Friday, June 12, 2009

Abraham's travels & the City of Ur

(photos from: "See the Good Land" brochure)
Geographical stats & overview of Ur
"Ur of the Chaldeans," the city in Mesopotamia where Abram's (Abraham's) brother Haran (and likely Abraham himself) was born. (Genesis 11:28; Acts 7:2, 4) Usually Ur is identified with Mugaivir which is W of the present bed of the Euphrates and some 240 km (150 mi) SE of Babylon. Ruins there cover an area that is about 910 by 730 m (3,000 by 2,400 ft.) Once a center of worship of the moon-god Nanna (or Sin), the site's most prominent feature is still a temple tower, or ziggurat, some 61 m long, 46 m wide, and 21 m high (200 by 150 by 70 ft.)Though at present the Euphrates River runs about 16 km (10 mi) E of the site of Ur, evidence indicates that in ancient times the Euphrates ran just W of the city."
Lifestyle & Education of the inhabitants of Ur
"Ruins of what appear to be private houses excavated at Ur (suggested by some as belonging to the period between the 20th and 16th centuries B.C.E.) show that they were constructed of brick, were plastered and whitewashed, and had 13 or 14 rooms surrounding a paved courtyard." (So basically it was Beverly Hills of the ancient world. lol)
"Among clay tablets found at the site were some used to teach cuneiform writing. Other tablets indicate that students there had multiplication and division tables and worked at square and cube roots. Many of the tablets are business documents.
From excavations at Ur, it thus appears clear that Abraham made notable material sacrifices when leaving that city. But, in faith, the patriarch was "awaiting the city having real foundations, the builder and creator of which city is God."
(Insight on the Scriptures - vol 2, pgs 1141 & 1142)
*imagine going from such a modern cushy lifestyle to living in tents in the desert and traveling around. Plus, think about him having to tell his wife Sarah the 'new plan' and her reaction! "um honey, I need to talk to you about something ... you better sit down for this." lol