1. The Name and Its Etymology:
The city over which Arioch (Eri-Aku) and other Babylonian kings ruled (Genesis 14:1). The Semitic-Babylonians form of its name is (al) Larsa, "the city Larsa," a form which implies that the Hebrew has interchanged r and s, and transposed the final vowel. Its Sumerian name is given as Ararwa, apparently for Arauruwa, "light-abode," which, in fact, is the meaning of the ideographic group with which it is written. The ruins of this ancient site are now known as Senqara, and lie on the East bank of the Euphrates, about midway between Warka (Erech) and Muqayyar (Ur of the Chaldees). In addition to the name Larsa, it seems also to have been called Aste azaga "the holy (bright, pure) seat" (or throne), and both its names were apparently due to its having been one of the great Babylonian centers of sun-god worship.
2. Its Holy Places:
Like most of the principal cities of Babylonia, it had a great temple-tower, called E-dur-an-ki, "house of the bond of heaven and earth." The temple of the city bore the same name as that at Sippar, i.e. E-babbar, "House of Light," where the sun-god Samas was worshipped. This temple was restored by Ur-Engur, Hammurabi (Amraphel), Burna-burias, Nebuchadrezzar and Nabonidus. Among the tablets found on this site by Loftus was that which gives measures of length and square and cube roots, pointing to the place as one of the great centers of Babylonian learning. Besides the remains of these temples, there are traces of the walls, and the remains of houses of the citizens. The city was at first governed by its own kings, but became a part of the Babylonian empire some time after the reign of Hammurabi.
Loftus, Chaldea and Susiana; Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies?; Zehnpfund, Babylonien in seinen wichtigsten Ruinenstatten, 53- 54.
T. G. Pinches
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