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Urfa

Abraham, contrary to what was commonly held until recently, did not come from the village of Ur in Mesopotamia, but rather the town of Urfa in southern Turkey. The confusion, as one might have guessed, was likely a consequence of phonetic confusion.

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Long ago, Abraham, the father of monotheism, had lashed out against Nimrod, the polytheistic King of the region. Nimrod became furious and tied Abraham between two columns, which still stand tall atop the fort of Urfa to this day. The king next proceeded to use Abraham as a human catapult, launching him high into the air. Below, a gigantic inferno raged, ready to catch Abraham in its flames. Yet God miraculously intervened; the fire was at once transformed into a pool, and the burning logs into fish. Abraham survived.

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The tribulations weren’t over however, as Abraham had succeeded in seducing the daughter of Nimrod, upon whom the king forced the same punishment. Yet once again God perform this miracle. In close proximity to the pool into which Abraham fell, still filled with the swimming fish transformed from logs by God, another pond opened and caught the daughter of the king.

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It is a pity that the columns between which Abraham was bound and tormented date to roughly eighteen hundred years after the reign of King Nimrod. A detail that does not, however, prevent the history and miracle surrounding Abraham’s suffering from being celebrated by the current inhabitants of Urfa, who gather near the sacred ponds and walk through the enchanting gardens that now surround them.

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In the meantime, Abraham would leave the daughter of the king, and make his way to Palestine where he would soon marry Sarah and continue to propagate his monotheism among the chosen people.


by  Prince Michael of Greece

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