|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Or Chaldeans, the inhabitants of the country of which Babylon was the capital. They were so called till the time of the Captivity (2 Kings 25; Isaiah 13:19; 23:13), when, particularly in the Book of Daniel (5:30; 9:1), the name began to be used with special reference to a class of learned men ranked with the magicians and astronomers. These men cultivated the ancient Cushite language of the original inhabitants of the land, for they had a "learning" and a "tongue" (1:4) of their own. The common language of the country at that time had become assimilated to the Semitic dialect, especially through the influence of the Assyrians, and was the language that was used for all civil purposes. The Chaldeans were the learned class, interesting themselves in science and religion, which consisted, like that of the ancient Arabians and Syrians, in the worship of the heavenly bodies. There are representations of this priestly class, of magi and diviners, on the walls of the Assyrian palaces.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
UR OF THE CHALDEES
kal'-dez ('ur kasdim; he chora (ton) Chaldaion): For more than 2,000 years efforts have been made to identify the site of this city. The writers of the Septuagint, either being unfamiliar with the site, or not considering it a city, wrote chora, "land," instead of Ur. Eupolemus, who lived about 150 B.C., spoke of it as being a city of Babylonia called Camarina, which he said was called by some Ouria. Stephen (Acts 7:2, 4) regarded the place as being in Mesopotamia. The Talmud, however, as well as some later Arabic writers, regarded Erech (the Septuagint Orek) as the city. The cuneiform writing of this city, Urnki, would seem to support this view, but Erech is mentioned in Genesis. Ammianus Marcellinus identified the city with the castle of Ur in the desert between Hatra and Nisibis, but this was only founded in the time of the Persians. Owing to its nearness to Haran, and because Stephen placed it in Mesopotamia, Urfa or Oorfa, named Edessa by the Greeks, has also in modern times been identified as the city. But Seleucus is credited with having built this city.
The most generally-accepted theory at the present time is that Ur is to be identified with the modern Mugheir (or Mughayyar, "the pitchy") in Southern Babylonia, called Urumma, or Urima, and later Uru in the inscriptions. This borders on the district which in the 1st millennium B.C. was called Chaldea (Kaldu).
This, some hold, accords with the view of Eupolemus, because Camarina may be from the Arabic name of the moon qamar, which refers perhaps to the fact that the ancient city was dedicated to the worship of the moon-god. Another argument which has been advanced for this identification is that Haran, the city to which Terah migrated, was also a center of moon-god worship. This, however, is precarious, because Urumma or Urima in Abraham's day was a Sumerian center, and the seat of Nannar-worship, whereas Haran was Semitic, and was dedicated to Sin. Although these two deities in later centuries were identified with each other, still the argument seems to have little weight, as other deities were also prominently worshipped in those cities, particularly Haran, which fact reminds us also that the Talmud says Terah worshipped no less than 12 deities.
It should be stated that there are scholars who hold, with the Septuagint, that Ur means, not a city, but perhaps a land in which the patriarch pastured his flocks, as for instance, the land of Uri or Ura (Akkad). The designation "of the Chaldeans" was in this case intended to distinguish it from the land where they were not found.
Still another identification is the town Uru (Mar-tu) near Sippar, a place of prominence in the time of Abraham, but which was lost sight of in subsequent periods (compare Amurru, 167). This fact would account for the failure to identify the place in the late pre-Christian centuries, when Urima or Uru still flourished. Western Semites-for the name Abram is not Babylonian-lived in this city in large numbers in the age when the patriarch lived. The Babylonian contract literature from this, as well as other sites, is full of names from the western Semitic lands, Aram and Amurru. This fact makes it reasonable that the site should be found in Babylonia; but, as stated, although the arguments are by no means weighty, more scholars at the present favor Mugheir than any other site.
A. T. Clay
Chaldees (13 Occurrences)
Genesis 11:28 Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldees. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT)
Genesis 11:31 Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife. They went forth from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan. They came to Haran and lived there. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT)
Genesis 15:7 He said to him, "I am Yahweh who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT)
2 Kings 25:4 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain. (KJV WBS)
2 Kings 25:5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. (KJV WBS)
2 Kings 25:10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. (KJV WBS)
2 Kings 25:13 And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon. (KJV WBS)
2 Kings 25:24 And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you. (KJV WBS)
2 Kings 25:25 But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah. (KJV WBS)
2 Kings 25:26 And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees. (KJV WBS)
2 Chronicles 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. (KJV DBY WBS)
Nehemiah 9:7 You are Yahweh the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS)
Isaiah 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. (KJV WBS)