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The first patriarch -- see Genesis 12-25.


Abraham is the main subject of Genesis 12-25. He is the first of the three Patriarchs of Israel, along with Issac and Jacob. Born Abram, he is called to leave his father's country and travel to the land of Canaan. There, God makes a covenant with Abram in which he is promised land and descendants. Moreover, he is given by God the name Abraham, meaning something like "Father of Many Nations."

A number of the early stories about Abraham involve his nephew Lot. He initially separates from Lot when it is clear that the land cannot support both their flocks. However, when Lot is taken prisoner, Abram assembles trained men to battle his captors and liberate him. Later Abraham is found pleading to God on behalf of Sodom where Lot resides.

The later part of Abraham's narrative focuses around his sons Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael is Abraham's son born to his servant Hagar, while Isaac is born to Abraham's wife and half-sister, Sarah. Abraham at his wife's bidding sends Ishmael away, and Isaac is chosen as the heir to the covenant. In a climatic scene, however, Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah. At the last moment, an angel stays Abraham's hand and a ram caught in the thicket is offered as a sacrifice in Isaac's stead.

At the end of his life, Abraham is buried in a cave he purchased from Ephron the Hittite. Sarah is buried there by him as well. Altogether Abraham is said to live 175 years.