Friday, April 5, 2013

Babylonian UR, Today's Iraq Is Site of Breathtaking Find in Archaeological Dig

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  

Archaeologists from Britain have made an exciting find near Ur of Mesopotamia, the home of Abraham and his father Terah, the idol maker,  before they set out with nephew Lot for Canaan.  Ur is in southern Iraq.  Ur of the Chaldees  was an ancient Babylonian city situated on a former branch of the Euphrates River.  Past excavations in the ruins were conducted by Sir Leonard Woolley which revealed  the highly civilized nature of the city.  They also feel they had uncovered evidence of an extensive flood at an earlier date.  The Brits recently  uncovered a complex they think is about 4,000 years old that could have been an administrative center around the time Abraham lived there.

This is important since Abraham lived there.  He was the father is Ishmael and Isaac.  Ishmael's mother was Hagar, the maid of Sarah, his wife.   Ishmael was the ancestor of the Arab people.   Finally Sarah bore a son named  Isaac, ancestor of the Jewish people.  Ishmael and Hagar had been sent away from Abraham's compound because of the friction between the two women and the two sons.  Jews have the tradition that it was Isaac who Abraham was going to sacrifice to G-d while the Muslims tell it with Ishmael being the sacrifice.
To make matters more complicated, Isaac married Rebecca and she had twins, Esau and Jacob.  Again we have this split.  Esau became Jacob's enemy.  The story of the twins symbolizes the relationship between the two nations that ensued which developed into hostility.     Jacob-or Israel as he later was called  was the father of the Jewish people by being the father of 12 sons that became the 12 Tribes of Israel.   Ishmael's daughter then married Esau.

It was Stuart Campbell of Manchester University who led the dig in Iraq.  The complex they found was 80 yards on each side, a huge square of rooms around a large courtyard was 12 miles from Ur, which was the last capital of the Sumerian royal dynasties.  This would make the square footage to be 57,600 sq.feet.which is very large.

This compound is near the site of the Ziggurat or Sumerian temple.   Sumeria was a section in southern Babylonia which was named for a non-Semitic people who migrated there in prehistoric times and founded a series of city-states.  Its culture was the basis of Babylonian civilization and influenced the Semitic people of Accad.   Nimrod and Cush are connected with Sumerian tradition.  Nimrod, whose father was Cush,  was a biblical figure of Cushite origin who was a strong ruler of the kingdom of Babylon, Erech, Accad, etc.  Assyria was known as "the land of Nimrod."  Cush refers to tribes in Africa and southern Arabia.

They found a a 3.5 inch clay plaque showing a worshipper wearing a long, fringed robe.

Babylonia, also known as the land of Shinar or the Kasdim (Chaldees) seems to be the cradle of humanity and where man first revolted against G-d with the Tower of Babel.  Babylonian literature found in Ur have parallels in the Bible (Torah). such as the Flood.  The Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar II inherited the Assyrian Empire and restored Ur in the 6th century BCE.  He conquered Judah in 597 and 586 (fall of Jerusalem)  which resulted in the exile of many Jews to Babylon.  The 10 Tribes were exiled before this, so there was a large Jewish population there.  Many remained even after Cyrus allowed them to return to their land of Israel in 538 BCE.  .

Oregonian newspaper, 4/5/13 QuickREAD,  page A6, British archaeologists
Tanakh, Stone Edition
The New Jewish Encyclopedia


  1. Ashir wrote: "Very interesting!! But did you know Ishmael's mother wasn't just any Egyptian handmaid but she was the daughter of the Pharaoh. A princess or a mistress in her own means. According to the Midrash (Gen. R. xlv.), Hagar was the daughter of Pharaoh, who, seeing what great miracles God had done for Sarah’s sake (Gen. xii. 17), said: “It is better for Hagar to be a slave in Sarah’s house than mistress in her own.” In this sense Hagar’s name is interpreted as “reward” (“Ha-Agar” = “this is reward”). She was at first reluctant when Sarah desired her to marry Abraham, and although Sarah had full authority over her as her handmaid, she persuaded her, saying. “Consider thyself happy to be united with this saint.” Hagar is held up as an example of the high degree of godliness prevalent in Abraham’s time, for while Manoah was afraid that he would die because he had seen an angel of God (Judges xiii. 22), Hagar was not frightened by the sight of the divine messenger (Gen. R.l.c.). Her fidelity is praised, for even after Abraham sent her away she kept her marriage vow, and therefore she was identified with Keturah (Gen. xxv.1), with allusion to (Aramaic, “to tie”; Gen. R. lxi.). Another explanation of the same name is “to adorn,” because she was adorned with piety and good deeds (l.c.). It was Isaac who, after the death of Sarah, went to bring back Hagar to the house of his father; the Rabbis infer this from the report that Isaac came from Beer-lahai-roi, the place which Hagar had named (Gen. xvi. 14, xxiv. 62; Gen. R. lx.; see commentaries ad loc.). Source: Jewish Encyclopedia After Ishmael came of age, Hāajar returned to Egypt with her son, who was the grandson of the Pharaoh, and married him to an Egyptian woman. Gen 21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. Gen 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt."

  2. Ashir Khan And as far as i'm concerned with Esau, the Quran does not mention, Esau the brother of Jacob, the son of Isaac.
    Neither do the saying attributed to the Muhammad (pbuh), the Hadiths.
    the Quran rather speaks about Jacob in high esteem. and presents the story of Joseph and his brothers as a Moral lesson to the believers.
    Islam recognizes the possibility of the existence of a brother of Jacob as well as more sons of Isaac. But he isnt as relevant as certain Christians and Jews may think.
    Jews and Christians associate Esau with the Arab peoples, and the Children of Ishmael. Which isn't right at all. *Esau age 71, married Ishmael's daughter Mahalath, 583 yrs after flood, yr 2239. (Gen.28:5;)
    *So Esau visited his uncle Ishmael's family and married one of Ishmael's daughters, in addition to the wives he already had. His new wife's name was Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebojath and the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son. (Gen.28:9)
    Islam does not put Ishmael above Isaac nor Isaac above Ishmael, peace be to them both.
    Rather it raises both their status as blessed and guided and prophets and righteous men of God.
    the Quran considers all the sons of Abraham as part of the covenant and all those who follow the teaching given to Abraham.
    not only to a certain nation or person.