LEAVING SIN CITY Terah (19)Genesis 11:27-3227Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. 28Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai 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. 32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
Terah receives very little mention in scripture. But his role in Biblical history was monumental. Terah was responsible for getting Abram (tomorrow’s Seed guest) away from “sin city.”
Terah’s clan was from a place called Ur, a neighboring city to Babylon located in the Mesopotamian region.
If you look at a historical map, it was quite a journey from Ur to Haran where Terah and his family initially settled. From there God called Abram (Genesis 12) to distance himself further away to the land of Canaan (which includes present day Israel). So what’s behind this cross-country move?
God was accomplishing separation for Abram and his family. Babylon and nearby cities (i.e. Ur) were a highly cultural and political mecca with flourishing arts and commerce and ideas... and rampant worship of a host of gods.
Centuries earlier Babylon suffered God’s judgment for its “Tower of Babel” experiment. God dispersed its inhabitants across the earth to slow down their progressive ways of thinking (i.e. a tower toward the heavens).
Just like progressive cultures today, being on the cutting edge of culture often means being on the cutting edge of sin. Throughout scriptures, Babylon is the symbol for just about everything that Eden initially was not - SIN.
Whenever God calls out evil and gives it a figurative reference, He frequently mentions “Babylon.”
In the book of Revelation, an angel from heaven describes “Babylon the Great” as a “dwelling place for demons” (18:2).
Another reason for getting away from Ur was the practicality of space. God was preparing to birth a new nation. Fresh land was needed to support the growing nation of fathers in the line of the Seed. Getting Abram out of Ur (and away from Babylon) and situated in a new land was very purposeful.
For the next two thousand years, Biblical history would be focused primarily on the land of Canaan and, at times, nearby Egypt.
And what little town was located in the heart of Canaan? Yes, Bethlehem! Look online at a map of ancient Babylon. Locate the nearby city of Ur. And if you Google the location of the “Garden of Eden,” where was it likely located? Not far from Babylon! Can you see why God was interested in relocating Terah’s family to a new land? We look forward to your comments and questions below!
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