Era 2 God’s Chosen Family
The last event we see in the Beginnings Era is the Tower of Babel which we covered in THIS blog post, Reflecting on Genesis 11. The first event we cover in the second era is God calling Abram. Before we start this next amazing journey, we are going to introduce some context.
First, let’s dive into the timeline. This era covers from 2100 BC to 1800 BC. This places us in the early Bronze age which spans 3300 BC to 1200 BC. The Bronze age marks a period of time when humans started working with bronze to make tools and weapons. We also see many new inventions during this time period, like the first writing systems and the wheel.
Another mark of the Bronze age was the rise of kingdoms and states. These states and kingdoms interacted with one another for trade, warfare, migration, and other activities. Some prominent kingdoms of the time included Sumer and Babylonia (formally Babel, where they tried to build the tower to the heavens) in Mesopotamia and Athens in Ancient Greece.
The culture of the people during this period was largely nomadic, meaning they lived in tents and only settled temporarily. Picking up and moving your entire tribe was commonplace and they did so for various reasons; mostly due to the ability of the land to support the tribe. The societal units were often large and made up of extended families and servants.
Next, let’s cover the map. Especially at the beginning of this era, we will read about a lot of traveling. The area we are talking about would be modern-day Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
According to Wikipedia, Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates River system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent. The historical region included present-day Iraq and Kuwait and parts of present-day Iran, Syria, and Turkey.
In Mesopotamia, we find Ur of the Chaldeans and Haran. Ur is located just northwest of the Persian Gulf, near the end of the Euphrates River. Abram, descending from Shem and father of the Hebrew nation, was born in this great city. Abram, Tarah, Lot, and Sarai eventually leave Ur and go settle in Haran. If you follow the Euphrates River north from Ur, you will find Haran.
Canaan encompasses Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, and the southern portions of Syria and Lebanon.
In the land of Canaan, Shechem is located in the West Bank just east of Nablus. As we enter this second era, we will see God urging Abram to leave Haran and go to the place where he will become the father of a great nation. So, they leave and eventually settle near this city, Shechem.
Then Abram moved on to Hebron where he put down his deepest roots. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all lived and were buried here as well. Hebron is located to the south of Shechem.
Just south of Shechem is Bethel. We hear about Bethel once we dive into the stories about Jacob who eventually returns to Bethel.
Last, Beersheba which is located just southwest of Hebron.
Ancient Egypt was concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. We will hear a lot about this area throughout the entire Bible as Egypt was a very powerful civilization early on.
Last let’s talk about the authors of this section of the Bible. As with the last era, we are still reading Genesis which was believed to be written by Moses. We will also have Job, pronounced with the long vowel sound O. Job was a wealthy and successful livestock owner who wrote one of the first poetic books in the Bible. Its believed to have been written between 2000 -1800 BC.
In our next post, we will dive into the great father of a nation; Abram.