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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Terah (1)

tē´ra ( תּרח , teraḥ ; Septuagint Θάρρα , Thárra , or (with New Testament) Θάρα , Thára ; on the name see especially HDB , under the word): The son of Nahor and father of Abraham, Nahor and Haran (Genesis 11:24 f). At Abraham's birth Terah was 70 years old ( Genesis 11:26 ), and after Abraham's marriage, Terah, Abraham, Sarah and Lot emigrated from Ur of the Chaldees on the road into the land of Canaan, but stopped in Haran (Genesis 11:31 ). When Abraham was 75 years old he and his nephew resumed their journey, leaving Terah in Haran, where 60 years later he died (Genesis 11:32 ). Stephen, however, states (Acts 7:4 ) that Terah was dead when Abraham left Haran, an impression that is easily gained from Gen 11 through 12 if the dates are not computed. As there is no reason to suppose that Stephen was granted inspiration that would preserve him from such a purely formal error, the contradiction is of no significance and attempts at "reconciliation" are needless. In particular, the attempt of Blass (Stud. u. Krit ., 1896, 460 ff) to alter the text of Acts is quite without foundation. For further discussion see especially Knowling, The Expositor's Greek Testament , at the place It is worth noting that Philo makes the same error (Migr. Abr . 177 (section 32)), perhaps indicating some special Jewish tradition of New Testament times. In Joshua 24:2 Terah is said to have been an idolater. In Jubilees 12 this is softened into explaining that through fear of his life Terah was forced to yield outward conformity to the idolatrous worship of his neighbors. On the other hand certain Jewish legends (e.g. Ber . Rab . 17) represent Terah as actually a maker of idols. Otherwise in the Bible Terah is mentioned only by name in 1 Chronicles 1:26; Luke 3:34 .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Terah (1)'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/t/terah-1.html. 1915.

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