Genesis pt3 – Abraham


Genesis 11:10-27, gives details of Abram’s (his name is changed by God to Abraham Genesis 17:5) Semitic lineage from Shem the son of Noah. From the time lines discussed in the last post Abraham is born almost 2000 years after creation.

Sarai (name changed by God to Sarah Genesis 17:15), Abram’s wife, was Abram’s half-sister Genesis 20:12 and was 9-10 years younger than him.

Their home town was Ur of the Chaldees, situated on the Euphrates plains (in modern day Iraq), from thence they moved North West up the Euphrates valley to Haran.

Genesis 11:28-32 Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child. And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

Genesis 12-25 details the life of Abraham from age 75 until his death, aged 175, which include the following:-

  • Genesis 12:1, God calls Abram to depart from his country and kin.
  • Genesis 12:4, Abram departs with Sarai and Lot to go into the land of Canaan
  • Genesis 12:6, Journeys South to Sichem (Shechem) where promised this land and builds an altar.
  • Genesis 12:8, Travels further South and pitches tent between Bethel and Hai.
  • Genesis 12:9, Journeys further South, famine ensues, and he goes into Egypt
  • Genesis 13:1, Leaves Egypt to arrive again in Bethel
  • Genesis 13:5, Disputes between Abram & Lots herdsmen re pasture, decision to separate and Lot chooses Jordan valley, ending up living in Sodom (Genesis 19)
  • Genesis 13:14, Abram receives further promises
  • Genesis 13:18, Pitches tent in plain of Mamre, Hebron.
  • Genesis 14, Battle of the kings. Sodom and Gomorrah fall, and their goods and people taken as prey. Abram leads a force against the victors to recover Lot.
  • Genesis 14:18, Meets Melchizedek King of Salem and pays tithes to him.
  • Genesis 14:21, refuses gift from King of Sodom.
  • Genesis 15, Abram’s concern at having no heir, God promises him a child. Offering made and further promises received.
  • Genesis 16, Sarai attempts to resolve the issue of her barrenness by giving Hagar her handmaid to Abram as a concubine. Pregnant Hagar despises Sarai which leads to tension such that Hagar leaves. God appears to Hagar telling her that her son will be called Ishmael and that she should return to Abram’s household.
  • Genesis 16:16, Ishmael born to Abram then aged 86.
  • Genesis 17:1, Abram aged 99 receives further blessings.
    • Abram renamed Abraham (father of many nations).
    • Male circumcision instituted as a sign of covenant that God makes with Abram.
    • Sarai renamed Sarah (mother of nations).
    • Sarah promised son.
    • Abraham promised that his heir will come through Sarah, i.e. not Ishmael.
    • Abraham aged 99 and Ishmael aged 13 are circumcised
  • Genesis 18:1, Angelic visitation, with message that Sarah although 90 would have a son. Sarah chided for laughing at this idea.
  • Genesis 18:20, Abraham informed of impending doom of Sodom and Gomorrah. He pleads for Lot’s preservation.
  • Genesis 19, Lot, his wife and 2 daughters rescued before Sodom and Gomorrah is destroyed. Lot’s wife looks back as they leave and is turned into pillar of salt.
  • Genesis 19:31, Lot’s daughters each have sons Moab (from whom Moabites) and Benammi (from whom Ammonites) through incestuous relationship with their father.
  • Genesis 20, Abraham dwells in area controlled by Philistines, his interactions with Abimelech king of Gerah are presented.
  • Genesis 21:1, Isaac born to Sarah.
  • Genesis 21:9, Ishmael despises Isaac and he and Hagar are expelled, but rescued by God’s provision of water and promises given.
  • Genesis 21:22, Contentions with Philistines over well diggings ends with agreement and covenant made at Beer-sheba (meaning:- well of seven or well of the oath).
  • Genesis 22, Abraham told to offer Isaac, he proceeds to do this at Mt Moriah and as he puts forth knife to slay him provision of ram is made. Abraham receives further blessings.
  • Genesis 23, Sarah dies aged 127. As burial place, Abraham purchases cave of Machpelah and associated field from the children of Heth.
  • Genesis 24, Abraham determines that Isaac should have wife from the seed of his brother Nahor. He sends his servant to find Isaac a wife and he returns with Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel and sister of Laban.
  • Genesis 25:1, Abraham takes further wife Keturah, see family tree below for details of his further sons.
  • Genesis 25:8, Abraham dies aged 175 and is buried by Ishmael and Isaac in the Cave of Machpelah.

Abraham’s family tree

(also showing derivation of the Canaanites whose land he is promised)

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