See also:great Biblical patriarchs . His
See also:life as narrated in the
See also:book of
See also:Genesis reflects the traditions of different ages . It is the latest writer (P) who men-
See also:ABRACADABRA BRACADABR RACADAB ACADA CAD A tions Abram (the
See also:form of the name), Nahor and IJaran, sons of Terah, at the close of a genealogy of the sons of Shem, which includes among its members
See also:Eber the eponym of the
See also:Hebrews . Terah is said to have come from Ur of the Chaldees, usually identified with Mukayyar in south Babylonia . He migrated to Haran ~ in
See also:Mesopotamia, apparently the classical Carrhae, on a branch of the IJabor . Thence, after a
See also:short stay, Abram with his wife Sarai, and Lot the son of Haran, and all their followers, departed for
See also:Canaan . The
See also:oldest tradition does not know of this twofold move, and seems to locate Abram's birthplace and the homes of his kindred at Haran (Gen.
See also:xxiv . 4, 7,
See also:xxvii . 43) . At the divine command, and encouraged by the promise that Yahweh would make of him, although hitherto childless, a great nation, he journeyed down to
See also:Shechem, and at the sacred
See also:tree (cf.
See also:xxxv . 4, Josh. xxiv . 26, Judg. ix .
6) received a new promise that the
See also:land would be given unto his seed . Having built an
See also:altar to commemorate the theophany, he removed to a spot between
See also:Bethel and Ai, where he built another altar and called upon (i.e. invoked) the name of Yahweh (Gen. xii . 1-9) . Here he dwelt for some
See also:time, until strife arose between his herdsmen and those of Lot . Abram thereupon proposed to Lot that they should
See also:separate, and allowed his
See also:nephew the first choice . Lot preferred the fertile land lying east of the
See also:Jordan, whilst Abram, after receiving another promise from Yahweh, moved down to the oaks of Mamre in
See also:Hebron and built an altar . In the subsequent
See also:history of Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abram appears prominently in a
See also:fine passage where he intercedes with Yahweh on behalf of Sodom, and is promised that if ten righteous men can be found therein the city shall be preserved (xviii . 16-33) . A
See also:peculiar passage, more valuable for the
See also:light it throws upon
See also:primitive ideas than for its contribution to the history of Abram, narrates the
See also:patriarch's visit to
See also:Egypt . Driven by a
See also:famine to take
See also:refuge in Egypt (cf.
See also:xxvi. r, xli . 57, xlii. r), he feared lest his wife's beauty should arouse the evil designs of the Egyptians and thus endanger his own safety, and alleged that Sarai was his
See also:sister . This did not save her from the
See also:Pharaoh, who took her into the royal
See also:harem and enriched Abram with herds and servants .
But when Yahweh "plagued Pharaoh and his
See also:house with great plagues" suspicion was aroused, and the Pharaoh rebuked the patriarch for his deceit and sent him away under an escort (xii. r) . This
See also:story of Abram and his increased
See also:wealth (xiii . 2) receives no comment at the hands of the narrator, and in its
See also:present position would make Sarai over sixty years of age (xii . 4, xvii. r, 17) . A similar experience is said to have happened to Abraham and Sarah at Gerar with the
See also:king Abimelech (xx . E), but the
See also:tone of the narrative is noticeably more advanced, and the presents which the patriarch receives are compensation for the king's offence . Here, however, Sarah has reached her ninetieth
See also:year (xvii . 17) . (The
See also:dates are due to the
See also:post-exilic framework in which the stories are inserted.) Still another
See also:episode of the same nature is re-corded of Isaac and Rebekah at Gerar, also with Abimelech . Ethically it is the loftiest, and Isaac obtains his wealth simply through his successful farming . Arising out of the incident is an account of a
See also:covenant between Abimelech and Isaac (xxvi . 16-33, J), a duplicate of which is placed in the time of Abraham (xxi .
22-34, j and E) .
See also:Beersheba, which figures in both, is celebrated by the planting of a sacred tree and (like Bethel) by the invocation of the name of Yahweh . This
See also:district is the scene of the
See also:birth of Ishmael and Isaac . As Sarai was barren (cf'. xi . 30)2 the promise that his seed should possess the land seemed incapable of fulfilment . According to one rather obscure narrative, Abram's
See also:heir was the servant, who was over his
See also:household, apparently a certain Eliezer of Damascus3 (xv . 2, 1 The name is not spelt with the same guttural as Haran the son of Terah . 2 Barrenness is a motif which recurs in the stories of Rebekah,
See also:Rachel, the
See also:mother of Samson, and Hannah (Gen.
See also:xxv . 21,
See also:xxix . 31; Judg. xiii . 2; I Sam. i . 5) .
Abram's connexion with
See also:Damascus is supplemented in the traditions of Nicolaus of Damascus as cited by
See also:Josephus (Antiq . 1 . 7 . 2) . the text is corrupt) . He is now promised as heir one of his own flesh, and a remarkable and
See also:solemn passage records how the promise was ratified by a covenant . The description is particularly noteworthy for the sudden appearance of birds of
See also:prey, which attempted to carry off the victims of the sacrificial covenant . The
See also:interpretation of the evil
See also:omen is explained by an allusion to the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt and their return in the
See also:fourth generation (xv . 16; contrast v . 13, after four
See also:hundred years; the
See also:chapter is extremely intricate and has the appearance of being of secondary origin) . The
See also:main narrative now relates how Sarai, in accordance with
See also:custom, gave to Abram her
See also:Egyptian handmaid Hagar, who, when she found she was with
See also:child, presumed upon her position to the extent that Sarai, unable to endure the reproach of barrenness (cf. the story of Hannah, r Sam. i . 6), dealt harshly with her and forced her to flee (xvi .
1-14, j; on the details see IsmuAEL) . Another tradition places theexpulsion of Hagar after the birth of Isaac . It was thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael, according to the latest narratives, that
See also:God appeared unto Abram with a renewed promise that his posterity should inhabit the land . To mark the solemnity of the occasion, the patriarch's name was changed to Abraham, and that of his wife to Sarah.4 A covenant was concluded with him for all time, and as a sign thereof the rite of circumcision was instituted (xvii . P) . The promise of a son to Sarah made Abraham "laugh", a punning allusion to the name Isaac (q.v.) which appears again in other forms . Thus, it is Sarah herself who "laughs" at the idea, when Yahweh appears to Abraham at Mamre (xviii . 1-1 5, J), or who, when the child is
See also:born cries " God hath made me laugh; every one that heareth will laugh at me" (xxi . 6, E) . Finally, there is yet another story which attributes the
See also:flight of Hagar and Ishmael to Sarah's
See also:jealousy at the sight of Ishmael's "mocking" (rather dancing or playing, the intensive form of the verb "to laugh") on the feast
See also:day when Isaac was weaned (xxi . 8 sqq.) . But this last story is clearly out of place, since a child who was then fourteen years old (cf. xvii .
24, xxi . 5) could scarcely be described as a weak babe who had to be carried (xxi . 14; see the commentaries) . Abraham was now commanded by God to offer up Isaac in the land of
See also:Moriah . Proceeding to obey, he was prevented by an
See also:angel as he was about to sacrifice his son, and slew a ram which he found on the spot . As a
See also:reward for his obedience he received another promise of a numerous seed and abundant prosperity (xxii . E) . Thence he returned to Beersheba . The story is one of the few told by E, and significantly teaches that human sacrifice was not required by the Almighty (cf . Mic. vi . 7 seq.) . The
See also:interest of the narrative now extends to Isaac alone .
To his "only son" (cp. xxii . 2, 12) Abraham gave all he had, and dismissed the sons of his concubines to the lands outside
See also:Palestine; they were thus regarded as less intimately related to Isaac and his descendants (xxv . 1-4, 6) . The
See also:measures taken by the patriarch for the
See also:marriage of Isaac are circumstantially described . His
See also:head-servant was sent to his
See also:country and kindred to find.. a suitable
See also:bride, and the necessary preparation for the story is contained in the description of Nahor's
See also:family (xxii . 20-24) . The picturesque account of the
See also:meeting with Rebekah throws interesting light on
See also:oriental custom . Marriage with one's own folk (cf . Gen. xxvii . 46, xxix. rq; Judg. xiv . 3), and especially with a
See also:cousin, is recommended now even as in the past . For its charm the story is comparable with the account of Jacob's experiences in the same land (xxix.) .
For the completion of the history of Abraham the compiler of Genesis has used P's narrative . Sarah is said to have died at a
See also:good old age, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah near Hebron, which the patriarch had
See also:purchased, with the adjoining
See also:field, from Ephron the Hittite (
See also:xxiii.) ; and here he himself was buried . Centuries later the
See also:tomb became a place of pilgrimage and the traditional site is marked by a fine mosque.' 4 Abram (or Abiram) is a
See also:familiar and old-attested name meaning "(my)
See also:father is exalted "; the meaning of Abraham is obscure and the explanation Gen. xvii . 5 is mere word-
See also:play . It is possible that rah¢m was originally only a dialectical form of ram . 'See
See also:Warren's description, Hasting's
See also:Diet . Bible, vol. iii. pp . Zoo seq . The so-called Babylonian colouring of Gen . The story of Abraham is of greater value for the study of Old Testament
See also:theology than for the history of
See also:Israel . He became to the Hebrews the embodiment of their ideals, and stood at their head as the founder of the nation, the one to whom Yahweh had manifested his love by frequent promises and covenants . From the time when he was bidden to leave his country to enter the unknown land, Yahweh was ever present to encourage him to
See also:trust in the future when his posterity should possess the land; and so, in its bitterest
See also:hours, Israel could turn for
See also:consolation to the promises of the past which enshrined in Abraham its hopes for the future .
Not only is Abraham the founder ofreligion, but he, of all the patriarchal figures, stands out most prominently as the recipient of the promises ()di . 2 seq . 7, xiii . 14-17, xv., xvii., xviii . 17-19, xxii . 17 seq.; cf. xxiv. g), and these the apostle Paul associates with the coming of Christ, and, adopting a characteristic and artificial
See also:style of interpretation prevalent in his time, endeavours to force a Messianic interpretation out of them.' For the history of the Hebrews the life of Abraham is of the same value as other stories of traditional ancestors . The narratives, viewed dispassionately, represent him as an idealized
See also:sheikh (with one important exception, Gen. xiv., see below), about whose
See also:person a number of stories have gathered . As the father of Isaac and Ishmael, he is ultimately the
See also:common ancestor of the Israelites and their nomadic fierce neighbours, men roving unrestrainedly like the
See also:wild ass, troubled by and troubling every one (xvi . 12) . As the father of
See also:Midian, Sheba and other Arabian tribes (xxv . 1-4), it is evident that some degree of kinship was
See also:felt by the Hebrews with the dwellers of the more distant south, and it is characteristic of the genealogies that the mothers (Sarah, Hagar and Keturah) are in the descending scale as regards purity of
See also:blood . This great ancestral figure came, it was said, from Ur in Babylonia and IIaran and thence to Canaan .
See also:Late tradition supposed that the
See also:migration was to
See also:escape Babylonian
See also:idolatry (
See also:Judith v.,
See also:Jubilees xii.; cf . Josh. xxiv . 2), and knew of Abraham's miraculous escape from
See also:death (an obscure reference to some
See also:act of deliverance in Is . xxii . 22) . The route along the
See also:banks of the
See also:Euphrates from south to
See also:north was so frequently taken by migrating tribes that the tradition has nothing improbable in itself, but the prominence given in the older narratives to the view that IJaran was the home gives this the preference . It was thence that Jacob, the father of the tribes of Israel, came and the route to Shechem and Bethel is precisely the same in both . A twofold migration is doubtful, and, from what is known of the situation in Palestine in the 15th century B.C., is extremely improbable . Further, there is yet another parallel in the story of the
See also:conquest by
See also:Joshua (q.v.), partly implied and partly actually detailed (cf. also Josh. viii . 9 with Gen. xii . 8, xiii . 3), whence it would appear that too much importance must not be laid upon any ethnological interpretation which fails to account for the three versions .
That similar traditional elements have influenced them is not unlikely; but to recover the true
See also:historical foundation is difficult . The invasion or immigration of certain tribes from the east of the Jordan; the presence of Aramaean blood among the Israelites (see JACOB) ; the origin of the sanctity of
See also:venerable sites,—these and other consideratons may readily be found to account for the traditions . Noteworthy coincidences in the lives of Abraham and Isaac, noticed above, point to the fluctuating state of traditions in the oral stage, or suggest that Abraham's life has been built up by borrowing from the common stock of popular lore ? More original is the parting of Lot and Abraham at Bethel . The district was the scene of contests between
See also:Moab and the Hebrews (cf. perhaps Judg. iii.), and if this explains
See also:part of the story, the
See also:physical configuration of the Dead
See also:Sea may have led to the
See also:legend of the xxiii. has been much exaggerated; see S . R .
See also:Driver, Genesis, ad loc.; S . A .
See also:Laws of Moses, p . 208 . See H . St .
J .Thackeray, Relation of St Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought, p . 69 seq . (1900) . z On the other
See also:hand, the coincidences in xx. xxi. are due to E, who is also the author of xxii . Apart from these the narratives of Abraham are from J and P.destruction of inhospitable and vicious cities (see SODOM AND GOMORRAH) . Different writers have regarded the life of Abraham differently . He has been viewed as a chieftain of the
See also:Amorites (q.v.), as the head of a great Semitic migration from Mesopotamia; or, since Ur and IIaran were seats of
See also:Moon-worship, he has been identified with a moon-god . From the character of the
See also:literary evidence and the locale of the stories it has been held that Abraham was originally associated with Hebron . The
See also:double name Abram-Abraham has even suggested that two personages have been combined in the Biblical narrative; although this does not explain the
See also:change from Sarai to Sarah.' But it is important to remember that the narratives are not contemporary, and that the interesting
See also:discovery of the name Abi-ramu (Abram) on Babylonian contracts of about 2000 B.C. does not prove the Abram of the Old Testament to be an historical person, even as the fact that there were " Amorites " in Babylonia at the same
See also:period does not make it certain that the patriarch was one of their number . One remarkable chapter associates Abraham with
See also:kings of
See also:Elam and the east (Gen. xiv.) . No longer a peaceful sheikh but a
See also:warrior with a small army of 318 followers,' he overthrows a combination of powerful monarchs who have ravaged the land .
The genuineness of the narrative has been strenuously maintained, although upon insufficient grounds . "It is generally recognized that this chapter holds quite an isolated place in the Pentateuchal history; it is the only passage which presents Abraham in the character of a warrior, and connects him with historical names and
See also:political movements, and there are no clear marks by which it can be assigned to any one of the documents of which Genesis is made up . Thus, while one school of interpreters finds in the chapter the earliest fragment of the political history of western
See also:Asia, some even holding with Ewald that the narrative is probably based on old Canaanite records, other critics, as Noldeke, regard the whole as unhistorical and comparatively late in origin . On the latter view, which finds its main support in the
See also:intrinsic difficulties of the narrative, it is scarcely possible to avoid the Conclusion that the chapter is one of the latest additions to the
See also:Pentateuch (
See also:Wellhausen and many others)." On the
See also:assumption that a recollection of some invasion in remote days may have been current, considerable interest is attached to the names . Of these, Amraphel, king of Shinar (i.e . Babylonia, Gen. x . 1o), has been identified with Khammurabi, one of the greatest of the Babylonian kings (c . 2000 B.C.), and since he claims to have ruled as far west as the Mediterranean Sea, the equation has found considerable favour . Apart from
See also:chronological difficulties, the
See also:identification of the king and his country is far from certain, and at the most can only be regarded as possible . Arioch, king of Ellasar, has been connected with Eriaku of Larsa—the
See also:reading has been questioned—a contemporary with Khammurabi . Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, bears what is doubtless a genuine Elamite name . Finally, the name of Tid'al, king of Goiim, may be identical with a certain Tudllulu the son of Gazza, a warrior, but apparently not a king, who is mentioned in a Babylonian inscription, and Goiim may stand for Gutim, the Guti being a
See also:people who lived to the east of
See also:Kurdistan .
Nevertheless, there is as yet no monumental evidence in favour of the genuineness of the story, and at the most it can only be said that the author (of what-ever date) has derived his names from a trustworthy source, and in representing an invasion of Palestine by Babylonian overlords has given expression to a possible situation.6 The improbabilities and
See also:internal difficulties of the narrative remain According to Breasted (Amer . Journ. of Sem . Lit., 1904, p . 36), the "field of Abram " occurs among the places mentioned in the
See also:list of the Egyptian king Shishak (No . 71-2) in the loth century . See also his History of Egypt, p . 530 . The number is precisely that of the
See also:total numerical value of the consonants of the name "Eliezer " (Gen. xv . 2) ; an astral signification has also been found . ' W . R .
See also:Smith, Ency .
Brit . (9th ed., 1883),
See also:art . "
See also:Melchizedek." That the names may be those of historical personages is no
See also:proof of historical accuracy: "We cannot therefore conclude that the whole account is accurate history, any more than we can argue that Sir Walter
See also:Scott's Anne of Gei-erstein is throughout a correct account of actual events because we know that Charles the Bold and
See also:Margaret of
See also:Anjou were real people " (W . H .
See also:Bennett, Century Bible: Genesis, p . 186) . untouched, only the
See also:bare outlines may very well be historical . If, as most critics agree, it is a historical
See also:romance (cf., e.g., the book of Judith), it is possible that a writer, preferably one who lived in the post-exilic age and was acquainted with Babylonian history, desired to enhance the greatness of Abraham by exhibiting his military success against the monarchs of the
See also:Tigris and Euphrates, the high esteem he enjoyed in Palestine and his lofty character as displayed in his interview with Melchizedek . See further, Pinches, Old Test. in Light of Hist . Records, pp . 208-236; Driver, Genesis, p. xlix., and notes on ch. xiv.; Addis, Documents of the
See also:Hexateuch, ii. pp . 208-213;
See also:Carpenter and Harford-Battersby, The Hexateuch, i. pp .
157-159, 168; Bezold, Bab.-Assyr . Keilinschriften, pp . 24 sqq., 54 sqq . ; A . Jeremias, Altes Test.
See also:im Lichte d .
See also:Allen Orientsj21, pp . 343 seq.; also the literature to the art . GENESIS . Many fanciful legends about Abraham founded on Biblical accounts or spun out of the
See also:fancy are to be found in Josephus, and in post-Biblical and
See also:Mahommedan literature; for these, reference may be made to
See also:Beer, Leben Abrahams (1859); Grunbaum, Neue Beitrage z. semit . Sagenkunde, pp . 89 seq . (1893); the apocryphal "Testament of Abraham " (M .
See also:James in Texts and Studies, 1892) ; W . Tisdall, Original
See also:Sources of the Quran, passim (1905) . (S . A .
ABRAHAM IBN DAUD (c. 1s 10—118o)
We can not take Abram as a historical personality..Every nation and tribe in World has its father and the trilogy of Yahweh,Ibram and Sarah is present in many myths whatever primitive.This outlines clearly the position of nation or tribe to other nations and tribes.We must mention here the story of Abram visit to Egypt.Regardless mockering of Abram to Pharoah who can not resist beauty of Sarah,this magic of beauty is a common motive in legends and folktales of practically all nations and tribes reflecting pride,dignity and even deficiency complex.It is sufficiently surprising that Abram is not only father of Jews but also father of Arabs ,What a pity !
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