Tag Archives: Abram

Gilbert House Fellowship #14: Genesis 15-18

Abraham_and_the_Three_AngelsWE PICK up the story of Abram at Genesis chapter 15.  We talk about Yahweh’s covenant with Abram, including the land promised to his descendants; Sarai’s impatience with the promise of an heir, and the trouble that created with (and for) Hagar and Ishmael; Yahweh’s promise of Isaac and the new names He gave to Abraham and Sarah; and Abraham’s humble, reverent intercession for Sodom.

land promise to AbramAt left is one interpretation of the area included in the land promised to Abram by Yahweh. The Hebrew in Gen. 15:18 indicates that the “river of Egypt” is not the Nile, but rather Wadi El-Arish, which extended southeast from the Mediterranean Sea along the traditional border between Egypt and Israel, and so excludes the Sinai peninsula.

Other interpretations limit the promise to the area roughly occupied today by Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan, and most of Syria, which was occupied for a time–and thus fulfilled–during the reign of Solomon.

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Gilbert House Fellowship #13: Genesis 12-14

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

OUR WEEKLY study continues as we return from Job to the Book of Genesis and take up the story of Abram. We’ll discuss his journey from (and the actual location of) Ur of the Chaldees, the separation from his nephew Lot, the War of the Nine Kings, and the mysterious King of Salem, Melchizedek.

Rough map of Abraham's Ur plus the general locations of the Chedorlaomer alliance (click to enlarge)

Rough map of Abraham’s Ur plus the general locations of the Chedorlaomer alliance (click to enlarge)

Interesting side study: Where Is Abraham’s Ur? by Cyrus H. Gordon (link opens PDF document). Gordon, who passed away in 2001, was a noted scholar of Near Eastern cultures and ancient languages. He served as the Center for Ebla Research at New York University.

The takeaway:

The notice in the December 1976 BAR (“The Promise of Ebla,” BAR 02:04) that a new Ebla tablet refers to “Ur in Haran,” reopens the discussion of where Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham’s birthplace, was located. While we would welcome the full publication of the Ebla tablet, the Biblical evidence is by itself conclusive in placing Ur of the Chaldees in the Urfa-Haran region of south central Turkey, near the Syrian border, rather than in southern Mesopotamia where it is located on so many “Biblical” maps.

See also the article Sharon referenced during the study that places Ur of the Chaldees/Chaldeans not far from the ruins of Haran in southwestern Turkey, near the Syrian border.

Possible route of Chedorlaomer's alliance as they defeated the clans of giants and then the coalition of five kings near Sodom and Gomorrah (click to enlarge)

Possible route of Chedorlaomer’s alliance (click to enlarge)

And here is a link to several maps that, while hand-drawn, give a good idea of where the battles in the War of Nine Kings took place, culminating with the Battle of the Valley of Siddim, near Sodom and Gomorrah, and concluding with Abram’s raid on Chedorlaomer and his allies to rescue the captives of Sodom, which included his nephew, Lot.

Here is the article Derek referred to that describes excavations at the ancient city of Hamoukar and evidence of its ill-fated battle with the forces of Uruk. If Nimrod is identical to the Sumerian king Enmerkar, the time of the battle at Hamoukar roughly coincides with the time of Nimrod’s rule. Genesis 10 tells us “[t]he beginning of his kingdom was Babel (possibly Eridu, site of the ancient temple of Enki that is possibly the historical Tower of Babel), Erech (Uruk), Accad (Akkad), and Calneh (identity uncertain, but possibly Kullan-Köy in northern Syria), in the land of Shinar (Sumer).” (Genesis 10:10)

As it was the first Sunday of the month, we celebrated communion during the fellowship. If you like, be prepared with a cup of juice and some type of unleavened bread such as a cracker or bit of flour tortilla.

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Gilbert House Fellowship #5 – Genesis 10-11

Tower of Eridu

Artist’s depiction of the “Tower of Babel” – the temple of Enki at Eridu

WE CONTINUE our study of the Book of Genesis, picking up in chapter 10, the Table of Nations, and continue through the Tower of Babel episode and down the generations to the beginning of the story of Abraham.

Key questions: Who was Nimrod, and what was so important about the Tower of Babel that Yahweh was compelled to personally intervene?

Some study resources:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


Please note: This week, we are changing the fellowship from a live video stream to a live webcast via BlogTalkRadio. BTR’s chat room is easier to use than Google’s, and we hope this will make it easier to engage in real time virtual discussion of the text.

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