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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ur ('ur, "flame"; Codex Vaticanus Sthur; Codex Sinaiticus Ora): Father of Eliphal, one of David's "mighty men," in 1 Chronicles 11:35; in the parallel 2 Samuel 23:34 called "Ahasbai."


kal'-dez ('ur kasdim; he chora (ton) Chaldaion): For more than 2,000 years efforts have been made to identify the site of this city. The writers of the Septuagint, either being unfamiliar with the site, or not considering it a city, wrote chora, "land," instead of Ur. Eupolemus, who lived about 150 B.C., spoke of it as being a city of Babylonia called Camarina, which he said was called by some Ouria. Stephen (Acts 7:2, 4) regarded the place as being in Mesopotamia. The Talmud, however, as well as some later Arabic writers, regarded Erech (the Septuagint Orek) as the city. The cuneiform writing of this city, Urnki, would seem to support this view, but Erech is mentioned in Genesis. Ammianus Marcellinus identified the city with the castle of Ur in the desert between Hatra and Nisibis, but this was only founded in the time of the Persians. Owing to its nearness to Haran, and because Stephen placed it in Mesopotamia, Urfa or Oorfa, named Edessa by the Greeks, has also in modern times been identified as the city. But Seleucus is credited with having built this city.

The most generally-accepted theory at the present time is that Ur is to be identified with the modern Mugheir (or Mughayyar, "the pitchy") in Southern Babylonia, called Urumma, or Urima, and later Uru in the inscriptions. This borders on the district which in the 1st millennium B.C. was called Chaldea (Kaldu).

This, some hold, accords with the view of Eupolemus, because Camarina may be from the Arabic name of the moon qamar, which refers perhaps to the fact that the ancient city was dedicated to the worship of the moon-god. Another argument which has been advanced for this identification is that Haran, the city to which Terah migrated, was also a center of moon-god worship. This, however, is precarious, because Urumma or Urima in Abraham's day was a Sumerian center, and the seat of Nannar-worship, whereas Haran was Semitic, and was dedicated to Sin. Although these two deities in later centuries were identified with each other, still the argument seems to have little weight, as other deities were also prominently worshipped in those cities, particularly Haran, which fact reminds us also that the Talmud says Terah worshipped no less than 12 deities.

It should be stated that there are scholars who hold, with the Septuagint, that Ur means, not a city, but perhaps a land in which the patriarch pastured his flocks, as for instance, the land of Uri or Ura (Akkad). The designation "of the Chaldeans" was in this case intended to distinguish it from the land where they were not found.

Still another identification is the town Uru (Mar-tu) near Sippar, a place of prominence in the time of Abraham, but which was lost sight of in subsequent periods (compare Amurru, 167). This fact would account for the failure to identify the place in the late pre-Christian centuries, when Urima or Uru still flourished. Western Semites-for the name Abram is not Babylonian-lived in this city in large numbers in the age when the patriarch lived. The Babylonian contract literature from this, as well as other sites, is full of names from the western Semitic lands, Aram and Amurru. This fact makes it reasonable that the site should be found in Babylonia; but, as stated, although the arguments are by no means weighty, more scholars at the present favor Mugheir than any other site.

A. T. Clay

Strong's Hebrew
218a. Ur -- a city in S. Bab.
... 218, 218a. Ur. 218b . a city in S. Bab. Transliteration: Ur Short Definition:
Ur. Word Origin from or Definition a city in S. Bab. NASB Word Usage Ur (4). ...
/hebrew/218a.htm - 5k

218b. Ur -- "flame," the father of one of David's heroes
... 218a, 218b. Ur. 219 . "flame," the father of one of David's heroes.
Transliteration: Ur Short Definition: Ur. Word Origin from or ...
/hebrew/218b.htm - 5k

217. ur -- a flame
... 216, 217. ur. 218 . a flame. Transliteration: ur Phonetic Spelling: (ore) Short
Definition: fire. ... see HEBREW 'Uwriym. 216, 217. ur. 218 . Strong's Numbers
/hebrew/217.htm - 6k

5784. ur -- chaff
... 5783, 5784. ur. 5785 . chaff. Transliteration: ur Phonetic Spelling: (oor)
Short Definition: chaff. ... 5783, 5784. ur. 5785 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/5784.htm - 5k

5783. ur -- to be exposed or bare
... 5782, 5783. ur. 5784 . to be exposed or bare. Transliteration: ur Phonetic
Spelling: (oor) Short Definition: bare. Word Origin a prim. ... 5782, 5783. ur. 5784 ...
/hebrew/5783.htm - 5k

5782. ur -- to rouse oneself, awake
... 5781, 5782. ur. 5783 . to rouse oneself, awake. Transliteration: ur Phonetic
Spelling: (oor) Short Definition: awake. ... 5781, 5782. ur. 5783 . Strong's Numbers
/hebrew/5782.htm - 6k

218. Uwr -- a city in S. Bab.
... Transliteration: Uwr Phonetic Spelling: (oor) Short Definition: Ur. Ur The same
as 'uwr; Ur, a place in Chaldaea; also an Israelite -- Ur. see HEBREW 'uwr. ...
/hebrew/218.htm - 5k

5894. ir -- waking or wakeful one
... Word Origin (Aramaic) from a root corresponding to ur Definition waking or wakeful
one NASB Word Usage watcher (2), watchers (1). watcher. ...
/hebrew/5894.htm - 6k

5892a. ir -- excitement
... excitement. Transliteration: ir Short Definition: anguish. Word Origin from ur
Definition excitement NASB Word Usage anguish (1), wrath (1). 5892, 5892a. ...
/hebrew/5892a.htm - 5k

224. Urim -- part of the high priest's breastplate
... Short Definition: Urim. Word Origin pl. of ur Definition part of the high
priest's breastplate NASB Word Usage Urim (7). Urim. Plur of ...
/hebrew/224.htm - 6k


... Mer-sekhem-Ra Andu, 3 years, 1 month. 34. S-uaz-ka-Ra Ur, 5 years, ... months, 8
days. ... BC4000. Ur-duggina. Lugal-suggur, vassal of Me-sa, king of Kis. Gursar. ...
/.../sayce/early israel and the surrounding nations/appendices.htm

The Israelites
... Israel traced its origin to Babylonia. It was from "Ur of the Chaldees" that Abraham
"the Hebrew" had come, the rock out of which it was hewn. ...
/.../sayce/early israel and the surrounding nations/chapter i the israelites.htm

Chapter xii
... where the word of the Lord came unto Abram, it will be found that these experiences
make a total of eight, or, counting the original word in Ur of Chaldees ...
//christianbookshelf.org/leupold/exposition of genesis volume 1/chapter xii.htm

An Example of Faith
... of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.' Compare this singular expression
with chapter xi.31, where we have Terah's emigration from Ur described in ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture k/an example of faith.htm

Abraham's Four Surrenders
... he departed out of Haran.". It was several years before this that God first
told him to leave Ur of the Chaldees. Then he came to ...
//christianbookshelf.org/moody/men of the bible/i abrahams four surrenders.htm

On Bk. Iii. Chap. 39, 1 (Note 1, Continued).
... Handmann regards the Gospel according to the Hebrews as the second original source
of the synoptic tradition, alongside of the Ur-Marcus, and even suggests its ...
//christianbookshelf.org/pamphilius/church history/on bk iii chap 39.htm

Entire Sanctification in Patriarchal Times.
... Abraham dwelt with his father, Terah, who was an idolater, in Ur of the Chaldees,
when he received the call of God to go entirely away from his kindred and his ...
/.../clark/the theology of holiness/chapter iii entire sanctification in.htm

From Abraham to Egypt.
... Ur of the Chaldees, the birth place and home of Abraham, was the seat of the great
temple of the moon-god, and this sanctuary became so famous that the moon ...
/.../tidwell/the bible period by period/chapter iv from abraham to.htm

Editor's Preface
... any age or epoch within a thousand years of his advanced civilization." "The golden
age of Babylonian history seems to include the reign of Sargon and of Ur-Gur ...
/.../history of egypt chaldaea syria babylonia and assyria v 1/editors preface.htm

The Abominable Error of the Heretics; the Divine vision of ...
... original Hebrew Matthew, of which Papias and many others tell us, and which is probably
to be looked upon as a pre-canonical gospel, with the "Ur-Marcus" the ...
/.../pamphilius/church history/chapter vii the abominable error of.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

fire, light, a valley

Smith's Bible Dictionary

was the land of Haran's nativity, (Genesis 11:28) the place from which Terah and Abraham started "to go into the land of Canaan." (Genesis 11:31) It is called in Genesis "Ur of the Chaldaeans," while in the Acts St. Stephen places it, by implication, in Mesopotamia. (Acts 7:2,4) These are all the indications which Scripture furnishes as to its locality. It has been identified by the most ancient traditions with the city of Orfah in the highlands of Mesopotamia, which unite the table-land of Armenia to the valley of the Euphrates. In later ages it was called Edessa, and was celebrated as the capital of Abgarus or Acbarus who was said to have received the letter and portrait of our Saviour. "Two, physical features must have secured Orfah, from the earliest times, as a nucleus for the civilization of those regions. One is a high-crested crag, the natural fortifications of the crested citadel....The other is an abundant spring, issuing in a pool of transparent clearness, and embosomed in a mass of luxuriant verdure, which, amidst the dull brown desert all around, makes and must always have made, this spot an oasis, a paradise, in the Chaldaean wilderness. Round this sacred pool,the beautiful spring Callirrhoe,? as it was called by the Greek writers, gather the modern traditions of the patriarch." --Stanley, Jewish Church, part i.p.7. A second tradition, which appears in the Talmud, finds Ur in Warka, 120 miles southeast from Babylon and four east of the Euphrates. It was the Orchoe of the Greeks, and probably the Ereck of Holy Scripture. This place bears the name of Huruk in the native inscriptions, and was in the countries known to the Jews as the land of the Chaldaeans. But in opposition to the most ancient traditions, many modern writers have fixed the site of Ur at a very different position, viz. in the extreme south of Chaldaea, at Mugheir , not very far above-- and probably in the time of Abraham actually upon--the head of the Persian Gulf. Among the ruins which are now seen at the spot are the remains of one of the great temples, of a model similar to that of Babel, dedicated to the moon, to whom the city was sacred. (Porter and Rawlinson favor this last place.)

ATS Bible Dictionary

The country of Terah, and the birthplace of Abraham, Genesis 11:28,31 15:7. It is usually called "Ur of the Chaldees," Hebrews 9:7 Acts 7:4; and is located, with strong probability, in the north-west part of Mesopotamia. The city of Orfah, to which the Jews make pilgrimages as the birthplace of Abraham, is a flourishing town of 30,000 inhabitants, seventy-eight miles south-west of Diarbekir. Some, however, place Ur in Lower Chaldea, at extensive ruins now called Warka, in latitude 31 degrees 19- North, longitude 45 degrees 40- East.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Light, or the moon city, a city "of the Chaldees," the birthplace of Haran (Genesis 11:28, 31), the largest city of Shinar or northern Chaldea, and the principal commercial centre of the country as well as the centre of political power. It stood near the mouth of the Euphrates, on its western bank, and is represented by the mounds (of bricks cemented by bitumen) of el-Mugheir, i.e., "the bitumined," or "the town of bitumen," now 150 miles from the sea and some 6 miles from the Euphrates, a little above the point where it receives the Shat el-Hie, an affluent from the Tigris. It was formerly a maritime city, as the waters of the Persian Gulf reached thus far inland. Ur was the port of Babylonia, whence trade was carried on with the dwellers on the gulf, and with the distant countries of India, Ethiopia, and Egypt. It was abandoned about B.C. 500, but long continued, like Erech, to be a great sacred cemetery city, as is evident from the number of tombs found there. (see ABRAHAM.)

The oldest king of Ur known to us is Ur-Ba'u (servant of the goddess Ba'u), as Hommel reads the name, or Ur-Gur, as others read it. He lived some twenty-eight hundred years B.C., and took part in building the famous temple of the moon-god Sin in Ur itself. The illustration here given represents his cuneiform inscription, written in the Sumerian language, and stamped upon every brick of the temple in Ur. It reads: "Ur-Ba'u, king of Ur, who built the temple of the moon-god."

"Ur was consecrated to the worship of Sin, the Babylonian moon-god. It shared this honour, however, with another city, and this city was Haran, or Harran. Harran was in Mesopotamia, and took its name from the highroad which led through it from the east to the west. The name is Babylonian, and bears witness to its having been founded by a Babylonian king. The same witness is still more decisively borne by the worship paid in it to the Babylonian moon-god and by its ancient temple of Sin. Indeed, the temple of the moon-god at Harran was perhaps even more famous in the Assyrian and Babylonian world than the temple of the moon-god at Ur.

"Between Ur and Harran there must, consequently, have been a close connection in early times, the record of which has not yet been recovered. It may be that Harran owed its foundation to a king of Ur; at any rate the two cities were bound together by the worship of the same deity, the closest and most enduring bond of union that existed in the ancient world. That Terah should have migrated from Ur to Harran, therefore, ceases to be extraordinary. If he left Ur at all, it was the most natural place to which to go. It was like passing from one court of a temple into another.

"Such a remarkable coincidence between the Biblical narrative and the evidence of archaeological research cannot be the result of chance. The narrative must be historical; no writer of late date, even if he were a Babylonian, could have invented a story so exactly in accordance with what we now know to have been the truth. For a story of the kind to have been the invention of Palestinian tradition is equally impossible. To the unprejudiced mind there is no escape from the conclusion that the history of the migration of Terah from Ur to Harran is founded on fact" (Sayce).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) Alt. of Ure.
Ur (5 Occurrences)
...Ur was the port of Babylonia, whence trade was carried on with the dwellers on the
gulf, and with the distant countries of India, Ethiopia, and Egypt. ...
/u/ur.htm - 15k

Terah (12 Occurrences)
... He settled in "Ur of the Chaldees," where his son Haran died, leaving behind him
his son Lot. Nahor settled at Haran, a place on the way to Ur. ...
/t/terah.htm - 13k

Beth-horon (12 Occurrences)
... Exodus 9:19, 25; Job 38:22, 23; Psalm 18:12-14; Isaiah 30:30.) The modern name of
these places is Beit-ur, distinguished by el-Foka, "the upper," and el-Tahta ...
/b/beth-horon.htm - 30k

Bethhoron (12 Occurrences)
... Exodus 9:19, 25; Job 38:22, 23; Psalm 18:12-14; Isaiah 30:30.) The modern name of
these places is Beit-ur, distinguished by el-Foka, "the upper," and el-Tahta ...
/b/bethhoron.htm - 30k

Chaldees (13 Occurrences)
...UR OF THE CHALDEES. kal'-dez ('ur kasdim; he chora (ton) Chaldaion): For more than
2,000 years efforts have been made to identify the site of this city. ...
/c/chaldees.htm - 15k

Chalde'ans (74 Occurrences)
... RSV). Genesis 11:28 And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in
the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. (See RSV). ...
/c/chalde'ans.htm - 29k

Shedeur (5 Occurrences)
... shed'-e-ur, she-de'-ur (shedhe'ur, "daybreak"; Codex Vaticanus Sediour, Ediour):
The father of Elizur, the chief of Reuben (Numbers 1:5; Numbers 2:10; Numbers 7 ...
/s/shedeur.htm - 8k

Treasury (25 Occurrences)
... trezh'-ur, trezh'-ur-er, trezh'-ur-i (otsar, genaz, genez, ganzakh, chocen matmon,
mickenah, mikhman, `athudh, saphan; gaza, thesauros): I. In the Old Testament ...
/t/treasury.htm - 27k

Haran (19 Occurrences)
... He died before his father (Genesis 11:27), in Ur of the Chaldees. (2.) Hebrews
haran, ie, "parched;" or probably from the Accadian ...
/h/haran.htm - 17k

Treasurer (6 Occurrences)
... trezh'-ur, trezh'-ur-er, trezh'-ur-i (otsar, genaz, genez, ganzakh, chocen matmon,
mickenah, mikhman, `athudh, saphan; gaza, thesauros): I. In the Old Testament ...
/t/treasurer.htm - 17k

Bible Concordance
Ur (5 Occurrences)

Genesis 11:28 Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldees.

Genesis 11:31 Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife. They went forth from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan. They came to Haran and lived there.

Genesis 15:7 He said to him, "I am Yahweh who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it."

1 Chronicles 11:35 Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,

Nehemiah 9:7 You are Yahweh the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham,



Ur of the Chaldees

Ur: Abraham's Native Place

Ur: Abraham's Native Place: Abraham Leaves

Ur: Father of One of David's Mighty Men

Related Terms

Terah (12 Occurrences)

Beth-horon (12 Occurrences)

Bethhoron (12 Occurrences)

Chaldees (13 Occurrences)

Chalde'ans (74 Occurrences)

Shedeur (5 Occurrences)

Treasury (25 Occurrences)

Haran (19 Occurrences)

Treasurer (6 Occurrences)

Treasure (66 Occurrences)

Eliphal (1 Occurrence)

Ellasar (2 Occurrences)

Shinar (8 Occurrences)

Chaldeans (82 Occurrences)

Chaldea (8 Occurrences)

Erech (2 Occurrences)



Phenicia (1 Occurrence)

Babylon (270 Occurrences)

Caphtor (4 Occurrences)

Caphtorim (3 Occurrences)

Arphaxad (10 Occurrences)

Elamites (2 Occurrences)

Euphrates (36 Occurrences)

Amorites (82 Occurrences)

Elam (24 Occurrences)

Abraham (2539 Occurrences)

Lot (145 Occurrences)

Upwards (18 Occurrences)

Sarai (13 Occurrences)

Abram (48 Occurrences)

Canaanites (63 Occurrences)

Canaan (102 Occurrences)

Nations (683 Occurrences)

History (57 Occurrences)

Table (125 Occurrences)

Zacchur (1 Occurrence)

Zaccur (10 Occurrences)

Nativity (9 Occurrences)

Nakedness (50 Occurrences)

Naked (56 Occurrences)

Up (25836 Occurrences)

Urban (1 Occurrence)

Urbane (1 Occurrence)

Urbanus (1 Occurrence)

Jair (14 Occurrences)

Ligure (2 Occurrences)

Gods (310 Occurrences)

Grandson (14 Occurrences)


Irpeel (1 Occurrence)

Ir-nahash (1 Occurrence)

Irnahash (1 Occurrence)

Ir-shemesh (1 Occurrence)

Irshemesh (1 Occurrence)

Figure (19 Occurrences)

Raise (175 Occurrences)

Rehoboth-ir (1 Occurrence)


Eliphel (1 Occurrence)

Eli'phal (1 Occurrence)

Err (41 Occurrences)

Error (90 Occurrences)

Earnest (33 Occurrences)

Early (157 Occurrences)

Daughter-in-law (16 Occurrences)

Dieth (192 Occurrences)

Measuring (42 Occurrences)

Master (346 Occurrences)


Measures (50 Occurrences)

Pashhur (12 Occurrences)

Pashur (12 Occurrences)

Pleasure (331 Occurrences)

Broughtest (17 Occurrences)

Chesed (1 Occurrence)

Chosest (1 Occurrence)

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