Nahor was Abraham’s younger brother, named after his grandfather (Terah’s father). The book of Genesis introduces both brothers and their respective marriages in the same sentence, but we are told a significant detail about Abraham and Sarah… they were unable to have a child.
Later we’re told Nahor and his wife had 12 sons; these sons would become the founders of 12 Aramean tribes. And these descendants would intertwine with Abraham’s throughout the Genesis story.
One of Nahor’s sons – and his children – played an important role in the Jewish story.
When Abraham wanted a wife for his son, Isaac, he sent his servant to the family of his brother, Nahor. Rebekah, the chosen bride, was Nahor’s granddaughter (Gen. 24:1-67).
Years later, when Jacob would run away to escape his twin brother, Esau’s, wrath, he took refuge with Laban, another of Nahor’s grandchildren. Both of Jacob’s wives, Leah & Rachel, were great-granddaughters of Nahor (Gen. 29:1-30).
Nahor’s family impacted Abraham’s family in other ways, too. When Laban and Jacob parted ways, Laban made his promise to Jacob in the name of “the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor” (Gen. 31:53). Laban was probably not referring to the same God, but 2 different gods.
Abraham had abandoned the gods of his father and grandfather, in order to begin a new relationship with the God of the Bible. Nahor evidently did not. Nahor’s idolatry was passed down to Rachel (Laban’s daughter), who stole his household gods (Gen. 31:19).
2 brothers… 2 very different life paths… 2 very different families… 2 very different legacies. The difference? God!
God really can make all the difference…
You can read Nahor’s story in Genesis 11:26-32.
You can read of Nahor’s legacy throughout the book of Genesis.