Evidence for Serug, Nahor and Terah (Genesis 12)

Genesis 12
According to the Old Testament, the patriarchs’ original homeland was in South-Central Turkey, in an area known as Aram Naharaim (Gen 24:10) or Paddan-Aram (25:20). Among the geological names of individuals listed in Genesis 11, three – Serug, Nahor and Terah – have survived from antiquity also as names of towns in this region. The names of these biblical characters have been preserved in the very area from which the Bible specifies the patriarchs to have originated.
Serug, Abram’s great-grandfather, fathered Nahor at age 30 and died at age 230 (11:22-23). His name, which corresponds to the place called Sargi in Assyrian inscriptions of the 7th century B.C., lives on as modern Sürüyc, 35 miles (56,5 km) northwest of Haran.
Nahor, Abram’s grandfather, fathered Terah at the age of 29 and died at age 148 (11:24-25). A town called Nahor is mentioned in 24:10 as the home of the descendants of Bethuel, another son of Nahor (24:24). This particular town is also mentioned in texts from Mari and Cappadocia from the 19th through the 18th cetury B.C., as well as in Assyrian inscriptions from the 14th century B.C. Later Assyrian records from the 7th century B.C. refer to it as Til Nakari, which means “Mound of Nahor”. Allthough Nahor’s exact location is unknown today, numerous references in ancient texts place it in the Balikh River valley south of Haran.
Trah fathered Abram at the age of 70 and died at the age of 205 (11:26, 32). A town named Til Turahi (“Mound of Terah”) is mentioned in 9th century B.C. Assyrian texts as being north of Haran, also in the Balikh River.


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