By Stan Goodenough

Abram, whose name meant "high father" in Hebrew (and was later changed by God to Abraham, "father of a multitude"), was born in ca. 1800 in the city of Ur, in the southern region of Mesopotamia.

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By Stan Goodenough

Abram, whose name meant “high father” in Hebrew (and was later changed by God to Abraham, “father of a multitude”), was born in ca. 1800 in the city of Ur, in the southern region of Mesopotamia. Ur was a leading metropolitan center at the time, and Jewish tradition holds that Abram’s father was a top idol merchant in the city.

The Bible does not provide much information about Abram’s life up till the age of 75, but it does tell us that, for some unknown reason, Abram’s father, Terah, took Abram and the rest of his family and left Ur for the city of Haran in northern Mesopotamia. According to the biblical narrative, following Terah’s death in Haran at the age of 205, the LORD came to Abram and told him to leave his family, birthplace and country and journey to an unknown land where the LORD would make a great nation of him and his seed. There are a number of interesting aspects to consider in the LORD’s calling of Abram.

First, why did God choose Abram? The Bible is basicly mute on this point, however, Jewish legend tells us that Abram was chosen because of his monotheistic beliefs and practices. According to legend, one day when Terah was away on business, Abram was left to care for the family’s idol shop. Abram took a hammer and smashed all but the largest idol and then placed the hammer in the idol’s hands. Terah was furious upon returning and seeing the destruction and promptly asked Abram what had happened.

Abram’s reply to his outraged father’s inquiry was that the large idol had become upset with the other idols and had destroyed them with the hammer. Terah countered that Abram knew full well that idols cannot move. “If they cannot save themselves,” replied Abram, “then we are superior to them and should not worship them.” Abram is considered the first true monotheist, though this assumption is slightly erroneous owing to the fact that Abram later comes in contact with at least one other true monotheist, King Melchizedek of Salem.

The second seldom considered aspect of Abram’s calling is the fact that, as the Bible tells us, the LORD called Abram to leave his country, his birthplace and his father’s house after he and his family had already departed from Ur. Why would God give this command after Abram had already begun his journey? One answer is that the LORD’s command was given and emphasized at this time because Abram’s travels were not to be merely geographical, but more importantly he was embarking on a journey into everlasting covenant and relationship with the Living God, a journey away from the traditional beliefs and practices of Abram’s “country, birthplace and father’s house”.

Abram accepted the call and obeyed the LORD’s command. This decision on Abram’s part is perhaps more meaningful than we may realize. Abram was raised as a city-dweller, used to the comforts and conveniences of urban life. Accepting the LORD’s call meant that Abram would now have to adapt to a nomadic lifestyle, a lifestyle about which he knew little to nothing. This sacrifice, this willingness to completely change his lifestyle and ways tells us a lot about the kind of man Abram was.

Abram went on to follow the LORD to the land of Canaan. It was in Canaan where Abram was the first person to be called by the term “Hebrew”, according to the biblical record. The term “Hebrew” was either a referrence to the fact that Abram “crossed over” (Hebrew – Ivri in Hebrew – means one who crosses over) the Euphrates River in coming to Canaan, or that Abram was a descendent of Eber (Ever), great-great-grandson of Noah.

The closeness of the relationship between Abram and the LORD is shown in the story of Sodom and Gemorrah. So strong were the LORD’s feelings for Abram, and so comfortable was Abram in the LORD’s presence, that he dared to question the judgement of God, and was heeded by Him.

Though Abram did, with the begetting of Ishmael through Hagar, show a degree of disbelief in the LORD’s plan for his life, his faith in and obedience to the LORD were unwavering. In the first part of Genesis 17 the LORD reaffirms his covenant with Abram and changes his name to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude”. The LORD promises Abraham a descendent, Isaac, who will carry on the covenant with Him. Isaac is miraculously born to Abraham in his 100th year.

Abraham’s amazing and steadfast commitment to the LORD is again proven in his willingness to sacrifice his own son, simply because the LORD said to. The binding of Isaac (Akedat Yitzchak), as with most everthing else in the life of Abraham, is a milestone in mankind’s relationship with God.

The stories and events of Abraham’s life are well known to all Bible believing peoples, though the person and character behind those stories is seldom fully understood. Abraham remains almost a mythical character, a man whose faith in and obedience to the LORD are virtually beyond comprehension. Abraham remains a man from which, even after 3,800 years, we have much to learn.

© Israel My Beloved




The PLO was instituted in 1964 three years before the six day war in June 1967 when Israel, in a war of self-defense, recovered the so-called “West Bank”, now seen and proclaimed by nearly everybody as the quintessence crux of the Middle East problem.
This however shows that the PLO (All Palestine needs to be liberated) was not formed to erect a Palestinian state on the ‘so called’ West Bank but was instituted to replace all of Israel with a Muslim Palestinian State.

A Word From Zion

The New Testament Basis for the Restoration of Israel

Jesus was asked by His disciples whether He would restore the kingdom to Israel at that time, to which He replied:
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.