Terah, or Térach (Hebrew: תֶּרַח‬, Ṫéraḥ, "Ibex, wild goat", or "Wanderer; loiterer") the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. He migrated with Abram, Sarai, and Lot (Nahor following them later) from Ur of the Chaldees to Charran (Haran), where he died (Gen. 11:24, 26, 31; Josh. 24:2; 1 Chr. 1:26; Abr. 1:30; 2:1–6).

Terah is a biblical figure in the Book of Genesis, son of Nahor, son of Serug and father of the Patriarch Abraham, all descendants of Shem's son Arpachshad. Terah is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 11:26-27, Joshua 24:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:17–27) and New Testament.[2]

Genesis 11 Narrative

24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:
25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.
26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram (Abraham), Nahor, and Haran.
27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
Genesis 11:24-32

Joshua 24 Narrative

2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
Joshua 24:2

1 Chronicles Narrative

24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah,
25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,
26 Serug, Nahor, Terah,
27 Abram; the same is Abraham.
1 Chronicles 1:24-27

Gospel of Luke Narrative

34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,
36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
Luke 3:34-36 - NIV Translation

Book of Jubilees Narrative

Book of Jubilees names Terah's wife as Edna, daughter of Abram, his cousin.

And in this thirty-ninth jubilee, in the second week in the first year, [1870 A.M.] Terah took to himself a wife, and her name was 'Edna, the daughter of 'Abram, the daughter of his father's sister. And in the seventh year of this week [1876 A.M.] she bare him a son, and he called his name Abram, by the name of the father of his mother; for he had died before his daughter had conceived a son. And the child began to understand the errors of the earth that all went astray after graven images and after uncleanness, and his father taught him writing, and he was two weeks of years old, [1890 A.M.] and he separated himself from his father, that he might not worship idols with him. Book of Jubilees 11:13-15

Idolatrous Practices

Hebrew, Islamic and Latter-day Saint traditions all hold that Terah was an idol worshipper. All three have stories of attempts to sacrifice Terah's son Abraham by a major wicked priest but was miraculously saved by his God.

According to rabbinical tradition Terah was a wicked (Numbers Rabbah 19:1; 19:33), idolatrous priest (Midrash HaGadol on Genesis 11:28) who manufactured idols (Eliyahu Rabbah 6, and Eliyahu Zuta 25). Abram, in opposition to his father’s idol shop, smashed his father’s idols and chased customers away. Terah then brought his unruly son before Nimrod, who threw him into a fiery furnace, yet Abram miraculously escaped (Genesis Rabba 38:13). The Zohar says that when God saved Abram from the furnace, Terah repented (Zohar Genesis 1:77b) and Rabbi Abba B. Kahana said that God assured Abram that his father Terah had a portion in the World to Come (Genesis Rabbah 30:4; 30:12).

Marriage and Family

1st Marriage

  1. Abraham ben Terah - Famous Hebrew Prophet - Father of Ismael and Isaac (and the Israelite nation)
  2. Haran ben Terah - Died Young, Father of Lot whose descendants include the Moabites and Ammonites.
  3. Nahor ben Terah - Grandfather of Laban and Rebecca.

2nd Marriage

  1. Sarai, daughter of Terah - Abraham married his step-sister.


Offspring of Terah and unknown parent
Name Birth Death Joined with
Abraham ben Terah 9999 City of Ur, Mesopotamia 9999 Kirjath-arba, Hebron, Land of Canaan Sarai, daughter of Terah Hagar, handmaid of Sarah Sarai, daughter of Terah Hagar, handmaid of Sarah Keturah
Haran ben Terah 9999 City of Ur, Mesopotamia 9999 City of Ur, Mesopotamia
Nahor ben Terah 9999 City of Ur, Mesopotamia 9999 City of Ur, Mesopotamia Milcah, daughter of Haran Milcah, daughter of Haran Reumah (?-?)

Offspring of Terah and unknown parent
Name Birth Death Joined with
Sarai, daughter of Terah 9999 City of Ur, Mesopotamia 9999 Kirjath-arba, Hebron, Land of Canaan Abraham ben Terah


#g1: Offspring of Nahor ben Serug and Iyoska
Name Birth Death Joined with
Terah ben Nahor 9999, City of Ur, Mesopotamia 9999, City of Harran, Mesopotamia
other sons and daughters , ,


Footnotes (including sources)

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