BAR 27:03, May/Jun 2001
Where Was Abrahams Ur? The Case for the Babylonian City
Hershel Shanks has reopened the debate raised long ago by Cyrus Gordon, about which Ur was Abrahams.a Was the patriarch born in some northern Mesopotamian Ur rather than in Babylonia? I believe the case for identifying the Ur (of the Chaldees) in Genesis 11:28, 31 (compare with Nehemiah 9:7) with Ur, now Tell el-Muqayyar, in southern Babylonia, remains strong, although the available information precludes certainty. For our purposes, I assume that there was a man named Abraham and that the stories about him are very ancient.