We flew from Israel to Istanbul and then from Istanbul Urfa. We then boarded the van for the one hour drive to Haran. It was 100° and the van didn’t have air-conditioning or windows that opened. It was a stifling trip but paid off with what we found.
Haran is mentioned 19 times in the Bible. Another name for the city was Paddan-aram. That name is used 15 times in Scripture, so Haran is actually mentioned 34 times in the Bible.
Haran is just east of the Euphrates River and a few miles from the border with Syria. The people here are Turkish but they all come from Arab blood, most from Syria.
We made a deal with the local owner of a historical site. We have the whole place to ourselves tomorrow with sheep, camels, a well and old buildings set in authentic fields from Abram’s time. Very exciting.
We will be filming for the next two days. Work is difficult when it is 100° and very humid. I feel for Abram and poor Sarai living in tents with no showers, air-conditioning, refrigeration, running water … Yikes!
But it is worth it to walk on the ground where Abram, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah and Jacob all walked 4,000 years ago, to smell the air they smelled, to feel the heat they felt, to sweat like they sweat, to ride camels here, and to walk in their footprints.
Abram (before he was renamed Abraham) moved here from Ur in Iraq and lived here for an unknown length of time until his father Terah died. It was a huge camel caravan route around the Arabian Desert. After he moved to Canaan (Israel) he sent his servant back here to find Rebekah to be Isaac’s bride.
After Isaac’s son Jacob deceived his father and his brother Esau he fled to Haran (called also ) to save his life. But he found two wives there from his own family tree, had 11 sons and lived here with flocks of sheep for twenty years.
What a joy to walk where the patriarchs walked. They are saints if you didn’t know – just read the Catechism, paragraph 61.
One thing we can know about Abram and Sarah: they were sweaty all the time and they smelled like sheep and goats. They were sunburned and tough!