The World of the Patriarchs

Abraham, the father of the Israelites, grew up in the ancient city of Ur of the Chaldeans, but he moved to Haran with his father Terah, his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot (Genesis 11:27-31). At this time in history the Chaldeans (Kasdim) inhabited the area east of Haran, making it unlikely that Abraham’s city of Ur was the one located in southern Babylonia. After his father died, Abraham completed his family’s original intention to move to Canaan (Genesis 12:1-5), and the Lord promised to give Canaan to him and his descendants. After he reached Canaan, Abraham first set up camp in Shechem, but he continued to move throughout the land from time to time (Genesis 12-20). Later he traveled to Egypt to find relief from a famine, but then he returned to Canaan once again (Genesis 12:10-20). Abraham’s son Isaac grew up in Canaan (Genesis 21-22), but when it came time for him to marry, Abraham sent his servant back to Haran to find a wife for him there (Genesis 24). Later Isaac’s son Jacob also traveled from Canaan to Haran to escape the wrath of his twin brother Esau, and he married two women from there (Genesis 27-29). Jacob returned to Canaan (Genesis 31), but when he was old he moved his whole family to Egypt during Joseph’s time there as second in command to Pharaoh (Genesis 46).

download hi-res map