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City of Ur

QUESTION: The city of Ur


Why was the discovery of the city of Ur such an important find? The city of Ur was important, not only because it produced many valuable artifacts of extreme antiquity (including an inscription bearing the name of Belshazzar, the king of Daniel chapter 5), but also because it is the birthplace of the patriarch Abraham. The city of Ur is mentioned four times by name in the Old Testament, three times in the book of Genesis and once in the book of Nehemiah.

In Genesis 11, verses 28 and 31 we read, "Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. …Terah took Abram his son [i.e. Abraham; see Nehemiah 9:7 below], 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."

Again in Genesis 15 we read of God saying to Abraham, "I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it" (Genesis 15:7).

And finally, in Nehemiah chapter 9, in a prayer to God we read, "You are the LORD God, who chose Abram and brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name Abraham" (Nehemiah 9:7).

The remains of Ur are called today "Tell el-Mukayyar" and can be found near the city of Nasiriyah, south of Baghdad in modern day Iraq.

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