Anatolian city Harran in the Bible
Last Updated: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 11:39:30 +0000


Anatolian city Harran  in the Bible


Genesis 11:31
Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.
Genesis 11:32
Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.
Genesis 12:4
So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.
Genesis 12:5
He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
Genesis 27:43
Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran.
Genesis 28:10
[ Jacob’s Dream at Bethel ] Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran.
Genesis 29:4
Jacob asked the shepherds, “My brothers, where are you from?” “We’re from Harran,” they replied.
2 Kings 19:12
Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar?
Isaiah 37:12
Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar?
Ezekiel 27:23
“‘Harran, Kanneh and Eden and merchants of Sheba, Ashur and Kilmad traded with you.
Acts 7:2
To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran.
Acts 7:4
“So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.

HARAN (2) - ha'-ran (charan; Charhran): The city where Terah settled on his departure from Ur (Gen 11:31 f); whence Abram set out on his pilgrimage of faith to Canaan (Gen 12:1 ff). It was probably "the city of Nahor" to which Abraham's servant came to find a wife for Isaac (Gen 24:10 ff). Hither came Jacob when he fled from Esau's anger (Gen 27:43). Here he met his bride (Gen 29:4), and in the neighboring pastures he tended the flocks of Laban. It is one of the cities named by Rabshakeh as destroyed by the king of Assyria (2 Ki 19:12; Isa 37:12). Ezekiel speaks of the merchants of Haran as trading with Tyre (27:23).

The name appears in Assyro-Babalonian as Charran, which means "road"; possibly because here the trade route from Damascus joined that from Nineveh to Carchemish. It is mentioned in the prism inscription of Tiglath-pileser I. It was a seat of the worship of Sin, the moon-god, from very ancient times. A temple was built by Shalmaneser II. Haran seems to have shared in the rebellion of Assur (763 BC, the year of the solar eclipse, June 15). The privileges then lost were restored by Sargon II. The temple, which had been destroyed, was rebuilt by Ashurbanipal, who was here crowned with the crown of Sin. Haran and the temple suffered much damage in the invasion of the Umman-Manda (the Medes). Nabuna`id restored temple and city, adorning them on a lavish scale. Near Haran the Parthians defeated and slew Crassus (53 BC), and here Caracalla was assassinated (217 AD). In the 4th century it was the seat of a bishopric; but the cult of the moon persisted far into the Christian centuries. The chief temple was the scene of heathen worship until the 11th century, and was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th.
The ancient city is represented by the modern Charran to the Southeast of Edessa, on the river Belias, an affluent of the Euphrates. The ruins lie on both sides of the stream, and include those of a very ancient castle, built of great basaltic blocks, with square columns, 8 ft. thick, which support an arched roof some 30 ft. in height. Remains of the old cathedral are also conspicuous. No inscriptions have yet been found here, but a fragment of an Assyrian lion has been uncovered. A well nearby is identified as that where Eliezer met Rebekah.
In Acts 7:2,4, the King James Version gives the name as Charran.
W. Ewing






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