Father of a multitude, Ge 17:4-5; the great founder of the Jewish nation. He was a son of Terah, a descendant of Shem, and born in Ur, a city of Chaldea, A.M. 2008, B. C. 1996, Ge 11:27-28. Here he lived seventy years, when at the call of God he left his idolatrous kindred, and removed to Haran, in Mesopotamia, Ac 7:2-4, accompanied by his father, his wife Sarai, his brother Nahor, and his nephew Lot. A few years after, having buried his father, he again removed at the call of God, with his wife and nephew, and entered the land of promise as a nomad or wandering shepherd. Sojourning for a time at Shechem, he built here, as was his custom, an alter to the Lord, who appeared to him, and promised that land to his seed. Removing from place to place for convenience of water and pasturage, he was at length driven by a famine into Egypt, where he dissembled in calling his wife his sister, Ge 12. Returning to Canaan rich in flocks and herds, he left Lot to dwell in the fertile valley of the lower Jordan, and pitched his own tents in Mamre, Ge 13. A few years after, he rescued Lot and his friends from captivity, and received the blessing of Melchizedek, Ge 14. Again God appeared to him, promised that his seed should be like the stars for number, and foretold their oppression in Egypt 400 years, and their return to possess the promised land, Ge 15. But the promise of a son being yet unfulfilled, Sarai gave him Hagar her maid for a secondary wife, of whom Ishmael was born, Ge 16. After thirteen years, God again appeared to him, and assured him that the heir of the promise should yet be born of his wife, whose name was then changed to Sarah. He established also the covenant of circumcision, Ge 17. Here, too, occurred the visit of the three angels, and the memorable intercession with the Angel-Jehovah for the inhabitants of Sodom, Ge 18. After this, Abraham journeyed south to Gerah, where he again called Sarah his sister. In this region Isaac was born; and soon after, Hagar and Ishmael were driven out to seek a new home, Ge 21. About twenty-five years after, God put to trial the faith of Abraham, by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac, his son and the heir of the promise, upon Mount Moriah, Ge 22. Twelve years after, Sarah died, and the cave of Machpelag was bought for a burial-place, Ge 23. Abraham sent his steward, and obtained a wife for Isaac from his pious kindred in Mesopotamia, Ge 24. He himself also married Keturah, and had six sons, each one the founder of a distinct people in Arabia. At the age of 175, full of years and honors, he died, and was buried by his sons in the same tomb with Sarah, Ge 25.
The character of Abraham is one of the most remarkable in Scripture. He was a genuine oriental patriarch, a prince in the land; his property was large, his retinue very numerous, and he commanded the respect of the neighboring people: and yet he was truly a stranger and a pilgrim, the only land he possessed being the burial-place he had purchased. Distinguished by his integrity, generosity, and hospitality, he was most of all remarkable for his simple and unwavering faith, a faith that obeyed without hesitation or delay, and recoiled not from the most fearful trial ever imposed upon man, so that he is justly styled "the father of the faithful," that is, of believers. No name in history is venerated by so large a portion of the human race, Mohammedans as well as Jews and Christians. As the ancestor of Christ, in whom all the nations are blessed, and as the father of all believers, the covenant is abundantly fulfilled to him: his seed are as the stars of heaven and with them he shall inherit the heavenly Canaan.
ABRAHAM'S BOSOM. In Lu 16:22, Lazarus is said to have been carried to Abraham's bosom, that is, to the state of bliss in paradise which the father of the faithful was enjoying. This is often represented by a feast, by sitting down to a banquet, Mt 8:11; Lu 13:29. To lie on one's bosom refers to the oriental mode of reclining at table, Joh 13:23. See EATING.
father of a multitude, son of Terah, named (Ge 11:27) before his older brothers Nahor and Haran, because he was the heir of the promises. Till the age of seventy, Abram sojourned among his kindred in his native country of Chaldea. He then, with his father and his family and household, quitted the city of Ur, in which he had hitherto dwelt, and went some 300 miles north to Haran, where he abode fifteen years. The cause of his migration was a call from God (Ac 7:2-4). There is no mention of this first call in the Old Testament; it is implied, however, in Ge 12. While they tarried at Haran, Terah died at the age of 205 years. Abram now received a second and more definite call, accompanied by a promise from God (Ge 12:1-2); whereupon he took his departure, taking his nephew Lot with him, "not knowing whither he went" (Heb 11:8). He trusted implicitly to the guidance of Him who had called him.
Abram now, with a large household of probably a thousand souls, entered on a migratory life, and dwelt in tents. Passing along the valley of the Jabbok, in the land of Canaan, he formed his first encampment at Sichem (Ge 12:6), in the vale or oak-grove of Moreh, between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south. Here he received the great promise, "I will make of thee a great nation," etc. (Ge 12:2-3,7). This promise comprehended not only temporal but also spiritual blessings. It implied that he was the chosen ancestor of the great Deliverer whose coming had been long ago predicted (Ge 3:15). Soon after this, for some reason not mentioned, he removed his tent to the mountain district between Bethel, then called Luz, and Ai, towns about two miles apart, where he built an altar to "Jehovah." He again moved into the southern tract of Palestine, called by the Hebrews the Negeb; and was at length, on account of a famine, compelled to go down into Egypt. This took place in the time of the Hyksos, a Semitic race which now held the Egyptians in bondage. Here occurred that case of deception on the part of Abram which exposed him to the rebuke of Pharaoh (Ge 12:18). Sarai was restored to him; and Pharaoh loaded him with presents, recommending him to withdraw from the country. He returned to Canaan richer than when he left it, "in cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Ge 12:8; 13:2. Comp. Ps 105:13-14). The whole party then moved northward, and returned to their previous station near Bethel. Here disputes arose between Lot's shepherds and those of Abram about water and pasturage. Abram generously gave Lot his choice of the pasture-ground. (Comp. 1Co 6:7.) He chose the well-watered plain in which Sodom was situated, and removed thither; and thus the uncle and nephew were separated. Immediately after this Abram was cheered by a repetition of the promises already made to him, and then removed to the plain or "oak-grove" of Mamre, which is in Hebron. He finally settled here, pitching his tent under a famous oak or terebinth tree, called "the oak of Mamre" (Ge 13:18). This was his third resting-place in the land.
Illustration: Semitic Family
Some fourteen years before this, while Abram was still in Chaldea, Palestine had been invaded by Chedorlaomer, King of Elam, who brought under tribute to him the five cities in the plain to which Lot had removed. This tribute was felt by the inhabitants of these cities to be a heavy burden, and after twelve years they revolted. This brought upon them the vengeance of Chedorlaomer, who had in league with him four other kings. He ravaged the whole country, plundering the towns, and carrying the inhabitants away as slaves. Among those thus treated was Lot. Hearing of the disaster that had fallen on his nephew, Abram immediately gathered from his own household a band of 318 armed men, and being joined by the Amoritish chiefs Mamre, Aner, and Eshcol, he pursued after Chedorlaomer, and overtook him near the springs of the Jordan. They attacked and routed his army, and pursued it over the range of Anti-Libanus as far as to Hobah, near Damascus, and then returned, bringing back all the spoils that had been carried away. Returning by way of Salem, i.e., Jerusalem, the king of that place, Melchizedek, came forth to meet them with refreshments. To him Abram presented a tenth of the spoils, in recognition of his character as a priest of the most high God (Ge 14:18-20).
In a recently-discovered tablet, dated in the reign of the grandfather of Amraphel (Ge 14:1), one of the witnesses is called "the Amorite, the son of Abiramu," or Abram.
Having returned to his home at Mamre, the promises already made to him by God were repeated and enlarged (Ge 13:14). "The word of the Lord" (an expression occurring here for the first time) "came to him" (Ge 15:1). He now understood better the future that lay before the nation that was to spring from him. Sarai, now seventy-five years old, in her impatience, persuaded Abram to take Hagar, her Egyptian maid, as a concubine, intending that whatever child might be born should be reckoned as her own. Ishmael was accordingly thus brought up, and was regarded as the heir of these promises (Ge 16). When Ishmael was thirteen years old, God again revealed yet more explicitly and fully his gracious purpose; and in token of the sure fulfilment of that purpose the patriarch's name was now changed from Abram to Abraham (Ge 17:4-5), and the rite of circumcision was instituted as a sign of the covenant. It was then announced that the heir to these covenant promises would be the son of Sarai, though she was now ninety years old; and it was directed that his name should be Isaac. At the same time, in commemoration of the promises, Sarai's name was changed to Sarah. On that memorable day of God's thus revealing his design, Abraham and his son Ishmael and all the males of his house were circumcised (Ge 17). Three months after this, as Abraham sat in his tent door, he saw three men approaching. They accepted his proffered hospitality, and, seated under an oak-tree, partook of the fare which Abraham and Sarah provided. One of the three visitants was none other than the Lord, and the other two were angels in the guise of men. The Lord renewed on this occasion his promise of a son by Sarah, who was rebuked for her unbelief. Abraham accompanied the three as they proceeded on their journey. The two angels went on toward Sodom; while the Lord tarried behind and talked with Abraham, making known to him the destruction that was about to fall on that guilty city. The patriarch interceded earnestly in behalf of the doomed city. But as not even ten righteous persons were found in it, for whose sake the city would have been spared, the threatened destruction fell upon it; and early next morning Abraham saw the smoke of the fire that consumed it as the "smoke of a furnace" (Ge 19:1-28).
After fifteen years' residence at Mamre, Abraham moved southward, and pitched his tent among the Philistines, near to Gerar. Here occurred that sad instance of prevarication on his part in his relation to Abimelech the King (Ge 20). (See Abimelech.) Soon after this event, the patriarch left the vicinity of Gerar, and moved down the fertile valley about 25 miles to Beer-sheba. It was probably here that Isaac was born, Abraham being now an hundred years old. A feeling of jealousy now arose between Sarah and Hagar, whose son, Ishmael, was no longer to be regarded as Abraham's heir. Sarah insisted that both Hagar and her son should be sent away. This was done, although it was a hard trial to Abraham (Ge 21:12). (See Hagar; Ishmael.)
At this point there is a blank in the patriarch's history of perhaps twenty-five years. These years of peace and happiness were spent at Beer-sheba. The next time we see him his faith is put to a severe test by the command that suddenly came to him to go and offer up Isaac, the heir of all the promises, as a sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah. His faith stood the test (Heb 11:17-19). He proceeded in a spirit of unhesitating obedience to carry out the command; and when about to slay his son, whom he had laid on the altar, his uplifted hand was arrested by the angel of Jehovah, and a ram, which was entangled in a thicket near at hand, was seized and offe
Abraham ("father of a multitude".) Up to Ge 17:4-5, his being sealed with circumcision, the sign of the covenant, ABRAM (father of elevation). Son of Terah, brother of Nahor and Haran. Progenitor of the Hebrew, Arabs, Edomites, and kindred tribes; the ninth in descent from Shem, through Heber. Haran died before Terah, leaving Lot and two daughters, Milcah and Iscah. Nahor married his niece Milcah: Abraham Iscah, i.e. Sarai, daughter, i.e. granddaughter, of his father, not of his mother (Ge 20:12). Ur, his home, is the modern Mugheir, the primeval capital of Chaldaea; its inscriptions are probably of the 22nd century B.C. The alphabetical Hebrew system is Phoenician, and was probably brought by Abraham to Canaan, where it became modified. Abraham, at God's call, went forth from Ur of the Chaldees (Ge 11:12-31).
In Haran Terah died. The statement in Ge 11:26, that Terah was 70 when he begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran, must apply only to the oldest, Haran. His being oldest appears from the fact that his brothers married his daughters, and that Sarai was only ten years younger than Abraham (Ge 17:17); the two younger were born subsequently, Abram, the youngest, when Terah was 130, as appears from comparing Ge 11:31 with Ge 12:4; Ac 7:3-4; "before he dwelt in Charran Haran, while he was in Mesopotamia," in his 60th year, at Ur he received his first call: "Depart from thy land, to a land which I will show thee" (as yet the exact land was not defined). In Haran he received a second call: "Depart from thy father's house unto THE land (Heb., Ge 12:1( which I will show thee;" and with it a promise, temporal (that God would bless him, and make him founder of a great nation) and spiritual (that in him all families of the earth should be blessed).
The deluge, the revelation to Noah, and the Babel dispersion had failed to counteract the universal tendency to idolatrous apostasy, obliterating every trace of primitive piety. God therefore provided an antidote in separating one family and nation to be the repository of His truth against the fullness of time when it should be revealed to the whole world. From Jos 24:2,14-15, it appears Terah and his family served other gods beyond the Euphrates. Silly traditions as to Terah being a maker of idols, and Abraham having been east into a fiery furnace by Nimrod for disbelief in idols, were drawn from this Scripture, and from Ur ("fire"). The second call additionally required that, now when his father was dead and filial duty had been discharged, after the stay of 15 years in Haran, he should leave his father's house, i.e. his brother Nahor's family, in Haran. The call was personally to himself.
He was to be isolated not only from his nation but from his family. Lot, his nephew, accompanied him, being regarded probably as his heir, as the promise of seed and the specification of his exact destination were only by degrees unfolded to him (Heb 11:8). Nicolaus of Damascus ascribed to him the conquest of Damascus on his way to Canaan. Scripture records nothing further than that his chief servant was Eliezer of Damascus; he pursued Chedorlaomer to Hobah, on the left of Damascus, subsequently (Ge 14:15), Abraham entered Canaan along the valley of the Jabbok, and encamped first in the rich Moreh valley, near Sichem, between mounts Ebal and Gerizim. There he received a confirmation of the promise, specifying "this land" as that which the original more general promise pointed to. Here therefore he built his first altar to God. The unfriendly attitude of the Canaanites induced him next to move to the mountain country between Bethel and Ai, where also he built an altar to Jehovah, whose worship was fast passing into oblivion in the world.
Famine led him to Egypt, the granary of the world, next. The record of his unbelieving cowardice there, and virtual lie as to Sarai (See ABIMELECH) is a striking proof of the candor of Scripture. Its heroes' faults are not glossed over; each saint not only falls at times, but is represented as failing in the very grace (e.g. Abraham in faith) for which he was most noted. Probably the Hyksos (akin to the Hebrew), or shepherds' dynasty, reigned then at Memphis, which would make Abraham's visit specially acceptable there. On his return his first visit was to the altar which he had erected to Jehovah before his fall (compare Ge 13:4 with Ho 2:7; Re 2:5). The greatness of his and Lot's substance prevented their continuing together. The promise of a direct heir too may have influenced Lot, as, no longer being heir, to seek a more fixed home, in the region of Sodom, than he had with Abraham, "dwelling in tents." Contrast the children of the world with the children of God (Heb 11:9-10,16-18). His third resting place was Mamre, near Hebron ("association", namely, that of Abraham, Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner; next called Kirjath Arba; then it resumed its old name, Hebron, the future capital of Judah). This position, communicating with Egypt, and opening on the pastures of Beersheba, marks the greater power of his retinue now, as compared with what it was when he encamped in the mountain fastness of Ai.
Fourteen years previously Chedorlaomer, king of Elam (the region S. of Assyria, E. of Persia, Susiana), the chief sovereign, with Amrephar of Shinar (Babylon), Arioch of Ellasar (the Chaldean Larissa, or Larsa, half way between Ur, or Mugheir, and Erech, or Warka, in Lower Babylonia), and Tidal, king of nations, attacked Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, and Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela or Zoar, because after twelve bears of subordination they "rebelled" (Genesis 14). Babylon was originally the predominant power; but a recently deciphered Assyrian record states that an Elamitie king, Kudur Nakhunta, conquered Babylon 2296 B.C. Kudur Mabuk is called in the inscriptions the "ravager of Syria," so that the Scripture account of Chedorlaomer (from Lagsmar, a goddess, in Semitic; answering to Mabuk in Hamitic) exactly tallies with the monumental inscriptions which call him Apda martu, "ravager," not conqueror, "of the West." Abraham, with 318 followers, and aided by the Amorite chiefs, Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner, overtook the victorious invaders near Jordan's springs, and attacked them by night from different quarters and routed them, and recovered Lot with all the men and the goods carried off.
His disinterestedness was evinced in refusing any of the goods which Arabian war usage entitled him to, lest the king of worldly Sodom should say, "I have made Abraham rich" (compare Es 9:15-16; 2Ki 5:16; contrast Lot, Ge 13:10-11). Melchizedek, one of the only native princes who still served Jehovah, and was at once king and priest, blessed Abraham in the name of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed God in Abraham's name, by a beautiful reciprocation of blessing, and ministered to him bread and wine; and Abraham "gave him tithes of all." Immediately after Abraham had refused worldly rewards Jehovah in vision said, "I am ... thy exceeding great reward." The promise now was made more specific: Eliezer shall not be thine heir, but "he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels ... Tell if thou be able to number the stars; so shall thy seed be." His faith herein was called forth to accept what was above nature on the bore word of God; so "it (his faith) was counted to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15).
Hence he passes into direct covenant relation with God, confirmed by the sign of the burning lamp (compare Isa 62:1) passing between the divided pieces of a heifer, she goat, and ram, and accompanied by the revelation that his posterity are to be afflicted in a foreign land 400 years, then to come forth and conquer Canaan when the iniquity of the Amorites shall be full. The earthly inheritance was to include the whole region "from the river of Egypt unto the ... river Euphrates," a promise only in part fulfilled under David and Solomon (2Sa 8:3; 2Ki 4:21; 2Ch 9:26). Tyre and Sidon were never conquered; therefore the complete fulfillment remains for the millennial state, when "the meek shall inherit the land," and Ps 72:8-10 shall be realized; compare Lu 20:37. The taking of Hagar the Egypt
Abram and Abraham are the two forms in which the name of the first patriarch was handed down in Hebrew tradition. The change of name recorded in Ge 17:5 (Priestly Narrative) is a harmonistic theory, which involves an impossible etymology, and cannot be regarded as historical. Of Abraham no better explanation has been suggested than that it is possibly a dialectic or orthographic variation of Abram, which in the fuller forms Abir
Son of Terah and grandson of Nahor, the seventh descendant from Shem. His name was at first ABRAM, 'father of elevation;' but was altered by God into ABRAHAM, 'father of a multitude.' In this name (Abraham) the blessing of the Gentiles is secured by God. The family dwelt in Ur of the Chaldees, and were idolaters. Jos 24:2. Abraham was the first to receive a definite call from God to leave not only the idolatrous nation to which his ancestors belonged, but to leave his kindred and his father's house and to go into a land that God would show him. God would bless him and make him a blessing, and bless all who blessed him and would curse all who cursed him. Ge 12:1-3. He thus became the depositary of God's promise and blessing. Abraham at first only partially obeyed the call: he left Ur and went to dwell at Haran, in Mesopotamia (Charran in Ac 7:4), but with his father and kindred; and did not enter Canaan until the death of his father. When in the land God promised that unto his seed He would give the land. Abraham built an altar, and called upon the name of Jehovah. A famine occurring in the land Abraham went to sojourn in Egypt, and for want of faith he called Sarai his sister and she was taken into the house of Pharaoh, but the Lord protected her, and Abraham with his wife was sent away with a rebuke. When near Bethel he could again call on the name of the Lord. He had now become so rich in cattle that disputes arose between his herdsmen and those of Lot, and Abraham asked Lot to choose where he would sojourn, if he went to the right Abraham would go to the left; and they separated. Again Jehovah declared that as far as Abraham's eye could reach in all directions the land should belong to his seed. The next recorded event is that Lot was taken prisoner and carried to the north. Abraham pursued the enemy and recovered all. He refused to take even a thread of the spoil from the king of Sodom: he would not be made rich from such a source; but he was blessed by Melchisedec, king of Salem, the priest of the most high God, who brought forth bread and wine: to whom Abraham gave tenths of all. See MELCHISEDEC. God now revealed Himself to Abraham as His shield and exceeding great reward.
When Abraham lamented to God that he had no son, God declared that he should have a son, and that his seed should be as the stars of the heaven for multitude. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. This is the first time that faith is spoken of. Still he asked whereby should he know that his seed should possess the land, and was told to take a heifer, a she goat, and a ram, all of three years old, a turtle dove and a young pigeon. These he divided in the midst, except the birds, and laid them one against another. When the sun went down a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed between the pieces: type of the fire that consumes the dross, and a light for the path. The same day God made a covenant with Abraham that to his seed should the land be given from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates : cf. Jer 34:18-19: it had been ratified in death, a type of Christ. When Abraham had fallen into a deep sleep, he was informed that his seed should be in a strange land, and be afflicted 400 years. Gen. 15 See ISRAEL IN EGYPT.
Abraham had believed that God would give him a son, but now he waits not God's time, and at Sarai's suggestion he associates with Hagar, a bondmaid, and Ishmael is born, Gen. 16.
(father of a multitude) was the son of Terah, and founder of the great Hebrew nation. (B.C. 1996-1822.) His family, a branch of the descendants of Shem, was settled in Ur of the Chaldees, beyond the Euphrates, where Abraham was born. Terah had two other sons, Nahor and Haran. Haran died before his father in Ur of the Chaldees, leaving a son, Lot; and Terah, taking with him Abram, with Sarai his wife and his grandson Lot, emigrated to Haran in Mesopotamia, where he died. On the death of his father, Abram, then in the 75th year of his age, with Sarai and Lot, pursued his course to the land of Canaan, whither he was directed by divine command,
when he received the general promise that he should become the founder of a great nation, and that all the families of the earth should be blessed in him. He passed through the heart of the country by the great highway to Shechem, and pitched his tent beneath the terebinth of Moreh.
Here he received in vision from Jehovah the further revelation that this was the land which his descendants should inherit.
The next halting-place of the wanderer was on a mountain between Bethel and Ai,
but the country was suffering from famine, and Abram journeyed still southward to the rich cornlands of Egypt. There, fearing that the great beauty of Sarai might tempt the powerful monarch of Egypt and expose his own life to peril, he arranged that Sarai should represent herself as his sister, which her actual relationship to him, as probably the daughter of his brother Haran, allowed her to do with some semblance of truth. But her beauty was reported to the king, and she was taken into the royal harem. The deception was discovered, and Pharaoh with some indignation dismissed Abram from the country.
He left Egypt with great possessions, and, accompanied by Lot, returned by the south of Palestine to his former encampment between Bethel and Ai. The increased wealth of the two kinsmen was the ultimate cause of their separation. Lot chose the fertile plain of the Jordan near Sodom, while Abram pitched his tent among the groves of Mamre, close to Hebron.
... Lot with his family and possessions having been carried away captive by Chedorlaomer king of Elam, who had invaded Sodom, Abram pursued the conquerors and utterly routed them not far from Damascus. The captives and plunder were all recovered, and Abram was greeted on his return by the king of Sodom, and by Melchizedek king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who mysteriously appears upon the scene to bless the patriarch and receive from him a tenth of the spoil.
... After this the thrice-repeated promise that his descendants should become a mighty nation and possess the land in which he was a stranger was confirmed with all the solemnity of a religious ceremony.
... Ten years had passed since he had left his father's house, and the fulfillment of the promise was apparently more distant than at first. At the suggestion of Sarai, who despaired of having children of her own, he took as his concubine Hagar, her Egyptian main, who bore him Ishmael in the 86th year of his age.
... [HAGAR; ISHMAEL] But this was not the accomplishment of the promise. Thirteen years elapsed, during which Abram still dwelt in Hebron, when the covenant was renewed, and the rite of circumcision established as its sign. This most important crisis in Abram's life, when he was 99 years old, is marked by the significant change of his name to Abraham, "father of a multitude;" while his wife's from Sarai became Sarah. The promise that Sarah should have a son was repeated in the remarkable scene described in ch. 18. Three men stood before Abraham as he sat in his tent door in the heat of the day. The patriarch, with true Eastern hospitality, welcomed the strangers, and bade them rest and refresh themselves. The meal ended, they foretold the birth of Isaac, and went on their way to Sodom. Abraham accompanied them, and is represented as an interlocutor in a dialogue with Jehovah, in which he pleaded in vain to avert the vengeance threatened to the devoted cities of the plain.
In remarkable contrast with Abraham's firm faith with regard to the magnificent fortunes of his posterity stand the incident which occurred during his temporary residence among the Philistines in Gerar, whither he had for some cause removed after the destruction of Sodom. It was almost a repetition of what took place in Egypt a few years before. At length Isaac, the long-looked for child, was born. Sarah's jealousy aroused by the mockery of Ishmael at the "great banquet" which Abram made to celebrate the weaning of her son,
demanded that, with his mother Hagar, he should be driven out.
But the severest trial of his faith was yet to come. For a long period the history is almost silent. At length he receives the strange command to take Isaac, his only son, and offer him for a burnt offering at an appointed place Abraham hesitated not to obey. His faith, hitherto unshaken, supported him in this final trial, "accounting that God was able to raise up his son, even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure."
The sacrifice was stayed by the angel of Jehovah, the promise of spiritual blessing made for the first time, and Abraham with his son returned to Beersheba, and for a time dwelt there.
... But we find him after a few years in his original residence at Hebron, for there Sarah died,
and was buried in the cave of Machpelah. The remaining years of Abraham's life are marked by but few incidents. After Isaac's marriage with Rebekah and his removal to Lahai-roi, Abraham took to wife Keturah, by whom he had six children, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbok and Shuah, who became the ancestors of nomadic tribes inhabiting the countries south and southeast of Palestine. Abraham lived to see the gradual accomplishment of the promise in the birth of his grandchildren Jacob and Esau, and witnessed their growth to manhood.
At the goodly age of 175 he was "gathered to his people," and laid beside Sarah in the tomb of Machpelah by his sons Isaac and Ishmael.