Abraham was a Hurrian

Pixie told us:

Deuteronomy 32:8 When the Most High divided the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

He interprets like this:

"This is referring to how the people of the world (as it was understood at the time) were divided up amongst the Gods by the head of the Pantheon, El, with the Hebrews being allotted to Yahweh (similarly: Melqart was the God of Tyre; Chemosh of Moab; Tanit and Baal Hammon of Carthage; Kaus of Edom; Moloch of Ammon; Dagon of the Philistines)."[1]

Here he presents a view that reduces the OT to a set of ideological propaganda notes purpotrated by a group of zealots who serve one member of a pagan pantheon [the Gd of the OT] in opposition to those who worship other members. This sets up J  as the head God in opposition to all other gods whereas they are coming out of a society which recognizes more than one god. I still find a lot wrong with this reading of that passage on portions (Deu 38:2).

Yet I will brackett that for now and deal with it in another essay. Here I will defend the lynch pin of my overall posistion.My overall position is that the Hebrwes had influences from beyond Canaanite mythology that their notion of God was one of these sources. Thus it cannot be asserted that they were merely worshipping this mythological figure. The importance of this realization is that J [judeo Christian god of OT] is not merely the Canaanite mythical figure;the lych in is my argument that Abraham came from a place beyond Cannon and predated the Canaanite mythos of Deuteronomy 32:8. He brought his revelation of God who had been accessed tlgh the figure of a Mesetopamam  god.

Most scholars agree with this notion as far as it goes. Of course many feel Abraham was not an historical figure but he still represents the influences that migrated from the other cultures  and became part of the Hebrew culture. They also disagree over where exactly "Abrham" came from.Ur of the Chaldeans is not satisfactory since it was not called that until a thousand years after Abram's alleged time."Scholars are still puzzled over the appearance of 'Ur of the Chaldeans' in Gen 11:28 and 31. Proposed solutions to the problem have either called it an anachronism or an example of post-Mosaic textual updating, or else they hold that Moses wrote the text just as it stands because he knew about the Chaldeans in his day."[2]

The name Ur was acommon name for a city in that the Babylonian word for city was uru. Because of this there may have been many cities of that day identified as Ur. The most famous of these today is the archeological site of “the Babylonian Ur” at Mugheir near the Persian Gulf. Many contemporary scholars identify this Ur as the Ur of the Chaldeans in which Abram was raised. Others disagree with this conclusion for one or more reasons. Even if the Babylonian Ur was not Abram’s hometown, what archeologists have discovered there gives us some insight into the nature of cities in that day.[3]


The literary construct of Abraham;s family was involved in the worship of many gods omdictie of the practice  of the culture.  
Terah, whose name means“traveler,” was a worshiper of idols (Josh. 24:2), probably involved in the worship of the moon god. When years later the Prophet Isaiah wanted to remind the Jews of their humble beginnings, he said, “Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you” (Isa. 51:1-2).[4]


Abraham is more clearly linked with Haran in modern times identified with Harran "now a village of Şanlıurfa, Turkey."[5] Someplace Abraha and the Hurrians "northern Iran and the Caucasus regions.  This is the original home of the ancient Hurrians, who migrated from there to northern Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium B.C."[6]

The stories of Abraham are not immune to these cultural changes. As a result, we do not know whether Abraham actually existed. But even if he did, many (or most) of the details in the Abraham stories are legendary and not historical. Some details that do seem to retain ancient historical memories are the importance of upper Mesopotamia (the region of Haran) as the ancestral homeland and the worship of a deity named El (“God”). Both of these features are important in Amorite tribal cultures of the early second millennium B.C.E. So it seems that ancient details are occasionally preserved in the stories. But the stories are not about a half-forgotten Amorite tribal figure; they are about the biblical Abraham, who is the patriarch of Israel and the chosen one of God.[7]


John Ahmaranian, like most of the scholars quoted so far believes that Abraham was a Hurrian [see fn9],  his theory has Abraham coming out of a  northern area of Armenia from a people of common ancestry with modern Armeians,  Alexander & Baker. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, (ISBN 0830817816, ISBN 978-0-8308-1781-8) 2003, p. 379  Huehnergard, John. A Grammar of Akkadian (Second Edition, 2008), p. 36, p. 497 Despite a world filled with representations the Tribal God Called Abraham in the form of something he could understand and the so called"gods."
When Abraham left ..., he never came back. He said "good bye" to his home, his homeland, his broth¬ers, his extended family, and the graveyard of his father. He was not allowed anymore to be attached to any fortune, memory or glory, because "ԷՆ" (The One Who Is), The One Who called him for the new divine adventure, will tell him : "I am the Lord; (I Am "ԷՆ",՛ and this is my name. I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven things." (IS. 42:8); Leave ARland, Abram, separate yourself from Hurriland, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee" (Gen. 12:1). Extract from Part II, Chapter 2, p. 111.[8][9]


The view that Abraham moved in from outside Cannan is extremely accepted by modern schilarshp is as strong as the assuptionthat plyteism proceeds monotheism. I believe polytheism was a stage in huan social evollution and it preceeded monothism. That does nt prevent Beimg itself fromreealing itself in therom of a God because htatisswhatwe understand, we represemt beingitself thorugh the idea of A God.

  Notes

[1]Pixie
[2]William D. Barrick. "UR of the Chaldeas Model for dofficult passages"TMSJ 20/1 (Spring 2009) 7-18 PDf
https://www.tms.edu/m/tmsj20a.pdf
Dr. Barrick is Professor Emeritus Old Testament at The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, CA (1997–present). He is Old Testament editor for the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (Logos/Lexham) and writer of the Genesis volume.

[3]Elmer L. Towns,6"THE FIRST CALL OF ABRAM," A Journey Through the Old Testament,scholars crossing,PDF 1989;
https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=towns_books

 11:27-31; Acts 7:1-4) (2092 s. c.)

REASONS FOR A NORTHERN LOCATION OF “UR OF THE CHALDEANS”

1 Traditionally, until1850, Urfa near Haran in southern Turkey was considered the Ur of Abram. Geographic references in Scripture seem to support a northern location for Ur. 2 The social-legal traditions of the patriarchs tend to point to a northern origin. 3 Babylonian Ur never referred to as Ur of the Chaldeans in the cuneiform records found there. 4 Lower Mesopotamia was not called Chaldea until 1,000 years after Abraham. Abraham lived in Mesopotamia before coming to Haran (Acts 7:2).

5 When Abraham sent his servant to the land of his birth to find a wife for Isaac, he went to Haran (Gen. 24:4). Jacob later fled to Paddan Aram in the same area when fleeing from Esau. The family of Abram appears to have established themselves in the north. 6 The ancient designation of a northern area as “Holdai” is thought to be related to the expression “of the Chaldeans.”
7 The patriarchs are described as Arameans suggesting identification with a northern race (Jacob, Deut. 26.5, Laban, Gen. 31:47).
8 The Babylonian Ur is on the wrong side of the Euphrates River according to Joshua’s description (Josh. 24:2-3).
9 A tablet from Elba reportedly refers to an Ur of Haran.
10 Chaldea is described in the context of several northern cities (cf. Gen. 22.22, Isa. 23:13). The city of Ur was a prosperous city during the time of Abram’s childhood. Excavations at that site have uncovered an abundance of both public buildings and comfortable private homes. It was a city of law and order and appears to have been both a producing and trading center. It was a center largely devoted to the moon god Nauna(r)-Sin. Many of the names associated with the cult of lunar worship including Terah, Sarah, Milcah, Nahor, Haran, and Laban. Terah himself was involved in worshiping and serving idols (Josh. 24:2). According to Jewish legend, Terah made idols until his son Abraham convinced him of the folly of worshiping a powerless idol. Terah’s decision, however, to leave Ur and dwell in Haran suggests he never abandoned his idol worship. Haran was one of the centers for the worship of the moon god. If the conversion of Terah was the reason for the family’s departure from Ur, one would think he would have chosen somewhere other than Haran for his new home. Two other reasons might be suggested for the family move. The first may have been associated with the death of Haran (Gen. 11:28). The Hebrew expression ‘al pene literally means Haran died “upon the face” of his father. The expression emphasizes that Terah saw and survived his son’s death. According to the customs of Ur, the body of Haran would have been placed in a baked ceramic coffin and kept in the family home. The death of Haran in this way would be continually remembered by the family. The significance of this becomes apparent with the discovery by Sir Leonard Wooley of an anti-Semitic racial prejudice which was becoming increasingly common during the time of Abram. Tablets found at Ur reveal a general northerly migration of the Habiru tribe (cf. 14:13, Abram the Hebrew) which was usually the result of these Aramaean settlers attempting to escape economic and other forms of oppression. The death of Haran may have been the result of an antiSemitic attack; i.e., a mob lynching or riot. A second reason for Terah’s departure has been suggested in the politics of the day as it related to Terah’s economic interests. Abraham’s possession of camels (12:16; 24:10) suggests Terah may have been involved in international trade to some degree. About the time of Terah’s departure from Haran, Hammurabi was engaged in blocking the overland trade routes north of Ur. Moving to Haran would insure greater freedom to move his goods to other cities. The third reason is that God had called Abraham and he would not desert his family, so Terah went with Abraham. Terah’s reasons for leaving Ur are not known. In his address before the Sanhedrin, Stephen reminded his listeners: “The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, `Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you’” (Acts 7:2-3). When he was called of God, Abram left Ur for the nomadic life of the wilderness. The shores of the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea) were called the edge of the world. When Abraham met the “God of glory,” he was ready to follow Him to the edge of the world.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Lloyd and Brice. Harran, Anatolian Studies, Vol. 1, 1951, p. 77-111

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haran_(biblical_place)#Chronology

[6]Samuel Griswold,"Urkesh, Abraham's Ur of the Chadees?" The Times of Israel, the of Giswald (Nov 21,2014)
https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/urkesh-abrahams-ur-of-the-chaldees/

[7]Ronald Hendel, "Araham: Did Abraham Acutually Exist?" Bible ODyssey,2019 https://www.bibleodyssey.org/people/main-articles/abraham Ronald Hendel is the Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent book is The Book of Genesis: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2012).
 
[8]John Ahmaranian, The Hurro-Armenian Origins of Abraham, Pano, Texas:Windsor Productions,January 1, 2004,111,
 
[9]Hurrian Religion Encycioeidia.co,
https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hurrian-religion

The term Hurrian is an et hnic designation, and Subartu (roughly equivalent to the Hurrian Aranzah ) is the Sumero-Akkadian name of the Hurrian-dominated area north and northeast of the Tigris. Mitanni was a Hurrian kingdom of the mid-second millennium in northern Syria and Iraq that had an Indo-Aryan aristocracy, and Urartu (whence Ararat) was a successor kingdom that flourished in southern Armenia circa 800 bce. The Hurrian language, written in Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform (and, later, in Ugaritic alphabetic cuneiform), is neither Semitic nor Indo-European in origin.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Joe: Most scholars agree with this notion as far as it goes. Of course many feel Abraham was not an historical figure but he still represents the influences that migrated from the other cultures and became part of the Hebrew culture.

If Abraham was an invention from around the time of the captivity, then that is quite a different situation. In that case we have Babylonia influencing the religion, and I would very much agree that that is the case. I think most modern scholars would say Genesis was written around the time of the captivity, which fits perfectly.

On the other hand, if you are claiming Abraham was a historical figure, then you need some good evidence to support that, never mind where he came from.

Joe: I believe polytheism was a stage in huan social evollution and it preceeded monothism.

Thank goodness you finally concede that point. However, it makes me wonder what you are trying to debate here.

Pix
Joe: Most scholars agree with this notion as far as it goes. Of course many feel Abraham was not an historical figure but he still represents the influences that migrated from the other cultures and became part of the Hebrew culture.

PX: If Abraham was an invention from around the time of the captivity, then that is quite a different situation. In that case we have Babylonia influencing the religion, and I would very much agree that that is the case. I think most modern scholars would say Genesis was written around the time of the captivity, which fits perfectly.

You are making several silly assumptions, you assume redaction is writing. Genesis was not written in the exile it was redacted. The version we have is from then but that doesnt mean they didn't have a version before,

You obviously did not read my essay because I quoted guys who think there is historical evidence of ab, but doesn;t matter because he represents historical influences,


PX: On the other hand, if you are claiming Abraham was a historical figure, then you need some good evidence to support that, never mind where he came from.

almost all of the thin he came from Haran

Joe: I believe polytheism was a stage in huan social evollution and it preceeded monothism.

P:XThank goodness you finally concede that point. However, it makes me wonder what you are trying to debate here.

I always did you just don;t listen

Pix

Anonymous said…
Joe: You are making several silly assumptions, you assume redaction is writing. Genesis was not written in the exile it was redacted. The version we have is from then but that doesnt mean they didn't have a version before,

So we need to know part of the narrative dated from the captivity and what was earlier. Further, you need to show it was understood to be history, rather than myth.

Joe: You obviously did not read my essay because I quoted guys who think there is historical evidence of ab, but doesn;t matter because he represents historical influences,

Your reference two is a guy who thinks Moses wrote ther first five books of the Bible, and that seems quite personable to reference three, which takes Lucifer as a historical person!

Joe: almost all of the thin he came from Haran

But plenty think he did not even exist!

Joe: I always did you just don;t listen

So why were you arguing so vehemently against me then?

Pix
Your reference two is a guy who thinks Moses wrote ther first five books of the Bible, and that seems quite personable to reference three, which takes Lucifer as a historical person!

that is thought police at work. not a valid argument,


So why were you arguing so vehemently against me then?

My passionate nature
Anonymous said…
Joe: that is thought police at work. not a valid argument,

You are citing a reference that has Lucifer rebelling again God as a historical fact. Any Biblical scholar worthy of the name will know that "Lucifer" is a sarcastic taunt for the King of Babylon. If the author of your reference does not know that, why would I suppose he has a clue about anything else in the Bible?

Pix
Anonymous said…
I have looked in more detail at that third reference, just because it is so laughably nonsense (though not with regards to his claims about Abraham). You can find it here.

Pix
Pix you have no idea what scholarship is you want to pick out the weakest one and pretend like this denies my scholarship and my views, why don't you pick on the guy from Berkeley? Hendel,

you think if I quote someone I must agree because you would never think in temrs oh a cross section,
Pix is all about diversion. Notice how he avoids the obvious that both sides agree Hebrew is not just Cannonite mythology,
Anonymous said…
Joe: you think if I quote someone I must agree because you would never think in temrs oh a cross section,

I think you come up with very much minority views, and then trawl the internet trying to find something - anything - that supports that view, regardless of its scholarly value.

I think that if you cite someone as an authority then that indicates you consider him an authority. Do you consider Elmer Towns an authority on the Bible?

My original contention was that polytheism pre-dates monotheism. After your passionate arguing on the other thread, you now agree.

I never said Hebrew is just Canaanite mythology; I said it had roots in common. Great, one guy (and perhaps his wife) came from elsewhere; that does not the the entire people did. It is very doubtful there was a single man from whom all Hebrews descended. Far more likely they broke away as a sizeable group from whatever earlier group they were part of. The Joseph myth is really just a way to link together the twelve tribes; it may well pre-date captivity, but that does not make it true.

Pix

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Joe: you think if I quote someone I must agree because you would never think in temrs oh a cross section,

I think you come up with very much minority views, and then trawl the internet trying to find something - anything - that supports that view, regardless of its scholarly value.

You do not have a quote by a real scholar the one fundi I quote you ignore guys from Berkeley and Yale, you have no proof it's a minority view, you assert your view must be a majority even your own guys would agree with me no one thinks Abraham was fro Canaan!

PX:I think that if you cite someone as an authority then that indicates you consider him an authority. Do you consider Elmer Towns an authority on the Bible?

More than you are. Scholarship is ot easured by thevaldity ofone;s ipinion,

My original contention was that polytheism pre-dates monotheism. After your passionate arguing on the other thread, you now agree.

I always agreed. Unlike you I am willing to consider the arguments of the other side, A lot of my argument is hypothesis testing,

PX:I never said Hebrew is just Canaanite mythology; I said it had roots in common. Great, one guy (and perhaps his wife) came from elsewhere; that does not the the entire people did.

It des because in all likelihood that one guy represents the whole people in their primordial form. Abraham was not just one guy. He was more like the mayor of a small traveling town.

PX: It is very doubtful there was a single man from whom all Hebrews descended. Far more likely they broke away as a sizeable group from whatever earlier group they were part of.

I have already covered that. That only helps my position.

The Joseph myth is really just a way to link together the twelve tribes; it may well pre-date captivity, but that does not make it true.

That does not mean they wren't in Egypt. The Egyptian connection is too strong to ignore most scholars agree with it.

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