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PADDAN ARAM or PADAN-ARAM ( Aramaic
Aramaic
: פדן ארם‎) was an early Aramean kingdom in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
. Paddan Aram in Aramaic
Aramaic
means the field of Aram. The name may correspond to the Hebrew “sedeh Aram,” or “field of Aram.” ( Rashi to Gen. 25:20; e.g., Hos. 12:13.)

CONTENTS

* 1 In the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
* 2 In Rabbinic interpretation * 3 See also * 4 References

IN THE HEBREW BIBLE

Paddan Aram designates the area of Harran
Harran
in upper Mesopotamia. "Paddan Aram" and "Haran" may be dialectical variations regarding the same locality as paddanū and harranū are synonyms for "road" or "caravan route" in Akkadian
Akkadian
.

Padan-aram or Padan appears in 11 verses in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
, all in Genesis. Adherents of the documentary hypothesis often attribute most of these verses to the priestly source and the remainder to a later redactor .

The city of Harran
Harran
, where Abraham
Abraham
and his father Terah settled after leaving Ur of the Chaldees , while en route to Canaan
Canaan
, according to the Genesis 11:31, was located in Paddan Aram, that part of Aram Naharaim that lay along the Euphrates. Abraham's brother Nahor settled in the area. Abraham’s nephew Bethuel , son of Nahor and Milcah , and father of Laban and Rebecca
Rebecca
, lived in Padan-aram. Abraham
Abraham
sent his steward, back there to find a wife among his kinfolk for his son, Isaac. The steward found Rebecca.

Isaac
Isaac
and Rebecca's son Jacob
Jacob
was sent there to avoid the wrath of his brother Esau . There Jacob
Jacob
worked for Laban, fathered eleven sons and daughter, Dinah, (Gen. 35:22-26; 46:15), and amassed livestock and wealth. (Gen. 31:18.) From there, Jacob
Jacob
went to Shechem
Shechem
and the Land of Israel
Israel
, where his twelfth son was born to him. (Gen. 33:18.)

IN RABBINIC INTERPRETATION

In the midrash , Rabbi Isaac
Isaac
taught that the people of Padan-aram were rogues and Rebekah was like a lily among the thorns. (Genesis Rabbah 63:4 see also Leviticus Rabbah 23:1 (deceivers); Song of Songs Rabbah 2:4 (tricksters); Zohar
Zohar
, Bereshit 1:136b (wicked); Rashi to Gen. 25:20 (wicked).) Rabbi Isaac
Isaac
thus considered Rebecca’s sojourn in Padan-aram as emblematic of Israel
Israel
’s among the nations. (Zohar, Bereshit 1:137a.)

SEE ALSO

* Padanaram Settlement , a modern community in Indiana named for Padan Aram. * Padanaram, Massachusetts , a village in the town of Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

REFERENCES

* ^ Kraeling, Emil Gottlieb Heinrich. Aram and Israel, Columbia University Press, 1918 * ^ A B C Bromiley, Geoffrey W., The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, p.627, 1915 ISBN 9780802837851 * ^ Richard Elliott Friedman . The Bible with Sources Revealed, 71, 76, 82, 109, 113. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003 * ^ Baden, Joel S. The Composition of the Pentateuch, p.235, Yale University Press, 2012 ISBN 9780300152630 * ^ Gunkle, Hermann and Biddle, Mark E., "Genesis", Mercer University Press, 1997 ISBN 9780865545175 * ^ Friedman 87, 89

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