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What was Isaac's nationality?


Genesis 17:17

NKJV - 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?

Clarify Share Report Asked October 23 2017 1418557180 cindy simons

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
By immediate descent, Abraham and his wife Sarah (who was Abraham's half-sister (Genesis 20:12)) were both Chaldean (Genesis 11:27-29) which was one of the tribes or nationalities within the Babylonian Empire, living in southern Babylon. They originally lived in the Chaldean city of Ur, but left it to go to the land of Canaan (Genesis 11:31). Therefore, although Isaac was not born to Abraham and Sarah in Chaldea itself, he would have been Chaldean, as both his father and his mother were. A further discussion of this can be found at the following web address: https://www.gotquestions.org/Chaldeans.html.

Other passages of Scripture (such as Genesis 14:13) refer to Abraham as a Hebrew, but this pertains to the fact that he was descended from Eber (six generations prior)(Genesis 11:14-26). (Abraham was not called by God to be the father of the Jewish nation until Genesis 12:1, when he was living in Ur.)

October 24 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
Today, we don't really discriminate between the words nation, state, country, kingdom, etc., but in ancient times the distinctions between them were much more important.

State and country are traditionally concerned with sovereign government, its laws and its physical boundaries on the earth. Nationality describes the genetic descent of people from one or a group of ancestors. Any government or kingdom may include a number of distinct nationalities within its borders and which may speak different languages.

The nationality of Isaac would be traced back through Abraham to Heber and beyond to Shem, the son of Noah. So, Isaac's nationality would normally be Hebrew (those descending from Eber - the ones who according to legend did not lose their language at the fall of the tower of babel.)

Abraham lived under the political jurisdiction of the city of Ur of the Chaldeans until he left for Haran which was under a different jurisdiction,(perhaps of the Hurrians). Isaac was born in the land of Canaan, which seems to have been a political dependent of Egypt at that time (both were Hamitic in culture). Isaac's particular political identification may have been with the Amorites (Gen 15:16). 

Until several centuries ago, travel and residence between countries required little if any bureaucratic red tape compared to today, so Abraham's journey to the promised land didn't violate any government restrictions existing in ancient times.

October 24 2017 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

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