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Genesis 11:27-32

Context
The Record of Terah

11:27 This is the account of Terah.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 11:28 Haran died in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans, 1  while his father Terah was still alive. 2  11:29 And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, 3  and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; 4  she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no children.

11:31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (the son of Haran), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and with them he set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. When they came to Haran, they settled there. 11:32 The lifetime 5  of Terah was 205 years, and he 6  died in Haran.

1 sn The phrase of the Chaldeans is a later editorial clarification for the readers, designating the location of Ur. From all evidence there would have been no Chaldeans in existence at this early date; they are known in the time of the neo-Babylonian empire in the first millennium b.c.

2 tn Heb “upon the face of Terah his father.”

3 sn The name Sarai (a variant spelling of “Sarah”) means “princess” (or “lady”). Sharratu was the name of the wife of the moon god Sin. The original name may reflect the culture out of which the patriarch was called, for the family did worship other gods in Mesopotamia.

4 sn The name Milcah means “Queen.” But more to the point here is the fact that Malkatu was a title for Ishtar, the daughter of the moon god. If the women were named after such titles (and there is no evidence that this was the motivation for naming the girls “Princess” or “Queen”), that would not necessarily imply anything about the faith of the two women themselves.

5 tn Heb “And the days of Terah were.”

6 tn Heb “Terah”; the pronoun has been substituted for the proper name in the translation for stylistic reasons.



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