The name Haran means mountaineer. As he lived in Ur of the Chaldees, a city set on the flood plain between two rivers perhaps it means someone who tries hard to attain his goals. It was also the name of the place to which Abraham and his family migrated and of other people who appear later in the Scripture record. Luke has the whole family as the descendants of Shem, son of Noah in the 8th generation.. ( Luke 3 v 36).
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From the order was given in the scriptures ( Genesis 11 v 27) it seems he was the younger brother of Abram and Nahor, sons of Terah, so according to the chronology of the Bible as written by Bishop Ussher in the 17th century he was born some time after 1996 B.C. in the city of Ur, where he also died at a relatively young age, but not before he had at least three children; Lot and his sister’s Iscah and Milcah. Milcah became the wife of her uncle Nabor, and, according to some Jewish Talmudic sources, Sarah, wife of Abraham is another name given to Iscah.
Through Lot and his daughters Haran became the ancestor of both the Moabites ( who included Ruth, ancestress of both David and Jesus, and the Ammonites). Both these peoples being close neighbours of the descendants of Abraham. His father Terah, who was the person who initiated the family’s departure west from Ur, is mentioned by Luke in the genealogy of Jesus.( Luke 3 v 34).
World History Events during Haran’s Lifetime
According to the Jewish Book of Jubilees Ur, in what is now southern Iraq, was founded in 1687, after Noah’s flood. Haran’s ancestors, starting with his great grandfather Serug, are described as living in Ur Kaśdim. Not long after Haran’s time the city was destroyed by the Elamites and Amorites. Babylon, later to be the centre of a huge empire, was still a small town. In Britain, Stone Henge was being built and in various places, such as China, the Bronze age gradually replaced the late Stone Age as the skills of the smelting of ore were gradually refined. In Egypt, the potter’s wheel was well established as a useful tool and a postal system for the royal mail was established.
Around the time that Haran lived in Ur, many different gods were worshipped and the city traded with people near and far. The sign writing of earlier times became cuneiform there, being used to record trading deals, but also money given to temples. Brick making was well established, and the first palaces of the Minoans were being constructed on Crete, complete with a sewage system and bathrooms, but the Harappan civilization began to decline in India. Abraham and his family are not the only ones on the move. Aryans from the Eurasian steppes had migrated into what is now northern India and Pakistan and in China, there had been enough progress for the establishment of the very first zoo. It was at about this time that mammoths finally became extinct in Siberia.
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3 thoughts on “Haran – Brother of Abraham”
great information thank you
Thanks for this great summary. I think the Scripture states that Abram was born 60 years after Terah’s firstborn. Abram was 75 when they left Haran just after Terah died at the age of 205. Terah got his first born at the age of 70.
Most likely Haran was the first born because Nahor married his daughter.
It is not inconceivable that Lot was older than Abraham.