2052 BC - 1877 BC
- Audrey Maxine Ellis' 71st Great Grandfather
Abraham (Hebrew: ????????? (help·info), Modern: Avraham, Tiberian: 'A?raham, Ashkenazi: Avrohom or Avruhom, Arabic: ???????? Ibrahim) was Israel's founding patriarch (founding father); his story is told in chapters 11-25 of the Book of Genesis, and he plays a prominent role in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Narrative in Genesis
The life of Abraham is related in Genesis 11:26-25:10 of the Hebrew Bible.
Abram's origins and calling
Terah, the tenth in descent from Noah, fathered Abram, Nahor and Haran, and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in his native Ur of the Chaldees, and Abram married Sarai, who was barren. Terah, with Abram, Sarai and Lot, then departed for Canaan, but settled in a place named Haran, where Terah died at the age of 205. (Genesis 11:27-11:32)
God appeared to Abram and told him to depart. After settling in Haran, where his father Terah died, God then told Abram to leave his country and his father's house for a land that He would show him, promising to make of him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless those who blessed him, and curse those who cursed him. (Genesis 12:1-3) Following God's command, at age 75, Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and the wealth and persons that they had acquired, and traveled to Shechem in Canaan.
Abram and Sarai
There was a severe famine in the land of Canaan, so that Abram and Lot and their households, travelled south to Egypt. En route, Abram told his wife Sarai, to only say that she was his sister, so that the Egyptians would not kill him. (Genesis 12:10-13) When they entered Egypt, the princes of Pharaoh praised Sarai's beauty to the Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace, and Abram was given provisions: "oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels". However, God afflicted the Pharaoh and his household with great plagues, (Genesis 12:14-17) and after discovering that Sarai was also Abram's wife, the Pharaoh wanted nothing to do with them. He demanded that he and his household leave immediately, along with all their goods. (Genesis 12:18-20)
Abram and Lot separate
When they came back to the Bethel and Hai area, Abram's and Lot's sizeable numbers of livestock occupied the same pastures ("and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.") This became a problem for the herdsmen who were assigned to each family's cattle. The conflicts between herdsmen had become so troublesome that Abram graciously suggested that Lot choose a separate area, either on the left hand or on the right hand, that there be no conflict amongst "brethren". But Lot chose to go east to the plain of Jordan where the land was well watered everywhere as far as Zoar, and he dwelled in the cities of the plain toward Sodom. Abram went south to Hebron and settled in the plain of Mamre, where he built another altar to worship God. (Genesis 13:1-18)
Abram and Chedorlaomer
During the rebellion of the Jordan River cities against Elam, (Genesis 14:1-9) Abram's nephew, Lot, was taken prisoner along with his entire household by the invading Elamite forces. The Elamite army came to collect booty from the spoils of war, after having just defeated the King of Sodom's armies. (Genesis 14:8-12) Lot and his family, at the time, were settled on the outskirts of the Kingdom of Sodom which made them a visible target. (Genesis 13:12)
One person that escaped capture came and told Abram what happened. Once Abram received this news, he immediately assembled 318 trained servants. Abram's elite force headed north in pursuit of the Elamite army, who were already worn down from the Battle of Siddim. When they caught up with them at Dan, Abram devised a battle strategy plan by splitting his group into more than one unit, and launched a night raid. Not only were they able to free the captives, Abram's unit chased and slaughtered the Elamite King Chedorlaomer at Hobah, just north of Damascus. They freed Lot, his household, possessions, and recovered all of the goods from Sodom that were taken. (Genesis 14:13-16)
Upon Abram's return, Sodom's King (whom we do not know since the previous king Bera of Sodom perished in Gen14:10) came out to meet with him in the Valley of Shaveh, the "king's dale". Also, Melchizedek king of Salem (Jerusalem), a priest of God Most High, brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram and God. Abram then gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom then offered to let Abram keep all the possessions if he would merely return his people. Though he released the captives, Abram refused any reward from the King of Sodom, other than the share his allies were entitled to. (Genesis 14:17-24)
The word of God came to Abram in a vision and repeated the promise of the land and descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram and God made a covenant ceremony, and God told of the future bondage of Israel in Egypt. God described to Abram the land that his offspring would claim: "the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” (Genesis 15)
Abram and Hagar
Abram and Sarai were trying to make sense of how he would become a progenitor of nations since it had already been 10 years of living in Canaan, and still no child had been born from Abram's seed. Sarai then offered her Egyptian handmaid, Hagar, for Abram to consort with so that she may have a child by her, as a wife. Abram consented and had sexual intercourse with Hagar. The result of these actions created a fiery relationship between Hagar and Sarai. (Genesis 16:1-6)
After a harsh encounter with Sarai, Hagar fled toward Shur. En route, an angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar at the well of a spring. He instructed her to return to Sarai for she will bear a son who “shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” She was told to call her son: Ishmael. Hagar then referred to God as “El-roi”, meaning that she had gone on seeing after God saw her. From that day, the well was called Beer-lahai-roi. She then did as she was instructed by returning to Abram in order to have her child. Abram was eighty-six years of age when Ishmael was born. (Genesis 16:7-16)
Abraham and Sarah
Genesis 17 records the inauguration of Abram into God's covenant that was initiated thirteen years ago, as was stated in Genesis 15. Abram is now ninety-nine when God declares Abram's new name: “Abraham, a father of many nations.” Abram then received the instructions for the inauguration rite into God's covenant because the time was approaching for him to have a son by his wife, Sarai. The initiation rite was that in order to be part of this “great nation”, whether by bloodline or inducted, every male must be circumcised otherwise it was a breach of contract. Then God declared Sarai's new name: “Sarah” and blessed her. Immediately after Abram's encounter with his God, he had his entire household of men, including himself and Ishmael, circumcised. (Genesis 17:1-27)
Abraham's three visitors
Not long afterward, during the heat of the day, Abraham had been sitting at the entrance of his tent by the terebinths of Mamre. He looked up and saw three men in the presence of God. Then he ran and bowed to the ground to welcome them. Abraham then offered to wash their feet and fetch them a morsel of bread of which they assented. Abraham rushed to Sarah's tent to order cakes made from choice flour, then he ordered a servant-boy to prepare a choice calf. When all was prepared, he set curds, milk and the calf before them waiting on them, under a tree, as they ate. (Genesis 18:1-8)
One of the visitors told Abraham that upon his return next year, Sarah would have a son. While at the tent entrance, Sarah overheard what was said and she laughed to herself about the prospect of having a child at their ages. The visitor inquired to Abraham why Sarah laughed at bearing a child for her age as nothing is too hard for God. Frightened, Sarah denied laughing.
After eating, Abraham and the three visitors got up. They walked over to the peak that overlooked the Cities of the Plain to discuss the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah for their detestable sins that were so great, it moved God to action. Because Abraham's nephew was living in Sodom, God revealed plans to confirm and judge these cities. At this point, the two other visitors leave for Sodom. Then Abraham turned to the Lord and pleaded incrementally with Him (from fifty persons to less) that 'if there were at least ten righteous men found in the city, would not God spare the city?' For the sake of ten righteous people, God declared that he would not destroy the city. (Genesis 18:17-33)
When the two visitors got to Sodom to conduct their report, they planned on staying in the city square. However, Abraham's nephew, Lot, met with them and strongly insisted that these two “men” stay at his house for the night. A rally of men stood outside of Lot's home and demanded that they bring out his guests so that they may “know” them. However, Lot objected and offered his virgin daughters to the rally of men instead. They rejected that notion and sought to break Lot's doors down to get to his male guests, thus confirming the “outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah” and sealing their doom. (Genesis 19:12-13)
Early the next morning, Abraham awoke and went to the elevation that looked over the River Jordan plain, at the very spot where he stood before God, the day prior. From his vantage point, he saw what became of the cities of the plain as “dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.” (Genesis 19:27-29) This meant that there was not even ten righteous people in any of those cities. (Genesis 18:32)
Abraham and Abimelech
Abraham settled between Kadesh and Shur in the land of the Philistines. While he was living in Gerar, Abraham openly claimed that Sarah was his sister. Upon discovering this news, King Abimelech had her brought to him. Later, God came to Abimelech in a dream and declared that taking her would result in death because she was a married woman. Abimelech had not laid hands on her, so he inquired if he would also slay a righteous nation, especially since Abraham had claimed that he and Sarah were siblings. In response, God told Abimelech that he did indeed have a blameless heart and that is why he continued to exist. However, should he not return the wife of Abraham back to him, God would surely destroy Abimelech and his entire household. Abimelech was informed that Abraham was a prophet who would pray for him.(Genesis 20:1-7)
Early next morning, Abimelech informed his servants of his dream and approached Abraham inquiring as to why he had brought such great guilt upon his kingdom. Abraham stated that he thought there was no fear of God in that place, and that they might kill him for his wife. Then Abraham defended what he had said as not being a lie at all: "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife." (Genesis 20:12) Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham, and gave him gifts of sheep, oxen, and servants; and invited him to settle wherever he pleased in Abimelech's lands. Further, Abimelech gave Abraham a thousand pieces of silver to serve as Sarah's vindication before all. Abraham then prayed for Abimelech and his household, since the LORD had stricken the women with infertility because of the taking of Sarah. (Genesis 20:8-18)
After living for some time in the land of the Philistines, Abimelech and Phicol, the chief of his troops, approached Abraham because of a dispute that resulted in a violent confrontation at a well. Abraham then reproached Abimelech due to his Philistine servant's aggressive attacks and the seizing of Abraham's well. Abimelech claimed ignorance of the incident. Then Abraham offered a pact by providing sheep and oxen to Abimelech. Further, to attest that Abraham was the one who dug the well, he also gave Abimelech seven ewes for proof. Because of this sworn oath, they called the place of this well: Beersheba. After Abimelech and Phicol headed back to Philistia, Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba and called upon "the name of the LORD, the everlasting God." (Genesis 21:22-34)
Birth of Isaac
As had been prophesied in Mamre the previous year (Genesis 18:14), Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham, at the very time which had been spoken. The patriarch, now a hundred years old, named the child "Isaac" (Hewbrew yitschaq, laughter) and circumcised him when he was eight days old. (Genesis 21:4) In doing so, the second son of Abraham became the first to undergo the covenant-sign of circumcision at the age God had commanded. (Genesis 17:12) For Sarah, the thought of giving birth and nursing a child, at such an old age, also brought her much laughter, as she declared, "God hath made me to laugh. Every one that heareth will laugh with me." (Genesis 21:6-7)
Isaac continued to grow and on the day he was weaned, Abraham held a great feast to honor the occasion. During the celebration, however, Sarah found Ishmael mocking; an observation that would begin to clarify the birthright of Isaac. (Genesis 21:8-9) 
Abraham and Ishmael
Abraham was fond of his son Ishmael who had grown up to be fourteen years old when his son Isaac was born. However, with Sarah, things were never the same with Ishmael's mother Hagar, back in her life. Now that Sarah had finally borne her own child, she could no longer stand the sight of either Hagar or Ishmael. When the teenager was jesting around, Sarah told Abraham to send the two of them away. She declared that Ishmael would not share in Isaac's inheritance. Abraham was greatly distressed by his wife's words and sought the advice of his God. The Lord told Abraham not to be distressed but to do as his wife commanded. God reassured Abraham that "in Isaac shall seed be called to thee." (Genesis 21:12) He also said that Ishmael would make a nation, "because he is thy seed", too. (Genesis 21:9-13)
Early the next morning, Abraham brought Hagar and Ishmael out together. He gave her bread and water and sent them away. The two wandered the wilderness of Beersheba until her bottle of water was completely consumed. In a moment of despair, she burst in tears. The boy then called to God and upon hearing him, an angel of God confirmed to Hagar that he would become a great nation. A well of water then appeared so that it saved their lives. As the boy grew, he became a skilled archer living in the wilderness of Paran. Eventually his mother found a wife for Ishmael from her native country, the land of Egypt. (Genesis 21:14-21)
Abraham and Isaac
At some point in Isaac's youth, Abraham was commanded by God to offer his son up as a sacrifice in the land of Moriah. The patriarch traveled three days until he came to the mount that God told him of. He commanded the servants to remain while he and Isaac proceeded alone into the mount. Isaac carried the wood upon which he would be sacrificed. Along the way, Isaac asked his father where the animal for the burnt offering was, to which Abraham replied "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering". Just as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, he was interrupted by "the angel of the LORD", and he saw behind him a ram "caught in a thicket by his horns", which he sacrificed instead of his son. For his obedience he received another promise of numerous descendants and abundant prosperity. After this event, Abraham went to Beersheba. (Genesis 22:1-19)
Sarah, the only woman in the Hebrew scriptures whose age is stated, was 127 years old when she died. Abraham buried her in the Cave of the Patriarchs (also called the Cave of Machpelah), near Hebron which he had purchased, along with the adjoining field, from Ephron the Hittite and laid her to rest in the cave. (Genesis 23:1-20)
After the death of Sarah, Abraham took another wife, a concubine named Keturah, who bore him six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. (Genesis 25:1-6)
Abraham lived 175 years, and "died in a good old age". The Bible says he was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael in the cave of Machpelah. (Genesis 25:7-10)
Abraham in religious traditions
It is currently widely believed by Christians, Jews, and other scholars that Abraham was a true historical figure. For example, the Catholic church takes the stance that Abraham was more than a mere myth, and that archaeology supports this position.
In Islamic and Jewish traditions, Abraham is referred to as "our Father" (Hebrew: Avraham Avinu, Arabic: abeena Ibraheem).
In Jewish and Christian tradition, Abraham is the father of the Israelites through his son Isaac, whose mother was Sarah. His oldest son is Ishmael, whose mother is Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian handmaiden.
In Islamic tradition, Abraham is considered a prophet of Islam, the ancestor of Muhammad, through his son Ishmael, whose mother is Hagar (????).
Abraham's life can be read in the weekly Torah reading portions, predominantly in the parashot: Lech-Lecha ( ????-???? ), Vayeira ( ???????? ), Chayei Sarah ( ?????? ?????? ), and Toledot ( ????????? )
Rabbinic Judaism faced a seeming contradiction with Abraham, in that he lived before the laws of the Torah had been revealed to Moses. Therefore, Abraham would not have been knowledgeable of all of the Torah's commandments, besides the instruction of practicing circumcision. The rabbis (traditional teachers and interpreters of the Torah), however, interpreted the narratives of the Torah in Genesis to say that Abraham had in fact known and practiced the Law in its entirety, although there are different interpretations as to how exactly Abraham practiced different aspects of the law.
11th and 12th century Rabbis Rashi and Abraham ibn Ezra agree that Abram's native homeland was Ur Kasdim, better known as Ur of the Chaldees, a Mesopotamian location settled by the descendants of Ham. Some modern Jewish studies identify this location to be the same as the Sumerian city-state of Ur. However, this Persian Gulf city in Iraq is only a candidate among others to be the actual Ur Kasdim, as well as the most popularly debated one since 1927. The city of Urfa (classical Urha
Rabbi Nahmanides, known as the Ramban, was a medieval Jewish scholar of the 13th century who disagreed with Rashi and Ibn Ezra concerning Abram's birthplace. The Ramban states that because Ur Kasdim was settled by Ham's descendants, this could not be Abram's birthplace as he was a descendant of Shem. However, everyone does agree that Abram's family under the headship of his father, Terach, had all lived in Ur Kasdim before being called to move to Canaan.
The three Rabbis also agree that Terach's native homeland was Charan, the biblical place known as Haran in Genesis 11:31,32, where the House of Terach was located.[Gen.12:1] Since this settlement was established by Shem's descendants, only Ramban assumed that Charan had to be Abram's birthplace. He further concluded that Terach and his three sons eventually moved from Charan to Ur Kasdim, and then later by God's command, they headed to Canaan. Of course, they stopped back at Terach's hometown of Charan, where the father stayed there rather than going to Canaan after all.
The Abraham stained glass window at St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina
In the New Testament Abraham is mentioned prominently as a man of faith (see e.g. Hebrews 11), and the apostle Paul uses him as an example of salvation by faith, as the progenitor of the Christ (or Messiah) (see Galatians 3:16).
The New Testament also sees Abraham as an obedient man of God, and Abraham's interrupted attempt to offer up Isaac is seen as the supreme act of perfect faith in God. "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, 'In Isaac your seed shall be called', concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense." (Hebrews 11:17-19) The imagery of a father sacrificing his son is seen as a type of God the Father offering his Son on Golgotha.
The traditional view in Christianity is that the chief promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12 is that through Abraham's seed all the people of earth would be blessed. Notwithstanding this, John the Baptist specifically taught that merely being of Abraham's seed was no guarantee of salvation. The promise in Genesis is considered to have been fulfilled through Abraham's seed, Jesus. It is also a consequence of this promise that Christianity is open to people of all races and not limited to Jews.
The Roman Catholic Church calls Abraham "our father in Faith", in the Eucharistic prayer of the Roman Canon, recited during the Mass (see Abraham in the Catholic liturgy). He is also commemorated in the calendars of saints of several denominations: on 20 August by the Maronite Church, 28 August in the Coptic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East (with the full office for the latter), and on 9 October by the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. He is also regarded as the patron saint of those in the hospitality industry.
The Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates him as the "Righteous Forefather Abraham", with two feast days in its liturgical calendar. The first time is on 9 October (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 9 October falls on 22 October of the modern Gregorian Calendar), where he is commemorated together with his nephew "Righteous Lot". The other is on the "Sunday of the Forefathers" (two Sundays before Christmas), when he is commemorated together with other ancestors of Jesus. Abraham is also mentioned in the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, just before the Anaphora. Abraham and Sarah are invoked in the prayers said by the priest over a newly married couple at the Sacred Mystery of Crowning (i.e., the Sacrament of Marriage).
Abraham ("Ibrahim") is an important figure in the Quran, mentioned in 25 chapters, briefly or in detail. Muslims regard him as a prophet and patriarch, the archetype of the perfect Muslim, and the revered reformer of the Kaaba in Mecca.
Islamic traditions consider Abraham the father of Islam (which is also called millat Ibrahim, the "religion of Abraham"), and that his purpose and mission throughout his life was to proclaim the Oneness of God. When Ibrahim (Abraham) was asked for sacrifice and took Ismael to the place when he was about to use the knife, God placed a sheep under his hand. From that day onward, every Eid (Eid Al Adha) once a year Muslims around the world slaughter a sheep to follow the path of Ibrahim that is called Qurbani sacrifice.
Bahá'u'lláh, the prophet of the Baha'i Faith, affirms the highest religious station for Abraham and generally for prophets mentioned among the other Abrahamic religions, and has claimed a lineage of descent from Abraham through Keturah and Sarah. Additionally Bahá'u'lláh actually did lose a son, Mírzá Mihdí. Bahá'u'lláh, then in prison, eulogized his son and connected the subsequent easing of restrictions to his dying prayer and also compared it to the intended sacrifice of Abraham's son.
Origins and composition
Scholarship for more than two centuries have agreed that the Torah, in which the Patriarchal stories are found, was drawn together from different literary sources. However, any particular identification or dating of the textual sources have been strongly debated.
It is widely held by modern biblical scholarship that the Patriarchs, including Abraham, are not clearly and unambiguously attested in the Hebrew Bible earlier than the Babylonian exile. This has led modern scholars to propose that the entire Torah, which include the stories of Abraham, all originated from literary circles either during the Persian period of the late 6th century BCE, to the 5th century Babylonian rule, or as late as Hellenistic times. Under these dominions, the Patriarchal stories are seen as hope for the Jewish people when Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Davidic kingship were all but destroyed. YHWH's dealings with their ancestors provided hope for a future in which an ancestral foundation could be built. Thus, Abraham served as a model for those who would return to Judah.
There are however, modern supporters for an earlier dating. Robert Alter interjects that the Hebrew language evolved over nine centuries of biblical literary activity, from the First Commonwealth (1000 BCE to 586 BCE) to the late Persian/Hellenistic periods. Both Alter and Ronald Hendel argue that there is very little Hebrew in the Torah that could bare a late dating to the 6th-4th century BCE eras, due to their linguistic differences.
Abraham first appears as Abram, until he is renamed by God in Genesis 17:5. Both names are West Semitic, and similar and even identical names have been found in texts dating from the 14th century BCE to the 7th. The text of Genesis suggests that the new name means "father of multitudes", which indicates the significance Abraham had for the authors, but in fact the meaning is unknown.
There is basic agreement that Abraham's connection with Haran, Shechem and Bethel is secondary and originated when he became identified as the father of Jacob and ancestor of the northern tribes; his association with Mamre and Hebron, on the other hand (in the south, in the territory of Jerusalem and Judah), suggest that this region was the original home of his religion.
The standard text of the Hebrew Bible places Abraham's birth 1,948 years after the Creation, or 1948 AM (Anno Mundi, "Year of the World"). The two other major textual traditions have different dates, the translated Greek Septuagint putting it at 3312 AM and the Samaritan version of the Torah at 2247 AM. All three agree that he died at the age of 175. There have been over two hundred attempts to match the biblical chronology to dates in history, two of the more influential being the traditional Jewish dates (Abraham lived 1812 BCE to 1637 BCE), and those of the 17th century Archbishop James Ussher (Abraham lived 1976 BCE to 1801 BCE); but the most that can be said with some degree of certainty is that the standard Hebrew text of Genesis places Abraham in the earlier part of the second millennium BCE.
Since the 1970s, efforts to reconstruct a patriarchal age for Israel's past have come to an end as most historians of ancient Israel have abandoned the conclusions of earlier scholarship, as there is nothing specific in the Genesis stories that can be definitively linked to known history in or around Canaan in the early second millennium BCE. There is no solid evidence for any date during that period, as none of the kings mentioned are known, neither the anonymous Pharaoh who enlists Joseph into his services. Some scholars argue that historical inaccuracies exist, such as: the reference to Abimelech "King of the Philistines", when the Phlistines had not settled in Palestine until the later end of the millennium. Abraham coming from "Ur of the Chaldeans", when the Babylonians were not known as Chaldeans until a much later time. Laban identified as an Aramean, when Arameans did not become a known political entity before the 12th century BCE.
Abraham in the arts
Paintings on the life of Abraham tend to focus on only a few incidents: The sacrifice of Isaac; Meeting Melchizedek; Entertaining the three angels; Hagar in the desert; and a few others. Many artists have been inspired by the life of Abraham: Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Caravaggio (1573-1610), Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669) created at least seven works on Abraham, Petrus-Paulus Rubens (1577-1640) did several, Donatello, Raphael, Philip van Dyck (Dutch painter, 1680-1753), Marc Chagall did at least five on Abraham, Gustave Doré (French illustrator, 1832-1883) did six, Claude Lorrain (French painter, 1600-1682), James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French painter and illustrator, 1836-1902) did over twenty works on the subject.
The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus depicts a set of biblical stories, including Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac. These sculpted scenes are on the outside of a marble Early Christian sarcophagus used for the burial of Junius Bassus. He died in 359. This sarcophagus has been described as "probably the single most famous piece of early Christian relief sculpture." The sarcophagus was originally placed in or under Old St. Peter's Basilica, was rediscovered in 1597, and is now below the modern basilica in the Museo Storico del Tesoro della Basilica di San Pietro (Museum of Saint Peter's Basilica) in the Vatican. The base is approximately 4 × 8 × 4 feet. The Old Testament scenes depicted were chosen as precursors of Christ's sacrifice in the New Testament, in an early form of typology. Just to the right of the middle is Daniel in the lion's den and on the left is Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac.
Abraham's Farewell to Ishmael by George Segal. The artist created figural sculptures by molding plastered gauze strips over live models. The human condition was central to his concerns. On several occasions, Segal turned to the Old Testament as a source for his imagery. This sculpture depicts the dilemma faced by Abraham when Sarah demanded that he expel Hagar and Ishmael. In the sculpture, the father's tenderness, Sarah's rage, and Hagar's resigned acceptance portray a range of human emotions. The sculpture was donated to the Miami Art Museum after the artist's death in 2000. This footnote provides a link to a picture of the sculpture.
Fear and Trembling (original Danish title: Frygt og Bæven) is an influential philosophical work by Søren Kierkegaard, published in 1843 under the pseudonym Johannes de silentio (John the Silent). Kierkegaard wanted to understand the anxiety that must have been present in Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice his son.
In 1994, Steve Reich released an opera named "The Cave". The title refers to The Cave of the Patriarchs. The narrative of the opera is based on the story of Abraham and his immediate family as it is recounted in the various religious texts, and as it is understood by individual people from different cultures and religious traditions.
Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" is the title track for his 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as number 364 in there 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song has five stanzas. In each stanza, someone describes an unusual problem that is ultimately resolved on Highway 61. In Stanza 1, God tells Abraham to "kill me a son". God wants the killing done on Highway 61. Abram, the original name of the biblical Abraham, is also the name of Dylan's own father.
1.^ Andrews 1990, p. 5.
2.^ (Genesis 19:1-9)
3.^ "www.Bibler.org - Dictionary - Isaac". 2012-08-01.
4.^ The ages of some other women can be deduced or approximated. Eve was created the same day as Adam, so when Seth was born when Adam had lived 130 years, Eve had lived as long also, short a number of hours.
5.^ Qu'ran 22:78
6.^ a b c d Singer, Binyamin. "Ramban: Bereishis & Shemos", Vol. 1: Ramban: Classic Themes in Nachmanides' Chumash Commentary, 2005 (ISBN 1568713428, ISBN 978-1-56871-342-7), p. 89-91
7.^ Keene, Michael. This is Judaism, 1996, p. 8
8.^ Scharfstein, Sol. Jewish History and You, 2002, p. 10
9.^ Dundes, Alan. The Flood Myth, 1988, p. 89
10.^ Matthew 3:1-9
11.^ *Holweck, F. G., A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co. 1924.
12.^ Encyclopedia of Islam, Ibrahim
13.^ Mecca, Martin Lings, c. 2004
14.^ May, Dann J (December 1993). "Web Published". The Bahá'í Principle of Religious Unity and the Challenge of Radical Pluralism. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. p. 102. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
15.^ Hatcher, W.S.; Martin, J.D. (1998). The Bahá'í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion. Wilmette, IL: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-264-3.
16.^ "Abrahamic Religion". Christianity: Details about…. Christianity Guide. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
17.^ Flow, Christian B.; Nolan, Rachel B. (16 November 2006). "Go Forth From Your Country". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
18.^ Ma'ani, Baharieh Rouhani (2008). Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. p. 150. ISBN 0-85398-533-2.
19.^ Taherzadeh, A. (1984). "The Death of The Purest Branch". The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 3: `Akka, The Early Years 1868-77. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. pp. 204-220. ISBN 0-85398-144-2.
20.^ a b c Alter 2008, p. x.
21.^ a b Blenkinsopp 2009, p. 38-39.
22.^ Albertz, R, "Israel in exile: the history and literature of the sixth century B.C.E." (Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) p.246
23.^ Alter 2008, p. xi.
24.^ Thompson 2002, p. 22-36.
25.^ "Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible", K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter Willem van der Horst (eds) (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing), pp.3-4
26.^ "G.F. Hasel, "Chronogenealogies in the Biblical History of Beginnings"". Grisda.org. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
27.^ ""Biblical Chronology", Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)". Newadvent.org. 1 November 1908. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
28.^ Moore & Kelle 2011, p. 57.
29.^ McNutt 1999, p. 41.
30.^ a b For a very thorough online collection of links to artwork about Abraham see: Artwork Depicting Scenes from Abraham's Life Accessed 25 March 2011
31.^ Journal of Early Christian Studies, Leonard Victor Rutgers, The Iconography of the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (review of Malbon book), Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 1993, pp. 94-96; for Janson it is also the "finest Early Christian sarcophagus".
32.^ or 1595, see Elsner, p. 86n.
33.^ Abraham's Farewell to Ishmael. George Segal. Miami Art Museum. Collections: Recent Acquisitions. Accessed 10 April 2011.
34.^ "Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate. … Anxiety is freedom's possibility, and only such anxiety is through faith absolutely educative, because it consumes all finite ends and discovers all there deceptiveness. And no Grand Inquisitor has such dreadful torments in readiness as anxiety has, and no secret agent knows as cunningly as anxiety to attack his suspect in his weakest moment or to make alluring the trap in which he will be caught, and no discerning judge understands how to interrogate and examine the accused as does anxiety, which never lets the accused escape, neither through amusement, nor by noise, nor during work, neither by day nor by night."-Vigilius Haufniensis (Pseudonym), The Concept of Anxiety by Soren Kierkegaard p. 155-156, Reidar Thomte, 1980
35.^ Gen 22: 1-2
36.^ Highway 61 Revisited Accessed 25 March 2011
37.^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
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