See GE 23:19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. and GE 24:10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And how long would it have taken by camel, approximately?
Genesis 24:1 - 67
ESV - 1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh.
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I have not calculated the distance from an actual map, but references that I have seen indicate distances ranging between 600 and 700 miles. At an average distance by camel of 25-30 miles per day, this journey would have taken between three and four weeks.
❖ LOCATION: Haran was in northeast Mesopotamia (or in Padan-aram) 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. ❖ SIGNIFICANCE: Haran was a place where Terah settled with his son the Patriarch Abraham (who was known as Abram at that time), his nephew Lot, and Abram’s wife Sarai, all of them descendants of Arpachshad son of Shem, during their planned journey from Ur Kaśdim (Ur of the Chaldees) to the Land of Canaan. ❖ DISTANCE: It was a long and difficult journey of more than fourhundred miles (about 600km) from Canaan (Bethel) to Haran. Camels are very strong and can carry up to 900 pounds for 30 miles a day. Camels can travel at up to 50 miles per hour. It is about 2 weeks of journey.
The distance Abraham’s servant traveled to find a bride for Isaac is under 300 miles. This is figured by correctly identifying places. Although Abraham might been in Hebron at the time, having buried his wife Sarah there, Genesis 23:2, Beersheba is more likely the place since this was where Abraham lived, Genesis 22:19. This is also close to the area where the servant took Rebekah to Isaac, who came from Beer Lahai Roi south of Beersheba, Genesis 24:62. It is the destination that is in question. Abraham sent his servant to get a bride for Isaac from his country and his relatives, Genesis 24:4, 10. Many translations have ‘Mesopotamia,’ but the Hebrew name is ‘Aram Naharaim,’ which means ‘Syria of the two rivers.’ In the Bible, ‘Aram’ is ‘Syria.’ Isaiah 7:8 points out the head or capital of Syria (Hebrew Aram) is Damascus. A natural reaction is to consider the area as Mesopotamia because it is a land ‘of the two rivers,’ bounded by the Tigris and Euphrates. But other areas have two rivers as well, even one in Syria. East of Damascus, Syria, there are two notable rivers, the Abana(h) and Pharpar as the Syrian commander Naaman especially mentioned, II Kings 5:12. Abraham had come to Canaan from Haran, Genesis 12:5. Traditionally, scholars believe the area to be in the northwest region of Mesopotamia. But Stephen’s words in Acts 7:2, 4, show Haran is not in Mesopotamia, but altogether a different place. Even Abraham’s servant makes that distinction, Genesis 24:4-6. The servant was to not go to Mesopotamia from where Abraham had originated, but to where Abraham had been before coming to Canaan. There is a Haran, a village 14 miles east of Damascus between the Abana and Pharpar Rivers. It is called Harran al-`Awamid, literally, Harran of the Pillars, for the Roman basalt pillars there. A proof that Haran is in Syria, is the fact of Abram’s connection to Damascus, Genesis 15:2. Haran is also where Jacob went, Genesis 29:4, having been sent by his parents to Padan Aram, Genesis 28:7. Padan Aram, in the same region between these rivers, means the ‘plain of Syria,’ Genesis 25:20. It is a fertile land ideal for raising flocks. There Jacob served Laban, ‘the Syrian.’ Laban, the one Jacob served, must be the same as the brother of Rebekah. While there, Jacob raised a family, Genesis 35:23-26, until he left to return to Canaan, Genesis 31:18. It was not too far as Laban chased him some 90 miles, Genesis 31:22-23. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had ties to Aram Naharaim, Padan Aram, Damascus, and Haran, all the region between the rivers of Syria, which was not at all near Mesopotamia. This means the distance Abraham sent his servant to get a bride for Isaac was not as great as usually figured. The trip from Beersheba to Damascus is about 282 road miles. If a camel is doing 25-30 miles a day, the trip probably took Abraham’s servant no more than nine days.
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