Terah or Térach is a Hebrew term meaning “Ibex, wild goat”, or “Wanderer; loiterer” may refer to a biblical person, from the book of Genesis, who was the father of the Patriarch Abraham, offspring of Shem. He is mentioned in the Hebrew (Old Testament) Bible and in the New Testament. According to the Bible Timeline Terah was born in 2126 BC.
Genealogy and Highlights:
The majority of information regarding Terah is recorded in the book of Genesis. Terah’s father was Nahor, son of Serug, offspring of Shem. They and several of their antecedents were polytheistic – believed in multiple Gods. Regarding his offspring, Terah had three sons: Abram, Haran, and Nahor. The whole family, even those grandchildren, resided in Ur of the Chaldees. One of his grandchildren was Lot, whose father Haran, Terah’s son, passed away while residing in Ur.
Terah’s son, Abram, had an encounter with God who told him to take the whole family and leave Ur to go the land of Canaan. Terah coordinated the trip planning to go to this new place. However he ended up living in Haran a city that was along the way. He passed away in Haran at the age of 205 years.
Points of View
Christian. The time of Terah is established from a Bible verse in the New Testament in the book of Acts. God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia and commanded him to leave the Chaldeans.
Rabbinical critics. Terah is the one who told the people to leave Ur Kasdim in the book of Genesis not Abram.
Life Span. In the year 1921 B.C. Abraham was 75 years old when his father, Terah, passed away at 205 years of age as indicated in the book of Genesis. Consequently, Terah was 130 years old when Abraham was born (205 -75 =130). The detail in Genesis 11:26 that says, “Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran” (NKJV), cannot signify that Abraham (Abram) was born when Terah was just 70 years old. Rather, Abraham is listed first since it was through his seed that God would create a promised land a people and that the Messiah would arrive. Accordingly, Genesis 11:26 is highlighting his significance rather than his chronology.
Biblical references to Terah:
Genesis 11:24-32. Account of Terah’s family line.
Joshua 24:2. Terah as dweller beyond the Euphrates River and an idolater.
Genesis 11:28. For some unknown reason Terah undertook a Southwesterly migration to go to the land of Canaan. They came unto Haran, and dwelt there in his old age. He went with his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai, and his grandson Lot.
Genesis 11:31-32. Terah’s death.