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Placing Abraham into the Mesopotamian account has had an interesting history. Before this topic is examined let us briefly look at the chronological history of Mesopotamia as it is understood today by scholars.

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17), was making this connection as he placed Hammurabi around 2100 BC. This gives a date for the period between Abraham and Joseph from around 1900–1600 (Kitchen 2003, pp.

Henry Sayce, around the turn of the century, was dating Hammurabi to 2356–2301 (Sayce 1894, p. 2250–2100 was the standard in the early twentieth century and even later (Jastrow 1915, pp. 358–359).4 This would place Abraham during the Isin-Larsa period.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries Abraham was considered to be a contemporary or near-contemporary of Hammurabi, the great king of the First Dynasty of Babylon. This depends upon the different interpretations concerning biblical chronology.3 Kenneth Kitchen, for instance, dates the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt from c.

William Petrie, in his book Egypt and Israel (Petrie 1911, p. 1320–1260/1250 and the Exodus around 1260/1250 and uses a 645 year period between Abraham and the Exodus.

Although not nearly as popular in the account of the patriarchs as Egypt, Mesopotamia is an important topic for any who undertake research into the historical background of the book of Genesis.

This paper will examine the chronological data known from early Mesopotamia and will attempt to find the historical background of Abraham and the events during his life. In Egyptian chronological studies, the patriarchs are dated earlier than ever before. In spite of this, there has been little research conducted on the relationship between Abraham and Mesopotamia in this new chronological revolution. For many years, Abraham was believed to have lived at the same time as Hammurabi, king of Babylon. Later scholars would date Abraham to the period shortly before the reign of Hammurabi. Table 1 presents the traditional chronology of early Mesopotamia from the Hassunah period to the end of the First Dynasty of Babylon when Hammurabi lived.

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