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Abraham (formerly Abram) from Ur of the Chaldeans (ca. 2170 B.C.) was the patriarch of ancient Israel and the one to whom and through whom God promised blessing to all nations.
The account of his life is found in the Book of Genesis, beginning in Chapter 11 at the close of a genealogy of the sons of Shem (which includes among its members Eber, possibly the eponym for the name Hebrew).
Abraham stands out prominently as a recipient of the promises of God, delivered in the form of a covenant (Gen. 12:2-7, 13:14-17, 15, 17, 18:17-19, 22:17-18, 24:7). In the New Testament Abraham is mentioned prominently as a man of faith (Hebrews 11), and the apostle Paul uses him as an example of salvation by faith (in Galatians 3).
Authors of the New Testament cite Abraham to support belief in the resurrection of the dead. "But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?" He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken." (Mark 12:26-27) "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, 'In Isaac your seed shall be called,' concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense," (Hebrews 11:17-19).
The chief promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12 is that through his seed, all the people of earth would be blessed. This promise was fulfilled through Abraham's seed, Jesus Christ.
Christian tradition sees Abraham as a figure of God, and Abraham's offering up of Isaac is a foreshadowing of God's offering of his Son, Jesus (Gen. 22:1-14; Heb. 11:17-19). Just as Isaac carried wood for the sacrifice up the mountain and willingly submitted to being offered, so Jesus carried his Cross up the hill and allowed himself to be crucified.
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