This is the story of Abraham in pictures, but they are not in the right order. Find out the correct sequence of events by visiting The Story of Abraham. Use the story below or the internet as a source.
God says, "Not Ishmael but you will have a son, Isaac."
Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac.
Abraham's Story Jews, Christians and Muslims all agree that Abraham is the Patriarch of their religions and founder of Monotheism.
Judaism and Christianity teach that the story of Abraham is more than the story of one man. Abraham becomes the patriarch of the Jewish nation as he passes 10 severe tests of his belief in God and God’s covenant with him.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam teach that Abraham enters into a covenant with God in which both sides make commitments. Abraham is required to leave his homeland, and to follow the direction into the land that God promised Abraham and his descendents. God promises to bless Abraham and his descendents, and to make of them a great nation. Asking Abraham to leave his father’s house is the first test of the covenant. The most significant demand God makes on Abraham is that he and his descendants totally commit to a belief in one and only one God. This is the foundation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
When Sarah and Abraham are in Egypt, on their way to the Promised Land, Hagar, an Egyptian girl, becomes a handmaiden for Sarah. Since Sarah is childless she tells Abraham he should conceive a child with Hagar. However, once Hagar becomes pregnant, her relationship with Sarah turns bitter. Hagar leaves home but an angel of God tells her she will bear a son, Ishmael and he will be the head of many tribes and she should return home to Abraham and Sarah. Hagar returns and Ishmael is born.
Thirteen years later, God promises Abraham that Sarah will bear a son who will inherit his covenant. As a sign of this promise God demands that all males be circumcised, now and in the future. The practice of circumcision represents a significant sign of the covenant between God and Jewish people. Abraham and his son Ishmael (at the age of thirteen) and all the men in the household are circumcised.
After Sarah gives birth to Isaac, she insists that Abraham cast out Hagar and Ishmael. Once again, God reassures him that Ishmael and his offspring will make a great nation. Abraham reluctantly sends them away.
Differences worth noting
Islam teaches that Abraham was one of 5 great prophets who received special revelations from Allah. Whereas Judaism and Christianity teach that the covenant with God was passed on through the genetic line of Isaac, Islam teaches that this special covenantal relationship was with Abraham and therefore passed to both his sons, Isaac and Ishmael. In contrast to the Jewish and Christian interpretations, Muslims believe that God equally favored Hagar and Sarah. Muslims believe that Ishmael was the son that Allah (God) asked Abraham to sacrifice, not Isaac. They stress, however, that the focus of the sacrifice is on the testing of Abraham’s faith and willingness to submit to the will of God, not which son was subject to sacrifice.
After Hagar and Ishmael were driven out by Sarah, they wandered in the desert between two mountains looking for water. Angels appeared reassuring Hagar that God would bless her son and make him the father of a great nation. They then settle in what is today, Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, where Ishmael’s descendents become Muslims.
The Spirit of The Story of Abraham.
In summary and most importantly, all three religions teach that Abraham was a model of how humans should live their lives displaying courage, faith, sacrifice, obedience, and trust in one supreme God. We believe that the “spirit” of this story is to see Abraham as a role model and to encourage all of us to live our lives with the same courage, faith, and determination to be the best person we can be. (Top of Page)
The story of Abraham is told in the book of Genesis in the Bible. He lived about 4000 years ago and was born in a place called Ur, which is in the very south of modern Iraq. Abraham believed in the one, true God, the Maker of heaven and earth, but in the city where he lived, they worshipped the sun, moon and stars. There was a special temple to the moon goddess, the type of temple which today we call a ziggurat.
One day, God told Abraham to leave the city and his relatives, to go to a special land which God promised would belong to his millions of descendants. Abram (as he was called at first) left Ur together with his wife, Sarai (later called Sarah). His relatives must have gone with him, for they all ended up in the northern city of Haran. When Abram's father, Terah died, Abraham obeyed God's call and left for the land God had promised. When he first left Ur, Abraham was 75 years old and his wife was nine years younger. They were childless - how could God fulfil His promise of many descendants?
They arrived in the Promised Land and the years went by without any sign of a child, let alone a son to carry on the family name. Sarah despaired of ever having a child and resorted to an accepted custom of the day. She gave her Egyptian slave girl, Hagar, to Abraham to be another, albeit servant wife. By her, Abraham could have a son which, because Hagar was a slave, would belong to Sarah. (Hagar belonged to Sarah and so anything she had belonged to Sarah too). In this way, when he was 86 years old, Abraham became the father of a son Ishmael.
Abraham was very proud of his son Ishmael and felt sure that through Him God would fulfil his promise of millions of descendants. However, God spoke very clearly to Abraham and told him that when He had promised Him a son, He had meant a son by his wife Sarah. God's promise was to be fulfilled in God's time and Abraham must trust and wait upon God. And so, against hope, Abraham believed in hope. He became the great example, not only to the people of Israel who were his descendants, but also to Christians, of a man of faith.
The years went by and still there was no sign of the promised son. Then one day, when Abraham, at 99 years of age, was relaxing outside his tent after a rather busy day, he espied three visitors coming their way. Quickly he made ready to prepare food and drink so that the visitors could be received with the customary hospitality. On arrival they began to talk with Abraham and one in particular (it was in fact the Lord Himself) seemed to know so much about him and Sarah.
"This time next year," He announced, "your wife Sarah will have a son. Call him Isaac."
Sarah laughed at the very idea; she was far too old. Abraham believed and, sure enough, next year, when he was 100 years old, and Sarah 91, they had a son. They called him Isaac, a name which means 'laughter'.
Isaac grew into a toddler. His teenage half-brother, Ishmael began to torment him and make fun of him. Sarah did not like her son being treated like that and feared that one day in the future, when the lads were older, that the tormenting might grow into something more sinister, even depriving her son Isaac of his rightful inheritance. She pleaded with Abraham to turn Hagar and her son out. After some reluctance, Abraham was told by God that it would be all right with the pair and so, Abraham sent them away.
When Isaac was growing into teenage years, God decided to test Abraham's faith, to show how faithful a man he was. He told Abraham to take his only son Isaac to a certain mountain, three days' journey away, and to sacrifice him there. Abraham prepared to do as God said. They reached the mountain, built the altar, and placed the firewood on it. Then Abraham bound Isaac, laid him on top of the altar and raised his hand ready to plunge a sacrificial dagger into his son's heart. At that very moment the angel of the Lord appeared and cried out, "Do not harm the lad. I know now you will do anything God asks. Look! There is a ram caught in a bush by its horns. Take that and sacrifice that to God as a thank offering. And Abraham did just that.
His son Isaac became the father of Jacob and Esau. And Jacob became the father of twelve sons, who became the ancestral fathers of the twelve tribes which made up the nation of Israel - the millions of descendants of Abraham.