Compare relative and absolute dating

In Abraham's case, his unwavering faith accomplished the fulfillment of the covenant promises in terms of a great nation that would honor him through the centuries as "their father" ( John ; Rom ).

This man, whose name may mean "the father is exalted, " was the first of the great patriarchs of Israel.

In the ancient Near East a patriarch was the leader or ancestor of a family, but Abraham exceeded this status by becoming the progenitor of one specific nation, the Hebrews, as well as of other peoples.

The story of his life ( Gen b- ) appears to comprise one of eleven Mesopotamian tablets underlying Genesis, and in typical fashion probably had a title ("Abram, Nahor and Haran, b ) and a concluding colophon "these are the generations of" (KJV), that is, "family histories of" ( ).

The material was apparently compiled in the time of Isaac at Beer Lahai Roi ( Gen ), the finished unit probably comprising a group of smaller tablets linked in a series.

He was not to fulfill it alone, because the Lord undertook to go with him ( Gen 12:4 ).

He was required to be consistently obedient to God's will, however difficult that might be, and to trust without question the guidance he would receive against the background of the covenant framework.

Perhaps the most serious test of Abraham's obedience and faith came when God ordered him to offer up in sacrifice the very one through whom the covenant was to be perpetuated: his son Isaac ( Gen 22:1-2 ).

Dutifully and without questioning, Abraham followed the ritual procedure, and at the climactic moment God intervened on behalf of Isaac ( Gen ), stating that Abraham had passed the divinely imposed test of submission and faith ( Gen ).

This general promise was made specific by means of a covenant between God and Abraham ( Gen 15:8-18 ; 17:1-14 ), which provided the offspring of the patriarch with a large tract of territory.

Abraham was to father many nations ( Gen 17:5 ), and the covenant that was to be established with him and his seed was to be perpetual in nature.

For such implicit obedience Abraham was to become an example of covenant fidelity. James ) Abraham is described as the "friends" of God.

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