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The bosom of Abraham - medieval illustration from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century)

Abraham ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} (Hebrew: אַבְרָהָם‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, About this sound listen )), birthname Abram, is the first of the three biblical patriarchs. His story, told in chapters 11 through 25 of the Book of Genesis, plays a prominent role as an example of faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

The Bible's internal chronology places Abraham around 2000 BCE.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} Despite this, "there is nothing specific in the Genesis stories that can be definitively related to known history in or around Canaan in the early second millennium B.C.E."{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} and, according to professor Paula McNutt, "it is now widely agreed that the so-called 'patriarchal/ancestral period' is a later literary construct, not a period in the actual history of the ancient world".{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} The majority of scholars believe that the Pentateuch was composed in the Persian period (roughly 520–320 BCE),{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} as a result of tensions between the Jewish landowners who had stayed in Judah during the Babylonian captivity and claimed Abraham as the "father" through whom they traced their right to the land, and the returning "Priestly" exiles who based their claim to dominance on Moses and the Exodus tradition.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}

The Genesis narrative revolves around the themes of posterity and land rights. Abraham was called by God to leave the house of his father Terah and settle in a land which was already settled by the descendants of Canaan; however, God promised it to Abraham and his progeny. Various candidates were put forward who might inherit the land after him, but all were dismissed except for Isaac, Abraham's son by his half-sister Sarah. Abraham purchased the Cave of the Patriarchs at Hebron to be Sarah's grave when she died, thus establishing his right to that land. In the second generation, Abraham's heir Isaac was married to a woman from his own relatives, thus ruling the Canaanites out of any right to his inheritance. Abraham later married Keturah and had six more sons, but on his death, when he was buried beside Sarah, it was Isaac who received "all Abraham's goods", while the other sons received only "gifts".{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}

Abraham sections
Intro   Genesis narrative    Historicity and origins    Abraham in religious traditions    Abraham in the arts    See also    Notes    References    Bibliography    External links   

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