Some extra thoughts on Terach and his family.


Terach and AbramOk we are slowly getting there, this is post six in the series (see the first here) … by the end of post eight we will have got through every ancestor in the book of Genesis. When we get there I plan to summarize them all into a single table with links to the supporting articles.

So in post four and five in this series we saw the phrase:

“The renown of the healer/releaser sent from the other side of the divide: a friend/shepherd of people, a branch/vine, the light/lamp, a wanderer…”

…emerged from translating the names in Jesus’ genealogy from Shem to Terach. We also saw how the qualities listed are all highlighted by the New Testament. Now before we move on and add Terach’s son Abram to to this list I want to look a little deeper at the name Terach, which we translated as “wanderer” in the last post.

You see, while Terach only gets a few verses to himself, he is actually an important character in the ancestry of Jesus. All three of Terach’s sons (Nahor, Haran and Abram), and a daughter (Sarai) become part of Jesus’ lineage.

Abram’s role is obvious, and his wife Sarai was his half sister, Terach’s daughter by another mother (Genesis 20:12). But Terach’s two other sons produce three women who marry into Abram’s family over the next few generations (Rebekah, Leah and Rachel), and two that marry into the messianic line specifically (Rebekah and Leah). See the table below.
Tree graphic

So Terach/”תרח” sort of broods over the chosen family/people.

Which is interesting because while his pagan name might mean “wanderer”  to the Hebrew ear it has been pointed out it would sound like either “Tor-Ruach”/”תר–רוח” which means “Dove-Spirit” or more simply “T-Ruach”/”ת–רוח” the prefixed tav adding emphasis to the word “Ruach”/”spirit” i.e “spirited” or “inspired”, (see Abarim Publications.) and the Dove-Spirit will brood over the future nation of Israel to bring about the Messaiah, the Christ.

So to the Hebrew ear the name implies “spirit-filled” Which of course gives us a really nice alternative quality in the list the healer would be famous for:

“The renown of the healer/releaser sent from the other side of the divide: a friend/shepherd of people, a branch/vine, the light/lamp, spirit-filled/dove-spirit.

I’m going to put a full stop here after Terach. Not because the next name, “Abram” doesn’t give us a quality Jesus would be known for, it really does! But because the next three names, Abram, Isaac and Jacob/Israel form an incredible sub-clause in there own right… which is the subject of the seventh post in this series.


Christen Forster

Christen Forster is widely recognised as an original Bible teacher who brings people into a love of and confidence in scripture.

Christen has planted churches, been a youth worker, mission administrator and church leaders. The author of several books, Christen is now an itinerant minister, helping churches to step into a more deliberately spiritual experience of the Christian life while at the same time firmly rooting their practice in scripture.

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Christen Forster

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