Wednesday Studies No. 11
Takeaway from Genesis 14
Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, Zuzim in Ham, Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, Horites in their Mount Seir, En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), Amalekites, Amorites, Hazazon-tamar.
2Tim 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
27 Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 Terah 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 out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. 32 The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.
1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
4 So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him. 8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. 9 Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the *Negev.
This is where we understand God to be El.
Ur was his native city, he was a Sumerian. It is probably a mistake to think of Abraham as part of a wandering group of people who lived outside the walls, and only nominally attached to Ur.
Points to consider
1. Terah, Terach, appears to have a Sumerian root (Tirhu = “Oracle Priest”)
2. The name Abram appears in many Sumerian writings = “Father Beloved”
3. The Akkadians conquered the Sumerians and the blend of the languages became the lingua Franca of the region, using cuneiform.
4. He left the Gods of his ancestors (Sumerian) and heard God in Haran in the middle of his years, (Joshua 24:2) “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors-Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor… served other gods.”
5. Most analysis has the date of the story around 2100 BC,
6. Although Ur was a Sumerian city, under Akkadian rule it flourished.
7. Moving up river from Ur to Haran, was actually returning to the homeland of the Akkadians
So, Abraham wrote in cuneiform in the Akkadian language while in Haran. When he heard God he went to Canaan as a stranger or alien. And he became proficient in the local tongue.
When Akkad fell, there was a brief time of confusion when the Sumarian kings revived briefly, only to be conquered by the southern Akkadian Babylonia. In the north the Akkadian Assyria was to rise, and the two competed until Babylon’s fall to Assyria in approx 1600 BC . The Arameans had moved into Assyria and their language had become the standard for Assyria and eventually replaced the Akkad/Assyrian/Babylonian language as the lingua Franca. The Arameans spread everywhere in the MidEast and their language became known as Aramaic.
(The language of the Exile was Aramaic in 600 BC)
Around 2000 BC Canaanite was the local written language, the writing script seems to be the precursor to both the Hebrew Script and the Phoenician. In the cities of the plains it became Phoenician in the mountains it became Hebrew. Eventually the Canaanite peoples ceased to exist, only to be replaced by the Philistines.
So what about Hebrew? The earliest written Hebrew that we have is about 1000 BC (it ceased to be a spoken language around 200 AD.) However, Moses 1390-1271 BC and he wrote the first five books obviously in his lifetime so a written Hebrew existed by this time.
The invasion of the Sea Peoples in 1175 BC the Peleset became the Philistines. And the Peleset were probably Ancient Greek. The armor of Goliath is almost an exact description of Ancient Greek Mycenaean, the battle of Troy.
The final final takeaway is this…In God’s time. His word came to us. It took practice, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice Practice Practice.
Just as the trials of the Patriarchs, the Judges, the Prophets, they all had to go through spiritual growth. So did the language and the ability to freeze the thoughts of God, first in scrolls, then in Books.