NIV - 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.
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Haran was in northeast Mesopotamia on the river Belias, about sixty miles above its confluence with the Euphrates. It was a trade center on the route from Ninevah to Carchemish (Ezek. 27:23), and the chief seat of worship of the moon god Sin. Here is where Isaac and Jacob got their wives and where the latter brought up most of his family (Gen. 24:1--Gen. 35:29). See 2Ki. 19:12; Isa. 37:12; Acts 7:2,4. It is spelled as Charran in N..T.days (Acts 7:2,4). It is located in modern day Syrian border.
Great question, Chip Fox! Ḥarrān, also known as Carrhae, was a major ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia whose site is in the modern village of Harran, Turkey, 44 kilometers southeast of Şanlıurfa. It was where Terah, his son Abram (Abraham), his nephew Lot, and Abram's wife Sarai settled en route to Canaan, coming from Ur of the Chaldees (Genesis 11:26-32). Wikipedia
The location of Haran is traditionally considered to be in the northwest area of Mesopotamia where there are places named Haran and Nahor. But an examination of various verses actually places it in another location in Syria. Abraham went to Haran after he left Ur, Genesis 12:4-5 and Acts 7:2, 4. To this same area, Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for Isaac. It was not Ur, the land Abraham came from, Genesis 24:5, but the land he had once lived in and where his relatives were, Genesis 24:4. Also, this was the same land to where Isaac sent Jacob, Genesis 27:43, 28:10, and 29:4. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all had connections to Haran. The location of Haran is connected to a place which in Hebrew is called ‘Aram-Naharaim,’ It is often translated as ‘Mesopotamia’ which means “the land between the rivers.” However, it is not the correct meaning, nor is it even in the Mesopotamian region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. ‘Aram-Naharaim’ means ‘Aram of the two rivers.’ ‘Aram’ is the name for ‘Syria.’ In Syria, a village exists ten miles east of Damascus, Genesis 15:2. It is called Harran al-`Awamid (of the Pillars), and it is located between two rivers, the Abana[h] and Pharpar Rivers (see II Kings 5:12), which fits the description of ‘Aram of the two rivers.’ Another name for this area is ‘Padan-Aram’ meaning ‘the plain of Aram,’ Genesis 28:2-7, 31:18, 33:18, 35:9, 26, 46:15, and 48:7. Furthermore, this place is connected to ‘Laban of Syria,’ i.e., ‘Aramean,’ Genesis 25:20, 28:5, 31:20, 24. All indications are that this Haran is in Syria where it appears on many maps. Another evidence that Abraham was not in northwest Mesopotamia is the connection of Abraham to Damascus. Historians such as Josephus noted that Abraham reigned at Damascus. Abraham refers to Damascus, Genesis 15:2, which literally reads, “the heir of my house is this Damesek (of) Eliezer.” The northwest region was considerably out of the way for one traveling from Ur to Canaan. But if Syria were a stop on the way to Canaan, then there is a more direct route. In Ezra 8:15, Ezra mentioned gathering the people, who were traveling from Babylon to Jerusalem, “by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days.” Then in 8:31 he said, “Then we departed from the river of Ahava…to go to Jerusalem.” Ahava (Ivah in II Kings 18:34, and Ava in II Kings 17:24) is a city on the Euphrates, now known as ‘Hit.’ Maps show it is due east of Damascus. A modern highway, likely following the ancient route, connects Ahava and Damascus. And part way, the same highway branches off to go to Jerusalem. Ezra likely started out on the same route from Babylon to go to Jerusalem as Abraham did from Ur to go to Haran. Getting the right Haran is important. The Haran that the patriarchs were familiar with is not in any region of Mesopotamia, but in Syria.
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