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Verses 10-31

The following ancestors of the Messiah are given: SHEM; ARPACHSHAD; SHELAH; EBER; PELEG, REU, SERUG; NAHOR; TERAH, and ABRAM (ABRAHAM). A check with the genealogy given by Luke (Luke 3:34-36) conforms exactly to this with the exception that Cainan is introduced between Shelah and Arpachshad, suggesting that the whole list may be abbreviated.

Genesis 11:27 provides the additional information that Terah had two other sons besides Abraham, Nahor (named after his uncle) and Haran, the father of Lot. This was probably given to explain the association of Lot with Abraham in subsequent chapters of Genesis. He apparently became, in fact, a kind of adopted son of Abraham, following the death of Haran in Ur of the Chaldees.

Genesis 11:28-29 relates the marriages of Nahor who married the daughter of Haran, and that of Abraham who married Sarah (Sarai), the daughter of Terah (evidently by a second marriage), making her thus his sister, or half-sister. This explains other subsequent events mentioned in Genesis.

Genesis 11:30 makes mention of the barrenness of Sarah.

Genesis 11:31 says, "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there."

There would appear to be frustration of some kind recorded here: "They went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there! What happened? Why did they not go where they started to go? We have no way of knowing. Some think that Terah, unwilling to leave the pagan culture of Ur completely out of his life, diverted the journey to Haran, where the culture of Ur was likewise entrenched. In any case, Abram was unable to leave Haran until Terah died. The call of God to Abram next to be related in Genesis 12, carried the specific that Abram should "leave his father's house, and his kindred"; and this seems to confirm the view that Terah had been the big hindrance at first. "Even, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor ... they served other gods" (Joshua 24:2). Leupold, following Luther, thought that Terah led the expedition out of Ur, but we see no need to accept this. Terah was an idolater, and his removal from Ur could very well have been for the purpose of frustrating any trip to Canaan whatever. Unger gives the following on the cultural and religious makeup of Ur and Haran:

"When Abraham migrated from Ur, the city was idolatrous, given over to the worship of the moon deity Nannar and his consort Nin-Gal; a sacred area and a ziggurat were devoted to this idolatry ... Nannar was also worshipped at Haran to which Terah migrated."[20]

Genesis 11:32 says, "The days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran."

We are including a special comment on this verse because of the alleged contradiction regarding the age of Terah and Abram's leaving Haran when he was 75 years of age (Acts 7:4). Genesis 11:26 says that Terah lived seventy years and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Well, here is how you get the "contradiction." This means that Terah was 70 when Abram was born. Does it really say that? No! It merely affirms that all three of Terah's sons were born AFTER he was 70 years of age, and it gives no hint whatever that Abram was even born first, one of the pure assumptions due to the prominence given his name in Genesis, but that prominence might have been the sole reason for naming Abram first. Therefore, he might well have been the YOUNGEST son. Since Terah died at age 205, as this verse says, and, since Abraham was 75 when he left Haran (Acts 7:4), then Terah was 130 years old when Abraham was born. Anyone can add it up. Well, was not that after Terah was 70 years of age? Of course! And the fact of Haran's having died in Ur at an age not specified, the presumption must be that he was the one born some 55 years earlier when Terah was only 70, thus being the oldest son and the first to die. People who like to hunt for "contradictions" will have to find something better than this!

This brings a great division of Genesis to a close. Whereas, the previous chapters have dealt with universal events, or events concerned with the history of all the Adamic race, the following chapters will take up the narrative relative to the deeds and fortunes of the "Chosen Nation," the posterity of Abraham through whom a Messiah to redeem all men was promised.

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