Here begins the story of Abram, whose name is famous, henceforward, in both Testaments. We have here,
I. His country: Ur of the Chaldees. This was the land of his nativity, an idolatrous country, where even the children of Eber themselves had degenerated. Note, Those who are, through grace, heirs of the land of promise, ought to remember what was the land of their nativity, what was their corrupt and sinful state by nature, the rock out of which they were hewn.
II. His relations, mentioned for his sake, and because of their interest in the following story. 1. His father was Terah, of whom it is said (Josh. 24:2) that he served other gods, on the other side of the flood, so early did idolatry gain footing in the world, and so hard is it even for those that have some good principles to swim against the stream. Though it is said (Gen. 11:26) that when Terah was seventy years old he begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran (which seems to tell us that Abram was the eldest son of Terah, and was born in his seventieth year), yet, by comparing Gen. 11:32; which makes Terah to die in his 205th year, with Acts 7:4 (where it is said that he was but seventy-five years old when he removed from Haran), it appears that he was born in the 130th year of Terah, and probably was his youngest son; for, in God’s choices, the last are often first and the first last. We have, 2. Some account of his brethren. (1.) Nahor, out of whose family both Isaac and Jacob had their wives. (2.) Haran, the father of Lot, of whom it is here said (Gen. 11:28) that he died before his father Terah. Note, Children cannot be sure that they shall survive their parents; for death does not go by seniority, taking the eldest first. The shadow of death is without any order, Job 10:22. It is likewise said that he died in Ur of the Chaldees, before the happy removal of the family out of that idolatrous country. Note, It concerns us to hasten out of our natural state, lest death surprise us in it. 3. His wife was Sarai, who some think, was the same with Iscah, the daughter of Haran. Abram himself says of her that she was the daughter of his father, but not the daughter of his mother, Gen. 20:12. She was ten years younger than Abram.
III. His departure out of Ur of the Chaldees, with his father Terah, his nephew Lot, and the rest of his family, in obedience to the call of God, of which we shall read more, Gen. 12:1-20 This chapter leaves them in Haran, or Charran, a place about mid-way between Ur and Canaan, where they dwelt till Terah’s head was laid, probably because the old man was unable, through the infirmities of age, to proceed in his journey. Many reach to Charran, and yet fall short of Canaan; they are not far from the kingdom of God, and yet never come thither.