When studying the life and journeys of Abraham (called Abram till God changed his name), one thing jumps out at me. Considering my studies in the history of the Magi, I find it intriguing that the Word of God states that Abram’s people were from Ur of the Chaldeans. Why is this you ask? What connection could the Jewish Patriarch have with the Magi who visited Christ?
When studying the history of the Magi, we find quite easily that the Magi were at their onset a tribe of the Chaldeans. As they progressed, the tribe became the priestly caste much like the Levites of the Jewish people. They grew in power and rose to be the king makers of their time; becoming kings and crowning kings. But if Abraham was originally from the land of the Chaldeans and the Magi grew from the Chaldean people, wouldn’t that mean that the Jewish nation and the Magi grew from the same people?
I wish it were so. It seemed an exhilarating notion to think that the Magi who came to worship the Christ child were of the same blood as Abraham himself. And, although Isaiah 60:6 has always led me to believe this…
“Herds of camels will cover your land,
young camels of Midian and Ephah.
And all from Sheba will come,
bearing gold and incense
and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.”
The fact that they came from the same area doesn’t help prove my theory. The facts must prevail. With Chirst, all that matters is Truth and not what we wish the facts to be. Abram/Abraham left Ur somewhere between 20th to the 18th century BC. Unfortunately, the Chaldeans were not natives of Mesopotamia, but migrated from somewhere north probably Armenia. No, the people who birthed the Magi did not populate present day Iraq until between 940-860 BC.
So, unfortunately, Abraham’s people in Ur had no connection to the Chaldeans at all. The comment in Genesis that he came from Ur of the Chaldeans was an anachronistic description that the readers would understand. When Abraham heeded God’s call and set off for the promised land of CANAAN, his homeland was not called Chaldea and hadn’t seen the Chaldean people as of yet.
However, the Jews would come into contact with the Magi during their being conquered by Babylon and Assyria. But that is for another day.