Paddan Aram

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Paddan Aram or Padan-aram (Aramaic: פדן ארם) was an early Aramean kingdom in Mesopotamia. Paddan Aram in Aramaic means the field of Aram. [1] The name may correspond to[ clarification needed ] the Hebrewsedeh Aram,” or “field of Aram.” (Rashi to Gen. 25:20; e.g., Hos. 12:13.)

Contents

In the Hebrew Bible

Paddan Aram designates the area of Harran in upper Mesopotamia. "Paddan Aram" and "Haran" may be dialectical variations regarding the same locality as paddanū and harranū are synonyms for "road" or "caravan route" in Akkadian. [2]

Padan-aram or Padan appears in 11 verses in the Hebrew Bible, all in Genesis. Adherents of the documentary hypothesis often attribute most of these verses to the priestly source [3] [4] [5] and the remainder to a later redactor. [6]

The city of Harran, where Abraham and his father Terah settled after leaving Ur of the Chaldees, while en route to Canaan, according to the Genesis 11:31, was located in Paddan Aram, that part of Aram Naharaim that lay along the Euphrates. Abraham's brother Nahor settled in the area. Abraham’s nephew Bethuel, son of Nahor and Milcah, and father of Laban and Rebecca, lived in Padan-aram. Abraham sent his steward back there to find a wife among his kinfolk for his son, Isaac. The steward found Rebecca. [2]

Isaac and Rebecca's son Jacob was sent there to avoid the wrath of his brother Esau. [2] There Jacob worked for Laban, fathered eleven sons and daughter, Dinah, (Gen. 35:22-26; 46:15), and amassed livestock and wealth. (Gen. 31:18.) From there, Jacob went to Shechem and the Land of Israel, where his twelfth son was born to him. (Gen. 33:18.)

In Rabbinic interpretation

In the Midrash, Rabbi Isaac taught that the people of Padan-aram were rogues and Rebekah was like a lily among the thorns. (Genesis Rabbah 63:4 see also Leviticus Rabbah 23:1 (deceivers); Song of Songs Rabbah 2:4 (tricksters); Zohar, Bereshit 1:136b (wicked); Rashi to Gen. 25:20 (wicked).) Rabbi Isaac thus considered Rebecca’s sojourn in Padan-aram as emblematic of Israel’s among the nations. (Zohar, Bereshit 1:137a.)

See also

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Laban (Bible) Biblical figure

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Bethuel biblical character

Bethuel, in the Hebrew Bible, was an Aramean man, the youngest son of Nahor and Milcah, the nephew of Abraham, and the father of Laban and Rebecca.

Chayei Sarah

Chayei Sarah, Chaye Sarah, Hayye Sarah, or Hayyei Sara, is the fifth weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. It constitutes Genesis 23:1–25:18. The parashah tells the stories of Abraham's negotiations to purchase a burial place for his wife Sarah and his servant's mission to find a wife for Abraham's son Isaac.

Toledot Sixth weekly Torah portion

Tol'dot, Toldos, or Tol'doth is the sixth weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. The parashah tells of the conflict between Jacob and Esau, Isaac's passing off his wife Rebekah as his sister, and Isaac's blessing of his sons.

Vayetze

Vayetze, Vayeitzei, or Vayetzei is the seventh weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. It constitutes Genesis 28:10–32:3. The parashah tells of Jacob's travels to, life in, and return from Haran. The parashah recounts Jacob's dream of a ladder to heaven, Jacob's meeting of Rachel at the well, Jacob's time working for Laban and living with Rachel and Leah, the birth of Jacob's children, and the departure of Jacob's family from Laban.

Vayishlach Torah portion, Genesis 32–36

Vayishlach or Vayishlah is the eighth weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. In the parashah, Jacob reconciles with Esau after wrestling with a "man". The prince Shechem rapes Dinah, whose brothers sack the city of Shechem in revenge. In the family's subsequent flight, Rachel gives birth to Benjamin and dies in childbirth.

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Melchizedek, Melchisedech, Melkisetek, or Malki Tzedek, was the king of Salem and priest of El Elyon mentioned in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis. He brings out bread and wine and then blesses Abram and El Elyon.

Aram is a son of Shem, according to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 of the Hebrew Bible, and the father of Uz, Hul, Gether and Mash or Meshech. The Book of Chronicles lists Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech as descendants of Shem, although without stating explicitly that Aram is the father of the other four.

Rachel Biblical character

Rachel was a Biblical figure, the favorite of Jacob's two wives, and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, two of the twelve progenitors of the tribes of Israel. Rachel's father was Laban. Her older sister was Leah, Jacob's first wife; their mother was Adinah. Her aunt Rebekah was Jacob's mother.

Haran (biblical place) major ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia

Haran is a place mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Haran is almost universally identified with Harran, a city whose ruins lie within present-day Turkey. Haran first appears in the Book of Genesis as the home of Terah and his descendants, and as Abraham's temporary home. Later biblical passages list Haran among some cities and lands subjugated by Assyrian rulers and among Tyre's trading partners.

Rebecca Biblical character

Rebecca appears in the Hebrew Bible as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. According to biblical tradition, Rebecca's father was Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram, also called Aram-Naharaim. Rebecca's brother was Laban the Aramean, and she was the grand daughter of Milcah and Nahor, the brother of Abraham. Rebecca and Isaac were one of the four couples that some believe are buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs, the other three being Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, and Jacob and Leah.

In the account of Terah's family mentioned in Genesis 11:26–32, Nahor II is listed as the son of Terah, amongst two other brothers, Abram and Haran. His grandfather was Nahor I, son of Serug. Nahor married the daughter of his brother Haran, Milcah, his niece (v.29). They may all have been born and raised in the city of Ur: the biblical account states that "Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans".

References

  1. Kraeling, Emil Gottlieb Heinrich. Aram and Israel, Columbia University Press, 1918
  2. 1 2 3 Bromiley, Geoffrey W., The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, p.627, 1915 ISBN   9780802837851
  3. Richard Elliott Friedman. The Bible with Sources Revealed, 71, 76, 82, 109, 113. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003
  4. Baden, Joel S. The Composition of the Pentateuch, p.235, Yale University Press, 2012 ISBN   9780300152630
  5. Gunkle, Hermann and Biddle, Mark E., "Genesis", Mercer University Press, 1997 ISBN   9780865545175
  6. Friedman 87, 89