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The Life of Our Forefather Abraham

The Life of Our Forefather Abraham


Abram’s Family

One of the most important persons at Nimrod’s court in Ur of the Chaldees in Babel, or Babylonia, was Terah, the son of Nahor, a great-great grandson of Eber. Terah had three sons, Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Abram’s Birth

The night before Abram was born, Nimrod’s astrologers were gathered at Terah’s house. Looking out into the night sky, they read in the constellation of the stars that the newly born child was to become the chief and the father of a mighty nation. This discovery was communicated to Nimrod, who became afraid that the new star might darken his own.

Nimrod’s Attempt on Abram’s Life

Nimrod asked Terah to bring the newly born baby to the palace to be killed. Terah tried to talk Nimrod out of it, but he couldn’t. He risked his life and the lives of his whole family, and exchanged his son with a servant’s child born the same day as Abram. Nimrod did not suspect the ruse, and he killed the baby with his own hands. Meanwhile, Abram was hidden in a cave.

Young Abram Recognizes G-D

Abram stayed in the cave until he was ten years old. During this time he came to believe in the existence of G‑d through reasoning. Abram had watched the sun and the moon and the stars coming and going, each in its own time. He had noticed the sun giving way to the moon, despite its apparent divine power, and the moon giving place to the sun in the morning. And so he reasoned that there must be a Power above and beyond all the visible forces of nature, a Power Who had created them, and Who regulated and controlled them at all times. Behind the limited power of all nature, young Abram perceived the unlimited and timeless existence of G‑d.

Then G‑d made Himself known to Abram and taught him the right way of living. Later Abram went to the house of Noah and Shem. There he stayed many years; there he studied and learned to serve G‑d.

Abram Destroys the Idols

Nimrod had long forgot ten the threat of the new star which his astrologers had predicted. He had rewarded Terah for his faithfulness and had given him even higher honors than before. For Terah was clever, and Nimrod took his advice in matters of state. Besides, Terah had always appeared an obedient servant with regard to the new idols Nimrod introduced in his empire. Nimrod had no reason to hold any grudge against Terah, in spite of his astrologers’ predictions.

Abram had been taught the knowledge of the true G‑d, and he despised the idol worship of the people around him. He therefore decided to do everything in his power to crush the belief in idol worship. He talked to all the visitors at his father’s house and convinced many that their belief in idols was false and foolish. But Terah refused to listen to his son’s reasoning.

One day, Abram took an axe and destroyed all his father’s idols. Only the largest remained intact. When Terah saw his idols shattered and scattered all over the floor, he accused Abram. But Abram said that the largest of the idols had killed all the others in a fight over an offering brought to them. Terah exclaimed that such a thing was impossible, since idols could not quarrel or fight. Then he realized that his son tricked him into admitting that the idols made of stone and wood could not even move, and he became very angry. Forgetting that he had long ago deceived Nimrod by substituting another child for Abram, he went to the king and reported his son’s irreverence towards the gods.

In Nimrod’s Hands

Nimrod had Abram thrown into prison and condemned to death by fire. Hundreds of people crowded to watch the son of Prince Terah burn alive for disloyalty and disrespect towards the gods. For Abram had not kept quiet when he was brought before the king. He accused Nimrod of reducing his people to the idolatrous state of the generation before the Flood. When Abram was condemned to die by fire, he exclaimed before the court that Nimrod had no power against the will of G‑d. The fire could never harm him if G‑d did not wish it to, for He who gave fire the strength to burn, could take it away. His courageous speech had spread all over the country, and everyone, rich and poor, young and old, was eager to find out whether Abram was right, or whether he was just a boastful dreamer.

The Miracle in the Furnace

Abram was thrown into the fiery furnace. But G‑d was with him and the fire did not touch him. It only burned the rope which bound him.

For three whole days and nights, hundreds of people could hardly believe their eyes, seeing Abram walking in the midst of the flames, without having even a hair of his head burn. King Nimrod himself had to admit that Abram had spoken the truth and that he was a man of G‑d. He asked Abram to come out of the furnace. Nimrod then gave Abram many presents and sent him back to his father’s house. But Abram did not go alone. For with him went two hundred men of noble descent, amongst them, Eliezer of Damascus, who was later to become Abram’s most trusted servant. They all abandoned Nimrod and his rich court to live with Abram and learn from him the knowledge of the true G‑d.

Abram married Sarai. He lived with Terah until Nimrod sent for him again, this time intending to kill him secretly. But Abram learned of this plot in time, and escaped to Noah’s house, where he had lived as a young man. Terah followed him there, and together they went to Haran in Aram Naharaim, or Mesopotamia.

G-D Commands and Promise to Abram

But the people in Mesopotamia did not worship G‑d. They worshipped all kinds of idols and followed the wicked ways of Nimrod and his people. G‑d saw that Abram was the only one who was righteous and G‑d fearing. G‑d, therefore, appeared to Abram and said: "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name, and [you shall] be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you."

Abram’s Obedience

Abram did as G‑d told him. At the age of seventy-five years, he left Haran, accompanied by his wife Sarai, and nephew Lot, the son of his brother Haran. They wandered into the land of Canaan. Here, near the city of Shechem, in the oak groves of Moreh, G‑d again appeared to Abram and said: “This land I shall give to your children.” Abram built an altar to G‑d and traveled through the country to spread the knowledge of G‑d wherever he went.

From Our People by Jacob Isaacs published and copyrighted by Kehot Publication Society 1946-1948
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Helena Netherlands May 16, 2017

Not only Abraham was a muslim (according to the muslims) but Jesus was a muslim too. When we come with our scriptures to say otherwise they have an explanation for that: Our scriptures were tampered with !
Who has good advice on how to answer them in such a way that they cannot say this anymore? Reply

Shel Haas May 8, 2017

Dear Helena: There were no Muslims until the birth of the Prophet Mohammed which occurred over 2,000 years after Abraham. The Koran was written by Mohammed, 3 poets, 2 ex-Jews, an ex=Christian working together. The angel Gabriel was used to hide the real authorship. We do not have an original Koran! Reply

Helena Netherlands May 16, 2017
in response to Shel Haas:

Yes i know those facts but the trouble i have is that Muslims insist that Abraham was a Muslim! Reply

ruth housman marshfield, ma May 8, 2017

the story of Abraham I have a lot of trouble with the fact Terah had a servant's child killed instead of his son. That feels like murder to me, and totally wrong. I don't like stories that read this way. I find it rather awful this is not pondered but skipped over. I hate the stories that are Biblical that are about deception and murder. I think to revisit all this is to see no one is blameless. I think we need to revisit these stories, because in many ways, they cast a pall, and feel wrong. Thou shalt not kill. To substitute another is making a judgment about the value of another life. Reply

Mary Anne Biele New City October 25, 2017
in response to ruth housman:

Human life in those days did not have the same value as it does today. i.e. Slavery was common and considered very normal and acceptable and child sacrifice was common amongst pagans. Reply

Helena Netherlands April 27, 2017

How can we explain to muslims (impossible task) that Abraham was a Hebrew and not a muslim? Reply

Lynda A Gallow Seattle May 8, 2017
in response to Helena:

Abraham 's first son Ishmael was the father of all Arabic/Muslim tribes/descendants, but Abraham was Jew. Read Genesis chapters 12-27th. Or just start with Genesis through Revelations & be Bless.

Isaac, the 2nd son, promised son from God, had twins; Jacob (Jew) & Esau (Arab /Muslim. Reply

Neomi October 26, 2017
in response to Lynda A Gallow:

Avraham was the father of all the religions is what you should answer them
Judaism likes to include everyone :) it's our way ...
Make everyone happy :)

Noah three sons was the father of the Asian people... One the father of Black people and one the father of the Jews and Arabs...

It's all good

We can all live in peace and respect together Reply

Helena Netherlands October 27, 2017
in response to Lynda A Gallow:

Abraham's first son was from his slave (in those days normal). Her name was Hagar i think and she was Ethiopian if i am not wrong. The child of a slave was not an official son in those times. That is why his "real son" had to be sacrificed. Indeed those were pagan traditions that existed and therefore the angel came with a lamb instead. Reply

Anonymous Seattle October 29, 2017
in response to Helena:

Hagar was Egyptian, hand maid of Sarah, Abraham's wife. Reply

Pastor Moses April 17, 2017

Wonderful message Reply

Anonymous February 6, 2017

This story is on in the bible so thanks for the information about Abram before he became Abraham Reply

Maneli January 20, 2017

Thank you so much for this information God bless you all Reply

Anonymous nigeria May 19, 2016

This I most say, is indeed an interesting one ever, please can we still learn more? Thanks Reply Staff via January 13, 2016

Sources The material in this article is compiled from the Book of Genesis and Midrashic commentaries on the same. Reply

Adesh Manick Trinidad & Tobago January 12, 2016

Life of Abram to Abraham Where in the Torah is this information as related in the article above and where can this information be compared to in the Bible as we know it today. Reply

Mary L Hartman USA October 29, 2015

The teaching about Abraham's "inn" is not in my Bible there where the foot note says to look. It says Abraham planted a tree and took some time-out for rest. Maybe I'm not savi about these things or maybe it is in traditional stories that I don't have access to. Anyway it is a fascinating idea that Abraham had this inn where he fed, rested and accompanied his guests to encourage them to do the same to another. I call that "passing it forward". Reply

Santana October 5, 2015

Thanks so much for this information on the life of Abraham. Why wasn't it put in the bible ?

samuel osei August 30, 2015

It is so powerful to Reply

Anonymous Seattle August 5, 2015

Wow so much more information on Nimrod! I always wondered about his life besides being a mighty hunter.
Very interesting stories. Reply

Zola September 28, 2014

Early life of Abraham I have never seen all this information before, it was such a shock to see it & I wondered why it had been kept secret for all these years? Reply

Shel Haas Fort Lee USA July 16, 2014

It is interesting that sources for the remarks about Terah are never quoted. Assumptions are fantasy, not facts. Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for July 16, 2014

Re: Shel For the most part, and of the stories and information found here, that is not from the bible itself, come from the Talmud and the Midrash. Reply

Shel Haas New Jersey, USA July 15, 2014

Where did you find the materials regarding Abram? There is no mention of any of this story in any historical source or in the Torah! The truth about Abram is interesting in that Melchizedek was a priest of God, he gave his visitors meat and milk at the same meal, and his father was not an idol worshipper. Why this fantasy? Reply

Anonymous April 1, 2014

Thank you for the teaching. Reply

Rebecca June 3, 2013

Where did Abraham live Reply

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