PADDAN ARAM (pā'dăn-ā'răm, plain of Aram). The word originally, as shown by the cuneiform contract tablets, signified a unit of measuring. It is the home of Jacob’s exile (Gen.31.18), the home of Laban. It is almost certainly to be identified with Haran of the upper Euphrates Valley. It is also sometimes translated simply as “Mesopotamia.” In Gen.48.7 it is given as Paddan only.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
or p.-ar’-am (paddan ’aram; Septuagint Mesopotamia tes Surias; the King James Version Padan-aram): In Ge 48:7, Paddan stands alone, but as the Septuagint, Sam, and Peshitta read "Aram" also, it must in this verse have dropped out of the Massoretic Text. In the time of Abraham, padanu occurs on the Babylonian contract-tablets as a land measure, to which we may compare the Arabic feddan or "ox-gang." In the Assyrian syllabaries it is the equivalent of iklu, "a field," so that Paddan-aram would mean "the field of Aram," and with this we may compare Ho 12:12 (Hebrew 12:13) and the use of the Hebrew sadheh in connection with Moab and Edom (Jud 5:4; Ru 1:6).
Furthermore, [`padanu] and harranu are given as synonyms with the meaning of "road."
Paddan-aram occurs only in the Priestly Code (P), but it corresponds to the "Haran" of the older documents. The versions agree in translating both as Mesopotamia, and identify with the home of the patriarchs and the scene of Jacob’s exile the district of Haran to the East of the Upper Euphrates valley. More in harmony with the length of Jacob’s flight, as indicated by the time given (Ge 31:22,23), is Harran-el-`Awamid, an ancient site 10 miles to the East of Damascus, which satisfies all the demands of history.
W .M. Christie