Father Abraham

Father Abraham

DAY 2 OF 10

Introduction: Genesis 11:10–37:1

In general terms, the early patriarchal history divides into two parts: the life of Abraham in 11:10–25:18 and the life of Jacob in 25:19–37:1. Now this twofold division may be surprising at first because in Scripture we frequently hear mention of three early patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So, we might have reasonably expected the literary structure of these chapters to be threefold as well, first telling us about Abraham, then about Isaac and then about Jacob. But in actuality, no portion of the early patriarchal history is devoted to Isaac as the main figure. Instead, he serves only as a transitional figure. His life is told first as a part of Abraham’s life and then as a part of Jacob’s life. And as a result, the early patriarchal history actually divides into only two main parts: the life of Abraham and then the life of Jacob. Our concern in this series is with the first half of the patriarchal period, Moses’ record of Father Abraham. So let’s take a closer look at the structure of Abraham’s life as it is presented in Genesis 11:10–25:18.

The story of Abraham’s life follows the basic order of events as they occurred in his life. The stories begin with him relatively young and under the authority of his father, and they end up with Abraham growing old and dying. On occasion, there are allusions and implicit connections among the various episodes of Abraham’s life. But by comparison with other portions of the Old Testament, Abraham’s life story consists of a series of seventeen relatively independent episodes. Each of these episodes was designed to report events in Abraham’s life and to teach specific lessons to Moses’ original Israelite audience. As Moses led them from Egypt toward the Promised Land, each of these episodes was to have much to offer them as they lived their lives just as it has much to offer us as we live our lives today.  

About this Plan

Father Abraham

This reading plan explores the account of Abraham's life in Genesis from a distinctly Christian perspective in order to answer questions such as: What did these stories mean for those who first received them? And what do...

We would like to thank Third Millennium Ministries for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: http://thirdmill.org

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