TBibliotheca Sacra 135 (July-Sept. 1977) 228-37

Copyright 1977 by Dallas Theological Seminary. Cited with permission.

 

 

Abraham in

History and Tradition

 

Part II: Abraham the Prince

 

Donald J. Wiseman

 

In the previous article in this series it was suggested that Abra-

ham's designation as "the Hebrew" marked him not as a semi-

nomad, but as a resident-alien (rG) newly arrived in the land, who

took active and public steps to take possession of land granted him

by divine covenant-promise.1 He was in effect taking over "by faith"

the area known later as Judah.2

 

ABRAHAM AS A POLITICAL LEADER

 

This leads to a study of his ascription as "Abraham the prince"

(Gen. 23: 5, AV) or the xyWn, a title given by a group of foreigners

living among the Canaanites who also held land rights in the same

region de facto.3 This was after Abraham had lived in the area for

sixty-two years (cf. Gen. 12:4; 17:17; 23:1) when the "sons of

Heth" (Hittites) under Ephron who owned the field and cave of

Macpelah in a district of Canaan treated Abraham with respect as

the head of a clan residing as their neighbors.

"We look on you as a mighty leader (Myhlx xyWn) among us"

(Gen. 23:6), they said, and there is no hint that Abraham's dealings

with them were unexpected, insincere, or contrary to accepted local

 

1 Donald J. Wiseman, "Abraham the Hebrew," Bibliotheca Sacra 134

(January-March 1977):123-30.

2 With the defeat of the coalition of kings near Damascus, Abraham would

be regarded as succeeding them "as far as Dan" (Gen. 14:14), thus taking

over the rest of the Promised Land.

3 Cf. Genesis 25:16 and Numbers 7. The title was later extended to the

chief representatives of the Israelite tribes in state and religious groupings

(Gen. 17:20; Num. 1:16; 1 Kings 8:1).

 

228



Abraham the Prince / 229

 

custom. Whether this phrase is taken as a superlative4 or as an

acknowledgement of his affiliation to God ("a xyWn of God") by

men of another religion,5 the use of the term xyWn clearly denotes a

position of dignity and leadership.6 It is similarly used in early texts

of the chiefs of the Midianites (Josh. 13:21; Num. 25:18) and

Shechem (Gen. 34:2), which, with Edom, were all tribes involved

in the promise made to Abraham (17:4-8). The title is later applied

to David7 and Solomon (1 Kings 11:34) as to the chief political

authority, comparable to the later "king" (j`lm) (Exod. 22:28).

Moreover, the suggestion that the term may well include the

idea of official selection by the people8 would be appropriate in a

situation where ten named ethnic groups all lay claim to adjacent

territory in the same area as that promised to Abraham (Gen.

15:18-21).9 Such groups would normally make local alliances for

defence as did Abraham during the time of the raid on Sodom by a

covenant-association with Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner specified as

part of the local "Amorites" (14:13, 21).10 By such an agreement

the parties rendered themselves liable to provide forces to assist an

injured colleague.1l That Abraham was the acknowledged leader on

this occasion may also be shown by reference to them as dependent

on Abraham's division of the spoil (14:24), and to him is attributed

both the reception of the intelligence information and the military

leadership in which his initiative and stratagem culminated in a

surprise night attack resulting in, complete victory.12 He was

 

4 D. W. Thomas, "A Consideration of Some Unusual Ways of Expressing

the Superlative in Hebrew," Vetus Testamentum 3 (1953):210-19.

5 H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis (Columbus, OH: Wartburg Press,

1942), p. 644.

6 E. A. Speiser, "Background and Function of the Biblical Nasi" Catholic

Biblical Quarterly 25 (1963): 111-19.

7 In applying the title to Edom (Ezek. 32:29) Ezekiel's preference may not

necessarily be, as commonly suggested, because the kingship of Israel and

Judah was insignificant (34:34) but rather may be a reversal to the earlier

tradition of the title applied to persons in a subordinate position under a

great king.

8 Speiser, "Background and Function of the Biblical Nasi," p. 115.

9 The "River of Egypt" is not the Wadi al Arish but is a wadi located

nearer Gaza. The use of "rivers" to mark boundaries was common (cf. Josh.

1:4; Judges 4:13; 1 Kings 4:21).

10 M. Liverani, "The Amorites" in Peoples of Old Testament Times, ed.

D. J. Wiseman (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), p. 124.

11 D. J. Wiseman, The Vassal-Treaties of Esarhaddon (London: British

School of Archaeology in Iraq, 1958), p. 41, lines 162-68.

12 A. Malamat, "Conquest of Canaan: Israelite Conduct of War according

to the Biblical Tradition," in Encyclopedia Judaica Year Book 1975/6 (1977),

p.180.



230 / Bibliotheca Sacra -- July-September 1977

 

acknowledged as leader of the group both by the king of Salem and

by the king of Sodom and such leadership may not have resulted

solely from his affinity to Lot whose cause he was espousing.

It was, however, not only those living within the bounds of the

land promised to Abraham by the covenant land-grant who reacted

to Abraham as the leader of the group occupying defined territory.

Abraham is portrayed as the head of a substantial family group who

had acquired possessions and dependents before entering Canaan

(Gen. 12:5). He was a person of independent means, well able to

provide for his family (cf. 24:22). His wealth was increased by

gifts given by the king of Egypt (12:16, 20) so that he could be

called "a very rich man" (13:2). The Hebrew dbK here also de-

notes the honor and respect due to a man of high position, thus

demonstrating that he was not simply a poor wanderer.

 

ABRAHAM'S STATUS BEFORE PHARAOH

Difficult though the episode in Egypt may be to interpret,

Abraham was still held in awe by the royal household there even

after the so-called "deception of an innocent pharaoh" was known

(Gen. 12:10-20). A major Egyptian ruler would have dismissed

an insignificant foreigner without recompense. This accords with the

evidence of the attitude of other external rulers to him, and it may

be questioned whether this really was the "low moral point" in

his life or that the story was invented to show the "climax of God's

intervention and deliverance in the face of Abraham's failure which

thus accounts for its popularity."13 The act of going to Egypt for

corn to save life is not of itself classed as a sign of lack of faith.14

It would appear to have been a deliberate and regular practice of

Abraham while abroad to refer to Sarai as his "sister" (Gen. 12: 14 )

and this could be related to his description of Lot, his nephew

(11:34), as his "brother" (vyHx; 14:14; cf. 13:8), which in the

context could be "ally" -- a person in association with Abraham on

a covenant basis15 who had been given, in effect, a preferential

 

13 Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. "Abraham," by L. Hicks, 1:17.

14 Cf. Genesis 42:1; Egypt was commonly a place of escape from famine or

opposition in Palestine (1 Kings 11:40; Matt. 2:13).

15 Genesis 29:12 is probably to be interpreted in a similar way rather than

as "person of the same class" or status. Thomas L. Thompson, in The His-

toricity of the Patriarchal Narratives (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1974, p.

298), argues that the phrase in Genesis 14:4 is probably a priestly addition

to make the story fit the "priestly" view of the relationship of Abraham and

Lot. If this were so, a more exact kinship term would be expected (cf. Frances

I. Andersen, "Israelite Kinship Terminology and Social Structure," Bible

Translator 20 (1969): 29-39.



Abraham the Prince / 231

 

choice in the inheritance of the land as if he were a true eldest son

(13:9-11, 15). Similarly, the use of "sister" for Sarai might have

been intended to denote a special covenant relationship, as if she

had independent rights and responsibilities which might be expected

to be exercised in revenge if the life of the allied party was at risk,

though being a woman, and a beauty, Abraham was well aware

whose life was most at risk (12:11-14)! It is also possible that

Abraham could have called Sarai his (half-)sister legally (20:12)

on the parallel of the marriage of Abraham's brother Nahor to

Milcah the daughter of Harran, another of his brothers (11:29).16

Any supposed parallel with Hurrian wife-sister marriages17

is to be rejected.18 Also any relationship with the ancient Egyptian

practice of royal weddings between brother and sister is unlikely

since this was confined to the Egyptians and there is no evidence

here that a marriage between a king of Egypt and the sister of a

suppliant ruler from south Palestine relates to any treaty arrange-

ment.19 However, in view of the strong later tradition that Sarai was

faithful to both her husband and his God (Isa. 51:2)20 it may be

questioned whether this episode is yet adequately interpreted.21 For

the present purpose it is sufficient to note that Abraham's status in

the eyes of a powerful foreign king was such that he had to be

adequately compensated and not simply expelled. Both Sarai and

Abraham (Gen. 12:17) rightly rejected any association with Egypt.

 

16 E. A. Speiser, Genesis, The Anchor Bible (Garden City, NY: Doubleday

& Co., 1964), pp. 78-79. It is also noteworthy that Abraham's son married

the granddaughter of Abraham's brother, Nahor (Gen. 24:15), the difference

in generation being accounted for by the advanced age of Abraham and

Sarah at Isaac's birth. Such meticulous description would be unexpected if

the composition of this chapter were as late as some suppose.

17 E. A. Speiser, "The Wife-Sister Motif in the Patriarchal Narratives," in

Biblical and Other Studies, Studies and Texts, vol. 1, ed. Alexander Altmann

(Waltham, MA: Advanced Judaic Studies, Brandeis University, 1963), pp.

15-28 (esp. p. 25).

18 C. J. Mullo-Weir, "The Alleged Hurrian Wife-Sister Motif in Genesis,"

Transactions of the Glasgow University Oriental Society 22 (1967-68), p. 23;

and Thompson, The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives, pp. 233-34.

Cf. S. Greengus, "Sisterhood Adoption at Nuzi and the 'Wife-Sister' in

Genesis," Hebrew Union College Annual 46 (1975):5-31.

19 This was always between members of the same Egyptian royal family.

Also treaty marriages involve the daughter of one party.

20 Cf. also Hebrews 11:11 and 1 Peter 3:6.

21 If taken as an example of a sin of Abraham this would be further

evidence of an early rather than a late source for the tradition. In the latter

it would have been explained in such a way as not to impugn the character

of Abraham as a man of courage.



232 / Bibliotheca Sacra -July-September 1977

 

ABRAHAM'S STATUS BEFORE ABIMELECH

 

There is evidence too that another foreign ruler, Abimelech,

king of Gerar "in the land of the Philistines," was prepared to deal

with Abraham as one of equal status and to enter with him into a

covenant-treaty which included provision of territorial rights (Gen.

20: 15). It is more likely that this was conceived as an inter-state

relationship rather than an inter-individual relationship since, when

the terms were considered to have been broken by Abimelech's

unwitting action over Sarah, the divine curses which guarded such

agreements were thought to fall not merely on Abimelech as an

individual but on his city-state (20:7, 9) and the penalties to be

paid publicly are duly prescribed (20:16).22 The solemn agree-

ment made by Abimelech and his army commander with Abraham

bears the hallmarks of an ancient parity treaty which included

provisions whereby the parties had to keep each other informed of

transgression of border or well rights (21:26-27). Once again Abi-

melech's fear of Abraham is brought out by the clauses prohibiting

the latter's interference with his dynasty or his kingdom which he

must have envisaged as in Abraham's power to do (21:22-23). This

may be further evidence of Abraham being already thought of as

representing a group of "state-equivalents." It is unlikely that Abra-

ham is here treated as of "vassal" status and he would therefore have

demanded at least equivalent terms.23 The treaty-covenant, custom-

arily envisaged as enduring for the forseeable future,24 remained in

force at least until its ratification in the time of Isaac (26:28-29)

and possibly until the time of Samson (Judg. 13:1).

Exception has been taken by some to the mention of "Phili-

stines" in the patriarchal period (Gen. 21:32, 34; 26:1, 8, 14-18).

These references are classed as anachronisms since, it is argued,

these sea-peoples did not settle in southwest Palestine until ca.

1200 B.C. when they resided in a pentapolis led by lords (Mynrs).25

However, it should be noted that contacts between the Aegean sea-

 

22 The omission of the weight in "a thousand pieces [shekels] of silver"

(Gen. 20: 16) was common in sources earlier than the late Middle Babylonian

period, as was the qualification "of the merchants" (Bab. sa damqarim) of

Genesis 23:16.

23 E.g., D. J. Wiseman, The Alalakh Tablets (London: British Institute of

Archaeology at Ankara, 1953), No.2.

24 Further study is needed on the time-duration envisaged by all covenant-

transactions. Note the "forever" in divine covenants (Gen. 3:22, Adam; 13:15,

Abraham; Deut. 11:1, Moses; 2 Sam. 7:13, David; etc.).

25 John van Seters, Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven, CT:

Yale University Press, 1975), p. 52.



Abraham the Prince / 233

 

peoples and Palestine in the Middle Bronze Age are attested. Crete

(Kaptar, Heb. rvTpK), which was their place of origin or transit,

is mentioned in Egyptian and Marl texts of the early second millen-

nium,26 and Middle Minoan II pottery is found at Hazor, Ugarit,

and in Egypt. Further, the Philistines are usually noted in Egyptian

texts ca. 1200 B.C., together with other sea-peoples (Kreti = Chere-

thites) and the Genesis references could well be to "Philistines" used

in a confederate sense.27 It is by no means unlikely that in the

prevailing situation of mixed ethnic groups some Philistines should

settle south of Gaza around Gerar and be under a "king" and thus

have been there already long enough to bear a mixture of Semitic

(Abi-melek, Ahuzzat) and non-Semitic (Phicol, possibly Anatolian)

personal names28 and to conclude treaties according to formulae

and procedures long attested throughout the ancient Near East.29

 

ABRAHAM AS A GOVERNOR

 

The status of Abraham can be examined further, for it may not

be without significance that Abraham as a leader (xyWn) undertook

the responsibilities normally associated with the ruler of a small

state or with that of a provincial governor appointed by a great

king. The role of the latter in the second millennium B.C. is reason-

ably well known from the Mari correspondence.30 His title sapitum

(Heb. Fpw) denotes "the one who governs" on behalf of the

supreme ruler who has given him the office. Such a person was

customarily addressed as "lord," being a superior person of dignity

(as Abraham was addressed by the Hittites, Gen. 23: 6, 11, 15)

who worked through a chief steward who had wide administrative

powers (as did Abraham through Eliezer, Gen. 15:2 ). The office

and title of sapitum occurs in the Ebla texts ca. 2300 B.C.31 and

appears to be the form perpetuated in Palestine in the time of the

regional "governors" (a better translation than "judges," Judg.

2: 16-18). The latter, like Abraham, were held to be sub-governors

 

26 K. A. Kitchen, "The Philistines," in Peoples of Old Testament Times, ed.

D. J. Wiseman (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), pp. 56-57.

27 T. C. Mitchell, "Philistia," in Archaeology and Old Testament Study,

ed. D. Winton Thomas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), pp. 406-13. A

similar situation arises with references to early Ahlamu-Ar(a)maya-Arameans.

28 Kitchen, "The Philistines," p. 72, footnote 24.

29 Compare the treaty between Ebrum of Ebla with Duddiya of Assur ca.

2300 B.C.

30 A. Marzal, "The Provincial Governor at Mari: His Title and Appoint-

ment," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 30 (1971):186-217.

31 Giovanni Pettinato to Donald J. Wiseman, July 8, 1976.



234 / Bibliotheca Sacra -July-September 1977

 

acknowledging the Lord God as "the supreme Governor of all the

earth" (Gen. 18:25; cf. Judg. 11:27). The extent of the governor-

ship varies according to local requirements and conditions, though

it was always geographically defined.32 In exercising their responsi-

bilities some governors worked through local chiefs (abu bitim =

"father of the house" [clan]), who could administer territories in.

the name of the local king or deity.33 Provincial governors were

usually granted lands by the overlord for their maintenance in lieu

of salary. This may have significance for understanding the full pur-

pose of the divine land-grant made to Abraham and his successors.

The responsibilities and duties of the governors differed little

from those of the local city-state rulers, who were occasionally em-

ployed in a similar role.34 These included the following:

 

MAINTAINING ORDER

 

Using limited local forces, including mercenaries, the governor

had to maintain law and order within his designated area. Similar

action is reflected in Abraham's action with the men of Bethel and

Ai (Gen. 13:7), and at Beersheba in the border dispute with Gerar

(21:25). As at Mari, he also had to deal with cases of involuntary

deportation. Abraham's employment of his 318 MykynH together with

men supplied by his allies to recover Lot (14:14, 24) falls within

this category.35

 

EXERCISING JUSTICE

 

The governor as "judge" would act on behalf of the great king

in local decisions, especially matters of land disputes (cf. Gen.

13:7). As judge he would sit alone or in the gate with the local

elders (cf. 23:10). This role is clearly seen in the express responsi-

bility laid on Abraham to order his family and "clan-group" to fol-

low him in "keeping the way of the LORD" by "exercising justice and

law" (18:19). Righteousness (hqdc) and judgment (Fpwm) mark

both the ideal (divine) role of God as the supreme Ruler as also

it should those to whom He gives such responsibilities as His

subgovernors. They themselves will be judged according to their

fulfillment of the revealed divine standard. Here "the way of the

 

32 J. R. Kupper, "Un gouvernement provincal dans le royaume de Mari,"

Revue d'Assyriologie 41 (1947):161.

33 A. Marzal,"The Provincial Governor at Mari," p. 213.

34 Ibid., p. 202 (piqittum).

35 The "trained retainers" (Gen. 14:14) were probably of Egyptian origin.

If so, this would also illustrate the use of "mercenaries" for guard duties as

attested in texts of all periods.



Abraham the Prince / 235

 

LORD" (18:19, a rare singular; cf. Judg. 2:22; 2 Kings 21:22;

Prov. 10:29; Isa. 40:3; Ezek. 18:29) may stand for the unified

concept of law later indicated by Torah. The implementation of

righteousness calls for its application in every aspect of life, indi-

vidually and collectively in both legal, economic, and religious affairs

which were considered indivisible.36 The emphasis here is on the

administration of the law including customary law (Fpwm). The

maintenance of justice, distinguishing between right and wrong, was

an aspect of governorship as it is of every man's life which is con-

tinually being assessed by God.37

 

COLLECTING TAXES AND TRIBUTE

 

The collection of dues and the forwarding of them to a higher

authority was a time-consuming work for any governor. This in-

cluded any payments made to the local cult-center whose mainte-

nance was also his concern. There he would be present when an

oath before the god was taken when a new official was appointed or

a local covenant or agreement was ratified. Both these aspects may

be seen in the incident of Melchizedek. If the words, "he gave him

a tithe of everything" (Gen. 14:20), are interpreted as Abraham

giving a tenth of the spoil to the priest-king of Salem in recognition

of the identity of El Elyon with Yahweh (as traditionally interpreted

according to Heb. 7:4, 10), it requires that emphasis be placed on

Abraham dedicating something that was not his alone. Otherwise,

it would seem to contradict Genesis 14:22-24. Elsewhere references

to Melchizedek refer to the eternal nature of his royal priesthood.38

Also the tenth (rWfm) is often, but not invariably, used of a

sacred payment39 and compared with the skm used of a levy on war

spoils (Num. 31:28) .40 It is unlikely, though grammatically possi-

ble, that Genesis 14:20 could refer to the king of Salem giving

Abraham a tithe as to his acknowledged superior. It is to be noted

that in Babylonian texts the tithe (esirtu, esretu) is used of a levy

 

36 D. J. Wiseman, "Law and Order in Old Testament Times," Vox

Evangelica 8 (1973):5-21.

37 Ibid., pp. 5-6.

38 Psa110:4; Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:10-21.

39 J. A, Emerton, "The Riddle of Genesis XIV," Vetus Testamentum 21

(1971): 407; E. Salonen, "Uber den Aehnten im alten Mesopotamien," Studia

Orienta1ia 43 (1974):3-65.

40 Cf. the Akkadian miksu ("transit-tax") usually exacted by provinces

and primarily from merchants (J. N. Postgate, Taxation and Conscription in

the Assyrian Empire [Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1974], p. 134).



236 / Bibliotheca Sacra --July-September 1977

 

paid on goods in transit (miksu) (and by the later first millennium

it was used of a tax on field produce, which cannot apply here).41

Genesis 14 has been the subject of much discussion, with the

Melchizedek incident (14:18-20) regarded as secondary and inter-

rupting the narrative.42 Subjective analysis of the literary style has

resulted in varying attributions and dating of the sources.43 Yet to

conclude as some do that "consideration of Genesis 14 has generally

been given up as historical"44 or that the chapter "appears as an

erratic block and is more a hindrance than a help to the historian"45

is to overlook the inadequacies of any attempt to blend the so-

called "heroic" elements with "historiographic" passages.46 For the

present it needs to be stressed that Genesis 14 does not demand a

symbolic interpretation whereby Abraham is shown as confronting

"a world empire."47 Abraham is described in terms which accord

with the early second millennium and do not fit in with our present

knowledge of the later periods as sometimes proposed for the

chapter. For example, the Genesis 14 incident would hardly have

been meaningful or feasible after 1000 B.C. and certainly not after

the reformation of the provincial system in Syria and southward

carried out by Tiglath-pileser III in 740-734 B.C.48 It is possible that

the role of Melchizedek was primarily that of mediator between

Abraham and the king of Sodom at a ceremony concerning the

settlement and division of the spoils, the bread and wine being

symbols commemorating the conclusion of treaty-covenants.49 Abra-

ham publicly declared that he would not take anything of the spoils

for himself but assured the recovery of Lot's possessions (cf. 14:16)

and the share of the spoils for Abraham's allies, with the women

and children returned to Sodom as requested.

 

41 Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, s.v. "esirtu," 4:365.

42 Van Seters, Abraham in History and Tradition, pp. 121-22; J. A. Emerton,

"Some False Clues in the Study of Genesis XIV," Vetus Testamentum 21

(1971):24-47; cf. p. 412.

43 From an early historical source to P, JE, or D to a late Jewish Midrash

(Emerton, Abraham in History and Tradition, pp. 407-25).

44 Thompson, The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives, p. 186.

45 Roland de Vaux, The Bible and the Ancient Near East (London: Darton,

Longman, and Todd, 1972), p. 117.

46 Emerton, Abraham in History and Tradition, pp. 431-32.

47 M. C. Astour, "Political and Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis 14 and Its

Babylonian Sources," in Biblical Motifs: Origins and Transformations, ed.

Alexander Altmann (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), pp.

65-112; but for an opposing view see Emerton, Abraham in History and

Tradition, pp. 38-46.

48 Kenneth A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament (London:

Tyndale Press, 1966), p. 45; H. W. F. Saggs, "The Nimrud Letters 1952; Part

II: Relations with the West," Iraq 17 (1955): 150.

49 D. Wiseman, "The Vassal-Treaties of Esarhaddon," p. 39, lines 153-54.



Abraham the Prince / 237

 

ACQUIRING INFORMATION

 

The governor was also involved through agents in commercial

activity, and such may be reflected in a few of the indications from

which it was once argued that Abraham was a merchant-prince.50

In this activity a governor would acquire knowledge of activities in

bordering territories, especially of events which might effect internal

security. He had to keep his superior power informed of these, as of

the passage of foreigners and messengers through his area. It was

on this basis that Abraham intervened on behalf of oppressed loyal

("righteous") subjects. In his plea before the great "Governor of all

lands" (Gen. 18:22-33) Abraham is likewise concerned not only

with the impending action to be taken against Sodom (which is

justified on the grounds of rebellion against the great King and the

justice He requires) but also with the fate of the members of his

own family-group for which he was responsible.

 

PROVIDING HOSPITALITY

 

In furthering his responsibilities as a whole, a governor had to

provide accommodations for (and to welcome the" escorts of) his

visiting king, foreigners of note, and any important dignitaries who

might pass through his territory.51 This lies behind Abraham's

entertainment of the three men at his principal base at Mamre

(18: 1-21 ). The aged patriarch treated his visitors with the respect

due to those he would recognize as his superiors ("my lord," Gen.

18:3, 27, 30-31), especially to their leader. He provided the two

messengers with information, an escort, and probably provisions

when he "went with them to set them on their way" (18:16).

 

SUMMARY

 

This outline study has sought to suggest that Abraham, while

ruling his own family and house, acted as a princely ruler and leader

exercising the equivalent functions of a respected governor owing

allegiance in all matters to the great King. In this he stands in

direct succession to the kingly role of Adam and as a true prede-

cessor to Moses and David. There is nothing inconsistent in the

Abrahamic narratives which demands, as some would suggest, that

this is a late interpretation of the patriarch's role.

 

50 Cyrus H. Gordon, "Abraham and the Merchants of Ura," Journal of

Near Eastern Studies 17 (1958):28-31; but for an opposing view see H. W. F.

Saggs, "Ur of the Chaldees," Iraq 22 (1960):200.

51 M. Birot, Lettres de Yaqqim-Addu, gouverneur de Sagaratum, Archives

Royales de Mari XIV (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1974), nos. 19, 31, 97-120.

 

 

This material is cited with gracious permission from:

Dr. Roy Zuck

Dallas Theological Seminary

3909 Swiss Ave.

Dallas, TX 75204

www.dts.edu

Please report any errors to Ted Hildebrandt at: thildebrandt@gordon.edu