Gen 11:31-12:7 NRSV
11:31 Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were two hundred five years; and Terah died in Haran.
12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother's son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
Many people are aware that Abraham was the father of the Jews. What many don’t know is where Abraham came from. The city of Ur was in Chaldea, in Shinar, now in the southern part of modern day Iraq. Ur was the major commercial and worship center of the time. The people of Ur worshiped the moon-god Sin.
The city of Haran was located in what is now southeast Turkey, just north of the Syrian border. The people of Haran also worshiped Sin, which may explain why Terah stopped there, since Haran was the only other city known to have worshiped this deity. It is implied that Terah and the clan were called by God to go to Canaan since it says that is where they were headed before Abraham was given instruction by God to continue the journey.
Three things. First, God called Abraham out of “the city” into the land of Canaan. Second, God didn’t call Abraham out of just any city. God called him out of a preeminent political and commercial city in Shinar in Abraham’s day. Third, God called Abraham from out of the east toward the west, possibly signifying a move of humanity toward fulfillment.