Location of Haran

by vazir, Saturday, November 02, 2013, 01:57 (2032 days ago) @ vazir

Beth-Horon, Zin:

Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan (Genesis 12: 5).

If Ibraheem (P) was indeed a son of ancient Yemen, then what implications would this fact have on “Haran”, which the Bible tells us was a transit stop for Ibraheem’s family on their way to the lands of the so-called “Canaanites”?

Before we expose the misreading of the Old Testament texts for you, dear reader, it is worth noting that in the original Aramaic scripture (without vowels), the name “Haran” actually appears as “Ḥrn. When the Masoritic Order of Jewish priests, working from their monasteries in Turkey, took it upon themselves to articulate the texts, starting from around the 7th Century AD, they began adding vowels to the silent letters. Modern Jewish scholars know full-well that the Masoretic rendition of the Aramaic text is full of errors, and cannot be used as the basis for any further translation into other languages. This is why many scholars have called for returning the text to its original vowel-less form and starting again from scratch. To give you an example, the term “ha-yrdn”, which appears in the original text, was rendered as “The Jordan” by the Masoretes. Linguists and experts like Kamāl Ṣaleebi, David Margoliouth, Robert Leeman, Farajallah Deeb and others have pointed out this error by stating that the word simply means “the ridge” or “the escarpment” in Aramaic. Furthermore, the context of the Biblical passages that mention “ha-yrdn” has absolutely nothing to do with the Jordan of the Levant whatsoever. Thus, whenever we read about the “Hebrews” (nomads) crossing the “yrdn” in the Bible, it is not the Jordan river of the Levant that they crossed, but the Great Escarpment known as al-shafa, which separates the highlands of Najd from the Sarāt mountain range of Yemen.

Bearing this in mind, let us turn to al-Hamadāni’s gazetteer once again, this time to examine a rare verse of poetry that he quoted (DoA, page 334):

و بّحوران لّلأوراك وّ اّلضِّين وّّّّّ فّي خّصب عّثر ضّوضاءُّ

The above verse is by the Yemeni poet Ḥazāzah al-‘Amiriy, and it mentions two places, side by side: Ḥūrān and Ḍeen.

Could it be that the Masoretes mistakenly articulated “Ḥrn” as Haran? It appears very much so. Furthermore, the valley of Ḍeen mentioned in the above verse is none other than the Biblical “Zin”. The name was rendered with a “z” because of the ancient Yemeni dialects did not pronounce the letter (ḍād). This “Zin” is mentioned in the Bible as the place where Miriam, the daughter of Amram was buried:

And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there (Numbers 20:1).

Is it another coincidence that the poet Ḥazāzah mentions Ḥūrān and Ḍeen to be in the same geography? If so, then how can we explain the following passage in al-Hamadāni’s DoA (page 186)?

البُضع: أودية منها ذو عرابل و حوران و رواف و قاينه و ذو حديد و رفَضه و ذو حلفان؛ كلّها لبني مرّ. سبعو أودية، منها المأذنه و العولهو الحُجلة

Al-Hamadāni lists a series of valleys in the Yemeni highlands, among them Wādi Hūrān and Wādi Hujlah (the Biblical “Beth-Hogla”). Is this a coincidence too?

It is very clear that the “Horon” (or Haran) of the Bible is not a transit stop near the Syrian-Armenian border, in Ibraheem’s imaginary journey from ancient Iraq to Palestine, but is none other than the valley of Hūrān in Yemen. Sadly, many commentators thought al-Hamadāni was mentioning the Hūrān of Syria. This is completely false, as the above passage lists 10 other valleys that are nowhere to be found in the Levant.

Legendary Himyarite bard Umru’ al-Qayṣ also sings of the ancient Arabian Hūrān in the following verse:

و لّما بّدا حّوران وّ اّلآل دّونه نّّّّّّّظرتَ فّلم تّنظر بّعينك مّنظرا

There, dear reader, is the answer to this age-old puzzle.

Source: ARABIA: The Untold Story, Book 2: Road of the Patriarch, Page # 86-87.

Note: In next post, you will find details of some more places.

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