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Uzziel renders Gen. xi. 28 thus: 'And it came to pass, when Nimrod cast Abram into the furnace of fire because he did not worship his idols, that the fire was not permitted to injure him,' etc. And the same author renders Gen. xv. 7 thus: 'And He said to him, I am Jehovah, who took thee out of the of fire of the Chaldaeans' 

(מֵאתּוּן נוּרא דְכשְראֵי אנא יְי דְאֵפּיתּך)
 The story thus rose from rendering Ur Kasdim 'fire of the Chaldaeans' instead of taking it as a proper name; uru in Assyrian meaning 'city' (cf. Heb. עיו ), not 'fire' or 'light' (Heb. אוו ).

2. Muhammadan writers inform us that the earth is surrounded by a great chain of mountains named Qaf. They hold that this is referred to in the Qur'an where Surah l. begins with the letter (ق , [Qaf]) standing alone. In the 'Araisu't Tijan (p. 8) we read, 'GOD Most High created a great mountain from a single green emerald. The greenness (sic) of the sky is derived from it. It is called Mount Qaf. Then He surrounded the whole earth with it; and it is by this that GOD sware, saying (Surah 1., 1), "Qaf, by the glorious Qur'an!"' Even Muhiyu'ddin, the mystical commentator on the Qur'an in his note on this passage, speaks of Mt. Qaf as really existing. In the Qisasu'l Anbiya we read that 'Abdu'llah bin Sallam one day asked Muhammad, 'What is above (or behind) the earth? 'He said, 'Mt. Qaf.' The other inquired of what Mt. Qaf was made. Muhammad said, 'Of green emerald; and the greenness of the sky is owing to it.' 'Thou hast spoken truly, O Apostle of GOD! What is the height of Mt. Qaf


He said, 'It is five hundred years' journey high.' The other asked, 'How far is it round?' He replied, 'Two thousand years' journey round' (Qisas, p. 5).

I was for some time puzzled to find out the origin of this mountain and its peculiar name. I have now found it in a Rabbinical comment on Gen. i. 2. The explanation given there of the word תהוּ (thohu) is as follows:

תהו קר ירוק שמקיף את כל העולם כולו שממנו יצא חשך
i.e. Thohu is a green line (qav) which girds the whole world, and from which darkness comes forth' (Hagigah, xi. 1). The word here translated 'line' is qav in the Hebrew. Evidently the Jews found it difficult to understand the obsolete thohu, and so the commentator erroneously explained it by the word qav, line. The Arabs did not understand the latter word, but, learning that this Qav surrounded the world, they imagined that it must be a range of mountains of a great height, bearing this name.

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