Ur was an ancient city located on the Euphrates River in the current southeastern region of Iraq inland near the Persian Gulf.

Abram and Sarai, Terah (Abram’s father), Nahor and Haran (Abram’s brothers), Lot (Abram’s nephew) and their households lived in Ur of the Chaldeans during the early Middle Bronze Age (approx. 2,000 BC). Abram’s father was known to have served the gods of the culture, but when Abram was in his 70’s, the one true God commanded Abram to leave Ur. God said to Abram, “Leave your country, your kindred, and your father’s household, and go to the land I will show you.”

By faith, Abram obeyed God and left Ur of the Chaldeans.

Ur dates originally to the Bronze Age of the mid-forth millennium BC and peaked in power during the Akkadian period under Sargon the Great. The southern region of ancient Sumer called Chaldea contained the city of Ur.

The religious practices in that era were pagan polytheism. After invasions by the Elamites and Amorites, Ur’s role as a capital city in the region ended. Ur, however, remained a religious and commercial center during Babylonian dominance of the region. A second revival of the city occurred under Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC. Subsequently, the Persian king, Cyrus the Great, built additional infrastructure at Ur, and the city survived through the reign of Artaxerxes II after which changes in the Euphrates River course turned the area into barren desert.

Key Scriptures: Genesis 11:27-29; 12:1-4; Joshua 24:2-3; Nehemiah 9:7; Hebrews 11:8

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