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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Nahor

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(Heb. Nachor', נָחוֹר, snorting; Sept. and N.T. Ναχώρ: Josephus Ναχώρης ; Vulg. Nachor: A.V. " Nachor," Joshua 24:2; Luke 3:34), the name of two men.

1. Son of Serug, father of Terah, and grandfather of Abraham (Genesis 11:22-25; Luke 3:34). He died at the age of 148 years. B.C. 2174.

2. Grandson of the preceding, being a son of Terah, and brother of Abraham and Haran (Genesis 11:26; Joshua 24:2). The order of the name of Terah is not improbably inverted in the narrative; in which case Nahor, instead of being younger than Abraham, was really older. B.C. ante 2163. He married Milcah, the daughter of his brother Haran; and when Abraham and Lot migrated to Canaan, Nahor remained behind in the land of his birth, on the eastern side of the Euphrates the boundary between the Old and the New World of that early age and gathered his family around him at the sepulchre of his father (Genesis 11:27-32; comp. 2 Samuel 19:37). Coupling this with the statement of Judith 5:8 and the universal tradition of the East, that Terah's departure from Ur was a relinquishment of false worship, an additional force is given to the mention of "the god of Nahor" (Genesis 31:53) as distinct from the God of Abraham's descendants. Two generations later Nahor's family were certainly living at Haran (Genesis 28:10; Genesis 29:4). Like Jacob, and also like Ishmael, Nahor was the father of twelve sons; and further, as ill the case of Jacob, eight of them were the children of his wife, and four of a concubine, Reumah (Genesis 22:21-24). Special care is taken in speaking of the legitimate branch to specify its descent from Milcah "the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor." It was to this pure and unsullied race that Abraham and Rebekah in turn had recourse for wives for their sons. But with Jacob's flight from Haran the intercourse ceased. The heap of stones which he and "Laban the Syrian" erected on Mount Gilead (Genesis 31:46) may be said to have formed at once the tomb of their past connection and the barrier against its continuance. Even at that time a wide variation had taken place not only in their language (Genesis 31:47), but, as it would seem, in the Object of their worship. The "God of Nahor" appears as a distinct divinity from the "God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac" (Genesis 31:53). Doubtless this was one of the "other gods" which before the call of Abraham were worshipped by the family of Terah, whose images were in Rachel's possession during the conference on Gilead, and which had to be discarded before Jacob could go into the presence of the "God of Bethel" (Genesis 35:2; comp. 31:13). Henceforward the line of distinction between the two families is most sharply drawn (as in the allusion of Joshua 24:2), and the descendants of Nahor confine their communications to their own immediate kindred, or to the members of other non-Israelitish tribes, as in the case of Job the man of Uz, and his friends, Elihu the Buzite of the kindred of Ram, Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite. Many centuries later David appears to have come into collision sometimes friendly, sometimes the reverse with one or two of the more remote Nahorite tribes. Tibhath, probably identical with Tebah and Maacah. are mentioned in the relation of his wars on the eastern frontier of Israel (1 Chronicles 18:8; 1 Chronicles 19:6); and the mother of Absalom either belonged to or was connected with the latter of the above nations.

No certain traces of the name of Nahor have been recognised in Mesopotamia. Ewald (Geschichte, 1:359) proposes Haditha, a town on the Euphrates just above Hit, and bearing the additional name of el-Naura; also another place, likewise called el-Na'ura, mentioned by some Arabian geographers as lying farther north; and Nachrein, which, however, seems to lie out of Mesopotamia to the east. Others have mentioned Naarda, or Nehardea, a town or district in the neighborhood of the above, celebrated as the site of a college of the Jews (Smith, Dict. of Geogr. s.v. Naarda).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Nahor'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/n/nahor.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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