“Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot, his brother’s son, and all their wealth they had amassed, and the souls they made in Haran; and they left to go to the land of Canaan, and they came to the land of Canaan.”  Gen. 12:5

When speaking of Abraham leaving Haran, the Stone edition of the Chumash translates Genesis 12:5 as “…and the souls they made in Haran”, and likewise, the King James bible translates it as “and the souls they had gotten in Haran.” This, instead of the usual translation of “the persons which they acquired in Haran” or similar.

Josephus, in his Antiquities, writes about Abraham in the following manner:  “…he determined to renew and to change the opinion all men happened then to have concerning God; for he was the first that ventured to publish this notion, that there was but one God, the creator of the universe.”  Thus Abraham may have been a proponent of monotheism early on, a school of thought that was distinct at the time and would shape the Abrahamic religions for centuries, even millenia, to come.  Josephus also tells us that because of his doctrines, the peoples of Chaldea raised a tumult against him so he left.

When considering that Abraham may have been a witness and possibly a prophet of God, these translations may not come across so strange; It is entirely possible that these people with Abraham may have been converts to monotheism and looked to Abraham as a teacher and followed him, and were not merely slaves or helpers.  We know that 318 of these men ultimately followed him into battle though vastly outnumbered (Gen. 14:14).

Advertisements