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Terah is found in the Old Testament

Terah, son of Nahor, was the father of Nahor, Haran, Abram and Sarai,[1] and grandfather of Milcah, Iscah, and Lot,[2] Ishmael[3] and Isaac.[4] He was born in the hill country of Haran 220 years after the Great Flood,[5] but migrated to the city of Ur among the Chaldeans where his fellow Semites were living.[6]

Terah, though a Semite, had come to worship the gods of Ur,[7] a settlement of Semites that had migrated south from Babel during the days of Serug, his grandfather. As Semites, the Aramites of Haran and Arphaxadites of Ur most certainly had attempted to follow the God of Noah who died among them 350 years after the Flood.[8] However, as the lives of the founders of these cities outlived the following generations by centuries, it is not hard to see where they would be idolized, or even deified.

Terah married late, fathering children at twice the age of his predecessors after the age of 70.[9] He named one of his sons, likely the firstborn, Nahor, in honor of his own father who he had left in Haran. His home town being dear to him, he named another son, Haran, after it. It is possible that he named his son Abram after the recently deceased Noah, in honor of the "exalted father" of all mankind. Some ten years after the birth of Abram, Terah took another wife, or perhaps a concubine, the mother of his daughter, who he named Sarai, whose name meant "princess", who he gave in marriage to Abram. After the death of his son Haran, he left with Abram in a pilgrimage a land his son had said Yahweh had called him.[10] However, they stopped in his hometown, where he died at the age of 205 years.[11]


  1. Genesis 11:29; 20:12 (Link)
  2. Genesis 11:27-29 (Link)
  3. Genesis 16:15-16 (Link)
  4. Genesis 21:1-3 (Link)
  5. Genesis 10:10:30; 11:24 (Link)
  6. Genesis 11:28, 31 (Link)
  7. Joshua 24:2 (Link)
  8. Genesis 9:28-29 (Link)
  9. Genesis 11:24 (Link)
  10. Genesis 12:1-3 (Link)
  11. Genesis 11:32 (Link)
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