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9 Therefore is the name of it, hundred years old, and begat Arcalled Babel, * because the LORD phaxad two years after the flood : did there confound the language 11 And Shem lived after he of all the earth: and from thence begat Arphaxad five hundred did the LORD scatter them abroad years, and begat sons and daughupon the face of all the earth.
10 s 1 These are the genera- 12 And Arphaxad lived five tions of Shem: Shem was an and thirty years, mand begat Sa
ki Cor. 14. 23. 1 ch. 10. 22. i Chron. 1. 17.
m Luke 3. 36.
action of the fiercest fire.' In regard to assistance of the winds; and the name this latter appearance, Sir R. K. Porter Babylon was imposed upon the ruins. has no doubt that the effect was produ- Till that period men were of one lanced by fire acting from above, and that guage; but then the gods sent among it was probably lightning. The cir- them a diversity of tongues. And cumstance is remarkable in connection tien commenced the war between with the tradition that the original tow- Saturn and Titan.' Finally Eupoler of Babel was rent and overthrown emus as cited by Alexander Polyby fire from heaven. At any rate it hister, affirms, "That the city of Babcannot now be seen without bringing ylon was first built by giants who to mind the emphatic prophecy of Jer- escaped from the food; that these giemiah, ch. 51. 25, 'I will stretch out ants built the most famous tower in all mine hand upon thee, and roll thee history; and that the tower was dashdown from the rocks, and will make ed in pieces by the almighty power of thee aburnt mountain.'—It may be re- God, and the giants dispersed and scatmarked that very striking testimonies tered over the face of the whole earth.' to the event here recorded are to be 10. These are the generations, &c. found in several ancient profane au- As appears from the preceding chapter, thors. Josephus quotes from one of the this is but a partial catalogue of Sybilline oracles the following words ; Shem's descendants; and such was all "When all mankind spoke the same that the writer's object required, which language, some of them elevated a was merely to introduce the history of tower immensely high, as if they would Abraham by tracing up his pedigree to ascend up into heaven; but the gods Shem. The effect of the flood in shortsent a wind and overthrew the tower, ening the term of human life is very and assigned to each a particular lan-perceptible on a comparison of this taguage; and hence the city of Babylon ble with that given chap. 5. 927.derived its name.' Abydenus, as quot. An hundred years old. Heb. ed by Eusebius, uses similar language; 672058 son of an hundred years; "There are who relate, that the first and thus uniformly where the same men, born of the earth (giants), when English word occurs. they grew proud of their strength and 11. Shem lived after he begat Arstature, supposing that they were more phaxad five hundred years. From excellent than the gods, wickedly at- which it appears that this venerable pa. tempted to build a tower where Baby- triarch had not only seen Methuaaleh lon now stands. But the work advan- and Lamech before the flood, and Abracing towards heaven, was overthrown ham after it, but that he was cotempoupon the builders by the gods, with the rary with Isaac for fifty years.
13 And Arphaxad lived after gat Serug two hundred and seven he begat Salah four hundred and years, and begat sons and daughthree years, and begat sons and ters. daughters.
And Serug lived thirty 14 And Salah lived thirty years, years, and begat Nahor : and begat Eber:
23 And Serug liver after he 15 And Salah lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, begat Eber four hundred and and begat sons and daughters. three years, and begat sons and 24 And Nahor lived nine and daughters.
twenty years, and begat 9 Terah. 16 - And Eber lived four and 25 And Nahor lived after he thirty years, and begat • Peleg: begat Terah an hundred and
17 And Eber lived after he be- nineteen years, and begat song gat Peleg four hundred and thirty and daughters. years, and begat sons and daugh- 26 And Terah lived seventy
years, and bejat Abram, Nahor, 18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and Haran. and begat Reu :
27 | Now these are the gene19 And Peleg lived after he he- rations of Terah: Terah begat gat Reu two hundred and nine | Abram, Nahor, and Haran: and years, and begat sons and daugh- Haran begat Lot. ters.
28 And Haran died before his 20 And Reu lived two and thir- father Terah in the land of his ty years, and begat p Serug. nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
21 And Reu lived after he ben 1 Chron. 1. 19. o Luke, 3. 35. p Luke, 3. 35. q Luke, 3. 34. r Josh. 24. 2.
1 Chron. 1. 26.
12. And Arphaxad lived. The Sep
them. In both cases the youngest tuagint here inserts a second Cainan, stands first on the ground of superior with an addition of one hundred and dignity. By comparing ver. 32 of this thirty years. This is followed by Luke chapter with ch. 12. 4, it is obvious that 3. 36, who brings in the same person Abraham was born, not when Teroh in the same way. But the Heb. text
was 70, but when he was 130 years old, both here and in 1 Coron. 1, is perfect which was 350 years after the flood, or ly silent on this subject, and the best A. M. 2008. Haran was undoubtedly chronologists have agreed in rejecting the eldest son. it as a spurious generation.
28. Haran died before his father. Heb. 26 And Terah lived seventy years, 17757-3ybefore the face of his father, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. or in his presence, while his father was That is, began to beget; he was seven. yet living—the same phrase in the origity years old before he had any children, nal which occurs Ex. 20. 3, ' Thou shalt and then had three sons one after an- have no other gods before me (3b-33).' other. But these sons are not set - In Ur of The Chaldees. Heb. down in the order of their birth; for 973 772 be-Oor Kusdim. This though Abram is first named it does not is the first mention which the Scripfollow that he was the first born, any tures make of the Kasdim or Chaldemore than Shem's being first named Who these people really were, among the sons of Noah, Gen. 9, 18, and whether they ever properly existed proves him to have been the eldest of as a nation, is, as Heeren remarks ono of the most difficult problems which | Mesopotamia, two days' journey east history presents.
From eastern anal of the Euphrates, sixty-seven miles ogy, it seems most probable that the north-east of Beer. The Jews, accorKasdim of the Scriptures translated disse to Mr. Wolff, still call the place Chaldeans, was a general name among by the name in the text 0770 778 the Shemitic nations for the northern
vor Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees, barbarians, though descended doubt- and it is a place of pilgrimage as the less from 7u3 Kesed (Chesed) the son kirth-place of Abraham, in whose honof Nahor, ard grandson of Terah, our the Moslems have a fine mosque, Gen. 22. 22. If so, the Chaldees here in the court of which is a lake teeming mentioned had not this name in the with fish which are held sacred to the time of which Moses speaks, but they patriarch' and not permitted to be were so called at the time in which he canght. Its ancient name 778 Oor, wrote. The term is used therefore by which signifies iight or fire, probably anticipation. At all events it is certain derived its name from the idolatry of that the conquering Chaldeans forced the Ignicolists or fire-worshippers, their way from the north, where their which was there established. The various hordes wandered over the primitive name of the city was chungsteppes of Mesopotamia, and finally ed by the Macedonians when they beoverwhelmed southern Asia, making came possessed of it to Edessa, and themselvus masters of the Syrian and under that name was the capital of a Babylonian plains, to which fact it is i territory called Osrhoene, occupying owing that the same country is indis-i the northern and most fruitful part of criminately called Babylonia and Chal- | Mesopotamia, and which, for several dea. The reader who wishes for a full centuries before Christ formed an indeler view of this subject is referred to pendent kingdom. Ils last king was Gesenius on Is. 38. 13, where the frag. Abgarus, of whom there is a well ments of the earlier history of this known tradition that he wrote a letter people will be found collected. Of this to Christ to which he received an anan abstract is given in Robinson's edi- swer. The place afterwards passed tion of Calmet. The learned German successively through the hands of the commentator seeks the original seat of Romans, the Saracens, the Crusaders, the Chaldeans in the mountains of the Tartars, and was ultimately conKurdistan, now inhabited by the Kurds quered by the Turks. It is now the (pron. Koords), who are probably their seat of a pashalic, and is a large and successors; and conjectures that they tolerably well-built town, situated on were brought from their native regiunis the eastern side of a hill, defended by by the Assyrians as mercenaries, after a castle, and composed of stone-houses which they settled in the plains till of as good masonry, and as highly orthey became strong enough to bring namented, as those of Aleppo. Mr. Bucktheir employers themselves into su bjec- ingham (Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. tion. From their being much adelicted i. p. 89) describes the city in general as to astronomy, and probably to judicial being a delightful place, and the most astrology, hence all astrologers were in tolerable and happy in the Turkish doprocess of time, called Chaldeans, Dan. minions. It is a place of considerable 2. 2~5.-As to the city here mentioned, trade, having numerous and well-filled some difficulty has been experienced by bazaars, and enjoying the advantage of commentators in fixing its site, but in being one of the principal stations on the East it is generally identified with the great caravan route between Alepthe present town of Orfah in Upper ido and Bagdad. The population is
29 And Al ram and Nahor took | ran his son's son, and Sarai his them wives: the name of Abram's daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife was » Sarai; and the name wife; and they went forth with of Nahor's wife Milcah, the them from * Ur of the Chaldecs, daughter of Haran, the father of to go into y the land of Canaan; Milcah, and the father of Iscah. and they came unto Haran, ani
30 But u Sarai was barren ; she dwelt there. had no child.
32 And the days of Terah 31 And Terah w took Abram were two hundred and five years : his son, and Lot the son of Ha- and Terah died in Haran.
sch. 17. 15. & 20. 12. tch. , 20. u ch. 16. 1, 2. & 18. 11, 12. w ch. 12. I.
x Neh. 9.7. Acts, 7. 4. ych. 10. 19.
probably from 2000 to 2500, of whom served from Chaldean idolatry, and fix. 2000 are Armenian and Jacobite Chris- ing themselves in Haran maintained tians, and the rest Moslems.
for a considerable time the worship of 29. Daughter of Haran. From this the true God.—The narrative suggests it is clear, as before remarked, that Ha- to us, that while the most exems:ary ran was the eldest of the three sons of marks of respect are due from children Terah. His daughter Milcah was the to parents, yet parents themselves may grand-mother of Rebekah, the wife of sometimes be called to follow their chilIsaac. Gen. 22. 20, 23.- - Father dren as leaders, when they have obtaiaof Milcah and father of Iscah. The ed clearer light as to the path of duty, Jewish writers generally maintain, and and go forth at the evident call of God. we think with great probability, that But even in such cases a proper spirit Iscah and Sarah are but different of filial reverence will give as much prenames of the same person; the one cedency as possible to parental action. having been born before she left Chal- - To go into the land of Canaan dea, the other after. How this is to be As this expedition of Terah was underreconciled with ch. 20. 12, see in loc. taken in consequence of God's call to 31. And Terah took Abram his Abraham, and as the apostle tells us
It is evident from ch. 12. 1, that Abraham went forth not knowthat this expedition was undertaken in ing wbither he went,' we are to underconsequence of the divine call to Abra- siand these words as expressive rather ham to come out from a land of idola- of the divine destination than of ineir tors; but from the deference paid to the own definite purpose. They simply head of a family Terah is here repre-confided themselves to the guidance of sented as chief in the movement, heaven, resolving to go wherever a dithough really acting in obedience to the recting providence should lead, and the monitions of his son. Nahor and his , historian, speaking as historian, wife Milcah, it would appear, were un- names the country, unknown to them, willing to go, at least at present; yet to which their journeyings tended. as we find them in the course of the This information was afterwards given history settled at Haran, and Abraham to Abraham, but at what precise tine and Isaac sending to them for wives, we know not. - Came unto Haran we may conclude that they afterwards and dwelt there. Probably on account repented and went.' Thus the whole of the increasing age and infirinities of of Terah's family, though they did not Terah. This name affords an instance go to Canaan, yet were probably re- of the confusion which has arisen in the
proper names of our translation, from | ducted from 205, it is clear that he was its having been chosen to give the let-born when his father was 130, that is, ter 17 ch a power equivalent to 17h. It 60 years after his brother Haran. ought to be Charan, as it is in Acts 7. And Terah died in Haran. Many of 2, where the Greek text (X appar) has God's people have died upon journeys. properly represented the Hebrew 900 It is well to be prepared for the summons Charan. The same course is adopted whenever and wherever it may meet us. by the translation in numerous other
REMARKS.-(1.) We see in the coninstances. The place in question, duct of the builders of Babel a striking which was called Charræ by the Ro- exemplification of the spirit which actumans, would seem to the English read-ates so large a portion of the human er to have derived its name from Haran race. They were urged on by a desire the father of Lot, but this can hardly of distinction-'Go to, let us make ourbe, as the Hebrew words are entirely selves a name.' 'They thought that by different, the name of the place begin- raising this city and tower they should ning with 17 ch, and that of the person immortalize themselves, and be famed with 7 h. This shows the evil of the for their wisdom and exploits to the remethod adopted by the English trans- motest generations. And what other lators of representing both letters by principle than this is the moving spring our h. Its situation is fixed by Ren- of the actions of countless multitudes nell about 30 miles S. S. E. from Orfah of men in all ages ? What is it but the on the direct route from Mesopotamia desire of fame that impels the warrior 10 Palestine, on a brook known to the to the field of battle? What has greatGreek writers by the same name, which er influence on the scholar and the flows into the river Chaboras, one of philosopher, or more forcibly animates the tributaries of the Euphrates. It them in their researches after knowlanciently carried on an extensive trade edge? What is it that actuales the with the Tyrians, Ezek. 27. 23; and in rich in constructing and decorating more recent times became famous their splendid edifices, but a desire to among the Romans for the total defeat display their opulence and win eclat of their army by the Parthians, and from their fellow-men? It would not the death of Crassus their general, who perhaps be right to condemn the princiwas killed in the battle. It is now a ple in the abstract, or to hold it up to poor place, mostly in ruins, in the oc- unqualified reprobation. Provided we cupation of a few families of Bedouin seek distinction as a secondary object, Arabs, who have been drawn thither in subservience to higher ends, as a by its rather abundant supply of water.
means of augmenting our usefulness Their presence renders a visit so un
and bringing a larger revenue of glory pleasant that no travellers have recent
to God, it may be a commendable moly been there. It must early have fal- tive of action. But alas ! how seldom len into ruins, as it seems to have been does it exist in this form ? How much quite desolate when the Jew, Benjamin more frequently does it assume the of Tudela, travelled through Mesopo- character of a vain-glorious ambition, tamia in the twelfth century.
and engage its possessor in schemes as 32. The days of Terah were two
contrary to the will, or at least to tho hundred and five years. This affords a approbation, of heaven, as that of the satisfactory clew to the time of Abra- infatuated projectors here mentioned ? hum's birth; for if 75 years, which How vain the hope by which such men was iis age when his father died, and are deluded, and how certain are they when he left Haran, ch. 12. 4, be de- to build a Babel to their own confusion.