be blessed" (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham?).
"12:1 Now the LORD 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:
So Abraham left Haran, as the LORD commanded.
"12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan [see also The Sin Of Canaan]; and into the land of Canaan they came." (Genesis 12:4-5 KJV)
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed"
Abraham's obedience was based upon his faith in the LORD. Abraham knew that he would live his life "in a strange country," "not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
"11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God [see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God].
The LORD appeared to Abraham throughout his journey, with further promises that would be fulfilled in a future time.
"12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram [see Appearances Of The LORD God], and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him." (Genesis 12:6-7 KJV)
Abraham continued to the southernmost area of what would become the land of Israel, "going on still toward the south" - where he would settle for the rest of his physical life.
"12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel [see The God Of Bethel], and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. 12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south." (Genesis 12:8-9 KJV)
Abraham experienced Egypt for a short time because "there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land." It was the same reason that Abraham's future descendants would go to Egypt (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?).
"12:10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 12:11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
Like the Israelites centuries later, Abraham came out of Egypt far wealthier than he had entered.
"13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 13:3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; 13:4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD." (Genesis 13:1-4 KJV)
Abraham's nephew Lot had also prospered, so much so that "there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle."
"13:5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds [see The Herds Of Abraham, Isaac And Jacob], and tents. 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 13:7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
Lot's fateful choice was "all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah."
"13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah [see Does God Love His Enemies?], even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 13:11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan [see also Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?]; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." (Genesis 13:10-13 KJV)
Abraham then turned in the other direction and settled in Hebron where he would remain for the rest of his life.
"13:14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 13:17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
This Day In History, June 18
618: Li Yuan was proclaimed Emperor Gaozu of Tang, beginning three centuries of the Tang Dynasty in China.
1053: The Battle of Civitate 3,000 cavalry of Norman Count Humphrey routed the forces of Pope Leo IX.
1155: Frederick I Barbarossa (known as "Red Beard"), a Hohenstaufen, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV.
1178: Five Canterbury monks reported seeing an explosion on the moon, the only such observation known. It is believed to have been the result of a collision with a piece of space rock that formed another of the moon's many impact craters.
1264: The Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first known session of the Irish legislature.
1667: The Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames and threatened London.
1784: King George III authorized the division of Nova Scotia, establishing the new section as New Brunswick.
1812: U.S. President James Madison signed a declaration of war that began the War of 1812 (1812-1814) against Britain, with the primary stated objective of annexing Canada and subjecting its people to U.S. military occupation and rule. At the end of the war, Canada was still Canada, and the borders remained unmoved. It was the last invasion of Canada by any nation.
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte's attempt to regain control of France ended when he was defeated at The Battle of Waterloo in Belgium by British and Prussian forces. After escaping from exile in Elba, Napoleon marched north through France for 100 days, gathering men and arms. The Duke of Wellington met him with a mixed allied army in a day-long battle. Napoleon's army suffered massive casualties, losing 40,000 of its 72,000 men.
1953: Egypt was proclaimed a republic.
1975: Prince Faisal Ibn Musaed was publicly beheaded for the murder of his uncle, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.
1981: A disease that was later to be known as AIDS, was identified by researchers in San Francisco, California.
1983: Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman in space, 20 years after the first woman in space, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.